Strong Special Teams Play Leads Franklin Past North

By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter

FRANKLIN, Mass. — Franklin’s offense came ready to play on Wednesday night at Pirelli Veterans Arena, rolling to a 7-3 win over North Attleboro to pick up two points in league play.

Coming off back-to-back five-goal games, Franklin’s offense continued to roll, scoring just over two minutes into the contest. On the power play, Franklin freshman defenseman Colin Oppelt found Joey Blasie for a slapshot that found the back of the net to put Franklin up 1-0.

A few minutes later around the nine minute mark, North Attleboro had a chance when Jason McNeany found space but a great save from Franklin goalie Cam Benham kept the Franklin lead at 1-0. A minute later, Franklin almost scored again on a slapshot by junior defenseman Jack McGrath from the blue line, but a nice save from goalie Ryan Warren kept the North deficit at one.

Franklin’s powerplay unit came up huge again towards the end of the first period, tacking on a pair of man-up goals. Junior forward Kenny DeMerchant’s beautiful cross crease pass found Adam Assad’s stick for the Panthers’ second goal of the night. With just 24 seconds left in the first period, junior forward Luke Downie’s shot snuck past the goalie to give Franklin a 3-0 leading heading into the second period.

Franklin started the second half on the penalty kill, as a pair of penalties gave North a 5-on-3 opportunity, but the Panthers killed it off. Just a few seconds after though, Drew Wissler put the Red Rocketeers on the board with an impressive goal from his knees to cut the Franklin lead to 3-1.

After Wissler’s goal, Warren made an impressive glove save on a shot by Jeremy Miller to give North some momentum, but just two minutes later, Franklin successfully crashed the net, leading for the puck to come loose right in front of Adam Assad’s stick, who put in his second goal of the night to extend the Franklin lead to 4-1.

 

With 2:30 left to play in the 2nd period, Hunter Sarro scored from just inside the attacking zone for North’s second goal of the night, making it a 4-2 game. But once again, Franklin had an answer. With 1:03 left in the second quarter, Kevin Doherty found Dan Magazu who finished off the Panthers’ 5th goal, giving them a 5-2 lead.

With ten minutes left in the game, Oppelt’s feed to Magazu led to his second goal of the night and Oppelt’s second assist, giving Franklin a 6-2 lead. Three minutes later, Chris Ulrich’s shot from the blue line was deflected in front of the night by sophomore forward Anthony Zammiello, and the change of the direction helped the shot find the back of the net and cut the Franklin to 6-3.

But Franklin iced with game with 3:03 left in the game when Brendan Sicchio found room in front of the net and scored to give Franklin a 7-3 lead.

For Franklin, seven goals set a new season high, breaking a previous high of five, which they accomplished three times this year.

On Saturday, the Panthers (6-2) will have a huge test as they take on St. Mary’s Lynn in a rematch of last year’s D1 State Final matchup, which Franklin won 4-3 in OT.

North Attleboro (5-2) returns home to the friendly confines of New England Sports Village on Saturday, as they prepare for a Hockomock matchup with Oliver Ames.

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