Seven Seasons Strong
By Emily Correia
Special to GoHolyCross.com
In the last six seasons, seniors
Stockton (Rochester, N.Y.) and Mark
Williamson (Centennial, Colo.) have combined for a
total of 487 points including 193 goals and 294 assists during
their 453 games played. More incredible than just their numbers,
the pair has accomplished this while playing together on the same
team during all six seasons. The two have been members of teams who
have earned 183 wins and 15 ties during these six seasons which
translates to a .644 winning percentage.
Prior to their arrival at Holy Cross as freshmen in 2010, Stockton and Williamson spent three years together playing in Brockville, Ontario for the CJHL's Brockville Braves. In the 2009-2010 season, the Braves, armed with Stockton and Williamson on the same line, won the Eastern Canadian Fred Page Cup championship. "In Brockville, we were linemates for two of our three years and became really close hanging out at the rink and also away from the rink," Stockton explained. "Our last year in Brockville, we won the Fred Page Cup and went to the national championship. That is something that I know neither of us will ever forget and hopefully this year we can have a successful last season at Holy Cross and bring a championship here!"
Coming off of a cup-winning Juniors season in Brockville, the two started their newest adventure together as freshmen and roommates at Holy Cross in the fall of 2010. "Freshman year, Stocks and I were 'young', eager and unsure of what to expect," Williamson said. "I think both our mindsets freshman year were, 'we hope we fit in with the team and can contribute'." As freshmen, the team finished third in Atlantic Hockey and advanced to the semifinals for the first time since winning the championship in 2006. They went on a 9-0-3 streak in the 12 games prior to the second game of the quarterfinal series for the longest streak without a loss in program history and tied for first in the nation at the time.
The two enter their senior year full of hope for what is to come in their final chapter of skating together. The senior class this year enters with 57 career victories, the second most for a class entering their senior year in Holy Cross history. Their senior campaign is set to start off with an exhibition game versus Simon Fraser (Oct. 5) followed by matchups against Hockey East opponents Boston University (Oct. 12) and Northeastern (Oct. 18-19), and a series with 2013 national runner-up Quinnipiac (Oct. 25-26), before their Atlantic Hockey schedule begins. On Nov. 29, the Crusaders will play at Boston College and mid-season they will set off to take on the defending national champion Yale (Dec. 29).
Despite the tough out of conference schedule, both Williamson and Stockton feel confident that this season, their final one together, will be one to remember. "I am looking forward to our exhibition game and first regular season game against BU," Stockton mentioned. "After losing to Mercyhurst in the playoffs last year, I know Mark and I are doing everything we can do to prepare for a great season this year! Every year the seniors leave and new guys come in and I am excited to see what we do with the potential we have this year." Williamson continued reflectively, "as seniors, we are looking to lead the team and win a championship – something we did together in Junior hockey just four years ago. It is bittersweet in understanding that this is the final year of our seven-year campaign, but we have the hopes to make it the best one yet. This season I am most looking forward to the opportunity the team has to win a championship, and making the most of the last year Shayne and I will play competitive hockey together." Stockton echoed this sentiment saying, "compared to every other year, we knew that we would be back on the same team, back at school and hanging out almost every day. So we have one last year and we are just trying to make the most of it on and off the ice. It is pretty crazy to think that this is our last year here and who knows what will happen in our future whether that is continuing hockey or finding a job."
Williamson concluded saying, "I will miss just playing the game with Stocks. It is always fun playing on Stocks' line. We seem to have a natural chemistry on the ice that makes the game easier to play. Over my 20-year career, I have had more chemistry with Stocks on the ice than any other teammate." This chemistry is evident from their 453 career games on the same team, which adds up to more than 27,000 minutes of ice time spent together, not including practices and training. In this time, Stockton and Williamson have forged a bond with one another that will likely never be broken. More than just teammates and linemates, the two found something in each other that kept their friendship strong both on and off the ice for what will be seven hockey seasons this year. "The best part about the last six seasons has just been the fact that we have continued to be such great friends," Stockton continued. "I think I'll miss seeing Mark every day and going to battle together the most. Looking back, these six, going on seven years, have flown by. We have spent basically a third of both of our hockey careers together and the fact that this season will probably be our last is just really crazy to think about."