Mansfield Edges North Behind Late Arnold Winner

Mansfield hockey
Tim Arnold (4) celebrates his power play goal with five minutes remaining that turned out to be the game-winner for Mansfield against North Attleboro. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FOXBORO, Mass. – Chris Copponi’s shot was scuffed. The forward barely making contact with the puck just outside the right circle, but enough contact was made to redirect it past several sliding North Attleboro players trying desperately to block the Mansfield junior’s attempt at a power play goal.

The puck squirmed through the crowd of bodies right to senior defenseman Tim Arnold, who took advantage of the space and a wrong-footed North goalie Ryan Warren to one-time it into the empty net.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Arnold’s goal with five minutes remaining in the third period turned out to be the game-winner for the Hornets, who held on to beat North 3-2 in Saturday night’s league encounter at the Foxboro Sports Center.

“He whiffs and it still gets through, but we’ll take it,” said Mansfield coach Mike Balzarini outside the locker room after the game. “We’ve been working on our power play because we knew they’d be a tough opponent from the first time we played them (a 4-1 North win in the season opener) and we were just patient. Yeah, it was a misfire, but we’ll take it.”

The Hornets converted on two-of-five power play opportunities in the game, including the game-tying goal in the second period and the eventual winner in the third. Arnold’s goal came on the third power play chance for the Hornets in the final period.

“Penalties are part of the game,” said first-year North coach Ben McManama, “but we’re getting too many lazy penalties where we’re playing defense with our sticks and not our feet. It was a game where we were in it but we shot ourselves in the foot.”

He added, “We also have to have more energy all game. We’re not having a consistent effort and that’s hurt us.”

There was no lack of energy from the Hornets at the start of the game. Mansfield came out flying in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd, part of what has made this one of the league’s top rivalries in the last few seasons.

Freshman Justin McIvor created an early scoring chance with a big hit on Will Yeomans on the half-board. The puck popped loose to Copponi for a one-timer from the slot, but Warren (21 saves) stood tall to stop it. Warren then came up with a big pad save to rob Jake Lund in the slot and then blocked the follow-up effort too.

“The first period has been a struggle all year because we’ve come out flat,” Balzarini explained. “We played Stoughton on Wednesday and we scored three goals in the first period and that was the stresser during practice on Friday to come out with intensity.”

The Hornets made the good start count. Senior defenseman Tyler Oakley jumped up to join the attack, skating right down the middle of the North defense. His first shot was saved but he collected the rebound and finished. It was the first of two goals and three points out of the senior defensemen in the game.

“That’s why they where the ‘C’ on their jerseys,” said Balzarini of Oakley and Arnold. “They’re both really good captains, really good leaders and for those guys to step up not only on the ice but off the ice has been huge for us.”

With 7:11 left in the first, a fire alarm went off, momentarily forcing the stands to empty and the teams to head back to the locker rooms. It also stole the momentum from the hosts and allowed North the chance to regroup.

Drew Wissler had North’s first good scoring opportunity when he caught Mansfield up ice and found space in the left circle, but his shot was saved by Hornets goalie Sean McCafferty. The Rocketeers tied the game two minutes later, with only 25.1 on the clock, when Wissler fed the puck to Anthony Zammiello for a shorthanded breakaway and the junior went five-hole for the score.

“Before I could even have a chance to talk to them, they knew that they didn’t come out ready,” said McManama of the fire alarm break. “We’ve had a lot of bad starts this year and it really needs to change. The team is aware of it, but we just need to suck it up and come out ready to play.”

North took its first lead early in the second period. Wissler flew down the left side again, opened his body and unleashed an unstoppable shot over the shoulder of McCafferty and just inside the top corner.

The lead lasted six minutes before Mansfield responded with a power play goal of its own. Oakley lined up a blast from the point that Warren could only parry. The puck fell to Cullin Anastasia and he deposited it into the open net.

The Hornets had the chance to get back in front early in the third but Patrick McCafferty saw his shot carom off Warren’s mask and off the boards behind the net. After Arnold scored, defenseman Nick Levine nearly got into the act for the Hornets but Warren again made an important close-range save.

With time running down and North scrambling for an equalizer, Jason McNeanyhad a tap in at the back post that went wide of an open net and Nick Raneri had a shot in the final minute that was kicked aside at the post.

