Courtesy Bowdoin Sports Information
BRUNSWICK, Maine – Sophomore goaltender Steve Messina made 31 saves to lead the Bowdoin College men's ice hockey team to a 2-1 win over Trinity in the NESCAC Quarterfinals Saturday evening before a capacity crowd at Sidney J. Watson Arena.
The win advances the Polar Bears (16-5-3) to the NESCAC Semifinals for the third consecutive season where they will face Middlebury at Amherst College at 4:00 p.m. next Saturday, March 3. Trinity ends its season with a record of 9-13-2.
Senior Graham Sisson scored the go-ahead goal in the second period for the Polar Bears. Trinity goaltender Benjamin Coulthard kept his team in the game by holding down the nation's top-ranked offense and making 36 saves in the loss.
Trinity got on the board first just 1:54 into the first period as Joe Tierney ripped a shot from above the left face-off circle that zipped to the top right corner of the net, beating Messina glove-side for a 1-0 Bantam lead. That would be the final time Messina was bested in the game.
Bowdoin evened the score at 14:27 as Rob Toczylowski took a slapshot from above the right circle that Rob MacGregor redirected in front to tie the score.
The Polar Bears took advantage of an early power play in the second period as a John McGinnis shot rebounded in front at 3:25. Falling to the ice, Sisson roofed the rebound to give the hosts a 2-1 edge. The Polar Bears maintained their lead by killing off three penalties in the period, including a 5x3, to carry their one-goal lead into the third.
The game evolved into a defensive struggle in the third period, with neither team able to find the back of the net. Messina clamped down for Bowdoin, stopping all 10 shots he saw in the final period to seal the win.
Bowdoin's special teams were outstanding, killing off six Trinity power plays in the game. Bowdoin was 1-3 with the extra attacker and held a 38-32 advantage in shots.