The men’s ice hockey team lost 4-2 to No. 7 Utica in a late Saturday night game at Utica Memorial Auditorium in Utica, NY.
The Polar Bears came out skating hard in the first period, but a penalty by Tim Coffey ’15 gave Utica an early power play, which the Polar Bears were able to kill by winning two straight faceoffs and controlling the puck movement for most of two minutes.
Five minutes later, Bowdoin earned a man-up of their own, but after pummeling Pioneer goalkeeper Nick Therrien with two close shots, the Polar Bears were unable to score. After the penalty expired, goalie Max Fenkell ’15 stopped a flurry of Utica shots to shift the puck back to Bowdoin. Harry Matheson ’14 was able to pass to Ollie Koo ’14, who flicked the puck past Therrien for the opening score.
Matheson, assisted by Colin Downey and Alexander Miley, added another goal for the Polar Bears only two minutes later, putting his team up by two before the end of the first.
The second period began with a Utica goal just 45 seconds in, bringing the score to 2-1 and giving the Pioneers a huge confidence boost. Despite two power plays for Bowdoin and 14 shots against Therrien in the second period, Bowdoin was unable to score. A late penalty on Connor Quinn ’15 left the Polar Bears down a man for the first minute of the third period.
Despite killing the power play going into the third, Fenkell let in a goal just two minutes after getting their fifth man back, which evened the game at 2-2. Over the course of a back-and-forth 10 minutes, Fenkell blocked 10 crucial pucks, but was unable to stop the 11th, a hard blast from Utica’s Ridge Garbutt that put the Pioneers ahead by one with only 4:24 left on the clock.
Desperate to maintain the score, the Pioneers played stringent defense, losing several faceoffs but putting themselves in front of the goalkeeper to score
With one minute and change left and the season on the line, head coach Terry Meagher pulled Fenkell out of the goal, and just seconds later Utica broke free from a 6-5 onslaught and scored on the empty net for an insurance goal to put the Pioneers up 4-2.
The Utica Pioneers closed out the game strong, and are headed to the NCAA Frozen Four in Lake Placcid, NY. Bowdoin ends their record-breaking season with a 23-4-2 overall record.