Boys Hockey Cruises to Four-Game Winning Streak

A minute and a half after Assistant Captain Michael Lata ’14 tied Andover Boys Hockey’s game 2-2 against Brooks on Saturday, Rob Devaney ’14 picked up the puck in Andover’s zone and rushed down the ice. He patiently toe-dragged around a Brooks defender and fired the puck into the top right corner with a one minute left in the game. The last-minute goal extended Andover’s winning streak to four games. Andover Boys Hockey played three games this week against Tabor, Brooks and Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH), winning all three in decisive fashion. Andover played a clean game against Tabor, winning by a margin of 5-2. “We knew [Tabor] was going to be a big game. They have a great fan section, and we really wanted to win in their barn, so I think the guys all fed off of that energy,” said Captain David Belluche ’14. Once again, the team distributed the puck effectively, leading to four different players scoring. Patrick Daly ’15, Nick Gorski ’14 and John Festa ’15 each scored one goal apiece, and Tommy Bishop ’14 scored two for Andover. “We played really well in the Tabor game just from top to bottom,” said Lata. “We took it to them the whole game.” The team’s next game was at crosstown rival Brooks. Thanks to late goals from Devaney, as well as a goal from Lata, Andover kept its winning streak alive. Brooks controlled most of the first two periods, and Andover struggled to find its rhythm. “We didn’t play as well, but we did manage to gut it out in the third period,” said Lata. Belluche continued, “That’s something we’ve been doing a lot this year. In the third period, we came out hard, we changed our game and we knew the goals would come.” Andover has been on the other end of the comeback before, and the team worked hard to make sure closing games out would not be a problem and that it could play hard late in the game. The team played NMH on Wednesday, looking to continue its streak before returning home for the final game of the season against Exeter. Against NMH, Andover maintained its high level of play, beating its opponent 3-1. This win brought the team its fifth win in a row. “Everyone is playing extremely well, and we’re doing what it takes to win, game in and game out,” said Assistant Captain Michael Kim ’14. Three players scored for Andover, with goals coming from Zach Weinger ’15, Peter Bensen ’14 and Belluche. Andover had an impressive night defensively as well, holding the talented NMH offense to just one goal. With the win, the team moved close to qualifying for the Elite Eight tournament. The Elite Eight is separate from the regular playoffs, and—should it qualify—the team will face the highest level of competition. The team has one game left against Exeter before entering the playoffs. Andover hopes to go into the game with a lot of momentum. In addition, the team has only dropped one game at home this season against St. Paul’s back in December. Andover will look to put up a strong performance this Saturday in front of what will surely be a packed Harrison Rink.