After a 3-2 win over Groton this past Tuesday, Andover Boys Hockey looks to continue its powerful start to the season in the annual Flood Marr Tournament this weekend. Andover will head into the tournament with a record of 4-1.
The Flood Marr Tournament, hosted by Noble and Greenough (Nobles) and Milton, is one of the most scouted events in prep hockey. The tournament offers a great opportunity for players to be recruited by college coaches. This year will be its 52nd edition and will feature some of New England’s best hockey programs. In addition to Andover, the tournament will include teams from Nobles, Milton, Salisbury, Kimball Union, Hotchkiss, Deerfield, and Westminster.
Defenseman Michael McGreal ’17 said, “The Flood Marr tournament is a really fun event that we look forward to competing in each year. The environment is very intense and the competition is always strong.”
Last year, Andover struggled to find its footing in its three games, falling to Nobles, Westminster, and Salisbury. Salisbury, one of the most renowned hockey programs in the Northeast, has won the annual Flood Marr Tournament several times, its most recent title being in 2014. In addition to Salisbury, Kimball Union is highly ranked and will be a threat for the 2016 title.
Co-Captain Jack Cusack ’18 said, “We are looking for a strong performance at the Flood Marr. We have struggled in the past two years and are looking to turn that around. It will be a great challenge and we can take no games off but we are really looking forward to embracing the challenge.”
Andover will face Hotchkiss in its first game of the tournament on Friday, followed by a match against Westminster the next day. The championship game concludes the tournament and will be played on Sunday.
Sawyer Moody ’19 said, “We play Hotchkiss and Westminster, and like any other team, they will be tough to play against and will try to do everything in order to beat us. However, we are definitely ready to play and we know that if we stick to our game plan and work hard, each team will have to play up to our level.”
Andover opened this season with a dominant 6-0 win over Brewster and continued its early success with wins against Choate, New Hampton, and Groton. Despite a close loss to Thayer, Andover has scored an impressive 21 goals in five games. Andover aims to continue its offensive prowess at the Flood Marr Tournament.
Cusack said, “Looking ahead to the tournament we are hoping for more of the same. We have gotten off to a great start to the year. The team is playing great together and are really having a good time out there. We will try to continue that during Flood Marr. It is a very competitive tournament with a lot of great programs and we are looking forward to the challenge.”
Although the team has only been playing together for a couple of weeks, the chemistry between the players on the ice has played a crucial role in the group’s early success this season.
Moody said, “Our team has definitely become more of a family over the last couple of weeks and we know that we have each others’ backs on and off the ice. By stressing a team system and practicing together at 100 percent, we have improved as hockey players as well. Everything is looking positive as we continue through the season and into the tournament.”
Andover plans to prepare for the upcoming tournament by replicating the intense competition in practice.
Head Coach Paul Tortorella said, “To prepare for the Flood Marr we will be working on the few things we need to do better as a team. Other than that we practice team play and having fun being together.”
McGreal said, “This year we are preparing each day at practice by working our systems and special teams.”
Following the Flood Marr Tournament, Andover will continue its regular season with a home game against Tilton.
Looking forward to the rest of the season, Cusack said, “We have a very strong team this year that has a lot of potential. We have showed that early on and if we continue to work well as a team, any goal should be achievable.”
Tortorella said, “We just try to do the best we can every day and win the game we are in now. If you’re successful at that, the long term takes care of itself.”