In the final week of the regular season, the women's hockey team (11-11-2; 8-7-1 NESCAC) achieved an impressive upset against Middlebury (15-6-3; 11-4-1 NESCAC), followed closely by a heartbreaking loss against Williams (12-10-2; 9-6-1 NESCAC) that assured the Lady Polar Bears a road trip for the first week of the NESCAC Championships.

The 4-2 victory at Middlebury on Friday night put Bowdoin in a situation where they controlled their own destiny going into the game against Williams Saturday night.

With a win against Williams, the Bowdoin women would have grasped the No. 4 seed in the NESCAC playoff and hosted Williams at home on Saturday.

The 3-2 loss, however, relegates the team to the No. 5 seed, meaning the Ephs will host the Polar Bears in the first round in a rematch of the season finale.

The improbable 4-2 win at Middlebury knocked the Panthers out of the second seed in the NESCAC Championship and was Bowdoin's first win against Middlebury in their past 12 meetings.

Even more amazing was the way in which Bowdoin carried out the win. Both teams came close to scoring on power-play opportunities in the first period, but only Middlebury capitalized with a late goal from Libby Miner. She struck again in the second period putting Bowdoin in a 0-2 hole.

At 9:18 in the second, the Panthers had an opportunity to post an insurmountable lead during a power play. Instead, the Bowdoin women turned things around with two goals in six seconds and three goals in under three minutes.

The first Bowdoin goal came from junior Jill Campbell and was immediately followed up with a goal on the ensuing face-off when team points leader Kayte Holtz '13 fired a shot from mid-ice into the back of the net.

Building on that momentum, Dominique Lozzi '12 gained Bowdoin the lead with a shot from the right face-off circle. Middlebury had more opportunities to tie things up but masterful goaltending from first year Kayla Lessard, who garnered 44 saves, ensured that Middlebury would not get back in the game.

The nail in the coffin came with sophomore Shelagh Merrill's team leading 15th goal of the season to build a two-goal lead.

The Ephs have been on a bit of a hot streak lately, winning seven of their last 10, while Bowdoin has slumped into the playoffs, going even over their last 10, 5-5. The two teams first game resulted in a 2-2 tie early in the season. On Saturday night, Bowdoin squandered leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before succumbing 3-2.

The Lady Polar Bears jumped out to the 1-0 lead on senior Kate Pokrass's fifth goal of the season well into the first period. However, Williams' Tracey Ferriter evened the contest late in the first frame on her first goal of the game. Jill Campbell '11 regained the lead for the visiting Polar Bears in the second period, but a second Williams' power play-goal tied things up again.

That set up Tracey Ferriter for her game-winning second goal of the contest in the third period. Bowdoin could not put anything in the net from there on out and watched as the fourth seed slipped out of their grasp.

The Polar Bears have been highly successful in years past going 10-6 cumulatively in eight years of NESCAC playoffs, winning the championship twice and being runner up three times.

Last year, the Polar Bears were ranked fifth as well, but lost in the first round 2-1 at Colby. The last time Bowdoin won the NESCAC Championship was in 2004, when it defeated Middlebury 4-1. However, that result did not help them advance in the D- III Championships, where that team lost 2-1 against Plattsburgh State in the first round.

Bowdoin finished the season with three players in the top 10 in scoring in the NESCAC. First year Kayte Holtz's 26 points with 14 goals, tied her for sixth in points, Dominique Lozzi's 25 points netted her ninth on the list, while team goal leader sophomore Shelagh Merrill's 15 goals (second-most in the NESCAC) and 24 points tied her for tenth.