Boys Hockey Hopes to Defeat Exeter on Road to Playoffs

Joey Zheng ’23 prepares to break into the zone.

Boasting a 15-10 record, Andover Boys Hockey looks to triumph over Phillips Exeter Academy following a disheartening 3-2 loss earlier in the season. A win against Exeter would not only boost the team’s spot in the playoffs but also potentially give it a home game in the first round. 

Although the loss earlier in the season was disheartening, the team will not let that deter it from seeking a victory this time around. According to defenseman Danny Rekoske ’23, the strategy will remain the same, however, as the team has accumulated experience and knowledge since its last face off.

Obviously, we did not like losing to Exeter the first time we saw them this year, but no changes have been made in our systems from that game to now. We know what we have to do, and it was just a matter of not executing properly when we played them the first time. It’s later in the season now, and we have had more time to practice our systems and have been seeing good results in games. While the game plan is the same, we are not the same team as when we first played them and hopefully we will come out and show that on Saturday,” said Rekoske.

According to Assistant Coach Patrick Pothel, the team will need to get off to a good start in order to beat Exeter. Although that has been a minor issue during the season, the players are prepared to execute this time around.

Assistant Coach Pothel said, “We haven’t been as consistent as we would like this season in starting the game on a high note, but I suspect the players will be ready for this game emotionally and physically, and hopefully that will translate to a win. 

According to Nolan Roche ’23, despite falling short previously, the team is feeling confident in its ability to win this game. Roche noted that in order to come out victorious, Andover Boys Hockey will need to outwork Exeter.

“This is a really big game for us. We played them earlier in the year. We lost to a really late goal, which was unfortunate. I firmly believe that we are a better team than them—we are more skilled, more talented, so we just need to outwork them. And we have a great goalie, Shane Shelest ’22. So this will definitely be a big game, but we are better for sure,” said Roche.

Andover will host Exeter on Saturday at 2:10 p.m.