by Team Reporter-Nate Gordon ’16
Going into the third period on Saturday, January 18th, Williston Boys Hockey (8-5-1) was trailing Gunnery (12-5-0) 3-2 on the road. Less than five minutes into the third, the Wildcats were down 5-2 in a game that seemed like a lost cause.
After the game, Williston Head Coach Derek Cunha said about the third period, “Somehow we were flat. Gunnery raised its intensity level, and we didn’t match it. I think that sums it up. They came out fired up and somehow we didn’t match it. You can’t do that against a good team.”
Gunnery took a 4-2 lead 3:08 into the third period with both teams having a player in the penalty box. An official signaled for another penalty, but Gunnery still scored on a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle (facing the goal). Junior forward Jack Gethings still went to the penalty. This gave Gunnery a 4-on-3 man advantage, but it could not capitalize on the situation.
Just two minutes later, Gunnery added to its lead to go up by three goals. Then, with just under five minutes to go in the period, Gunnery took a decisive 6-2 lead when it scored on an odd man rush and Gunnery forward Nathan Sucese took a wrist shot to score. This goal completed the Hat-Trick for Sucese, which now gives him nine goals on the season—second most on the team. In addition, Sucese has a team-leading 25 points.
Williston killed five of six penalties in the game, but was unable to capitalize on its four power plays. Although it probably would not have made a huge difference in the game, there seemed to be some “home-town officiating.” The game did begin to get more physical in the second and third periods, but there were not as many after-the-whistle altercations as have occurred in recent games.
With this loss, Williston dropped to 7-3 in games away from home and is now just three games above .500.
Six minutes into the game, Gunnery took a 1-0 lead on a goal scored by Sucese. Two minutes into the second, on the power play, Gunnery took a 2-0 lead.
Williston responded just twelve seconds later when junior forward Tyler Scroggins scored his seventh goal of the season. Senior forward Max Willman had the assist on the play.
With 12:02 remaining in the second period. Gunnery took a two-goal lead on Sucese’s second goal of the game.
Once again, Williston responded to Gunnery’s goal just eighteen seconds later. Junior forward Brandon Borges passed the puck from the left side of the goal to Co-Team Captain Willman on the left (facing the goal) who netted his fifteenth goal of the season. This was also Borges’ team-leading seventeenth assist of the season.
About Williston’s top line (Scroggins, Willman, Borges), Gunnery Head Coach Chris Baudo said before the game, “We’ll have to be aware when they’re on the ice first of all. But I also think we have to work to try, like everyone else has tried, to close gaps, take away time and space, try to be physical with them, and ultimately really try to make good, responsible puck decisions when they’re on the ice. But, it’s one of those groups that you might not be able to stop, you’re really just trying to control them.”
And that’s precisely what Gunnery did in this game. Although the line scored two goals, it was not enough when the team allowed six goals.
For the fifth straight game, Williston was without Co-Team Captain and senior defenseman Nick Staub (groin injury).
On Wednesday, January 22nd, the Wildcats will take on Millbrook (12-7-1) on the road.