Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Boys Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Jack Goyetch, Canton
Hockomock League All Stars
Jake Parker, Attleboro
Nick Allen, Canton
John Hagan, Canton
Jack Goyetch, Canton
Ryan Nolte, Canton
Quinn Gibbs, Canton
Aidan Sullivan, Foxboro
Brendan Tully, Foxboro
Luke Downie, Franklin
Owen Ginley, Franklin
Jack McGrath, Franklin
Jeremy Miller, Franklin
Collin Cooke, King Philip
Mike Curtin, King Philip
Cullin Anastasia, Mansfield
Tim Arnold, Mansfield
Jason McNeany, North Attleboro
Drew Wissler, North Attleboro
Matt McCormack, Oliver Ames
Michael Nikiciuk, Oliver Ames
Brett Williams, Oliver Ames
Brendan Campbell, Stoughton
Will Walsh, Taunton
North Attleboro, 4 vs. Bishop Feehan, 4 – Final – Senior Jason McNeany scored twice and had two assists as the Rocketeers tied Feehan. Drew Wissler added a pair of goals and an assist for Big Red.
Stoughton, 5 @ Norton, 8 – Final – Stoughton freshman Matt Brown paced the Black Knights’ offense with a hat trick. Brendan Campbell and Sean Doherty scored the other goals while Thomas McCoy played well in goal, making 35 saves.
Milford, 60 vs. Hopedale, 46 – Final – After allowing 20 points in the first quarter, Milford limited Hopedale to just 26 points over the next three quarters, including just five points in the second frame. Senior Andrew Fraioli had a career night, dropping 25 points while hauling in 15 boards, both career-highs. Senior Kayden Kelley added 12 points and 14 rebounds and junior Brendan White added 14 points.
Attleboro, 2 @ North Attleboro, 6 – Final – North Attleboro built a 2-0 lead in the first period, tacked on three more goals in the second period and finished the third with one more goal to beat Attleboro. Big Bue scored both of its goals in the second period, trailing 5-2 heading into the third. Jason McNeany netted a hat trick to led Big Red while Will Yeomans, Brendan McHugh and freshman Tyler Sarro (first career tally) all scored once. Eddie Noel and Jake Parker scored for Attleboro with Ryan Morry and Cam Littig recording assists.
Stoughton, 1 @ Canton, 8 – Final – Eight players scored for Canton in the win, including sophomores Chris Lavoie, Timmy Kelleher, Jack Connolly and junior Ryan Colby.
Foxboro, 1 @ Norton, 3 – Final – Foxboro junior Brendan Tully scored in the third period but the Warriors fell in a non-league contest against North.
Oliver Ames, 8 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames exploded for eight goals with junior Brett Williams playing a role in six of them. Williams scored a hat trick and added three assists in the win while Max Ward had two goals and an assist in his first game back from injury. Freshman Ross Carroll added a goal and an assist and junior defenseman Matt McCormick finished with three points.
Canton, 3 vs. Medway/Ashland, 1 – Final
Franklin, 6 @ Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 0 – Final
King Philip, 3 @ Dedham, 2 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 3 @ Westwood, 2 – Final – Foxboro’s Cat Luciano scored a pair of goals in the third period to help the Warriors edge Westwood. Senior Kerran Holmes earned the win in goal.
Stoughton, 1 @ Medfield/Norton, 5 – Final
Canton Quad (Canton) – Canton went 2-1 on the day, picking up wins over Lynnfield/North Reading (64-9) and St. John’s Shrewsbury. The Dogs fell to powerhouse Metheun.
Duxbury Duals (Foxboro, Mansfield) – The two Hockomock teams in the Duxbury Duals met in the championship, with Foxboro prevailing 39-36 with a win in the final match. Mansfield beat Quincy (24-0) and BC High (38-38, criteria) to advance to the finals. Foxboro beat host Duxbury (59-6) and Andover (54-14) to advance to the finals.
