Massachusetts-Lowell found out late Thursday night that Baptiste Amar was indeed eligible to play — something that the Riverhawks contended was correct all along.
“It was a very pleasant phone call that I got at 9:08 last night,” said head coach Blaise MacDonald. “I didn’t doubt it, we had enough information, we had due diligence and knew we did the right thing, but another coach in Hockey East was challenging that. And our integrity and our understanding of the rules prevails.”
Amar sat out Lowell’s two games last weekend, pending a ruling by the NCAA. Another Hockey East coach put in a challenge with the NCAA, suggesting Amar had just one year of eligibility, which he used last season.
Amar, a defenseman who was a member of the 2002 French Olympic team, played in the game against Rensselaer on Friday night, and looked a bit rusty, but with him on the ice, the Riverhawks looked more at ease and in step with the game.
“While he was out, it had the team on edge a little bit,” admitted MacDonald. “Here’s a guy that is practicing and we don’t know what’s going on, we’re confused, is he going to play, is he not, is he going back to France next week if he’s ineligble, and that’s difficult for the team.
“Then when we got him back, I didn’t want the team to think he had a big ‘S’ on his chest either. He’s a good solid player and he’s a guy that can play a lot of minutes, so getting him back is going to be important for us.”