NESCAC champion: Bowdoin

Quite a day for Bowdoin hockey as both the men and the women’s teams win their respective NESCAC championships by identical scores of 2-1, with the men downing Williams at home and the women downing Middlebury on the road.

Bowdoin 2 Williams 1: Excellent video of the end and the beginning of the game and some interesting stuff in between.  Great article from the Bowdoin Orient, with comments from Coach Terry Meagher and Co-captain Tim McGarry — most interesting news is that the decision to go with Max Fenkell in goal was a collective decision by the players’ council and the coach. Video of the first Bowdoin goal and the post-game celebration. Good write-up of the game from the Williams’ perspective. Williams fought valiantly for the comeback in the third period, cutting the margin to 2-1 early in the period on a Bowdoin turn over and a deflection off a Bowdoin defender’s stick, but the Bowdoin defense and goalie Max Fenkell rose to the occasion, pinning Williams deep in the Ephs’ defensive zone for much of the last couple of minutes with an aggressive forecheck. It was a little bit of a surprise that Fenkell got the start, given Steve Messina’s history vis-a-vis Williams, but clearly it was the right call as Fenkell was superb and was called on to make some tough saves in the third period. With a record of 10-0-1, he continues his undefeated season. Bowdoin scored its 2 goals in the first period, with Colin Downey scoring on the PP and Harry Matheson scoring with about 4 seconds to play on a rebound of a puck that was mishandled by Williams goalie Sean Dougherty. Bowdoin, with the AQ for the NESCAC, now moves on to the NCAA play-offs, with its seeding and first round opponent to be determined later in the day (possibly later in the night). The Ephs had an excellent season, giving Bowdoin all it could handle and showing that there was nothing fluky about the Ephs’ quiet but consistent second place finish in the NESCAC. It’s been an awesome season so far for Bowdoin’s seniors, between the regular season championship and now the play-off championship and the winning fo the first time NESCAC championship by Bowdoin for the second time (after the vacating of the Bowdoin championship in 2011). Oh, and it does seem as the Polar Bears did heed Euler’s trenchant advice with regard to the penalty box as there was a reversal of prior pattern, with the Polar Bears spending a lot less time (a mere 6 PIMs) in the penalty box than Williams (double the Bowdoin number at 12 PIMs and several of the dumb retaliation sort), which was the least penalized team in the NESCAC during the regular season.

NCAA Play-offs:

The D3hockey guys are crapping all over Bowdoin’s chances of getting anything other than a low seed in the NCAA play-offs (and being sent on the road for a play-in game on Wednesday with Babson) based solely on Babson’s “massively superior” strength of schedule. Hopefully they will be proven to be wrong as the same guys were in the 2011 play-offs when the selection committee gave Bowdoin a home game with Neumann in the first round. FWIW, Bowdoin “wins” the “pairwise” versus both Babson (3-1) and Oswego (2-1) and is deadlocked with both Utica and Norwich at 2-2. Go here for the team-to-team comparison of eastern teams. At 7-2-1, Bowdoin’s record against ranked teams is the best in the east (followed by Utica, Norwich, and Babson in that order; Oswego’s record against ranked teams is a dismal 3-4) and should count for something . .

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