In-depth coverage of Williston boys varsity hockey

Williston Tripped Up by Albany

Williston entered the St. Sebastian’s tournament looking to bounce back after a two-game losing streak but it was not to happen tonight.  The Wildcats were unable to mount much of an offense in the fifty-minute game and lost 3-0.  Penalties once again hurt Williston as they were called for four infractions with three coming in the second half of the game.  Albany was able to capitalize on one of their chances.  Williston was on the power play for only two minutes of the game and never really mounted much of an attack. For a team that was looking to take off from their dominant third period against Canterbury on Wednesday afternoon, Williston just didn’t bring it today.  They will have a chance at redemption tomorrow morning at 11 at St. Sebastians when they take on The Winchendon Wapitis who dropped a 5-1 decision to the host school.

Williston Loses to Gunnery, Canterbury

On Saturday, the #13 Gunnery Highlanders dropped by Lossone rink to take on Williston for an evening soiree.  Williston put up a good fight for the first two periods, entering the third period tied at two.  But in the third, Gunnery would get two on-the-crease goals and Williston couldn’t respond.  Gunnery won the game, 4-2

In the first, Shaul Mitton would get the Wildcats on the board at the 10:27 mark when he blocked a shot from the point, drove down the right wing and let a shot go from the right dot beating Gunnery goalie, JP Mella.  The lead only lasted for just under three minutes when Gunnery’s Jimmy Rayhill entered the Williston zone and let a shot go that hit the left post and deflected in; Williston goalie Trevor Corsello was screened on the play and couldn’t make the save.  The teams entered the dressing room after one period, 1-1.

In the second, Gunnery took the lead at the 3:39 mark.  The game would stay like that for over eleven minutes until Williston put a puck deep into the Gunnery zone when a hard-working and tenacious Jack Purcell skated like the Chicago wind, wrestled the puck away from a Gunnery defenseman, and whipped a pass through the crease to junior Matt Pimental who got a stick on the puck and tipped it past Mella.  It was a pretty goal that tied the game.

In the third, below average play in the defensive zone allowed for Gunnery to get two greasy goals to solidify the win.  The winning goalie made 22/24 saves, while Corsello made 33/37 saves.

One Wednesday, the win-less Canterbury Saints came marching into town looking to the heavens for some inspiration and a win.  They got it, taking the matchup, 4-2.

There was no scoring in the first period and while Williston was outshot 11-4, both teams were about even in their play.

In the second, Canterbury took the lead just nine seconds into the period.  They got three more to take a huge 4-0 lead going into the third.

In the third, Williston outright dominated Canterbury, outshooting them 23-2.  A countless number of those shots just missed the twine or slid slowly across the crease and into the corner; pucks just were not just falling for the Wildcats.  Then, at the 11:21 mark, Jack Purcell let a rip go from the right dot on the power play. Assists went to Cam Mariani and James Belleavoine.  Purcell’s energy looked to get the Wildcats going even more as their pressure mounted on Canterbury. Then, captain Tim Rego took a pass from Shaul Mitton in the high slot on a 6×5, wove his way through a myriad of Saints’ players and shuffled off to Buffalo with a nifty backhander at the 16:59 mark of the period.  But that was all Williston would garner in the period.

Williston’s Kyler Breland took the loss saving 20/24 shots while Cal Skwara saved 39/41.

Williston’s effort in the third period was the best of the season and showed that if they can do that for a whole game, they will be tough to play against and beat.

Williston now heads into the holiday break and the St. Sebastian’s tournament.  Last year they entered the tournament 2-2 due to a Gunnery game that was cancelled to snow and the fact that they played Canterbury after New Year’s, so while they are sitting at 2-4, last year at this time they had only garnered two wins so fans should not lose hope.

Williston will leave early Friday afternoon where they will play in the St. Sebastian’s Holiday Tournament in Needham, MA.  The Wildcats will open the tournament at 4pm against a tough Albany Academy Cadets’ team.  The winner/loser will play the winner/loser of the St. Sebastian’s/Winchendon game the following day.  The rest of the field includes Canadian powerhouse St. Andrews School, New York’s Adirondack prep school, the Northwood School, last year’s Large School Tournament Champion, Brunswick School, and a very strong Rivers School.  See you there!

Williston Loses to Cushing; Beats Academie St. Louis

The Williston Wildcats traveled to Cushing on Wednesday afternoon to do battle with the Penguins at Iorio Arena.  While Williston battled hard, they did not play a full 54-minute game letting lapses in the defensive zone put them on the wrong side of a 4-3 game.

James Belleavoine got the Wildcats on the board in the first period when Shaul Mitton drove down the slot, let a shot go which was saved by Cushing goalie Joe Sharib, a Union recruit; Sharib made the save but Belleavoine was there to drive home a rebound at the 12:50 mark.  Alex Berg got the other helper.

In the second, Cushing tied the game on a power play and then went up at the 13:45 mark of the period.  Mitton would tie the game on the power play when he drove hard to the crease and tipped in a hard pass from d-man Tyler Varin.  Cushing would get another that period but with .03 seconds remaining in the period and with the goalie pulled, Brendan Nehmer put a puck past Sharib off a faceoff to knot the game at threes.

