By HockomockSports.com Staff
Player are listed alphabetically
Brianna Buckley, Junior – Stoughton
The Black Knights are coming off the best season in the young program’s history, having won four games last winter and Buckley was one of the reasons for the team’s success, backstopping the defense and at times doing everything she could to keep Stoughton in games. While not one of the biggest goalies around, Buckley plays much larger (like she is 6-foot-3, according to head coach Rich Grasso) and 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. Stoughton has added a co-op with Sharon for this season and the program is continuing to grow. With Buckley in net, the Black Knights have a great building block to try and carry over the momentum from last season and take it to another level this year.
Nicole Connor, Senior – King Philip
Connor is one of the top defensive players in the Hockomock League, but it is her versatility that really sets her apart. Connor was KP’s top goal scorer last season with 12 and was second on the Warriors (and tied for sixth in the league) with 22 points. Not only is she able to stop the opponents in one zone, but she can carry the puck the length of the ice and create a scoring chance on the other end. A tenacious player, who brings a ton of energy to the ice, Connor is also a talented skater and has the stick skills of a forward. With Connor returning at the blue line, and giving a boost to the Warriors experienced forward line, KP will be expecting to challenge Canton for the league title.
Lauren Fitzpatrick, Senior – Canton
Fitzpatrick was one of the main reasons that the Bulldogs won the inaugural Hockomock League title and reached a second straight Div. 2 title game at the TD Garden. She was tied for the team lead with 23 points and was the team leader with 14 goals on the season. Fitzpatrick has great skill on the puck and with her strength is tough to move off it as she carries into the attacking zone. She also has a great shot on the move and can score from different areas of the ice. Her partnership with Maggie Malloy heading into the state tournament last year was a huge boost for the Bulldogs and she is already off to a great start with a pair of goals in the season-opening win against Sandwich on Saturday. Canton will be hoping to make a third straight run to the Garden and if the Bulldogs are going to get there again Fitzpatrick’s goals are going to be a critical piece.
Meghan Gorman, Senior – King Philip
Gorman, who is also a star on the softball field, led the Warriors and was second in the Hockomock League in scoring last season. She finished with 24 points (eight goals and 16 assists) and she was one of the league’s most dynamic playmakers. Gorman has speed all over the ice and the vision to set up her teammates in great positions. She is strong on the puck and willing to chase it down into the corners to create scoring chances and her energy and aggressiveness sparks the rest of the team. KP was very close to a spot in the Div. 2 quarterfinal, losing by a single goal to Archies, and the Warriors will have their sights set on more this winter. Gorman is the focal point of the forward line and her experience and skills will be a big boost to KP this season.
Maggie Malloy, Senior – Canton
Malloy was the spark plug behind Canton’s tournament run last winter, scoring six goals and recording two assists in three playoff games and scoring the game-winner in all three to push the Bulldogs back to the TD Garden for the Div. 2 state title game for a second straight season. Malloy is one of the most tenacious forwards in the league, willing to chase down any puck into the corners, and with the strength to come out of any physical battle with the puck on her stick. A strong skater, an accomplished finisher, and a tough competitor in the face-off circle, Malloy brings a lot to the table and was one of the league’s leading scorers with 23 points in the regular season. Having already shown her capability of coming up big in the big moments, Malloy will once again be a focal point for the league’s top attack as the Bulldogs try to make it two league titles in two seasons.
Leah McClellan, Senior – Canton
While a lot of the attention is paid to the Canton forwards, the Bulldogs defense was critical to making a run to back-to-back state title games. Canton brings back an experienced crew of solid defensemen, but McClellan brings something a little different to the blue line group with her seemingly endless desire to get the puck forward quickly and try to create offense in transition. A three-zone player, McClellan has the speed to turn opposing attacks into offensive opportunities for the Bulldogs and the stick skills to weave her way through the neutral zone. Not just an attacking player, McClellan is also strong in the defensive zone and reads the play well to force the opposition to the outside. Scoring goals is a lot of fun, but defense is a key to success. Of course, if you can do both then it’s the perfect combination and the Bulldogs have the best of both worlds. McClellan is part of that balance with her skill set and she will be a major part of Canton’s attempt at defending its league title.
Regan Paterson, Senior – Franklin
The Panthers had a strong season in 2017-18 and Paterson’s return is a major reason why confidence is high that Franklin can put together another run at the postseason and also put together a challenge for the league title. One of the most skilled forwards in the league, Paterson has the rare ability to pick up the puck in the defensive zone and carry it through the opposition to create a scoring chance on the opposite end. She also showed the patience and confidence in possession to bring the puck backwards if it will open up space. Paterson led the league with 18 goals and 25 points in the regular season last winter and she was able to create scoring chances for a talented group of underclassmen forwards. If the Panthers are going to push Canton in the league this season (after handing the Bulldogs their only league loss last year), Paterson’s leadership and scoring will be key.
Victoria Quinn, Sophomore – Franklin
The Panthers have the potential to be one of the teams to watch out for in the league this season and a lot of that comes from the talented group of young forwards who stepped in an provided immediate contributions last year. Quinn was one of those rookies who stepped in an instantly proved that she belonged at that level, scoring 16 points on five goals and 11 assists, with her speed, tenacity, and ability to finish. Along with classmates Amanda Lewandowski (forward) and Libby Carter (defense), the freshmen combined for 16 goals altogether and helped the Panthers score 69 goals as a team, which was second best in the Hock. Quinn has the potential to pair up with Regan Paterson and provide one of the top scoring groups in the league again this year.
Danae Reager, Senior – Mansfield/Oliver Ames
One of the top returning defensemen in the league, Reager is a four-year varsity player and the leader of the Mansfield/Oliver Ames back line. The Foxboro senior is strong in the defensive zone and reads the play well to cover for teammates and be in the right spots when called upon. She also doesn’t shy away from the physical play, whether battling for a puck in the corner or trying to move forwards out of the crease. As MOA keeps trying to build and challenge for the top spot in the Hock, as well as get back into the state tournament, having a strong defensive unit will be a key for the Warriors. Reager gives MOA a tough presence at the blue line and sets the standard for the rest of the defensive pairings. The Warriors only gave up 31 goals last year, which is third best in the league and only nine more than league champ Canton, so Reager and her teammates will be looking to keep things solid in the back again and keep the program’s upward momentum.
Isabelle Shanteler, Senior – Mansfield/Oliver Ames
While Reager and the defense (see above) will be a key to Mansfield/Oliver Ames making a run this season, Shanteler has a big role to play as well, in trying to fill the skates of graduated forward Cat Luciano, who was the team’s leading scorer last year. Shanteler had a strong winter with nine goals and six assists, good for second best on the team, and the Warriors will be counting on her to fire in the goals this year to keep the program heading in the right direction. A speedy forward with strong skill on the puck, who can carry it through the neutral zone and find scoring opportunities for herself or her teammates, Shanteler has the ability to find little seams in the opposing defense. MOA has aspirations of making a push at the top of the Hockomock League and Shanteler is one of the reasons why the Warriors are confident that a tournament run is on the horizon.