Date Posted:11/13/2001,  8:00AM

2001-02 Bowdoin Men's Ice Hockey Preview

In the 2000-01 season, the Bowdoin College men's hockey team worst enemy was their inexperience. Overall, the team finished 14- 10-1 and reached the semifinals of the NESCAC Tournament. The team had no winning streak longer than three games, but no losing streak longer than three, either. The Polar Bears had only five seniors, and youth carried the day as Bowdoin's six leading scorers were all underclassmen. In 2001 02, the Polar Bears will look to take the next step up the ladder.

"We were an extremely young team last season," recalls Head Coach Terry Meagher. "But we're not anymore. We've reached the point where promise needs to meet production."

Where better to talk about production than on the front line, where Bowdoin returns nearly every scoring threat from last season. Top-scorer Chris Pelletier (Nashua, N.H.) led the team with 18 goals and 10 assists last season, setting the school rookie scoring record that stood for 22 seasons. Senior co-captain Mike Carosi (Warwick, R.I.) had 12 goals and 15 assists, while junior Sean Starke (Montreal, Que.) will look to up last year's total of nine goals and 13 assists. Junior Adam Mantin (Wyckoff, N.J.) was a force last year with 12 goals and nine assists, while seniors Bill Busch (East Amherst, N.Y.) and Andy McNerney (Edina, Minn.) will provide experience to a deep, but still young, group of forwards that will also include junior Albert Mayer (Providence, R.I.), and sophomores Marty Brisebois (Verdun, Que.) and Mike Stevens (Miramichi, N.B.).

Defensively, the Polar Bears also return nearly every key member this season. Seniors Brian Shuman (S. Boston, Mass.) and David Rush (Bellmore, N.Y.) are the experience on the blue line, as Bowdoin will boast one of the strongest defensive corps in the NESCAC. Junior Ryan Seymour (Fredrickton, N.B.) was the leading scorer among defensemen last season, dishing out 15 assists and scoring one goal on the year. Juniors Chad Hart (Waterville, Maine) and Jared Porter (Duxbury, Mass.) will lead the rest of a defensive corps that will look to improve on the team's 4.22 GAA last season.

In goal, the Polar Bears will depend on sophomore Mike Healey (Hamden, Conn.) to fill the shoes of outgoing senior Colin Robinson. Healey saw limited action last year between the pipes, posting a 4.40 GAA in just over 191 minutes played.

The Polar Bears will open their season at home on Friday, November 16th against St. Anselm, and open their NESCAC schedule in earnest on January 11-12 when they play at Williams and at Middlebury on back-to-back nights. Arch-rival Colby will host the Polar Bears on December 8th, while Bowdoin will host the White Mules on the 12th of February. With the NESCAC as balanced as it has been in recent memory, it promises to be an exciting campaign.

"The key to any season is senior leadership and the support of the junior class," according to Meagher. "Our juniors must produce more than they have in the past. If they meet their point producing potential we will be a very competitive team. This is a special group of young men- they are committed and play with passion. It's time to drop the puck and see how we handle a demanding league."