Cushing would take the lead and the game in the third with 5:55 remaining on the power play.  Williston battled, and hit the post two times in the remaining minutes but could not even the score.  Williston played hard and came close but did not play as hard as they needed to in the defensive zone.

Sharib earned the win making 22 saves; Kyler Breland took the loss for Williston making 30 saves.

On Friday night, Quebec City’s Académie St. Louis entered Lossone to take on the Wildcats.  Williston took the cheese in this one, 5-1 bringing them to .500 on the season.

Williston got on the board just 34 seconds into the frame when ASL took a penalty at :07 mark on a hit from behind.  On the power play, off a shot from Jake Sacratini, James Belleavoine put in a hard-fought rebound.  Tim Rego got the other assist.  Then, a little more than two minutes later, Jake Sacratini got his first goal of his Williston career making it 2-0 when he drove hard to the net and caught a pass from Rego and made good on the opportunity.  Tyler Varin also earned his first of the year when he let a shot go from inside the blue that was too much for ASL goalie Emile Savoie.  Assists went to Hunter Sarro and Hunter Wilson.  ASL got off the schneid at the 13:27 mark on an errant play behind the net by two Williston defensemen.  The ‘Cats went into the dressing room after one period up, 3-1.

In the second, Shaul Mitton garnered the fourth Williston goal at the :21 mark of the game when he let a shot go from the slot beating Savoie on the far post.  Tommy Harty and David Novotny earned the assists.  Then at the 13:11 mark, the line earned the Kodak moment of the game when Mitton took the puck at the red line and made a short two-foot pass to Novotny who blazed into the left side of the ASL  zone and then slowed down waiting to hit a trailing Harty in the high slot.  Harty took advantage of the time and space created and buried his first goal of the season.

In the third, Williston worked to maintain the lead and when the buzzer sounded Williston won and the bell would be rung.

Trevor Corsello earned the win saving 16 shots.  Williston outshot Académie St. Louis, 47-17.  The game puck went to Tyler Varin for his first goal and continued consistent and smooth play.

Tonight your Wildcats welcome The Gunnery School Highlanders to Lossone for a 6 o’clock tilt.  If you need a break from shopping and spreading holiday cheer, stop by the ol’ hockey barn for a much-anticipated game!

#1-Salisbury Drops Williston To 1-1

On Saturday evening, the number 1-ranked Salisbury Scarlet Knights entered Lossone Arena and dropped Williston 4-1.  While Williston put up a solid fight in the first period, the eleven current Division I commitments and the rest of their teammates were too much for the Wildcats who appeared to peter out at times during the matchup.

The game started with excellent pace as both teams worked hard to establish early momentum that would hopefully carry their club through the entire fifty-four minutes.  One fan commented early on in disbelief that the game was so hard-hitting and fast.  While Salisbury mounted substantial offense at times, Williston goalie Trevor Corsello was up to the task making many excellent saves.  At the other end, new junior Nicholas Haas was tested early and often as well.  Williston got on the board first at the 7:38 mark of the period when Jake Sacratini was able to break up a Salisbury offensive zone opportunity at the blue line allowing his linemate Cam Mariani to gather the puck and streak in to the Salisbury zone with Brendan Nehmer driving hard to the net.  Forgoing a pass, Mariani let a rip go from the right dot beating Haas far side.  Williston took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room after one period of play.

In the second, penalties and lack-luster efforts by the Wildcats led to three Salisbury goals, including the third on a breakaway by Nick Capone for a short-handed try.  Salisbury went into the second intermission, 3-1.

In the third, Salisbury iced the game at the 2:05 mark when Capone earned his second goal of the game.  Williston battled but Salisbury had too much depth.  Corsello made 25 saves on the day while Haas made 26.

Williston looks to rebound with a three-game week.  On Wednesday,  Williston makes the hour-and-a-half trip to Ashburnham, MA to take on the #5-ranked Penguins of Cushing at 3:30, a team that they have not beaten in many tries.  On Friday, Williston is back home to take on Academie Saint-Louis at 5:30 and then #7 Gunnery on Saturday at 6.  Great seats are still available for both home games and offer a great environment for family and friends.  See you there.

 

Williston Downs Avon for the Second Straight Year

Williston opened the 2018-2019 season in style, beating the #11th ranked Avon Old Farms Winged Beavers on the road, 5-2.  The matchup saw an array of new faces on the ice as graduation and underclassmen defections took its toll on both clubs in the offseason.  On this day, it was the Wildcats who were able to find their identity and take the win.

Avon got on the board first at the 3:53 mark in the first period as forward Tim Heinke took a pass from winger, John Turner, and single-handedly entered the zone, split the Williston defense, and tucked in a nifty goal past new Williston goalie Kyler Breland from Drayton Valley, Alberta.  The lead would not last however.  Fielding a dump-in behind the net, Avon goalie Alex Aslanidis (a Providence recruit) was outworked for a puck by new junior Shaul (pronounced SHOW-el) Mitton of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, who used his big 6’2, 175 frame to disrupt the play, gather the puck and make a pass from behind the left side of the net to returning (and wide open) sophomore David Novotny (Boca Raton, Florida) in the low slot who fired a low shot in the right corner tying the game at 1-1 at the 6:35 mark.

