MALDEN – Colby College junior goalie Andrew Tucci made 25 saves to earn his third straight shutout with a 2-0 Mules victory at Tufts University in a NESCAC men's hockey game Saturday afternoon at Valley Forum.
|Trevor Spence had three shot blocks for Tufts|
The Mules, who won just once in their first five games, have now won three in a row by shutout. The streak started with a 2-0 victory at home against Saint Anselm last Tuesday, continued in their 8-0 victory at Connecticut College last night and extended into tonight. Defending conference champion Colby is now 4-2-2 overall and 2-2-1 in NESCAC.
The Jumbos, who were blanked after scoring six times in a win over Bowdoin last night, dropped to 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the conference.
Colby started early as senior leading scorer Nick O'Connor took a feed from sophomore Justin Grillo in front of the goal and had most of the right side of the net to score into which he did at 6:09 of the frame. That was the only action in a first period that saw both squads put just five shots on goal and no penalties.
The Mules killed a Tufts power-play to start the second period. However, right after Colby returned to even strength Tufts junior Ross Delabruere put two shots on Tucci from close range that the goalie kept out of the net.
Colby's Spencer Hewson hit the post as the period continued, while Tufts had a flurry of four shots that Mucci saved with around eight minutes remaining in the stanza. The Jumbos then killed two Colby power-plays in the latter part of the period to keep it a 1-0 contest heading into the third.
Tucci had three saves in the first four minutes of the third period before Colby scored to increase their advantage to 2-0. Sophomore defenseman Sean Holly took a pass wide-open in the slot and picked the top right corner of the net with a blistering wrister at 4:17 of the third.
The Mules had to kill two third-period Tufts power-plays, in which Tucci had four saves combined.
Tufts pulled goalie Drew Hotte with 1:39 remaining in regulation, but to no avail.
The Jumbos finished with a 25-19 edge in shots, led by six from Delabruere. Freshman defenseman Trevor Spence blocked three shots for Tufts and classmate Nick Schultze won five face-offs. Hotted recorded 19 saves.
Colby had a big 32-13 edge in face-off victories led by a nine out of 10 performance by Hewson. O'Connor finished with a goal and an assist for Colby. Holly blocked four shots in addition to his goal.
Both teams were playing their last games of the semester. Tufts returns to action at UMass-Boston's Codfish Bowl on January 4-5. Colby plays at Saint Anselm on December 31.