Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Emma Pereira, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Hockomock League All Stars
Lizzie Tassinari, Canton
Carolyn Durand, Canton
Allie McCabe, Canton
Maya Battista, Canton
Gabby Colace, Franklin
Amanda Lewandoski, Franklin
Libby Carter, Franklin
Lindsay Atkinson, Franklin
Avari Maxwell, King Philip
Sydney O’Shea, King Philip
Jen Daniels, King Philip
Morgan Cunningham, King Philip
Emma Pereira, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Reese Pereira, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Melissa Shanteler, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Haley Nelson, Stoughton/Sharon
Morgan Lessa, Stoughton/Sharon
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league.
FOXBORO, Mass. – Canton has developed a well-earned reputation for being a team that finds ways to win big games. The Bulldogs focus on the defensive zone, get the puck deep and forecheck, and take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to them. Saturday evening’s league title showdown with King Philip at the Foxboro Sports Center was another example.
Even after falling behind inside the opening two minutes of the game, Canton never looked flustered. The Bulldogs went 3-for-3 on the power play, got three goals from defensemen, made timely saves to prevent KP from getting momentum, and skated to a 5-1 win that puts them just two points from clinching their third league title in four years and becoming the first Hock team to repeat as champion.
As if winning the title wasn’t enough motivation, the Bulldogs were also playing with head coach Dennis Aldrich in mind.
“They realized that they had an opportunity and I think they’re really motivated by Coach Aldrich,” said Canton assistant Nick Maffeo. “I think it means a lot to them that he’s watching from the hospital and that he’s pulling for them. They really believed in themselves and that was huge for us.”
He added, “That’s their goal in this shortened season, this crazy season, to try and capture the Hockomock League. It’s important to them, especially for the seniors.”
Just like in the first meeting between the teams, the Warriors got off to the perfect start. Freshman Kelly Holmes split a pair of defenders and drove to the net. Carolyn Durand (15 saves) made the initial stop but the rebound popped out to Jen Daniels on the post and she knocked it in for a lead just 1:44 into the game.
Unlike the first meeting, KP was not able to sustain that momentum past the opening few minutes.
“In their barn, we were flying the whole game, we were chasing pucks, were first on pucks, won one-on-one battles,” said KP coach Ken Assad. “Today was nothing like that except the first one or two minutes and I just don’t know why it’s not consistent.”
A power play sparked the Bulldogs into life. Maya Battista camped out on the edge of the right circle and she fired a wrister in off the post to tie the game. It was only Canton’s second shot on goal in the opening eight minutes.
KP nearly regained the lead a minute into the second. Daniels went one-on-one with Canton defender Kylie Martone and forced Durand into a good pad save.
Again it was a penalty that would stall the KP energy and put Canton in front for the first time. This time it was Allie McCabe that popped up with the goal, as she eased in from the blue line, taking the space that the KP defense was giving up, and fired a wrist shot through a crowd and inside the post.
“I think our defense has been a strength for years and years and this is something we’ve worked on all season,” Maffeo explained. “Our defense is committed to offensive zone, neutral zone, and defensive zone and we work on that and practice that and they have confidence in that.”
Sydney O’Shea was one of KP’s best outlets on offense and she forced Durand into another good stop, but Canton was taking control of the game and doubled its lead with 6:59 left in the period. Battista’s shot from the point was kicked aside, but Canton kept the puck in the zone and it cycled around to Koen in the left circle. She turned and fired and found the back of the net to make it 3-1.
The game could have been put away in the second. Canton outshot the Warriors 15-7 in the period and dominated zone time. Johnston came through with a pair of point-blank saves to deny Tassinari on the doorstep and then McCabe saw a shot come back off the post.
“The depth they have is incredible,” said Assad. “You have to match line-for-line with them and we tried. A team like that, once you score a goal you’ve got to stay on them, keep pressuring them.”
Even with Canton controlling play, KP had a couple of chances to make it a one-goal game. In the final seconds of the period, Avari Maxwell got free for a one-timer inside the left circle that seemed destined for the back of the net only for Durand to get across with her blocker. Fifteen seconds into the third, Katarina Precobb fired a pass from the near boards out in front to Morgan Cunningham but she was unable to get a clean shot off and Durand covered.
“It was there and I thought it was a goal but she came out of nowhere with that pad,” said Assad about Maxwell’s chance. “I thought that would’ve been great being down one going into the third. We had a great talk between periods, they came out and did exactly what we wanted to do, went after the net, and it just didn’t happen.”
Those misses would be costly. Just 32 seconds into the third, Battista whipped a shot in from the left point that somehow eluded the bodies in front and snuck past Johnston to make it 4-1.
Canton is a tough team to play against when they have a lead late in the game. The Bulldogs spent long stretches in the attacking zone. Although they weren’t creating a lot of chances, they were keeping the Warriors pinned back.
Maffeo said, “Because of our commitment to the defensive style of play, once we can get some offense generated then we can play the game we’re most comfortable with, all of our forwards back-checking and supporting our D.”
KP did have a couple of opportunities to maybe get back into the game. Holmes and Daniels forced a double save out of Durand with 10 minutes remaining. A minute later, O’Shea drove at the goal from a tight angle and tried to stuff in a backhand, but again had no way past the Canton netminder.
