This week, Boys Hockey faced St. Paul’s School, Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter), and St. Sebastian’s School (St. Seb’s). With an 8-2 win against St. Paul’s, 6-3 loss against Exeter, and 3-3 tie against St. Sebs, Andover’s record now stands at 7-7-1.
According to Captain Bobby Corkery ’23, the team thrived by optimizing its offense against St. Paul’s. Players consistently created opportunities in front of the net, which reflected the team’s 8-2 score.
“I think in the St. Paul’s game, our strengths were our forecheck and our offense. We had a lot of goals and the scoring chances were created off of our line rushes, but they were also created from behind the net and our forechecks. I think our mix of offense and using all the things we worked on in practice went really well on Friday against St. Paul’s. Our weakness in that game, there weren’t many weaknesses. I felt like we were moving the puck very fast,” said Corkery.
Daniel Rekoske ’23 recalled instances that the team was not able to shift perspectives. He hopes that the team can disregard the statistics and instead be sharper on controlling the way to play against individual teams.
Rekoske said, “I would really say focus this year has really been on trying to ignore who the team we’re playing is, and I think having gone from playing a team like St. Paul’s, [there is] no better way to say this, they just weren’t very good. And then having to go play against Exeter, who is obviously our biggest rival, and they always come out and play a very fast and physical game, I think it was very difficult for us. But we really try to focus on playing the same way and playing the right way no matter who we play.”
After coming off a victory, Andover fell short to Exeter. Despite its efforts on the offense, the team was not able to take control of the game, according to Benjamin Skowronek ’24.
“Against Exeter, we lost 6-3 because they scored an empty netter with a minute left. It was not our best game. Our offense played really well. We put up three goals, but I just don’t think we played to as much potential as we could. And it was a tough game, especially to lose to Exeter, our biggest rival,” said Skowronek.
Despite the score, Corkery felt that the team played at an undeviating pace and out-skated Exeter. Corkery reiterated the struggles on defense, and emphasized the importance of smoothly transitioning between defense and offense. Another issue Corkery observed was the speed and disorganization of the game when the puck entered the defensive zone.
Corkery said, “I really thought we outworked them and outplayed them throughout the entire game. We played a very consistent hockey game. We were definitely getting the pucks in their zone and forechecking. Our strengths were our power plays… Our weaknesses, obviously, we need to tighten up on defense. I felt like we gave them a few easy goals. I just think we got to work on our transition game, so getting the puck out of our end, and generating offense off the rush, and getting the puck into there as quickly as possible and putting pressure on them.”
Skowrenek felt that being overly nervous before facing Exeter shifted the focus from the actual game. Moving forward, the team is looking to maintain composure, regardless of its opponent.
“I think that we’re going to work on a lot of just keeping calm because before the game, I think we just anticipated the game too much and didn’t treat it like a normal game. I think we got too into our heads about us having to beat Exeter, and that treated us negatively. In the future, we should treat the game like any other game and just come out and play like we know we can play, and I think we’ll be successful,” said Skowronek.
Boys Hockey will face Nobles & Greenough away this Saturday.