WATERVILLE, Maine -- Nick O'Connor scored with 1:43 left in the game to help the 14th-ranked Colby College men's hockey team clinch the second seed in the upcoming league playoffs and take a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Tufts University on Saturday at Alfond Rink.
Colby finished the regular season unbeaten in conference games at 8-0-1. The Mules moved to 13-6-4 overall and 11-4-3 in the league, while Tufts is 11-10-3 and 9-8-1 in the NESCAC. Colby's eight seniors were honored before the contest.
Colby's game-winning score was one of prettiest goals of the year. Jack Burton had a shot blocked and quickly gathered the puck again. Burton pushed a quick pass to Klitirinos on the left side and he immediately centered the puck to O'Connor in front for another one-timer score.
Entering the second period on the power play, Colby struck first when Rudolf scored off assists from Geoff Sullivan and Albert. Rudolf tipped a shot that Tufts goalie Nik Nugnes stopped, but Rudolf was right there to smack in the rebound.
The Jumbos went up 2-1 at 5:15 of the second period when Jordan Haney pushed a pass over to Machlan Sawden on the right side near the face-off dot for the shot.
Colby 3, Tufts 2
Scoring by Period - TUF 0-2-0=2; CLB 0-1-2=3
Scoring - None
Penalties - Mark Leprine, CLB (Interference) 13:59; Oliver Takacsi-Nagy, TUF (Cross-Checking) 18:45; Oliver Takacsi-Nagy, TUF (Roughing) 18:45; Kai Frankville, CLB (Roughing) 18:45
Scoring - 1, CLB Michael Rudolf/8 (Geoff Sullivan/11, Devin Albert/11) 0:27 (PP)
2, TUF Anthony Farinacci/7 (Matt Pugh/3) 1:59 (PP)
3, TUF Machlan Sawden/5 (Jordan Haney/7) 5:15
Penalties - Jack Burton, CLB (Hooking) 1:15; Mike Leary, TUF (Boarding) 6:47; Clay Berger, TUF (Interference) 19:31
Scoring - 4, CLB Michael Rudolf/9 (Phil Klitirinos/15, Devin Albert/12) 13:55 (PP)
5, CLB Nick O'Connor/8 (Phil Klitirinos/16, Jack Burton/15) 18:17 (GW)
Penalties - Mario Benicky, CLB (Slashing) 7:35; Sean Kavanagh, TUF (Boarding) 12:40
Tufts Goaltending - Nik Nugnes (59:15, 37 shots, 34 saves, 3 GA); Empty Net (0:45, 0 GA)
Colby Goaltending - Sean Lawrence (60:00, 33 shots, 31 saves, 2 GA)
Win - Sean Lawrence, CLB (6-3-1). Loss - Nik Nugnes, TUF (6-6-1).
Shots On Goal - TUF 15-13-5=33; CLB 5-14-18=37
Power Plays - TUF 1 of 3; CLB 1 of 3
Penalties - TUF 4 (8 min); CLB 4 (8 min)
New Records - Colby 13-6-4, Tufts 11-10-3
Quarterfinals – Saturday, February 25 (at Higher Seeds)
No. 8 Bowdoin at No. 1 Hamilton – 1 p.m.
No. 7 Wesleyan at No. 2 Colby – 3 p.m.
No. 6 Tufts at No. 3 Trinity – 1 p.m.
No. 5 Amherst at No. 4 Williams – TBD
Semifinals – Saturday, March 4 (at Highest Remaining Seed)
1:00 pm | 4:00 pm
Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
Remaining Quarterfinal Winners
Championship – Sunday, March 5