Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Jackson Maffeo, Canton
Hockomock League All Stars
PJ Elliot, Attleboro
Jake Parker, Attleboro
Quinn Gibbs, Canton
Tom Kilduff, Canton
Jackson Maffeo, Canton
CJ Martin, Canton
Mike Carresi, Foxboro
Aidan Sullivan, Foxboro
Luke Downie, Franklin
Brendan O’Rielly, Franklin
Tom Sicchio, Franklin
Jacob Kelly, King Philip
Gavin Maxwell, King Philip
Matt Farragher, Mansfield
Joe Olsen, Mansfield
Erik Clements, North Attleboro
Zach McGowan, North Attleboro
Jared Costello, Oliver Ames
Jack Maloney, Oliver Ames
Brett Williams, Oliver Ames
Cam Doherty, Stoughton
Zack Albert, Taunton
Nick Terry, Taunton
Ryan Morry, Attleboro
Bubba McNeice, Canton
Peter Smith, Foxboro
Cam Benham, Franklin
Jeremy Smith, King Philip
Cullen Anastasia, Mansfield
Vincent Zammiello, North Attleboro
Cullen Gallagher, Oliver Ames
Jon Lessa, Stoughton
Mike Volkmann, Taunton
Oliver Ames not only found the back of the net often, but scored at those important times as well, cruising to a 5-2 win over ninth-seeded Nauset.
The Tigers, seeded eighth, got its first goal less than three minutes into the game to set the tone. OA added its second less than two minutes after Nauset tied the game, scored its third on the power play, its fourth less than a minute after its third and the final goal under two minutes after Nauset cut the deficit to two.
“I think if we establish our forecheck, we move our feet and crash the net good things happen,” said Oliver Ames head coach Sean Bertoni. “We didn’t have any spectacular highlight goals tonight but that’s how we can move forward in the tournament, getting the tough ones.”
Oliver Ames set the tone with its very first shot of the game. Senior Jack Maloney found Brett Williams on a breakout pass and the sophomore skated to the center of the ice and unleashed a slap shot between a pair of defensemen that found the back of the net. Oliver Ames led just 2:31 into the contest.
Nauset leveled the game just over midway through the period, taking advantage of a one-on-one opportunity. Nauset’s Devin Roderick went into the offensive zone with just one defenseman in his way and was able to slide the puck just inside the post to tie the game.
But in the all important next couple of minutes, Oliver Ames went back up. Sophomore Cullen Gallagher collected a loose puck in the offensive zone, and with no pressure on his back, turned and fired a puck towards goal. With junior Rory Madden providing a screen in front, the puck went straight in.
Just 1:42 after the Warriors tied the game, Oliver Ames took the lead back.
“After that first goal, we relaxed a little bit,” Bertoni said. “The first period was an OK period for us, I didn’t think we forechecked as hard as we should have. We didn’t really get that many offensive chances, we got a couple of bounces which you need in the tournament.”
While Oliver Ames had two goals, Nauset brought a very physical approach to the game. Although that might have swayed other opponents, Oliver Ames has experience in that situation.
“We’re used to it,” Bertoni said. “The Hockomock League is very physical with Franklin, Canton, North, Mansfield, right down the line. We’re not the strongest team, we’re small but we can skate.”
Oliver Ames once again came up with a timely goal, scoring the all important next goal less than three minutes into the second period. Just 89 seconds into the second period, the Warriors were whistled for interference to put the Tigers on the power play. OA passed the puck around the offensive zone before junior forward Eric LeBlanc – patrolling the blue line during the power play – stepped into a wrist shot that found its way through traffic and into the back of the net.
And less than a minute after that, the Tigers tacked on another goal. With the majority of players on the left side, a cross ice pass found junior Michael Nikiciuk along breaking into the offensive zone. With an odd-man rush, Nikiciuk centered his pass for an easy one time tap in from Madden to make it 4-1 with 11:29 to play in the second period.
“We changed our personnel on the player play for the last couple of games so it was good to see shots from the point,” Bertoni said. “We’re not the most skilled team but when we get shots from the point, good things happen…we love garbage goals. We want to get traffic out in front and we had two of those tonight.
“I thought our second period was very good.”
