Top Seed Duxbury Puts End to Franklin Tourney Run

Franklin boys hockey
Franklin junior goalie Ray Ivers makes a save against Duxbury in the third period of the D1 South Final. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – In the last game of the league campaign, Franklin had a chance to clinch the Kelley-Rex division title with a win against North Attleboro, but the Rocketeers pulled out the victory leaving the Panthers worried that not only would the league title be lost, but also its playoff hopes.

A few hours later, thanks to results at other rinks, Franklin had its title in hand and a place in the state tournament.

Fast forward a little more than a month and the Panthers, who entered the playoffs as the lowest seed in Div. 1 South and with a below .500 record, took on top seed Duxbury in Sunday evening’s sectional final with a chance to return to the TD Garden.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Unfortunately for Franklin (12-10-4), its improbable tournament run ended at Gallo Arena with a 3-0 loss to the Dragons.

“We left the rink saying we’re not going and then an hour later alright we have second place and then an hour and 15 minutes later we have first place,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane about the turnaround that the Panthers experienced that night against North. “It was crazy. We made the most of it.”

The top seed got off to a great start, scoring within the opening two minutes and setting the tone with its speed and physicality. Todd Jones put the Panthers on the back foot right away when he split a pair of defensemen and then flicked a shot over the shoulder of Franklin goalie Ray Ivers.

Spillane said, “They were good. They came out fast, they were physical, we just couldn’t match their energy. We had six kids who couldn’t practice the last five days with the bug. It’s part of hockey and you have to fight through it, but it was obvious tonight that we didn’t have our legs to keep up with a team like that.”

Ivers was forced to make a couple of stops from close-range just a couple minutes after the opening goal, while the Panthers tried to get a foothold in the game. Franklin’s first good scoring chance came with seven minutes left in the first after Joey Lizotte stole an outlet pass and set up Shane McCaffrey in the slot but his shot was saved by Steve Pisani.

Brendan Sicchio followed up a rebound off a shot from outside the blue line and nearly stuffed it past Pisani. Sicchio then set up C.J. Spillane for a backhand chance in front that was stopped. Colin Hedvig nearly got the Panthers on the board at the end of the first when he dangled past a defender and forced a save.

Franklin carried that momentum into the second period and had a good start with three quick shots, but then Duxbury struck again. Ben Cheney fired an inch-perfect stretch pass to Tanner Smith and he sniped the top corner to make it 2-0.

“That’s a credit to that team because every time they had an opportunity to score, they scored,” Spillane remarked. “We were outshooting them…but they’ve got some snipers.”

Hedvig gloved an attempted clearance and forced a blocker save and Cam Cassella forced a kick save from the left-wing circle after he stole a pass at the blue line. Tom Tasker had a shot from the point redirected in front by Dan Magazu, but it went off Pisani’s mask and stayed out.

In the final minute of the period, Kyle Hedvig got a good look right in front but Pisani was able to smother. The Panthers turned over the puck off the rebound and almost instantly Duxbury was back on the attack. James Lawlor got loose on the quick break out and he beat Ivers (21 saves) to make it 3-0. It was a deflating goal for the Panthers to give up.

“When you playing at not-100 percent, the safe play is to chip it out and that’s what we were doing,” said Spillane. “We didn’t carry the puck, we didn’t make plays or passes, it was all chip, chip, chip, chip and we just didn’t have it.”

Franklin came out of the locker room for the third period with the intent of putting together a comeback, but the lack of healthy bodies took its toll and the Panthers never got going. Kyle Hedvig had a decent chance with a tip in front but Pisani got his blocker to it. Ivers made a good stop after Zack Stewart weaved through the defense.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Dragons neutralized the Panthers in the third, limiting them to only six shots, and closed out the game to book its place in next weekend’s state championship.

“I thought we were going to get one early in the third and it might change the energy on the bench, give them something to fight for, but it just didn’t happen,” said Spillane.

He added, “It was a good ride. They showed a lot of heart and character. We knew what we had in the locker room. Our record may not have been indicative of that, but we knew we played some good hockey teams and we competed and we knew that we could run with anyone.”

