by Team Reporter and Writer Nate Gordon
Before the game, Williston Head Coach Derek Cunha told his team, “Better every day, make this the best game of the weekend.” If the Wildcats didn’t have their best full game in St. Seb’s Holiday Tournament, then they certainly had their best half.
During the last 25 minutes against Northwood on Sunday, December 22nd, Williston scored four goals and gave up none. After scoring the first goal, the Wildcats never let the Huskies back into the game. This win secured Williston a third-place finish in the eight-team tournament.
The Wildcats scored all four scores within eight minutes.
With almost 15 minutes left to play, with Williston on the power play, junior forward Rourke Ferguson scored his first goal in a Williston uniform. Junior forwards Jack Gethings and Will Flynn assisted the goal.
Twenty seconds later, now 5-on-5, senior Defenseman Seth Cupak gave the puck to Flynn who was in the neutral zone. Flynn skated the puck into the offensive zone towards the slot, faked a shot, which the Northwood goalie bit, and scored.
With almost 12 minutes left, senior forward and captain Max Willman got a breakaway and scored on his backhand.
Three minutes later, again on the power play, Willman was just inside the blue line of Williston’s offensive zone. He took a slap shot which rocketed past the right shoulder of the Huskies’ goalie and found the back of the net.
Sophomore goalie Shane Mason got his second start of the young season and proved he can be a reliable last line of defense. He recorded a shutout, while facing 17 shots, including multiple pad saves that got the Williston bench cheering.
After the game, Mason said, “It felt great, it was a nice way to bounce back after Cushing, which didn’t go so well.” Mason was referring to his first start of the season on December 11th, a 7-3 loss. About today’s game, Mason added, “I was thinking ‘keep it simple,’ putting the pucks in the corners, helping my D-men out, they were helping me out.”
Although the Wildcats didn’t accomplish their biggest goal of winning the tournament, these three games were by no means a waste.
After this game, Cunha told his team, “That’s a big win for us right now. That’s a big win for our confidence, just for our program in general right now.”
Assistant Coach Kyle Hanford added that during this tournament the team “really found an identity and came together.”
Senior forward Matt Arnold was unable to contribute to this victory as he was serving a one-game suspension for receiving a game-misconduct against St. Sebastian’s on Saturday.
With this win, Williston Hockey improves to 3-3-1 on the season. The team will now have four days off before heading back to eastern Massachusetts for a practice on Friday at the Nobles and Greenough School. Then, over the weekend, the team will compete in another tournament, the Nobles Classic. I will post details about this tournament later in the week.