Martignetti ’06’s OT Goal Caps Boys Hockey’s Week

Sean Wadland ’06 and Ben Weiner ’06 were vital in Andover’s huge 5-1 victory over #3 ranked Belmont Hill on Friday, and Weiner scored again in a come from behind victory over Kimball Union on Wednesday. A 2-2 tie against BB&N on Saturday was sandwiched in between the two wins. Andover traveled out to Belmont Hill Friday night expecting tough defensive play from its 14-1-5 opponents, the owners of the longest unbeaten streak in prep hockey this season. PA, however, came out with greater intensity and great board play, taking the early 1-0 lead two-and-a-half minutes in on a Wadland slapshot from the left point. Andover quickly added to the lead six minutes later, when on a fast break, Tony Christiano ’06 lifted the puck high from the PA defensive blue line, right onto the stick of Weiner, who popped the puck 5-hole for a 2-0 lead. Despite the Blue taking only one penalty in the first period, the PA penalty kill saw its first action 14 minutes into the game and gave up a goal in a scrum out front to cut the lead to 2-1. The disappointment turned to joy just 2 minutes later as Chris Cahill ’06 one-timed a shot from the slot for a power-play goal, off feeds from Hunter Thunell ’06 and Joe Smith ’07, to bring the score to 3-1 Andover at the end of the first period. With the lead in hand and the Blue outplaying and outshooting the uninspired Belmont Hill, PA took four penalties in the second period. Though badly shorthanded, goalie Matt Ward ’06 stood strong, stopping 35 of 36 shots on the day, and Paul Scola ’06 scored on a penalty kill when he found himself all alone on a breakaway, putting the puck away for a 4-1 lead. In the third period, PA tightened up its play, and, seven-and-a-half minutes in, Weiner threw a shot from the boards on the net, where it hit the pad of the BH goalie and caromed right onto the stick of Paul Engelhardt ’06, who buried the puck and the game for a 5-1 win. The next day, Andover traveled to BB&N, hoping to keep its momentum going after the big Belmont Hill win. Andover started strongly but did not get on the board until Cahill scored a power play goal, his seventh of the season, with nine seconds left in the period. PA kept the shots pouring on, but couldn’t convert in the second period and gave up two power play goals to fall behind 2-1 in the third period, before Smith tied the game for good 10 minutes in on a power play goal. Despite the efforts of Ward and the offense and PA’s shot advantage of 42-20, Andover got a tie but felt like they should have won. On Wednesday, PA visited Kimball Union Academy and came back from a 2-1 deficit to squeak out with a 4-3 overtime win. Weiner and Smith each scored once, and Captain J.P. Martignetti ’06 scored twice, including the game-winner two minutes into OT, to move Andover’s season record to 14-3-5. Though Kimball Union was much less talented than Andover, they fought hard and outplayed Andover for the majority of the game. As the third period dwindled down, Andover shifted into a mode of pure determination. Andover was unable to score wtih a two man advantage, but Smith streaked down the ice and squeezed the puck through the goalie’s pad to tie the game for Andover. Kimball Union put up a valiant effort in overtime but they were simply no match for Andover. Martignetti slid a rebound between the goalie’s pads and the post to get the win. On Friday, Andover will face 9-8-1 Governor Dummer. On Wednesday, Andover will face 15-4-3 and #6 ranked Cushing, a very talented team that has struggled recently (2-2-2 in last 6 road games). PA looks to avenge their loss to Cushing in the playoff quarterfinals last year.