Franklin Skates Past Catholic Memorial Into South Final

Franklin boys hockey
Franklin’s Shane McCaffrey celebrates his empty net goal that sealed the win over Catholic Memorial. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BOURNE, Mass. – Just when it looked like everything was going right for the Panthers, it nearly went all wrong.

The 11th-seeded Panthers built a two-goal lead after a period and appeared to add another over halfway through the second period.

Just before Shane McCaffrey released his shot, a referee blew his whistle on a delayed penalty against seventh-seeded Catholic Memorial. While Franklin was heading onto the power play, it had a clear goal taken away.

And then the Knights used an aggressive penalty kill to score a shorthanded goal. And just minutes later, Catholic Memorial scored another shorthanded goal, and suddenly the game was 2-2 late in the second period.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

But these Panthers have seen just about everything this season, and found ways to fight back. That’s just what they did, going back in front with less than a minute to go in the second period.

Franklin tacked on an insurance goal early in the third and scored an empty netter in the final minutes to secure an upset 5-2 win over Catholic Memorial in the D1 South Semifinals.

“It’s a credit to the boys in the locker room, how hard they fight, they never gave up,” said Franklin head coach Chris Spillane. “The seed doesn’t matter, it’s what you do on the ice that matters.”

The Panthers, who qualified for the state tournament by winning the Hockomock League’s Kelley-Rex division, will take on top-seeded Duxbury in the D1 South Final. Franklin previously knocked off #6 Falmouth and #3 Mansfield while the Dragons defeated #5 Barnstable, 3-2, in double overtime.

It was evident from the start that the Panthers were ready to play. Just over a minute in, Scott Elliott connected with a streaking Zac Falvey but his shot was turned aside.

At the midway point of the first, the Panthers went on their first power play but only managed one shot before getting whistled for an interference call to make it four-on-four. Franklin didn’t let its penalty kill the momentum.

Falvey found sophomore Joe LeBlanc at the blue line, and he shuffled the puck over to junior Tom Tasker. Tasker ripped a hard shot through traffic and past CM goalie Henry O’Brien, with Elliott providing a screen in front. Franklin led 1-0 with 6:27 left in the first.

Just two minutes later, the Panthers doubled their lead behind a terrific hustle play by senior CJ Spillane. Spillane blocked a shot at the blue line from one CM defensemen, beat the other CM defenseman in a foot race to the loose puck, and went in alone on a breakaway before depositing his wrist shot past O’Brien’s blocker for a 2-0 advantage with 4:11 to play in the first.

The Panthers nearly had a third in the final seconds of the period but O’Brien was able to get just enough of his pad onto a low shot from the blue line off the stick of Matt D’Errico. And on the rebound. Kyle Hedvig tossed a shot towards goal from the corner, and the puck bounced off the inside of O’Brien’s leg and out the other side.

Franklin goalie Ray Ivers (30 saves) had a strong game throughout, including a big save just a minute into the second. Franklin’s defensemen slipped allowing CM junior Owen Brady a chance in close but Ivers stood tall.

A minute later, the Knights had a two-on-one break, and Jack Curran elected to shoot but Ivers made the glove stop without giving up a rebound.

CM went on the power play with 8:54 left in the second but the Panthers got the kill. Falvey killed some time with a trip into the offensive zone, and Colin Hedvig had a clearance to kill off more time. The Panthers nearly grabbed a shorthanded goal when Spillane forced a turnover in the offensive zone, but O’Brien made a terrific glove save in close.

Kyle Hedvig and Joey Lizotte combined in the offensive zone, finding McCaffrey in front and he buried his chance but it was waved off in favor of a delayed penalty against CM. The Panthers couldn’t get a clean clear from the defensive zone, and Chris Rooney linked up with Will MacNeil to get the Knights on the board with 4:15 left in the second.

Franklin went on the power play with 3:42 left and cross check on CM was going to set up a 5-on-3 but the Panthers were whistled for a matching penalty to cancel the cross check out. The Knights got the offensive zone faceoff and Rooney made them pay, winning the faceoff then roofing his shot to make it 2-2 with 2:18 left in the second.

Back-to-back slashing calls within10 seconds gave Franklin a 5-on-3 opportunity for the final minute of the second. The Panthers took advantage as Tasker’s rebound fell in front of goal and Kyle Hedvig poked the loose back through the five-hole to put Franklin back up, 3-2, with 46 seconds left in the second.

