Men's hockey settles for tie, will defend title starting next Saturday

WATERVILLE, Maine -- Colby College, the defending New England Small College Athletic Conference champions, will head back to where it all started last year after the Mules closed out the regular season with a 3-3 overtime tie with Tufts University at Alfond Rink.
 
The Mules will be the sixth seed for the second year in a row and will again play at third-seeded Amherst College in a NESCAC quarterfinal game next Saturday. Colby beat the Mammoths on the way to last year's title.
 
By the numbers
* With the Mules celebrating Senior Day, goaltender Mack Burton made 39 saves in his final game at Alfond Rink. 
 
* Tufts goalie Drew Hotte stopped 16 of his 35 saves in the second period.
 
* While there were six goals and 80 shots, neither team managed a power play goal.
 
Game highlights
* Colby (10-9-5 overall,  7-7-4 NESCAC) took a 1-0 lead after one period when senior co-captain Thomas Stahlhuth (pictured) scored his seventh of the season at 14:49. Velan Nandhakumaran's shot from the left point was saved by Hotte, but Stahlhuth lowered his head and battled to knock in the rebound.
 
* The Mules made it 2-0 on a transition goal by J.P. Schuhlen from Kienan Scott. The play started in Colby's end as Scott, while being nudged by a Tufts player,  pushed a pass up to Schuhlen. The junior forward did not get all the puck on his shot and the bounce of the puck got past Hotte as he dove back to try and keep it from going over the line.
 
* Colby seemed to be in control when Mike Morrissey scored his eighth goal of the season with just two minutes left in the second period. Morrissey brought the puck out of Colby's zone and hit Brendan Murphy with a pass at the Tufts blue line. Murphy immediately got the puck over to Schuhlen at the right boards. Schuhlen waited for Morrissey to come streaking over the blue line and hit him with a nice pass for the score.
 
* Tufts, which clinched a playoff spot when Bowdoin College lost to Connecticut College, refused to give up and scored two goals in the final 1:15 of the second period.
 
* Tyler Scroggins, crossing the Colby blue line, pushed a pass to Cal LeClair on the left. LeClair beat a defenseman and came in hard on Burton, who was knocked over but still managed to poke the puck away. Clay Berger came in for the rebound and put Tufts on the board.
 
* After Hotte made a nice save on Colby's Quinn Doyle, the puck bounced to Hayden Smith, who had a long pas to Brendan Ryan. Smith hustled down the ice after the pass and was rewarded when Ryan had a centering pass as he was about to go around the goal with just 20 seconds left in the period.
 
*  The Jumbos' LeClair tied the game at 3-3 at 3:03 of the third period. Trevor Spence had a shot from the point that was deflected directly to Anthony Farinacci, who hit a quick shot on Burton. The long rebound came straight out and LeClair was coming in up the middle to knock the puck in the goal.
 
Box
 

2019 NESCAC Men’s Ice Hockey Championship

Quarterfinals – Saturday, February 23 (at Higher Seeds)

No. 8 Tufts at No. 1 Trinity – TBD

No. 7 Middlebury at No. 2 Wesleyan – TBD

No. 6 Colby at No. 3 Amherst – TBD

No. 5 Williams at No. 4 Hamilton – TBD

 Semifinals – Saturday, March 2 (at Highest Remaining Seed)
1:00 pm | 4:00 pm

Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed

Remaining Quarterfinal Winners

 Championship – Sunday, March 3
2:00 pm

Semifinal Winners

 NOTE: If both a men’s and a women’s quarterfinal game are being played at the same site, in odd years, the men’s game will be played first.