The Tufts ice hockey team played a solid stint of games over break. They played five games, three out of conference and two in conference, and came out with a record of 2–3. Entering the winter break period, the team had a record of 3–5–1 overall and a 2–3–1 NESCAC record.
The first game the Jumbos played was a part of the Codfish Bowl Tournament, which consisted of four teams competing in a two game set to determine a winner. The Tufts Jumbos faced the Albertus Magnus Falcons in their opening game.
The Falcons scored three goals in the first period to put the Jumbos down, but Tufts stayed resilient and was able to mount a comeback. Senior forward Mason Kohn scored twice in the second period to cut the Falcons’ lead to one goal. On the first goal, first-year defender Philippe Lamarre sent a pass to first-year forward Max Resnick, who put a shot on goal. The puck rebounded, and Kohn was able to tap it in. On the second goal, junior defender Jack Hughes sent a pass to Kohn at the blue line. Kohn got a shot past the Falcons’ goalie to make it 3–2.
In the third period, the Jumbos added one more goal on the power play. Sophomore forward Tyler Sedlak sent a pass to junior defender Sam Miller who slotted it home to tie the game. The score stayed knotted at three goals apiece until the end of regulation, and the teams went into a three on three overtime period. Unfortunately for the Jumbos, the Falcons were able to score with just 46 seconds remaining on the clock to win 4–3.
“[We] definitely could just work on our composure. Not getting down on ourselves when things don’t go our way during games, no matter what the circumstances are,” sophomore forward Brennan Horn wrote in a message to the Daily.
This loss meant that the Jumbos played in a consolation matchup against Fitchburg State the following day. They came out very strong and shut out the Fitchburg Falcons 6–0. Junior goalkeeper Peyton Durand recorded his first career shutout with 48 saves on the day. Two goals were scored by first-year forward Brendan Fennell, two were scored by sophomore forward Harrison Bazianos, one was scored by junior defenseman Cam Newton and one was scored by fellow junior defender Andrew Gunlock.
The Jumbos got a little bit of a break over the holiday period, as their next game wasn’t until Jan. 10. They once again faced Fitchburg State in a non-conference contest. This game proved to be closer, as Tufts only won 5–3, rather than their previous, more dominant performance.
Tufts’ Horn opened up the scoring in the first period, but Fitchburg State was able to tie it a few minutes later. Fennell scored to take the lead, and then Kohn tacked on another goal on a three-on-two breakaway. The Falcons responded once more to make the score 3–2 until Miller added another to keep the game out of reach. Fitchburg State made it close once more, but an empty net goal at the end of the game set the final score at 5–3. This win put the Jumbos at a record of 5–2–1 in their last eight matchups.
This set a good tone for the team to enter conference play. They will play the rest of their games this season against NESCAC opponents. Their first game on Jan. 13 was against the Amherst Mammoths. The Mammoths sat atop the conference standings with a record of 6–1–0. The Jumbos had lost six out of their last seven games facing Amherst.
The game started out slow with no goals in the first period. Quickly into the second however, Amherst scored a tap-in goal on a pass from behind the net to take the lead 1–0. Tufts didn’t waste time striking back as Bazianos chased a loose puck down the ice and then sent a cross to Miller, who finished it off to tie the game at one. A few minutes later, the Jumbos were on the power play as a result of an Amherst penalty, and a good passing sequence resulted in a goal for Kohn to take the lead.
In the third period, Amherst had a power play of their own and capitalized, tying the game at two. Just 20 seconds afterwards, Tufts was called for another penalty and Amherst once again went on the power play. They didn’t waste their chance and scored the eventual winning goal with seven minutes remaining. The score ended 3–2 in favor of the Mammoths.
“On the penalty kill we’ve gotta be willing to buy into the system and take away passing and shot lanes,” Horn wrote.
The next day, the Tufts Jumbos faced the Hamilton Continentals who sat in second place in the conference, making it a tough series for the Jumbos. Hamilton’s conference record was 5–3–0 entering the game. Tufts had lost its last seven matchups to Hamilton.
The Continentals scored three times in the first period to put the Jumbos in an early hole that they never climbed out of. They came close in the second period with two goals, one from Miller and one from Sedlak, to make it 3–2, but Hamilton pulled away right at the end of the second period with a goal of their own to make it 4–2. They would add one more in the third to make the final score 5–2.
Tufts’ overall record now sits at 5–8–1; it is No. 7 in the conference with a record of 2–5–1.
“[We want to] obviously get as many points as possible in the second half here. Climb the standings and make a good push down the home stretch,” Horn wrote.
Tufts will face Trinity and Wesleyan at home on Jan. 13 and 14 respectively to continue their chase for a playoff spot.