Boys Hockey, Sports, Winter Sports

Boys Hockey Struggles Offensively in Two-Game Skid

Intercepting a pass from a Dexter Southfield defenseman, Kyle Welch ’18 deftly buried a shot underneath the goalie’s glove to even the score to 1-1 in the first period. Andover went on to narrowly lose the match 3-2 on Saturday despite an inspired defensive performance. On Wednesday, the team fell to Kimball Union Academy (KUA) 11-2, which brought its record to 7-12-1.

Against Dexter, Post-Graduate (PG) Misha Song ’16, Captain Payton Jancsy ’16, Michael McGreal ’17 and Sam Bird ’18 anchored a resilient defensive line that only allowed 20 shots in total. On the other side of the ice, the offense fired off 25 shots, outshooting its opponent for the first time this season.

The match started off with a flurry of goals from both teams. Dexter jumped out to an early lead nine minutes in with a forceful wrist shot on a power play. Welch tied up the game soon after, only for Dexter to score a short-handed breakaway goal four minutes later, establishing a 2-1 lead before the first intermission.

Welch said, “I think [our first goal] came soon enough… If it had been earlier, it would have [given us more] momentum, but in the end I don’t think it really affected the game that much.”

The outpour of goals slowed down after the intermission until Andover scored with six minutes left in the second period. McGreal rocketed off a slap shot that hit the right post and landed in front of PG Billy Stahley ’16, who then tapped the puck in.

Andover’s defense maintained the deadlock until the dying moments of the game. With six minutes left in regulation time, a Dexter wrist shot slipped through traffic and into the net to put Andover down 3-2.

Hungry for the equalizing goal, Andover ramped up its offensive pressure in the last two minutes of the game. Despite pulling Matt Schoen ’16, the goalie, during a power play to give the team a two-man advantage, Andover could not break through the Dexter defense and goaltender a third time.

Schoen said, “The outcome of Dexter was frustrating because we felt that was the most complete game we played in a while. We were doing everything right, but we ran into a good goalie.”

Welch said, “We got a lot of shots on net, but their goalie played really well, and their defense was very good at clearing the puck out. That made it very difficult to get opportunities to score.”

The team’s expectations were not particularly high entering its matchup against KUA on Wednesday, as KUA held a 22-3-1 record prior to the game. KUA had also recorded an 8-3 win against Phillips Exeter Academy, to whom Andover lost earlier in the season 7-0.

Andover let up 60 shots throughout the game as KUA’s offense ran unchecked. Roaring off to a strong start, KUA scored four goals in each of the first two periods. Andover’s two goals were scored by Stahley and Jonny Edelson ’17.

In response to the early deficit, Andover rotated through its three goalies. Schoen played the first period, Alex Daccord ’18 played the second and Jeff Lee ’16 played the third.

Schoen said, “I think changing goalies helped add a little spark to the start of each period.”
Looking forward, Andover looks to bounce back from its two-game losing streak at Governor’s on Friday.

Feb 12, 2016