Boys Hockey Loses Games Against Cushing and Governors, Yet Refusing To Give Up

Despite entering the third period of the game against Cushing with a 0-6 deficit, Andover Boys Hockey managed to maintain its composure. The team scored three goals in the final period of the game. One of such goals was scored by Christopher Cali ’24, scoring his first goal of his high school career. This 3-6 loss against Cushing was followed by a 2-5 defeat against Governor’s. The team’s record now stands at 13-10. 

Michael Bagnoli ’22 explained that the team was hoping for a win, considering they saw their game against Cushing as a way to end their losing streak. However, the team was unable to claim victory.

“Up to today’s game, we were on a two game losing streak, so we were hoping that today was kind of like the bounce back game where we kind of turned it around, especially being at home, since the past few losses were away. We thought that, and hoped, that being at home would help us kind of secure the win. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen,” said Bagnoli.

Rory Booth ’23 said he is proud of the team’s perseverance while down 0-6. He acknowledged the areas in which the team needs to improve, including speed on offense.

Booth said, “We didn’t quit… We came back, we scored three goals, and I would say as a team that was down 0-6, coming back and scoring three goals was pretty good for us… The only issue offensively is we couldn’t really get goals going. Our timelines for production just weren’t working and we got stuck in our zone a lot. It’s just an all around not being able to get in positions where we can score goals, or do things where we could help our forwards from a defensive standpoint.”

Bagnoli echoed Booth’s sentiment, highlighting the team’s combative spirit even when losing by a large margin. Looking ahead to Friday’s game against Brooks, the team hopes to get off to a better start to prevent accruing a large deficit at the beginning of the game.

Bagnoli said, “I think we did a good job of maintaining composure throughout the entire game… I guess that really shows that we still cared and we still wanted to keep fighting. We hope to carry that into our next game on Friday. I think one thing that we could have done better, definitely, is coming out to a stronger start. That’s been a problem in the past.”

Ahead of Andover’s loss against Governor’s, Sam Myles ’24 underlined the importance of the team’s mentality in the game.

“I feel like we just need to play every game like it’s the last and make sure we come to the game not expecting to have it easy… [and to] make sure we play our best every time,” said Myles.

Booth reflected that the game against Governor’s started off well. However, the team later started to struggle defensively. 

Booth said, “I think we started off pretty [well]. Then we had trouble scoring. Defensively, we had a couple breakdowns in our zone, so when they scored, we [could] never get goals back. We lost both games, and honestly I would say both were pretty similar. What was the same was just not being able to score and then defensive zone breakdowns that we shouldn’t have had. The only difference between last game and today’s game was that we actually turned back towards the end of today’s game, and we actually started to play better, but as far the Governor’s game goes, we truly had trouble with defensive breakdowns and scoring.”

According to Bagnoli, the scoreline against Cushing reflected similar deficiencies in the Andover defense. He complimented Cali on his first goal of his high school career, and emphasized the energy it brought to the team.

Bagnoli said, “I think the score definitely reflects the fact that we could have done a better job defensively. Definitely in the first and second period, we left our goalie, Shane [Shelest ’22], our starting goalie out to dry, and over time we got a little better. I think offensively we did a pretty good job in the third period. We even got a goal from a player who normally doesn’t play that much. It was his first goal in his high school career, so that was big for him, and that was fun for the team, but I think if we can just get some more consistency throughout the game, that would help us a lot.”

Andover’s next game will be away at Brooks on Friday.