The men’s ice hockey team dominated this weekend with two back-to-back home wins against NESCAC rivals Hamilton (8-9-3 overall, 5-6-3 NESCAC) and Amherst (14-4-2 overall, 10-4-0 NESCAC), bringing its record to 12-5-3 (6-5-3 NESCAC). 

“[We were] expecting them both to be tough games; every game close to the start of playoffs is,” said Brendan Conroy ’17. “Hamilton plays a gritty, physical game and Amherst brings a lot of skill to the table.” 

After going 5-1-1 in their last seven games, the Polar Bears now sit at fifth in the NESCAC.
“This year the NESCAC is a very good league, and for a period of time here we’ve been an average team in a good league,” said Tim Coffey ’15. “Especially down the stretch run, when the playoff race is shaping up, every game is tough.” 

On Friday night, the Polar Bears beat Hamilton 2-1 at Watson Arena with a huge student crowd cheering them on.

“I prefer to play in front of large, raucous crowds,” said Coffey. “Personally, there’s nothing like scoring a big goal and scooping ice before jumping into the glass with your 500 closest friends right behind it.  So we really appreciate the support the student body has given us, and we hope to see the student body at the games for Senior Weekend.” 

“I think the rowdiness adds another dimension to the game. We try not to pay much attention to it during the game, but it definitely helps us,” said Conroy.

After a scoreless first period, the Polar Bears were not discouraged. 

“We’re a team that prides itself on not panicking. So when we’re tied going into the second period, we try to pretend that we’re down a goal. That way we play with a sense of urgency and work harder to win the second and third periods,” said Coffey.

The Bears came back ready to fight in the second period, scoring twice and taking the lead. 
Kendall Culbertson ’17 fed a cross-ice path to Zach Kokosa ’17, who scored the first goal with only a minute left in the period. Culbertson scored next, giving Bowdoin a 2-0 lead.

Early in the third period Hamilton responded by getting a shot past Max Fenkell ’15 and into the left post, bringing the game within one. However, Fenkell had seven third period saves to hold onto Bowdoin’s lead.

On Saturday afternoon, the Bears played Amherst in Watson Arena and served ninth-ranked Amherst its first loss in five games, defeating them 4-3.

John McGinnis ’15 opened up the scoring on a backhander on a breakaway 4:37 into the game.
The Polar Bears were able to double their lead later in the period when Stevie Van Siclen ’18 won a faceoff and passed the puck to John-Alexander Kourkoulis ’17, who took a slapshot that slipped right past Amherst’s goalie.

The Bears were able to increase their lead to 3-0 when Connor Quinn ’15 scored off of a rebound.

Despite the Bears impressive lead, Amherst stunningly responded with three goals in just over five minutes. However, Bowdoin was able to bounce back before intermission as Danny Palumbo ’15 scored the game-winner with 7.6 seconds remaining in the game.

Bowdoin hopes to continue its win streak tonight at Trinity, ranked first in the NESCAC.