The Tigers took a penalty while on the power play to make it 4-on-4 and the Warriors were able to capitalize. As Oliver Ames’ defense inched forward, a turnover led to Nauset racing into the attacking zone. After beating one man, Nauset’s Nick Hull went in alone and tucked the puck in to make it 4-2.
But as they had done all game, Oliver Ames had a timely answer. Just 90 seconds later, Oliver Ames once again cashed in from a shot from distance. Sophomore Matt McCormack took a pass from classmate Collin Bourne and fired a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that found the back of the net.
Oliver Ames had a 24-14 lead advantage in shots.
The Tigers (14-6-1) await the winner of #1 Scituate and #16 Dedham on Wednesday. Oliver Ames hockey will play the winner at Gallo Arena in Bourne on Saturday at 12:30.
The Warriors took the lead less than three minutes into the game but that seemed to spark Oliver Ames. The Tigers responded with an onslaught of offensive pressure, including three great goal scoring chances in a three minute space. OA finally broke through to score back to back goals in less than a minute to take the lead.
“We responded very well,” said Oliver Ames head coach Sean Bertoni. “There’s only been about three games which we’ve come out on the attack. We’re a little bit of a slow team to get going but we pick it up as the game goes on.”
KP freshman Kyle Gray scored his first career goal 2:34 into the game to give the Warriors the lead. After an extended possession in the offensive zone, Gray took control along the blue line and wristed a shot through traffic that found its way into the back of the net.
But from that point on, it would be all Oliver Ames in the period.
With 10:45 to go in the opening period, Brett Williams circled behind the net before finding Eric LeBlanc open in front for he net but his point blank shot was turned aside by KP junior goalie Shane Frommer (44 saves).
With 9:15 to play, sophomore James Beatty took advantage of a miscue at the blue line by KP and race in along on goal but couldn’t get his shot past Frommer.
With 8:10 left, Max Ward hit Michael Nikiciuk for a shot from the blue line that Frommer got a piece of. Frommer scrambled and was able to keep the puck from crossing with the help of senior defenseman Jeremy Smith.
But on the ensuing face-off, Oliver Ames finally did cash in. Senior defenseman Jack Maloney ripped a shot that was saved, Beatty had his rebound shot saved but then was able to tuck his own rebound into the net to tie the game with 8:02 to play.
The Tigers kept the pressure up, taking the lead less than a minute later. With Oliver Ames cycling through the offensive zone, the puck popped free into the middle of the ice. OA senior Michael Ziino pounced on it and fired a wrist shot that found its way under Frommer’s arm to make it 2-1.
The momentum carried into the second period and it looked like Oliver Ames put the game to bed early in the middle fame.
Just 49 seconds into the second, Oliver Ames made it 3-1. Williams tracked down a puck in the offensive end and fired a perfect pass across the crease to an open Beatty. Beatty stepped around the goalie and tucked it home for a quick 3-1 lead.
The Tigers went on the power play following a late hit on the goal and took less than a minute to add another goal. Senior Jared Costello tracked the puck down off the side boards and took it right to goal, stuffing it in at the near post for a 4-1 lead.
“We had five or six goal scorers last game against Foxboro and then had four tonight so that’s nice to see,” Bertoni said. “That was Michael Ziino’s first start of the year, we had one of our top guys out for the first period and Michael stepped up. James Beatty has been a third line guy, he got to play on the second line today and scored two goals. We’ve been waiting for him because he’s got the skill. It was nice to see him get two big goals too.
“Our forecheck was very good tonight and we generated a lot of shots. We’re creating a lot of turnovers behind the goal line. The last three games we’ve had over 35 shots in each game. The theme this year has been finishing. The kids say it all the time, it’s just bearing down and having a net-front presence and making sure you’re buying the puck. The kids had a good response.”
Frommer denied Oliver Ames a fifth goal near the midway point of the period when LeBlanc had his breakaway chance turned aside. A minute later, KP went on the power play and took advantage.
Gavin Maxwell won a face-off in the offensive zone and junior Collin Cooke connected on a cross ice pass to find Jeremy Smith at the blue line. The senior took a step in and fired a rocket top shelf to cut the deficit to two with 7:36 left in the period.
