Courtesy Tufts Sports Information
MALDEN, Mass. - Junior John Wickman (Dallas, Texas) scored with 6:13 remaining in overtime to give visiting Williams College a 4-3 victory over Tufts in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC Men's Ice Hockey Championship on Saturday afternoon at Valley Forum II.
The fifth-seed Ephs (12-8-5 overall), who erased a 2-0 deficit earlier in the game, advance to the conference semi-finals next Saturday against top-seeded Amherst. Tufts, which was hosting a conference quarterfinal for the first time, finished its season at 12-11-2.
The game went to overtime tied at 3-3. The Ephs had to kill a penalty early in the extra session, and did so behind strong goaltending from senior Ryan Purdy (La Jolla, Calif.). As OT went on, the Ephs controlled more of the play and it looked like they had the winner with 7:20 remaining. However, it was ruled that the goal was kicked in. Barely a minute later, Wickman calmly collected a rebound close in front of the Jumbo net and flipped it in for the game-winner. Assists went to freshman Craig Kitto (Ashburn, Va.) and junior Mike Brofft (Spring City, Pa.).
After posting their best-ever finish in NESCAC of fourth place this season, the Jumbos played like the higher seed in building a 2-0 lead. Senior goalie Scott Barchard (Reading, Mass.) stopped all 13 shots that he faced in the first period, and the Jumbos took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by sophomore leading scorer Kyle Gallegos (Westminster, Colo.). Just 1:15 into the second period, Tufts went up by two on senior Evan Story's (Shaker Heights, Ohio) goal.
However, Williams would score three times in a span of barely 12 minutes to take a 3-2 advantage after two periods. Freshman Peter Mistretta (New Canaan, Conn.) scored on a power-play at 6:00, sophomore Matt Doyle (Glen Rock, N.J.) tied the game 2-2 at 14:56 and another power-play strike by junior Evan Dugdale (Glastonbury, Conn.) put the visitors in front 3-2 at 18:13.
The teams combined for four power-play goals in the game, and the second for Tufts' Gallegos at 6:43 of the third period tied the score 3-3. Both goalies held the fort for the rest of the period and the game went to OT.
Purdy and Barchard were strong in the extra period. Both made 10 saves, with Purdy finishing at 41 total and Barchard at 47. Williams finished with a 51-44 margin in shots.
Brofft with three assists and Kitto with two were Williams' multi-point scorers. Gallegos' two goals for Tufts gave him 18 in 19 games this winter.