The Bowdoin and Middlebury men's ice hockey teams played to a 4-4 tie in a battle of nationally-ranked squads on Saturday afternoon at Sidney J. Watson Arena. The Polar Bears and Panthers both stand at 1-0-1 following today's contest. Tenth-ranked Bowdoin will return to action on Tuesday evening at the University of New England, while 15th-ranked Middlebury will face Plattsburgh in the opening round of the Primelink Tournament at Norwich on Friday at 4:00 p.m.
Ollie Koo finished with two goals for Bowdoin while four different players recorded goals for the Panthers.
Bowdoin got on the board first as a shot from the point deflected off a Panther in front. Koo collected the rebound between the circles and wristed it into the top corner just 1:47 into the game. Middlebury gained a power play six minutes into the frame, but it was the Polar Bears who cashed in as Danny Palumbo forced a turnover on the forecheck and fed Connor Quinn in front for a shorthanded score at 6:27. The Panthers got one back with 3:30 left in the stanza as Robbie Donahoe intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and skated in on Fenkell, slipping a shot past the Polar Bear netminder to close the gap to 2-1 after one period of play.
After going scoreless on its first five power plays of the game, Middlebury was able to even the score with the extra man at 3:42 of the second period as Evan Neugold redirected a shot inside the right post to bring the Panthers even. Bowdoin regained the lead on the power play just minutes later as a failed Panther clear came to Gabriel Renaud at the blue line. Renaud fired a laser from above the right circle to give the Polar Bears a 3-2 edge at 7:55. Bowdoin then took advantage of a 5x3 power play late in the frame as John McGinnis found Koo wide open on the back post to make it 4-2 after 40 minutes.
Middlebury drew within a goal on the power play at 4:11 of the third, as Connor Frick slipped a low shot from between the circles to make it 4-3. After a sustained Bowdoin possession resulted in no goal, a Panther push down ice tied the game. Chris Brown centered the puck into the crease, where Chris Steele crashed the net and poked the puck through the pads of Fenkell with 10:19 remaining. The teams traded good opportunities for the remainder of regulation, with the best chance for either team coming with under two minutes remaining when Neugold rifled a shot from between the circles that slipped through traffic and behind Fenkell, but was cleared off the line by Bowdoin's Nick Wetzel to force overtime.
The teams traded good chances in the extra session, with the Panthers holding a 6-3 edge in shots, but neither team could find the game-winner as the squads finished in a deadlock.
Fenkell finished with 43 saves for Bowdoin while Nick BonDurant made 34 stops for Middlebury. The Panthers held a 47-38 edge in shots for the contest and went 2-7 on the power play. Bowdoin finished 2-6 with the extra attacker.