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NESCAC playoffs on ice

On Mar. 3 and 4, Women’s and Men’s ice hockey fell in the NESCAC playoff quarterfinals. The women lost to Hamilton 3–4, and the men lost to Bowdoin 1–3.

Both teams traveled to Amherst, Massachusetts after their quarterfinal win last week. The women played first; they faced a tough, No. second-ranked Hamilton squad that swept them in the regular season.

The first period had fast-action competitive play from both teams. Both sides had opportunities on goal until McKinley Karpa `23 broke through only nine minutes into the period.

Hamilton drew even with two minutes to go in the first. Off a turnover in the neutral zone, the Continentals sprinted to offense. Hamilton collected the rebound after a missed shot and poked it into the net just outside the crease.

The period ended tied 1–1, with both teams looking to take advantage. Jo Tattersall `26 did so in convincing fashion, scoring in the first minute of the second period.

With the lead, the Mules continued to play aggressively, leading to penalty trouble and a five-on-three power play in Hamilton’s favor. The Continentals made the play and tied the game 2–2.

The Continentals took their first lead with eighteen seconds remaining in the second period. They broke up a pass near their defensive zone, leading to a breakaway chance. A wrist shot from point-blank range deflected off Mandy Busky `25 into the net.

The third period proved to be a back-and-forth, with Karpa once again scoring a goal to put Colby back in the game and make it 3–3, however, Hamilton scored the game-winner nine minutes into the period after collecting a blocked shot and sweeping it into the net.

Things got interesting with three minutes remaining in the period after a Hamilton player was sent to the penalty box for hooking, and the Mules pulled Busky for an extra skater and a six-on-four advantage. However, the Mules failed to find the equalizer.

Despite the loss, the Mules have a lot to be proud of. Not only did the team finish the regular season 17–7, earning a bid to participate in the DIII NCAA tournament, but several members of the team dominated play. Meg Rittenhouse `24 earned All-NESCAC first-team honors and Bri Michaud-Nolan `23 earned All-NESCAC second-team honors. Rittenhouse also earned first place in points, points per game, face-off wins, and power-play goals. Stephanie Lane `23 led the league in hat tricks.

They will face Norwich University on Mar. 8 in the first round of the DIII NCAA championship tournament after earning a bid to participate.

The men played the day after, losing to a Bowdoin team they had not lost to since December 2015. The Polar Bears also had a streak of their own. They came in 2–0 versus the Mules historically in NESCAC post-season matchups.

With three of the top four seeds eliminated last weekend in the quarter-final round, Colby was one of the favorites remaining. However, the Mules couldn’t get past the Polar Bears, who went on to win the NESCAC championship.

The teams played fast back-and-forth hockey through the first period. Both goalies stood tall in the net, and neither team was able to score.

Colby broke first in the second period, as they took the lead in four minutes of play. After the Mules forced a turnover, Ryan Doolin `24 gained possession and passed to Alex Bourhas `23 on the left post. Carter Breitenfeldt `23 came through and finished off the play.

Bowdoin responded just under halfway into the frame, and the second period ended tied one apiece. 

The Polar Bears took their first lead of the game seven minutes into the final period. The Polar Bears skated into the zone and ripped a forehand shot to the far right post past Andy Beran `24.

In the final minute-and-a-half of the third, Colby pulled Beran, and a Bowdoin player flipped the puck up and over both teams from his zone into the empty Colby net.

Colby ends their season 13–11–2, collecting thirty wins in the last two seasons.


Julian Cangieter-Hernandez ’25

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