Williston Beats Number 10 Ranked St. Sebs; Loses to Rivers and Thayer

As many Williston students packed their bags and headed for home on Friday, December 16, the Williston Boys’ Hockey Team loaded up the busses and headed to the St. Sebastian’s Holiday Tournament to take on host, the St. Sebastians Arrows in Needham, MA.  Xander Rogers was named the starter of the game thanks to his performance against Gunnery less than a week before as the Wildcats took the ice against a riotous student section and with families, friends, coaches and scouts looking on.

Williston opened the scoring 1:11 into the first period when a hard-forecheck by JoJo Carbone led to a takeover in front of the St. Sebastian net; Carbone corralled the puck and took a quick shot beating senior goaltender Alex Zafonte over his glove giving the Williston faithful reason to cheer.  The rest of the period would be back and forth with Rogers and Zafonte trading saves.

The second period began with weak defensive play by the Wildcats leading to the Arrows first and only goal.  With St. Sebastian’s hemming Williston into their own zone, freshman forward Liam Connors came out of the corner untouched and backhanded a nifty goal over Rogers shoulder to tie the game 1-1.  The period would remain dead-locked as the two clubs would head to overtime.

The overtime frame began with St. Sebastians coming out the gate with vengeance entering the zone and getting a great shot on net from the right point, through a screen, that Rogers was able to waffle-board away.  Play went back and forth for a short time until senior Owen Sylvia broke into the St. Sebs end and let a shot go that was blocked by Zafonte only to have the puck bounce fortuitously onto senior Steven Gower’s stick who let a quick snap shot go over the outstretched glove of Zafonte.  It was a gutsy win and the first overtime victory for Williston in more than a year.  The player of the game for the Wildcats was Gower.  Rogers stopped 24/25 shots on the day.  The win would put Williston into the winner’s bracket of the tournament where they would play Thayer the next day at 3pm.

A win against Thayer would put the Wildcats into the championship game for the first time in many years but sadly, it was not to be on this day as the Wildcats could only muster one goal and give up five to a strong Thayer club.  The first line of Thayer, Jay O’Brien (Providence), Casey Carreau (Boston College), and Aiden McDonough (Undecided) proved to be too much for the Wildcats figuring in three of Thayer’s five goals.  The lone goal for Williston came as JoJo Carbone beat junior goalie, Jimmy Scannell cutting the Thayer lead to 2-1 midway through the second half.  Unfortunately for Williston, this would be as close as they would get as Thayer would answer right back and then add two late goals.  Rogers saved 37/42 shots for the loss.

On Sunday, the Wildcats played Rivers School at 1pm losing 3-0.  Down 1-0 heading into the second half, a five-minute major against Williston proved to be too much for the squad as they allowed two goals in that span.  Williston could never get any offense going as they were thwarted time and time again by a strong Rivers team.  Donnie Battimelli made 30/33 for the loss.

Williston is off until December 30 when the travel back to Boston and take on St. Sebastians in Needham, MA.  This writer would like to wish all a Happy Holidays.

Williston Strikes Again—Takes Down New England Champions, Gunnery

Williston Strikes Again—Takes Down New England Champions, Gunnery

10 December 2016

Saturday nights at Lossone Arena have been good to the Williston Wildcats early in this 2016-2017 season.  Last Saturday, the Wildcats brought Salisbury to their knees with a 6-1 victory (December 3).  This Saturday, the Highlanders of Gunnery saw the same fate, losing to the boys in green and blue, 4-1.  For Williston, it was their first win over Gunnery in nineteen games dating back to January of 2003.  Williston entered the contest looking to rebound from a 6-2 defeat at the hands of Cushing on Wednesday night, while Gunnery was coming off of a convincing win over Exeter, 4-1.

Williston got on the board at the 5:07 mark when senior JT Chamberlain won an offensive draw on the right side to junior Connor Power who let a dandy of a shot go from the point.  Senior winger Nick Day was able to get a stick on the shot that deflected off Gunnery goalie Cedric Andree’s pad only to bounce onto the fortuitous stick of Chamberlain who banged in the rebound passed a sprawling Andree.  Williston would add to their lead 12 minutes later with under a minute to go in the period when Chamberlain again found the back of the net on a blast from inside the blue line.  Seniors Day and Steven Gower were credited with the helpers.

In the second, Gunnery attempted to ride their high-powered offense to cut the lead but junior goalie, Xander Rogers, was up to the task kicking out all shots he faced.  Both teams were assessed a number of penalties in the period and both penalty kills proved successful.  While it looked like the period would end with Williston hanging on to a 2-0 lead, sophomore Kevin Lassman intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and make a shifty dish to senior Nick Schofield who zipped a pass across to junior Sam Milnes. Milnes let it fly with a quick snap shot that may or may not have hit the back post under the crossbar. While the officials did not see the goal, they didn’t miss Schofield shuffling in the rebound.  While attempts to go to Toronto for goal review failed, the Wildcats had a comfortable lead going into the dressing room after the second.

Early in the third, Sam Milnes all but sealed the win when he let a rocket of a shot go from the right circle beating Andree over his left shoulder.  While the third period was offensively controlled by Gunnery, to this writer, it was Williston’s commitment to selfless defense that stymied their attempts.  While Gunnery was able to best Williston in shots, they only generated a few quality scoring chances.  Williston defenders blocked countless shots and Rogers stood tall making 37 saves.  Gunnery was able to get on the board with six seconds left in the third on the power play but the damage was already done securing another rendezvous at the victory bell after the game.

Xander Rogers was awarded the game puck for his efforts.  Williston is now 3-2, their best record in years.  The Wildcats are off this Wednesday but resume play Friday afternoon at the St. Sebastian’s Holiday Tournament in Needham, MA versus the host school.  Puck drops at 4pm.