Burt Burger Invitational (Franklin) – Franklin finished first at the annual Burt Burger Invitational, racking up 249 points. Jake Carlucci (106) and Jordan Carlucci (126) each won their respective brackets. Jordan Carlucci earned the “Most Pins, Least Time” award with three pins in 5:21. Brian Farrell and Bruce Johnson each had second-place finishes for the Panthers.
King Philip Quad (King Philip, Sharon) – Sharon picked up two wins on the day, notching victories over Whitman-Hanson (52-21) and Hock rival King Philip (40-29).
Springfield Central Duals (North Attleboro) – North Attleboro suffered its first dual meet loss of the season, but racked up three impressive wins on Saturday. Big Red notched wins over sixth-ranked Shawsheen Tech (46-24), Windham (NH) (44-16) and Agawam (63-3) but fell to New England’s top team, Mt. Anthony Union (44-18). Brady Folan (113) was the lone Rocketeer to go 4-0 on the day while Dan Cooper (120, two pins), Zack Gould (145, one pin), Adam Eberle (160, two pins), Reid Wills (170, three pins), Chris Ferrigno (182), Brad White (195, three pins), and John Kummer (285, three pins) all had three wins. “This is the kind of effort level we needed to see at this point in the season,” said North coach Wayne Griffin. “It gives us a lot of hope and drive as we prep for the league tournament championships next weekend.”
Sandwich Invitational (Taunton) – Taunton finished ninth overall out of 17 teams and sophomore Woudanly Danger was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. Danger won the 220 bracket while Mason Frank (285) was second, Alex Simon (195) took third, and Josh Grasso (132) finished fourth for the Tigers.
Mansfield @ King Philip, 4:30
Mansfield @ King Philip, 4:30
Attleboro vs. Burlington, 1:30
MSTCA Division 4 State Relays – Canton’s 4×200 relay team of Marquise Montes, Cam Sanchez, Cordell Smith and Riley McDonnell came in first at 1:36.37, qualifying for states. Canton’s high jump team of Smith, Montes, and McDonell came in sixth overall at 16-03.25. On the girls’ side, Foxboro’s 4×800 relay team finished sixth at 10:23.48 while the 4×50 shuttle hurdle team was seventh at 32.23.
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.
Attleboro, 0 @ Canton, 6 – Final – Canton junior Ryan Nolte scored a pair of goals and had an assist to help the Bulldogs beat Attleboro. Johnny Hagan opened the scoring to give Canton a 1-0 lead after the first. Jack Connolly, Timmy Kelleher, and Bubba McNeice each scored once in the win.
Franklin, 4 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – North Attleboro took a 1-0 lead in the first period, but Franklin scored twice in each the second and the third periods to earn the win. Jeremy Miller, Joe Lizotte, Scott Elliott, and Luke Downie each scored once for the Panthers. Will Yeomans (from Jake Ebert), Jason McNeany (from Jake McNeany) and Brendan McHugh (from Jason McNeany) scored for the Big Red.
King Philip, 1 @ Archbishop Williams, 4 – Final
Mansfield, 7 vs. Brockton, 1 – Final
Oliver Ames, 10 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames sophomore Jake Gottwald scored a pair of goals while sophomore Brad Powers, junior Adam Lyons, and freshman Ross Carol each netted their first career goals.
Canton, 9 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Canton’s Ava Pacitti earned her her first career shut out, making 12 saves for the win.
Franklin, 0 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – Nicole Conner scored the game’s only goal to lift KP to a Hockomock win.
Foxboro, 40 @ Canton, 22 – Final
Taunton, 3 @ Franklin, 66 – Final – Taunton’s Woudanly Danger earned the Tigers’ lone win, coming away with a victory at 220.
Sharon, 40 @ Milford, 34 – Final – Sharon got pins from Sam Mandelbraut (132), Matt Callan (145), Dimitri Kalogeras (220) and Justin Wells (285), and a win via major decision from Tyler Cashton (152) to beat the Hawks.
