Hockey | Thanksgiving break sees mixed results for Jumbos
Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 08:11
For the hockey team, the Rutland Invitational this weekend was filled with firsts. In their first road action of the year, Tufts was blown out and lost for the first time this season, falling 7−0 against Manhattanville. But the team also rebounded strongly, grabbing a 6−3 victory in Sunday’s consolation game against Brockport, improving to 3−1−1 on the year.
Tufts also defeated Curry College 6−0 last Tuesday, but all the results from the break do not affect the team’s conference standing. With a 1−0−1 NESCAC record, Tufts sits in a four−way tie for second place, locked with Bowdoin, Middlebury and Trinity.
“I would say non−conference games are a little harder to get up for, because they aren’t relevant to NESCAC standings,” junior goalkeeper Brian Phillips said. “But at the same time, both teams we played this weekend were tough challenges for us and obviously games we wanted to win.”
On Sunday, in perhaps the most impressive win of the season thus far, Tufts defeated Brockport by scoring three times in the final period to pull away for the win. Early on, though, the game went back and forth, with Tufts opening the scoring through senior co−captain forward Dylan Plimmer, who beat goalkeeper junior Joe Reagan for the lead.
But the Golden Eagles tied it in the 16th minute, capitalizing on a power play to slip the puck past Phillips. With the game tied at the first intermission, Tufts retook the lead early in the second period when freshman forward Keith Campbell found freshman defenseman Brian Oullette. Oullette, who assisted on Plimmer’s goal, played the role of set−up man once again, sending the puck to sophomore forward Derek Schartz, who used a slap−shot from inside the crease to notch his first goal of the season.
Brockport would not go quietly and took advantage of some slack Tufts defending late in the second period as freshman forward Chase Nieuwendyk and senior defenseman Mike Hayward scored back−to−back to send Brockport up 3−2. But the Jumbos immediately fought back, as junior forward Kyle Gallegos surged ahead of the Golden Eagles’ defense and beat Reagan one−on−one for the equalizer.
“There was a lot of change in momentum throughout the first two periods,” Phillips said. “Neither team was really taking a hold of the game, so it was kind of ... up for grabs going into the third period.”
At that point, Tufts seized the game, using strong contributions from freshman players to take control of the contest. First, freshman forward Dom Granato grabbed the go−ahead goal just two minutes into the final stanza. Then, Bell doubled the Jumbos advantage five minutes later, working with Plimmer and Gallegos to extend the lead to 5−3. With just over a minute remaining, freshman forward James Randaccio stuck the nail in the coffin, striking home a goal with assistance from Granato and sophomore defender Shawn Power.
“I think the freshmen have come in and made an immediate impact on the team,” sophomore defenseman Sal Revetta said.
“We pretty much dominated the final period,” Phillips added. “I would say that the shots they had were pretty routine. We played well defensively and had control, so we didn’t really give them many quality scoring chances in that period.”
The Jumbos played in Sunday’s consolation game after being completely overpowered in Saturday’s 7−0 loss. It took Manhattanville just 21 seconds to notch the first goal of the contest when sophomore defenseman Anton Racklin sent a shot along the boards. After Phillips initially turned away Racklins’ attempt, senior forward Jason Bowles came through the zone to follow through on the rebound, knocking it past Phillips for a 1−0 lead.
Racklin tallied a score of his own midway through the second period, but Manhattanville entered the final period leading Tufts by just two. But in the final period, the game shifted dramatically. The Valiants notched five goals in the final 20 minutes, even as the Jumbos substituted junior keeper Greg Jenkins in for Phillips.