MALDEN - Senior Brian Brown scored twice as the Tufts University hockey team nearly upset the second-ranked Endicott College Gulls on Tuesday night, instead settling for a 2-2 tie in a non-conference game at Valley Forum. Endicott's Daniel Kucerovy scored with 1:32 remaining in regulation to earn the visitors a point.
|Brian Brown netted both of the Jumbo goals|
The Jumbos narrowly missed giving Endicott its first loss since their season-opener back on October 27. The Gulls (14-1-2), ranked #2 in this week's US College Hockey Online poll, had been unbeaten in their previous 15 games entering tonight's contest. Tufts (1-9-2), on the other hand, had been winless in its last six games. These two teams had faced each other just three days ago with Endicott taking an 8-1 decision over the Jumbos in the consolation game of the W.B. Mason Winter Classic in Plattsburgh, N.Y. on Saturday.
Brown, who scored Tufts' lone goal against Endicott on Saturday, got things going today by top-shelfing a goal off a feed from sophomore Tyler Scroggins to finish off a two-on-one rush at 15:03 of the opening period. The Jumbos kept the lead until the first intermission, with senior goalie Nik Nugnes making nine of his 25 stops in the first 20 minutes.
The Jumbos extended their lead to 2-0 just 42 seconds into the middle period. Endicott had been whistled for a penalty with 1:16 remaining in the first period and it carried over into the second. The Jumbos capitalized on the man-advantage with Brown's second of the game, assisted by sophomore Machlan Sawden and freshman Charley Borek.
Endicott closed the gap to 2-1 less than two minutes later as junior Ross Olsson netted his ninth of the season on a powerplay at 2:49 of the second period. The Jumbos would have three power-play chances as the period went on, but Endicott sophomore goalie Justin Ketola had eight more saves after making 12 in the first period to keep the score at 2-1. Tufts would finish 1 for 7 on its extra-man opportunities.
Shots were at a premium in the third period as the two teams combined for just 10 total, but Kucerovy capitalized on a late Jumbo penalty and scored his 16th goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2. An active overtime session saw each team take three shots, but neither could claim the victory.
Kucerovy with a goal and an assist joined Tufts' Brown as multiple-point scorers in the game. Ketola made 27 saves in the Endicott net to remain unbeaten (6-0-2) this season.
The Jumbos return to NESCAC action this weekend hosting Amherst College on Saturday night and Hamilton College on Sunday afternoon. Endicott plays next on Friday night in a Commonwealth Coast Conference game at Nichols.