Steve Messina made 35 stops in the BU victory.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- No. 4 Bowdoin scored three second-period goals en route to an important 4-1 NESCAC win against No. 12 Williams on Friday.

Steve Messina made 35 saves for the Polar Bears, who improved to 14-1-1 (9-1-1 NESCAC) and took firm control of first place in the conference with the win. Williams fell to 8-4-2 (6-2-1 NESCAC) after the loss.

The two teams played a scoreless first period, despite several power-play opportunities.

Both offenses came out strong in the second period, but the Polar Bears struck first just four minutes into the frame to take the early lead. John McGinnis, who carried the puck from behind the net to the right circle, scored the Bowdoin goal. McGinnis moved the puck to his backhand and lifted a spinning wrist shot over Sean Dougherty to put Bowdoin on top 1-0.

The Ephs responded quickly. Mark Lyons started the opportunity seven minutes into the frame by leading a breakout through the neutral zone and finding Evan Dugdale, who carried the puck into the offensive zone and slid a nice pass to Peter Mistretta in the slot. Mistretta settled the puck and buried a wrist shot under the cross bar to tie the game at one.

The Polar Bears controlled the remainder of the second. At 9:56 into play, Tim Coffey took a pass from Kyle Lockwood and flipped a wrist shot ongoal from the right side. Dougherty made the initial stop, but the puck deflected off the stick of an Eph defenseman to put Bowdoin up 2-1.

Just thirty seconds later, the Polar Bears struck again. Ollie Koo took the feed from Robert Toczylowski and tapped the puck in on the right doorstep to extend his team's lead to 3-1 heading into the final period.

Bowdoin wasted no time in scoring its fourth and final goal of the game in the opening seconds of the third stanza. After an opening faceoff win, Colin Downey and Harry Matheson slipped behind the Williams defense for a 2-on-1 rush and cashed in when Downey found Matheson on the right side for a one-time wrist shot to put the Ephs in a 4-1 hole.