TAUNTON, Mass. – When a power play opportunity arises in a close game, it is imperative to take advantage. So, when Taunton went got the extra skater early in the second period of Wednesday night’s divisional clash with Attleboro at Aleixo Arena, the Tigers were focused on making it count.
The puck cycled around the boards and then was sent diagonally across the heart of the Attleboro defense to senior defenseman Andrew Carter, who had floated down the boards to just below the left face-off dot. He wasted no time in smashing a one-timer past Bombardiers goalie Evan Andrews to open the scoring.
Carter’s goal turned out to be the only one of the game, as Sean Bunker made 21 saves in the Taunton goal and the Tigers defense held on for a 1-0 shutout.
“You have to take advantage of every opportunity you get,” Taunton coach Kris Metea said. “If you don’t at least build momentum, then it’s a wasted opportunity. We thought we’d get a few more but we needed to take advantage when it came.”
Scoring chances were at a premium in the first period, as both teams took a few minutes to get their footing. Brady Nichols had a couple shots from the point for the Tigers and Austin Blais had a go just after entering the zone for Attleboro but it took 10 minutes for the game’s first clear-cut chance.
Jack Patneaude, who assisted on Carter’s goal in the second period, had an opportunity on a quick breakout. He got space in the right circle and aimed for the bottom corner but Andrews (19 saves) stuck out his right pad to make the stop.
Attleboro had a two-on-one with a minute left in the period but Ryan Morry’s saucer pass to Cam Littig at the back post couldn’t be turned on goal. In the final second of the first, Sean Marshall got behind the Taunton goal and threw the puck into the slot for Kyle McCabe, who forced a pad stop from Bunker as the horn sounded.
“I thought our zone time was pretty good,” said Attleboro coach Mark Homer about the offense. “We had to move some things around because we’ve had a couple injuries. We didn’t do the small things, like protect the puck. You have one guy in the corner and the support wasn’t there. We just needed to create more offensive opportunities and we just didn’t do that.”
That flurry at the end of the first seemed to translate into momentum for the Bombardiers after the intermission. Attleboro came out flying and McCabe flung a puck on net from the point that was kicked over to Littig racing in from the left side. The senior forward connected well with his shot, but Bunker went post to post and smothered it to keep the game scoreless.
Metea said, “Sean’s always great for us when he needs to be. That one in the second period was a huge one, open net and he comes across, sprawls and makes the stop. That kept it scoreless and we scored shortly after. It goes to show that timely goaltending is important.”
Three minutes later, the Tigers got the game’s first power play. Just seconds after Andrews made a big stop when Cam Sneyd, who got the second assist on Carter’s goal, set up Michael Albert in front, Carter pounced to steal the energy from the Bombardiers.
“We can’t be getting stupid penalties,” said Homer, who added that a similar thing happened in the last game against North Attleboro. “I’ve been preaching to these guys that when you have a penalty then you have your top four guys out there and you’re wearing them down. We have a short bench to begin with.”
Jaden Weyant had a good look to double Taunton’s lead, but Andrews stayed big to block his shot from the edge of the crease. With two minutes remaining in the second, Attleboro cleared off a penalty and Morry looked up quickly to catch McCabe coming out of the box behind the Taunton defense. McCabe’s breakaway chance was saved by Bunker with the blocker.
Taunton nearly doubled its lead to start the third period, but Sneyd was denied on the power play by Andrews. With six minute left, Littig got space on his forehand side but Bunker was able to get a glove to the shot and two minutes later Bunker came through again to stop Jaydin Rossi after the freshman stole the puck right in front of goal.
“We were a little slow getting our shots off and they were good at getting sticks in the lanes and clogging the middle in front of the net,” Homer said. “We’ve got to find a way to get through it and we didn’t do it tonight.”
The game was nearly over with three minutes to go, but Nick Vandermeel’s shot caromed off the inside of the far post, behind Andrews, and out. That gave Attleboro a chance in the final minute and the Bombardiers had one good look as Morry fired a pass to Littig who in turn found McCabe in the slot but Bunker was there again with a blocker save.
“That’s hockey,” Metea said. “We had three great chances in the period and their goalie makes two good saves and then gets lucky with one off the post, but you can’t stop fighting when things don’t go your way.”
Metea noted that the Tigers have had a tough schedule to start the season and admitted that this win could be a spark for Taunton as it looks to make a playoff push.
“All of our losses are to playoff teams,” he explained, “so we needed that win just to get the confidence. It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it at that point and hopefully they’ll take that momentum to go into Mansfield.”
Taunton (3-4) will host Mansfield on Saturday afternoon, while Attleboro (4-3-1) will host Franklin.
