Bowdoin Upends Top-Seeded Trinity in Men's Ice Hockey Semifinals
Courtesy Trinity Sports Information
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Sophomore forward Greg McConnell (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island) scored two goals, including the game-winner with 2:03 remaining in the second period, to lead the visiting Bowdoin College Polar Bears to a 3-2 win over the Trinity College Bantams in the semifinal round of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) this afternoon at Kingswood-Oxford Rink.
Trinity, seeded No. 1 in the tournament for the first time, falls to 20-3-2 with their first loss in 12 games and must hope to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. The Polar Bears, seeded No. 4 in the tournament, improve to 17-5-3 with their second straight win and advance to the NESCAC Finals tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Kingswood-Oxford. Bowdoin will play the winner of this afternoon’s other semifinal game, featuring No. 2-seeded Middlebury and No. 3-seeded Colby at 4 p.m. at Kingswood. Trinity failed to reach the league finals for the first time in four years.
Bowdoin shocked the standing-only crowd of over 1,000 people with two goals in the first period. Polar Bear sophomore forward James Gadon (Toronto, Ontario) flicked in a wrist shot from 15 feet in front of the goal to give the visitors 1-0 lead 8:57 into the game. McConnell gave Bowdoin a 2-0 lead at the 13:50 mark of the first frame with a backhand over the shoulder of Bantam senior goalie Doug Kisielius (Park Ridge, Ill.).
Trinity used its strong power play to get back in the game, as junior forward Cameron Finch (Acton, Mass.) took the puck along the boards on the left side and shot the puck in off a Polar Bear defenseman 10:26 into the second period. Bowdoin answered late in the same stanza, when McConnell stuffed the puck in during a scramble in front of the Trinity net, and the Polar Bears led, 3-1, at the second intermission.
In the third period, the Bantams converted their second power play of the game at the 4:24 mark, when sophomore forward Adam Ladd (Keene, N.H.) beautifully one-timed in a pass from senior captain forward Joseph Ori (Niles, Ill.) from the left wing. Trinity frantically tried to score the game-tying goal over the final 15 minutes, but Bowdoin junior George Papachristopoulos (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec) made 13 of his 35 saves in the final frame. Bowdoin senior co-captain forward Shannon McNevan (Peterboro, Ontario) assisted on both of McConnell’s goals. Kisielius finished with 33 saves for the Bantams.