Following a close loss in the Flood Marr Tournament at the start of Winter Vacation, Andover Boys Hockey has returned with a full schedule ahead. The team started out their game against Proctor on Monday with a 5-2 lead, but following the injuries of three players, the team tied Proctor 6-6 in overtime. Andover came back to defeat Tilton 3-2 at home on Wednesday. Its record now stands at 9-1-2.
According to Matt Veneri ’21, both the Proctor game and the Tilton game greatly impacted the team’s dynamic and play.
Veneri wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “In the Proctor game our team suffered injuries to one [Post-Graduate] forward [Tyler Little PG’19] and two defenseman [Co-Captain Carter Giampietro ’19 and Victor Malzahn ’21]. In the most recent Tilton game, Ray Galasso [’20] left the game early with a leg injury. None of these injuries are day-to-day; they are likely injuries that will be keeping them out of the lineup for a considerable amount of time. It was necessary for myself and Jacob Lapp [’21], who was formerly playing for Andover’s Junior Varsity team, to join the team’s blue line. Although not ideal, the team’s five man defensive core did well against an elite Tilton team this Wednesday.”
The loss is only more of a reason for the team to continue to work harder, according to Lucas Brown ’22.
“After losing some great players we have just been working harder and the best thing we have been doing is keeping a good attitude. Everyone has been stepping up and helping out in other positions they may not be used to,” Brown said.
Much of the success of the team so far can be partially credited to the leadership of Co-Captains Giampietro and Christian Powers ’19 along with the upperclassmen, according to Veneri.
Veneri wrote, “Both of our captains are doing a fantastic job leading our team, and are both a large part of our success. They are trustworthy, smart, hard-working, and affable. Beyond this, Johnny Assayag ’19, Mike Gallagher ’20, Thomas Manty ’19, Mark Meinecke ’19, Dawson Arkell ’20, and Charlie Archer ’20 are upperclassmen veterans who have also partaken in a bigger role for this season, and are doing it well. Our team I believe is much closer than it was last year, and these men are the reason for it.”
The success of the team also rests on goalie Archer according to Brown.
“Really everybody is playing at a high level to contribute to our success. But I think a real standout is Charlie Archer who is solid every game and is a great leader,” said Brown.
New Coach David Breen has contributed to the success of the team thus far and has helped the team improve in their season, according to Veneri.
“Although our philosophy of the game has stayed more or less the same, Coach Breen gives insight and intelligence on the game that we all benefit from. Whatever we were doing good last year, we improved upon it this year. Whatever didn’t go so well for us last year, we went to the drawing board and found a more effective approach,” said Veneri.
The team looks to continue its success against Phillips Exeter Academy at home on Saturday.