Season Preview: Men's Ice Hockey Returns Strong Core for 2017-18

Season Preview: Men's Ice Hockey Returns Strong Core for 2017-18

AMHERST, Mass. – The 2017-18 Amherst College men's ice hockey team has high expectations heading into the new season after graduating just three members from last year's team that finished with a 14-7-3 overall record and a 9-6-3 mark in NESCAC play.

Led by Jack Arena '83, who enters his 35th season at the helm of the program, the Mammoths return 10 forwards and nine defenders from the 2016-17 squad that suffered a tough 2-1 loss in the conference quarterfinals – including six of their seven double-digit point getters and all three of their forwards that eclipsed the 20-point mark.

"We return all but three from last year's team so that experience should help us," commented Arena. "I think our strength is in the defensive end and hopefully we can find chemistry up front. Connor Girard returns in goal and he was very good for us last year."

Second Team All-NESCAC selection Thomas Lindstrom '18, David White '18 and Patrick Daly '20 combined to provide the bulk of the scoring last winter, with the trio totaling 33 goals, 32 helpers for 65 points. With 12 scores apiece, Lindstrom and Daly led the Mammoths, while White logged team-high numbers in assists with 12 on the year.

In Joey Lupo '20 Amherst returns a two-way player and playmaker that is poised for a solid sophomore campaign after finishing with 11 points behind four goals and seven helpers a season ago, while Will Vosejpka '18, P.J. Conlon '20 and Jack Fitzgerald '19 are versatile attackers that have proven clutch on special teams, with Vosejpka netting a short-handed score and Conlon chipping in three power play goals.

Stanley Brenner '19 (3 goals), John Festa '19 (3 goals, 2 assists) and Max Roche '19 (2 goals, 2 assists) are the final Amherst returners, with all three skaters adding depth and experience up front.

First-years Jack Lloyd, Corey Goldstein, Nick Bondra, Matteo Mangiardi round out the Mammoths' offensive attack.

Noah Gilreath '20 and Phil Johansson '19 headline a seasoned defensive unit that remains largely intact from a season ago. Notching two goals and dishing out 11 assists, Gilreath ranked fourth on the team in points in 2016-17, while Johansson was a force in the neutral zone while amassing 10 points.

A key component on the power play, Tyler Granara '18 found nylon twice while up a skater, while Patrick Mooney '18 will continue in a leadership role after chipping in six assists from the blue line. Juniors Steven Mallory and Nicholas Faturos and sophomores Mark Esposito, A.J. Klein '20 and Greg Krisberg contribute tenacity and a veteran presence, while first-year Pieter von Steinbergs will look to make an immediate impact.

The Mammoths welcome back Connor Girard '18 and Giancarlo Ventre '20 to this year's squad while adding depth in between the pipes with the addition of newcomers Alex Einarsson '19 and Michael Cullen '21.

Playing the majority of minutes in the crease last season, Girard registered 469 saves in 18 starts to own a .929 save percentage and a 2.00 goals against average, while Ventre saw action in three contests, making 56 stops in 129:30 minutes.

Not yet a member of the Friends of Amherst Men's Ice Hockey for the 2017-18 year? Become a first-time member of or renew your membership in the FAA and support Coach Arena and the men's ice hockey program. Make a gift ahead of the team's first contest of the season on Friday, November 17 versus Hamilton. Go Mammoths!