Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse All Stars.
Hockomock League MVP
Austin Kent, Franklin
Hockomock League All Stars
Ben O’Neill, Canton
Michael Pigeon, Canton
Austin Ryan, Foxboro
Brian Buckner, Foxboro
Jake Addeche, Foxboro
Eric Civetti, Franklin
Austin Kent, Franklin
Packie Watson, Franklin
Jacob Alexander, Franklin
Sean Lockhart, Franklin
Steven Eaton, King Philip
Paul Macrina, King Philip
Billy Grant, Mansfield
Hunter Ferreira, Mansfield
Connor Finerty, Mansfield
Dan McDonald, North Attleboro
Matt Gilson, Oliver Ames
Mark Bloom, Sharon
Brian Letourneau, Attleboro
Jake Ragusa, Canton
Bobby Kierce, Foxboro
Connor O’Rourke, Franklin
Sam Agricola, King Philip
Josh Schafer, Mansfield
Harrison Bliss, Milford
Andrew Casson, North Attleboro
Jake Aronson, Oliver Ames
Santiago Lopez, Taunton
Below are the official Hockomock League Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Mark Sheehan, Stoughton
Hockomock League All Stars
PJ Elliott, Attleboro
Matt Lazaro, Canton
Jackson Maffeo, Canton
Justin Slocum, Canton
Bobby Mullaney, Canton
Aidan Sullivan, Foxboro
Tyler Oakes, Franklin
Nick Jasinski, Franklin
Jake Downie, Franklin
Jack Chaffee, Franklin
Clay Geuss, King Philip
Collin Cooke, King Philip
Evan Remmes, King Philip
Anthony Visconti, Mansfield
Michael Arnold, Mansfield
Brian Ireland, Milford
Andrew Casson, North Attleboro
Zach McGowan, North Attleboro
Matt Mancini, Oliver Ames
Jared Costello, Oliver Ames
Mark Sheehan, Stoughton
Nick Terry, Taunton
Tyler Pietrzyk, Taunton
Jake Parker, Attleboro
Jim Jenkins, Canton
Jeremy Miller, Franklin
Kyle McCarthy, King Philip
Matthew Chirichello, Mansfield
Jonathan Chase, Milford
Paul Baker, North Attleboro
Owen Gallagher, Oliver Ames
Eoin Doherty, Stoughton
Michael Volkmann, Taunton
BROCKTON, Mass. – Standing in the hallway outside the locker room after the game, Canton coach Brian Shuman did not look pleased. His team had just advanced in the state tournament, but he admitted that the Bulldogs had been outplayed by North Attleboro in Saturday afternoon’s Div. 2 South quarterfinal.
Despite being second best on the night, the Bulldogs scored off a deflection, off a loose puck in the slot, and on an empty net and got 25 saves from senior goalie Justin Slocum to pull out a 3-0 win.
“They outplayed us and I think they really carried the play for long stretches of the game and we did what we had to do to win the game and that started in net with Justin Slocum,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman.
The Rocketeers started the game with high intensity and their force-check paid almost immediate benefits with Erik Clements and Andrew Casson driving to the net off Canton turnovers only to be denied by Slocum and heads up play by defensemen Jackson Maffeo and C.J. Martin.
While the Canton defense was doing its job in clearing rebounds and denying chances at the back post, it was struggling to get the puck up ice.
North coach Steve Snizek said, “We were anticipating their breakout and were trying to forecheck the hell out them really so to not give them enough time to break out and hopefully make them make a mistake, which they did at times and we just couldn’t capitalize.”
Shuman was effusive in his praise for the Rocketeers and their 2-1-2 forecheck. He said, “They were all over us. Those first two guys in the zone were absolutely flying and they gave us very little time to get back to the puck and to get the breakout going.”
The North pressure was causing problems but there was no goal to show for it and with 3:45 left in the first, Canton took the lead against the run of play. Martin played the puck across the zone to Jim Jenkins and the senior threw the puck towards the back post where it appeared to take a decisive deflection to beat North’s freshman goalie Ryan Warren (25 saves).
