The 2016 Hockomock Hockey All Stars & HMs

Below are the official Hockomock League Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Mark Sheehan, Stoughton

Hockomock League All Stars

PJ Elliott, Attleboro
Matt Lazaro, Canton
Jackson Maffeo, Canton
Justin Slocum, Canton
Bobby Mullaney, Canton
Aidan Sullivan, Foxboro
Tyler Oakes, Franklin
Nick Jasinski, Franklin
Jake Downie, Franklin
Jack Chaffee, Franklin
Clay Geuss, King Philip
Collin Cooke, King Philip
Evan Remmes, King Philip
Anthony Visconti, Mansfield
Michael Arnold, Mansfield
Brian Ireland, Milford
Andrew Casson, North Attleboro
Zach McGowan, North Attleboro
Matt Mancini, Oliver Ames
Jared Costello, Oliver Ames
Mark Sheehan, Stoughton
Nick Terry, Taunton
Tyler Pietrzyk, Taunton

Honorable Mentions

Jake Parker, Attleboro
Jim Jenkins, Canton
Jeremy Miller, Franklin
Kyle McCarthy, King Philip
Matthew Chirichello, Mansfield
Jonathan Chase, Milford
Paul Baker, North Attleboro
Owen Gallagher, Oliver Ames
Eoin Doherty, Stoughton
Michael Volkmann, Taunton

Family Connection Leads to Franklin Title

Luke Downie
Cousins Luke (left) and Jake combined on the state title game winning goal. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry

BOSTON, Mass. – In 1983, Franklin went into overtime in the Div. 2 state championship game against Falmouth at the old Boston Garden. Ken Assad, now an assistant coach for the Panthers, broke free on a 2-on-1. He passed to his brother Brian, whose shot was spilled back into the path of Ken for the game-winning, and title-winning, goal.

On Sunday night, the Panthers went into double overtime at the TD Garden against St. Mary’s (Lynn) in search of a second state title and first since that magical night 32 years ago. Once again, it was a family connection that secured the trophy.

Senior Jake Downie received a cross-ice pass from Tyler Oakes and gained the zone. As he skated towards the lefthand circle, he spotted his sophomore cousin Luke racing up behind him and dropped a pass into his path.

“I came down and saw Luke coming up behind me, dropped it back and I just saw him rip it and I knew it was going in,” said Jake in the press room after the game.

Luke added, “He dropped it to me and I looked at the net and I slid it five-hole.” The puck took a slight deflection and beat the St. Mary’s goalie to the blocker side, squeezing between the pad and his stick.

The shot clinched a 4-3 victory in an instant classic and won the program its second state championship and first in Div. 3. This was especially impressive considering the Panthers have only spent three years in the top division and graduated 21 players from last year’s Super 8 qualifiers.

The team had played with a chip on its shoulder all year, living up the program’s high standards while most observers called it a rebuilding season.

“We had a lot more to work for since no one expected us to be doing this,” Jake explained. “So it was really nice to be proving people wrong and working towards that.”

Midway through the season, head coach Chris Spillane (a member of the 1983 team along with Luke’s and Jake’s uncle Jamie Downie) made changes to the lines to try and find more scoring. He moved Jake onto the line with Luke and Joe Blasie, who had been paired together last season on JV. The move paid instant dividends.

“We played one game on the same line and we scored three goals,” Luke said. “The three of us had instant chemistry. [Jake] always works well on the wall and gets it to me.”

Jake added, “It’s really cool, especially being on the same line. It’s just fun being out there with my cousin, growing up together and then now playing together on the same line.”

“He’s two years younger than me so this is actually the first year we’ve played a real league together.”

As the season progressed, the second line started to click and as the playoffs began Luke was one of the Panthers top scorers and a player that seemed to be coming through with important goals every game. It was no surprise to Spillane that Luke popped up as the hero on Sunday.

He explained, “We said tonight in the locker room…someone in this room is going to be a hero, who wants to be that hero tonight? Midseason [Luke] just turned it on and it’s great to see him be that hero.”

Following the goal, the players began a raucous celebration with Luke, who was also celebrating his 16th birthday, flying into the near side boards right in front of the Franklin faithful.

