Past Issues of the Putnam Town Crier

Centaurs fall
in OT in
champ game
It takes so much dedication and effort to reach the pinnacle for a high school athletic team.
That’s probably why it is so difficult to come home with the runner-up plaque.
The Woodstock Academy boys’ hockey team now joins the many who have experienced a second-place finish in a state title game as the second-seeded Centaurs lost 2-1 in overtime to top seed North Haven in the CIAC Div. II state championship game.
The loss meant Woodstock finished with a 23-2 record.
“We’re all proud of what we did. We had a great season,” said senior captain Jacob Jurnovoy. “We put on a show for everyone and exceeded our expectations.”
Both losses having come at the hands of the Nighthawks who know how the Centaurs felt, North Haven lost in the state title game a year ago.
“We were the No. 11 seed last year, lost our top three defensemen and some key forwards. We had to work hard from Day 1 even in workouts in the spring and fall, most of the guys showed up. Even kids who didn’t make the team wanted to show up and were working out. I saw a lot of growth and development both on and off the ice for several of our guys. It wasn’t always easy. I’m proud of every single one of these kids. I wanted them to play their hearts out, to do the best they could and they did that. We just came up short,” said coach Mark Smolak.
It will be the one thing that escaped the head coach’s grasp in his first year at the helm.
The Centaurs had just one regular season loss, won the Nutmeg Conference regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the final two.
He was also recently named the Div. II hockey Coach of the Year by Connecticut Hockey writers.
Smolak knew the contest with the Nighthawks would not be easy. North Haven had handed Woodstock a 5-1 regular season loss.
But there was reason for optimism going in.
“We were healthy. (Junior forward) Noah (Sampson) was at full strength. We had (sophomore goalie) Dante (Sousa) locked and dialed in. He came into the tournament wanting some recognition and to show who he was and I think he did that. I think that all my guys did. It’s tough because we’re on the other side of the state and no one sees us often. It was good to see us put our name on the map and show that we’re here and here to stay,” Smolak said.
Sousa was especially important early.
The Nighthawks had the better of the play early in the game and outshot the Centaurs, 10-4. But Sousa was up to the task.
“Without him, in that first period, (the game) is not close. Without him, late in the third period, it’s not close. Having him here, as a sophomore goalie, knowing he’s only going to go up from here, builds a lot of confidence for our team,” Smolak said.
Sousa finished with 30 saves but was one of the last to leave the ice, finding it difficult to accept the loss.
“Dante is Dante. If you tell him the stakes are high and he needs to win a game, be a miracle maker, he does every time. It’s unfortunate how it ended for him,” Smolak said.
It took a while but the Centaurs were the first to get on the large scoreboard, hovering over center ice.
A scramble in front of the net, involving the entire Centaur blue line, resulted in junior Donnie Sousa’s 29th goal of the season off assists from linemates Sampson and Maxx Corradi.
“It’s the playoffs. It’s not always going to be pretty, sometimes, you have to battle in difficult areas of the ice. That line did that there, got the puck, and we had the lead for a while,” Smolak said.
Donnie Sousa scored with 3 minutes, 31 seconds left in the second period.
The Centaurs were able to hold on to that lead until just 5 ½ remained in regulation.
“I think when we got that goal, we settled down and started to play our game. That was our difficulty. We had a tough time getting started and playing our style of hockey. Once we got that goal, it woke us up, we realized it was just a game and we were focused and in the zone,” Smolak said.
But, the wear-and-tear of the game eventually got to the Centaurs a bit.
“I believe there was a little fatigue at the end,” Jurnovoy said. “We came out hard in the second period and fought through the end of the third, but I think we were a little tired at the end.”
Unfortunately, the momentum swung when senior Thomas Guidone, off assists from William Sullivan and Alex Petersen sent the game into overtime with the equalizer.
“We weren’t expecting that. They got the goal and it got them going,” Jurnovoy said.
It was the first overtime game since Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe defeated North Branford, 4-3, in the Div. II championship game in 2016.
Just a little over 5 ½ minutes into the extra frame, Petersen scored for North Haven to give the Nighthawks the sudden death victory.
“To lose the way we lost was tough but it is what it is,” Smolak said.
 “It was an awesome experience, an awesome feeling. Getting sent home last year really put it into perspective for us that we made it to the state championship game. A lot of boys wanted it from the beginning of the season and we got there. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it happen, but it was a good run,” Jurnovoy said.
The Centaurs’ spirits were also lifted a bit on the way home.
Their coach bus was greeted at the Bungay Fire Department by a host of fire trucks from all of the Woodstock area fire departments and the Centaurs were treated to an escorted ride back to the North campus of the Academy.
“A lot of the boys liked it. They were excited to know that people were there and there for us, showing support for us. It was a good feeling,” Jurnovoy said.
There is no question, the team would love to have the same thing happen next season.
The Centaurs would just rather be bringing home the state championship trophy instead of the runner-up plaque.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy

