On Saturday, the #13 Gunnery Highlanders dropped by Lossone rink to take on Williston for an evening soiree. Williston put up a good fight for the first two periods, entering the third period tied at two. But in the third, Gunnery would get two on-the-crease goals and Williston couldn’t respond. Gunnery won the game, 4-2
In the first, Shaul Mitton would get the Wildcats on the board at the 10:27 mark when he blocked a shot from the point, drove down the right wing and let a shot go from the right dot beating Gunnery goalie, JP Mella. The lead only lasted for just under three minutes when Gunnery’s Jimmy Rayhill entered the Williston zone and let a shot go that hit the left post and deflected in; Williston goalie Trevor Corsello was screened on the play and couldn’t make the save. The teams entered the dressing room after one period, 1-1.
In the second, Gunnery took the lead at the 3:39 mark. The game would stay like that for over eleven minutes until Williston put a puck deep into the Gunnery zone when a hard-working and tenacious Jack Purcell skated like the Chicago wind, wrestled the puck away from a Gunnery defenseman, and whipped a pass through the crease to junior Matt Pimental who got a stick on the puck and tipped it past Mella. It was a pretty goal that tied the game.
In the third, below average play in the defensive zone allowed for Gunnery to get two greasy goals to solidify the win. The winning goalie made 22/24 saves, while Corsello made 33/37 saves.
One Wednesday, the win-less Canterbury Saints came marching into town looking to the heavens for some inspiration and a win. They got it, taking the matchup, 4-2.
There was no scoring in the first period and while Williston was outshot 11-4, both teams were about even in their play.
In the second, Canterbury took the lead just nine seconds into the period. They got three more to take a huge 4-0 lead going into the third.
In the third, Williston outright dominated Canterbury, outshooting them 23-2. A countless number of those shots just missed the twine or slid slowly across the crease and into the corner; pucks just were not just falling for the Wildcats. Then, at the 11:21 mark, Jack Purcell let a rip go from the right dot on the power play. Assists went to Cam Mariani and James Belleavoine. Purcell’s energy looked to get the Wildcats going even more as their pressure mounted on Canterbury. Then, captain Tim Rego took a pass from Shaul Mitton in the high slot on a 6×5, wove his way through a myriad of Saints’ players and shuffled off to Buffalo with a nifty backhander at the 16:59 mark of the period. But that was all Williston would garner in the period.
Williston’s Kyler Breland took the loss saving 20/24 shots while Cal Skwara saved 39/41.
Williston’s effort in the third period was the best of the season and showed that if they can do that for a whole game, they will be tough to play against and beat.
Williston now heads into the holiday break and the St. Sebastian’s tournament. Last year they entered the tournament 2-2 due to a Gunnery game that was cancelled to snow and the fact that they played Canterbury after New Year’s, so while they are sitting at 2-4, last year at this time they had only garnered two wins so fans should not lose hope.
Williston will leave early Friday afternoon where they will play in the St. Sebastian’s Holiday Tournament in Needham, MA. The Wildcats will open the tournament at 4pm against a tough Albany Academy Cadets’ team. The winner/loser will play the winner/loser of the St. Sebastian’s/Winchendon game the following day. The rest of the field includes Canadian powerhouse St. Andrews School, New York’s Adirondack prep school, the Northwood School, last year’s Large School Tournament Champion, Brunswick School, and a very strong Rivers School. See you there!