He explained, “I tried to make a celebration but one of my teammates got in my way, so I couldn’t really pull it off, but I jumped right on the glass and was very excited about that goal.”

“Best birthday present you could ask for,” Luke added, already thinking about the learner’s permit test he was scheduled to take on Monday.

Luke promised that he would be holding that goal over his cousin for a long time and over his brother Nick, who graduated last season.

When Jake was asked about how excited he was to see his cousin become the hero, he replied with a laugh and a smile, “It’s good…wish it was me.”

Ken and Brian Assad have gone down in the folklore of Franklin hockey for the championship they won and they will now be joined by another pair of relatives, as Luke and Jake Downie turned a second family connection into a second state title.

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

Franklin Wins First D1 State Championship in 2OT

Franklin hockey
Franklin hockey celebrates its first ever D1 State Championship. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BOSTON, Mass. – A Cinderella run from the Franklin Panthers ended with a true storybook ending.

Sophomore Luke Downie, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Sunday, scored on a wrist shot six minutes into the second overtime to give Franklin a 4-3 win over St. Mary’s Lynn and the program its first MIAA Division 1 State Championship.

Senior Tyler Oakes connected on a pass from his own zone to senior and Jake Downie (Luke’s cousin) along the boards in the neutral, who then dropped the puck back to Luke after crossing the blue line. Luke fired a wrist shot that deflected off the the leg of a St. Mary’s defenseman and found its way over the goalie’s pad short side for the game winner.

“This is awesome,” Luke Downie said postgame. “This is the best birthday present you could ask for.”

Franklin – who had been shutout three straight years in the D2 State Final from 2011-2013 —got off to an ideal start with a pair of first period goals and took that same lead into the final period. But two goals in the first five minutes of the final period from St. Mary’s knotted the game 3-3.

The final 10 minutes remained scoreless, sending the game into a sudden death overtime period. Neither team could find the back of the net in that period either, sending the teams to the locker room for the ice to be cleaned for a second overtime period.

With exactly nine minutes to go in the second overtime period, Downie scored the game winner.

“I think that the problem was we were playing in the wrong division the other times,” Franklin head coach Chris Spillane joked. Franklin moved up to Division 1 at the start of the 2013 season. “This has just been one of those Cinderella years. To follow up last year with a new crop of kids and have them commit to something from day one, and to see them enjoy this success, that’s what high school sports are all about.”

Senior captain and defenseman Joe Corsi scored just his third goal of the season to give Franklin the lead midway through the first period. Sophomore Brendan O’Rielly relayed a perfect outlet pass to senior Sean Hedvig in alone on goal but St. Mary’s goalie Andrew LoRusso got a pad to it.

The puck bounced around and as a St. Mary’s defenseman tried to chip it out, Corsi had pinched in and jumped off the ice to grab the puck, put it on the ice and fired it into the back of the net with 8:26 left in the first period.

“They tried to chip it out and I caught it and just put it down,” Corsi said. “Coach always tells me to roll my wrist and I had to roll it on that one. It was just surreal. I haven’t scored a goal like that before.

“This a dream come true. No one believed we could do this at the beginning of the year, except us, all the guys in the locker room. Each in every day we grinding it out, it’s just a dream.”

Just three minutes later, Franklin doubled its lead. Senior Matt Pleshaw fired a wrist shot from inside the blue line that was blocked down. Before LoRusso could smother the puck, junior Joey Blasie poked it in to make it 2-0 with 5:14 left in the period.


Video courtesy of Gavin Mealey

The Spartans cut the deficit in half just 11 seconds into the second period when Eric Pedro knocked in rebound of shot by Dante Maribito.

But Franklin had an answer just minutes later as Alec Gilliatt found sophomore Jeremy Miller behind the net. Miller skated around and found a perfect passing lane between the post and a defenseman to feed freshman Kevin Mackay. Mackay took a step in and sniped one top shelf to make it 3-1 with just over 12 minutes to play in the second period.

Franklin took a 3-1 lead into the final period but once again St. Mary’s found early period success. Less than a minute in, Conor Foley batted in rebound for powerplay goal to make it 3-2. Just three minutes later, Maribito found the back of the net for his third point of the net to tie the game 3-3.

