Tenth-Ranked Men's Hockey Blanks Williams in Season Opener

Steve Messina posted 29 saves in Friday night's win (photo courtesy of Brian Beard)
Steve Messina posted 29 saves in Friday night's win (photo courtesy of Brian Beard)

BRUNSWICK, Maine - Bowdoin goaltender Steve Messina made 29 saves as the 10th-ranked Polar Bear men's ice hockey team blanked Williams 2-0 in its season-opener on Friday evening at Sidney J. Watson Arena.

The Polar Bears (1-0-0) received a goal and an assist from Rob Toczylowski in the win. Harry Matheson accounted for the other Bowdoin goal. Sean Dougherty stopped 30 shots in the setback for Williams (0-1-0).

Bowdoin held a 13-8 shot advantage in the opening period but couldn't cash in until late in the frame when Toczylowski crashed the net following a power play faceoff. The puck came loose to Matheson on the right post, who flipped it over the left shoulder of Williams goaltender Sean Dougherty at 16:13.

The Polar Bears controlled the opening ten minutes of the second frame, but Dougherty kept his team close with a pair of nice saves on shorthanded breakaways for the Polar Bears to maintain the one-goal deficit after forty minutes. Williams came out firing in the third period, peppering the Bowdoin net. The Polar Bears withstood a 5x3 power play for the Ephs and countered with a game-clinching score late in the frame. The puck cycled around Bowdoin's offensive zone where Rob McGregor tried a wrap-around chance that hit the pads of Dougherty. The puck rebounded to the slot, where Toczylowski deposited it to give the hosts a 2-0 advantage with just 1:15 remaining. 

The proved enough for Messina and his defense as the Polar Bears blocked 18 Williams attempts in addition to the junior goaltender's 29 saves. Bowdoin went 1-3 with the extra man while the Ephs went 0-5.

Bowdoin will host Middlebury in a 4:00 p.m. contest at Watson Arena on Saturday. Williams will travel to Waterville to play Colby at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow.