After ugly loss to Bowdoin, men’s hockey bounces back against Colby

What a difference a day makes.

One day after a dismal performance against Bowdoin, men’s hockey (5-2-1) came back ready to play and defeated the ninth ranked Colby White Mules 6-3 Saturday afternoon.“We struggled a bit last night,” said forward tri-captain Dan Cotuno ’02, who had a goal and an assist in the contest. “We wanted to come out and score early because they just had a long trip here [from Middlebury].”

Wes Fox ’03 (two goals, two assists) and Guy Smith ’04 (one goal, three assists) were the offensive stars as the Ephs broke out of an offensive slump during a wild first period.The offensive show in the first period started when Colby took a 1-0 lead on a nice individual effort by Brock Barton. The junior defenseman intercepted a pass near center ice, skated through two defenders and beat Williams goalie Mike Aroesty ’03 with a wrist shot to put the White Mules ahead.

However, the Ephs responded less than a minute later as Fox banged home a shot from inside the left circle. Justin Blanch ’04 then set up Josh Truitt ’04 on a two-on-one break to put the Ephs ahead.

After Colby’s Evan Kearns tied the game by deflecting in a shot from the point, the Ephs responded on a power play. Cotuno faked a shot from the blue line, skated between the circles and his wrist shot bounced off the crossbar and into the net.

“I always aim high,” said Cotuno. “High is the only place to aim.”

Colby goaltender Chris Ries, who allowed four of the nine shots he saw in the first period to get by him, could not handle Smith’s blast from the point moments later as the Ephs opened up a two-goal lead.

The power play worked against the Ephs late in the period, as the White Mules needed only ten seconds in their one-man advantage to cut their deficit to one goal.

Ries and Aroesty sharpened up the rest of the game after the seven-goal outburst in the opening frame. Ries stoned Brian Teixeira ’04 on a breakaway attempt in the third period as he made one of his 21 saves. Aroesty improved his record to 4-2-1 while stopping 30 shots. Aroesty’s best period was the third, when he stopped 15 shots as Colby dominated the Williams zone.

The Ephs were able to extend their lead to two in the second period when Jake Clapton ’05 knocked in a rebound after Ries stopped Smith’s shot from the point. Fox added his second goal of the day in the third to cap the scoring.

On Friday night, Williams found out the hard way that playing with one less skater is no fun at all.

Bowdoin scored three power play goals as they kept their undefeated season alive with a dominating 4-1 victory over a lackluster Ephs squad.

“It’s tough when you take so many penalties,” said Jabe Bergeron ’04, who was one of the few Ephs to show any life all night. “When the other team scores at over a 50 percent clip on their power play opportunities, that’s tough to beat.”

Bowdoin dominated throughout, although Williams gave their fans reason to believe early on that they were ready for an upset of the tenth ranked Polar Bears (9-0-2).

The Ephs came storming out of the gate, as Steve Baldassarri ’05 scored his first career goal only 34 seconds into the game. Tri-captain Dan Houck ’02 caused a Bowdoin turnover in the left corner and then flipped it to fellow tri-captain Andrew Beasley ’02. Beasley then made a beautiful centering feed to Baldassarri, who fired a low shot from between the circles that beat goalie Mike Healey.

Bowdoin tied it midway through the first period on a power play when leading scorer Mike Carosi found Chris Pelletier on a crossing pass in front of the net. The Polar Bears, who entered the game converting on 30 percent of their man-advantages, tallied a second power play goal moments later.

Defenseman Nate Riddell (3 assists) wound up to take a shot from the right point, but held up and made a pretty feed to Sean Starke, who was all alone on the left side of the net.

Riddell helped put Bowdoin up 3-1 late in the first when he fed Carosi on a two-on-one break. Carosi scored his ninth goal of the year as he deked Williams goalie Ben Fash ’04 and put in the backhander.

Williams had a chance to cut into the lead late in the second period when Bowdoin’s Brian Shuman was whistled for a holding penalty. But the Ephs could not even muster a shot attempt during the man-advantage.

Starke scored his second power play goal of the night in the third period after Carosi made another spectacular setup.

Fash (17 saves) played well, despite allowing four goals. All four were scored without a Williams defender in the area. Healey made 24 saves, but did not face much of an attack after the initial flurry by the Ephs.

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