Michael Kim ’14 and Conal Lynch ’13 sniped two goals within the first eight minutes of the game to give Andover Boys Hockey an early lead in the team’s 5-2 victory over Exeter last Saturday.
Andover avenged a 2-1 loss to Exeter in January by sealing this victory in the 135th year of the storied rivalry.
The team drew first blood around three minutes into the first period when Kim intercepted an Exeter pass and proceeded to score top left on a wrist shot.
Only minutes later, Lynch came rushing down the right wing and rifled a shot top left as well, giving Andover an early 2-0 lead.
Andover kept its two goal lead going into the second period, though Exeter netted its first goal in the second period when their defenseman threw a pass, leading to a breakaway and a goal.
Following Exeter fans’ tradition of throwing a dead fish on the rink, Andover lost its momentum and took two consecutive penalties to give Exeter a five on three powerplay.
However, led by Captain Eddie Ellis ’13, Assistant Captain Connor Light ’13, Ross Bendetson ’13, the goalie, and David Belluche ’14, Andover managed to kill off the penalty.
Later, Patrick Daly ’15 drove the puck wide and passed to Michael Lata ’14 at the top of the circle. Lata scored to give Andover a two goal lead once again.
Shortly after, Assistant Captain Seamus O’Neill ’13 finagled his way through two Exeter defensemen and sniped a shot to increase the team’s lead to 4-1.
Right on the opening shift of the third period, Lata scored once again on a backhand shot that trickled into the back of the net after the Exeter goalie attempted to save it.
Exeter added a goal late in the third period to cut the lead down to three, but the deficit was too much as the game ended with a final score of 5-2.
The win was a testament to Andover’s ability to work together as a team, overcome significant obstacles and succeed offensively.
After having only scored five or more goals twice before in the season, Andover scored at least five goals in three of its last four games.
“Enough cannot be said about my teammates. Offensively, they really stole the show, scoring timely goals in abundance. Defensively, they were ruthless. Whether back-checking or blocking shots, they really committed themselves to doing whatever was needed to win the game,” said Bendetson.
Head Coach Dean Boylan added, “This was just a great team effort on the road by everyone. We had to play through plenty of adversity as the penalties were eight to two against us. Special teams won the game for us with tremendous penalty killing.”
Andover’s four-game winning streak speaks loudly to the team’s abilities.
“I really think that our success over the last few weeks is due to everyone stepping up their game. Wins come from team efforts, not individual efforts, and we were able to show what we are capable of as a team finishing the season with four wins,” said Ellis.
Andover Hockey will look to continue this year’s late season success next year with fresh faces and a new opportunity to capture the NEPSAC title.