January 17, 2014

Polar Bears and Cardinals Skate to 2-2 Tie in Weekend Opener

BRUNSWICK, Maine- The Wesleyan women's ice hockey team used a pair of third period goals to tie the game and force overtime as the Polar Bears and Cardinals skated to a 2-2 finish on Friday night.

The 2-2 final is only the second tie all-time between the two teams, with a similar result coming in 2008. The Cardinals stall Bowdoin's win streak and improve to 3-6-4 (1-3-3 NESCAC). The Polar Bears tallied their first tie of the season to end the day 7-5-1 (2-2-1 NESCAC).

After skating through a scoreless first period, Bowdoin finally broke the stalemate 9:10 into the second frame. Rachel Kennedy moved the puck down the right wing and fired off a quick shot as she approached the crease. Laura Corcoran denied Kennedy's bid causing the puck to deflect towards the left side and waiting stick of Schuyler Nardelli. With Corcoran overcorrecting as she slid across the goal face to cover the left post, Nardelli flipped the puck back into the right corner for the 1-0 advantage. Bowdoin took the 2-0 lead just one minute later on the power play. Madeline Lane set up on the point and fired a shot through traffic and beyond the reach of Wesleyan's goalie.

Wesleyan had a pair of scoring opportunities to close out the second period, with Cara Jankowski taking back-to-back shots from close range on Bowdoin's Lan Crofton. With only twenty second remaining in the period, and a five on four advantage, a Wesleyan pass deflected off the skate of a Cardinal and crossed the crease untouched. Abigail Rutt collected the loose puck on the left side but her shot missed wide.

The Cardinals cut Bowdoin's lead in half, converting on their sixth power play of the evening. Jessica Brennan scored her teaming leading seventh goal of the season as she bested Crofton top shelf on her glove side.  With just 1:40 remaining in the game, Wesleyan pulled their goalie to put a sixth skater on the ice.  The move proved beneficial as the Cardinals sent the game into overtime with the tying goal just eight seconds later, as Rutt squaring up between the circles for a quick shot.

Just eight seconds had ticked off the overtime clock before a Wesleyan penalty gave Bowdoin the player-up advantage. Despite sustained pressure in the Cardinals defensive zone, the Polar Bears were unable to convert on any quality looks. Wesleyan looked to end the game, and secure their first win since 1999, as Jankowski had a takeaway in her team's defensive zone and skated unchallenged towards Crofton. Jankowski looked to poke the puck inside the right post, but Crofton gloved it up to extend play. Half way through overtime, Jankowski had another good look, but was once again denied by a Crofton. Bowdoin mustered a pair of shots during the final five minutes, while the Cardinals had four opportunities.

Crofton made 22 stops for the Polar Bears, with Crocoran making 30 saves on the opposite end for Wesleyan.

The Polar Bears and Cardinals faceoff again tomorrow afternoon beginning at 3:00 p.m.