Boys Knock Off Top Five Ranked Cushing

John Festa ’15 received the puck from Patrick Daly ’15 on a breakaway, faked out the Cushing goalie and backhand toe-dragged for the finish to put Andover Boys Hockey up 5-2 in the third period. Andover went 2-1 this past week, losing a game to Kimball Union Academy (KUA) before firing back against Governor’s and Cushing. The team’s record now stands at 12-6-3 with four games left to play in the regular season. Andover traveled up to KUA on Thursday and took a 1-4 loss. Despite having played a solid game and being only a point behind going into the third period, the team made a few errors that its opponents took advantage of with a strong transition offense. “It was a close game but we made a couple, very costly mistakes. We got a little too casual with the puck,” said Head Coach Dean Boylan. Goalie Erik Wurman ’15 added, “Sometimes we let a guy behind our defense, and we need to be picking that guy up. We also need to protect the puck better, we have had too many turnovers.” Coming off the disappointing loss, Andover came back against Governor’s at home on Friday night. Captain David Belluche ’14 lead the offensive charge, scoring three goals as the team routed Governor’s by a score of 7-1. “We moved the puck very well, and we were setting up our offense,” said Belluche. “Everybody was feeling the puck ,and we did a good job of capitalizing.” Coach Boylan said, “We played within ourselves, we got a lot of pucks to the net and we managed to finish.” Assistant Captains Michael Kim ’14 and Michael Lata ’14 and Peter Bensen ’14 and Daly scored a goal each. On Wednesday, Andover continued its season-long dominance at home, beating top-five ranked Cushing by a margin of 6-3. “We always had tough battles against Cushing, and we definitely wanted to beat them in front of the home crowd,” said Belluche. The team continued to dominate offensively, with six different players scoring against Cushing. Each line passed the puck well and waited patiently for the best possible shot on each possession. Andover took a 2-0 lead in the first period. With goals from Zachary Weinger ’15 and Kyle Moss ’14, the team did not give up its lead for the entire game. “We played together as a team, and we needed to do that against this very tough team. That needs to continue because that has been working for us over the last couple games,” said Festa. Andover allowed two goals in the second period, but goals from Tommy Bishop ’14 and Kim helped to keep its momentum going. In the third period, Festa and Rob Devaney ’14 both scored, extending the Andover lead to 6-2 before Cushing scored a goal with two minutes left in the game. “It was a big win. We did a good job of protecting our lead tonight. We got a lot of pucks on net and were able to capitalize,” said Coach Boylan. Andover has four games left in the regular season, with only one at home against Exeter, but the team is taking a game-by-game approach. “Honestly, we shouldn’t be looking towards Exeter right now. We have a series of tough games coming up, and we need to go win those first,” said Lata. Andover travels to Tabor on Friday, to its cross-town rival Brooks on Saturday and finally to Northfield Mount Hermon on Wednesday.