“Sometimes it’s about the bounce of the puck,” said Shuman. “We’ve struggled to score goals this year and we just try to get to the puck to the net but [Warren] is an exceptional young goalie and he’s going to be good for years to come.”
Slocum made the lead hold up into the first intermission when he managed to get post to post to stop a close-range shot by Brian Poilluci who was set up by Clements.
The second period was even with North continuing to force the action, but without any end product. The Rocketeers only managed seven shots in the second despite more possession and trailed 20-15 in shots heading to the third.
The game continued in a similar mode until there was 6:26 remaining. Jenkins tried to take the puck into the middle but lost control. Luckily for the Bulldogs it eluded two North players and found its way to Tommy Kilduff in the slot and he managed to squeeze the puck under Warren for the crucial second.
“I feel bad for our team,” Snizek reflected. “[Canton] got the luck today and we did not, but it’s part of hockey. You have to take the good with the bad. “
North had two power play chances in the final four minutes and managed one good chance when the puck was deflected in front of Slocum and the goalie had to keep his head and bat away the chance.
With 13.6 on the clock and North skating five-on-four with Warren on the bench, Shaun Kirby wrapped up the victory for the Bulldogs with an empty net goal.
A few years ago, North Attleboro and Canton met at the same rink and at the same stage of the tournament but with very different expectations. That night, Canton also won but the fact that the game was close surprised many. No one was surprised on Saturday that the Rocketeers were in it to the end.
“This program has turned around immensely,” said Snizek. “It used to be that playing North was a point but now it’s a game. I’m very proud of the whole program.”
The Bulldogs are moving on and will be in the Div. 2 South semifinal for the fourth straight season.
Shuman said, “I told them in the locker room that I was proud of them because in all the years that I’ve been here you need one of those games in the state tournament where you have to find a way to win and grind it out and that’s what they did.”
Canton (16-2-4) advances to face Scituate at Gallo Arena in Bourne on Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
Happy New Year! Today’s games are listed below. Hockey
Attleboro, 6 @ Dighton-Rehoboth/Seekonk, 0 – Final– Keagin Larkin scored a hat trick and added an assists while PJ Elliott had a pair of goals and a pair of assists. Cam Littig scored his first career goal. Evan Andrews made 22 saves in net for the shutout.
Mansfield, 1 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Jackson Maffeo, Matt Lazaro and Bobby Mullaney scored for the Bulldogs while Matt Farragher (from Max Hoffman) scored a first period goal for the Hornets.
King Philip, 8 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final
North Attleboro, 5 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final– Brian Poillucci, Zach McGowan and Erik Clements all scored in the first period to give North a 3-0 cushion. Mark Sheehan scored at the end of the first period but North answered with an early second period goal from Andrew Casson. Hunter Sarro added a fifth goal for North while Jon Lessa scored Stoughton’s second goal.
Taunton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final– Oliver Ames’ Owen Gallagher scored a hat trick and Matt Mancini and Max Ward each scored once for the Tigers. Cam Carnes, Nick Terry and Mike Volkmann each scored a goal, all coming in the second period. Wrestling
Ashland Duals (Foxboro, Mansfield, Oliver Ames), 9:00AM – Oliver Ames picked up four wins, including a win over Hockomock rival Foxboro in the tournament final. OA picked up wins over Ashland Keefe Tech (44-25), Andover (52-20), Pathfinder (66-12) and Foxboro (42-26). OA’s Shea O’Connor (145) and Jack Mills (220) both went 4-0 on the day while Casey Believue (106) was 3-0. Ryan Lehane (152) and Pat Mills (285) both went 3-1 for the Tigers.
Franklin @ West Springfield – Franklin broke even on the day, beating West Springfield (48-21) and Chicopee (42-21) but suffered losses to New Milford (CT) (51-21) and to Springfield Central (42-26).