Senior Captain Tim Rego (Mansfield, MA) would break the tie on the power play at the 8:19 mark of the period when Hunter Sarro (North Attleboro, MA) worked hard in the corner for a puck, made a quick pass to Rego at the left point who let a quick rip go beating Aslanidis.  Williston arms went up; Avon heads went down.

The lead was short-lived as Avon tied the game on a goal from John Tuner with assists to Nick Cyprian and Tyler Boucher in a scrum in front of Breland at the 10:50 mark.

Williston would take the lead for good at 16:37 when the pride of Western Mass and post-graduate from Pope Francis, Brendan Nehmer (East Longmeadow, MA) would net the first goal of his career on a shot from the slot that beat Aslanidis over the shoulder. Williston would enter the dressing room at the end of one, 3-2.

The second period was riddled with penalties including 5x3s for both squads.  The first of the two was successfully killed off by an incredibly stingy Williston penalty kill unit.  Within thirty seconds of the final penalty expiring, David Novotny collected a puck at his own blue line and drove down the ice on a 2 on 1 with new junior Tommy Harty (Billerica, MA) streaking toward the goal.  Novotny looked off Harty and blasted a shot past Aslanidis for the fourth Williston goal and his second of the game.  An interesting note is that last year as a freshman, Novotny did not see any time in the Avon game because the coaching staff did not feel he was “ready.”  My, how a year can change things!

In the third period, Williston put the screws to Avon and did not allow any grade-A chances.  Breland saw almost every shot and was up to the task on every Avon opportunity.  You could see the Winged Beavers frustration because they could never get anything going offensively.  Meanwhile, Williston put the final nail in the metaphorical coffin when senior Cam Mariani (Wilbraham, MA) took a pass from newcomer Jake Sacratini out of the left corner and let a low blast go; Aslanidis made a beauty kick save that landed on the stick of Nehmer in the slot who buried the puck into an open net for his second goal, solidifying the win.  Avon had some good opportunities late but could not bury chances.  When zeros hit the scoreboard, Williston took the win, 5-2.

The game puck went to Breland for his stellar play in goal and being the steady pillar the Wildcats needed, making 41 saves on the day.  Aslanidis saved 26 of Williston’s 31 shots.

This year, the Wildcats return only seven players from last year’s playoff-bound club.  Breland’s partner in nets is junior Trevor Corsello from Seldon, NY on Long Island.

Returning on defense with Rego is Alex Berg from Tampa Florida who has picked up where he left off last year as the steady, stalwart defenseman.  Williston fans will notice the name Hansen on the blue line and may wonder if former Williston forward Brendan Hansen shot up six inches over the summer and switched positions.  In fact, Hansen is playing at the University of Colorado at Boulder, while his younger brother Mitchell takes the reigns to live on the family name in Easthampton.  New sophomore defensemen include Hunter Wilson of Westport, CT; Tyler Varin from Smithfield, RI; and Zac Gmerek from the greatest little city east of the Mississippi, Rochester, NY.

At forward, Williston returns five players.  Seniors Cam Mariani, Hunter Sarro, and James Belleavoine (Smithfield, RI) look to carry some of the Williston scoring load this year and already have proven how much a year can change a player, while Sophomores David Novotny and Brandon Barrett (West Palm, FL) look to be contributors as well.  The Williston faithful will also notice a number of new faces on offense this year.  Along with Nehmer, post-grad Jack Purcell of Chicago, Il has already shown his worth with excellent penalty killing and leadership.  The junior class will be well-represented with the likes of not only Mitton, Sacratini, and Harty, but also the workhorse and Portuguese Power, Matt Pimental from East Providence, RI.  Sophomore Richard Stefanik (Whitehouse Station, NJ) rounds out the sophomore class and looks to hone his craft for the Lossone fans.

Behind the scenes of this year’s operation, the team will be in the hands of our willing and capable managers, senior Ethan Bradway (media and tech engineer) and sophomores Oscar Nguyen (hydration and statistics extraordinaire) and Lucas Boyd (sound and hype man).

The Wildcats will be led by 13-year coach, Derek Cunha.  Dave Cunningham will be working with the defense and goalies while Kyle Hanford will try to harness the forwards.

Williston is back in action on Saturday night at 5 o’clock as the Salisbury Scarlet Knights come to town.  Salisbury is a perennial power and is ranked number #1 in New England this year.  Great seats are still available, so bring the family down for an exciting night of hockey.

Four Wins in Five Games Catapults Williston to the Number Four Seed in New England Tournament

Williston has secured the number four spot in the New England boy’s hockey tournament and will play the Brunswick Bears on Wednesday at Lossone Arena.  The road to the tournament was not paved with roses and this team worked hard and battled adversity to get there.

It began on Valentine’s Day when the Canterbury Saints came to town.  Williston was looking to avenge a loss in the waning seconds in New Milford at the beginning of the New Year.  Fortunately for Williston, Cupid shot his arrow in the ‘Cats direction and they won in overtime, 4-3.

