Power Play Lifts Tufts Past Middlebury, 5-3

Greg Conrad tips in the first of his two goals Saturday against the Jumbos.
Greg Conrad tips in the first of his two goals Saturday against the Jumbos.

Tufts scored three power-play goals en route to a 5-3 win at Middlebury on Saturday in NESCAC action. The Panthers (0-6-0, 0-4-0) are home again on Friday against Hamilton with a 7:00 p.m. faceoff, while the Jumbos (5-1-1, 3-0-1) host Bowdoin.

Middlebury held an early shot advantage on Tufts thanks to a power play in the first two minutes, but the Jumbos were the team that scored first. Oliver Takacsi-Nagy circled the Panther net before his first shot was stopped by goalie Brian Ketchabaw, but the Jumbo forward tucked in his own rebound at the 6:45 mark.

The hosts had a quick answer when Greg Conrad netted his first of the season 1:32 later. Conrad set up in front of the Tufts' goal and deflected a shot from the point by Andrew Neary. The Jumbos regained the lead at 2-1 with 7:52 left in the period when Clay Berger poked in a rebound on a scramble in the Middlebury crease.

Tufts nearly doubled the Panthers in shots (13-7) in the middle frame, but it benefitted from four power-play chances. The Jumbos cashed in on the second of those, which was a five-on-three opportunity. Defenseman Sean Kavanagh one-timed a pass from the near point by Cooper Stahl that found the upper right corner of the net for a 3-1 at the 14:33 mark.

In the third, the teams combined for four goals with the Jumbos netting the first two and the Panthers the latter pair. Kavanagh (3:49) scored on another five-on-three advantage, while Tyler Scroggins (6:10) also tallied on the power play with a shot from the bottom of the right circle.

Middlebury pushed back with a power-play tally of its own when Mitchell Allen one-timed a pass from Neary at the 10:56 mark for his first collegiate goal. Conrad made it a 5-3 game with 5:56 left in the third, ripping a shot through Mason Pulde's pads on an odd-man rush, which was set up by a nice play along the boards by Mark McLellan.

The Panthers pulled Ketchabaw twice in the final 3:13, which included another power play, but despite sustained pressure, but were unable to get any closer, making the final 5-3.

In goal for Middlebury, Ketchabaw finished with a career-high 35 saves, while Pulde registered 28. The Jumbos held a 40-31 edge in shots and went 3-10 on the power play, with the Panthers scoring once in four opportunities with the man advantage.