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Hockey Squeaks Past Pierce; Crushes Daniel Webster

Jiri Schindler--The Tech
Jonathan Shingles '96 shoots to the inside of the Daniel Webster College goalie. The goal, one of Shingles' three for the game, increased MIT's lead to 5 during the winning matchup Saturday.

By Jason Weintraub
Staff Reporter

The men's hockey team picked up its fourth straight win last Wednesday night with a 3-2 victory over a visiting Franklin Pierce College. The following Saturday, they trounced Daniel Webster College, 8-3.

In the Franklin Pierce game, the Engineers found themselves on top early, as Matthew G. Yurkewych '98 put one in from far against the boards, well below the left circle. The shot, which seemed to come from an almost impossible angle, seemed to surprise the Franklin Pierce goaltender. He apparently didn't expect to be challenged from such a position.

Yurkewych, who is obviously hoping to nudge out Mario Lemeuix for the overall point scoring title, added a second goal a few minutes later. Franklin Pierce managed to get one back before the end of the first period, clearly reluctant to give up just yet.

Franklin Pierce's strategy throughout most of the game was basically to bang the puck into MIT's zone and then send three guys in to chase it. With three players fortchecking, there would often be a great deal of pressure on MIT to clear the puck. However, once the Engineer defensemen were able to clear, the Franklin Pierce team got caught behind the play leading to several quality MIT scoring chances. Unfortunately, the Franklin Pierce goalie came up big and managed to deny all of these opportunities.

After the scoreless second period, MIT took its 2-1 lead to the locker room to regroup, hoping to maintain its defense for 20 more minutes. Midway through the third period however, Franklin Pierce's persistence paid off and they knotted the score at two. At this point, it seemed that Franklin Pierce was content to sit back, concentrate on defense, and try to skate to a 2-2 tie.

But MIT would not cooperate. Franklin Pierce's lapse only made the Engineers work harder. The game winner came from the stick of freshman John J. Rae '99, who stuffed a loose rebound past the Franklin Pierce goaltender on the short side.

Despite the difference in score it was the same hard work and determination present in the first three games that led to the victory. "It's pleasing to know that we have the courage and composure to win a game in which things don't always bounce our way, " said Coach Tom Keller, filling in for Head Coach Joseph G. Quinn during his absence.

8-3 win over DanielWebster

On Saturday afternoon, in a game that would feature multiple Engineer hat tricks, MIT preserved their undefeated season with a 8-3 win over Daniel Webster College.

The Engineers actually started this one off looking slightly sluggish, possibly a little overconfident knowing that Franklin Pierce had beaten this Daniel Webster team pretty badly in the past. Still, Tetsu Inada '97 put up the game's first tally late in the first period. The point came on a nice pass from the corner from Rae to Inada who would put it over the shoulder of the Daniel Webster goaltender. Due to a slight defensive breakdown on MIT's part, Daniel Webster got it right back less than a minute later. The first period ended soon after with the game knotted at 1-1.

The second period, however, saw the MIT scoring machine come to life. With Matt Yurkewych out with a knee injury, other MIT players were forced to step up and take over. Jonathan L. Shingles '96 picked up two quick ones, assisted both times by Rae and Inada. Rae himself also got a pair. With one more added by defenseman James R. Goodman G who managed to bank the puck into the goal off the stick of a Daniel Webster defenseman, MIT took a 6-2 lead to the dressing room at the close of the period.

Goodman and fellow defensemen Stephen J. Schlueter '96 and Brett M. McKeone '98 don't usually get to contribute pointwise to Engineer victories, due to the nature of their positions. They must often be content to break up an opposition's scoring chance or make a key pass that might spring some other MIT player, providing them with a scoring opportunity and almost certain glory. Seldom do they get any credit for their hard work and determination. To accept this role day after day, game after game, shows the heart and integrity that personifies not only MIT hockey, but MIT athletics as well.

In the third period, Shingles and Rae each completed their respective hat tricks to lead the Engineers to victory. "The important thing was that we got production from everyone on the team,"Shingles said. "That is important in a long season. Without everyone playing hard we would not be successful.

The Engineers will get a well deserved break, until their next game on Dec. 2 against Suffolk University.