Goalie Stephen Klein made 41 saves and Mark McLellan netted the game's only goal, leading to the Panthers to a 1-0 road NESCAC win Saturday over Tufts. Middlebury (2-14-2, 2-10-0) returns home Friday, hosting Wesleyan at 7:00 p.m. in Kenyon Arena.
The teams skated through a scoreless opening period, with the visitors holding a 15-6 advantage, thanks in part to a pair of power plays.
Middlebury recorded the only goal of the contest 4:30 into the second stanza when McLellan notched his second tally of the season on an assist from Danny Jacobs. Jacobs pushed a pass from behind the net into a crowd in front of the Tufts goal and McLellan was able to beat Nik Nugnes to the right side from close in for a 1-0 advantage.
The Panthers carried the lead into the final period and held off a late push by the Jumbos (7-8-3, 5-6-1). The hosts were awarded a power play with 4:35 left, but Middlebury's penalty-killing unit erased the opportunity. Tufts pulled Nugnes for an extra skater with 1:51 on the clock and recorded four shots on goal in that span. The best came with 17 seconds left when Klein came out to cut down the angle on a scoring bid by Sean Flanagan.
Klein's 41 saves marked the fifth time this season he has recorded at least 40 saves and it was his first shutout of the year. Nugnes made 29 saves for the Jumbos, as Tufts held a 41-30 advantage in shots. Each team was scoreless on the power play with the Panthers receiving three opportunities, while the Jumbos had four chances.