Canton, 71 vs. Boston Latin, 56 – Final – Canton’s offense poured in 25 points in the first quarter, building a 15-point lead and never looking back against visiting Boston Latin. Senior Tony Harris scored a team-high 17 points and hauled in nine rebounds, setting a new program record for career rebounds. Senior Jake Verille added 14 points, junior Devin Foster had 13 points and senior Austin Maffie added 11 points.
Foxboro, 49 vs. Bethel Park, 37 – Final – Holding a two-point lead at halftime, Foxboro outscored Bethel Park 14-5 in the third quarter to create the necessary separation to get the win. Sophomore Brandon Borde scored nine of his 14 points in the crucial third quarter while senior Joe Morrison had five of his team-high 15 points. Bobby Harrison helped seal the win with nine of his 14 points in the final quarter. Foxboro will play Shaler Area High School (PA) in the championship round of its bracket at 12:30 on Friday at Disney.
Franklin, 48 vs. Arlington, 46 – Final – Franklin kept Arlington without a final point over the final two minutes and rattled off five straight points to turn a late deficit into a win. Senior Matt Elias (nine points) hit his first three of the game to tie it 46-46 and sophomore Chris Edgehill scored seven of his 14 points in the final quarter, including a pull-up up jumper late to give the Panthers the lead. Senior Paul Mahon (14 points) was named MVP of the tournament while Edgehill and junior Jalen Samuels were named to the all-tournament team.
Mansfield, 64 vs. BC High, 73 – Final – BC High outscored Mansfield 17-9 in the third quarter, including an 11-0 run to start the second half. Senior John McCoy scored a team-high 21 points while classmate Justin Vine added 12 points for the Hornets.
North Attleboro 53 vs. Reading, 32 – Final – Big Red set the defensive tone early, limiting Reading to just four points in the opening quarter and building a double-digit lead (27-16) by halftime. Junior Josh Montague netted 10 of his team-high 15 points in the first half to help create the lead. Junior Jake Petersen added a career-best 13 points, senior Chad Peterson hit three triples for nine points, and Derek Shanks scored seven points to go along with a strong defensive performance. North will play host Lincoln-Sudbury in the championship of the Warrior Slam on Friday night at 7:00.
Taunton, 79 @ Durfee, 70 – Final – Taunton overcame a woeful start (down 12-1) and a 26-point second quarter from Durfee with a strong second half to earn the win in the championship of the Skip Karam Tournament. Junior Lou Vendrell poured in a career-high 26 points, including 14 in the third quarter, to help the Tigers turn the game around. Sophomore Dante Law added a career-high 25 points while senior Lens Esquil, who was named tournament MVP, scored five of his 10 points in the final quarter to help seal the win.
Franklin, 40 @ Mansfield, 50 – Final – The Hornets took the lead with a 22-11 second quarter and held on for a double-digit win over their Kelley-Rex rival. Ann Maher finished with a team-high 14 points for Mansfield on four three-pointers. Maggie Danehy added nine points and eight rebounds in the win. Bea Bondhus was Franklin’s top scorer with 14 points and Breanna Atwood added seven.
Oliver Ames, 61 vs. Brockton, 47 – Final
Sharon, 59 @ Holliston, 62 – Final – Emma Eberhardt scored 24 points for the Eagles in the loss.
Stoughton, 36 @ Newton North, 40 – Final – Stoughton, which trailed by as much as nine, cut the deficit to just one late in the fourth quarter but Newton North held on for the win. Senior Val Whalen had 17 points and 13 rebounds while sophomore Aliyah Wright chipped in with 13 points.
Taunton, 46 vs. Durfee, 57 – Final – Lily Patneaude and Hannah Moniz each scored 14 points in the loss, while Kelsey White added eight points for the Tigers.
Franklin, 4 vs. LaSalle College, 2 – Final – Luke Downie scored a pair of goals to help the Panthers win their opener of the annual Mount St. Charles tournament. Joey Lizzotte and Zac Falvey also scored for Franklin.
North Attleboro, 8 vs. Cranston West, 4 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Ursuline, 0 – Final – Isabelle Shanteler scored a pair of goals and Catherine Luciano added one for the Warriors. Cate Gallagher earned the shutout in goal.
Lowell Holiday Tournament (Foxboro, Franklin, Stoughton), 9:00AM
Marshfield Tournament (Mansfield, North Attleboro, Oliver Ames, Sharon) – North Attleboro and Mansfield both had top-five finishes in the team standings while Oliver Ames had its best showing in program history at the tournament. North was fourth with 183 points while Mansfield took fifth overall with 180 points. OA scored 96.5 points, the most in program history at the Marshfield Tournament (now in its 31st year) to take 14th overall while Sharon took 16th with 65.5 points. The Rocketeers had nine grapplers place inside the top seven, led by Danny Cooper (120, 3-1 with one pin) and Jake Direnzo (126, 4-1) who each finished second. John Kummer (285) took third overall, Adam Eberle (160) and Brad White (195) each placed fourth, Ethan Smith (106), Zack Gould (145) and Reid Wills (160) all placed sixth and Mike Burns (132) was seventh in his bracket.
Mansfield had a strong day with three individual champions, just one of two schools to accomplish the feat. Antonios Sevastos earned up upset over the top seed, 5-4, to win the 113 bracket, Jayden Curley also took down the top-seed, 4-2, to earn the 160 title and Vinnie Holmes won 8-6 for the 182 championship. CJ Glaropoulos finished third at 138 and George Glaropoulos (152) and Will Stratton (132) each had fourth-place finishes for the Hornets.
Oliver Ames’ memorable day was sparked by a second place finish from Dean Pacini (195), who was edged out 4-2 in the final, and junior Anthony Berksza’s fourth-place finish at 145. Freshman Remy Creighton was seventh overall at 106 and Nick McGovern took eighth at 113. For Sharon, Sam Mandelbraut (132) was sixth, Tyler Cashton (152) took seventh and Matt Callan (145) finished eighth.
Foxboro, 52 vs. Hopkinton, 38 – Final – Ashley Sampson was the top scorer for the Warriors for the second straight game, leading the way with 16 points. Lilly Sykes added 11 and freshman Katelyn Mollica scored nine in the non-league victory.
