Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Catherine Luciano, Mansfield/OA/Foxboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Kendra Farrelly, Canton
Lauren Fitzpatrick, Canton
Colleen Kelleher, Canton
Maggie Malloy, Canton
Leah McLellan, Canton
Jackie Connelly, Franklin
Regan Paterson, Franklin
Natalie Stott, Franklin
Nicole Connor, King Philip
Jessica Daniels, King Philip
Meghan Gorman, King Philip
Olivia McCarthy, King Philip
Catherine Luciano, Mansfield/OA/Foxboro
Isabelle Shanteler, Mansfield/OA/Foxboro
Melissa Shanteler, Mansfield/OA/Foxboro
Julia Russell, Stoughton
Sarah Widrow, Stoughton
FRANKLIN, Mass. – When Franklin and King Philip met in Foxboro back in January, it took almost the full 45 minutes for someone to find a breakthrough, so when the teams met again on Wednesday night at Pirelli Veterans Arena the expectation was for another close, tight, low-scoring game and that was exactly what happened.
Alli Meehan gave the Warriors the lead with 11 minutes remaining but freshman Victoria Quinn answered back for Franklin with a breakaway in the final minute and the teams skated away with a 1-1 tie. The point was enough to seal KP’s place in the state tournament.
“After tonight we have three games left,” KP coach Jack Unger said, “so it was nice to get that point put away now and focus on playing good hockey and getting ready for the tournament.”
It was senior night for the Panthers, who honored their five seniors prior to the puck drop, but it ended up being a pair of freshmen, goalie Natalie Stott (17 saves) and winger Quinn who helped secure the point.
“Freshman goalie saving the day at one end and a freshman stepping up and scoring that goal at the end,” said Franklin coach Margie Burke. “Victoria’s played well all year. The last few games she’s really stepped up.”
Franklin started the game on the front foot and controlled the puck in the offensive zone for long stretches of the first period, although the Panthers struggled to get the puck on goal. The first good chance fell to sophomore Jordan Dwyer after good work down the right wing by Quinn but KP goalie Lilly Potts (22 saves) kicked the shot aside.
Quinn was a menace right from the opening face-off and she managed to split a pair of defensemen on a 1-on-2 attack and forced Potts to make a save on a backhand shot. KP had six shots but the only real test for Stott in the first was a late blast from the point by Nicole Connor that was saved in traffic.
There was no break between periods and Franklin seemed to be energized by getting right back on the ice, recording nine shots in the second and creating several good scoring opportunities.
Meghan Gorman had the period’s first shot on a quick break out and forced Stott into a pad save, but three minutes later Regan Paterson nearly knocked in a loose puck but for a scrambling save by Potts who ended up prone on the ice facing her goal.
With nine minutes left in the second, Paterson opened up space for Jackie Connelly to get a shooting lane as she raced down the channel inside the left circle but the shot was kicked away and two rebounds blocked in front. Seconds later the same combo opened up another scoring chance but this time Potts was able to block aside a Connelly shot that looked destined for the corner.
KP forced a save out of Stott in the final minute. Connor skated from left to right outside the blue line and took a hopeful shot that knuckled and bounced right in front of the goal. Stott turned into an infielder as she took a bad hop off her shoulder to keep the game scoreless.
“Their goalie played great, our goalie played great,” said Burke. “Last time we played these guys it was 0-0 right up until the final minute of the game, so we knew it was going to be this kind of a game.”
KP came out of the second intermission stronger and had a few early chances, as Franklin took a few minutes to get back going again.
“That’s why we only cut the ice once now because I feel like we come out a little flat after we take that break,” Burke explained. “I warned them about coming out flat for the third and they didn’t come out flat but they didn’t come out the way they had left the second.”
While the Warriors started well in the third, Franklin very nearly took the lead when Paterson had a shot that was arrowing into the top corner blocked just over the bar by Potts. Mere seconds later, KP took the lead.
Unger said, “Lily Potts played great. That save with about five minutes left, it was an open net and she just stuck her glove out and saved it. That was phenomenal. It was a big turnaround.”
