FRANKLIN, Mass. – Last season, Franklin and King Philip shared the Kelley-Rex division crown. On Saturday night, at a packed Pirelli Veterans Arena, the teams met again for a showdown between the top two teams in the division standings. Feeding off the home crowd, Franklin came out firing on all cylinders and that fast start proved decisive.
The Panthers dominated the opening period, taking advantage of their team speed to put the Warriors on their heels. Franklin scored four times in the first 15 minutes, digging a deep hole that the Warriors were unable to climb out of and skating away with a 5-3 win that puts them three points up on KP.
“We try to put them on their heels first,” said Franklin coach Anthony Sarno. “We want to come out with that nice hard fore-check, take away both D, take away options up the wall and seal off the middle. We’ve got four lines of speed and when they put it together and use their speed and work the system, then we usually come out and get a goal in the first period.”
KP coach Paul Carlow admitted that his team struggled in the opening period and that it put them in a difficult position for the rest of the night.
“The same thing happened to us here last year,” he explained. “We came out flat and they jumped on us early and they dominated us the whole first period, out-worked us, out-played us. Then I thought we got our composure a little in the second and made a game of it.”
It didn’t take long for Franklin to get on the front foot. Ben Jarosz forced KP goalie Kyle Abbott (32 saves) into a blocker stop a couple minutes in. Franklin would hold a 13-8 edge in shots in the period and half of KP’s efforts on goal in the first came from outside the blue line.
A little over three minutes in, the Panthers grabbed the lead. Jarosz got loose in the left wing circle and whipped a quick-release shot through bodies in front and under the goalie’s pads.
It took four minutes for Franklin to double its lead. On a four-on-four, Dylan Marchand sped into the high slot and fired a shot that Abbott was able to get a piece of, but it trickled behind him and Justin Magazu reacted quickest to tap it across the line.
With five minutes to go in the first, Logan Marchand kept the puck in at the blue line and got it to Magazu. He went dot-to-dot with a pass to Domenic Lampasona, who struggled to control the puck at first but then spun and flicked a backhand shot inside the far post for a 3-0 lead.
Three minutes later, it was four and it seemed that a rout was on. Jack Mackinnon won a battle along the boards in the defensive zone, allowing Franklin to break out. He then jumped into the attack and got the puck as he entered the zone, wristing a shot through a screen and into the top corner.
KP’s best chance of the period came right at the end. Shaun Fitzpatrick drove to the net and forced Franklin goalie Cole Pouliot-Porter (26 saves) into two stops from close range before the sophomore was able to cover up. The puck ended up in the back of the net but only after the officials had blown play dead.
The game looked to be well in hand for the Panthers, but KP came out of the intermission with a purpose and would turn things around in the second, with help from a series of Franklin penalties. Nolan Feyler had the first good chance, forcing a save our of Pouliot-Porter and then sliding the rebound right across the goal line. Marchand almost added a fifth on the other end, as he sliced through the zone but his attempted pass in the crease was covered by Abbott.
Franklin was still pushing for more. On the penalty kill, Abbott had to be strong to deny Jarosz from close range and denied Ryan Sicchio on a couple of shots from the point. He then got the shaft of the stick on a shot from Anthony Lampasona that looked destined for the corner.
KP turned it on over the final five minutes of the second and by the end of the period Franklin appeared to be just hanging on. Colin Lightbody had a good chance from the edge of the crease but Pouliot-Porter flashed a left pad to deny him. Kevin Birenbaum tried to take advantage of a poor clearance and handcuffed the goalie with a shot but the loose puck was covered just before it crossed the line.
With 4:35 left in the period, KP finally got on the board Brad Guden jumped up into the attack and forced his way to the net. Pouliot-Porter made a couple of saves from close range as Guden, Feyler, and Cam Lehan-Allen all crowded the crease, with one of them able to force the puck through.
Three minutes later, and just 17 seconds into a 5-on-3, the lead was sliced to two. Guden was given room to walk into a wrister and the sophomore defenseman sniped the corner to make it 4-2 heading into the locker rooms.
“There’s a few guys over there with real speed,” said Carlow. “We’re trying to make sure we don’t get caught, but just the little things, winning face-offs, winning wall battles, we could’ve been a lot better. We were chasing and we don’t want to be chasing a team like that.”
Only 30 seconds into the third period, Franklin had restored a three-goal cushion. Liam O’Rielly forced a pad save with a shot from the point and the rebound fell right on the stick of Jarosz, who buried the chance for his second of the night.
“We told them in the locker room, calm down, take a deep breath, you’re in control,” Sarno said. “The only way you lose is if you beat yourself, so let’s get back to our nice forecheck that we had in the first period. Once you put a puck in let’s just see if we can keep it going and stay out of the penalty box.”
Abbott was busy in the third period, as the Panthers got back on top. Anthony Lampasona, Magazu, and Marchand all forced the goalie into good stops. KP had only one shot for the first 12 minutes of the third, but then out of nowhere got right back in the game. Guden was the impetus again, skating behind the net and finding Rowan Boulger at the post. On his second attempt, the sophomore forward slid the puck past Pouliot-Porter.
The Warriors had a power play opportunity to close out the game but, after Marchand hit the bar on a shorthanded breakaway, Franklin was able to clear the rebound from Birenbaum’s shot and complete the win.
“In the Hock, everyone brings their best games and you’ve got to be ready,” said Sarno. “These teams are all well-coached. We know it’s going to be a good, hard-fought battle every night.”
Franklin (9-5-0, 4-1-0) will be back on the ice on Wednesday when it travels to the Foxboro Sports Center to face Mansfield in another top of the league clash. King Philip (3-6-1, 2-2-1) will get a day off before it travels to Bishop Feehan on Monday.
Today’s games are listed below.
