Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/04/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Hockey
Franklin, 1 vs. Hingham, 3 – FinalSophomore Joe LeBlanc gave the Panthers the lead in the first period but Hingham scored three unanswered goals to secure the win. The Harbormen scored with 16 seconds left in the first to tie the game 1-1, then added two more tallies in the second period. Ray Ivers made 20 saves in net for Franklin.

King Philip, 1 @ Norwood, 4 – FinalKing Philip scored the equalizer in the second period to knot the score at 1-1 but Norwood grabbed the lead back minutes later and added two more in the third period to get the two points. Joe Boselli scored with 10 minutes left in the second period on an assist from Jack Coulter. James Lewis had 17 saves in goal.

Oliver Ames, 5 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.The teams traded goals back-and-forth but Oliver Ames netted two goals in the final 10 minutes of play to get the win. Brett Williams gave OA the lead but less than a minute later, Mansfield’s Brad Grant tied the game. In the second period, Brian Grant put the Hornets ahead on a feed from Brad Grant but OA responded in two minutes as freshman Bryan Kearns buried a rebound off Max Ward’s shot. Williams put the Tigers up 3-2 with a power play goal late in the second but Mansfield sophomore Matty Copponi made it 3-3 with a goal early in the third. Colin Bourne scored the game-winning goal with 8:58 left in the game after Sean McCafferty stopped Jake Gottwald’s chance. Kearns added an empty net goal with just over a minute left. Owen Connor had 22 saves for the Tigers.

Gymnastics
Sharon @ King Philip, 8:00
Mansfield @ North Attleboro, 8:00

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/26/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Hockey
Foxboro, 1 @ Attleboro, 3 – FinalAttleboro received goals from three different players on its way to a key win over visiting Foxboro. Kyle McCabe, Ryan Morry, and Sam Larkin each found the back of the net for the Bombardiers while Cam Littig had an assist.

Franklin, 5 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalFranklin tied the game at 2-2 with less than a minute left in the second period and then outscored the Warriors 3-0 in the final period to earn a key division win, moving into first place with one league game left to play. KP had a 1-0 lead after one period and took a 2-1 lead in the second but Franklin knotted the score with 51 seconds left in the second period. Franklin took a 3-2 lead just two minutes into the third, and then tacked on two goals in a two minute period halfway through the third. Cam Cassella, Matt Holmes, Scott Elliott, Shane McCaffrey, and Joey Lizotte each had a goal for Franklin. Brendan Shandley and Jack Coulter (from Garrett Maxwell) had goals for KP while James Lewis made 20 saves in net for the Warriors.

Mansfield, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – FinalOliver Ames scored three straight goals between the first and second periods to take a 3-1 lead, and then tacked on an empty net goal in the final minute of the game to secure two points and a win over Mansfield. Hornet junior Joseph Troiano put Mansfield 1-0 on an assist from Coleman O’Brien but OA’s Max Ward (from Brett Williams) tied the game with 3:16 to go in the first period. Freshman Bryan Kearns (two assists) finished off a scrum in front in the second to put OA up 2-1 and James Beatty found Colin Bourne for a one-timer to give the Tigers a 3-1 advantage after two periods. Mansfield’s Jack Garland scored shorthanded on a breakaway early in the third to make it a one-goal game but Jake Gottwald iced it with an empty netter in the final minute. Owen Connor had 22 saves in net for the Tigers.

Taunton, 9 @ Stoughton, 4 – FinalTaunton senior defenseman Dylan Nichols scored two of his three goals in the first period and Camden Faria netted a pair in the first as the Tigers built a 5-1 lead after a period and never looked back. Nichols and Stoughton’s Sean Doherty traded goals to start the game but the Tigers scored four straight to take a big lead. Taunton’s Cam Sneyd had three assists in the opening period. Sean Doherty scored twice for Black Knights.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 6 vs. Norwood, 0 – FinalAfter scoring her 50th career goal last game, Lauren Fitzpatrick scored the first four goals of the night for the Bulldogs. Maggie Malloy and Lizzie Tassinari also scored in the win.

Franklin, 3 @ Medfield/Norton, 1 – Final – Three different players each scored once as Franklin rolled to a win on the road over Medfield. Cassi Ronan (two assists), Regan Paterson (assist) and Amanda Lewandowski each found the back of while Gabby Colace (13 saves) earned the win in net for Franklin.

King Philip, 1 vs. Westwood, 4 – Final

Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 vs. Medway, 1 – FinalEmma Pereira scored the lone goal of the game for the Warriors, putting them up 1-0 in the third period but Medway was able to find the equalizer.

Wrestling
Hock Super Quad (Canton, Franklin, Foxboro, King Philip, Taunton, Stoughton) – Click here for a photo gallery from this event.

Hock Super Quad (Mansfield, Milford, North Attleboro, Oliver Ames, Sharon) – Click here for a photo gallery from this event.

Boys Swimming
Stoughton, 52 @ King Philip, 95 – Final

Girls Swimming
Stoughton, 61 @ King Philip, 82 – Final

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro vs. Braintree, 10:00AM

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/21/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Girls Basketball
Franklin, 35 @ Holy Name, 33 – FinalAli Brigham secured the win and a season sweep of Holy Name, scoring the game-winning basket with just one second remaining on the clock. Brigham scored 23 points on the night.

Boys Hockey
Franklin, 2 @ Mansfield, 2 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Canton, 3 vs. Newburyport, 1 – FinalCanton faced a one-goal deficit after one period but scored three unanswered goals to beat Newburyport. Junior Colby Ciffolillo knotted the game early in the second period and senior Ryan Nolte scored on the power play to put the Bulldogs up 2-1. Junior Chris Lavoie scored in the third period to make it 3-1.

North Attleboro, 2 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalNorth Attleboro scored once in the first period and again in the second period to pick up a win over Foxboro. Jake Ebert put the Rocketeers ahead 1-0 and Dennis Morehouse doubled the lead with a goal in the second.

Oliver Ames, 6 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 1 – FinalOliver Ames exploded with four goals in the third period to pull away from visiting Coyle & Cassidy. Hunter Costello paced the Tigers with a pair of goals and an assist, Brett Williams scored once and had one helper, and Julian Krowski (first career goal), Duncan Pereira, and Max Ward each scored once. Owen Connor earned the win in net with 19 saves.

