Tale of Two Halves, Wildcats Prevail 4-3

by Team Reporter Nate Gordon ’16

In a game with two very different halves, Williston Hockey (3-5-0) sustained its early lead despite Winchendon’s (3-5-2) three second-half goals.

This game secured Williston a 3rd place finish in the St. Seb’s Holiday Tournament. After losing to St. Andrew’s on Friday, the Wildcats defeated Northwood on Saturday and Winchendon today, December 21st.

The Wildcats scored three goals in the first half, while the Wapitis were never able to fully break through Williston’s defense. Senior defenseman Jo Labrecque gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead when he scored on a backhand shot off a rebound.  In his second year on the team, Labrecque leads Williston’s defensemen with three goals. Labrecque was awarded the game puck by Assistant Coach Kevin Kelly, given to a player after each team win for an outstanding performance.

About his production on offense, Labrecque said after the game, “I got a new role on the power play [standing] in front of the net, covering the goalie’s eyes, it worked out pretty well in practice and it worked out pretty well this weekend.”

Senior forward Jack Gethings scored his second goal of the weekend 11:30 into the first half to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. With just under one minute to go before halftime, senior forward Jared Karas put Williston up 3-0.

A rarity, the Wildcats didn’t go to the box once during the first half. Winchendon went twice in the first twenty-five minutes.

A sign the second half wouldn’t go the Wildcats’ way was when Williston went to the box just twenty-seven seconds into the period. The Wildcats would be penalized four more times in the game, and the Wapitis capitalized on one of the power plays.

Winchendon scored goals 2:26  and 17:42 into the second half to cut Williston’s lead to one.

Up by one with seven minutes to play, sophomore forward JoJo Carbone skated with the puck down the right side of the rink and fired a shot past the Winchendon goaltender. This very timely goal was Carbone’s second of the tournament.

The Wapitis added a third goal with 3:29 remaining and pulled their goaltender, but an untimely penalty gave the Wildcats an advantage for the final minutes.

This was the team’s second consecutive win after it snapped its five game losing streak yesterday against Northwood. About getting the season back on track, senior forward and team captain Tyler Scroggins said, “We had a little bit of a rough skid at the beginning, but getting back on track is going to set the tone for the [New Year’s Showcase] and the rest of the year.

Williston junior goalie Shane Mason stopped 32 of 35 (.914%) pucks that came his way. Junior defenseman Brad Budman was out for his third consecutive out with a shoulder injury.

The team has almost two weeks off before returning to practice on January 1st. The Wildcats will compete against St. Sebastian’s and Nobles that weekend.

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