For over 45 years, John Gardner has led the Avon Old Farms boys’ hockey program and, in that time, Avon has become a national power and highly sought-after school by top players from around the country. Gardner has more than 800 career victories and eight New England Preparatory School Athletic Council championships since taking over as coach in 1975.
Despite all of that success, Avon hasn't won a championship since 2010 — something not lost on Gardner.
“We have had good chances to win in 2016 and 2020, really good teams but we have been a little snake bit lately,” Gardner said.
Last year was another talented Avon squad that went 23-4 and earned the No. 2 seed in the Elite 8 Tournament, but lost to Belmont Hill in the semifinals, 4-2.
“Been a little frustrating lately. I felt we had a really good team last year and fell short to Belmont Hill,” Gardner said.