Swimming
Sharon @ North Attleboro, 4:00

Gymnastics
Canton @ Attleboro, 1:30
Sharon @ Taunton, 1:00

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/19/19

Today’s games are listed below. We’ll update this post with any weather related changes we receive.

Boys Hockey
Stoughton @ Canton, 8:00

Oliver Ames, 9 @ Taunton, 2 – FinalOliver Ames senior Colin Bourne recorded five points to pace the visiting Tigers to a win over Taunton. Bourne scored a hat trick and added two assists while senior Brett Williams (goal, three assists), junior Jake Gottwald (goal, three assists), and junior Hunter Costello (two goals, two assists) each had four points. Junior Duncan Pereira scored his first career goal while junior goalie Owen Connor made 15 saves for the win.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 2 vs. Medway, 2 – Final

Franklin vs. Norwood – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.

Stoughton, 1 vs. Wayland, 6 – Final

Wrestling
Lynnfield Quad (Canton) – Canton picked up a pair of wins at the Lynnfield quad on Saturday morning. The Bulldogs knocked off the hosts 46-33 and then finished the day by edging out St. John’s Shrewsbury (30-29). Canton lost in its first match of the day, losing to Metheun (52-15).

Brookline Tournament (Foxboro) – Foxboro picked up four wins on the day to take first place at the Brookline Duals Tournament. The Warriors had wins over Woburn (60-20), Leominster (69-9), Triton (18-9), and Brookline (42-41). Adam Lanctot, Tom Gallagher, Max Kornbluth, Tom Cullen, and William Ogebebor all went undefeated for Foxboro.

King Philip Super Quad (King Philip, Sharon) – Sharon went 3-0 at the King Philip quad, picking up wins over the hosts (51-24), Whitman-Hanson (59-6) and Norwood (63-16). King Philip also had a win over Whitman-Hanson (56-18). Sharon’s Aaron Cashton and Tyler Cashton each went 3-0 on the day.

Duxbury Duals (Mansfield), 9:00

Milford @ Hopkinton, 9:00

Cape Cod Invitational (Taunton) – Taunton had three grapplers place third or better and finished with 63 points as a team to take ninth place as a team. Junior Woudanly Danger (285) took second overall, losing by decision 3-1 in the finals. Christian Balmain (152) and Candido Santos (160) each earned third place finishes for the Tigers.

Gymnastics
Franklin, 132.6 @ Medway, 130.8 – Final

Oliver Ames Battles Back To Earn Tie With Rocketeers

Oliver Ames boys hockey
Oliver Ames players celebrate with Brett Williams (second from right) after he scored the tying goal against North Attleboro. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BROCKTON, Mass. – Win, lose, or tie, there is one thing that Oliver Ames boys hockey coach Sean Bertoni knows about his team: they aren’t going to give up.

Trailing by a goal entering the third period, and without two of their top point producers due to injury and illness, the Tigers battled back to score the tying goal midway through the period and killed off a penalty in the final two minutes to grab a 2-2 tie with visiting North Attleboro.

“It was an awesome effort, I’m really proud of them,” Bertoni said. “We didn’t win the game but it was one of my proudest moments, being down guys and most teams in that situation against a quality team like North Attleboro are in trouble. Our theme is being resilient. No matter what, we just keep fighting, the effort is always there. We showed it against Canton, we showed it tonight. It’s rewarding to see as a coach.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Despite being without leading scorers Cullen Gallagher and Brian Kearns, who each have 17 points, the Tigers twice overcame a one-goal deficit in the game.

North Attleboro took a 1-0 lead just over five minutes into the game and took that advantage into the locker room during the first intermission. OA knotted the score with 9:50 to go in the second period but the Rocketeers took the lead back with a late goal in the second.

“That’s a bad tie for us,” said North Attleboro head coach Ben McManama. “That’s taking nothing away from OA, they work their butts off. They have some guys who are sick, some guys who are injured and my hats off to them, they showed something today. We didn’t respond today, we have a full four line, healthy group that just didn’t get it done.”

Rocketeer senior defenseman Brendan McHugh put the visitors up 2-1 with just 1:03 left in the second period. After skating to a relatively even period, McHugh tossed a high shot on net from the blue line that OA goalie Owen Connor (14 saves) never seemed to get eyes on and it fluttered into the back of the net.

The Tigers opened the third by earning a power play but couldn’t muster any chances on goal. Instead, the best chance came for North Attleboro when the penalty expired. Rocketeer junior Jack Connolly came out of the box, took a pass and went flying into the offensive zone alone. But Connolly couldn’t quite get off a final shot with Connor covering the post with the pad.

Three minutes later, Oliver Ames had its equalizer. Senior Brett Williams prevented a clearance along the boards with a strong check that put the puck in the center of the ice. Junior Ryan Gottwald was able to bat the puck back to Williams, who was all by himself, and he deposited his shot five-hole to knot the score 2-2 with 6:47 to go.

North Attleboro had a final chance to go back on top when it went on the power play with 2:13 to go in the game. Oliver Ames’ top penalty killer Matt McCormick was whistled for a boarding penalty but the Rocketeers were only able to get one shot on net during the final two minutes.

Max Ward came up with a big early clear, and then teamed up with Williams to provide an aggressive forecheck that didn’t allow the Rocketeers to leave its own zone. McHugh had the lone shot of the man advantage but Connor easily gloved it.

“Even just getting the penalty with two minutes left in a tie game can deflate a team, especially with our top penalty kill guy in the box,” Bertoni said. “But it felt like we were attacking on it, we didn’t let them set up. I think they only had one shot on net, we had a good chance too. Brett and Max were relentless in the offensive zone. The kids are giving us everything, it’s awesome to see. We haven’t got much puck luck this year but hard work will pay off.

The Tigers even had a chance to score the game winner while shorthanded. Junior Hunter Costello cleared the puck off the boards and senior Colin Bourne used his speed to get around a North defender and get to the puck first. He was able to get a close bid on goal but North senior goalie Ryan Warren (19 saves) made a big pad save to prevent the shorthanded bid.

