Wildcats Unable to Impress Fans in Annual Rivalry Game

by Team Reporter Nate Gordon ’16

After the first period, Williston Boys Hockey (12-9-2) held a 1-0 lead over Deerfield Academy (3-16-3). In the locker room before the second period, senior defenseman Chris Dumont casually asked the team, “Who’s going to get the next one [goal]?”

However, that goal never arrived as Deerfield controlled the final 36 minutes en route to a 5-1 win, the Big Green’s third of the season. In front of the biggest home crowds in recent memory at a hockey game, the Wildcats were unable to impress fans in these two teams’ annual rivalry game on Friday, February 21st.

The Wildcat fan section for the team's annual rivalry game against Deerfield on Friday, February 20th. Photo courtesy of Nate Gordon '16
The Wildcat fan section for the team’s annual rivalry game against Deerfield on Friday, February 20th. Photo courtesy of Nate Gordon ’16

Over the final two periods, Deerfield scored five goals, two in the second, three in the third. Many of these goals were scored in transition, catching the Wildcats off guard.

Williston’s lone goal was scored by senior forward Tyler Scroggins. His ninth of the season, Scroggins leads the team with 32 points.

A team plagued by injuries, Deerfield saw production from an array of players tonight. Five different players scored each of the Big Green’s goals and six members of the team recorded points.

Deerfield goaltender Samuel Vigneault was outstanding in this game making 38 saves (.974%). Especially on the Wildcats’ power plays, the sophomore was the reason Williston scored only one goal.

After the second period, down 2-1, Williston Head Coach Mr. Derek Cunha told his team, “We got outworked that period. We were flat…we were soft that period.”

Coach Cunha, looking for something to reignite the team’s play, decided to switch up the lines before the final eighteen minutes.

This was the third straight year that the Wildcats have lost to the Big Green in this game.

Coach Cunha’s message after the game was that the team needs to look forward to next week, one that decides the team’s playoff chances. With three games, all against teams the Wildcats have previously defeated this season, three wins would almost certainly guarantee the Wildcats a spot in the playoffs. Two wins would probably get the job done, as well.

Coach Cunha said after this Deerfield game, “At minimum, we need to win two of those games next week. If you do that, we are going to stay in contention. It has to start on Wednesday, back on home ice. [It’s] certainly not going to be packed like it was tonight, you guys are going to have to create your energy.”

The Wildcats will continue their playoff push at home against Albany Academy (14-10-2) on Wednesday, February 25th.

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