by Team Reporter-Nate Gordon ’16
Unable to create scoring opportunities, Williston Boys Hockey (10-8-2) was defeated by the Millbrook Mustangs (14-10-1) 3-1 at home on Saturday, February 8. With a 2-2 tie against Northfield Mt. Hermon (NMH) yesterday, February 7th, Williston captured just one of four possible points in the standings this week.
After the game, Williston Head Coach Derek Cunha told his team, “We didn’t try to manufacture any goals [today]. We didn’t take enough pucks to [the net] today.”
Millbrook was sent to the penalty box eight times in this game, but Williston was unable to score on any of those power-plays.
In Williston’s first matchup against Millbrook on January 22nd, the Wildcats gave up three goals in the third period and were defeated 6-5.
The Mustangs took a 1-0 lead with just under a minute to play in the first period. This is the second straight game in which Williston has allowed a goal in the final minute of the first period. Against NMH yesterday, Williston allowed a goal with just four seconds remaining. Cunha has often told the team that the first and last minute of periods are the most important.
In games decided by two goals or less this season (not including ties), Williston is just 3-6.
In the second period, the Wildcats tied the game with 12:52 remaining. Senior forward Anthony Mantz skated down the left side of the rink and unleashed a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that whizzed past the goalie’s right shoulder. The goal was assisted by senior defenseman Seth Cupak.
Cupak was back on the ice today after serving a one-game suspension yesterday against NMH. The suspension was due to Cupak receiving a game-misconduct penalty on January 29th against Loomis-Chaffee.
Eight minutes later, Millbrook took a 2-1 lead. The goal was scored by senior forward Brett Supinksi. It was his team-leading sixteenth goal of the season. Supinski has committed to Union (D1) for college hockey.
After this second period, Cunha told the team, “This is within your reach right now. You guys have to recognize that anything less than winning this period is not acceptable.”
Williston started the final period with 1:57 of power-play during which the Wildcats was unable to create good scoring chances. With 15:17 remaining in the period, Millbrook scored to take a two-goal lead.
In the remainder of the game, Williston was derailed by multiple off-sides calls, something that is very uncharacteristic of the team.
The game became more physical with retaliations in the second half of the final eighteen minutes. In total, twelve penalties were assessed in the game, which amount to just over twenty minutes.
With just seconds remaining in the game, senior forward Max Willman was hit from behind right in front of Williston’s penalty box. For this hit, the Millbrook senior John Nantais was given a game misconduct penalty, which means he will not be playing in the next game. Nantais recorded two assists in today’s game.
After the game, Cunha said to his players, “This is going to be kind of a wakeup call to you guys that we need to bring it every game the rest of the way for 54 minutes. We didn’t bring it for 54 minutes [today].
Millbrook Head Coach Vincent Sorriento said after the game, “We just played well, it was one of our better games of the year and we showed up and we played a good road game against a really good team. I was really happy we got [this] win.”
With this loss, Williston drops to 3-3-2 at home this season. On the road (including tournament games), the Wildcats are 7-5.
The Wildcats’ next game is on Wednesday, February 12th against Canterbury at home. Williston defeated Canterbury 4-2 in the season opener back on November 23rd, just before Thanksgiving break.