Second Period Dooms Stoughton on Senior Night

Stoughton Hockey
AJ Scott made 40 saves for the Black Knights, but Stoughton struggled in the second period and fell 5-1 to Bishop Feehan. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry

BROCKTON, Mass. – Stoughton was outshot 13-1, but somehow came through the opening period against Div. 2 contender Bishop Feehan with an improbable one-goal lead.

All of the momentum from scoring late in the first and the energy from celebrating Senior Night was lost in the opening 45 seconds of the second, as the Shamrocks stormed back to take the lead.

The Black Knights gave up four goals in the second and were not able to recover, as Feehan skated away with a 5-1 victory on Saturday afternoon at Asiaf Arena.

“The second period has killed us all year,” said Stoughton coach Dan Mark. “If I was to look at the statistics, I’d say almost every game we’ve been killed in the second period. I don’t know what goes on with these kids.

“You go in and tell them good job…it’s frustrating.”

The Shamrocks were heavy favorites coming into the game and were looking forward to making a push in the competitive Div. 2 South bracket. Feehan played like the favorites early on  and peppered freshman goalie A.J. Scott with 13 shots in the first alone, but were unable to find the breakthrough.

With 3:40 left in the period, Stoughton shocked the Shamrocks by taking the lead.

The Black Knights had been limited to mere seconds of puck possession in the attacking zone and had yet to record a shot on goal when senior Mark Sheehan slid a pass across to freshman Carter Gerome and he knocked it past the Feehan goalie to make it 1-0.

Heading into the locker room, the Shamrocks were left shaking their heads and wondering how it was possible to be behind. When they got back on the ice, it did not take them long to change that.

Feehan scored two goals on its first two shots inside the first minute of the second. Four minutes later, the Shamrocks made it 3-1 with a power play goal and then tacked on a fourth four minutes later. Feehan outshot Stoughton 20-5 in the second, with most of the shots by the Black Knights coming in the final couple minutes.

Mark said, “We warn them every time that teams are going to come out, especially in a 1-0 game after one, they’re going to come out fired up. They obviously didn’t listen.”

Despite being dominated, Stoughton came out in the third and started to create openings. Sheehan in particular was able to create scoring opportunities with his speed. The Black Knights had a pair of good chances while down by three but could not find the back of the net.

“They battled. I’m proud of these kids,” said Mark. “They’ve had some games where they were down score-wise and they never quit.”

With 7:22 left, Feehan wrapped up the win and the two points with the fifth goal, but that took nothing away from the play of Scott, who made 40 saves in a losing effort.

“He’s been fantastic all year,” said Mark of his freshman goalie. Although it was a night to honor the six seniors, Stoughton could also look to a promising future with freshmen like Scott and Gerome putting in solid performances.

“It’s encouraging for the future,” said Mark. “I have a saying, if the kids don’t work in the off-season then they’re going to get older not better. That happens a lot where kids get satisfied…but I’m confident that these guys are going to work.”

Following the game, Mark took a minute in the locker room to honor Sheehan, who had been voted the Hockomock League MVP by the coaches at their end of season meeting. It is the second time in three seasons that a Stoughton player has won the MVP vote, as P.J. Sheehan took the award in 2014.

“It’s well-deserved,” said Mark. “I’ve thought all year that he’s a dominant player and if he had two guys even close to his ability…he’s skating with two freshmen who are doing a great job but you put him on Franklin or Canton and that’s a different level.”

Stoughton (6-11-3, 4-6-0) will close out its season with a trip to North Attleboro on Wednesday.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Sheehan Scores Twice As Stoughton Tops Attleboro

Stoughton hockey
Stoughton senior Mark Sheehan scored a pair of goals and had an assist in the Black Knights’ win over Attleboro (Jarett Leonard/HockomockSports.com)