Attleboro, 7 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final – Attleboro’s Sam Larkin scored a hat trick to help the Bombardiers get past Foxboro. Ryan Morry added two goals while Cam Littig and Nate Parker each scored once.
Franklin, 1 @ Newburyport, 3 – Final
King Philip, 2 vs. Archbishop Williams, 5 – Final – Ryan Fitzpatrick and Garrett Maxwell scored for King Philip but the Warriors suffered a setback to Archies.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Nauset, 0 – Final – Freshman Bryan Kearns scored the game’s only goal, assisted by Cullen Gallagher and Hunter Costello. Owen Connor was strong in the OA goal, making 25 saves to preserve the shutout and the win.
Stoughton, 1 @ Old Rochester, 8 – Final – Stoughton’s Carter Gerome scored and Thomas McCoy made 35 saves for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 5 @ Somerset-Berkley, 1 – Final – Taunton led by a goal at the end of each the first (1-0) and second periods (2-1), and then scored three third period goals to secure the win. Mike Albert (goal, two assists), Andrew Carter (goal, assist), Nick Vandermeel (goal, assist), and Cam Faria (two assists) each had multi-point games for the Tigers. Andrew Gomes made 26 saves to earn the win.
Canton, 8 @ Whitman-Hanson, 0 – Final – Maggie Malloy notched a hat trick, giving her seven goals in the last two games, and freshman Tess Khoury had a pair of goals to lead the Bulldogs to the road win.
Franklin, 4 vs. Algonquin, 1 – Final – Cassi Ronan scored two goals for the second straight game to help Franklin stay unbeaten on the season and hand the T-hawks their first loss. Gina Vignone and Amanda Lewandowski also scored for the Panthers, while sophomore Gabby Colace returned from injury to pick up her first win in net.
King Philip, 2 @ Dennis-Yarmouth, 3 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 0 @ Longmeadow, 4 – Final – MOA freshman Jess Widdop made 28 saves for the Warriors.
Stoughton, 2 vs. Cambridge, 8 – Final
Haverhill Quad (Canton, Mansfield)
Franklin, 51 @ Ashland, 17 – Final
Monty Tech Duals – King Philip finished second overall at the tournament.
Norton Quad – Sharon went 1-2 on the day, beating Danvers (48-28) but losing to Hingham (36-30) and to Norton (45-22). Alex Bolt went 3-0 for the Eagles.
Whitman-Hanson Quad – Stoughton went 4-1 on the day, losing to Plymouth South (46-27) but beating Carver (51-12), Middleboro (54-29), Josiah Quincy (47-18) and Whitman-Hanson (51-30).
Brockton Quad (Taunton) – The Tigers suffered setbacks to Brockton, Wayland, and Sandwich. Mason Frank (285) had two wins for the Tigers, both by pins. Brandon Mendes (106, pin), Ben Mandeville (113, pin), Tyler Lima (126, pin), Candido Santos (160), Ryan Silva (195, pin), and Devin Wilson (220, pin) each had a win for Taunton.
Attleboro @ Taunton, 4:00
Mansfield @ Attleboro, 4:00
Franklin, 136 @ King Philip, 131.6 – Final – Franklin’s Mia Lizotte won the all-around with a score of 36.35. Lizotte finished with scores of 9.35 on the bar, 9.2 on the vault and the floor exercise, and 8.6 on the beam. Sophomore Emma Owens (8.9), freshman Kate Rudolph (8.85), and sophomore Lexi Lupien (8.5) also had high scores on the vault. On the floor, Franklin got an 8.8 from Rudolph and 8.5 from her classmate Caroline Woelfel, as well as scores of 8.4 from Owens and senior Sadie Rondeau.
Mansfield, 7 @ Brockton, 1 – Final – Mansfield raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first period and added three more in the second on its way to a 7-1 victory over the Boxers. Senior Chris Copponi netted a hat trick and added an assist while Brad Grant and Coleman O’Brien each scored once and had two assists. Matt Copponi added three assists while Jake Lund and Braedon Copparini each tallied one goal apiece.
Oliver Ames, 7 vs. Pembroke, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Max Ward scored a hat trick to pace the Tigers to a win over visiting Pembroke. Senior Cullen Gallagher had five points, with one goal and four assists, sophomore Matt Nigro netted his first career goal, and junior Owen Connor made 19 saves in net for the win.
Stoughton, 1 @ Nauset, 7 – Final – Sean Doherty scored on an assist by Luke Bainton, and Thomas McCoy played well in goal but the Black Knights suffered a setback on the road to Nauset.
Taunton, 3 vs. Brookline, 4 – Final – Senior Owen Ross, senior Dylan Nichols, and freshman Loran Corcoran each scored once but the Tigers couldn’t overcome a 3-0 deficit to Brookline. Senior Andrew Carter had two assists for Taunton.
