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MIT Men’s Hockey to Semifinals

By Andrew C. Thomas

COLUMNIST

MIT’s Varsity Men’s Hockey team, coming off a strong 10-1-0 regular season against NorthEast Collegiate Hockey Association opponents, continued their domination into the playoffs as they easily handled their opponents from Endicott College in quarterfinal action, ensuring a place in semifinal play on Saturday afternoon in Worcester.

Team captain Adam Vokac G led the way with four goals, the first three all on the power play in a span of 3:41 in the first period for the natural hat trick, and assisted on two others. Brent Fisher G tipped his own hat and put up all three remaining tallies for the Engineers, including a beautiful point-blank top shelf over the shoulder of shelled but brave Endicott goaltender Jeff Pardue.

Endicott began the game with the momentum, giving MIT goaltender Tom Hopkins ’07 a bit to work with. But the game took a sharp turn after Fisher scored the opening goal at 6:37 of the first period. After killing a tripping penalty to Brian LaCrosse ’07, another tripping call against Endicott provided the spark in MIT’s offense as Vokac scored halfway through the ensuing power play.

Adam Shabshelowitz ’06 put on a dazzling display of forechecking and general pestering; he got under the skin of several Endicott players and drew a major penalty for hitting from behind from Endicott’s Mike Manfredi, who also received a game misconduct on the play, which gave the Engineers an opportunity to put themselves even further ahead.

It was an opportunity they couldn’t refuse, and they took full advantage, as Vokac scored twice before the end of the first period. Alternate captain Nick Fahey ’05 assisted on all three goals, and Nick Maietta ’07 and Kyle McKenney ’05 had one helper each.

A shakier second period awaited the Engineers, as Endicott’s special teams scored two; one on the power play by Josh Gilbert, and a shorthanded goal on a breakaway by Mark Vaughan.

But the recovery was quick for MIT, as Vokac and Fisher combined on three successive goals to put the Engineers far and above the Endicott squad.

Of note, Endicott captain Adam Partelidis, in what can only be imagined as a repeated attempt to motivate his team, took several trips to the penalty box and earned a ten minute misconduct for arguing with the officials after being called for tripping.