Below are the official 2020 Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Makenzie Shandley, King Philip
Hockomock League All Stars
Lizzie Tassinari, Canton
Alexa Maffeo, Canton
Olivia Maffeo, Canton
Meg Aldrich, Canton
Gabby Colace, Franklin
Tina Pisano, Franklin
Amanda Lewandowski, Franklin
Makenzie Shandley, King Philip
Morgan Cunningham, King Philip
Sydney O’Shea, King Philip
Sammy Robison, King Philip
Emma Pereira, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Melisa Shanteler, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Alex Ledin, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Samantha Ledin, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Morgan Lessa, Stoughton/Sharon
Haley Nelson, Stoughton/Sharon
Carolyn Durand, Canton
Jordan Dwyer, Franklin
Avari Maxwell, King Philip
Ella Waryas, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Samantha Sherman, Stoughton/Sharon
FRANKLIN, Mass. – In two seasons of Hockomock League play, Canton and Franklin have established themselves as the teams to beat. The Bulldogs won the inaugural league championship and then last season Franklin took the crown for the first time. In year three, the two teams went into the final game of the regular season separated by just two points at the top of the standings.
As has become the standard when the two teams meet, Wednesday night’s game at Pirelli Veterans Arena was close, defensive, and physical and, in the end, Canton was able to hold out for a 0-0 tie that secured the outright league title.
“It means a lot,” Canton coach Dennis Aldrich said about not sharing the title. “Especially here. When I used to coach the [Canton] boys, anytime we came here or [Franklin] used to come to Ponky, they called it the ‘Dungeon of Doom’, it’s just something about it. The crowd wasn’t the same, but the emotion was.”
With 1:37 remaining and with the Panthers setting up for an offensive zone face-off, Franklin coach Margie Burke called timeout and pulled goalie Gabby Colace (19 saves). There were several surprised reactions from beyond the glass, but it underscored the importance of the title race and how little one point would impact Franklin’s likely seed in the playoffs.
“A win gets us a championship,” said Burke. “I explained it to the kids and they understood why we did it. I had to do it. I’m extremely proud of my girls tonight, they played their heart out.”
The move nearly paid instant dividends, as the Panthers won the draw into the corner and puck was played out in front before being scrambled away. Olivia Maffeo came close to winning the game with 50 seconds left, but the Canton freshman sent a shot from beyond the red line inches wide for icing.
Another face-off led to another good chance for the Panthers, but Lyndsey Atkinson couldn’t keep her shot down from just inside the right circle. Canton pressured to try and get an empty net winner, but the Panthers defense was able to block a couple of shots heading towards goal. The pressure kept the puck in the Franklin defensive zone though and allowed the Bulldogs to run out the clock.
“I have so much respect for her and what she does,” said Aldrich. “It’s a lot of fun for our kids. She’s got a certain style. It’s throw three kids out front, throw the puck there, and see if you can beat them up. We knew that coming in, so we were really stick on stick. We had to commit on that.”
Franklin had more of the attacking play in the first period, outshooting Canton 6-3. Libby Carter had the first good look for the Panthers with a quick shot from the slot that Carolyn Durand (15 saves) was able to stop and then cover before Amanda Lewandowski could pounce on the rebound.
Canton took more than eight minutes to record its first shot, which came off a rush from her own zone by Maffeo. Less than 30 seconds later, the Bulldogs had another good chance when freshman Audrey Koen corralled a loose puck forced a save from Colace.
Atkinson had a near breakaway with six minutes left in the first but the puck was poked away as she tried to pull it onto her backhand and round the goalie.
The visitors started to gain a foothold in the game and ended up with a 10-6 edge in shots in the second. Koen teed up Tess Khoury for an early look right in front but Colace got a pad to the shot. With five minutes left in the second, Maffeo made another long rush into the attacking zone and fired a pass in front by Lizzie Tassinari couldn’t redirect it on net.
Tina Pisano forced a good pad stop from Durand with a wrister from the point and then Canton came inches away from the lead when Maffeo struck the post with a shot from the right circle. Maria Femia followed up the rebound but Colace got across to block the shot.
It remained tense into the third period and it felt like one goal could decide it. Ellie Rae Roberts had a great chance for the Bulldogs, as she collected a deflected puck on the edge of the crease, but Colace again flashed a pad to make the stop.
“It’s so important because we have that confidence that defensively we’re going to do well,” Burke said about the play of her goalie. “It’s putting the puck in the net and we had our opportunities tonight.”
With two minutes to go, Shaw Downing had a shot from the point that was knocked down in front and the Canton defense was able to get it out of the danger area before Lewandowski could get a stick to it. Twenty seconds later, Franklin had a two-on-one rush. Atkinson flipped a pass to Carter on the left wing, but Maffeo came sliding across to block the first chance, and Durand had the angle covered on the second shot.
That set up a frantic finish with the Panthers throwing an extra skater out there in hopes of stealing a share of the title, but the Bulldogs held on to the shutout and both teams got important experience playing in a playoff-like atmosphere.
“We talked about how it was such a good game for us because we should expect that type of game,” Aldrich explained. “It’s going to be that type of punch you in the face, throw the puck to the net. Overall, defensively I thought we did what we wanted to do.”
Burke added, “Franklin and Canton just have that hockey rivalry. They always have and always will.”