With 1:18 to go, on another power play, Tassinari wrapped up the win for the visitors. She spun on the puck in the high slot and ripped a shot past Johnston’s outstretched pad to make it 5-1.
Canton (7-1, 5-1) will take on Mansfield/Oliver Ames twice in the next two days needing a point to clinch at least a share of the league title. King Philip (4-3-1, 3-2-1) will face Stoughton/Sharon and root for the Warriors to trip Canton up.
Foxboro, 58 @ Canton, 46 – Final – Foxboro opened the second half with an 8-0 run, doubling its lead in the process, and never looked back in a win on the road over Canton. Foxboro’s slim (13-10) lead after eight minutes grew to 25-17 by the halftime break, and its strong start to the third quarter pushed the advantage to 16 and the Warriors never surrendered their advantage, carrying a 42-26 lead into the fourth. Junior Dylan Gordon scored 15 of his 17 points in the middle quarters while sophomore Alex Penders recorded 13 of his 17 points in the second half. Sam Golub had a strong night from downtown, hitting four three-pointers for 12 points for the Warriors. Eric Mischler led Canton with 13 points while classmate Ryan Connerney added 12 points.
Milford, 32 @ Attleboro, 59 – Final – Attleboro’s defense limited the visiting Scarlet Hawks to single digits in the scoring column in each of the four quarters to earn a big win. The Bombardiers held a 10-7 lead after one quarter of action but had a successful second quarter on both ends of the court to seize a 28-16 halftime lead. Junior Evan Houle set a new career-high with 20 points, including 14 points in the first half. Houle added two more threes in the third as the Bombardiers saw their lead balloon to 41-23. Sophomore Trevor White added 12 points in the win.
Attleboro, 71 @ Taunton, 49 – Final – It was just a four-point game after one, but Attleboro used a 22-8 second quarter to break it open and pick up the road win. Meghan Gordon had a monster game for the Bombardiers with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Emma Reilly chipped in with 15 and freshman point guard Narissa Smith added seven points and eight assists. Sonya Fernandez had a big game for the Tigers, scoring 21 points in the loss. Kristy Gorman and Kyanna Barros both scored six points for Taunton.
North Attleboro, 37 @ Oliver Ames, 65 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. With the win, OA clinched at least a share of the Davenport division title. The Tigers can now win it outright with a victory in either of its final two games. Caroline Peper paced OA with 15 points and five steals and Kelsey Yelle added 10 points. The Tigers also got great performances from their trio of freshmen – Kaydance Derba (10 points and five rebounds), Sarah Hilliard (nine points and five rebounds), and Jasmyn Cooper (six points, eight rebounds, and five assists). OA used a 14-2 to grab a nine-point lead after one and then scored 20 in the second quarter to lead by 20 at halftime. North got no closer than 17 points in the second half. The Rocketeers were shorthanded with leading scorer Amanda Kaiser among the players out on Wednesday, but Ava McKeon picked up the scoring slack with a team-high 14, including seven in the first. Cailyn Maxcy added 10 points and Taylor McMath had six.
Milford, 39 @ Sharon, 33 – Final
Attleboro @ Taunton, 6:00
Canton, 5 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final
Oliver Ames, 0 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final
King Philip, 4 @ Canton, 2 – Final – King Philip goalie Mallory Johnston made 24 saves as the Warriors snapped Canton’s 19-game unbeaten streak, dating back to January 2020. KP took a 1-0 lead in the first period and added two more in the second period to build a 3-1 lead. Avari Maxwell had two goals for KP while Kelly Holmes and Sydney O’Shea each had a goal and two assists in the win.
Oliver Ames @ North Attleboro
King Philip @ Taunton, 8:30
Oliver Ames vs. Attleboro, 7:30 (Virtual)
Attleboro vs. Mansfield, 7:30 (Virtual)
Oliver Ames vs. Mansfield, 7:30 (Virtual)
FOXBORO, Mass. – It was a game that ebbed and flowed. First one team had momentum and then the other would make a play and the ice would start to tilt back the other way.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames rallied from one goal down in the third period, taking the lead with just 1:41 left, but King Philip answered back only 43 seconds later with the goalie pulled and the two teams skated off with a point apiece following an exciting 2-2 tie. It was the season opener for both teams, who will meet again on the same ice less than 24 hours from when this game finished.
“I didn’t expect anything different,” said King Philip coach Ken Assad about the matchup with MOA. “I knew they were going to be tough beat. Our girls were picking things up day-by-day and I didn’t know how today would go. We still need to pick some things up speed-wise but they did a pretty good job today.”
King Philip had the game’s first good chance when Libby Curran fired a shot through a crowd that had to be knocked aside by MOA goalie Jess Widdop. The visitors came right back with chances of their own. Emma Pereira circled all the way around the zone, behind the net, and back in front where she picked out Julia Muttart for a chance that was saved by Mallory Johnston.
Ella Waryas showed off her stick-handling when she weaved through traffic starting at her own blue line, but her backhand shot was saved. Meg Sherwood set up Kelly Holmes for a chance right in front but Widdop made the stop and then the rebound was flicked just over the bar.
After a scoreless first period, MOA started the second brightly. Reese Pereira had two tries at the near post but Johnston kept her pad on the ice and blocked both efforts.