After Walsh made a point black stop on a shot from Gavin Maxwell right in front with 44 seconds to go, Maxwell was able to find the back of the net with 19 seconds to play. The junior stepped in front of a clearance attempt and roofed his shot to make it 4-3 heading into the third period.
But a penalty just before the end of the second meant KP started the third in a four on four situation and then, after 90 seconds, went a man down.
The Warriors were able to fight off the penalty but Oliver Ames found the back of the net within a minute after going back to full strength. The puck popped free to Nikiciuk at the blue line and he fired through traffic to find the back of the net, making it 5-3.
King Philip picked up back to back penalties shortly after, first a minor for tripping and then a four minute penalty for boarding, halting any thought of a comeback.
OA put the game out of reach on the power play with 6:54 to go when Costello skated towards the center of the ice near the blue line and wristing a shot through a screen for the Tigers’ sixth goal.
“We had a variety of scoring, we had at least one power play goal,” Bertoni said. “We’ve been practicing on just taking the puck to the net, net drives in practice and it showed tonight. It’s good to see them sacrifice and go to the net, and they might get punished, but they might get a goal out of it.
“The players deserve all the credit but as coaches it’s nice to see when they run the system. One through three, all lines, it just shows when you establish a forecheck and stick to the system good things happen.”
King Philip added the final goal of the game with just over two minutes to play on the power play. Smith played catch with Garrett Maxwell on the blue line before the sophomore fired a shot on target. Walsh turned it aside but KP Freshman Chris Daniels was there for the tap in for his first career goal.
“You have to give OA credit, they came out and wanted it a little bit more,” said KP head coach Paul Carlow. “They went to a three man forecheck, put the pressure on us and definitely took the game over there for a stretch. We got back in the game at the end of the second but then we took a penalty. We start the third shorthanded, and even though they didn’t score on it, it burns your guys out. Then we took another penalty and that pretty much did it.”
Oliver Ames hockey (9-4-1 overall, 5-2-1 league) will take on North Attleboro in a non-league D2 showdown on Monday at 4:30 at Asiaf. King Philip (3-12, 3-5) will be the road team in a clash with Foxboro at the Foxboro Sports Center on Wednesday.
Today’s games are listed below.
Attleboro, 6 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Attleboro’s Jake Parker netted a pair of goals while PJ Elliott, Cam Littig, Dylan Wallace and Ryan Morry each scored once as the Bombardiers opened the season with a non-league win over Foxboro.
Franklin, 5 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 2 – Final – Juniors Luke Downie and Brendan O’Rielly each scored a pair of goals while classmate Jeremy Miller scored once. O’Reilly and senior James Kilroe each recorded two assists as the Panthers opened the season with a win.
King Philip, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Junior Eric LeBlanc led Oliver Ames with two goals while sophomore Colin Bourne and senior Jack Maloney each found the back of the net once. OA goalie Zach Walsh made 20 saves. Cullen Gallagher and Rory Madden each had an assist.
Mansfield, 2 vs. Winthrop, 3 – Final – Mansfield led 1-0 after two periods but three straight goals from the visitors made all the difference. Matt Farragher and Tim Arnold each scored for the Hornets.
North Attleboro, 8 vs. Dedham, 2 – Final – Click here for a recap of the game.
Taunton, 14 @ New Bedford, 0 – Final – Taunton freshman Mike Albert registered seven points, scoring once with six assists. Sophomore Jack Patneaude scored twice and had two assists and sophomore Jaden Weyant scored once and had two assists. Eighth grader Camden Faria scored his first career goal and also had an assist while senior Chris Gomes scored twice, including his first career goal.
Canton, 51 @ Oliver Ames, 27 – Final – Oliver Ames got wins from Liston Funai (138, pin), Eric Bernardi (152, pin), Sean Cosgrove (160, major) and Jay Fruci (195, pin).
Foxboro, 57 @ Milford, 18 – Final
Sharon, 15 @ Franklin, 52 – Final – Franklin’s Jordan Carlucci, Brian Farrell, Ian Bakalars, Dylan Maclean, Ed Cropper, Seamus Cogavin, Myles Polito, Kyler Colella, Jack Coughlin, and Brian Perry all won for the Panthers.