Woodstock Academy players Noah Sampson (below, right), Jacob Jurnovoy (14) and Maxx Corradi (37) celebrate Donnie Sousa’s (behind Jurnovoy) goal against North Haven their Division II boys’ hockey state championship battle last week. Photo by Marc Allard.


The following charges were listed in the Putnam Police Department logs.  The people charged are innocent until proven guilty in court. The Town Crier will publish dispositions of cases at the request of the accused. The dispositions must be accompanied by the proper documentation. The Putnam Police Department confidential Tip Line is 860-963-0000.
March 15
Donald E. Leighton, 54, S. Main Street, Putnam; first-degree failure to appear, three counts second-degree failure to appear.
March 17
Adam A. Bachand, 40, Battey Street, Putnam; failure to respond to infraction.
March 18
Jasper A. Coomey, 21, Ruth Circle, Pomfret Center; failure to have insurance on motor vehicle, failure to renew registration, operating a motor vehicle while using a cell phone.
March 19
Delana M. Hewig, 54, Milton Street, Putnam; sixth-degree larceny, first-degree criminal trespass.



The Woodstock Academy boys’ hockey team is introduced prior to the start of the CIAC Division II boys’ hockey state tournament semifinal game versus Branford at Quinnipiac University.

The blue line for Woodstock Academy, Noah Sampson (9), Donnie Sousa (13) and Maxx Corradi (by the far boards) on the faceoff against Branford in CIAC Division II boys’ hockey state tournament semifinal game versus Branford at Quinnipiac University. Photos provided by Woodstock Academy

The Woodstock Academy goalies, led by Dante Sousa (40), are introduced prior to the start of the CIAC Division II boys’ hockey state tournament semifinal game versus Branford at Quinnipiac University.