A breakout of the defensive zone got KP a 2-on-1 break. Meehan skated down the right side and was able to saucer a puck over to Gorman on the left, who took only one touch to knock the puck right back across goal to Meehan and the junior tipped it up over Stott and just under the bar for the go-ahead score.
“Unselfish,” said Unger. “Meghan could’ve taken the shot but she chose to pass it back and it was a beautiful tip in. It was great.”
Potts made a big save with four minutes left to deny Libby Carter, following another Quinn set up, but with a minute left to play Franklin got a breakaway. Quinn had a deft touch to tip the puck past an onrushing defenseman in the neutral zone and took her time to bury a wrister into the top corner.
“That was a beautiful goal they got,” Burke said, “and we just kept pressing and even after Victoria tied it up I told them if you get it down there I want you pressing. We weren’t playing for the tie, but we’re happy with the tie.”
The game was typical for the first Hockomock League season in which every game seems to come down to the wire.
“Every game in the league has been [close]. Low scoring games…the league play has been really tight,” said Burke.
Unger added, “The teams that are playing well in the Hock, it’s a one-goal differential. A bounce off a skate here or there, a turnover, makes the difference in the game. One little mistake is all it takes.”
Franklin (12-3-4, 2-2-3) will close out the regular season against Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake next Wednesday. King Philip (9-6-2, 4-2-1) will close out league play on Saturday against Mansfield/Oliver Ames in Foxboro.
CANTON, Mass. – With two of the top defensive units in Canton and Franklin going head to head, goal scoring chances were going to be at a premium.
Franklin sophomore Jordan Dwyer took advantage of her chance, scoring the only goal of the game a minute into the final period to give the Panthers a 1-0 upset over Canton.
While Dwyer provided the lone tally of the game, it was Franklin freshman goalie Natalie Stott (35 saves) that put the Panthers in position to get the win.
“She made the difference,” said Franklin head coach Margie Burke of Stott. “Anytime its a one-goal game, you have to give it to the goalie. She gave us the opportunity to put one puck in the net. And it wasn’t until the third period. If [Canton] gets a couple goals early on, then we don’t even have that chance. She played great.”
Stott turned away seven Bulldog shots in the first period, blanked Canton on 17 chances in the second period, and completed the shutout with 15 saves in the final frame, including five stops while trying to kill a penalty.
“She’s terrific,” said Canton head coach Dennis Aldrich of Stott. “We had 17 shots in the second period alone. She’s in such control, her body control is so good and her focus…Maybe a couple of times we didn’t get the crowd out in front that we wanted to and if [Stott] can see it, she can stop it.”
After two scoreless periods, Dwyer broke the stalemate 61 seconds into the third. Off an attacking zone face-off, Dwyer slipped in behind after winning the face-off forward and was able to jump on the loose puck and find the back of the net.
“That’s a faceoff that we practiced but very rarely has worked in a game,” Burke said. “The wing got tangled so Jordan was able to slip right in and finish, it was great.”
The Panthers nearly had an ideal start when freshman Victoria Quinn batted in a loose puck 20 seconds into the game, but one of her teammates had been knocked into the crease and put Canton goalie Colleen Kelleher out of position. The ref waved the goal off due to interference.
Canton had its best chance of the first when junior Lauren Fitzpatrick broke out of her own zone and into the attacking end, finding Lizzie Tassinari with a pass, but Franklin defenseman Jillian McLaughlin was perfectly positioned to disrupt the 2-on-1 chance.
“Everyone stepped up and played well tonight, Burke said. Franklin was without Regan Paterson, one of the team’s top scorers. Burke complimented her team for the ability to adjust. “From beginning to end, I would say that was our best effort all year, all areas of the ice.”
The Dogs continued to pressure Stott in the second period, peppering the goal with 17 shots on target but the freshman didn’t flinch. With nine minutes left, Katie Trerice found Kendra Farrelly in front but Stott denied her with a kick save.
Thirty seconds later, Franklin had a bid when Quinn came off the bench for a line change and had a partial breakaway chance, but Kelleher cut the angle down and Quinn’s bid went just wide.
It looked like Canton was going to take the lead at the midway point of the period but once again, Stott came up big. Freshman Maria Femia found senior Andrea McNeil out front but Stott made a stop on her high shot. Just seconds later, the puck popped free in front and McNeil had another bid but Stoff made a tremendous save to rob Canton of the opening goal.
