Four Wins in Five Games Catapults Williston to the Number Four Seed in New England Tournament

Williston has secured the number four spot in the New England boy’s hockey tournament and will play the Brunswick Bears on Wednesday at Lossone Arena.  The road to the tournament was not paved with roses and this team worked hard and battled adversity to get there.

It began on Valentine’s Day when the Canterbury Saints came to town.  Williston was looking to avenge a loss in the waning seconds in New Milford at the beginning of the New Year.  Fortunately for Williston, Cupid shot his arrow in the ‘Cats direction and they won in overtime, 4-3.

Williston dominated play in the first period outshooting Canterbury by a three to one margin.  Sam Milnes got the home team on the board when he took a pass from Cam “The Sauce” Mariani and the Captain nipped top shelf to put Williston up 1-0.  A few minutes later Canterbury would tie the game on a short-handed goal knotting the game at one.

There were no goals in the second though again Williston outplayed Canterbury, outshooting them mightily.

Early in the third, Canterbury went up 2-1 before Milnes scored his second of the night on the Canterbury doorstep.  The Captain was able to tip an Alex Berg shot and bang home the rebound.  Brendan Hansen earned the other assist. Ethan Agostoni put the Wildcats up 3-2 when Kyle Caddo took a pass from Connor Power in the neutral zone and ripped a shot that was saved by the Saints goalie, however Agostoni drove hard to the net and poked a rebound between the goalie’s legs.  Things were looking good until the 16:38 mark of the period with the Canterbury goalie pulled.  Canterbury won an offensive faceoff and took a shot that beat Greg Iverson.  Williston was stunned but headed to overtime.

Williston successfully killed a penalty and then in an identical play to Canterbury just four minutes earlier, Hansen won an offensive faceoff to Milnes who beat a well-screened Canterbury goalie.  The Williston bench cleared, arms when up, and metaphorical hats flew on the ice for Milnes third goal of the game.

Williston outshot Canterbury 41-21; Iverson made 18 saves on the day and Milnes earned the game puck.

Williston traveled to Deerfield that Friday for a battle of Western MA foes.  Not much to report here.  Williston out-played Deerfield for the majority of the game but for a 20 second stretch where they were able to beat Iverson on a break away with Kevin Lassman draped all over the eventual scorer.  Williston battled hard but could not even the game.  Williston outshot Deerfield 33-25.

Williston took the weekend off as they prepared for a three game week.  The first game was on a balmy 70 degree day in Albany, NY.  Temps were up and the bus A/C was broken!  No worries as our bus driver converted the escape hatches into sunroofs and the team rested comfortably in the breeze. Great to be back to the home state for this writer!  God’s country!

Williston got up on Albany 2-0 in the first period when Billy Smith was able to net a goal from Logan Geisness, and Kevin Lassman scored on the power play on a blast from the point.  Assists went to Geisness and Rego.

In the second, Albany scored three straight goals to go up 3-2.  Williston battled for the remainder of the period and was rewarded on a backhand shot from Brandon McGill.  See assists from Lassman’s goal.

In the third, Geisness was able to score Williston’s first of three short-handed goals in their final three games.  Connor Power was able to get a puck to Smith along the wall.  Smith was able to bump the puck around a defensemen and squeak a puck to Geisness who took care of business from there.

Williston outshot Albany 41-23.  Iverson got the win and Geisness earned the game puck.

On Friday, Winchendon came to town.  This was Williston’s third game against the Wapitis having taken the first game in a shootout at the St. Sebastian’s Christmas Tournament.  Williston then beat them up in Central MA 3-2.

Winchendon got on the board in the first after killing a five minute major.  Williston outplayed Winchendon but could not score.

Williston scored its second short-handed goal in two games when the penalty-killing duo of Billy Smith and Logan Geisness went in on a 2-0.  Smith drove to the net and looked like he was going to shoot before he slid a cross-crease pass to Geisness who buried the puck.  One of the sweetest goals of the season for this writer.

Geisness would score the game-winner in the third when he drove home a loose puck on the crease.  Assists went to Novotny and Smith.

Williston outshot Winchendon 35-20 as Iverson got the win and Geisness earned the game puck.

