Men’s Hockey Team Begins Season, 2-0By Matthew P. Van Horne
The MIT men’s ice hockey team began a new season looking to build upon their successes from the past three years. After winning the NorthEast Collegiate Hockey Association title for each of the past three years, they started out their season with two great wins.
On Friday November 2, the team hosted Daniel Webster College in Johnson Ice Arena. Playing to one of the largest crowds an MIT athletic team has seen in a while, the Engineers came out with a fury against the other team.
The scoring began halfway into the first period with a big face-off win by Parker E. Larson G to linemate Adam J. Vokac G deep in the offensive zone. Vokac slid the puck back to Marc A. Dagenais ’03 at the blue line, who teed it up for a blast over the goalie’s right shoulder.
Daniel Webster set the score even with a goal shortly into the second period, which just barely beat goalie Kevin J. Johnson ’02.
This would not keep the Engineers down for long as Vokac and Larson teamed up to put in a power play goal with just over a minute left in the second period. This lead was enough for the team, as stifling defense and a powerful offense generated over 65 shots for MIT and barely over 20 shots for Daniel Webster. The outcome of the game was sealed as Dagenais gained control of the puck deep in his zone and passed it to fellow defenseman Nicholas A. Nielsen ’03, who hit Vokac for a shot from inside the defensive zone into the empty net at the other end. Johnson played an excellent game in goal in his first start at MIT.
Third period puts MIT past WPI
Last Wednesday, MIT hoped to continue their winning against long-time rival WPI. The Engineers have gone 7-0-1 against WPI in their last eight meetings, and MIT did not want to give up their first loss to WPI that night. With a few players injured or bruised, MIT came out a little flat in the first period, and WPI was fired up and ready to take advantage of whatever they could get.
A goal by Larson from Vokac and Neilson opened up the scoring for the game just over halfway through the first period. However that was not enough to keep WPI out of the game for long. With less than two minutes to go in the period, WPI banged a rebound in past goalie Matthew P. Van Horne ’02 for their first goal of the game. They followed just a minute and a half later with a power play goal walking out of the corner.
This was a tough end to a slow period, but MIT was just getting into the flow of the game. The second period was a defensive battle, as neither team was willing to give up anything in their end. The teams left the ice after this period tired, with the score still at 2-1 in favor of WPI.
A motivating speech by coaches Mark and Jimmy O’Meara in the locker room between periods proved to be enough for the team, as they took the ice in the third period with a purpose.
Gregory M. Mahowald ’02, Dagenais, and Neilson took control of the corners and delivered some crushing hits to the WPI players to rile up the team and the crowd.
Larson, Neilson, and the rest of the MIT team showed their determination as they fought to bang in their second goal on a rebound shortly into the period. This goal by Larson was the boost the Engineers needed to put the game away.
Just two minutes later, a three-on-two break for MIT generated a shot and two rebound opportunities, the last of which found its way to the back of the goal courtesy of Austin S. Morris ’03, with assists from Mahowald and Daniel C. Alix ’05. From that point on, the defense tightened up and didn’t allow WPI any more good chances to get back into the game.
The Engineers have two more road games before their next home game against Bryant College on Thursday, November 29th.