Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/27/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
North Attleboro, 2 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final (9 inn.)Attleboro’s Eoin Kelleher reached on an error to start the ninth scored the winning run at Mason Field when Rob Furtado draw a bases-loaded walk. Senior Dylan Maskell had a very strong outing for the Bombardiers, tossing eight innings with five hits allowed, no earned runs and five strikeouts. Kelleher pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the win. Attleboro took the lead with two runs in the third but North clawed back with single runs in the fourth and fifth to tie the game.

Franklin, 12 @ Canton, 4 – FinalFranklin’s offense got going early, plating three runs in each the first and second innings to earn a win over the Bulldogs. Jason Ulrickson earned the win in four innings of work, striking out four with just one earned allowed. Ulrickson also knocked in a pair of runs to help the offense. Both Jake Lyons (three runs, RBI) and Ryan Hodgkins (two runs, two RBI) went 3-for-3 while Cam Benham had two RBI and Matt Foley chipped in with two hits and two runs scored.

Mansfield, 6 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalClick here for a recap of the game.

Sharon, 3 @ Milford, 4 – FinalMilford senior Nate Irwin threw a complete game, scattering six hits along with one walk while fanning five batters to earn the win. The Scarlet Hawks scored single runs in the first and third and tacked on two more in the fourth. Sharon scored one run in each the first, fourth and sixth innings. Anthony Arcudi (1-for-3, two runs, RBI double), Ryan Goncalves (2-for-4, run) and Alex Coady (1-for-3, RBI double) paced Milford’s offense. Aiden Arnold went 2-for-3 with a double and Drew Naisuler was 2-for-3 with a run for Sharon.

Softball
North Attleboro, 13 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final (5 inn.) North Attleboro utilized some small ball to pick up its sixth win of the season. Bella Erti struck out two, allowed six hits and walked one in five innings of work in the circle to earn the win for Big Red. Liz Morehouse had a pair of hits and knocked in four runs, Meg Barlow went 3-for-4 and both Andrea Miceli and Erti had two hits. Abby Gallagher and Sam Courtemanche both knocked in a pair of runs for the Rocketeers.

Canton, 0 @ Franklin, 9 – FinalJackie Cherry and Emily Valentino combined for nine strikeouts in the shutout win over Canton. “It was a solid team win,” said head coach Kate Fallon-Comeau. “Everyone contributed and did their jobs.”

Oliver Ames, 5 @ Mansfield, 11 – FinalMansfield pounded out 14 hits as a team and got run support for Sarah Cahill early on in a division win. The Hornets played two runs in the first inning, scoring off a single from Kara Bendanillo and a double from Megan Letendre. Mansfield added four runs in the second, capitalizing on singles from Kerran Holmes (3-for-4), Caty DeMassi (two hits) and Liz Mackin (two hits). Mady Bendanillo (two hits) hit a solo home run in the fourth. Sarah Bradley also had two hits for Mansfield. Cahill struck out two, and gave up four hits while earning the win. For Oliver Ames, Katie Abreu was 2-for-3 with two RBI, Victoria Ziner (eight putouts) was 1-for-3 with two runs and Marissa Guarino (1-for-1)
and Lexie Campbell each scored once.

Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro, 11 vs. Norton, 6 – FinalAlex Banner (two goals, three assists) notched a team-high five points while Zach Viau and Andrew Milliken (assist) each recorded a hat trick to pace Attleboro past Norton. Trevor Koppy made 12 saves in net while Matt Potter had nine ground balls.

Foxboro, 5 @ North Attleboro, 6 – FinalNorth Attleboro scored three goals in the fourth quarter and kept the Warriors off the board to complete the comeback win. The game was tied 2-2 at halftime before Foxboro seized the lead with third goals in the third quarter. However, Big Red scored three unanswered goals, starting with Nick Moore and Jason McNeany (assist). Senior Colin Young scored the game-winner with under three minutes to play. Jack Dakin added two goals, Zach McGowan scored once and had two assists and Owen Costello had one assist. Dan MacDonald made 13 saves in net and also had one assist.

King Philip, 20 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Attleboro, 13 vs. Norton, 12 – Final

North Attleboro, 8 @ Foxboro, 12 – Final

Franklin, 19 @ Milford, 3 – FinalThe Panthers picked up their 10th win of the season with a big victory on the road. Lauren Bissanti scored once and had two assists, Grace McDermott and Mairead Goguen each notched one goal and one assist and Lilly Kolb had two goals.

King Philip, 9 vs. Medway, 12 – Final

Boys Tennis
Milford, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final

North Attleboro, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalNorth Attleboro prevailed with a sweep of rival Attleboro, taking all five matches in straight sets. Zac Pfeffer won 6-4, 6-2 at first singles, Barsomo Nuay won 6-1, 6-0 at second singles and Alex Rinaldi won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles. Daniel Zhang and Ben Pfeffer walked away with a 6-1, 6-2 win at first doubles and Andrew Harris and Vikram Senthilakumaran won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles.

Canton, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – FinalFranklin’s Rahul Herur walked away with a win at first singles after a marathon battle with Canton’s Jake Wolicki. Herur prevailed 5-7, 6-3, 10-8. Eli Brooks took second singles 6-3, 6-2 and Rohan Herur won 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) at third singles. James Johnston and Derek Wu notched a 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles and Tyler DiPalma and Rahul Hosdurg won 6-3, 6-0 at second doubles.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final

Girls Tennis
Attleboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 4 – FinalNorth Attleboro didn’t drop a game in either first or second singles play in a win over Attleboro. Emily Chiasson and Jordan Willis each won 6-0, 6-0 at first and second singles, respectively. The team of Gabby Duva and Katie Demontigny won 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles and Leah Marceau and Tara Nair notched a 6-4, 6-1 win at second doubles. Attleboro’s Anna Nelson recorded a 6-4, 2-6, 10-5 win at third singles for the Bombardiers.

Franklin, 2 @ Canton, 3 – FinalFranklin dropped just two games in winning first and second singles but Canton’s second doubles team prevailed in three sets to help the Bulldogs earn the win. Hannah Sweeney won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles and Anja Deric won 6-1, 6-1 at second singles for the Panthers. Canton’s team of Stelina Michaelidis and Sarah Hernandez battled back to win 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles. Kiki Karavas won 6-4, 6-3 at third singles and Julia Burkowski and Jena Moyle won 6-1, 6-2 at first doubles for Canton.

Mansfield, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalMansfield swept singles play and won all four of its victories in straight sets to knock off Oliver Ames. Senior Paulina Martin won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles, junior Sarah Doyle won 6-0, 6-4 at second singles and sophomore Elizabeth Elsner took third singles 6-3, 6-4. The team of senior Chloe Peters and sophomore Tessa Garufi won 6-3, 6-4 at first doubles. Oliver Ames’ Catherine Murphy and Ana Serjak won 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 at doubles.

Boys Track
Attleboro, 45 @ Mansfield, 91 – Final
Stoughton @ Foxboro, 3:45
Taunton, 72 @ Franklin, 64 – Final
King Philip, 73 @ Oliver Ames, 63 – Final
North Attleboro @ Sharon, 3:45

Girls Track
Attleboro, 41 @ Mansfield, 91 – FinalMansfield senior Caitlin Whitman made the switch to the 400M hurdles and prevailed as the winner, crossing in 71.1. Whitman also anchored the 4×400 team that finished first. Senior Jordan Brill-Cass ran a PR in the 200M, clocking in a 26.3 while also participating on the winning 4×100 team. Sopohomores Val Buonora (800) and Maggie Riley (2 Mile) picked up wins as well.

