On Saturday, the women’s ice hockey team will face Amherst, who knocked the Polar Bears out of the NESCAC playoffs in two of the team’s last three semifinal appearances. Despite this recent history of season-ending losses at the hands of the Lady Jeffs, the Polar Bears stand a good chance of reaching the final this year. 

Bowdoin’s offense was ranked third in the NESCAC in each of the last three years, while Amherst was ranked first in 2010 and 2011 and second last season. The Polar Bears were fourth in overall defense in 2012, fifth in 2011, and fourth in 2010, while Amherst was first in all years except 2011, when they were third. The difference this year is monumental, with Bowdoin ranked first in both offense and defense. 

The last time a NESCAC team was ranked first in offense and defense was in 2010, when Amherst won the NESCAC Championship and eventually won the D-III National Championship over Norwich, 7-2. 
Two weekends ago, Bowdoin played a series away at Amherst, sweeping the Lady Jeffs with scores of 4-0 and 3-1. It was the first time in five years the Polar Bears had managed a sweep of Amherst in the regular season.  The Polar Bears racked up three goals in the first period during the Saturday game.

Amherst’s leaky defense has allowed 2.46 goals per game this year, and the Polar Bears have not lost a single match this season when they scored more than two goals.