“I think we found a team identity [down the stretch],” Spillane said. “For the past month, this is pretty much the team we’ve had. Where it was for the first month and a half, I couldn’t tell you but I’m glad we found it. It wasn’t pretty all the time tonight but it was effective. We don’t have a lot of pure goal scorers so we have to grind every inch of the ice and I thought we did that well minus the two shorthanded goals. Five on five, I thought we pretty much eliminated their quality opportunities, I thought we did a nice job.”

Franklin got an insurance goal just over three minutes into the third period. LeBlanc fired a shot from the blue line and Lizotte got just enough of his stick on the high shot to redirect it in as he skated past the front of the net.

“I just put my stick up, I saw it at the last second,” Lizotte said. “Luckily I’m so short it wasn’t a high stick.”

“Even that fourth goal, smallest kid on the team, he’s got that stick up by his shoulders, it’s a good goal,” Spillane said. “Anyone else on the team, it’s probably a high stick, so we’ll take it.”

Catholic Memorial had a chance to pull within one when it went on the power play a minute later but the Panthers didn’t surrender any big scoring chances and forced the Knights to take a penalty with 10 seconds left.

Franklin didn’t muster much up on the man advantage as O’Brien handled Franklin’s one good shot off the stick of Cam Cassella.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Ivers came up big again with 4:16 left, making a nice stop on Curran and then handling the rebound bid from Brady.

With the goalie pulled at 2:38, Colin Hedvig got a clearance for the Panthers, Falvey had a shot go just wide of the net and Ivers made a stop on Tommy Rooney.

After a battle in the neutral zone, McCaffrey came away with the puck and deposited a shot from distance to make it 5-2.

“One of the last games of the season we played LaSalle, we were down two goals and we came back and won it,” Lizotte explained. “That was a big confidence boost and every since then we’ve gone with it. I love this team. We’ve been through it all year, we’ve had a tough schedule from the start of the year. We got each other’s backs, and that’s what we did tonight. It felt really good.”

Franklin boys hockey (12-9-4) will square off with #1 Duxbury (20-4-0) on Sunday, back at Gallo Ice Arena, at 6:15.

Player of the Week: Joey Lizotte, Franklin Hockey

Morse Insurance
 

Joey Lizotte
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Franklin senior Joey Lizotte has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Feb. 24 through March 2. Lizotte is the 22nd player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2018-19 school year and the 12th player in the winter season.

Lizotte has been a critical piece of Franklin’s run through the opening two rounds of the state tournament. He has recorded a goal and two assists in those two games, helping the No. 11 seed Panthers beat sixth-seed Falmouth and No. 3 seed Mansfield. Lizotte was tied as the top scorer for Franklin during the regular season with 13 points (seven goals and six assists).

“Every time Joe steps on the ice he makes something positive happen for the Panthers,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “In the last two tournament games we have scored four goals, Joe has factored into three of those.”

In the opening round against Falmouth, Lizotte assisted on the only goal of the game, passing up a chance to put the rebound away and instead sliding a pass across the crease for Kyle Hedvig to score. Against Mansfield in the second round, Lizotte played a one-two with Shane McCaffrey for the opening goal of the game and then popped up in the third period to finish off a pass from Hedvig to tie the game with 9:41 remaining. The goal ended up forcing overtime where the Panthers went on to win.

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.

Morse Insurance

Elliott, Franklin Edge Mansfield In Overtime

Franklin boys hockey Scott Elliott
Franklin senior Scott Elliott sets up for a shot against Mansfield in the second period. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BOURNE, Mass. – Three periods wasn’t enough to separate Mansfield and Franklin boys hockey when the two met in the regular season.

It wasn’t enough in the playoffs either.

After finishing level in their Hockomock League showdown back in January, the Panthers and Hornets were deadlocked at 2-2 through 45 minutes in their D1 South Quarterfinal clash.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin senior Scott Elliott emerged as the hero, scoring the game-winning goal with just 1:24 to go in the four-on-four overtime period, giving the 11th-seeded Panthers a 3-2 win over third-seeded Mansfield.