Fitzpatrick danced her way through three Panthers and fired a wrist shot but Stott made the save and prevented the puck from cross underneath with five minutes to go in the second. On the other end, Franklin’s Jackie Connelly forced Kelleher into a tough save, and the senior made an athletic play to cover the loose puck up.
“We’ve done this a lot this year,” Aldrich said of outshooting Franklin 35-10. “We do a lot well but we can’t seem to get it in enough. A lot of the teams we play kind of crowd the front of the net, so you try to spread them out using the defense. And we’ve practiced it a lot. At this point, I don’t know if the scoring is a mental thing because we’re certainly keeping it out of our net.
“It’s hard to talk to the team and tell them they played really well but didn’t come out on top.”
Franklin girls hockey (2-2-2 Hockomock, 11-3-3- overall) is back in action on Saturday when it travels to Gardner Veterans Arena to take on Leominster. Canton (5-1-0, 10-2-3) will try to bounce back on Saturday when it takes on Mansfield/Oliver Ames in a key league contest.
Attleboro, 9 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Attleboro senior Eddie Noel scored twice, including his first career goal while senior Jake Parker netted a hat trick in the win. Kyle McCabe added a pair of goals for Big Blue.
Foxboro, 2 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Mansfield raced out to a 3-0 lead but had to hold off a late surge from Foxboro to earn two points. Junior Chris Copponi scored a pair of goals, including an empty net goal late in the third period to secure the win. Patrick McCafferty (from Cullin Anastasia) and Adam Anastos (from Dylan Tivnan) also scored for the Hornets. Foxboro’s Brendan Tully and Ronnie MacLellan each scored once for the Warriors.
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 8 – Final – Taunton limited Franklin to just one goal through two periods, but the Panthers exploded for seven goals in the final 15 minutes. Joey Lizotte, Cam Trask, and Luke Downie each scored a pair of goals to lead Franklin.
North Attleboro, 3 @ King Philip, 5 – Final
Canton, 1 vs. Medfield/Norton, 1 – Final – Lauren Fitzpatrick scored the lone goal for the Bulldogs, who remain unbeaten on the season.
Franklin, 8 vs. Dedham, 0 – Final – Senior Jackie Connelly had a hat trick and freshman Natalie Stott recorded another shutout for the Panthers in a big non-league win. Regan Paterson chipped in with a pair of goals, while Amanda Lewandowski, Jordan Dwyer, and Victoria Quinn each scored once.
King Philip, 3 vs. Medway/Ashland, 2 – Final – Nicole Connor scored a power-play goal inside the final five minutes to lift the Warriors to the victory. Meghan Gorman scored a pair of goals for KP in the win.
Canton, 27 @ Sharon, 40 – Final – Sam Vilk, Will Stern, Matt Callan, and Alex Bolt each earned pins for the Eagles in the win.
Stoughton, 13 @ Foxboro, 58 – Final
Franklin, 46 @ Oliver Ames, 12 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Anthony Berksza and Dean Pacini each earned wins for the Tigers in the loss.
King Philip @ Taunton, 7:00
Mansfield, 43 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 12 – Final
North Attleboro @ Milford – Postponed to Thursday, 1/18 at 7:00.
King Philip, 55 @ Taunton, 39 – Final
Sharon @ Milford – Postponed to Thursday, 1/18 at 4:00.
King Philip, 56 @ Taunton, 38 – Final
Sharon @ Milford – Postponed to Thursday, 1/18 at 4:00.
Milford, 59 vs. Hopedale, 26 – Final
Canton, 1 @ Newburyport, 1 – Final – Canton junior Ryan Nolte scored in the first period to give the Bulldogs the lead but Newburyport scored a late equalizer in the third period to give each team a point.
North Attleboro, 4 vs. Milton, 1 – Final – Drew Wissler scored a pair of goals and junior Jake Ebert scored his first goal of the season to help Big Red take down Milton. Jason McNeany also scored for the Rocketeers in the win.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Walpole, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames junior Adam Lyons scored once and the Tigers hit the post twice but suffered a setback against the Rebels. Sophomore goalie Owen Connor had a strong game in net with 23 saves.
