The Middlebury men's hockey team went to overtime for the seventh time this season, finishing in a 3-3 tie with Tufts (6-7-5, 2-6-4) in NESCAC action Saturday in Kenyon Arena. Middlebury's Brendan McGovern scored with 2:33 remaining to force the extra session. The Panthers (6-7-5, 5-2-5) are now 0-2-5 in overtime, while the Jumbos are 0-0-5. Middlebury returns to action next Friday at Wesleyan, while Tufts hosts Connecticut College.
David Lackner gave Tufts a 1-0 lead 5:56 into the first period with a power-play goal. Ryan Walter's shot from the right point was saved by Stephen Klein (37 saves) before Lackner put home the rebound for his sixth of the season. The Jumbos held a large shots on goal advantage in the early going, ending the period with a 14-10 lead.
Middlebury evened the game with a similar goal 4:03 into the second session. Mark McLellan's shot from the right driving to the net was saved by Mason Pulde (38 saves), before Jake Charles scored on the rebound for this fifth of the year.
The Jumbos regained the lead when Brian Ouellette's shot from the left point slipped past a screened Klein at the 11:02 mark. The Panthers nearly tied the game with 5:00 left in the second, but Mike Najjar's effort on the doorstep went high into the air before being gloved by Pulde.
Middlebury knotted the game at 2-2 just 3:07 into the third period on the third of the year from Najjar. Evan Neugold sent a pass toward goal that Najjar stopped with his skate before scoring with a backhander.
Tufts responded under four minutes later when Chad Goldberg scored with a backhander in front that trickled across the goal line after a feed from Ouellette. The tally was his fourth of the year.
The Panthers were threatening late, as a shot from Najjar rang the cross bar with 3:00 minutes remaining. Middlebury went on a power play shortly after, with Neugold's dazzling assist to McGovern resulting in a tie game. Neugold took the puck from Klein and skated the length of the ice, beating several defenders on the four-on-three power play. Skating to the right side, he quickly slid a pass to McGovern, who buried the open opportunity for his fifth of the season to tie the game at 3-3. Paul Falvey nearly gave the Panthers the lead moments later, but his breakaway attempt was denied by Pulde.
Neither team had a great opportunity to score in overtime, leaving the contest in a 3-3 tie. The Panthers held a slim 41-40 shots advantage in the game, going 1-6 on the power play, while the Jumbos were 2-2.