North Attleboro @ King Philip, 7:00
Mansfield, 58 @ Taunton, 18 – Final – Taunton’s Josh Grasso (126), Nuno Camara (182) and Elijah Simmons (195) each won via pin.
Canton, 103 @ Attleboro, 64 – Final
North Attleboro, 70 @ Franklin, 86 – Final
Canton, 86 @ Attleboro, 84 – Final
North Attleboro, 80 @ Franklin, 85 – Final – Junior Ashley Loomis was a double event winner, taking first in both the 200 and 500 freestyle. Franklin swept the 100 freestyle with senior Helen Huang taking first, senior Leah Benoit coming in second and junior Audrey Finn finishing third.
King Philip, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Sophomore Maggie Malloy netted a pair of goals and classmate Lauren Fitzpatrick scored one – the game-winner in the third period – and added an assist.
Franklin, 6 vs. Leominster/St. Bernards, 3 – Final – Sophomore Reagan Paterson netted a hat trick to pace the Panthers in their first game of the season. Junior Jackie Connelly added two goals and an assist while Maddie Hinkley scored once.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2016-2017 Kelley-Rex Hockey Preview
2015-16 Record: 7-11-2 (1-8-1)
2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Mark Homer
Attleboro narrowly missed out on a playoff spot last season, losing in its final game against a Div. 3 opponent and this year’s team will be motivated to try and get back in the postseason under new head coach Mark Homer, who made the switch from Oliver Ames where he coached the past three years, and with a new home – moving from Aleixo Arena in Taunton to the new England Sports Village just a couple minutes from the school.
In what has become a common issue for the Bombardiers program, Attleboro will not have
a lot of depth to call on this winter with only 15 skaters and two goalies on the varsity roster, but there is some experience coming back. Senior P.J. Elliott is a talented skater and stick handler who will be counted on to provide the scoring punch along with Jake Parker and Dylan Weallac on the first line.
Sam McKenzie emerged last year as a physical presence and senior captain Eddie Noel will partner him on the top defensive pairing. Sophomore Evan Andrews and freshman Derek Rivet will battle it out for the starting goaltender position for the Bombardiers. There are several other underclassmen who could make immediate impacts, including sophomore forward Cam Littig.
“With the new facility in Attleboro the hopes are that in the coming years, the roster will grow to include increasing depth to the program,” said Homer. “The goal of this years team is to stay healthy, work together as one unit on and off the ice, and get better each day. It’s a new day for Attleboro High School Hockey with a promising future.”
2015-16 Record: 18-4-5 (8-0-2)
2015-16 Finish: Won the Div. 1 State Championship
Head Coach: Chris Spillane
After being the first Hockomock League team selected for the prestigious Super 8 tournament in 2014-15 and then graduating 21 players, Franklin was supposed to need a year to rebuild, but the Panthers showed just how strong their program is by bringing home the Div. 1 state championship in a dramatic double overtime thriller against St. Mary’s at the TD Garden. It was the program’s first state title at any level since 1983.
The Panthers graduated another large class of 13 seniors from last year’s champions and lost promising freshman defenseman Kevin Mackay who transferred to Dexter. Still, expectations remain as high as ever for the Panthers, who have won four straight league titles. Much of that excitement comes from the potential in the offensive zone with Franklin returning last year’s title game hero Luke Downie, leading goal scorer Jeremy Miller, and Brendan O’Reilly and the top line of seniors Joey Blasie, Adam Assad, and James Kilroe. Sophomores Matt Holmes and Zach Falvey will add depth to the offense.
Defense is where the Panthers will have some new faces, although seniors Tom Sicchio and Stan Carter will add some experience to the back line. Juniors Jack McGrath and Connor Norton will make the jump up from the JV team to add to the defensive lines and freshman Collin Opet will also see playing time on the defense as well. For the third season in a row, Franklin will have a new No. 1 goalie with senior Cam Benhamand junior Owen Ginley will battle it out for the starting spot.
“For the Panthers to be successful this year it will be a result of a team defense concept,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “The offense will take care of itself, we will be focusing on strong play in our zone.”