Just when it looked like MOA was starting to assert control, KP opened the scoring on the other end. Nicole Brady touched the puck past a defender and into the right circle before sending a low pass to the edge of the crease. Kara McWhinnie was in front and got the deflection under the pads of Widdop to make it 1-0.
Almost immediately after going in front, Sydney O’Shea had a chance to double the lead with a wrister from the slot, but Widdop saved. Reese Pereira then had a shot gloved by Johnston and Waryas was denied on the rebound.
KP finished the second with nearly four minutes of power play time and could have gone into the intermission with a bigger lead if not for the MOA goalie. Holmes fired a pass across goal to Avari Maxwell at the post but Widdop got the pad down to make a point-blank save. With less than 30 seconds left in the period, Katarina Precobb slipped a pass to Morgan Cunningham on the back post but Widdop’s blocker was in the way.
“In the first half of that game, she was the game for us,” said MOA coach Roy Bain. “She was the team. She had a blocker save that was huge, a leg save on a rebound. She kept us in it, kept us in striking distance.”
Assad added, “We need to take our opportunities that we created. She’s a great goalie and we’ve just got to be able to pounce on those rebounds. We practiced the power play a lot the last couple days and I’ll give the girls credit they ran it to perfection but we just have to put it in the net.”
It stayed a one-goal game heading to the third and MOA came flying out of the break in search of the tying goal. Emma Pereira had a blast from the point that Johnston parried. KP nearly snuck a second on the break when O’Shea’s pass sprung Jenn Daniels only for Widdop to stand tall again.
With 10:57 on the clock, MOA was level. Megan O’Hara got free at the left point and sent a shot through traffic that somehow found a little seam to get to the net and then ricocheted off the post and in. It was all MOA from that point on. After recording 10 shots on goal through the first period, the Warriors had 12 in the third period alone.
Emma Pereira continued to be the driving force for MOA. The senior defenseman raced down the left side and then turned towards goal, forcing Johnston (20 saves) into a good stop. Then, with 1:41 to play, Pereira cut across the high slot and forced a glove save out of Johnston. The rebound dropped right at the stick of Waryas, who made no mistake and slammed it into the empty net.
“We were able regroup,” Bain said about the strong third period from his team. “It took some time. They didn’t like where they found themselves but they came back like they always do. Kudos to KP, there was no quit in them either.”
MOA thought it had the come from behind victory, but there was still drama left in the game.
KP pulled Johnston for the extra skater. As the clock ticked down under one minute to play, Holmes made her first varsity goal a memorable one. The freshman got loose in the slot and sniped the space above Widdop’s shoulder to salvage a point.
“We’ve got some talented forwards on our team,” Assad said, “and we know we can score when we want to. When we pulled the goalie and put Kelly out there and she got the puck on her stick and she went end-to-end and got a great shot off.”
One of Franklin’s strengths the past few seasons is being difficult to break down. While the Panthers don’t have the same experience on the blue line as in years past, Colace is still between the pipes and that should make Franklin tough to score against this winter. She allowed only 1.95 goals per game last season, making 357 saves, and stopping more than 90 percent of the shots she faced. One of the league’s top shot stoppers, Colace uses her quickness and ability to read the play to be in the right positions. She sees the puck well through traffic and her athleticism allows her to cover a lot of ground quickly. Colace’s consistency and composure in net will be a big help to a relatively young Franklin defensive group this season and her experience as a three-year starter gives Franklin high hopes of reclaiming the league title.
Goalie is not an easy position to step into and produce right away, especially not at a state championship-caliber level, but Durand jumped between the pipes for Canton last year and put together a remarkable season for the league champs. As a freshman, Durand allowed only 0.71 goals per game and made 293 saves, stopping 95 percent of the shots she faced and recording 14 shutouts. She was solid positionally all season, rarely over-committing and making sure to be in the right spot to deny someone on the rebound. Durand also showed poise under pressure, not backing down as teams crowded the crease in search of late goals or being over-awed by the moment during Canton’s run to the final. It was a great way to kick off her Canton career and Durand’s continued development is one of the reasons the Bulldogs remain the favorite to repeat as Hock champs.
Canton doesn’t just count on its forward to find the back of the net, the Bulldogs also need them to start the defensive pressure with a tireless forecheck. Femia is a good example of defending from the front. The senior forward is relentless in chasing the puck in the offensive zone, allowing her teammates to get into good positions, forcing turnovers, and wearing teams down as they try to get the puck out. She scored four goals and had 13 assists last year and was a big reason for the program winning its first ever state title. A four-year varsity player, Femia has the speed to harass the opponent and the vision to turn a loose puck into a scoring opportunity for either herself or a teammate. With a few new faces on the roster this year, Femia will be counted on to pick up the scoring and try to make it three league titles in four years in Hock play.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames has top players back in each position on the ice and is looking to make a run at its first Hockomock League title. One familiar face back is senior Alex Ledin, a veteran that will be apart of the Warriors’ top line. Ledin is also joined by returners Reese Pereira and Ella Waryas, the trio combined for the majority of MOA’s points last season. Ledin’s speed gives the Warriors a lot of options in the attack and her experience means she knows what spots to be in on the ice. Having familiarity with her two linemates will also mean the trio can pick up where they left off last season. As a junior, Ledin was among the league’s leading scorers with nine goals scored and seven assists.
