Athletics

Amherst Men's Hockey Looks to Return to NCAA Tournament

2009-10 SEASON RECAP

Coming off the best season in program history, the 2009-10 Amherst College men’s ice hockey team had high hopes for a follow-up performance. Led by the winningest class in program history, the Lord Jeffs went 11-4-4 in NESCAC regular season play to earn the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament, but suffered a 2-1 overtime loss to No. 5 seed Trinity at home. After starting the season 14-2-2, Amherst slowed down the stretch to finish the year 16-5-4.

Anderson
Senior Cole Anderson returns in net for Amherst.

Amherst went on a 13-game unbeaten streak over a two-month period starting on December 5, 2009, rising all the way to the No. 9 ranking in the USCHO.com Poll. The Jeffs made their mark last season with a league leading defense and special teams unit. Amherst finished the year leading the NESCAC in scoring defense (1.76 GAA), power play percentage (28.4%), penalty kill percentage (88.2%) and combined special teams.

FORWARDS

Amherst lost four senior forwards to graduation in May, with captain Keith Nelson and classmates Jack Baer, Ted Vickers and Sean Patterson each leaving a legacy of winning behind. Nelson graduated having scored 73 points in 89 career games on 15 goals and 58 assists. One of the rare players who earned time on the ice in all phases of the game, the Jeffs will look to a combination of players to replace the minutes Nelson logged in even-strength action, on the power-play and on the penalty-kill. Vickers scored 18 goals and dished out 29 helpers for 47 points in the purple and white, while Baer graduated with more career appearances (97) than anyone on last year’s roster.

Despite losing a solid class last season, Amherst’s list of strengths this winter will surely include its depth and balance at the forward position. Seniors Joe Brock and Matt Rhone return as Amherst’s leading scorers from last year, having score a dozen goals apiece as juniors. Brock finished with 25 points by adding 13 assists in his first season at Amherst after transferring in from Holy Cross prior to last season. Rhone added 11 helpers to finish with 22 points last year. Classmates Luke Arnold and Trip Wray have earned their stripes for Amherst already having each appeared in over 70 games during their first three seasons. Arnold will help fill the hole left by Nelson’s departure with his ability to do a little bit of everything on the ice. Wray was voted a co-captain by his peers, and will hope to increase his role offensively while remaining one of Amherst’s best penalty killing forwards.

Amherst has three talented junior forwards led by co-captain Eddie Effinger. One of Amherst’s best all-around skaters, Effinger’s speed and energy make him a tough matchup for defenses. Last season, Effinger ranked just behind Rhone and Brock in the scoring column with 10 goals and 12 assists for 22 points, while his trio of game-winners also led the Jeffs. Classmates Mark Colp and Kevin English also return for their third year at Amherst, having combined for five goals last season. After scoring nine goals as a rookie, Colp will look to find the goal more this year as a junior.

Rhone
Forward Matt Rhone '11 returns as one of Amherst's
leading scorers from last season.

Sophomore forwards Mike Moher, Nick Brunette, Johnny Van Siclan and Dylan Trumble all made an immediate impact as rookies last season, and will be expected to contribute once again this year. Both Moher and Brunette became regulars in the Amherst lineup last year as the season progressed, while Van Siclen battled injuries and illness last season. Alongside Trumble, a hard-nosed player who does a little bit of everything on the ice, Amherst’s sophomores will compliment a veteran lineup nicely.

DEFENSEMEN

Amherst returns seven defensemen from last season after losing only Andrew Stevenson to graduation in the spring. Stevenson played in 95 games for Amherst and was both a smart defender and a consistent presence at the blue line.

Senior Gavin Carson missed nearly his entire sophomore season with a back injury, but bounced back to play in 16 games last season. As the lone senior defensemen this season, Carson will look to make his impact on the ice and as a leader for a young group. Sophomore Jamie Hawkrigg will help lead the group as well in just his second season, once again looking to make an impact on the power play, while contributing offensively from the blue line. Juniors Jake Hannon, Mike Baran and Jeremy Deutsch each return and will be expected to play significant roles once again.  Hannon’s experience has made him a steady influence in this group, while Baran is one of the strongest and most physical defenders in the conference. At times last season, Deutsch stood out as one of the Jeffs’ best defenders. Sophomore Brandon Hew battled through mononucleosis at the start of his rookie year, but came on late to play in 14 games. Classmate Nik Garafalo will help provide depth on defense in his second year.

GOALIES

Amherst returns senior Cole Anderson and sophomore Nathan Corey at the goaltender position this season. After splitting time during his first two seasons with Amherst, Anderson took over the starting job last year full time. A 2009 NESCAC First Team selection and RBK Hockey All-American as a sophomore, Anderson posted another fabulous year as junior. In 52 career starts, Anderson has helped Amherst to a 29-16-6 record when he plays. With a 1.92 goals-against average, Anderson boasts a .934 overall save percentage. Corey returns as a very capable option between the pipes for the Jeffs, having posted a 3-0-0 record as a starter last year. While surrendering just a single goal in 195 minutes of action as a rookie, Corey has an impressive 0.31 goals-against average and a .979 save percentage.

NEWCOMERS

The Lord Jeffs welcome eight new players to the team this winter, including rookie forwards Christopher Finch, Erik Hansen, Andrew Kurlandski, Brian Safstrom and Ryan Edwards. The returning defensemen are joined by first-year blue liner Elliot Bostrom, while Johnny Russell will join the goaltending ranks this winter.