Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography
For anyone in hockey below the pro level, the goal is the same. Get better, make friends , and get to your next destination. For Jake Stella,the best defensive forward in Atlantic Hockey this past season, that meant transferring to Umass Lowell, where he will be relied upon to lead the way in all three zones for Norm Bazin’s Bunch.
Stella had nothing but positive things to say about AIC, and thanks to the coaching of Eric Lang and several others has a lot to be thankful for in his time as a Yellow Jacket.
Lang has always praised the team first game that Stella plays. For AIC, Stella would get top matchups and consistently shut them down on a nightly basis. Now Stella goes to Lowell where he projects as an impact forward expected to do similar things for the Hockey East School.
To close, we will say this about Eric Lang and this staff. AIC is one of the biggest rosters in this sport every single season. Despite that, every single year they get players who get better and improve because of how Lang runs practices. He’s humble enough to value his assistants leading the way in a practice as big as his is, and also humble enough to respect players in his AIC family who feel they are ready to take the next step. For AIC, that means players signing pro deals,and because of the success of Lang’s model at AIC, for players like Stella, that can also mean using the portal.Sometimes the portal is an opportunity for a player who has done nearly everything they could at their school to try a new challenge. AIC had a player like that in Alec Calvaruso come to campus and backstop them to a conference tournament title and postseason berth. For Stella he now has a chance to be to Lowell what Calvaruso was to AIC.
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