by Team Reporter-Nate Gordon
If the regular season ended today, February 18th, Williston Boys Hockey (10-10-2) would not qualify for postseason play. Luckily for the Wildcats, the regular season doesn’t end today; it ends this upcoming Saturday.
Even luckier for Williston is that the team’s final three opponents, Albany Academy, Winchendon, and Pomfret have a combined 18-48-7 record.
The New England prep school hockey playoffs are split into three sections. The first is the “Elite 8”–the eight highest ranked teams in New England. After that, there is the “Large School” and “Small School” tournaments, which each consist of eight teams. Whether a team is in the “Large” or “Small” categories depends on the number of students at its school.
Five days ago, the latest RPI (ratings percentage index) was released by the U.S. Hockey Report website (USHR). As of that date, February 13th, Williston was the final seed in the “Large-School” Tournament.
Since the date of that poll, Williston lost its one game against Deerfield on Friday, the 14th. Deerfield was the number nine seed in that RPI rankings.
That game against Deerfield was the team’s third straight loss. The Wildcats have not won a game since January 29th.
Williston Head Coach Derek Cunha said after the team’s loss to Deerfield about the upcoming week, “You guys win Wednesday, you guys win Friday, you win Saturday, that’s enough to hopefully squeak us in.”
Tomorrow, Wednesday the 18th, the Wildcats will face the Albany Academy Cadets (7-16-3) on the road. On January 25th, Williston defeated the Cadets 6-2 at home. Albany comes into the game on a five-game losing streak and hasn’t scored a goal in its last three games.
About tomorrow’s game, Cunha told his team after the Deerfield game, “The only thing you can control now is winning against Albany.”
Tomorrow’s game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Game updates will be available through the team’s Twitter account (@WillistonHockey).