Middlebury carried a 2-0 lead into the third period on Friday, but Tufts netted a pair of goals in less than a minute apart, as the teams finished in a 2-2 overtime tie. The Panthers (7-8-2, 5-4-2) continue conference play Saturday, hosting Connecticut College at 4:00 p.m., while the Jumbos (6-10-1, 4-6-1) are at Williams for a 3:00 p.m. faceoff.
Middlebury had a strong opening 20 minutes, finishing with frame with a 15-3 edge in shots. The hosts collected the only score in the first period, taking advantage of a faceoff in the offensive zone. Tyler Capello won the draw back to Bret Pastor at the point, who fired a shot on goal that Jumbo goalie Drew Hotte knocked down. After winning the draw, Capello continued to the net and cleaned up the rebound for his third tally of the season with an even six minutes showing on the clock.
In the second frame, the best sequence came with just under five minutes expired, as Tufts’ Ross Delabruere had a good scoring chance taken away by a nice defensive play by Middlebury’s Conor Breen, while seconds later Hotte stopped Mitchell Allen on a rising shot from the left circle. The hosts doubled their lead late in the stanza, with Billy Dobensky chipping the puck out of the Panther zone to Matt Danner. Danner fed Allen on an odd-man rush, who deked Hotte and slid the puck into the net with 1:23 on the clock.
In the final period, Tufts picked up its first goal of the game one second after a power play had expired. Delabruere got the puck back to the left point and Cooper Stahl’s shot eluded traffic into the Panther net with 10:04 on the clock. Cal LeClair tied the game 52 seconds later when the puck came out from behind the net and the Jumbo forward picked up his fourth goal of the season from the slot.
Capello had three whacks from the top of the blue paint in the final minute, but Hotte answered each attempt to send the game into overtime.
Middlebury held a 4-1 edge in shots in the extra five minutes, including a quality opportunity by Allen followed up by a rebound bid from Danner, with Hotte again holding his ground with the contest ending in a tie.
Middlebury goalie Jake Horoho finished with 16 saves, while Hotte stopped 40 Panther attempts, as the hosts held a 42-18 advantage in shots. Middlebury came up empty on three power plays, while killing off all four Jumbo advantages.