The Men's Hockey Team has stumbled to the end of the regular season, losing two of their final four games of the season. With these losses, Bowdoin finishes the regular season with a record of 15-5-3 (11-5-3 NESCAC) and the fourteenth ranking in the nation. The team's NESCAC record earns it the fourth seed in the conference tournament and a home game in the first round. The Polar Bears face Amherst tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. at Dayton Arena.
First, Bowdoin played two teams from the Eastern College Athletic Conference. The NESCAC has an "interlocking" affiliation with the ECAC, meaning that games against ECAC teams count towards NESCAC standings.
After a brief threat from ECAC member Salem State College, Bowdoin scored the final seven goals of the game to crush the Vikings. Bowdoin opened the scoring in the game with a shorthanded goal from Bryan Ciborowski '07, his eighth of the year. Less than two minutes later, Jon Landry '07 extended the lead to 2-0 with assists from first-years Colin Hughes and Mike Westerman.
However, Salem State responded in the second period. Taking advantage of Bowdoin's physical play, Salem State scored four goals in the first seven minutes of second period, including two power play goals.
Bowdoin did not take long to retake the lead for good, though, as Bowdoin scored three more goals in the second period. Landry scored his second of the game on a power play. Three minutes later, Hughes tied the game, despite Bowdoin being short-handed at the time. Tim McVaugh '07 scored the game-winning goal off an assist from co-captain Nate Riddell '08.
In the final period, Westerman, co-captain Shannon McNevan '05, Will Reycraft '08, and Ciborowski all scored to complete a 9-4 win for the Bears. George Papchristopolous '06 needed to make only 11 saves for Bowdoin to win the game.
Facing a tougher ECAC opponent the next day, Bowdoin could not muster a similar comeback. The University of Southern Maine left Dayton Arena with a 5-2 victory, after a three-goal second period pushed the team over the Polar Bears.
Bowdoin allowed the Huskies to jump out to a 3-0 lead, including a short-handed goal, before finally responding. On a power play, Greg McConnell '07 scored his tenth goal of the season to put Bowdoin on the board. However, a Southern Maine power play goal in the middle of the second period extended the deficit to three once again.
Reycraft scored a third period goal, but Bowdoin could not convert any more scoring opportunities and fell to the Huskies, 5-2. Papachristopolous took the loss, despite 29 saves.
Bowdoin then hit the road, playing Hamilton to kick off the final weekend of regular season hockey. Riding the efforts of Adam Dann '06 and Landry, who each scored two goals, Bowdoin overwhelmed Hamilton.
Early scoring for Bowdoin provided the Polar Bears with an opportunity to halt its losing before it became a streak. Landry scored a five-on-four power play goal and Dann scored the eventual game-winning goal, in the first period.
Bowdoin's lead was shortened to one by Hamilton in the second period, but Papachristopolous ensured that it would be the only goal for Hamilton, as he stopped 25 shots in the game.
In the third, Bowdoin put the game away. Landry, McConnell, and Dann finished the game's scoring in the 5-1 win.
In a conference tournament preview, Amherst defeated Bowdoin in the final game of the regular season, 4-2, dominating the Polar Bears throughout the game.
Amherst goalie Josh Filman frustrated Bowdoin in the first and second periods, stopping 17 Bowdoin shots, allowing Amherst to build a 3-0 lead through two periods.
In the third, Amherst scored a power play goal, giving Amherst a seemingly insurmountable four goal lead. Papachristopolous was removed from the game after allowing the fourth goal, finishing the game with 27 saves. Senior Dave Sandals finished the game, stopping all six shots he faced. Bowdoin scored on power play goals by Dann and Riddell.
Tomorrow the men's hockey team faces the fifth-seed Amherst again. However, since Bowdoin holds the higher seed, the Lord Jeffs will have to repeat against Bowdoin in Dayton Arena.
The game begins at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow. With the women's team receiving a bye this week, hockey fans should come out and support the men's team in its quest for the NESCAC crown.