MEDFORD – Senior assistant captain James Winkler scored the go-ahead goal in the middle of the third period as visiting Endicott College earned a 4-2 victory over Tufts University in non-league men's hockey action Friday night at Valley Forum.
|Senior Jordan Haney's second-period goal had given Tufts a 2-1 lead.|
The game was tied 2-2 when Endicott's Mitch Shaheen won a defensive zone face-off. Winkler got the puck in his own end and maneuvered through the Jumbo defense. Deep in the right face-off circle he made a hard cut towards the net and snuck a back-hander in at 10:04 of the third for a 3-2 lead.
Endicott added an empty-net goal by Luke Rodgers in the last second of regulation for the 4-2 final. The Gulls (9-5) have now won two in a row after losing two straight. Tufts, playing for the first time since December 29, dropped to 4-8.
The Jumbos had started the scoring four minutes into the game. After a face-off win in the Endicott zone by sophomore Nick Schultze, senior defenseman Cory Gottfried one-timed a pass from junior Michael Gordon from the left point giving the hosts a 1-0 advantage.
Endicott evened the score when freshman Campbell Balk stole the puck from a Jumbo defender deep in the Tufts end and netted his second of the season at 11:28 of the opening period.
Two minutes later Tufts junior Edward Hannon hit the post, and the game would eventually go to the first intermission tied at 1-1.
The Jumbos gained a 2-1 advantage just 1:16 into the second period. Senior defenseman Jordan Haney took the puck in his own end and drove down the middle of the ice. After crossing into the Endicott zone, he dished the puck over to sophomore Brendan Skarda on the right side. Skarda sent it back to Haney in front of the goal for his second of the season.
The Gulls didn't wait long to tie it, with freshman Zach Mazur scoring on a break-in 2:43 into the frame. With Tufts in a change, Gulls freshman Thomas Albert zipped a pass from his own right face-off circle all the way to Mazur at the Jumbo blue line. He skated in and scored his seventh goal of the season.
Endicott sophomore goalie Conor O'Brien kept the game tied in the middle of the second period when Jumbos Charley Borek and Ross Delabruere broke in two on one. O'Brien slid left across his crease to make a pad save on Delabruere. Skarda then hit the post late in the second period which would end in the 2-2 tie.
After Winkler's goal in the middle of the third, Tufts would pull junior goalie Drew Hotte with 1:26 remaining in regulation. The Jumbos had a shot by sophomore Cal LeClair go wide before Rodgers added the final tally into an empty net.
O'Brien made 24 saves for the Gulls, including 11 in the second period when Tufts out-shot Endicott 12-7. Hotte finished with 24 in Tufts' net, including 11 in the third. The visitors earned a slim 28-26 advantage in shots.
Only two penalties were whistled in the game, both against Tufts. The Jumbos held the Gulls to just one shot on their power play attempts.
In addition to his assist, Skarda blocked three shots for the Jumbos.
Tufts is off until next Friday when they host Hamilton, part of a five-game home-stand they started tonight. Endicott doesn't play again until a week from tomorrow at Salve Regina.