Men's hockey rolls through weekend undefeated
Norwich and St. Michael's became the most recent victims of Bowdoin hockey
last weekend when the men dug in to earn two important home victories.
"We found a way to win," head coach Terry Meagher said. "Every
game this time of year is big-they all represent points-and we're trying
to hold our position."
Their position is a strong one at present. The Bears, who are #3 in national
Division III rankings, are still the only team in college hockey with
an undefeated record. As the men attempt to keep a hold of that record,
some big games lurk on the horizon, including every Bowdoin fan's favorite
the Colby home game. As usual, however, they're taking it one game at
a time, never looking too far ahead.
In accordance with that philosophy, they dealt losses to Norwich and
St. Michael's last weekend, one by one.
The Norwich game, which ended in a 3-1 Bear victory, didn't come easily.
"We struggled a bit in the first period," Meagher said. "We
weren't as secure in our zone play, but we worked our way through it."
Bill Busch '02 found open net in the first period after Adam Mantin '03
fed the puck forward, putting the Bears up 1-0. Sophomore Chris Pelletier
beat the Norwich goaltender in the first minute of the second period for
another, and Dave Rush '02 finished the scoring with a man-up goal at
Meagher said, despite the 3-0 lead, it wasn't smooth sailing. "We
had to kill some penalties in the second, and it was hard to get a flow
going," he said. "But I thought our rhythm came back and we
played the third as the type of period we should have."
Norwich's Phil Aucoin managed a goal at 8:29 in the third, but the Bears
were able to hang on to the win with the play of sophomore netminder Mike
Healey. He stopped 28 Norwich shots in the game.According to Meagher,
he did an excellent job of mitigating the Norwich offense. "He was
outstanding," Meagher said.
After Friday's success, it was on to St. Michael's (8-10-1)-an 8-1 game
in which six different Polar Bears scored. "Aesthetically, I thought
we played a very nice hockey game," Meagher said. "I was very
pleased with Saturday's play from a technical point of view."
Mike Carosi '02, Sean Starke '03, Ryan Seymour '03, Shannon McNevan '05,
Pelletier, Rush, and Busch all found the net at least once, tallying an
insurmountable eight goals against St. Michael's one. Healey made 13 saves
in the win.
Meagher said, while he was pleased with last weekend's wins, he was very
proud of Bowdoin athletics as a whole. "It was a wonderful weekend
for our team," Meagher said. "But to see the success of all
our teams, how the athletes are interacting, the students are supporting
them-it's a very healthy environment at Bowdoin right now. That got me
According to several players, looking back over the course of the season
reveals some measurable improvements. "I think the biggest difference
between the beginning of the season and now is in the forwards,"
Healey said. "They are really engaging in the play and finding the
"The defensemen have consistently been able to find the soft areas
of the ice and aren't making flat passes under duress," he added.
Carosi agreed. "The team has made the most progress on the defensive
end," he said.
The Bears hit the road again this weekend for their last two away games
of the regular season. "We're looking to continue our team's solid
play this weekend," Carosi said.
Tonight's matchup with the University of Southern Maine is set to begin
at 7:00 p.m. "We're looking forward to playing a tough defense against
both opponents and we expect to have all four lines producing offensively,"
Meagher said it should be a good weekend for points competition. "[USM
is] playing very well right now," he said. "They're moving up
the ladder on their side."
The men face Salem State for the second time this season on Saturday
at 3:00 p.m.
"Again, it's about points," Meagher said. "We'll make
some adjustments; we've got some bumps and bruises that will change the
matchups from last time."
Only three regular-season games will remain after Saturday, all of which
are home matchups. "It will be nice to put away the suitcases for
a while," Meagher joked.
The Bears look to finish off the White Mules from Colby next Tuesday
at 7:00 p.m. If it's anything like December 8's barnburner-which ended
in a 6-6 split-it will be one to watch.
"That was a classic," Meagher said. "Traditionally, we've
had close games, but that was like six games in one.
"Coming off the way our students were this weekend, we're expecting
a fun evening," he added.
Pelletier agreed. "The Bowdoin-Colby game is one of a kind,"
Pelletier said. "The rivalry runs deep and we always get great fan
support. The students have a lot of pride in our hockey team, and the
game seems to bring out everyone's spirit."
He went on to say that support from Bowdoin fans makes a big difference
in the game's intensity. "We play them tough physically and we thrive
on the excitement the crowd creates," he said. "We love to play
in front of a big crowd, they make it very easy for us to play the best
we possibly can."
If an age-old rivalry isn't enough to motivate you to get over to Dayton
next Tuesday, Carosi said that watching "...arguably the nation's
best goaltender, Mike Healey" is reason enough.
Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. Cheer on the Bears as they send those damn Mules back to Waterville!