MALDEN, Mass. — The Colby College men’s hockey team clinched a New England Small College Athletic Conference playoff spot Friday night, but the Mules moved up another spot after a 4-1 victory over Tufts University in the regular season finale Saturday.
Tufts took its 1-0 lead on a short-handed goal by Brian Ouellette. The Jumbos scored just eight seconds into their man-down situation following a major penalty and game misconduct. Ouellette’s wrist shot from the mid-slot beat Colby’s Emerson Verrier at 4:52 of the first.
The Jumbos killed the five-minute major and led 1-0 after 20 minutes. Nugnes stopped all 13 shots he faced in the first for Tufts.
Colby turned things around on the power play in the third. At 5:30, first-year Nick O’Connor tipped a shot past Nugnes at the far post. Burton and Reilly had assists on the play.
The Jumbos were able to kill off the remaining 4:54 of the major, but couldn’t stay out of the penalty box as two more minors were whistled on the hosts later in the third. Tufts killed both penalties, including a 1:18 stretch when they were down five on three.
With the clock winding down under two minutes, the Jumbos pulled Nugnes. However, Colby scored just 11 seconds later with sophomore Michael Rudolf’s long shot finding its way into the net. Verrier had his first collegiate assist and Alex Walsh had his fifth of the season.
Down 3-1, the Jumbos tried pulling Nugnes again. However, Colby added to the lead as Walsh scored with 39 seconds remaining to seal the victory. Devin Albert had his ninth assist and Cam MacDonald his 14th.
Verrier earned the win with 32 saves, while Nugnes stopped 39 shots. The Mules finished the game with a 43-33 advantage in shots.
Colby 4, Tufts 1
Scoring by Period – CLB 0-0-4=4; TUF 1-0-0=1
Scoring – 1, TUF Brian Ouellette/4 (Nick Flanagan/9) 4:52 (SH)
Penalties – Clay Berger, TUF (5-Elbowing) 4:44; Clay Berger, TUF (10-Game Misconduct) 4:44
Scoring – None
Penalties – Jonathan Sdao, CLB (Hooking) 6:11
Scoring – 2, CLB Nick O’Connor/5 (Jack Burton/10, Colin Reilly/4) 5:30 (PP)
3, CLB Jack Burton/6 (Colin Reilly/5, Kevin Doherty/3) 7:02 (PP) (GW)
4, CLB Michael Rudolf/5 (Emerson Verrier/1, Alex Walsh/5) 18:39 (EN)
5, CLB Alex Walsh/3 (Devin Albert/9, Cam MacDonald/14) 19:22 (EN)
Penalties – Stewart Bell, TUF (Interference) 3:52; David Lackner, TUF (5-Cross-Checking) 6:56; Sean Kavanagh, TUF (Slashing) 14:46; Ryan Wolter, TUF (Hooking) 15:28
Colby Goaltending – Emerson Verrier (60:00, 33 shots, 32 saves, 1 GA)
Tufts Goaltending – Nik Nugnes (59:28, 41 shots, 39 saves, 2 GA); Empty Net (0:32, 2 GA)
Win – Emerson Verrier, CLB (9-10-5). Loss – Nik Nugnes, TUF (3-4-2).
Shots On Goal – CLB 13-11-19=43; TUF 9-16-8=33
Power Plays – CLB 2 of 6; TUF 0 of 1
Penalties – CLB 1 (2 min); TUF 6 (26 min)
New Records – Colby 9-10-5, Tufts 9-9-6
Referees: Tom Cronin, Steve Benoit Linesmen: Kevin Cooke, Paul Czar