“The penalties in these games disrupt the flow, so things may be going our way but a penalty for or against if we don’t capitalize changes the whole momentum of the game,” said McManama. “A good hockey team doesn’t get affected by these things, but we’re not there yet. We’re going to get there, but we’re just not there yet.”

Mansfield has now won two in a row and Balzarini is hoping the Hornets can build off a strong week. He said, “The momentum was ours from Wednesday to today and I’m hoping it continues [at practice] on Monday and Tuesday.”

Mansfield (3-3-1, 2-0-0) will host Brockton in a non-league game on Wednesday. North Attleboro (5-3-0, 1-1-0) will host Franklin at the New England Sports Village.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Rocketeers Fall To Westwood Despite Strong Effort

North Attleboro hockey
North Attleboro’s William Yeomans carries the puck past a Westwood defenseman. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
BROCKTON, Mass. – North Attleboro held the advantage in nearly every offensive category except for the most important one: the score.

The Rocketeers dominated in terms of attacking zone time, shots on goal and scoring opportunities but Westwood was opportunistic, capitalizing on its chances to snatch a 4-1 win over Big Red.

“I can honestly say I think we were the better team today,” said North Attleboro head coach Steve Snizek. “The score didn’t reflect that, they got the bounces and we didn’t. I thought we carried the play from start to finish. I’m very proud of my guys, I can’t ask for anything more from what they gave me today.”

Though no one knew it yet, the first sequence of the game was an example of how the game would play out. North had a good chance just a minute into the game when Brendan McHugh ripped a shot and Anthony Zammiello had a chance on the rebound but it slid just wide.

And on the other end, in Westwood’s first trip into the attacking zone, a defensive miscue gave the Wolverines a golden chance that Trevor Fahey buried to make it 1-0 just 75 seconds into the game.

North responded well though, finding the equalizer less than two minutes later. Junior Hunter Sarro forced a turnover in the offensive zone and ripped a wrist shot from the right circle to tie the game.

The level score was short lived as the Wolverines pounced on another North defensive miscue just three minutes later. A defenseman slipped with a Westwood skater at his feet, forcing the puck free in the defensive zone. Westwood’s Sam Murphy jumped onto it just before it cleared the blue line and fired one top shelf to make it 2-1.

The momentum completely shifted to Big Red in the middle frame. The Rocketeers peppered Westwood goalie Justin Anderson with 14 shots in the period but couldn’t get one by him.

Drew Wissler had the first chance less than a minute in after blocking a clearance attempt but his wrist shot was gloved down.

North Attleboro went on the power play and Zach McGowan had a chance but his shot was blocked by a defenseman.

With eight minutes to play, Zammiello knocked down a clearance from Westwood and unleashed a shot but his tough angle bid was saved.

The Rocketeers’ first line had a good chance with under four minutes to play as Wissler connected with McGowan, who shoveled along a pass to Erik Clements as they entered the zone. Clements got off a shot but it sailed wide of the target.

“We had a gameplay, we wanted to get on them early and attack, attack attack,” Snizek said “We didn’t want to be afraid to lose. The kids held up their end of the bargain, it was just unfortunate with the outcome. I thought it was by far our best season in my eight years here.”

Before North Attleboro could keep the momentum going in the third period, the Wolverines doubled their lead just three minutes into the final stanza. Defenseman Mark Horsfall tossed a shot from the blue line that Timmy Dalton got a piece of. The puck easily found its away in the net as North goalie Ryan Warren was knocked to the ground.

No penalty was called.

“North Attleboro came out and they flew, they’ve got kids that can really fly,” said Westwood coach Mike Welby. “[McGowan], [Clements], even [Wissler], they put a lot of pressure on us. We were surprised by how things went in the second period. But we were very fortunate to come out there in the third and grab the momentum back. We got a pretty opportunistic third goal and then the fourth goal sealed it.”

The Rocketeers had a couple of chances as time ticked away in the third but couldn’t beat Anderson.

Westwood iced the game when Tom Keith raced up the far boards, made a nice move past a defenseman and was able to tuck his chance in to make it 4-1 with 7:58 to play.

