Williston Comes from Behind; Ties Brunswick

They say that a tie is like kissing your sister, however, with Williston trailing the Brunswick Bruins with eighteen minutes remaining in the game, it was more like kissin’ the gal next door.  Williston was down 4-2 with a period remaining when clutch play by the Wildcats tied the game with eleven minutes remaining.  Five minutes of overtime could not solve the tie and Williston would head into the Christmas Holiday, 3-5-1.

Williston got on the board early in the first half when, off a faceoff on the left side in the offensive zone, Brendan Nehmer won a draw back to the pride of Pittsford, NY, Zac Gmerek, who put the puck deep into the corner.  Winger David Novotny retreated from the front of the net, picked up the puck and shoveled a quick pass to a waiting Jake Sacratini who was three feet off the left post and snuck a quick redirect that found a hole through the Brunswick goalie, Dan Dachille.  Brunswick would answer on the power play nine minutes later.

Shaul Mitton made it a 2-1 game when he busted down the right side of the ice, crossed over the Bruin blueline and let a wrist shot fly from the tops of the circle beating Dachille on the far post.  It was Shaul’s fourth goal of the season at the 13:02 mark of the game. But alas, Brunswick again would respond on the power play three minutes later.  The teams would head in to the dressing room knotted at twos.

Brunswick came out smoking in the second half and went up 4-2.  Williston called a time out with eighteen minutes remaining in the half.  In the short respite, Coach Derek Cunha spoke confidently reminding the team that they still had a period left to score two goals.  If they could get the two, they could win it in overtime.  Rejuvenated, Williston started to claw back when Brunswick chipped a puck to the Williston blueline and changed.  Immediately, Alex Berg retrieved the puck and sent a quick pass to Novotny who was cutting into the Brunswick zone.  Number 10 looked up and let a laser go that beat Dachille over the glove and into the top right corner cutting the lead to one at the 12:27 mark.

Then, under two minutes later, Tyler Varin chipped a puck in to the neutral zone where it ping-ponged between players; finally James Belleavoine corralled it and skated into the Brunswick zone on a two-on-one with Cam Marianni driving toward the net.  Belleavoine floated a pass over the Bruin’s defenseman’s stick and Mariani put just enough sauce on the shot to beat Dachille.

The game would remain tied throughout regulation and into overtime.  Both teams had opportunities but to no avail.  Shots were 27/26 in favor of Brunswick.

Williston is off until the night of December 27th when they will meet up at Nobles for a quick practice and then take on St. Sebastian’s in Needham at 11 am the following day.  Fans will remember that last year, the Wildcats went down 3-0 in the first period only to score four straight to beat the Arrows 4-3 in overtime.  The following day, Williston takes on the number 7-ranked Nobles Bulldogs at noon.  Williston took last year’s game 3-2.

So, from the Williston hockey family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Good Men on Bad Ice Play Rough Hockey

The title for this piece is a stick-tap to John Adams, class of ’64 who spoke to the Williston hockey team in the dressing room before yesterday’s Albany game.  He later sent a picture of his yearbook with this heading.  As the coaching staff read the article, we were amazed at all of the similarities of that team and this year’s club: the Williston’s team’s ice surface (they played on the pond that year—their final season because Lossone was built) gave Coach Carpenter fits; we are playing in a tournament with twenty-five minute halves where near the end of a period looks like a week’s worth of pond hockey on the Erie Canal. They had three returners; we have seven. They had two returning defensemen; and we have two returners. They needed to focus on the defensive zone and let the offense figure itself out; and so do we. They had a brand new goaltender; we have two fresh faces.  The similarities were eerie, but as Coach Cunha talked to the team before the start of the game, he reiterated that nearly 50+ years later, things couldn’t be more similar.  Adams noted in his email what an honor it was to speak to our group and was thankful for the opportunity and so were we.