Friday was Senior Night for twelve of our players.  Parents flew and drove from as far away as Alaska, California and Wisconsin; as close as Southampton, MA; and everywhere in between.  The evening concluded with a wonderful dinner with parents of our boys.  Tip of the cap to Peggy Hansen and all of the other Williston mothers and fathers for their help!

Even with the win against Winchendon, Williston was still not guaranteed a spot in the tournament.  So with their destiny in their own hands, Williston boarded the bus and headed to the Pomfret School for a tilt with the Griffins.

The game started promptly at 2:30 and Williston forgot to get off the bus going down 2-0 in the first.

After a riveting, nay, motivating speech by Coach Cunha, the Wildcats decided to join in the festivities of period two.  Billy Smith kicked things off on the power play when he let a Hyde-Park howitzer go from the blue line with assists going to Jake Durocher and Hunter Sarro.  Pomfret answered four minutes later with a tally.  However, just twelve seconds after that, Brendan Hansen took things into his own hands and brought the game back to one with a blast from the slot.  Kyle Caddo and Milnes got the helpers.  Williston went into the dressing room down one but with momentum well in their favor.

The third period was all Williston when David Novotny evened things up at the 2:05 mark when he took a pass cross zone from Smith and rifled a shot into a wide open net.  Geisness was the second assist.  Then Brendan Hansen capitalized on a short-handed bid with an assist from Milnes to put the Wildcats in the driver’s seat and with continued momentum.

Then things got interesting.

With 11:43 left in the period, Tim Rego carried the puck into the Pomfret zone and took a routine hit into the boards.  What appeared to be routine turned chaotic when the glass shattered at the impact of the 200 pound Tim Rego.  Play was stopped and both benches went to their respective dressing rooms.  A little less than hour later, play resumed.

Sam Milnes put the final nail in the coffin when he took a home-run pass from Brendan Hansen at the Pomfret blue line, drove down the slot, cut back against the grain getting undercut by a Pomfret defenseman.  For a player like yours truly, a yard sale would have ensued, but Milnes was able to corral his stick, his wits, and the puck, and put a low shot past the Pomfret goalie.  Williston would continue its onslaught giving Pomfret very low-grade chances and take the game, 5-3.

Shots in the game were 32-27 Williston, with Iverson making 24 saves.  Hansen earned the game puck.

On Sunday Williston learned it would be playing Brunswick at Lossone at 3:45.  At that, many of the Williston players decided to introduce themselves to the clippers and try their hands as barbers.  The results are interesting to say the least.

So come on down to the old hockey barn in Easthampton on Wednesday afternoon.  Watch the game, stay for the hair.

Williston loses to Millbrook; Upends Canterbury in OT


The Williston hockey team dropped its fourth straight game when it lost to Millbrook 5-3 last Saturday afternoon.  However, with a change in the game plan, some tenacious play, and a hat trick by captain Sam Milnes, Williston was able to defeat the Canterbury Saints, 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday afternoon.

When Millbrook came to town on Saturday, they were riding a three game win-streak and it looked like early on, they were about to take it to the Wildcats when they scored on the power play at the 6:19 mark of the first period after a sluggish start by the home team.  They took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room after one.

In the second, Brendan Hansen was able to capitalize on the power play when Logan Geisness corralled a pass from Tim Rego and broke into the Millbrook zone down the left side.  Geisness then made a tape-to-tape pass to a streaking Hansen who had an open net.  With increased pressure, David Novotny made it 2-1 at the 5:24 mark of the period and things looked like they were rolling for the ‘Cats.  James Belleavoine got the assist.  Unfortunately penalties cost Williston as Millbrook scored on a 5×4 and then on a penalty shot while Williston was on the power play.  Millbrook went up 4-2 at the 16:54 mark when a loose puck out front was banged home.

Williston let up another goal at the beginning of the third to go down 5-2.  At the 4:41 mark, Billy Smith found Cam Mariani in front of the net who was able to power in a goal, however that would be all the scoring for the day.  Williston was outshot, 31-26.

Yesterday, the Canterbury Saints came marching in looking to sweep the season series but the Wildcats were ready for the task.

