Polar Bears Use Big Second Period to Topple Tufts

John McGinnis supplied the Polar Bears with one goal and three assists against the Jumbos
John McGinnis supplied the Polar Bears with one goal and three assists against the Jumbos

BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Bowdoin men's ice hockey team used a big second period to defeat the visiting Jumbos 8-4 on Saturday afternoon in Watson Arena.

Bowdoin splits its weekend slate and improves to 5-3-1 (2-2-1 NESCAC), while dropping Tufts to 2-6-0 (1-4-1 NESCAC). The Jumbos have not defeated the Polar Bears since January 24, 2009.

With 9:50 off the clock, Tufts took the 1-0 lead on an even strength goal by Brian Oullette. Mike Leary skated down the right side with Oullette matching him stride for stride on the opposite side. Leary offered up a pass directly across ice, just beyond the crease, for Oullette to one-touch for the Jumbos' lead. The Polar Bears deposited their first goal of the game with five minutes remaining, capitalizing on a power play. With John McGinnis controlling the puck behind the net, Harry Matheson set up for a quick feed in front and bested Tufts' Ryan Kellenberger to tie the game 1-1.

Bowdoin took their first lead of the game 2:32 into the second frame. Danny Palumbo collected the puck as it rebounded off the boards behind net and tallied the tap in goal for Bowdoin's second of the game. Tufts came right back less than three minutes later with a tying goal from Patrick Lackey. Mike Leary skated down the left boards and crossed a pass to Lackey outside the crease, who lined up the quick shot.

The Jumbos took the outright lead for second time, with a Conal Lynch goal 7:02 into the frame. Lynch drew two defenders as he moved in on Steve Messina and went top shelf for the 3-2 advantage. McGinnis looked to even the score as he took a hard shot which Kellenberger blocked with his pad, only to have Colin Downey skate in on the loose rebound and notch the team's third of the game. Just thirty seconds later, Bowdoin took control with a 4-3 lead.  Matt Rubinoff took a quick shot that was denied by the goalie, followed by another attempt from Connor Quinn. The uncontrolled rebound was finally collected by Tim Coffey, who bested the Kellenberger for the team's fourth.

The Polar Bears continued their offensive pressure in the ninth minute of the second period, as Jay Livermore collected a pass from Matheson. Livermore wristed a shot top left, to give the first multi-goal lead of the game. Bowdoin's sixth goal came on a controversial call as Colin Downey entered Tufts' offense zone unpressured and ripped a shot that clipped the goalie's pad and ricocheted off the crossbar. With Bowdoin leading 6-3, the Jumbos collapsed in around the net forcing Messina to drop to the ice. With three Bowdoin players off their skates and in the crease, Tufts' Kyle Gallegos worked the puck around to the opposite post and closed the gap to 6-4.

Bowdoin's offense came out strong in the third period, adding to their already high goal total in the fifth minute of play. Skating from center ice, McGinnis crossed the goal face from right to left and flipped a shot to the far post. McGinnis set up Bowdoin's eighth goal with a backhanded pass to Rubinoff on the left post. Rubinoff had an open angle to extend the Polar Bears' lead to 8-4.

Tufts held a slight 47-44 shot advantage, with both goalies playing all 60 minutes.

Bowdoin travels to Southern Maine on Tuesday for a 7:00 PM start. The Jumbos will return to the ice in 2014, on January 4, at 7:00 PM against Southern New Hampshire.