Stoughton @ Foxboro, 3:45

Taunton @ Franklin, 3:45

King Philip, 70 @ Oliver Ames, 66 – Final

North Attleboro, 78 @ Sharon, 58 – Final

2017 Hockomock League Hockey All Stars

Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Jackson Maffeo, Canton

Hockomock League All Stars

PJ Elliot, Attleboro
Jake Parker, Attleboro
Quinn Gibbs, Canton
Tom Kilduff, Canton
Jackson Maffeo, Canton
CJ Martin, Canton
Mike Carresi, Foxboro
Aidan Sullivan, Foxboro
Luke Downie, Franklin
Brendan O’Rielly, Franklin
Tom Sicchio, Franklin
Jacob Kelly, King Philip
Gavin Maxwell, King Philip
Matt Farragher, Mansfield
Joe Olsen, Mansfield
Erik Clements, North Attleboro
Zach McGowan, North Attleboro
Jared Costello, Oliver Ames
Jack Maloney, Oliver Ames
Brett Williams, Oliver Ames
Cam Doherty, Stoughton
Zack Albert, Taunton
Nick Terry, Taunton

Honorable Mentions

Ryan Morry, Attleboro
Bubba McNeice, Canton
Peter Smith, Foxboro
Cam Benham, Franklin
Jeremy Smith, King Philip
Cullen Anastasia, Mansfield
Vincent Zammiello, North Attleboro
Cullen Gallagher, Oliver Ames
Jon Lessa, Stoughton
Mike Volkmann, Taunton

Franklin Title Defense Ends With Loss to Framingham

Franklin hockey
Joey Blasie (10) battles with a Framingham player in the corner during Sunday’s quarterfinal loss to Framingham. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – There will be a new Division 1 state champion this winter, as Franklin hockey saw its title defense come to a close on Sunday afternoon at Gallo Ice Arena with a 3-0 quarterfinal loss to Framingham.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

All season long, the Panthers (14-9-1) have played with a target on their backs following last year’s historic run to the state title. Franklin battled through that adversity to win 14 games and claim another Kelley-Rex division crown, Saturday’s defeat means there will be no repeat for the program, which has made quite a bit of noise in its short time in Div. 1.

“At the beginning of the season, we talked about we need to come with our best every night or we’re not going to win hockey games because we’re going to get everyone’s best,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane, who finishes the season 10 wins shy of 300 for his career.

He continued, “We’ve had a bullseye on our back for sure. We’ve handled it really well at times and at other times we didn’t handle it so well.”

The Panthers handled it pretty well against the Flyers, outshooting Framingham 26-23 for the game and dominating play in the second period. Franklin just could not find the final touch to get a puck past Framingham goalie Alex Moore.

“I thought we played pretty well tonight,” said Spillane. “The hockey gods were not on our side tonight. We had a lot of looks, we had a couple of open nets that we didn’t bury. At the end of the day you need to score those goals.”

Adam Assad had the first opportunity for Franklin five minutes into the first period. He got his stick onto a pass by Luke Downie, but Moore blocked it with his pads. Matt Holmes had a chance three minutes later when he got to a rebound from a deflected shot but it was saved. Joe McInnis had the Flyers best chance on the break but Franklin goalie Cam Benham stood tall to block.

Franklin stormed out of the intermission and outshot the Flyers 13-6 in the second period but found itself down by a pair of goals.

Freshman Connor Opelt had a blast from the point saved by Moore early in the period and Jack McGrath had a couple chances to put the puck on net. On the Panthers first power play, Downie sent a rebound shot just wide of an open net. Then Holmes and Assad had a two-on-one rush that ended with Holmes’ shot from the left circle being saved by Moore.

After all that pressure, Framingham caught the Panthers pushing up ice and stunned them with the opening goal. Ben Stefanini broke down the right wing, crossed the blue line, and then cut across the zone before firing a low shot past Benham into the bottom corner.

“Our defense sort of gave up the blue line,” said Spillane. “He took it, came across and he had a nice low shot in the corner and caught Cam a little deep in his net. I would’ve like our guys to step up more and maybe not give him that time but we were pressing and we were all over them and then that happened.”

Franklin continued to pressure and had another great chance when Assad received a pass from James Kilroe but again could not beat Moore. With 3:29 left in the second, Framingham got a power play and needed only 10 seconds to make it count. Stefanini found space in the slot and cut a pass against the grain to Mike Tersoni, who roofed his shot for a 2-0 lead.

The Panthers had a minute of power play to start the third period and Spillane said that he talked in the locker room about not panicking and using their experience to battle back.

“We talked about having a solid power play, whether we scored or not,” he said. “We talked about scoring one in the first five minutes. We had some good opportunities in the first five minutes but we didn’t get it and I think giving up that third goal was the backbreaker.”

Brendan O’Rielly had a snap shot that caromed off Moore’s shoulder, but Franklin could not create clear scoring chances. Benham kept the Panthers in it with a blocker save on a blast arrowing to the corner and then robbed Tersoni on a breakaway.

With 2:08 left, the Flyers put it away. McInnis scored off an assist by Tersoni to make it 3-0 and seal the win.

Spillane reflected on the season and the difficulty of being the defending champs.

He said, “We started the season with our best start in a long time…we just hit some roadblocks in the Hockomock League. Obviously, we’d like to be playing still but bottom line it’s so hard to repeat at any level in any sport. I think our program is heading in the right direction.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Benham Saves the Day for Franklin Against Oliver Ames

Franklin hockey
Sophomore Matt Holmes (19) celebrates with Jack McGrath (15) after scoring the opening goal against Oliver Ames on Saturday night. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FRANKLIN, Mass. – Former Franklin goalie Sean Bertoni (Class of 2002) made his first return to his alma mater as a head coach on Saturday night, leading Oliver Ames into Pirelli Veterans Arena with a chance to take control of the Kelley-Rex title race.

But it was current Panthers netminder Cam Benham that stole the headlines and the two points with a 40-save performance that helped Franklin claim a 4-1 victory and control of its own destiny as it seeks to clinch a sixth straight league championship.

“That’s the goaltender that we need every night,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “We’re looking forward to Cam getting on a roll. He had a shutout the other night, played unbelievable for us tonight, made some really big saves, and kept us in the game.”

Benham needed to be ready right from the opening face-off because the Tigers came flying out of the gates with 18 shots in the opening period and used their speed to create host of great scoring chances.

Eric LeBlanc set up Cullen Gallagher in front just a couple minutes in only for the sophomore to fire wide. Five minutes into the game, Brett Williams found Korey Sweezey in front alone but Benham made a point-blank pad save to keep the game scoreless. Rory Madden got free for a shorthanded chance but again Benham was up to the challenge.

Franklin took advantage of those saves and of a four-minute major penalty to get the lead against the run of play. Tom Sicchio’s shot from the point was kicked aside by Zach Walsh (16 saves) but right to Matt Holmes and he knocked in the rebound.

“I knew they were going to [start quick] and they were all over us,” admitted Spillane. “We weathered the storm and we sort of had our opportunities and we found the back of the net.”

Right at the end of the first, Benham came through with a flurry of saves, batting aside five or six shots from the Tigers who were trying to head into the first intermission on even terms.

“The first period was probably our best period of the season,” said Bertoni. “I was saying to the coaches maybe if we were a little bit older because young guys in a big game, maybe they were a little tight on their stick.”

Franklin settled down after the break and started the second much stronger and finding ways to slow down the speedy Tigers.