The Woodstock Academy boys’ hockey team has accomplished just about every goal it has had for the 2022-23 season.
It has a 16-game win streak which has raised its record to 23-1 overall.
It has captured the Nutmeg Conference regular season and tournament titles.
And, thus far, it has zipped through the CIAC Div. II state tournament with first round, quarterfinal and Wednesday, an 8-5 semifinal victory over sixth-seeded Branford at the M&T Bank Arena at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.
It leaves just one hurdle to clear. But it’s a big one.
A win in a state championship game.
“It’s so special”, said Woodstock junior Noah Sampson. “I’ve never been a part of a team that has been this dominant. One loss. Hopefully, we can repeat 2017.”
That was the first and last time the Centaurs brought a boys’ hockey state championship back to northeastern Connecticut with a win over Hall/Southington in the Div. III state title game.
Now, Woodstock, the second-seeded team in Div. II, must take on the top-seeded team, North Haven, on Tuesday at 7 p.m. also at the M&T Bank Arena at Quinnipiac University. (The game ended too late for this edition).
“It’s definitely going to be helpful,” sophomore Maxx Corradi said of having already played a game at Quinnipiac. “We will know the ice surface a little better. I don’t think the butterflies will be a problem. I think I’m just going to get them out when I go out there for warmups. Everything should go away, but, I’ve never played on that big a stage before.”
It will be the second meeting between the two. North Haven captured the first meeting, 5-1, on Jan. 11.
“Not lose,” coach Mark Smolak said with a chuckle when asked what his team has to do differently against North Haven. “We gave them too many odd-man rushes; we had some bad pinches on their end of the ice. The biggest issue — and I recently looked at the shooting charts from that game — is that we generated six shots in the house and they held us to 15 shots in the game. We are a high-powered offense, with creativity and ability to score. If we are not going to the danger areas of the ice in order to make sure that we get chances to score, than we aren’t going to score. That’s something North Haven does extremely well, they limit offensive opportunities by other teams.”
The Centaurs were on their game offensively against the Hornets in the semifinal.
Although it took a little shock to the system to get things kick started.
Branford’s Matt Morgan scored just 2 minutes, 8 seconds into the game.
“Everyone was nervous to be honest. That first goal was a wake-up call, got all the nerves out of us and we bounced back quick,” Corradi said.
The Centaurs were also able to celebrate a bit, not only for tying the game less than two minutes later on a goal by Sampson, but also because it was the junior’s 100th career point.
“It’s a good milestone, but I think winning States will be better. It was good to get that (100th point) first, “Sampson said.
The Sampson goal opened the floodgates for the Centaurs.
Senior captain Jacob Jurnovoy scored just two minutes later, Sampson added his second goal a minute later at the 7:17 mark of the period and 30 seconds later, Corradi tallied for a first time.
It gave the Centaurs a 4-1 advantage at the end of the first period.
“I liked that our offense was there was able to hammer in some goals. I wanted (the blue line of Sampson, Corradi, and Donnie Sousa) to deliver a message on a big stage and I wanted the announcer to be forced to say the names of those boys as much as humanly possible,” Smolak said. “Offensively, we were great. The green line continues to get goals, too. I think both lines have now scored goals in six straight games.”
It was also important a bit for Sampson who had been in a little goal-scoring drought.
He finished with a hat trick.
“Noah said to me the other day, ‘I just want to let you know that we are going to dominate’ (versus Branford),” Smolak said. “Noah has had a rough season in terms of health. He was really sick, missed a few games, got better and then got sick again. It’s just trying to get back into the groove when you are not consistently playing and you are a skilled player like he is. Sometimes, it just takes a minute to get the timing. He’s hitting his peak when we need him to hit his peak.”
The message in the locker room following the first period? “He just told us to keep focus,” Corradi said. The Centaurs did that for the most part in the second and third periods.