North Attleboro, 64 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final
Franklin, 76 @ Oliver Ames, 93 – Final
North Attleboro, 48 @ Taunton, 46 – Final
Franklin, 79 @ Oliver Ames, 91 – Final
North Attleboro, 44 @ Taunton, 50 – Final
North Attleboro, 134.85 @ Mansfield, 143.75 – Final
FOXBORO, Mass. – Chris Copponi’s shot was scuffed. The forward barely making contact with the puck just outside the right circle, but enough contact was made to redirect it past several sliding North Attleboro players trying desperately to block the Mansfield junior’s attempt at a power play goal.
The puck squirmed through the crowd of bodies right to senior defenseman Tim Arnold, who took advantage of the space and a wrong-footed North goalie Ryan Warren to one-time it into the empty net.
Arnold’s goal with five minutes remaining in the third period turned out to be the game-winner for the Hornets, who held on to beat North 3-2 in Saturday night’s league encounter at the Foxboro Sports Center.
“He whiffs and it still gets through, but we’ll take it,” said Mansfield coach Mike Balzarini outside the locker room after the game. “We’ve been working on our power play because we knew they’d be a tough opponent from the first time we played them (a 4-1 North win in the season opener) and we were just patient. Yeah, it was a misfire, but we’ll take it.”
The Hornets converted on two-of-five power play opportunities in the game, including the game-tying goal in the second period and the eventual winner in the third. Arnold’s goal came on the third power play chance for the Hornets in the final period.
“Penalties are part of the game,” said first-year North coach Ben McManama, “but we’re getting too many lazy penalties where we’re playing defense with our sticks and not our feet. It was a game where we were in it but we shot ourselves in the foot.”
He added, “We also have to have more energy all game. We’re not having a consistent effort and that’s hurt us.”
There was no lack of energy from the Hornets at the start of the game. Mansfield came out flying in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd, part of what has made this one of the league’s top rivalries in the last few seasons.
Freshman Justin McIvor created an early scoring chance with a big hit on Will Yeomans on the half-board. The puck popped loose to Copponi for a one-timer from the slot, but Warren (21 saves) stood tall to stop it. Warren then came up with a big pad save to rob Jake Lund in the slot and then blocked the follow-up effort too.
“The first period has been a struggle all year because we’ve come out flat,” Balzarini explained. “We played Stoughton on Wednesday and we scored three goals in the first period and that was the stresser during practice on Friday to come out with intensity.”
The Hornets made the good start count. Senior defenseman Tyler Oakley jumped up to join the attack, skating right down the middle of the North defense. His first shot was saved but he collected the rebound and finished. It was the first of two goals and three points out of the senior defensemen in the game.
“That’s why they where the ‘C’ on their jerseys,” said Balzarini of Oakley and Arnold. “They’re both really good captains, really good leaders and for those guys to step up not only on the ice but off the ice has been huge for us.”
With 7:11 left in the first, a fire alarm went off, momentarily forcing the stands to empty and the teams to head back to the locker rooms. It also stole the momentum from the hosts and allowed North the chance to regroup.
Drew Wissler had North’s first good scoring opportunity when he caught Mansfield up ice and found space in the left circle, but his shot was saved by Hornets goalie Sean McCafferty. The Rocketeers tied the game two minutes later, with only 25.1 on the clock, when Wissler fed the puck to Anthony Zammiello for a shorthanded breakaway and the junior went five-hole for the score.
“Before I could even have a chance to talk to them, they knew that they didn’t come out ready,” said McManama of the fire alarm break. “We’ve had a lot of bad starts this year and it really needs to change. The team is aware of it, but we just need to suck it up and come out ready to play.”
North took its first lead early in the second period. Wissler flew down the left side again, opened his body and unleashed an unstoppable shot over the shoulder of McCafferty and just inside the top corner.
The lead lasted six minutes before Mansfield responded with a power play goal of its own. Oakley lined up a blast from the point that Warren could only parry. The puck fell to Cullin Anastasia and he deposited it into the open net.
The Hornets had the chance to get back in front early in the third but Patrick McCafferty saw his shot carom off Warren’s mask and off the boards behind the net. After Arnold scored, defenseman Nick Levine nearly got into the act for the Hornets but Warren again made an important close-range save.