Nashoba Quad (Milford), 9:00AM
North Attleboro Quad (North Attleboro) – North Attleboro continued its perfect start with four wins on Saturday, including the program’s first ever win over perennial power St. John’s Prep. The Rocketeers had wins over Prep (40-18), Bridgewater-Raynham (50-24), Dedham (66-12) and LaSalle Academy (45-23). North’s Devin Spratt won his 100th career match with a decision of SJP’s Malcolm Mitchell.
Norton Quad (Sharon) – Sharon picked up a win over Somerset Berkley (42-31) but lost to Hingham (18-40) and Norton (28-42).
Danvers Quad (Taunton) – The Tigers suffered three setbacks on the day with losses to Danvers (36-45), Woburn (32-42) and Whittier Tech (20-45). Justin Bradley (126) went 3-0 on the day while Josh Alves (113), Alex Rodriguez (138), Nuno Camara (182) and Santiago Lopez (220) each picked up two wins. Jasmine Ryan (106), Chris Fernandes (120) and Elijah Simmons (195) each had one win. Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis Center) Boys
Attleboro, 44 vs. King Philip, 52 – Final – King Philip senior Michael Roby had the best time of all schools in the 55M dash at 6.79, finished first in the 300M at 37.33, and was first in the high jump at 5-06.00 to spark the Warriors. Other first place finishes for KP included Ethan Dunne in the 600M (1:33.08) and the 55M hurdles (8.50) and Brandon Sullivan in the 1000M (2:48.64). Attleboro’s Brett Szlachciuk was first in the 1 Mile (4:46.01) and the 2 Mile (10:40.18), Isaiah Rodriguez won the long jump (19-01.25) while Jacob Hardy (47-00.00), Patrick Collins (44-03.00) and Nathaniel Joyal (43-09.25) swept the shot put with the best three finishes in the entire league.
Canton, 26 vs. Milford, 70 – Final – Milford’s Cameron Clark was first in the 55M dash (7.22), Leo Moronta won the 300M (39.86) and the long jump (18-06.25), Jack Kalil won the 1000M (3:01.64) and Luis Goncalves won the 55M hurdles (8.68) and the high jump (5-02.00). Canton’s Mark Clancy won the 1 Mile (4:58.02) and the 2 Mile 10:39.63), Patrick Hession won the 600M (1:32.40) and Ben Mendillo won the shot put at 32-06.00.
Franklin, 28 vs. Mansfield, 72 – Final – The Hornets had first place finishes from Nick Graham in the 55M dash (6.97), Devin Maughn in the 300M (37.88), Kyle Amerantes in the 600M (1:29.37), Jake Affanato in the 1 Mile (4:43.74) and in the 2 Mile (league best 10:21.71), Jake Morrill in the 55M hurdles (8.61) and the long jump (18-04.50) and Conor Cline in the shot put (35-03.25). Franklin’s Ryan Spelman won the 1000M race in 2:46.49 and Luke Gordon won the high jump at 5-10.00.
Foxboro, 37 vs. Oliver Ames, 62 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Doug MacDonald won the 55M dash in 6.87, Belmund Rodrigues-Pires took first in the 300M (37.86), Jonathan Long placed first in the 600M (1:33.33), Troy Kent won the 1000M in 2:48.87, Jarod Boone won the mile in 4:40.65, Nicholas Barber won the 2 Mile in 11:51.12 and Kalil Matier finished first in the long jump in 18-04.25. Foxboro’s Jordan Vining was first in the 55M hurdles (8.91), Allston George was first in the shot put (38-09.00) and Owen Whitney won the high jump (5-02.00).
Sharon, 56 vs. Stoughton, 44 – Final – Tyler Kaufman won the 600M race in 1:31.67 for Sharon and the Eagles also got first place finishes from Scott Kaplan in the 1000M (2:53.36), Tianrui Sun in the 1 Mile (4:48.05), sophomore Grant Fawcett in the 2 Mile (10:50.66), Will McManus in the 55M hurdles (8.44) and in the long jump (19-00.25) and Matt McManus in the shot put (39-09.50). Stoughton got first place finishes from Clifton Gerring in the 55M dash (6.88) and Steven Elice in the 300M (38.03) and the high jump (5-10.00).
