Amherst's Unbeaten Streak Snapped at Bowdoin, 4-2

Mark Colp '12 scored the game's first goal at Bowdoin.

BRUNSWICK, ME – Jeff Fanning scored a pair of goals as the Bowdoin College men’s ice hockey team snapped seventh-ranked Amherst College's 13-game unbeaten streak in a 4-2 win at Sidney J. Watson Arena on Friday evening. The Polar Bears improve to 12-5-1 (9-5-1 NESCAC), while the Lord Jeffs fall to 14-3-2 (9-3-2 NESCAC).

Opponents had been 0-for-19 on the power play during Amherst’s five-game winning streak, but Bowdoin scored on one of its four 5-on-4 opportunities, while the Jeffs, who had been riding the third longest active unbeaten streak in Division III, were 0-for-5 on the power play. The Polar Bears hold a 44-14-2 lead in the all-time series against the Jeffs, including a 25-4-0 record in Brunswick.

The road does not get any easier for the Jeffs, who will wrap up their weekend Saturday with a 3 p.m. game at Colby. Amherst has not won on the Mules’ home ice since 1999, going 0-4-1 during that time.

Amherst withstood an early challenge from the Polar Bears, who controlled play in the early going and fired eight shots on goal in the opening seven minutes of the contest. The Jeffs bounced back with a pair of power play chances late in the period but could not beat Bowdoin’s Chris Rossi on either opportunity, as the teams remained scoreless after 20 minutes.

The Jeffs garnered a power play with eight minutes left in the second period and whistled a pair of shots that came within a whisker of giving the visitors a one-goal lead. Amherst finally broke through after the completion of the penalty, as Eddie Effinger (Belleville, IL) carried the puck down the left wing and found Mark Colp (Wareham, MA) in front for a wrist shot that beat Rossi at 14:26.

The Polar Bears drew even at 16:59 on a 5-on-3 power play when Kyle Shearer-Hardy found Daniel Weiniger across the ice for a top-shelf one-timer to make it 1-1. The goal broke a 201:24 shutout streak by Amherst goaltenders dating back to Jan. 23.

Bowdoin took advantage of a bouncing puck early in the third period to grab the lead. Leland Fidler handled a loose puck in front and deflected it to Fanning, who slapped it home from the left post just 2:23 into the frame. Amherst gained a power play midway through the final frame, but it was Bowdoin that netted the better chances, as Ryan Blossom and Leland Fidler were both blanked on tremendous short-handed opportunities. The third time was the charm, as Fanning skated down the left wing and beat Cole Anderson (Sylvan Lake, Alberta) blocker-side to make it 3-1 in favor of Bowdoin at 11:16.

Just 16 seconds later, as Shearer-Hardy was leaving the penalty box, Brendan Reich found him loose down the middle. Hardy beat Anderson in a race to the puck and tapped it home for a 4-1 Polar Bear advantage.

The Jeffs did not go away, as Joe Brock (Cumming, GA) ripped a shot from the blue line that found the back of the net at 11:44 to close the gap to 4-2. Rossi would not allow another goal, finishing with 23 saves as the Polar Bears out-shot the Jeffs, 32-25. Anderson ended with 28 stops for the Jeffs.

With a 4-1 win over Saint Michael’s, Williams College bumped Amherst from the top spot in the NESCAC standings.