CANTON, Mass. – In overtime, the quantity of shots on goal is less important than the quality and Westwood proved that point on Wednesday night against Oliver Ames in a Div. 2 South first round matchup at the Canton Ice House. Despite the Tigers holding a 7-0 edge in shots through the first five minutes of four-on-four hockey, it was the Wolverines’ only shot in OT that proved decisive.
Conor Donohue notched his second goal of the game with 47 seconds remaining in overtime to give Westwood a 3-2 win over OA (13-9), completing a comeback from two goals down entering the third period and denying the Tigers another shot at league rival Canton in the next round.
Of course, from the Tigers’ perspective, the game should never have gone to overtime anyway.
“They fought us hard,” said OA coach Sean Bertoni after a lengthy postgame team talk in the locker room, “but the overtime was our period. Our forwards and ‘D’ kept them penned in but couldn’t bury one and they come up the ice on a one-on-one and I think it was their first shot.”
He added, “That’s what happens in hockey. You can dominate for half a period and they come down, shoot and score. It’s frustrating.”
OA scored once in each of the first two periods to hold a 2-0 lead heading to the third, but Westwood wasted no time in cutting that lead in half. Donohue fired a shot from the left circle that beat OA goalie Owen Connor on the glove side inside the first two minutes of the period.
The goal turned the momentum and the Tigers did not seem to have the legs to stem the Westwood pressure. Although OA, which beat Westwood 5-2 in the regular season finale, would end up with a 6-5 edge in shots for the period, the Wolverines had loads of offensive zone time and the much better chances.
Donohue nearly added a second three minutes after his first but Connor made the save and Shane Cronin missed a golden chance to tie it right on the edge of the crease.
Max Ward had the best chance of the third period for OA but he was unable to get his stick on a rebound off a save by Justin Anderson (33 saves). A minute later, Mark Horsfall slid to his right along the blue line, picking the right angle to fire a wrister through traffic that went in off the post to tie the game with 2:46 left.
“Up 2-0, we make one mistake coverage-wise when the puck was in our offensive zone, we had a breakdown there, the coverage wasn’t there, they come down and score,” Bertoni explained. “The second goal to tie the game, we couldn’t block a shot, we let the ‘D’ walk to the center of the ice.”
Despite struggling through the third, OA looked suddenly refreshed after a quick break before the start of overtime and the Tigers came out flying in the four-on-four.
“I think we had a little more depth to roll out a few more forwards and everyone was on the attack,” Bertoni said. “We executed well in terms of offensive zone possession and coverage but just couldn’t bury one.”
Brett Williams, Rory Madden, and Eric LeBlanc all put shots on goal and the Wolverines were on their heels for the first five minutes. That was until a pass through the middle caught the OA defensemen pushing forward and allowed Donohue to find space in the left circle. His snap shot beat Connor to the far post and set off a raucous celebration.
The Tigers had started the game well. Huter Costello had the game’s first notable scoring opportunity five minutes in but his shot was kicked aside. Colin Bourne nearly opened the scoring with a shorthanded breakaway but Anderson managed to get a stick check in and the puck rolled to the corner.
It looked like Westwood had gotten on the board when Brian Reissfelder went bar down from the slot, but the puck was ruled to have not crossed the line. Neither team stopped skating, although there were questions raised from the Wolverines bench. Only two minutes later, freshman Ross Carroll put the Tigers in front with an inch-perfect backhand tip over the shoulder of Anderson from a Matt McCormack pass out of the left corner.
In the second period, defenseman Adam Healey made it 2-0 for the Tigers when his shot from the point made its way through a sea of bodies in front of goal. Seconds later, OA could have broken the game open with another chance, but a scrum in front led to a prone goalie and a puck that slipped narrowly wide of the post. Williams had a good look from the slot after a drop pass by Bourne, but he could not find the corner and Anderson blocked it aside.
