Bowdoin scored once in the first and third periods, as the Polar Bears skated past Middlebury 2-0 on Sunday in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers (0-2-0, 0-2-0) return to the ice Friday at home against Lawrence (Wis.) at 7:00 p.m. in the opening round of the PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut, while Bowdoin )1-1-0, 1-1-0) entertains the University of New England Tuesday for its home opener.
The Polar Bears opened the scoring at the 11:43 mark of the first period. Bowdoin cycled the puck behind the Panther net with Jack Bliss centering a pass from below the goal line to Pat Geary, who lifted the puck under the cross bar for a 1-0 lead. Middlebury turned up the offensive pressure in the later stages, resulting in a couple of chances. Vincent Gisonti deflected a pass that Polar Bear goalie Alex Zafonte stopped with his right pad, before he made a blocker save on a shot from the high slot by Kamil Tkaczuk.
In the middle stanza, the Panthers continued to press with a 13-5 edge in shots, but the teams failed to produce a goal. Middlebury's best chance came when Brendan Dawson intercepted a clearing attempt at the blue line and dished a feed to Braedan Quast in the right circle, who had has shot denied by Zafonte.
Middlebury had several chances to net the equalizer in the third period. One of the better opportunities came with just under 11 minutes left in the game when Dawson's blast from the point was stopped by Zafonte and the Polar Bear goalie thwarted Eric Jeremiah on a quick follow-up attempt.
Bowdoin added an insurance with 7:44 left in the contest, as Thomas Dunleavy poked home a rebound from inside the crease with an assist from Ronnie Lestan for a 2-0 lead. Middlebury continued to battle, with a late 6x4 advantage over the final 1:48 with a power play and goalie Stephen Klein on the bench in favor of an extra attacker. Bowdoin, however, held off the Panthers for the win.
Klein finished with 27 saves, while Zafonte stopped all 39 shots he faced as the hosts held a 39-29 edge in shots. Both teams went 0-3 on the power play.