Winter E/A rivalry colored in Red

Winter edition of feud returns after two years and Exeter shows no signs of rust, earning wins in three games.

Brian Muldoon
February 26, 2022
Phillips Exeter Academy Hockey

Boys varsity hockey used goals from Kurt Gurkan '22, Kodi Dotterer '22 and Ryan Sordillo '22 to earn a 3-2 win over Andover. 

The winter edition of the Exeter/Andover rivalry was reintroduced after a two-year hiatus, but the action and atmosphere did not skip a beat as the games were typical nail-biters and the crowd was as loud as ever.

Big Red came out victorious on the day, earning a pair of basketball wins, while the two schools split decisions in hockey — all included a heavy dose of suspense and exhilaration.  

Girls hockey ignited the excitement of the day. Big Red jumped ahead in the opening three minutes of play when Jess Chen ’24 buried a rebound into the back of the net to give Exeter an early 1-0 lead. Andover answered right back with a pair of goals and went into the first intermission with a 2-1 edge.

Soleil Jamani ’25 evened the score at 2 in the second when she secured a loose puck off of a faceoff and tucked a shot inside the top right corner. The Blue answered again to reclaim a one-goal lead before Victoria Quinn ’22 found the puck in the midst of a crowd and poked it past the Andover goalie to tie the game 3-3 heading into the third period.

Andover came out of the gates fast in the third and added two quick goals to seal a 5-3 decision. Exeter netminder Sami Smith ’23 was terrific, making several acrobatic saves to keep Big Red in the game.

Boys hockey earned Exeter a split in the games inside Harrison Rink with a 3-2 win in dramatic fashion. Kurt Gurkan ’22 got the scoring started when he stole the puck in the neutral zone and raced in for a breakaway, beating the Andover goalie to his blocker side to give Exeter a 1-0 lead. Exeter would double their advantage when Kodi Dotterer ’22 converted on a Big Red power play later in the period.

Andover cut the lead in half in the second period and entered the third trailing Exeter 2-1. That score would remain until Ryan Sordillo ’22 added an empty-net goal with under a minute to play. Andover would keep fighting and score with 12 seconds to play, and had a chance to tie in the waning seconds, but Exeter held on for a 3-2 victory. Michael Salvatore ’23 was outstanding in goal, as he has been all season long.

Boys basketball used stifling defense and some hot shooting early to carry a 10-point lead into halftime. Andover clawed their way back and eventually erased Exeter’s advantage to take a two-point edge midway through the second half. Back-to-back buckets from Josh Morissette ’22 and Chandler Pigge ’22 gave Big Red a four-point edge, and Exeter would not trail again. Big Red was clutch down the stretch, knocking down seven free throws in the final two minutes to seal the 65-60 victory. Morissette finished with a team-high 20 points, while Pigge added 17 of his own. Dom Campbell ’22 was a menace down low and finished with 19 points.

Girls basketball kept the excitement going in the nightcap. Big Red guard Jac Doucette ’23 took the game over and scored 12 of her game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter to push Exeter to a comeback win. Doucette continued to drive to the paint and convert while Amelia Byerly ’24, who finished with 10 points, and Ana Casey ’22, who added eight, chipped in with clutch buckets in the final minute to give Big Red a 56-49 victory.

Exeter will await the announcement of potential postseason bids before putting the final stamp on the winter season.