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.