Sullivan Caps Comeback with Overtime Goal Against Wesleyan

Matt Sullivan finished off a Bowdoin comeback with the game-winning goal in overtime
Matt Sullivan finished off a Bowdoin comeback with the game-winning goal in overtime

BRUNSWICK, Maine – Matt Sullivan scored with 16 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Bowdoin men's ice hockey team to a 4-3 win over visiting Wesleyan Saturday evening at Watson Arena.

The Polar Bears rebound from last night's overtime loss and improve to 13-7-2 (8-7-1 NESCAC). The Cardinals leave Maine with an 11-9-2 (6-9-1 NESCAC) record.

Ryan Collier looked to boost the Polar Bears to an early lead ripping a shot that clinked off the post 1:13 into the opening period. The ensuing play resulted in a man-up advantage for Bowdoin, which the team converted on shortly after for the 1-0 lead. Following a faceoff in Wesleyan's defensive end, Mitch Barrington kicked the puck out to Collier who swung it around for Colin Downey on the left circle. Downey's clapper cruised past Dawson Sprigings 11 seconds into the power play. The Cardinals responded with a tying goal three minutes later as Keith Buehler's shot bounced off the chest of Steve Messina and over his head before crossing the goal line. With less than two minutes remaining, Wesleyan secured a lead to closeout the first period after a shot by Robby Harbison was deflected into Bowdoin's net.

The Cardinals tallied their third consecutive goal 4:18 into the second period. Terence Durkin carried the puck from the natural zone down the center of the ice, shaking off a defender, and backhanded a pass to Jaren Taenaka on the right post for an open tap in. Bowdoin began to chip away at Wesleyan's two-goal lead, with Downey controlling the puck low in the right corner and sending a hard pass to Connor Quinn in the slot for a one-timer. Sprigings came up with the biggest save of the afternoon on a post shot from McGinnis, diving across his body to glove the puck out of the air.

Bowdoin evened the score less than ten minutes into the final frame, with Kyle Lockwood carrying the puck around Wesleyan's net for a wraparound shot but dishing right for Erik Bertin in the right faceoff circle. Messina came up with an important stop in the final five minutes off a one-on-one opportunity for Connor Ryan. Receiving a feeder pass behind Bowdoin's defense, Ryan skated in on goal with Messina denying the initial bid and then diving to cover up the loose rebound.

Following the first faceoff in overtime, Downey looked to end the game quickly but missed just inches left of the net. With the final seconds winding down Sullivan skated down the center and wristed a shot top left on Sprigings to capture the win.

The Polar Bears hit the road for their final weekend of regular season action, traveling to Connecticut College next Friday for a 7:00 p.m. game. The Cardinals have a double-bill against Trinity next week beginning with a game hosted by the Bantams at 7:00 p.m.