Middlebury battled Tufts on the road before falling in men's hockey action by a 2-1 score on Friday evening at the Malden Forum. The Panthers fall to 7-7-3 and 4-4-3 in the NESCAC, while the Jumbos improve to 7-9-1 and 4-6-1 in the league. Middlebury returns to action Saturday at Connecticut College with the puck dropping at 3:00.
The Jumbos got on the board with just over three minutes remaining in the period. Dominic Granato launched a shot from the right wing, and in the commotion in front of the net, Brian Brown got his stick on the puck and sent it past Panther net minder Liam Moorfield-Yee. Brown's team-leading 10th goal of the season gave the Jumbos the 1-0 lead to take into the intermission.
Tufts made it 2-0 just under seven minutes into the second frame when Shawn Power fired a slap shot from the right side that snuck past Moorfield-Yee. William Sellers and Patrick Lackey were credited with the assists.
The Panthers scored their first and only with just under ten minutes remaining in the period when Zach Haggerty fired a shot that Tufts' goalie Mason Pulde saved. Derek Pimentel snuck the puck past Pulde off the rebound to bring the Panthers within one. Haggerty and Braeden Quast were given the helpers.
The Jumbos and Panthers played a scoreless third period, but the Middlebury offense put plenty of pressure on Pulde and his defense. Pulde picked up 14 saves during the third period, including four stops in the last 2:30. The Panthers pulled Moorfield-Yee for an extra skater with just under a minute to play, but they weren't able to find the equalizer.
Pulde finished with 31 saves on the night, while Moorfield-Yee collected 20. The Panthers were 0-2 on the power play, while the Jumbos didn't score on their one extra-man opportunity. Middlebury held the advantage in shots, 32-22.