MALDEN – Junior Sterling Bray scored 21 seconds into overtime to lift the visiting Hamilton College men's hockey team to a dramatic 4-3 victory at Tufts in a NESCAC game Saturday afternoon at Valley Forum.
|Justin Brandt had a multi-point game for the Jumbos|
The Jumbos won the face-off to open overtime, but a dump-in to the Hamilton zone was intercepted by Continental freshman Joey Moore. He sent the puck into the left corner of Tufts' end where junior Nick Ursitti charged in to retrieve it. Ursitti put a perfect pass to the right-front of the goal where Bray chipped it in for the game-winner.
Hamilton improves to 11-9-2 and 9-5-2 in the league. They were led this afternoon by two goals from senior tri-captain Jon Stickel. Tufts, which received a goal and an assist from freshman Justin Brandt, dropped to 5-15-2 overall and 2-12-2 in NESCAC.
The teams started the scoring with unassisted tallies just 18 seconds apart in the first period. Stickel scored for Hamilton at 6:36 and Clay Berger, who was honored before the game on Senior Day at the Forum, evened it for the Jumbos at 6:54.
The opening stanza would go on to be one of the wildest of the season for the Jumbos. Five goals were scored, which was more than the total goals scored in any Jumbo game since January 12.
Tufts came out of the first frame with a 3-2 lead. Brandt tallied at 9:21 of the period before Stickel netted his second of the game for Hamilton on a power-play at 12:20 evening the score at 2-2. Jumbo junior Anthony Farinacci netted his second goal in as many games and eighth of the year also with a man-advantage at 17:17 to give Tufts its one-goal lead after 20 minutes.
Things settled down in the second period, though Hamilton was able to tie the score at 3-3 almost eight minutes in as senior Ian Nichols got his third goal of the season.
Jumbo freshman goalie Josh Sarlo was superb with 13 saves in the third period to help Tufts get to overtime. His best stop came on Continental power play when he slid right across the crease to stop Nick Rutigliano's shot at the doorstep with 13:15 on the clock. He also made a save on Moore during a Hamilton two-on-one chance.
Both teams killed penalties late in the third and the game went to overtime, where Hamilton quickly won it.
The Continentals finished with a 33-23 advantage in shots as Sarlo made 29 saves for Tufts and junior Anthony Tirabassi stopped 20 in a wining effort for the Continentals. Both teams were one for four on the power play.
One weekend remains in the NESCAC regular season. Tufts travels to play at Bowdoin next Friday night when Hamilton will host Middlebury.