1997-98 Men's Ice Hockey Outllok
Spurred on by an eight-game win streak in the midseason, Amherst men's hockey finished their 1996-97 campaign with a 14-10-1 record in the ECAC Championship. The Jeffs enter the 1997-98 season picked seventh with one first place vote in the ECAC Coaches poll. Preparing for another highly competitive season in the ECAC-East, the Jeffs boast seventeen returning players and their most exciting class of rookies in recent memory.
"The potential is there for us to be very, very good," noted Head Coach Jack Arena '83. "We're probably as talented as we've ever been, and hopefully that will translate into success. But, even at our most talented, I don't see us necessarily moving up in the standings."
Leading the offense will be last season's top three scorers, juniors Charlie Blyth (17g, 22a) and Rob MacDonald (17g, 18a), and senior Tri-Captain Mike Noone (15g, 20a), who joined the century club as a junior with his 100th career point against North Adams. The trio combined for almost half the team's 110 goals and over one-third of the Jeffs' 283 total points. Bolstering the attack will be seniors Dan Moos (12g, 8a), Paul Gozzo (3g, 12a), Tim Kelly (5g, 6a) and Chris Gargiulo (2g, 4a), junior Matt Rogers (4g, 14a), and sophomores Tim Quinn (5g, 3a), Joe Graceffa (1g) and John Maguire (1a). Gregg DiNardo, Chris Orszulak and Robbie Hill enter as rookies ready to make an impact up front.
Tri-Captain Doug Erickson (3g, 16a) anchors a core of blue-liners, including senior Tom Carideo, junior Matt Drawz and sophomores Andy Jones (2g, 10a) and Buster Nelson (7g, 7a). Three first-years will help backstop this already solid defense in Darce Swaggart, Ben Kennedy and Stephen Tornabene. Rookie goalie Nick Rieser will challenge seniors Greg Morneau (.900 save pct.) and Chris Addesa (.899 save pct.) for time in the net. After transferring from Wisconsin in 1997, Addesa posted an unblemished 5-0-1 record, including a phenomenal 44-save performance in a 4-4 overtime tie with three-time national champion Middlebury.
The Jeffs will look for their third straight ECAC Tournament bid in a new home as Orr Rink has been completely renovated. Visiting teams will enjoy expanded locker room facilities, overlooked by offices on a new mezzanine level. The ice size has been expanded at the corners toward its 200x88 dimensions. "It was a nice building before," observed Arena, "and they've kept the feel of the rink as it was before and kept its charm."