Girls hockey: Alyssa Frazier’s OT winner lifts Williston past Deerfield in NEPSAC showdown (PHOTOS)

Williston’s Emily Hamann (10) fires a shot on net against Deerfield Academy during NEPSAC action on Wednesday at Lossone Rink in Easthampton.

Williston’s Emily Hamann (10) fires a shot on net against Deerfield Academy during NEPSAC action on Wednesday at Lossone Rink in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Williston Northampton players celebrate a first-period goal by Monique Lyons (19) against Deerfield Academy during NEPSAC action on Wednesday at Lossone Rink in Easthampton.

Williston Northampton players celebrate a first-period goal by Monique Lyons (19) against Deerfield Academy during NEPSAC action on Wednesday at Lossone Rink in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Deerfield Academy’s Keira Austen (17) holds the puck in front of Williston Northampton’s Violet Carroll (5) during NEPSAC action on Wednesday at Lossone Rink in Easthampton.

Deerfield Academy’s Keira Austen (17) holds the puck in front of Williston Northampton’s Violet Carroll (5) during NEPSAC action on Wednesday at Lossone Rink in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Williston Northampton’s Monique Lyons (19) tries to find the puck between Deerfield Academy players Peyton Wierl (18) and Bailey Miller (21) during NEPSAC action on Wednesday at Lossone Rink in Easthampton.

Williston Northampton’s Monique Lyons (19) tries to find the puck between Deerfield Academy players Peyton Wierl (18) and Bailey Miller (21) during NEPSAC action on Wednesday at Lossone Rink in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Deerfield Academy goalie Campbell Krotee (30) covers up the puck with traffic in front against Williston Northampton during NEPSAC action on Wednesday at Lossone Rink in Easthampton.

Deerfield Academy goalie Campbell Krotee (30) covers up the puck with traffic in front against Williston Northampton during NEPSAC action on Wednesday at Lossone Rink in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

By CONNOR PIGNATELLO

Staff Writer

Published: 02-21-2024 9:01 PM

EASTHAMPTON — Alyssa Frazier played hero for the Williston Northampton girls hockey team on Wednesday afternoon.

Frazier ripped the game-winner from the high slot with less than a minute remaining in overtime to give the Wildcats a 2-1 win over Deerfield Academy at Lossone Rink.

She was immediately swallowed in a mob by her teammates, and the celebrations continued in the locker room.

“We were all really hyped,” Frazier said. “It’s been a tough week for us, so this was a huge win.”

Williston moved to 18-3-1 and stayed in second place in the NEPSAC with the win. Deerfield dropped to 17-5-2, sixth in the NEPSAC, with the loss.

Frazier and Williston head coach Christa Talbot Syfu agreed Wednesday’s victory was a major bounce back for the ‘Cats after Saturday afternoon’s 3-0 loss to Loomis, their worst defeat since 2018 and the first time they’ve been shut out since 2021.

“Saturday was a strange game,” Talbot Syfu said. “We saw some of our best hockey and some of our worst hockey, so we spent a lot of time reflecting and then getting back to work on the ice to put ourselves in a better situation.”

Williston took the lead at the 9:38 mark in the first period thanks to Brown commit Monique Lyons, who’s now tied atop the NEPSAC with 48 points. She got a feed from Zola Piekarski and Clarkson commit Caroline Aufiero and then slotted it past the goalie after a couple beautiful dekes.

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Williston dominated the second period, but couldn’t put any shots in the back of the net despite a 9-2 shot advantage. Deerfield head coach Brooke Fernandez said her team’s confidence was a bit shaken heading into the second intermission.

“When I went into the locker room we talked about playing confident and the next goal is ours,” Fernandez said. “Unfortunately the last one wasn’t, but I’m proud of our kids.”

Deerfield didn’t take long to respond to Fernandez’s message. Just 20 seconds into the third period, Harvard commit Annie Dinges got a rebound and unleashed a long-range rocket to quickly tie things up.

Nothing could separate the two teams in the third period, but Williston was whistled for a penalty with just seven seconds remaining in regulation, meaning DA would have a power play to start overtime.

The Big Green had some good chances on the power play, but they couldn’t convert.

“Killing that off, we had all the momentum going into the last minutes of OT,” Frazier said.

Both teams have just one regular season game remaining before the NEPSAC playoffs begin. 

Fernandez said Deerfield is going to be working more on their breakout and on burying more of their offensive chances. The team travels to Loomis (18-4-1, third in the NEPSAC) for their final regular season game on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Williston’s final game is at home against Buckingham Browne & Nichols (11-9-4), on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.