Andover Nets Three Late Goals in Crucial 9-8 OT Win vs. Tabor; Team’s Post-Season Fate Rests Squarely in Game Against Exeter

After a thriller at Tabor and two easy wins at Brooks and NMH, Andover finishes a three-game road swing controlling its playoff destiny as the current fourth seed in the East. Friday, Chris Kreider ’10 scored a hat-trick and added two assists, including a game-winning overtime goal, giving Andover a very important 9-8 overtime win at Tabor. Kreider scored at the 7:50 mark in the first to give Andover the first lead of the day. However, Tabor scored late in the period, and the game went to the first intermission tied 1-1. Andover was able to stake a lead in the second and extend it to 3-1 after a pair of early goals in the second period. Captain Andrew Cox ’08 scored at the 3:20 mark, assisted by J.J. McGregor and Kreider. Bobby Farnham ’08 added another just 21 seconds later, assisted by Steve Bury ’08 and Tucker Mullin ’08. However, Tabor stormed back with four straight goals, including two straight shorthanded goals, and the game headed into intermission with Tabor leading 5-3. Tabor scored their fifth unanswered goal just 13 seconds into the third period. Andover was finally able to answer two minutes later, as Kreider scored his second, assisted by Luke Duprey ’10. Tabor again answered at the 8:25 mark, taking a 7-4 lead. Andover responded with two straight goals. J.J. McGregor ’08 scored the first shorthanded at the 11:47 mark. Three minutes later, Farnham scored his second of the game and after these consecutive goals, Andover trailed by just one goal. However, Tabor would extend its lead to 8-6 just 40 seconds later. Down by two late in the game with its playoff lives on the line, the team rallied back. With less than two minutes left in the game, Captain Cox scored, assisted by Ryan Heavey ’09, to cut the Tabor lead to one. In the final minutes of the game, Andover drew a penalty and earned a power play. In the final minute of regulation, Bury scored, assisted by McGregor and Captain Cox, to tie the game and send the game to overtime. Andover carried the momentum from the end of the game into overtime. Just 20 minutes into the extra period, Kreider scored his third of the game, assisted by Captain Cox and Carroccio, to give Andover a thrilling 9-8 win. Saturday, Captain Cox scored two goals, leading the Andover offense to an easy 5-1 win over Division II opponent Brooks. Andover wasted no time getting on the board, scoring early in the first period. At the 2:36 mark, Nick Craven ’09 scored, assisted by Garnet Hathaway ’10 and Brian Safstrom ’10, to give Andover a 1-0 lead. Andover was unable to add to its lead, and the game headed into the first intermission with Andover leading 1-0. Andover broke the game open in the second period with three goals to give the team a 4-0 lead. The first Andover goal came just 22 seconds into the period, scored by Captain Cox and assisted by Kreider and Jack Walsh ’10. Just three minutes later, Steve Bury added a goal, assisted by Mullin and Pat Keegan ’08. Captain Cox finished the second period scoring with an unassisted goal at the 8:23 mark. Brooks got on the scoreboard at the 9:24 mark in the third period, making the game 4-1. However, Andover quickly answered less than a minute later. Safstrom scored his second goal of the season, assisted by John Burke ’08 and McGregor, giving Andover a commanding 5-1 lead. The Andover defense and goalie Chase Potter ’09 held, and Andover won its third straight game. Potter made 15 saves in the win. On Wednesday, after a slow first period, Andover came through with its 12th win in 15 games, beating an overmatched NMH team 8-3. Even with Exeter coming up on Saturday, Andover did not overlook NMH. After yet another three win week, Andover heads into Saturday’s match up with arch-rival Exeter in the playoffs as the current four seed in the east. A loss will knock Andover out of the playoffs, but with a win over Exeter, the three seed in the east, Andover will secure a playoff spot.