Hockey Falls to Skidmore In Invitational Championship, 4-2

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The Tufts University hockey team fell to Skidmore College in the championship game of the 14th annual Skidmore Thanksgiving Invitational on Sunday afternoon at the Saratoga City Rink, 4-2.

Junior Edward Hannon tallied goals in both tournament games.

The Jumbos fall to 1-6-0 on the season while the Thoroughbreds improve to 6-2-1.

An early opportunity for the Jumbos came midway through the first period after a long pass found junior Hayden Smith. His shot was turned away, but that allowed the Jumbos to sustain offensive zone time. On a pass across the slot, junior Charley Borek fired a one-time shot from the right faceoff dot that was saved by Skidmore goaltender Brandon Kasel.

Tufts tallied the first goal at 12:50 of the first period. After a defensive zone faceoff win by Skidmore and a dump-in to the Jumbo corner, the puck found its way to center ice for junior Edward Hannon. He drove in towards goal and beat Kasel which gave Tufts a 1-0 lead.

Late in the first period, a tripping penalty was assessed to the Jumbos. The lone shot for the Thoroughbreds on the extra-man opportunity came from Kyle DelMaestro, which sophomore goaltender Josh Sarlo turned away. Tufts killed off the penalty and even had an offensive zone faceoff with one second remaining. However, they did not get a strong chance from the late opportunity.

The teams headed to the first intermission with Tufts leading 1-0 and outshooting Skidmore, 10-7.

Skidmore jumped on the attack early in the second period as an odd-man rush in favor of the Thoroughbreds paved way for a shot by Avery Steele. Sarlo slid to his left to make the save. The hosts also drew a hooking penalty within the first three minutes of play in the period. Sarlo made three saves to help kill off the penalty.

Two very strong scoring chances came for Tufts senior Anthony Farinacci as he fired a one-time shot from the top of the slot which was saved. The rebound found its way to the point and then a pass back across for the senior was blocked away. That led to a rush by the Thoroughbreds and Matt Muzyka fired a shot from the right circle that beat Sarlo to tie the score at one exactly at the eight-minute mark of the second period.

Skidmore followed that up with strong passing on an odd-man opportunity less than one minute later. Nicholas Charron finished off the play with a goal, giving the hosts a 2-1 lead just before the halfway point of the second period.

Jumbo sophomore Brendan Skarda forced an offensive zone turnover after making a great read on an outlet pass. He found Smith on a two-on-one, but his shot sailed high.

Skidmore extended their lead after forcing a turnover in their defensive end. Matthew Rutiggliano managed to beat Sarlo on the ensuing drive down the ice at 15:34 of the middle stanza. The teams headed to the second intermission with the Thoroughbreds holding a 3-1 lead.

Tufts quickly cut the deficit to one as a powerplay opportunity continued into the third period. The Jumbos sustained pressure and seniors Ross Delabruere and Jordan Haney combined to find freshman Alex Lycett who opened up for a one-time shot from the top of the right circle, just 34 seconds into the third period. His shot beat Kasel on his left.

Skidmore quickly regained their two-goal lead with a powerplay goal of their own. David Poirier walked in from the left hash marks on the circle and fired a shot that went over the glove side of Sarlo at 7:19.

The Jumbos earned a late powerplay opportunity, but could not get much going offensively with the extra-players. Tufts outshot Skidmore in the final period, 16-7.

The teams were even in shots as both fired 34 for the game. Tufts took six penalties in the contest while Skidmore took five. The Jumbos were 1 for 5 with the extra player while the Throroughbreds were 1 for 6. Skidmore led in the faceoff department, winning 38 draws to 28 for Tufts.

Sarlo had a 30-save effort. Kasel improved to 5-2-1 after making 32 saves.

Hannon and Sarlo were named to the All-Tournament team for the Jumbos.

Tufts returns to action next weekend when they head to Colby College on Friday night for a 7 pm puck drop. They continue their Maine trip with a matchup on Saturday against Bowdoin. That contest is slated for a 3 pm start. The Thoroughbreds will head to the University of Southern Maine on Friday and then to New England College on Saturday. Those contests are scheduled to start at 7:30 pm and 4 pm, respectively.