Open main menu

American International Yellow Jackets men's ice hockey

The American International Yellow Jackets men's ice hockey team is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college ice hockey program that represents the American International College. The Yellow Jackets are a member of Atlantic Hockey. They play at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.[2]

American International Yellow Jackets
American International Yellow Jackets athletic logo
UniversityAmerican International College
ConferenceAHC
First season1948–49
Head coachEric Lang
4th season, 46–57–13 (.453)
CaptainShawn McBride
Alternate captain(s)Hugo Reinhardt Joel Kocur
ArenaMassMutual Center
Capacity: 6,866
Surface: 200' x 85'
LocationSpringfield, Massachusetts
ColorsBlack, White, and Gold[1]
              
NCAA Tournament appearances
2019
Conference Tournament championships
2019
Conference regular season championships
2019
Current uniform
American International Yellow Jackets Ice Hockey Team Uniforms 2018.png

HistoryEdit

AIC began its varsity program in 1948, playing a modest schedule for the first dozen years of its existence, building the program under William Turner before he handed it off to Joe Bucholz. In 1961 The Yellow Jackets joined with 27 other eastern schools (mostly in New England) to form ECAC Hockey.[3] AIC finished near the bottom for three seasons and in 1964 it was decided that the conference was too unwieldy to continue and was split into two divisions. The Yellow Jackets joined the lower division, becoming a founding member of ECAC 2.[4]

American International had some success when Turner returned to take over, winning the conference tournament in 1969[5], but dipped slightly after his retirement in 1970. When Paul Thornton took over in 1974 AIC saw a resurgence and by the late 1970's had returned to the ECAC 2 Tournament but after his departure in 1978 the program slumped once more.

In 1984 the Division II ice hockey level collapsed and sent almost all teams at that level down to Division III. AIC followed along and when ECAC 2 split the Yellow Jackets stayed with the eastern side, joining the new ECAC East. In all that upheval it was not lost that the American International had gotten its sixth head coach since 1970 but they were finally able to find someone willing to stick around in Gary Wright.[6]

Wright's time with AIC began fairly successfully with the team earning its first 20-win season in his fourth year. The next season, 1989, saw the Yellow Jackets pace the ECAC East with 20 wins and set a program record with 24 wins overall but they faltered in the conference tournament and failed to make the D-III National championship. The next year the team was able to regain some of their success by winning the ECAC East title, their first conference championship in 21 years, but they were left out of the National Tournament due to a relatively poor overall record (only eight teams made the tournament and league champions did not receive an automatic berth). AIC continued to play well in the mid-90s but in 1995 the program declined sharply, dropping from 14 to 4 wins and remained in the ECAC East cellar for the rest of its time there.

In 1998 the MAAC began sponsoring an ice hockey conference and AIC joined as an affiliate member, returning to the top tier of college hockey.[7] In their first year back the Yellow Jackets posted a decent record, finishing 5th in the 8-team field but bowed out in the first round of the conference playoffs. After that brief glimpse of success, however, AIC fell to the bottom of the conference and remained there for almost the next 20 years. Even with several new teams joining the conference and the division's reworking into Atlantic Hockey AIC could finish no better than 9th from 2000 through 2017 with the lone exception coming in 2006 when Atlantic Hockey had only 8 league members.

AIC made the conference tournament every years because Atlantic Hockey structured its conference tournament to include every team, but even then the Yellow Jackets could only twice win the 9 vs 8 play-in game and lost every other round it participated in. AIC lost 20 games for thirteen consecutive seasons and 18 out of 19 years after 1999 but through it all Gary Wright stayed on to hold the program together. He eventually retired in 2016, being the longest-tenured coach at the time of his retirement and held the record for the most career losses with a single program, but his legacy with AIC went beyond wins and losses.[8]

A new era at AIC began in 2016 with Eric Lang as the new head coach. After a poor but familiar first season AIC posted its best record since 1993 with 15 wins, finishing 8th in Atlantic Hockey and winning its first conference tournament round in over a decade.

