Jeffs Can't Hold Off No. 6 Bowdoin, Fall 3-2

Contact: Matthew Hart


AMHERST, Mass. – No. 6 Bowdoin College’s Colin Downey ’14 broke a 2-2 deadlock with just over two minutes remaining in the third period, lifting the visiting Polar Bears to a 3-2 triumph over 10th-ranked Amherst College in NESCAC men’s hockey action Friday night at Orr Rink.

The Lord Jeffs (7-4-1) held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 on goals by Johnny Van Siclen ’13 and Mike Moher ’13, but Bowdoin (10-0-1, 6-0-1 NESCAC) was too much late, with Jay Livermore ’14 and Daniel Weiniger ’13 tallying second-period equalizers before Downey’s winner.

Amherst set the tone immediately, as Moher won the opening faceoff and found fellow co-captain Brandon Hew ’13 on the left point. The senior ripped a hard shot toward the net that was redirected in by Van Siclen for an Amherst goal just 11 seconds into the contest. Moher earned his seventh assist of the campaign and Hew his second on Van Siclen’s eighth tally of the year.

Action was back-and-forth for the remainder of the opening period, with goalies Nathan Corey ’13 and Steve Messina ’14 each turning in fine saves to keep the count at 1-0.

Bowdoin finally drew even midway through the second, as Livermore converted a Polar Bear power play with an impressive goal from the middle of the attacking third. It was the junior’s first of the season, with John McGinnis ’15 earning his seventh assist on the play.

It took the Jeffs just 2:23 to counter, as Moher picked off an errant Bowdoin power-play pass and took it in for a strong breakaway finish, beating Messina into the upper left netting, his short-handed goal putting Amherst up, 2-1. The unassisted strike was Moher’s fourth of the season.

The scoring flurry continued, however, as Bowdoin tallied a short-handed goal of its own just 2:39 later. A misplaced Jeff pass found Harry Matheson ’14, who fed Weiniger for the finish, the senior’s NESCAC-leading 10th of the year.

With the fireworks ending for the final minutes of the second and much of the third period, the neck-and-neck battle continued, with Amherst unable to convert a trio of power plays sandwiching the second intermission.

Bowdoin finally broke the deadlock with just 2:05 remaining in regulation, as Corey deflected an Ollie Koo ’14 shot from the front right, but the ensuing scrum in front of net saw Downey flip the puck over the Amherst netminder’s head for the decisive goal. It was Downey’s third tally of the season, while Koo earned his sixth assist and Matheson picked up another helper, his league-leading 10th of the season.

Outshooting the Polar Bears 12-5 during their strong first period, the Jeffs finished with a 24-21 shot advantage, but a 0-for-5 performance on the power play contributed to the hard-luck decision for Amherst. Messina improved to 7-0-0 on the year with a 22-save performance, while Corey made 18 stops.

The Jeffs will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 5, hosting Colby in a 3 p.m. contest.