Oliver Ames, 66 @ Southeastern, 67 – Final – Oliver Ames led after each of the first three quarters but Southeastern scored the go-ahead bucket with just over two seconds to play to steal the win from the Tigers. Junior Zach Tagliamonte scored a team-high 25 points for the second straight game to pace the Tigers. Jake Grimaldi chipped in with 17 points and Drew Baxter had 10 for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 72 @ Weymouth, 61 – Final – Deadlocked after three quarters, Stoughton poured in 24 points and get some key stops to secure a win on the road at Weymouth. Freshman Matt Greenspoon hit a big three and added another field goal in the fourth quarter to spark the Black Knights, finishing with 11 points (all in the second half). Senior Connor Andrews scored nine of his team-high 24 points in the final frame and junior Rayan Sablon had 11 of his 19 points in the last frame to help Stoughton get the win.
Sharon, 46 @ East Bridgewater, 63 – Final – Jasmine Davis scored 27 points and added 20 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as the Eagles fell on the road in a non-league game. Rachael Hager chipped in with 12 points for the second straight day.
Stoughton, 35 @ Canton, 60 – Final – Fay Gallery led the way for the Bulldogs with 23 points, including four three-pointers, as Canton extended its win streak to five games. The Bulldogs held a three-point lead after one and extended it to 10 by halftime. The Black Knights stayed within 13 heading to the fourth, but Canton outscored the visitors 19-7 over the final eight minutes to pull away for a big win. Kiara Cerruti scored 14 and Sydney Gallery added seven for Canton. Kate Bulger scored 13 for the Black Knights, including six in the first, and Vanessa Phelimond and Raina Tat each scored six.
Attleboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 8 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. – Troy Carlisle scored a pair of goals and assisted on two other, helping North sweep the season series against Attleboro. Carlisle opened the scoring with a breakaway goal four minutes into the game and then picked up an assist about four minutes later when he set up Jack Dluhy in the slot. Attleboro goalie Nick Piazza made a pad stop but Joe Quinn knocked in the rebound. North hit the post twice in the first and Attleboro had a shot cleared off the line. Carlisle got his second when he stole the puck in the attacking zone and found the top corner. Nick Longa made it 4-0, assisted by Nik Kojoian and Mark Ayvazyan. North then got two more 39 seconds apart to lead 6-0 after two. Quinn scored his second off a Dluhy assist and Brody Gaulin was credited with a tip of Austin Comery’s shot from the point. Kojoian got his second assist early in the third when Anthony Westcott’s shot from the point went in off the bar. Gaulin added a 4-on-4 goal with 8:37 to play, assisted by Brady Sarro. Attleboro got on the board in the final 90 seconds, as Sean Marshall went the length of the ice on the power play and buried his shot in the top corner past North goalie Nate Kelly (eight saves). Piazza finished with 46 saves in the loss.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 7 – Final
Foxboro, 1 @ King Philip, 6 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. – King Philip sophomore Brad Guden scored a hat trick to lead the Warriors to a league win over Foxboro at the Foxboro Sports Center. King Philip scored twice in the first, three times in the second, and tacked on one more in the third to get the win. Guden set up KP’s first goal, carrying possession into the offensive zone before teeing up classmate Sam Naggar for a one-timer from the blue line that found its way through. Less than two minutes later, John Campbell used a nice move in front to beat the goalie, assists going to Sean Crowther and Kevin Birenbaum. Foxboro cut the deficit in half with 8:08 to play in the first as senior Ben Ricketts intercepted a clearance attempt and fired a wrister that was partially stopped but trickled over the line. Guden lit the lamp twice in the second, first firing a low wrister from the blue line that found the back of the net, and then minutes later, had another low shot take a fortunate deflection off a Foxboro skate and into the back of the net. Crowther came flying down the left side before roofing a shot with less than two minutes to go to make it 5-1 after two periods. Guden completed the hat trick in the third, finishing off a pass from Crowther for a 6-1 edge. Senior Josh Marcoux made 33 saves in net for Foxboro.
Franklin, 7 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Franklin scored three goals in each the first and second periods on its way to a league win on the road over Taunton. Christian Shabbick scored a hat trick for the Panhters, scoring with eight minutes left in the first (on an assist from Ben Paterson) to make it 3-0, again less then two minutes into the second (from Anthony Lampasona) to make it 4-0, and then completed the hat trick (on another assist from Paterson) to push the lead to 6-0. Dylan Marchand added a pair of goals, Ryan Sicchio scored on the power play in the first period, and Paterson lit the lamp once and had a total of three assists. Freshman Jack O’Connor made 16 saves for the win. Taunton sophomore Conner Goranson scored off of an assist from senior Nathan Fernandes in the third period. Freshman Cam Tomaszycki made 46 saves in net for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 7 @ Cardinal Spellman, 2 – Final – Stoughton’s Sean Farley scored a pair of goals to help the Black Knights pick up their second win over Cardinal Spellman this month. Ryan Summers, Joe McNulty, Cooper Card, Colin Alessi and Charlie Caputo each added one goal for Stoughton.
Canton, 4 @ Medway/Ashland, 1 – Final – Audrey Koen scored a pair of goals to lead Canton to a third straight win and its fifth win in the last six games.
Franklin, 0 @ Medfield, 1 – Final (OT)
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 2 @ Westwood, 2 – Final
King Philip, 9 @ Dedham, 0 – Final
Stoughton/Sharon, 2 vs. West/East Bridgewater, 7 – Final
Canton, 12 @ North Attleboro, 69 – Final
Sharon, 62 @ Foxboro, 14 – Final – Ashmith Yeruva, Vehnil Rangaraman, Adam Landstein, Cam Birnbaum, Nick Varvak, Kyle Samuels, Aaron Cashton, Phil Varvak, Cormac Horlbogen, Ethan Siao, and Ron Loebl each won for the Eagles, who clinched at least a share of the Davenport division title with the victory.
Mansfield, 21 @ Franklin, 49 – Final
Milford @ King Philip, 6:00
Oliver Ames, 78 @ Stoughton, 6 – Final – Senior Gio Juste, juniors Ryan Widdop, Kyle Hardie, and Victor Romeiro, and freshman Rory Gallagher-Lambert each earned a pinfall win for the Tigers.
