Williston’s Prayers Answered—Wildcats Beat Saints, 7-2; Drops Decision to the Doors 

Seniors Tommy Harty and Jake Sacratini both had four-point nights on Wednesday as they helped lead Williston past Canterbury with a hat trick and an assist and a goal and a playmaker, respectively.  Williston played a complete game in all zones of the ice and took a decisive, 7-2 victory. 

Sacratini got on the board early when a hard forecheck by Harty forced a Canterbury defenseman to cough make an errant pass from the corner of the defensive zone to an awaiting Sacratini who intercepted the pass at the hash marks and walked in beating Cal Skwara on the far post.  Harty got his first goal of the night on the power play when Sacratini got the puck on the halfwall in the Canterbury zone, touched a pass to Tyler Varin who got the puck to the other half-wall to Will Tripp.  Tripp then found a wide open Harty, who has set up residence in the high slot on power plays, and who drilled a one-timer past Skwara.  Canterbury got a goal late in the period to get it within one. 

In the second, Williston got on a role.  The first goal came when Charlie Monteith worked a puck up the wall to d-man, Mitch Hansen, who let a blast go that was saved by Skwara but that was batted in by Matt Pimental from his belly.  Shaul Mitton got the fourth Williston goal off a sweet draw from Ryan Deschamps that landed right on his stick.  The senior winger let the howitzer go that was deflected by a Canterbury d, past Skwara.  Harty got his second of the game on the power play when Sacratini again, got the puck from Varin who let one fly from the point.  (He will be leading a youth hockey clinic on shooting in the coming weeks.  Ask him about it.)  The rebound bounced onto Harty’s stick and while the initial shot was blocked, he gathered his own rebound and tucked in a nifty backhand.  The period would end with Williston up, 5-1. 

Alex Latkovski put the ‘Cats up 6-1 when Harty won a draw to the corner, put sustained pressure on the Canterbury defenseman who tried to make a pass to his d-partner.  Latkovski intercepted the pass on the near post, corralled the puck to the front of the net and, with his long reach, beat Skwara on the far post.  Williston got their final goal of the game when Canterbury drove into the Williston zone on the power play and coughed up the puck near Williston goalie, Emile Savoie.  Will Tripp cleared the puck to Sacratini in the slot and the speedy winger cruised into the Canterbury zone and hit Harty with a backhand saucer pass that the captain buried garnering him the hat trick for the afternoon.  Canterbury would score with 1.4 seconds left but Williston took the win.  Savoie earned the win kicking out 39 saves.  The game puck went to Harty for his four-point night. 

On Friday night, Williston traveled up Route 91 to Deerfield for an evening soiree with the Green Doors.  The game was riddled with penalties and Williston took the loss, dropping the contest, 6-2.   

Deerfield came out flying at the opening of the first period stirring their already raucous crowd into a frenzy and scoring just a minute into the game.  Williston answered ten minutes later when Brandon Barrett knocked a puck from the side of the Deerfield net to Charlie Monteith behind the net.  Monteith drove to the opposite corner and slipped a puck to the slot where Matt Pimental took one-timer that beat Deerfield goalie, Justin Prete, over the glove.  The period ended, 1-1. 

In the second, Williston went up 2-1 when Varin sent a backhand pass from his own zone to sophomore Ryan Deschamps at the Deerfield blueline.  Deschamps drove to the net with Connor Hagness streaking to the post.  Deschamps tried to make the pass but it was gathered in the gut by the sprawling Deerfield d-man.  With poise, Deschamps collected the puck and put a soft backhander over the glove of Prete.  The fire was on the mountain and the Wildcats were feeling good about the direction they were headed.  However, a number of penalties cost the Wildcats even strength opportunities and, ultimately, the game, losing 6-2. 

The game was the inaugural game of the Pioneer Valley Prep Cup, a game-by-game “tournament” between Pioneer Valley schools Deerfield, Northfield Mount Herman, and Williston.  The format will be as follows: whatever school possesses the cup when two of the three teams play, the cup will be on the line.  Since Deerfield won the game, they now possess the cup until next year when they play NMH early in the season.  It is possible that the cup could be pass through the three teams during one season if, every time the cup is up for grabs, the other team wins.   

Williston had the weekend off and will travel to Albany Academy on Wednesday afternoon for a four o’clock tilt.   


Williston Ties #7 Ranked Loomis, 5-5 

Last Wednesday, Williston had a date with Loomis Chaffee in South Windsor, and just when the Wildcats thought that the Pelicans were going to pick up the check, an LC forward tied the game with just 1:48 remaining in the game.  A five-minute overtime would be for naught and both clubs would leave the rink with one point apiece forcing both clubs to go Dutch. 

