WATERVILLE — Another season, another Colby win in the oldest small college rivalry in the nation.

Junior Henry Molson snapped a tie with less than three minutes remaining in the 210th chapter of the Colby-Bowdoin men’s hockey rivalry Saturday night, and the Mules remained unbeaten with a 4-2 win over the Polar Bears at a sold-out Jack Kelley Rink. The victory extended Colby’s unbeaten streak against Bowdoin to 11 games (10-0-1) dating back to Dec. 5, 2015.

Colby also remained perfect on the season, the 100th season of Colby men’s hockey, at 5-0-0. The loss was the first of the winter for Bowdoin (4-1-0). The Mules are the lone unbeaten team remaining in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

“To be honest, it felt like a flash,” Molson said of his game-winner. “I didn’t really feel (time) go by. I turned my head after the move, saw it went in, and all I could think about was to celebrate with the boys.”

Down 2-1 following a Bowdoin-dominant second period, James Tepper pulled Colby even with a wrister from the high slot at the 5:15 mark of the third.

That set the stage for Molson, who collected a Jake Klein pass at the offensive blue line, weaved his way through three Polar Bear defenders and held onto the puck long enough to deke Bowdoin netminder Alex Kozic (22 saves) out of his crease for the tap-in goal at 17:09.


“That was silly,” Colby head coach Blaise MacDonald said of Molson’s goal. “That’s what players like that do — their heart rate really slows, their pulse slows, and they make those plays pretty easily. That’s Henry’s thing. He’s got dynamic hands and stick skills.”

After a scoreless first period, the teams swapped power-play goals in the second period.

Freshman Gabe Shipper’s team-leading fifth goal of the season gave Bowdoin the 1-0 lead at 4:11 of the frame, before Colby’s John McElaney evened it with a man-advantage strike of his own three and a half minutes later.

The Polar Bears turned an ugly Colby turnover in front of goalie Andy Beran (28 saves) into the go-ahead goal from Jack Studley at 16:10.

“I thought it was a couple of inches here and there where it went their way and not ours,” first-year Bowdoin head coach Ben Guite said. “I thought it was a really uneventful (third) period until (Colby) got those goals.”

Colby College’s Jake Klein (22) and Bowdoin College’s Ethan Kimball (7) battle for the puck during a men’s hockey game Saturday at Colby College in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Drew Burke’s empty-netter with 1:03 to play sealed the Colby victory on a night in which they formally dedicated the O’Neil/O’Donnell Forum and Kelley Rink.


With play ramping up from its bottom two lines in the final period, Colby wrestled control away from the visitors.

Senior captain Alex Bourhas capped a dogged shift that breathed some life into the Mules when he found Tepper from the half-wall to set up the tying goal.

“The biggest thing for us, and it’s always been this way, is just focus on us,” Bourhas said. “When we dictate the pace, we’re at our best. There’s highs and lows in a game. It’s testament to the guys that have been here before in these types of atmospheres to just press pause, reset, take care of our own responsibilities and understand that we all have a role in this.”

“Blaise came into the room and told us we got out-muscled and out-worked after that second period,” Molson said. “We came together as a team, and wanted to show them that we could work harder than they did and come out victorious here. I think the play speaks for itself.”

Not only was it an emotional win for Colby, but it was also a measuring stick game for the only two teams in the NESCAC to enter the night with perfect records.

“As far as us and our season, this was huge,” Bourhas said. “We’re just scratching the surface. I don’t even think we’ve played our best hockey yet, but we’re putting it together game by game. Come the end of the season, it’s games like this that’s going to help us.”

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