ByJarettLeonard


TAUNTON, Mass. – Though Stoughton was significantly out skated for the majority of the opening period, the backstopping of AJ Scott and an explosive second frame from Mark Sheehan allowed the Black Knights to capture a 4-1 win over Attleboro on Saturday.
“Like last week against Taunton, when we skate we can play,” Stoughton head coach Dan Mark said. “When we don’t skate, it doesn’t matter who it is. If you don’t skate, it makes all the difference in the game.”
Trailing by a goal after a first period in which the Black Knights were outshot 14-2, Sheehan went to work to erase the deficit. Similar to his game-tying goal in a win against Taunton last week, the senior captain hustled into the offensive zone, cut through the defense and slid the puck past Attleboro goaltender Tim Gile (13 saves) to even the score.
“We told them they were going to have to come out strong,” Attleboro head coach Mike Cripps said of his message during the first intermission. “They weren’t going to be quitting and we needed the next goal, but unfortunately we came out a bit flat in the second period.”
Later in the second, Jon Lessa sealed in a clearing attempt at the line and fed it down low to Nick Hardy, who ripped a wrist shot past Gile to give Stoughton the lead. Just over a minute later, Sheehan netted his second of the game to add some insurance for the Black Knights. Stoughton flipped the script on Attleboro in the second, outshooting the Bombardiers 11-1 in the period.
“The kids decided to skate,” Mark said of his team’s second period effort. “The second part of that first period I thought they really started to pick it up speed wise. I thought the second and third period we really skated hard.”
Sean Doherty added a late goal for Stoughton on a two-man advantage to seal the win. Doherty also had two assists in the game while Sheehan and Lessa each had a helper.
“The kids are starting to feel good about themselves, which is good,” Mark said. “They can do it when they want to.”
Despite collecting 14 shots in the first period, Attleboro could only solve Scott once. About five minutes into the game, Sam Larkin buried a rebound from a Cam Littig shot to capture the early lead. But Scott, who finished with 20 saves, kept his team in the game until they could figure it out offensively.
“They have an extremely strong goalie,” Cripps said. “We knew going in that is was going to be low scoring for us.”
With its second league win in three games, Stoughton hockey improves to 6-10-3 overall, 4-6-0 in the league, and will have a week off before hosting Bishop Feehan next Saturday. Attleboro, now 5-10-2 overall and 1-8-1 in the league, will host Dighton-Rehoboth on Monday.

Stoughton Hockey

Sheehan, Stoughton Deny Taunton Playoff Berth Again

By Jarett Leonard, HockomockSports.com Contributor
TAUNTON, Mass. – For the second straight year, a late season win for Mark Sheehan and the Stoughton Black Knights denied Taunton a postseason berth.
Sheehan scored both of Stoughton’s goals while AJ Scott backstopped a 2-1 win for the Black Knights on Saturday night.
“None of the kids knew about it,” Stoughton head coach Dan Mark said, revealing his team was not aware of Taunton’s situation. “Last year we didn’t say it, this year we didn’t say it. They came to play tonight.”
Down 1-0 in the second, Sheehan made his way to the left circle and buried a wrist shot to tie the game. Midway through the third, Sheehan anticipated a cross-ice pass from Taunton, intercepted it and finished a breakaway for the game winner.
“He’s a heck of a player,” Mark said of Sheehan. “If you put him on one of the top teams, people would really notice him. Individually I don’t think there’s a more talented kid in the league.”
Taunton took an early lead in the contest when Jake Roberts netted a backhander from the slot off a faceoff, but that would be all the offense for the Tigers. AJ Scott made 31 saves to earn Stoughton the win.
“[Scott’s] been great all year,” Mark said of. “He’s a freshman too, so that’s great, as long as I keep him for four years.”
Last year, Stoughton picked up its first win of the season and eliminated Taunton from postseason contention with a 4-2 victory in the final contest of the year.
“We’re not used to being in that situation, but it’s good for the program for kids to be able to grow,” Taunton head coach Kris Metea said. “You need to play in pressure games and they’ve never really had that. For them to learn how to play in pressure games and learn how to win in those types of situations will only be beneficial down the line.”
The situation is different this year for Taunton, though, as still opportunities remain to reach the postseason.
“It’s a loss,” Metea said. “You win or you lose and you move on. The difference between winning and losing is how you’re perceived.”
Stoughton improves to 5-9-3 overall and 3-5 in the Hockomock League and will host Franklin on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Taunton, now 10-6 overall but just 2-5 in the league, will travel to Fall River in search of a postseason berth against Durfee on Wednesday.

