AMHERST, Mass. — Senior forward Tim Lovell will decide by December whether he will join the UMass-Amherst Minutemen in mid-season. Lovell, a Norwood, Mass. native, left Maine, where he compiled 21 goals and 40 points statistics last year en route to a selection to the All-Hockey East team.
Lovell will choose between two options. He may sit out the entire year to retain his final year of eligibility for 1997-98. Or he may join the team on Dec. 27, the earliest he can play for the Minutemen due to NCAA restrictions on transfer credits. He is allowed to practice with the team in the interim.
When the transfer was originally announced on Aug. 29, Lovell said, “It wasn’t an easy decision for me to leave Maine. I still have a lot of friends there, and I wish the program the best. But I also wanted another chance to play postseason hockey and UMass gives me that chance. Besides that, the School of Education at UMass has a great reputation, and I’m looking forward to finishing my academic career there.”
Head coach Joe Mallen is leaving the decision up to the talented forward. Based on the importance Lovell has attached to the postseason, it appears likely that if the Minutemen are faring well, he will join them for the stretch run. However, if the team is struggling, he may opt to play a full season in 1997-98 rather than exhaust his eligibility with a half-season followed by a quick exit in the league playoffs.
Minutemen coach Joe Mallen expressed delight with the acquisition.
“I’m extremely pleased at the prospect of adding a player of Tim’s caliber to our team,” said Mallen when the transfer was announced. “He is a Massachusetts guy, and I think this will be beneficial to both Tim and UMass. Tim will add a new dimension of skill and experience to our team, and he will continue to pursue his degree in education in our nationally ranked Education Department.”
Lovell joins Brett Clark and Brad Mahoney in leaving Maine in the wake of their postseason sanctions. Jeff Tory and Blair Allison will also be leaving the Black Bears if selected for the Canadian National Team.