Men's hockey rallies late at Tufts for 6th tie
Hamilton College's Marko Brelih '16 scored with 27.3 seconds left in the third period and the Continentals played to a 3-3 NESCAC tie with Tufts University at Tufts' Malden Forum on Friday night.
Hamilton (7-8-6, 5-6-4 NESCAC) clinched a spot in the 2015 NESCAC Championship quarterfinals thanks to the tie and Colby College's overtime loss at Wesleyan University. Just one men's Division III team has played more tie games than the Continentals this season.
Brelih and Tyler Bruneteau '18 scored their fifth goals this season for Hamilton and Nick Vassos '15 notched his first. T.J. Daigler '18 was credited with his first collegiate assist and Pat Curtis '15 picked up his team-high 15th. Tim Nowacki '18 made a season-best 38 saves, including 17 in the second period and three in overtime.
Tyler Voigt '15, Sean Kavanagh '17 and Scott Majkowski '18 scored the goals for the Jumbos, who are winless in their last four games (0-3-1) against the Continentals. Hamilton defeated Tufts 6-3 at home back on Jan. 16. Conal Lynch '17 picked up two assists and Mason Pulde '17 turned aside 48 shots.
The Jumbos (7-12-2, 4-9-2) got on the board early, as Kavanagh launched a slap shot past Nowacki's left shoulder for a 1-0 lead just 38 seconds into the first period. Stewart Bell '16 and Lynch were credited with the assists. Vassos tied the score at 9:36 of the first in a scrum in front of the net.
Neither team was able to do much on the power play in the first period. The Continentals went on a power play when Brian Brown '18 was sent to the box for hooking, but just a minute later the Continentals' Kenny Matheson '16 found himself in the box for boarding. The Jumbos had another power play later in the first period but Hamilton killed the penalty.
The second period started much like the first but this time it only took the Jumbos 16 seconds to score. Brown fed a pass to Majkowski from behind the net that Majkowski was able to fire past the goalie for a 2-1 advantage. Brown and Matt Pugh '17 were credited with assists. The hosts made it 3-1 at 5:09 of the second when Voigt scored his fifth of the season off a slap shot from the left side after a pass from Lynch.
After a skirmish in front of the net right after the goal, both a Tufts and a Hamilton player were sent to the box but neither team was able to do much during the four-on-four. The Continentals cut their deficit to 3-2 as Bruneteau snuck the puck past the goalie with 8:31 left in the second. Brad Smelstor '17 and Truman Landowski '17 assisted.
The Continentals had a chance to tie the game with 4:58 left in the second when the Jumbos' Shawn Power '15 was sent to the box for hooking. The Tufts defense denied any scoring opportunity and was highlighted by a diving save by Pulde.
The third period was unlike the first two in that it didn't showcase any goals until the absolute end. Despite two penalties -- one for each team -- neither team was able to score.
Nowacki left the net and skated to the Hamilton bench with 1:32 remaining in the third period with the puck in the Jumbos' zone. Pulde was strong in net until Brelih unleashed a shot that sailed past his right shoulder into the top corner of the net. Curtis had an assist on the goal. Pulde made four stops in overtime.
The Continentals held a 51-41 shot advantage and both teams were scoreless on three power-play opportunities.
Hamilton travels to Connecticut College for another NESCAC game on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 3 p.m.