The Panthers started their first week of NEPSAC Division I hockey with three games which rewarded them with mixed results. With a few early injuries and a mix of new players getting involved, the Panthers were looking to establish some team chemistry in the first week of play.
On 11/28, NYA hosted Holt Conference foe Moses Brown. The Panthers offensive dominance was clear from the drop of the puck. Led by 6 goals from Bobby Murray and a mix of other players chipping in, NYA won the game 13-0 to start the season off with a win. Jeremy Thelven stopped all 16 shots he faced to record the shutout, and new Sophomore Brent Rickett recorded his first NYA goal in the win.
On Wednesday, 12/2, NYA traveled to Groton School for their second game of the year. Despite being down 4-1 at the end of the first period, NYA would come out and play a much better second period, but would still trail 5-2 heading into the third. An Andrew Keith power play goal would spark a comeback, which was followed up quickly by a Johnny Busolin shot from the point that would cut the lead to one. Back on the power play, Senior Forward Josh Chapman buried a pass from Michael Pitts to tie the game up, 5-5. With the goal, Chapman joined an elite group of NYA players by scoring the 100th point of his career. Groton was able to chip in two late goals to win the game, but congratulations are in order for Josh’s impressive milestone.
NYA would complete their first week by hosting Hoosac School on 12/5. NYA would dominate the game in all aspects except the scoreboard in this one, falling to Hoosac 7-2 to drop their record to 1-2. For the second game in a row, the Panthers found themselves playing well but down by 3 goals entering the third period. They would cut the Hoosac lead to 4-2, however the Owls would add two empty net goals and an additional insurance goal to finish the game 7-2. The Panthers put 56 shots on the Owl net, including 30 in the third period alone, but we unable to solve the dominant goal keeper. For NYA, Jeremy Thelven and Xander Kostelnik split time in net.
The first week of the season saw a mix of positives and negatives as the team looks to establish itself in the NEPSAC schedule. The Panthers will look to get back up to .500 on Wednesday, 12/9, when they host Holt Conference member and in-state rival Berwick Academy at the Travis Roy Arena. The game starts at 4:50.