North Attleboro, 49 vs. Taunton, 51 – Final – Taunton had three of the best times of all Hockomock teams to help edge North. Damion Theodule won the 55M dash (6.86), Brian Cherenfant had the best time of all Hockomock teams in the 300M (37.25), Jimmy Hoye topped all Hockomock runners in the 600M with a time of 1:29.07 and Dylan Lynch posted a league best time of 4:39.81 in the 1 Mile. North Attleboro’s Matt Reimels had a league best time in the 1000M (2:43.58), freshman Liam Monahan won the 2 Mile in 10:30.62, sophomore Jonathan Shultz won the 55M hurdles in 8.80, Michael Tobey won the shot put (40-01.50), Matt Tarantino had a league best 5-10.00 in the high jump and John Thompson had a league best 19-01.75 in the long jump. Girls
Attleboro, 37 vs. King Philip, 63 – Final – King Philip’s Hannah Silvestri won the 55M dash (7.99), Christa Wagner won the 300M (43.62), Erica Layne won the 600M (1:45.85), Lucy Hamilton won the 1000M (3:12.67), Sarah Butts won the 2 Mile (13:39.46) and Jayla Millender won the shot put (28-8.25). Attleboro’s Emily Vieira won the 1 Mile (6:13.23), Quincy Harding won the 55M hurdles (9.77) and the long jump (15-02.75) and Allison Wall won the high jump (4-04.00).
Canton, 57 vs. Milford, 43 – Final – Canton’s Selena Cho won the 55M dash (7.87), Hannah Link won the 300M (43.60), freshman Sarah Collins won the 1000M (3:37.36) and Tanya Bastien won the high jump (4-04.00). Milford’s Jess Palmer won the 600M (1:49.52), Gabriela Chong won the 1 Mile (6:14.64), Jenise Madden won the 2 Mile (12:22.56), Carina Thompson won the 55M hurdles (9.83), Aleye Momodu won the shot put (27-09.00) and Christina Speliakos won the long jump (15-03.00). Franklin, 56 vs. Mansfield, 44 – Final– Franklin’s Jessica Kroushl posted a league best time of 7.63 in the 55M dash, Meghan Doherty had a league best time in the 600M (1:43.91), Brittany Robinson had the best time of all 12 schools in the 1 Mile (5:29.54), Carly Rondeau won the 2 Mile (13:24.72), Beth Neal won the 55M hurdles (9.67) and the high jump (4-08.00) and Sarah Goodermuth won the shot put (30-08.00). Mansfield’s Kelly Crawford had a league best time of 42.34 in the 300M and won the long jump (15-02.00) and Caitlin Whitman had the league’s top time in the 1000M (3:11.86).
Foxboro, 38 vs. Oliver Ames, 62 – Final – Oliver Ames got first place finishes from Lauren Wright in the 600M (1:46.09), Dana Lowney in the 1000M (3:14.77), Kale Rockey in the 1 Mile (6:10.65), Gabby Eldridge in the 55M hurdles (9.50) and Chi-Chi Akanegbu in the shot put (league best 35-11.50). Foxboro’s first place finishes were Shraeya Srinivasan in the 55M dash (7.95) and the long jump (16-07.00), Berlendah Dure in the 300M (45.44), Meredith Cronin in the 2 Mile (league best 11:44.84) and Kelsey McDonald in the high jump (4-08.00).
Sharon, 78 vs. Stoughton, 21 – Final – Sharon’s Morgan Usen finished first in the 55M dash (7.87) and the long jump (15-06.00), Ariadne Tolay won the 300M (44.78) and the 1 Mile (5:45.14), Erica Laidler won the 600M (1:47.35), Amanda Brown won the 1000M (3:22.92), Ana Morrison won the 2 Mile (12:38.64), Brigid Loftus won the 55M hurdles (10.00), freshman Geena Lesser won the high jump (4-08.00). Stoughton’s Emma Harrington was first in the shot put (24-07.00).
