Two Late Goals Save Boys Hockey; Andover Edges Exeter and St. Sebs

The Andover Boys Hockey team went through a week of dramatic victories over a pair of very competitive teams, beating rival Phillips Exeter 3-2 and St. Sebastian’s 2-1. At Exeter, Matt Ward ’06 stopped 32 of 34 shots; Captain J.P. Martignetti ’06 scored the game-winning goal with less than five minutes to go in the third period. Against St. Sebastian’s, Paul Scola ’06 netted his second goal of the week, while J.J. McGregor ’08 scored the game-winning goal with 20 seconds to play in regulation. Andover immediately got off on the right foot against Exeter with a goal from the efforts of Paul Scola ’06 only 15 seconds into the game, when Scola skated behind the Exeter net and slid the puck out in front of the crease, deflecting off of an Exeter defender’s skate and into the goal. Penalties caught up with the Blue when an Exeter slapshot got past the outstretched glove of Ward at the 10 minute mark, but the score would stay at 1-1 into the third period. Just three minutes into the third period, Captain Martignetti received a feed from defensemen Hunter Thunell ’06 and Tom Dignard ’06, and snuck a wrist shot on the power play past the Exeter goalie for the 2-1 lead. But again penalties plagued Andover, and five minutes later Exeter would tie up the game with a power play goal. With play winding down, a successful forecheck produced a scrum in front of the Exeter net, and Martignetti jammed in the puck on a rebound inside the far post, with 4:29 left to go in the game. After a huge penalty kill aided by the play of Ward to finish the game, the Blue exited New Hampshire with a very important hard-fought win in hand. Hosting St. Sebastian’s on Wednesday, the Blue welcomed a perennially tough challenge against an 11-4-1 Arrows team, and skated into the locker room after the first period with a scoreless tie. But the tie was broken halfway through the second, when a St. Seb’s shorthanded breakaway was converted and left the Blue trailing 1-0 into the third. Finally, Andover got its break when Scola was hauled down on a breakaway five minutes into the third and was awarded a penalty shot. Scola drove, shook the goalie to the right, and buried the puck through the 5-hole for the tie. Then, when all looked set for an overtime battle, McGregor scored off a rebound from Cox and Chris Cahill ’06 with 20 seconds left, to secure the win. Coming out of the St. Sebastian’s win, Andover now has not allowed an even strength goal in more than 182 minutes of play and counting, while goaltender Matt Ward now leads all of prep hockey in save percentage, at a gaudy 94.6 percent.