With time running down and North scrambling for an equalizer, Jason McNeanyhad a tap in at the back post that went wide of an open net and Nick Raneri had a shot in the final minute that was kicked aside at the post.
“The penalties in these games disrupt the flow, so things may be going our way but a penalty for or against if we don’t capitalize changes the whole momentum of the game,” said McManama. “A good hockey team doesn’t get affected by these things, but we’re not there yet. We’re going to get there, but we’re just not there yet.”
Mansfield has now won two in a row and Balzarini is hoping the Hornets can build off a strong week. He said, “The momentum was ours from Wednesday to today and I’m hoping it continues [at practice] on Monday and Tuesday.”
Mansfield (3-3-1, 2-0-0) will host Brockton in a non-league game on Wednesday. North Attleboro (5-3-0, 1-1-0) will host Franklin at the New England Sports Village.
Attleboro, 77 @ Durfee, 59 – Final – Attleboro junior Dom Victor dropped a career-high 18 points while hauling in eight rebounds to lead the Bombardiers to a win on the road. Sophomore Bryant Ciccio also added a career-high with 17 points while senior Elvin Sam added 15 points and junior Mason Houle finished with 12 points.
Attleboro, 69 vs. Durfee, 57 – Final – Despite 31 points from Durfee’s Shaelyn Correiro, Attleboro pulled out a double-digit win to move back above .500 on the season. Sam Pierce had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead Attleboro, while Nyah Thomas added 13 points, MacKenzie Roberts had 12, and Liv McCall had 11 in the win. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley said that Jordyn Lako was “immense defensively” for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 57 vs. Dover-Sherborn, 34 – Final – Hannah Jerrier scored a game-high 24 points and pulled down 18 rebounds as Canton improved to 3-1 with the non-league win. Erin Devine added eight points, six blocks, and seven boards for the Bulldogs and freshman Kayla Albert scored four points, grabbed five rebounds, blocked three shots and had two assists on her varsity debut. Canton coach Jim Choquette called it a “great effort from the entire team.”
Franklin, 43 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 53 – Final
Mansfield, 46 @ Bishop Feehan, 61 – Final – Ann Maher scored a team-high 17 points and Meg Hill added 15 for the Hornets, which split the season series with the Shamrocks. Maggie Danehy also scored eight points in the loss.
Stoughton, 0 @ Mansfield, 9 – Final – Mansfield scored three goals in the opening period and added four more in the second period. Tim Arnold had a pair of goals for the Hornets while Nick Levine, Matt Copponi, and Coleman Jenkins each scored their first career goals. Nick Menz recorded a shutout in the third period for the Hornets.
North Attleboro, 7 @ Taunton, 4 – Final – North Attleboro’s first line was at its best, scoring all seven of the Rocketeers’ goals in a win over Taunton. Anthony Zamiello scored a hat trick while Jason McNeany and Drew Wissler each scored a pair of goals for North.
Taunton, 12 @ Oliver Ames, 59 – Final – Oliver Ames junior Anthony Berksza picked up his 15th win of the season to help the Tigers defeat Taunton. Taunton’s Woudanly Danger (220) and Mason Frank (285) picked up wins for the visiting Tigers.
Sharon, 43 @ Stoughton, 29 – Final
Boys Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis)
Attleboro, 48 vs. King Philip, 51 – Final
Canton, 34 vs. Milford, 65 – Final – Canton’s Cordel Smith won a pair of events, taking first in the 300M (38.66) and qualifying for states in the high jump (5-10.00). Cam Sanchez crossed first in the 55M dash (6.99) while Jack Healey took second in both the 1 Mile (5:07.15) and the 2 Mile (11:05.91). Riley McDonnell placed second in the 300M (38.70).
