WATERVILLE, Maine -- The Colby College men's hockey team battled back all night long to finally take the lead in the third period and then had to survive a wild final minute of play in a 5-4 victory over rival Bowdoin College on Saturday night at Alfond Rink.
A day after the goalies dominated in a 2-1 Mule win in Brunswick, Colby moved to 5-1 overall and stayed in first place in the NESCAC with a 4-0 record. The Polar Bears drop to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the league.
Colby swept the two games with Bowdoin for the first time since the 2009-10 season (4-2, 4-3 wins). The Mules also went 1-0-1 against the Polar Bears in 2001-02. Bowdoin has five sweeps of the two contests, but all the other years were split since the NESCAC began a playoff system in the 2000-01 season.
In a bizarre final 1:05 of the contest, Colby went from having a man advantage to being three men down. With 11 seconds remaining on a Bowdoin penalty, Colby was penalized for having too many men on the ice. MacDonald was issued a bench penalty for arguing the call.
The Mules scored two goals in a span of 46 seconds to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 lead. After going 0-for-6 on the power play, the Mules scored with the extra man on Jack Burton's blast from the right point. Nick O'Connor won the face-off on his knees back to Geoff Sullivan, who pushed the puck over to Burton to tie the game at 4-4 with 13:30 remaining.
The Mules appeared like they would have an easy time over the last 10 minutes when Bowdoin picked up penalties with 9:36, 7:37, and 2:54 to play. That all changed with the too many men on the ice penalty.
Colby tied the game at 1-1 just 50 seconds later on a goal by Phil Klitirinos with 2:33 to play. JP Schuhlen hit the crossbar on a shot to start the play. EJ Rauseo came up with the puck and rifled a shot that Cronin was able to save, but Klitirinos cleaned up the rebound to tie the contest.
Burton started his big night with a terrific individual effort to cut the lead to 3-2 at 4:03 of the second. He skated in on the right side with a defender on his hip, but managed to make the turn and came diving across the crease as he shot the puck past Cronin.
Bowdoin went ahead again at 2:54 of the third period after coming out strong from intermission. Spencer Antunez won a puck on the left boards, passed it to Dunleavy, who immediately passed it back to Antunez for the score and a 4-3 lead.