Canton (14-1-4) will close out the regular season with a visit from Barnstable on Monday and a trip to Walpole on Wednesday. Franklin (6-8-5) will finish up its regular season when it hosts Leominster next Wednesday.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Sometimes goal-scoring is about being in the right place at the right time and for the second time this season Franklin’s Amanda Lewandowski found herself in the right spot to score a game-winning goal against Mansfield/Oliver Ames.
Lewandowski was left alone on the far post to tap in the game-winning, power play goal with just under six minutes remaining in Saturday evening’s league encounter at Pirelli Veterans Arena. Franklin added an empty net goal in the final minute to beat the Warriors 3-1, sweeping the season series, and in the process clinching at least second place in the league and a postseason berth.
“She’s that player that’s always on,” said Franklin coach Margie Burke about Lewandowski. “Every game this season has been tough and always against this team. They always come to play.”
Both meetings between the Warriors and Panthers have been tight, low-scoring, and evenly-matched. In games like that, one lapse can prove decisive and that is what happened to the Warriors on Saturday.
MOA coach Roy Bain said, “To have the game fall on a third period power play when it was 1-1 kind of stinks, but you go on the power play then it’s our job to defend the net and they were able to put it away.”
He added, “When you play Hockomock foes, it’s going to be a tight game, only a goal or two is going to separate the teams, but when you leave Lewandowski unattended…you can’t do that.”
Franklin came out in the first and was the aggressor. The Panthers dominated zone time and the shot total for the majority of the period. Lewandowski had the game’s first good look and many in the rink thought she had the first goal. She split a pair of defenders and fired a wrist shot that MOA goalie Jess Widdop was able to get a piece of and keep it out.
Maggie McCaffrey had the next good chance when she got space in the left circle on a two-on-one and forced a save out of Widdop. The MOA goalie had to come up big 90 seconds later when Lewandowski collected a pass from Lyndsey Atkinson and put a backhand shot on net. McCaffrey then teed up Atkinson but Widdop stopped the first show and Lewandowski’s rebound.
The Warriors picked up the pace as the period wore on and had a couple of chances in the closing minutes. The best chance came with two minutes left when Emma Pereira fired a diagonal pass to Emma Garland at the far post but Gabby Colace was in the right place to make the stop.
After Franklin held the 9-4 lead in shots in the first, MOA came out stronger in the second. Atkinson nearly got the breakthrough when she split a pair of defenders but the puck slid just wide of the net and Pereira had a good scoring chance at the other end, forcing a pad save from from Colace.
Lewandowski opened the scoring with seven minutes left in the second. She crossed the zone from right to left and showed great patience before lifting a backhand shot over the glove hand. However, the lead lasted less than a minute. Melissa Shanteler answered right back for the Warriors on a shot that rang in off the bar.
Franklin continued to put the puck on net, something that Burke said was a priority after the first meeting. Molly Hurley got free of the defense and then deked past Widdop but was unable to put a shot on the open net. After Gianna Cameron kept the puck in at the blue line, McCaffrey got a shot off from the slot and then Lewandowski set up Libby Carter for a one-timer that drew a save out of Widdop.
The game remained tied well into the third period when the Panthers were given their first power play chance. Franklin needed only 14 seconds to make the advantage count. Tina Pisano fired a shot from the point that was deflected in front of goal and fell right to the stick of Lewandowski on the post and she was able to stuff in what turned out to be the game-winner.
“Get the puck on net and get the traffic in front of the net,” said Burke about the message after the first game against MOA. “That’s one thing that I feel we need to remind them every game. It’s the traffic. They don’t have to be pretty, it all counts the same.”
MOA sprung into life almost immediately after falling behind. Kylie O’Keefe fired a shot from the left circle that snuck through Colace’s armpit but trickled wide of the post. Pereira got free in the slot for a golden opportunity but was denied by a sliding block from Gina Vignone. With 3:40 left Pereira drove down the right side and nearly set up O’Keefe at the back post but her tip went just wide.
“No one was going to quit and they all knew what was at stake,” said Bain. “We know that we’re going to get their best for 45 minutes, no doubt about it. We knew we had to bring 45 minutes of continuous checking and we brought, I don’t know, 43? They played their hearts out, they did exactly what we wanted them to do.”
After scoring twice to put Franklin in front, Lewandowski missed a chance to wrap up the points when she sent it wide of the empty net, but the Panthers would finally seal the win when Jordan Dwyer picked out Atkinson in front to make it 3-1 inside the final minute.
“We’ve been in every game even against the big teams,” said Burke. “We could go into tournament and win a couple games and do alright, you know? Even though we’re squeaking in there, we’ll see.”
Franklin (6-8-4, 5-1-1) will have a shot at sharing the league title when it hosts Canton on Wednesday night. Mansfield/Oliver Ames (6-8-1, 3-4-0) will start its final playoff push when it travels to Stoughton.
WALPOLE, Mass. – Goals are at a premium in league games this season and that remained the case when Mansfield/Oliver Ames hosted defending Hockomock champion Franklin at Rodman Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Amanda Lewandowski scored against the run of play in the second period and Gabby Colace made 25 stops to preserve a 1-0 victory for the Panthers in a game in which they were kept on the back foot for the first 30 minutes.
“Definitely a slow start, but we know that every Hockomock League game is going to be like this,” said Frankin coach Margie Burke. “We’re not going to put a lot of pucks on the net this year. We’re going to have to count on good defense and a few lucky breaks.”