Franklin, 8 @ Bishop Stang, 5 – Final – Regan Paterson scored four times and Cassi Ronan scored a pair, as Franklin won a shootout in Fall River. Katelyn Brown and Amanda Lewandowski also scored for the Panthers.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Mackenzi Fraser scored twice as the Mansfield/Oliver Ames Warriors skated to a win over Stoughton. Freshman Jess Widdop had the shutout in between the pipes for MOA.
Foxboro @ Brockton, 7:00
King Philip vs. Middleboro, 7:00
Mansfield, 33 vs. St. John’s Prep, 36 – Final – Mansfield nearly orchestrated a big comeback but couldn’t overcome an early 18-0 deficit in a close match with St. John’s Prep. Jayden Curley (182) needed just 15 seconds to earn a pinfall victory for the Hornets, and Will Stratton (145), George Glaropoulos (170), and Shane Cremmen (220) all won by fall as well. Antonios Sevastos (120), CJ Glaropoulos (152), and Ciaran Connolly (160) each by by decision.
North Attleboro, 70 vs. Boston Latin, 6 – Final
Stoughton, 24 @ Oliver Ames, 49 – Final – Oliver Ames had six grapplers win by fall and two more by decision to pick up a win over neighboring Stoughton. Remi Creighton, Joey Savino, Braeden Kelley, Billy Tat, Jeremy Clark, and Dean Pacini each won by fall while Nick McGovern and Andrew Fraser emerged victorious by decision for the Tigers.
Sharon, 45 vs. Woonsocket (R.I.), 32 – Final – Sharon built a big lead early and fended off a comeback attempt from Woonsocket during the lighter weights to record the win. Sharon’s Kevin Simons (138), Tyler Cashton (152), Tyler Feedman (170), Philip Varvak (182), and Alex Bolt (195) all won by fall while Vinay Chinnam (126) and Huegens Pierre (145) won by decision for the Eagles.
Taunton, 27 @ Keefe Tech, 51 – Final – Ben Mandeville (113), Xavier Sandoval (120), Jackson Mandeville (138, pin), Christian Balmain (152, 10-5 decision), and Candido Santos (160, pin) picked up wins for Taunton but the Tigers suffered a loss on the road to Keefe Tech.
Taunton, 10 @ Durfee, 1 – Final – Senior Andrew Carter recorded four points while Mike Albert, Jaden Weyant, and Nathan Fernandes each had three points as the Tigers opened the season with a win. Carter scored once and had three helpers, Albert and Fernandes each scored once and had two helpers, and Weyant scored twice and recored one assist.
Attleboro, 100 @ Mansfield, 63 – Final – Attleboro had seven individual first place finishes and won three relay events to score a win over Mansfield. Colton Parkinson won a pair of events, qualifying for sectionals in one event and states in another while Connor Dunn also touched first in a pair of individual races. Parkinson qualified for states in the 200 IM (2:04.70) and sectionals in the 500 free (5:15.71). Alex Harrop (100 fly, 1:06.56), Matt Marcum (100 back, 1:06.68), and Damien Geltrude (100 breast) all had first place finishes. The 200 medley relay (Marcum, Parkinson, Harrop, Dunn) won in 1:55.67, the 200 free relay (Marcum, Zach Moore, Dunn, Parkinson) finished first in 1:41.17, and the 400 free relay (Harrop, Calvin Maragnano, Nick Tellier, Brett Wortham) touched in a winning time of 4:22.90.
Franklin, 64 vs. Bishop Feehan, 106 – Final
Attleboro, 100 @ Mansfield, 67 – Final – Tiffany Chin and Liz Saltz each won a pair of events and were members of two winning relay teams to help the Bombardiers beat Mansfield. Chin won the 500 free (5:55.80) and the 100 back (1:08.34) while Saltz qualified for sectionals in both the 200 IM (2:25.60) and the 100 free (58.93). Chin and Saltz joined Jackie Lynch Bartek and Corinne Perry to win the 200 medley (2:06.82) and teamed up with Ella Lynch-Barket and Jackie Lynch-Bartek for the 200 free relay (1:53.93), qualifying for sectionals. Jackie Lynch-Bartek also won the 100 breaststroke (1:19.56) while Ella Lynch-Bartek took first in the 200 free (2:12.02).
2017-2018 Record: 9-10-2 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South preliminary round. Coach: Mark Homer
After a two year drought of postseason hockey, the Bombardiers made it to the playoffs last year and are aiming to make it two years in a row. The Bombardiers only had three seniors on the roster last season, so the majority of the squad is back, plus a familiar face is back in the fold this season.
