Prep Girls Division 1 Poll
The year 2014 has certainly been good for the Williston (11-2-3) girls hockey team. The Wildcats are 9-0-2 since the New Year dawned and are coming off a solid weekend that saw them move up to #5 in the latest HNIB News Girls Division I Prep Top 10 poll.
Williston earned a 4-4 tie with Tabor on Friday night, and then put it all together and blanked Kent, 5-0, on Saturday, both top ten clubs.
“Our girls played six great periods of hockey in the last two days against strong opponents,” said Williston coach Christa Talbot. “The game
against Tabor was a battle, back and forth with both teams firing on all cylinders. Against Kent, we played with tremendous confidence and capitalized on some great opportunities.”
Defenseman Rachel Rockwell had a pair of goals in the Kent win, while fellow blue liner Alicia Barry had two assists.
“We knew that Kent would be a tough opponent and we made a few adjustments to our game plan before the game,” Talbot said. “Defensively, we played strong and we knew we needed to shoot from everywhere because they (Kent) are solid on defense and have a solid goaltender, Kacy Rawlyk. We were able to beat Kacy a few times on the first shot then second and third efforts were key for us in earning two of our goals.”
Against Tabor, Christina Zalewski figured in all four markers with two goals and two assists, including scoring on a penalty shot.
“The Wildcats are led by captains Christina Zalewski on offense and Alicia Barry on defense,” said Talbot. “Both have been exceptional for us. They are difference makers and they create a lot of opportunities for our team.”
Williston has another chance to make some noise on Wednesday, when they travel to Westminster (3:00pm)
As far as the top of the poll goes, nothing has changed, as #1 Nobles (15-0-0) and #2 St. Paul’s (13-0-1) continue to lead the way.
The Bulldawgs cruised to wins this week over Brewster Academy (9-1) and Phillips Exeter (8-0-0). They have now won 38 straight games dating back to last season. Lawrence Academy (Wednesday) and Cushing (Friday) are on the docket.
St. Paul’s took down Thayer (4-1) and Milton (6-0). They have Northfield and Winchendon this week. Shayna Tomlinson, Brooke Avery and Caitrin Lonergan have led the offensive attack for coach Heather Farrell.
#3 Tabor (10-1-2) heads into exam break on a solid note, as they did rally to earn that 4-4 tie with Williston. Halle Silva, Samantha Davis and Raquel Pennoyer have been stalwarts up front. The Seawolves will be in the mix all season.
#4 Westminster (8-3-1) was frustrated Saturday with a 0-0 standoff with Hotchkiss, a game that saw the Martlets outshoot Hotchkiss 17-1 in the third period and overtime. Westy can solidify its poll position with a win Wednesday against Williston. A date with D-2 heavy Gunnery looms on Saturday.
Despite getting popped by Williston, Kent (7-3-1) moves up to #6. The Lions did earn a key 3-2 win over Pomfret this week. Kents hosts Choate on Wednesday in a key battle amongst top ten clubs. Choate (7-3-2) falls to the #7 spot as the Wild Boars came up short twice this week – falling to Deerfield and New Hampton. They need to get themselves going again and a win over Kent would be a great start.
#8 Loomis Chaffee is fresh off a pair of tightly-contested wins, one-goal victories over Taft (1-0) and Pomfret (2-1). The Pelicans defensive style of play will be tough to beat the rest of the way.
Losses to Kent and Loomis drop Pomfret (7-4-1) down to the #9 spot. The Griffins hope to gain momentum with wins this week over Deerfield and Northfield.
#10 New Hampton (12-8-0) smacked Deerfield on Friday night (7-1) and then picked up a huge 2-1 win over Choate Saturday to stay in the Top Ten. “It was a solid team effort,” said New Hampton coach Craig Churchill. “The key was establishing our forecheck, and not letting Choate get out of their zone allowed us to get up on them and not let them really establish much offense.”
Mallory Rushton had both goals for New Hampton, which overcame a 1-0 deficit.
“This was one of the biggest wins for sure (for the program),” Churchill added. “It let’s the hockey world know that NHS womens hockey is for real. While we struggle to find consistency as a young team, we can play with anyone.”
The Huskies play three times this week, taking on Winchendon (Wednesday), Tilton (Friday) and St. Mark’s (Saturday).
Berkshire (7-5-2) continues to loom just outside of the Top Ten.