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 to Zac 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.