North Attleboro, 70 vs. Taunton, 30 – Final – First place finishes for North Attleboro included Rachel LaBonte in the 300M (43.42), Alexandra Tong in the 600M (1:48.01), Grace Guertin in the 1000M (3:18.73), Ann Roberts in the 1 Mile (5:29.62) and the 2 Mile (12:37.73), freshman Julia Mechlinski in the shot put (31-07.00) and Nicole Boulanger in the high jump (league best 5-00.00). Taunton’s first place finishes came from Samantha Tichelaar in the 55M dash (7.69), Jillian Purtell in the 55M hurdles (league best 9.47) and in the long jump (league best 16-08.25). Girls Hockey
Canton, 3 @ Westwood, 0 – Final
Franklin, 6 @ Scituate, 0 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 7 vs. Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton,0 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ Newton North, 10 – Final
Click here for a photo gallery of the game.
By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
FOXBORO, Mass. – When North Attleboro took its second lead of the game with just 7:25 left in the game, Mansfield head coach Rick Anastos was tempted to take his one timeout.
On the advice of his son — an assistant coach — Anastos held off, instead mixing up his third line to add a little speed and the switch worked as the Hornets got a push in the offensive zone.
But after three minutes lapsed and the Hornets hadn’t tied the game, Anastos called for that timeout with an offensive zone face off coming up.
“I just wanted to regroup, refocus and keep going out at them,” Anastos said. “We wanted to focus on being aggressive and going at them. We lost the face off but we didn’t make it easy for them to get it out.”
The Rocketeers did win the face off but Mansfield was quick to put pressure as senior captain Pat Graham hugged the boards and blocked a clearance. Graham took possession and quickly fired a centering pass and senior Max Hoffman was able to poke his stick and get enough of the puck to find the back of the net as Mansfield and North Attleboro skated to a 2-2 tie.
“We had the lead and blew the lead twice,” North Attleboro said coach Steve Snizek said. “Obviously that’s not the outcome we wanted especially with them scoring so late in the game. But things happen, they capitalized on a mistake of ours and that’s what good teams do.”
The two rivals skated a scoreless period in the first period but a big reason was Rocketeer goalie Ryan Warren, a freshman making his high school debut, and North Attleboro’s defense.
Mansfield had a good chance on its first power play when a centering pass from Shane Doherty found Chad Piotti but North defensemen Paul Baker and Brendan McHugh got their sticks in the way to send the shot wide.
The Hornets first big test of Warren came with just over five minutes to play when Hoffman connected with Piotti for a close chance but Warren closed well and denied the shot. With just 10 seconds left Hoffman got in alone on Warren and tried to shoot it but the freshman got a piece of it to send it high.
““He stepped up very well for us,” Snizek said of Warren. “He looked very poised out there, especially for a freshman in his first game against our biggest rivals. He had a great game, very relaxed and played the puck, which I love to see. I’m very happy with his performance tonight.”
“We’re still trying to figure out the best combinations with the lines,” Anastos said. “I can’t get them to stop shooting but I can’t get them to shoot in the game. We had so many chances in the first period, we had three almost breakaways. I think if we had scored on those it would have been a tough battle for them to climb but they always play non-stop.”
Six minutes into the second period, North Attleboro took its first lead of the game. Sophomore Hunter Sarro used a pin point pass to find junior Connor Ford right in front and his one timer found the back of the net.
The lead didn’t last long though. Just 35 seconds later, the Hornets were able to level the game when junior Matt Farragher pushed one past Warren to make it 1-1 off assists from Mike Arnold and Shane Doherty.
