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Beau Kretzman '05
Sophomore sharpshooter Beau Kretzman earned NESCAC Rookie of the Year, Second-Team All-NESCAC and ECAC East All-Star honors as a first-year

Men's Hockey Gearing Up for Tough Regular-Season Slate

November 18, 2002

AMHERST, MA Coming off a trying 2001-02 campaign, the Amherst College men's hockey team, which opens its season Friday night at ECAC East rival Babson College, will look to a crew of youthful, yet experienced, returning players to once again challenge in the NESCAC and on the national level.

Last winter, Amherst opened training camp with a large bulls-eye on its back, thanks to a No. 9 preseason national ranking and a trip to the 2000-01 NESCAC Postseason Championship game under its belt. Hopes were high but results didn't meet expectations the Jeffs finished with a 6-14-5 overall record (6-9-4 in NESCAC play) and qualified for the seventh and final seed in the NESCAC Tournament, where they were eliminated by Bowdoin College, 3-2, in the first-round.

Nevertheless, the season was marked by some outstanding individual performances, especially that of first-year phenom Beau Kretzman (Edina, MN), who took the conference by storm earning NESCAC Rookie of the Year, Second-Team All-NESCAC and ECAC East All-Star honors. The rookie sharpshooter finished second in the conference in overall scoring (44 points), goals (25) and power play goals (eight), and tied for third in power play points (16) and sixth in assists (19).

For Amherst to compete in 2002-03, they'll have to contend with the loss of five graduated seniors, including forwards Bob Miele (Woburn, MA) and Greg Carr (Hanover, MA), who finished second and third on the team in scoring with 27 and 23 points, respectively.

Luckily on offense, along with Kretzman, the Jeffs return a trio of talented senior forwards in Erik DiNardo (N. Reading, MA), Justin Pitrack (Wilmette, IL) and Brett Farson (Greenwich, CT), along with the junior triumvirate of Mike Kreger (Glenview, IL), Josh Hoffman (Rydal, PA) and Ben Santonelli (Lynnfield, MA). Aside from Kretzman there are six additional forwards in the sophomore class, Jon Hill (Averill Park, NY), Scott Aldrich (Wilmington, MA), Marc Russell (Essex, VT), Thierry Pauyo (Montreal, Quebec), Roy Mabry (Needham, MA) and Josh Cherney (Chappaqua, NY). Three first-year forwards are also expected to contribute Jack Greeley (Scituate, MA), Steve Nelson (Wayzata, MN), Rob Balanda (Wellesley, MA).

Amherst should be especially strong on defense with virtually every player from last season returning. Led by senior captain Erich Schram (Madison, WI), the Jeffs also boast junior rearguards John McNicholas (Lake Forest, IL) and Chris Norqual (Eden Prairie, MN). Rounding out the defense are returning sophomores Brad Craigen (Kitchener, Ontario), Nick Harper (Rochester, MN) and Bill Jenkins (Edina, MN).

Between the pipes, the Jeffs return senior netminders Justin Jagher (Framingham, MA) and Jaffrie Perrotti (Winthrop, MA), who each saw extensive playing time last season. Waiting in the wings are junior Jon Lhost (Milwaukee, WI) and first-year Sean Lynch (Essex, VT).

As usual, Amherst will play one of the most difficult schedules in the country, facing perennial national championship contenders Norwich, Plattsburgh, R.I.T., Middlebury, Bowdoin and Trinity (CT), all of which enter the season nationally ranked.