Date Posted:12/04/2001,  8:00AM

Polar Bears Prep For Huge Hockey Weekend

BRUNSWICK, Maine - If you could draw up a perfect hockey weekend for the Bowdoin sports fan, this is exactly what it would look like. The men's and women's hockey teams play arch-rivals this weekend in games with both regional and national significance. On Friday night at 7 p.m., the second-ranked Bowdoin women's hockey team will take on top-ranked Middlebury College and then number five Williams at 3 p.m. on Saturday. On Saturday night, the Polar Bear men will travel to Waterville to take on rival Colby at 7 p.m.

Ranked second in the latest national poll, the Bowdoin College women's ice hockey team has started the season with a flurry. The Polar Bears have lit up opponents to the tune of 29-1 in their first four games, all against NESCAC opponents. If any team in the country has started out hotter, it could be Middlebury. The top-ranked Panthers have outscored their opponents 29-0 in their first four matches. To add to the significance of this matchup is what is commonly referred to as "the streak". The Middlebury women's ice hockey team is undefeated against Division III opponents in their last 129 games (128-0-1). The only blemish in that record came last season when the Polar Bears tied the Panthers, 3-3 on January 26. Not to be overlooked is the Saturday afternoon date with Williams College, the fifth-ranked team in the country. The Ephs ended the Polar Bears' season last year, defeating Bowdoin 5-4 in overtime in the Quarterfinals of the ECAC Tournament, and have sprinted to a 6-1 record so far this year.

On Saturday night, the Bowdoin College men's ice hockey team will look to remain unbeaten on the season when they make their annual trip to Waterville to play the White Mules of Colby at 7 p.m. Colby has grabbed some early-season attention as they sit at 5-0-0 on the year, ranking them ninth in the latest national poll. The Polar Bears (4-0-1) pounded Skidmore on Friday night, 12-1, giving coach Terry Meagher his 300th career win. On Saturday, Bowdoin tied Mass. College 2-2. The game will be the 175th meeting between the two squads, with Bowdoin holding 89-79- 6 edge in the all-time series.