Williston Hockey Helps Take Care of Alzheimer’s; Can’t Take Care of Gunnery   


On Saturday night, the Williston hockey teamed donned special Alzheimer’s-themed purple, green, and white jerseys and socks in their “Alzheimer’s Awareness Game” to raise money to combat this tragic disease and provide money for continued research for a cure.  The cause hits close to him with a number of players and coaches who have witnessed first-hand the disease and its effects on loved ones.  The Williston hockey team, lead by Coach Cunha’s tireless work in the weeks and days leading up to the evening, collected donations from the entire Williston community including classmates, faculty, and alumni.  Totals are still being calculated as the donations poured in online with some still on the way.  While the final score did not fall in Williston’s favor, on this night, there were bigger winners—those affected by Alzheimer’s and those who love and care for them.


Williston got behind the eight-ball early when Gunnery scored just thirty-nine seconds into the game.  Down, but not out, the Wildcats traded blows with the Highlander team until the 10:08 mark when Alex Latkovski, along the right wall of the Gunnery zone, got a stick on the puck that squeaked to Jake Sacratini at the right circle; he made a pass tZac Gmerek who let a low rocket go that a fortuitous Sacratini, driving to the net, was able to tip in from just below the inside hash marks of the slot.  The period ended, 1-1.   

Both teams continued to go back and forth until the middle of the second when Connor Hagness picked up an errant puck on the left half wall of the Williston zone, skated into the neutral zone, making his way to the right wing.  Hagness then drove outside to the right circle’s hash marks and made a sweet drop pass to a just-getting-over-the-flu-but-he-don’t-care Shaul Mitton who let a right-handed snap shot go that found the near corner of the goal beating Gunnery goalie, Dan Zajkowski.  While Shaul had missed the last week, he sure didn’t feel like a stranger at the 9:37 mark of the period as he was mobbed by his mates.  Then, just six minutes later, sloppy neutral zone play by Gunnery gave the Wildcats a 3-1 as Tommy Harty drove down the ice, left of center, made a back-pass to Sacratini who drove to the net and hit Latkovski who was driving to the far post with a soft backhander that was promptly buried and put the ‘Cats up 3-1.  However, with one-second left and on the power play, Gunnery pulled within one. 

Gunnery would take advantage of a breakdown in the defensive zone in the third period and tie the game. Williston had countless opportunities but could not pull ahead.  The game headed to overtime and Gunnery won it at the 1:40 mark.  

The entire Williston hockey team would like to thank everyone who supported the Alzheimer’s Awareness night.  It was a tremendous show of good will and community and hopefully can help to lead to a cure of this horrible disease.   

Williston head’s to the greatest state in the Union—New York—on Wednesday to take on the streaking Millbrook Mustangs at 4:30. See you on the road. 

Williston Wins Two, Loses Two  

Williston took a two-game winning streak into its away game against Worcester last Wednesday and extended it to three by defeating the Highlanders, 9-3.  

The first period saw both clubs try to feel each other out with a number of scoring opportunities but alas, neither team ripped the twine.  

In the second period, however, Williston came out guns blazing getting on the board at the 13:23 mark of the period when Will Tripp made an in-zone, rink-wide pass to Tommy Harty who made a back diagonal pass to Jake Sacratini flying down the slot.  The Montreal-native buried the shot between the Worcester goalie’s pads.  Williston’s second goal came when Tyler Varin took a shot from the left hash marks that the goalie gloved down high but could not control; the puck dropped to his feet and Alex Latkovski tapped in the rebound.  Connor Hagness netted the third goal of the game when Zach Gmerek put the puck into the left corner and Shaul Mitton zipped a pass cross-crease to a patient Connor Hagness.   

Worcester got on the board at the 4:17 mark but Williston answered two minutes later while short handed when Tripp broke out of the Worcester zone and flew down the left-hand boards.  Mitton streaked toward the net and Tommy Harty was the high man on the drive.  Tripp made a backdiagonal pass to number eight who made a quick pass back to Tripp who then banked a shot off the goalie’s stick for their fourth goal of the game.  Latkovski got his second of the game when he stepped out of the penalty box, took a pass from Roscoe Eade from the defensive zone and showed how you stick handle in a phone booth by driving toward the net and putting a backhander into the net from the goal crease.  It was a nifty goal that put the Wildcats up 5-1. 

