Following three of its defensemen getting injured last week, Andover Boys Hockey has been forced to make last-minute changes to its roster. This past Saturday, the team lost 6-0 to Phillips Exeter Academy and later fell 4-0 to Dexter Southfield on Wednesday. The team’s record now stands at 9-5-1.
Andover entered its game against Exeter determined to put up a strong fight, despite ultimately losing, according to Co-Captain Carter Giampietro ’19 .
Giampietro said, “We were expecting a strong team and an emotional game [from Exeter]. Obviously it’s a big rivalry game, so we knew they were going to want to beat us and we wanted to beat them, too.”
Against Exeter, Andover’s offense faltered with only 16 shots on net, compared to Exeter’s 43 shots on net, resulting in six goals.
Head Coach Paul Tortorella ’80 said, “We had trouble penetrating their defense core and we really couldn’t get to many shots on goal.”
Without its key defensemen, Andover fell behind 3-0 against Exeter early in the first period of play.
“Last Saturday’s game was kind of rough. I think that the injuries caught up to us because when you’re down four people, it really affects the team. A lot [of] the guys are tired,” said Colin Dineen ’20.
Against Dexter, Andover again fell behind three goals in the first period and was never able to recover.
Despite lacking offensive momentum in its recent games, goalie Charlie Archer ’20 has been a strong presence in net, according to Giampietro.
“Archer has been playing well. He has been [skillful] in net for the team, no matter what the circumstances are,” Giampietro said.
Andover’s recent abundance of injuries has resulted in major shifts in the team’s dynamic, according to Mike Gallagher ’20.
Because of the injuries, Jacob Lapp ’21 has been brought up from the JV Hockey team and Matt Veneri ’21 and Dineen have been moved from their position as forwards to defensemen for the time being.
“Everyone on the team has to be ready to do anything at all times just in case something like that happens. We have two forwards playing defense right now,” Gallagher said.
The team is looking to put these two losses behind it and prepare for its upcoming games, according to Coach Tortorella.
“The big thing is that we are rested and that we have the energy to perform at the highest level. The kids know how to play the game and they know what our systems are, it’s just a matter of being mentally and physically ready to execute those parts of the game, So, we’ll be ready Wednesday, they got some rest over the weekend on Sunday. We’re just going through some defensive positioning, so the expectation is a higher level of energy.” Tortorella said.
Dineen added, “A lot of guys will go out and shoot or do drills before the practice starts. But, when practice does start, we get really focused and we focus on the task at hand and just work hard.”
Andover will travel to New Hampshire to compete against St. Paul’s this Friday.