Men’s Ice Hockey | Jumbos split weekend games in Maine, pick up first NESCAC win
Published: Monday, December 9, 2013
Updated: Monday, December 9, 2013 09:12
The Tufts men’s ice hockey team split its two games in Maine this weekend, winning 5-2 at Colby on Saturday before losing 8-4 to Bowdoin on Sunday. The eight goals allowed against Bowdoin were a season high, as the team had not allowed more than six goals in a game all season until this point.
The loss to Bowdoin dropped Tufts to 2-7 this year. The Jumbos started the game well, earning an early 1-0 lead from an even-strength goal by sophomore Brian Ouellette in the first period. The Polar Bears and Jumbos then traded goals several times to even the score at 2-2 just under six minutes into the second period, but Tufts once again jumped out to the lead on an unassisted goal from freshman Conal Lynch just past the seven-minute mark.
But Bowdoin’s offense would prove too much to stave off. The Polar Bears scored five times in the second period and ended the game with an incredible 47 shots on goal. Freshman forward Mike Leary had the only multi-point game for the Jumbos, finishing with two assists. For Tufts, the unaccomplished objective of the game was to limit Bowdoin’s offense by controlling the pace and keeping Bowdoin on their own half of the ice.
“Bowdoin always has a lot of offensive talent,” junior co-captain Blake Edwards said. “Because of that, we never want to get into high scoring games the way we did on Saturday. Our game plan against them is always to limit their chances and slow down their offense, but unfortunately we were unable to do that this weekend.”
The previous day, the Jumbos defeated Colby on the road by a score of 5-2, earning the team’s first NESCAC win and second win this season.
After allowing Colby to tie the game 2-2 with 32.5 seconds left in the second period, Tufts scored three goals in a nine minute span during the third period to stretch its lead to 5-2. The biggest performance of the game came from junior Tyler Voigt, who netted two goals and added an assist for a three point game. Voigt, however, is still focused on the team’s collective play.
“I feel pretty good. I was glad I was able to help the team get its first NESCAC win this season,” he said. “Hopefully, I can continue to help the team win.”
Voigt also credited his linemates, Lynch and sophomore Stewart Bell, for putting him in a position to be successful.
“My linemates and I have just started playing together recently,” Voigt said. “We seem to make a lot of plays, and on top of that we all work hard every shift. We feed off of each other’s energy. We also like to keep things simple and grind in the corners.”
Voigt’s line combined for six points in the win over Colby.
This weekend was the team’s last weekend of competition until after an extended winter break. According to Voigt, the most important part of the season will be the weeks coming back from break.
“We hope to continue winning and we hope that we are playing our best hockey during February, so that we can continue that momentum into playoffs,” Voigt said. “Break will be nice, we will all be able to see friends and family, but we are also expected to work hard over break. We report back to campus on Dec. 30 and start practicing again as a team, as well as get a couple non-conference games under our belts before resuming NESCAC play.”
The team will resume competition on Jan. 4 and 5 at the Codfish Bowl at UMass Boston.
According to Edwards, the Jumbos need to continue playing hockey at the high level they have been playing all season with special emphasis on close games.
“We are not disappointed with our season so far, but we are far from satisfied,” he said. “We don’t feel like our record reflects the way we’ve been playing. We’ve had a few one-goal games that could have gone either way. However, in order for us to be where we want to at the end of the year, we need to find a way to win those games. That is what will [change] us from being an average team to being a good team.”