Taunton, 72 @ Keefe Tech, 9 – Final – Ryan Jones (113), Christian Balmain (152), John Mandeville (160), Peter Ye (195), and Logan Frank (220) all won by pin to help Taunton secure a win on the road over Keefe Tech.
North Attleboro @ Canton, 5:15
King Philip, 29 @ Taunton, 43 – Final
North Attleboro @ Canton, 5:15
King Philip, 63 @ Taunton, 17 – Final
CANTON, Mass. – Despite Canton dominating play in the third period and holding King Philip to just two shots in the final 15 minutes, the Warriors went into the final three minutes holding onto a one-goal lead. It would be a rare win for KP in the series, a rare win for any Hockomock League team against the Bulldogs, and a chance to take a big early step towards a second straight league title.
But, there is a reason that Canton went into Wednesday night’s game at the Metropolis Rink having won 36 straight league games. The Bulldogs scored a pair of goals in 1:39, completed a comeback after being down two goals twice in the game, and pulled out a dramatic 4-3 victory.
“It’s huge for our psyche,” Canton coach Brian Shuman said. “It’s good for our guys to see that they can come from two goals down. Hopefully they’re not in that position too often, but it’s still good to build that mental toughness.”
After the game, KP coach Paul Carlow rued the missed opportunity to grab a lead in the Kelley-Rex division, even if it is just three games into the league campaign.
“They pinned us in in the third,” he explained. “They outshot us and outplayed us in the third period. Instead of continuing to take it to them, it felt like we were more trying to hang on. That never works.”
It was all KP at the start of the game. The Warriors came out flying and needed only 27 seconds to pick up the opening goal. Shaun Fitzpatrick did good work down the right wing, driving at the net and drawing a couple of Canton defensemen. He flipped the puck out in front to Sean Crowther, who sent the puck through a crowd of legs across the crease where James Boldy was standing all alone to tap into the empty net.
Rather than being a wake up call for the home team, the goal seemed to spur the Warriors on for more. Fiztpatrick collected the puck against the right wing boards and turned towards goal. He had a free path right at Canton goalie Aiden French (18 saves) and stuffed the puck under the pads to make it 2-0 less than six minutes in.
Shuman said, “KP does a great job of getting pucks and bodies to the net and you saw that on the first goal. That’s their bread and butter and we struggled with that mightily tonight. We just weren’t tough enough out in front, we were puck watching, and losing guys. They play a tough brand of hockey.”
KP got a chance on the power play midway through the first and Max Robison forced French into a tough save on a shot from the point. Canton cleared the rebound. It was one of a couple chances that the Warriors had to try and extend the lead, but the Bulldogs held on and got the kill.
Only 13 seconds after getting back to even strength, Canton was on the board. AJ Thomas’ pressure on the forecheck caused a turnover in the attacking zone. His first shot from point-blank range was stopped by KP goalie Kyle Abbott (28 saves) but Thomas stuck with it and knocked in the rebound, cutting the lead in half.
The goal seemed to give Canton momentum, as the Bulldogs went into the locker room on the front foot, but it didn’t carry over to the second period. Only nine seconds elapsed before KP added a third. Boldy snapped off a wrsiter just as he was entering the zone on the left wing and French appeared to be unsighted as the puck flew under the bar on the stick side.
“We had some really good chances and then didn’t convert,” said Carlow. “Canton had the momentum off the kill and then I think they scored the very next shift and now it’s a one-goal game. We got a goal to start the second and I think we just kind of ran out of gas.”
Canton needed a spark. Sophomore Brendan Tourgee nearly had a quick response when he sailed into the zone, split a pair of defensemen and got off a backhand shot from a tight angle that Abbott kept out. Sam Carlino had a partial break for the Bulldogs but Robison hustled back to get a piece of the shot from the right face-off dot.
The Bulldogs were able to cut into the lead midway through the second. After a couple of shots from the point by Sean Connolly that Abbott pushed aside, they swung it across the blue line to Ryan Doucette. His shot was heading wide of the post but sophomore Brian Middleton was able to get a telling touch on it to sneak it past Abbott low at the near post.
“To get one there was big and that line of Middleton, (Patrick) Drury, and Blake continue to get it done and I think our other guys can learn a little bit from them because they’re having success and getting big goals just by getting to the tough, dirty areas,” said Shuman.
KP tried to hold on in the third, blocking shots and trying to keep the Bulldogs away from the crease. Eddie Gillis nearly set up Thomas for a tying goal, but Abbott stayed with the tip in front and kept it out. Tourgee then showed off his strength on the puck, holding off two defensemen to allow the Bulldogs to get back onside and then turning into the zone, forcing Abbott into a good save with his shoulder.
Connolly had another shot from the point that forced Abbott into a save. Tommy Phaneuf corralled the rebound in front but was pressured off the puck and couldn’t get a shot on target.
While the chances were piling up, the clock was winding down. Finally, with 2:42 to play. Tourgee found the back of the net. He dragged the puck through a stick check on the left wing boards and then angled towards goal. His backhand shot through the crease somehow snuck through a thicket of legs and found the far corner.
“He’s so gifted on the puck,” Shuman said of Tourgee. “He’s strong on the puck, he’s fast, he’s just got a nose for the net. I think he’s got to trust getting pucks to the net instead of always trying to pick those corners because you can see how offensively gifted he is.”
The pressure continued, as Canton outshot KP 13-3 in the final period. With 1:03 to go, the Bulldogs got the winner. Brennen Pecararo dropped a pass back to sophomore Colin Blake and he pounced on the chance in the slot, slamming the puck into the back of the net.
KP had one last look with the goalie pulled and less than 10 seconds on the clock, but Brad Guden’s shot from the point hit a body to the side of the post and ricocheted into the corner.
“We just got off to a tough start this year with injuries and illness,” Carlow said. “I think we had eight out sick the first week of the season, so we got off to a tough start and we’re just trying to get rolling.”