In the third, Tommy Harty scored an unassisted goal when he collected an errant puck at the blueline and buried a shot past the Worcester goalie from the hash marks.  Brandon Barrett got his first of the year when he got a pass in the high slot and buried the puck in an all-in-onemotion shot to the far side.  Williston would score two more times with goals from David Novotny (assisted by Sacratini) and Ryan Deschamps (assisted by Tripp and Hunter Wilson.)  The game puck when to Alex Latkovski for playing an excellent game.  Emile Savoie and Ryan Hennigan combined for the win. 

Williston traveled to Winchendon on Friday night for a 6 o’clock tilt with the Wapitis.  Williston got down early in the game and could never rebound, losing the game 6-1.  The Wildcat’s lone goal was scored off a rebound by Tommy Harty.  Latkovski and Novotny got the helpers. The box of rain continued on Saturday afternoon when Berkshire beat Williston 7-1. Down 2-0 with about 5 minutes left in the second period, the floodgates opened as the Bears scored 4 more to close out the 2nd. Connor Hagness scored for Williston, assisted by Tommy Harty. 

On Wednesday, Vermont Academy dropped by Lossone for a matinee against the Wildcats.  The game was tight early but Williston was able to pull away and take the game, 8-4.  Ryan Hennigan got his first start in net for the home team. 

Will Tripp got Williston on the board early in the period when he played the pinball wizard shooting a puck that deflected off two Vermont d-men and into the net past goalie Mason Kucenski.  Vermont answered almost immediately on a man-up deflection as Wildcat in orange and black let a shot go from the half-wall that deflected off his forwardstick and past Hennigan.  Williston answered back nearly fourteen minutes later, short-handed, when Zac Gmerek got a puck to Matt Pimental who skated into the Vermont end, dropped a pass to Ryan Deschamps and cut toward the net.  Deschamps drove to the corner and hit a wide-open Pimental in front who deflected the puck in.  Williston went into the dressing room up, 2-1. 

The Wildcats got things going early in the second when Connor Hagness got a pass from Tyler Varin and skated around and into the slot.  In the meantime, winger Alex Latkovski skated from behind the net and took a pass from the ever-moving Hagness and tucked in a nifty backhander past Kucenski. Williston made it 4-1 when Hunter Wilson busted up the right side into the VA zone and let a shot go from the corner that puzzled Kucenski, who couldn’t control the rebound as the puck landed by the near-post.  A hard-skating Pimental collected his second goal of the game.  Brandon Barrett got into the mix when Pimental won the puck in the corner, skated behind the net and made a pass through the crease that he got a stick on.  It was Barrett’s second on the year, making it 5-1.  

Williston’s sixth goal came when Connor Hagness skated in on a breakaway, made a nifty move but brought a five-iron rather than a pitching wedge to the game and wasn’t able elevate the puck; no matter, he got his own rebound, took the puck behind the net and fed Latkovski in front who buried his second of the game.  Vermont scored two-in-a-row but Williston bookended the scoring for the period when Barrett got his second goal of the game off a hard-working Richard Stefanik who won the puck behind the net and made a cross-slot pass to Barrett who buried the rebound.  Williston took a 7-3 lead into the intermission.   

Williston allowed one more goal in the third period but the Wildcats sealed the win with their eighth of the game when Latkovski made a pass from the left dot of the Vermont zone to an open Hagness who fired a laser that was blocked by Kucenski but drilled home by Deschamps camped out on the crease. 

Williston outshot Vermont 64-20 on the day.  Brandon Barrett earned the game puck and Hennigan ended the game with 16 saves.   

On Saturday the boys varsity hockey team will face off against Gunnery at 6 in an Alzheimer’s Awareness game.  Our team has been deeply affected by this disease and as such it is the focus of this year’s charitable giving. The team will wear custom-created uniforms supporting the cause and there will be a raffle to win a game jersey. There is already quite a buzz on Twitter and Instagram about the game, the cause, and the jerseys! 

If you can’t make it to the game and would like to participate in the raffle there will be a Venmo option at @WillistonNorthamptonSchool and denote ENDALZ. Tickets will be 1 ticket for $2, 3 for $5, 10 for $10, and body length for $20.  Your tickets will then be added into the raffle!  All proceeds will go to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund at https://curealz.org. 