“They had a lot more energy in the third, they work really hard,” McManama said. “It didn’t feel like one team was better than the other in the third, it felt pretty even but I thought we could have been better. It breaks down into just some simple plays. We weren’t getting pucks in deep, we were turning it over at the blue line. Those little things, they add up. Those little things snowball and can really hurt you.”

North Attleboro struck on a rebound chance 5:31 into the contest. Andrew Zammiello put a shot on goal that Connor turned aside but junior Dennis Morehouse had plenty of space in front to bury it into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

North had a couple of chances to add to its lead in the first but couldn’t find the back of the net. The best opportunity came when Todd Robinson fed Connolly in the slot but Connor came up with a big pad stop.

OA’s best chances came off the stick of McCormick, who fired a slap shot that Warren gobbled up and a backhand chance from Jake Gottwald that Warren turned away.

OA senior James Beatty set the tying goal up with an absolute perfect pass. With possession in his own defensive end, Beatty fired a perfectly weighted pass through the neutral zone right onto the stick of Williams as he entered the offensive zone for a breakaway, and Williams used a nice move and lifted the puck into the net to make it 1-1.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Beyond North Attleboro’s first goal, the Tigers’ defense did a nice job of limiting chances for the Rocketeers.

“Defensive positioning has been great all year,” Bertoni said. “We only rolled four defensemen tonight, [McCormick], James [Beatty], Julian [Krowski], and Ryan [Gottwald]. They gave us a ton of minutes, and we had to kill a couple of penalties too. Other than that first goal, where we didn’t get our sticks in there, we didn’t give up a lot of quality chances. And we had some chances in the third too so I’ll get that point for sure.”

Oliver Ames boys hockey (2-2-1 Hockomock, 7-4-1 overall) hits the road on Saturday with a visit to Taunton at 2:00. North Attleboro (3-1-1, 5-5-1) is off until Monday when it takes on Foxboro at 6:00 at the Foxboro Sports Center.

Strong Start Carries Canton Over Oliver Ames

Canton boys hockey
Canton’s Chris Lavoie tries to skate past Oliver Ames’ James Beatty in the first period at Asiaf Arena. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BROCKTON, Mass. – Every team aims to get off to a good start, but few accomplish it as well as the Canton boys hockey team did on Saturday evening.

The Bulldogs scored twice inside the first minute of the game and had a third goal before the midway point of the first period, eventually skating away with a 5-2 decision over Oliver Ames.

Canton needed just 12 seconds to find the back of the net, doubled the lead in similar fashion at the 58 second mark, and again won a battle down low with 9:51 to go in the first to build a 3-0 lead.

“That’s as a good as I’ve seen coaching Canton High,” said Canton head coach Brian Shuman. “It was a good start, we came out flying, but you knew it was going to settle down at some point and [Oliver Ames] was going to play better. And it did and it was an even hockey game. When you play like a team like OA, and you know each other as well as we do, it’s going to tighten up eventually and it did. They are a good team, they run three good lines, four good [defensemen] and a good goalie. It was a good hockey game.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

After quickly getting possession in the attacking zone, Canton senior Matt Martin fired a low shot that was turned aside by OA junior goalie Owen Connor (18 saves) with a pad stop but the rebound was won by junior Timmy Kelleher and he quickly lifted the puck into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead with 14:48 left.

Canton continued to apply pressure and doubled its advantage with a similar play. Junior Chris Lavoie came streaking down the left side along the boards before rifling a low shot that was once again denied by Connor. But once again, Canton had plenty of help in front with senior Ryan Nolte providing a screen in front and junior Shane Marshall there to clean up the loose puck to make it 2-0 just 58 seconds into the game.

“We’d like to have the first minute back, yeah,” said OA head coach Sean Bertoni. “We knew what we were in for and it’s kind of ironic because we worked on a lot of 3-on-3 down low all week and that’s how they scored the first three goals. They came out hard, they wanted it more…that’s how Canton plays. They were hungry out front and we weren’t. We just didn’t take sticks, we were in position, but we just didn’t take sticks, and Canton wanted it more.”

The Bulldogs didn’t relent after building a 2-0 goal, pushing forward and finding the back of the net just over five minutes into the game. This time the set up came from junior Ronan O’Mahoney, who sent the puck towards the net from a step inside the blue line. The puck didn’t make it through, blocked down by a body in front and Canton senior Joe Robinson was the first to react, batting in the loose put for a 3-0 lead, all before Oliver Ames was able to register a shot on goal.

The Tigers’ first shot on goal came with 6:45 left in the first and Oliver Ames made the most of it. Senior Brett Williams connected with classmate Max Ward in front and he directed the puck into the back of the net to get the Tigers on the board, down 3-1.

Oliver Ames started the second period with a power play, but it was quickly erased by a tripping call to make it 4-on-4. Canton had over a minute and a half of power play time when the 4-on-4 elapsed, but good forechecking from Williams and freshman Brian Kearns prevented Canton from creating any real chances.

Junior Johnny Hagan nearly extended Canton’s lead with 9:50 left in the second period when Kelleher set him up in the slot but Connor made a terrific save to keep the puck out and the deficit at two.

But just over a minute later, Connor had no chance when Lavoie was left all alone in front. Marshall did the dirty work, pinning the puck in behind the net and drew the attention of three OA players. Marshall delivered a perfectly weighted pass in front to Lavoie and he one-timed it in to make it 4-1.

OA had a power play in the final minutes of the period and had a couple of looks but couldn’t solve Canton goalie Michael Staffiere for a second time. First, Kearns centered a pass to junior Jake Gottwald but he was tied up by a pair of Bulldogs defensemen and couldn’t get a stick on it. Moments later, senior Julian Krowski fed sophomore Ross Carroll but his bid from in close was denied.

The third period belonged to the defenses as neither side could generate much offense. Ward had one of the best chances just over five minutes into the period but saw his shot go just over the bar. It wasn’t until 3:17 left in the game that the pace picked up again.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Ward was on the receiving end of assists from Williams and Kearns, finishing off a chance in front to bring the Tigers within two late in the game. OA had another good look on the stick of Williams, but Staffiere came up with a big save.

Kelleher scored an empty net goal on an assist from Hagan with less than a minute to go to ice the game.