The Warriors came flying out of the gates, taking advantage of their team speed to put Franklin on its heels and force the Panthers to defend for long stretches. After Maggie McCaffrey got an early chance on goal for Franklin, MOA started to step on the gas. Tess Luciano started it with a shot from the right circle and Alex Ledin let fly with a slap shot from the high slot that Colace stopped.
With four minutes remaining in the first Reese Pereira managed to get to the front of the net and get a tip from close range. The puck came back around to Ledin and she sent her shot from the slot just wide of the post.
Franklin had been forced back into a shell for much of the period, but did manage a late flurry of chances on the other end. Lewandowski was the catalyst as he forced Jessica Widdop (17 saves) into a stick save from a tight angle and after Gina Vignone threw one at net she forced a blocker stop while falling down.
“They really played well, they blocked shots, they kept their heads up, they didn’t panic against the boards when they were pressured by two players,” MOA coach Roy Bain said about his blue line corps. “I can’t be upset with the way that anyone in that locker room played.”
MOA held an 11-6 edge in shots after the first and the momentum continued following the short breather between periods. Ledin again got a good look at net that went off Colace’s blocker and straight into the air. Cameron cleared before Reese Pereira could get a stick on the loose puck.
“We had a lot of the zone time, we were breaking out as we want to, and their game plan became obvious early, which was to crash the ‘D’ and pinch on the wings,” said Bain. “The goaltender gave up a lot of rebounds but their defense is very responsible in front of their net and stopped us from getting a lot of follow-up chances.”
Libby Carter sent a warning to the Warriors when she got free on a defensive zone turnover only to have Widdop make a big pad save. The breakthrough came three minutes into the second. Vignone flipped a high pass towards goal. Lewandowski managed to bring it down right on the edge of the crease, kicking it to her stick and sliding it past Widdop’s pad for a 1-0 lead.
“That goal tonight, it was a kick, a drop, and a reach,” said Burke. “It was like a soccer or field hockey goal but not an ice hockey goal. I tell them all the time that ugly goals count the same as pretty goals and ugly wins count the same as pretty wins.”
There were more chances for the Warriors to try and even things up in the second, as MOA outshot the Panthers 10-4 in the period and had a four-minute power play, but Lily O’Brien’s shot from the right circle was an example of how Franklin kept the middle of the ice clear.
It was clear that Burke spent the second intermission emphasizing the need to get on the attack, as the third period was by far the best that Franklin played in the offensive zone.
Burke said, “Absolutely, we talked about how everything in the first two periods was a reach and a poke but no body. You have to reach in with your stick and then with your body. They got more physical for sure.”
Lewandowski continued to be a thorn in MOA’s side. She skated behind the net and fired a pass all the way out to Vignone at the point for a shot through traffic that Widdop saved, and then stopped the rebound effort as well. Freshman Shaw Downing had an effort from the blue line that Lewandowski managed to tip in front but Widdop again stayed tall to stop.
The Warriors kept pushing for an equalizing goal, but Franklin continued to hold them at bay. Colace came up with a huge glove save on a blast by Emma Pereira from the edge of the left circle. It was the last good look for the home team.
“It’s tough when you lose by a goal but you can’t be upset that you lost by a goal because every single person played their heart out,” Bain said. “We played great, they were just one goal better.”
Franklin (2-2-1) will face a battle against the first league champion, Canton, on Wednesday. Mansfield/Oliver Ames (3-4-1) will have a short turnaround to try and end its three-game losing streak when it hosts Stoughton on Sunday.
Taunton, 83 vs. Bishop Stang, 57 – Final – Taunton scored 23 points in each of the first three quarters, building a double-digit advantage through eight minutes and never looked back in a win over Bishop Stang. Sophomore Trent Santos sank four three-pointers on his way to a career-high 18 points, one of five Tigers to reach double figures and one of eight on the team to score. Sophomore Faisal Mass scored in all four quarters, netting nine of his career-high 15 points in the third quarter. Josh Lopes (14 points), Nigel Choate (career-high 12 points), and Tyler Stewart (10 points) all finished in double-figures for Taunton, who improved to 2-2 overall.
King Philip, 2 @ Archbishop Williams, 0 – Final – King Philip scored a pair of third period goals, used a stellar defensive performance, and Jesper Makudera shined in net in a win over Archies. Makudera made 27 saves for the Warriors and played outstanding according to KP head coach Paul Carlow. Carlow also noted the strong performance of the Warrior defense, highlighting senior Kyle Gray, who played a ton of minutes to anchor the blue line group. Junior Rocco Bianculli scored 45 seconds into the third on an assist from Joe Boselli to give the visitors the lead. Aidan Boulger doubled the lead at 9:58 on an assist from Gray.
Mansfield, 2 vs. Winthrop, 2 – Final – Mansfield had a first period lead but needed to find the back of the net in the third to earn a come-from-behind tie against Winthrop. Seniors Chris Jenkins and Jake Lund scored for the Hornets.
North Attleboro, 5 @ Bishop Feehan, 4 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Matt McSweeney scored twice, including the eventual game-winner, and goalie Nick Digiacomo had a strong game in between the pipes to help the Rocketeers beat their rivals. North had a 1-0 lead five minutes into the first on a goal from the blue line by Jake McNeany, but the Shamrocks scored two quick goals to take a 2-1 lead after one period. In the second, North scored four times to jump in front. Will Yeomans tied the game with a power play goal. After Jake Gruber had his shot sneak inside the post to put North in front, Feehan tied it just 12 seconds later. McSweeney scored twice about a minute apart to put North ahead for good. Feehan got one back in the third, but the North penalty kill was impressive and the Rocketeeers held on for the win.
