Men's hockey completes perfect weekend with OT win at Tufts

Sterling Bray '20 (Josh McKee photo)
Sterling Bray '20 (Josh McKee photo)

Hamilton College's Sterling Bray '20 scored 21 seconds into overtime and lifted the Continentals to a 4-3 NESCAC win over the Tufts University Jumbos on Saturday afternoon at Valley Forum in Malden, Mass.

Hamilton (11-9-2, 9-5-2 NESCAC) has won three straight games -- all by a goal. The Continentals have gone to overtime on five occasions this season and have won three times. Hamilton is in a tie for fourth place with Amherst College in the conference standings with two regular season NESCAC games remaining.

Jon Stickel '19 led the Continentals' offense with two goals and an assist and has 11 points this season. The multi-goal game is the first for Stickel at Hamilton.

After a scoreless third period, Hamilton clinched the win early in overtime. The Continentals rushed the zone with Nick Ursitti '20, Bray and Joey Moore '22 on a 3-on-2 break. Ursitti took the puck behind the net and managed to complete a centering pass to Bray directly in front of the net and he tipped it in for the game winner. Bray has four goals this season.

Hamilton opened the scoring on a golden opportunity 6:36 into the first period. Tufts goaltender Josh Sarlo (29 saves) went behind the net to play the puck but lost control and allowed it to drift forward for Stickel to collect and direct into the empty net.

Tufts (5-15-2, 2-12-2) responded just 20 seconds later. Clay Berger stole the puck in the neutral zone and rushed in on a breakaway, tipping the puck into the right corner of the net after drawing Anthony Tirabassi '20 (20 saves) out.

The Jumbos broke the tie on a spinorama shot from Justin Brandt at 9:21 in the first. Nick Schultze passed the puck from the corner to Brandt in the center and it appeared as if he was going to play the puck back. Instead Brandt spun and fired a shot to the top-left corner of the net.

Hamilton evened the score on their first power play 12:20 into the first. Stickel scored his third goal this season on assists from Sean Allen '21 and Nick Rutigliano '21. Rutigliano leads the Continentals with 13 assists and Allen added his fifth.

Anthony Farinacci put Tufts back in the lead at 3-2 with 2:43 left in the first. The Jumbos were on the power play when Farinacci scored his second goal in as many games and his eighth this season.

Hamilton responded with the tying goal 7:53 into the second period. After the Continentals cleared the puck, they were able to rush the zone for an offensive opportunity. Justin Felhaber '21 received the puck in the corner and brought it up ice and to the center before he fired a shot through traffic that deflected off the crossbar. Ian Nichols '19 redirected the rebound in at the left corner of the crease for his third goal of the season.

Both teams killed penalties late in the third period. Hamilton held a 33-23 shot advantage including 13-5 in the third.

The Continentals host Middlebury College in NESCAC action at Russell Sage Rink on Friday, February 15 at 7 p.m.

-- Recap by Amanda Ghiloni '22