BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Bowdoin College men's ice hockey team scored three times in the final eight minutes to put away Hamilton, 5-3, in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Watson Arena.
Kyle Lockwood had three goals and an assist for the fourth-ranked Polar Bears (20-3-2), who advance to the NESCAC semifinals for the fourth consecutive year. Rob Toczylowski had three assists for Bowdoin in the winning effort. Kenny Matheson had a goal and an assist for the Continentals (6-16-3).
The eighth-seeded Continentals got on the board first, as a faceoff in the Bowdoin defensive zone came to the stick of Marko Brelih, who snapped a shot from the blue line that redirected off a Polar Bear defender and past Steve Messina at 8:28. Bowdoin evened the score just a few minutes later on a power play when John McGinnis took control of the puck on the right dot and tucked a no-look pass to Kyle Lockwood just outside the crease. Lockwood tapped home the puck at 10:56 to make it 1-1. Lockwood gave Bowdoin the lead before the end of the opening frame, taking control of a puck after a scrum in front and circling a shot inside the left post at 17:19 to make it 2-1 after one stanza.
Hamilton wasted little time tying the score to open the second frame, as Pat Curtis ripped a shot from above the left faceoff circle that tipped off the glove of Messina and into the net 29 seconds into the period. Hamilton regained the lead shorthanded midway through the frame. Kenny Matheson forced a turnover in the neutral zone and skated unabated to the goal, wristing a top-shelf shot past Messina at 7:06.
The Polar Bears came out firing in the final period and hit a pair of posts in bids to tie the score, including a shot that Lockwood rifled off the post with 11:30 remaining. Bowdoin finally broke through with eight minutes remaining when Rob MacGregor received a puck between circles and snapped a wrist shot that deflected off crossbar down, trickling off the goal line to deadlock the score.
One of the most unlikely shots of the afternoon put the Polar Bears ahead for good with under four minutes remaining. After a neutral zone faceoff, Bowdoin captain Tim McGarry took a low, hard slapshot from beyond the blue line that headed towards Hamilton netminder Joe Quattrocchi and skipped through his five-hole with 3:49 to go. Lockwood finished off the hat trick with an empty-netter with 45 seconds to go to seal the win.
Quattrocchi made 31 saves in goal for the Continentals while Messina finished with 16 saves for the Polar Bears. With the win, Bowdoin reaches 20 victories for first time since the 1989 season.
The Polar Bears will play fifth-seeded Middlebury in the NESCAC semifinals at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 2. Second-seeded Williams will face third-seeded Trinity at 1:00 p.m. in the first semifinal game. Sunday's NESCAC Championship game is scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. start time.
Tickets will be available to the general public beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 27 in the Athletic Department Offices on the second floor of the Peter Buck Center. Prices are $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children under 18 for each day.