Just a minute into the period, Adam Assad controlled the puck near his own blue line and took a hit to feed Sicchio pushing forward into the neutral zone. Sicchio drove into the attacking zone, dragged the puck past his defender and fired a shot into the bottom corner for a 2-0 lead.

“He has stick skills, which is nice because he can make those plays,” said Spillane of Sicchio. “He’s really the backbone of our defense right now.”

Three minutes later and the Tigers were stunned again, as a shot from the point by freshman Connor Opelt was redirected in front by Jeremy Miller and past the left pad of Walsh for a 3-0 lead.

When asked if his team had been disheartened by dominating the first period but trailing, Bertoni responded, “I don’t think so because we’ve been there before. They were so excited to start the second period especially because of how we ended the first. We must have had four shots in that scramble and just couldn’t bury one.”

Gallagher had a chance from the slot to get one back for OA but fired over the bar and Williams set up LeBlanc in front for a tip towards goal that was blocked by Benham.

The Tigers had the final seven shots of the second but trailed by three goals entering the third period. Within the first minute, Franklin had extended the lead to 4-0. Jack McGrath passed the puck across the blue line to Sicchio, who sent the puck towards net. Luke Downie redirected the shot from the slot and inside the post.

When asked if the Panthers had made any adjustments to try and combat OA’s speed, Spillane replied, “We’ve played fast teams before, we knew what we were in for and we just needed to pick up our tempo. Against a team like that, you have to play fast and move the puck.”

The Tigers finally got on the board on a power play goal with 1:32 remaining. Benham made two saves but the second rebound popped out to Williams, who knocked it into an open net. OA got some energy to finish with another flurry, totaling 14 shots in the third period, but Benham stood tall again to ensure that the Tigers only got one on the board.

“They played hard, just some of the penalties…I told them when we play 5-on-5 that we can skate with anyone,” said Bertoni. “We generate offense when we’re 5-on-5.”

Bertoni had previously returned as an assistant coach with the Tigers during the 2013-14 season and watched then Tigers goalie Jimmy Tierney make 40-plus saves for the win. He is now 1-1 coming back to his alma mater (where his father Bill Bertoni and his uncle Bruce Bertoni, who is still an assistant coach for the Panthers, are both members of the Franklin Hockey Hall of Fame).

He was asked how it felt to be back here and on the visiting bench and, with the hint of a smile, Bertoni said, “It felt good, it felt good…Man…I wanted to steal this one.”

Franklin (9-4-0, 4-1-0) has jumped to the top of the league standings at the midway point of the league campaign. Next up for the Panthers is King Philip at Pirelli on Wednesday, while Oliver Ames (7-4-1, 3-2-1) will travel to Foxboro.

Franklin Falls Short In Rematch of State Title Game

Franklin hockey
Franklin senior James Kilroe (7) scored a third period goal in the loss to St. Mary’s (Lynn) in a rematch of last year’s state final. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FRANKLIN, Mass. – The last time that Franklin and St. Mary’s (Lynn) met on the ice, it was an instant classic. The Panthers and Spartans wowed the crowd at the Boston Garden in a dramatic, double overtime thriller that Franklin won to claim its first state championship in three decades.

On Saturday night, the teams met again, this time in the smaller confines of Pirelli Veterans Arena, and the game played out very differently.

Franklin got off to a great start, taking a lead just 1:23 into the first period, but for the majority of the next 43 minutes the game was dominated by the visitors. St. Mary’s took the lead by the end of the first and never looked back, pulling out a 7-3 victory and exacting a measure of revenge for last season’s title game defeat.

“I thought we played well for the first 10 minutes,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “I thought we had a jump in our step, we forechecked well, we were physical, and then right after that you could see it start to derail. That’s sort of been our season. We haven’t played a full 45 [minutes].”

The Panthers got off to the perfect start to the game. Jeremy Miller burst into the zone and had a shot from the right side kicked aside by St. Mary’s goalie Andrew LoRusso, but Adam Assad was following up the play and he knocked the loose puck into the open net.

Shortly after the goal, the Spartans would be given a four-minute power play of which the first 90 seconds would be a two-man advantage. Thanks to a couple of solid kick saves by goalie Owen Ginley and strong defense that kept the visitors on the edges, Franklin managed to clear it off and gain even more energy.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, the strong start could not be sustained.

Colin Reddy tied the game with 3:18 left in the first when he tapped in Jason Loeser’s pass that slipped through the skates of a Franklin defenseman. Two minutes later, Kyle Ouellette flipped a pass towards goal that was knocked down into the slot by Mike Zampanti and knocked in by Anthony Bono.

Ginley came through with a huge save on Bono after a mix up by the Franklin defense in the final seconds of the first, but he picked up an injury in the process and would be taken out for Cam Benham in the second.

Spillane said, “We had all the momentum. It was great and then right after that we just lost it. Our starting goaltender got hurt at the end of the first period and then we had to switch goalies, got a cold goalie coming in…and it just kept rolling.”

Franklin got off to a decent start to the second period with Miller setting up Zac Falvey only for LoRusso to deny him. Benham made a big save on Bono after a slip by the Franklin defense gave the St. Mary’s forward a breakaway, but was unable to stop a wraparound by Damon Maribito that made it 3-1.

Benham stopped Maribito four minutes later on another breakaway and the Panthers nearly had an answer when James Kilroe was set up Noah Nasuti, but the shot was off-target. Twenty-four seconds after that chance a puck up the boards bounced between a pair Panthers and started a 2-on-1 break for the Spartans. Reddy scored his second off an assist by Mike Desmond.

“One bad bounce and that’s it,” said Spillane. “We sort of hung our heads…We have capabilities, we have good hockey players, but we’re not consistent right now. Against a team like this, you can’t play inconsistent.”

The fourth goal seemed to open the floodgates for St. Mary’s with Bono scoring on a blast off a face-off win to make it 5-1. Assad struck the post before the end of the second, but just three minutes into the third period Loeser flicked a wrist shot from the high slot through traffic that snuck inside the post.

The Panthers showed some life in the final period helped out by several power play opportunities. Brendan O’Reilly set up Luke Downie (the hero from last March’s final at the TD Garden) but LoRusso again made the stop. T.J. Durkin had a goal disallowed a minute later when he knocked in Assad’s pass only for the officials to rule that the net was dislodged first.

With 8:34 left to play, Kilroe followed up a rebound from Jack McGrath’s shot from the point to cut the lead to four with a power play goal. Dan Sheehan stopped a breakaway to keep it 6-2 and Cam Trask had a chance saved before Franklin added a third. Tom Sicchio drove to the red line and cut a pass across the crease that was tipped on net by Matt Holmes and tapped in by Downie.

St. Mary’s sealed the win in the final minutes with a shot through traffic by Marc Zampanti. Despite the defeat, Spillane saw positives for his team from playing that level of competition.

He said, “At the end of the day, it’s good for our kids in the long run. They’re a good team and we’re going to see teams just like this down the road, so we’ve got to be ready.

Spillane added, “I think we have the players to compete, it’s just got to be 45 minutes night in, night out. Now we go into our league play and I’m going to demand we play 45 minutes every night or you’ll be on the bench. We’ve got a lot of kids that want to play.”

Franklin (6-3) will return to Hockomock play on Wednesday when the Panthers travel to Aleixo Arena to play Taunton.

Franklin Edges Canton In Non-League Clash

Franklin hockey
Franklin’s Brendan O’Rielly and Canton’s Jack Goyetch battle for possession. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
CANTON, Mass. – Head coaches Chris Spillane and Brian Shuman shared a similar sentiment following Saturday night’s game at the brand new Canton Ice House: more offense.

