There’s a scene in The Big Lebowski when The Dude sits down next to an old grizzled cowboy at the bowling alley bar. As The Dude laments his misfortunes, the cowboy, played by Sam Elliot, finally remarks: “Well, a wiser fellar than mahself once said “Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you.”” With his Southwestern drawl, the deity-like cowboy pronounces “bear” as “bar.” Last year, Williston ate the “bar”, coming from three goals behind to win in overtime, 4-3. Today, the Williston Wildcats were unfortunately on the receiving end of the “bar,” going down 6-0 and eventually losing 8-3 to St. Sebastians.
While I readily admit the following cliché, the game was not an 8-3 game; fortuitous bounces for St. Sebastians that included a puck ricocheting off a stanchion on a Williston powerplay only to end up on the stick of Sebs penalty killer who took off on a 2-1 and scored; to a shot from the point that was deflected and popped up eight feet in the air and bounced over Kyler Breland’s head and into the net; to a potential 3 on 1 for Williston only to have David Novotny blow a wheel and careen to the ice, losing the possession, the puck-luck needed to beat a very powerful offensive and defensive opponent—that boasts currently seven Division I prospects with more on the way—was not there when the Wildcats needed it.
St. Sebastians took a commanding 6-0 lead through the first period and half of the game through the work of savvy offensive skill and a defensive juggernaut that was difficult for Williston to solve. In the second, Williston was able to get on the board when, in the offensive zone, Matt Pimental won the draw cleanly to Jack Purcell who let a quick shot go that was saved off the right pad and bounced onto sophomore Brandon Barrett’s stick; Barrett buried the rebound for the first goal of his Williston career.
Then, two minutes later at the 17:19 mark of the period and on the power play, Brendan Nehmer took a puck near the top right point and let a shot go that hit a Sebs player and bounced over the shoulder of a shocked Luke Garrity. Williston looked like they might have some life to them heading into the third period.
Unfortunately, any hope was shot down as St. Sebastian’s Tommy Lyons drove to the net with two players draped on him and was still able to get the toe of his stick on the puck and sneak a shot past Breland.
Brendan Nehmer got his second goal of the game cutting the lead to 7-3 (Novotny and Sacratini with the assists) but Sebs got its eight goal a little over a minute later. Trevor Costello went in and made some clutch saves down the stretch, but Williston could never get back into it.
Shots for the game were 24 for Williston and 38 for Sebs (31 on Breland and 7 for Costello.)
On Saturday, Williston played Nobles in a rematch of last year where Williston took the game 3-2. This year would be different for the ‘Cats as they would drop the match-up, 5-1.
Nobles got on the board early in the game on a powerplay. Williston would answer a few minutes later when Shaul Mitton got a pass from Tommy Harty on the break-out. Mitton cruised down the right boards and beat Nobles goalie Marc Smith to tie the game at one. Nobles would score the next four goals, one more in the first period and three in the second. Williston worked hard in the third to cut the lead but to no avail.
Shots in the game were 29-18 in favor of Nobles.
Williston returns to school on Wednesday and takes on the Berkshire Bears at home on Saturday at 4.30. The Williston co-ed alumni game takes place at 12.30 that day so let the alumni office know if you will be making the trip in for the game.