Season-by-season results[9]Edit

All-time coaching recordsEdit

As of April 1, 2019

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
2016–Present Eric Lang 3 46–57–13 .453
1984–2016 Gary Wright 32 313–605–76 .353
1982–1984 Lincoln Flagg 2 18–32–0 .360
1978–1982 Wayne LaChance 4 46–57–0 .447
1974–1978 Paul Thornton 4 63–33–1 .655
1972–1974 Peter Esdale 2 18–32–3 .368
1970–1972 Wally Barlow 2 17–23–1 .427
1957–1964 Joe Bucholz 7 39–86–0 .312
1948–1957, 1964–1970 William Turner 15 128–118–4 .520
Totals 9 coaches 71 seasons 688-1043-98 .403

AwardsEdit

NCAA All-AmericansEdit

AHCA Second Team All-Americans


Rookie of the yearEdit

Atlantic Hockey
  • Brennan Kapcheck (2018)

Regular Season Scoring TrophyEdit

Atlantic Hockey
  • Blake Christensen (2019)

Team Sportsmanship AwardEdit

Atlantic Hockey
  • 2014, 2015, 2016

Coach of the YearEdit

MAAC
Atlantic Hockey

Most Valuable Player in TournamentEdit

Atlantic Hockey
  • Zackarias Skog (2019)

All–MAAC TeamEdit

First TeamEdit

The following AIC men's ice hockey players have been chosen as First Team All-MAAC.[10]

  • Aaron Arnett (2001)

Second TeamEdit

  • Chance Thede (1999)
  • Mike Sowa (1999)

Rookie TeamEdit

  • Guillaume Caron (2001)
  • Trent Ulmer (2001)

All–Atlantic Hockey TeamEdit

First TeamEdit

The following AIC men's ice hockey players have been chosen as First Team All-Atlantic Hockey.[11]

  • Guillaume Caron (2004)
  • Frank Novello (2005)
  • Brennan Kapcheck (2019)
  • Blake Christensen (2019)

Second TeamEdit

  • Ben Meisner (2013)
  • Adam Pleskach (2013)

Third TeamEdit

  • Jeremr Tendler (2007, 2008)
  • Adam Pleskach (2012)
  • Jeff Ceccacci (2013)
  • Jon Puksar (2014)
  • Jānis Jaks (2018)

Rookie TeamEdit

  • Adam Pleskach (2010)
  • Chris Porter (2013)
  • David Norris (2014)
  • Stefano Durante (2018)
  • Brennan Kapchek (2018)

RosterEdit

As of September 12, 2019.[12]