“Huge momentum swings,” Spillane said. “They started to carry the play and their offensive kids started to open up the ice. Nick did a great job making the saves he needed to make. We talked about team defense, keeping them high on the forecheck and the defensive guys winning the battles and chipping the puck out.

“That was a great hockey team we played tonight, it was back and forth and both teams had chances to win. I’m proud of my kids, they responded.”

The Panthers nearly had the winner at the end of the third period but LoRusso went post to post to deny Jake Downie with 1:11 to go.

Neither side produced a clear scoring chance in the 12 minute overtime period but Franklin goalie Nick Jasinski came up with a huge kick save off a redirection in the opening minutes of the second overtime. Just two minutes later, the Panthers had the game winner.

Like it has been all season, the Panthers got contributions from all three lines — and four different goal scorers.

“Four different goal scorers and that’s kind of been the key to our success,” Spillane said. “You can’t really one focus on that one player. I said in the locker room after overtime, someone in this room is going to be a hero. Who wants to be that hero tonight? Luke’s been playing great hockey for us, midseason he just turned it on. As a sophomore it’s great to see him be that hero. Also, Kevin Mackay scored his first high school goal tonight. That’s quite a team to score your first goal of the year. That’s the type of team we are. There are no one or two superstars, it’s 22 kids out there having the same belief, working hard and just grinding it out.”

“To win championships, you have to have depth and that’s what we have,” Corsi added. “Everyone believed and look at where we are now.”
The Panthers were somewhat of an unknown coming into season after graduating 21 seniors from a squad that made a historic run to the Super 8 last season. Now this year’s team has created its own place in history.

“I think it gives us a little validity as a program that we can do that, anytime you graduate that many seniors it’s a challenge,” Spillane said. “It just tells us what our junior varsity and youth programs are like. We have a lot of kids that want to wear that jersey and they’re going to wait around until they get that opportunity. We have 13 seniors this year and very few of them skated last year, if any. They waited four years to put that jersey on and they made the most of it.

“It feels good but it’s not about the coaching staff. Yeah we’re excited but it’s about seeing the faces on these kids in that locker room, how excited they are and how committed they were to win the hockey game. I know a lot of people said it’s a rebuilding year but I guess they thought different.”

Franklin hockey finished the season with an 18-4-5 record.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Franklin Edges Walpole To Advance To D1 South Semis