The missed opportunities during a period in which the Tigers had a 13-5 edge in shots would come back to haunt the No. 10 seed. Westwood finished the second with a quick flurry and then turned the game on its head in the third.
“End of the second and most of the third we were holding on. Our energy just dropped and we couldn’t claw our way back, but then we did in overtime,” said Bertoni. He repeated, “But, we just couldn’t bury one.”
Attleboro, 8 @ Weston, 1 – Final – Attleboro junior Cam Litig record a hat trick, helping the Bombardiers avenge a loss to Weston from earlier this season and punch its ticket into the state tournament via the Sullivan Rule. Weston beat the Bombardiers 4-3 at the end of December. Jake Parker and Zack Pierce each added a pair of goals in the win.
Foxboro, 3 vs. Norton, 2 – Final – Foxboro punched its ticket to the postseason via the Sullivan Rule, taking down D3 foe Norton 3-2. The Warriors built a 2-0 lead behind goals from Brady Daly and Taylor Sharfman. Norton tied the game but Kirk Leach scored the game-winner late in the second period.
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Quincy, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames junior Brett Williams scored a hat trick to help the Tigers skate past Quincy. OA held a 35-22 advantage in shots on goal with junior Colin Bourne and senior Eric LeBlanc also tallying goals in the win.
Taunton, 11 @ Durfee, 1 – Final – Taunton freshman Jordan Couto scored his first career goal and then added two more to record a hat trick in the Tigers’ win over Durfee. Cam Sneyd scored twice and had an assist, while Mike Albert, Will Walsh, Haden Weyant and Cam Faria each had one goal and two assists. Taunton moved to within two points of qualifying for the tournament with three games left.
Franklin, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Franklin sealed its postseason berth with a win at Asiaf, scoring once in each the first and second periods before tacking on two more in the third. Zac Falvey, Jeremy Miller, Scott Elliott, and Tom Tasker each had goals for the Panthers. OA senior Eric LeBlanc had the lone goal for the Tigers on an assist from sophomore Hunter Costello while sophomore Owen Connor made 35 saves in net.
King Philip, 1 @ Mansfield, 6 – Final – After a scoreless first period, Mansfield built a 2-0 lead after two periods and then poured in four goals in the final frame to beat King Philip. Senior defenseman Tim Arnold had a hat trick for the Hornets.
Canton, 0 @ Hingham, 1 – Final
Franklin, 2 @ Medfield/Norton, 0 – Final – Freshman Natalie Stott tossed another shutout in net for the Panthers, while Amanda Lewandowski and Jordan Dwyer added the goals, to clinch Franklin’s spot in the postseason.
BROCKTON, Mass. – After coming out on the wrong end of back-to-back, back-and-forth games, North Attleboro staged a third-period rally to earn two points on the road in a win over Oliver Ames.
North was coming off narrow losses to both Mansfield and Fxzƒranklin despite having leads in both contests.
Big Red took the lead in the first period but faced a 2-1 deficit heading into the final period. Junior Anthony Zammiello scored a natural hat trick in the final frame, helping the Rocketeers improve to 6-4-0 overall.
“A team like Oliver Ames, they work hard and they work hard the whole game. For us, we needed to match their intensity,” said North Attleboro head coach Ben McManama. “Their coach really gets them going, so if we take a shift off, we were going to be in trouble. We had to bring it to the next level and I thought we did that in the third period.”
Zammiello gave the Rocketeers an instant boost in the third period. Just 32 seconds into the final frame, Zammeilo was parked out in front of the goal, burying a rebound chance after a shot from the point was turned away by OA goalie Owen Connor (16 saves).
Big Red capitalized on the momentum it picked up with the early tying goal. North’s first line struck again as Zammiello came away with a loose puck after a scrum to the right of the goal. The junior took a stride towards the slot and fired a low wrist shot to make it 3-2 with 9:34 to play.
With the goalie pulled in the final minute, Zammiello completed the hat trick with an empty-net goal with just a second to play.
