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Men's Hockey Team Erases Initial Loss with 9-Game Winning Streak

By Greg Donaldson
Team Member

With little fanfare and a quiet workman-like approach, the MIT men's hockey team has compiled a 9񩧼 record in league play this season. After a rocky start that saw the team lose its first game of the season, the Engineers have rattled off nine straight victories, gaining momentum and confidence with every game.

With the loss of team captains Tetsu Inada and Steve Schlueter to graduation, the Engineers entered the season knowing that everyone would have to pick up the slack if this year's team were to be as successful as last year's, which came within a goal of the New England Collegiate Hockey Association championship.

The team returned its starting netminder and its leading scorers, but it was still evident that the team's rookies would have to step up and shake off their inexperience for success to be in the team's future, and their contributions have played a large part in the team's success.

The team is led once again by the dynamic combination of Greg Donaldson '00 and captain John Rae '99. The two are 12 in team scoring with 16 and 15 goals respectively, accounting for just over half of MIT's team total.

Avishai Geller '01 has been a welcome addition to the team, scoring seven goals while assisting on numerous others as the left winger on what may be the most dangerous line in the conference.

Four other rookies have been seeing playing time with the team's top three units, and all have been dependable and at times spectacular. Also of note is perrenial crowd favorite, Buddy Webb '98, whose tough but clean physical approach has kept the Engineers from being abused some nights.

The defense is anchored by captain Jim Goodman G, who is as steady and reliable as ever. Goodman's maturity has inspired and held together a relatively inexperienced defensive core, which contains no one with more than a year's worth of experience playing for MIT.

Captain John Zehren '99 has been characteristically solid in net for the Engineers, saving his finest performances for the most important of MIT's games, such as the team's 42 defeat of archrival Central Connecticut State in which Zehren made acrobatic save after acrobatic save, sealing the victory for MIT.

This year marks the return of team coach Joe Quinn, who was sidelined for the last year. Quinn and assistant coach Mark O'Meara seem to have found the right formula, as the Engineers seek to outdo the accomplishments of the '95'96 squad, which started out with 14 straight wins on their way to receiving a bid to the National Championships.

The Engineers will seek to continue their winning ways at 7 p.m. tonight with a rematch of last year's final against Central Connecticut State University.