Franklin, 44 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 61 – Final
King Philip, 59 vs. Framingham, 25 – Final – KP head coach Amy Siggens said Faith Roy had an “unbelievable” game on both ends of the floor for the Warriors, which included scoring a game-high 20 points. Shannon O’Connor chipped in with 11 for KP.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Hockomock League history was made on Saturday afternoon at Pirelli Veterans Arena, when Franklin hosted Mansfield/Oliver Ames (MOA) in the first girls’ hockey game to be played under the league’s banner.
Previously, girls’ hockey teams had been part of the Southeastern Mass Girls Hockey League (SEMGHL), but now the Hockomock had expanded enough to have its own competition, although, as Franklin coach Margie Burke explained, her young Panthers squad was more concerned with the start of a new season rather than a new league.
“There wasn’t a lot of focus on that to be honest,” Burke said. “Again, a young team, a lot of them don’t know the history. To them, they just assumed it was the Hock because that’s what the school is in.”
Amanda Lewandowski scored the historic first league goal and Franklin led 2-0 until late in the game, but the Warriors scored twice in the final 7:27 of the game to come from behind and ensure that both teams went home with their first Hockomock League point.
“It was a great comeback,” said MOA coach Mike Dalton. “The girls showed a lot of heart in the third period. We shouldn’t get down like that in a hole, but we dug ourselves out.”
Franklin took the lead a little more than two minutes into the game. On the power play, junior Regan Paterson swung the puck around to Jackie Connelly, who fired a shot towards the far post. Lewandowski was on hand at the back post to redirect the shot into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
MOA had its chances in the period with Mackenzie Fraser creating a scoring chance after shrugging off two defenders on the far boards, but Franklin freshman goalie Natalie Stott made the stop. Two minutes later, Stott (30 saves) came up big again, this time making a series of three close-range saves to deny a tying goal.
“She played great,” said Burke of the rookie netminder. “It’s her first high school game and you can’t ask much more than that.”
Franklin doubled the lead with 3:47 left in the first. Connelly again got the assist when she played the puck up the boards out of her defensive zone. The puck skipped past an MOA defenseman and Paterson was first to it, racing three quarter of the rink before planting her wrister top shelf.
Paterson had another opportunity early in the second but after dragging the puck past the defense her shot was gloved by MOA goalie Cate Gallagher.
The Warriors had their share of chances to cut into the lead, holding a 24-12 advantage in shots after the second (32-19 for the game), but Stott continued to make big saves. Lindsey Corning had her shot from the slot kicked aside by a quick right pad, then Stott showed quick reflexes to stop a deflected drive from the point by Melissa Shanteler.
In the final seconds of the period, Catherine Luciano split the Franklin defense with an outlet pass to Kristina O’Connell for a breakaway, but Stott went full split to block the shot at the far post. Dalton admitted that the Warriors were getting frustrated heading into the third.
“We had a lot of shots and quite a few chances,” he said. “I tell the girls that we need to relax and it will come because after the second period they were hitting their heads against the wall and trying to figure out what to do.”
The hosts started the third strongly and nearly put the game away. Gallagher made a series of saves in the first few minutes, including several off shots from the point by Gianna Cameron, to keep the Warriors alive.
MOA finally found a way through with 7:22 to play. O’Connell got another chance on a breakaway and she picked out the top corner high on the glove side to cut the lead to 2-1.
Dalton said, “First line played well but I think the second line played even better. Kayla Dalton, Kristina O’Connell and Ella Waryas played their best game that I’ve seen them play.”
With two minutes to play, MOA pressure paid off and tied the game. After a scramble in the crease, in which Stott made two close-range saves, the puck squirted out to the far post where Denae Reager was on hand to punch it in.
Franklin had an opportunity on the power play for the final 1:22 and Burke used a timeout to ensure that her young team would be careful and earn a season-opening point.
“They had two really great scoring opportunities where they scored and that’s what happens,” said Burke about the third period. “It just comes down to being a young team and playing a full game. There were a few spurts where they were a little maybe lax, tired, nerves, young, inexperienced, all of those things. I’m happy with this game; it’s a good start for us.”
When asked what it meant to his team to be playing in the first Hockomock League game, Dalton said, “They were excited. We stepped it up a little for the day. The Hockomock League will be a tough league and we should compete well with everybody.”
He added, “A lot of games like that will be fun to watch.”
Franklin (0-0-1) will travel to the New England Sports Center in Marlboro to face Medway/Ashland on Monday, while Mansfield/Oliver Ames (1-0-1) will head to the Jim Roche Arena in West Roxbury to face Ursuline Academy.
The Black Knights are a relatively young team this year, so they will be relying heavily on their experienced players to lead the way and make a difference. Senior Brendan Campbell was one of three players to go over the 20-point plateau last season, and just one of two returning this season along with junior Sean Doherty. Campbell was second on the team with 11 goals and notched a team-high 15 assists for a team-best 26 points. Campbell is one of the fastest skaters in the league, which gives him an edge on defensemen. Once he gets the puck on his stick, he’s a threat to make a big play. Whether it be setting up a teammate for a great opportunity, or putting it on goal himself. He is someone opposing teams will need to focus on this again season.
Two years removed from being selected for the HockomockSports.com Third Team and All-Underclassman Team, King Philip senior Collin Cooke remains one of the most dynamic forwards for the Warriors and someone capable of helping KP climb up the league standings. Last year, Cooke scored 10 goals and recorded seven assists and was tied for second on the team with 17 points. His speed and his ability to beat defensemen in the attacking zone opens up space for his teammates and he is capable of picking the right pass to ensure a scoring opportunity for the Warriors. Cooke will be one of the key players for KP, if the Warriors are going to book a spot in the state tournament.
Quinn Gibbs had big shoes to fill when he stepped between the pipes last season, trying to fill the void left by a three-year starter. But Gibbs held his own, and quickly made a name for himself around the league as a top goalie. During his first year in net, he made 320 saves (0.924 save percentage) while allowing just 1.31 goals against a game. As the year went on, you could see his confidence grow. He will be a vital part of the Bulldogs’ defense this year after losing a handful of starters to graduation. He already has a good amount of playoff experience as well, which will be key as Canton will likely be a contender in D2 South again this season.