“It’s big to score that early, obviously that’s what we want to do,” McManama added. “But the important thing is that the kids did what we asked them to do. OA blocks a lot of shots so we needed to find ways to get pucks in and also block out guys in front of the net. It was exactly what we had talked about and then they went out and executed.
“We’re searching for that second line to step up and I think they are but its a process, it takes some time and that’s okay. Each game we play, we’re getting better and better. That first line has to show us the way right now, and they are. And we just have to learn from that.”s
North Attleboro took the first lead of the game just over the midway point of the first period. Junior defenseman Brendan McHugh ripped a wrist shot that redirected by the traffic in front, leaving Connor with little chance for a save.
Oliver Ames had three serious scoring chances that went without a goal in the first period. After a shot rocketed off the boards behind the net, the puck fell right in front of goal but freshman Ross Carroll had his shot go just over the bar.
Senior Michael Nikiciukaa forced a big kick save from junior Ryan Warren (23 saves) and just seconds later Eric LeBlanc had his one-timer bid denied by Warren.
But finally with just 3:15 left to play in the first, the Tigers broke through. Both sophomore Jake Gottwald and junior Jordan Bello made hustle plays to keep the puck in the attacking zone for OA. The puck then ended up on the stick of junior defenseman Matt McCormack, who rifled his shot from the blue line off the post and in for a 1-1 tie.
“Our best game of the year was when we played them the first time, and even tonight I felt we played three full periods,” said OA head coach Sean Bertoni. “We’re still down a couple of guys, missing our first line center but it didn’t show a ton tonight. We generated 31 shots against a good opponent. The effort was definitely was there, we aren’t big on moral victories, it’s a little disheartening not to have the win. We established our forecheck, a lot of loose pucks in the slot we just couldn’t out-battle them or finish at the net.”
It looked as though Oliver Ames had taken the lead in the first minute of the second period, but the referee ruled it no goal. Sophomore Ryan Gottwald moved the puck up ice to junior Brett Williams and it looked as though Williams’ hard shot hit the middle bar inside the goal and came out, but the ref waved it off.
“I think the kids responded well to it,” Bertoni said of the no-goal decision. “We didn’t talk about it between periods, they stayed focused. I think getting the next goal to make it 2-1 certainly helped. If North had taken the lead there it might have been different. But it was a great breakout from the defensive end. Sophomore Ryan Gottwald chipped it out, indirect to our center, who broke Brett free, and he has a great shot. You can’t blame the refs, it happened so quickly. But I think our kids moved on from it right away.”
The Tigers did take the lead four minutes later. After a save on a shot from the point, LeBlanc gained possession and skated behind the net, firing a hard pass to junior Colin Bourne for a one-timer and a 2-1 lead.
North Attleboro hockey (2-2 Hockomock, 6-4 overall) is back in action on Monday when it hosts Milton at 12:30. Oliver Ames (1-2, 3-4) will travel to Walpole on the same day with a 2:40 start.
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.”
Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Golf All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Jack Goyetch, Canton
Hockomock League All Stars
Kyle DelSignore, Attleboro
Corey McKenna, Attleboro
Jack Goyetch, Canton
Joey Vaughan, Canton
Danny Powers, Canton
Bryan Woelfel, Franklin
Danny McLaughlin, King Philip
Kayla Schubert, King Philip
Brian See, Mansfield
Brendan Loomer, Mansfield
Dylan Kane, North Attleboro
Marcus Costa, North Attleboro
Ryan McGarry, Oliver Ames
Nolan Donze, Oliver Ames
Mark Bissonette, Oliver Ames
Eric LeBlanc, Oliver Ames
Matt Kelley, Oliver Ames
Thomas Walsh, Oliver Ames
Corey Carter, Sharon
Brendan Campbell, Stoughton
Fresh off an undefeated season and another Hockomock League title, Oliver Ames golf took home the D2 South Sectional crown on Monday, beating Hopkinton by a stroke.
