WATERVILLE, Maine -- First-year Nick O'Connor scored his team-best third goal of the season and Mario Benicky added a goal and an assist for the Colby College men's hockey team in a 3-2 victory over Connecticut College on Friday night at Alfond Rink.
The Mules move to 3-3-1 overall and 2-3 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Colby will play host to Tufts University in another league game Saturday at 3 p.m. The Camels drop to 1-5-2 overall and 0-3-2 in the league heading into Saturday's 4 p.m. game at Bowdoin College.
Colby, now 2-0-1 in home games, had leads of 2-0 and 3-1 only to have the Camels cut the margin to one goal.
After a scoreless first period, Colby's Michael Rudlof scored his second of the season from Mario Benicky on a two-on-one that developed at center ice. Benicky took the puck on the left side, was patient with the puck, and then slid a pass over to Rudlof for a one-timer with 5:49 left in the second period.
Colby picked up its third power play opportunity with 4:19 left in the second and capitalized 1:01 later. O'Connor's first shot on goal was saved, but he continued toward the net to gather the rebound and fired it in for a 2-0 lead. Geoff Sullivan and EJ Rauseo had assists on the play.
The Mules had two penalties to give the Camels a 5-on-3 advantage. Colby was able to escape to the third period with the 2-0 lead. Connecticut College, though, scored its first power play of the season just 36 seconds into the final period. Senior forward Joe Birmingham had the puck on the left side and inched toward the goal. With Colby unable to bring an attacker toward him, Birmingham elected to shoot and blasted a shot in to cut the margin to 2-1. Tim DiPretoro (pictured) had the assist on the goal.
Colby went up 3-1 on a nice hustle to the puck by Michael Decker and then a perfect cross to Benicky for the score. Decker was able to get to the puck on the left board, turned quickly, and then ripped a pass across to Benicky for the tip-in on the far post with 12:27 to go.
The Camels, who came into the game 0-for-22 on the power play, scored their second power play goal just 10 seconds after Colby took a tripping penalty with 8:23 remaining. DiPretoro scored with 8:13 remaining on assists from Greg Liautaud and Joe Giordano.
Giordano had the Camels' best chance to tie when he came from the right side and was stopped by goalie Emerson Verrier with 5:50 to play.
Colby's Devin Albert drew a slashing penalty with 2:25 to go and the Mules were able to kill the rest of the clock.
Tom Conlin stopped 36 shots for the Camels, while Verrier was credited with 15 saves for Colby.