by Team Reporter Nate Gordon ’16
At 6-7-1, Williston Boys Hockey is just past the halfpoint of the 2014-15 season. As they have shown in most games this season, when at their best, the Wildcats are capable of competing with the top teams in New England. Williston, however, has defeated itself.
Most recently against Berkshire this past Saturday, Williston’s numerous turnovers gave a very skilled and physical team the edge it needed to win by two goals. The team’s five goals demonstrated its potential, but proved insufficient.
While the toughest part of the Wildcats’ schedule may have happened in the first half of the season, it doesn’t get much easier for the end of January, and the final month of the season, February.
This upcoming week, the Wildcats will face two teams on the road with a combined 24-9-3 record. Up first on Wednesday, January 21st, is Vermont Academy (11-5-3) at 4 p.m. Vermont has lost just two of its last eight games. Vermont has lost twice to Kimball Union by four goals. Williston’s one game against KUA this season was a 5-3 loss. With three players with at least 33 points this season, and six with at least 15, Vermont has two very strong lines. Juniro forward Houston Wilson (#9) leads Vermont with 18 goals and 21 assists.
Then, this Saturday, Williston will meet Gunnery (13-4-0) for the second time this season. One of the best teams the Wildcats have faced this season, the Highlanders defeated Williston 9-5 at home on December 13th. Since December 19th, Gunnery has won ten of eleven games. In USHR‘s most recent Prep Poll released on January 19th, the Highlanders were ranked at number five. According to that poll, Gunnery scores, on average, 3.62 goals per game, while conceding an average of just 2.19. Gunnery is a very balanced team.
Last week, the team took advantage of the cold temperatures and enjoyed Williston’s former rink, the Williston pond. A section of the frozen surface was plowed by Williston’s Physical Plant. As pictured, the Wildcats sported jerseys of their favorite professional teams and other teams they have played for. Williston Head Coach Derek Cunha wore his uniform from his playing days at College of the Holy Cross. In 2001-02, Mr. Cunha played in 26 games posting a .901 save percentage and a 14-9-3 record.