Stoughton/Sharon took a step forward last season, picking up three wins and another point through a tie and a big reason for that was forward Morgan Lessa. Lessa is among the most dangerous players in the Hockomock League and the surrounding area, possessing a combination of skill, hockey IQ, and speed that makes her very hard to stop. Despite getting a lot of attention from opposing defenses, Lessa finds a way to get space and is a great finisher in front of the goal. She logs of a lot of minutes during five-on-five but is also a key piece when the Black Knights go on the power play. And during the penalty kill, Lessa is often flying around the ice to disrupt opposing power plays. She was one of the top producers in the league last year, scoring 21 goals (second-most in the league) and adding 10 assists for a total of 31 points, one point off the league lead.
A standout in the rink and the field hockey field, Lewandowski knows how to find the back of the net and her tenacity means that opposing defenses don’t get to take a minute off while she’s on the ice. She was fifth in the league in scoring last year (and tops on the Panthers) with eight goals and 13 assists. Lewandowski can drive Franklin forward from her own zone, helping back defensively and then carrying the puck to a scoring opportunity on the other end of the ice. Quick, with good stick skills, and a motor that doesn’t stop, Lewandowski is able to find the little seams in a defense to get her shot on goal and isn’t afraid to get to the front of the net sniffing out rebounds or deflections. She can also cause the opposition fits with her forecheck, pushing teams back and making it difficult to get the puck out of the zone. She will be hoping to cap off her four years on varsity with a second league title in the past three seasons.
You could pick any of the three members of King Philip’s top line to be on this list like juniors Morgan Cunningham and Sydney O’Shea, but we’re going with the senior captain Avari Maxwell. A longtime member of the Warriors, Maxwell will lead the charge offensively this season for a team that is looking for its first Hockomock League title. Maxwell sets the tone with her work ethic, a strong two-way player that gets back and factors in defensively while also being a strong offensive player. Working alongside Cunningham (24 points) and O’Shea (20 points), Maxwell completes one of the most dangerous lines in the league. As captain, her leadership both on and off the ice will be key.
Canton has become known for its impressive defensive record during its recent run of three state title games in four seasons. That should be no different this year, as the Bulldogs try to become the first team to repeat as Hock champion. McCabe will be one of the main factors for Canton’s continued defensive solidity. Strong and imposing in her own zone, McCabe is also a good skater who can beat a forward to the puck or get physical in the corner and take the puck away. She read angles well to cut off space and keep everything away from the front of the net. Although not a prolific scorer from the blue line, McCabe has a good shot from the point and good vision for an outlet pass to spring the forwards into the offensive zone. Graduation and transfers took away some of the top defensive pairings from last year, but McCabe’s experience will make her a leader for the new faces on the blue line this season.
No matter the situation happening on the ice, you’re like to find Haley Nelson in the lineup for the Black Knights. Whether it’s five-on-five, a power play opportunity, or Stoughton/Sharon is on the penalty kill, Nelson is likely out there especially for the biggest moments of the game. The leader of the defensive corps for the Black Knights, Nelson is a veteran player with plenty of experience. We saw Stoughton/Sharon take a big step forward last season after a tough 2019 campaign and Nelson was a big reason why. Not only is she a reliable defenseman for the program, she gets involved in the offense. Her work ethic is contagious and sets the tone for the Black Knights. Last season, Nelson had nine goals and six assists.
An MVP candidate a year ago, Mansfield/Oliver Ames senior Emma Pereira returns as one of the top players in the Hockomock League this season. The Warriors will have one of the toughest defensive units in the league this year with the entire group back from last year. Pereira will lead the way as a very reliable player, doing a good job of breaking up passes and blocking shots. She reads the play really well and always seems to be in the right position defensively. On top of that, Pereira is a weapon on the offensive end of the ice. She carries the puck out of the back, through the neutral zone, and into the attacking zone and makes a play on her own. She plays on both the penalty kill and power play units and logs a lot of minutes on ice for the Warriors. Last season, she recorded 16 goals and added seven assists to lead Mansfield/Oliver Ames in scoring.
2019-2020 Record: 19-1-4 2019-2020 Finish: Division 2 State Co-Champion Coach: Dennis Aldrich
The pandemic has cost Canton an opportunity to defend its first D2 state championship, but the Bulldogs have an experienced squad that will be looking to claim a second straight league title. Although dynamic defenseman Olivia Maffeo has transferred, Canton can count on 13 returning players, including nine forwards, so there is plenty of continuity as the program makes its move to the rebuilt Metropolis Skating Rink.
Maffeo’s goals will certainly be missed, but the Bulldogs will expect the forward lines to pick up the slack. Seniors Maria Femia, Lizzie Tassinari, and Ellie Rae Roberts all have four years of experience at the varsity level and each is capable of putting the puck in the net on a consistent basis. The forwards will also be the first line of defense, as their forechecking ability puts pressure on the opponents in all three zones.
Defense has been a strength for Canton throughout this impressive run of success. This year, there will be a few new faces on the blue line but junior Allie McCabe and sophomore Maya Battista will lead the defensive unit and both stood out last year for their strength, skating, and passing out of the zone. Backstopping the Canton defense is sophomore goalie Carolyn Durand, who recorded 14 shutouts as a freshman.