The Tigers finished with a team total of 305 while Hopkinton took second with 306 and Bishop Feehan third at 312.
Four golfers from Oliver Ames finished under 80 with Matt Kelley leading the way with a two-over-par round of 73. Eric LeBlanc was next with a 76 while senior Ryan McGarry carded a 77 and Thomas Walsh shot a 79. Nolan Donze (81) and Mark Bissonette (82) rounded out Oliver Ames’ group of six.
Canton’s Jack Goyetch was one of the top golfers on the day, shooting a 76 to qualify individually for the state finals. The Bulldogs finished fifth overall on the day.
North Attleboro’s Dylan Kane also shot under 80, carding a round of 79 for the Rocketeers, who finished 12 overall.
1. Canton – 247
2. Oliver Ames – 249
3. Franklin – 254
4. Foxboro – 262
5. King Philip – 264
6. Mansfield – 265
T7. Attleboro – 267
T7. North Attleboro – 269
T7. Sharon – 269
T7. Stoughton – 269
11. Milford – 271
12. Taunton – 283
1. Dylan Kane, North Attleboro – 77
2. Ryan McGarry, Oliver Ames – 78
3. Bryan Woelfel, Franklin – 79
4. Joey Vaughn, Canton – 80
T5. Danny McLoughlin, King Philip – 81
T5. Mark Bissonette, Oliver Ames – 81
T5. Brendan Campbell, Stoughton – 81
T8. Jack Goyetch, Canton – 83
T8. Brian See, Mansfield – 83
10. Danny Powers, Canton – 84
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 8 – Final – Mansfield’s Lauren Clang and Alicia Hottleman each scored a pair of goals as the Hornets’ offense exploded for its highest-scoring outing of the season. Kristina O’Connell, Abby Varrichione, Emily Ierardo and Hayleigh Crawford each scored once for Mansfield. Abigail Boudreau scored for Attleboro.
Canton, 6 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Canton’s Maggie Malloy netted a hat trick to lead the Bulldogs to a big win on the road.
Foxboro, 6 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final
Franklin, 2 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Taunton erased a pair of deficits and then scored the winner late in the second half to pull off a win over visiting Franklin. Franklin went up 1-0 on a goal from sophomore Erin Walsh on a feed from junior Ashley Reutlinger. Taunton tied the game on a goal from Liana Duarte, but Franklin regained the lead behind a tally from freshman Victoria Quinn, assisted by Cassi Ronan. Taunton senior Kya Enos scored the equalizer to make it 2-2 and senior Diana Brens scored the late winner for the Tigers. Taunton goalie Emma Sheehan (15 saves) received praise from both THS head coach Mike Fox and FHS head coach Lisa Cropper. Fox also noted the strong defensive play of Mabel Smith, Jocelyn Pagliuca, and Riley Murphy.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – After over 45 minutes of scoreless play, King Philip finally broke the deadlock with the lone goal of the game. KP senior Liz Furfari scored with 13:10 left on an assist from junior Caroline Klim.
Sharon, 1 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final
Sharon, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton overcame a 2-1 deficit to pick up a 3-2 win over visiting Sharon (25-14, 19-25, 25-27, 25-11, 15-12). Nicole Brown had 22 assists, five kills, and four aces for the Bulldogs while Hannah Jerrier had eight kills and four blocks, and Rose Hazam added five kills, two aces, and 18 digs.
Foxboro, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final
Franklin, 3 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Mansfield earned a big win in the first game, but Franklin rallied for three straight to earn the win (10-25, 25-10, 25-15, 25-20). FHS junior Lauren McGrath set the offense up with 40 assists and three aces, Hailey Sanders notched 11 kills and three blocks, Ellie Wisniewski had 10 kills and four aces and Maggie Doyle added nine kills and five blocks for the Panthers. For Mansfield, Meg Hill had 17 kills, Julia Harrison had 12 kills and Jolie O’Neil finished with 10 digs.