While the Panthers came away a 2-1 non-league win over the Bulldogs, Spillane has a handful of experienced forwards that were only able to register 15 shots in the game.

For Shuman, his Bulldogs created plenty of scoring chances, putting 23 shots on net but an inexperienced offensive unit was only able to convert once.

The bright side for both teams is that it’s just the first week and both Spillane and Shuman expect their respective teams – and one another’s – to improve in the coming weeks.

“We had it in little bits and spurts but nothing sustained at all,” Spillane said. “That was not one of our better hockey games, from the back end to the front end. I think we had only like 13 shots total which is insane for us. We have most of our returning offensive players back, we should be scoring four goals a game. It just wasn’t offensive game, nor a good defense game.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin scored the game-winning goal less than a minute into the final period. The Panthers started the final period tied 1-1 and on the penalty kill, but junior Brendan O’Rielly powered through into a breakaway, forcing a tripping penalty by Canton.

“We got ourselves in trouble sometimes,” Shuman said. “A little bit too much angst and energy, especially there in the third period. We didn’t know the clock and we had a guy pinch and cause on four on one – just didn’t make smart decisions. I think the guys were just too amped up at times and there were some unfortunate penalties. But overall, we had our chances. We made maybe a few mistakes and they capitalized but we had a boatload of chances and I know their goalie was looking back several times we just couldn’t tap it in.”

After playing four on four for a short time, Franklin went on the power play. O’Rielly had his wrist shot ring off the post but the puck eventually found its way to the blue line. Junior Jack McGrath ripped a shot through traffic and found the back of the net to put the Panthers up 2-1.

“We’ll take that. In games like that, you’ll take any goals you can get,” Spillane said. “That was a nice shot from Jack McGrath. But overall we missed the net a lot. We hit the glass, we were shooting right into players. Their one goal we shot it right into the guy blocking the shot – beautiful job by him but you have to have some hockey awareness and find the lanes.”

It was a back and forth opening period with neither side grabbing the majority of play. Franklin had the pressure early on but couldn’t sustain any attacking zone time. Canton picked up the play in the second half of the period, with Tommy Kilduff forcing a turnover and finding Joe Robinson but Franklin goalie Cam Benham (22 saves) made the kick save.

The Bulldogs kept the pressure up as two minutes later, Bubba McNeice carried possession into the attacking zone but his shot whistled wide. With a power play for the final 1:22 of the period, the Bulldogs nearly cashed in but McNeice’s shot through traffic was pushed aside.

Canton had to overcome an early penalty in the second period but the Bulldogs were able to carry over some momentum from the end of the first. Junior Matt Casamento blocked a Franklin shot at the blue line and raced his way past the defense. He went in alone on goal and potted his wrist shot in with 12:30 to play in the second to put Canton up 1-0.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Matt Casamento was like a ninth defensemen for us last year and we moved him up to forward this year and he’s probably been one of the most pleasant surprises of the preseason and he played a hell of a game in his first varsity action,” Shuman said.

“We need guys like that to step up. We had guys in the top six that got a lot of playing time tonight that didn’t have as many chances as some of the guys that had just a few opportunities. We really have to figure some things out and get the guys in there that earned some more time.”

Canton couldn’t tack onto its lead even with power plays with 7:38 to play and again with 4:48 to go in the second period. The second power play was cut short for a holding call on the Bulldogs.

Franklin nearly tied the game when Colin Oppelt tossed a shot and Joey Blasie had a chance on the rebound but his shot slid just wide. Benham kept Canton from doubling its lead with an impressive kick save on a shot through traffic from Michael Pigeon.

The Panthers cashed in 30 seconds later when Matt Crane unleashed a shot from the blue line and the rebound fell to O’Rielly for the tap in with 1:15 to go in the period.

Canton, on another power play, had a chance in the final seconds but freshman John Hagan saw his shot clank off the crossbar and stay out.

“I thought Canton played very well, they had a good jump in their step and I think they just had the yips, they missed about three or four open nets,” Spillane admitted. “If they convert there, we would have been down. Even on the last shift they had a lot of opportunities. It’s early in the season, I know both teams will get better as the season goes on we just need to make some big steps.”

“It’s just the first game though. Franklin had a lot of guys back, a lot of guys with experience from a state championship team,” Shuman said. “We had a lot of guys in our locker room playing their first varsity game, let alone their first game against Franklin. It was a good game, good hockey game with a lot of chances. We just have to move on and get ready for Westwood.”

Canton (0-1) will try to earn its first win when they play Westwood at the Canton Ice House.

“Two wins is what you want,” Spillane said. “We have a tough stretch coming up with Pope Francis on Thursday, Newburyport on Friday and then we go to Mount – so we have five games against really good teams. So we need to get better fast if we want to compete in those games.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Hockey: 2016-2017 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2016-2017 Kelley-Rex Hockey Preview
King Philip and Oliver Ames will be divisional opponents when the two teams tack to the ice this winter after the Tigers were moved from the Davenport. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016-2017 Kelley-Rex Hockey Preview

ATTLEBORO

2015-16 Record: 7-11-2 (1-8-1)
2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Mark Homer

Attleboro narrowly missed out on a playoff spot last season, losing in its final game against a Div. 3 opponent and this year’s team will be motivated to try and get back in the postseason under new head coach Mark Homer, who made the switch from Oliver Ames where he coached the past three years, and with a new home – moving from Aleixo Arena in Taunton to the new England Sports Village just a couple minutes from the school.

In what has become a common issue for the Bombardiers program, Attleboro will not have
a lot of depth to call on this winter with only 15 skaters and two goalies on the varsity roster, but there is some experience coming back. Senior P.J. Elliott is a talented skater and stick handler who will be counted on to provide the scoring punch along with Jake Parker and Dylan Weallac on the first line.

Sam McKenzie emerged last year as a physical presence and senior captain Eddie Noel will partner him on the top defensive pairing. Sophomore Evan Andrews and freshman Derek Rivet will battle it out for the starting goaltender position for the Bombardiers. There are several other underclassmen who could make immediate impacts, including sophomore forward Cam Littig.

“With the new facility in Attleboro the hopes are that in the coming years, the roster will grow to include increasing depth to the program,” said Homer. “The goal of this years team is to stay healthy, work together as one unit on and off the ice, and get better each day. It’s a new day for Attleboro High School Hockey with a promising future.”

FRANKLIN

2015-16 Record: 18-4-5 (8-0-2)
2015-16 Finish: Won the Div. 1 State Championship
Head Coach: Chris Spillane

After being the first Hockomock League team selected for the prestigious Super 8 tournament in 2014-15 and then graduating 21 players, Franklin was supposed to need a year to rebuild, but the Panthers showed just how strong their program is by bringing home the Div. 1 state championship in a dramatic double overtime thriller against St. Mary’s at the TD Garden. It was the program’s first state title at any level since 1983.

The Panthers graduated another large class of 13 seniors from last year’s champions and lost promising freshman defenseman Kevin Mackay who transferred to Dexter. Still, expectations remain as high as ever for the Panthers, who have won four straight league titles. Much of that excitement comes from the potential in the offensive zone with Franklin returning last year’s title game hero Luke Downie, leading goal scorer Jeremy Miller, and Brendan O’Reilly and the top line of seniors Joey Blasie, Adam Assad, and James Kilroe. Sophomores Matt Holmes and Zach Falvey will add depth to the offense.