Mansfield senior defenseman Tyler Oakley will be the leader of the Hornets defensive effort this season and will set the tone with his physicality and ability to pick the right pass to spring the forwards into the attack. Oakley was a HockomockSports.com Second Team performer in 2016-17 after anchoring a defense that allowed only 50 goals on the season, which was second best in the Kelley-Rex division and fourth best in the league. He also recorded 10 assists from the blue line and recorded a team-high plus-18 for the season. With Oakley back as a top-four defenseman, Mansfield will be hoping to improve on last year’s third-place finish in the division.
Franklin senior forward Brendan O’Rielly will be hoping to lead the Panthers on a run similar to his sophomore season when they won the Div. 1 state title. O’Rielly was the team’s leading scorer last year with a team-best 20 goals plus 11 assists for 31 points. He will spearhead an experience group of forwards and will use his strong skating, good stick-handling, and accurate shooting to help Franklin make another run at a Kelley-Rex division title. As a three-year varsity player, O’Rielly has continued to develop throughout his career and has the potential to be one of the league’s leading scorers again this winter.
Attleboro senior forward Jake Parker returns to lead the Bombardiers attack this winter and, as usual, will be counted on to not only create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates but also to chip in on the power play and penalty kill. An unselfish forward with a keen eye for a pass, Parker is always the first look for an Attleboro defenseman to try and break the puck out of the zone with speed. With great stick-handling ability, Parker can get Attleboro set up in the offensive zone and gives the Bombardiers much-needed patience on the puck. Parker, who was on the HockomockSports.com Second Team last year, scored 20 goals and had six assists in 2016-17, including a five-goal performance in a tie with Mansfield.
Foxboro has been able to rely on Aidan Sullivan for the past three years and will look to him for leadership both on and off of the ice this season. Sullivan enters his fourth year as a member of the Warriors’ defensive unit and has improved every single year. He was named to the 2015-2016 HockomockSports.com All Underclassman Team as a sophomore and improved his production on the offensive end of the ice last season notching a career-high eight points, scoring twice with six helpers. Foxboro has a relatively young group of forwards this season so it will be important for Sullivan to be an anchor on the defensive end as the younger players gain experience.
After a season away with a juniors team, Taunton senior forward Will Walsh has returned to provide a boost to the Tigers attack. Walsh is a dangerous scorer with an accurate shot and a lot of energy that is contagious. His teammates feed off the emotion and energy that he plays with. Two years ago, as part of a powerful Taunton offense, Walsh scored three goals and 11 assists. In 21 games with the South Shore Kings in 2016-17, Walsh scored two goals and seven assists and his addition will open space for his fellow forwards and add to the potent Tigers attack.
North Attleboro’s Ryan Warren has been one of the most consistent goalies in the league over the past two seasons. He was stellar during his freshman season and earned HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year honors, and last year during his sophomore campaign he helped Big Red to 14 wins by making 395 saves and a .892 save percentage. From his first year on varsity, Warren has always shown great positioning, and his ability to control rebounds makes it difficult for opponents to net second chance goals.
Oliver Ames had a handful of young talented forwards last season, and Brett Williams emerged as one of the most talented in the league. Williams helped the Tigers have a terrific season, coming within one point of the Kelley-Rex division title. As just a sophomore, he scored a team-high 12 goals while adding eight assists for 20 points. His speed is what really sets him apart from others in the league. His quick burst allows him to get get pass defenses and fly in on goal, and on top of his speed, he has the ability to finish.
King Philip junior Nicole Connor is one of the most versatile girls’ hockey players in the newly formed Hockomock league and will be a key to KP making a run at the inaugural league title. Connor will see time as both a forward and on the blue line, giving the Warriors help all over the ice. As a sophomore, Connor scored five goals and had six assists while playing primarily as in defense and she is poised to have a breakout winter for the Warriors.
Canton senior goalie Colleen Kelleher returns after a strong season in net for Canton, leading the Bulldogs from the No. 14 seed to their first state final since 2006. Kelleher came through numerous times in the playoffs to keep opponents out and give the potent Canton attack the chance to find winning goals. She will backstop Canton’s attempt at winning the inaugural Hockomock League title.
Foxboro senior forward Catherine Luciano has been one of the most dynamic scorers in the area over the last two years and led the Warriors in scoring last winter with 25 goals and 12 assists. Luciano is off to a flying start this winter with a hat trick in the season-opening win against Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton. The partnership of Luciano with Mackenzie Fraser (19 points last year) and Isabelle Shanteller (21 points) could be the key to Mansfield/Oliver Ames making a run at the first ever league title.
Franklin junior Regan Paterson will be one of the primary attackers for Franklin, as the Panthers compete for the first ever Hockomock League title and book a return to the state tournament. Paterson score 11 goals and had five assists as a sophomore and is coming off a strong fall for the Franklin field hockey program. Her experience will be counted on to lead a young Panthers roster this winter.
Stoughton senior defenseman Julia Russell is coming off a pair of all-star seasons for the new program and will be hoping to take her form from the SEMGHL to the Black Knights opening campaign in the Hockomock League. Russell is a speedy defender who can also step into the attack and her leadership will be key for a talented group of underclassmen that have Stoughton confident in a big improvement this winter, as evidenced by a season-opening win over Framingham.
2016-2017 Record: 6-12-2 2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason. Coach: Mark Homer
Attleboro struggled in its closing games of 2016-17 and narrowly missed out on a place in the state tournament via the Sullivan rule. This year’s Bombardiers are hoping that a mix of youth and experience will be enough to get the team over the hump and back in the playoff mix.
The main scoring threat for Attleboro this season is senior forward Jake Parker, a HockomockSports.com Second Team selection last winter who led the team with 20 goals despite facing regular double teams and playing loads of minutes. Parker will be joined up front by sophomore Ryan Morry, who is coming off a solid rookie campaign and will try to take advantage of the opportunities Parker creates near the net.