Canton boys hockey (4-0-0 Hockomock, 8-0-0 overall) is back in action on Wednesday when it travels to Foxboro to take on the Warriors at 5:20. Oliver Ames (2-2, 7-4) will try to bounce back on Wednesday when it hosts North Attleboro at 5:00.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/05/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Hockey
North Attleboro, 7 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final

Mansfield, 0 @ Canton, 4 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Foxboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalOliver Ames took the lead with a goal in the first period and then tacked on two more in the second to record a shutout win over visiting Foxboro. Senior Max Ward scored a shorthanded goal to put the Tigers ahead and Brett Williams scored twice in the second period to pace OA. Freshman Bryan Kearns had three assists and junior goalie Owen Connor made nine saves for the shutout.

Stoughton, 1 @ King Philip, 10 – Final

Franklin, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalFranklin scored twice in each the first and second periods to earn two points on the road against Taunton. Colin Hedvig and Matt Holmes scored in the first period for the Panthers while Shane McCaffrey and Scott Elliott tallied goals in the second period.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 5 @ Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 5 – FinalIn a back-and-forth battle, Canton sophomore Maria Femia scored with 1:15 left in the contest to help the Bulldogs earn a draw. The Bulldogs held a 2-1 lead after one period after Lindsay McManus and Lauren Fitzpatrick scored two early goals. Alex Ledin got the Warriors on the board in the first. Katie Trerice extended the lead to 3-1 but Emma Pereira and Lily O’Brien answered for MOA to knot the game at 3-3. Canton’s Maggie Malloy scored with two seconds left in the second to give the visitors a 4-3 advantage heading into the final frame. Mackenzi Fraser scored twice in the third to put MOA ahead but Femia’s late goal secured a point for both teams. Skyler Sharfman had three assists for MOA.

Stoughton, 3 @ Franklin, 8 – Final Franklin sophomore Katelyn Brown scored a hat trick, senior Lindsey Maloof scored once, and senior Tori MacLeod had three assists to lead the Panthers to a win. Senior Gianna Cornetta made 13 saves, including one on a penalty shot, to earn the win.

King Philip, 3 vs. Ursuline Academy, 0 – Final

Wrestling
Peckham Tournament (Canton, King Philip, Mansfield, Sharon, Stoughton) – Sharon’s depth paid off as the Eagles took second place with 155.5 points despite not having an individual champion on the day. The Eagles had three grapplers take third, four finish third and one take fourth overall. Tyler Cashton (152), Huguens Pierre (138), and Alex Bolt (220) finished second while Vinay Chinnam (126), Max Pozner (145), Jon Wald (182), and Andrew Ableman (160) earned third place finishes. Mansfield had four individual champions and eight total grapplers come in fourth or better but was one point shy of the Eagles, earning 154.5 points for third place. Jayden Curley (170), George Glaropoulos (160), CJ Glaropoulos (152), and Antonios Sevastos (120) each won their respective brackets, Ethan Nirenberg (182) was second, and Max Farley (113), and Ciaran Connolley (152) finished third. King Philip earned 134 points for sixth overall behind individual champions Mohammad Lofti (145) and Luke Fitch (182). Shawn Conniff (195) added a second place finish and Noah Riedel (132) and Jackson Kelley (138) earned third place finishes. Stoughton was seventh overall with 96.5 points, highlighted by CJ Carpenter’s win at 106 and John Santos’ second place finish at 113. Host Canton had 96 points, good for eighth place with Jordan Neundorf (160) and Harry Carter (126) earning second place finishes.

Chelmsford Tournament (Foxboro), 9:00

Natick Red Hawk Duals (Franklin) – Franklin dominated the day, winning five dual meets to earn first place at the Red Hawk Duals at Natick High. The Panthers beat Lincoln-Sudbury (63-9), Merrimack (75-4), Mt. Hope (51-17), Wellesley (60-6), and Natick (63-12). Franklin’s Alex Fracassa, Jordan Carlucci, Ken Sauer, Caleb MacLean, Dominic Sackley, and Riley Downing all went undefeated on the day.

North Attleboro Super Quad (North Attleboro) – The Rocketeers split the day, picking up a pair of wins but also dropping two matches. Big Red knocked off LaSalle Academy (45-22) and Bridgewater-Raynham (57-17) but suffered setbacks to St. John’s Prep (44-21) and Plymouth South (39-28). North Attleboro’s Montrel Jackson (160, two pins), John Kummer (220, pin), and Mateusz Kudra (285, four pins) each went 4-0 for the Rocketeers. Ethan Smith (120) won two matches by fall, one by decision, and one by forfeit to also go unbeaten on the day.

Sandwich Quad (Oliver Ames) – Oliver Ames picked up a win over Sandwich (42-37) but suffered a setback to Hingham (45-33) to finish 1-1 on the day. Senior Dean Pacini earned his 100th career win at the meet.

Quincy Quad (Taunton) – Taunton went 3-0 on the day, picking up wins over Durfee (54-18), Bellingham (60-24), and host Quincy (39-30). Xavier Sandoval (132, pin), Jackson Mandeville (138), Christian Balmain (152, three pins), and Devin Wilson (220, two pins) each went 3-0 on the day to pace the Tigers. Brandon Mendes (106), Candido Santos (160, pin), and Avery Justa (195, two pins) each had a pair of wins.

Swimming
Taunton @ King Philip, 4:30

Panthers Get Late Goals to Grind Out Win Against OA

Franklin boys hockey
Franklin senior forward Joe Lizotte (11) scored the tying goal midway through the second period of the Panthers 4-2 win over Oliver Ames in the league opener for both teams. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FRANKLIN, Mass. – When you are struggling to get into a rhythm offensively and everyone is grabbing the stick a little tighter, it takes players grinding in the corners and making the effort to get to the front of the net to turn things around.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

After watching Oliver Ames tie the game early in the third period of Wednesday night’s league opener at Pirelli Veterans Arena, Franklin needed a little inspiration to avoid extending its winless streak to six games (0-3-2 after opening the season with an exclusion win against Malden Catholic). Up stepped senior forward Joe Lizotte.

Despite being the only Panther in the offensive zone, Lizotte managed to hold possession in the corner against three OA defensemen. He squeezed the puck out to the right boards where it kicked to Tom Tasker, who sent a puck across the crease. The puck was deflected by C.J. Spillane, and several bodies in front of goal, to the far post and Zac Falvey popped up to knock the loose puck into the back of the net.