“There was a battle behind the net and I was able to get their guy off of me,” Elliott said. “I saw the goalie go the other so I just tried to spin around the other way and go five-hole it worked.

While Mansfield got the first shot in the six-minute overtime period, a bid from Jack Garland that was denied by Ray Ivers (24 saves), the rest of the extra frame belonged to the Panthers.

Defensemen Cam Cassella and Tom Tasker had low shots denied by Mansfield junior goalie Sean McCafferty (25 saves) just seconds apart. Then McCafferty prolonged the game with back-to-back stops, denying Shane McCaffrey with a point-blank pad stop, and then turning away a bid from Colin Hedvig.

The Panthers finally solved McCafferty in the overtime period when Elliott took a feed from CJ Spillane and was able to shake off a defenseman behind the net. Elliott faked to wrap around to the left but instead went back to his right, stuffing a backhand attempt in for the winner.

“Our guys had an extra gear in that overtime,” said Franklin head coach Chris Spillane. “Shane McCaffrey played a great game, Scotty Elliott was outstanding as well. It was a great hockey move to win a game, he’s played like that all year long for us so it was good for him to get that.

“We had a really slow start [to the season], we didn’t have any confidence and we were inconsistent. About midway through the season, they started believing in themselves. I think playing our strength of schedule from start to finish really helps us when we get here for sure.”

After a back-and-forth start to the game, the anthers were able to grab the lead just over the midway point of the first. Tasker whipped a clearance up the right side of the ice, and the puck eluded the Hornet defenseman at the blue line, leading to a two-on-one chance for the Panthers.

McCaffrey jumped on the puck and carried it into the offensive zone, tossing a pass to senior Joey Lizotte. The past was a little behind Lizotte, forcing him to pivot to gain possession, but it didn’t stop him from returning the pass back to McCaffrey, using a nifty backward pass. McCaffrey hit a one-timer from in close to put Franklin up 1-0.

Mansfield responded less than four minutes into the second period to tie the game. Freshman Brian Grant made a nice play at the blue line to prevent a Panther clearance and batted it down the walls to Garland. Garland turned a whipped a low shot towards that that found its way in to make it 1-1 with 11:15 left in the second.

After a clean first period, the Panthers were plagued by penalties in the second period and the ice tilted in favor of the Hornets.

Mansfield didn’t convert on their first power play chance when the Hornets were whistled for a hook with 10:10 to go in the middle period, but the Hornets did cash on when given a second opportunity five minutes later.

Jake Lund had a chance right on front that was denied but the Hornets continued to apply pressure. Grant fired two straight shots from the blue line that were over the net, but his third chance about a foot off the ice and sophomore Matt Copponi redirected the puck as he skated across the middle, giving Mansfield a 2-1 lead with 4:10 to go in the second.

The Hornets went on the power play for the third time in the period with 2:40 left but couldn’t increase their lead.

Franklin knotted the score at 2-2 with its first real chance of the final period. Kyle Hedvig carried the puck behind the goal before dropping the puck in front for a one-timer from Lizotte to tie the game with 9:41 to play in the third.

“It was a hell of a game, it really was,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Balzarini. “We were tired there in overtime, maybe too long of a shift. We tried a couple of different looks but with that long change, it was tough. But I thought we played well, we killed off that late penalty, we had a couple of chances shorthanded, and we seemed to have the momentum, but in the end we just didn’t have enough.

“I thought we responded well after they tied it. We’ve been in those situations before, both ahead and behind. It was a back and forth game and when it came down to it, whoever capitalized first was going to win.”

McCaffrey nearly put the Panthers ahead at the midway point of the third. On two occasions, the junior took the puck the length of the ice, beating a pair of Hornet defensemen on the first trip but his wrist shot was turned away.

Mansfield took its first penalty of the game with 3:03 left on an interference call, but the Hornets were able to prevent Franklin from going ahead in regulation.

Brad Grant blocked a shot early, leading to a clearance from Lund. McCafferty came up with three straight saves, including one on a blast from Tasker. After a shot from Cassella, Kevin Belanger came up with back-to-back clearances to kill time.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Hornets earned an offensive zone faceoff with four seconds left in the game but Spillane won it straight back, and regulation came to a close.