Attleboro’s experience is on the defensive side of the ice. Seniors Eddie Noel and Sam MacKenzie and junior Kyle McCabe provide size, physicality, and reading of the game to protect the Bombardiers goal. Attleboro coach Mark Homer, in his second season with the team, is expecting the defensemen to be aggressive in the zone and be more prepared to clear the puck. The Bombardiers are also experienced in goal with junior Evan Andrews and sophomore Derrik Rivet offering a solid one-two between the pipes.
“As a team, we are working on becoming more competitive in our games at all phases of the game, said Homer. “We will strive to be better today than we were yesterday but not as good as we will be tomorrow. Our success will be measured by how hard we work and not by our wins and losses.”
2016-2017 Record: 16-5-3 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal. Coach: Brian Shuman
After another league title in 2016-17 and a run to the Div. 2 South semifinal, Canton has started this season with a win and a draw (that turned into an overtime win in the final of the Gormley Cup) and the expectations remain as high as ever for one of the teams to beat in D2.
Last season, Canton was by far the league’s best defensive team, allowing only 32 goals in 24 games. The next best defense allowed 48 goals. But, the Bulldogs will need to rebuild the blue line this season after the graduation of HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Jackson Maffeo and Third Team selection C.J. Martin. Defensemen Brad Murphy and Nick Allen have experience and will be counted on to step up to bigger roles this year.
The key for the Canton defense, which has allowed only one goal in two games so far this season, will be junior goalie Quinn Gibbs. He was a HockomockSports.com First Team choice last year with a league-best 0.924 save percentage and there is hope he can get even better with a year of experience. Offensively, the Bulldogs bring back most of the goals from last year with Ryan Nolte, Johnny Hagan, Bubba McNeice, and Jack Goyetch all returning this season and all having scored big goals in big moments for Canton during last season’s tournament run.
“I think the most important determinant of our success will be whether we can find some depth at forward and defense,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “Teams need more than two lines and four ‘D’ to make a deep run, so we need some guys to compete for those remaining spots.”
2016-2017 Record: 6-12-2 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 3 First Round. Coach: Mark Cedorchuk
Foxboro saw improvement last year, increasing its win total, goals for, and allowed fewer goals than the season before. Head coach Mark Cedarchuk is hoping that trend continues this season as the Warriors look to try and compete for the spot in the postseason.
The Warriors will be relying on a mix of experience as well as youth to try and compete in the Hockomock League this year. Senior captain Aidan Sullivan (two goals, six assists) has been an anchor of the team’s blue line unit over the past couple of seasons and will be relied upon to lead the way again this year. Senior captain Taylor Sharfman is another defenseman that gives the Warriors two capable and reliable options in the back. Junior Tanner Kennedy is also back after a solid sophomore year and Warriors added junior Brendan Tully to the defensive unit.
On offense, Foxboro graduated its top three goal scorers but sophomore Ronnie MacLellan (four goals, seven assists) is back after a strong sophomore year. He will be joined up front by senior Sam Garrabrant and sophomore Sebastian Ricketts, who had four goals and two assists last year.
Foxboro will have to find a replacement for goalie John Cronin, a multi-year starter in between the pipes for the Warriors. Foxboro has three goalies – freshman Jack Spinney, sophomore Espen Reager, and freshman Connor Callahan – listed on the roster.
“With a combination of experienced upperclassman and talented underclassman, we’re looking forward to an exciting and competitive season,” Cedarchuk said.
2016-2017 Record: 14-9-1 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Chris Spillane
Although last winter was atypical for the Panthers, losing two games in the league for the first time in several years, Franklin won another league title and with 20 players back for this season the expectation is that a seventh straight league crown is a distinct possibility – not to mention making a run in the state tournament.
Experience will be the key for the Panthers. Most of the forwards were members of the team that won the state championship two years ago and know what it takes to get goals against top competition. Leading scorer Brendan O’Rielly is back after scoring 20 goals and recording 11 assists last season. He should have plenty of help up front with classmates Luke Downie, Jeremy Miller, T.J. Durkin, and Ken Demerchant, who are all three-year varsity players for the Panthers.
Defensively, Franklin has lost several talented young defensemen to other programs in recent seasons, but still boasts a strong defensive corps heading into this winter. Jack McGrath, Matt Crane, Connor Norton, Cam Cassella, and sophomore Tom Tasker will all contribute to the defensive pairings this season and that depth will be important over a long season. The goalie position is a battle between three seniors, including returning netminders Owen Ginley and Dan Sheehan, who both saw time last year.
“I will be looking to our leading goal scorer from last year Brendan O’Rielly to once again lead the offensive charge,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “From a small practice sample (one skate) I was impressed with our team speed.”
2016-2017 Record: 4-16-0 2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason. Coach: Paul Carlow
King Philip finished just below .500 in the league last season, and just five points out of second place in the Kelley-Rex division, but struggled in the non-league schedule, losing all 11 games outside of the Hock. The Warriors will look to improve that considerably this year with an experienced roster that wants to challenge for a league title.
KP returns 13 players from last year’s squad and that experience will be vital to allow the Warriors to compete not only in the league but against a schedule that has been bolstered because of the program’s move up to Div. 1 several seasons ago. Offensively, the attention will be on senior forward Collin Cooke, who chipped in with 10 goals and seven assists and has been drawing the focus of opposing defenses for several years. Senior Gavin Maxwell had nine goals and eight assists last season and will again be a solid counterpoint to take some of the pressure off Cooke in the attacking zone.
On the defensive side of the ice, KP continues to be a physical team that likes to be aggressive attacking the puck. Senior defensemen Will Connor will get some help at the back with the return of senior Mike Curtin from juniors, who head coach Paul Carlow said could be an “anchor” on defense. Senior Shane Frommer, fresh off a stellar football season and another Super Bowl title, will quickly transition from the gridiron to be the team’s starting goalie, after posting a 2.66 goals against average in 2016-17.
“Our strength is that we have a total of 13 returning players from last years team,” said Carlow. “We have experience up front and on the back end. We should see some team chemistry with this many returning players.”
2016-2017 Record: 12-8-2 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round. Coach: Mike Balazarini
In last year’s state tournament, Mansfield held its own against perennial power Xaverian before losing 2-1 in the opening round and that defeat is spurring the Hornets on this season, as the team has built a deep roster that believes it can challenge for the Kelley-Rex crown.
