NEW LONDON, Conn. – Freshman Erin Dillon (Hazlet, N.J.) scored two goals and tallied a pair of assists, but it wasn't enough, as the No. 8 Connecticut College women's ice hockey team fell to Bowdoin by a 5-4 score at Dayton Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Connecticut College (14-4-4, NESCAC 9-2-3), remained in second place in the league standings despite the setback. The team also had an incredible 13-game unbeaten streak against NCAA Division III opponents which dated back to Dec. 10 unfortunately come to an end.
The Camels, who recognized their winningest class in program history prior to the contest, got to the Polar Bears early and often by finding the back of the net twice in the opening 10 minutes of play. Sophomore Sammi Estes (Millis, Mass.) put back her own rebound just 1:07 into the game before Dillon finished a pass from senior Kate Kohl (Chelmsford, Mass.) to double the margin at the 8:29 mark.
Bowdoin (10-7-3, NESCAC 4-7-3), however, staged and rally and was able to tie the score before the first intermission. Julie Dachille scored her first of three goals in the game just 21 seconds after Dillon's marker, and Maureen Greason netted the equalizer with the Polar Bears on a power play.
The teams traded goals in the second period and found themselves deadlocked heading into the second intermission as well. Freshman Caitlyn Wilkin (Barre, Vt.) potted her first career goal to help the Camels regain the lead at 6:36, but Dachille had an answer less than five minutes later to knot the score at 2-2. The Polar Bear goal came just two seconds after their second power play of the game came to an end.
Even though Connecticut College (14-4-4, NESCAC 9-2-3) controlled the third period by holding a commanding 14-3 advantage in shots on target, Bowdoin was able to take full advantage of its limited opportunities in the final period to eventually find a way to win. After Jess Cloutier scored just 46 seconds into the frame, Dachille completed the hat trick to give the visitors a 5-3 cushion to work with at the 7:03 mark. Connecticut College was able to slash the margin in half with an extra attacker when Dillon registered her second goal of the game at 17:45, but Polar Bear goalie Kerri St. Denis was able to hold her ground and get some help from her defense the rest of the way.
St. Denis turned away 31 shots, including 13 in the final frame, to pick up the victory between the pipes for Bowdoin. Junior Bailey Mertz of Connecticut College made 17 saves in the setback.
Connecticut College, which has already clinched the right to host a NESCAC quarterfinal match, concludes the regular season with a pivotal two-game series at Hamilton next weekend. The teams will first square off on Friday, Feb. 16 at 7:00 p.m.