Franklin, 3 vs. Austin Prep, 3 – Final – Franklin scored with 10:26 left in the third period to earn a tie with Austin Prep, last year’s D1 State Finalists. The Panthers scored twice in the first period, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal from Gianna Cameron (assisted by Amanda Lewandowski and Lyndsey Atkinson) and then going back in front 2-1 just over a minute later on a goal from Atkinson (assisted by Libby Carter and Tina Pisano). Sophomore Emma Hunt had the assist on the game-tying goal while Gabby Colace made 32 saves in net to help the Panthers earn the point.
King Philip, 9 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final
Marlboro Tournament (Canton) – The Bulldogs sent a pair of wrestlers to the final round of the Marlboro Early Bird tournament, earning one individual championship and a ninth place finish overall with 73 points. Sophomore Zack Peters earned his first tournament win, taking first in the 113 bracket. Peters won his first three matches via pinfall before taking the final match 4-2 over the second seed. Eddie Marinilli added a second place finish in the 160 bracket while Yuril Leskiv took fourth overall at 106.
Melish Duals – Sharon took first place and went 4-0 in the Mike Melish Memorial Duals, beating hosts Foxboro 40-27 in the final match of the day. The Eagles also earned wins over Northbridge (57-12), Boston Latin (61-6), and Plymouth South (31-30). Five Sharon wrestlers – Adam Landstein, David Gelman, Kirit Gosetty, Tyler Freedman, Rhamsez Thevenin – went undefeated on the day.
Franklin @ St. John’s Prep Quad – The Panthers picked up three wins in the quad meet. Franklin beat Lawrence 54-24, Salem (N.H.) 60-21, and then edged out the home team St. John’s Prep 37-34 in the final match.
Brockton Quad (Mansfield), 10:00AM
North Attleboro Quad – North Attleboro picked up a win over Chariho (RI) but suffered setbacks to both Norton and Hope (RI) in the Rocketeers’ first quad of the season. Big Red earned a 51-25 win over Chariho before falling to the Lancers and Hope by identical 42-30 wins. The Rocketeers were close to a win over powerhouse Norton before the Lancers picked up back-to-back pins for an 18-point swing and the win. North’s Mike Edmonds (170), Montrel Jackson (182), and Keysun Wise (220) each went 3-0 on the day with a pair of pins.
Marshfield Super-Quad – Oliver Ames went 4-0 in Marshfield, beating the hosts 54-24, Pembroke 54-24, Scituate 42-18, and Toll Gate (R.I.) 54-18. Jaden Ricci, Onye Nwadiugwu, Stavros Constantinou, and Nelson Malone all went 4-0 on the day and Max Anderson went 3-0 for the Tigers.
Milford Tournament (Milford, King Philip), 10:00
Stoughton Quad, 10:00
Taunton Early Bird (Taunton) – Taunton’s Christian Balmain claimed the tournament title at 152, helping the Tigers take third overall at the Sandwich Early Bird. Balmain needs just 27 seconds to get his first win via pinfall, and then advanced to the finals with a pinfall victory in the semifinals. In the final, Balmain had a takedown in each of the first two rounds to build a lead, and then secured the 7-2 decision with a late takedown in the third. Taunton’s James Collins (106) and Nico Sallaway (170) each had second play finishes while Luke Fraga (113), Brandon Mendes (120), Xavier Sandoval (126), and Ethan Harris (160) finished third overall.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Ken Assad has plenty of good memories inside on the ice inside of Pirelli Veterans Arena just next to the campus of Franklin High.
Now he can add his first career win as a high school hockey coach to that list.
A state champion as a player in 1983 and a state champion as an assistant coach in 2016 with the Franklin boys hockey team, Assad traded in his Panther baby blue for the King Philip green and gold this season, taking over the helm of the Warriors girls hockey program.
In the second game of the season, Assad guided the Warriors to a 2-1 win over the Panthers for his first career victory.
“The girls earned it, they came in and played above our expectations today coming off a tough loss to Mansfield,” Assad said, adding he couldn’t have asked for anything better than getting his first win at Pirelli. “We didn’t come out flying in that game, and they got three goals on us in the second period. So to see them play the way they played today, it was fantastic.”
“That’s what we’re looking for. They’re always practicing hard, they are listening to the coaches, and that showed out there. We want them to go hard the entire game and that’s what they did tonight.”
King Philip took the lead just a couple of minutes into the game only for the Panthers to find the equalizer late in the first period. Franklin had a big chance to break the game open with a five-minute power play, but the Warriors killed it and changed the game.
KP senior Makenzie Shandley opened the scoring just three minutes into the contest for her first goal. After winning possession at the blue line, Shandley fired a shot that was originally saved but the rebound came right back and she fired a shot past the goalie.
While it looked like a goal, and the players’ reactions dictated the same, there was no whistle and the game carried on. After nearly 30 seconds of play, the refs got together on the next stoppage to confer. The decision ended up being a goal for Shandley and a 1-0 lead with just under 12 minutes to play in the first.
Despite taking the lead, the ice tilted in favor of Franklin for the rest of the period. The Panthers peppered the net with 11 shots, including a nice chance set up by freshman Lyndsey Aktinson, finding classmate Molly Hurley for a one-timer but her shot was denied by a stick save from KP senior Cristina Coleman (26 saves).