Team speed is going to be a strength for the Hornets this season, even without several key pieces from last winter, including breakout freshman Chris Jenkins, lost to graduation or to juniors. Senior forward Dylan Tivnan and Cullin Anastasia will be back to man the top scoring line along with freshman Coleman Jenkins. The second line will feature a lot of youth with sophomore Jake Lund and freshman Matt Copponi alongside junior Chris Copponi.
Seniors Tyler Oakley and Tim Arnold will be the leaders on the defensive side this year, while senior Ryan O’Hara and juniors Nick Levine and Austin Ricker will give the Hornets depth in the defensive unit. That depth should make things easier for sophomore Sean McCafferty, who will be stepping between the pipes for Mansfield this season.
“I think everyone wants to pick up where he left off last year,” said Mansfield coach Mike Balzarini. “We’ve had a good mindset early on this season. We have some new faces and everyone has gelled so far. We can’t take everyone lightly, we have to play every shift as its out last.”
2016-2017 Record: 14-4-4 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Ben McManama
North Attleboro is coming off its most successful season in program history, and will be starting a new chapter with new head coach Ben McManama.
The Rocketeers will be tasked with finding replacements for some of the top players in the league from a season ago. Someone will need to step up in order to fill the void left by Zach McGowan (19 goals, 13 assists for 32 points – third most in the Hockomock) as well as Hunter Sarro’s 22 points and Erik Clements’ 20 points.
Senior Jason McNeany is a key piece back for the Rocketeers, fresh off a terrific football season. He scored 13 goals last season and added 13 assists, and has been a big piece of the offense for many years now. He will be counted on to be a leader this season, both in the locker room and on the ice.
2016-2017 Record: 14-7-1 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Sean Bertoni
Under first-year head coach Sean Bertoni, Oliver Ames proved to be a strong skating team that could cause a number of problems with its dangerous attack. That speed up front will be put to the test again this year, as the Tigers look to jump from second in the Kelley-Rex division to the top of the standings.
The Tigers have a number of talented forwards returning from last season’s team, which reached the Div. 2 South tournament and beat Nauset only to run into state finalist Scituate in the second round. That loss will provide motivation for junior forward Brett Williams, who was on the HockomockSports.com Second Team with 12 goals and eight assists last year, and the rest of the OA forwards. Williams will be joined up front by seniors Eric LeBlanc and Rory Madden and junior Max Ward.
On defense, junior Matt McCormick returns to be one of the top four along with senior Mike Nikiciuk. Both players will provide leadership for a defensive unit that promises to be aggressive in both zones, as Bertoni continues to implement his system at OA. Sophomore goalie Owen Connor will be the new goalie for the Tigers.
“We will continue to use our team speed and play an aggressive style offensively and defensively,” said Bertoni. “We hope to compete at a high level in all three zones. If we bring an aggressive forecheck we can create turnovers which should result in production.”
2016-2017 Record: 7-12-2 2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason. Coach: Dan Mark
Numbers are a bit down for the Stoughton High hockey team this season, so the Knights will be relying on their most experienced players to lead the way, especially early on.
On offense, the Knights boast senior Brendan Campbell at center and junior Sean Doherty at wing. Campbell had a team-high in points last season, finishing second with 11 goals while recording a team-best 15 assists for 26 points. Doherty was third on the team, tying for the team lead with 12 goals and finishing with 25 points.
Senior Cam Nelson and junior Josh Hough will be the leaders of the Knights’ defensive unit. Hough is a captain along with Campbell and Doherty and has the most experience on the blue line. Nelson also saw plenty of time last season, recording an assist.
“We are an inexperienced team that will improve as the season goes on,” said Stoughton head coach Dan Mark.
2016-2017 Record: 12-9-2 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round. Coach: Kris Metea
Taunton has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of seasons, setting new program bests for wins and making the state tournament two seasons in a row. This year’s team features only three seniors, so the Tigers will be hoping recent success will continue with a youthful lineup.
Senior forward Will Walsh has returned from junior hockey and will provide a boost to the front line, which head coach Kris Metea has high hopes for this season. Senior Jake Roberts is also back for the Tigers after scoring 18 points last year and junior Cam Sneyd is back after a 16-point season last winter. Metea is counting on high energy from the offensive unit and believes that the roster is capable of creating loads of scoring opportunities.
Sophomore Sean Bunker will be in net for the Tigers and the defensive unit is fairly inexperienced, although the coach believes that by working together Taunton will be able to put together a solid back line. The hope is that defense will become a strength of the Tigers by the end of the season.
“The players enjoy wearing the orange and black and look forward to coming to the rink every day,” said Metea. “The coaching staff has preached about enjoying the journey of a season and the developmental process. These players strive to work hard and get better every day. They will be fun to watch grow throughout the season.”
2016-2017 Record: 14-5-6 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 State Final Coach: Dennis Aldrich
Canton is coming off a remarkable state tournament run that took the No. 14 seed all the way to the TD Garden and the program’s first state title game appearance since 2006. After years of competing in the SEMGHL Coastal division, the Bulldogs are excited for the first Hockomock League girls’ hockey season and enter the new season as favorites to bring home the first Hock title.
A number of key players are back from the team that battled Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) in the state championship game last March and will be counted on to put together another solid defensive effort that made the Bulldogs so tough to play against during the tournament run. Spearheading that defensive unit is senior goalie Colleen Kelleher, who was stellar throughout the state tournament with clutch saves in key situations.
On offense, Canton returns plenty of firepower. Juniors Maggie Malloy and Lauren Fitzpatrick emerged as big time scorers last year and came through with important goals to help the Bulldogs make a run to the Garden. Senior forwards Melissa Devane, Kendra Farrelly, and Andrea McNeil give Canton a loaded attacking unit that always seemed to pop up with goals when the team needed it most.
“The strength of the Bulldogs will continue to be a tenacious, smothering team defense, strong goaltending, and balanced, opportunistic scoring,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich. “We are proud to have our roster filled with 11 Canton team captains amongst our 22 rostered players.”
Franklin enters the first Hockomock League girls’ hockey season with a young roster, but one that is expected to compete with the other four teams and have a shot at bringing home the inaugural title.