“I look for our team defense to be a strength as usual and am looking for our experienced forwards to find the back of the net more often with the confidence gained by capturing the first state title for Canton High School Girls Ice Hockey,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich.
Last winter, Franklin pushed its league title defense right to the final game of the regular season and this year the Panthers will be hoping to reclaim the crown in what should be a typically competitive league campaign. Franklin will hope that a young defensive group can get up to speed right away to complement the experience that the Panthers have in attack.
The forward line should be a strength for Franklin this season. Senior Amanda Lewandowski is back to be the focal point after recording 21 points as a junior. Fellow seniors Libby Carter and Katelyn Brown will add experience and energy to the forward line, providing not only scoring punch but also helping out in the defensive zone as well. Sophomore Lyndsey Atkinson is coming off an impressive rookie season in which she led the team with 10 goals.
Defensively, Franklin graduated a group of players that had several years of varsity experience so it will be new faces that will have to step in this year. Junior Katie LeBlanc and sophomore Shaw Downing are two of the defenders back from last year’s squad. If teams get through the Franklin defense, senior goalie Gabby Colace is back to keep things difficult for opposing forwards. Colace was one of the league’s top shot stoppers last year, allowing fewer than two goals per game.
“We are very grateful to have the opportunity to get on the ice and compete,” said Franklin coach Margie Burke. “This year we expect to have a balanced squad. The Hock should be very competitive as always. ‘Play every game like it’s the last’ will be our motto.”
2019-2020 Record: 10-11-1 2019-2020 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Ken Assad
After coming up just one point shy of the state tournament last season, the Warriors are entering the 2020-2021 campaign with a lot of determination, ready to make a run at the Hockomock League title.
The Warriors have a large amount of returning players back for this season and all now have a year of experience under their belts playing for head coach Ken Assad, who enters the season with plenty of optimism and excitement. Assad will look to role three to four lines throughout the season, giving the Warriors a lot of flexibility with their offensive looks. In senior captain Averi Maxwell (18 points) and juniors Moran Cunningham (24) and Sydney O’Shea (20 points), King Philip has one of the most dangerous attacking units in the league. Not only will the Warriors get a lot of production from that line, but it should also open things up for everyone else on the ice.
Junior Jen Daniels (16 points) is back after a breakout sophomore campaign, sophomore Katarina Precobb will look to follow up a strong freshman season, and seniors Nicole Brady, captain Olivia Donovan, Kara McWhinnie, and sophomore Bridgette Nally will all be in the mix offensively for the Warriors. There will be a lot of familiar faces on the defensive end for the Warriors as well with senior assistant captains Gabriela Trujillo and Libby Curran anchoring the blue line unit. Juniors Meg Sherwood and Alison Donovan bring key experience from last year while sophomores Brielle Hearon and Emma Sullivan will factor in defensively as well.
Mallory Johnston picked up some valuable experience between the pipes last season filling in for an injury and will now take over the starting job in net for KP. The Warriors also have a strong freshmen class ready to contribute right away with Kelly Holmes (forward) and Mara Boldy (defense) in the mix.
“With the experience we have this year and always being very optimistic for a good start, I expect them to work hard in all three zones and be a top contender for a Hockomock title this year,” Assad said. “There is great team chemistry on this team and with our captains’ leadership, they will definitely give it 110%. The girls accept the fact there is not going to be a tournament and are very excited to get on the ice no matter what the season will look like and for that, I continue to be very proud of them and what they have gone through.”
Coming off a strong 2020 campaign and with a group of veteran players on the roster, MOA head coach Roy Bain has a positive outlook on the upcoming season for his Warriors.
MOA recorded double-digit wins last season and nearly pulled off a gigantic upset in the opening round of the state tournament (5-4 loss to #8 seed Boston Latin). The Warriors have 11 seniors on this year’s roster and that, plus a strong mix of experienced underclassmen, should mean good things for the season. The defensive unit for the team remains intact with senior Emma Pereira, the team’s MVP from a season ago, back to anchor that unit. She’ll reunite with junior Julia Muttart for one pairing while seniors Melissa Shanteler and Megan O’Hara are back together on the blue line again this year.
Not only will there be familiar faces along the blueline, junior Jess Widdop returns for her third season between the pipes for MOA. Widdop had a strong season in goal for MOA a year ago and with so much familiarity among the defensemen, the Warriors will be one of the toughest teams to score against. Freshman Kata Callanan will push for time in net as well.
On the other end of the ice, Bain has compiled four lines that could all see time on the ice. Senior Alex Ledin (16 points), senior Ella Waryas (15 points) and sophomore Reese Pereira (17 points) accounted for the majority of the Warriors’ scoring last year and will be among the most dangerous lines in the league. The line of Sam Ledin, Kylie O’Keefe, and Emma Garland will provide a change of pace, using their speed on both ends of the ice; the trio of seniors Lily O’Brien and Tess Luciano centered by junior Cierra Doherty will provide veteran leadership; and sophomore Mya Waryas will be surrounded by freshmen Maeve Anastasia and Cam Shanteler for a youthful option.
