Men's Hockey Moves to 6-0 With Win over Bryant CollegeBy Hana Ohkawa G
The men's hockey team extended its winning streak last Saturday with an 8-4 victory over host Bryant College. Though the Engineers were clearly the better team, they were not able to gain final control of the scoreboard until the third period.
The first two periods of the game was a fast-paced, hotly contested battle. Both goalies were under intense pressure. During one particularly aggressive Bryant offensive, MIT goalie John C. Zehren '99 was forced to defend the goal without his stick, which had been flung out of his reach. Although both teams had several scoring opportunities, Assistant Captain Jonathan L. Shingles '96 was the only player able to score in the hectic first period, putting MIT up 1-0.
MIT was not able to hold the lead: midway through the second period Bryant scored, tying the game at 1-1. A crucial turning point in the game came less than a minute later. The referees called the first penalties of the game after a fight broke out between Shingles and a Bryant player. Both players were given two minute minors, but Shingles also received a five minute major, a call which understandably angered the MIT team.
Rattled, MIT gave up two goals in the first two minutes of the penalty time. The Engineers quickly regrouped and in the last minute of the five minute major, scoring sensation Matthew G. Yurkewych '98 put in a short-handed goal. Less than two minutes later, in the game's most exciting play, Yurkewych scored again, tying the game at three with two seconds left in the second period.
MIT reclaimed the lead early in the third period with a goal by defenseman Brett M. McKeone '98 shot from the top of the circle. The Engineers continued the scoring with a nicely executed power play goal scored by John J. Rae '99. In spite of having to play down by two men for more than two minutes due to a series of soft penalties, the Engineers controlled the rest of the game.
Most of MIT's points this season have come from Yurkewych, Shingles, or Rae, the first line on offense. Assistant Captain Tetsu Inada '97, one of the team's leading scorers in past years, has been faced with the challenge of providing leadership for the less experienced, but also talented second line on offense. Although Inada has not been scoring as many goals as he had while on the first line, his presence has helped make the second line an offensive threat.
Against Bryant, it was clear that Inada and his linemates, freshman Nicholas D. Sinkewicz '99 and second year player Jonathan D. Bennett '98 have become a cohesive offensive unit. Bennett shone in the third period, scoring three goals, his first MIT hat trick. Crisp passes to Bennett for two of those goals earned Sinkewicz two assists.
In past years, the Engineers have had trouble with depth, depending on a few lead scorers for most of their goals. The addition of several strong newcomers, including Rae and Sinkewicz, and breakthrough performances by returning players such as Bennett have strengthened the MIT offense considerably. With this improved offense, Zehren in net, and a solid defense led by Captain Stephen J. Schlueter '96, the MIT hockey team has proved unbeatable so far this season.
The Engineers will face Johnson and Wales this Saturday at the Howard Johnson rink at 2 p.m.