The Preis is Right: MIT Engineers 7-6 Fourth Period Comeback to Stop Fordham 7-6 in CWPA Eastern Championship Seventh Place Game

Andres Simauchi passes around Fordham's Jakob Muller
Andres Simauchi passes around Fordham's Jakob Muller

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- John Preis (Sr., Los Angeles, Calif./Phillips Exeter) scored the game-winner with 1:34 on the clock in the fourth period on a man-up chance to complete a hat-trick and cap a 7-6 comeback victory for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology over Fordham University in the CWPA Eastern Championship seventh place game at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium.

It marks MIT's fourth seventh place finish as the six-time Eastern Championship qualifier previously placed eighth (2004), seventh (2006, 2008, 2009) and sixth (2003) in the tournament field.  In addition, the victory improves the Engineers to 4-14 all-time at the championship with victories over Iona College (9-8 W, 2009 ; 10-9 W, 2008), Bucknell (9-6 W, 2003) and Fordham.

Trailing 6-4 entering the fourth period, the Engineers took over command of the contest over the final eight minutes outscoring the Rams to rally back and take the victory.

Brian Gardiner (Sr., Upland, Calif./Damien) opened MIT's sprint to the finish by nailing a shot at 5:01 before Matt Chapa (Jr., Baytown, Texas/Sterling) knotted the game at six-all wtih a blast from the wings at 3:22.  Preis finished out the scoring with his decider at 1:34 following an ejection at 1:51 to put MIT in front for the first time since a 2-1 lead with 1:34 left in the first period.

In cage, Columbus Leonard (Jr., Mill Valley, Calif./St. Ignatius) recorded 11 saves to earn the victory, while Christian Flessner (Jr., Naperville, Ill./Naperville North) was the hard-luck loser with eight stops.

Playing without Ali Arat (Gr., Istanbul, Turkey/Sisli Terakki Secondary/Koc University) and Victor Batista-Medina (Sr., San Cristobal/Venezuela/Juan XXIII/West Valley CC) who were sitting out the contest following a red card and flagrant foul, respectively, versus Johns Hopkins Univeristy in an 11-8 loss on Saturday afternoon, Fordham did not appear to be primed to take the victory in the opening minutes of the game.

MIT opened the game the way the squad ended it by dominating the offensive end of the tank as Preis connected on a marker at 5:28 and buried a 6-on-5 chance at 4:21 to stake the Engineers to a 2-0 lead less than four minutes into regulation.

Fordham clawed its way back into the game before the end of the period as Ryan Hultman (Sr., Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar) dented the iron with a man-up shot at 1:34.  Daniel Munoz (Sr., Orlando, Fla./Bishop Moore Catholic) netted the equalizer with 42 seconds on the clock to make it 2-2 through eight minutes of action.

The teams exchanged tallies to open the second period with Robert Fleming (So., Loomis, Calif./Jesuit/UC-Davis) finding the net at 7:33 before Gardiner responded for the Engineers at 6:52 to keep the game tied at 3-3.

However, Fordham controlled the pace and style of the game for the remainder of the half as Ricky Dilday (Fr., Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson) and Alex Powell (Sr., Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Palos Verdes) connected on natural markers at 1:50 and 47 seconds, respectively, to give the Rams a 5-3 lead at the break.

Needing a run to put the Engineers away for good, Fordham managed a goal from Hultman at 4:38.  However, Gardiner answered for MIT wtih a scoring shot of his own with 53 seconds remaining in the third period to ignite a 4-0 advantage in goals over the final 8:53 of competition.

MIT closed the year at 13-12, while the Rams wrap-up the season at 16-17, as the Engineers and Rams tied during the season-series with MIT taking two victories (13-10 W, 7-6 W) and Fordham picking up a pair (8-7 W, 9-8 W).

1 2 3 4 -- Final
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2 1 1 3 -- 7
Fordham University
2 3 1 0 -- 6

Fordham Goals: Ryan Hultman (2), Daniel Munoz, Alex Powell, Ricky Dilday, Robert Fleming

MIT Goals: John Preis (3), Brian Gardiner (3), Matt Chapa

Saves: Fordham - Christian Flessner (8) ; MIT - Columbus Leonard (11)

Exclusions: Fordham - 7 ; MIT - 7

Advantage Opportunities:  Fordham - 2-for-7 ; MIT - 2-for-7

Cards: None

Officials: Humberto Navarro, Eddie Ajuz 

Fordham's Cashel Barnett looks to shoot as MIT's Matt Perkins chases in the second period

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