Rob Devaney ’14 skated down the ice, corralled the puck and snapped a blistering shot into the top left corner past Winchendon’s goalie to score a shorthanded goal. Andover went up 6-3 and put the game out of reach.
After a busy week with three games, Andover has a 9-5 record. Losing to Thayer by a margin of 1-5, the team responded with an 8-4 win against Nobles, to whom it had lost previously in the Flood Marr tournament. The team followed up with a 6-3 victory against Winchendon.
In the first game, Thayer’s strong offense established a quick lead that proved to be too large for Andover to overcome.
“Against Thayer, we came out flat. We had a couple of defensive breakdowns, [and] they were able to get a quick lead on us,” said Payton Jancsy ’16. “We only played in spurts, and that’s not what we needed.”
Assistant Captain Michael Lata ’14 added, “We had to battle back from an early deficit, and not being able to play consistently shift by shift hurt us as well.”
The team played the following day in front of the home crowd for a rematch against the top-ten ranked Nobles squad.
Playing at home has been a significant advantage for the team, which has won six out of the seven games held at Harrison Rink.
Andover’s powerful offense clicked, as the team scored a season high of eight goals. The captains combined for five of them: Assistant Captain Michael Kim ’14 and Lata scored two each and Captain David Belluche ’14 had one. Patrick Daly ’15, Zach Weinger ’15 and Rob Devaney ’14 also scored.
Nobles netted three consecutive goals in the second period to grab a 4-3 lead, but Andover quickly answered back with two quick goals of its own. “With both teams, it became a run-and-gun kind of hockey game, which is not the style that either team wanted to play. But I was very happy that we came back right away to take the lead back,” said Head Coach Dean Boylan.
Andover’s streak started with a power-play goal. “[We] all knew we had to score there. Getting that goal created confidence for all of us and that one goal set off the rest,” said Lata.
Heading into the third period with a 5-4 lead, Andover prevented any scores from the opponent while simultaneously tacking on three more goals of its own to win the game 8-4.
“It’s really simple: against Thayer we did not play for 54 minutes, but against Nobles we did,” said Coach Boylan.
Andover continued scoring against Winchendon on Wednesday. Special teams was the anchor for Andover’s offense, scoring two power-play goals and three shorthanded. The first period ended 1-1, with Lata scoring for Andover.
In the second, the team played assertively with goals from Daly, Weinger and Lata, his second of the game, to put the team up 4-1.
“We did a good job getting pucks to the net and our forwards made some great plays in the offensive zone,” said Kim.
Winchendon, however, refused to let Andover continue dominating the game. Minutes into the third period, Winchendon scored two quick goals to cut Andover’s lead to just one.
“We got sloppy in the third with those two goals,” said Coach Boylan.
Devaney added, “We’d been getting up on teams and we tend to relax. We need to be that team that just puts as many in the net as we can.”
With just a lead of just one goal for Andover, Jancsy capitalized to make the score 5-3. Devaney followed with his shorthanded goal.
With the playoffs approaching, Andover will travel to Loomis on Saturday and looks to improve and capture another important win.