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Following Penn Victory, Hockey Trounces S. Conn

By Daniel Wang
Sports Editor

Posters announcing last Wednesday's men's ice hockey game against Southern Connecticut State University stated that the Engineers sought to gain some respect with a victory over the nationally-ranked Owls. The Engineers were on a roll, coming off a 92 romp over Penn on Jan. 27.

Respect was indeed gained as MIT ousted SCSU 54 at the Johnson Athletic Center. The victory raises the team's record to 8-1-3, and puts it in contention for first place in the Northeast Collegiate Hockey Association.

While the Engineers move to an early lead, repeated challenges by the Owls made it a close game up until the very end. The next game for the Engineers will be at home on Wednesday, Jan. 15 against Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

MIT moved out to a 3-1 lead in the first period, with little activity in the penalty box. The first MIT goal was scored a little more than five minutes into the game, when Lloyd Johnston G netted a slap shot from the blue line. Jon Shingles '96 and Matt Yurkewich '98 were credited with assists on the play.

The Owls later responded by tying the score with 2:50 left in the period. Brian Bolduc of SCSU stood right in front of the MIT goal, in perfect position to receive a pass across the ice from a teammate. He handily completed the play by stuffing the puck in the corner of the MIT goal, before goalkeeper John Simmons '95 could respond.

In the final minutes of the period, the Engineers found themselves with many opportunities to score, aided by several SCSU penalties. MIT capitalized on the power play and scored two goals within a minute of each other.

Johnston scored the first, with 1:34 remaining, off a wrist shot that ricocheted off the SCSU goalie's pads into the goal. Yurkewich and Tetsu Inada '97 assisted on the play.

The final goal of the period came off the stick of Jon Shingles '96. Yurkewych took a shot that the SCSU goalie blocked, but Shingles was in a good position to net the puck off the resulting rebound.

More penalties in 2nd period

In the second period, the intensity and roughness of action increased. There were also a few stoppages of play when players appeared to be hurt on the ice.

Both teams had players regularly sent to the penalty box, but the Owls bore the brunt of the referees' calls. The Engineers scored their last four goals on power plays.

There were a few instances where SCSU had two players in the penalty box at the same time. The first one came a little after the 14 minute mark, when Keith McElaney was called for interference, and joined Eric Bolduc, who committed a five-minute penalty for high-sticking.

The Owls almost scored a very shorthanded goal with about 13 minutes left in the period and two players in the penalty box. Bill Boguniecki put the puck in the net past a fallen Simmons, but the referee did not award the point since the goal was knocked out of place. The decision caused some visible frustration with Boguniecki and his teammates.

Seconds later, MIT upped its score with a goal that did count. Apparently, a shot by Shingles hit the pads of the SCSU goalie. However, he did not stop the puck well enough, and it slipped past his pads and into the net. Chad Mikkelson '95 was credited with an assist on the goal. At the end of the second period, MIT had what seemed to be a comfortable 4-1 lead.

SCSU almost comes back

The third period started out in a strange way when the game clock did not restart on time after stoppages of play. On a few occasions, the clock did not move while play was going on. However, neither team was able to take advantage of the mistake, which was promptly corrected by officials.

SCSU inched closer to overcoming its deficit with a goal just over one minute into the final period. Apparently, a player on the MIT defense mishandled the a pass while the puck was directly in front of the goal. SCSU player Joe Paul, who was standing nearby, took advantage of the situation scored, placing the count at 42.

After a few near misses, the Engineers moved ahead again with a little more than 11 minutes remaining in regulation time. Inada was making a drive to the goal when his defender suddenly tripped and fell. This created an opening that allowed Inada pass across the ice to Shingles, who easily stuffed the puck into the corner of the SCSU goal. A few fans threw hats onto the ice to acknowledge Shingles' completion of the hat trick.

Late in the period, however, a pair goals by the Owls less than 30 seconds apart made it a close game once again. Boguniecki scored with 5:06 left in the period, and Paul followed shortly thereafter with his second goal of the night on a shot that bounced off a side goal post into the goal.

The final minute presented some tense moments for the players and the spectators, as SCSU continued to press, hoping for a chance to tie the game. The MIT defense was unable to clear the puck out of its zone until the last 20 seconds of the game, but gave up no more points. As the MIT players left the ice victoriously, the home crowd greeted them with a standing ovation.

Simmons played the entire game in goal and recorded 20 saves, some of which were potentially golden scoring opportunities for the Owls. The offense for MIT was on the attack more often than SCSU, as indicated by the 32 shots on goal it took.

"This is one of our best wins since I've been here," said head coach Joe Quinn.