2015-16 Record: 9-8-4 (5-2-3)
2015-16 Finish: Reached the Div. 1 South playoffs
Head Coach: Paul Carlow
The Warriors made strides last winter under first-year head coach Paul Carlow, including a regular season tie with Franklin and reaching the postseason for the first time since the program was moved back up to Div. 1. This season, Carlow is hopeful for a return to the postseason and to challenge for KP’s first league title since 2007, despite losing 10 seniors from last year’s roster.
The offensive zone should be strong for the Warriors this season with several key returning players that put up solid totals last winter. Junior forward Collin Cooke is the main weapon after putting up 11 goals and 15 assists for a team-high 26 points to be named a league all-star. He is joined up front by senior Ritchie Lucente, who scored 10 goals and had nine assists last year, and senior Jacob Kelly, who finished with 11 goals and nine assists.
KP will also return a few important pieces on the defensive side of the puck, including junior goalie Shane Frommer, who was 3-1-1 in his five starts last year. Frommer’s start to the hockey season will be slightly delayed after helping the football team win its first Super Bowl title. In front of the Frommer will be senior Jeremy Smith, who chipped in with three goals and four assists last season.
“We had some success last season qualifying for the D1 playoffs,” said Carlow. “We have our work cut out for us this season… We are a young team with only five seniors but I expect us to get back to the playoffs.”
2015-16 Record: 5-10-5 (4-4-2)
2015-16 Finish: Missed the playoffs
Head Coach: Mike Balzarini
Last winter was atypical for the Hornets, who missed out on the playoffs and finished fourth in the Kelley-Rex division, but Mansfield is hoping for a quick turnaround under new head coach Mike Balzarini, who makes the move from Milford. The Hornets have a number of returning players, including several from club or other school programs to bolster the depth.
One of the returning players is Joe Olsen, who spent last year with a juniors program but will be a significant addition to the Hornets top attacking line alongside fellow seniors Matt Farragher and Chad Piotti, who both had solid years in 2015-16. Junior Cullen Anastasia is another forward to come back to the program and could step right in to make an impact. Freshman Chris Jenkins is going to be the center on the third line and classmate James Bezeau will also see playing time this year.
On defense, the Hornets will be led by senior Cullen Murphy, a physical presence at the back and one of the leaders on the ice. Juniors Tim Arnold, Ryan O’Hara, and Tyler Oakley will also be important pieces on the top defensive pairings. Freshman Joseph Troiano will also be on the defense after he decided against attending Xaverian this year. The defense will be protecting senior goalies Brendan McKenna and Tony Rullo, who will each see time.
“We’re a lot deeper,” said Balzarini, who said that the Hornets would be carrying four lines and four sets of defensemen and is excited about the potential on the team. “It’s been good having two weeks to prepare. They have to get used to our new system and adhering to the structures that we’re putting in place.”
2015-16 Record: 10-10-1
2015-16 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Head Coach: Sean Bertoni
Oliver Ames will be looking to keep its postseason streak alive under new head coach Sean Bertoni – a former standout goalie for Franklin.
If the Tigers want to get back to the state tournament, they’ll need some help from their younger players; Oliver Ames has eight sophomores and four freshman on its roster this year. OA does have seven seniors and a group of experienced juniors that can help lead the way.
Owen Gallagher (26 points), who led the team in scoring a year ago, is back along with Eric LeBlanc (18 points), Cullen Gallagher (13 points) and Max Ward (12 points). Junior Rory Madden also returns this season after a year away; Madden registered 14 points his freshman year. Defensively, seniors Jack Maloney and Jared Costello bring a lot of experience to the blue line. Zach Walsh will be back between the pipes after a strong junior season.
“The goals of the team are to progress from Day one to the end of the year,” Bertoni said. “We have to use our team speed and forecheck extremely hard. We will be a disciplined, hard working aggressive team.”
2015-16 Record: 13-10-0 (3-7-0)
2015-16 Finish: Reached the Div. 2 South playoffs
Head Coach: Kris Metea
The Tigers got to experience what the state tournament is like last season for the first time since 2006-07 and only the second time in the past two decades. Taunton had the fourth most wins in a season in the 44-year history of the program and scored a remarkable 106 goals last season, which was the best in the Hock.