Canton (4-2-1) will be back home on Saturday afternoon to face Mansfield, which was the last team to hand the Bulldogs a league loss back in February 2017. King Philip (2-4-1) returns to Canton on Saturday night, this time at the IcePlex, to take on Archbishop Williams.
Today’s games are listed below.
Attleboro, 69 @ Durfee, 58 – Final – Attleboro senior Jake Struminski and sophomore Neo Franco each scored seven points in the fourth quarter, with Struminski hitting a clutch three, as the Bombardiers rallied from an early fourth quarter deficit to knock off the Hilltoppers. Attleboro lead after each the first (17-13), second (35-27), and third (46-44) quarters but a strong start to the fourth put the hosts ahead 54-47. The Bombardiers finished the game with a 22-4 run. Struminski had a career-high 16 points, both Evan Houle and Joe Francois-Annevil chipped in with 15 points, and Frano finished with 10 points.
Canton @ Southeastern – Postponed to TBD.
Attleboro, 73 vs. Durfee, 45 – Final – Lindsey Perry scored 22 points to lead Attleboro to a big non-league win. She was one of four players that scored in double digits for the Bombardiers, who have won two in row to get back to .500 on the season. Lily Routhier, who transferred from Wheeler School this year, added 12 points and Kayla Goldrick scored 11. Meghan Gordon rounded things out with 10 points. Attleboro had eight players get on the score sheet.
North Attleboro, 7 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – North Attleboro senior Nik Kojoian recorded six points and Nick Longa added four points as the Rocketeers skated past rival Attleboro. Kojian scored a hat trick and added three assists to pace the offense while Longa found the back of the net twice and assisted on two more goals.
Canton, 4 @ Hanover, 2 – Final
King Philip, 1 @ Natick, 2 – Final (OT) – King Philip tied the game with a goal in the second period and owned a heavy advantage in shots but came away without a point after falling to Natick in overtime. Trailing 1-0 after a period, Kevin Birenbaum knotted the score on a power play goal just under five minutes into the second, scoring off assists from Nolan Feyler and Brad Guden. KP had a 37-18 advantage in shots.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Silver Lake, 5 – Final – Junior goaltender Brandon Burke made 26 saves but Oliver Ames fell on the road to Silver Lake.
Stoughton, 0 @ Dartmouth, 6 – Final – Stoughton goalie Chris Andrade turned aside 35 shots in net but the Black Knights suffered a setback at the hands of Dartmouth.
Taunton, 0 vs. Middleboro, 4 – Final
Franklin, 1 @ Catholic Memorial, 7 – Final
Mansfield, 1 vs. Walpole, 5 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 2 @ Walpole, 4 – Final
Stoughton/Sharon vs. Milton, 5:00
Stoughton, 15 @ Canton, 60 – Final
Oliver Ames, 40 @ Foxboro, 35 – Final
King Philip, 34 @ Franklin, 39 – Final
Taunton, 52 @ Mansfield, 24 – Final – Taunton grabbed its first division win of the season, pinning down a victory on the road at Mansfield. Xavier Sandoval (132), Ben Mandeville (145), and Logan Frank (220) each won by pinfall while Brandon Mendes (120, TF 15-0), Anthony Vieira (126, MD 15-8), Christian Balmain (160, MD 18-4), and Ethan Harris (182, 8-5) also had wins for the Tigers. For Mansfield, Nathan Jackson (113, 1:30), Sam Connelly (152, 2:27), Dashiell Munson (170, 3:04), and Andrew Cameron (285, 4:33) all won by pinfall.
North Attleboro, 29 @ Sharon, 34 – Final
Oliver Ames, 57 @ Canton, 73 – Final
Oliver Ames, 80 @ Canton, 96 – Final
Oliver Ames, 138.2 @ Attleboro, 139.2 – Final
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview
2020-2021 Record: 1-8-0
Coach: Greg Chamberlain
Attleboro had a difficult 2020-21 season, as delays and big breaks early in the season led to three games in three days to close things out. The Bombardiers will be hoping that they can build off that experience and make a push to get back into the postseason mix with several underclassmen stepping in to supplement the returning corps.
The offense has depth to it this season and head coach Greg Chamberlain is expecting a lot of grit and effort in the attacking zone to create scoring chances. Senior Nate Parker will be the leader of the forward line but he will get help from juniors Colin Flynn and Mike Lachance, who have both had two seasons on varsity already. Freshmen Austin Bessette and Nate Conroy have impressed the coaches in the preseason and could be ready to contribute right away.
Defense could be a strong unit this season, as the Bombardiers have decent skaters and decent depth along the blue line. Senior Sean Marshall will be the key to that group, providing on-ice leadership. Sophomore Dane Holske had a good first season on varsity and can help out both in defense and at forward. Senior Nick Piazza is capable of being one of the top netminders in the league and will be back between the pipes for Attleboro this season.
“Biggest thing that is a positive for us is the guys wanna earn some respect and be tough to play against,” said Chamberlain. “We understand what we have but we think our schedule can help us gain some real confidence.”
2020-2021 Record: 11-0-1
Coach: Brian Shuman
The Davenport division has been ruled by Canton, which has won the title every season since the league split. The Bulldogs bring back a lot of returning players to hunt a 12th straight league title and defend the Div. 2 state title that they won back in 2019-20, but for many of the players, this will be their first season with a full slate of games.
Canton is known for its goalscoring, but the Bulldogs typically start from the defensive zone and this year should be no different. Senior Sean Connolly, the reigning league MVP, will be back at the blue line alongside classmate Ryan Doucette. Juniors James Young and Leo Owens should also see plenty of time on the ice with seniors Brennen Pecararo and Jay Kelleher slotting in at defense or at forward. The goalie job is up for grabs coming into the season with a three-way battle going on between senior Aiden French, junior Carson Eagles, and freshman Collin Davis.
