Girls Prep Hockey – Chuck Vernon Elite 8 Title Game: Williston Turns Tables On Nobles, Secures Championship With 2-0 Win

Gary Demopouloshttp://www.hnibnews.com
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.

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Williston Northampton took home the 2022 Chuck Vernon Elite 8 Tournament title, blanking Nobles, 2-0, in Sunday’s championship game.

It was back at the Harrington Tournament in December. Elite Tourament #1 seed Williston and #2 seed Nobles faced off for the holiday tournament crown and it would be Nobles coming out on top, 2-0.

Fast forward to the first Sunday in March and these two powerhouses were facing off again, this time for a New England championship.

Since that December game, Williston had won 17 straight, including playoff wins over Kent and Phillips Andover, allowing just 15 goals in that contest.

Nobles came into Sunday having not lost in 62 straight games dating back to the 2019 New England title game loss to Kent (not including some unofficial games played in the 20-21 season during the pandemic).

This group of seven seniors formed the leadership nucleus for the Wildcats, All have been with the program for all four years.

The Wildcats, who survived a 3-2 overtime win in Saturday’s semfinal over Phillips Andover, would turn the tables this time, getting a 2-0 win and the championship.

“We played a great game in December at the Harrington Finals but couldn’t get the job done,” said Williston coach Christa Talbot-Syfu. “The girls really wanted to play them again and knew what we needed to do to get a different outcome. They played yesterday wanting revenge and felt we had a bit of an edge because we got to play at home.”

In this one, senior Maeve Reynolds would score the only goal Williston would need in the first period, assisted by Monique Lyons (Saturday’s here) and Teaghan Hall. It came just 29 seconds into the game.

After a scoreless second period, it would be senior Jules Constaninople who delivered the all-important second goal for the Wildcats.

The Williston defense took it from there, keeping Nobles’s high-octane offense off the scoreboard.

“There was a sense of confidence when Jules scored the second goal.  Kids were composed, focused and totally locked in. It was a really incredible moment for our team,” Talbot-Syfu said. “Our goal in the past month has been to play great team defense and making sure our forwards are helping out in the d-zone.  In our playoff run, we had many blocking shots, and did our best to keep opponents to the outside.”

Williston was led by a group of seven veteran seniors, all of whom have been at the school for four or more years (forwards Reynolds and Hall, defensemen Constantinople, Emma Merrill, Sophie Jones and Cora Webber, and goaltender Natatlie Stott).

“They have set the tone from the beginning of the season,” Talbot-Syfu said.
They wanted to have the best season possible, especially after not being able to play a full season last year.  This group was ready from our first game against St. Pauls at home. The way they moved the puck to one another, our strong team play and the intensity in which they played in our first game made a statement to me.” 

Williston finished the season at 24-1-0. Nobles ended at 26-1-3.

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