On Friday night, the Williston Wildcats defeated Academic St. Louis, 5-1 at Lossone Arena.  Junior Billy Smith lead the way with 1 goal and three assist, followed by Senior JoJo Carbone with a goal and two assists.  Brendan Hansen netted two goals, won 17-21 faceoffs, blocked countless shots from the point and earned the game puck.  Greg Iverson got the win kicking out 21/22 shots.

Williston Falls to Cushing

Williston Falls to Cushing

On Wednesday afternoon, the Williston boys’ hockey team traveled to Ashburnham, MA to take on the Cushing Penguins but came up on the losing end of a 6-2 final.

Sophomore Greg Iverson got the nod in net for this matchup and while he made a valiant effort making ten strong saves, he allowed three goals and was relieved after nine minutes into the first period.  In short, the defensive effort was not what it was on Saturday night and after a timeout, junior Xander Rogers entered the game.

After the short respite, Williston came back rejuvenated and mounted sustained pressure with multiple scoring chances while Cushing took multiple icings in hopes of gaining back the momentum.  Cushing’s Andrew Engel played exceptionally well during this flurry and Williston failed to find the back of the net.  The period ended with Cushing holding onto a 3-0 lead.

The second period began with Williston continuing to mount the pressure on the Penguins and at 5:49 of the period, senior Brendan White blocked a shot from the point that deflected to senior linemate Nick Schofield.  White took off out of the zone and was gifted a pass by Schofield sending him on a breakaway with two Cushing defensemen three strides behind.  White streaked in on Engle and beat him between the pads to cut the lead to two.

Less than three minutes later, Williston struck again, this time with a strong forecheck effort by junior Billy Smith who stole the puck from a defender in the mid-slot, just right of Engel. While Engel was able to make a pad save on Smith’s shot, a fortuitous bounce to senior Jojo Carbone on the left post put the Wildcats to within one.  However, less than two minutes later, Cushing forward Alec Andreucci separated himself from a Williston defender in the left slot and found a space above Roger’s right shoulder to put the Penguins up 4-2.

The third period saw Cushing put two more goals away sealing the deal for Cushing who improved to 1-2-1 on the season. Rogers, who came in relief, finished the night with 30 saves.

While the Wildcats were disappointed by their effort for the night, they must regroup quickly with only one day of practice separating them from Academie St. Louis on Friday night at 7pm and Gunnery on Saturday night at 6pm both a Lossone.  Williston hopes to regain their winning ways over the weekend.


Williston Stuns New England Powerhouse, Salisbury, 6-1

Williston Stuns New England Powerhouse, Salisbury, 6-1

On Saturday night, the Williston boy’s hockey team soundly defeated the Salisbury Crimson Knights 6-1 in the Wildcats home opener.  The teams entered the campaign riding two vastly different waves into Lossone Rink; just seventy-two hours earlier, Salisbury defeated Founders League rival Taft with a convincing 5-0 win, while the Wildcats were licking the wounds of a 7-1 defeat to Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire.

Early in the first period it looked as if Salisbury was going to use the momentum of their Wednesday victory by controlling the play off the draw putting solid pressure on the boys in blue.  However, Williston settled in quickly and at the 16 minute mark, senior Brendan White got the ‘Cats on the board with his first goal of the season, a power play, assisted by senior Mike D’Ambrosio and new Junior Jake Durocher. Six-and-a-half minutes later on a power play, Durocher scored on a quick snapshot from the left circle-top with a nifty pass from Schofield to put the Wildcats up 2-0.  The period was back and forth and the Wildcats entered the dressing room leading.

The second period was dominated by Salisbury who, with excellent transition work and the help of a number of power play opportunities, peppered new sophomore goalie, Greg Iverson, with shots, early and often.  The Williston penalty kill was up to the challenge and with 7:24 left in the period and killing another penalty, junior Sam Milnes intercepted a Salisbury pass and powered his way down the ice to the net, cutting across the crease and beating Trinity-bound goalie Nick Sorgio on a deceptive backhand to forehand move putting the Wildcats up 3-0.  Salisbury continued to pressure Williston but could not solve the riddle of Iverson.  The period ended with Williston holding onto the lead.

With a renewed sense of urgency, Salisbury opened the third period with a hard-working goal by Jacques Bouquot assisted by Alex D’Paolo just fourteen seconds in.  The Williston faithful secretly wondered if Salisbury had found the Wildcat’s number but at 11:47 on the power play Jake Durocher wheeled with the puck in the zone and made a touch pass to second-year senior Owen Silvia, camped out on the bottom of the right circle, who found Nick Schofield streaking to the far post.  Schofield one-timed the pass by Sorgio and Williston’s lead was 4-1.  A little over five minutes later, new junior, Billy Smith, made an almost identical pass to Schofield on the far post beating Sorgio near-side to put Williston up 5-1.  Williston put the proverbial nail-in-the-coffin with 3:24 left in the game when Smith took a shot in the low slot from Sam Milnes that got caught under Sorgio’s pad but Milnes jammed in the rebound.  The game would end in 6-1 victory for Williston.

For his 52 save effort, Iverson garnered the player of the game sending the Wildcats to the victory bell for its first win of the season.

Williston is headed to Ashburnham, MA this Wednesday for a 4:45 tilt against another New England powerhouse, the Penguins of Cushing Academy.  Williston will be back at Lossone on Friday night against Academie St. Louis from Quebec on Friday night at 7 and on Saturday night at 6 against defending New England champions, the Gunnery Highlanders.  Good seats are still available for both contests.