Sarro had a nice chance with five minutes to play but Anderson made the save without giving up a rebound and then with a minute to play, McGowan made a nice move to get in close but had his bid turned aside.

“Their goalie played phenomenal, he gobbled everything up,” Snizek said. “It happens, its unfortunate but it happens. We were snakebitten today. No dirty goal chances, which we try to get. They capitalized on the mistakes and thats what good teams do.”

North Attleboro hockey finished with a 29-22 advantage in shots. The Rocketeers finished the season 14-4-4.

“I’m so proud of my seniors,” Snizek said. “Captains and the rest of the senior class…the leadership this year was unbelievable. It was the best I’ve seen in my tenure. They picked everybody up when anyone was down.”

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/01/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 51 @ Foxboro, 59 – Final (OT)Foxboro junior Joe Morrison scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in the first half, giving the Warriors a 28-21 lead by the break. Attleboro cut the deficit to two heading into the final quarter and tied the game inside the final minute to send the game to overtime. Foxboro junior Teddy Maher came up clutch with a big three in overtime as the Warriors outscored Attleboro 11-3 in the extra frame. Senior Andrew Block and freshman Brandon Borde added 10 points apiece for Foxboro. Andrew Milliken scored a team-high 14 points for the Bombardiers while freshman Qualeem Charles added 11 points.

Oliver Ames, 56 @ Canton, 45 – FinalOliver Ames senior Nick Welch scored a career-high 28 points, accounting for half of Oliver Ames’ points in a remarkable performance. Carter Evin added 13 points for the Tigers.

Franklin, 80 @ Sharon, 57 – FinalFranklin scored 26 points in the first quarter and never looked back, hitting the 80 point mark for the second game in a row. Junior Paul Mahon dropped a game-high 18 points while senior Josh Macchi chipped in with 16 points for the Panthers. Sharon junior Malik Lorquet had 13 points and 10 rebounds and senior Ben Stamm added 10 points for the Eagles.

King Philip, 71 @ North Attleboro, 52 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Mansfield, 66 @ Milford, 53 – FinalMilford raced out to a 12-3 lead and stayed within three late in the third quarter, but Mansfield was able to pull away with with a 16-9 final quarter. The Hornets connected on nine three pointers with Max Boen (11 points, six rebounds, four assists) hitting three and Christian Weber (11 points, four assists), Sam Hyland (10 points, five rebounds) and Ben Albanese (six points) each hitting two trifectas. Sam Goldberg led Mansfield with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Milford’s Anthony Arcudi poured in a career-high 30 points while Zack Tamagni added 10 points for the Hawks.

Girls Basketball
Foxboro, 58 @ Attleboro, 46 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Canton, 33 @ Oliver Ames, 58 – FinalOliver Ames’ defense limited Canton to just 15 points in the second half while the offense kept its pace to pick up the win at home. Kayla Raymond had 16 points and 15 rebounds, Niyera Mitchell added 16 points and both Hannah Carroll and Abby Reardon netted 10 points.

Sharon, 34 @ Franklin, 76 – FinalThe Panthers had four players reach double figures in points led by Carli Koffinke’s 15. Ali Brigham added 12, Margaux Welsh had 11, and Bea Bondhus scored 10 for the Panthers. Sharon freshman Telishya Herbert, a recent varsity call-up, led the Eagles with eight points.

North Attleboro, 51 @ King Philip, 28 – FinalJulia Feid was the top scorer for North Attleboro with 14 points, while fellow sophomore Shannon O’Connor led KP with seven points.

Milford, 43 @ Mansfield, 53 – FinalJen Peel scored 15 points and dished out eight assists for the Hornets, Ann Maher added 13 points and Meg Hill scored 12 points and pulled to lead Mansfield. Kate Irwin was Milford’s top scorer with 12 points and Christine Pye added eight for the Hawks.

Hockey
Attleboro, 6 @ Mansfield, 5 – FinalMansfield built a 4-0 lead after the first period but Attleboro stormed back, netting three goals in the second period and then three more in the third period to get the win. Jake Parker scored five goals to lead the comeback for the Bombardiers while Cam Littig scored once.

