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Women's Ice Hockey Reaches Semifinals In National Tourney

Kaplana Mani
The MIT women's hockey team at the National Club Championships held at Ohio State University.

By Kalpana Mani
Team Member

The women's hockey team competed in the National Club Championships held at Ohio State University from April 18 to 20. The Engineers played excellently and made it to the semifinals, beating the University of Michigan and an Ohio State team.

The teams competing were MIT, OSU-A, OSU-B, Michigan, Saint Cloud College, and North Country Community College. NCCC went on to win the title.

The Engineers began the tournament with a 100 shutout against OSU-B. Esther Jesurum G led MIT in scoring with a hat trick. Raquel Romano G and Tory Herman G both had playmakers. The Engineers began to dominate the game early on when Abigail Vargus '97 scored with 12:46 in the first period.

They kept up the pace in the first and second periods, scoring four goals in each one. During the regular season, the Engineers have had difficulty capitalizing on power plays, but this game, two of their first period goals were scored while in a power play.

This initial game served to bolster the team's confidence as they approached their second game, this time with OSU-A, the better of the Ohio State teams.

The OSU-A game ended in a hard-fought 52 defeat for the Engineers. The OSU-A team played a fast and rough game, and the shots on goal were weighted in their favor.

However, the Engineers began fighting back from an 02 deficit after a rocky first period. Jill Depto '97 scored the first goal of the second period on an assist from Cynara Wu G.

The Engineers gave up two more goals before Kalpana Mani '99, assisted by Christina Gerhke '99, skated up the ice and scored MIT's second and final goal of the game. This defeat made it necessary for the Engineers to win a game against Michigan in order to make it to the semifinals.

Engineers top Wolverines

The Michigan game was by far the most exciting game of the tournament for the Engineers, with the final score 42 in MIT's favor. MIT took the lead late in the first period on a power-play goal by Lisa Stifelman G, assisted by Depto and Allison Mackay G.

Michigan went on to score two goals in less than five minutes to take a 21 lead. But 30 seconds after Michigan's last goal, Jesurum, assisted by Romano, scored to tie it up. The second period and most of the third did not relieve the tension at all - there was no scoring on either side.

There was talk of overtime, and an already very physical game got more intense. Finally, Wu, on a pass from Stifelman, skated up the left side, beat the defense and shot. The goalie was distracted by Mani in the crease and the shot flew in short side.

Stifelman nailed the game shut with a power-play goal with four seconds to go, and the Engineers made it to the semifinals.

The last game of the tournament for the Engineers was tough. The team had already played three games in two days and faced OSU-A again. A tired MIT team lost to OSU-A 50.

However, far from being disheartened, the Engineers had fun and enjoyed playing with each other in their last game. It was an exciting conclusion to a great season.