In a matchup of two ranked teams who were both undefeated, it was #13 Andover that came away with the win on their home ice in front of a rowdy student section. “We knew the challenge we had ahead of ourselves,” admitted Andover Head Coach Paul Tortorella. “Thayer is a good team and they are dangerous in the transition game so we wanted to shut them down in the neutral zone and not give up odd man rushes.”
Andover jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Thomas Manty collected a feed from Christian Powers and put the home team on the scoreboard 7 minutes into the game. Thayer responded less than 2 minutes later when Reilly Moran got around a defender and fired a snap shot by Charlie Archer to even out the game.
With just 1:14 remaining in the period Christian Powers connected on a short but brilliant saucer pass through the neutral zone which hit Mac Carso on the tape in stride and he went in alone and let a low wrister go from the faceoff dot which just snuck post and in.
Andover added to their lead just over half way into the second period when yet again Christian Powers connected with Mac Carso streaking through the neutral zone with a perfectly placed pass and Carso went in alone on the goalie, made a terrific juke move and lifted a backhand over the goalies shoulder for his second of the game.
There was no quit in Thayer who continued to get pucks to the net and while they fell short on a few power plays were constantly on the attack. With just 1:15 remaining in the second period Nolan Fitzpatrick from behind the net found Sasha Teleguine alone in front of the net and he caught the pass, made a nifty right to left deke move in tight to cut the lead to 3-2.
Thayer jumped on the power play 59 seconds in to the third period and it looked like the momentum was shifting but a big penalty kill by Andover helped stymie the Thayer surge. Thayer had several chances to score but couldn’t get the bounces and Andover netminder Charlie Archer stood tall in the crucial minutes early in the third.
With 10:47 left in the period Mac Carso struck again for his third consecutive goal to complete the hat trick and put Andover up by two. Andover would later score again with seconds remaining when Sean O’Connell scored an empty net goal from the red line to seal the game.
“Our top line really stepped up tonight, obviously Powers and Carso and Manty had big nights but so did our defense and goaltending,” remarked Tortorella. When asked what the win means for the program and looking ahead. “Its a nice win for our kids but it just means we have to work even harder next game against New Hampton. We won, we found ways to score and to win the game but we need to play even better to win games going forward.”
Three Stars of the Game:
1st Star: Mac Carso, Andover
2nd Star: Christian Powers, Andover
3rd Star: Charlie Archer, Andover
NZ’s Take: This was a good game between two likely playoff bound prep teams. Thayer has a few diffrence makers on their team but they are young and thin at certain positions. Andover is a bit older, a bit more experienced and have better depth but lack the kind of firepower Thayer has.
For Thayer, Sasha Teleguine showed why he’s on of the better forwards in prep hockey and not only scored a great goal but showed both his skill and grit throughout the game. Seniors Christian Hayes and Nolan FitzPatrick are talented players and they work hard and created a lot of scoring chances for themselves and for eacother. Other forwards who showed well were sophomores CJ Monturio who is crafty and skilled and big, strong power forward Nick Roukounakis who plays the point on the top power play unit as a freshman. Roukounakis isn’t flashy and has a raw skating stride but his upside is very high and he showed both the size, strength and decision making to be a force at this level despite his age. He wasn’t the only young prospect making plays; eighth grade defenseman CJ Foley had a strong showing here and looks like an obvious NCAA D1 prospect with his skating and puck moving ability. Senior forward Reilly Moran chipped in a nice goal and anchors the second line and senior defensive pair Jake Flynn and Jack Murphy are both quality NCAA prospects worth watching.
For Andover, their top line, which is all seniors, was the story tonight. Christian Powers was setting up his teammates all over the ice, Thomas Manty is smart and skilled and Mac Carso found the back of the net 3 times all on nice goals. They are not the only senior forward worth watching; Jonathan Assayag is a nice power and skill forward and Seaen O’Connell provided great speed and energy to put pressure on Thayers young defense all night. Defensively Carter Giampietro (captain) was long and effective shutting down rushes and duo of talented sophomore defenders Victor Malzahn and Charlie Spence prove to be legit NCAA prospects. Malzahn is a strong two-way defender and Spencer is a calculated puck mover with solid defensive instincts and body positioning. With all that being said, the best prospect on the ice tonight was likely ninth grader William Hughes who has both the size, the puck handling ability and the sense to play a regular shift as 2004 birth year. Really impressive game here; his future looks very bright.
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling / Hickling Images