It was the spark that the Panthers needed. Franklin scored again three minutes later to seal a 4-2 victory and kick off its league title defense with a much-needed two points.

“He’s by himself and we get help off the bench and next thing you know it’s in the back of the net,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane about the game-winner. “A dead play, with a little effort, turned into a positive play. It’s just hard work. He’s a good player and we love having him on our team.”

Franklin came out strong in the first period, holding a 9-3 edge in shots after the first, despite giving up a power play only 50 seconds into the game.

Sophomore Declan Lovett had a good look from the dot that he sent just wide and the puck bounced out to Cam Cassella at the point, who forced a save from OA goalie Owen Connor (26 saves). Lizotte forced a save from the left circle and then Spillane and Tasker put shots on goal only to be denied.

“He kept us in it,” OA coach Sean Bertoni said of his goaltender. “It was his best game of the year. We just didn’t take sticks out on those last two goals. He played excellent.”

OA’s best chance of the opening period came with just under six minutes left. Jake Gottwald slipped a pass into the slot where Ross Carroll put a shot on net only to have Panthers goalie Ryan Cameron (10 saves) kicked it aside. The hosts nearly took the lead with just seconds left in the first but Tasker’s shot came back off the post.

“Our forecheck non-existent to be honest,” Bertoni admitted. “The first period was one of our weakest of the year, which was kind of disappointing. They know if we don’t establish our forecheck, then we’re not going to win anything. We rely on our speed.”

The Tigers started the second on the power play and needed only 19 seconds to make it count. Following a Connor save, Brett Williams broke down the right side and was able to play the puck across the crease into defenseman Matt McCormack, who forced a save from Cameron, and Cullen Gallagher was on hand to tap in the rebound.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, Gallagher was injured not long after the goal and forced to leave the game, one of two OA forwards to get injured on Wednesday.

Lizotte had a decent chance at an instant response only for Connor to make the save and then the OA goalie kept out Kyle Hedvig on a tip of a Cassella slap shot. Brendan Sicchio came close too with a shot off the post.

Finally, with 7:33 left in the second, Franklin’s pressure paid off. Lizotte got behind the OA defense in the left circle and cut across goal onto his backhand before sliding it under Connor.

Just seconds after Williams and Carroll had chances on the other end, the Panthers took their first lead of the night. Again it was Lizotte that created the opportunity by riding a challenge and keeping hold of the puck. It skipped behind the net to Matt Holmes, who flung a pass out to the point where Cassella fired a wrister through traffic and into the top corner.

“We worked on chipping the puck into space and every time you have No. 11 (Lizotte) on the ice you’re going to win those races and we had a couple of other kids pick up pucks too,” said Spillane. “It’s not the prettiest brand of hockey but it’s effective.”

Franklin almost doubled the lead in the third when Falvey made it three posts for the Panthers, but OA answered back to tie it. Off a face-off in the attacking zone, Gottwald had a chance from the slot that Cameron saved, but the rebound was knocked out of mid-air by Colin Bourne and slammed into the back of the net.

Bertoni said, “Their energy was there to start the period, their effort was there, and they didn’t get down on themselves when two guys went down and that’s all you can ask for.”

Williams almost gave the Tigers the lead but Cameron made a sprawling save. It was one of the few times that OA managed to get in behind the Franklin defensemen.

Spillane explained, “I thought we did very well defensively with our gap control, slowing them down as they came in the zone and not giving them space to move around.”

With 8:49 left, after Lizotte’s effort in the corner, Falvey put Franklin in the lead. Three minutes later, the Panthers sealed the win. Dan Magazu threw a puck in front from the right boards and Shane McCaffery managed to squeeze the tip under Connor’s pads for a 4-2 lead.

“We have nine forwards and when you lose two of them it’s hard,” said Bertoni. “I threw a guy out there on the ice cold and they scored the goal to make it 3-2. That’s on me but it’s hard when you’re short-benched against a team with so much depth.”

Freshman Brian Kearns had one more good chance for the Tigers but his shot was kicked out by Cameron and the Panthers got their first two points (for MIAA purposes) of the season.

Spillane said, “We just need to find an offensive flow. We had plenty of shots, we missed the net way too much, so we need to clean things up offensively.”

Franklin (2-3-2) will travel to Taunton on Saturday, while Oliver Ames (5-3) will look to bounce back when it hosts Foxboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/27/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Franklin, 63 vs. Brighton, 35 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery from this gameFranklin clamped down defensively, forcing Brighton into 32 turnovers on its way to a big win over the Bengals. The Panthers forced 12 turnovers in the first quarter alone and hit their first eight shots from the floor, taking a 25-6 lead after eight minutes of play. Junior Chris Edgehill had a team-high 15 points, senior Will Harvey added eight points, and Jack Rudolph finished with seven points and three assists. Franklin will play host Bridgewater-Raynham in the championship game of the Larry Fisher Holiday Tournament on Saturday at 4:45.

King Philip, 64 vs. New Mission, 72 – FinalKing Philip cut the deficit to just three points late in the fourth quarter but New Mission finished strong to close down the Warriors. Bruce Sanitilus scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the final frame to help KP get back into the game. KP scored 38 points in the second half after being held to 26 in the opening 16 minutes. Alex Fritz added 14 points (11 in the second half) while both Andrew McKinney and Tim Nault finished with 11 points. King Philip will play host Auburn in the consolation game on Friday night at 5:00.

Milford, 60 vs. New Bedford, 51 – FinalMilford built an eight-point lead (19-11) after one quarter, led by 11 at half and after three quarters, and held on for a win over New Bedford. Senior Brendan White had a team-high 17 points and hauled in 14 boards while sophomore Jordan Darling also had a big night, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Oliver Ames, 66 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 29 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery from this gameOliver Ames turned a dominant performance on the glass into a big win over Dighton-Rehoboth in an opening round game of the Muscato Tournament. The Tigers had an 11-0 advantage on the boards in the first quarter, grabbing six offensive boards to jump out to a 23-7 lead. OA continued to control the boards with a 23-3 advantage at halftime, resulting in a 34-16 lead at the break. Junior Jay Spillane had a career-high 14 points to pace the Tigers while senior Ethan Eckstrom added 11 points. OA will play Cardinal Spellman in the championship game on Saturday.

