Hockey's Winning Streak Halted at 14 by CCSUBy Jason Weintraub
It was a disappointing evening for the Varsity Hockey team last Wednesday night, as they lost to Central Connecticut State University, 8-2 .
CCSU never trailed, as they picked up two goals early in the first period. MIT eventually cut the lead to one on a nice play created by defenseman Steve Schlueter '96 in the neutral zone. From the right side of the ice, Schlueter found John Bennett '98 on the opposite side of the rink, who carried the puck into the offensive zone and then dropped it off for the trailing Tetsu Inada '97. Inada then beat the CCSU goalie with a nice low shot.
But CCSU would add four more during the course of the game, creating a 6-1 lead midway through the third period. Freshman John Rae '97 would add one more Engineer tally with a big slapper from just below the right point, but it was too little too late, as CCSU would eventually put in two more goals, and take the 8-2 victory home with them.
The tough loss was not a great surprise to the Engineers, as they were forced to field an injury-ridden team for this game. Due to a groin injury, star goalie John Zehren '99 was forced to sit this game out; with Jon Shingles '96, Inada, and Matt Yurkewych '98 also seeing limited ice time due to personal ailments, the Engineers just could not generate the quality performance that they so often have over the course of the season.
Engineers tackle Bryant
On Saturday afternoon the Engineers hosted another tough team, Bryant College. Although the action was end to end, both the Bryant goalie and partially recovered MIT goalie Zehren came up big time and time again, leaving the first period entirely scoreless.
The deadlock would be broken midway through the third period by Inada. With the Engineers shorthanded, Inada carried the puck into the Bryant zone and perfectly placed the shot high over the goalie's left shoulder. The two Bryant defenders watching him must not have thought that highly of Tetsu's skills, as both defensemen let him skate in, obviously not expecting his shot on goal.
MIT clung desperately to their one goal lead until midway through the third period, when Bryant came up with the equalizer. With no last second Engineer heroics on this day, the game would end with a final score of 1-1.
Despite the disappointing homestand, the team's impressive 14-1-1 record has earned them a bid to the National Championships in Tampa, Florida. However, due to funding problems, the team is still awaiting word from the Institute as to whether or not they can go. Very few teams in MIT athletics history have ever been offered this opportunity and it would be a real tragedy if the hockey team was denied the trip.
Hopefully, the Engineers will be back to their normal healthy selves when they travel to Franklin Pierce College and then to CCSU next week for revenge.