In a wildly exciting weekend of hockey, the Tufts Jumbos fell in a two game series to the Connecticut College Camels, 4–3 and 6–4 respectively. Entering the weekend, the Jumbos had a record of 6–11–1 overall and a NESCAC record of 3–7–1. In order to secure a playoff spot, Tufts needed to win to gain points and climb the standings. The matchups between Connecticut College and Tufts last season were tightly contested; the two squads tied once and Tufts prevailed by one goal in a 3–2 win. The 2022 standings finished with the Jumbos in No. 8 and the Camels in No. 10.
The first game took place in Malden, Mass. and was the Jumbos’ game dedicated to Team IMPACT, an organization that pairs children who have life threatening illnesses with collegiate sports teams. Tufts’ Team IMPACT member Caeden participated in a ceremonial puck drop before the start of the game.
The Camels got on the board very early in the first period of the Friday game as they took a 1–0 lead three minutes into the game. It was the only goal of the first period, and the Jumbos couldn’t muster any offense to answer the Camels’ attack.
In the second period, Tufts was able to fight back. Junior forward Aidan Lovett and first-year forward Liam O’Hare pressed the Camels’ defenders deep in their territory and were able to force a turnover. Lovett collected the puck and scored a wraparound goal to tie the game at one. The score wasn’t tied for long however, as the Jumbos tacked on another goal quickly after. Senior forward Mason Kohn shot from a distance and the puck rebounded off of the Camels’ goalie. First-year forward Max Resnick was waiting to tap the puck in to give the Jumbos a 2–1 lead. Two minutes later, Connecticut College answered with a goal of their own to tie the game at two. The score stayed tied heading into the third period of play.
Six minutes into the third period, Connecticut College got a power play after a cross-checking penalty was called against Tufts. The Camels capitalized on the man advantage and netted a goal one minute into the power play. The Jumbos fought back once more however, and junior defender Sam Miller sent a pass across the ice to O’Hare who directed the puck into the back of the net with a powerful shot. Junior goalie Peyton Durand was able to make seven saves within the remaining minutes to send the game into overtime.
In the overtime period, the game was in a three vs. three format. Less than two minutes in, a rebounded shot was tapped in at the far post to give the Camels the win.
“The difference in games like these is just sticking within our systems and not letting our emotions get the best of us,” junior defender Cam Newton wrote in an electronic message to the Daily.
The second game on Saturday was played in Connecticut as the Jumbos looked to bounce back from the previous night’s loss.
Within the first five minutes of the first period, two first-years combined to give the Jumbos the lead. O’Hare passed the puck to first year forward John Mulvihill who slotted it home to take a 1–0 lead. The Camels roared back in the second period, scoring three goals to put the Jumbos in a 2-point deficit. Right at the end of the second period, Tufts was able to cut into the lead as Kohn fired a shot that deflected off of the boards and fell to first-year forward Brendan Fennell who put the puck past the Camels’ goalie to make it 3–2.
The Jumbos tried to build on the momentum in the third period, and gained a power play through a tripping penalty called 14 seconds in. First-year forward Cole Dubicki sent a pass to Miller who sent a wrist shot into the back of the net to tie the game at three. The Camels responded once more, gaining two goals off of two power plays in the third period, one on a tripping penalty and one on an interference call. Those two penalties significantly hurt the Jumbos’ hopes of getting back into the game.
“We need to stick within our systems and keep our emotions in check better,” Newton wrote about the penalties.
Sophomore forward Harrison Bazianos pulled one back for the Jumbos to make it 5–4 towards the end of the period. Right at the end of regulation, the Jumbos pulled first-year goalie Gus Bylin out of the game in order to get a man advantage, but this move only hurt them, as the Camels scored an open net goal to make the final 6–4.
“[We are] hoping to refocus going into the last two weekends of the year before playoffs,” Newton wrote.
The next two weekends of NESCAC play will determine the playoff seeding, as Tufts will face Amherst and Hamilton next weekend to attempt to improve their standing.