Down two goals against a team as good as Tilton, many teams might just fold up their tents.
Not Phillips Andover, and certainly not in their home rink.
The Big Blue scored twice in the second period to tie it up, and got the big goal late in the third period to post a big 3-2 over the Rams in a battle of Top 10 clubs.
Mac Carso notched the game-winner, sliding the puck home after getting a feed from linemate Thomas Manty with 4:11 to play.
With the win, Andover improves to 9-2-1 overall, while Tilton falls to 10-2-0. The Big Blue came into the game ranked #7 in our latest HNIB News Boys Prep Top 15. The Rams were at #4.
“That doesn’t bother us,” said Andover coach Paul Tortorella of being down two goals. “It’s a long game. Both of their goals were on the power play. They were two excellent goals. But, we were happy with how we were playing. We had to play the whole game.”
It took Andover just 21 seconds to get on the scoreboard in the second period. The top line of Carso, Christian Powers and Thomas Manty made a nice rush into the zone. The puck came over to Manty, busting down the left side on his off-wing and he snapped home a wrister to make it 2-1.
At 9:21 of the second stanza, senior Jonathan Assayag came down the right wing side and whistled a shot over the glove of Tilton goalie Owen Cuddyer to tie the score at 2-2.
Tilton applied some serious offensive pressure in the third period, especially the line of Brendan Sjostedt, Shawn Leslie and Tae Lee. Sjostedt had the best chance, ringing the cross bar with 12:20 to play.
On the winning goal, Manty came down the left wing side and was taken out by an old-style hip check from Tilton blueliner Justin Greenberg. But he did not quit. Manty eventually corralled the puck and was able to get a pass to Carso, who slid it under Cuddyer’s pad.
“I am so proud of him” Tortorella said. “That is an example of the type of kid he is. He got hit, but didn’t complain, didn’t look for a penalty. He just got up, found the puck, and made a play.”
Tilton defenseman Jagger Benson had both of his team’s goals in the first period, both on the power play. James Cates assisted on the first goal, and Jack Seymour had a helper on the second goal.
Andover will play rival Exeter on Saturday, while Tilton hosts Vermont Academy in a Lakes Region matchup.