After a busy first week of classes, student fans rejoined their Brunswick counterparts at Sidney J. Watson Arena to watch the men’s hockey team go 2-1 last week, losing to top-ranked Williams College at home on Saturday.

On Tuesday evening, the Bears welcomed the University of Southern Maine to Watson Arena. In their previous match up—the final game of the fall semester—the teams had tied 3-3. The USM game is one of six non-conference games for the team this season. The game came after a tough weekend of games, and left the team with only a single practice to prepare for the contest.

“We call those games the ‘Tuesday Trap’ games, especially coming off a big weekend when people are tired and beat up,” said Jay Livermore ’14. “It’s tough to turn it around.”

Despite this, Bowdoin opened strong, with Kyle Lockwood ’14 scoring the team’s first goal after less than a minute of play.

After clearing the puck out of Bowdoin’s defensive zone, Connor Quinn ’15 took the puck up the right side, passing to Harry Matheson ’14. Matheson passed back to Quinn who had positioned himself at the front of the net.

After a goalless second period, the Huskies responded with their first and only goal of the night. Ten minutes later, Colin Downey ’14 scored a shorthanded goal off a pass from Lockwood.

After Downey’s goal, the team returned to center ice, with Matheson taking the face off. He passed to Quinn who skated up the right side into their offensive zone, bypassed a single USM defender and scored.

“His speed is a lot to handle for a lot of defensemen,” said Livermore.

Goalie Steve Messina ’14 blocked 31 shots on the evening.

The Bears lost to No. 1 Williams on Saturday, having already lost 5-2 to the Ephs in their  first matchup of the season.

“Getting beat 5-2 first game of the year left a bad taste in all of our mouths,” said Livermore.

Williams dominated the first period, peppering Messina with shots until one from Paul Steinig finally sailed into the net. The Ephs outshot the Polar Bears 24-5 in that period.

Ultimately, the Polar Bears could not come up with a game-tying goal and Williams won the contest 2-1.

“They are not in first place by accident,” said Meagher. “Arguably, they have the best goaltender in the east.”

In support of the Wounded Warrior Project, which aims to support wounded veterans, a ceremony honoring Corporal Steven Noyes with the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his actions in Afghanistan preceded Friday’s game against the Middlebury Panthers.
Meagher and Livermore agreed that the ceremony and the energy of the crowd on Friday night helped boost the team’s performance.

“[The noise] can put the other teams on their heels a bit, because a lot of NESCAC teams aren’t used to playing in front of crowds like that,” said Livermore.

The Polar Bears started strong, scoring two goals in the first period. However, Middlebury was able to put good offensive pressure on goalie Max Fenkell ’15 during the second period and tied the game 2-2.

The Polar Bears opened up the third period with a quick power play goal from Downey, but Middlebury scored another goal just three minutes later.

After two penalties in quick succession gave Middlebury a two-player advantage, Bowdoin struggled to defend its territory and ultimately, Louis Belisle connected on a slap shot.

In the final moments of the game, Quinn drew defenders, allowing for Ollie Koo ’14 to position himself just outside the net. With 33 seconds left, Koo received Quinn’s pass and scored. 50 seconds into overtime, Mitch Barrington ’17, on a pass from John McGinnis ’15, swung around from behind the net and scored the game-winning goal.  

After a bye week, the team will play at Hamilton on February 6.