See you there! 

Williston Beats the Berkshire Bears, 5-2 

When the last bolt of sunshine hit the Berkshire Mountains on Saturday night, Williston headed to the dressing room after three hard-fought periods with its second win inarow and its first in Sheffield, MA since January 10th, 2009 when Williston won the contest 3-2.  This time, Williston won 5-2. 

Williston looked to get things going quickly on Saturday afternoon, and that they did scoring just a 1:04 into the game.  Williston worked the puck deep into the Berkshire zone and Berkshire attempted to clear the puck up the lefthand boards.  A fortuitous jump by d-man Hunter Wilson enabled the junior defenseman to scoop the puck off the wall and let a quick shot that Berkshire goalie, Jed Baliotti, saved with his right pad but the rebound zipped right to Connor Hagness’s stick who buried the rebound.  Wilson got his second assist of the game when David Novotny tried to get the puck from the corner to Wilson standing at the middle of the blue line.  Berkshire was able to get a stick on the pass but was not able to gather the puck.  Wilson took a shot that was deflected into the air, hit Baliotti in the chest and bounced onto Novotny’s stick who was skating to the front of the net; he buried his opportunity at the 5:10 mark.  

Williston got their third of the period on the power play when Tyler Varin got the puck on the left point and passed to his d-partner Will Tripp. Tripp skated to the middle of the ice and put a shot on Balliotti, who appeared screened in front.  The goal was the final straw for the Berkshire coaching staff who pulled Baliotti.  The game would remain 3-0 for the remainder of the period and for all of the second period.   

Berkshire finally got on the board in the third only to be answered by Shaul Mitton who received a pass from Varin sending him on a breakaway.  Mitton trucked down the right wing, approached Berkshire goalie Sam Woessner, and beat the junior on a backhand, top shelf.  Word on the street is that there was a monkey running out of the building and into the night as Mitton finally got him off his back, netting his first goal of the year.  The Williston faithful hope that this can get the Charlettetown, PEI senior on the right track from here on out.  Berkshire got a second goal with 1:50 left but that was all they could muster as Hagness closed out the game with an empty-netter.  The game puck went to Mitton for the game.  Trevor Corsello had a splendid afternoon in net making timely saves at important moments.  He finished the game with 43 saves.   

Williston has a three-game week coming up.  First, the Wildcats head to New England’s second-largest city and home of Polar Selzer on Wednesday afternoon against the Worcester Hilltoppers at 4 pm.  On Friday night, Williston is at Winchendon.  Then on Friday, Williston plays its first home game in the New Year and first in nine games when Berkshire comes to town for a 4:45 tilt.  Good seats are still available.  See you there! 

Wildcats Put Pieces Together, Defeat Saints, 3-2 

The Williston boy’s hockey team got off the schneid with a big roadwin at Canterbury on Wednesday afternoon, with a 3-2 decision over the Saints. 

Both clubs entered the game with a 1-8-1 record and looking to get on the winning side of things.  Williston started off the game like mad-men in the defensive zone with Zac Gmerek leading the charge; he would end the day with five blocked shots.  Canterbury scored first when a Canterbury defenseman hit a man in front that deflected errantly into goalie, Trevor Corsello, who could not corral the puck.  A Saint forward pounced on the rebound giving the Saints a 1-0 lead into the first break. 

In the second, and with Williston on the power play, Tyler Varin and William Tripp played catch at the blue line before Tripp sent a quick pass to a wide-open Tommy Harty in the slot who one-timed a low shot that beat Canterbury goalie Cal Skwara between the legs.  It was reminiscent of the captain’s two goals against Northwood a month earlier.  Williston and Canterbury traded opportunities but ended the period 1-1. 

In the third, Williston took the lead at the 2:40 mark of the period when David Novotny worked a puck to Tripp from the halfwall.  Trip zipped a quick pass to Varin at the right point who started to drive toward the net and with the patience of St. Stephen waited out a Canterbury defender who slid by looking to block a potential shot; the assistant captain continued toward the net and forced Skwara to drop putting the puck over his shoulder.  However, eight minutes later Canterbury scored on a one-timer from the blue line that beat Corsello.  The Williston bench was down but quickly pulled themselves up by the metaphorical boot straps and plodded along until less than two minutes later when Novotny got the puck to Jake Sacratini in the corner who skated toward the blue line and around the circle on his backhand, rounded the circletop, moved the puck to his forehand and slipped a quick shot under the arm of Skwara.  It was a dandy of a goal and put Williston up, 3-2, with just under five minutes remaining.   