One of the three seniors that graduated was Jake Parker, who led the Bombardiers in scoring last season with 26 goals and eight assists. But Attleboro is slated to return its next three scorers in senior Cam Littig (12 goals, 14 assists for 26 points), junior Ryan Morry (11 goals, 15 assists for 26 points) and senior Kyle McCabe (three goals, 10 assists for 13 points).
Another positive is that the Bombardiers have some experience in goal. Both senior Evan Andrews (13.66 games played) and junior Derrik Rivet (6.33 games) are set to return. Having an experienced goalie is a huge positive but having a strong backup helps even more. Andrews had 270 saves last season with a 0.882 save percentage while Rivet turned away 144 shots and had a 0.842 save percentage. In front of goal, McCabe, Sam Flynn, and Matt Viveiros will be joined by Liam McDonough, Kyle Miniati, and Zach Pierce as members of the defensive unit.
While Littig and Morry will try to replicate their success from a season ago, one name that could help bolster the offense is senior Sam Larkin. Larkin played his freshman year and had seven goals and seven assists before switching over to juniors. His experience should give Attleboro a boost during the season.
“We have had some additions to our team this year that has created a little more depth that had been absent in previous years,” said Attleboro coach Mark Homer. “We are working on maintaining a better consistency in our play. We are still in our tryout mode and hoping to find the right mix to make us more competitive this season, especially in our league games.”
2017-2018 Record: 17-3-4 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South semifinal. Coach: Brian Shuman
Canton comes into every year with high expectations and the Bulldogs will be favorites to bring home a ninth straight Davenport division title and 11th Hockomock League title in the past 12 seasons. While the league campaign is a priority, the Bulldogs will also be comparing themselves to the top teams in Div. 2 and hoping this will be the year to break through in the South sectional and get back to the TD Garden for the first time since 2010.
After a dominant winter, the top scoring line is back in full for Canton. Senior Ryan Nolte, the reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Year, and junior Johnny Hagan, the reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, will draw most of the plaudits but junior Timmy Kelleher gives the Bulldogs strong play on the other wing as well. That line combined for 69 points last season (27 apiece for Hagan and Nolte) and will be one of the league’s best going into this year. Canton also has juniors Tommy Ghostlaw and Chris Lavoie back to add scoring punch to the second line.
At the blue line, juniors Owen Lehane and Jack Connolly will both be expected to eat up a lot of minutes after strong sophomore seasons, and the Bulldogs will be looking for other players to step up and fill in defensively. After consistently strong goaltending from Quinn Gibbs over the past few seasons, Canton will turn to senior Mike Staffiere, who has been a backup the past two years and is drawing great reviews for his play during the preseason.
“Overall, we have a lot of experience returning up front at the forward position, but that’s true for a lot of teams in our league and in our division,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “The real question will be how much these players improved from last year, which we won’t know for sure until the games get going.”
2017-2018 Record: 10-9-2 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South preliminary round. Coach: Mark Cedorchuk
Foxboro is coming off the best season in program history, as the Warriors won 10 games and qualified for the state tournament without relying on the Sullivan Rule. Now, the Warriors come back this season hoping to build on that season and make another run at the state tournament behind an offense that, according to coach Mark Cedorchuk, is as deep as it has ever been.
Junior Ronnie MacLellan and sophomore Kirk Leach are two of the forwards to keep an eye on this season for the Warriors after the duo combined for 15 goals and 32 points last season. Also up front will be senior Tanner Kennedy and juniors Sebastian Ricketts and Josh Bertumen, who combined for 10 goals last year and are looking to continue their development to add depth to the attack.
Senior Brendan Tully will lead the defensive effort but is also the team’s leading scorer. The blue line standout scored 18 goals and had 19 assists and is going to be a major factor in all three zones as well as a leader on the penalty kill and power play. He will be joined on the blue line by junior Kyle McGinnis, while junior Espen Reager will be between the pipes this year.
“Even though we had a successful season last year, best in team history,” Cedorchuk said, “our players are not satisfied, they are hungry to improve on that.”
2017-2018 Record: 12-6-5 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round. Coach: Chris Spillane
Franklin started well last winter, reaching the final of the prestigious Mount St. Charles tournament and taking a point off Malden Catholic for the first time, but the Panthers couldn’t carry the momentum throughout the season and were knocked out in the first round of the tournament. As usual, Franklin graduated a lot of players, but also return a strong corps of experienced players to take on arguably the program’s toughest regular season schedule, which is loaded with some of the state’s top teams.
The Panthers return 11 seniors for this season, including eight forwards, but also have a group of eight sophomores that are jumping up from the JV to contribute on varsity this season. The forward line has plenty of experience and should be able to fire in the goals this year. Seniors Joey Lizotte, Zac Falvey, Scott Elliott, Dan Magazu, and C.J. Spillane will all be able to jump into the top scoring lines after playing major roles last year.
