Amherst Skates to 4-1 Win Over Trinity in Season Opener

Senior co-captain Kyle Schoppel netted a pair of goals in the Jeffs' season opener.

by Jesse Corradi '08 

AMHERST, MA - The Amherst College men's hockey team exploded out of the gate to open the 2007-2008 regular season with a dominant 4-1 victory over visiting NESCAC foe Trinity College. With an all-around solid performance, Amherst starts the season with a well-deserved victory against a talented Bantam squad.

The contest started slowly, with very little offensive action for the first 10 minutes of play. However, the pace of the game picked up after the 10-minute mark when sophomore forward Jack Baer (Edina, MN) and senior co-captain Kyle Schoppel (Cambridge, ON) found themselves in control of a 2-on-1 breakaway. Baer drew the Trinity defender and fed a wide open Schoppel, who found the top of the net with a wrist shot to give the Jeffs a 1-0 advantage.

After the opening score, Amherst continued to pour on the offense for the rest of the period. Junior forward Joel Covelli (Carlisle, ON) fired a well placed shot past Trinity netminder David Murison that was assisted by Andrew Schremp (Denver, CO) and Gregg Adamo (Manalapan, NJ) for a power play goal. Before the end of the first frame, the Jeffs bumped their lead to 3-0 when Adamo found the back of the net with a high slap shot. Adamo’s goal was assisted by first-year forward Luke Arnold (Lincoln, MA) and senior forward Mike McIntosh (Soldotna, AK) to wrap up the scoring for the first frame.

The second session saw no scoring from either side. First-year goaltender Cole Anderson (Sylvan Lake, AB) kept Trinity off the board, tallying several crucial saves during the Bantams’ power play chances. Anderson, with the help of a solid defensive effort by the Jeffs, was able to turn away 11 shots on goal during the second frame. On a key defensive stop, junior defenseman Rylan Burns (Jasper, AB) was able to successfully disrupt a 2-on-1 breakaway for the Bantams by sliding in front of a centering pass. The Jeffs had an opportunity to add another goal when Schoppel come up with a loose puck and a breakaway, but he was unable to convert.

Opening the third frame with a one-man advantage, Trinity failed to capitalize on the power play opportunity. However, the Bantams were able to get on the board when Derek Sandberg fed Ryan Crapser, who fired a slap shot from just in front of the blue line to bring the score to 3-1. The Jeff defense held up well for the rest of the period, with Anderson stopping eight shots and the Jeffs successfully killing all Bantam power play chances. Amherst added a late goal when Schoppel slid the puck past the Bantam goaltender, with Griffin Briedron (Chelsea, MI) and Burns picking up the assists.

Anderson played exceptionally well in his first contest, turning away 31 shots, while the defense prevented the Bantams from racking up any points during power play opportunities.

The Jeffs will look to continue the start of their season in successful fashion when they play host to the visiting Wesleyan University Cardinals Saturday at 3 p.m. at Orr Rink.