After the 3-0 loss to Albany last night, the Williston seniors and in particular, our captains, took it upon themselves to figure things out.  They spoke openly and calmly listening to their teammates as they discussed what needed to change.  Whatever was said in the closed-door team-only meeting had a great impression on the entire group because Williston came out today energized and focused taking the 11 am game 7-1 over Winchendon School.

The game started with Williston adhering to their systems and their game plan as they hounded Winchendon in the offensive zone creating turnovers and scoring opportunities.  The first goal came at the 12:28 mark of the period when David Novotny took a puck along his own half wall and made a perfect pass to Brendan Nehmer who skated through the neutral zone, broke into the Winchendon side, cut to his left and let a quick wrister go that beat the Wapiti goalie on the far right post.

Winchendon scored six minutes later on a breakaway that just beat on outstretched Trevor Corsello under his right pad near the post.  Williston responded thirteen seconds later when Mitchell Hansen punched a puck into the left corner to a waiting James Belleavoine who made a move to skate behind the net; he then made a back-diagonal pass to an open Cam Mariani who roofed the puck past the Winchendon’s goalie’s right glove.

Williston got their final of the period when Tim Rego got a pass from Jake Sacratini and blasted a shot that was tipped by Novotny at the 5:41 mark.  The Wildcats went to the dressing room up, 3-1.

In the second half, Williston continued where they left off after the first when Mariani scored his second of the game on the 4×3 power play.  Belleavoine took a shot that hit the post but the rebound came to Mariani in the high slot who buried it past the scrambling Winchendon goalie.  Williston scored their fifth of the game on the power play when Sacratini conjured some Montreal Magic as he drove low around the left side and put a puck that found the back of the net.  Rego and Mariani got the helpers.

Williston got their sixth goal, again on the power play, when Rego let a rocket go that beat Winchendon goalie under his glove.  Nehmer and Mariani were awarded the assists.  Mariani notched a hat trick when, on a 4×3 power play, Belleavoine hit him on the back post where he buried his chance.

The game puck went to Mariani for his five-point performance.  Corsello came up big on a number of occasions making 23 saves.  Williston had 30 shots.  Another impressive stat for the Wildcats was their 26-5 on faceoffs.

Williston will rest for the remainder of the day and take on the Brunswick Bruins tomorrow at 11 am.  Brunswick ended Williston’s playoff run last year in the quarterfinals, 2-0 going on to win the Large School Championship.  We hope to see you at St. Sebs tomorrow!

Williston Tripped Up by Albany

Williston entered the St. Sebastian’s tournament looking to bounce back after a two-game losing streak but it was not to happen tonight.  The Wildcats were unable to mount much of an offense in the fifty-minute game and lost 3-0.  Penalties once again hurt Williston as they were called for four infractions with three coming in the second half of the game.  Albany was able to capitalize on one of their chances.  Williston was on the power play for only two minutes of the game and never really mounted much of an attack. For a team that was looking to take off from their dominant third period against Canterbury on Wednesday afternoon, Williston just didn’t bring it today.  They will have a chance at redemption tomorrow morning at 11 at St. Sebastians when they take on The Winchendon Wapitis who dropped a 5-1 decision to the host school.

Williston Loses to Gunnery, Canterbury

On Saturday, the #13 Gunnery Highlanders dropped by Lossone rink to take on Williston for an evening soiree.  Williston put up a good fight for the first two periods, entering the third period tied at two.  But in the third, Gunnery would get two on-the-crease goals and Williston couldn’t respond.  Gunnery won the game, 4-2

In the first, Shaul Mitton would get the Wildcats on the board at the 10:27 mark when he blocked a shot from the point, drove down the right wing and let a shot go from the right dot beating Gunnery goalie, JP Mella.  The lead only lasted for just under three minutes when Gunnery’s Jimmy Rayhill entered the Williston zone and let a shot go that hit the left post and deflected in; Williston goalie Trevor Corsello was screened on the play and couldn’t make the save.  The teams entered the dressing room after one period, 1-1.