Foxboro, 18.5 vs. Sharon, 81.5 – Final
Franklin, 73 vs. Taunton, 27 – Final
Mansfield, 66 vs. Oliver Ames, 34 – Final – Mansfield swept the points in the 1000M with Kevin Crawford taking first (2:43.68), Jackson Murphy placing second (2:50.43) and Sean Lanzillo coming in third (2:51.51). Nick Horn (37.77) and Dan Knight (39.11) took first and second in the 300M for the Hornets while Jareme DiLorenzo (8.17) and Matt Buiser (9.12) were first and second in the 55M hurdles.
North Attleboro, 55.5 vs. Stoughton, 44.5 – Final
Girls Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis)
Attleboro, 25 vs. King Philip, 75 – Final
Canton, 24 vs. Milford, 75 – Final – Canton’s Chloe Pennacchio was a double winner, taking first in the 1 Mile (6:07.08) and the 1000M (3:33.09). Bronwyn Mahoney also placed first for the Bulldogs, winning the shot put (29-04.00).
Foxboro, 30 vs. Sharon, 70 – Final
Franklin, 69 vs. Taunton, 31 – Final
Mansfield, 49 vs. Oliver Ames, 51 – Final – Oliver Ames pulled out a narrow win over Mansfield on Wednesday afternoon. Mansfield’s Amanda Mangano was first in the 55M dash (7.59) and the long jump (16-11.00) while taking third in the high jump (4-8.00). Alexis Kiyanda won her first race of the year, crossing first in the 300M at 45.61. The Hornets’ 4×200 relay of Gabrielle Devlin, Julia Harrison, Angela Corkery, and Meg Kuras ran a season-best time of 1:53.42 for the win.
North Attleboro, 82 vs. Stoughton, 14 – Final
Canton, 63 vs. Ashland, 91 – Final
Canton, 75 vs. Ashland, 91 – Final
Mansfield @ Attleboro, 7:30
Sharon, 121.45 @ Franklin, 128.40 – Final – Franklin junior Mia Lizotte won the all-around for the second straight meet, earning a 34.7 to edge out Sharon’s Ariana Chabot (30.9). Franklin junior Sadie Rondeau placed first on the beam for the Panthers with an 8.35 while freshman Lexi Lupien took second in each the vault, beam, and floor.
North Attleboro senior Jason McNeany has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Dec. 24 through Dec. 30. McNeany is the 13th player selected for the 2017-18 school year and third player chosen during the winter season.
McNeany had a great week for the Rocketeers and helped North bring home the program’s first title at the annual Burrillville (R.I.) Hockey Winter Classic. He scored five goals and recorded three assists in three wins for North this week, helping the Rocketeers win the out-of-state tournament and improve to 4-2 on the season
“The points are great but Jason’s true value comes from his leadership,” said North Attleboro head coach Ben McManama. “I think Jason has just scratched the surface to the player he will become this season. Right now he is playing purely with skill but we will work with him to become a complete player. It’s going to be fun to watch.”
McNeany scored a goal in each of the first two games of the tournament, as North beat Cumberland (R.I,) 5-1 and come from behind to beat Cranston West (R.I.) 8-4. In the championship game against the host team Burrillville (R.I.) McNeany had his best game of the season. He recorded a hat trick, including the game-winning goal, to clinch the title for North in a 4-1 win. With McNeany contributing to the goal scoring effort, North enters Hockomock League play this week as the third-highest scoring team in the league.
The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.
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.”
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – After a slow start to the game, North Attleboro put the ball in the hands of senior quarterback Chad Peterson and the Amherst College-commit came through with four touchdowns, two through the air in the first half and two more on the ground in the second, to lead the Rocketeers to a 28-14 first round win against Walpole.
North was able to survive and advance, despite the defense allowing more than 200 passing yards against Walpole’s spread formation, including 163 receiving yards (on 11 receptions) by wideout Chase Conrad.
“We knew they could throw the ball, so defensively we wanted to put pressure on the quarterback, which I thought we did a decent job of earlier but then they did a good job picking the pressure and we didn’t do a particularly good job covering the guys behind it,” said North Attleboro coach Don Johnson. “So, that kept them in the game.”