The Panthers couldn’t take advantage of a power play just before the midway point of the period, and then had a pair of chances inside a minute denied. Gina Vignone fired a shot that was loose in front with both Libby Carter and Ryan Sullivan digging in before Coleman covered. Less than a minute later, Coleman came up with a nice save on a strong shot from Franklin senior Gianna Cameron.
Franklin’s pressure finally paid off with just over four minutes to go in the frame. Senior Tina Pisano skated through a pair of stick checks, briefly losing control before settling the puck back on her stick and she roofed a shot from straight away to make it 1-1.
The first chance of the second period fell to the stick of KP junior Jen Daniels. After blocking a shot in the defensive zone, Daniels skated the puck across both blue lines before firing a wrist shot that was turned away by Franklin junior Gabby Colace (20 saves).
The Panthers went on the man-advantage for five minutes after a major with 8:37 to go in the period. Franklin put a handful of shots on net, including a big chance on a pass across the crease but Coleman denied the chance. King Philip’s Sydney O’Shea came up with a nice play on a stick check to thwart a breakaway chance as well.
A minute after killing the penalty, the Warriors went on the power play themselves after an interference call on the Panthers. KP didn’t waste much time to cash in with O’Shea firing a shot from the slot that was blocked wide. Shandley was first to the loose puck, and after calmly collecting it, buried a tight angle chance into the open net for a 2-1 lead.
“It took three lines to kill that penalty, and that third line (Nicole Brady, Olivia Donovan, Katarina Precobb) was unbelievable during it,” Assad said. “They just go out there, they hunt the puck down, and they clear it out and you can’t ask for anything more than that. To be able to kill that major was huge for us. And then we’ve been practicing our power play, and the girls are like sponges because they pick it right up. We got that shot in the slot that we wanted.”
King Philip nearly put the game away early in the third period when O’Shea and Shandley nearly linked up but Vignone stepped in to deny the connection. Seconds later, the Warriors had a big clank off the crossbar and stay out.
Atkinson found junior Amanda Lewandowski but her deflection was gobbled up in front by Coleman. Donovan had a breakaway chance for KP but again Vignone intervened.
Franklin was on the verge of a good chance with just over three minutes to go with Lewandowski and Atkinson skating in the offensive zone but Daniels made a nice hustle play to prevent a chance on goal.
“Coming off the Mansfield/Oliver Ames games, we really wanted to take away loose pucks in front of the crease,” Assad said. “We really focused on that and they did a great job with it tonight. [Mansfield] scored three of their four goals on scrums in front so we really worked hard getting our sticks on the puck and it really showed today. And [Coleman] was just fantastic. She made some key saves for us, she had a huge one during that power play.”
Franklin (1-1, 1-1) will try to bounce back on the same day when it hosts Austin Prep.
After missing time at the beginning of last season, Colace returned to solidify the goaltending position for the Panthers (after an admirable job filling in by Gianna Cornetta), helping to bring home the program’s first Hockomock League title. Colace finished the year with a 1.77 goals against average, which was second in the Hock, and stopped 91 percent of the shots that she faced. She made 242 saves and recorded a pair of shutouts for the Panthers, who went unbeaten (7-0-1) in the Hock and won 17 games overall. Athletic and quick, Colace covers a lot of ground in net and is capable of making highlight-reel stops, while rarely giving up soft goals. Her communication with the experienced defensive corps in front of her will also be crucial to Franklin’s attempt to repeat as Hock champs and make another run in the state tournament.
King Philip senior captain Cristina Coleman could be poised to have a breakout year between the pipes after a strong showing over the past two seasons. As a sophomore, Coleman made 96 saves with a 2.84 goals against average. In the time she played in net for KP last year, she made 77 saves while posting a 0.94 goals against average and an impressive 0.939 save percentage. After showing improvement over each of the past two seasons, look for Coleman to take the next step during her senior campaign. The Warriors are a relatively young group with just three seniors so they will lean on Coleman heavily to provide leadership both on and off the ice. She is able to cover a lot of ground with her quickness. She is also an aggressive goalie, challenging shooters, and athletic enough to pull off the tough saves. As the Warriors make a push to get back to the tournament, Coleman will be a key piece of the 2019-2020 Warriors.
As a freshman, Femia played a role in getting the Bulldogs back to the TD Garden for the state title game, but her expected breakout season as a sophomore didn’t really happen. She finished last year with two goals and nine assists, but Canton relied mostly on its top line for goal scoring and was unable to defend its league title. With 41 combined goals and 62 combined points gone with the graduation of Maggie Malloy and Lauren Fitzpatrick, Femia will be expected to take on a much bigger load of the scoring for Canton this season and her combination of speed and tenacity should make her tough for opposing defenses to contain. Whether on the forecheck or in the transition game, Femia can find ways to get behind defenders and has the vision to make the right pass. If Femia can make the jump this season and become a more consistent scorer, then the Bulldogs could be looking at a quick return to the top of the league standings.
Stoughton scored 26 goals last season and Lessa played a role in nearly half of those. The forward scored nine goals and assisted on three others, becoming the top attacking threat for a Black Knights program that is still in the developing stages. After an all-star season, Lessa is back to lead the way for Stoughton with the hopes of getting the team back on track after a winless 2018-19 and keep things moving in the right direction. Speedy with a decent shot on the move, she is able to create goals for herself but also gets her teammates headed to the right spots to create scoring chances. Without the numbers of some of the teams that it will be facing, Stoughton relies on hard work to compete for three periods and Lessa is one of the players that leads the way to keep the Black Knights in games.
