Amonte A figurehead for perseverance


by Scott Weighart,

BOSTON Under normal circumstances, one would not expect a senior college hockey player with 75 games under his belt to struggle with fear and nerves before a regular season game in late October.

but Ty Amontes College hockey career was far from ordinary.

Due to two shoulder injuries, a sports hernia and the COVID-19 pandemic, Saturday night’s 6-8 win over Merrimack was the first time the striker played in front of fans since Boston University‘s loss to the Northeast in the Hockey East semi-finals TD Garden back on March 22, 2019. It was also his first time since March 2 of this year to play a game at the Agganis Arena.

Amonte also scored big goals in both games. So when he scored the first goal after 2:22 minutes, you could tell that it picked up exactly where he left off.

It only took him two and a half years to do this.

A more laid-back Terrier fan could be forgiven for having to dig into memory banks to remember the first two seasons of Amonte. After all, only senior captain Logan Cockerill remains on the Terrier roster from when Amonte was last in the line-up. To put that period in perspective, teammate Joel Farabee has since scored 31 goals in 111 National Hockey League games with the Philadelphia Flyers, while Dante Fabbro has played 113 defense games for the Nashville Predators.

Why did Amontes’ time at BU develop into a starry saga? The answer is from his time on Commonwealth Avenue.

“When I went into my junior year I knew I was dealing with a few things,” said Amonte after the Terriers 8-6 win over Merrimack. “I injured my shoulder in high school and it injured during my sophomore year in college. I knew it was coming, so it was okay to sit out that junior year.”

After this red shirt season, Amonte’s senior year was postponed due to the pandemic. The season only started on January 8th of this year. Since no fans were allowed to be present in a home and home series against Providence, Amonte scored the first goal of the game on the second night, setting the stage for a satisfactory 6-4 away win.

Then there was a disaster in training the following Monday.

“Only a Monday in practice,” recalled Amonte. “Just a hard hit. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, just a bad crash and a guy fell on me. But it wasn’t the same injury; it was good that it was on the other side of the shoulder.”

So Amonte had to sit back and watch his teammates set a 10-5-1 record in the strange, shortened season. All he could do was grit his teeth and get back to work, only to have another setback this year.

“I just had a minor sports hernia, but I’ve worked with the great PT people at the Boston Sports Performance Center in Wellesley. Joe Van Allen, he put me on the right track and I felt good enough.” come back tonight. “

Ironically, Ty’s father, former Terrier star Tony Amonte, played 79 games in BU and 1,174 National Hockey League competitions and missed just a handful of games in his 18 years of college and pro streak.

“It’s made of rubber,” said Ty, chuckling. “He’s definitely played with guys who coped with injuries and missed entire seasons, so he was a great guy to rely on just with his wisdom. He forgot more about hockey than most people know So it was really special to have it leaned on. ” on the way.”

Even so, the emotions were high on Saturday night after driving so many miles on a long and bumpy road.

“Warm-ups I definitely felt shaky, my nerves were high,” said Amonte.

“It was great,” head coach Albie O’Connell called. “It was a bit emotional watching him – just the excitement and nervousness. Today he announced the line-up (in the locker room). The intensity of his line up call is special, it’s like no other. Its energy is contagious; he plays right and he’s just a true leader. We look forward to him and to the team getting him back. “

Amonte started in the middle and won the opening draw. In a subsequent shift a little over two minutes later, first year winger Tyler Boucher took the puck in the right circle and fed it to Amonte in the slot, where he fired it.

“I was kind of conscious for the first couple of shifts, but it was nice to finally get one and get one earlier,” recalled Amonte.

Cockerill is really the only teammate who can fully understand what Amonte went through and what it meant to achieve that goal last weekend.

“Of course he’s one of the key components of the team,” said Cockerill. “I’ve been his roommate for three years now, so I’ve been around a lot with the injuries, I’ve helped with the surgeries. It’s tough. He has a lot of passion for the game and for this team and” hasn’t been about it for the last few years to be able to show on the ice … “

Cockerill’s mom put it into perspective ahead of Saturday’s game after hearing that Amonte would finally return to the line-up.

“We saw my mom today and she said to him, ‘Ty, you’re the figurehead for perseverance’ and he really is. He just went through it: he didn’t complain, he supported us when he can. ‘ t play it’s great to have him back.

“The guys don’t really know what he brings to the team,” added Cockerill. “We got a glimpse of it playing a few games last year, the energy he brings. We really missed him and seeing him score the first goal was just amazing.”

After wearing the number 3 in previous seasons as a Terrier, just like his father did from 1989-1991 before turning pro with the New York Rangers, Ty decided to move to 33 that season and bequeathed the 3 to his brother Tristan, a newcomer to the team this year.

“I played with Tristan in Thayer high school for two years,” said Ty. “He was wearing 3; my dad took it off so he could wear it there. And I’ve been playing here for four years and thought it was time to change something. It’s just really nice to have him in the same number too see how me and my father wore. “

Ty and Tristan don’t have to appear in the same line-up this season, but Saturday’s 8-6 win reflected the strength of this year’s team. That total of eight goals is particularly impressive for a team that lacked talented and experienced goal scorers Jay O’Brien, Matte brown, Lukas cloth, and Max Kaufmann due to various injuries. In fact, six of Saturday’s eight goals were scored by players who hadn’t scored a single time in the first five games of the season.

“It’s only good for confidence,” said O’Connell. “They probably didn’t score because they didn’t shoot the puck. We didn’t shoot the puck nearly enough. And the puck just stood in for both teams tonight.”

“I think we put things together and started playing right,” said Amonte. “When we play right and wear down teams, we’re difficult to handle offensively. That gave a lot of guys who haven’t had a chance to touch the puck in the last few games a chance to score.”

With the exception of that brief blip in January, Amonte hasn’t had the chance to touch a lot of pucks in games in about 31 months. Now the team gets the necessary energy boost after a 2-3-0 start, thanks to the figurehead for endurance.

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