Stoughton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – North Attleboro dropped the first game but rattled off three straight wins to claim the Davenport division title outright with a 22-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-14 win over Stoughton. Senior Leah Marceau had 26 assists, spreading the ball around to balance the Rocketeers’ attack. Amelia Murphy led the way with 12 kills and five aces, Anna Caristi had 10 kills and five blocks and Kezie De La Cruz added 10 kills and four aces.
Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip celebrated Senior Night by clinching its second straight Kelley-Rex division title with a 25-14, 25-13, 25-20 win over visiting Taunton. KP senior Sydney Phillips had 11 kills, seven aces, and three digs, Michaela Palumbo added seven kills and two aces, Grace Ely had nine kills, and Julianne Rando chipped in with seven digs.
King Philip, 167 @ Attleboro, 162 – Final – Attleboro won its third match in three days to punch its ticket to the D1 South Sectional, the program’s first postseason appearance since 2010. Kyle DelSignore led the Bombardiers with a low-round of 38 while Ethan Johnson shot a 40. Jack Handy carded a 41 and Taron Mills shot 43 for Attleboro. King Philip’s Matt Stanton earned co-match medalist honors with a 38.
Canton, 151 @ Oliver Ames, 144 – Final – Oliver Ames emerged as the winner in a battle of two unbeaten teams, finishing the regular season 15-0. Canton finishes 13-1. It was no secret of how much talent both teams have as the top four golfers from each side all finished under 40. OA’s Ryan McGarry, who birded on the second and fourth holes, earned match medalist honors with a 34. Thomas Walsh carded a 36 for the Tigers while both Nolan Donze and Eric LeBlanc each shot 37. Joey Vaughan led Canton with a 36 while Danny Powers and Thomas Singleton each carded rounds of 38 and Jack Goyetch fired a 39.
Foxboro, 181 @ Franklin, 171 – Final
Taunton, 181 @ Stoughton, 180 – Final – Stoughton picked up its first win in four years, edging Taunton by a stroke at Easton Country Club. Brendan Campbell and Luke Bainton led the way for the Black Knights, each carding a round of 43 while Josh Hough shot a 44 for Stoughton.
Milford, 3 @ Canton, 4 – Final – Canton junior Paul Cocoran netted his second hat trick of the season, including a pair of goals in the second half that helped the Bulldogs build a three-goal lead. Milford opened the scoring when freshman Leo Coelho netted his first career goal but Canton responded with a pair of goals in a two-minute span. Corcoran tied the game in the 21st minute and Simon Cruz gave Canton the lead in the 22nd minute. Cocoran added goals in the 56th and 64th minutes to go up 4-1. Milford sophomore Jordan Borges made it a two-goal game in the 75th minute and sophomore Walisson de Oliveira brought the Hawks within one in the final minute.
King Philip, 5 vs. Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final – King Philip scored four goals in the second half to break a tie game and pick up two points at home. Tyler Mann put the Warriors up 1-0 on an unassisted tally in the ninth minute. Feehan tied the game midway through the first half. Mann completed his hat trick with a pair of goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half, making it 2-1 in the 44th minute on a feed from Anthony Bozza and 3-1 just two minutes later on a feed from Connor Mullins. Thomas Lugten scored a pair of goals in a five-minute span, with junior Justin Willson and freshman Evan McEvoy picking up assists.
Stoughton, 2 vs. Norwood, 1 – Final – Tyler Melo and Fabio Ponce de Leon each had a goal for the Black Knights to earn Stoughton its first win of the season.
Stoughton, 3 @ Norwood, 4 – Final – Chinazo Odunze scored a pair of goals and Mackenzie Manning had a goal and an assist for the Black Knights. Brigid Pearl and Nicole Weir also had assists in the loss.
