With a player in the penalty box for 30 percent of the game, Andover Boys Hockey suffered a 6-2 loss to Noble and Greenough on Saturday at home. The defeat against Nobles, coupled with a 2-0 loss on Wednesday against Winchendon, dropped Andover’s record to 6-10-1.
After this week’s two losses, Andover is currently riding a four-game losing streak which is largely due to a slew of injuries. Star forwards Collin Nugent ’16 and Tyler Levine ’16, as well as Captain and defenseman Payton Jancsy ’16, are some of the impact players that have recently had to take time off the ice.
On Saturday, the scoring started early for Nobles, with a screened slap shot going in Andover’s net less than four minutes into the game. Towards the end of the first period, Nobles got a short-handed breakaway goal to end the period with a 2-0 lead.
Andover played aggressively throughout the game by quickly racking up penalty minutes in the process. It totaled 16 minutes of penalties in the 54 minute game, which deeply disadvantaged the injury-ravaged team.
Head Coach Paul Tortorella ’80 said, “[The reason for the penalties] was a lack of awareness of the stress that it puts on the lineup to consistently have to kill penalties. It’s just that it’s an energy drain, and when it comes time to producing offense, the energy isn’t there.”
Nobles kept its momentum going through the second period, scoring two more unanswered goals. After a team gathering off the ice, however, Andover picked up the pace in the third period.
Coach Tortorella said, “We talked in the locker room [between the second and third periods]. We’re never going to give up, and we need to show ourselves that we can compete. We just looked at that one period as its own game.”
Tortorella’s speech resonated with the team. On a power play early in the period, forward Billy Stahley ’16 scored a breakaway goal. Then, Jonny Edelson ’17 put away a hard wrist shot in the last minute. Despite the improvement, Nobles stayed with Andover every step of the way and scored two of its own goals in the final period.
Against Winchendon, Andover’s offense was strong, but a steadfast 34-save performance by the Winchendon goalie kept the puck out of the net.
Goaltender Matt Schoen ’16 rivaled the Winchendon goalie, contributing 37 saves for Andover in total. In spite of this, a beautifully tipped shot by the opposition in the first period and a crowded slap shot in the third period slipped through to give the defensive battle its final score.
Despite the two defeats this week, Andover remains determined to regain its momentum.
Jancsy said, “Everyday, we’re going to need to show up to the rink for practice and show up ready to play. I think once we pick up our intensity in our practices, that will translate to our games.”
Andover looks to get back to its winning ways on Saturday at Loomis Chaffee.