Game of the Week
Canton @ Franklin
Saturday, January 9th
2:30 – Pirelli Veteran’s Arena
Foxboro (7-0-2) is the two-time dCanton and Franklin is the defining hockey rivalry in the Hockomock League and especially so on the girls side where the two teams are battling it out for the league title. Since the league introduced girls hockey four years ago, Canton has won the title twice and Franklin has taken home the crown once. Their games are almost always tight, one- or two-goal battles that come right down to the final minutes.
The Bulldogs got the early edge this season with a 4-0 victory in Wednesday night’s season opener at the Metropolis Rink, but both coaches expected Saturday’s rematch at Pirelli Veterans Arena to be another hard-fought meeting.
Both teams can pack a punch in the offensive zone. Franklin leads with senior Amanda Lewandowski, the team’s top creator from last year, and top goal scorer Lindsay Atkinson, who hit double digits last season. The Panthers have depth up front as well with Libby Carter, Katelyn Brown, Ashley Puleo, Avery Greco, and Maggie McCaffrey all capable of putting pressure on the opposing defenses. The forward line might be the deepest part of the roster for Canton this year. The top line of four-year players Maria Femia, Ellia Rae Roberts, and Lizzie Tassinari will put the pressure on in all three zones. Tess Khoury, Ellie Bohane, Audrey Koen (who scored twice in the first meeting), and Payton McDonough all played big roles in helping the team win the state title last season.
Defense is always a critical focus for these teams and both teams will have new faces on the blue line. In goal, there are two very familiar faces. Sophomore Carolyn Durand is back between the pipes for the Bulldogs and made 12 stops to record the 15th shutout of her young career. Senior Gabby Colace is in goal for Franklin and she was impressive on Wednesday, despite giving up four goals, making 28 stops in the loss. Allie McCabe is the lynchpin of the Canton defensive unit and she gets a lot of help from Maya Battista. Franklin counters with Stephanie Bell, Katie Leblanc, and Lindsay Dennett, who all made important contributions in the opener.
In many ways this is a season unlike any other, but there is a comforting familiarity in seeing this rivalry continue to set the tone for a competitive league title race.