Sheehan Helps Stoughton Ice Win Over Foxboro

Stoughton's Mark Sheehan scored the game winning goal early in the third period. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Stoughton’s Mark Sheehan scored the game winning goal early in the third period. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
BROCKTON, Mass. – Stoughton senior Mark Sheehan skated up the middle and unleashed a wrist shot that found the back of the net in the third period. That power play goal turned into the game winner as Stoughton held off Foxboro, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon.
“It would have been nice to score more [on the power plays] but Foxboro really got tired in that third period, they were undermanned,” Stoughton head coach Dan Mark said. “Our kids just don’t know how to win yet and they get in these situations and they get flustered when we get the lead. Being ahead seems to be a bad thing for us sometimes. But it’s a win so we’ll take it.
The Black Knights built a two goal lead in the first period but Foxboro cut the deficit in half in the second period and then tied the game in the first minute of the third period. The Warriors had their momentum cut short in the final period with five penalties.
Less than six minutes into the game, The Black Knights had a 1-0 lead. Junior Nick Hardy was able to fight for control just before the corner along the nearside boards and whipped in a pass to the middle. Senior Adam Potter was the recipient of the pass and slotted the first goal into the back of the net.
And just over two minutes later, Stoughton was able to double its lead. Freshman Carter Gerome snuck past a defender in the corner, stepped towards the front of the net but lifted a backhand up over Foxboro goalie John Cronin to make it 2-0.
Although Foxboro held an 8-4 advantage on shots in the first period, they trailed by two after the first 15 minutes. They led 13-5 in shots in the second period and this time it translated to the scoreboard.
Midway through the middle period, the Warriors went on the power play after a hooking call. Pete Smith and Jason Galanti then set up sophomore Aidan Sullivan just inside the blue line and his slap shot found its way through traffic and past Stoughton freshman goalie AJ Scott to cut the deficit to one.
Foxboro nearly tied the game in the final minutes of the second period when Smith dropped a pass right in front to junior Paul Vey but Scott closed down and smothered the shot.
The Warriors went on the man advantage inside the first minute of the third period and cashed in immediately. Mike Carresi won the face off back to Sullivan, who slid the puck across the blue line to junior John Brolin. Brolin unleashed a low shot that snuck its way in to tie the game 2-2.
“They could have laid down and put their heads down but they didn’t,” Mark said of his team. “I thought they played with some desperation at the end there which is what they need to do. It’s a learning curve with these kids.
“l told them between the second and third periods that they needed to play with desperation. We were still in the ballgame but we just had to play hard and I thought they played pretty hard in that third period.”
After tying the game is when the wheels fell off Foxboro’s comeback train. A slashing call put Stoughton on the power play and 30 seconds into it, another slash call made it a two man advantage of the Black Knights.
Stoughton kept the puck in the offensive zone, passing along behind the goal before Sheehan took control, skated to the middle and buried it for the game winner.
“He deserves it,” Mark said of Sheehan. “I think you can see, he’s definitely a good player. I think he’s one of the better players in the league honestly, he just doesn’t have the same supporting cast as some of the other teams. It was nice for him to get the game winner.”
While Foxboro continued to try and kill the remaining penalty, a miscommunication resulted in another penalty and another 5 on 3 advantage. And when one of those penalties expired, a tripping call put them right back down two men.
“We had a tough first period, I didn’t think we were doing all the right things,” Foxboro head coach Jim Geonvese said. “The second period we controlled most of the play but the third period, the penalties killed us with two or three 5 on 3’s. I know they only scored one but it took the wind out of us.
“They got up and then we went right back to a 5 on 3 and we just couldn’t get our legs back. We battled well in the second and third for sure, at least as much as we could in the third.”
The Warriors had a power play just over the halfway mark of the final period but weren’t able to get a serious scoring chance. Because of a late penalty with two minutes to go, Foxboro couldn’t pull Cronin for a two man advantage until the final 30 seconds.
“It’s a good win, any win is a good win for us,” Mark said.
Stoughton (4-8-3, 2-5) has a non-league contest scheduled for Monday against Apponequet at 5:30 while Foxboro (2-9-1, 1-5) will next play on Wednesday when they host Oliver Ames at 6:20.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

One Shift, One Goal and a Dream Come True for Matty

Matty Marcone
Matty Marcone (11) took the ice for the first time for the Bulldogs and scored his first varsity goal in a moving night at Asiaf Arena. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

BROCKTON, Mass. – The line was pouring out the door of Asiaf Arena and into the snow on Tuesday night, as Canton and Stoughton hockey prepared to take the ice for a Hockomock game that meant far more than its impact on the league standings.

Fans packed into the rink, with all four sets of bleachers filled. It was reminiscent of when Asiaf plays host to the Div. 2 South semifinals, not an early-January contest.

In the last locker room, down the hall on the left, senior Matty Marcone pulled on his No. 11 jersey with Canton scrawled across the front. It is the same number that had been worn three years ago by his older brother J.C. A captain’s ‘C’ had been pinned onto the front of the jersey and when the Bulldogs made their way to the ice, it was Matty that was first through the doors.

He was introduced on the ice with the team, standing between captain Bobby Mullaney and junior Ryan Lodge. Although he was not technically going to be a starter, there was only one name that the crowd was waiting to hear and like a hometown player at an all-star game, when his name was called he received by far the loudest roar.

