Williston Takes 3rd in St. Sebastian’s Holiday Tournament

Williston headed east last Friday for a three-day tournament at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham, MA.  The Wildcats drew the 8 o’clock pm game against a young but talented St. Andrews club from Toronto, Ontario.

Williston got on the board in the first half of the game when centerman Brendan Hansen won a draw in the offensive zone to Sam Milnes who touched the puck to Kevin Lassman.  Lassman let a rip go from the right point.  With a bevy of players in front of the net, St. Andrews goaltender, Aidan Hosein was screened the entire way and could not make the save.  The ‘Cats took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room.

The second half saw Williston add to their lead at the 8:14 mark when David Novotny tipped in a shot from defenseman Alex Berg with an assist from Sam Milnes.  St. Andrews would pull within one but that margin would last for less than a minute as Sam Milnes scored on a power move down the left side of the ice, driving across the crease and slipping the puck past the outstretched St. Andrews goalie for a man-down goal.  Brandon McGill got Williston’s fourth goal when he drove down the right side and went thin mints, top shelf, beating the goaltender on the near post over the shoulder.  Lassman added the clincher on an empty net goal from near his own goal line on an assist from Hansen.  St. Andrews would pull to within three with about a minute to go but Williston took game one of the tournament and earned the late game on Saturday.  Williston outshot St. Andrews 31-23.  Xander Rogers made 21 saves.

Williston played Rivers School on Saturday and never got things going dropping the tilt, 4-0.

The next day, Williston played the Winchendon School in the consolation game in the tournament.  Greg Iverson got the nod for this game and he brought it.  Williston came out of the gate with angst and outplayed the Wapitis for much of the period.  That said, Winchendon would get on the board first on a goal off a faceoff.  The lead would be short lived as Brandon McGill would let a rip go from the blue line that deflected off of a Winch defenseman.  It appeared as if sophomore Ethan Agostoni would also screen the Wapitis goaltender as well.  Logan Geisness earned the assist.  Winchendon got its second goal half when a winger hit his centerman at the red line sending him in on a breakaway and beating Iverson on a backhand over the glove.  Winchendon went into the half with a 2-1 lead.

Williston started the second half on the penalty kill and worked hard for the minute and change left on the Winch power play.  Cam Mariani later knotted the score at twos when he took a pass in the slot from Kevin Lassman and beat the Winch goalie.  The remainder of the period and a five minute overtime could not solve the tie and a shootout was needed.  In the 5th Round, Kevin Lassman scored the deciding goal on a nifty shot over the goalie’s glove.  Iverson would save the rebuttal and Williston took the game.  Iverson made 30 saves on the night. Though the Wildcats went 2-1 in the tournament, officially, they went 1-1-1 for the weekend since shootout outcomes are not included in overall records.  Williston will meet Winchendon two more times this season in what promises to be good battles.

Williston is off until December 29th when they take on Nobles at 1:15 at St. Sebastians, and then the 30th when they play St. Sebs at Nobles at 2:15.  As I begin to pack the sleigh for the land of Kodak and Garbage Plates, I want to wish you all Happy Holidays with your and your family.  See you back in Boston!


Williston Blanks Academie Saint-Louis, 7-0

On Friday night, Academie Saint-Louis of Quebec City traveled to Williston for a 6 o’clock tilt against the Wildcats and left a bit worse for the wear.  Behind a shut out performance by goalie Greg Iverson, Williston had seven different scorers and got their first win in a little over a week since defeating Avon Old Farms in the season opener.

The game started out a bit shaky for Williston as they struggled to find a flow in the period, but as the time progressed, they ironed things out and got into a rhythm.  Ethan Agostoni would get the first goal of the game and the eventual game winner when he took a rebound off a Billy Smith shot from the slot.  The puck hit the end boards and an opportunistic Agostoni tucked in a rebound on the right side of the net.  Cam Mariani had the other helper.  Logan Geisness would add his third goal of the season on a shot from high in the zone that appeared to be off of a screen.  Fellow Wisconsinite, Brandon McGill and defensemen Tim Rego added the assists.

The second period would be all Williston as they dominated the play for much of the period.  Senior captain Sam Milnes got the period off the ground at the 8:32 mark of the period from an assist from fellow senior, Brendan Hansen. James Belleavoine scored his first goal of the young season on an assist from Geisness.  Brandon McGill closed out the scoring in the period on a nifty tip on the power play off a ripper from Rego from the point.  Hansen would get the other assist.

Billy Smith got his third goal of the season mid-way through the third period with assists going to his linemates Mariani and Agostoni, and freshman David Novotny got the first goal of his career to close out the scoring on assists from Belleavoine and senior Connor Power.  Academie Saint-Louis was outshot 48-12 in the game.

