Middlebury and Tufts Finish In 1-1 Tie

Kamil Tkaczuk assisted on Middlebury's goal against Tufts.
Kamil Tkaczuk assisted on Middlebury's goal against Tufts.

Each team scored a goal in the second period, as the Middlebury men's hockey team and Tufts skated to a 1-1 NESCAC tie Saturday min Kenyon Arena. The Panthers (4-12-2, 2-8-2) return to the ice Friday at Wesleyan, while the Jumbos (4-11-3, 3-7-2) host Connecticut College with both games at 7:00 p.m.

The teams combined for 24 shots on goal in the opening period, but the contest remained scoreless. The Jumbos had a couple of good chances near the midway mark, as Brian Brown fired a shot off a drop pass from Tyler Scroggins that Panther goalie Stephen Klein knocked away. Scroggins then collected the rebound, forcing Klein to make another save.

Middlebury's best chance came with seven minutes on the clock when Trevor Turnbull used a backhanded pass to spring Mitchell Allen on a breakaway. Jumbo goalie Nik Nugnes used his left pad to keep the game at 0-0.

In the middle period, both teams got on the scoreboard with Tufts striking first. Ross Delabruere tipped a shot from Dan Kelly at the top of the crease that Klein stopped, but the Jumbo collected the rebound and slid the puck into the net at the 9:31 mark. The hosts countered late in the period, taking advantage of a five-minute power play. Brendan Dawson took a shot from the left point that Kamil Tkachuk deflected on goal, but Vincent Gisonti swooped from the right circle to bury the rebound with 2:45 on the clock. Middlebury nearly claimed the lead in the closing seconds, but Nugnes made an acrobatic save on Allen.

The best chances for either to claim the lead in the final period came minutes apart. With 12:30 on the clock, Klein made a sprawling save on a shot by Clay Berger in front after a Panther turnover. David Belluche had the best chance for the Panthers, ringing a shot off the left post on a wrist shot from the slot.

The teams played a scoreless five-minute overtime period, with Middlebury getting the best chance early on a shot by Eric Jeremiah that was denied by Nugnes. Klein finished with five saves in the extra session, including consecutive bids from close range by Brendan Ryan and Edward Hannon with just over a minute remaining, as the teams finished in a 1-1 tie.

Klein made 39 saves for the Panthers, while Nugnes recorded 32 stops. The Jumbos finished with a 40-33 edge in shots, while Middlebury went 1-4 on the power play and erased all three Tufts' chances.