The Rocketeers didn’t convert on a power play just over three minutes into the final period but were able to find the back of the net just two minutes later. Senior Andrew Casson gained possession behind the Mansfield net and wrapped around. With Mansfield goalie Anthony Visconti and a defender trying to knock it out, Casson and junior Erik Clements were hacking away trying to force it in. The puck eventually went North’s way and trickled over the line to take a 2-1 lead.
“I was going to call timeout at that point,” Anastos said. “I mixed up my third line and put a kid out there that’s fairly fast and they gave us some momentum in the offensive zone. My assistant said to wait and then at 4:07 he said do it, the times right.
“It seems like when you do that you take a step back and calm them down.”
North Attleboro (0-0-1) will skate against Bishop Feehan on Saturday while Mansfield (0-0-2) will get back on the ice the same day when they host Coyle & Cassidy. Mansfield and North Attleboro will meet again on January 16th, this time in a league game.
“We get the one point from this one and they get a point too but the next game is about a month away and that’s going to be a big one,” Snizek said. “Obviously both teams want that win. They’ll get the bugs out of their system, we’ll get the bus out of ours and it should be a great matchup.” Click here for a photo gallery of the game. Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Today’s games are listed below. Girls Basketball
Canton, 44 @ Norton, 47 – Final – Emma Murphy scored 16 points and added nine rebounds for the Bulldogs. Hockey
Attleboro, 5 @ Milford, 3 – Final – Jake Parker had two goals for the Bombardiers who trailed 2-1 heading into the third period. Attleboro scored four shorthanded goals and outshot the Hawks 41-12.
Taunton, 7 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Senior Tyler Pietrzyk scored a pair of goals and added two assists and his sophomore brother Trevor added two goals of his own for Taunton. Defensemen David Perry and Nick Terry each scored goals for the Tigers and Will Walsh had a goal and an assist. John Cronin made 22 saves for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 2 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – Connor Ford gave the Rocketeers the lead in the second period off an assist from Hunter Sarro. Mansfield tied it up via Matt Farragher from Mike Arnold and Shane Doherty. North Attleboro regained the lead in the third period off a goal from Andrew Casson (assist Erik Clements) while Mansfield tied things again off a goal from Max Hoffman from Pat Graham. Wrestling
Canton, 51 @ Taunton, 26 – Final – Canton got wins from Steven Corkery, Justin Dickie, Jack O’Brien, Brendan Lewis, Sean Murphy, Brandon Lentol, Stathi Dandis, Caleb Nix and Nick Matt. Head coach Brian Caffelle noted a strong performance from Cole Lee in his first varsity match at 182. For Taunton, Jorge Rodriguez (138), Alex Rodriguez (145), Brandon Deforitis (152), Nuno Camara (182) and Santiago Lopez (220) got wins.
Franklin, 27 @ Foxboro, 33 – Final
Stoughton, 27 @ King Philip, 54 – Final
Sharon, 61 @ Mansfield, 18 – Final
North Attleboro, 56 @ Milford, 21 – Final Swimming Boys
Oliver Ames, 60 @ Attleboro, 106 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Andrew Abramson (500 free) and Kyle Gray (200 free) each qualified for sectionals in the loss.
Sharon, 106 @ Mansfield, 62 – Final
North Attleboro, 73.5 @ Milford, 93.5 – Final Girls
Oliver Ames, 89 @ Attleboro, 77 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Mia Esterman qualified for sectionals in the 500 free and Makayla Paquin qualified in the 100 backstroke.
Sharon, 86 @ Mansfield, 84 – Final
North Attleboro, 112 @ Milford, 57 – Final Girls Hockey
Canton, 1 @ Falmouth, 3 – Final
Franklin, 4 @ King Philip, 5 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 2 @ Matignon, 9 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ Scituate, 8 – Final – In the program’s varsity debut, Stoughton head coach Richard Grasso noted the great defensive play by Julia Russell and Sarah Widrow.
Attleboro 2014-15 Record: 11-13-1 (2-8-0) 2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South semifinal Head Coach: Mike Cripps
The Bombardiers made an improbable run to the Div. 3 South semifinal before being eliminated by Hanover. Even with a short bench and a goaltender that had never played before, Attleboro won three tournament games for the first time in program history and this year will try to build on that experience and get back to the postseason.