Franklin hockey
(Ryan Lanigan/Photo)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
FRANKLIN, Mass. – The biggest difference between Franklin and Walpole might not have even been something that happened on the ice on Saturday night.
Instead, one extra day of rest might have been enough to push Franklin to a 1-0 win over the Rebels and into the D1 South Semifinal. Franklin beat Wellesley on Wednesday night and Walpole picked up a shootout win over Archies on Thursday to meet one another in the quarterfinals.
“It was a good physical game and from here on out that’s what you’re going to get,” Franklin head coach Chris Spillane said. “Walpole just came off a really physical, exhausting game on Thursday night. I think us having that extra day of rest, being able to go watch them play, and have two practices and sort of going easy in them knowing this would be a tough game, I think that was a little bit of a benefit for us. They were sort of gassing out there, the schedule definitely worked to our benefit.”
To be fair to the Panthers, they were dominant in almost every area of the game except for the scoreboard. Sophomore Luke Downie scored the lone goal on a power play in the second period and Nick Jasinski made 17 saves for the shutout.
The Rebels had the better start to the game with a couple of early shots, even going up a man less than three minutes in because of a tripping call. Yet Walpole was unable to muster up a serious scoring chance in the period. The best chance of the first period fell to the stick of senior Jake Downie. Downie blocked an attempted clearance and skated in alone on goal. He fired a low wrist shot but Walpole goalie James Corcoran was able to get his glove in the way for a huge save.
The play was just the start of the momentum swing as the Panthers slowly took control of the game. At nearly the same exact time in the second period, another penalty was whistle but this one a hooking call that put the Panthers on the power play. 40 seconds in, Luke Downie was able to corral a loose puck off a rebound that forced Corcoran out of his crease and wrap it around the other end, bouncing it off the goalie and just over the line.
“It was a power play opportunity and it was sort of a busted play,” Spillane said. “Luke Downie sort of wrapped it around and bounced it off their goaltender. It doesn’t matter how it goes in, it goes in and it’s still one on the board. I’ve said Luke has to be one of our better players for us to have success. He’s playing through an injury and he played very well for us.”
Shortly after the goal, the Rebels went on the man advantage but once again, Franklin’s defense stood tall and didn’t allow a serious chance against Jasinski. In the period, Franklin only allowed four shots on goal for Walpole.
“This was a good one to be in,” Spillane said of it being close throughout. “I don’t think at anytime I was saying we’re not playing good hockey. We played really sound forechecking and we eliminated all of their opportunities. I think the shots were two to one [ratio]. We threw a lot of pucks at [their goalie], he had a lot of work. But our goal was to forecheck and sort of eliminate the up and down hockey and I think we did a really nice job of that for three periods.”
The Panthers continued to roll three lines all game and it proved to be a big help in the third period. Franklin dominated the final frame with a 14-5 advantage in shots.
“We realized we wouldn’t be able to run two [lines] as much as we wanted to but that third line played great,” Spillane said. “They came out, forechecked, worked hard and were in the offensive zone. If you’re putting a third line out there and they are in the offensive zone, they’re doing something right. It was a good team effort. I think that was our best game for 45 minutes this year. The scoreboard doesn’t indicate it but I thought we played 45 minutes of hockey and we really didn’t give them too many quality opportunities.”
Just after an early power play concluded, Franklin nearly doubled its lead with 12 minutes to play in the third. Adam Assad saw his backhand attempt go just wide after a rebound off a good shot from senior Joe Corsi fell to his stick. The Panthers nearly put in a second with just two minutes to play when James Kilroe tipped a shot from Jack Chaffee but Corcoran was able to get a piece. 30 seconds after that, Assad had another chance kicked aside.
On the other end, Walpole’s best chances came in the final minute. Charles Harrington picked off a pass at the blue line and ripped a shot but Jasinski made the glove save. After a timeout and with the goalie pulled, Owen Hunter found himself in some space and fired a backhand that Jasinski just got a piece of. The puck trickled on the ice with an open goal but Franklin freshman Kevin McKay got to it first and clear it away, taking a hit into the post right after.
“Kevin overcompensated for his mistake, he was sort of creeping up into the high slot and that guy was wide open behind him,” Spillane said. “I’d rather the two defensemen be the last guys out of the zone but he’s a good skater and he was able to get back and make a great play for us.”
Franklin (14-3-5) advances to the D1 South Semifinals against Newton North at Gallo Arena in Bourne. At the time this article was published, the time and date are still to be determined.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

After Strong Start, Panthers Hang On For Win

Franklin hockey
Franklin held on for a 2-1 victory over Wellesley in the Div. 1 South first round at Loring Arena. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – With Franklin leading 2-0 in the second period, sophomore Jeremy Miller skated past three Wellesley defensemen in the zone and unleashed a rocket that appeared to hit the bar in the back of the net and ricocheted out.

Wellesley fans at that end of the ice were waiting for the officials to stop play for the goal, but instead it was ruled that the shot hit the crossbar and the Panthers’ lead stayed at two goals.

Just seconds later that lead was cut in half and for the final 23 minutes of the game Wellesley became the aggressor and put Franklin back on its heels. Despite the Raiders’ pressure, Franklin held on, thanks in part to 20 saves from senior goalie Nick Jasinski, for a 2-1 victory in the Div. 1 South opener at Loring Ice Arena in Framingham.

“We’ve just got to learn how to put teams away,” said a relieved Franklin coach Chris Spillane after the game. “We seem to have a problem; we keep teams around all the time and I can’t take many more of these games.”

In the first period, it seemed as though Franklin could run away with a comfortable win. The Panthers carried play for the majority of the first, outshooting Wellesley 14-4, and with 3:20 left in the period Adam Assad took an outlet pass from Joe Corsi and beat goalie Andrew Johnston five-hole to make it 1-0.

The lead was doubled just 1:42 into the second period and on Franklin’s first shot after intermission. Sophomore Luke Downie made a move past his man to the right circle and snuck his shot past Johnston into the far corner.