This year, Taunton will try to build on its historic season and make a quick return to the postseason. Leading scorer Tyler Pietrzyk has graduated but there is plenty of firepower returning for the Tigers this season, including senior forward Zack Albert who is coming off a 30-point campaign. He will be joined up from by classmate Jordan Hoey, who had 17 points last season and senior Cam Carnes, who had 10 points. Sophomore Cam Sneyd could be poised for a breakout year for the Tigers.
Defensively, Taunton can lean on three-time league all-star Nick Terry, who will man the top defensive pairing. Mike Volkmann may be listed as a defenseman on the roster but he can get forward into the attack with 29 points a season ago. Junior Cam Welby will be a new addition to the defense after playing juniors all of last season. Senior Justin Chappell returns in net.
“This year’s group of seniors are first class kids,” said head coach Kris Metea. “They exemplify leadership across the board…They had a chance to taste the tournament last year, and are focused on acquiring more than just a taste this time around.”
Today’s games are listed below.
Mansfield, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Cullen Gallagher (Owen Gallagher, Eric LeBlanc), Matt Mancini (PP – Brett Williams, Owen Gallagher), Jack Maloney (Jared Costello) and Max Ward scored for Oliver Ames.
Mansfield @ New Bedford, 7:00
Foxboro 45, @ Cohasset 17 – Final
Canton @ Oliver Ames, 8:00
Today’s games are listed below.
Franklin, 13 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Ryan Hohmann netted his first career hat trick and seniors Jake Downie and Alex Bissanti each scored a pair of goals. Tyler Oakes, Jack Chaffee, Sean Hedvig, Luke Downie and Jeremy Miller each scored once for the Panthers.
Oliver Ames, 6 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – OA senior Matt Mancini scored a hat trick and Max Ward, Jack Maloney and Connor Howe each scored once for the Tigers. Zach Walsh picked up his second shutout of the season in net.
Mansfield, 1 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – Matt Farragher scored a power play goal to put Mansfield up but Kyle McCarthy responded with a power play goal to even the game.
Taunton @ North Attleboro – Postponed to TBA
Milford @ Canton, 7:00 – Postponed to TBA
Foxboro, 30 @ Oliver Ames, 28 – Final
Franklin, 48 @ St. John’s Prep, 18 – Final
Mansfield @ King Philip, 7:00
Taunton @ North Attleboro – Postponed to TBA
Sharon, 39 @ Stoughton, 36 – Final
Attleboro, 100 @ Franklin, 53 – Final
Milford, 90 @ Oliver Ames, 80 – Final
Taunton vs. Coyle Cassidy, 4:00
Attleboro, 63 @ Franklin, 100 – Final
Milford, 98 @ Oliver Ames, 72 – Final
Taunton vs. Coyle Cassidy, 4:00
Sharon, 137.7 vs. Shrewsbury, 140.6 – Final
Sharon, 137.7 @ Algonquin, 136.3 – Final
Canton, 2 @ Hingham, 2 – Final
Franklin, 2 vs. Westwood, 3 – Final
King Philip, 1 vs. Medfield, 5 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ Cohasset/Hanover, 5 – Final
Today’s games are listed below.
Canton, 54 @ Archbishop Williams, 47 – Final – Sophomore Tony Harris had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds while seniors Mike Harris and Rishi Jambunathan each chipped in with 11 points.
Attleboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 6 – Final
Foxboro, 1 @ Norton, 0 – Final – Paul Vey scored the lone goal of the game in the second period for the Warriors.
Franklin, 4 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Sophomore Kenny Demerchant scored his first career goal while sophomore Brendan O’Reilly, junior Adam Assad and sophomore Jeremy Miller each scored once. Nick Jasinski had the shutout in net for the win.
King Philip, 6 @ Taunton, 4 – Final – Taunton held a 4-1 lead through two periods but King Philip scored five goals in the third period to get the win.
Oliver Ames, 7 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Eric LeBlanc scored a pair of goals, Jack Maloney and Matt Mancini each scored once and Korey Sweezy, Adam Healy and Cullen Gallagher each scored their first varsity goal in the game.