The North defense showed its ability to get pressure straight up the middle on the first Walpole series when Ryan Clemente dislodged the ball from Rebels running back Drew Van klock, hitting him just as he received the ball.
North returned the favor with a fumble five plays later but again the defense kept the pressure up on Walpole senior quarterback Brett Lavanchy (17-32, 223 yards). Geoff Wilson, Sam Bullock, and Zach DeMattio all forced Lavanchy into rushed throws and Wilson’s sack led to a Rebels punt.
North took over on its own 15-yard-line and proceeded to put together a 12-play, 85-yard drive to open the scoring. Nathan Pearce (11 carries, 96 yards) got the drive going with a 28-yard jet sweep to the far sideline and North kept advancing into the red zone until Peterson was sacked to force a third and 18. Peterson hit Pearce on an eight-yard screen and, on fourth and 10, found Ryan Gaumond on the near sideline for 16 and a first down.
Two plays later, Peterson bought time and found Nolan Buckley open in the back of the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown.
Walpole responded quickly. Conrad returned the kick to the Walpole 45 and it took the Rebels only six plays to get on the board. DeMattio and Adam Eberle combined on a sack to force third and 13 from the North 47, but Walpole caught the Rocketeers in an all-out blitz. Lavanchy’s screen pass found Conrad in space and he took it the distance.
A missed extra point kept North in the lead, but the Rocketeers failed to take advantage on the next drive, turning it over on downs at the Walpole 16.
“Walpole played tough,” said Johnson. “I thought they did a great job on defense and worked hard to make us earn it.”
He added, “We thought we’d be able to move the ball on the ground, but I thought they played really well on defense in the first half. They did some different things that we hadn’t seen on the film. They jumped into a 50 double eagle look there and we hadn’t seen them do that all year long.”
Jonathan James and Bullock combined on a sack to end Walpole’s drive and get the ball back for North with just 51 seconds remaining in the half. The Rocketeers took over at the 50 and Peterson proceeded to march the hosts down field, needing just five plays to add a big score before the break. All three completions on the drive went to Devin Slaney, including the 26-yard touchdown.
The Rocketeers got the ball back to start the third quarter and promptly extended the lead. Pearce broke a 31-yard run to get the ball into Walpole territory. Peterson would take it the final 16 yards on a pair of carries to make it 21-6.
“I thought that was key, coming out get that first drive and score in the second half,” said Johnson. “I thought that was a big momentum swing there.”
He continued, “I never felt like we were out of control, but I just never felt like we could finish things. It just took a while for us tonight.”
Walpole’s ability to move the ball through the air meant that the game was far from over and the Rebels immediately responded to cut the lead back to one score. Conrad had another big return to get the ball near midfield. A 26-yard catch moved the drive inside the North 30 and then it was finished with a 16-yard catch in the back corner. Lavanchy and Conrad connected on the conversion as well.
“At halftime, they definitely went in there to pick up the middle blitz,” said DeMattio, “so we tried coming off the edge to try and stop the sprint out.”
After a North punt, the Rebels were on the move again, getting the ball inside the Rocketeers’ 10. Lavanchy was forced to throw a pass away on first and goal then was stuffed for a four-yard loss on a keeper by Jason McNeany and Marc Burns. On third and goal, Clemente got loose in the backfield for North’s fifth sack of the game. With Gaumond in coverage, the fourth down pass went out the back of the end zone.
North took over on its own 17. The Rocketeers put together a 13-play, 83-yard drive that put the game away. While the bulk of the drive consisted of runs by Peterson (13 carries, 88 yards), Pearce, and Nick Raneri (13 carries, 54 yards), there were also two big completions from Peterson to Gaumond on the far sideline. Peterson capped the possession with a seven-yard keeper to seal the win.
“It was a tough first game, but it was fun,” said DeMattio. “You can definitely see a lot more people coming out, bigger crowds, lot more intense.”
When asked about the prospect of hosting league rival Stoughton next week, DeMattio added, “They’re definitely a run-heavy team, so it will be good for them to come back to Community Field and get a good game for everyone.”