Taunton, 77 vs. Charlestown, 53 – FinalTaunton outscored Charlestown 24-9 in the second quarter, and put up 48 points between the second and third to earn a double-digit win over Charlestown. Senior Wesner Charles scored a career-high 21 points while junior Dante Law also had a 21-point performance, including 13 in the first half. Senior Mike Quinn added 11 points and Naz Kenion chipped in with 10 points. Taunton will play host Durfee in the finals of the Skip Karam Holiday Classic on Friday at 6:30.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 42 @ North Attleboro, 34 – FinalLiv McCall scored 16 points to send Attleboro into Saturday’s final of the North Attleboro holiday tournament. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley credited the Bombardiers great team defense and added that Lillian Froio played really well off the bench.

Oliver Ames, 47 vs. Needham, 64 – FinalOliver Ames trailed by just a point after three quarters but the Rockets dominated the final quarter, outscoring the Tigers 23-7 to earn the win. Freshman Caroline Peper had a career-high 19 points for Oliver Ames, who will host Brockton in the consolation game of the Sue Rivard Holiday Tournament on Friday at 6:00.

Sharon, 34 vs. Middleboro, 38 – FinalEmma Eberhardt led the way for the Eagles with 17 points.

Stoughton, 39 vs. Belmont, 70 – FinalStoughton junior Aliyah Wright had a team-high 11 points for the Black Knights, who will play Newton South on Friday at 5:00.

Taunton, 65 vs. Durfee, 49 – FinalTaunton jumped out to a 13 point lead by halftime (31-18) and kept control in the second half. Sonya Fernandez had another strong all-around game for the Tigers with 20 points, eight rebounds, and nine blocks. Alexa White added 17 points and Lily Patneaude chipped in with 11 in the win.

Boys Hockey
Franklin, 2 @ Mount St. Charles (R.I.), 3 – Final (OT)Franklin senior Joe Lizotte and junior Shane McCaffrey each scored once but the Panthers fell in overtime to host Mount St. Charles. Ryan Cameron had an outstanding game in net for the Panthers. The game will go down as a tie for MIAA purposes.

King Philip, 0 vs. Quincy, 3 – Final

North Attleboro, 2 vs. Cumberland (R.I.), 0 – FinalTyler Sarro and John Connolly scored for the Rocketeers, who earned their first win of the season.

Oliver Ames, 7 vs. Matignon, 0 – FinalBrett Williams scored two goals and assisted on another and Cullen Gallagher had one goal and a pair of assists to power OA to Friday’s tournament championship game against Hanover. Colin Bourne, Max Ward, Ross Carroll, and Brad Powers also scored for the Tigers, while Owen Connor made nine saves to record the shutout.

Stoughton, 5 vs. Tri-County, 3 – FinalStoughton’s offense exploded for four goals in the second period, helping the Black Knights pick up the win. Senior Carter Gerome and freshman Colin Alessi each scored a pair of goals for the Knights while freshman Joe McNulty scored the other goal.

Taunton, 0 vs. Scituate, 2 – Final

Girls Hockey
Canton, 3 vs. Medfield/Norton, 2 – Final (2 OT)After Medfield/Norton scored twice in the third period to grab the lead, Maggie Malloy scored with just 44 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 2-2, forcing overtime and keeping Canton unbeaten this season (both teams get a point for MIAA standings). During the 3-on-3 second OT period, Lauren Fitzpatrick went the length of the ice for her second goal of the game to send the Bulldogs into the Ice House tournament final to face Westwood. Fitzpatrick also opened the scoring for Canton with a second period goal assisted by Lizzie Tassinari and Payton McDonough.

Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 0 vs. Walpole, 5 – Final

Wrestling
Lowell Tournament (Canton, Foxboro, Franklin, Taunton), 9:00
Marshfield Tournament (Mansfield, North Attleboro, Sharon), 10:00

Gymnastics
Attleboro vs. Norton, 4:30
Franklin, 137.5 @ Mansfield, 147.5 – Final
King Philip @ Taunton, 11:00AM
Sharon @ Taunton, 11:00AM

2018-2019 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview

2018-2019 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview
The Hockomock League boys hockey season is kicking off and should be as competitive as ever. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017-2018 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview

Attleboro

2017-2018 Record: 9-10-2
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South preliminary round.
Coach: Mark Homer

After a two year drought of postseason hockey, the Bombardiers made it to the playoffs last year and are aiming to make it two years in a row. The Bombardiers only had three seniors on the roster last season, so the majority of the squad is back, plus a familiar face is back in the fold this season.

One of the three seniors that graduated was Jake Parker, who led the Bombardiers in scoring last season with 26 goals and eight assists. But Attleboro is slated to return its next three scorers in senior Cam Littig (12 goals, 14 assists for 26 points), junior Ryan Morry (11 goals, 15 assists for 26 points) and senior Kyle McCabe (three goals, 10 assists for 13 points).

Another positive is that the Bombardiers have some experience in goal. Both senior Evan Andrews (13.66 games played) and junior Derrik Rivet (6.33 games) are set to return. Having an experienced goalie is a huge positive but having a strong backup helps even more. Andrews had 270 saves last season with a 0.882 save percentage while Rivet turned away 144 shots and had a 0.842 save percentage. In front of goal, McCabe, Sam Flynn, and Matt Viveiros will be joined by Liam McDonough, Kyle Miniati, and Zach Pierce as members of the defensive unit.

While Littig and Morry will try to replicate their success from a season ago, one name that could help bolster the offense is senior Sam Larkin. Larkin played his freshman year and had seven goals and seven assists before switching over to juniors. His experience should give Attleboro a boost during the season.

“We have had some additions to our team this year that has created a little more depth that had been absent in previous years,” said Attleboro coach Mark Homer. “We are working on maintaining a better consistency in our play. We are still in our tryout mode and hoping to find the right mix to make us more competitive this season, especially in our league games.”

Canton

2017-2018 Record: 17-3-4
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South semifinal.
Coach: Brian Shuman
Canton comes into every year with high expectations and the Bulldogs will be favorites to bring home a ninth straight Davenport division title and 11th Hockomock League title in the past 12 seasons. While the league campaign is a priority, the Bulldogs will also be comparing themselves to the top teams in Div. 2 and hoping this will be the year to break through in the South sectional and get back to the TD Garden for the first time since 2010.

