by Team Reporter Nate Gordon ’16
While tonight’s game did not have the playoff implications that the Wildcats were hoping for, the game certainly had extra meaning as it was the last time that the team’s ten seniors would play in a Williston uniform.
The Wildcats (13-11-2) defeated Pomfret (7-18-0) 4-1 in a game in which the Griffins got only eighteen total shots. Senior defenseman Jo Labrecque’s first period goal gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead until the Griffins tied the game just over one minute into the third period. In each of the Wildcats’ previous three games, they held the lead at one point, but lost each of those games. But today, the Wildcats responded with three goals, two from junior Jack Kelly to help the seniors win their final game.
Kelly said after the game, “Everything was for the seniors today. We couldn’t make the playoff push, last few games we slipped, but loved getting the win for those guys [the seniors]. Elie in net played one hell of a game, I can’t say much more besides that.”
Williston senior goaltender Elie Small made his first start in net for the Wildcats. While junior Shane Mason started just about every other, when Small has gotten playing time he has proved to be very reliable. In 90 minutes this season, Small let in just one goal posting a .971 save percentage.
Small said about his last game, “It was a really special game. I’ve been playing hockey for thirteen or fourteen years and you never see the end till it comes. Getting the win was definitely a nice feeling.”
The Wildcats had three games this week and they needed to win at least two of them to reach the postseason. The Wildcats now have the same record against New England teams as they did last year at the end of the regular season; 12-10-2. This record kept the team out of the playoffs by .004 of a percentage point. It appears that the teams in front of Williston have better records this year than last year, diminishing any playoff chances.
Of the team’s ten seniors, seven joined the team last year as repeat juniors. Many of these players have not yet decided where they will be next year. A popular option among prep school hockey players is to play a year of junior hockey before going on to college.
In the next week, the team formally celebrates its season with team night when Coach Cunha announces the awards for MVP, Most Improved Player, and sportsmanship.