Last winter, the Andover Boys Hockey team had a strong season, finishing with an 18-7-1 record, including a 2-0 victory in a thriller against Exeter. In the playoffs, however, Andover was thwarted by a talented St. Paul’s team. With a strong class of returners and some new talent, Andover looks to follow up its impressive 2008 season with an even deeper playoff run. The starting line looks very strong, with returners Chris Kreider ’10 and Captain Brooks Dyroff ’09 manning the wings. Mike Lozzi ’09, a post-graduate from Reading, MA, will start at center. Kreider is a true goal scorer and is very fast as well. “Chris can put the puck away in any situation and is very good at finding the back of the net,” said Dyroff. With his quick release, Kreider will be counted on to put points on the board. Dyroff can also light up the scoreboard and is well suited for his role as team captain. Lozzi is a great addition to the team, and he will also be in on the scoring this season. With these three talented forwards, Andover will have an explosive first line. Not to be outdone, however, is the defense. Bennett Carroccio ’10 and Ryan Heavey ’09 return this year to head the defense. These defensemen have multiple years of varsity experience and make goals for opposing teams tough to come by. Glenn Stowell ’09 returns as goalie for the Big Blue. Last year he had a great game in goal against Exeter, and he looks to ride that momentum into the 2009 season. A major strength of the Andover squad is its depth. With players like Garnet Hathaway ’10, Brian Safstrom ’10, Josh Geary ’09, Luke Duprey ’10 and Jimmy Houghton ’09, Andover has a plethora of talent. Andover kicked off its season with a bang, as it beat Holderness 6-1 to open up the season. Kreider scored a hat trick, while Dyroff, Safstrom and Mike McDonough ’09 all added a goal apiece. Lozzi chipped in with three assists, and Stowell stopped 24 of 25 shots. With a big week following Thanksgiving break, Coach Dean Boylan knew the team would have to work hard. “All of our players have worked hard, but we need to get better in every phase of our game.” Andover started the big week off on the right foot, as it defeated Lawrence Academy 5-3 in what is always a tough game. Kreider got Andover started with his fourth goal of the year. The line of Safstrom, Hathaway and Geary scored three goals on the night. Geary’s goal came on a rebound on the power play, while Safstrom scored a shorthanded goal. Hathaway added a goal of his own to give Andover its fourth goal of the night. Dyroff padded Andover’s lead with a goal to put Lawrence away for good. On Saturday, Andover will travel to the Pomfret School in Connecticut for the third game of the year. Last year, Andover defeated the Griffins 6-0 at home.