Lewandowski was part of a dynamic first line for the Panthers last season, but she will be counted on even more this winter after the graduation of top scorers Regan Paterson and Cassie Ronan. She scored eight goals and added 10 assists from the wing, but those numbers could take a jump this year as she will be one of the team’s primary puck handlers and will be expected to play a role in power play and penalty kill situations as well. A strong player with the puck on her stick, Lewandowski won’t shy away from contact in the corners to keep the puck moving and has the extra burst of speed to find space in the transition game. While Franklin has an experienced defensive group coming back, Lewandowski will also be expected to start defending from the front and provide cover through the center of the ice. It is always difficult to repeat as league champion and Franklin will be hoping that Lewandowski can provide the scoring punch to get the Panthers back on top this winter.
It is not often that a player makes one of these lists without having played a minute of varsity action, but there has been a lot of talk this fall about Maffeo’s arrival on the team and her potential impact on an experienced Canton defensive unit. The Boston Jr. Eagles player has certainly impressed with her club team and she certainly has the family pedigree (sister Alexa is a senior defenseman on the team and brother Jackson was a two-time HockomockSports.com Player of the Year in defense). A strong skater with a powerful shot, Maffeo could step right into the lineup and be a factor in all three zones, adding depth to the defense but also some more scoring punch from the blue line. Canton is looking to get back to the top of the league and to make a deep run in the postseason and Maffeo’s addition as part of what should be a strong freshman class could be an important catalyst for a big winter.
With just three seniors on the roster, the Warriors will be depending players from each grade to step up. Maxwell is in her third year with the program and is one of the most experienced players on the team. She found the back of the net seven times a year ago and recorded two helpers as well. She will be on King Philip’s top line along with senior newcomer Makenzie Shandley and sophomore Morgan Cunningham. Since its the first year that the trio has skated on the same line for King Philip, it will be important to establish chemistry early on to try and lead the way for the Warrior offense. The Warriors ranked fourth in the Hockomock League last season in scoring but with Maxwell back along with two strong forwards on the first line, KP will have a dangerous attack as they make a push for the league title.
Pereira gave the Warriors a strong presence in all three zones last season, not only stepping up defensively to give Mansfield/Oliver Ames a physical force on one end of the ice but also chipping in offensively. Pereira scored five goals and assisted on eight others last year, showing off a powerful shot from the blue line and also the ability to skate through the opposition in the neutral zone. One of the league’s top defenders with the puck on her stick, Pereira will add much-needed experience to a team loaded with younger players. She also stepped up her game when facing some of the top teams in the league, helping Mansfield/Oliver Ames earn a tie against Canton and a one-goal loss against eventual Hock champion Franklin. The Warriors have aspirations of making another tournament appearance this season and Pereira’s ability to control play in all three zones will be a key to that success.
After graduating two of the league’s top scorers, the Bulldogs will need players to step up to take on more responsibility on the offensive end of the ice. One candidate for that is junior Lizzie Tassinari, who is the squad’s returning scorer. She found the back of the net five times last year and recorded 13 assists to finish with 18 points as just a sophomore. With plenty of varsity experience, Tassinari will be a leader among the team’s forwards. She can use her speed to beat opposing defenders but as evident by her 13 assists last year, she has the vision to set up her teammates in great positions. Her energy can be contagious and can give the Bulldogs a boost when needed.
Last winter, the Warriors needed someone to step between the pipes and take over as the new goalie. Widdop, who had only played as a forward and winger during her time on the ice, volunteered. She spent the preseason training and preparing for her new role and it more than paid off, as she put together a solid season in goal and gave Mansfield/Oliver Ames a strong presence to backstop the defense. Widdop had a 2.43 goals against average in her first season and recorded a pair of shutouts. She saved 88 percent of the shots that she faced last winter, making a league-high 407 saves. Her quickness and athleticism made her tough to beat, even as she was still learning the position. She came through with several impressive games against some of the league’s top teams, keeping the Warriors within one goal of league champ Franklin and earning a tie against Canton. If Mansfield/Oliver Ames wants to make a playoff run this season, Widdop’s development into a strong goaltender will be critical to the Warriors’ success.
2018-2019 Record: 12-6-5 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 First Round Coach: Dennis Aldrich
The Bulldogs will be using a mix of veterans and new faces as they try to get back on top of the Hockomock League. After winning the first league championship in 2018, the Bulldogs finished second last year but will be aiming to take back the title in 2020.
The strength of the team will be along the blue line with senior captains Alexa Maffeo and Meg Aldrich leading the way. Both have a ton of varsity experienced, including playing in a state championship game, and Canton will lean on them heavily for their leadership both on and off the ice. The defense will also feature sophomore Allie McCabe, who picked up valuable experience as a rookie a season ago. The defense will also get a boost from a pair of new faces with freshmen Olivia Maffeo and Maya Battista expected to be big time players for the Bulldogs.
Offensively, head coach Dennis Aldrich said he expects his side to be very quick and opportunistic in the attacking zone. Junior captain Maria Femia (two goals, nine assists), junior Lizzie Tassinari (five goals, 13 assists) and junior Ellie Rae Roberts (four goals, eight assists) are familiar with the system and have high expectations for the season. Sophomore Tess Khoury (six goals, five assists) returns after an impressive freshman senior. Freshman goalie Carolyn Durand has impressed early on with senior Vicky Revanche give the Dogs an experienced option in net.