Williston got on the board on the power play at the 5:46 mark of the first period when Shaul Mitton made a pass to the top of the umbrella that was collected by Zac Gmerek.  Gmerek made a quick pass to the right side of the ice to Connor Hagness, perched on the top of the face off dot, who let a one-timer go that was tipped in by Ryan Deschamps to put the Wildcats up 1-0.  Then, six-and-a-half minutes later, Alex Latkovski put hard pressure on a Loomis player along the boards forcing the puck to squeak out to the blue line to Tommy Harty who drove hard to the net and let the howitzer go from the slot beating Loomis goalie, Kyle Chauvette, over the glove.  Williston took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. 

Loomis came out quickly in the second scoring two goals nine seconds apart.  Will Tripp put the ‘Cats up 3-2 when he made a pass to Brandon Barrett skating into the Loomis zone.  Barrett drove to the corner and made a nice back-pass to Tripp who let a shot go that was deflected into the air and tipped in by a Pelican player.  Loomis got two more goals in the period to go up 4-3. 

In the third, Tommy Harty skated into the Loomis end with Tripp at his heels.  Harty dropped the puck to Tripp and got the puck back to Harty who drove to the net causing an LC defenseman to slide across the crease leaving a wide-open Jake Sacratini charging to the far post.  Harty slid a slick pass to number nine who buried the puck past Chauvette.  Then, again on the power play, Matt Pimental won the draw back to Gmerek who let a shot go that was blocked but a serendipitous puck with eyes glided neatly onto Tyler Varin’s stick; the assistant captain let a Rhode Island rocket go from the point that was deflected by another Ocean State son, Pimental, putting the Wildcats up 5-4.  Williston tried to weather the storm but was unable to as Loomis tied the game at the end of the period.  Overtime proved unproductive for both clubs.  So, at the end of the game when all the cards were down, there was just the scratched up ice left and the broken dreams of a victory that was lost.  

Williston goalie Emile Savoie made a whopping 56 saves earning the tie. 

The Wildcats took a hiatus from campus this weekend as the entire school went on mid-winter recess.  Williston is back at it on Wednesday as they welcome the Hoggers of Northfield Mount Herman to town for a 2:45 tilt.  Excellent seats are still available.  We hope to see you there.   

Wildcats Right the Ship, Beat Westy 5-2 

At his 25th Reunion, Williston winger Alex Latkovski could have the greatest story ever told when he recounts his day against the Westminster Martlets on Monday, February 4, 2020.  The game saw the junior from Westmount, Quebec figure into all five of Williston’s goals as he scored a hat trick and accounted for two helpers.  The win helped Williston get off the skids, having lost their previous three.

Williston got on the board at the 5:06 mark of the period when junior defenseman Will Tripp received a pass from Jake Sacratini as he crossed over the Martlet blueline.  Tripp drove to the net and hit captain Tommy Harty driving to the far post.  Westminster goalie Greyson Pane made the save and let a rebound fall a few feet above the crease where Sacratini took a swipe at the puck that bounced off some shin pads and landed on a hard-cutting Latkovski’s stick who buried the rebound.  Latkovski netted his second of the game when he forced a turnover at his own blueline and, like a steam locomotive rolling down the track, he skated hard, pulling away from the Westy defensemen, faked a forehand shot and let a buttery backhand go that many-a-goalie would have struggled with.  Williston took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

In the second, Latkovski got into the giving business when a draw from Harty in the offensive zone was bobbled by a few Westy forwards and corralled by number nineteen who was able to get the puck toward the net.  Sacratini lay in wait on the side of the goal and banked a shot off the inside pad of Pane, putting the ‘Cats up 3-0.  Westy would get a goal with a little under two minutes remaining in the period.

In the third, Westminster made it 3-2 just five minutes into the period.  However, six minutes later and on the power play Tyler Varin received a pass from Sacratini in the middle of the ice; Varin quickly worked the puck to Tripp on the right hash mark who then made a quick pass to Harty cutting into the slot.  Harty let a low blast go that was deflected by Latkovski for the hat trick.  The final nail in the coffin came when d-man Hunter Wilson scooted a puck up to the half wall to Latkovski who chipped the puck into the neutral zone where Sacratini gathered it and buried a blue-line shot into a goalie-less net sealing the deal, 5-2.

Tonight, there were two game pucks given.  The first to Emile Savoie who earned his second win of the season and who played well, making 29 saves.  The other game puck went to Latkovski and his five-point night.

Williston has a quick turnaround playing the Loomis Chaffee Pelicans in Windsor, CT on Wednesday afternoon at 4:30.  Williston hasn’t beaten their neighbors to the south in quite some time and look to upend a solid 2019-2020 Loomis campaign.