Taunton, 0 @ Canton, 7 – FinalBubba McNeice scored twice and Brian Ghostlaw netted his first career goal to pace the Bulldogs. Mike Dadasis and Ryan Lodge scored back to back goals early in the first period to give Canton a 2-0 lead after one period. Charlie Malloy and Ryan Nolte also scored for Canton in the game.

Oliver Ames, 6 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalSix different players found the back of the net for the Tigers, starting with a goal from junior captain Eric LeBlanc. Senior Mike Nikiciuk added a goal and an assist and freshman Hunter Costello scored his first career goal. Freshman goalie Owen Connor made five saves in the third period.

King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final

North Attleboro, 8 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro sophomore Anthony Zammiello netted a hat trick in the first period while Devin Sparrow and Justin Moccia each scored their first career goals. Jon Lessa scored a third period goal for the Black Knights.

Wrestling
Canton, 43 @ Stoughton, 30 – Final

Franklin, 45 @ King Philip, 18 – Final Franklin clinched the Kelley-Rex title outright, its first since 2014 and the program’s 17th Hockomock title with a win at KP.

Milford @ Taunton, 6:00

Sharon, 12 @ North Attleboro 60 – FinalNorth Attleboro clinched its first ever Davenport division title outright in its first year in the division with the win over the Eagles.

Oliver Ames, 43 @ Newton South, 12 – Final

Swimming
Boys
Taunton @ Attleboro, 3:30

Girls
Taunton @ Attleboro, 3:30
Canton, 98 @ Stoughton, 60 – Final

Gymnastics
Sharon, 131.1 @ Algonquin, 136.2 – Final

Girls Hockey
Canton, 1 vs. Medfield, 1 – Final
Franklin, 7 vs. Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 3 – Final
King Philip, 0 @ Medway/Ashland, 1 – Final

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/21/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Hockey
North Attleboro, 2 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalSophomore Anthony Zammiello and freshman Jack Connolly each scored a goal and had in an assist in the first period for the Rocketeers.

Canton, 6 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalFreshman John Hagan netted a hat trick to lead the Bulldogs to a division win on the road. Stoughton head coach said goalie AJ Scott played well in goal for the Black Knights.

Franklin, 5 @ Mansfield, 2 – FinalClick here for a recap from this game.

King Philip, 0 @ Walpole, 6 – Final

Taunton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – FinalOliver Ames’ Cullen Gallagher registered three points, with two goals and an assist to pace the hosting Tigers. Juniors Eric LeBlanc and Rory Madden each had a goal while senior Jared Costello had two assists. OA Goalie Zach Walsh made nine saves to record his first shutout of the season.

Wrestling
St. John’s Shrewsbury Quad (Canton) – Canton went 0-2 at the meet, falling to both Lynnfield-North Reading and St. John’s Shrewsbury.

Foxboro @ Duxbury Quad – Foxboro went 2-0-1 on the day. The Warriors rolled past Quincy 70-6 then beat No. 8 ranked Marshfield 42-33. Foxboro finished the day with a 39-39 tie with No. 4 ranked Methuen.

Franklin @ Merrimack Duals, – Franklin finished second out of 11 teams at the team duals, going 4-1 overall. Franklin beat Biddeford (Maine) 48-19, Alvirne (N.H.) 46-22, St. Johnsbury (Vt.) 49-6, and Lawrence (Mass.) 40-20. The Panthers lost to Marshwood (Maine) 45-18 in the final match.

Whitman-Hanson Quad (King Philip, Sharon) – Sharon went 3-0 at the Whitman-Hanson Quad. The Eagles beat KP to start the day, 51-21, and then followed it with wins against North Quincy (60-24) and Whitman-Hanson (54-18).

Cape Cod Invitational (Mansfield, Taunton) – Mansfield claimed the team title at the Cape Cod Invitational with 136.5 points. Freshmen Antonios Sevastos (106) and Vinnie Holmes (170) both finished first at their weight classes, while Will Stratton (126) and Ford DelVecchio (22) both took second place finishes. Taunton had three wrestlers place: Alex Rodriguez (138) placed second, Nuno Camara placed (182) was third and Woudanly Danger (220) placed fourth.

