Men's hockey downed by Bowdoin
In any given season, all but one team will strive for a championship and come up short. Unfortunately, Colby’s men’s ice hockey team is one of the teams that fell short. The Mules’ season ended this past Saturday as they fell to the rival Polar Bears of Bowdoin College 3-1 in a hard-fought New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) semifinal game.
Despite the final score, the game remained close for nearly the entire 60 minutes. The first period was a scoreless one, with both defenses playing well and Colby goalie Cody McKinney ’11 stopping a good Bowdoin chance with just a minute to play in the period.
The Polar Bears finally opened the scoring with just seven minutes remaining in the second period, when Harry Matheson put a second-chance shot by McKinney from the bottom of the circle. First-year Jack Bartlett responded on behalf of the Mules, tipping a shot by Patrick Bursee ’12 less than 60 seconds later to tie the game at one apiece.
Unfortunately, Bowdoin took the lead again as another last-minute chance connected for the Polar Bears, taking a 2-1 lead into the third thanks to Matheson’s second goal.
Colby junior Mike Doherty nearly tied the game for the Mules only a minute into the final period, but just missed the goal after a perfect deke on Bowdoin goalie Steve Messina. Doherty got another chance later in the period but was stoned by a spectacular diving save by Messina.
The Polar Bears sealed their victory with four minutes left when Daniel Weiniger scored the third Bowdoin goal of the game. Colby continued to press hard and got some good scoring chances toward the end, but Messina was too good and the Mules fell once again to arch-rival Bowdoin.
Colby’s season should definitely be considered a success. The team showed great tenacity and determination, fighting its way back from a 2-8-1 start to finish the season 12-11-2. The last stretch of the season is certainly something to build on for next year, as the Mules attempt to absorb the loss of key seniors, including captain Billy Crinnion and McKinney. Fellow seniors Bobby Sullivan, captain Wil Hartigan, Karl Burns and James Lemonias also suited up for their final collegiate game.
However, with strong underclassmen and assistant captain Dan Nelson ’12 returning next year, Colby will look to turn its late-season success into the beginning of something bigger next year.