Defense is where the Panthers will have some new faces, although seniors Tom Sicchio and Stan Carter will add some experience to the back line. Juniors Jack McGrath and Connor Norton will make the jump up from the JV team to add to the defensive lines and freshman Collin Opet will also see playing time on the defense as well. For the third season in a row, Franklin will have a new No. 1 goalie with senior Cam Benhamand junior Owen Ginley will battle it out for the starting spot.

“For the Panthers to be successful this year it will be a result of a team defense concept,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “The offense will take care of itself, we will be focusing on strong play in our zone.”

KING PHILIP

2015-16 Record: 9-8-4 (5-2-3)
2015-16 Finish: Reached the Div. 1 South playoffs
Head Coach: Paul Carlow

The Warriors made strides last winter under first-year head coach Paul Carlow, including a regular season tie with Franklin and reaching the postseason for the first time since the program was moved back up to Div. 1. This season, Carlow is hopeful for a return to the postseason and to challenge for KP’s first league title since 2007, despite losing 10 seniors from last year’s roster.

The offensive zone should be strong for the Warriors this season with several key returning players that put up solid totals last winter. Junior forward Collin Cooke is the main weapon after putting up 11 goals and 15 assists for a team-high 26 points to be named a league all-star. He is joined up front by senior Ritchie Lucente, who scored 10 goals and had nine assists last year, and senior Jacob Kelly, who finished with 11 goals and nine assists.

KP will also return a few important pieces on the defensive side of the puck, including junior goalie Shane Frommer, who was 3-1-1 in his five starts last year. Frommer’s start to the hockey season will be slightly delayed after helping the football team win its first Super Bowl title. In front of the Frommer will be senior Jeremy Smith, who chipped in with three goals and four assists last season.

“We had some success last season qualifying for the D1 playoffs,” said Carlow. “We have our work cut out for us this season… We are a young team with only five seniors but I expect us to get back to the playoffs.”

MANSFIELD

2015-16 Record: 5-10-5 (4-4-2)
2015-16 Finish: Missed the playoffs
Head Coach: Mike Balzarini

Last winter was atypical for the Hornets, who missed out on the playoffs and finished fourth in the Kelley-Rex division, but Mansfield is hoping for a quick turnaround under new head coach Mike Balzarini, who makes the move from Milford. The Hornets have a number of returning players, including several from club or other school programs to bolster the depth.

One of the returning players is Joe Olsen, who spent last year with a juniors program but will be a significant addition to the Hornets top attacking line alongside fellow seniors Matt Farragher and Chad Piotti, who both had solid years in 2015-16. Junior Cullen Anastasia is another forward to come back to the program and could step right in to make an impact. Freshman Chris Jenkins is going to be the center on the third line and classmate James Bezeau will also see playing time this year.

On defense, the Hornets will be led by senior Cullen Murphy, a physical presence at the back and one of the leaders on the ice. Juniors Tim Arnold, Ryan O’Hara, and Tyler Oakley will also be important pieces on the top defensive pairings. Freshman Joseph Troiano will also be on the defense after he decided against attending Xaverian this year. The defense will be protecting senior goalies Brendan McKenna and Tony Rullo, who will each see time.

“We’re a lot deeper,” said Balzarini, who said that the Hornets would be carrying four lines and four sets of defensemen and is excited about the potential on the team. “It’s been good having two weeks to prepare. They have to get used to our new system and adhering to the structures that we’re putting in place.”

Oliver Ames

2015-16 Record: 10-10-1
2015-16 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Head Coach: Sean Bertoni

Oliver Ames will be looking to keep its postseason streak alive under new head coach Sean Bertoni – a former standout goalie for Franklin.

If the Tigers want to get back to the state tournament, they’ll need some help from their younger players; Oliver Ames has eight sophomores and four freshman on its roster this year. OA does have seven seniors and a group of experienced juniors that can help lead the way.

Owen Gallagher (26 points), who led the team in scoring a year ago, is back along with Eric LeBlanc (18 points), Cullen Gallagher (13 points) and Max Ward (12 points). Junior Rory Madden also returns this season after a year away; Madden registered 14 points his freshman year. Defensively, seniors Jack Maloney and Jared Costello bring a lot of experience to the blue line. Zach Walsh will be back between the pipes after a strong junior season.

“The goals of the team are to progress from Day one to the end of the year,” Bertoni said. “We have to use our team speed and forecheck extremely hard. We will be a disciplined, hard working aggressive team.”

TAUNTON

2015-16 Record: 13-10-0 (3-7-0)
2015-16 Finish: Reached the Div. 2 South playoffs
Head Coach: Kris Metea

The Tigers got to experience what the state tournament is like last season for the first time since 2006-07 and only the second time in the past two decades. Taunton had the fourth most wins in a season in the 44-year history of the program and scored a remarkable 106 goals last season, which was the best in the Hock.

This year, Taunton will try to build on its historic season and make a quick return to the postseason. Leading scorer Tyler Pietrzyk has graduated but there is plenty of firepower returning for the Tigers this season, including senior forward Zack Albert who is coming off a 30-point campaign. He will be joined up from by classmate Jordan Hoey, who had 17 points last season and senior Cam Carnes, who had 10 points. Sophomore Cam Sneyd could be poised for a breakout year for the Tigers.

Defensively, Taunton can lean on three-time league all-star Nick Terry, who will man the top defensive pairing. Mike Volkmann may be listed as a defenseman on the roster but he can get forward into the attack with 29 points a season ago. Junior Cam Welby will be a new addition to the defense after playing juniors all of last season. Senior Justin Chappell returns in net.

“This year’s group of seniors are first class kids,” said head coach Kris Metea. “They exemplify leadership across the board…They had a chance to taste the tournament last year, and are focused on acquiring more than just a taste this time around.”

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/18/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Click here for a recap.

Stoughton, 8 @ Canton, 5 – Final – Stoughton’s Nico Parmeggiani improved to 5-0 on the season, tossing 5.1 innings with just three earned runs allowed. Pat Hagerty paced Stoughton’s offense from the lead off spot, going 3-4 with an RBI and a stolen base and Ryan Sullivan also added three hits, a stolen base and a run scored for the Black Knights. Joe Piana broke up a 2-2 game in the fifth inning with a two run single, Justin Hutchinson had a pair of hits and Doug Seaman (2-4, two RBI) helped cement the win with a home run in the top of the seventh.

Foxboro, 1 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Aaron Wentling dazzled on the mound, striking out seven in a complete game two-hit shutout effort for the Warriors. Foxboro’s lone run came via junior Cam Feldman with an RBI fielder’s choice.

North Attleboro, 5 @ Franklin, 6 – Final – North Attleboro plated four runs in the first inning but Franklin’s bullpen limited the Rocketeers to just three hits over the final 6.2 innings and the Panthers offense chipped away to get the win and qualify for the state tournament. Bryan Woelfel came in with one out and the bases loaded in the first and was able to limit the damage for Franklin. Woelfel went five innings, allowing two hits and one earned run while striking out three. Ryan Morse got the win, allowing just a hit in 1.2 innings. Franklin scored a run in the first, two more in the third and two more in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead. North tied the game in the top of the sixth but sophomore Steven Luttazi scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth for the Panthers. Sophomore Jason Ulrickson went 2-3 and knocked in a pair of runs, Mike Skaza was 1-1 with a pair of walks, an RBI and a run scored and Tyler Gomes went 1-3 with an RBI and a double. Ryan Hodgkins (2-4) scored twice for Franklin and Cam Benham scored once. Andy Katch went 2-3 for North while Zach DeMattio had two RBI for Big Red.

King Philip, 1 @ Taunton, 2 – Final (8 inn.) – Click here for a recap.

