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College Hockey:
Bowdoin Outlasts Williams 2-1 In Fierce Battle

Polar Bears Earn Trip To Fifth Consecutive NESCAC Final

— Katie Coyne’s goal midway through the third period lifted Bowdoin (17-8-1) to a 2-1 win on Saturday’s second NESCAC semifinal against Williams (14-11-1). The game was no less dramatic than Middlebury’s earlier 3-1 victory over Colby.

The game-winner came as Katie Fourney fought down the right wing and shot from the circle. Linemate Beth Battin was there for a stuff-in that was blocked by goalie Denise McCulloch, but Coyne chipped the puck in for the 2-1 lead.

“I missed a couple earlier,” Coyne said. “I had a lot of fire to put the puck in the back of the net. Beth [Battin] started the play, stopping the Williams player at the blueline. Forney put a nice low shot in thereit was kind of bouncing a little bit, I got a couple of whacks and I finally got one home.”

The final minutes were equally action packed as Williams, down 2-1, pulled its goalie for an extra attacker with 1:44 to play in the game. Bowdoin was successfully fighting for position in front of freshman goalie Emileigh Mercer until Katherine Popoff was called for interference with only 28.6 seconds remaining.

“For some reason at the end of every game, we like to be a little shorthanded when we’re up one goal,” said Bowdoin coach Michele Amidon. Luckily we have had a lot of opportunity to work on six-on-four at the end of a game.”

Mercer was able to hold the Ephs off, making a clearing save into the corner with 16 seconds left to seal the victory.

“It’s scary, but it’s a lot of fun,” Mercer said. “It’s hard because I don’t have as much experience as some people out there, but I have a really strong team in front of me.”

Bowdoin took the game’s first lead on a powerplay goal late in the first period by Julia King, who worked into the right wing circle and beat McCulloch just inside the far post with a low wrist shot.

Williams evened things at 1-1 at 7:55 of the second period when Abby Taylor broke in alone. She had time to deke to her backhand and beat Mercer with her backhand.

“Our league is as competitive as it has ever been,” said Williams coach Michelyne Pinard. “Two very evenly matched teams faced off today, we did not get the result, but to get to the NESCAC final four is definitely something to be proud of.”

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