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Beau Kretzman '05
Junior sharpshooter Beau Kretzman earned First-Team All-NESCAC honors and finished 14th in the nation in goals per game last year.

Men's Hockey Set for 2003-04 Season

November 17, 2003

2002-03 RECAP
The 2002-03 Amherst College men’s ice hockey team took home the Little Three crown and earned its fourth consecutive bid to the NESCAC Postseason Tournament. The Jeffs defeated host Wesleyan University 7-4, using two goals each from Scott Aldrich and Beau Kretzman, and secured the Little Three title with a 4-3 home victory over archrival Williams College. Kretzman lit the lamp with just under three minutes remaining in regulation and the defense, led by captain Erich Schram, killed a late Williams power play to protect the lead and take home the Jeffs’ second Little Three championship in three years.

Amherst posted key ties against Trinity College, then ranked 14th in the nation, and NESCAC Champion Middlebury College, which finished the regular season ranked second in the nation. Aldrich tickled the twine twice in the 3-3 tie at Trinity, scoring both goals in the third period, the second of which came with only two seconds left in regulation. In the midst of a six-game unbeaten streak late in the season, Amherst battled to a 1-1 stalemate against visiting Middlebury. Ted Bickel redirected a rocket from Aldrich for the Jeffs’ lone score, and Sean Lynch was solid between the pipes collecting 22 saves. Just a week later, Amherst posted a 4-3 overtime win at Tufts University, a victory that helped secure the No. 6 seed in the NESCAC Tournament. Bickel came up big again, scoring with 1:18 remaining in overtime, while Kretzman netted his team-best 19th goal of the year and Lynch turned away 19 shots.

The Jeffs ended the season with a loss at eighth-ranked Colby College in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC Tournament, finishing the year at 7-13-5 (7-8-4 NESCAC).

The Jeffs lose five seniors to graduation including captain Erich Schram, Erik DiNardo, Justin Pitrack, Justin Jagher and Jaffrie Perrotti. Schram, a defenseman, was the fourth leading scorer last season with five goals and 12 of his 45 career assists. DiNardo played his first three seasons at forward, posting 15 career goals and 27 assists, but moved to defense in his senior campaign and made a significant contribution. He was also presented the Thomas Lawler Award by the Eastern Mass. Hockey Officials Association, which recognizes the player from NCAA Division II or III who best combines heart, ability and sportsmanship. Pitrack netted 14 goals and dished out 22 assists in his tenure, while Jagher and Perrotti spent their careers between the pipes. This group’s leadership and experience will be missed both on and off the ice.

Highlighting a large list of returnees for Amherst is junior co-captain Beau Kretzman. After leading the country in goals per game and nabbing NESCAC Rookie of the Year and Second-Team All-NESCAC honors as a first-year, Kretzman returned for an equally impressive sophomore season. He was named First-Team All-NESCAC and voted an ECAC East/NESCAC All Star by the New England Hockey Writers, finished 14th in the nation in goals per game (0.86) and 27th in the nation in points per game (1.5), and placed fourth in the NESCAC with 19 goals and seventh with 33 points. Kretzman leads a large group of forwards including seniors Mike Kreger and Josh Hoffman, juniors Scott Aldrich, Jonathan Hill, Marc Russell, Thierry Pauyo, Roy Mabrey and Josh Cherney, and sophomores Steve Nelson, Jack Greeley, Bradford Craigen and Rob Balanda. Aldrich and Nelson were the Jeffs’ second and third leading scorers, respectively, last season and should help carry the offense.

Senior co-captain John McNicholas, who tallied 10 assists last year, leads the defense. He and senior Chris Norqual should log most of the defensive minutes, while junior Williams Jenkins should contribute as well. Sophomore Sean Lynch is the lone returning goalkeeper after splitting time last season. He appeared in 15 games in his rookie campaign, collecting 260 saves and posting a save percentage of .867.