Junior Kyle Schoppel put in 10 goals and added 10 assists last season for the Jeffs
Men's Hockey Ready to Compete in 2006-07
November 7, 2006
The Amherst College men's hockey team produced a solid 2005-2006 season, posting a 12-12-1 record in one of the most competitive Div. III conferences in the country. The Jeffs opened the season 3-3-1, twice overpowering NESCAC rival Wesleyan University and trouncing Connecticut College en route to their second straight Spurrier Classic crown. During this stretch the Jeffs faced nationally-ranked powerhouses Trinity College, Norwich University and Hobart College, giving them a taste of legitimate national competition. The peak of the season saw a six game win streak during January that included wins over Connecticut College, Tufts University and non-conference foes Salem State, University of Southern Maine and Skidmore College. With wins over several key NESCAC teams, the Jeffs grabbed sixth place in conference standings and earned a spot in the NESCAC championship tournament for the seventh consecutive year. The sixth seeded Jeffs headed to Bowdoin for a rematch after losing a closely fought contest a few weeks earlier. Amherst was able to keep it close through the first two periods of play, scoring one goal to Bowdoin’s two, but the Jeffs were unable to complete the comeback, ending their season in the first round.
The Jeffs graduated four seniors in 2006: captain Jack Greeley, Steve Nelson, Rob Balanda, and A.J. Greco. Greeley capped an exceptional career, twice earning NESCAC All-Academic honors, tallying six goals and eight assists while providing incomparable leadership for the Jeffs throughout his four years. Nelson, a four-year forward, played some of his most inspired hockey during the first part of last season, racking up seven goals and seven assists before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Nelson was still able to leave a mark on the program during his four years, tallying 69 points on 31 goals and 38 assists. Balanda earned NESCAC All-Academic honors, while Greco, a sophomore transfer from Division I power house University of Miami (OH), tacked on 31 goals and 27 assists during his three-year stint.
Senior captain Sean Ellis returns as the Jeffs’ leading scorer with 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points last season. He and juniors Greg Adamo, Andrew Schremp and 2004-2005 NESCAC Rookie of the Year Kyle Schoppel, Amherst's second leading scorer with 20 points on 10 goals and 10 assists last season, will lead senior Eric Lund and sophomores Will Collins and Brendan Powers on the attack. On the defensive side, seniors Brandon Zangel and Trevor Calamel and juniors Rob Stevenson and Mike McIntosh will lead a deep unit that often times has carried the Jeffs. Also returning for the Jeffs will be sophomores Rylan Burns, Shane Lennox, Jeff Landers, Griffin Biedron and Olufemi Amurawaiye. Senior Josh Fillman returns to goal, having played nearly every minute last year en route to a .902 save percentage with 550 saves. Sophomore A.J. Scola will serve as a backup for Fillman after posting a .905 save percentage with 19 saves between the pipes last season. Sean Lynch also returns to the program and will add needed depth to the goaltending position.
Amherst welcomes five first-years and one sophomore transfer this winter. Newcomers Andrew Stevenson and Sean Patterson hope to impact the defense ranks, while Joel Covelli, Keith Nelson, Jack Baer and Ted Vickers will add speed and scoring on the Jeffs' offensive end.
The Jeffs begin their 2006-07 slate traveling to Wesleyan University and Trinity College on November 17 and 18, respectively. Amherst returns home to host the McCabe Tournament on November 25 and 26, followed by a number of exciting ECAC East match-ups, notably Norwich University, Babson College and St. Anselm College. The Jeffs conclude the regular season at home, hosting archrival Williams College and perennial powerhouse Middlebury College.