Junior Regan Paterson and senior Jackie Connelly will be expected to provide leadership and create scoring opportunities for a roster that is loaded with underclassmen. Both players provide speed and playmaking ability in the attacking zone and the Panthers will be counting on their experience to make the difference.
Leadership is going to be critical for this year’s team and head coach Marjorie Burke is looking to her senior class to provide direction for the youthful lineup on both ends of the ice. Among the seniors that Burke is looking to this season are Bella Trask, Caroline Hedvig, Maddie Hinkley, Jillian McGlaughlin, and Connelly.
“We are excited about the upcoming season,” said Burke. “We are young but look to be competitive.”
Three years ago, King Philip was the top seed in Div. 2 and after two more playoff appearance, the Warriors now have the opportunity to bring their recent success into the first ever Hockomock League girls’ hockey season and hope that an experienced lineup could make them the first Hock champs.
Junior Nicole Connor is off to a strong start this season and has the potential, according to KP coach Jack Unger, to be one of the top players in the Hockomock League this year. Connor will play both at forward and along the blue line, crucial versatility that makes her an important piece for KP. The Warriors return five seniors who will be the “backbone” of the squad, said Unger. Kyleigh Remmes, Olivia McCarthy, Jessica Daniels, Katie Crowther, and Talia Quinn give the Warriors depth all over the ice.
Lilly Potts returns for her third year in between the pipes, while sophomore Cristina Coleman will be the backup netminder. Freshmen Avari Maxwell and Jordyn Remmes will be instant contributors on offense, while classmate Marin Cormier will step in on defense. Sophomores Abby Carr and Sammy Robison are also expected to step in at forward this season.
“[The roster is] rounded out by a number of talented juniors who should be able to spread out the scoring amongst the three starting forward lines,” said Unger.
2016-2017 Record: 14-6-1 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 First Round. Coach: Mike Dalton
Mansfield, Oliver Ames, and Foxboro have joined forces since the 2014-15 season and have reached the postseason each of the past two winters, suffering an overtime loss to Walpole in the first round of the state tournament last year, and have started this season with an impressive win in the opener.
The Warriors will be led by Foxboro’s Catherine Luciano. The senior was the team’s leading scorer last year and scored a hat trick in the season opener to get off to another strong start. Joining Luciano on the top line will be Mackenzie Fraser and Isabelle Shanteller. Other contributors in the offensive zone include senior Kayla Dalton, Kristina O’Connell, and Lindsey Corning.
While the Warriors are expected to create a number of scoring opportunities, defense will be just as important if Mansfield/OA (MOA) is going to make it a third straight playoff appearance. Denea Reager, Ali Delano, and Emily Bubencick will all be critical components of the Warriors defensive unit. Senior Kerren Holmes will be back in goal this year to stifle the opposition, while freshman Cate Gallegher will be the backup netminder.
“A strong freshman class will assist the team with help on both offense and defense,” said MOA coach Mike Dalton. “The team looks to compete for a top position in the Hockomock League and secure a spot in the tournament.”
2016-2017 Record: 1-19-1 2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason. Coach: Richard Grasso
The newest of the programs in the inaugural season of Hockomock League girls’ hockey, Stoughton is in only its third season of varsity play, but the Black Knights are counting on last year’s experience and the growth in the program to make them a team to watch out for this winter.
Two-time all-star Julia Russell will be one of the key defenders for the Black Knights, but also brings an offensive punch with her speed forcing opponents to worry about her carrying the puck through the neutral zone. Senior Sarah Widrow will join Russell at the blue line and provides consistency in the defensive zone. Both will be expected to provide leadership for the less experienced players on the roster and try to make Stoughton a team that is tough to play against.
The offense will be sparked by a pair of freshmen. Hailey Nelson and Morgan Lesso made an instant impact on their debuts, helping Stoughton start the season with a 6-5 win at Framingham in the season opener. Lesso recorded a hat trick against the Flyers to set a high standard in her first varsity action.
“Stoughton will be a much stronger team this year than last,” said Black Knights coach Richard Grasso. “However, this will be a great challenge for our program. We have a lot of respect for the teams in the Hockomock League. There’s a lot of talent out there and each team is well-coached.”
Taunton, 50 @ Cumberland (R.I.), 39 – Final – Senior Hannah Moniz was the top scorer for the Tigers with 14 points in the season opening win. Fellow senior Mackenzie Handrahan chipped in with 12 points and juniors Alexa White and Lily Patneaude each scored nine for Taunton.
Canton, 2 vs. Hanover 1 – Final (OT) – The Bulldogs earned a point in a 1-1 tie, but for Jim Gormley Cup tournament purposes the game headed to overtime. Sophomore Johnny Hagan scored the game-winner, giving the Dogs their third straight tournament win.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 8 vs. Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 1 – Final – Catherine Luciano led the way for the Warriors with a hat trick in the season opener. Emma Garland added a pair of goals, while Isabella Shanteler, Kristina O’Connell, and Tess Luciano each scored one.
Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Field Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Christina Hathaway, King Philip
Hockomock League All Stars
Grace Mayer, Attleboro
Andrea McNeil, Canton
Maggie Malloy, Canton
Riley Brown, Canton
Emily Campbell, Canton
Jackie Brion, Foxboro
Lily Daly, Foxboro
Sophia DiCenso, Foxboro
Catherine Luciano, Foxboro
Cassi Ronan, Franklin
Annie Walsh, Franklin
Christina Hathaway, King Philip
Abby Campbell, King Philip
Elizabeth Furfari, King Philip
Alli Meehan, King Philip
Ann Maher, Mansfield
Nicole Berluti, Mansfield
Shannon Cormier, Milford
Emilie Pothier, North Attleboro
Kaley Gorman, North Attleboro
Sarah Stevens, Oliver Ames
Hannah Stryke, Oliver Ames
Leora Levitt, Sharon
Kamryn Oliveira, Stoughton
Kya Enos, Taunton
Liana Duarte, Taunton
FOXBORO, Mass. – Even though the game ended in a 1-1 tie, and both sides walked away with a point, there was a reason that Canton had more to celebrate.
The tie clinches the Bulldogs at least a share in the Davenport division title – the program’s first Hock title since 2013 – and a chance to win it outright with a win or tie against Stoughton night on Wednesday.