King Philip, 6 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – King Philip junior Alli Meehan recorded a hat trick to pace the Warriors on the road. Senior Christina Hathaway netted a pair of goals and Dana Truini scored once for King Philip.
Canton, 2 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final
Sharon, 0 @ Foxboro, 9 – Final – Sophia DiCenso led the way for the Warriors with a hat trick. Jackie Brion, Molly Murphy, Lily Daly, Annie Murphy, Lindsey Morris, and Lily Behn also scored for Foxboro.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin junior Anna Jardine had a strong game in net, making nine saves, including a gutsy slide tackle and a beautiful diving save – both in the second half – to help the Panthers preserve the win. Juniors Cassi Ronan and Regan Paterson each scored once in the first half for Franklin. FHS head coach Lisa Cropper said junior Annie Walsh played an outstanding game, creating numerous offensive chances and stopping OA from mounting an attack. Oliver Ames goalie Caitlin Grant made eight saves in net.
Mansfield, 1 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Senior Kya Enos netted a hat trick for the second straight game and junior goalie Emma Sheehan made 12 saves to help the Tigers earn an upset over visiting Taunton. Diana Brens had two assists while Liana Duarte had one helper in the win. THS coach Mike Fox praised the defensive play of Jillian Pagliuca, Jocelyn Pagliuca, and Kathryn Robinson.
Milford, 1 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – Stoughton’s Haley Apotheker scored a pair of goals to help the Black Knights defend its home field and earn a win over visiting Milford.
Canton, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final – Milford picked up a key division win at home, taking it 25-19, 25-18, 25-23. For Canton, Taylor Harris and Hannah Jerrier combined for 14 kills while head coach Pat Cawley praised the defensive play of Julia Minichiello.
Foxboro, 0 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton earned a dominant win in the first game but had to orchestrate a comeback to win a close second game. The Black Knights completed the sweep with a convincing third game win, 25-5, 26-24, 25-10. Val Whalen took control in the first set, rattling off 16 service points, including six aces. Sophomore Mykiah Simpson paced the offense with five kills in the opening set. Whalen finished 16 kills, 18 digs, and eight aces while junior Molly Turner added 21 assists and six aces. Seniors Vicky Ramos and Haley Stone played well defensively for the Knights.
Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Franklin mounted a late comeback in the second half to help sweep the Tigers on the road. Junior Lauren McGrath (four aces) put the Franklin offense in motion with 30 assists while Meaghan Maguire had 10 kills and two blocks and Lauren Lockhart chipped in with eight kills. Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game.
Sharon, 0 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – North Attleboro earned the sweep, defeating Sharon 25-14, 25-20, 25-12. Seniors Amelia Murphy (13 kills) and Kezie De La Cruz (nine kills) led the Rocketeers to the win.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip defended home court with a convincing 25-14, 25-11, 25-14 win. Sydney Phillips led the way with 15 kills while Michaela Palumbo added four kills. Julianna Rando (eight digs) and Elise Pereira (seven digs) paced the Warriors’ defensive effort.
Taunton, 179 @ Attleboro, 174 – Final – Attleboro’s Kyle DelSignore eached match medalst honors with a low-round of 39 and was the difference between the Bombardiers and Tigers. The two teams matched on cards two, three and four – meaning DelSignore’s five-stroke win on the top card was the difference.
Canton, 157 @ Mansfield, 173 – Final – Canton sophomore Chris Lavoie fired a 36 at Norton Country Club, earning match medalist honors for the first time and helping the Bulldogs stay unbeaten. Danny Powers added a 39 for the Bulldogs while Brendan Loomer led Manfield with a round of 40.
Milford, 191 @ Foxboro, 178 – Final
Stoughton, 174 @ Oliver Ames, 139 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Mark Bissonette birdied the first two holes of play, finishing with a low-round of 33 to earn medalist honors. Ryan McGarry and Eric LeBlanc added rounds of 35 while Matt Kelley fired a 36 at Pine Oaks.