Andover Boys Hockey struggled to find an offensive spark last week, getting outscored 13-3 across three losses. The team recorded a 4-1 loss at Tabor on Friday, a 4-0 loss at Brooks on Saturday, a 5-2 loss against Belmont Hill on Monday and a win by forfeit against Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH). The four matches brought its record to 9-17-1.
The first period of Saturday’s loss at Brooks was a pitched defensive battle that ended with a 0-0 deadlock. Against a skilled Brooks defense, Andover’s forwards held their own through the first 18 minutes.
Halfway through the second, Brooks scored two goals. Andover subsequently took a lot of penalties, resulting in a lethargic bench and two more goals for Brooks. After a scoreless third period, the game finished at 4-0.
Forward Kyle Welch ’18 said, “It’s tough to draw the line [between physicality and lack of discipline], but you have to stay focused and stay energized, not be anxious and looking to get penalties. We need to bring the intensity, but not to the point where we’re taking bad penalties.”
Unlike its strong start at Brooks on Saturday, Andover struggled early in Monday’s 5-2 loss against Belmont Hill. The visitors netted four goals in the first period, as Andover could not intercept the puck or make breakout passes.
Forward Kevin Kastholm ’17, who scored for Andover in the first period, said, “We’ve been preparing well, I think we just need to start playing the body at the beginning of the game. We sort of play passively, they get a few goals, and then we pick it up. So I think if we have that aggressive game plan from the beginning, that will help in preventing goals and getting us more offense.”
After a defensive, scoreless second, winger Jonny Edelson ’17 scored on a breakaway to whittle away at Belmont Hill’s lead.
Late in the third, Belmont Hill scored again after Andover pulled Post-Graduate (PG) goalie Matt Schoen ‘16 from goal.
In its 4-1 loss to Tabor on Friday, Andover got off to another slow start and struggled offensively. Andover conceded two goals in the first and two more in the third.
Welch said, “We just need to make tape-to-tape passes. We haven’t really been making good passes, which has led to not being able to get many scoring opportunities. As well, we need to work on our transitions, getting the puck from the [defensive] zone to the [offensive] zone.”
Andover’s lone tally came from a short-handed goal by Center Billy Stahley ’16, with an assist coming from Winger Tyler Levine ’16.
Schoen played impressively in net, recording 44 saves against Tabor’s powerhouse offense.
Due to its absence of a goaltender, NMH forfeited the game scheduled for Wednesday. It was recorded as a 1-0 win for Andover.
Andover will wrap up its season on Saturday at home against rival Phillips Exeter Academy.