Men's Ice Hockey Shows Deep Lineup for 2006-07 Season

2006-07 RECAP
The Amherst College men's hockey team produced a solid 2006-2007 season, finishing 14-10-1 overall and posting a 10-8-1 record in NESCAC play. The Jeffs started their season with an impressive nine-game unbeaten streak, 8-0-1, beating NESCAC rivals Connecticut College and Wesleyan University to capture the Ben McCabe Invitational. During this stretch, the Jeffs brought down No. 2 nationally-ranked Norwich University, as well as other out of conference teams St. Michael’s University, Fitchburg State College and Rhode Island.
Schoppel2
Senior co-captain Kyle Schoppel will help
lead the Jeffs this season.

However, in the tenth game of the season, Norwich upset the Jeffs and put an end to their unbeaten streak. Amherst struggled with a few opponents, including NESCAC powerhouses Colby College, Middlebury College, and Bowdoin College and non-conference foes, Babson and Castleton State. Despite these lapses, Amherst continued to have success during the remainder of the season with several wins against Skidmore, Hamilton, and an overtime victory against Salem State.

Amherst’s trouncing of Wesleyan and Connecticut College during the season, beating both teams twice, and a win over Tufts University, guaranteed the Jeffs a spot in post-season play. The fifth-seeded Jeffs headed to Wesleyan, where they beat the Cardinals for the third time this season in the NESCAC Quarterfinal game. The next weekend Amherst faced top-seeded Bowdoin College in the semifinal match. The Jeffs looked to avenge its loss to Bowdoin earlier that season, as well as a previous NESCAC Tournament loss in 2006. Amherst was able to keep it close through the first periods of play, holding Bowdoin to one goal, but the Jeffs let the game slip away after forty minutes of play, allowing three more Polar Bear scores to their one. The Jeffs were unable to complete the comeback, finishing their last game of the season 3-6.

KEY LOSSES
The Jeffs graduated five seniors in 2007—captain Sean Ellis, and classmates Josh Fillman, Brandon Zengel, Erik Lund, and Trevor Calamel. Ellis 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. Ellis was named to the All-NESCAC Second Team last year, and was a finalist for the prestigious Joe Concannon Award.

Fillman completed a solid career at Amherst, in which he started 73 games over four seasons in net. Fillman was named the MVP for the Ben McCabe Tournament last season, in which Amherst defeated both Conn. College and Wesleyan University by a combined 13-3. Zangel graduates with the reputation as an enforcer for the Jeffs, but also as a surprisingly valuable member of the offensive at the defender position. With 5 goals, and 12 assists last season, Zangel ranked fifth on the Amherst squad in scoring.

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Junior Joel Covelli will look to repeat on his '06-'07 First Team All-NESCAC performance.

Classmates Calamel and Lund did not appear in the box score as much as their fellow graduates, but were equally important to the team’s success both on and off the ice as veteran leaders in the locker room.

KEY RETURNEES
Returning to lead the offense for Amherst this season are senior co-captain Kyle Schoppel and junior Joel Covelli. Covelli was a 2006-07 First-Team All-NESCAC selection, as he racked up 11 goals and 24 assists to lead the team with 35 points. Schoppel, the 2004-05 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, finished his junior season with 10 goals and 13 helpers, good enough for third on the team. Joining them at forward this season are seniors Greg Adamo, Andrew Schremp, and Mike McIntosh, as well as juniors Will Collins, Brendan Powers, and Olufemi Amurawaiye. Returning to their second year at forward are sophomores Keith Nelson, Jack Baer, and Ted Vickers. While Covelli and Schoppel carried a load of the scoring in ’06-’07, the Lord Jeffs should be very balanced on offense this season.

In what should be a very deep and consistent core of defenders this season, senior co-captain Rob Stevenson leads the group. Classmate Griffin Biedron is the only other senior defender returning this season, while juniors Rlyan Burns, Shane Lennox, and Jeff Landers round out the rotation. Also mixing in to provide depth are sophomores Andrew Stevenson and Sean Patterson.

In goal, Amherst returns junior A.J. Scola for a third season. Scola, who is currently missing time for the conclusion of football season, is expected to compete for the the starting role in a few weeks.

NEWCOMERS
Amherst welcomes seven first-years to the team this winter, including a pair of highly touted goaltenders. Between the pipes Jonathan La Rose and Cole Anderson have impressed the coaching staff in early practices and will both see time in early season games. Also joining the team are first-year forwards Trip Wray, Matt Rhone, Luke Arnold, and Jason Degiovanni, with defender Gavin Carson.

SCHEDULE
Amherst opens play on November 16-17 with conference games at home against Trinity College and Wesleyan University. The Jeffs will then travel Trinity to face Conn. College and another opponent at the John Dunham Invitational. Over the interterm break, the Jeffs will play in the Oswego Tournament against the host team and either Curry College or St. Norbert.