Post-Graduate (PG) Nick Latham ’16 plowed down the right boards into the Brewster zone and placed a pass through the opposing defense onto the stick of newcomer Jonny Edelson ’17, who deftly moved the puck to his forehand and rifled a shot past the Brewster goalie’s glove. Edelson’s goal put Andover up 2-1 midway through the game in what would turn into a 5-2 win on Friday. In addition to the goal, Edelson tallied two assists in the Andover Boys Hockey home opener.
Andover went on to play three more games in quick succession against Pomfret, St. Paul’s and Thayer. With scores of 5-2, 3-2 and 1-4, respectively, the team finished the week with a strong record of 3-1.
Against Brewster, Andover worked well as a team despite having had only two days to prepare for the game. Henry Meyerrose ’17 said, “For a team that was coming off of our first practice, we played well together. We played really well as a team, we moved the puck around and we supported each other and pulled out the victory.”
Andover looked to build on its momentum with another home game the following day against Pomfret. While Pomfret shot out to an early lead with two goals in a four-minute span of the first period, Andover bounced back with a five goal surge in the third period to seal the win. Edelson contributed with two goals, while PG Billy Stahley ’16 scored the game-tying goal and assisted Latham’s game-winning goal. Many of Andover’s late goals came as the result of aggressive forechecking and crashing the net for rebounds.
Alex Apgar ’17 said, “We didn’t play a great first period, but we came back strong in the second, tied it up, and just exploded in the third period, which really showed we have the depth and strength that can help us win games. That’s the bottom line: So far, we’ve showed that we can win close games.”
On Monday, Andover defended its hot start at home against St. Paul’s. Andover came out swinging, unleashing devastating blows across the ice. After losing the imposing force of 6’1”, 205-pound defender Jack Legler ’17 to an injury, Andover looked to compensate with more checking and more aggressive defense across the board. Its physicality immediately payed off with Edelson’s goal just 35 seconds into the game.
The two teams continued to play out the physical battle, with little scoring for the remainder of the game. Collin Nugent ’16 scored Andover’s only other regulation goal, and time expired with the score knotted at 2-2. With a stellar regulation performance from PG goalie Matt Schoen ’16, the Andover offense wasted no time pushing the puck forward in overtime. Just 28 seconds into the additional period, Stahley took a one-timer from Nugent that he drilled into a wide open net, sealing Andover’s third consecutive win.
“Even though we let up 44 shots, the defense did a good job of blocking them and taking care of the high quality shots, leaving me the easy ones from the outside,” said Schoen.
Riding its momentum, Andover went on the road for the first time this season, taking on Thayer on Wednesday. Andover fell behind early, with Thayer scoring two goals in the first eight minutes.
Although Andover was able to kill all of Thayer’s advantages obtained through penalties, it simply did not spend enough time in the offensive zone. Nugent found the net late in the game to prevent a shutout on the offensive end for Andover.
Facing its biggest deficit of the season so far, Andover couldn’t regain its momentum and suffered a 4-1 loss, its first of the season.
Andover will look to regain its winning ways at home, facing New Hampton on Friday.