WATERVILLE — There’s a point midway through “Bull Durham” where Annie Savoy, so undone by the state of both her beloved Durham Bulls and her romantic life, comes to a simple conclusion.

“Well, this is the damnedest season I’ve ever seen…” Susan Sarandon’s character says, sparing you the details of some not-fit-for-print verbiage.

When it comes to the Colby College men’s hockey team, the same could be said. On Saturday, a 4-2 home loss to New England Small College Athletic Conference foe Hamilton College dropped the Mules to 2-5-0 in the league. The team is just 5-6-0 overall, having beaten only cellar-dwelling Amherst on Friday night and rival Bowdoin back in November during the course of NESCAC play.

For a team with so much promise, it’s become increasingly difficult to place your finger on the “why.” Saturday afternoon at Alfond Rink was yet another example of a team that can do so much good in spurts but never at the same time.

“This is the most talented team that I’ve been on that has struggled like this,” Colby junior captain Spencer Hewson said. “We’ve got so many good players, and it’s just about putting it all together. We haven’t been able to do that, but we need to figure it out.”

Hewson, often one of the most articulate Mules in the dressing room, isn’t wrong. Not at all.

At the forward position — even one shorthanded Saturday by injuries to Justin Grillo and Kienan Scott, two-thirds of the team’s top line Friday night — there are creative, determined offensive players. The blue line features excellent puck retrievers and puck movers, players who can dictate the pace of games.

What’s happening all too often this season, though, is that the forwards are off the mark when the defensive zone coverage is good. Or the forwards find their footing while their own netminder is fighting the puck. Or that same goaltender is playing some of his best hockey while the team is struggling to find easy breakouts or to create danger up the ice.

“Right. One-hundred percent,” Colby head coach Blaise MacDonald said. “We did a lot of good things (against Hamilton). We’re a talented team, they’re a talented team. We just didn’t do enough connected stuff to allow us to get a lot of good back-to-back-to-back shifts to get us some momentum.”

To wit: The Mules’ second line. While on the ice late in the first period, they produced goals from J.P. Schuhlen and Mark Leprine to rally back from an early 2-0 deficit. But then Sean Holly took a bad slashing penalty, leading to the eventual game-winning goal for Hamilton only 24 seconds after Colby had tied things up.

Senior netminder Andrew Tucci was off his game over the first 30 minutes, beaten three times cleanly on top-shelf wrist shots from distance. Then, over the course of the final half of the game Tucci was one of the best Mules on the ice, stopping the final 18 shots he faced.

“There’s a rhythm to this game,” MacDonald said.

There is, but right now that rhythm eludes Colby.

It seems every night, every loss, there’s been something else the Mules are pointing to. Plenty of shots but no goals. A great power play, but a sloppy penalty kill. Or no offensive pressure ahead of a stingy defensive corps. Those things, eventually, add up.

Given the nature of Division III hockey — and the NESCAC, in particular — the season is too short to give opportunities away.

There are only 11 league games left on Colby’s schedule.

Are the Mules frustrated?

“Frustration’s not the right word,” Hewson said before a long pause. “It’s urgency.The season’s so short, and we’ve dropped games we should have won. We know that. Just like you can’t chase in a game, it’s hard to make up games in the standings. We know we need to start winning the games we can win. But no, we trust the group that we have. We’re not getting frustrated.”

This is the damnedest season I’ve ever seen.

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