Colby falls on the ice
Nothing warms the hearts of Bowdoin students more than gathering in Dayton Arena to share a hatred of Colby with their peers. And when the Maine winter arrives, as it did this week, a spectacular win is warming to the heart indeed. Before a capacity crowd Tuesday night, the Polar Bears skated past Colby College 5-3, and remained undefeated in the first NESCAC game of the season.
Bowdoin's rivalry with Colby always produces exciting hockey, and this year's home game was no exception. Wearing traditional black t-shirts in uniform support of the Polar Bears, Bowdoin students turned out in droves for the game and were rewarded with an impressive display of talent on the ice from start to finish.
Both the Bowdoin and Colby squads came into the match undefeated in league play, and everyone on the Bowdoin bench knew that the White Mules would be a tough opponent. "Colby is a solid team," said head coach Terry Meagher. "They have a top line as good as any line in the east, and they can play an up-tempo game."
Bowdoin's play in the first period was shaky, and to everyone's surprise it was the underclassmen that kept the Polar Bears in the game. The first goal of the night came from first-year Adam Dann on an assist from Kevin Richardson '06. However, Colby junior Ross MacMillan soon scored back-to-back goals to put Colby up 2-1 at the end of the first period.
The Polar Bears picked up their game in the second period, as the upperclassmen found their rhythm and started to play more like the Bowdoin squad Dayton Arena is used to seeing. Pete Nasveschuck '04 and senior captain Ryan Seymour both found their way into the back of the net, and by the start of the third period Bowdoin was locked into a 3-3 tie.
It was late in the game when Bowdoin really came together as a team. Halfway through the third period Chris Pelletier '04 scored on a beautiful assist from senior captain Sean Starke to go up 4-3 and the Polar Bears never looked back.
With less than two minutes to play, the Colby coach pulled his goaltender to no avail, as Nate Riddell '05 scored an open net goal in the final seconds of the game to ensure Colby's defeat.
Coach Meagher was more than pleased with Bowdoin's performance on the ice. "We had a slow first period, but we were able to make some adjustments, and the last ten minutes of the game were as good as we can play."
Of course, no one held the Polar Bears together more than junior goaltender Mike Healey, who stunned the Colby offense with 29 saves. "Michael gave us a chance to get a victory," said Meagher. Healey has 97 saves in four games this year.
Thoroughly pleased with his team's success, Coach Meagher also emphasized the importance of fan support at home games. "What I saw at the rink-all of the enthusiasm-makes me proud to be a member of the Bowdoin community."
With the victory against Colby, Bowdoin now stands 4-0-0 on the year. After a 4-3 overtime victory against St. Anslem in the season opener, Bowdoin soundly defeated New England College and Curry College before taking on the White Mules at home. "Being on the road is always tough," said Meagher, "and I was very pleased to see us come away with victories, especially when you start the season on the road."
The Polar Bears now return to the road again for a long trip to Skidmore today and then to the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts tomorrow. Meagher stressed the importance of the Skidmore game.
"It's a long road trip out there, and [Skidmore] is a team that only lost to Middlebury 4-3 in overtime." He added, "We play seven games in 15 days this semester, and it can be grueling; this is when character surfaces and we see what this team is made of."
The Polar Bears return home next semester on January 10th, when they will take on UMass-Boston at Dayton Arena. GO U BEARS!