Williston dominated play in the first period outshooting Canterbury by a three to one margin.  Sam Milnes got the home team on the board when he took a pass from Cam “The Sauce” Mariani and the Captain nipped top shelf to put Williston up 1-0.  A few minutes later Canterbury would tie the game on a short-handed goal knotting the game at one.

There were no goals in the second though again Williston outplayed Canterbury, outshooting them mightily.

Early in the third, Canterbury went up 2-1 before Milnes scored his second of the night on the Canterbury doorstep.  The Captain was able to tip an Alex Berg shot and bang home the rebound.  Brendan Hansen earned the other assist. Ethan Agostoni put the Wildcats up 3-2 when Kyle Caddo took a pass from Connor Power in the neutral zone and ripped a shot that was saved by the Saints goalie, however Agostoni drove hard to the net and poked a rebound between the goalie’s legs.  Things were looking good until the 16:38 mark of the period with the Canterbury goalie pulled.  Canterbury won an offensive faceoff and took a shot that beat Greg Iverson.  Williston was stunned but headed to overtime.

Williston successfully killed a penalty and then in an identical play to Canterbury just four minutes earlier, Hansen won an offensive faceoff to Milnes who beat a well-screened Canterbury goalie.  The Williston bench cleared, arms when up, and metaphorical hats flew on the ice for Milnes third goal of the game.

Williston outshot Canterbury 41-21; Iverson made 18 saves on the day and Milnes earned the game puck.

Williston traveled to Deerfield that Friday for a battle of Western MA foes.  Not much to report here.  Williston out-played Deerfield for the majority of the game but for a 20 second stretch where they were able to beat Iverson on a break away with Kevin Lassman draped all over the eventual scorer.  Williston battled hard but could not even the game.  Williston outshot Deerfield 33-25.

Williston took the weekend off as they prepared for a three game week.  The first game was on a balmy 70 degree day in Albany, NY.  Temps were up and the bus A/C was broken!  No worries as our bus driver converted the escape hatches into sunroofs and the team rested comfortably in the breeze. Great to be back to the home state for this writer!  God’s country!

Williston got up on Albany 2-0 in the first period when Billy Smith was able to net a goal from Logan Geisness, and Kevin Lassman scored on the power play on a blast from the point.  Assists went to Geisness and Rego.

In the second, Albany scored three straight goals to go up 3-2.  Williston battled for the remainder of the period and was rewarded on a backhand shot from Brandon McGill.  See assists from Lassman’s goal.

In the third, Geisness was able to score Williston’s first of three short-handed goals in their final three games.  Connor Power was able to get a puck to Smith along the wall.  Smith was able to bump the puck around a defensemen and squeak a puck to Geisness who took care of business from there.

Williston outshot Albany 41-23.  Iverson got the win and Geisness earned the game puck.

On Friday, Winchendon came to town.  This was Williston’s third game against the Wapitis having taken the first game in a shootout at the St. Sebastian’s Christmas Tournament.  Williston then beat them up in Central MA 3-2.

Winchendon got on the board in the first after killing a five minute major.  Williston outplayed Winchendon but could not score.

Williston scored its second short-handed goal in two games when the penalty-killing duo of Billy Smith and Logan Geisness went in on a 2-0.  Smith drove to the net and looked like he was going to shoot before he slid a cross-crease pass to Geisness who buried the puck.  One of the sweetest goals of the season for this writer.

Geisness would score the game-winner in the third when he drove home a loose puck on the crease.  Assists went to Novotny and Smith.

Williston outshot Winchendon 35-20 as Iverson got the win and Geisness earned the game puck.

Friday was Senior Night for twelve of our players.  Parents flew and drove from as far away as Alaska, California and Wisconsin; as close as Southampton, MA; and everywhere in between.  The evening concluded with a wonderful dinner with parents of our boys.  Tip of the cap to Peggy Hansen and all of the other Williston mothers and fathers for their help!

Even with the win against Winchendon, Williston was still not guaranteed a spot in the tournament.  So with their destiny in their own hands, Williston boarded the bus and headed to the Pomfret School for a tilt with the Griffins.

The game started promptly at 2:30 and Williston forgot to get off the bus going down 2-0 in the first.

After a riveting, nay, motivating speech by Coach Cunha, the Wildcats decided to join in the festivities of period two.  Billy Smith kicked things off on the power play when he let a Hyde-Park howitzer go from the blue line with assists going to Jake Durocher and Hunter Sarro.  Pomfret answered four minutes later with a tally.  However, just twelve seconds after that, Brendan Hansen took things into his own hands and brought the game back to one with a blast from the slot.  Kyle Caddo and Milnes got the helpers.  Williston went into the dressing room down one but with momentum well in their favor.

The third period was all Williston when David Novotny evened things up at the 2:05 mark when he took a pass cross zone from Smith and rifled a shot into a wide open net.  Geisness was the second assist.  Then Brendan Hansen capitalized on a short-handed bid with an assist from Milnes to put the Wildcats in the driver’s seat and with continued momentum.

Then things got interesting.