“The early energy and closeness of this team has been remarkable,” Aldrich said. “I look for us to make some noise both in the Hockomock League and the state tournament this season.”
It’s been back-to-back very successful seasons for the Panthers, and head coach Margie Burke is looking for that success to continue in 2020. Franklin won 14 games two years ago, and then went unbeaten in Hockomock League last year and finished with 17 wins overall.
The defending Hockomock champs have a lot of experience back on the defensive end. Junior goalie Gabby Colace is back between the pipes for Franklin and will be one of the top netminders in the area. She posted a 0.905 save percentage in the regular season a year ago, allowing just 1.77 goals a game while making 242 saves. She will have some familiar faces in front of her with seniors Tina Pisano, Gina Vignone, and Gianna Cameron all back playing defense. Franklin was tough to score against last year and that will likely be the case again this year.
The biggest question mark offensively will be trying to replace the production of Regan Paterson and Cassi Ronan, who were two of the top three point producers in the entire league last year. But Franklin has a good cast of players ready for expanded roles this year. Juniors Libby Carter (five goals, three assists), Amanda Lewandowski (eight goals, 10 assists), Katelyn Brown (five goals, three assists), and Maddy Dolan, give the Panthers plenty of options on the attacking end. The Panthers will be looking to get some production out of the eight underclassmen on the roster as well.
“We are looking forward to building on the successes of last year and to be competitive in a very strong Hockomock League,” Burke said.
2018-2019 Record: 4-13-2 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Ken Assad
After helping the Franklin boys team for over a decade, Ken Assad has traded in his Panther blue for the green and gold of King Philip, taking over the helm of the girls’ hockey program. Coming off a four-win season, Assad and his staff are very optimistic about the upcoming season.
The Warriors only have three seniors on the roster, so they will need contributions from every player on the roster to compete for a Hockomock League title and try to get back into the state tournament. Although it’s a small senior class, all three are important pieces to the team and are spread out on the ice. Makenzie Shandley is a newcomer to the program but will be leaned on to guide the offense on the first line. She is joined by returning forwards Avari Maxwell (seven goals, two assists) and sophomore Morgan Cunningham. Assad is hoping to have a deep offense with Jennifer Daniels, Olivia Donovan, Sydney O’Shea, Katarina Precobb, and Meg Sherwood all in the mix to get plenty of ice time.
Defensively, the Warriors are going to lean on senior captain Sami Robison. Fresh off a terrific field hockey season, Robison will be the veteran leader of the blue line unit for the Warriors. Junior Gabriela Trujillo should see an expanded role this year and will be an important part of the defensive unit. Junior Libby Curran, sophomore Ally Donovan, and freshman Maggie Griffin and Brielle Hearon are also apart of the KP defense. In goal, senior captain Cristina Coleman and freshman Mallory Johnston will push one another for time in between the pipes.
“Being a young team is great for the future of this program which is exciting,” Assad said. “We are always optimistic for a good start and to compete at a high level and I know the chemistry we have and the great leadership the girls will come out giving their best.”
The Mansfield/Oliver Ames/Foxboro girls hockey team is relying on a mix of youth and veterans to push for a return to the state tournament in 2020. Although there are just two seniors on the squad, there is still a handful of experienced players that have played in plenty of contests at the varsity level.
Senior Liz Healy, junior Emma Pereira, and junior Melissa Shanteler will lead the way for the Warriors this season. Healy will be a leader on the offensive end while both Pereira and Shanteler will provide MOA with talent and leadership on the blue line. Joining that junior duo on the blue line will be classmate Megan O’Hara and sophomore Julia Muttart. The Warriors added some depth to the defensive unit with the addition of freshmen Brooklynn Levins and Maya Manganaro. Behind that talented group of defensemen will be sophomore goalie Jess Widdop, who had a terrific freshman year and earned team MVP honors.
On the offensive end of the ice, the Warriors return the speedy line of junior Alex Ledin (six goals, three assists), sophomore Sam Ledin (three goals, six assists), and sophomore Kylie O’Keefe, all representing Foxboro. Healy will be joined by Tessa Luciano and Emma Garland on another line while OA freshman Reese Pereira will be working with Foxboro’s Ella Waryas and Mansfield’s Lily O’Brien, giving the Warriors a lot of depth offensively. MOA is also looking for contributions from Elle Weinstein, Pam Nelson, Maeve O’Keefe, Erin DiCenzo, Cataline Kipp, Ciera Doherty, Ava Adams, and Mya Waryas.
“With a team comprised of two seniors, ten juniors, nine sophomores, and four freshmen, the program can look forward to continued consistency and success for the next few seasons,” said MOA head coach Roy Bain. “This team should compete against the talent-rich and always tight Hockomock League race.”
After a down year, the Black Knights are looking to getting back on track as they team up with Sharon High for the second straight season.
Stoughton boasts skill at each position with junior Morgan Lessa back for her third year with the program, junior Haley Nelson returns to anchor the defense, and senior Brianna Buckley gives the Black Knights plenty of experience between the pipes. Stoughton will need contributions from everyone on the roster with four seniors, four juniors, six sophomores, and four freshmen.