Defensively, the top five defensemen will be juniors Tom Tasker (who was on the HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team last year) and Colin Hedvig and seniors Cam Casella, Matt D’Errico, and Evan Forbes. Three sophomores will also see time on the blue line for the Panthers this season. After graduating three senior goaltenders, the job is open to senior Ryan Cameron and junior Ray Ivers, who are both making the jump from JV.
“Our hope is that team speed will drive the offense and that our returning defense will have the experience to make sound decisions in our end,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “The boys are looking forward to the upcoming season. I see the Hockomock as an extremely competitive league this year. We will also challenge our boys with a high-end non-league schedule.”
2017-2018 Record: 8-12-1 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Paul Carlow
King Philip brings 11 players back from last year’s squad and is hoping a tough schedule will result in a battle-tested team ready for the D1 South Tournament at the end of February. It starts with the seniors for the Warriors with four of them back, plus a transfer.
There will be a lot of experience in the top line for KP, as well as its first defensive pair and between the pipes. Captain Ryan Fitzpatrick (10 points) had a strong season last year and will be trying to replicate that this year. Fitzpatrick is joined by assistant captain Luke D’Amico (13 points) as wingers while senior transfer Brendan Shandley steps in at center to give the Warriors a formidable line to work with. Juniors Chris Daniels (13 points), Joe Boselli (11 points), and Jack Coulter (10 points) are all back after successful sophomore seasons and should provide KP with good depth.
On the blueline, veteran Garrett Maxwell is the lone senior back from last year so he will be relied on for leadership. He is one of the strongest players in the league and plays in all situations for KP, including the power play plus the penalty kill. There will be some other familiar faces on defense for KP with junior Kyle Gray (seven points) and sophomore Rocco Bianculli (eight points) both back with varsity experience.
Senior James Lewis takes over in the crease as the starting netminder for the Warriors. Lewis saw action in three games last season, including a pair of wins and shutouts. While new to the starting position, Lewis has plenty of experience and that bodes well for the Warriors. Jesper Makudera and Nate Ihley will be pushing for minutes in net as well.
“I expect the team to have some good chemistry and get off to a good start,” said King Philip head coach Paul Carlow. “Practice has been good, and we have good leadership this year with a strong core. The Hockomock League is always competitive, the Kelley-Rex is a strong division, and we have a tough non-league schedule too, so we want to challenge ourselves.”
2017-2018 Record: 9-7-5 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round. Coach: Mike Balzarini
The Hornets have a strong core of players back this season, along with the addition of a couple of new faces, and head coach Mike Balzarini is hoping that combination will result in success this season.
Experience will be a strong suit for Mansfield as five of its top six forwards played significant minutes last year. Chris Copponi (12 points) and Matt Copponi (16 points) will be on the wings around center Coleman O’Brien for one line while Jake Lund (eight points) and Kevin Bellanger are returners on another line. The sixth forward will be center Jack Garland, who played juniors last year but is back in the fold for the Hornets this year. Ben Ierardo, Cam Page, and Braedon Copparini will be in the mix for minutes as well.
Defensively, while there are certainly some holes to fill, Balzarini has some talent to rely on the blue line. Two-time HockomockSports.com selections Mike Arnold and Tyler Oakley graduated so there is a little bit of a void, but Austin Ricker has stepped on early on to anchor the Hornet defensive unit. Ricker is joined by Brad Grant, who played for the Hornets previously before switching to juniors. Nick Levine and Joe Troiano gained valuable experience last year, and Jack Gormley and Brian Grant should be in the mix as well.
Mansfield also has experience in the goalie position with junior Sean McCafferty back between the pipes after having a breakout sophomore campaign. McCafferty was one of the top goalies in the league last year, earning HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman honors. He had 377 saves and a 92 save percentage, which bodes well for the Hornets this year.
“We obviously want to pick up where we left off after making the playoffs the last two years,” Balzarini said. “With the returning players plus new additions, I think we’re a little bit deeper and we know what we need to do to be competitive and make sure we’re playing well at the end of the season.”
2017-2018 Record: 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round. Coach: Ben McManama
Defense will be key for the Rocketeers during the 2018-2019 season. With a handful of returners back on the blue line as well as veteran goalie Ryan Warren, North Attleboro boasts a talented defensive unit.
Senior captain Brendan McHugh will anchor the defensive group alongside juniors Jeff Baker and Will Yeomans. All three are very experienced players that put defense first. They can all get involved in the offense as well. Warren has shined between the pipes each of the last three seasons, earning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year as a freshman and was a HockomockSports Third Team selection last season. Warren is pushed in practice each day as Chris Ulrich and Nick Digiacomo push for time.
