Andover played hard from the start of the game, motivated by a devastating loss earlier in the week, according to Kelly McCarthy ’19.
McCarthy said, “Saturday, everyone came ready to play and left it all on the ice. Losing that close game against Tabor on Wednesday really lit a fire in us, and we knew that New Hampton was a must-win. We didn’t stop playing until the end.”
Andover performed well on both the offensive and defensive ends and executed several of the skills that the team has been focusing on recently, according to McCarthy, Tookie Wilson ’18, and Head Coach Martha Fenton ’83.
“Our communication greatly improved on our forecheck. This allowed us to put high pressure on New Hampton’s defense. I also thought we drove to net well, and overall, it was a great team win,” said Wilson.
McCarthy added, “The team did a good job at working in the neutral zone. It is something our coaches have been emphasizing a lot recently. The [defense] have done a great job at taking the puck back to regroup if there aren’t any options up ice on our first time.”
Coach Fenton said, “The team has been playing great two-way hockey. We are working hard on puck possession and getting to net, and have also been doing a very good job in our defensive end. We are not allowing teams a lot of quality chances, and our three goalies have all been playing very well.”
According to McCarthy, the team is looking to continue to improve despite its recent success. McCarthy said, “Capitalizing on rebounds is always something we can do more of. Some of our best goals this season have simply been someone crashing the net hard for a loose puck and catching the goalie off center. When you play difficult teams, those top shelf unassisted goals are hard to come by, so focusing on shooting low and hard to generate rebounds for our linemates to hit in will be something we can do more of going forward.”
The team has a busy and competitive schedule coming up and will need to focus on conserving energy to best succeed, according to Wilson.
Wilson said, “Our season pushes us with multiple three-game weeks. Playing each shift with energy was something we identified as an area of focus in between periods. The last few games and the games ahead are against some of the best hockey teams in New England. They require us to bring our A game every single shift. We need to keep our shifts short to make the most of the depth of our bench. This will allow us to keep a high intensity throughout the entire 48 minutes.”
Andover will play Williston away on Saturday.