Oliver Ames, 10 @ Milford, 4 – Final – Senior Kevin Geary notched his first career win on the mound as the Tigers rallied from a 3-1 deficit to take the lead. Sophomore Matt Muir cleared the bases with a three run triple, giving the Tigers the lead. Chris Romero, Josh Minuskin and Ryan Adams each had three hits on the day for OA while Muir, Matt Mancini and Chris Pearsons each had two.

Softball
Mansfield, 6 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Mansfield senior Maddie Letendre tossed her first no-hitter of the season, striking out seven in the win. The Hornets took a 1-0 lead in the fifth and then tacked on five more runs in the sixth. Consecutive singles from Bri Homer, Jocelyn Reardon and Marissa Staffier resulted in the first run. In the sixth inning, Kara Bendanillo singled, Mady Bendanillo walked, Maddie Letendre had an RBI single, Rachel Carafa had a two RBI single, Reardon knocked in a pair with a double, Marissa Staffier knocked in another run and Megan Letendre singled.

Canton, 3 @ Stoughton, 7 – Final – Karly Estremera and Sam Tullis set the pace for Stoughton’s offense, each scoring two runs each. Estremera hit a triple and stole two bases including a delayed steal of home while Sam Tullis added a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Gina Carafa pitched seven innings, striking out five while giving up one earned run.

Sharon, 1 @ Foxboro, 9 – Final – Foxboro celebrated its seniors with a hit parade, totaling 12 as a team. Emma Rohan struck out 10 while allowing just three base runners (two hits and a walk). Offensively, Kelli McCarthy went 2-4 with two RBI, Hannah Davis was 3-4 with a home run, a pair of doubles and three RBI, Kelly Fisher and Kayley Tran each went 2-4 while Chelsea Gibbons was 2-3 on the day for the Warriors.

North Attleboro, 4 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – The Panthers used a suicide squeeze to score the winning run in bottom of the seventh for the win. Olivia DiGiacomo laid down a bunt with one out to score courtesy runner Kerry Blaney for the win. Maddie Connelly got things started in the final inning with a lead off double and moved to third on a single from Clara DeCarvalho (2-4, RBI double), who moved to second on the throw. A passed ball gave Franklin a shot to score the run but North was able to get the runner at home. After a walk to Alexx Niss (2-3, RBI double), DiGiacomo squeezed in the run. Before the winning run, Franklin rallied from a 4-2 deficit to tie the game in the sixth. Olivia Haba (2-3) led off with a single and pinch hitter Kim Moulton blasted a two-run home run to the game. Caroline D’Aprile got the win for Franklin, striking out five. Meg Barlow had three hits for the Rocketeers and Mycala Moody and Kaylea Sherman each had two.

Taunton, 2 @ King Philip, 0 – Final – Strong defense helped anchor Taunton’s season sweep over the Warriors. Taunton head coach Dave Lewry said Jordan Wade played great at shortstop and Meghan Navarro did the same at second base. Lewry also pointed to Bailey Clapp’s outfield assist in the fifth, throwing out a runner with Sarah Bagge applying the tag at home. Aimee Kistner struck out four, allowing three hits in a complete game shutout. Liana Duarte went 2-4 with a run scored and a stolen base, Jaime Brown was 1-3 with a double and Bagge went 2-3.

Milford, 15 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final (5 inn.) – Milford clinched at least a share of its fourth straight Davenport title, winning at least a share of the division ever since joining the Hockomock. Jess Tomaso was a perfect 4-4 at the plate, including a two run home run, and finished with five RBI. Kaitlyn DeCapua knocked in four runs on three hits, including a double, while Megan Jacques went 2-4 with an RBI. Kelley Reichert struck out four while scattering three hits for Milford. Jamie Gottwald went 2-2 with an RBI and a double for OA.

Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro @ Milford, 3:45

Sharon, 13 @ Canton, 10 – Final

Foxboro, 6 @ Mansfield, 10 – Final – Mansfield built a 9-1 lead in the fourth quarter and held off a late push by the Warriors. Ryan Smith had two goals and two assists to lead the Hornets while Connor Finerty also found the back of the net twice. Josh Schafer, Sam O’Connell, Hunter Ferreira (two assists), Joe Cox, Billy Grant and Jon Reed each scored once for Mansfield. Sean Powers made 13 saves in net for the Hornets.

Franklin, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final

North Attleboro, 6 @ King Philip, 8 – Final – King Philip built a 4-1 lead by the end of the first quarter and never trailed in a battle against North Attleboro. Senior Sam Agricola led the way offensively with three goals and an assist and junior Tim Watson potted two goals and had one assist. Harry Fallon had two helpers for KP while Anthony Truini, John DeLuca and Zach D’Amico (six ground balls) each scored once. Steven Eaton led the Warriors with 10 ground balls and KP head coach Jacob Kravitz praised the work of sophomore midfielder Nate Minkwitz (five ground balls) for his excellent defense.

Taunton, 2 vs. Norton, 14 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Milford, 8 @ Attleboro, 17 – Final

Canton, 13 @ Sharon, 16 – Final

Mansfield, 8 @ Foxboro, 18 – Final

Oliver Ames, 2 @ Franklin, 16 – Final – Franklin senior Abby Egan netted a hat trick, Julia Jette also scored a hat trick and had two assists and freshman Hailey Toolin scored her first career goal for the Panthers. Oliver Ames’ Erin Fitzgerald netted her 100th career goal for the Tigers in the game while Kendall Clifford also scored and Abby Duvall and Olivia Piazza each had an assist. OA’s Ariana Waldorf had 21 saves in net.

King Philip, 11 @ North Attleboro, 19 – Final

Taunton, 6 vs. Norton, 7 – Final

Boys Tennis
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 5 – Final

Foxboro, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – Sharon won all five matches in straight sets to pick up the sweep. Junior Griffin Fein won 6-0, 6-3 at first singles, senior Han Cui won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles and sophomore Andre Olivei won 7-5, 6-1 at third singles. Senior Adam Dobbin and junior Alex Romantz won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles and senior Tilah Mehta and freshman Danujan Thirumavalavan won 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles.

Franklin, 4 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – The Panthers clinched at least a share of the Kelley-Rex crown for the second straight year with the win. Junior Rahul Herur won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, at first singles and freshman Dan Barrow battled to a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win at third singles. Franklin swept doubles play with Tom Mancini and James Johnston winning 6-1, 6-4 at first doubles and Cam Piana and Jeremy Gan winning 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 at second doubles. North Attleboro’s Zack Pfeffer won 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 at second singles for Big Red.

King Philip, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – Final

Oliver Ames, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final

Girls Tennis
Mansfield, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Mansfield kept its postseason hopes alive with a win on the road. Paulina Martin won 6-0, 6-2 at first singles, Kathleen Giffels won 6-1, 6-1 at second singles and Sarah Doyle picked up a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. Cathryn Heavey and Chloe Peters won 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles for Mansfield and freshmen Tessa Garufi and Elizabeth Elsner won 6-0, 6-1 at second doubles.

Canton, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – The Bulldogs got a clean sweep in singles play and earned another win at doubles to beat Stoughton. Carly Scanlon won 6-2, 6-1 at first singles, Skyler Jabbour won 6-1, 6-0 at second singles and Jude Aboukhater won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. Canton’s Tiffany Ha and Sarah MacQuarrie won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles. Stoughton’s Kathleen Lapommeray and Amanda Galant won 6-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7) at second doubles.

Sharon, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Sharon clinched the Davenport division title for the second straight year, this time winning it outright. The Eagles swept doubles play while freshman Nupur Shulka rallied from a 1-5 deficit in the second set at second singles to secure the win for Sharon.