“It was a big goal,” said Downie. “I got a pass in the middle from Jake Downie (Luke’s cousin) and I made a move to beat the kid wide and shot it falling down and it went in.”

Spillane added, “Luke’s been a great player for us…as the year has progressed, he’s simplified his game a little bit, and become a north-south player. It’s good to see him play like that tonight.”

Miller thought that he had given the Panthers a three-goal cushion five minutes later, but with 7:52 left in the second Wellesley got on the board on Zach Doughty’s shot through a screen. 

The goal turned the momentum of the game and for the final eight minutes of the second it was one-way traffic towards the Franklin goal. While Wellesley was not racking up a ton of shots (just seven total in the second period), the pressure was mounting and the buzzer sounded during a flurry in front of Jasinski.

The buzzer felt like a reprieve for Franklin, as it seemed only a matter of time before Wellesley scored.

“It was coming,” said Spillane, “and maybe our guys were a little gassed, but it was wasted energy. I thought we were chasing the puck around too much instead of playing good, sound positional hockey.”

“They took it to us for two periods. I thought we had a good first period but after that they dictated the pace of the game.”

Early in the third, there was another scramble in front of Jasinski after he knocked down a shot from the outside but was unable to cover the rebound. Asad nearly wrapped up the win with a chance with 2:45 left but Johnston made a big save while on his back.

As the clock was winding down to the final minute, Jasinski had to come through several times to preserve the lead. He made a solid kick save and managed to get his stick on a shot when he seemed to be out of position. It was a scramble at times, but he managed to hold the lead.

“They were getting a lot of shots on me, but we just kept fighting them off getting it out of the zone as best we could,” Jasinski said. “I just focus on keeping my head and not thinking about giving up a goal but just stopping the next shot. It helps me out and makes me less nervous.”

Spillane said, “In tournament you need your best player to be your goaltender…I can’t knock Nick at all. He’s been there for us all season and we need him to step up next round.”

Finally the buzzer sounded and the Panthers could celebrate a victory and a chance to play in the quarterfinal against the winner of Archbishop Williams and Walpole.

Downie admitted, “When I looked at the clock, I didn’t realize there were zero seconds left. I thought there was a lot of time left so I was excited about that.”

“It was a grind,” he added. “We had to work really hard to keep the one-goal lead. They were coming strong and we had to keep fighting, but we pulled off the win.”

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

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/03/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Girls Basketball
Franklin, 51 @ Holy Name, 48 – Final – Franklin battled back and took its first lead inside the final three minutes. Kristen Donaghy had 11 points to lead the Panthers and also had three steals in the final 90 seconds of play. Carli Koffinke scored nine points and both Olivia Adiletto and Aubrie Kutil scored eight points. Kutil scored the final four points for Franklin, which swept the season series with Holy Name.
Hockey
North Attleboro, 7 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final
Franklin, 6 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – James Aldred, Jake Downie, Joe Corsi, Jack Cameron, Adam Assad and Jeremy Miller each scored for the Panthers. Mark Sheehan and Nick Hardy each had a goal for the Black Knights.
King Philip, 7 @ Milford, 0 – Final
Taunton, 7 @ Durfee, 1 – FinalTaunton qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2007. 
Wrestling
Taunton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 62 – Final – North Attleboro clinched the Kelley-Rex title outright with the win. Mike Burns (106), Jake Direnzo (113) Joe Alexander (120), Steven Abusherry (145) Adam Eberle (160), Jack Donahue (170), Abhishek Ram (195) and Yaseen Abdalla (220) all had pins for the Rocketeers.
Taunton @ Mansfield, 6:00
Girls Swimming
Stoughton, 65 @ Canton, 87 – Final – With the win, Canton clinched a share of the Davenport division for the second straight season. 
Girls Hockey
Franklin, 0 vs. Medfield, 6 – Final
King Philip, 5 vs. Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 0 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 6 @ Medway/Ashland, 6 – Final

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/27/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Hockey
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
Wrestling
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
Swimming
Boys
Attleboro, 100 @ Franklin, 53 – Final
Milford, 90 @ Oliver Ames, 80 – Final
Taunton vs. Coyle Cassidy, 4:00
Girls
Attleboro, 63 @ Franklin, 100 – Final
Milford, 98 @ Oliver Ames, 72 – Final
Taunton vs. Coyle Cassidy, 4:00

