Boys Hockey Bests Bridgeton; Undefeated After Tournament

Over the break, while the rest of their peers were lounging around sleeping and watching television, the Boy’s Varsity Hockey team upheld their undefeated title and bettered their record to an outstanding 8-0-2. The Big Blue played a total of six games over vacation (four of them during the Flood-Mar tournament at Milton Academy), and one game after the break this past Wednesday. Now ranked 4th in the New England prep poll the PA team looks to be the best it has been for some time. The first game over the break was a victory against Pingree. After going weeks with little ice time, the team started the game with some sloppy play. But as the game progressed so did the Phillips Academy level of play. Starting off the game with just one goal in the first period the Big Blue quickly stepped it up scoring three goals in the second period and another four in the third period. While John Doherty ’03, Kyle Kucharski ’05, and Tommy Dignard all scored goals, the true offensive powerhouse this game featured the dynamic duo of Nick Mazzolini ’03 and Joe Adams ’03. These two had a combined total of 5 goals and 4 assists and had a hand in every PA score. On the defensive end of things junior goalie Matt Ward ’06 played a solid game, saving 16 of 20 shots and only giving up four goals. The game resulted in a PA victory and a final score of 8-4. The next game occurred here at home against St. Pauls. The visitors scored first with 12:07 left to play in the first period. Paul Chiozzi ’03 scored on a pass from Artie Mittnacht ’04 less than thirty seconds afterwards to put the Big Blue on the scoreboard. Then with 22 seconds left in the period Tommy Dignard ’06 snuck one by the St. Pauls keeper to tie it up going in to the second period. Goals by Chris Cahill ’06 and Nick Mazzolini ’03 in the second and third periods helped to seal the deal and get the 4-2 win over St. Pauls. Cory Schneider ’04 played an outstanding game between the pipes, saving 30 of 32 shots. Andover played four games in the Flood-Marr tournament at Milton: Their opponents were Milton Academy, Salisbury, number one ranked Deerfield and a consolation match against Noble and Greenough, respectively. Due to the format of the tournament, games consisted of only two periods with an overtime period if tied at the end of regulation. In the Andover/Milton game both teams scored one goal early and stayed tied until the second period when the Big Blue began a fierce offensive stand, shelling the Milton keeper with shots and racking up three goals in the process. John Doherty ’03, Ben Ernst ’04, Tommy Dignard ’06 and Garret Vaslet ’03 scored the game’s goals. Andover won the game 4-1 and was allowed to advance to the next round of the tournament. Game two against Salisbury provided Andover with its biggest challenge of the tournament. In the first period Salisbury got things started with an early goal and took a 2-0 lead over Andover into the second period. However in the second period Phillips came back strong. Two goals scored by Joe Adams ’03 and Mazzolini tied the game at 2, sending the game into an overtime period. Neither team could seal the deal in OT and the game ended in a 2-2 tie. In possibly the biggest and most important game of the tournament Andover played the number one ranked Deerfield. The Big Green, known for its strong hockey program, came out very strong and launched an outstanding 31 shots at PA net-minder Schneider. However, due to an excellent defensive performance,DA was only able to get one of theses shots into the net. Then shortly after Kucharski, after receiving a pass from captain Drew Ward ’03 skated through the neutral zone and took a slap shot from inside the blue line to score the game-tying goal. Neither team was able to score in the overtime period and thus the game ended in a tie. Both teams played very well in front of a large crowd of parents and scouts. In the consolation game against Noble and Greenough, despite being thoroughly exhausted, the Big Blue was still able to pull through with a respectable 2-1 victory as Adams, and Cahill scored Andover’s goals. The Big Blue ended the Flood-Marr tournament tired, and ready for a well-deserved break with a record of 2-0-2. Then this past Wednesday in front of a crowd of adoring fans the Phillips Academy hockey team did battle against Bridgeton Academy (which boasted a roster consisting entirely of postgraduates). The game started off with a bang and appeared fairly even until Adams, with 10:46 left to play in the first period, passed it behind his back to Mazzolini who took a wrist shot which landed the puck in the back of the net for the first goal of the game. Later on Ward scored another goal giving Andover a 2-0 lead going into the second period. Bridgeton came out of the locker room and onto the ice a better and more determined hockey team. Schneider was only able to hold back the Bridgeton barrage for so long and he let a Bridgeton shot get by which made the score 2-1. Ward promptly responded with his own score, one that he put in off a rebound from Mazzolini. Ben Hoerner ’05 scored the last goal of the period when he skated around the goal and watched his shot ricochet off the goalie’s skate and into the net. The third period belonged to the Big Blue from start to finish as Hunter Thunnell ’06, Mazzolini, and Pete Smith ’03 all scored some insurance goals in the final period. In the end the score was 7-1 and the Mighty Blue remained undefeated.