In overtime, the Panthers had the edge on experience after playing in similar situations twice during its holiday tournament at Mount St. Charles. Along with the experience from in-season, Franklin has practiced for overtime since the beginning of the tournament, including getting the defense involved in the offense.

“That was part of practice, we’ve worked on it the last couple of practices, engaging our defensemen,” Spillane said. “Forget about the five-on-five hockey, it’s an open ice mentality…there are no defensemen, there are no forwards. As long as you have coverage and space, take it. We don’t practice it a lot but we know when you get to the tournament there’s a chance of 4-on-4 or 3-on-3, so it paid off.”

Mansfield finishes the season at 14-6-3. Franklin boys hockey (11-9-4) will take on #7 Catholic Memorial in the D1 South Semifinal on Wednesday, at 5:30 back at Gallo Ice Arena.

Franklin Rides First Period Goal Past Falmouth

Franklin boys hockey
Franklin’s Zac Falvey sets up for a shot in the third period against Falmouth. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BOURNE, Mass. – The 2018-2019 Franklin boys hockey team has seen it all.

Despite their record, which earned them the lowest seed in the D1 South tournament, there aren’t many teams that are as battled tested as the Panthers.

The gauntlet of a regular season, which featured wins over inaugural Super 8 selections Marshfield and St. Mary’s, paid off for Franklin in its first postseason game of the year, earning a 1-0 win over #6 Falmouth in a game that wasn’t as close as the score might indicate.

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The Panthers pounded the Clippers with chance after chance, registering 38 shots on goals while limiting the hosts few quality chances. But despite the dominance, missed chances left the door open for the Clippers and Franklin had to hold in the final seconds to preserve the win.

“We talked about our schedule, our last four or five games were against quality opponents and not only did we hold our own, we beat most of them,” said Franklin head coach Chris Spillane. “Falmouth wasn’t that physical tonight, we had a good scout on them based on the film we saw and I thought our kids responded well to what we wanted to do.”

Franklin came out flying in the opening period, applying a lot of pressure in the offensive zone that resulted in early scoring chances. Five minutes in, senior Brendan Sicchio found classmate CJ Spillane but his backhand chance was turned away.

Just seconds later, senior Zac Falvey sent a pass across the crease to classmate Dan Magazu, but Falmouth goalie Kevin Duarte made a terrific save to rob Magazu of the opening goal.

While Magazu had his chance taken away, the Panthers were able to capitalize on the faceoff that it earned. First it was senior Scott Elliott that blasted a shot that was turned aside. The rebound found its way out to junior Tom Tasker, who blasted a shot through traffic. Duarte again made the save, but the rebound popped out to senior Joey Lizotte.

Lizotte had the chance to try and put a shot on goal from in close but instead made a terrific unselfish play, sliding the puck across to junior Kyle Hedvig for an easy tap in to make it 1-0.

While that was Franklin’s lone goal of the game, it was far from the last chance for the Panthers.

Four minutes after the goal, Elliot came flying in but his wrist shot hit off the crossbar and stayed out. Franklin earned a power play opportunity with under a minute in the first, and took 1:38 of the man-up chance into the second, but couldn’t convert.

The Panthers were whistled for a slash three minutes into the second period but the defense prevented the Clippers from any dangerous chances. First it was Elliot coming up with an early clear, and then Falvey made a nice play near the blue line that forced a turnover and led to a clear.

Franklin junior goalie Ray Ivers (21 saves) made two stops on the power play to preserve the lead.

A crosscheck call put Franklin back on the power play with 7:40 left in the second, and the Panthers went on a 5-on-3 opportunity for 28 seconds after an interference cal, but the Panthers were unable to get a good look on goal.

The best chance of the period came at the end of the second penalty when junior Colin Hedvig passed up on a shot to deliver a pass through traffic but Duarte was able to get his pad to the puck just before Elliot could connect.

In the final couple of minutes of the second, Colin Hedvig found Shane McCaffrey but his bid hit off the post, and Kyle Hedvig’s follow up chance was somehow stopped by Duarte. In the final minute, Cam Cassella blasted a slap shot that handcuffed Duarte but the senior goalie was able to keep the puck out.