Offensively, North Attleboro only lost two forwards from last year’s group, but those two players (Drew Wissler, Jason McNeany) combined for nearly half of the Rocketeers’ 76 goals a season ago. So this year, Big Red will need forwards to step up and contribute. Captain Anthony Zammiello scored 13 goals last year and will look to continue his success this season. Todd Robinson, Justin Moccia, Dennis Morehouse, Jake Ebert, and Jack Connolly are all candidates to have big years for the Rocketeers.
“We are a very big and physical team that works hard,” said North Attleboro head coach Ben McManama. “We will need to stay out of the box to have success this year. Defense and depth will be the strength of our team. We will also need three lines that can score. I am very optimistic on the season because it is obvious that all our players put a ton of work in during the offseason.”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round. Coach: Sean Bertoni
Speed has been the strength of the Tigers since Sean Bertoni took over the team and Oliver Ames will be relying on that speed and aggressiveness to try and challenge Franklin at the top of the Kelley-Rex division and to make a run in the state tournament. With a few players coming back from juniors to join with an experienced group, OA has high hopes of pushing the Panthers for the league title.
Senior forward Brett Williams will be the key player in the attack, coming off a season in which he scored 21 goals and recorded 15 assists and was named to the HockomockSports.com First Team. Williams will have plenty of help up front from senior Colin Bourne, who is one of the fastest skaters in the league and had 13 points last season. Senior forward Cullen Gallagher will also give the offense a boost, as he comes back to the program after a year in juniors.
Senior Matt McCormack was one of the league’s top defensemen last year and his steadying presence on the blue line will be critical to OA improving on that end of the ice, after giving up 54 goals as a team last year. Senior James Beatty is back after a year in juniors and should be a big boost to the blue line. Junior Owen Connor is back in net and looking to build off last season’s efforts.
“We are a team that will rely heavily on our team speed,” Bertoni said. “Our aggressive style of defense will lead to a successful offense. We will have to establish our forecheck to be effective. Our transition game will be a strength for us this year, creating turnovers and getting on the attack.”
2017-2018 Record: 1-20-1 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Dan Mark
Overall, the Stoughton Black Knights will be on the young side but they have a veteran first line that will lead the way.
The Knights will be looking to improve on last year’s record, while possibly trying to surprise some teams along the way. Leading the way offensively will be senior Sean Doherty. Doherty was Stoughton’s second-leading scorer last year behind Brendan Campbell (graduated). Doherty was second on the Black Knights with 12 goals and added 11 assists and will be relied upon to be a key piece of the offense this season. Joining Doherty on the first line will be senior Luke Bainton, who brings a lot of varsity experience to the table. Bainton will look to improve on last year after recording seven points (four goals, three assists).
Senior Josh Hough will anchor the blue line for the Black Knights. In his fourth year on varsity, Hough has logged a lot of minutes on the ice over the past couple of seasons and will be one of the most experienced defensemen in the league. Hough is able to create on the offensive end as well, scoring a pair of goals last year along with seven assists. Senior Thomas McCoy is set to return in goal after getting experience between the pipes a season ago.
2017-2018 Record: 12-10-2 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South semifinal. Coach: Kris Metea
Taunton has been a program on the rise for the past few seasons and last year the Tigers took another big step forward by making a push to the Div. 2 South semifinal. That unexpected tournament run as the No. 13 seed, which included wins over No. 4 Old Rochester and No. 5 Nauset, has boosted the team’s confidence heading into a new year in which all but four players are back.
Scoring has not been a problem for the Tigers in recent seasons. Last year, Taunton scored a league-best 98 goals, five more than Davenport champ Canton, and senior forward Cam Sneyd (30 points) and junior Mike Albert (32 points) both eclipsed the 30-point mark. Senior Jack Patneaude added 15 points last year and he is poised for a big year along with classmates Jaden Weyant, Owen Ross, and Nick Vandermeel.
The defense is almost completely returned from last year, led by senior Andrew Carter, who was solid in the defensive zone but also chipped in with 20 points. Senior Brady Nichols and sophomore Dylan Nichols are also back for the Tigers. Junior Sean Bunker returns in net after a solid performance in the tournament run and he will be backed up by classmate Andrew Gomes, who has shown that he is a capable replacement when needed.
“The players have embraced the enjoyment of the journey, the process, and working hard to get better every day,” said Taunton coach Kris Metea. “They have the potential to continue their accomplishment of new heights. They will be fun to coach, and watch grow throughout the season.”
TAUNTON, Mass. – In a game with giant momentum swings, plenty of lead changes, and a dramatic finish, Taunton and Foxboro boys hockey finished level.
Taunton scored with just 10.4 seconds left in the game, erasing Foxboro’s incredible third-period comeback to earn a point in a 5-5 tie.
