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)

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.