Weekly Preview: Wildcats Continue Tough Stretch

by Team Reporter Nate Gordon ’16

Last week, Williston Boys Hockey (1-2-0) picked up no points in the standings, losing to two of the top prep hockey teams, Kimball Union and Salisbury. Williston Head Coach Derek Cunha often tells the team that he does not take “moral victories,” but last week demonstrated that the Wildcats are capable of competing against the best teams. In both games, the score was tied at one point during the third period.

Cunha told the team after the loss against Salisbury, “If we were further away, I’d call it what it is. I’d say, ‘you know what we’re just not as good as those guys, we have to get better.’  But we are, we are as good these guys.” 

This week isn’t any easier for Williston. The Wildcats will face Cushing Academy and The Gunnery, two teams ranked in the top ten of USHR’s New England Prep Preview. Two wins this week would get the Wildcats’ season right back on track and establish them as one of the teams to beat in New England.

Wildcats vs. Cushing, Away Wednesday, December 9, 4:45 p.m. 

The Penguins (4-0-1) have yet to lose in their five games this season. The Penguins are looking to repeat their successes of the 2013-14 season in which they went 22-10-0, losing in the Elite 8 playoffs to Salisbury in overtime.  The Penguins did lose two players from last year’s squad who have gone on to Division 1 schools. Cushing returns two players, junior forward David Cotton and Bailey Conger, who have committed to Division 1 schools Boston College and St. Lawrence, respectively. This season, Cotton leads the Penguins in goals (5), and Conger leads in points (10). Senior goalie Joey Daccord has gotten the majority of the playing time, starting four games, with a .921 save percentage.

Wildcats vs. Gunnery, Home, Saturday, December 13,  6 p.m.

The Wildcats will host their third home game of the regular season this Saturday taking on the Highlanders of The Gunnery. Ranked number two by USHR‘s Preview, the Highlanders were NEPSIHA finalists last season, losing to Salisbury in the finals. Senior defenseman Nick Quillan leads the team in points (4), and senior goalie, Trevin Kozlowski, has been very solid for the Highlanders, allowing just four goals in four games. USHR‘s Preview said about Gunnery, “ Gunnery, notable every year for their bevy of swarming forwards who just keep coming over the boards, has been to the Elite 8 tournament five of the last six years. [Head Coach Chris] Baudo and his staff keep coming up with players to fill holes. Even though they lost several key players, expect this year’s team to look similar to last year’s.”

Updates for every game are available via the team’s Twitter feed (@WillistonHockey).

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