“We talked about the opportunity [to clinch] and to just play their game and to not overthink things,” said Canton head coach Chrissy O’Connor. “Thanks to HockomockSports, the girls are all well aware where they stand. We tried not to make it too much of a focus. But in the second half, it was a little more about the urgency.”
“It was important to not get too crazy if we let up a goal. Sometimes mentally it can be tough to come back in the big games.”
Although Foxboro is mathematically still alive for a share of the title, the Warriors would need to beat North Attleboro and a win from the Black Knights over Canton. If the Warriors had picked up a win over visiting Canton on Monday, the two teams would be tied for first heading into the final game.
“It kind of feels like a loss because they played so well and gave so much effort that you want the win,” said Foxboro head coach Melissa Bordieri. “But we’re putting ourselves in a good position to compete in the tournament, which is always next level hockey.
“I’m really psyched with how we played in the second half, you want to be a second half team. But I’m really pleased with how we played today and how we look going into the tournament.”
Despite being of the two top scoring squads in the Hockomock League, the two teams showed off why they are two of the stingiest in terms of goals against in the first half.
Foxboro had the lone shot on net in the opening five minutes but Riley Brown turned away Sophia DiCenso’s bid. Just minutes later, Foxboro got the ball behind the Canton defense but Brown came charging out and kicked it clear.
Canton had the lone two corners of the first half. The first, with just over 13 minutes left in the opening stanza, was denied when Foxboro’s defense was quick to get out and clear it out.
The second came with just over a minute to play, but once again Foxboro’s players were quick off the line and thwarted any chance before Canton could get a shot off.
“We worked on our defense,” Bordieri said. “We knew they were fast, we knew they were very skilled so we were prepared in how to play them. I thought the defense came up huge for us today.”
After a pedestrian first half, the second half started with a flurry of chances. Foxboro had three straight corner chances in the opening minutes.
The first two chances each resulted in a shot, but neither found the back of the cage. But on the third attempt, the ball popped out of a scrum in front. Junior Carly Stern placed a shot on net and just beat the diving effort of Brown to give Foxboro a 1-0 lead.
“I think we just needed to settle,” Bordieri said of the strong start to the second half. “I think we knew what we wanted to do, and knew what we could do, we just needed to settle and really start playing our game. We were kind of rushing it, and I thought we played with more poise in the second half.”
Foxboro’s defense limited the visiting Bulldogs to just one corner in the second half, and one shot on goal, but Canton made the most of its chance.
While in the attacking end, Foxboro was whistled for a foot infraction. Canton sophomore Kaitlyn Goyetch quickly took the restart, sending the ball into the circle where senior Andrea McNeil got a perfect touch, tipping it past the outstretched effort of Foxboro’s Kelli McCarthy.
“I think the girls were thinking about the Davenport (title) in the first half and sometimes that stresses you out,” O’Connor said. “But we just told them to stay composed and play their game. And they were able to pull it back together.
“It was perfect timing, it came when we needed it. Nice hit, nice tip, nice position by everyone.”
Foxboro’s best chance to regain the lead came with just over 13 minutes to play. Off of Lily Daly’s corner, Jackie Brion stopped the pass and Catherine Luciano unleashed a shot. DiCenso got a tip in traffic but the ball bounced off the post and stayed out.
The Warriors had seven corners in the second half alone, but Canton’s defense did well to prevent any other goals.
“I thought our defense is an outstanding job against them, especially with their goal scorers like Lily [Daly],” O’Connor said. “I thought they did a very good job of limiting her opportunities in the circle.”
Canton field hockey (13-3-1 overall, 12-2-1 Hockomock) can clinch the Davenport title outright with either a win or tie against Stoughton on Wednesday at 6:30. Foxboro (12-3-1, 11-3-1) concludes its league schedule by hosting North Attleboro on Wednesday.
CANTON, Mass. – After a stretch of 12 Hockomock League titles in 14 seasons, Canton has gone three seasons since its last Davenport crown. The Bulldogs took a step towards reclaiming their spot atop the division standings on Wednesday night at World War II Veterans Memorial Field thanks to strong goaltending and a freshman stepping up in a big moment.
In a back-and-forth game with defending league and Div. 2 South champ Foxboro, the Bulldogs finally got on the board with 12 minutes left to tie the score. Four minutes later, Meghan LaBelle popped up at the back post, followed up a sliding save by Warriors goalie Kelli McCarthy (six saves), to scramble home the game-winner.
With the 2-1 victory, Canton moves one game ahead of Foxboro in the loss column and four points ahead of the Warriors in the Davenport. The two teams will meet again in the penultimate game of the season.
Canton coach Chrissy O’Connor said, “In a game like that, when you have a goal that maybe shouldn’t have gone in, I think the mental toughness to bring them back to get over that goal and move on from there and play your game. That was the best game I’ve seen them play, definitely.”
The teams battled through a first half that saw very few scoring opportunities. Foxboro dominated the opening 15 minutes, but the Bulldogs came back and took control in the second part of the first half. It was while the hosts were on the front foot that Foxboro struck.
Lily Daly collected the ball on the left edge of the circle, spun to her forehand, and fired a low shot through traffic that snuck inside the far corner. The Bulldogs were spurred into action by going behind and senior forward Andrea McNeil had two chances to equalize before halftime only to be denied by McCarthy, the reigning league MVP.
“They kind of changed things up and came at us,” said Foxboro coach Melissa Bordieri. “They took away our left side, which was working so well for us and I think one of our mistakes was trying to force it down the left side instead of making that transition and going right.”
While the first half saw almost no scoring chances for either team, the second half was filled with shots on goal and both goalies were kept busy.
Maggie Malloy had the first chance for the Bulldogs but her backhanded shot went just wide. Foxboro came right back with an intricate corner from Daly to Jackie Brion to Catherine Luciano back to Brion, but the shot went inches wide of the corner past the dive of Canton goalie Riley Brown (nine saves).
Daly had a chance for a second but Brown kicked aside her redirect and then blocked the rebound effort by Molly Murphy. Malloy created a chance with a long run to the end line and tried to cut it back for Emily Campbell, but the ball skidded through the crease and out the other side untouched.
