After receiving a shot in front of the net from Drew Smith ’24, Nolan Roche ’23 scored swiftly on a tip-in, putting Andover on the scoreboard. This Saturday, Boys Hockey faced Noble and Greenough School (Nobles), suffering a 1-7 loss. Its record now stands at 7-8-1.
In the first period, Roche scored the only goal for Andover with the help of Smith. Daniel Rekoske ’23 named the tip shot as the play of the match. Despite its best efforts, the team was unable to score again.
Rekoske said, “Nolan Roche had a tip in front of the net on a shot from Drew Smith, which was a good play. That was in the first period, so it was actually three to one after the first, but we just came out again in the second took a few too many penalties and they scored on, so [there] just wasn’t much we could do.”
According to Rekoske, the loss was a result of suffering a few penalties during the game, which led to being down two players and a weakened defensive zone due to the injury of Captain Bobby Corkery ’23.
“I think we got off to a great start. I think we set up a breakaway pretty early on that we didn’t only give our goalie a chance, so they scored on that [and] we got down on one I think pretty early. But I think what killed us were the penalties we took a little bit later in that period. We took two penalties to give up a five on three and they scored two goals on it. Our captain, Bobby Corky, actually got hurt on one of those penalty kills, and so we were kind of a man down for the rest of the game,” said Rekoske.
So far Nobles has led a 11-1-1 season, placing them at the top of the division. Ethan Skowronek ’24 credited Andover in minimizing Nobles’ scoring opportunities and adjusting to challenging circumstances.
Skowronek said, “I think some of the highlights are that we played a really strong team. So I think they kind of caught us off guard especially since we had a really good game against St. Sebastian’s [and] tied them 3-3… But I think we did a good job of keeping [Nobles’] shots to the minimum. They had a lot of high opportunity scoring chances, which we probably could try to prevent. I think we had good pressure on them. Obviously there could have been a better outcome.”
Going forward, Rekoske hopes the team will work the puck with confidence and maintain composure, despite facing obstacles. Avoiding penalties will also maximize the team’s performance.
Rekoske said, “Certainly stay out of the box. The penalties killed us that game but then also I feel like we started to doubt that we could play with these guys. After we got down three [to] one, like we kind of thought, ‘Alright, this is a really good team,’ but we knew that from the start so we just had to play with them and keep playing with them [and] not get too much in our own heads.”
Skowronek spoke on transitioning between defense and offense. Nobles worked the neutral zone and offensive zone well, so in future games it is crucial for forwards to be able to get the ball into the opponents’ defensive zone more fluently.
“I think we really can lock down defensively. I think our forwards and defense have been really good offensively. But I think especially on the forehand side of the puck, defense, they’re doing a great job and I think forwards probably need to backtrack [and] pick up guys better. So probably just more defensive awareness from the forwards,” said Skrownek.
Boys Hockey will host Loomis Chaffee on Saturday and play at Deerfield on Wednesday.
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