Middlebury and Tufts skated to a 2-2 NESCAC tie Saturday, as the Panthers finished the weekend collecting three points. Middlebury (8-8-2, 5-5-2) returns to the ice Friday, hosting first-place Wesleyan at 7:00 p.m.
The Jumbos (5-11-2, 2-8-2) took advantage of their first power play of the game to gain an early lead. Cal LeClair sent a pass out to the blue line, where Tom Tresca one-timed the puck through traffic past Middlebury goalie Adam Wisco at the 3:38 mark. The Panthers returned the favor on their first chance with the man advantage. Cole Joslin drove toward the net and sent a late pass to Owen Powers on the doorstep. Tufts goalie Josh Sarlo slid over to make the save, but the rebound went right to Mitchell Allen, who potted his third goal in the last four contests to tie the score with 1:48 remaining in the opening period.
After both teams came up empty on early power plays in the second stanza, Middlebury grabbed the lead on a great individual effort by Emack Bentley. Not long after the Panther man advantage had ended, Bret Pastor chipped the puck up to Bentley. He charged in on Sarlo from the right, drew the puck left across the goal mouth and scored at 5:12, putting the visitors up 2-1.
The Jumbos answered 56 seconds later after a face-off win went back to Jordan Haney, who found Clay Berger open in the face-off circle. Wisco saved Berger’s shot, but Machlan Sawden jammed in the rebound to tie the score at 2-2.
The third period would be the most action-packed, as both teams tried to take the victory. Wisco was sharp in one segment where Tufts won three-consecutive faceoffs and tested him with several shots. The Jumbos were able to kill an early Panther power play in the period and the game would go to overtime.
Middlebury had more of the possession in the extra frame, putting two shots on goal. Tufts had a dangerous opportunity when a Middlebury defenseman’s stick broke, however, the Jumbos weren’t able to capitalize and the game ended in a draw.
Wisco finished with 28 saves on 30 shots, while Sarlo stopped 22-24. Each team scored with the man advantage, with the Panthers going 1-4 and the Jumbos 1-6.