As usual, the Bulldogs should be potent in front of the goal this winter. Senior Eamon Kelly, the team’s leading scorer last year, is back for his fourth season on varsity. Seniors Andrew Valkanas, Tommy Phaneuf, Sam Carlino, and Eddie Gillis will all chip in and junior Jeff Chaput could be poised for a big season after scoring 13 points last year.
“Solid team defense is the expectation as always this season, and we ask all positions to be important players all over the ice,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “Our forwards need to be able to shut down opponents and our defense must contribute to our offensive production to have a successful year.”
2020-2021 Record: 4-6-0
Coach: Mark Cedorchuk
Just two years removed from one of the best seasons in program history, Foxboro comes into the winter with an experienced squad, featuring nine seniors, to try and make another push for a state tournament berth. Although the Warriors went 4-6 in the shortened 2020-21 season, four of those losses were against Franklin and Canton and the other two were to North Attleboro by a combined three goals, so there is potential for the Warriors to get back to their 2019-20 form.
The forward line should have plenty of firepower this season with the return of seniors Jack Watts, Matt Grace, and Ben Ricketts, who combined for 13 goals in 10 games last year. Fellow forwards Derek Axon and Steven Bridges will give Foxboro good leadership and depth in the forward line. The Warriors also got plenty of scoring from the blue line, with senior Tom Marcucella adding four goals and three assists last winter.
Improvements in the defensive zone (and not playing almost every game against the league’s top-scoring teams) will be expected this season. Marcucella is listed as a defenseman but has the versatility to line up in multiple positions and he will be helped on defense by classmates Dylan Pothier and Brady Callahan. Junior Alex Coviello and sophomore Sully Kenneally are also going to step into bigger roles on the blue line this season.
“I would say all nine of our seniors are going to be major contributors and that’s definitely a first for Foxboro hockey and it’s a good thing!” said Foxboro coach Mark Cedorchuk. “I would say we will be skilled and experienced.”
2020-2021 Record: 10-2-1
Coach: Anthony Sarno
This will be a new-look Franklin team that takes the ice this season, looking to win its 11th straight league title and make a deep run in the postseason. The Panthers graduated 16 seniors from last year’s team and only return seven players with significant varsity experience to try and manage a schedule loaded with some of the best teams in the state.
Senior forward Dylan Marchand is the key returning player in the forward line. The team’s leading scorer last year, the speedy center scored eight goals and nine assists in 13 games. Seniors Justin Magazu and Domenic Lampasona and juniors Ben Jarosz and Ryan Sicchio will also return to add more firepower to the attacking end of the ice. With 14 new players on the roster, there could be a lot of new names on the score sheet this winter.
Defensively, the Panthers will lean on experienced players like seniors Aidan Hunt and Jack MacKinnon to guide the younger players, as they take on the high-end talent that Franklin will face right from the start of the season. In goal, sophomore Cole Pouliot-Porter and freshman Jack O’Connor will both get chances between the pipes.
“I am optimistic with the youth we have and excited to watch us grow together,” said Franklin coach Anthony Sarno. “We will just have to weather the ebbs and flows, try to remain even-keeled, communicate, and trust each other as a team in order for us to grow and move forward as a complete unit.”
2020-2021 Record: 9-1-0
Coach: Paul Carlow
Last season, King Philip won a share of its first league title since 2006, picking up a rare win against rival Franklin in the process. With 12 returning players and a roster that has 16 upperclassmen, the Warriors will try to make more history by winning back-to-back titles for the first time in program history and also put together a run in the state tournament.
There are four players coming back this year that averaged a point per game in 2020-21. Three of those players are forwards. Seniors Shaun Fitzpatrick and Sean Crowther and junior James Boldy, who combined for 15 goals and 22 assists in 10 games last season. Senior Nolan Feyler will be a big boost, as the forward had a strong sophomore season but missed all of last year due to an injury. Senior Kevin Birenbaum is another of the nine seniors on the forward line.
Sophomore defenseman Brad Guden is the fourth Warrior who averaged a point per game last year. He broke into the lineup and scored 10 times and had 10 assists in his first varsity season. Seniors Nolan Jackson and Quin Garstka add leadership and experience at the blue line and sophomore Max Robison returns after an impressive rookie season. Senior Kyle Abbott will be back between the pipes for the Warriors.
“We have a tough schedule this season but we are looking to challenge for another Hockomock League title,” said KP coach Paul Carlow. We have great leadership from our seniors and a good mix of skill and speed with the younger players. I’m really looking forward to working with this group and build on last year’s success.”
2020-2021 Record: 5-6-0
Coach: Mike Balzarini
With its top six forwards all back from last year, there is optimism that Mansfield will consistently put the puck in the back of the net and in turn, challenge for the Kelley-Rex division title.
And another big positive for the Hornets is junior Chris Hormann back between the pipes with a solid amount of varsity experience now under his belt. That combination of experience in the offensive zone and in the crease is what Mansfield is hoping translates to success. The challenge will be getting a new mix of defensemen working together as the Hornets graduated the majority of that unit.
Leading scorer Mark DeGirolamo returns with a lot of varsity experience under his belt, coming off a season with eight goals and five assists. He’s joined by Dillon Benoit (7 goals, 5 assists), Kyle Oakley (2 goals, 5 assists), Doherty (2 goals, 3 assists), Liam Anastasia (6 goals, 5 assists), and Brayden Purtell (4 goals, 2 assists). As the stats suggest, the Hornets have a very even top two lines which means head coach Mike Balzarini can trust both units to get it done.
Looks for the line of Cullen Egan, Cody Gordon, and Connor Davey to provide energy and some offensive punch throughout the season. Balzarini is looking for some new faces to step up on the blue line. A mix of depth pieces are back, and the Hornets have converted some forwards to defensemen looking to solidify that unit. Patrick Gormley, Brendan Flynn, Will Cameron, Ryan DeGirolamo, and Ty Carroll are all in the mix to get some minutes.
“Last season was difficult for everyone so we’re excited for a more normal year,” Balzarini said. “We’re going to be quick and we have multiple lines that can be a factor for us. We’ve seen some success on offense in our scrimmages so scoring should be a strength, these kids are working well together.”