Williston began the period with gusto controlling much of the play and outshooting Canterbury, 12-3.  Sam Milnes got Williston on the board at the 7:34 mark of the period when he took a pass from Logan Geisness, streaked down the right boards, and let a shot go from the circle tops that beat the Saint’s goalie far side.  Zach Riccitelli would answer the call on a short-handed goal at the 15:48 mark of the period.  The teams would go into the dressing room knotted at one.

In the second period, Williston continued to dominate play for much of the period outshooting Canterbury 13-3 but neither team could find the net.

In the third, the goals started coming.  Canterbury got on the board first on a shot from the slot.  Williston’s Sam Milnes answered on the doorstep after a low blistering shot was released by Alex Berg, knocked around by Logan Geisness, and eventually buried by Milnes for his second of the game.  Williston went up 3-2 just over a minute later when Kyle Caddo took a shot and Ethan Agostoni buried a rebound.  Connor Power got the other assist.  Then, at the 16:38 mark and with the goalie pulled, Canterbury tied the game on a shot off a draw that beat Williston goalie Greg Iverson.  Following the goal, Williston would face more adversity as they were called for an interference call giving the Saints even more momentum. Down, on the penalty kill, but not defeated, Williston went to overtime.

In the overtime frame, Williston killed the Saint’s penalty and at the 2:33 mark and off a Brendan Hansen faceoff win, Sam Milnes buried a laser past a screened Canterbury goalie.  Players’ arms went up, mammas’ tears came down, and Williston snapped a four-game losing streak.

Williston outshot Canterbury 41-21, with Iverson getting the win.  Game puck went to Sam Milnes for his hat trick.

On Friday night Williston plays Deerfield at Eaglebrook at 6pm.  Be there. (But if you can’t, you can check it out at:


Williston Drops Two Games to Connecticut Foes

Last week, Williston dropped a pair of games to NEPSAC rivals Westminster and Loomis Chaffee.  While the Wildcats played hard, they were unable to secure the win losing the first contest 4-1 and the second 2-1.

On Monday, January 29th, Westminster rolled into the Lossone Ice Palace ranked in the top ten and looking to avenge an overtime loss from the year before.  The game began with great pace and both teams battled hard in the first period.  Williston got on the board first when Billy Smith screamed down the left wall and let a rip go from the tops of the circle.  The Westminster goalie made the save but Wisco-native Logan Geisness, in a you-can’t-draw-this-up-any-better play, slammed home the rebound giving Williston a 1-0 lead at the end of the first.

In the second, Westminster got on the board when Williston failed to get the puck deep and tied the game a few moments later.

In the final frame, with the score tied 1-1, Westminster got the eventual game winner on a shot from the circle tops that beat goalie Xander Rogers.  A few minutes later, Westminster scored again to make it 3-1.  Westy would get an empty netter to seal the deal for the Martlets.  Williston was outshot in the game 26-25.

On Wednesday, Williston loaded up the coach bus and headed to Loomis Chaffee.  Greg Iverson got the start.

The first period saw Williston get down early when a fortuitous bounce behind the net and a quick pass to the slot put Loomis up 1-0.  Then, just over a minute later and on the power play, Loomis went up 2-0 when a Loomis player stepped up from out of the corner and beat Iverson over the shoulder.  Williston, however, would not go down without swinging.  Two minutes later, defensemen Tim Rego joined a Williston rush, picked up a loose puck on the side of the net, cut hard across the crease and was able slide the puck past the outstretched leg of the Loomis goalie.  Unfortunately that would be all the scoring in the game.  Williston battled hard and carried the play for much of the game but struggled to generate any grade-A scoring chances.  Shots were 25-22 in favor of Williston.

Williston welcomes the Millbrook Mustangs this Saturday at 4 pm at Lossone for what looks to be a battle.  Williston took the first game against Millbrook 4-3 in overtime and the Mustangs are seeking payback.  Good seats are still available.

Also, after the boy’s game the Williston girls will have their annual Pink the Rink game against Andover starting at 6.  Bring your money for baked goods and a raffle with excellent prizes.  See you there!