With less than 15 seconds left in the third period in Andover Boys Hockey’s game against Governor’s on Friday, winger Jonny Edelson ’17 dished a pass to linemate Tyler Levine ’16, who then ripped a shot on net. The shot careened to center Billy Stahley ’16, allowing him to deftly lift the puck into the net with a backhand to give Andover a 3-2 win.
Stahley’s goal gave Andover its second win of its last nine games. A subsequent loss to Cushing at home this past Wednesday brought the team’s record to 8-14-1.
Andover’s first lineup was bolstered by the re-addition of Levine, who returned from a multiple-game absence. The Senior made an immediate impact, scoring a shorthanded breakaway goal and assisting Stahley’s in the third.
“It felt really great to be back with the boys,” said Levine. “…It was nice to be out there and contribute.” Stahley said, “It was definitely good to have him back on the line with me and Jonny…We gel together pretty nicely, and we know where the other’s going to be…[Tyler] definitely makes plays happen.”
Levine’s first-period goal and another breakaway shorthanded score from forward Kevin Kastholm ’17 put Andover up 2-0.
After jumping out to the early lead, Governor’s tied the game at two with the time winding down. With less than two minutes remaining, Head Coach Paul Tortorella ’80 called a timeout.
“We wanted to push them. We had controlled the pace the whole game…We just tried to pressure them hard and get pucks in the net,” said Stahley.
The first line was firing on all cylinders, and Stahley ended the game in dramatic fashion with a defining goal.
Levine added, “Billy… always finds himself in situations like that. That momentum that he’s able to give us is huge.”
In the subsequent game against Cushing, Andover got off to a slow start. The visitors scored early and often, leading 4-0 halfway through the game.
Captain Payton Jancsy ’16 said, “We usually like to go out and get the first one, but the slow start today has really no excuse. They came out ready to play and we didn’t. It’s something to work on. It just comes with preparation.”
After Andover put itself in an early deficit, Kastholm put away his own rebound and later scored a second goal with a wrist shot in the top right corner to cut the Cushing lead to 5-2.
Cushing later scored one more goal, and Andover fell 6-2. Kastholm was the lone bright spot on a lethargic offense. The team couldn’t bring the puck out of its defensive zone and was finally outshot by Cushing 42-27.
Jancsy said, “We just need to play more as a unit in the defensive zone… We had a few chances where we could have chipped a puck out and went and chased it down, but one too many stickhandles led to a turnover, and eventually another shot on net.”
Andover will look to rebound from the disappointing loss to Cushing when it travels to Tabor this Friday.