Middlebury was shutout in its season-opener for the first time since 1940, as they fell at home to Tufts, 3-0. Williams accomplished the feat 70 years ago, topping the Panthers 6-0. Middlebury leads the all-time series with the Jumbos 16-2-3, with Tufts earning a 3-3 tie in the opener a year ago. Middlebury returns to action when they host Conn. College on Saturday at 4:00 p.m., while Tufts visits Williams.
After a scoreless first period, Tufts took a 1-0 lead just 1:05 into the second period. After the initial shot was saved, Dylan Cooper gathered the puck and stuffed it home just off the far post. Middlebury had three power play opportunities later in the period, but could not take advantage as they headed into the third period with a 1-0 deficit.
Tufts gained some breathing room 3:50 into the third period, as Zach Diaco blasted home a shot from the high slot after the puck bounced out to him on a rebound.
Middlebury kept coming in the period, with some great chances to score, but could not find the back of the net. Tufts goaltender Scott Barchard kept the shutout intact at 17:00, making a nice blocker save on Bryan Curran, who was breaking in on the right win. The Panthers pulled their goaltender with 3:00 remaining, but could not score as Garrett Sider added an empty-netter to seal the win.
Middlebury held a 29-15 shots advantage on the night, as Barchard made 29 saves to earn the win. Nick BonDurant made a dozen stops for Middlebury in his collegiate debut.