Boys Hockey Sports Winter Sports

Newcomers Step Up in Three-Game Stretch

Collin Nugent ’16 cut into Andover Boys Hockey’s offensive zone, toe-dragged past the opposing defenseman and flicked a powerful wrist shot that slipped past the goalie’s blocker. The goal marked Nugent’s second in his Andover debut and was the final goal of Andover 3-1 win over Brewster last Friday.

“We had a great start to the season with a 3-1 win against Brewster. Our team so far seems to have good chemistry, and we are getting the puck out of the zone when needed,” said Nugent.

The team continued its strong play by claiming a 3-2 victory against Pomfret on Saturday before playing to a tie against St. Paul’s on Monday. It survived a tough part of the schedule with a combined 2-0-1 record.

Defender Payton Jancsy ’16 scored two goals against Pomfret. His four points over the first two games contributed greatly to the team’s success. Newcomer Tyler Levine ’16 contributed the other goal of the game, making a strong impression in his first few games of the season.

The team hit the road to play against St. Paul’s at the beginning of the week. Despite being up 2-1 with a minute left in the third period, Andover ended up tying 2-2 in overtime because of a defensive miscue. John Festa ’15 and Levine scored for Andover.

Due to the schedule that forced them to play three games in four days, the team was on its last legs against St. Paul’s.

“Winning two games and tying one after having only two days of practice after break is no easy feat. Our work ethic in the St. Paul’s game is what I am most proud of. If we continue to work that hard and play that well, close games like that will start ending in our favor,” said Jancsy.

While the team sometimes struggled to communicate on the ice, individual efforts produced clutch goals for Andover.

Jancsy added, “After a very successful season last year, we have very high hopes for this season. Despite losing some key contributors from last year’s team, we are positive this year’s team can be equally dangerous and competitive.”

Expectations will be high for the team this season after finishing last year with an overall record of 16-7-4. Andover made the playoffs and lost in a heartbreaking semi-finals match against Nobles & Greenough. The team, however, lost 11 Seniors across all positions, including defensive stalwart and Captain David Belluche ’14.

Some early season injuries derailed Head Coach Dean Boylan’s plans and forced the team to shuffle the lines around. Players previously on the third and fourth lines have seen significant playing time.

Captain Erik Wurman ’15 said, “Everyone is working really hard, and people who weren’t playing big roles before we got banged up stepped up and are playing big roles now.”

Wurman stressed the importance of continuing to improve as the season progresses, especially on defense.

“We could tighten up our defensive zone. We’ve gotten hemmed in a couple times and that’s something that we could definitely avoid,” said Wurman.

On Friday, Andover will look to continue its excellent play at home against New Hampton.