The next day Williston was supposed to travel to Gunnery but a snowstorm kept the bus from rolling to Washington, CT.  In this Upstate New Yorker’s eyes, it was merely a flurry, but according to the minds that be in New England, it was enough to ground all Williston teams and cancel or postpone many other games in the Northeast region.

Williston is off this Wednesday as they gear up for the St. Sebastian’s Tournament in Needham, MA.  The Wildcat’s first game will be at 8 o’clock Friday night against mighty St. Andrews.  Good seats are still available.  And try the hot chocolate, it’s quite good.

Williston Battles Hard; Loses to Cushing 2-1

On Wednesday afternoon, Cushing Academy took an hour and half bus ride south to Easthampton to take on your Williston Wildcats.  Williston has yet to beat Cushing in the modern era and was hoping to use a big win over Avon and a strong showing versus Salisbury to push them to victory.  Sadly, it would have to wait until next year.

The puck dropped at 3:30 sharp on Wednesday afternoon and that was pretty much the only interesting thing that happened in the first period.  The play was sloppy on both ends with Cushing amassing six shots to Williston’s five.

While the second period pace picked up for the Wildcats, both teams entered the dressing room after eighteen minutes of play still knotted at zeroes.

The third period started evenly with both teams continuing to trade opportunities.  However, at the 5:55 mark, Cushing was able to beat Williston goalie, Xander Rogers on a 3 on 1 after the Wildcats failed to clear the puck out of their zone. Just under two minutes later, Williston again failed to clear the puck as a Cushing defender was able to keep the play alive. A pass went cross ice in the zone and a Cushing forward took a page out of Ovechkin’s playbook placing a one-timer over Rogers’ shoulder.  A little over two minutes later, however, and on the penalty kill, post-graduate Logan Geisness won a puck in the neutral zone and barreled down the right side on a breakaway.  As he cut to the left across the crease, he slid the puck between the goalie’s pads to cut the lead to one.  However, that was as close as the Wildcats would come.  Even with a 5 on 3 to end the game, Williston could not solve the Cushing penalty kill. Williston was 20/21 in shots while Rogers made 26/28 saves

Williston looks to get on the winning side of things on Friday night at 6pm as Academie St. Louis comes to town.  We hope to see you there!

Williston Drops Hard-Fought Road Game to Salisbury, 4-2

The Williston Wildcats got down by four goals early to the Salisbury Scarlet Knights tonight and couldn’t muster enough offense to rally in the end.

As usual, a Saturday evening game at Salisbury meant that the Scarlet Knight cheering section was in full effect bringing a raucous spirit to the arena that is rivaled by few other barns in prep hockey.  It reminded this writer of Cornell games he used to watch in the late-90s at Lynah Rink in Upstate New York: plenty of spirit and passion.

Williston began the game winning the initial draw and setting the tone early suggesting that perhaps last year’s 6-1 thrashing of Salisbury was not a fluke.  Williston broke into the zone and got things going for the style of hockey that they wanted to play.  Early on, both clubs went back and forth up and down the ice, feeling each other out.

Just about mid-way into the first period, however, Salisbury got on the board when a player came out of the corner, threw a hard shot that hit Williston goalie Greg Iverson in the mask and popped into the slot.  A fortuitous bounce put the puck on another Salisbury player’s stick and he slammed it home for a 1-0 lead.  Salisbury would score two more goals in the next minute forcing Williston coach Derek Cunha to call a time-out and replace Iverson with Xander Rogers.   Rogers was tested early and only relinquished one goal at around the 14:00 mark.

Williston, however, was not going to go down without a fight.  With just over a minute left in the period, Williston defenseman Tim Rego cleared the puck up the right wall just outside the blue line.  A Salisbury defensemen went to collect the puck and post-graduate Logan Geisness powered though him taking the puck from him and racing like a stallion out of the gates at the Kentucky Derby down the right wing; at the top of the right circle he sliced gingerly toward the middle of the ice and let a blast go beating the Salisbury goalie, far side, closing the gap to 4-1.

In the second period, Tim Rego cut the Salisbury lead to two.  Rego gathered the puck in his own end near the dot to the right of Rogers and hit the gas—Rego exploded down the right wing, entered the zone and, using the Salisbury defender as a screen, nipped the top right corner, beating the Salisbury ‘tender with ease.  Unfortunately, the Wildcats would be forced to play much of the second period down a man due to some questionable penalty calls.  Rogers and the Williston penalty killing units stifled a barrage of chances and shots, sending both teams to the dressing room with a 4-2 score.

The third period would see plenty of opportunities for both clubs including a number of pointblank bids by the Williston offense, including a couple of posts and breakaways, but to no avail.

While Williston lost the war in this contest, they continued to grow and become more and more seasoned.  Next up for Williston are the Penguins from Cushing Academy who will travel down interstate 91 on Wednesday, December 6th at 3:30 at Lossone Arena.  Good seats are still available so bring the wife and kids down to the old hockey barn!