Taunton, 8 @ Somerset-Berkley, 0 – Final
Franklin, 1 @ Brookline/Newton South, 0 – Final – Franklin senior Jackie Connelly scored the only goal of the game to help the Panthers earn a win on the road.
King Philip, 1 @ Medfield, 1 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 2 @ Medway/Ashland, 2 – Final
Canton @ North Attleboro, 4:30
Mansfield, 95 @ Foxboro, 62 – Final – 200 Med Relay – Matt Weiner, Jared Gabrilowitz, Sebastian Gwynne, Aden Schwartz (Mans) 1:53; Ben Dorman, Thomas Perry, Johnmichael Boucher, Dan Egan (Fox) 2:05; David Piccirilli Anthony Teebagy, Andrew Oppenheim, Mike Peel (Mans) 2:11. 200 Free – Matt Weiner (Mans) 2:16; Matt Whalen (Mans) 2:25; Michael Deasy (Mans) 2:43. 200 IM – Aden Schwartz (Mans) 2:32; Johnmichael Boucher (Fox) 2:37; Mike Peel (Mans) 2:38. 50 Free – Sebastian Gwynne (Mans) 24.59; Jared Gabrilowitz (Mans) 24.56; Dan Egan (Fox) 25.03. 100 Fly – Aden Schwartz (Mans) 1:11.63; Andrew Oppenheim (Mans) 1:11.69; Anthony Quartarone (Fox) 1:34; 100 Free – Dan Egan (Fox) 59.87; Mike Peel (Mans) 1:03; David Piccirilli (Mans) 1:08; 500 Free – Andrew Oppenheim (Mans) 6:20; Matt Whalen (Mans) 6:51; Thomas Perry (Fox) 6:52. 200 Free Relay – Johnmichael Boucher, Dimitri Davis, Thomas Perry, Dan Egan (Fox) 1:52; Andrew Oppenheim, Matt Whalen, Will Anderson, Mike Peel (Mans) 1:56; Michael Deasy, Thomas Hermendinger, Jason Haugen, Curtis Regan (Mans) 2:05. 100 Back – Sebastian Gwynne (Mans) 1:00; Matt Weiner (Mans) 1:10; David Piccirilli (Mans) 1:16. 100 Breaststroke – Johnmichael Boucher (Fox) 1:18; Kristian Andersen (Fox) 1:27; Dimitri Davis (Fox) 1:31. 400 Free Relay – Dimitri Davis, Jared Roke, Ben Dorman, Anir Gubbala (Fox) 5:09.
King Philip, 127.0 @ Attleboro, 130.0 – Final
Franklin, 130.65 @ Canton, 105.50 – Final – Franklin senior Liz Traphagen won the All Around with a score of 34.7 while junior Sadie Rondeau was second, scoring an 8.5 on beam and 8.0 on floor. Mia Lizotte scored an 8.90 on vault and a 9.1 on floor, senior Molly Stanton’s score on beam, junior Rachel Cyr’s vault score, freshman Katelyn Guidi score on bars, and freshman Lexi Lupien’s scores on vault, beam and, floor all counted towards the Panthers’ win.
Sharon @ Mansfield, 12:30
Oliver Ames, 139.2 @ Taunton, 119.95 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Hannah Moynihan took first place in the All-Around with an impressive 36.15 to help the Tigers improve to 5-0. Moynihan scored a 9.1 on vault, 9.2 on bars, and 9.0 on the floor. Junior Gianna Martucci placed second with a 34.95 all around. Sophomore Lauren Picanzi contributed a 9.1 on bars. Other contributors for OA included senior Charis MacCuish, sophomore Tina O’Neill, and freshmen Ashlyn Latham and Kiara Nagle.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – It was becoming a frustrating night for the visitors. Canton held a 15-1 edge in shots on goal during the second period against Franklin in Wednesday afternoon’s Hockomock League tilt at Pirelli Veterans Arena, but went into the second intermission locked in a scoreless tie.
Buoyed by the experience of having been in tough, close games many times before, the Bulldogs stuck with their game plan. Kendra Farrelly scored with the first shot on goal of the third period and Maggie Malloy added a second with two minutes left to secure a 2-0 victory and a two-point lead in the league standings.