2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview
2020-2021 Record: 8-6-0
Coach: Kyle Heagney
North Attleboro returns 14 players from last year’s roster, including two of the league’s top three scorers, and the Rocketeers will be looking to use that experience under first-year coach Kyle Heagney (who formerly coached Norton and was a North assistant the past two seasons) to challenge Canton at the top of the Davenport division and to put together a playoff run.
Although the Rocketeers bring back senior forwards Nik Kojoain and Brady Sarro, who combined for 41 points in 14 games last year, North is a team built on hard work and team effort in the offensive zone, rather than on individual stars. Seniors Sam Clarke and Nick Longa and juniors Joe Quinn and Mark Ayvazyan will provide plenty of help in front of goal and all have plenty of experience at the varsity level.
North graduated only one of its defensemen from last year. Senior Austin Comery will be the leader for North at the blue line and he will be assisted by classmate Anthony Westcott. Sophomore Kyle Gruber is back in goal for North after an impressive debut season, where he was thrown in against some of the league’s top teams, including a first appearance against Canton.
“Our strength is that we are not a team of superstars,” said Heagney. “We are a team of hockey players that will win first in the locker room before the ice. We look forward to the season and having fun. These are memories that will live forever with our players.”
2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview
2020-2021 Record: 1-10-0
Coach: Mike Zucarelli
Oliver Ames has been in a rebuilding phase under head coach Mike Zucarelli. The Tigers won just once in the shortened 2020-21 season and head into this winter with a roster loaded with underclassmen. While this may be a difficult season, Zucarelli is excited for the potential on his team and the growth the program is making for the future.
Seniors Cam Tower and Eliot Cohen will be instrumental in shoring things up at the blue line. The two defensemen will need to provide leadership for the younger players and help limit the opposition scoring chances. Junior forwards Sean McCarthy and Jack Perron will hope to improve the team’s scoring punch as well, after OA was held to 10 goals in 11 games last year. Zucarelli is already seeing more confidence and better decision-making in the offensive zone and is hoping the team’s work rate will lead to more chances.
With seven sophomores on the roster, OA will rely on its youth movement to turn things around. After a lot of growth in the offseason (both physically and mentally), Zucarelli thinks that the septet is ready for the challenges of playing varsity hockey day-in, day-out. Winger Andrew Livingstone and center Matt Lawson will add to the team’s production in the offensive zone and defenseman Landon Grothe could be a standout in the defensive end of the ice. Junior Brandon Burke had a solid summer with his club team and will be the starting goalie for the Tigers this winter.
“If we continue to put in the effort I have seen both on and off the ice to start this year, I believe these young men have the opportunity to do something special,” Zuccarelli said.
2020-2021 Record: 0-6-1
Coach: Kris Metea
Taunton had a tough 2020-21 season, as the Tigers were only able to six games, and come into a winter of transition. The roster is going to be very young, with only nine upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) in the program, so there will be a lot of younger players getting their first taste of varsity action and others experiencing a full season for the first time.
The forward line has a lot of speed and the Tigers are going to rely on that energy to try and create scoring chances. Senior Nathan Fernandes is the most experienced forward returning and he will be joined up top by junior Connor McGrath.
Defensively, the Tigers will be an inexperienced group but there is potential and the desire to get better over the course of the season. Senior Ethan Ross will be the leader at the blue line and junior Colton Scheralis can add his experience there as well. Freshman Cameron Tomaszycki will be jumping between the pipes this season to get his first varsity action.
“We are happy to be back for a full year,” said Taunton coach Kris Metea. “Last season was full of delays, pauses, and feelings of frustrations that made for a very long, short, season. The lessons learned from last season has made the players within the program grateful for a return to a more normal season. We will plan to improve every day and be a better, more complete team by the end of the season.”
By HockomockSports.com Staff
Player are listed alphabetically
Sean Connolly, Senior – Canton
The reigning Davenport division MVP returns to man the blue line for the Bulldogs this season in search of another league title and another deep run in the state tournament. Connolly is the latest in a line of smooth-skating defensemen for Canton and he is just as comfortable mixing it up in the corners to win possession back as he is carrying the puck up ice to get the Bulldogs into their transition game. He finished last year with five goals and seven assists, as well as being a force in the defensive zone and kept the Bulldogs rolling in Hock play. With a strong shot, quick hands, and good hockey IQ, Connolly always seems to pop up in the right spot, whether it’s breaking up an attack or jumping in to give the Bulldogs numbers on the other end. Canton is still the defending Div. 2 co-champs (and open the season with fellow champ Lincoln-Sudbury) so expectations are high that the Bulldogs can make another deep run to retain that title and Connolly’s impact on both ends of the ice will be key to that success.
Nathan Fernandes, Senior – Taunton
While everyone experience a shortened season last year due to COVID, Taunton’s year was cut short more than most with just six games played total. With many delays and pauses, it was tough for the Tigers to develop any sort of consistency on the ice so Taunton is excited for a full season ahead of them. Senior captain Nathan Fernandes is one to keep an eye on this year, one of the fastest skaters in the Hock. Fernandes has been with the program since he was in eighth grade and has been an impact player for the past couple of seasons. He scored five goals and had 10 assists during his sophomore season and had three goals and nine assists as a freshman. He will be one of the leaders both on and off the ice as a captain and he will spearhead the Taunton offense as they try to navigate through the always difficult Hockomock League schedule.
Shaun Fitzpatrick, Senior – King Philip
King Philip is coming off its first Hock title in 15 years and first-ever Kelley-Rex division crown, and with 12 returners and all three of its top scorers back from a year ago, the Warriors are aiming to be in the mix again this year. One of those returners and top scorers is senior left wing Shaun Fitzpatrick, who scored eight goals and added five assists to help the Warriors compile a 9-1 record with 61 goals scored last season. A crafty forward, Fitzpatrick has strong stick skills and an accurate shot on the move, but his decision-making under pressure makes him effective. With his speed and game IQ, Fitzpatrick can cover a lot of ice and always seems to be in the right position to make plays in either zone.