North Attleboro, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – North Attleboro and Franklin battled under the lights at the new courts at FHS. North Attleboro’s Julia Mark won 6-4, 6-4 at first singles, Jordan Willis won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles and Allie Grinavic swept 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. The team of Jhanavi Kapadia and Emily Chiasson won 7-5, 6-3 at first doubles and Gabby Duva and Katie Demontigny secured a 6-3, 6-2 win at second doubles for the Rocketeers.

Milford, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – The Tigers swept singles play to secure a win over the visiting Scarlet Hawks. Riley Spillane won 6-0, 2-6, 6-0 at first singles, Valeria Tueme won 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 at second singles and Sarah Leger took a 6-4, 6-3 decision at third singles. Milford’s Julie Rabinowitcz and Megan Cafarella won 6-0, 6-7 (4-7), 7-5 win at first doubles and Kate Rosenblatt and Victoria Beyer won 6-4, 6-2 at second doubles.

Taunton, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final

Franklin Wins First D1 State Championship in 2OT

Franklin hockey
Franklin hockey celebrates its first ever D1 State Championship. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BOSTON, Mass. – A Cinderella run from the Franklin Panthers ended with a true storybook ending.
Sophomore Luke Downie, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Sunday, scored on a wrist shot six minutes into the second overtime to give Franklin a 4-3 win over St. Mary’s Lynn and the program its first MIAA Division 1 State Championship.
Senior Tyler Oakes connected on a pass from his own zone to senior and Jake Downie (Luke’s cousin) along the boards in the neutral, who then dropped the puck back to Luke after crossing the blue line. Luke fired a wrist shot that deflected off the the leg of a St. Mary’s defenseman and found it’s way over the goalie’s pad short side for the game winner.
“This is awesome,” Luke Downie said postgame. “This is the best birthday present you could ask for.”
Franklin – who had been shutout three straight years in the D2 State Final from 2011-2013 —got off to an ideal start with a pair of first period goals and took that same lead into the final period. But two goals in the first five minutes of the final period from St. Mary’s knotted the game 3-3.
The final 10 minutes remained scoreless, sending the game into a sudden death overtime period. Neither team could find the back of the net in that period either, sending the teams to the locker room for the ice to be cleaned for a second overtime period.
With exactly nine minutes to go in the second overtime period, Downie scored the game winner.
“I think that the problem was we were playing in the wrong division the other times,” Franklin head coach Chris Spillane joked. Franklin moved up to Division 1 at the start of the 2013 season. “This has just been one of those Cinderella years. To follow up last year with a new crop of kids and have them commit to something from day one, and to see them enjoy this success, that’s what high school sports are all about.”
Senior captain and defenseman Joe Corsi scored just his third goal of the season to give Franklin the lead midway through the first period. Sophomore Brendan O’Rielly relayed a perfect outlet pass to senior Sean Hedvig in alone on goal but St. Mary’s goalie Andrew LoRusso got a pad to it.
The puck bounced around and as a St. Mary’s defenseman tried to chip it out, Corsi had pinched in and jumped off the ice to grab the puck, put it on the ice and fired it into the back of the net with 8:26 left in the first period.
“They tried to chip it out and I caught it and just put it down,” Corsi said. “Coach always tells me to roll my wrist and I had to roll it on that one. It was just surreal. I haven’t scored a goal like that before.
“This a dream come true. No one believed we could do this at the beginning of the year, except us, all the guys in the locker room. Each in every day we grinding it out, it’s just a dream.”
Just three minutes later, Franklin doubled its lead. Senior Matt Pleshaw fired a wrist shot from inside the blue line that was blocked down. Before LoRusso could smother the puck, junior Joey Blasie poked it in to make it 2-0 with 5:14 left in the period.

Video courtesy of Gavin Mealey

The Spartans cut the deficit in half just 11 seconds into the second period when Eric Pedro knocked in rebound of shot by Dante Maribito.
But Franklin had an answer just minutes later as Alec Gilliatt found sophomore Jeremy Miller behind the net. Miller skated around and found a perfect passing lane between the post and a defenseman to feed freshman Kevin Mackay. Mackay took a step in and sniped one top shelf to make it 3-1 with just over 12 minutes to play in the second period.
Franklin took a 3-1 lead into the final period but once again St. Mary’s found early period success. Less than a minute in, Conor Foley batted in rebound for powerplay goal to make it 3-2. Just three minutes later, Maribito found the back of the net for his third point of the net to tie the game 3-3.
“Huge momentum swings,” Spillane said. “They started to carry the play and their offensive kids started to open up the ice. Nick did a great job making the saves he needed to make. We talked about team defense, keeping them high on the forecheck and the defensive guys winning the battles and chipping the puck out.
“That was a great hockey team we played tonight, it was back and forth and both teams had chances to win. I’m proud of my kids, they responded.”
The Panthers nearly had the winner at the end of the third period but LoRusso went post to post to deny Jake Downie with 1:11 to go.
Neither side produced a clear scoring chance in the 12 minute overtime period but Franklin goalie Nick Jasinski came up with a huge kick save off a redirection in the opening minutes of the second overtime. Just two minutes later, the Panthers had the game winner.
Like it has been all season, the Panthers got contributions from all three lines — and four different goal scorers.
“Four different goal scorers and that’s kind of been the key to our success,” Spillane said. “You can’t really one focus on that one player. I said in the locker room after overtime, someone in this room is going to be a hero. Who wants to be that hero tonight? Luke’s been playing great hockey for us, midseason he just turned it on. As a sophomore it’s great to see him be that hero. Also, Kevin Mackay scored his first high school goal tonight. That’s quite a team to score your first goal of the year. That’s the type of team we are. There are no one or two superstars, it’s 22 kids out there having the same belief, working hard and just grinding it out.”
“To win championships, you have to have depth and that’s what we have,” Corsi added. “Everyone believed and look at where we are now.”
The Panthers were somewhat of an unknown coming into season after graduating 21 seniors from a squad that made a historic run to the Super 8 last season. Now this year’s team has created its own place in history.
“I think it gives us a little validity as a program that we can do that, anytime you graduate that many seniors it’s a challenge,” Spillane said. “It just tells us what our junior varsity and youth programs are like. We have a lot of kids that want to wear that jersey and they’re going to wait around until they get that opportunity. We have 13 seniors this year and very few of them skated last year, if any. They waited four years to put that jersey on and they made the most of it.
“It feels good but it’s not about the coaching staff. Yeah we’re excited but it’s about seeing the faces on these kids in that locker room, how excited they are and how committed they were to win the hockey game. I know a lot of people said it’s a rebuilding year but I guess they thought different.”
Franklin hockey finished the season with an 18-4-5 record.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Hockey: Kelley-Rex Division Preview 2015-2016

Kelley-Rex hockey
Mansfield and North Attleboro will be two of the teams gunning to unseat Franklin and win a league title. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

Attleboro
2014-15 Record: 11-13-1 (2-8-0)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South semifinal
Head Coach: Mike Cripps

The Bombardiers made an improbable run to the Div. 3 South semifinal before being eliminated by Hanover. Even with a short bench and a goaltender that had never played before, Attleboro won three tournament games for the first time in program history and this year will try to build on that experience and get back to the postseason.

With 20 players on the roster, depth may not be Attleboro’s strength but there are some players that Cripps will be counting on to produce this season led by senior forward Keagin Larkin. He will be helped out on the forward line by junior P.J. Elliott and sophomore Sam Parker. Freshman Sam Larkin will also step in right away and Cripps said that he has been “impressive” during the opening two weeks of practice.