In the second, Gunnery took the lead at the 3:39 mark.  The game would stay like that for over eleven minutes until Williston put a puck deep into the Gunnery zone when a hard-working and tenacious Jack Purcell skated like the Chicago wind, wrestled the puck away from a Gunnery defenseman, and whipped a pass through the crease to junior Matt Pimental who got a stick on the puck and tipped it past Mella.  It was a pretty goal that tied the game.

In the third, below average play in the defensive zone allowed for Gunnery to get two greasy goals to solidify the win.  The winning goalie made 22/24 saves, while Corsello made 33/37 saves.

One Wednesday, the win-less Canterbury Saints came marching into town looking to the heavens for some inspiration and a win.  They got it, taking the matchup, 4-2.

There was no scoring in the first period and while Williston was outshot 11-4, both teams were about even in their play.

In the second, Canterbury took the lead just nine seconds into the period.  They got three more to take a huge 4-0 lead going into the third.

In the third, Williston outright dominated Canterbury, outshooting them 23-2.  A countless number of those shots just missed the twine or slid slowly across the crease and into the corner; pucks just were not just falling for the Wildcats.  Then, at the 11:21 mark, Jack Purcell let a rip go from the right dot on the power play. Assists went to Cam Mariani and James Belleavoine.  Purcell’s energy looked to get the Wildcats going even more as their pressure mounted on Canterbury. Then, captain Tim Rego took a pass from Shaul Mitton in the high slot on a 6×5, wove his way through a myriad of Saints’ players and shuffled off to Buffalo with a nifty backhander at the 16:59 mark of the period.  But that was all Williston would garner in the period.

Williston’s Kyler Breland took the loss saving 20/24 shots while Cal Skwara saved 39/41.

Williston’s effort in the third period was the best of the season and showed that if they can do that for a whole game, they will be tough to play against and beat.

Williston now heads into the holiday break and the St. Sebastian’s tournament.  Last year they entered the tournament 2-2 due to a Gunnery game that was cancelled to snow and the fact that they played Canterbury after New Year’s, so while they are sitting at 2-4, last year at this time they had only garnered two wins so fans should not lose hope.

Williston will leave early Friday afternoon where they will play in the St. Sebastian’s Holiday Tournament in Needham, MA.  The Wildcats will open the tournament at 4pm against a tough Albany Academy Cadets’ team.  The winner/loser will play the winner/loser of the St. Sebastian’s/Winchendon game the following day.  The rest of the field includes Canadian powerhouse St. Andrews School, New York’s Adirondack prep school, the Northwood School, last year’s Large School Tournament Champion, Brunswick School, and a very strong Rivers School.  See you there!

Williston Loses to Cushing; Beats Academie St. Louis

The Williston Wildcats traveled to Cushing on Wednesday afternoon to do battle with the Penguins at Iorio Arena.  While Williston battled hard, they did not play a full 54-minute game letting lapses in the defensive zone put them on the wrong side of a 4-3 game.

James Belleavoine got the Wildcats on the board in the first period when Shaul Mitton drove down the slot, let a shot go which was saved by Cushing goalie Joe Sharib, a Union recruit; Sharib made the save but Belleavoine was there to drive home a rebound at the 12:50 mark.  Alex Berg got the other helper.

In the second, Cushing tied the game on a power play and then went up at the 13:45 mark of the period.  Mitton would tie the game on the power play when he drove hard to the crease and tipped in a hard pass from d-man Tyler Varin.  Cushing would get another that period but with .03 seconds remaining in the period and with the goalie pulled, Brendan Nehmer put a puck past Sharib off a faceoff to knot the game at threes.

Cushing would take the lead and the game in the third with 5:55 remaining on the power play.  Williston battled, and hit the post two times in the remaining minutes but could not even the score.  Williston played hard and came close but did not play as hard as they needed to in the defensive zone.

