Women’s hockey ties Hamilton on senior day
February 10, 2023
BRUNSWICK — The women’s hockey team (7–12–2; 2–11–1 NESCAC) tied Hamilton College (15–3–2; 9–2–1 NESCAC) 0–0 in a tightly contested afternoon game last Saturday. Goaltender Sally Solotaroff-Webber ’25 posted a 32-save shutout to secure Bowdoin’s first NESCAC tie of the season. Prior to puck drop, Bowdoin celebrated its eight graduating seniors playing their last game at the Sidney J. Watson Arena.
The tie was an improvement from Bowdoin’s game against Hamilton the evening before, when the Polar Bears suffered a 4–1 loss and were outshot 21–16. Forward Allie Britt ’22 said that Bowdoin was not discouraged by that result.
“We were decently happy with the way we played,” Britt said. “We knew we could beat Hamilton … the emotions were high, so we knew we just had to bring everything on Saturday.”
The Polar Bears came into Saturday’s match strong. Five minutes in, forward Gia Massari ’25 interrupted the Continentals’ rhythm with a fantastic chance in front of the net, but she couldn’t quite keep the puck on her stick and failed to get the shot off.
The remainder of the first frame consisted of battles over loose pucks along the boards in Bowdoin’s defensive zone and strong defending by the Polar Bears. Captain Peyton Mulhern ’23 said tight coverage has been one of the team’s focuses.
“On the defensive side, we’ve been working on supporting each other in the breakout and then just picking up bodies in front,” Mulhern said. “We’ve given up a good amount of goals off of rebounds in the past couple of weeks, so we’re working together and making sure we’re all finding our girls.”
Solotaroff-Webber ended the period with several big saves and rebounds as Hamilton swarmed Bowdoin’s goal. Saturday was only Solotaroff-Webber’s fourth start this year—and her first back to back start.
“I’ve had pretty good games outside of the NESCAC, but there is such a difference in the level of play in our conference. It was really good to get that experience,” Solotaroff-Webber said.
Throughout the second period, Hamilton controlled the puck, but at the 16 minute mark, Kathryn Kester ’24 forced a turnover with a great poke check on a Continental forward, which led to one of a few good chances for the Polar Bears.
With fewer than nine minutes remaining in the second, defender Ali Dougal ’22 broke up a Hamilton two on one. Later, a Hamilton attacker tee-up at the blue line, and Solotaroff-Webber made the first save then pounced on the puck before a looming Continental could get a stick on it.
Solotaroff-Webber appreciated the action on Saturday night.
“It was easier to get into it because there were so many more shots. On Friday, I’d go like 10 minutes without seeing a shot, and it was really hard to stay warm,” Solotaroff-Webber said.
Hamilton went on the power play with about four minutes left in the second. Britt got a turnover shorthanded breakaway that was shut down by the Hamilton goaltender. When they were back to full strength, the Polar Bears went with the momentum created by Britt and had two shots that went just over the net and rang off the glass. The period ended with a pileup in front of the Hamilton net.
Taking more shots has been another focus of Bowdoin’s game this season.
“We create good opportunities, but we struggle with finishing a little bit sometimes. So, putting the puck in the net and getting some points in games is one of our big focuses right now,” Mulhern said.
The third period closely resembled the first two frames. Forward Anyi Sun ’26 stood out in the third for her fast entries into Hamilton’s zone. The Polar Bears got their first power play of the game with 12 minutes left in regulation but were unable to convert.
With five minutes left in game, the crowd cheered as Britt broke off down the ice and dodged four Hamilton players. Her shot went just wide of the net.
Solotaroff-Webber stopped ten shots in the third before regulation ended and the game went into overtime.
In the three-on-three overtime, Stoddard had two grade-A chances but couldn’t find the back of the net. Merrill blocked a shot from a Hamilton forward, and the Polar Bears continued their shut-down defense. After the five minute exchange, the game remained scoreless and was ruled a tie. Overall, Hamilton led Bowdoin 32–17 in shots.
While Bowdoin didn’t get the win, Mulhern said the team was proud of its efforts.
“Everyone was working really hard because everyone on the team really wanted that win.… Everyone was playing selflessly and putting the team first,” Mulhern said.
The seniors also enjoyed all the effort that went into celebrating their last home game.
“Our teammates worked so hard to make it a special day for us,” Mulhern said. “The effort that we put in for each other was so apparent during the game and also off the ice.”
Bowdoin will finish out its regular season this weekend with two games at Trinity College (9–10–0; 3–9–0 NESCAC). The games are a must-win for the Polar Bears to keep their playoff hopes alive.
“We know we have to win, so the pressure is on, but we’ve been under that same pressure all season,” Mulhern said. “We know we can beat Trinity. We’re confident and we’re excited.”
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