BILLERICA CRUISES PAST ANDOVER, TAKES LEAD IN MVC
- May 10, 2016
By Mike Abelson
BILLERICA — Billerica put on a thorough, complete performance as the Indians took apart Andover 15-7 at Calabrese Stadium in a key Merrimack Valley Conference matchup.
The Billerica offense was precise from the start and only got better from there. The Indians converted on 50 percent of their shots, and two players registered hat tricks. Dan Caniff and Gus Gobiel each put in three goals for the Indians, and Drew Laundry filled the score sheet with a pair of goals and four assists.
“Our kids came to play, and they played with a lot of passion, emotion,” Billerica coach Craig Flynn said. “They were firing on all cylinders tonight. They just keep improving and improving, and that’s the goal. We had that tough four-game stretch, but I think that made us better as a team.”
After exchanging goals early the Indians put together a string of four straight scores and went into halftime up 7-3. They followed that with a monster 5-1 quarter in the third the blew the game wide open. Four different players scored for the Indians in the third and six scored in total.
Andover did score three in the fourth quarter, but the game was too far gone by then. Tommy Haut had a hat trick for Andover.
Jeff Trainor had a pair of goals and a pair of assists. Dean Brooks had a strong game at the faceoff X and added two goals and assists of his own. Justin Beck also had a pair of goals for Billerica.
“We were just moving the ball quickly, passing it around,” Caniff said. “We knew coming into this game that they had a strong defense so we moved it around, got open looks, and just put it in the net.”
Trainor played a key role on the field. Playing both ways in the midfield, the captain acted like a surrogate coach between the lines, and led by example on the field.
“Just his presence on the field, he makes everyone better around him,” Flynn said of Trainor. “He’s been a four-year starter for us. He’s like having another coach out there.”
While the offense hummed all game, senior goalie Tyler Canto locked it down in cage. The UMass-Lowell commit turned aside 11 saves, and nearly all of them he made looked routine and simple because of solid body positioning.
Canto was quick to praise the defensive performance in front of him. The Billerica defense kept the
Warriors from consistently getting forward off of dodges and held Andover to low-percentage shots throughout the game.
“It was more of our defense,” Canto said. “All of our D played phenomenal tonight. A few mental errors towards the end, but that’s what we have practice for.”
BLESSING IN DISGUISE
The win was Billerica’s fifth in a row, all in the MVC. The Indians have outscored their opponents during the stretch 85-24, and have the inside track to the MVC title.
The wins come after a brutal four-game losing streak for Billerica that saw the Indians take on two out-of-state powers as well as Duxbury and Lincoln-Sudbury. While difficult, playing against that caliber of competition certainly got the Indians ready for the MVC, as seen from their current win streak.
“Those four games really got us ready for our MVC games,” Canto said. “What we saw against some out-of-state teams, and the top teams in the state, will help us throughout the season to work on some mistakes that we made against those teams, and what they might have exposed. It’ll help us get better as a team.”