“A whole lot of missed opportunities by the Panthers, had a couple of open nets we missed on,” Spillane said. “I thought we did very well with our forecheck, but the story of our season is lack of finishing. We had some beautiful tick-tack passing just didn’t find. But the effort was there, they were grinding hard so that’s something we can definitely build on. Overall a good team win for the kids.”

Chances were sparse in the final period, with Casella getting a shot through traffic with Kyle Hedvig and McCaffrey in front trying to bat in the rebound. With just under three minutes to go, Spillane used a self pass to beat the defense but Duarte came flying out of goal and made a diving poke check to thwart the chance.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin came within inches of scoring an empty net goal when the Clippers pulled Duarte in favor of an extra attacker in the final two minutes, but shots from their own defensive zone ended up as icing. After matching minors, the Falmouth bench was called for a misconduct and Franklin finished the final 40 seconds on the power play.

The Panthers will now renew acquaintances with league rival Mansfield, the third seed in the D1 South tournament, Franklin boys hockey will play the Hornets on Saturday at 3:30 at Gallo Arena. The teams skated to a 2-2 tie on January 21st.

“We’re capable, but we haven’t put together a big run,” Spillane said. “The last four or five games, it’s been consistently there for us and we’re building on that. Anytime you get the first win the tournament, that builds a whole lot of confidence. All of a sudden, everyone is a believer and the game is election. Now playing Mansfield, it’s a devil we know. It’s going to be a lot more physical compared to this one, there won’t be much time and space. We’re going to have to match their grit and grind. It will be a fun game.”

North Attleboro Notches First Ever Win Over Franklin

North Attleboro boys hockey Ryan Warren
North Attleboro’s Anthony Zammiello (left) joins Jeff Baker and Matt McSweeney celebrating with goalie Ryan Warren following the game. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
FRANKLIN, Mass. – The North Attleboro boys hockey team didn’t take any points from its game against Canton this past weekend, but it might have skated away with something more valuable: confidence.

The Rocketeers skated with, and arguably outplayed, the top team in the Hockomock on Saturday before the Bulldogs grabbed a late winner. While North Attleboro didn’t win, it learned that they can play with top teams in the area when playing at the top of their game.

That confidence was on full display on Wednesday night in Franklin as the Rocketeers raced out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back, skating to a 5-2 decision over the Panthers.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We’ve kind of compared ourselves to the 2001 Patriots,” said North Attleboro head coach Ben McManama. “They played the Rams in the regular season and they realized they could play, that they could hold their own. And it was about getting that next big victory and I think we got that today. Guys are realizing we’re good enough but we still have a lot to work on because we can’t rely on Ryan Warren giving us performances like that every game, it’s too much to ask for him.”

Despite the loss, Franklin clinched its eighth straight Kelley-Rex division title with other results around the league. The Panthers (6-6-4 overall) finish 5-2-2 in league play for 12 points, one ahead of both Mansfield and Oliver Ames. A division title also gives the Panthers a berth in the state tournament.

Senior Anthony Zammiello scored a hat trick to pace the offense, and senior Ryan Warren (29 saves) was terrific in net, helping North Attleboro record its first-ever win over perennial power Franklin.

“That one feels good,” McManama said. “Franklin was coming with everything, they were really working hard and Ryan Warren stood on his head. He absolutely kept us in that thing. But for the school, for the town, that’s the first time we’ve ever beat Franklin so we’ll definitely take it.”

Before gaining the lead, the Rocketeers had to withstand a strong push from the Panthers to begin the game, including a power play opportunity less than two minutes in. Warren set the tone for the night with a terrific save late in the man-advantage opportunity, denying a one-timer from Scott Elliott after a nice feed from junior Colin Hedvig.

North Attleboro took the lead a minute into its first power play opportunity. Just when it looked like the Panthers had killed it off, junior Jake McNeany snuck a shot from a tough angle into the net, giving the Rocketeers a 1-0 lead with one second left on the power play.

From there, the Rocketeers finished the period off strong. North Attleboro continued to apply pressure and found the back of the net less than a minute later. Senior Brendan McHugh pounced on a loose puck at the top of the circles and blasted a shot through traffic. The rebound fell to the stick of Zammiello and he tucked it in for a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

The Panthers once again came out with a lot of energy to begin the period and had another solid opportunity less than two minutes into the game. After a scrum in front, a North Attleboro defenseman covered the puck in the crease resulting in a penalty shot.