“It really doesn’t bother us that much because we’ve been in so many of those late games,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich. “All through the playoffs there were late goals and we just never feel like we’re out of it. If we don’t win, we just feel like we ran out of time.
“We feel confident enough in what we do that we’re just going to stick to it.”
Thirty seconds into the third, Leah McClellan fired a shot from the point that was deflected by skates right in front of Franklin freshman goalie Natalie Stott (30 saves) and onto the stick of Farrelly (goal and an assist) at the back post for a tap in.
Canton nearly doubled its lead a few minutes later, but Stott stood tall to stuff fellow freshman Ellie Rae Roberts’ breakaway opportunity.
With just under three minutes to play, Franklin had a chance to tie the game with a shorthanded break by sophomore Jordan Dwyer, but her shot under pressure from Alexa Maffeo was knocked aside by Canton’s senior goalie Colleen Kelleher (19 saves).
The Bulldogs put the game away just 30 seconds later. Malloy (goal and assist) skated free into the slot, opened her body to get a forehand shot off, and put her wrister just under the bar for a 2-0 lead with 2:14 to play.
“They’re more experienced and they’re going to take advantage when we make a little mistake,” said Franklin coach Margi Burke. “We knew this was going to be really tough competition and we hung with them for two periods.”
It took a full period for the Bulldogs to get going, as Franklin came storming out of the locker room and took control of the play in the opening period, finishing with a 13-8 edge in shots. Regan Paterson had the first chance with a couple of shots from close range and had another chance when she stole the puck on the back-check and skated the length of the ice to force Kelleher into a save.
With 50 seconds left in the first, Franklin nearly took the lead. Gianna Cameron had a shot from the point saved by Kelleher, who then recovered quickly to make a pad stop on Jackie Connelly’s rebound effort on the post.
“We expected that,” said Aldrich of Franklin’s strong start. “Colleen had to make a real big, right-pad save or that was a sure goal and who knows where we would’ve been if she doesn’t make that.”
Stott also had to make big stops to keep Canton off the board in the first, particularly a great pad save on freshman Lizzie Tassinari after Malloy teed her up in the slot and a save on Farrelly seconds before the horn.
Those saves were just a prelude to the Stott’s performance in the second period, as she stopped a barrage of shots from the Bulldogs and kept Franklin in the game after 30 minutes.
Lauren Fitzpatrick had an effort cutting in from the left wing stuffed by the rookie netminder, who then stopped a blast from the point by Katie Trerice and the rebound effort by Marissa Devane. Meg Aldrich also had a shot from the point through traffic that forced a blocker save by the unsighted Stott.
“She doesn’t look like a freshman out there,” said Burke of Stott. “She’s a great kid and she’s doing a great job. It could’ve been so much more than 2-0, she kept us in the game especially in the second period.”
Canton grabbed the momentum after the second period and never looked back, which Aldrich explained is part of the game plan for the Bulldogs.
He said, “We pride ourselves on getting stronger as the game goes on and I think that showed. I think we wore them down a little bit, but we fully expected to come in here and have them throw haymakers right away.”
While praising the play of Stott, Aldrich admitted that he is also experimenting with the lines to try and boost the Bulldogs’ offensive output. “We’re still trying to find chemistry,” he said.
Despite the loss, Burke is pleased with the performance of her young team and the strong start that the Panthers have made to the season.
“Their effort was there the whole time and we can’t ask a lot more than that and we talked about simple hockey,’” she said. “The big things we were doing right, but it’s the little things that can make a difference in a game like this.”
Burke added, “We’ve had a great start to the season and they’re working hard. We get another shot at [Canton] too, which we haven’t had before since they weren’t in our league.”
Canton (4-0-2, 2-0-0) will look to continue its unbeaten start to the season when it hosts Mansfield/Oliver Ames on Saturday. Franklin (4-1-2, 0-1-2) will try to bounce back quickly when it travels to Stoughton on Saturday afternoon.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Hockomock League history was made on Saturday afternoon at Pirelli Veterans Arena, when Franklin hosted Mansfield/Oliver Ames (MOA) in the first girls’ hockey game to be played under the league’s banner.