“It’s our season in a nutshell,” sighed Taunton head coach Kris Metea. “We come out good and score, then commit penalties and allow power play goals that break our back. It happened [last week] against North Attleboro and it happened again tonight.”
The Tigers led 1-0 after the first period but Foxboro stormed back for a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the second period to seize a 2-1 lead. But before the period could end, Taunton knotted the score at 2-2 with just seconds to play.
Taunton capitalized on that late goal in the second by carrying the momentum into the third period, taking the lead just 31 seconds into the final frame, and making it 4-2 before a minute had elapsed in the third.
Foxboro refused to go away though, cutting the deficit to one with just over nine minutes to play. And then the Warriors took advantage of a pair of power play opportunities, tying the game just over the midway point, and taking the lead just five seconds into its next man-advantage situation.
With 1:39 to go, Taunton called a timeout after a Foxboro icing. Metea elected to keep sophomore Sean Bunker in the net for the time being, and the decision paid off. Foxboro’s Ronnie MacLellan, who had both of Foxboro’s power play goals, had a partial breakaway chance with just over a minute but Bunker (22 saves) denied the bid, keeping the deficit at one.
Back up ice, Foxboro sophomore goalie Espn Reager was equal to the task when Will Walsh’s shot was tipped by Trevor Pietrzyk, but Reager made the save with his mask. The Warriors were whistled for a penalty out in front on the play, however, and with Bunker pulled, Taunton had a 6-on-4 chance.
Walsh was the catalyst of the play, skating into the zone, weaving past a pair of defenders. He looped behind the goal before dropping the puck back to junior defenseman Andrew Carter, who quickly deposited a shot on goal. Reager blocked down the original bid through traffic but Pietrzyk was in the right spot for the rebound, netting the tying goal with just 10.4 seconds to go.
“Over the development of the program over the last couple of years, we’ve either given a whooping or got a whooping, and there was no in-between for the longest time,” Metea said. “Now with the JV ranks being competitive, they’ve learned not to get upset when they get down a goal. That’s the biggest thing about our team right now is that even if we get down a goal or two, the kids are still plugging away, they aren’t giving up.”
“We kind of came out flat in the third period but our guys fought back and were resilient, and it was good to see that, it showed a lot of character,” said Foxboro head coach Mark Cedorchuk. “I’m really proud of the way we fought back. It could have easily have been 6-2 but battled back, tied it up and even took the lead. It was a tough penalty at the end, nothing we can do about it. I’m just proud of the way they hung in there and stayed with the game plan.”
It looked as though Taunton was going to skate away with a win with three goals in the time span of a minute of game play. Pietrzyk set up Jakob Roberts right in front of the net to steal the momentum at the end of the second.
Walsh quickly gave Taunton its second lead of the game with a wrist shot just inside the zone just 29 seconds in. The Tigers continued to put their foot down on the gas pedal as Roberts potted a rebound chance when Pietrzyk had his close bid denied by Reager.
But trailing 4-2 just a minute into the third period didn’t phase the Warriors. Senior defenseman Aidan Sullivan stepped into a slap shot and found the back of the net with 9:06 to play to make it a one-goal game.
On the power play, junior Brendan Tully drew the attention of the Tigers’ defense before rifling a pass right in front to MacLellan for a one-timer, and a 4-4 tie.
Foxboro went on the man advantage with 4:48 to play, and after winning the face-off, MacLellan gave the Warriors the lead just five seconds into the power play.
“Sully and Tully create a lot of offense for us,” Cedorchuk said of his two defensemen. “They create a lot of chances and when they have the opportunities to get the puck to the net, they will. And our forwards know that so they get to the net as much as possible to get there for any rebounds. Even though Sully and Tully are offensive minded, they are also very good defensively.”
Walsh gave the Tigers the lead in the first period, taking a perfect one-time pass from Pietrzyk in stride into the attacking zone and finding the back of the net with a wrist shot.
Tully tied the game for Foxboro with 1:25 left in the second period. The junior defenseman jumped on a loose puck in the neutral zone, took a couple of strides into the attacking zone and unleashed a wicked wrister to make it 1-1.
Just 40 seconds later, MacLellan avoided a defenseman with a nifty spin move, dishing the puck to Sebastian Ricketts all in one move, and the sophomore buried it for a brief 2-1 lead. Roberts tied the game up just 35 seconds later for Taunton.
“We made some changes to our lines and decided to break some people up and it ended up working out for us, and I think that change is probably going to stay,” Metea said. “But the offense is all well and good but only if you keep the puck out of the net. We’ve had a lot of high scoring affairs this year. I don’t know if I should be happy about that, scoring all the goals, or upset by giving up as many as we have. I know we have a young defense, no seniors back there, so I know we’ll have some growing pains, we just have to be patient.”