Foxboro, 43 @ Sharon, 30 – Final
Franklin, 48 @ Mansfield, 18 – Final
North Attleboro, 55 @ King Philip, 3 – Final
Milford, 41 @ Stoughton, 39 – Final
Attleboro, 45 @ Taunton, 49 – Final
Sharon, 99 @ Canton, 71 – Final
Franklin, 79 @ Milford, 80 – Final
Attleboro, 39 @ Taunton, 48 – Final
Sharon, 84 @ Canton, 86 – Final
Stoughton, 53 @ Milford, 116 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 6 @ King Philip, 3 – Final
Stoughton, 1 vs. Latin Academy, 3 – Final
By Josh Perry, Managing Editor
BROCKTON, Mass. – For the past four years, Oliver Ames has been the team that manages to steal a point or even two by turning to its goalie for a big performance. With Jimmy Tierney in goal, the Tigers could be outshot but still have the chance to win the game.
On Wednesday night at Asiaf Arena, OA got a taste of its own medicine.
The Tigers had a 42-18 advantage in shots against Dartmouth only for the Indians to pull out a 3-2 victory thanks to the heroics of senior goalie Tyler Martin, who made 40 saves including one on the doorstep with fewer than five seconds remaining.
Oliver Ames coach Mark Homer had a wry smile when asked how it felt to have a goalie do that to his team rather than the other way around. He said, “You talk to the coach before the game, one of the coaches it’s his son, and he says yeah he’s playing pretty well. Then he comes up big tonight.”
He added, “It happens and you get snakebitten sometimes. We put ourselves in position and it could have been a much different game.”
Eric LeBlanc got the Tigers on the board early in the first period. The sophomore forward finished off assists by Jared Costello and Cullen Gallagher. The lead lasted until 6:56 left in the period when Dartmouth got on the board through Tyler Serpa who followed up a shot by Colin Serpa and smacked in the rebound after Zach Walsh had made three straight saves.
The game stayed tied into the final minute of the first when Garrett Silvia won a face-off in the attacking zone for Dartmouth and then followed up a shot from the point to again score on a rebound and make it 2-1.
Homer said, “That was a big goal in the game. Our weak side forwards didn’t crash down and take care of business at the net.
“We stress that too. Every time there’s two minutes left in the period I’m up and down the bench saying third period rules, get pucks out, get pucks deep, you don’t want to give up any goals.”
The momentum swing at the end of the period did not carry over to the second. OA outshot Dartmouth 14-5 in the period and had three good chances inside the opening two minutes that martin was able to keep out, in particular a glove save that robbed Collin Bourne after a great pass by Ben Litwack.
Two minutes later and the Indians doubled the lead. A quick transition caught the OA defense flat-footed with Scott Shorrock finding space on the left wing and he sped past the last defensemen for a breakaway and just snuck the puck under the pad of Walsh for a 3-1 advantage.
The third period fell into a similar pattern with Oliver Ames pressing for a goal to get back into the game and Dartmouth trying to sneak players behind the defense and catch the Tigers in transition with quick outlets.
With just under five minutes left in the game, Martin pulled off a ridiculous glove save to bat aside a chance by Matt Mancini from the edge of the crease. The goalie was prone after making two blocks but somehow managed to get his arm up to knock the shot to the corner.
Seconds later, Mancini got his revenge on a breakaway. He deked and dragged the puck to the fore hand before sliding it through the five hole to make it 3-2 and give the Tigers hope of snatching a point.
“We’ve got eight freshmen on the squad…so I told the veteran guys that they have to step up,” said Homer. “He did everything that he could other than pushing that final goal across.”
The Tigers kept pushing and Martin kept denying them. Junior defenseman Jack Maloney had a pair of blasts stopped with no rebound and with the final seconds winding down OA had one last chance from close range on a rebound but again Martin found a way to get a shoulder on it and keep the puck out of the net.
“I thought we had a lot of opportunities, but a lot of it was scrappy,” said Homer. “There weren’t a lot of clean plays coming out of our end and we ended up playing a scrappier game.”
Some of the scrappy play can be attributed to having such a young roster and also having only played two games this season and coming off an 11-day break. The Tigers will get another week before game three, when they host King Philip in a non-league meeting.
“You wish that you could win a game like that,” said Homer, “but then you sit back and think how did the game go? I think there’s a lot of potential.”
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.