Men's Ice Hockey Ices Williams in NESCAC First-Place Showdown

Steve Messina made 35 stops in Bowdoin's win at Williams
Steve Messina made 35 stops in Bowdoin's win at Williams

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The Bowdoin men's ice hockey team scored three second period goals en route to an important 4-1 NESCAC win over Williams on Friday evening.

Steve Messina made 35 saves for the fourth-ranked Polar Bears, who improve to 14-1-1 (9-1-1 NESCAC) and take firm control of first place in the conference with the win. Williams falls to 8-4-2 (6-2-1 NESCAC) after the loss.

The two teams played a scoreless first period of hockey, despite several power-play opportunities.

Both offenses came out strong in the second period, but the Polar Bears struck first just four minutes into the frame to take the early lead. John McGinnis, who carried the puck from behind the net to the right circle, scored the Bowdoin goal. McGinnis moved the puck to his backhand and lifted a spinning wrist shot over Sean Dougherty to put Bowdoin on top 1-0.

The Ephs responded quickly. Mark Lyons started the opportunity seven minutes into the frame by leading a breakout through the neutral zone and finding Evan Dugdale, who carried the puck into the offensive zone and slid a nice pass to Peter Mistretta in the slot. The wide-open Mistretta settled the puck and buried a wrist shot under the cross bar to tie the game at 1-1.

The Polar Bears controlled the remainder of the second. At 9:56 into play, Tim Coffey took a pass from Kyle Lockwood and flipped a wrist shot ongoal from the right side. Dougherty made the initial stop, but the puck deflected off the stick of an Eph defenseman to put Bowdoin up 2-1.

Just thirty seconds later, the Polar Bears struck again. Ollie Koo, took a the feed from Robert Toczylowski and tapped the puck in on the right doorstep to extend his team's lead to 3-1 heading into the final period.

Bowdoin wasted no time in scoring their fourth and final goal of the game in the opening seconds of the third stanza. After an opening faceoff win, Colin Downey and Harry Matheson slipped behind the Williams defense for a 2-on-1 rush and cashed in when Downey found Matheson on the right side for a one-time wrist shot to put the Ephs in a 4-1 hole.

The Polar Bears play at Middlebury tomorrow with a 4:00 p.m. start.