No. S/P/C Player Class Pos Height Weight DoB Hometown Previous team NHL rights
1   Jarrett Fiske Freshman G 6' 5" (1.96 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1999-05-28 Erie, Pennsylvania Kemptville (CCHL)
2   Nicolas Luka Senior D 5' 11" (1.8 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1995-08-18 Bartlett, Illinois Coulee Region (NAHL)
3   Patrik Demel Senior D 5' 11" (1.8 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1995-11-28 Ostrava, Czech Republic Bismarck (NAHL)
4   Brett Callahan Freshman D 5' 10" (1.78 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1998-10-16 Westmont, Illinois Jersey (NCDC)
5   Calvon Boots Freshman D 5' 11" (1.8 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1998-02-11 Fairbanks, Alaska Flin Flon (SJHL)
6   Jeff Baum Junior D 5' 11" (1.8 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1996-06-17 Colleyville, Texas Providence (HEA)
7   Oskar Strömberg Junior D 6' 7" (2.01 m) 230 lb (104 kg) 1996-11-26 Sollentuna, Sweden New Jersey (NAHL)
8   Brennan Kapcheck Junior D 5' 9" (1.75 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 1996-11-17 Mount Prospect, Illinois Aston (NAHL)
9   Blake Bennett Freshman F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1998-07-01 Grand Island, New York Corpus Christi (NAHL)
10   Martin Mellberg Senior F 6' 1" (1.85 m) 183 lb (83 kg) 1995-09-17 Stockholm, Sweden Lone Star (NAHL)
11   Jan Štefka Sophomore F 6' 3" (1.91 m) 194 lb (88 kg) 1997-02-18 Olomouc, Czech Republic Connecticut (NCDC)
12   Eric Otto Freshman (RS) F 6' 1" (1.85 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1997-07-19 Burnsville, Minnesota Chicago (USHL)
13   Hugo Reinhardt (C) Senior F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1996-04-06 Kungsbacka, Sweden Fargo (USHL)
14   Jared Pike Senior F 6' 4" (1.93 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 1995-12-31 Sandy, Utah Bismarck (NAHL)
15   Matúš Spodniak Sophomore F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1997-12-22 Košice, Slovakia Ogden (WSHL)
16   Kyle Stephan Senior F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1995-02-20 Banff, Alberta Wenatchee (BCHL)
18   Blake Christensen Senior F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1995-09-15 Coral Springs, Florida Wenatchee (BCHL)
20   Tobias Fladeby Junior F 6' 0" (1.83 m) 191 lb (87 kg) 1996-05-20 Asker, Norway Bismarck (NAHL)
21   Justin Cole Sophomore (RS) F 6' 3" (1.91 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1996-05-01 Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania Cedar Rapids (USHL)
22   Parker Revering Sophomore D 6' 1" (1.85 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1997-01-11 Alexandria, Minnesota Brookings (NAHL)
23   Austin Albrecht Junior F 6' 0" (1.83 m) 193 lb (88 kg) 1996-05-14 Flemington, New Jersey UMass (HEA)
24   Joel Kocur (C) Senior F 6' 1" (1.85 m) 188 lb (85 kg) 1995-09-18 Edson, Alberta Flin Flon (SJHL)
25   Luka Maver Sophomore (RS) F 6' 3" (1.91 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1997-10-25 Ljubljana, Slovenia Lincoln (USHL)
26   Chris Theodore Sophomore F 5' 7" (1.7 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1997-10-15 Beaconsfield, Quebec Cornwall (CCHL)
27   Jānis Jaks Senior D 6' 0" (1.83 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1995-08-22 Iecava, Latvia Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL)
28   Elijiah Barriga Sophomore F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 193 lb (88 kg) 1996-05-16 West Covina, California UNLV (ACHA)
29   Nate Hooper Freshman F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1998-01-08 Winnipeg, Manitoba Flin Flon (BCHL)
30   Stefano Durante Junior G 6' 0" (1.83 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 1996-06-04 Brampton, Ontario Cobourg (OJHL)
33   Zackarias Skog Senior G 6' 4" (1.93 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1995-06-27 Gothenburg, Sweden Omaha (USHL)
37   Hunter Johannes Freshman F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1998-07-24 Eden Prairie, Minnesota Jamestown (NAHL)
39   Jake Stella Freshman F 6' 0" (1.83 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1998-11-14 Karlstad, Sweden Corpus Christi (NAHL)
55   Chris Dodero Junior F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 176 lb (80 kg) 1996-06-08 West Chicago, Illinois Janesville (NAHL)
61   Justin Wilson Freshman F 6' 4" (1.93 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1998-06-30 North Vancouver, British Columbia Salmon Arm (BCHL)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Logo Usage & Brand Standards Manual (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 28, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "American International Yellow Jackets Men's Hockey". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  3. ^ "History of ECAC Hockey". College Hockey Historical Archives. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  4. ^ "1964-65 NCAA - ECAC - Div. 2 Standings". Hockey DB. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  5. ^ "NEHC Tournaments". New England Hockey Conference. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  6. ^ "2012–13 Men's Ice Hockey Coaching Staff". AIC Yellow Jackets. Retrieved 2014-08-09.
  7. ^ "History of the MAAC". College Hockey Historical Archives. 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
  8. ^ "Longtime AIC hockey coach Gary Wright to resign". Mass Live. March 31, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  9. ^ "Men's Ice Hockey Year-By-Year Results". American INternational Yellow Jackets. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  10. ^ "All-MAAC Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  11. ^ "All-Atlantic Hockey Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  12. ^ "2019–20 Men's Ice Hockey Roster". American International College Athletics. Retrieved September 20, 2017.

External linksEdit