Brad Guden, Sophomore – King Philip
King Philip had the recipe for success last year, earning its first-ever Kelley-Rex division title and first Hock title in 15 years. One of the key ingredients was the emergence of then-freshman Brad Guden, who gave the Warriors an instant boost. He scored 10 goals and added 10 assists, finishing second in scoring with 20 points in the COVID-shortened season. This year, Guden makes the switch back to defense to help the Warriors shore up the blue line group. His ability to carry the puck out of the defensive zone and join into the offense will make King Philip a dangerous team offensively. KP has a lot of experience in its forward group so getting a boost to the scoring from the blue line will balance out the offense.
Chris Hormann, Junior – Mansfield
Mansfield had the luxury of Sean McCafferty between the pipes for a couple of years but there was no drop off when he graduated and Chris Hormann stepped in a year ago. Hormann was under a lot of pressure a season ago, recording a league-best 220 saves to help the Hornets grab five wins. Now with a year of experience under his belt, Hormann will be among the top goalies in the Hockomock League. The Hornets are going to lean on his experience heavily as they sort out their new defensive pairings, having graduated the majority of that unit from last year. Hormann does a really good job putting himself in position to make the stop and doesn’t give up many good rebound opportunities.
Eamon Kelly, Senior – Canton
Canton rarely lacks for scoring punch and this season should be no different. Kelly is back as the team’s leading scorer after recording eight goals and nine assists in just 12 games last year and he will be the focal point for this season’s high-powered offense. Strong with the puck and with a motor that doesn’t seem to stop, Kelly is hard to stop when he gets a head of steam entering the zone and has a willingness to chase pucks into the corners to keep plays alive. He is also willing to get into the physical battles in front of goal to get the rebound goals and tips that you need to keep scoring over the course of a long season. Kelly’s tenacity has made him a regular, when healthy, for the past three seasons and, with the Bulldogs aiming at yet another Davenport division crown and another deep playoff run, he will be counted on again to be the spark plug for one of the league’s top offensive units.
Nik Kojoian, Senior – North Attleboro
The league’s leading scorer last season, Kojoian scored nine goals and recorded a league-high 14 assists in 14 games last winter and the Rocketeers will be leaning on his experience in the offensive zone to make a challenge for a league title and to get back into the postseason mix. A high-energy player, Kojoian is a good decision-maker in the offensive zone and has the vision to create chances for his teammates. He is also a scrappy player who puts constant pressure on the defense in the forecheck, which leads to additional chances. Kojoian’s speed makes him a threat on the break out and North will look to take advantage of those transition situations. With a new coach and a full season ahead of them, the Rocketeers will have high expectations and experienced forwards like Kojoian will be the key to how far North can go this winter.
Dylan Marchand, Senior – Franklin
A dynamic forward, Marchand is one of the fastest skaters in the league and one of those rare players that seems to be going just as fast with the puck as he is without it. Franklin’s leading scorer from a year ago, he finished with eight goals and nine assists in 13 games. He has a strong, accurate shot even on the move and is a threat to score from anywhere inside the blue line. Marchand brings a lot of energy to the ice and is always driving towards the goal, putting pressure on the defensemen who are trying to stay in front of him. Never shying away from contact, he also starts the forecheck for Franklin and can provide defense from the front. With a schedule loaded with the top teams in Div. 1, the Panthers will be preparing themselves for a postseason run and Marchand’s scoring could be the key for Franklin extending its season well into March.
Nick Piazza, Senior – Attleboro
Last season was a difficult one for Attleboro, which recorded only one win and had to battle long layoffs over the course of the shortened season. Piazza will be hoping to put last year behind him and get back to the form that made him a standout goalie as a sophomore. In 2019-20, he allowed fewer than three goals a game and stopped more than 91 percent of the shots that he faced, finishing with 489 saves. Strong between the pipes with good positioning, Piazza reads the play well to be in the right spots but also has the quickness to react act the last second and make a big save. His size and his strength going post-to-post means he can come up with a stop even when it looks like the net is open. If Piazza can get back to his play from two seasons ago, the Bombardiers could make a quick recovery from last season and be in position to earn a way back into the state tournament.
Jack Watts, Senior – Foxboro
Foxboro lost six games last year but four of those were to Franklin and Canton and the other two were against North Attleboro by a combined three goals. The Warriors will lean on experienced players this year and Watts, a four-year varsity player, will be one of the leaders in the offensive zone. A strong, physical presence on both ends of the ice, Watts is a tough combo of size and speed and adds an accurate shot. He can go into the corners and battle but also can get out on the break and beat defenders down the ice. Watts had four goals last season but in a full sophomore campaign he had 13 goals and 14 assists and the potential is there for another big winter. The Warriors will have the goal of getting back into the state tournament this season and they will be leaning heavily on Watts and the senior class to provide the firepower to get them back in the playoff mix.
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Boys Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Kelley-Rex Division MVP
Rocco Bianculli, King Philip
Kelley-Rex Division All Stars
Aiden Dryjowiz, Attleboro
Nick Piazza, Attleboro
Dylan Marchand, Franklin
Conor O’Neill, Franklin
Declan Lovett, Franklin
Conor Cooke, King Philip
David Lawler, King Philip
Rocco Bianculli, King Philip
Brad Guden, King Philip
Cam Page, Mansfield
Joseph Gormley, Mansfield
Brady Nichols, Taunton
Davenport Division MVP
Sean Connolly, Canton
Davenport Division All Stars
Sean Connolly, Canton
Liam Polles, Canton
Eamon Kelly, Canton
Dylan Coyne, Canton
Kirk Leach, Foxboro
Brady Daly, Foxboro
Jack Watts, Foxboro
Nik Kojoian, North Attleboro
Brady Sarro, North Attleboro
Charlie Connolly, North Attleboro
Ross Carroll, Oliver Ames
Charlie Caputo, Stoughton
Today’s games are listed below.
