Williston returned from break to hit the road in the mini busses on Wednesday, January 3rd to New Milford, Connecticut to battle a tough Canterbury Saints club. Williston tied it up in the middle of the third period but lost on a sneaky shot in the waning minutes to lose 3-2.
The first period was a battle as both teams took their time feeling each other. Williston played stingy defense and did not let Canterbury have any grade-A chances. Offensively, Williston struggled to create many scoring opportunities; it wasn’t a bad period, per se, but it didn’t have any razzle-dazzle.
The second period saw Canterbury start on the power play which Williston was able to kill. However, Canterbury was able to get on the board at the 5:15 mark off the period when a Canterbury shot was deflected by a Williston defensemen beating goalie Greg Iverson. Canterbury struck the back of the net again at 16:58 of the period when a Canterbury forward came out of the corner and let a shot go that beat Iverson.
In between periods, Coach Cunha challenged the Williston squad to break the period up into three six-minute periods and win each period. Williston heard this loud and clear and buried two goals in the first six-minute span. The first was off the stick of Brendan Hansen who let a laser go from the right point that found the top left corner. Williston’s second goal was less than two minutes later when Wisconsin native, Logan Geisness streaked down the right boards creating a two-on-one and found his cheese-head counterpart, Brandon McGill, bounding down Broadway. McGill corralled the puck and slipped it by the Canterbury netminder to tie the game, 2-2. Williston maintained solid pressure over the course of the period but Canterbury scored the game winner at 16:38. Shots in the game were Williston 37, Canterbury 40.
Williston’s next opponent was the Berkshire Bears on Saturday. Williston and Berkshire traded blows over the course of the contest but could only muster a tie. While they say a tie is like kissing your sister, Williston was still happy to come away with a point. Greg Iverson earned the start.
The first period saw Williston battle hard in the offensive zone while adjusting to Berkshire stretching an offensive player to pull a Williston defender off the blue line. While Williston seemed to control much of the play in the period garnering many chances, it was the Bears who struck first when a forward stepped over the blue line and let a shot go from the circle tops that beat Iverson. Williston went to the dressing room at the end of the period down one but feeling confident.
In the he second period, Williston killed a 5-3 penalty where many of the Williston defenders proved that not all heroes wear capes; shots were blocked, and goals were deferred. Williston used the kill to find momentum and found it when James Belleavoine hustled to a loose puck in the Berkshire zone, put the puck deep in the zone where Alaskan native Connor Canterbury made a beauty pass cross-ice to a waiting Cam Mariani. “The Sauce” had a wide open net and buried the puck tying the game at 1.
Williston entered the third period with gusto and Sauce scored his second goal on a one-timer at the 10:17 mark that tucked in nicely under the cross bar. Williston tried to keep the lead but failed to get the puck out of their zone and Berkshire was able to tie it two minutes later. Williston and Berkshire battled through overtime but to no avail.
Williston heads west to play Worchester Academy on Wednesday afternoon at 4 so if your anywhere north of the Mass Pike near 290, stop on by.