“This team only graduated two players, it has essentially the same personnel from last year, but with a renewed sense of the possibilities of what they can build for this program,” Bain said. “Some of the seniors were cheated out of their seasons in other sports and know what’s at stake for girls hockey. I’m impressed by the focus they’ve shown this far. The rules they play under may have changed, but their mindset and their love of the game has not.”
The Black Knights took a step in the right direction last season, picking up points in four contests including three wins. Stoughton will look to build on that this year in a very competitive Hockomock League.
Morgan Lessa was one of the best forwards in the Hockomock League last season, second in the entire league with 21 goals scored and tied for second-most in points with 31. Haley Nelson also had a strong junior campaign and was a big reason for Stoughton seeing an improvement on the ice from the season before. Nelson accounted for nine goals and six assists.
Zofia Bangs made an immediate impact for the Black Knights last season and is coming off a strong field hockey season. Both Bangs and Jillian Parker played key roles in the attack for the Black Knights. Stoughton will have to replace goalie Brianna Buckley (graduation). Buckley recorded over 350 saves last season and was a key piece in the Stoughton defense.
Below are the official 2020 Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Makenzie Shandley, King Philip
Hockomock League All Stars
Lizzie Tassinari, Canton
Alexa Maffeo, Canton
Olivia Maffeo, Canton
Meg Aldrich, Canton
Gabby Colace, Franklin
Tina Pisano, Franklin
Amanda Lewandowski, Franklin
Makenzie Shandley, King Philip
Morgan Cunningham, King Philip
Sydney O’Shea, King Philip
Sammy Robison, King Philip
Emma Pereira, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Melisa Shanteler, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Alex Ledin, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Samantha Ledin, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Morgan Lessa, Stoughton/Sharon
Haley Nelson, Stoughton/Sharon
Carolyn Durand, Canton
Jordan Dwyer, Franklin
Avari Maxwell, King Philip
Ella Waryas, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Samantha Sherman, Stoughton/Sharon
Sharon, 33 @ Cardinal Spellman, 38 – Final – Ally Brown scored 10 points, Trinity Payne scored nine, and Kaitlyn Wallace scored eight, but the Eagles couldn’t pull out the win on the road.
Attleboro, 2 @ Franklin, 9 – Final
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 6 – Final
Foxboro, 9 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final
North Attleboro, 3 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. North jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first with a pair of goals in the final four minutes. Jake Gruber followed up after Sam Clarke’s shot was saved to net the first goal of the game and then, with 50.7 seconds left in the period, Jeff Baker found the back of the net with a wrister from a few feet inside the blue line. KP took no time to erase the deficit after the intermission, scoring three power play goals in the first four minutes of the second. Nolan Feyler had a great tip in front to get the first, Joe Boselli picked the corner from the slot for the second, and then Chris Daniels crashed the net to slam home a loose puck and put KP in front. Dennis Morehouse answered back with a goal three minutes before the end of the second and that proved to be the final tally, as the teams finished with a point apiece. KP goalie Jesper Makudera made 25 saves, while North goalie Nick Digiacomo stopped 29 shots.
Taunton, 2 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Taunton took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission but Mansfield scored four straight goals in the second period, including three in the final three minutes, to turn the game around for the win. Taunton freshman Nathan Fernandes scored with 4:13 left in the first with junior Cam Faria and sophomore Loran Corcoran assisting. Mansfield junior Cam Page tied the game with 8:07 left in the second period on assists from Joseph Troiano and Chris Jenkins. Jake Lund (from Jenkins and Troiano) and Jenkins scored eight seconds apart to put the Hornets ahead 3-1, and senior Kevin Belanger added another goal with less than a minute to go in the second (from Jenkins and Patrick Gormley). Jenkins earned his fourth point with his second goal of the game with 7:23 left in the third, Gormley and Lund earning assists. Taunton senior Xavier Abel scored with 4:44 to go with freshman Colton Scheralis and senior Noah Gravel earning assists.
Canton, 1 vs. Dedham, 0 – Final – Canton freshman Olivia Maffeo scored her 11th goal of the season in the first period and the Bulldogs held on for the win over Dedham. Freshman Carolyn Durand earned her sixth shutout of the season in net.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 2 @ Norwood, 3 – Final – Norwood scored twice in a two-minute span in the first period and the MOA Warriors were unable to overcome the early deficit. Kylie O’Keefe halved the deficit with a goal in the second period but the Mustangs scored first in the third to push the lead to 3-1. Ella Waryas finished off a rebound on a shot from Melissa Shanteler to bring the Warriors within one but couldn’t find the tying goal despite a strong push late.
King Philip, 2 vs. Medfield, 3 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. King Philip’s Makenzie Shandley and Avari Maxwell scored early in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit but the Warriors converted a two-man advantage in the final five minutes to earn the win. Cristina Coleman had a strong showing in-between the pipes for KP.
Foxboro, 48 @ Canton, 26 – Final – Foxboro earned seven pins and nine wins overall to earn a win on the road over Canton. Sean Bubencik (120), Jonathan Carey (132), Jeremy Neale (145), John Rounds (152), Sean Gallagher (182), Aiden Dow (195) and Aidan Hughes (285) all secured important points with pinfall victories for the Warriors while James Fraser (106) and Ryan Addeche (170) each won by decision. Canton’s Joseph Doria (126), Dominic Sica (138), Eddie Marinilli (160) and Derrell Brown (220) picked up wins via pinfall. Zachary Peters earned a 7-3 win at 113 for the Bulldogs.
