Men's Hockey Triumphs over SpringfieldBy Lynn Albers
Wednesday's night hockey game was one of the most exciting games in recent memory. Rob Silva '93 had a hat trick, MIT scored five goals in the third period, and Steve Schleuter '96 scored his first goal of the season on a bankshot. All this and more happened in Wednesday night's 8-6 victory over Springfield College.
Lloyd Johnston G, the goon of the team according to avid fans, proved his right to the title by earning two penalties. The first penalty was for elbowing, and the second occurred when he cross-checked a player, breaking his stick over the guy's back in the process. The referees only called him for interference.
Johnston also threw several punches throughout the game. In one instance, he took a swing at a guy in the Springfield end, missed the guy, was carried around by his momentum, saw the puck, put his stick on it and sent it into the goal between the goalie's legs for MIT's fourth goal of the game.
The second period started off poorly for the Engineers with the two penalties coming in the first two minutes. Johnston's was the first and the second was Schleuter's. Much controversy took place over Schleuter's penaltybecause while Johnston was in the penalty box, Springfield scored to move ahead 2-1, but Schleuter's penalty was delayed so the referees were confused as to which penalty to drop. After much arguing, Johnston came out of the box and Schleuter went in.
The penalties were painful for MIT because Springfield was able to score during both of them. Within 1 minute, 49 seconds, Springfield had taken the lead to 4-1. The Engineers played like they had done pot between periods. Fortunately they found a groove a few minutes later, but the damage was done.
MIT picked up the pace, putting the pressure on Springfield goalie Chris Sovie '95. The Engineers fired numerous shots on goal, but they were all stopped. Spirits in the stands were getting low as fans began to wonder if MIT could recover.
MIT finally had a break when a penalty was called on Springfield for covering the puck in the crease. While the Springfield coach was busy ventilating at the refs, Silva began his descent on Sovie. Silva fired once, it was blocked but not covered. Silva fired the rebound but couldn't find a gap. Sovie had reigned and he let Silva know it by yelling in his face: "Yeah!"
After that, MIT went out in full force and Springfield retaliated with muscle. Springfield's tactic of all muscle and no brain backfired. The Chiefs quickly put two men in the box. During the five on three advantage, Alain Curodeau G passed to Nick Pearce G, who sent the puck through Silva's legs to Jonathan Shingles '96. That confused Sovie and allowed Shingles to tap the puck into the goal. Less than a minute later, Johnston passed to Shingles who could have easily scored but instead drew the goalie and passed the puck in front of the net to Silva for another quick goal.
MIT played solidly for the next few minutes especially the third line of Bryan Sanderson '96, Joseph Wall G, and Michael Charney G, who kept the puck in the Springfield end for their entire shift. The Engineers, however, could not prevent the Chiefs from scoring two more goals.
Down 6-3 at the start of the third period, MIT kept calm and levelheaded and used their skill and teamwork to tire the chiefs. After seven minutes of pressure on Sovie, Johnston scored and started the momentum for MIT. Shingles, Silva, and Rob Souza '95 then connected to bring the score to 6-5.
Goalie John Simmons '95 contributed by making several big saves to keep the Engineers within reach of a win. Curodeau, Souza, and Silva connected to tie the game and give Silva his hat trick.
The first of two amazing plays that evening came when Dan Lee G chased the puck into the Springfield end where Sovie, forced to come out of the net, was trapping it against the side boards. As Sovie tried to clear the puck, Lee blocked it with his body, wrestled with the goalie for the puck, controlled it, skated around the net, and scored giving MIT the lead. "Dan made the best play of the evening," said teammate Erik Norton '93.
The second amazing play of the evening was the icing on the cake for the engineers. With less than a minute left, Springfield pulled its goalie. Schleuter in an attempt to clear the puck, banked it off the boards at the red line. The puck went through some defenders and straight toward the goal. Schleuter, who was on his way to the bench, looked back in time to see the puck roll into the net for his first goal of the season and the final goal of the evening.
Schleuter stated that ironically his only goal during one of his high school seasons was scored on an empty net as well.
The evening was not without injury. Jason Biederman '94, who had played a good game the entire night, left momentarily with a hurt knee. Biederman said, "Some guy mistook my leg for the ice and stepped on me." He was up and skating a minute later.