With 11:43 left in the period, Tim Rego carried the puck into the Pomfret zone and took a routine hit into the boards.  What appeared to be routine turned chaotic when the glass shattered at the impact of the 200 pound Tim Rego.  Play was stopped and both benches went to their respective dressing rooms.  A little less than hour later, play resumed.

Sam Milnes put the final nail in the coffin when he took a home-run pass from Brendan Hansen at the Pomfret blue line, drove down the slot, cut back against the grain getting undercut by a Pomfret defenseman.  For a player like yours truly, a yard sale would have ensued, but Milnes was able to corral his stick, his wits, and the puck, and put a low shot past the Pomfret goalie.  Williston would continue its onslaught giving Pomfret very low-grade chances and take the game, 5-3.

Shots in the game were 32-27 Williston, with Iverson making 24 saves.  Hansen earned the game puck.

On Sunday Williston learned it would be playing Brunswick at Lossone at 3:45.  At that, many of the Williston players decided to introduce themselves to the clippers and try their hands as barbers.  The results are interesting to say the least.

So come on down to the old hockey barn in Easthampton on Wednesday afternoon.  Watch the game, stay for the hair.

Williston loses to Millbrook; Upends Canterbury in OT

 

The Williston hockey team dropped its fourth straight game when it lost to Millbrook 5-3 last Saturday afternoon.  However, with a change in the game plan, some tenacious play, and a hat trick by captain Sam Milnes, Williston was able to defeat the Canterbury Saints, 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday afternoon.

When Millbrook came to town on Saturday, they were riding a three game win-streak and it looked like early on, they were about to take it to the Wildcats when they scored on the power play at the 6:19 mark of the first period after a sluggish start by the home team.  They took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room after one.

In the second, Brendan Hansen was able to capitalize on the power play when Logan Geisness corralled a pass from Tim Rego and broke into the Millbrook zone down the left side.  Geisness then made a tape-to-tape pass to a streaking Hansen who had an open net.  With increased pressure, David Novotny made it 2-1 at the 5:24 mark of the period and things looked like they were rolling for the ‘Cats.  James Belleavoine got the assist.  Unfortunately penalties cost Williston as Millbrook scored on a 5×4 and then on a penalty shot while Williston was on the power play.  Millbrook went up 4-2 at the 16:54 mark when a loose puck out front was banged home.

Williston let up another goal at the beginning of the third to go down 5-2.  At the 4:41 mark, Billy Smith found Cam Mariani in front of the net who was able to power in a goal, however that would be all the scoring for the day.  Williston was outshot, 31-26.

Yesterday, the Canterbury Saints came marching in looking to sweep the season series but the Wildcats were ready for the task.

Williston began the period with gusto controlling much of the play and outshooting Canterbury, 12-3.  Sam Milnes got Williston on the board at the 7:34 mark of the period when he took a pass from Logan Geisness, streaked down the right boards, and let a shot go from the circle tops that beat the Saint’s goalie far side.  Zach Riccitelli would answer the call on a short-handed goal at the 15:48 mark of the period.  The teams would go into the dressing room knotted at one.

In the second period, Williston continued to dominate play for much of the period outshooting Canterbury 13-3 but neither team could find the net.

In the third, the goals started coming.  Canterbury got on the board first on a shot from the slot.  Williston’s Sam Milnes answered on the doorstep after a low blistering shot was released by Alex Berg, knocked around by Logan Geisness, and eventually buried by Milnes for his second of the game.  Williston went up 3-2 just over a minute later when Kyle Caddo took a shot and Ethan Agostoni buried a rebound.  Connor Power got the other assist.  Then, at the 16:38 mark and with the goalie pulled, Canterbury tied the game on a shot off a draw that beat Williston goalie Greg Iverson.  Following the goal, Williston would face more adversity as they were called for an interference call giving the Saints even more momentum. Down, on the penalty kill, but not defeated, Williston went to overtime.

In the overtime frame, Williston killed the Saint’s penalty and at the 2:33 mark and off a Brendan Hansen faceoff win, Sam Milnes buried a laser past a screened Canterbury goalie.  Players’ arms went up, mammas’ tears came down, and Williston snapped a four-game losing streak.

Williston outshot Canterbury 41-21, with Iverson getting the win.  Game puck went to Sam Milnes for his hat trick.

On Friday night Williston plays Deerfield at Eaglebrook at 6pm.  Be there. (But if you can’t, you can check it out at: https://deerfield.edu/athletics/events/2018/02/hockey-boys-varsity-vs-williston/10251371/)

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Williston Drops Two Games to Connecticut Foes

Last week, Williston dropped a pair of games to NEPSAC rivals Westminster and Loomis Chaffee.  While the Wildcats played hard, they were unable to secure the win losing the first contest 4-1 and the second 2-1.

On Monday, January 29th, Westminster rolled into the Lossone Ice Palace ranked in the top ten and looking to avenge an overtime loss from the year before.  The game began with great pace and both teams battled hard in the first period.  Williston got on the board first when Billy Smith screamed down the left wall and let a rip go from the tops of the circle.  The Westminster goalie made the save but Wisco-native Logan Geisness, in a you-can’t-draw-this-up-any-better play, slammed home the rebound giving Williston a 1-0 lead at the end of the first.