Branford did get a second period score but Woodstock Academy countered with goals by Sousa and Corradi.
The Centaurs went up 8-2 in the third when both Corradi and Sampson completed their three-goal efforts.
But the last 5 minutes, 44 seconds was something that would not make any coach happy as the Hornets scored three goals, two of them of the shorthanded variety.
“It was definitely a wakeup call. You don’t want to get scored on that many times that late in a game especially when you are up big,” Corradi said. “We shouldn’t have let them hang around like they did. We definitely learned from our mistakes with that.”
Smolak was not thrilled.
Corradi finished with three goals and six points in total as he added three assists.
“Not too bad,” Corradi said, “but, I’m just happy we won.”
Sousa added four assists to the cause while Ian Sherman, Max Larkin and Ryan Wallace also added assists.
Smolak now knows what his job is. Keep his team grounded.
“If they think (the semifinal game) was a big crowd, it will be bigger on Tuesday. We have to accept it. Blurt out everything else that is surrounding you, focus on the game, and realize that, at the end of the day, it’s a hockey game. It’s something we’ve done extremely well throughout the entire season. It’s a hockey game, we’ve done this hundreds of times, we know what we’re doing, believe in your abilities and yourself and we will be all right,” the Woodstock Academy coach said.
Academy honors winter athletes
The end of the Woodstock winter athletic season is usually marked by the Winter Sports Awards Night.
This winter’s athletic season will be a little different as a state championship boys’ hockey game will be the final event.
On Thursday, all of the winter sports teams did gather, however, for the Winter Sports Awards Night with those who earned All-State, Eastern Connecticut Conference, Nutmeg Conference, and Coaches’ Awards being honored.
Those who earned All-State honors included:
Connecticut High School Coaches Association 1st team All-State in gymnastics: Olivia Aleman and Julia Kerr; CIAC 2nd team All-State in boys’ hockey: Kaiden Keddy; Connecticut Interscholastic Ski League Honorable Mention All-State: Davis Simpson and Emma Brody
Nutmeg Conference boys’ hockey All-Stars: Ian Sherman, Donnie Sousa, Noah Sampson, Jacob Jurnovoy, Maxx Corradi; ECC girls’ indoor track All-Stars: Juliet Allard (300m); Sydney Lord, Tessa Brown, Olivia Tracy, Julia Coyle (4x800m relay team); ECC Division I girls’ basketball All-Star: Eva Monahan; ECC Division II boys’ basketball All-Star: Brady Ericson.
Honorable Mention All-Stars:
ECC Division I girls’ basketball: Kaylee Saucier; ECC Division II boys’ basketball: Brandon Nagle; ECC girls’ indoor track: Julia Coyle (1600m); ECC boys’ indoor track: Jared Eaton (shotput); Christian Menounos (1000m and 3200m).
ECC Scholar-Athletes:
Boys’ Basketball: James D’Alleva-Bochain; Girls’ Basketball: Lennon Favreau; Cheerleading: Cheyenne Machimer; Boys’ indoor track: Owen Tracy; Girls’ Indoor Track: Magdalena Myslenski; Gymnastics: Emma Long.
ECC Sportsmanship Award:
 Cheerleading: Arianna Garnsey, Avery Kuchy; Boys’ Indoor Track: Josh Hernandez; Girls’ Indoor Track: Sophia Quinn; Gymnastics: Olivia Aleman; Boys’ Basketball: Braiden Saucier; Girls’ Basketball: Leila MacKinnon.
Coaches’ Awards:
Alpine Skiing: Davis Simpson, Lilly Verraneault; Unified Basketball: Athletes-Alyssa Wynkoop, Arianna Fox; Partner – Gabrielle Couture; Cheerleading: Arianna Garnsey, Ella Favreau; Girls’ Indoor Track: Varsity - Bella Sorrentino, Magdalena Myslenski; JV- Kaydence Foster; Boys’ Indoor Track: Varsity- Christian Menounos, Jared Eaton; JV – Chandler Folkerts; Gymnastics: Madison Martinez, Olivia Aleman; Girls’ Basketball: Varsity- Kaylee Saucier, Isabel D’Alleva-Bochain; JV-Abigail Converse; Freshman-Kerrigan Reynolds; Boys’ Basketball: Varsity-Carter Morissette, Jackson Gallagher; JV-Matt Hernandez; Freshman- William St. John; Girls’ Hockey: Keynila Hochard, Bryn Miller; Boys’ Hockey: Varsity: Thomas Blevins, Ian Sherman; JV- Tim Mozzi.
In addition, there were several special awards given out.
Senior Jacob Jurnovoy was named the Woodstock Academy recipient of the Hobey Baker Character Award in boys’ hockey.
Boys’ hockey head coach Mark Smolak was congratulated on his being named Division II boys’ hockey Coach of the Year by Connecticut Hockey writers and assistant coach Bob Donahue was given a plaque for his 100th career coaching victory at Woodstock Academy.
Senior Braiden Saucier was also honored for being the recipient of the Walter Camp Inspiration Award recently.

Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy



Rachelle DeMarco, right, receives a $2,000 scholarship from Quiet Corner Garden Club President, Elaine Turner, left, and Ann Bastian, center, chair of the Scholarship Committee.

Garden club awards 2 scholarships
WOODSTOCK — Raychelle DeMarco of Ashford and Rhiannon Martin of Dayville were awarded scholarships by The Quiet Corner Garden Club at its February meeting. They were selected based on a combination of academic achievement, leadership qualities, community service, letters of recommendation and personal statement essays.
DeMarco, a 2022 graduate of E.O. Smith High School, attends UConn majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology. She received a $2,000 scholarship. Martin is studying environmental engineering at Three Rivers Community College and will receive her $1,500.00 award at the Club’s March meeting. She is a 2022 graduate of Killingly High School. The Quiet Corner Garden Club awards scholarships each year to students wishing to  study horticulture related fields such as Agronomy, Botany, City Planning, Conservation, Environmental Studies, Floriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Land Management, Landscape Design, Plant Pathology, Aquaponics, and Natural Resources. Funds raised at the Club’s signature Plant Sale, always held the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, are used to provide the scholarships as well as fund other civic projects in the Quiet Corner.


Benjamin D. Williams III, U.S. Marine Corps veteran
Ben Williams died March 7, one day shy of his 87th birthday. “I know what’s coming,” he wrote recently, “and I have no regrets. Do I want to leave my family and all that means so much to me? Hell no … but I have had more than my share of the best that life has to offer.” Speaking of the love of his life, who passed away in 2007, “When the lights go out, I’m going to find Nan. We’ve been apart too long.”
Born in 1936, Ben was the oldest of three children who would remain incredibly close throughout their long lives.
Ben, Rod, and Isie were raised by parents who were “the best possible examples of how to build a contributing and meaningful life.” Ben took their lessons to heart. From his father, who was in the brokerage business but was first and foremost a soldier and a veteran of both World Wars, Ben learned the importance of discipline, principle, and commitment. From his mother he gained patience, an agile and inquisitive mind, empathy and compassion. And from both he acquired his love of wild things and wild places.
His children would later note, “To grow up with Ben Williams was to understand that the responsibility of any earnest citizen was to know the name of as many living things on the planet as possible. It was a sign not simply of appreciation for all that exists but an exercise in humility. For to know another living thing’s name, nature, and needs is to appreciate that your own desires and interests are far from paramount.”
Ben lived a life of service to aspirations and intentions, communities and relationships that he believed were greater by far than himself. He learned of such commitments not solely from his parents but from the communities he joined: St. Paul’s School, Princeton University, the United States Marine Corps, Pomfret School, Lawrence Academy, Robert College, The Rivers School, the Wyndham Land Trust and Connecticut Audubon.
Ben was so overcome with homesickness when he arrived at St. Paul’s in Concord, New Hampshire from his home on Long Island that the bewildered teachers sent him to the infirmary. After crying for what seemed like days, Ben heard familiar footsteps approaching. He looked up to see his father standing over his bed. “Son,” Ben’s Dad said earnestly, “am I going to have to take you home?” As Ben reports, “There was only one answer to that question.”
Ben ultimately took to life on campus and its opportunities with the same intrepid spirit that distinguished his time in the outdoors. He became a collector of sorts – not simply of adventures or learning – but of the birds, reptiles, animals, and insects that surrounded and fascinated him. Later on in life, when he became a Head of School, Ben was known to keep a baby raccoon he named Geronimo in an open desk drawer. Students and faculty would stop by on occasion to feed the little fella with a dropper filled with milk.
Ben did his undergraduate work at Princeton in sociology showing even as a student a keen interest in the construction of culture and the manner in which communities build common purpose. He joined the Ivy Club and became a standout oarsman for the Men’s Heavyweight Crew, ultimately rowing for the Department of the Navy after earning his degree in 1957. He competed in the U.S. Olympic trials in 1960, losing with his mates by mere inches to a University of Washington crew that went on to win the gold medal.
As a Marine Corps officer after college, Ben served for a time as a Drill Instructor at Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. Though he held other posts in the Corps, including serving as a Captain in the Ceremonial Guard Company in Washington D.C. charged with protecting the President, his work with Officer Candidates gave Ben an inkling that education might well be his calling.
In Washington, D.C., on a blind date Ben met Nancy Nielsen, who was working for the CIA. Though Nancy was not entirely sure, at least initially, that this dashing Marine officer was the one, Ben knew immediately. “I was flat out smitten,” he reported. “The greatest moment in my life is the one when she accepted my marriage proposal.”
Ben and Nan married in 1961 and after a brief stint for Ben in the brokerage business they moved to Pomfret School in Pomfret. There they had three children, Ben IV, Fred, and Joe, whose antics showed they were just as intrepid as their father.
Though the family would leave Pomfret School in 1969 so that Ben could become Head at Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass., Pomfret would remain the center of the family’s orbit. Ben and Nan built a home there on land they purchased in 1965.
As a school head, Ben was unparalleled in his attention to the needs of his community, undaunted by the challenges of his time, and remarkably forward-thinking. Dan Scheibe, the current Head at Lawrence Academy wrote after Ben’s passing, “Ben transformed Lawrence Academy. The programs and activities of the school today are grounded in the care and creativity he invested in the school over his tenure. The school acquired its modern, familiar, supportive character through Ben Williams’s lead, through his sense of purpose and humanity.”
Ben left Lawrence in 1984 but continued to lead schools for another decade, first at Worcester Academy and later as an Interim Head at Rivers School, in Weston, Mass., and Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey.
Moths attracted the lion’s share of Ben’s attention, so much so that he awoke in the wee hours of each morning to check lights he had set up to attract the night-flying insects. Everywhere he went, nationally and internationally, Ben carried his trademark butterfly net and collecting equipment. He was published in the Lepidopterist’s Journal on more than one occasion and was connected to a huge network of entomologists around the country.
Ben remained involved in this work until his death, bequeathing his vast collection to UConn. He also became active in conservation work, joining Connecticut Audubon and Wyndham Land Trust as a volunteer and Board Member after his career in education. He was a founding member of Connecticut Audubon Society’s Northeast regional board and ultimately served as Chair, leading the capital campaign for the Conservation Center in Pomfret. Ben is among the many responsible for the vast trail network and protected lands that distinguish Windham County.
Asked not long before his passing how he would like to be remembered, Ben answered, “I love life and embrace its adventures. The better ones I celebrate, the less so were lessons learned. I hope I qualify as a good friend and someone who may be counted on. I’d like to think that my shortcomings were not excessive and that my mistakes were forgivable. Given the qualities which I have so admired, respected, and valued in the four-legged members of our family over the years, I’d like to be remembered as a good old dog.”
He was the center around which his family revolved, an inspiration to his three sons, all of whom currently lead boarding schools, a vibrant presence in the lives of his nine grandchildren, and the living embodiment of kindness, care, and hope.
A celebration of Ben’s life will be held on Aug. 27 at the Connecticut Audubon Society in Pomfret. Donations may be made in Ben’s memory to the CT Audubon Society in Pomfret at PO Box 11 Pomfret Center, CT 06259; or Wyndham Land Trust PO Box 302 Pomfret Center, CT 06259.