The Bulldogs had a great move denied by the official’s whistle midway through the second half. Campbell flicked a pass to Katie Trerice, who fired a pass into the middle to McNeil and the ball ended up in the back of the net, but was waived off.
Foxboro had the next opportunity, looking to put the game away with 15 minutes remaining. Brown was forced to deny Sophia DiCenso, Murphy, and Luciano in quick succession to keep Canton in it. The Bulldogs nearly capitalized right away but McCarthy slid across goal to block a chance for Molly Cummings.
Less than a minute later, with 12:40 on the clock, Canton tied the game. McNeil was on hand at the back post to finish off an inch-perfect cross.
“It’s always a tough battle; it’s always evenly matched,” O’Connor said. ‘So, to get them to see that we can score, then it’s lets go get them again.”
When asked about the impact of her goalie on the team’s mentality, O’Connor replied, “Just to know that we can push more into offense because we trust our goalie back there is a game-changer. It makes all the difference to have someone back there who you can trust to make those initial saves.”
Four minutes after tying the game, Canton went in front for the first time. Again, it was a ball played in from the right side, this time off the pads of McCarthy and all the way to the back post where LaBelle was in perfect position to tap it home.
“It’s so frustrating,” admitted Bordieri. “It was so back-and-forth and I felt like we did a lot of great things and to be so evenly matched and they capitalized on two mistakes we made.”
The game was hardly over. Foxboro had one more chance to try and steal a point with two minutes to play. Again the Warriors showed off a well-planned corner to work a chance for DiCenso, but the junior’s shot was sent narrowly wide of the post with Brown stranded.
“I think the second [goal] was harder to regroup [from],” Bordieri said. “A couple of players were gassed…but I think we did a good job of it. We almost scored on that [corner]. If she had gotten that on net, Riley was so far to the left then it was a tie game.”
At the final whistle, the Canton players charged onto the field to celebrate, knowing that this was an important game against a title rival. “I think seeing that they can take it to the next level with a team that is so successful and has some strong returning players and such a strong goalie,” O’Connor said about the impact of this victory.
“We’ll see how that pushes them for the rest of the season that they see that they can beat these strong teams.”
Canton (6-1, 6-1) will be back on the field on Monday with a trip to Stoughton. Foxboro (5-2-0, 4-2-0) will look to bounce back on Friday when it hosts Mansfield.
Foxboro, Mass. – After struggling to get going on offense in the season opener against King Philip, defending Davenport division and Div. 2 South champion Foxboro clicked into gear and found its scoring touch against Franklin on Monday evening at Sam Berns Community Field.
Junior Lily Daly scored a pair of goals and classmate Sophia DiCenso had a goal and two assists, as Foxboro pulled out a 3-1 victory over the defending Kelley-Rex division champions.
“It’s a great win,” said Foxboro coach Melissa Bordieri. “We needed that after our showing against KP. Honestly, it was back-and-forth in the middle of the field, which makes for a really exciting game, but I’m really happy with how they played.”
She added, “We came out on fire, which was key. Everyone worked as a team. The way we placed the ball, we were looking for give-and-go opportunities, we were looking for combinations where the other day we weren’t.”
The game started evenly with both teams racing through the midfield and trading attacks, although there were few clear chances in the opening 20 minutes. Annie Walsh had a one-timer hit the outside of the goal and then a minute later Julia Carangelo had a shot from distance kicked aside by Franklin goalie Christina Luccini.
In the 20th minute, Foxboro found a breakthrough with a quick break. DiCenso sent a pass in front and Daly slipped the ball past a few Franklin defenders and just past the line to make it 1-0.
Just a minute later, the Warriors doubled the lead. Daly created the opportunity with a run down the left wing and she hustled to keep the ball in play before cutting it back to Catherine Luciano. The senior crossed the ball into the middle for DiCenso, who finished with a first-time shot on the turn.
“Scoring totally gives a team confidence and I felt like once you play with confidence then you do more things,” said Bordieri. “There were so many things they started to do well once we played with confidence.”
Walsh had the first chance for Franklin in the second half but her shot was kicked aside by Foxboro goalie Kelli McCarthy, last year’s league MVP, which was only one of two shots on goal by the Panthers. Four minutes later and Foxboro added a third.
This time it was a run down the right wing that opened up the Franklin defense, which was missing senior center back Kate Morse to an injury. Junior Molly Murphy, who last week verbally committed to play lacrosse at Davidson, found space on the right to center to DiCenso. The ball bounced in the crease and Daly popped up at the back post to knock it home for her second of the day.
“They’re fast, they’re experienced, and they can finish,” said Franklin coach Lisa Cropper about the Foxboro attack. “I thought we played fairly well for most of the game, held our own other than in our defensive circle. We made three mistakes and they capitalized on all three.”
With seven minutes to go, Franklin got on the board. Walsh again beat her defender to open space and was able to pull the pass back to Cassi Ronan. The junior midfielder then flicked a pass into the middle and freshman Victoria Quinn batted the shot into the back of the net for her second goal of the season.
Cropper said, “Cassi had a lot of pressure on her because we didn’t have Kate behind her. Regan [Paterson] stepped in and did a decent job at center back, so we were a little undermanned but held our own.”
It was the rare chance that Franklin was able to create against the Foxboro defense, thanks in large part to the play of senior midfielder Jackie Brion, who seemed to be in the way of every Panthers attack.
“As a center-mid, she controls a lot of the play,” said Bordieri of Brion. “Defensively, she breaks up anything in the midfield, making it really hard for teams to crossover. She was awesome today; really, really strong.”
Despite the final result, Cropper was pleased with the effort and believed that her team put in a good performance. She said, “I told the kids that you learn from your mistakes and hopefully we can learn from this and build on it.”
Cropper joked, “To play these guys this early, we knew it was going to be tough. We had them this way last year, then they went on to win the sectional title. So, we’ll just do it our way this time.”
Bordieri is hopeful that this will spark the offense and get the Warriors on track for the season. She explained, “Our offense has totally stepped up. I think they’re all really starting to gel. It’s really starting to come together.”
Foxboro (1-1) will face Sharon on Thursday and Hopkinton a day later. Franklin will try to bounce back against Oliver Ames on Wednesday.