When the puck was dropped, Stoughton reluctantly scored a goal on the opening shift. Black Knights coach Dan Mark admitted that none of his kids wanted to score at the start of the game for fear of taking the spotlight away from Matty, but this was all part of the plan. On the second shift, Matty skated out to center ice to take the draw.

He won the face-off and skated across the blue line all alone on the goalie, just as he had dreamed about countless times shooting on the garage at home, at practices with the Bulldogs, or every Saturday skating with the Boston Bear Cubs. He threw in a quick deke, admitting later with a wry smile that he wanted to add some style to the goal, and then he wristed a shot just inside the post.

Immediately he wheeled away to his right, arms raised in triumph, waiting for his teammates to join him in the corner. He was only there for a second before he was lost, swallowed up in a sea of green and white jerseys.

“He’s a goal scorer,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “We’ve seen it all these years in practice…and when he scores a goal, he’s practiced his celebrations before…Seeing his smile made it all worth it.”

During the first intermission, Matty explained how he felt on the ice. He said, “I liked coming in. I liked seeing all the fans coming too. It’s a lot of fun.”

He added, “That was just cool out there.” When asked what it was like celebrating a goal with his teammates after all these years, Matty replied honestly, “I felt like I was going to fall over a little bit.”

Matty has been the manager for the Canton hockey team, as well as football and lacrosse, for the past four seasons. He is a senior in the special education program at Canton High (and according to his mother Susan will be receiving a diploma this spring) and in 2012 was diagnosed with dyskeratosis congenita, a rare disorder for which at this time there is no cure.

When it was decided to organize a game for Matty and to give him the chance to take the ice, Shuman and his parents attempted to keep it a secret, but it slipped out. It hit social media and quickly spread through the ranks of media members, classmates, parents, other hockey programs, and soon #ShiftForMatty was trending on Twitter.

“We tried to keep it a secret but then it hit everywhere and he found out,” said Susan Marcone during the second period. “Actually, he said that all the ladies were texting him, so he was pretty excited.”

When asked what this night meant for her and for the Marcone family (both J.C. and Matty’s sister Nicole were able to attend), Susan said, “It’s just what you want for your kid. I’ve seen it with my other kids and I’ve supported them and it’s just nice to be able to see him in that role as well.”

Shuman joked that Matty seemed to be handling the buildup to the game better than the most of the adults.

“I didn’t get much sleep thinking about the start of the game because so much planning went into it from so many people,” said Shuman.

“He’s cracking jokes and talking to the cameras and he was the most calm and composed of anyone before the game. Typical Matty.”

Matty took part in the team’s pregame rituals including the team dinner on Monday night and wearing a shirt and tie to school on game day. He had always been an important member of the program, but now he could officially call himself a member of the team. The excitement was shared by the rest of the Bulldogs.

Shuman said, “They love him like a brother. I think every one of them would say they have another brother in their family and it’s him. He makes so many people happy and he’s such a pure and kind young man.”

Praise was also directed to Dan Mark and the Stoughton program for jumping at the opportunity to be part of the night. The Stoughton players cheered for Matty during the intros and when he took the ice for the first time and came together to congratulate him after the goal.

“I can’t say enough about the sportsmanship of those kids to really do this,” said Susan. “Especially because Canton and Stoughton are such big rivals.”

Shuman added, “What can you say about Danny Mark? He’s just the best and tonight wouldn’t have been possible without his generosity and the sportsmanship of Stoughton High School.”

Mark took a second between the second and third periods to share his thoughts on the occasion. He deflected credit to Shuman for planning the night and said simply, “To see a smile on Matty’s face was well worth it. Of course the score isn’t that great (8-1 at the time), but it’s a minor thing by comparison.”

“This is great. Mission accomplished as far as I’m concerned.”

Sports have the ability to provide awe-inspiring moments of skill; athletic feats that cause you to wonder how it could be possible to score that goal or to make that shot.

Sports also have the ability to create awe-inspiring moments of a very different kind. Sports bring communities together, creating and celebrating moments of humanity, of sportsmanship, and of inclusion. They allow spectators to share in those moments together and those are the memories that will love on.