Warren was up to the task again, getting the pad to the post to stop a low shot to his left.

Minutes later, Franklin’s Joe LeBlanc blasted a frame that was kicked aside, with the rebound falling to Zac Falvey but his bid somehow went straight through the crease and stayed out.

After a strong first five minutes, a turnover in the defensive zone hurt the Panthers. Zammiello was able to latch onto the turnover, deked past a defenseman and then slotted his shot into the back of the net for a 3-0 lead.

Warren turned aside two good Franklin chances a minute apart after the Big Red took a three-goal lead. First, it was against a rebound chance from CJ Spillane after a shot from Hedvig, and then it was a diving stop on Shane McCaffrey after Matt D’Errico put one on frame.

Franklin got on the board when it converted on its third power play of the game. The Panthers needed just 13 seconds as Joey Lizotte maneuvered his way past the North defense and slid a pass over to freshman Declean Lovett for an easy tap in to make it 3-1.

“I don’t think we handled taking the lead very well, especially in the second period, it was all Franklin that period,” McManama said. ”We were battling with some penalties, trying to get away from some of that old North Attleboro mentality. But we battled back, it was an up and down kind of game, and we got a couple of breaks but I’m really proud of the kids.”

North Attleboro started the third on the power play but couldn’t convert. The Rocketeers did get a break five minutes into the final frame and took advantage of their opportunity. On a breakout, a Franklin defenseman slipped, and Zammiello went in on a partial break, firing a wrist shot into the back of the net to make it 4-1.

“He finished his chances too,” said McManama about Zammiello. “He worked his butt off tonight, he worked from the drop of the puck for the entire game. He’s been an unbelievable captain for us this year. He’s the guy that I thought would be the guy to step up he did. Him and Ryan Warren really stepped up tonight.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin went on a power play with 8:10 to go but it was the Rocketeers the found the back of the goal. After a pass trying to cycle in the offensive zone was missed, the puck came out of the zone, and Zammiello quickly grabbed onto it, skated in, and passed across to Todd Robinson who redirected the puck into the net for a 5-1 advantage,

Franklin added a power play goal when Spillane found Falvey, and the latter picked out a spot to make it 5-2.

North Attleboro boys hockey (6-2-1 Hockomock, 8-6-1 overall) finishes second in the Davenport division with 13 points and second overall in the Hockomock League. It marks the first time in league history that the top two teams in the league are from the Davenport. North continues its push for a playoff spot when it hosts Beverly on Saturday. Franklin hosts a talented St. Mary’s (Lynn) team on Saturday.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/26/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Hockey
Foxboro, 1 @ Attleboro, 3 – FinalAttleboro received goals from three different players on its way to a key win over visiting Foxboro. Kyle McCabe, Ryan Morry, and Sam Larkin each found the back of the net for the Bombardiers while Cam Littig had an assist.

Franklin, 5 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalFranklin tied the game at 2-2 with less than a minute left in the second period and then outscored the Warriors 3-0 in the final period to earn a key division win, moving into first place with one league game left to play. KP had a 1-0 lead after one period and took a 2-1 lead in the second but Franklin knotted the score with 51 seconds left in the second period. Franklin took a 3-2 lead just two minutes into the third, and then tacked on two goals in a two minute period halfway through the third. Cam Cassella, Matt Holmes, Scott Elliott, Shane McCaffrey, and Joey Lizotte each had a goal for Franklin. Brendan Shandley and Jack Coulter (from Garrett Maxwell) had goals for KP while James Lewis made 20 saves in net for the Warriors.

Mansfield, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – FinalOliver Ames scored three straight goals between the first and second periods to take a 3-1 lead, and then tacked on an empty net goal in the final minute of the game to secure two points and a win over Mansfield. Hornet junior Joseph Troiano put Mansfield 1-0 on an assist from Coleman O’Brien but OA’s Max Ward (from Brett Williams) tied the game with 3:16 to go in the first period. Freshman Bryan Kearns (two assists) finished off a scrum in front in the second to put OA up 2-1 and James Beatty found Colin Bourne for a one-timer to give the Tigers a 3-1 advantage after two periods. Mansfield’s Jack Garland scored shorthanded on a breakaway early in the third to make it a one-goal game but Jake Gottwald iced it with an empty netter in the final minute. Owen Connor had 22 saves in net for the Tigers.