North Attleboro, 57 @ Attleboro, 46 – Final – North Attleboro senior George Ladd ended his high school career with a bang, scoring a career-high 30 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Rocketeers to a win over Attleboro. Ladd hit eight two-point shots and went 14-of-16 from the free throw line, icing the game with shots from the line in the final moments. It was a slow start on the offensive end for both sides but offensive rebounds helped Attleboro take a 20-19 lead at halftime. Buoyed by 12 points from Ladd and a pair of three pointers by Casey Poirier, North Attleboro scored 20 points in the third quarter to take a 39-32 lead into the final frame. Junior Brody Rosenberg added eight of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, including a dagger three that make it 46-38 with just under three minutes to play. Attleboro senior Justin Daniels scored a team-high 16 points, Alvin Harrison added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Chris Holcomb had eight points and 12 rebounds.
Attleboro, 2 @ King Philip, 6 – Final – King Philip set the tone with three goals in the first period, added one in the final minute of the second period, and tacked on two more in the third to secure the win and a share of the Kelley-Rex division title. Freshman Brad Guden scored twice and had an assist while David Lawler had one goal and two assists to pace the Warriors.
Mansfield, 2 @ North Attleboro, 8 – Final
Today’s games are listed below.
North Attleboro, 49 @ Canton, 51 – Final – North Attleboro nearly erased a 21-point deficit but saw it’s comeback attempt come up just short at the buzzer when it’s attempt at the game-winning three went in-and-out. Canton got off to a great start, staking a 17-5 lead through eight minutes and pushing it to 31-16 at halftime. The Bulldogs looked to be in full control when they carried a 49-28 edge into the fourth but the game completely changed in the final frame. The Rocketeers limited Canton to just two points and its offense came to life. Tommy Onorato hit a pair of threes and scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth and Brody Rosenberg scored six of his team-high 16 points to help North Attleboro rally to get back within two. North got one final stop and launched a deep three at the buzzer but the ball went in-and-out and Canton held on for the win. Steven Burbank scored all 11 of his points in the first half while Ryan Connerney (14 points), Will Keefe (nine points), and Eric Mischler (13 points) all connected from downtown in the third to help Canton build its big lead.
Stoughton, 72 @ Sharon, 53 – Final – Stoughton had its best offensive outing of the season with nine players finding the scoring column, including four players in double figures. The Black Knights jumped out to a 19-10 lead after a quarter, adding 15 points in each the second and third quarters, and pulled away for good with a 23-point fourth quarter. Brett Pendenza and Waseem Sablon each hit four three-pointers and finished tied for the team-high in points with 14 each. Connor Andrews added two threes of his own and finished with 12 points while Jake Queeney added a pair of threes and a total of 10 points for the Black Knights, who led 34-22 at halftime. Sharon’s Matt Baskin had a game-high 19 points along with nine rebounds while sophomore Matt Baur added 15 points and five boards.
Mansfield, 58 vs. Plymouth North, 38 – Final – Mansfield established a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back in win over non-league foe Plymouth North. The Hornets jumped out to a 20-9 lead and then limited the visitors to just two points in the second as the advantage ballooned to 30-11 by halftime. Mansfield kept its large lead going into (47-27) and throughout the final quarter. Senior Matt Boen scored nine of his game-high 25 points in the opening quarter and added two more threes in the second. Jack Colby added nine points for the Hornets, who had nine players score.
Canton, 51 @ Stoughton, 35 – Final – In a game that both offenses took a while to get going, a strong defensive first half proved to be decisive for the Bulldogs. Canton held Stoughton scoreless in the opening quarter and to just eight points in the first half. The Bulldogs scored 20 to take a double-digit lead at the break, led by Fay Gallery, who scored 10 of her game-high 19 in the first half. Things remained tight in the third quarter as the teams combined for 16 points and Canton went into the fourth leading 29-15. After a struggle to score for 24 minutes, the teams exploded in the fourth, combining for 42 points in the final eight minutes. Gallery scored nine in the quarter and Kiara Cerruti added seven of her 13 points. Samya DaSilva added seven, including four points in the fourth. Makaiyah Singleton Rivera paced the Black Knights with a team-high 13 points, including seven in the final quarter. Kate Bulger scored eight points and knocked down a pair of threes in the fourth.
Oliver Ames, 62 @ North Attleboro, 33 – Final – Oliver Ames built a double-digit lead by halftime and then pulled away by holding the Rocketeers to just 13 points in the second half. Caroline Peper led a balanced scoring attack for the visitors while Hailey Bourne chipped in with 10 points and Caroline Flynn finished with eight points. Amanda Kaiser scored 12 points in the loss and was helped by Cailyn Maxcy’s seven points and six from Ava McKeon.
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Liam Anastasia had a goal and assist and Chris Hormann made 14 saves in the shutout, as the Hornets earned their first division win of the season. Brayden Purtell opened the scoring with 6:29 left in the first, when he tapped in a loose puck at the far post. It stayed a one-goal game until 10:50 left in the second when Mark DeGirolamo added an unassisted goal. Late in the third period, Anastasia stole the puck in the corner and played a pass across the crease to Kyle Oakley at the far post to make it 3-0. He added an empty net goal in the final minute to seal the win. Aidan Diggin nearly got Attleboro back into the game in the second period but had a breakaway effort come back off the post and and then struck the crossbar with a shot early in the third. Nick Piazza made 35 saves in the loss.
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 7 – Final
Foxboro @ Oliver Ames, 4:00
Taunton, 2 @ King Philip, 9 – Final – Junior Shaun Fitzpatrick scored a hat trick and freshman Brad Guden added two goals a the Warriors skated to a win over visiting Taunton. Junior Sean Crowther registered four assists in the win while senior Shea Cunningham picked up three helpers.
Boston Latin @ Stoughton/Sharon, 6:30
Attleboro @ Franklin (virtual)