As Matty Marcone was introduced before the standing room only crowd on Tuesday night in an old rink in Brockton, with all the fans, Stoughton and Canton alike, cheering for No. 11 in green, it was clear that sports had created another moment to cherish.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

 

Hockey: Davenport Division Preview – 2015-2016

DSC_0085_2
By HockomockSports.com Staff

CANTON

2014-2015 Record: 16-6-1
2014-2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Final
Coach: Brian Shuman
The Bulldogs will look to write a new chapter in their jam-packed history book as they will play their home games at the Canton SportsPlex this season after a roof collapse at Metropolis last season.
That isn’t the only change for Canton this season as they will have to overcome the graduation of many seniors, including Brian Hagan, and the transfers of John Femia and Jerry Harding. The good news is that Brian Shuman returns a bulk of talent including Matt Lazaro, the team’s leading goal scorer the past two seasons.
Also back is last year’s HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Jackson Maffeo to power the blue line, goalie Justin Slocum, entering his third year as Canton’s starting goalie, junior forward Shaun Kirby (28 points last season) and senior Jim Jenkins, who has impressed so far in the preseason according to Shuman.
“We have a lot of new faces in the program, so getting the new players acclimated to the varsity level pace of play will be the challenge early on,” Shuman said. “We need to find some balanced scoring this year, as well as get our forwards to play in all three zones – not just the O-zone. Defensively, it starts with Justin Slocum. We’re hoping for a big year out of him. We also need some guys to step up and round out the top five defensively.”   

FOXBORO

2014-2015 Record: 3-12-3
2014-2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Jim Genovese
The Warriors only graduated five skaters (and one backup goalie) from last year’s team and will be looking to make big strides this season.
Leading scorer Peter Smith is back and head coach Jim Genovese is looking for a big offensive season out of the junior after his 11 goal season as a sophomore. Mike Carresi, another player who impressed last year as a sophomore, is back and is looking to improve on his seven goal campaign.
Junior John Cronin, who has been the starter since midway through his freshman year, is back for another year between the pipes after 333 saves last year. Defensively the Warriors are going to rely on youth with sophomore Aidan Sullivan, junior John Brolin and three freshmen joining in.
“We look good up front with the top two lines of returning players,” Genovese said. “This league is tough and for us, we have to come to the rink every night and play mistake free hockey. We don’t have the numbers in our program like some of the other schools so we need to be ready and bring the same intensity every night. I’m excited to get started.”

MILFORD

2014-2015 Record: 13-8-1
2014-2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Balzarini
Anytime you are coming off the best season in program history, there is a lot of pressure to follow up. That challenge is going to be a lot harder for head coach Mike Balzarini as he only has 11 total players, two of which are goalies.
After limiting eventual D2 State Champion Westwood for the majority of the game in the D2 South Quarterfinal at Asiaf last season, it looked like it was just the beginning for the Scarlet Hawks. Instead, a mix of transfers, players going to juniors and a handful of players not returning leaves Milford in a tough spot.
The good news is that Milford has senior goalie Brian Ireland back for his third year as starter and he is one of the best netminders in the league. Senior forward Jonathan Chase will be one of the top offensive options, RJ Stansbury is back after an impressive freshman campaign, senior Spencer Lathrop will be another player that will be relied on heavily for the Scarlet Hawks and sophomore Jacob Balzarini – who has a high hockey IQ – will be a good two way player for Milford.
“We’re going to have to be patient,” head coach Mike Balzarini said. “The kids have really put in a lot of effort and we’re going have to stay positive throughout the whole season.”

OLIVER AMES

2014-2015 Record: 9-9-3
2014-2015 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Mark Homer
If there was one (Davenport) team that had the most to replace, it would be Oliver Ames. Besides Franklin graduating over 20 seniors from its Super 8 team, the Tigers have to somehow fill the void left by former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Tyler Provost, 30-point player Tim Doherty and three time HockomockSports.com Goalie of the Year Jimmy Tierney. And on top of that, 13 other seniors were lost to graduation.
Yet there is a lot of optimism around this year’s Tigers hockey team. Matt Mancini (six points last year) will move up to the first line along with former Stoughton player Ben Litwack (three points). Oliver Ames will rely on a pair of sophomores – Eric LeBlanc and Owen Gallagher – to pair up with freshman Cullen Gallagher to provide an attacking punch. Jared Costello is back for his third year and will be a leader on defender after the Tigers lost five defensemen to graduation.
“We will take one practice and one game at a time and will continue to improve as a team moving forward in the season,” OA head coach Mark Homer said. “We need to get better each day and work on things that will develop us to becoming a competitive program in the Hock.”

