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Wesleyan 6 Williams 2

Middlebury 2 Trinity 2 (OT)

USM 4 Bowdoin 3

Amherst 2 Conn College 2 (OT)

Colby 7 UNE 2

Hamilton 7 Tufts 3


1. Williams: 5-2-0 (10 pts)

Bowdoin: 5-3-0 (10 pts)

Middlebury: 3-0-4 (10 pts)

Amherst: 4-2-2 (10 pts)

Colby: 4-2-2 (10 pts)

6.Tufts: 4-3-1 (9 pts)

Trinity 3-2-2 (8 pts)

8. Hamilton: 3-5-0 (6 pts)

Conn College: 2-5-1 (5 pts)

10. Wesleyan: 2-5-0 (4 pts)

Yikes – a 5-way tie for first place. Is parity just another name for mediocrity, with half the league in first place??  Or are the NESCAC recruiting restrictions working kind of like the NHL’s salary cap in ensuring parity/mediocrity??

A mediocre Wesleyan team crushes Williams, Trinity comes from behind to catch and tie Middlebury, Bowdoin falls behind early and can’t quite catch a mediocre USM team, Conn College ties Amherst, and Colby takes care of business with UNE to join the pack of front runners. Tufts crashes to earth as it falls behind Hamilton by 7 goals at the end of 2 periods.

With a 4-goal barrage in the first period, Wesleyan jumps out front of Williams and never looks back in a solid 6-2 win. Wesleyan’s junior transfer from Skidmore, Brett Bandazian, has a break-out night with a 2-2-4 stat line. Williams’ netminder, the usually stellar Ryan Purdy, has a bit of an off night (76.9 SAV%) as the Ephs outshoot the Cards by a small margin (31-26).

Middlebury Coach Bill Beaney turns the goaltending assignment over to senior Max Kennedy, who performs well but not well enough to stave off a late 2-goal charge by the Bantams in the third period, resulting in a 2-2 tie. The Panthers dominate the game territorially (40-23 SOGs) but settle for their 4th tie of the year in league play.

Bowdoin falls behind USM by 3-0 in the early going, causing Coach Terry Meagher to replace netminder Richard Nerland with a completely untested freshman in Connor Shannon. Shannon performs well as he saves 18 of the 19 shots but gets tagged with the loss. The Polar Bears stage a good rally and dominate the game territorially (45-35 SOGs) but had their usual trouble scoring.  On the bright side for Bowdoin, Shannon’s play suggests that, after an early season injury, he may be ready for a spot in the rotation.

Amherst controls the game territorially (44-35 SOGs) but Greg Parker comes up big for the Camels to salvage the tie and is particularly strong in the third period when he is called on to make 21 saves.

Colby easily dispatches UNE, 7-2, to move into the tie for first place. In the process Mike Doherty (1-3-4) and Billy Crinnion (2-1-3) burnishes their scoring credentials. Watch out for Colby as the White Mules have quietly put together a 10-game unbeaten streak, including an  impressive tie with Norwich last weekend and a weekend sweep of Bowdoin in their home-and-home series before the holidays, and are playing the most consistent hockey in the league (but for a slight slip-up in a tie with St. Mike’s last weekend.

Tufts falls to the earth in Clinton, N.Y., as ace Scott Barchard gives up 5 goals on 22 shots and is pulled form the game after 27 minutes. Three Continentals–Anthony Scarpino, Joe Buicko, and Chris Lorenc—each rack up 4-point nights as Hamton comes out firing and controls the game until the late going when Tufts rallied for 3 goals in the third period to add a veneer of respectability to the score.


2 Responses

  1. Yikes – a 5-way tie for first place. Is parity just another name for mediocrity, with half the league in first place?

    As a former NESCAC player, I’m inclined to think it speaks to the strength of the conference. If you look at the NESCAC teams’ overall records, 8 of the 10 are over .500, most by several games. The rosters are all littered with players from strong prep school programs. I think the conference is just playing good hockey.

    Thanks for the blog, by the way. I’m no longer in New England and it’s great to be able to read about NESCAC hockey here.

  2. apologies for the delay in posting your comment, defenseman emeritus. Somehow your comment ended up in the blog’s spam folder, which I just discovered . .

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