Gymnastics
Sharon, 137.7 vs. Shrewsbury, 140.6 – Final
Sharon, 137.7 @ Algonquin, 136.3 – Final
Girls Hockey
Canton, 2 @ Hingham, 2 – Final
Franklin, 2 vs. Westwood, 3 – Final
King Philip, 1 vs. Medfield, 5 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ Cohasset/Hanover, 5 – Final

End of First Period Flurry Propels Panthers Past North

Franklin senior Jake Downie scored a pair of goals, including the game winner in the first period. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Franklin senior Jake Downie scored a pair of goals, including the game winner in the first period. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin scored three goals in the final five minutes of the first period and iced the game with a fourth goal in the first five minutes of the third period to pick up a big 4-1 win over North Attleboro in battle of two of the top teams in the Kelley-Rex division.
Coming off a 1-1 tie against King Philip – a game in which they felt they had let too many scoring opportunities slip away – the Panthers were able to find the back of the net three times in the opening period.
It didn’t come right away despite a great chance less than four minutes in. A mistake from North Attleboro left the puck all alone in front of goal and Franklin senior Alex Bissanti pounced and tried to go backhand but Rocketeer freshman goalie Ryan Warren made the glove save while falling.
The Panthers then had a pair of chances on the power play but again Warren had an answer. A shot from sophomore Luke Downie was blocked aside and junior Joey Blaise had a good look but Warren was quick to react for the double save.
It wasn’t until the final five minutes that Franklin cashed, taking advantage of an interference penalty from North Attleboro for a power player goal. Senior Joe Corsi unleashed a wrist shot from the top of the circle to Warren’s left. The freshman goalie got a piece but the puck fell right to the stick of senior Jake Downie for an easy tap in.
After Franklin was able to kill off a North Attleboro power play, Jake Downie cashed in once more, again off an assist from Corsi. Corsi’s bunted attempt from just inside the blue line found the stick of Downie and the senior swept it along to find the back of the net to make it 2-0 with just over two minutes to play in the first.
Blaise made the most of the next loose puck he saw around the net, as the puck found his stick and he found the back of the net to make it 3-0 with 1:02 left in the first period.
“Offensively challenged has been the theme of the season and we showed it tonight with 44 shots and only four goals,” Spillane said. “But that’s what we need to do to be successful. We’re not going to score the pretty goals but we need to grind, get rebounds and get into the right spots and the guys did that for the second half of the first period, which sort of propelled us. I thought when we started the second with a four minute power play we’d go right back to it and put the game away but give credit to North Attleboro, they played physical and very hard and they were in the game right up to the end.”
A boarding call at the end of the first gave the Panthers a four minute power play to start the second period but the home team was unable to register a strong scoring chance against Warren. The teams took turns taking penalties in the middle period with the panthers going down a man on a high sticking call with 10:10 left. Franklin had arguably its best chance when Jeremy Miller was taken down on a breakaway and was rewarded a penalty shot. Miller skated in and tried to go stick side on Warren but the freshman stoned it.
The Panthers went up a man on a tripping call but a hooking call erased the power play.
It wasn’t until the final minute of the second that one team was finally able to break through. Junior Erik Clements skated across the ice, leaving the puck after his stick was knocked away. Classmate Zach McGowan picked up the puck and sniped one off the iron and in to bring the Rocketeers within two at 3-1 with 42.2 seconds left in the middle period.
Less than five minutes in the third, junior Adam Assad was able to get the all important next goal to ice the game for the Panthers. Assad got to a loose puck in the neutral zone, poked the puck by a defenseman and skated in alone at Warren. Assad faked twice but deposited the puck five hole to get Franklin’s fourth goal.
“If they get that second, it’s a whole new ballgame,” Spillane said of scoring the first goal in the third period. “And they had their chances too. Our defense was getting caught up in the emotion of the play so you have odd man rushes but getting that fourth goal was big. I would have liked to get it earlier. At 3-1 it was anyone’s game still. Our goaltender did well, that was a nice shot they beat him on but other than that he was consistent and made good saves.”
Franklin goalie Nick Jasinski made 15 saves.
“We try to make it tough. If we’re going to win games it’s not going to be by a score of 8-7, we have to win games 3-1, 3-0 and that’s how we’ll be successful. So far it’s worked, outside of a couple minor lapses. We just have to grind it out.”
Warren kept the deficit at just three with a huge save, moving across the crease to deny Brendan O’Rielly’s one timer of a feed from Luke Downie.
“I cannot say enough about how he kept his composure, especially with a team that has as much firepower as Franklin,” North Attleboro coach Steve Snizek said of Warren. “He stepped up big, with a couple breakaway stops and of course the penalty shot. He was our MVP tonight.”
Downie, who had a pair of goals, now has a team-high seven on the season. Blaise and Assad each scored their fourth goals of the season.
“We have a young team and a lot of kids scoring our goals are sophomores,” Spillane said. “That’s exciting to see but I’d like to see some more seniors step up. Jake Downie had two tonight which was great to see, I think he’s leading the team with [Jeremy] Miller. It’s nice to see Jake scoring and I think every goal he’s scored has been from the same position. He sits at the back door, picking up the rebounds, winning the battles. He’s a smart hockey player and he knows what he needs to do to score goals.”
Franklin (6-3-2, 4-0-1) is tied for first place in the Kelley-Rex (with KP with nine points each) but have a game in hand. The Panthers will be back on the ice on Saturday when Taunton comes to Pirelli Rink. North Attleboro (5-3-2, 3-1) will try to bounce back on Saturday when they take on King Philip.
“This was a hard fought game but the penalties is what killed us, especially playing about half the second period down,” Snizek said. “But I have to give credit to my guys, we switched up our penalty kill and it worked after that. We just need to be more disciplined and work on that in the games to come.”
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/20/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Hockey
King Philip, 7 @ Attleboro, 6 – FinalJacob Kelly had a hat trick for the Warriors in the victory. Sam Larkin scored a goal and had two assists for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 0 @ Medway, 2 – Final – Justin Slocum made 25 saves in net for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 2 @ Milford, 1 – Final

North Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 4 – Final – Franklin senior Jake Downie scored a pair of goals in the first period while Joey Blaise added another in the first and Adam Assad scored once in the third period. Zach McGowan scored North Attleboro’s lone goal and freshman goalie Ryan Warren had 37 saves. 
Mansfield, 6 @ Taunton, 2 – Final
Oliver Ames, 6 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Freshmen Brett Williams and Max Ward each scored a pair of goals for the Tigers. 
Wrestling
Canton, 33 @ Sharon, 48 – Final

Stoughton, 22 @ Foxboro, 49 – Final

Franklin, 21 @ North Attleboro, 42 – FinalNorth jumped out to a 30-0 lead. Nick Gould (145), Jordan Tillinghast (160), Jack Donohue (170), and Nick Morrison (182) each had pins for the Rocketeers. Evan Herandez (195) and Jordan Carlucci (106) had pins for Franklin, which cut the lead to 36-18 with three matches left. Devin Spratt (120) clinched the win for North and Anthony Biaungo (132) finished the match for the hosts with an overtime win. North clinches a share of the league title.
King Philip, 48 @ Taunton, 31 – Final – Taunton got wins from Josh Grasso (126), Justin Bradley (132), Alex Rodriguez (138), Nuno Camara (182), Elijah Simmons (195) and Santiago Lopez (220).

Mansfield, 48 @ Middleboro, 24 – Final

Milford, 26 @ Oliver Ames, 42 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Shea O’Connor (145) got a pin for his 100th career win.
Swimming
Boys
King Philip, 59 @ Taunton, 33 – Final
Girls
King Philip, 51 @ Taunton, 43 – Final
Girls Hockey
Canton, 2 @ King Philip, 0 – Final
Franklin, 4 vs. Medway/Ashland, 2 – FinalCassi Ronan scored a pair of unassisted goals to break a 2-2 tie for the Panthers. Elizabeth Quinn (assisted by Maddie Hinckley) and Jackie Connelly (from Marlee Paterson) had the other Franklin goals.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 @ Cohasset/Hanover, 3 – Final – Cat Luciano scored a pair of goals and Lilly Feeney and Emily Ierardo each scored once for the Warriors.