Senior goalie Tim Gile returns between the pipes after a season that saw him put on goalie pads for the first time. He will be joined at the goalie position by junior Tyler Koppy. In front of goal, seniors Will McKenzie and Jack Flynn and sophomore Sam McKenzie will be part of Attleboro’s defensive corps.

There may only be 20 players on the roster, but the Bombardiers are a tight-knit group and Cripps is hopeful that they can get back to .500 and another trip to the playoffs. He said, “Our team is a group of hard-working players with good chemistry. With our lack of depth, we have to avoid injuries and illness. I am very happy with the progress I have seen after the first week.”

Franklin
2014-15 Record: 17-4-3 (10-0-0)
2014-15 Finish: Lost in first round of the Super 8
Head Coach: Chris Spillane

How does Franklin follow up its first ever appearance in the prestigious Super 8 tournament? How does the program recover from losing 21 seniors off a roster that finished unbeaten in the Hockomock League and had one of the league’s most exciting hockey moments when it beat Xaverian in overtime in the Super 8 play-in game?

Those are tough questions that head coach Chris Spillane will be trying to answer in the coming weeks as he incorporates almost an entirely new roster. The top returning scorer from last season is senior Alex Bissanti, who chipped in with five goals as a junior. He will be joined up front by junior Adam Assad, who Spillane said has “lots of offensive potential.” In addition, the coach noted that he is looking towards a “strong” sophomore class to provide a spark offensively.

Ryan Shea was a rock in goal last season after getting his first playing time as a senior and the Panthers will be counting on seniors Nick Jasinki (five games in 2014-15) and Cam Benham to step in this year and have a similar impact. In front of the goalies, Franklin has a strong defensive corps led by senior captains Matt Pleshaw and Jack Chaffee. The defense has been bolstered by the return of senior Tyler Oaks, who had been playing for the South Shore Kings. Spillane called him a “strong offensive defenseman.”

It is only the third season for Franklin in Div. 1 and already the Panthers have accomplished more than most public school programs. This could be a transition year for Franklin but expectations remain high for a perennial power. Spillane said, “With the departure of 21 seniors, the success of this team will rely on finding a identity early in the season.”

King Philip
2014-15 Record: 7-10-3 (4-5-1)
2014-15 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Paul Carlow

For the second time in three season, King Philip has changed coaches with Paul Carlow taking charge of the Warriors this winter after two seasons as the JV and assistant coach. Thanks to his experience with the program and with the players, Carlow, who was once a standout player for KP, called the transition “smooth.” He added, “I know the players and they know me, which has made it pretty easy. Everyone know what is expected.”

The Warriors numbers were not huge this winter and depth may not be a strength, but Carlow is excited about the talent that KP will send out on the ice with six forwards and six defensemen returning from last year’s squad. The Warriors will be led on the forward line by senior captain Matt Smith, while fellow captain Clay Guess will lead an experienced blue line group that also includes football star Corey Lombardo.

Sophomore Collin Cooke is a player to watch this season and is poised for a breakout winter after scoring 11 goals and 10 assists as a freshman. Fellow sophomore Dan McLoughlin could be a player that steps in and provides a spark along with junior Richie Lucente, who saw plenty of ice time last season. Carlow also said that junior Jeremy Smith should step right in at defense. He noted that Smith had the talent to get on the ice as a sophomore but was only limited by the experienced players ahead of him.

Carlow has added preseason scrimmages and has changed the schedule around to add teams like Nauset, Walpole, and Coyle to prepare the team for the rigors of the Div. 1 tournament. After narrowly missing out the past two seasons, Carlow is confident the Warriors can make a run to the postseason. “We need to be ready for the type of teams we’re going to face,” said Carlow. “We may not be the deepest team, we didn’t have 90 kids tryout like Franklin, but we’ve got speed and we can play.”

Mansfield
2014-15 Record: 10-11-0 (8-2-0)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round
Head Coach: Rick Anastos

Mansfield enters another season as one of the main threats to Franklin in the Kelley-Rex division. The Hornets, who are the only other team to have won the division (in 2011), are one of the few programs to consistently have the talent base to challenge the Panthers and this season is no different.

Junior forward Matt Farragher is primed for a breakout season after scoring 13 points as a sophomore and he will be paired up front with several classmates, including Pat Sunderland and Chad Piotti. Seniors Pat Graham, Shane Doherty, and Max Hoffman will return to give Mansfield strength in depth along its first two lines and the firepower to make the Hornets a dangerous team in the Hock.

Mansfield also has the potential to be strong defensively, as demonstrated by a scoreless tie with Winthrop on Saturday. Anthony Visconti, who gave up just more three goals per game last season, returns in goal and he will be helped out by senior defenseman Mike Arnold, who leads the blue liners, along with classmate Tim O’Brien.

The Hornets have experienced returning players, but there is plenty of youth coming through program as well with two freshman and five sophomores on the varsity roster. Franklin may remain the team to beat, but Mansfield is confident that it will be right there pushing the Panthers to the end.

North Attleboro
2014-15 Record: 12-8-1 (6-4-0)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round
Head Coach: Stephen Snizek

The Rocketeers made it back to the tournament last season but were knocked out in overtime by Milford in the first round. With Sean Young graduated, North Attleboro will be looking for someone that can step into his role as the primary scorer and make a run at a first league title in its final season in the Kelley-Rex.

There is a lot of depth returning for North this season led on the forward line by senior captains Andrew Casson and Brian Poillucci and juniors Zach McGowan and Erik Clements, each of whom have years of experience for the Rocketeers. Sophomores Jason McNeany and Andrew Wissler and a strong freshman class will add to the forwards over the course of the season.

Defensively, North Attleboro will count on juniors Paul Baker and Vincent Zammiello and senior Matthew Marceau on the back line. The defense will be key and Snizek is expecting his forwards to help back as well as the Rocketeers will be using freshmen Chris Ulrich and Ryan Warren in goal this year.

The Rocketeers have a lot of weapons and Snizek is excited for the talent coming through the program. He said, “We have a lot of weapons on offense and we need to get pucks to the net and drive in the dirty goals. Our forwards will need to play in all zones on the ice.  Not just the offensive zone.”

Taunton
2014-15 Record: 9-12-1 (2-8-0)
2014-15 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Head Coach: Kris Metea

The Tigers have been building the program for the past few years, developing young skaters, and waiting for a time that it can come together for a potential run at the state tournament. Head coach Kris Metea is hopeful that this could be the year, as Taunton boasts a talented forward line that could provide the goals needed to get to the playoffs. Metea said, “The eighth graders and freshmen that took beatings three years ago have all grown up and can physically compete with players in the Hockomock now.”

Among the players that Metea highlighted this season are junior Nick Terry, who is coming off an all-star season, and senior Tyler Pietrzyk, who will both be starters. Junior Zack Albert and sophomore Will Walsh will add depth to the forwards as well. Defensively, senior David Perry and junior Mike Volkmann will be two of the key players and add a physical component to the Tigers.

Taunton has three goalies on the varsity roster and Metea has confidence in all of them to win games. Senior Cam Pitts is the most experienced of the trio but junior Justin Chappell and freshman Griffin Speicher both will see time as well.

If Taunton can improve the power play and utilize its overall team speed, this could be an interesting year for the Tigers. “It has been a pleasure working with these players and see them grow up as hockey players and young men,” said Metea. “They have matured physically and mentally and are ready to take the next step to compete with the top end of the ever-competitive Hockomock.”