At this point, Williston buckled up the defense and shut down Canterbury for the win.  Shots were 28-27, Canterbury.  Gmerek earned the game puck for his excellent and focused defense and willingness to block shots. 

Williston heads to Sheffield, MA on Saturday to take on the Berkshire Bears at 3:15.  If you’re making the trip, flip flops and Hawaiian shirts are encouraged due to the spring-like temps for the weekend.  Bring an umbrella though, the heavy stuffs gonna’ be coming down too. Till then. 

Holiday Break with the Wildcats 

On December 20th, the Williston boy’s hockey team loaded up the busses and headed to The St. Sebastian’s Holiday Tournament in Needham, MA for a late-night tilt against an already-seasoned Northwood team who came into the night having played close to thirty-five games.  Northwood would get on the board once in the first half of the game and early in the second half, but Williston turned things on to tie and then win it in a shootout, 3-2. 

For much of the first half, Williston stuck to its game plan and was only down 1-0 at the end of the period.  Northwood got on the board a little more than two minutes in the second period when a shot was taken from off a rush from just over the blueline that kissed the left post and careened in past Williston goalie, Trevor Corsello.  However, Williston’s power play was clicking as senior captain, Tommy Harty scored twice to even the game. 

The first came on the power play when Harty took a one-timer from David Novotny who was sitting on the right hash marks.  Harty found an opening on the far post past the Northwood goaltender.  Tyler Varin got the other assist.  The goal was scored at the 7:32 mark of the period.  Harty got his second of the game when he took a pass, again in the slot, and let a lazy lightening of a backhand shot go that looked to beat the Northwood goalie in the middle of the net, tying the game.  Both teams would trade chances but none would fall.  A fiveminute overtime yielded no victor, either. 

On to a shootout. 

Northwood shot first and Corsello thwarted the effort.   

Harty took the first shot for Williston and beat their goalie on deke to a backhand.     

Corsello stopped the next Northwood shooter. 

Novotny was the second shooter for Williston in the best of three shootout and he capitalized sending the Williston bench into jubilation.  They would play the late game the following day over a very strong St. Andrews Saints team from Toronto. 

The following day, Williston dropped a 6-1 decision to the Saints.  Novotny got the lone goal for Williston with assists to Sacratini and Varin.  Williston then faced St. Sebastian’s on Sunday for the thirdplace game and lost 4-1.  Connor Hagness scored with an assist from Sacratini. 

After the New Year, Williston reconvened back in Boston to take on Noble and Greenough School and, once again, St. Sebastian’s.  Williston was the home team against Nobles at St. Sebastian’s and started out the game by finishing the first period even at zero. 

In the second period, Williston got on the board just three minutes into the frame when Hagness drove into the zone and put a backhander on Nobles goalie, Marc Smith, from the bottom of the circle.  The odd-angle shot deflected at just about crossbar-height and Williston assistant captain and baseball extraordinaire, Matt Pimental batted in the rebound.  Then, a little over a minute later, Charles Monteith gathered a puck just inside the blue line and a fortuitous screen by Ryan Deschamps allowed the puck to beat Smith once again.  Things appeared to be going well for the Wildcats who dominated play.  However, bad penalties in the second and third period and four Nobles power play goals erased all hope for a Wildcat win and Nobles took the game 6-2.  Williston was outshot, 44-23, Corsello taking the loss. 

The next day Williston played St. Sebastian’s and took the loss, 5-1.  Connor Hagness got the lone goal when he ripped a shot that went bar-down to tie the game at one midway through the second stanza.  Shaul Mitton got the assist.  Williston hung close but eventually Sebs pulled away. Williston was outshot in this game 46-20, while Emile Savoie took the loss.   

Williston has struggled out of the gate, but with the strength-of schedule that the Wildcats play has only helped to season them as they begin the next two-thirds of their schedule in the New Year.  Williston is on the road again for the next four games with the next game this Wednesday at 3:30 at Canterbury.  Both teams have identical records and are looking for their second win of the season and a chance to go on a run.  See you in New Milford!