After a dominant winter, the top scoring line is back in full for Canton. Senior Ryan Nolte, the reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Year, and junior Johnny Hagan, the reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, will draw most of the plaudits but junior Timmy Kelleher gives the Bulldogs strong play on the other wing as well. That line combined for 69 points last season (27 apiece for Hagan and Nolte) and will be one of the league’s best going into this year. Canton also has juniors Tommy Ghostlaw and Chris Lavoie back to add scoring punch to the second line.

At the blue line, juniors Owen Lehane and Jack Connolly will both be expected to eat up a lot of minutes after strong sophomore seasons, and the Bulldogs will be looking for other players to step up and fill in defensively. After consistently strong goaltending from Quinn Gibbs over the past few seasons, Canton will turn to senior Mike Staffiere, who has been a backup the past two years and is drawing great reviews for his play during the preseason.

“Overall, we have a lot of experience returning up front at the forward position, but that’s true for a lot of teams in our league and in our division,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “The real question will be how much these players improved from last year, which we won’t know for sure until the games get going.”

Foxboro

2017-2018 Record: 10-9-2
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South preliminary round.
Coach: Mark Cedorchuk
Foxboro is coming off the best season in program history, as the Warriors won 10 games and qualified for the state tournament without relying on the Sullivan Rule. Now, the Warriors come back this season hoping to build on that season and make another run at the state tournament behind an offense that, according to coach Mark Cedorchuk, is as deep as it has ever been.

Junior Ronnie MacLellan and sophomore Kirk Leach are two of the forwards to keep an eye on this season for the Warriors after the duo combined for 15 goals and 32 points last season. Also up front will be senior Tanner Kennedy and juniors Sebastian Ricketts and Josh Bertumen, who combined for 10 goals last year and are looking to continue their development to add depth to the attack.

Senior Brendan Tully will lead the defensive effort but is also the team’s leading scorer. The blue line standout scored 18 goals and had 19 assists and is going to be a major factor in all three zones as well as a leader on the penalty kill and power play. He will be joined on the blue line by junior Kyle McGinnis, while junior Espen Reager will be between the pipes this year.

“Even though we had a successful season last year, best in team history,” Cedorchuk said, “our players are not satisfied, they are hungry to improve on that.”

Franklin

2017-2018 Record: 12-6-5
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round.
Coach: Chris Spillane
Franklin started well last winter, reaching the final of the prestigious Mount St. Charles tournament and taking a point off Malden Catholic for the first time, but the Panthers couldn’t carry the momentum throughout the season and were knocked out in the first round of the tournament. As usual, Franklin graduated a lot of players, but also return a strong corps of experienced players to take on arguably the program’s toughest regular season schedule, which is loaded with some of the state’s top teams.

The Panthers return 11 seniors for this season, including eight forwards, but also have a group of eight sophomores that are jumping up from the JV to contribute on varsity this season. The forward line has plenty of experience and should be able to fire in the goals this year. Seniors Joey Lizotte, Zac Falvey, Scott Elliott, Dan Magazu, and C.J. Spillane will all be able to jump into the top scoring lines after playing major roles last year.

Defensively, the top five defensemen will be juniors Tom Tasker (who was on the HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team last year) and Colin Hedvig and seniors Cam Casella, Matt D’Errico, and Evan Forbes. Three sophomores will also see time on the blue line for the Panthers this season. After graduating three senior goaltenders, the job is open to senior Ryan Cameron and junior Ray Ivers, who are both making the jump from JV.

“Our hope is that team speed will drive the offense and that our returning defense will have the experience to make sound decisions in our end,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “The boys are looking forward to the upcoming season. I see the Hockomock as an extremely competitive league this year. We will also challenge our boys with a high-end non-league schedule.”

King Philip

2017-2018 Record: 8-12-1
2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Paul Carlow

King Philip brings 11 players back from last year’s squad and is hoping a tough schedule will result in a battle-tested team ready for the D1 South Tournament at the end of February. It starts with the seniors for the Warriors with four of them back, plus a transfer.

There will be a lot of experience in the top line for KP, as well as its first defensive pair and between the pipes. Captain Ryan Fitzpatrick (10 points) had a strong season last year and will be trying to replicate that this year. Fitzpatrick is joined by assistant captain Luke D’Amico (13 points) as wingers while senior transfer Brendan Shandley steps in at center to give the Warriors a formidable line to work with. Juniors Chris Daniels (13 points), Joe Boselli (11 points), and Jack Coulter (10 points) are all back after successful sophomore seasons and should provide KP with good depth.

On the blueline, veteran Garrett Maxwell is the lone senior back from last year so he will be relied on for leadership. He is one of the strongest players in the league and plays in all situations for KP, including the power play plus the penalty kill. There will be some other familiar faces on defense for KP with junior Kyle Gray (seven points) and sophomore Rocco Bianculli (eight points) both back with varsity experience.

Senior James Lewis takes over in the crease as the starting netminder for the Warriors. Lewis saw action in three games last season, including a pair of wins and shutouts. While new to the starting position, Lewis has plenty of experience and that bodes well for the Warriors. Jesper Makudera and Nate Ihley will be pushing for minutes in net as well.

“I expect the team to have some good chemistry and get off to a good start,” said King Philip head coach Paul Carlow. “Practice has been good, and we have good leadership this year with a strong core. The Hockomock League is always competitive, the Kelley-Rex is a strong division, and we have a tough non-league schedule too, so we want to challenge ourselves.”

Mansfield

2017-2018 Record: 9-7-5
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round.
Coach: Mike Balzarini

The Hornets have a strong core of players back this season, along with the addition of a couple of new faces, and head coach Mike Balzarini is hoping that combination will result in success this season.

Experience will be a strong suit for Mansfield as five of its top six forwards played significant minutes last year. Chris Copponi (12 points) and Matt Copponi (16 points) will be on the wings around center Coleman O’Brien for one line while Jake Lund (eight points) and Kevin Bellanger are returners on another line. The sixth forward will be center Jack Garland, who played juniors last year but is back in the fold for the Hornets this year. Ben Ierardo, Cam Page, and Braedon Copparini will be in the mix for minutes as well.

