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February 28, 2013

Andover hockey falls short in tourney opener

STONEHAM — For the better part of 15 minutes, it appeared Andover had taken control.

Trailing by two goals after one period, the Golden Warriors’ Tyler Weeks finished off an outstanding give-and-go with a shorthanded goal to cut the deficit to one just under three minutes into the second — and turn the momentum sharply in Andover’s favor.

“I really thought, once we scored that short-handed tally, that we really had a chance in this game,” said Golden Warriors coach Mike Ciarletta. “But we missed a few chances and they cashed in.”

No. 7 Wakefield extended the lead back to two goals with a score late in the second, and rolled the rest of the way to defeat No. 10 Andover 5-2 in the Division 1 North first round.

“When they scored that goal, it was a very big challenge for our guys,” said Wakefield coach Derek Edgerly. “That Andover team has some very talented players and showed down the stretch (in the regular season) how resilient they were. My guys needed to respond.”

The Golden Warriors entered the game red-hot. Standing at 5-7-2 early in February, Andover finished the season 5-1-1 over its last seven games to earn Division 1’s final playoff spot.

“We had to work so hard just to make the tournament,” said Ciarletta. “The odds were stacked against us, two games under .500 with seven to go. We had some big wins and did some great things. But it didn’t work out today.”

Wakefield took control early, scoring twice in the first 6:22 of play.

But the Golden Warriors bounced back in the second. With Wakefield on the power play, Weeks picked off a pass, took the puck off ice and dished it to Will Sauerbrunn in front of the net. The sophomore then returned the puck to Weeks on the left side and he hammered it home.

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