In the second, Westminster got on the board when Williston failed to get the puck deep and tied the game a few moments later.

In the final frame, with the score tied 1-1, Westminster got the eventual game winner on a shot from the circle tops that beat goalie Xander Rogers.  A few minutes later, Westminster scored again to make it 3-1.  Westy would get an empty netter to seal the deal for the Martlets.  Williston was outshot in the game 26-25.

On Wednesday, Williston loaded up the coach bus and headed to Loomis Chaffee.  Greg Iverson got the start.

The first period saw Williston get down early when a fortuitous bounce behind the net and a quick pass to the slot put Loomis up 1-0.  Then, just over a minute later and on the power play, Loomis went up 2-0 when a Loomis player stepped up from out of the corner and beat Iverson over the shoulder.  Williston, however, would not go down without swinging.  Two minutes later, defensemen Tim Rego joined a Williston rush, picked up a loose puck on the side of the net, cut hard across the crease and was able slide the puck past the outstretched leg of the Loomis goalie.  Unfortunately that would be all the scoring in the game.  Williston battled hard and carried the play for much of the game but struggled to generate any grade-A scoring chances.  Shots were 25-22 in favor of Williston.

Williston welcomes the Millbrook Mustangs this Saturday at 4 pm at Lossone for what looks to be a battle.  Williston took the first game against Millbrook 4-3 in overtime and the Mustangs are seeking payback.  Good seats are still available.

Also, after the boy’s game the Williston girls will have their annual Pink the Rink game against Andover starting at 6.  Bring your money for baked goods and a raffle with excellent prizes.  See you there!

 

 

Williston Beats Vermont, Millbrook; Loses to Gunnery, Brunswick

After defeating Berkshire at home, the Vermont Wildcats entered Lossone last Wednesday afternoon and your host Williston Wildcats earned the victory behind a 13 save performance from Xander Rogers, 6-2.

Williston was down early in the game when a Vermont player was able to deflect a point shot on the power play.  However, at the 15:07 mark, James Belleavoine took exception to the lead and buried a puck past the Vermont goalie Dylan Regan on an assist from the Sauce, Cam Mariani.  Kyle Caddo wanted a piece of the action and just a minute later, beat Regan on a blast with an assists from Belleavoine and Tim Rego.

In the second, Williston added to their lead at the 1:49 mark when Captain Sam Milnes went in on a 2-1 with freshman David Novotony charging down the center of the ice.  In a move taken from the St. Sebastian’s game, Milnes put a puck right on the tape of Novo who buried the puck.  At the 14:14 mark, the exact same thing happened again. (No need for a recap, just read above.)  Connor Canterbury decided to get in on the action when he took a puck on the left point, walked in a few strides and let a blast go just above the circle tops.  For the Alaskan Assassin, this was his first goal of the year.  Logan Geisness and Billy Smith earned the helpers.  Then just two minutes later, Sam Milnes made the game 6-1 when he put in a greasy goal on the doorstep with assists from Geisness and Brandon McGill.

The third period featured only one goal by Vermont, but was highlighted primarily by the text book game management of the Williston group.  Canterbury earned the game puck.

On Saturday, the Gunnery Highlanders came to town.  This would be the only meeting of the season between the two clubs due to a snowstorm that cancelled the Williston trip to Washington, CT. In a highly physical and contentious game, there were no goals scored in the first period.  In the second, Gunnery was able to score when the puck could not be cleared by Williston.  Gunnery scored their second goal on the power play at the 11:47 mark.  Later in the period, Kevin Lassman pulled the ‘Cats to within one when he skated into the Gunnery zone and beat goalie, JP Mella. Assists when to Geisness and Smith.  However, that would be as close as Williston would get.  The Wildcats dropped the contest 2-1.  Goalie Greg Iverson played very well making 32 saves in the loss.

This past Wednesday, Williston packed their bags once again and headed out to the great state of New York and home of the New York Yankees and the Erie Canal!  Millbrook was battling a bout of illness but their Pink in the Rink game gave them extra strength to make a game out of the day, but Williston would overcome and win 4-3 in overtime.

Not making the trip was captain Sam Milnes who battled his own illness.  Keeping him home was like trying to put a ten foot tiger into a nine foot cage, but health services was able to do it.

Williston started the first period with a set game plan and executed it swimmingly.  Williston maintained heavy pressure all period and even gaining a 5-3 advantage at one point, but to no avail.  Both teams entered the dressing rooms locked a zeroes.

In the second period, Millbrook got on the board on their own 5-3 at the 3:10 mark. Williston would even the frame at the 15:35 mark when Billy Smith worked the puck to Tim Rego who skated in the zone on the left hand side, took a shot, collected his rebound, went behind the net and slid a sweet pass to Brendan Hansen right on the doorstep.  The puck went through a hole and Williston was happy.

In the third, Williston took the lead at the 2:43 mark when Hunter Sarro took pass from Brendan Hansen and buried shot from 20 feet out.  Canterbury earned the assist.  Cheese-head Brandon McGill made it 3-1 when he let a laser go from the right wing that beat Millbrook goalie Cam Fernandez on the far side at the 8:30 mark.  Williston was feeling good about itself but two untimely penalties got Millbrook to even the score, the final goal coming with just 50 seconds left. Overtime was to determine the fate of the two teams.