Taunton, 15 @ Franklin, 56 – Final – Franklin picked up a half dozen wins via pinfall, two through major decision, and another pair through decision to knock off visiting Taunton. Devon Bramson (126), Jake Carlucci (132), Alex Fracassa (145), Dom Sackley (160), Dylan Nawn (182), and Matt Walker (220) pinned down wins for the Panthers. Ken Sauer won 9-0 at 152 and Luke Cashin picked up a 15-3 win at 170, both major decisions. Drew Difilipio earned an 8-1 decision at 120 and Ahmed Jawando picked up a 10-7 victory at 138. Taunton’s James Collins pinned down a victory at 106 and Jackson Wellman earned a 3-1 decision at 195 for the Tigers.
Oliver Ames, 28 @ Mansfield, 44 – Final – Mansfield freshmen Owen Weber (106) and Colton Johnson (182) earned key wins to help the Hornets fend off visiting Oliver Ames.
Sharon, 57 @ Milford, 11 – Final – Sharon continued its impressive season with a big win over Milford. Adam Landstein, Ben Shocket, David Gelman, Cam Birnbaum, Amit Levin, Aaron Cashton, Max Pozner, Kirit Gossetty, Tyler Freedman, Jared Karen, and Rhamsez Thevenin all had wins for the Eagles.
Milford, 32 vs. Hopedale, 29 – Final – Freshman Brooke Ferreira scored a game-high 14 points to lead the Hawks to their third non-league victory of the season. Jillian Michelson added six points, while Emily Croteau (13 rebounds) and Carley Ferreira (11 rebounds) dominated the glass.
Attleboro, 6 @ Cardinal Spellman, 1 – Final
Taunton, 2 @ Apponequet, 2 – Final
Franklin, 7 @ Leominster, 0 – Final – Franklin scored four goals in the first period and never looked back in a big win on the road over Leominster. Freshman Molly Hurley (from Katelyn Brown and Maggie McCaffrey) and sophomore Emma Hunt each scored once in the first period while junior Katelyn Brown scored a pair of goals. Shaw Downing, Samantha Wong, Maggie McCaffrey, and Hurley had assists on Brown’s two goals. Libby Carter, Maddi Dolan, and Olivia Stoller also scored in the win for Franklin while Kelli Maple had a pair of assists. Gabby Colace made 16 saves for the shutout.
King Philip, 6 @ Walpole, 2 – Final – Makenzie Shandley and Morgan Cunningham each scored a pair of goals to lead the Warriors to a big win on the road. Sydney O’Shea and Avari Maxwell each scored once in the win.
Mansfield. 141.85 @ Franklin, 139.15 – Final – Franklin posted its best score in program history but came up just short against powerhouse Mansfield in a clash of two of the top programs in the league.
Vault – Kate Rudolph 9.2 | Caroline Woelfel 8.9 | Lexi Lupien 8.85 | Maddie McGuire 8.75
Bars – K. Rudolph 8.3 | C. Woelfel 8.3 | Emma Nelson 8.2 | Ashley Hammann 7.9
Beam – K. Rudolph 9.4 | L. Lupien 8.7 | E. Nelson 8.65 | A. Hammann 8.6 | Elizabeth Schirduan 8.2 | Olivia Reagan 8.0
Floor – K. Rudolph 9.3 | C. Woelfel 9.0 | L. Lupien 8.6 | E. Nelson 8.5 | A. Hammann 8.4 | Lizzie Brown 8.2
After missing time at the beginning of last season, Colace returned to solidify the goaltending position for the Panthers (after an admirable job filling in by Gianna Cornetta), helping to bring home the program’s first Hockomock League title. Colace finished the year with a 1.77 goals against average, which was second in the Hock, and stopped 91 percent of the shots that she faced. She made 242 saves and recorded a pair of shutouts for the Panthers, who went unbeaten (7-0-1) in the Hock and won 17 games overall. Athletic and quick, Colace covers a lot of ground in net and is capable of making highlight-reel stops, while rarely giving up soft goals. Her communication with the experienced defensive corps in front of her will also be crucial to Franklin’s attempt to repeat as Hock champs and make another run in the state tournament.
King Philip senior captain Cristina Coleman could be poised to have a breakout year between the pipes after a strong showing over the past two seasons. As a sophomore, Coleman made 96 saves with a 2.84 goals against average. In the time she played in net for KP last year, she made 77 saves while posting a 0.94 goals against average and an impressive 0.939 save percentage. After showing improvement over each of the past two seasons, look for Coleman to take the next step during her senior campaign. The Warriors are a relatively young group with just three seniors so they will lean on Coleman heavily to provide leadership both on and off the ice. She is able to cover a lot of ground with her quickness. She is also an aggressive goalie, challenging shooters, and athletic enough to pull off the tough saves. As the Warriors make a push to get back to the tournament, Coleman will be a key piece of the 2019-2020 Warriors.