Sharib earned the win making 22 saves; Kyler Breland took the loss for Williston making 30 saves.

On Friday night, Quebec City’s Académie St. Louis entered Lossone to take on the Wildcats.  Williston took the cheese in this one, 5-1 bringing them to .500 on the season.

Williston got on the board just 34 seconds into the frame when ASL took a penalty at :07 mark on a hit from behind.  On the power play, off a shot from Jake Sacratini, James Belleavoine put in a hard-fought rebound.  Tim Rego got the other assist.  Then, a little more than two minutes later, Jake Sacratini got his first goal of his Williston career making it 2-0 when he drove hard to the net and caught a pass from Rego and made good on the opportunity.  Tyler Varin also earned his first of the year when he let a shot go from inside the blue that was too much for ASL goalie Emile Savoie.  Assists went to Hunter Sarro and Hunter Wilson.  ASL got off the schneid at the 13:27 mark on an errant play behind the net by two Williston defensemen.  The ‘Cats went into the dressing room after one period up, 3-1.

In the second, Shaul Mitton garnered the fourth Williston goal at the :21 mark of the game when he let a shot go from the slot beating Savoie on the far post.  Tommy Harty and David Novotny earned the assists.  Then at the 13:11 mark, the line earned the Kodak moment of the game when Mitton took the puck at the red line and made a short two-foot pass to Novotny who blazed into the left side of the ASL  zone and then slowed down waiting to hit a trailing Harty in the high slot.  Harty took advantage of the time and space created and buried his first goal of the season.

In the third, Williston worked to maintain the lead and when the buzzer sounded Williston won and the bell would be rung.

Trevor Corsello earned the win saving 16 shots.  Williston outshot Académie St. Louis, 47-17.  The game puck went to Tyler Varin for his first goal and continued consistent and smooth play.

Tonight your Wildcats welcome The Gunnery School Highlanders to Lossone for a 6 o’clock tilt.  If you need a break from shopping and spreading holiday cheer, stop by the ol’ hockey barn for a much-anticipated game!

#1-Salisbury Drops Williston To 1-1

On Saturday evening, the number 1-ranked Salisbury Scarlet Knights entered Lossone Arena and dropped Williston 4-1.  While Williston put up a solid fight in the first period, the eleven current Division I commitments and the rest of their teammates were too much for the Wildcats who appeared to peter out at times during the matchup.

The game started with excellent pace as both teams worked hard to establish early momentum that would hopefully carry their club through the entire fifty-four minutes.  One fan commented early on in disbelief that the game was so hard-hitting and fast.  While Salisbury mounted substantial offense at times, Williston goalie Trevor Corsello was up to the task making many excellent saves.  At the other end, new junior Nicholas Haas was tested early and often as well.  Williston got on the board first at the 7:38 mark of the period when Jake Sacratini was able to break up a Salisbury offensive zone opportunity at the blue line allowing his linemate Cam Mariani to gather the puck and streak in to the Salisbury zone with Brendan Nehmer driving hard to the net.  Forgoing a pass, Mariani let a rip go from the right dot beating Haas far side.  Williston took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room after one period of play.

In the second, penalties and lack-luster efforts by the Wildcats led to three Salisbury goals, including the third on a breakaway by Nick Capone for a short-handed try.  Salisbury went into the second intermission, 3-1.

In the third, Salisbury iced the game at the 2:05 mark when Capone earned his second goal of the game.  Williston battled but Salisbury had too much depth.  Corsello made 25 saves on the day while Haas made 26.

Williston looks to rebound with a three-game week.  On Wednesday,  Williston makes the hour-and-a-half trip to Ashburnham, MA to take on the #5-ranked Penguins of Cushing at 3:30, a team that they have not beaten in many tries.  On Friday, Williston is back home to take on Academie Saint-Louis at 5:30 and then #7 Gunnery on Saturday at 6.  Great seats are still available for both home games and offer a great environment for family and friends.  See you there.