In OT, both clubs had a number of scoring opportunities and Williston goalie, Xander Rogers was up to the task.  Williston, on the other hand, wanted to leave Upstate New York with a win and it came with just 12 seconds left when Geisness let a shot go from the right half-wall that Billy Smith, with hands like a surgeon, was able to corral between Fernandez’ five-hole.  Williston’s arms went up, moms’ tears fell down, and Williston boarded the bus with Four Brothers Pizza and a win.  Smith earned the game puck.  Rogers made 35 saves.

On Saturday Williston headed down to Southwest Connecticut to face the Brunswick Bruins.  While the Wildcats would lead by two goals twice in the game, penalties proved to be their Achilles heel as the Bruins converted on three power play opportunities.  Brunswick took the game 4-3.

The period opened with both clubs feeling one another out. Ethan Agostoni got Williston on the board at the 12:32 mark of the first period when he jammed in a puck on the side of the net.  Connor Power got the assist.  Sam Milnes put Williston up by two a minute later when he took control in the offensive zone skated around a myriad of players and beating Bruin goalie Dan Dachille in the slot.  Brunswick got a late goal in the period on the power play on a rebound opportunity.

Williston looked like they would continue to roll when a 1:23 into the 2nd period, Mariani pick-pocketed a Bruin defensemen behind the net and put a shot on Dachille that was saved, but Billy Smith poked in the rebound.  However, Williston would go on the penalty kill and Brunswick took advantage netting two opportunities.  They would get eventual game winner with 8:46 in the period.

While Coach Cunha tried to rally the Wildcats with a Charles Dickinson-esque speech between periods, it was to no avail.  Greg Iverson made 31/35 saves on the day.

Williston plays Westminster tonight at Lossone at 5.  Williston beat Westminster last year in overtime and no doubt the Martlets would like to repay the favor this year.  Great seats are still available.

Williston Takes Six Points in Three-Game Week: Wildcats top the Hilltoppers, Wapitis, and Bears

 

Williston headed out on their eighth straight road trip on Wednesday to take on a much improved Worcester Hilltopper club at the Worcester Ice Center.  Xander Rogers got the nod for the Wildcats and was excellent when he needed to be.  Williston dominated much of the play but a stingy Nathan Pickett in goal for Worcester had Williston in fits for two periods.  It wasn’t until early in the third that Williston was able to tie the game and then pull away.

Williston came out in the first period with solid pressure controlling much of the play.  While they outshot Worcester 18-5 in the period, Williston’s shot selection was not daunting and Pickett had easy work for many of the opportunities and frustrated the Williston offense.  With time running out in the first and a Williston power play nearing an end, an errant pass was picked off by a Worcester forward at the Williston blue line who then stormed toward Rogers and was able to beat him on the short side.  Williston was stunned after territorially dominating the play.  However, with just 33 seconds remaining in the period, Williston looked to tie up the game on a tipped shot by Cam Jefferson.  However, the referees were forced to confer due to the net being off its moorings.  The Williston coaching staff failed to get the officials to see their way and soon after the goal was called off. Williston entered the end of the period licking its wounds and hoping for a change in the second.

In the next frame, both Williston and Worcester traded power play opportunities with Williston gaining the edge in calls for.  But much to the chagrin of the Williston faithful, the Wildcats could not find the back of the net.  Rogers made some key saves and kept the score within one.

After a Saban-esque speech between the second and third period, Williston began the period on the warpath and five minutes into the frame Kyle Caddo drove from behind the net, used his Shaquille O’Neal-like reach and finally broke the enigma in net.  Brandon McGill earned the assist.  A little over two minutes later, McGill found his scoring ways tipping a blast from Logan Geisness off a pass from Tim Rego on the power play.  Williston was finding the light.  Then, four minutes later Caddo made a pass out of the left corner that McGill put in.  Caddo was not done.  Having been sick of seeing a zero next to his name in the points’ column, he decided to make a dandy pass to James Belleavoine who let a ripper go from the slot securing the win, 4-1.

Xander Rogers faced 21 shots but Williston outshot the Hilltoppers, with 38.  Kyle Caddo did New Jersey proud by earning the game “pen” for his work (1g, 2a).  (Worcester game pucks were impossible to come by at the sound of the buzzer.)

On Friday, Williston completed its 9th straight road game at Winchendon.  Kayaks were needed at times for the rains were plenty and the creeks were running like the mighty Genesee River in springtime in Upstate New York.  With under an hour to get ready, Williston took the ice behind a willing and able Greg Iverson who had defeated Winchendon in a shootout at the St. Sebastian’s Tournament at Christmas.  Iverson continued his run defeating the Wapitis 3-2 behind a 25 save performance.

Williston entered the campaign ready to manage a game against a high-powered offense whose top line had scored 31 points in its last three games.  With a strict game plan and a disciplined core of players, Williston took a 1-0 lead when Logan Geisness took a pass from behind the net from Billy Smith and buried it past Winchendon goalie, James Corcoran.  Connor Canterbury would get the second assist.