STOUGHTON

2014-2015 Record: 1-18-3
2014-2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dan Mark
It might have taken until the last game to get the first win last season but the Black Knights already have three points in two games this season and there is a lot of promise in this years squad.
Mark Sheehan is lacing his skates up for the Black Knights for the fourth year and will be a big part as Stoughton makes a push for the playoffs. As a Hockomock League All Star last season, Sheehan will be a vital part in getting a young Stoughton team going. Eoin Doherty is another player that is entering his fourth year on varsity for the Black Knights and should anchor the defense. Junior Jon Lessa has shown flashes over the past two years and could be a strong contributor for Stoughton.
“We are still a young team, skating eight freshmen and sophomores, but we are returning many veteran players,” head coach Dan Mark said. “Our strength should be several returning players who have played varsity for three or more years.”

Black Knights Start on High Note With Big Win

Stoughton junior captain Jon Lessa fires a wrist shot in the third period against Milford. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Stoughton junior captain Jon Lessa fires a wrist shot in the third period against Milford. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief

BROCKTON, Mass. – Even though it was just the second period of the first game of the year, there were some positive takeaways for Stoughton.

After the Black Knights extended their lead to two goals with 6:19 to play in the middle period, Milford responded within 30 seconds to grab the momentum and cut the deficit to one.

But this year’s Stoughton showed resiliency, battling to gain the momentum back, scoring the all important next goal in the final two minutes of the second period and taking care of business in the third period to open the season with a 5-1 win over the Scarlet Hawks.

“That was huge,” Stoughton head coach Dan Mark said of the late second period goal. “In past years, we’ve fallen apart. We’ve been up two goals, like against Attleboro and Foxboro last year, and normally we fall apart. We didn’t fall apart and I thought our guys played hard.”

Despite a 13-6 advantage in shots and two big chances, the Black Knights headed to the locker room in scoreless tie at the first intermission. Milford’s Jonathan Chase made a nice move just 90 seconds into the game but his bid at the near post was stuffed by Stoughton freshman goalie AJ Scott (16 saves).

The Black Knights had two chances back to back in one sequence but Milford goalie Brian Ireland (30 saves) came up big both times. First Ireland got his pad down for a kick save on chance from Jon Lessa and then after the puck cycled around, Lessa had a open wrist shot right in the slot but Ireland got the handle of his stick in the way to push it over.

“He’s very good, he had a lot of shots against him and played well,” Mark said of Ireland. “Their whole Milford team played really hard, I give them a lot of credit.”

It didn’t take long for Stoughton to take the lead in the second period, finding the back of the net just over two minutes into the period. Senior captain Mark Sheehan picked up possession in the corner, skated towards the front of goal and tucked it in past Ireland to make it 1-0.

Stoughton doubled its lead with 6:19 left when Lessa found junior Ryan Chipman out in front for the one timer.

That’s when Milford snatched the momentum back. Just 22 seconds later, Milford’s RJ Stansbury centered a pass that eighth grader Griffin Burns hit one time to find the back of the net to make it 2-1.

From there, the Black Knights were able to overcome any push from Milford and with with 1:49 left, Stoughton freshman Carter Gerome notched his first career goal right in front to get the two goal cushion back. Since the Scarlet Hawks only had nine skaters, Stoughton knew the third period would be a time to use their skating to push the pace.

“We told the kids to keep playing hard until the end,” Mark said. “We actually had a couple captains speak up because they’ve experienced [losing the lead] before. They spoke up in the locker room to push in the third period.”

To seal the deal, Stoughton’s Sheehan sent in a centering pass less than a minute into the third period that deflected off a skate and in, leaving no chance for Ireland. Lessa added a fifth goal right in front off a feed from Donnie Foley with 6:17 left in the third.

“It’s going to be a learning process trying to figure out if we can move guys from defense to forward and double shift and things like that,” Milford head coach Mike Balzarini said. “As far as the nine skaters we had, I thought we did a good job and the kids never gave up. Even when we were down in the third period the kids didn’t give up. As far as the effort I’ve very pleased. There’s always room for improvement, even with just nine guys.

Stoughton (1-0) matches its win total from last year and will try to make it two when they travel to Stoughton on Monday night. Milford (0-1) will look to break into the win column on Wednesday when they host Attleboro.

“This is great,” Mark said. “We didn’t win until our last game last year and the kids liked the feeling of winning. I think it’s great for the kids, it’s great for them. It’s great to get a win early in the season.”

Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Friday's Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/30/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Football
D1 South
#8 Attleboro, 14 @ #1 Xaverian, 47 – Final
1st Quarter: (X) Devon Piccinin 60 yard rush, Matt Rogers XP.
2nd Quarter: (X) Michael Pina 4 yard rush, Rogers XP; (A) Brendan Nunes 53 yard rush, Elijah Lewis XP; (X) M. Pina 53 yard pass to Peter Thorbahn; Rogers XP; (A) B. Nunes 12 yard rush, E. Lewis XP.
3rd Quarter: (X) M. Pina 13 yard pass to Coby Tippett, XP failed; (X) M. Pina 30 yard pass to C. Tippett, 2pt failed.
4th Quarter: (X) M. Pina 10 yard pass to C. Tippett, Rogers XP; (X) D. Piccinin 70 yard rush, Rogers XP.
D2 South
#4 Mansfield, 29 vs. #5 Natick, 13 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Connor Finerty 2 yard rush, Anthony DeGirolamo pass to Hunter Ferreira 2pt good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Brian Lynch 3 yard rush, Diogo DeSousa XP; (N) Christian D’Antonio 78 yard pass to Chuck Jacobson, XP blocked.
3rd Quarter: (M) Nick Graham 3 yard rush, D. DeSousa XP.
4th Quarter: (M) Joe Cox 3 yard rush, D. DeSousa XP; (N) Malik Williams 5 yard rush, Matt Carey XP.
#6 King Philip, 0 @ #3 Needham, 24 – Final
D3 Southeast
#7 Sharon,  7 @ #2 Dartmouth, 44 – Final
Sharon scoring:
4th Quarter: (S) Matt Cancian 2 yard rush, Josh Rotman XP.
D3 Southwest
#2 North Attleboro, 35 vs. #7 Bishop Feehan, 7 – Final
1st Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 78 yard pass to Brodey Barr, XP no good; (NA) Nick Morrison 2 yard rush, 2pt good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) C. Peterson 48 yard pass to Bobby Mylod; Connor Flynn XP; (NA) N. Morrison 1 yard rush, C. Flynn XP.
3rd Quarter: (NA) 5 yard rush, C. Flynn XP.
4th Quarter: (BF) Jason Medeiros 3 yard rush, Josh Cayer XP.
#5 Stoughton, 21 @ #4 Walpole, 20 – Final
1st Quarter: (W) Steve Cuqua 2 yard rush, Alex Caskie XP.
2nd Quarter: (W) Lovevindjy Salvant 27 yard rush, A. Caskie XP; (S) Jake Gibb 1 yard rush, J. Gibb XP; (S) J. Gibb 47 yard pass to Ryan Sullivan, J. Gibb XP.
3rd Quarter: (S) Christian Hill 25 yard rush, J. Gibb XP.
4th Quarter: (W) S. Cuqua 29 yard rush, XP no good.
D4 South
#2 Foxboro, 30 vs. #7 Dennis-Yarmouth, 14 – Final
1st Quarter: (DY) Jacob McCarthy 27 yard pass to Andrew Jamiel, XP no good; (F) John Cronin 33 yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: (F) Ronnie Martin 1 yard rush, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: (F) Darren Kelly 57 yard pass to Austin Ryan, J. Cronin XP.
4th Quarter: (F) D. Kelly 2 yard rush, J. Cronin XP; Rob McCoy 99 yard interception return, J. Cronin XP; (DY) J. McCarthy 10 yard pass to Jonah Arsenault, 2pt rush.
Non-Playoffs
Canton, 33 vs. Sandwich, 7 – Final
1st Quarter: (C) Woanyen Mahn 1 yard rush, Thomas Monagle XP.
2nd Quarter: (C) W. Mahn 14 yard rush, T. Monagle XP; (S) Sam Whittle 3 yard pass to Jason Mullin, Jake Carter XP; (C) Jake Ragusa 9 yard rush, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: W. Mahn 1 yard rush, 2pt failed; (C) J. Ragusa 2 yard rush, T. Monagle XP.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Franklin, 16 vs. Brookline, 21 – Final
1st Quarter: (B) Kay Gakimani 1 yard rush, XP good; (F) Nick Yelle 24 yard field goal
2nd Quarter: (B) K. Gakimani 2 yard rush, XP good; (F) Jacob Wolowacki 4 yard rush, N. Yelle XP.
3rd Quarter: (B) Maxin Boeghman 8 yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) Luke Gordon 79 yard pass to Will O’Reilly, 2pt failed.
Milford, 49 @ Taunton, 30 – Final
Oliver Ames, 7 @ Hingham, 33 – Final
Boys Soccer
Attleboro, 1 @ New Bedford, 4 – Final
Volleyball
Stoughton, 3 vs. Fontbonne Academy, 0 – Final – Stoughton qualified for the postseason with the 25-14, 25-20, 25-18 win. Bridgette Whalen had eight blocks, 13 kills, 18 digs and three aces, Ava Siegel had 13 service points and seven aces and Bianca DeSousa added 12 digs, 11 service points and four aces.
Field Hockey
Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 8 – Final
King Philip, 0 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Kelsey McPhee scored the game winner off of stopped pass from Dana Lewandowski with just under four minutes to play in the first half. Franklin head coach Lisa Cropper credited KP goalie Abby Campbell with an outstanding game after the Panthers outshot KP 24-3. Cropper also praised the play of Taylor Reutlinger and Kenzi Pleshaw. 

