Hockey skates to 4-3 win
By Mike Purucker
The high-powered MIT varsity hockey team won its second game on Wednesday, defeating Johnson & Wales by a score of 4-3. Mike Mini '93 scored his second goal of the game with 1:49 left in the third period to secure the victory for the Beavers. MIT led J & W throughout most of the game but was faced with the prospect of an unsatisfying tie when Jeff Greenip scored his second goal for the Griffins with 2:08 remaining.
Following the faceoff, Noel Nistler G cleared the defensive zone with a crisp pass to Mini at his own blue line. Skating hard down the left wing, Mini beat the defenseman, then cut laterally to the goal, luring the goalie out before deftly depositing the puck through the netminder's legs for the game-winner. The two goals came within 19 seconds of each other and typified the surges of momentum present throughout the evening.
MIT opened with a goal from Mike Foley G just 2:44 into the first period. The Beavers dominated the entire period but could not again put the puck behind J & W goalie Keith Graziano. The remainder of the game was much more evenly contested, with MIT in control but not dominating.
Pumped up by their inspiring cheerleaders, J & W tied the game at one apiece midway through the second period. MIT responded with a power-play goal a few minutes later. Nistler, who collected three assists that night, wristed a shot off a pass from Gene McKenna '92. Mini poked the rebound past Graziano to regain the lead for MIT, 2-1. Two minutes later, Rob Silva '93 scored on a wraparound following passes from Mini and Dale Valicenti, who had previously assisted on Foley's goal.
Silva's goal came in the last minute of the second period and gave the Beavers a seemingly comfortable 3-1 lead. However, J & W scored seven seconds into the third period to tighten the game once more. Both teams then raised their intensity levels and the result was excellent college hockey. Several crunching body checks from Silva and company set the tone for physical play and neither side backed down from the challenge. Erik Norton '93 made several key saves for MIT in the middle of the period before Greenip's goal tied the score at 3-3, setting the stage for Mini's goal and the dramatic victory.
The Beavers' next challenge will be on Wednesday night, when they will attempt to bring their record to 3-0 in a game against Bryant College.
Mike Purucker '93 is a member of the men's hockey team.