Defensively, while there are certainly some holes to fill, Balzarini has some talent to rely on the blue line. Two-time HockomockSports.com selections Mike Arnold and Tyler Oakley graduated so there is a little bit of a void, but Austin Ricker has stepped on early on to anchor the Hornet defensive unit. Ricker is joined by Brad Grant, who played for the Hornets previously before switching to juniors. Nick Levine and Joe Troiano gained valuable experience last year, and Jack Gormley and Brian Grant should be in the mix as well.

Mansfield also has experience in the goalie position with junior Sean McCafferty back between the pipes after having a breakout sophomore campaign. McCafferty was one of the top goalies in the league last year, earning HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman honors. He had 377 saves and a 92 save percentage, which bodes well for the Hornets this year.

“We obviously want to pick up where we left off after making the playoffs the last two years,” Balzarini said. “With the returning players plus new additions, I think we’re a little bit deeper and we know what we need to do to be competitive and make sure we’re playing well at the end of the season.”

North Attleboro

2017-2018 Record:
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round.
Coach: Ben McManama

Defense will be key for the Rocketeers during the 2018-2019 season. With a handful of returners back on the blue line as well as veteran goalie Ryan Warren, North Attleboro boasts a talented defensive unit.

Senior captain Brendan McHugh will anchor the defensive group alongside juniors Jeff Baker and Will Yeomans. All three are very experienced players that put defense first. They can all get involved in the offense as well. Warren has shined between the pipes each of the last three seasons, earning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year as a freshman and was a HockomockSports Third Team selection last season. Warren is pushed in practice each day as Chris Ulrich and Nick Digiacomo push for time.

Offensively, North Attleboro only lost two forwards from last year’s group, but those two players (Drew Wissler, Jason McNeany) combined for nearly half of the Rocketeers’ 76 goals a season ago. So this year, Big Red will need forwards to step up and contribute. Captain Anthony Zammiello scored 13 goals last year and will look to continue his success this season. Todd Robinson, Justin Moccia, Dennis Morehouse, Jake Ebert, and Jack Connolly are all candidates to have big years for the Rocketeers.

“We are a very big and physical team that works hard,” said North Attleboro head coach Ben McManama. “We will need to stay out of the box to have success this year. Defense and depth will be the strength of our team. We will also need three lines that can score. I am very optimistic on the season because it is obvious that all our players put a ton of work in during the offseason.”

Oliver Ames

2017-2018 Record: 13-9
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round.
Coach: Sean Bertoni
Speed has been the strength of the Tigers since Sean Bertoni took over the team and Oliver Ames will be relying on that speed and aggressiveness to try and challenge Franklin at the top of the Kelley-Rex division and to make a run in the state tournament. With a few players coming back from juniors to join with an experienced group, OA has high hopes of pushing the Panthers for the league title.

Senior forward Brett Williams will be the key player in the attack, coming off a season in which he scored 21 goals and recorded 15 assists and was named to the HockomockSports.com First Team. Williams will have plenty of help up front from senior Colin Bourne, who is one of the fastest skaters in the league and had 13 points last season. Senior forward Cullen Gallagher will also give the offense a boost, as he comes back to the program after a year in juniors.

Senior Matt McCormack was one of the league’s top defensemen last year and his steadying presence on the blue line will be critical to OA improving on that end of the ice, after giving up 54 goals as a team last year. Senior James Beatty is back after a year in juniors and should be a big boost to the blue line. Junior Owen Connor is back in net and looking to build off last season’s efforts.

“We are a team that will rely heavily on our team speed,” Bertoni said. “Our aggressive style of defense will lead to a successful offense. We will have to establish our forecheck to be effective. Our transition game will be a strength for us this year, creating turnovers and getting on the attack.”

Stoughton

2017-2018 Record: 1-20-1
2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Dan Mark

Overall, the Stoughton Black Knights will be on the young side but they have a veteran first line that will lead the way.

The Knights will be looking to improve on last year’s record, while possibly trying to surprise some teams along the way. Leading the way offensively will be senior Sean Doherty. Doherty was Stoughton’s second-leading scorer last year behind Brendan Campbell (graduated). Doherty was second on the Black Knights with 12 goals and added 11 assists and will be relied upon to be a key piece of the offense this season. Joining Doherty on the first line will be senior Luke Bainton, who brings a lot of varsity experience to the table. Bainton will look to improve on last year after recording seven points (four goals, three assists).

Senior Josh Hough will anchor the blue line for the Black Knights. In his fourth year on varsity, Hough has logged a lot of minutes on the ice over the past couple of seasons and will be one of the most experienced defensemen in the league. Hough is able to create on the offensive end as well, scoring a pair of goals last year along with seven assists. Senior Thomas McCoy is set to return in goal after getting experience between the pipes a season ago.

Taunton

2017-2018 Record: 12-10-2
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South semifinal.
Coach: Kris Metea
Taunton has been a program on the rise for the past few seasons and last year the Tigers took another big step forward by making a push to the Div. 2 South semifinal. That unexpected tournament run as the No. 13 seed, which included wins over No. 4 Old Rochester and No. 5 Nauset, has boosted the team’s confidence heading into a new year in which all but four players are back.

Scoring has not been a problem for the Tigers in recent seasons. Last year, Taunton scored a league-best 98 goals, five more than Davenport champ Canton, and senior forward Cam Sneyd (30 points) and junior Mike Albert (32 points) both eclipsed the 30-point mark. Senior Jack Patneaude added 15 points last year and he is poised for a big year along with classmates Jaden Weyant, Owen Ross, and Nick Vandermeel.

The defense is almost completely returned from last year, led by senior Andrew Carter, who was solid in the defensive zone but also chipped in with 20 points. Senior Brady Nichols and sophomore Dylan Nichols are also back for the Tigers. Junior Sean Bunker returns in net after a solid performance in the tournament run and he will be backed up by classmate Andrew Gomes, who has shown that he is a capable replacement when needed.

“The players have embraced the enjoyment of the journey, the process, and working hard to get better every day,” said Taunton coach Kris Metea. “They have the potential to continue their accomplishment of new heights. They will be fun to coach, and watch grow throughout the season.”