by Team Reporter-Nate Gordon ’16
Seven seniors finished their final home game of their Williston Hockey (12-10-2) careers with a 5-0 victory over the Winchendon Wapitis (11-14-2) on Friday, February 21st. This was the second time the Wildcats defeated Winchendon this season and the team’s second straight win. This defeat of the Wapitis keeps the team’s playoff hopes alive with its final game of the regular season against Pomfret tomorrow, the 21st.
After the game, senior forward Matt Arnold said about winning on Senior Night, “It’s good, I’ve been here three years, so it’s nice to get that last win here at home with all the boys.”
Wildcat senior Tim Nowacki recorded his first shutout of his one-season Williston career. He stopped seventeen shots in tonight’s game. Senior defenseman Seth Cupak scored two goals in his last Williston home game. Junior forward Brandon Borges added two more goals and had an assist to raise his season totals to thirteen goals and twenty-six assists. This gives Borges 39 points—second most on the team, with one game to play.
Williston dominated the first period, only allowing to Winchendon to get shots in transition. Midway through the period, Cupak, the team’s defenseman leader in goals (3), assists (9), and points (12), gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead on a 5-on-3 power-play. The goal was assisted by senior forward Max Willman and junior forward Tyler Scroggins This was the first of three 5-on-3 power-plays Williston had throughout the game. Winchendon went to the box nine times for 21 minutes while Williston accumulated just four penalty minutes.
In the past two games, the team’s biggest strength has been its power-play, which hasn’t been successful much of the season. The team has scored a combined three power-plays goals. Recently, Williston has begun to put more emphasis on screening the opposing team’s goalie with the man advantage and throwing lots of pucks at the net.
In the second period, Williston scored three goals in less than five minutes to take a 4-0 lead. Borges scored the first just fifteen second into the period with a shot from the slot that was assisted by Willman and Scroggins.
The second, just over two minutes later, on the power-play, was scored by senior defenseman Seth Cupak and assisted by Scroggins.
Senior forward Anthony Mantz scored his third goal of the season 4:32 into the middle period. Junior forward Rourke Ferguson won an offensive zone faceoff, Mantz picked the puck up and shot it on the ice from the top of the circle. After the game, Mantz said about his goal, “I was just trying to get it to the net, we’ve been trying to get more shots to the net lately. When we get pucks to the net, good things happen.”
Like the second period, fifteen seconds into the final period, Borges scored. His second goal of the game gave Williston its 5-0 lead. Borges, when asked what he thought was working well with his line in the game, said, “The breakouts…my wingers were finding me every time and [we were] just shooting the puck.”
After the game, Williston Head Coach Derek Cunha said in the locker room, “We took care of business tonight, I’m proud of you guys, I’m proud of the seniors to win that last game on home ice in such convincing fashion.”
Tomorrow Williston will travel to Pomfret to play the Griffins (3-20-2). About this game, Cunha said, “Right now, you guys have put yourselves in position to win tomorrow and have a chance to play in the playoffs.”