Team Overview: Amherst is exactly one of the teams who was at the top of the standings in January (second place) and finished in sixth on the basis of results in a handful of games. “This league is just so tough,” said head coach Jack Arena. “Whether you are playing the NESCACs or the ECAC East schools there are no easy ones so you have to be ready to play every night. We have a good mix of kids coming back and should have some better depth this year which you absolutely need to have in this league.”
Senior captain Sean Ellis returns as the team’s leading scorer from last season and will get some support from juniors Kyle Schoppel(10-10-20) and Greg Adamo (7-10-17) who also had productive seasons for the Lord Jeffs.
Another senior, goalie Josh Fillman figures to be a big part of the success for Amherst this season having played in twenty games last season posting a 10-10-0 record with a solid 3.18 goals-against average and .902 save percentage.
Special Teams: When the Lord Jeffs were going well last season the power play was clicking for two three goals a game. They will need that kind of consistent offensive threat again this year to challenge down the stretch for a higher playoff seeding.
Schedule: The annual McCabe Tournament in November follows the opening weekend of the season and showcases four NESCAC schools including three from Connecticut plus Amherst. The early season match-ups without the pressure of league points allows the teams to get a look at some new and younger players in building for the season.
Summary: The ability to play down the stretch will make the difference for this year’s edition at Amherst. All the players expected to have big seasons will need to do so for the team to challenge at the top.