In the second, Hunter Sarro scored an unassisted goal when he stripped a puck away from a defender at the Winchendon blueline and rifled a shot that beat Corcoran to the blocker side.  Winchendon would get a greasy power play goal from a shot that deflected off a Williston defender beating Iverson.  However, thanks to some nifty passing and puck control, Sam Milnes and Canterbury were able to find Kevin Lassman—the Florida Kid—in the slot who beat Corcoran cleanly.  While Lassman’s celebration looked like a surfer on roller skates—Williston was happy and took a 3-1 lead into the dressing room.

Winchendon would get another goal in the third period but Williston was up to the challenge defeating Winchendon 3-2.  For his efforts and the game winner, Hunter Sarro earned the game puck.

On Saturday afternoon, the Lossone faithful welcomed back its club when Williston took on Berkshire to complete its two-game season series.  Williston came out guns blazing and outplayed Berkshire for much of the first period.  At the 4:14 mark of the period, Billy Smith took a puck just inside the right circle and let go a bomb that beat Berkshire goalie Tom Draper high on the blocker side.

In the second period, Williston built onto its lead when Sam Milnes was able to send David Novotny in on a breakaway beating Draper low on the blocker side.  Then, just under two minutes later on the power play, Brendan Hansen went thin mints on the right hand side finding daylight over Draper’s shoulder.  Berkshire would get a goal late in the second period but Williston would take a 3-1 lead into the dressing room at the end of the second.

In the third, Williston played some stingy defense keeping Berkshire off the board for the remainder of the game.  Post-grad Cam Jefferson sealed the deal with 15:18 left in the frame when he nipped top corner.  The Belmont native flew down the left side and let a shot go from inside the dot.  The defensive pair of Connor Power and Tim Rego received the assists.  For his efforts, Jefferson earned the game puck.  Xander Rogers stopped 24/25 shots.

Make sure to dust off your snowmobile on Wednesday as Williston takes on the Vermont Wildcats at Lossone at 4:30.  Tickets are selling out fast.

Williston Loses to Canterbury; Ties Berkshire

Williston returned from break to hit the road in the mini busses on Wednesday, January 3rd to New Milford, Connecticut to battle a tough Canterbury Saints club.  Williston tied it up in the middle of the third period but lost on a sneaky shot in the waning minutes to lose 3-2.

The first period was a battle as both teams took their time feeling each other.  Williston played stingy defense and did not let Canterbury have any grade-A chances.  Offensively, Williston struggled to create many scoring opportunities; it wasn’t a bad period, per se, but it didn’t have any razzle-dazzle.

The second period saw Canterbury start on the power play which Williston was able to kill.  However, Canterbury was able to get on the board at the 5:15 mark off the period when a Canterbury shot was deflected by a Williston defensemen beating goalie Greg Iverson.  Canterbury struck the back of the net again at 16:58 of the period when a Canterbury forward came out of the corner and let a shot go that beat Iverson.

In between periods, Coach Cunha challenged the Williston squad to break the period up into three six-minute periods and win each period.  Williston heard this loud and clear and buried two goals in the first six-minute span.  The first was off the stick of Brendan Hansen who let a laser go from the right point that found the top left corner.  Williston’s second goal was less than two minutes later when Wisconsin native, Logan Geisness streaked down the right boards creating a two-on-one and found his cheese-head counterpart, Brandon McGill, bounding down Broadway.  McGill corralled the puck and slipped it by the Canterbury netminder to tie the game, 2-2.  Williston maintained solid pressure over the course of the period but Canterbury scored the game winner at 16:38. Shots in the game were Williston 37, Canterbury 40.

 

Williston’s next opponent was the Berkshire Bears on Saturday.  Williston and Berkshire traded blows over the course of the contest but could only muster a tie.  While they say a tie is like kissing your sister, Williston was still happy to come away with a point.  Greg Iverson earned the start.

The first period saw Williston battle hard in the offensive zone while adjusting to Berkshire stretching an offensive player to pull a Williston defender off the blue line.  While Williston seemed to control much of the play in the period garnering many chances, it was the Bears who struck first when a forward stepped over the blue line and let a shot go from the circle tops that beat Iverson.  Williston went to the dressing room at the end of the period down one but feeling confident.

In the he second period, Williston killed a 5-3 penalty where many of the Williston defenders proved that not all heroes wear capes; shots were blocked, and goals were deferred.  Williston used the kill to find momentum and found it when James Belleavoine hustled to a loose puck in the Berkshire zone, put the puck deep in the zone where Alaskan native Connor Canterbury made a beauty pass cross-ice to a waiting Cam Mariani.  “The Sauce” had a wide open net and buried the puck tying the game at 1.

Williston entered the third period with gusto and Sauce scored his second goal on a one-timer at the 10:17 mark that tucked in nicely under the cross bar.  Williston tried to keep the lead but failed to get the puck out of their zone and Berkshire was able to tie it two minutes later.  Williston and Berkshire battled through overtime but to no avail.

Williston heads west to play Worchester Academy on Wednesday afternoon at 4 so if your anywhere north of the Mass Pike near 290, stop on by.