With 20 players on the roster, depth may not be Attleboro’s strength but there are some players that Cripps will be counting on to produce this season led by senior forward Keagin Larkin. He will be helped out on the forward line by junior P.J. Elliott and sophomore Sam Parker. Freshman Sam Larkin will also step in right away and Cripps said that he has been “impressive” during the opening two weeks of practice.
Senior goalie Tim Gile returns between the pipes after a season that saw him put on goalie pads for the first time. He will be joined at the goalie position by junior Tyler Koppy. In front of goal, seniors Will McKenzie and Jack Flynn and sophomore Sam McKenzie will be part of Attleboro’s defensive corps.
There may only be 20 players on the roster, but the Bombardiers are a tight-knit group and Cripps is hopeful that they can get back to .500 and another trip to the playoffs. He said, “Our team is a group of hard-working players with good chemistry. With our lack of depth, we have to avoid injuries and illness. I am very happy with the progress I have seen after the first week.”
Franklin 2014-15 Record: 17-4-3 (10-0-0) 2014-15 Finish: Lost in first round of the Super 8 Head Coach: Chris Spillane
How does Franklin follow up its first ever appearance in the prestigious Super 8 tournament? How does the program recover from losing 21 seniors off a roster that finished unbeaten in the Hockomock League and had one of the league’s most exciting hockey moments when it beat Xaverian in overtime in the Super 8 play-in game?
Those are tough questions that head coach Chris Spillane will be trying to answer in the coming weeks as he incorporates almost an entirely new roster. The top returning scorer from last season is senior Alex Bissanti, who chipped in with five goals as a junior. He will be joined up front by junior Adam Assad, who Spillane said has “lots of offensive potential.” In addition, the coach noted that he is looking towards a “strong” sophomore class to provide a spark offensively.
Ryan Shea was a rock in goal last season after getting his first playing time as a senior and the Panthers will be counting on seniors Nick Jasinki (five games in 2014-15) and Cam Benham to step in this year and have a similar impact. In front of the goalies, Franklin has a strong defensive corps led by senior captains Matt Pleshaw and Jack Chaffee. The defense has been bolstered by the return of senior Tyler Oaks, who had been playing for the South Shore Kings. Spillane called him a “strong offensive defenseman.”
It is only the third season for Franklin in Div. 1 and already the Panthers have accomplished more than most public school programs. This could be a transition year for Franklin but expectations remain high for a perennial power. Spillane said, “With the departure of 21 seniors, the success of this team will rely on finding a identity early in the season.”
King Philip 2014-15 Record: 7-10-3 (4-5-1) 2014-15 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Paul Carlow
For the second time in three season, King Philip has changed coaches with Paul Carlow taking charge of the Warriors this winter after two seasons as the JV and assistant coach. Thanks to his experience with the program and with the players, Carlow, who was once a standout player for KP, called the transition “smooth.” He added, “I know the players and they know me, which has made it pretty easy. Everyone know what is expected.”
The Warriors numbers were not huge this winter and depth may not be a strength, but Carlow is excited about the talent that KP will send out on the ice with six forwards and six defensemen returning from last year’s squad. The Warriors will be led on the forward line by senior captain Matt Smith, while fellow captain Clay Guess will lead an experienced blue line group that also includes football star Corey Lombardo.
Sophomore Collin Cooke is a player to watch this season and is poised for a breakout winter after scoring 11 goals and 10 assists as a freshman. Fellow sophomore Dan McLoughlin could be a player that steps in and provides a spark along with junior Richie Lucente, who saw plenty of ice time last season. Carlow also said that junior Jeremy Smith should step right in at defense. He noted that Smith had the talent to get on the ice as a sophomore but was only limited by the experienced players ahead of him.
