MALDEN - Junior Brian Brown scored the game-winning goal during a five-on-three power play in the third period as the Tufts University Hockey team defeated Colby College 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at Valley Forum.
|Nik Nugnes backboned the win with 29 saves|
Brown and freshman Tyler Scroggins both finished with a goal and an assist as the Jumbos gave the Mules their first NESCAC loss of the season. Tufts improved to 6-2-1 overall and 4-1-1 in NESCAC. Colby, whose lone goal was scored by sophomore Nick O'Connor, dropped to 5-2-1 and 4-1-1 in the conference.
Tufts junior goalie Nik Nugnes made two saves on Colby break-aways in the third period to help preserve the Jumbo lead. He finished with 29 saves.
Nugnes' first quality save came with 13:40 on the first-period clock when Colby's Devin Albert got the puck alone in front of the goal. He held it to wait for an opening, but Nugnes stood firm and made the save. Tufts freshman Anthony Farinacci hit the post with 8:15 remaining in the first and the game went to the first intermission scoreless.
After killing a Tufts power play early in the second stanza, Colby would take a 1-0 lead less than a minute after the man-advantage expired. Albert put a perfect tape-to-tape pass from behind the net on the stick of O'Connor in front and he converted his fifth goal of the season at 6:09.
The Jumbos would score twice on power plays as Colby spent 20 minutes in the box on seven infractions overall. The first for Tufts came when Scroggins slid a shot from the right point through traffic that went five-hole on unsuspecting freshman goalie Andrew Tucci tying the score 1-1 at 13:37 of the second.
Into the third period, Colby was whistled for a pair of penalties at 2:56 including a five-minute major. Tufts capitalized as Scroggins fed Brown in the left face-off cirlce and his blast put Tufts up 2-1 at 3:43 of the third. The Mules were able to kill the rest of the penalty.
After Brown hit the post nearly expanding Tufts' lead, Nugnes made his first break-away save as Colby's O'Connor couldn't beat him with 12:40 on the clock. After another five-minute major called on Colby, Mules senior EJ Rauseo created another break-away and this time Nugnes sprawled and made the save with his right pad.
The Jumbos would get an insurance goal from their fourth line as junior Oliver Takacsi-Nagy scored with 1:42 remaining in regulation. Colby pulled Tucci with 1:15 left, but to no avail.
Tufts' Scroggins, in addition to his multi-point game, won 13 of 21 face-off attempts. Freshman defenseman Cooper Stahl was on the ice for all three Jumbo goals.
Tucci finished with 20 saves in the Colby net. Senior defenseman Geoff Sullivan blocked four shots while O'Connor recorded 12 face-off wins and Rauseo finished with 11.
The Jumbos were two for seven on power plays. Colby, 0 for 3 on man-advantages, out-shot Tufts 30-23.
Tufts is off for nearly a month before returning to action at the Endicott Holiday Invitational against Plymouth State on January 7. The Mules don't play again until January 6 at Hamilton College in a NESCAC game.