by Team Reporter Nate Gordon ’16
Every loss gives a team a sense of dejection. It’s tougher when the game appears to be out of reach with a third of the game still sleft to play. Down 5-0 heading into the final eighteen minutes, Williston Boys Hockey (1-3) prevented the Penguins of Cushing Academy (5-0-1) from adding to their lead.
During no stretch of the game was Cushing dominant, unusual when a team wins by such a large margin. Cushing made the most of its opportunities and punished the Wildcats for their occasional lapses.
Williston Head Coach Derek Cunha told his team after the game, “We know it’s a rough start [to the season], we know they’re tough games, it’s a grind. But this is what you guys signed up for, you guys didn’t sign up to come and play an easy schedule. This is the best of the best of prep school hockey. That was an excellent team.”
Cushing went to the box eleven times on Wednesday, but the Wildcats were unable to get any pucks past the Penguin’s goaltender. Cushing senior Joey Daccord shut out the Wildcats stopping all 32 pucks that came his way. One of the best goalies the Wildcats will face, Daccord has a .940 save percentage, giving up just six goals in his first five starts this season.
Cushing Head Coach Rob Gagnon said after the game, “Our goalie is going to make those saves, he’s very good, he’s one of the best in New England, and then we just capitalized on the mistakes Williston made.”
This is the Wildcats’ third consecutive loss, all against top 10 New England prep teams. This may prove to be the toughest stretch of the season, which will culminate on Saturday in a home against The Gunnery.
Williston was without top line forward Nick Schofield. Sidelined with a shoulder injury, Schofield, a sophomore, is the team’s leading scorer with four goals.
With the exception of Cushing’s fifth goal, which was scored shorthanded, all of the team’s goals were scored by the team’s top line of David Cotton-Bailey Conger-Jake Simons. Cotton and Conger have committed to play Division 1 hockey at Boston College and St. Lawrence, respectively. Each of the three players on this line scored, with Cotton providing two goals.
Williston senior goalie Elie Small replaced starter Shane Mason ’16 after the second period. Small displayed poise in his first regular season game and prevented the Penguins from adding to their lead in the final eighteen period by making ten saves.
The Wildcats have the chance to redeem themselves on Saturday when they take on the Highlanders at Lossone Arena. This will be the team’s last game before the holiday break, during which the team will compete in a tournament and showcase. This Saturday’s game at 6:00 p.m. will be preceded by the annual Williston alumni hockey game at 1:30 p.m.