Carlow has added preseason scrimmages and has changed the schedule around to add teams like Nauset, Walpole, and Coyle to prepare the team for the rigors of the Div. 1 tournament. After narrowly missing out the past two seasons, Carlow is confident the Warriors can make a run to the postseason. “We need to be ready for the type of teams we’re going to face,” said Carlow. “We may not be the deepest team, we didn’t have 90 kids tryout like Franklin, but we’ve got speed and we can play.”
Mansfield 2014-15 Record: 10-11-0 (8-2-0) 2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round Head Coach: Rick Anastos
Mansfield enters another season as one of the main threats to Franklin in the Kelley-Rex division. The Hornets, who are the only other team to have won the division (in 2011), are one of the few programs to consistently have the talent base to challenge the Panthers and this season is no different.
Junior forward Matt Farragher is primed for a breakout season after scoring 13 points as a sophomore and he will be paired up front with several classmates, including Pat Sunderland and Chad Piotti. Seniors Pat Graham, Shane Doherty, and Max Hoffman will return to give Mansfield strength in depth along its first two lines and the firepower to make the Hornets a dangerous team in the Hock.
Mansfield also has the potential to be strong defensively, as demonstrated by a scoreless tie with Winthrop on Saturday. Anthony Visconti, who gave up just more three goals per game last season, returns in goal and he will be helped out by senior defenseman Mike Arnold, who leads the blue liners, along with classmate Tim O’Brien.
The Hornets have experienced returning players, but there is plenty of youth coming through program as well with two freshman and five sophomores on the varsity roster. Franklin may remain the team to beat, but Mansfield is confident that it will be right there pushing the Panthers to the end.
North Attleboro 2014-15 Record: 12-8-1 (6-4-0) 2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round Head Coach: Stephen Snizek
The Rocketeers made it back to the tournament last season but were knocked out in overtime by Milford in the first round. With Sean Young graduated, North Attleboro will be looking for someone that can step into his role as the primary scorer and make a run at a first league title in its final season in the Kelley-Rex.
There is a lot of depth returning for North this season led on the forward line by senior captains Andrew Casson and Brian Poillucci and juniors Zach McGowan and Erik Clements, each of whom have years of experience for the Rocketeers. Sophomores Jason McNeany and Andrew Wissler and a strong freshman class will add to the forwards over the course of the season.
Defensively, North Attleboro will count on juniors Paul Baker and Vincent Zammiello and senior Matthew Marceau on the back line. The defense will be key and Snizek is expecting his forwards to help back as well as the Rocketeers will be using freshmen Chris Ulrich and Ryan Warren in goal this year.
The Rocketeers have a lot of weapons and Snizek is excited for the talent coming through the program. He said, “We have a lot of weapons on offense and we need to get pucks to the net and drive in the dirty goals. Our forwards will need to play in all zones on the ice.Not just the offensive zone.”
The Tigers have been building the program for the past few years, developing young skaters, and waiting for a time that it can come together for a potential run at the state tournament. Head coach Kris Metea is hopeful that this could be the year, as Taunton boasts a talented forward line that could provide the goals needed to get to the playoffs. Metea said, “The eighth graders and freshmen that took beatings three years ago have all grown up and can physically compete with players in the Hockomock now.”
Among the players that Metea highlighted this season are junior Nick Terry, who is coming off an all-star season, and senior Tyler Pietrzyk, who will both be starters. Junior Zack Albert and sophomore Will Walsh will add depth to the forwards as well. Defensively, senior David Perry and junior Mike Volkmann will be two of the key players and add a physical component to the Tigers.
Taunton has three goalies on the varsity roster and Metea has confidence in all of them to win games. Senior Cam Pitts is the most experienced of the trio but junior Justin Chappell and freshman Griffin Speicher both will see time as well.
If Taunton can improve the power play and utilize its overall team speed, this could be an interesting year for the Tigers. “It has been a pleasure working with these players and see them grow up as hockey players and young men,” said Metea. “They have matured physically and mentally and are ready to take the next step to compete with the top end of the ever-competitive Hockomock.”