Hockey Teams Shine in Season Openers


Credit: Ellie Wolfe.

Both the boys and girls Varsity hockey teams had sensational home openers this season. The boys beat a decorated and demanding Avon Old Farms program, and the girls took home a win against the U-19 China National team.

Boys Hockey beat Avon Old Farms 3-2 in their home opener; the win captured the attention of many people on campus.

Senior defenseman Jake Durocher was proud of his team’s accomplishment, especially after a loss to a team thought to be weaker than Avon.

“Well after being dropped by KUA last year 7-1 and then hearing we had to face off against Avon, a team that is ranked even higher than KUA, it made us think twice if we were even going to get off a good start at all, or have an even worse start than last year’s,” Jake said. “To be able to step up the way we did this year is great, and beating an exceptional team 3-2 was a great moment for us.”

The Varsity team lost eight seniors last year, but with Coach Derek Cunha doing some very heavy recruiting in the offseason, Durocher believes that the team hasn’t lost a step.

“It seems like the spots we lost last year have been filled up with pretty similar players that we actually have a similar depth and we play at the same speed,” he said. “The team is just coming together really well [and] with all the returners stepping up as well our team chemistry is very good”

Jake’s roommate, senior Rob Champigny, was on hand for both the boys and girls games.

“It was a really physical game,” he said. “I saw my roommate get hit pretty hard and took out the referee it was funny and scary in the moment but it turned out fine afterward. I also saw my close friend Tim Rego ‘ 19 get two penalties for hits on the ice showing his commitment for the puck. The last twenty seconds was intense when Avon were on full attack but then Connor Power threw his body on the line, blocking several shots.”

“You don’t feel it in the moment,” said Connor about the aformentioned body-blocked shots, “but once the game is over and the adrenaline stops my body feels pretty bad.”

Senior forward Billy Smith scored two of Williston’s three goals in the win.

“It felt great to be able to help out as much as I can to get our first win,” Billy said. “They are a great team and to able to start the game well and play consistent hockey throughout the game was great. To be able to finish it off really said something about our team. ”

Credit was given to the Coach Cunha.

Billy stated, “Coach really prepared us and he prepares us well all out through the week. He works us hard and gets us well preparedĀ  to take on the best teams.”

The Girls Varsity Hockey team beat the China U-19 National team 5-1.

“It felt really cool and it was a really awesome experience to expand our horizons to play teams outside of the country,” said sophomore Mary Kate O’Brien. “overall it was a really unique thing to do and I felt really lucky to have that experience.”

The girls’ team dynamic off the ice is helping them grow as well.

“We only lost two seniors last year,” Mary Kate said, “and we brought in a pretty big group of new girls. But I think the main thing we have going for us is that we are all so close and we continue to get more comfortable with each other throughout the year. It is almost like we are all one big family and definitely something special.”

Mary Kate expressed her love and appreciation for all her coach, Mrs. Talbot, does for the team.

“Talbot is like my second mom,” Mary Kate said. “She is so supportive. Talbot pours her heart and soul in to everything she does. There are no words to describe how important and supportive she is to us. ”

The girls team lost in the first round of playoffs last year 1-0 to the number two seed, Noble and Greenough. This year they have their sights set on taking home the trophy.

“I think the team goals is that we all want to go all the way this year because I think we missed our shot last year,” Mary Kate said. “We all have this fire inside of us to get redemption.”