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Contact: William Sodoma
Date: November 14, 2006
WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College hockey teams open the season Friday with the men facing off against Babson College at Alfond Rink at 7 p.m. and the women visiting Amherst College at the same time.
The Colby men's hockey team went 15-9-1 last season and have a nice mix of veteran players and newcomers. The Colby women finished 15-8-1 and return nearly everyone from a squad that battled defending national champion Middlebury College to a tie game into the third period in a league semifinal a year ago.
Here's a look at each team:
Women's hockey: Head coach David Venditti earned NESCAC Coach of the Year honors after helping the Mules go from seven wins to 15 in one year. Venditti, back for his third season with the Mules, will have a team loaded with experienced players after his big first-year class got plenty of ice time last season. Venditti has no seniors on this year's roster.
Sophomore forward Laura Anning earned NESCAC first team honors last year after leading Colby in scoring with 20 goals and 16 assists for 36 points. She had six power play goals, three game-winning tallies and led the Mules as well in penalty minutes.
The Mules have their top nine scorers back from last year, some top defenders and all three goalies from last year's roster. Junior goalie Genevieve Triganne returns after earning conference second team honors after posting a .918 save percentage and a 2.42 goals against average. Sophomore Lacey Brown played about 250 minutes and had a 3-0 record and a 1.45 goals against average to go along with a .950 save percentage. Shelley Payne saw limited time behind Triganne and Brown.
Triganne is one of the captains along with juniors Lauren Goethals (1 goal, 10 assists) and Marissa Mullane (6 assists). Those two will lead the defense along with Caroline Voyles, Victoria Work, Heather Nickerson and first-year players Andrea Fuwa, Dana Yerigan and Tatiana Kowalewski.
Besides Anning, Colby also returns the scoring of Becky Julian (15 goals, 11 assists), Amanda Comeau (6 goals, 13 assists), Nickerson (6 goals, 9 assists), Nicole Crocker (6 goals, 7 assists), Colette Finley (5 goals, 8 assists) and Laura Clemson (7 goals, 4 assists).
Lauren Bizzari, Margaret Chute and Jennifer Caruso will add depth to the forward lines along with first-year players Meghan Guay and Kaitlyn Conway.
Colby will play at Connecticut College on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. before its home opener next Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Southern Maine.
Men's hockey: Head coach Jim Tortorella, back for his 12th year at Colby, also earned NESCAC Coach of the Year honors after leading a young team to a 15-9-1 record and a tie for third in the conference.
A lot of the good young players are now veterans and will be instrumental in how the Mules fare in 2006-07. Colby returns seven of its top eight scorers from last year, including juniors T.J. Kelley (16 goals, 24 assists) and Josh Reber (6 goals, 32 assists). Kelley earned a spot on the New England Hockey Writers ECAC East/NESCAC All-Star team and was on the NESCAC second team. Kelley was tied for second in the conference in scoring, while Reber led the league in assists and was fourth in scoring.
Senior captain Greg Osborne led the Mules in goals with 17 and added 15 assists for 32 points. Osborne had 11 of Colby's 36 power play goals last season. Patrick Rutherford (11 goals, 8 assists), Adam Marino (3 goals, 3 assists), Mike Butler (2 goals, 4 assists), Mike DiMaggio (2 goals, 3 assists), Matt Ahern and Greg Valenski also return as forwards. Eric Simmons, Mike Policinski, Michael Belliveau and Jared Crittenden are first-year forwards looking to make an impact.
Juniors Arthur Fritch, Joe Rothwell and Ryan Chrenek all proved they can score from the blue line. Fritch made the NESCAC second team and was the top defensemen in scoring for the Mules at seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points. Rothwell had eight goals and nine assists, while Chrenek finished with seven goals and four assists. Chrenek will be an assistant captain this season.
Chris Talbert also returns on defense for the Mules. Colby will look for first-year production from Mike White, Jeoffrey Jarnot, Brett Souza, Matt Strickland and Tom Scott.
Senior goalie Ben Grandjean went 9-5-1 last year and had a solid .916 save percentage. Sophomore Dean Feole saw limited time in goal last year, while first-year goalie Jared Tepper will battle for minutes.
The Mules are receiving votes in the latest national poll. Colby will be tested right away against a good Babson squad before playing host to University of Massachusetts-Boston on Saturday at 4 p.m.