By HockomockSports.com Staff
Player are listed alphabetically
Gabby Colace, Junior – Franklin
After missing time at the beginning of last season, Colace returned to solidify the goaltending position for the Panthers (after an admirable job filling in by Gianna Cornetta), helping to bring home the program’s first Hockomock League title. Colace finished the year with a 1.77 goals against average, which was second in the Hock, and stopped 91 percent of the shots that she faced. She made 242 saves and recorded a pair of shutouts for the Panthers, who went unbeaten (7-0-1) in the Hock and won 17 games overall. Athletic and quick, Colace covers a lot of ground in net and is capable of making highlight-reel stops, while rarely giving up soft goals. Her communication with the experienced defensive corps in front of her will also be crucial to Franklin’s attempt to repeat as Hock champs and make another run in the state tournament.
Cristina Coleman, Senior – King Philip
King Philip senior captain Cristina Coleman could be poised to have a breakout year between the pipes after a strong showing over the past two seasons. As a sophomore, Coleman made 96 saves with a 2.84 goals against average. In the time she played in net for KP last year, she made 77 saves while posting a 0.94 goals against average and an impressive 0.939 save percentage. After showing improvement over each of the past two seasons, look for Coleman to take the next step during her senior campaign. The Warriors are a relatively young group with just three seniors so they will lean on Coleman heavily to provide leadership both on and off the ice. She is able to cover a lot of ground with her quickness. She is also an aggressive goalie, challenging shooters, and athletic enough to pull off the tough saves. As the Warriors make a push to get back to the tournament, Coleman will be a key piece of the 2019-2020 Warriors.
Maria Femia, Junior – Canton
As a freshman, Femia played a role in getting the Bulldogs back to the TD Garden for the state title game, but her expected breakout season as a sophomore didn’t really happen. She finished last year with two goals and nine assists, but Canton relied mostly on its top line for goal scoring and was unable to defend its league title. With 41 combined goals and 62 combined points gone with the graduation of Maggie Malloy and Lauren Fitzpatrick, Femia will be expected to take on a much bigger load of the scoring for Canton this season and her combination of speed and tenacity should make her tough for opposing defenses to contain. Whether on the forecheck or in the transition game, Femia can find ways to get behind defenders and has the vision to make the right pass. If Femia can make the jump this season and become a more consistent scorer, then the Bulldogs could be looking at a quick return to the top of the league standings.
Morgan Lessa, Junior – Stoughton
Stoughton scored 26 goals last season and Lessa played a role in nearly half of those. The forward scored nine goals and assisted on three others, becoming the top attacking threat for a Black Knights program that is still in the developing stages. After an all-star season, Lessa is back to lead the way for Stoughton with the hopes of getting the team back on track after a winless 2018-19 and keep things moving in the right direction. Speedy with a decent shot on the move, she is able to create goals for herself but also gets her teammates headed to the right spots to create scoring chances. Without the numbers of some of the teams that it will be facing, Stoughton relies on hard work to compete for three periods and Lessa is one of the players that leads the way to keep the Black Knights in games.
Amanda Lewandowski, Junior – Franklin
Lewandowski was part of a dynamic first line for the Panthers last season, but she will be counted on even more this winter after the graduation of top scorers Regan Paterson and Cassie Ronan. She scored eight goals and added 10 assists from the wing, but those numbers could take a jump this year as she will be one of the team’s primary puck handlers and will be expected to play a role in power play and penalty kill situations as well. A strong player with the puck on her stick, Lewandowski won’t shy away from contact in the corners to keep the puck moving and has the extra burst of speed to find space in the transition game. While Franklin has an experienced defensive group coming back, Lewandowski will also be expected to start defending from the front and provide cover through the center of the ice. It is always difficult to repeat as league champion and Franklin will be hoping that Lewandowski can provide the scoring punch to get the Panthers back on top this winter.
Olivia Maffeo, Freshman – Canton
It is not often that a player makes one of these lists without having played a minute of varsity action, but there has been a lot of talk this fall about Maffeo’s arrival on the team and her potential impact on an experienced Canton defensive unit. The Boston Jr. Eagles player has certainly impressed with her club team and she certainly has the family pedigree (sister Alexa is a senior defenseman on the team and brother Jackson was a two-time HockomockSports.com Player of the Year in defense). A strong skater with a powerful shot, Maffeo could step right into the lineup and be a factor in all three zones, adding depth to the defense but also some more scoring punch from the blue line. Canton is looking to get back to the top of the league and to make a deep run in the postseason and Maffeo’s addition as part of what should be a strong freshman class could be an important catalyst for a big winter.
Avari Maxwell, Junior – King Philip
With just three seniors on the roster, the Warriors will be depending players from each grade to step up. Maxwell is in her third year with the program and is one of the most experienced players on the team. She found the back of the net seven times a year ago and recorded two helpers as well. She will be on King Philip’s top line along with senior newcomer Makenzie Shandley and sophomore Morgan Cunningham. Since its the first year that the trio has skated on the same line for King Philip, it will be important to establish chemistry early on to try and lead the way for the Warrior offense. The Warriors ranked fourth in the Hockomock League last season in scoring but with Maxwell back along with two strong forwards on the first line, KP will have a dangerous attack as they make a push for the league title.
Emma Pereira, Junior – Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Pereira gave the Warriors a strong presence in all three zones last season, not only stepping up defensively to give Mansfield/Oliver Ames a physical force on one end of the ice but also chipping in offensively. Pereira scored five goals and assisted on eight others last year, showing off a powerful shot from the blue line and also the ability to skate through the opposition in the neutral zone. One of the league’s top defenders with the puck on her stick, Pereira will add much-needed experience to a team loaded with younger players. She also stepped up her game when facing some of the top teams in the league, helping Mansfield/Oliver Ames earn a tie against Canton and a one-goal loss against eventual Hock champion Franklin. The Warriors have aspirations of making another tournament appearance this season and Pereira’s ability to control play in all three zones will be a key to that success.
Lizzie Tassinari, Junior – Canton
After graduating two of the league’s top scorers, the Bulldogs will need players to step up to take on more responsibility on the offensive end of the ice. One candidate for that is junior Lizzie Tassinari, who is the squad’s returning scorer. She found the back of the net five times last year and recorded 13 assists to finish with 18 points as just a sophomore. With plenty of varsity experience, Tassinari will be a leader among the team’s forwards. She can use her speed to beat opposing defenders but as evident by her 13 assists last year, she has the vision to set up her teammates in great positions. Her energy can be contagious and can give the Bulldogs a boost when needed.
Jessica Widdop, Sophomore – Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Last winter, the Warriors needed someone to step between the pipes and take over as the new goalie. Widdop, who had only played as a forward and winger during her time on the ice, volunteered. She spent the preseason training and preparing for her new role and it more than paid off, as she put together a solid season in goal and gave Mansfield/Oliver Ames a strong presence to backstop the defense. Widdop had a 2.43 goals against average in her first season and recorded a pair of shutouts. She saved 88 percent of the shots that she faced last winter, making a league-high 407 saves. Her quickness and athleticism made her tough to beat, even as she was still learning the position. She came through with several impressive games against some of the league’s top teams, keeping the Warriors within one goal of league champ Franklin and earning a tie against Canton. If Mansfield/Oliver Ames wants to make a playoff run this season, Widdop’s development into a strong goaltender will be critical to the Warriors’ success.