by Tim Rosenthal/Staff Writer
Head Coach: Gary Wright
2006-07 Record: 8-25-1 (7-20-1 Atlantic Hockey)
Key Returnees: Jereme Tendler F SR., Bryan Jurynec F SR., Mark Pavli F SR., Greg Genovese F SR., Chris Bolognino F SR., Tom Fenton G JR., Matt Woodard D JR., David Turco F JR., Chad Richardson F JR., Frankie DeAngelis D SO., Mike McMillan F SO.
Key Losses: Jeremy Leroux, Neil Sullivan, Jason Lecours, Ben Ellsworth
It's been a grind for American International since entering the Division I ranks.
In 2005-06, AIC only won six games. Last season, it went to eight.
"I was disappointed with the start of the year," said head coach Gary Wright, whose team started off 2-14. "We played better down the stretch and improved greatly. I was very pleased with the second half."
Included in the second half, despite an 8-11-4 record, was a win in the Atlantic Hockey play-in game on the road at Canisius.
Going into this season, AIC will look to establish an identity. It will all start with co-captains Bryan Jurynec and Jereme Tendler.
"Brian Jurynec is one of the most committed players," said Wright. "He has a great work ethic, he is intense and he comes to play everyday.
"Jereme Tendler was our leading scorer last year. He is a terrific offensive player and a good player defensively."
The class of 2011 will look to make an immediate impact when they hit the ice in Springfield.
"I am excited," said Wright about the potential of the class. "We filled some needs and got the quality and quantity out of this class."
A couple of players worth mentioning in this recruiting class are forwards T.J. Smith and Greg Vatrano, who both have junior hockey experience.
One thing AIC has got going for it are the upperclassmen. There are seven seniors and eight juniors who are returning. A lot of experience could be the key if the Yellow Jackets want to make some noise this coming year.
"We got a large group of returnees and a good corps of recruits," Wright said. "I am very optimistic. However, we have to get it done on the ice."