Taunton boys hockey (0-1-1 Hockomock, 4-3-1 overall) is back in action on Saturday when it hosts Mansfield at 2:00. Foxboro boys hockey (0-0-2, 3-2-2) will hit the ice again on Wednesday when they travel to face Mansfield at 5:40.
Foxboro, 6 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – Foxboro raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, picking up a non-league win on the road. Brendan Tully scored a pair of goals and had an assist in the win. Mike Nazzaro and Sean Doherty scored for Stoughton. Click here for a photo gallery of this game.
King Philip, 3 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 4 – Final – King Philip took a 1-0 lead after the first period, but Coyle outscored the Warriors 2-1 in the final period to pick up the win. Chris Daniels scored a pair of goals for King Philip and assisted on the third, a goal from Collin Cooke.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Bishop Feehan, 2 – Final – North Attleboro cut the deficit in half with a third-period goal from Drew Wissler (assisted by Anthony Zamiello) but couldn’t find the back of the net again in a setback against the Shamrocks.
Taunton, 6 vs. Somerset-Berkley, 2 – Final – Taunton opened its season in style with three players recording multiple points in a win over Somerset-Berkley. Cam Sneyd led the way with a goal and three assists while Mike Albert had a pair of goals and an assist and Andrew Carter scored twice. Andrew Gomes earned the win in net with 19 saves.
North Attleboro, 77 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – North Attleboro picked up an impressive win over an up and coming Taunton squad. The Rocketeers won 12 of the 14 matches by pin, including Brady Folan (120), Michael Edmonds (152), Adam Eberle (170), Reid Wills (182) and Brad White (285).
Oliver Ames, 57 @ Stoughton, 15 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up a big win on the road to remain unbeaten in dual meets. CJ Deveau (152), Joe Savino (160), and Billy Tat (170) had standout wins for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 24 @ Attleboro, 86 – Final
Oliver Ames, 95 @ Canton, 70 – Final
Stoughton, 44 @ Attleboro, 87 – Final – Attleboro’s Liz Saltz qualified for states in the 50 free with a time of 26.09 and qualified for sectionals in the 500 free with a time of 5:41.43. The Bombardiers’ 200 free relay (Jackie Lynch-Bartek, Tiffany Chin, Corinne Perry and Liz Saltz) also qualified for sectionals with a time of 1:51.79.
Taunton, 8 @ Dennis-Yarmouth, 3 – Final – Taunton raced out to a 6-0 lead through two periods and added two more in the third period for its third win of the season. Zack Albert had a pair of goals and an assist while Jack Patneaude (goal, assist), Mike Volkmann (two assists) and Andrew Carter (two assists) each had two points. Justin Chappell got the win in net with 14 saves. “We got contributions from all four lines,” Taunton head coach Kris Metea said.
Canton, 88 @ Oliver Ames, 82 – Final – Three individuals qualified for sectionals for Oliver Ames and one relay team qualified for states. Alex Buche qualified for the 200 IM and the 100 free, Kyle Gray qualified for the 50 free and the 100 free and Nicholas Lombardo qualified for the 100 backstroke. The Tigers’ 400 free relay qualified for states with an impressive showing. Eli Vidoni and Cam Bourne had strong days diving for the Tigers.
Sharon, 66 @ Franklin, 87 – Final – Roy Wang and Jack Cashin each won a pair of events to pace the Panthers. Wang won the 500 (5:22.31) and the 100 breaststroke (1:08.50). Cashin took the 200 IM (2:15.06) and the 100 backstroke (1:03.32).
Mansfield @ Taunton, 4:00
Canton, 94 @ Oliver Ames, 76 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Morgan O’Hara qualified for sectionals in the 100 free. Caitlin Campbell had a strong diving performance for the Tigers.
Sharon, 67 @ Franklin, 101 – Final – Franklin finished first in every single relay event on its way to a big win over visiting Sharon. Freshman Katie McGuire was a double winner, taking first in both the 200 and 500 freestyle events. Senior Megan Lazarek was also a double winner, finishing first in the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke.
Mansfield @ Taunton, 4:00
North Attleboro @ Sharon, 7:00
Oliver Ames, 125.55 @ Sharon, 122.7 – Final – OA freshman Lauren Picanzi won the all around with a 34.35 while junior Charis MacCuish finished second with a 33.9.
Canton, 0 vs. Duxbury, 0 – Final
Franklin, 1 @ Westwood, 7 – Final
King Philip, 1 vs. Ursuline Academy, 1 –Final – King Philip goalie Lilly Potts made a handful of key saves to help the Warriors earn a point. Jess Daniels scored from the blue line in the first period to put KP ahead but Ursuline tied the game in the second. KP and Ursuline will meet against in early January.