As a freshman, Femia played a role in getting the Bulldogs back to the TD Garden for the state title game, but her expected breakout season as a sophomore didn’t really happen. She finished last year with two goals and nine assists, but Canton relied mostly on its top line for goal scoring and was unable to defend its league title. With 41 combined goals and 62 combined points gone with the graduation of Maggie Malloy and Lauren Fitzpatrick, Femia will be expected to take on a much bigger load of the scoring for Canton this season and her combination of speed and tenacity should make her tough for opposing defenses to contain. Whether on the forecheck or in the transition game, Femia can find ways to get behind defenders and has the vision to make the right pass. If Femia can make the jump this season and become a more consistent scorer, then the Bulldogs could be looking at a quick return to the top of the league standings.
Stoughton scored 26 goals last season and Lessa played a role in nearly half of those. The forward scored nine goals and assisted on three others, becoming the top attacking threat for a Black Knights program that is still in the developing stages. After an all-star season, Lessa is back to lead the way for Stoughton with the hopes of getting the team back on track after a winless 2018-19 and keep things moving in the right direction. Speedy with a decent shot on the move, she is able to create goals for herself but also gets her teammates headed to the right spots to create scoring chances. Without the numbers of some of the teams that it will be facing, Stoughton relies on hard work to compete for three periods and Lessa is one of the players that leads the way to keep the Black Knights in games.
Lewandowski was part of a dynamic first line for the Panthers last season, but she will be counted on even more this winter after the graduation of top scorers Regan Paterson and Cassie Ronan. She scored eight goals and added 10 assists from the wing, but those numbers could take a jump this year as she will be one of the team’s primary puck handlers and will be expected to play a role in power play and penalty kill situations as well. A strong player with the puck on her stick, Lewandowski won’t shy away from contact in the corners to keep the puck moving and has the extra burst of speed to find space in the transition game. While Franklin has an experienced defensive group coming back, Lewandowski will also be expected to start defending from the front and provide cover through the center of the ice. It is always difficult to repeat as league champion and Franklin will be hoping that Lewandowski can provide the scoring punch to get the Panthers back on top this winter.
It is not often that a player makes one of these lists without having played a minute of varsity action, but there has been a lot of talk this fall about Maffeo’s arrival on the team and her potential impact on an experienced Canton defensive unit. The Boston Jr. Eagles player has certainly impressed with her club team and she certainly has the family pedigree (sister Alexa is a senior defenseman on the team and brother Jackson was a two-time HockomockSports.com Player of the Year in defense). A strong skater with a powerful shot, Maffeo could step right into the lineup and be a factor in all three zones, adding depth to the defense but also some more scoring punch from the blue line. Canton is looking to get back to the top of the league and to make a deep run in the postseason and Maffeo’s addition as part of what should be a strong freshman class could be an important catalyst for a big winter.
With just three seniors on the roster, the Warriors will be depending players from each grade to step up. Maxwell is in her third year with the program and is one of the most experienced players on the team. She found the back of the net seven times a year ago and recorded two helpers as well. She will be on King Philip’s top line along with senior newcomer Makenzie Shandley and sophomore Morgan Cunningham. Since its the first year that the trio has skated on the same line for King Philip, it will be important to establish chemistry early on to try and lead the way for the Warrior offense. The Warriors ranked fourth in the Hockomock League last season in scoring but with Maxwell back along with two strong forwards on the first line, KP will have a dangerous attack as they make a push for the league title.
Pereira gave the Warriors a strong presence in all three zones last season, not only stepping up defensively to give Mansfield/Oliver Ames a physical force on one end of the ice but also chipping in offensively. Pereira scored five goals and assisted on eight others last year, showing off a powerful shot from the blue line and also the ability to skate through the opposition in the neutral zone. One of the league’s top defenders with the puck on her stick, Pereira will add much-needed experience to a team loaded with younger players. She also stepped up her game when facing some of the top teams in the league, helping Mansfield/Oliver Ames earn a tie against Canton and a one-goal loss against eventual Hock champion Franklin. The Warriors have aspirations of making another tournament appearance this season and Pereira’s ability to control play in all three zones will be a key to that success.
After graduating two of the league’s top scorers, the Bulldogs will need players to step up to take on more responsibility on the offensive end of the ice. One candidate for that is junior Lizzie Tassinari, who is the squad’s returning scorer. She found the back of the net five times last year and recorded 13 assists to finish with 18 points as just a sophomore. With plenty of varsity experience, Tassinari will be a leader among the team’s forwards. She can use her speed to beat opposing defenders but as evident by her 13 assists last year, she has the vision to set up her teammates in great positions. Her energy can be contagious and can give the Bulldogs a boost when needed.
Last winter, the Warriors needed someone to step between the pipes and take over as the new goalie. Widdop, who had only played as a forward and winger during her time on the ice, volunteered. She spent the preseason training and preparing for her new role and it more than paid off, as she put together a solid season in goal and gave Mansfield/Oliver Ames a strong presence to backstop the defense. Widdop had a 2.43 goals against average in her first season and recorded a pair of shutouts. She saved 88 percent of the shots that she faced last winter, making a league-high 407 saves. Her quickness and athleticism made her tough to beat, even as she was still learning the position. She came through with several impressive games against some of the league’s top teams, keeping the Warriors within one goal of league champ Franklin and earning a tie against Canton. If Mansfield/Oliver Ames wants to make a playoff run this season, Widdop’s development into a strong goaltender will be critical to the Warriors’ success.