Stoughton, 2 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Stoughton head coach Dan Mark said goalie Kara Ploss was outstanding with eight saves to help the Black Knights get a point. Mia Russell and Courtney Campbell scored for Stoughton. Elena DelloRusso scored Milford’s first goal and Jessica Palmer added a second off an assist from Nicole Fokas. 

Taunton, 1 @ Mansfield, 6 – Final

Houle Nets Winner for Bombardiers Against Stoughton

Emily Houle
Emily Houle (7) scored the game-winning goal as Attleboro edged Stoughton 201 at Tozier-Cassidy Field on Thursday. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – When the referee flashed a yellow card for a foul with 15 minutes left in a 1-1 game, it seemed this would be the impetus for Stoughton to complete the comeback and take the lead on the road at Attleboro.
Instead, it was the Bombardiers that got the go-ahead goal. Senior Emily Houle danced around a few defenders to create space on the right side of goal and she flicked a shot past Stoughton keeper Kara Ploss into the far post.
Arms and stick raised, Houle and the Bombardiers celebrated what turned out to be the final goal in a 2-1 victory over the Black Knights at Tozier-Cassidy Field.
“She’s such a strong leader,” said Attleboro coach Lindsay Antunes. “It made sense that it would come from her. It made sense that she’d be the next to step up.”
Stoughton coach Dan Mark rued the missed opportunity to pick up two more points towards getting Stoughton into the tournament.
“Then their best player gets a five-minute sit out and they go and score with,” he said. “That shouldn’t happen…but the kids played well… They played hard.”
Attleboro jumped out to a perfect start to the game with Allie Pierce opening the scoring just 1:14 into the game. Quincy Harding picked up the assist on the opener and for most of the half Harding, Pierce, Houle, and Grace Mayer were putting the pressure on the Black Knights back line.
Stoughton started to get into the game, but most of the play was right in front of Ploss, who needed to make several saves to keep her team within a single goal.
After halftime, the game changed and Stoughton started to push back. Seven minutes after the break and it was 1-1 when a penalty corner was played out to Angela Connolly. She gave it back to Olivia Schlehuber who fired it past Isabelle Maragnano to tie the score.
“Anytime we play anyone on turf, it’s a disadvantage at first,” said Mark, “but then once we get settled we tend to play okay, but it’s definitely a disadvantage in the beginning of the game.
“We play enough on it, but they definitely have to adjust.”
The adjustment period was over and Stoughton kept the momentum on its side for the next 10 mminutes. Ashley Chipman and Kelly Corrigan were able to break quickly and put pressure on the Bombardiers, but Maragnano made a series of saves to keep Attleboro in the game.
Mark said, “The Attleboro goalie played well. She made a lot of great saves. I don’t know how she made some of them.”
With fewer than 15 minutes remaining, Harding was shown a yellow card for a foul on the sideline and Attleboro was forced to continue down a player for five minutes. The Bombardiers rallied and the momentum swung to the team with only 10 on the field.
“Typically we haven’t been a two-half team,” explained Antunes, “so we had that timeout and told them to reset and get their heads back in it because we couldn’t let down. Clearly, because they scored the tying goal.”
“We needed them to get back in it and they did.”
With 10:52 left, Houle sprinted forward with the ball, dragged it past three defenders and found a sliver of room on the right side of the goal. It was half-shot, half-cross, but it was all goal as it lopped over the defenders and past Ploss.
The final 10 minutes were back and forth with Stoughton trying to find space past the Attleboro defense, but the Bombardiers consistently blocked the Black Knights counter attacks and cleared the ball to run out the clock.
“I was really proud of the girls,” Antunes said. “This team has the capabilities and I don’t think that they always feel that way about themselves.”
“They’re a great team and sometimes they rely a little too heavily on one or two players, but they all truly have the skills.”
Attleboro (7-3-1, 6-3-1) has a tough week ahead starting with Davenport co-leader Oliver Ames on Tuesday. Stoughton (7-4-1, 5-4-1) will try to get another two points closer to tournament qualification against Pembroke on Saturday.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.