Hockey | Struggles continue for Jumbos over winter break
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 02:01
After starting the season undefeated, the ice hockey team’s recent skid continued in a series of winter break contests.
The Jumbos, who entered the winter vacation with heavy injuries and a four-game losing streak, started its vacation slate with a non-conference win before dropping a pair of contests to NESCAC rivals No. 10 Amherst and Bowdoin. Last night Tufts came away with 2-0 victory against non-conference foe Wentworth Institute of Technology, bringing the team’s record on the season to 5-7-1.
On a two-day turn-around, following a loss the night before to Amherst, the Jumbos traveled to Clinton, N.Y. to face Hamilton on Jan. 12, but ultimately fell 3-1.
The Jumbos have not won a NESCAC contest since Nov. 17, when it defeated Wesleyan 4-2.
The Continentals edged Tufts 3-1 despite outshooting Tufts by just five. The Continentals took an early lead when Hamilton senior forward Anthony Ruberto notched an unassisted goal at the 17:21 mark.
Tufts freshman forward Stewart Bell equalized with a tally of his own in the 16th minute of the second period, and the two teams entered the final stanza in a deadlock.
The contest stayed tied up for the majority of the period, but with four minutes remaining Hamilton freshman defenseman Scott Vazquez found the back of the net, finishing a shot past Jumbos junior keeper Brian Phillips to put the Continentals back up 2-1.
In the final minutes, the Jumbos failed to re-tie the game and Hamilton junior forward Dominic Jancaterino polished off a goal in the final minute of the contest to push the Continentals’ margin to two.
The day before, the Jumbos dropped another tough conference contest to Amherst. Tufts stayed in the game until the end of the first period, but the nationally-ranked Lord Jeffs pulled away with four unanswered goals to top the Jumbos 6-2.
The game included a promising start for the Jumbos, who saw immediate contributions as they returned several starters from injury. However, their impact was not enough to overcome a skilled Amherst squad ranked third in the NESCAC standings.
Lord Jeffs junior forward Brian Safstrom kicked off scoring with a tally four minutes into the contest. Jumbos sophomore forward Tyler Voigt, returning to competition from injury, tied things up less than a minute later on a power-play feed from senior co-captain forward Dylan Plimmer.
Amherst senior co-captain Brandon Hew put the Lord Jeffs back up with a strike past Jumbos freshman keeper Derek Metcalfe, who started in place of Phillips, just a minute after Plimmer’s equalizer. Continuing the back-and-forth play, Tufts sophomore forward Andrew White, also returning to action after an MCL injury, finished a goal past Lord Jeffs’ senior net minder Nathan Corey to tie things up at 2-2.
Amherst senior co-captain Mike Moher found the net on a power play in the 16th minute to put the Lord Jeffs up by one entering the second period. Out of the intermission, it took Amherst just over a minute to extend the lead to 4-2 on a strike from senior forward Nick Brunette. Junior forward Andrew Kurlandski closed out the period with two more scores, and the Lord Jeffs’ 6-2 advantage held through the final period.
A week before the Jumbos’ disappointing NESCAC showing, Tufts managed to notch a non-conference victory on Jan. 5 over SUNY-Canton, capitalizing on a 23-shot margin to defeat the Kangaroos 3-2.
“I think that was a good game for us because we were on a bit of a losing streak, so that was good for team morale and to get some positive energy going into our next couple of games,” freshman forward Conor Helfrich said.
The game opened with a first period during which neither team managed to find the back of the net. Midway through the second stanza, Jumbos freshman forward James Randaccio received help from linemates sophomore defenseman Blake Edwards and senior co-captain defenseman Nick Metcalfe and sent a shot past ’Roos sophomore keeper Morgan Barr to put Tufts on the board first.