Hockey Shuts Out Bowdoin College 5-0 for Crucial NESCAC Victory

BRUNSWICK, Maine – In a game they could not lose in order to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Tufts University men's hockey team earned a 5-0 victory at Bowdoin College in a NESCAC game on Friday night.

Drew Hotte stopped 40 shots for a shutout this evening

Sophomore goalie Drew Hotte made 40 saves to record his second career shutout. Sophomore Hayden Smith scored a pair of goals, his first two of the season, and junior assistant captain Machlan Sawden added a goal and assist for the Jumbos (6-16-2, 3-12-2 NESCAC).

Bowdoin (6-15-2, 3-13-1) could have clinched the eighth and final spot in the NESCAC Tournament which starts next Saturday with a win tonight. Instead, with eight points Tufts jumped over the Polar Bears (seven points) into eighth place in the NESCAC standings.

The Jumbos play at Colby tomorrow afternoon while Bowdoin hosts Connecticut College. Tufts can secure the eighth seed with a victory or a Polar Bear loss. A Tufts loss and Bowdoin win will give the final spot to the Polar Bears.

Despite the Polar Bears controlling the shot advantage in the opening period, it was the Jumbos who struck first. At the halfway point in the frame, Nick Schultze took a low angle shot from the right side. Bowdoin's Alex Zafonte saved the bid and the puck deflected off the far boards and banked up to Jordan Haney. Haney fired a one-timer from the left side past Zafonte.

Tufts extended its lead in the second period at 8:04. Charley Borek carried straight down the slot and put a shot on net. Zafonte turned the puck away and Brendan Ryan put a rebound back into the crease only to find a Bowdoin defender. Smith converted on the Jumbos' third attempt.

With under three to play in the frame, Bowdoin's Cody Todesco intercepted a cross-ice pass and skated uncontested towards net. The senior wristed a shot into the chest of Hotte.

After trading shots in the opening minutes of the third, Tufts added a third goal following a faceoff at the right dot. Ross Delabruere won the faceoff and kicked the puck to Sawden. Sawden tapped the puck back to Michael Gordon who crossed to Trevor Spence at the left point. Spence fired a shot through the screen and into the net at 3:13.

Polar Bear Bradley Potter handled through a trio of Tufts defenders and wristed a shot off the crossbar midway through the period.

Smith iced the game with an empty-netter with 1:30 play. With one second remaining, Sawden scored from the right dot to the far post.

Zafonte made 33 stops in the Bowdoin net. The game featured 78 shots as Bowdoin took 40 and Tufts 38. The Jumbos went 0-for-2 on the power play. Bowdoin went 0-for-4 on the power play.

The Jumbos defeated the Polar Bears twice this season by a two-game total of 11-1. Tufts won 6-1 when the teams met in Malden on December 7.

Portions of recap courtesy of Bowdoin College