by Team Reporter Nate Gordon ’16
One week ago, Williston Boys Hockey (10-8-1) defeated the number two team in New England, Loomis-Chaffee. The Wildcats never trailed. In that game, Williston set the pace and ultimately won the sprint at the end, defeating the Pelicans 4-3 in overtime.
In today’s game against Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) (11-13-0), the Wildcats were constantly playing catch-up; Williston never held a lead in a 5-3 loss. NMH took control from the start of the game, scoring two goals in the first eight minutes. Within the next eight minutes, the Wildcats tied the game with goals from line-mates Brandon Bork ’15 and Rourke Ferguson ’15. Both teams scored once in the first two minutes of the second period. Sophomore forward Nick Schofield scored for the Wildcats to tie the game at three. The rest of the second period remained scoreless until the Hoggers got a break when the puck bounced off the back of Williston goalie Shane Mason’s pad on a shot behind from behind the goal.
Schofield ’17 was playing in his first game since January 16th when he suffered a knee injury against Winchendon. Schofield is usually a winger on the team’s top line and provides a significant amount of the team’s offense. For precautionary reasons, Schofied was available in a limited role today as he rotated in on the team’s third line.
NMH’s top line was a force in the first two periods. Led by senior forward and team captain Ben Freemen, a UCONN commit, this line was involved in the team’s first four goals. The Hoggers’ leader in goals (18) and points (30), senior forward Peter Owen Hayward scored his team’s second and third goals.
Williston Head Coach Derek Cunha said after the game, “They [NMH] made more plays than us and we weren’t ready to play. [That’s something we will need] if we [want] our games to be the equivalent of playoffs, we didn’t show up today.”
The Wildcats controlled play in the third period peppering NMH goaltender Conor O’Brien with shots. O’Brien was a key player in this game–he made thirty-eight saves (.927 %). In the last six minutes of the game, the Wildcats had four minutes on the power play. O’Brien provided huge saves for NMH, not allowing Williston to tie the game. With just over a minute to play, the Hoggers scored an open net goal to seal the win.
Up next, Williston will face Millbrook (8-14-3) on Saturday on the road.