Lessa is among the league’s top players at forward, scoring nine goals and adding three assists last year. Senior Abbey Kashian is one of the team’s three captains and will provide leadership on the offensive end. Look for Sharon junior Sam Sherman, another captain on the team, to fill in both offensively and defensively depending on the team’s needs. Seniors Carly Lader and Hannah Duff will provide depth on the attack this season.
Nelson, who logs a ton of minutes, will be the leader of the defensive unit. Sophomore Zofia Bangs and Sharon junior Jillian Parker are going to be key pieces on both ends of the ice this season for Stoughton. Freshman Ava Buckley has impressed early on this preseason and could give the blue line a big boost.
Baseball Super 8
#4 Lowell, 1 @ #1 Franklin, 7 – Final – Franklin junior Liam Dailey had one of his performances of his career, nearly going the distance to lead the Panthers to a win over Lowell in the elimination bracket of the Super 8, keeping his team’s season alive. Dailey pitched 8.2 innings, allowing one run on six hits and two walks while striking out eight. Franklin scored two runs in the second, once in the third, fourth, and sixth, and two more in the eighth. Scott Elliott had three hits, including a double, drove in two runs and scored twice while Jake Macchi was 3-for-3 with two doubles, a run, and an RBI for the Panthers. Franklin will look to extend its season when it takes on St. John’s Prep on Monday at Campanelli Stadium with a time to be determined.
#7 Mansfield, 6 @ #6 Braintree, 3 – Final – Mansfield senior Sam Nugent stroked a two-strike, two-out single through the right side to drive in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, sparking a three-run frame for the Hornets, who kept their season alive by eliminating Braintree. Mansfield jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the first but the Wamps plated three runs in the fourth to go ahead. Mansfield scored five unanswered — one in each the fifth and sixth to tie the game and then three in the eighth to pull away. Kyle Moran (three hits) drove in Dan Saraceno in the fifth and Mike Hargadon plated a run to tie it 3-3. Moran was strong on the mound, allowing just three runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks, striking out nine in seven innings of work. John Carney struck out four in two scoreless innings of relief. After Nugent’s go-ahead RBI, Eric Longley drew a walk with the bases loaded and Moran helped his cause with an RBI single. Mansfield will look to extend its season when it takes on BC High on Monday at Campanelli Stadium with a time to be determined.
#11 Franklin, 9 @ #6 Braintree, 3 – Final – Braintree cut the deficit to just one run in the sixth inning but Franklin put the game away with five runs in the top of the seventh to earn the upset on the road. The Panthers and Wamps each scored twice in the second but Franklin regained the lead by scoring once in each the third and fourth. Ally Shea had three hits and drove in two runs, Gabby Colace had a pair of hits and scored three runs, and Maggie Hobby had two hits, two RBI, and a run scored. Jackie Cherry had a strong performance in the circle, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out eight. Franklin will travel to #3 Bishop Feehan on Monday at 4:00.
FRANKLIN, Mass. — In a preliminary round matchup in MIAA Division One South tournament the 11th-seeded Franklin softball team played a near-flawless game, shutting out #22 Wellesley with a convincing 11-0 win.
After allowing a one-out single in the top of the first inning, Panther starter Jackie Cherry (4.1 IP, 1H, 5K) was lights out and didn’t allow another Raider hit while she was in the game.
Meanwhile, Franklin wasted little time to get its offense in gear. In the bottom of the first, Anna Balkus reached on a bunt single and came home two batters later on an RBI triple by Sarah Jackson.
Franklin struck again in the bottom of the third, this time for five runs as it sent nine batters to the plate. Ally Shea led off with a single and Balkus followed with a base hit. Maddy White grounded into a fielder’s choice, but with runners on first and first, Gabby Colace came through with an RBI single and Tara Hartnett did the same in Franklin’s next at-bat.
Cherry helped her own cause with a two-run single to center to put the Panthers up 5-0. Kylie Bouzan reached on an infield single, but the late throw to first was high, which allowed Cherry, who advanced to third on the single, to score.
“Attack…if you see a good pitch, hit it,” said Franklin manager Kate Fallon-Comeau on her team’s strategy at the plate.
In the bottom of the fourth, Franklin once again sent nine batters to the plate and scored another five runs. The script was similar to the prior inning, as both Shea and Balkus reached on singles, and White came through with a single. A throwing error scored Shea, and Jackson got her second RBI of the night as she singled to score Balkus. Colace brought home White with another single, and Cherry picked up her third and fourth RBI with another base hit.
Franklin wasn’t done hitting yet, however, as in the bottom of the fifth, Shea singled for Franklin, her third hit of the game, and also the 100th of her illustrious career at Franklin.
Cherry was replaced in the top of the fifth for Emily Valentino, who retired eight of the nine batters she faced in relief, with the lone hit being a single by MacKenzie O’Neil in the top of the sixth. Cherry and Valentino combined to allow just two hits while striking out eight.
“Both Jackie and Emily had a good day on the mound, Jackie kind of settled in after the first inning, really shut them down and Emily came right in and picked up where Jackie left off so it was nice to see,” Fallon-Comeau said about Franklin’s pitching performance.
With the win, Franklin moves on to face #6 Braintree. That game will be played at 3:30 in Braintree on Saturday.
“We just have to do what we’ve been doing all season long, one at-bat at a time, one inning at a time, and hopefully at the end of seven, we come out on top,” Fallon-Comeau said about Franklin’s approach against the Wamps.