Smith Named NESCAC Player of the Year; Rieser Tabbed First-Team All-NESCAC|
March 2, 2001
AMHERST, Mass. - Senior Amherst College men's ice hockey defenseman Jim Smith (Rochester, MN) was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Year on Thursday, after helping the Jeffs to a 16-4-3 regular season record with a team-high 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists). Smith, a First-Team All-NESCAC selection for the second year in a row, joins classmate Nick Rieser (Northfield, IL), who was selected to the First Team as the league's outstanding goalie.
|Jim Smith '01 earned |
NESCAC Player of the Year honors
and was a First-Team
All-Conference selection for
the second consecutive season
Smith, who posted a team-high 17 assists as a junior, continued his stellar play into the 2000-01 season, and is currently fourth in the league in scoring with a team-best 34 points on 12 goals and 22 assists. He is the only defenseman among the league's top 15 scorers, and has been an integral part of the nation's second-stingiest defense, with the Jeffs allowing just 2.13 goals-per-game entering Friday afternoon's NESCAC semifinal against Bowdoin College at top-seeded Middlebury College.
Another integral part of that defense has been Rieser, who has turned in a sensational senior season between the pipes for the Jeffs. Rieser, who has allowed only 34 goals in 1,065 minutes entering the NESCAC semifinals, was named the NESCAC Player of the Week and U.S. College Hockey Defensive Player of the Week after leading the Jeffs to a pair of critical conference wins late in the regular season over Bowdoin and Colby Colleges. After posting a 2.40 goals-against-average and stopping 91.4 percent of the shots he faced as a junior, Rieser has allowed only 1.92 goals per game this year, stopping 92.5 percent of the 456 shots he has faced, including a pair of shutouts.
Junior Amherst forward Bob Miele (Woburn, MA) also received conference honors for his efforts during the 2000-01 season, named to the league's Second Team after posting a team-best 13 goals and 16 assists through Amherst's first 24 games. Miele also picked up league and U.S. College Hockey Online Player of the Week honors during the season, receiving the accolades after back-to-back hat tricks in Amherst's wins over Hamilton and Skidmore Colleges in late January.
|Bob Miele '02 earned |
Second-Team honors after
posting a team-best
13 goals and 16 assists
Rieser and Smith joined four other NESCAC seniors on the league's First Team, including Middlebury College's Scott Goldman (Doylestown, PA) and Matt Skoglund (Winnetka, IL), Williams forward Bobby Moss (North Reading, MA) and Colby College forward Fred Perowne (King City, Ontario).
Middlebury College first-year Adam Foote (New Hartford, NY) was named the league's Rookie of the Year, and Trinity College Head Coach John Dunham was named the Coach of the Year after leading the Bantams to a 12-4-1 league mark, including the only conference loss for Middlebury in 17 league contests.
The Jeffs (17-4-3) locked up the two-seed in the second NESCAC Tournament with a 3-2 win at arch-rival Williams on the final day of the regular season before a 3-0 win over the Ephs in the NESCAC quarterfinals. With the back-to-back wins over Williams, Amherst advanced to face fifth-seeded Bowdoin College in Friday afternoon's conference semifinals at top-seeded Middlebury. The Polar Bears knocked off Trinity in last Saturday's quarterfinals in a 4-3 overtime thriller.
The Panthers, who earned a first-round bye as the NESCAC's regular-season champion, face sixth-seeded Hamilton College in the nightcap, with the winners of Friday's semifinals meeting at Middlebury's Kenyon Arena on Saturday night to decide the NESCAC championship. The winner of Saturday's game receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.