WATERVILLE, Maine — After falling behind 6-0 just 12:16 into the game, ninth-ranked Tufts settled down and fought back for a 14-9 win against Colby in New England Small College Athletic Conference action on Friday at Bill Alfond Field.
Tufts, ranked first in New England, moved to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the NESCAC. The Mules, ranked eighth in New England, are 2-2 overall and 1-2 in the league.
Colby came out in dominating fashion, winning six of the eight face-off attempts and piling up a 14-3 advantage in shots in the first quarter.
John Jennings scored the first two goals of the game for the Mules, the first off a pass from Greg McKillop for his 100th career goal at Colby. He added the second goal with 9:25 left in the quarter. What appeared to be a big night for Jennings ended a few minutes later though when he left the game with an injury.
Chip Grossman scored back-to-back goals with 6:10 and 4:53 to play to put the Mules up 4-0. The second goal came on another assist by McKillop. Keith Fairbrother, who came in for Jennings, made it 5-0 with 3:50 to play on McKillop’s third assist. Ian Deveau’s goal with 2:44 to play from John Alex Rutan gave the Mules a stunning 6-0 lead.
The Mules had a 10-1 shot advantage in the first quarter at one point, but momentum may have turned a little when Andrew Fiamengo scored unassisted with just 38 seconds left in the first quarter to spark the Jumbos.
Tufts had a 16-4 shot advantage in the second quarter and outscored the Mules by a 4-0 advantage to cut the lead to 6-5 at halftime. Peter Bowers scored with 10:20 left before intermission and Fiamengo scored his second of four goals with 5:13 to play. John Uppgren scored two goals in the final 2:39 of play.
Bowers tied the game at six just 39 seconds into the second half and Fiamengo gave the Jumbos their first lead at 7-6 on a goal off a pass from Kris Hoglund with 7:37 remaining. Deveau, though, took a pass from Brendan McNeill and rifled home a shot with 4:51 remaining in the third and the two teams went into the final quarter tied at seven.
The Jumbos immediately took control in the fourth quarter, with Cole Bailey scoring just 30 seconds into play. Bowers had his third goal of the game from Fiamengo with 12:51 left and Dan Leventhal scored unassisted with 9:56 remaining for a 10-7 margin.
Colby cut the lead to 10-8 on Garth Franklin’s long shot just 22 seconds after Leventhal’s goal. Tufts quickly won the face-off and Beau Wood scored just nine second later to slow any Colby momentum and give Tufts an 11-8 margin.
Bailey, Fiamengo and Ben Saperstein scored three goals in a span of 2:01 to give Tufts some insurance goals. Rutan closed out the scoring for Colby with 1:23 to play.
John Heard and Sam Diss both had two caused turnovers and three ground balls for the Jumbos.
Colby first-year Max Eberhart was 15-for-25 in face-offs, while Christian Kelso had two caused turnovers and two ground balls. Bjorn Knutson added a game-high nine ground balls, most coming on battles during face-offs.
Tufts goalie Patton Watkins stopped 11 shots, while Peter Reiley made 10 saves for Colby.