Milford @ Hopkinton, 10:00AM

Gymnastics
Canton, 120.8 @ Franklin, 123.4 – FinalFranklin junior Liz Traphagen won the all around with a 34.7 – scoring a 8.3 on vault, 8.7 on bars and beam and a 9.0 on floor – to lead the Panthers to their first win since reestablishing the program. Sophomore Sadie Rondeau was second in all around with a 33.2 – scoring an 8.1 on vault, 7.4 on bars, 8.0 on beam and 8.2 on floor.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 4 vs. Sandwich, 2 – FinalSenior Rebecca Eckler scored two goals while sophomore Maggie Malloy added two assists.

Franklin, 4 @ Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake, 11 – Final

King Philip, 6 @ St. Joseph Prep/Mt. Alvernia, 0 – Final

Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 0 vs. Medway/Ashland, 2 – Final

Stoughton, 2 vs. Quincy/North Quincy, 11 – Final

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro, 128 vs. Lowell, 119 – Final

North Attleboro Routs Taunton In Playoff Opener

North Attleboro hockey
North Attleboro’s Paul Baker carries the puck into the offensive zone against Taunton. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
FALL RIVER, Mass. – North Attleboro scored five goals in the first period and never looked back, skating to a dominant 9-0 win over Taunton in the First Round of the MIAA D2 South tournament.
Just four days after the teams met for the first time this season on the last day of the regular season — a 6-1 win for Big Red — the Rocketeers were able to replicate their offense and then some in the first playoff game.
“The guys came out strong,” North Attleboro head coach Steve Snizek said. “Our goalie bailed us out of a couple giveaways early on but then we settled down. We had a couple of nice plays, we moved the puck well and we got to the goalie early. We were fortunate to get to it early and take care of business.”
Four minutes into the game, sophomore Hunter Sarro was able to dig the puck out of the corner, attacked the net from the sideboards and roofed a backhand to put #6 North Attleboro up a goal.
Midway through the period, junior Erik Clements helped keep possession in the offensive zone and then found an open Brian Poillucci for a one timer to double the Rocketeers’ lead.
While North held a two goal lead with eight minutes gone in the game, they were nearly on the other end.
Two minutes into the game, freshman goalie Ryan Warren knocked down a shot from Tiger forward Nick Croft and then was somehow able to get his leg in the way of Zack Albert’s rebound to keep the game scoreless. North Attleboro scored two minutes later to take the lead.
With just over eight minutes remaining in the opening period, Croft intercepted a pass and fed senior Tyler Pietrzyk – the league’s leading scorer – right in front but once again, Warren was there for the stop. The Rocketeers doubled their lead less than a minute later.
“It would have been a completely different ball game,” Snizek said when asked how big Warren’s early saves were. “Warren came up big, especially against their top scorer. He’s definitely the backbone of our team and he’s proved it this season.”
The Rocketeers were able to really take care of business in the final three minutes of the period. Poillucci added his second when he finished off a rebound from a shot from Matt Marceau. North then added a power play game as sophomore Andrew Wissler poked home a pass from Sarro. Less than 30 seconds later, Andrew Casson made it 5-0 when he finished off a feed from Paul Baker.
“We’ve switched the lines up some and we’re trying different things,” Snizek said. “Right now it’s clicking. The guys are moving the puck real well so I’m really happy with the outcome.
“They rally around each other. They try to get the best out of each other.”
Any chance of a comeback for Taunton was quickly erased when North Attleboro junior Zach McGowan found the back of the net in the first minute of the second period. McGowan broke through the neutral zone and one stride into the offensive zone, ripped a wrist shot upstairs to make it 6-0.
“It was nice to see,” Snizek said of the early goal in the second. “Then we started to get away from out game a little bit and giving them some life. You can’t give a team like Taunton, that is coached so well, some life.”
After the rest of the second went without a goal, the Rocketeers added three more goals in the final period. Anthony Zammiello netted a shorthanded goal, McGowan added a second and Zammiello capped the scoring with 1:25 to go.
Warren made 17 saves for the shutout.
Taunton wraps up a historic season at 13-10-1. North Attleboro (13-4-4) advances to the D2 South Quarterfinals and will play the winner of #3 Canton and #14 Sandwich, which is being played on Wednesday at Asiaf. Details for the quarterfinal game have yet to be announced.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.