The Bowdoin College and Connecticut College women's ice hockey teams battled at Fenway Park on Thursday, January 12 at 4:00 p.m. It was the first-ever NESCAC women's hockey game to be played at "Frozen Fenway" and the second contest between NESCAC schools at the venue (Trinity and Williams men, 2014). Thursday's contest was the 42nd meeting all-time between the programs, dating back to 1995.
The Bowdoin College Meddiebempsters joined both teams on the ice for the singing of the National Anthem.
Following the anthem, Bowdoin College President Clayton S. Rose and Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron walked out to center ice for a ceremonial puck drop. Bowdoin senior captain Jess Bowen and Connecticut College senior captain Julie Beattie stood in for the "face-off."
Prior to their Frozen Fenway matchup, the teams had played 41 times with Bowdoin holding a 31-10-0 lead in the all-time series. The Polar Bears won the first 21 games in the series history (from 1995-2007) but the teams had split the last 20 meetings. Conn. College won both games last season and Bowdoin claimed the only postseason meeting between the teams back in the 2014-15 NESCAC Quarterfinals.
About the Polar Bears
Bowdoin came into the contest at 7-2-2, looking to improve to 8-2-2, which would be the program's best start to a campaign since their NESCAC Championship-winning season of 2012-13. Head coach Marissa O'Neil is in her seventh year at Bowdoin. The two-time NESCAC Coach of the Year had 99 career victories entering the game (87 at Bowdoin, 12 at Williams).
About the Camels
Connecticut College was off to its finest start in program history, sitting at 7-2-2. The Camels, who posted a program-best 15 wins last winter, are 21-5-4 in their last 29 games dating back to midway through last year. Conn. College cracked the top-ten of the USCHO Division III poll and sit at no. 8 in the rankings this week.
The Camels secured the first promising scoring opportunity of the game three minutes into play. Kerri St. Denis poked away a wraparound shot from the Connecticut offense, but Katlyn Paiva collected the puck in the low slot and fired off a quick shot that was again denied.
Both teams traded penalties in the waning minutes of the period, but few opportunities came and entered the first intermission tied 0-0.
Bowdoin scored the game's first goal just over the midway point of the second frame. Marissa Fichter set up the play with a shot from the right side that Katherine Chester turned away. Maegan Sheehan jumped on the loose puck at the back post to put the Polar Bears up 1-0.
Julie Dachille doubled Bowdoin's lead a minute later with an end-to-end solo effort along the left boards. The junior dug the puck off the boards in Bowdoin's defensive end and skated the length of the ice before cutting in for a no-angle shot on net. Dachille's short-side shot put the Polar Bears up 2-0.
Connecticut College nearly tallied a goal in the final two minutes. Elena Gualtieri fed Paige Michel with a centering pass just outside the crease. St. Denis gloved the one-timer out of the air to deny the Camels and sent Bowdoin into the second intermission with a 2-0 lead.
The Polar Bears extended their lead 12:43 into the final frame. Brigit Bergin found Dachille in the left faceoff circle, who handled past a defender and drew Chester to the near post. Dachille slipped a pass across the crease to Brooke Solomon for a deflection into the net.
The Camels dabbled in Bowdoin's defensive zone throughout the third period, but were unable to sustain the same pressure seen in the second frame. The Polar Bears pressured in the final two minutes, forcing Chester to remain on the ice until the final 14 seconds, denying the Camels an extended opportunity with an extra skater.
By the Numbers
St. Denis was outstanding, stopping all 24 shots she faced for her third shutout of the season.
Katherine Chester stopped 15 shots in goal for the Camels.
Julie Dachille had a goal and an assist to lead all scorers.
The Camels held a 24-18 edge in shots and went 0-3 on the power play while the Polar Bears went 0-1.