by Team Reporter Nate Gordon ’16
With the team’s final three games of the regular season this week, the 2014-15 Williston Boys Hockey (12-9-2) has the opportunity to make history as the first team in program history to reach the playoffs at the Division 1 level. With just three games remaining, each win this upcoming week would keep the Wildcats in control of their playoff fate while each loss would leave them at the mercy of the playoff computing system.
In the team’s three games last week, the Wildcats did not quite get the results they were hoping for. Williston did pick up a very exciting and important win over Westminster on February 16th. The second two games of the week, against Canterbury and Deerfield, resulted in a tie and a loss, respectively. The loss against Deerfield came in the teams’ annual rivalry games, held at Williston this year.
Williston Head Coach Mr. Derek Cunha told the team after the Deerfield game, “It’s a setback, we build from it to then get better next week. This could be, it could be, our last loss of the year. It could. We sweep next week, that puts us into the playoffs for sure. Once we get into the playoffs, [we will take it] game by game.”
The Wildcats’ three games this week are against Albany, Winchendon, and Pomfret; these teams have a combined record of 31-39-2. Despite this record, these are games Williston must win if it hopes to play in March.
For tomorrow’s home game against Albany Academy (14-11-2), the Wildcats will make a few changes to their usual forward lines. Coach Cunha said that this change will hopefully create a “spark” in the team’s play, something it lacked in its previous two games. Players who contribute significant amounts of the team’s offense have been distributed among three lines. The last meeting between Williston and Albany resulted in a 4-3 win for the Wildcats.
Next, on Friday, February 27th, the Wildcats will face the Winchendon Wapitis (10-12-2) for Williston’s final road game of the regular season. Williston has already beaten the Wapitis twice this season by scores of 4-3 and 5-2. This upcoming game is the last of the regular season for Winchendon. The Wapitis will be fresh as their second to last game, a loss, was played this past Friday.
The Wildcats host their season finale on Saturday afternoon. This game will have added meaning as the team will celebrate their seniors in their last regular season games. But after the festivities, the Wildcats will have a game to play that could decide their season. Facing Pomfret (7-16-0), these two teams have not yet met this season.
Follow the team’s Twitter feed, @WillistonHockey, for live game tweets and the latest updates on the team and the playoffs.