SUPERIOR, Wisc. – The Tufts University Hockey team wrapped up the Superior Showdown with a 5-2 win over Bethel University on Sunday afternoon at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
|Senior Blake McIntyre tallied the eventual game-winner in the second period.|
The Jumbos improve to 4-7-0 on the season while the Royals fall to 3-8-2.
Both teams had strong opportunities to score in the early minutes but both goaltenders stood tall to keep the game scoreless. Junior Brendan Ryan, sophomore Angus Scott, and junior Charley Borek had the best chances as Ryan's shot forced a rebound for Scott. Borek fired a backhand from in the slot, but it was turned aside.
The Royals struck first at 12:02 of the first period as Jordan Stone sent a shot on sophomore Josh Sarlo, but the rebound found Zak Albers on the doorstep for the first tally.
The Jumbos responded quickly as Scott found senior Jordan Haney on the rush. Haney sent a cross ice pass for sophomore Brendan Skarda. He quickly fired a shot that beat Liam Murray and knotted the game at one, just 47 seconds later.
Senior Cory Gottfried gave the Jumbos a late lead with a powerplay goal at 18:40. Borek earned the assist on the goal which gave Tufts a 2-1 lead headed to the break. Tufts outshot the Royals, 19-12 in the opening frame.
Tufts had early power play opportunities but could not convert on the extra-man opportunity. The Royals tied the contest with a power play of their own. Curtis Hansen and Jory McWilliams made a strong passing play which opened up space in the slot for Nick Ketola who fired a one time shot by Sarlo on the short side at 8:29 of the second stanza.
The Jumbos reestablished the lead at 11:04 on the period. Cal LeClair and Justin Brandt worked from below the goal line. They attempted to send a pass out front, but it was deflected away to senior Blake McIntyre, who kept the puck in at the blueline. He fired a shot towards goal, and it beat Murray over his right shoulder.
Tufts had another late powerplay, but they could not capitalize. They had numerous chances, but strong defense and goaltending cleared away the chances. The teams headed to the second intermission with the Jumbos leading, 3-2, and out shooting the Royals, 32-22.
The Jumbos earned an early powerplay opportunity in final regulation period. However, the best opportunity came for the Royals as Josiah Rosen managed to get behind the Jumbo defense and had a shorthanded breakaway. Sarlo made the save to keep the score at 3-2. Kade Brannon nearly tied the game as the penalty expired. His shot rang off the post and then he sent the rebound wide.
Borek gave Tufts a two-goal lead with less than 10 minutes to play in the period. Nick Schultze and McIntyre found Borek on the outer hash marks. He turned and fired a shot through traffic that beat Murray.
Brandt added an empty net goal with less than two minutes to play to extend the lead to 5-2.
Sarlo improves to 3-4-0 on the season after making 26 saves on 28 shots on goal. Murray falls to 0-2-0 on the season. He made 38 saves on 42 shots on goal.
Tufts returns home on Friday, January 10th when they host Endicott College in their last nonconference matchup of the season. It is also their first of five straight games at the Valley Forum for the Jumbos. Bethel hosts the University of Wisconsin-Stout on the 10th. Both contests are slated for a 7 p.m. start.