Bates Halts No. 11 Bowdoin's Winning Streak

LEWISTON, Maine -- Known for his rocket shots, Rob Highland only had one goal to show for them this season until tonight. Tonight Highland got that monkey off his back in a big way, scoring a career-high five goals to lead Bates to an 11-5 win No. 11 Bowdoin, ending the Polar Bears' five-game winning streak as well as their run of four straight victories between the rivals.

Highland (Yarmouth, Maine) got the Bobcats on top 1-0 just 69 seconds into the game, and Bates held Bowdoin scoreless until the second period, taking a 2-0 lead on Jack Strain's goal on an assist by Dan Hines. In a wild game overall for both teams, the first period was the wildest in terms of turnovers, with 10 committed by each side.

The Polar Bears (7-2, 4-2 NESCAC) got unassisted goals from Conor O'Toole and Griffin Cardew in the opening three minutes of the second quarter to tie the game at 2-2. But Highland struck again after a slashing penalty called against Bowdoin, converting a feed from his Yarmouth High School teammate, Jason Hichborn, to make it 3-2 with 9:04 left in the quarter, and Bates led the rest of the way.

Highland found Hichborn for a second man-up goal for the Bobcats with 4:02 left in the half. The Bobcats were 2 for 2 on extra-man opportunities, while they held Bowdoin scoreless in five man-up chances.

Hines, making his return to the field after a six-week injury layoff, wheeled and scored on a turnaround from a tough angle with 3:17 remaining to give Bates a 6-2 lead at the half.

Bowdoin continued to struggle offensively through the third quarter. Bates' Kyle Starr scored the lone goal of the quarter for a 6-2 lead, before the Polar Bears scored their first goal in 28 minutes of action, an unassisted tally by Dan Hanley with 13:50 left in the fourth quarter, which closed the gap to 6-3.

Bowdoin won the next faceoff and got one shot off before turning the ball over, and with 11:58 to go Starr fed Wylie Leabo from behind Bowdoin's goal to regain a four-goal edge at 7-3. Bates won the next faceoff and defender Andrew Berry scored on a low shot from outside, fed by Reed Brown, just 12 seconds later for an 8-3 lead.

Bowdoin still had time to get back into the game, and Nathan Fritts closed the gap to 8-4 on Patrick Lawlor's 11th assist of the season. Highland, however, scored his third goal with 8:52 left in the game, then added two more scores at the 6:42 and 5:22 marks to complete the game's scoring.

Bowdoin outshot Bates by a 40-34 margin, but the Bobcats had a 21-14 edge in shots on goal.

Kevin Helm had four ground balls and four caused turnovers to spearhead an aggressive defensive effort by the Bobcats.

Lawlor led Bowdoin scorers with a goal and an assist. Conor O'Toole scored a goal and had a team-high five ground balls for the Polar Bears.

Chris Williamson made 10 saves for Bowdoin, while Adam Scharff made nine in a stellar effort for Bates.

Reed Brown had two assists for Bates. Hichborn, Hines and Starr had a goal and an assist apiece.

* * * *

LEWISTON, Maine - Bowdoin College saw its five-game win streak come to an end at the hands of Bates on Wednesday evening, 11-5.

The Polar Bears, ranked 11th in the nation, lose for the first time since March 17 and drop to 7-2 (4-2 NESCAC) with the setback. Bates wins its first game against Bowdoin since April of 2007 and improves to 4-5 (2-4 NESCAC).

Rob Highland dominated for the Bobcats, scoring five times with an assist. Kevin Helm had four caused turnovers and four groundballs for Bates. Patrick Lawlor led Bowdoin with a goal and an assist on the evening. Conor O'Toole had a goal and a team-best five ground balls for the Polar Bears.

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2012-04-04



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