Previously, girls’ hockey teams had been part of the Southeastern Mass Girls Hockey League (SEMGHL), but now the Hockomock had expanded enough to have its own competition, although, as Franklin coach Margie Burke explained, her young Panthers squad was more concerned with the start of a new season rather than a new league.
“There wasn’t a lot of focus on that to be honest,” Burke said. “Again, a young team, a lot of them don’t know the history. To them, they just assumed it was the Hock because that’s what the school is in.”
Amanda Lewandowski scored the historic first league goal and Franklin led 2-0 until late in the game, but the Warriors scored twice in the final 7:27 of the game to come from behind and ensure that both teams went home with their first Hockomock League point.
“It was a great comeback,” said MOA coach Mike Dalton. “The girls showed a lot of heart in the third period. We shouldn’t get down like that in a hole, but we dug ourselves out.”
Franklin took the lead a little more than two minutes into the game. On the power play, junior Regan Paterson swung the puck around to Jackie Connelly, who fired a shot towards the far post. Lewandowski was on hand at the back post to redirect the shot into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
MOA had its chances in the period with Mackenzie Fraser creating a scoring chance after shrugging off two defenders on the far boards, but Franklin freshman goalie Natalie Stott made the stop. Two minutes later, Stott (30 saves) came up big again, this time making a series of three close-range saves to deny a tying goal.
“She played great,” said Burke of the rookie netminder. “It’s her first high school game and you can’t ask much more than that.”
Franklin doubled the lead with 3:47 left in the first. Connelly again got the assist when she played the puck up the boards out of her defensive zone. The puck skipped past an MOA defenseman and Paterson was first to it, racing three quarter of the rink before planting her wrister top shelf.
Paterson had another opportunity early in the second but after dragging the puck past the defense her shot was gloved by MOA goalie Cate Gallagher.
The Warriors had their share of chances to cut into the lead, holding a 24-12 advantage in shots after the second (32-19 for the game), but Stott continued to make big saves. Lindsey Corning had her shot from the slot kicked aside by a quick right pad, then Stott showed quick reflexes to stop a deflected drive from the point by Melissa Shanteler.
In the final seconds of the period, Catherine Luciano split the Franklin defense with an outlet pass to Kristina O’Connell for a breakaway, but Stott went full split to block the shot at the far post. Dalton admitted that the Warriors were getting frustrated heading into the third.
“We had a lot of shots and quite a few chances,” he said. “I tell the girls that we need to relax and it will come because after the second period they were hitting their heads against the wall and trying to figure out what to do.”
The hosts started the third strongly and nearly put the game away. Gallagher made a series of saves in the first few minutes, including several off shots from the point by Gianna Cameron, to keep the Warriors alive.
MOA finally found a way through with 7:22 to play. O’Connell got another chance on a breakaway and she picked out the top corner high on the glove side to cut the lead to 2-1.
Dalton said, “First line played well but I think the second line played even better. Kayla Dalton, Kristina O’Connell and Ella Waryas played their best game that I’ve seen them play.”
With two minutes to play, MOA pressure paid off and tied the game. After a scramble in the crease, in which Stott made two close-range saves, the puck squirted out to the far post where Denae Reager was on hand to punch it in.
Franklin had an opportunity on the power play for the final 1:22 and Burke used a timeout to ensure that her young team would be careful and earn a season-opening point.
“They had two really great scoring opportunities where they scored and that’s what happens,” said Burke about the third period. “It just comes down to being a young team and playing a full game. There were a few spurts where they were a little maybe lax, tired, nerves, young, inexperienced, all of those things. I’m happy with this game; it’s a good start for us.”
When asked what it meant to his team to be playing in the first Hockomock League game, Dalton said, “They were excited. We stepped it up a little for the day. The Hockomock League will be a tough league and we should compete well with everybody.”
He added, “A lot of games like that will be fun to watch.”
Franklin (0-0-1) will travel to the New England Sports Center in Marlboro to face Medway/Ashland on Monday, while Mansfield/Oliver Ames (1-0-1) will head to the Jim Roche Arena in West Roxbury to face Ursuline Academy.
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.”