Priscilla Dautrich
BROOKLYN — Priscilla Arlette (Cournoyer) Dautrich, 82, of, Brooklyn died March 11, 2023, at the Matulaitis Nursing Home in Putnam alter a brief, but difficult, battle with cancer.  Over the three months she as at Matulaitis hardly a day went by that she didn’t have family by her side.
She leaves a daughter, Karin LaVine of W.Hartford; a son, Kenneth Gamache (Monica) of Jupiter, Fla.; a daughter Kelly Gamache and partner Karen Festa of Deerfield, N.H.,  and three grandsons: Wade Gamache (Alyssa), Dylan Gamache and Callan Gamache.  She was predeceased by her husband, Peter E. Dautrich and her sister, Barbara Coderre.
She was born on Sept 23, 1940, in Danielson, the daughter of the late Arthur and Bella Cournoyer. She attended school at St James School in Danielson.  
She was known by family and friends in the Danielson area as “Arlette” and to so many others as “Pat”. She worked many jobs while balancing being a single mom and raising three kids alone for many years — secretary, legal aide assistant, banquet waitress and small business owner of “Pat’s Party Favors”.  However, no single position was more important to her than her job as being a mom and grandmother (“Mama Pat”) to her three grandsons.
She and Pete began their life together in 1980 in Southington. Together they loved traveling to St Maarten and Las Vegas, frequenting auctions and searching for rare collectibles.  After Pete’s passing in 2006, Pat moved to Vermont to be close to her daughter Kelly. In 2016, she returned home to her roots, purchased a condo in Brooklyn and shared many enjoyable times with her brother David and sister-in-law Carol and friends she grew up with.
A “Celebration of Life” will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. March 25 at the Black Dog Bar & Grille, Putnam and is open for all to attend.  Graveside services will be held at the convenience of the family in Winsted. Donations: Day Kimball Healthcare- Hospice and Palliative Care of Northeastern CT, 320 Pomfret St., Putnam CT 06260.  Shaw-Majercik Funeral Home, Webster.


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