Riding an 11-game winning streak, the Bowdoin Women's Hockey Team seems unstoppable. Except for a loss on New Year's Day, the team skated its way to a perfect January and also holds a 12-game winning streak against NESCAC opponents. Bowdoin has been rewarded for its recent streak of dominance with a number seven ranking in the most recent national polls.
The team's latest win, a 6-2 win over Colby, exhibited all the team's strengths. Although the teams were knotted at two entering the first intermission, Bowdoin then took off after the break. Bowdoin took twice as many shots as Colby in the second and third periods, a credit to both the Polar Bears' offense and defense.
Stellar first-year defender Kristen Cameron led the Bears in scoring this night, netting an unassisted, even-strength game-winning goal early in the second period. Later in the second, she added another goal, bringing her season total to 14. In addition, she added three assists for a total of five points on the night.
Jaime Woogerd '07 was the recipient of two of those assists, as she added two goals of her own in the third period, finishing the scoring on the evening for Bowdoin.
Goalie Cat MacEachern '06 settled down after the first period, making 13 saves and shutting Colby out in the final two periods. She finished with 18 saves on the night, improving her record as well as the team's to 15-3-1 (11-1-0 NESCAC) on the year, good for second place in the NESCAC.
While the men's team has been exceptional recently, compiling a 6-1-1 record during over Winter Break, the women's team has been even better. Since a disappointing New Year's trip to Wisconsin, where they twice fell to fourth-ranked Wisconsin-Steven's Point, the women have been untouchable.
During their 11-game winning streak, Bowdoin has compiled eight shut-outs, and have allowed five goals, three of which came in wins against Amherst. Their average margin of victory during this period has been over five goals a game, an absolute blowout in hockey.
Simply put, every aspect of the team's game is clicking. Bowdoin can dominate teams with their potent offense, shown by their eighth ranking nationally in goal scoring.
Bowdoin currently places four players in the top eight in NESCAC scoring. Meghan Gillis '07 leads the conference with 17 goals on the season and 34 points. Woogerd takes sixth with 20 and senior co-captain Marissa O'Neil ranks ninth with 18 points. Placing fourth in the NESCAC in scoring, Cameron, even as a defender, is also the top-scoring first-year in the conference.
Bowdoin has not won simply because of its scoring, though. As illustrated by their outstanding number of shutouts, Bowdoin has been winning with their defense as well. Bowdoin's defense ranks seventh in the country in scoring defense, with only 24 goals allowed in 19 games.
Headlining this defense has been MacEachern, whose 1.26 goals-against average trails only Middlebury goalies among NESCAC goalies who have logged substantial minutes in net and ranks eighth nationally.
The dominance on offense and defense has resulted in a scoring margin of 3.42, good for ninth in Division III, again following only Middlebury in the conference.
Fittingly, only Middlebury tops Bowdoin in the NESCAC standings. The only NESCAC loss for the Bowdoin hockey team was a 3-0 loss to Middlebury in the opening game of the season.
Since then, the women have gone 15-2-1. The team next faces the top-ranked Panthers on February 12 at Middlebury, in an interesting matchup for both regional and national hockey fans.
The team returns to Dayton Arena to face Wesleyan on February 18 and close out their regular season the next day against Trinity.