Taunton, 9 @ Stoughton, 4 – FinalTaunton senior defenseman Dylan Nichols scored two of his three goals in the first period and Camden Faria netted a pair in the first as the Tigers built a 5-1 lead after a period and never looked back. Nichols and Stoughton’s Sean Doherty traded goals to start the game but the Tigers scored four straight to take a big lead. Taunton’s Cam Sneyd had three assists in the opening period. Sean Doherty scored twice for Black Knights.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 6 vs. Norwood, 0 – FinalAfter scoring her 50th career goal last game, Lauren Fitzpatrick scored the first four goals of the night for the Bulldogs. Maggie Malloy and Lizzie Tassinari also scored in the win.

Franklin, 3 @ Medfield/Norton, 1 – Final – Three different players each scored once as Franklin rolled to a win on the road over Medfield. Cassi Ronan (two assists), Regan Paterson (assist) and Amanda Lewandowski each found the back of while Gabby Colace (13 saves) earned the win in net for Franklin.

King Philip, 1 vs. Westwood, 4 – Final

Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 vs. Medway, 1 – FinalEmma Pereira scored the lone goal of the game for the Warriors, putting them up 1-0 in the third period but Medway was able to find the equalizer.

Wrestling
Hock Super Quad (Canton, Franklin, Foxboro, King Philip, Taunton, Stoughton) – Click here for a photo gallery from this event.

Hock Super Quad (Mansfield, Milford, North Attleboro, Oliver Ames, Sharon) – Click here for a photo gallery from this event.

Boys Swimming
Stoughton, 52 @ King Philip, 95 – Final

Girls Swimming
Stoughton, 61 @ King Philip, 82 – Final

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro vs. Braintree, 10:00AM

Mansfield, Franklin Fit To Be Tied On The Ice

Mansfield boys hockey
Mansfield’s Brian Grant attempts to get past Franklin’ Matt D’Errico in the second period. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
FOXBORO, Mass. – It wasn’t the wide open, free flowing game that some expected, but it was still a hard fought game between rivals Franklin and Mansfield that resulted in a tie that left both sides satisfied with a point.

The Panthers and Hornets were the top two teams in the Kelley-Rex division entering the contest, with Franklin holding a one point lead at the midway point of league play. After skating a 2-2 at Foxboro Sports Center, Franklin remains a point ahead in the division with three games left.

Franklin had a pair of one-goal leads in the game but Mansfield was able to respond each time, the game-tying goal coming early in the final period after the Hornets entered the frame facing a one-goal deficit.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“That’s a great point,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Balzarini. “We won the third period which is something that’s been a focus of ours all year. We want to win the third period so that’s definitely a great point, we’ll take it because a point is a point. The boys worked hard.”

Long time Franklin head coach Chris Spillane was fine with the point as well, considering the Panthers’ overall record and need of points.

“At this point in this season, points are points and we need points to qualify for the tournament,” Spillane said. “We have to focus on winning the league or getting second place. We circled this one because it’s the start of a tough stretch for us. We really wanted to come out and get two points, didn’t go our way. I thought we played pretty well but bad turnovers in our zone end up in the back of the net. It’s kind of been the story of our season so far. We had some chances, but we struggle scoring goals too. The effort is there but we have to pull it together.”

Both teams created chances in the opening period but only about half were shots on goal, a stat that the Panthers led 9-7 after 15 minutes.

An early Panther power play resulted in just one shot on goal, a wrist shot from junior Shane McCaffrey that was turned aside by Mansfield junior Sean McCafferty (34 saves). Mansfield senior Coleman O’Brien helped kill off the penalty with a head first dive to block a shot.

After the power play, Franklin’s CJ Spillane redirected a shot from Declan Lovett but McCafferty stood tall in net, and repeated that against Joe Lizotte and McCaffrey again in a minute span.

Mansfield nearly cashed in on a home run pass in the final minute when Brad Grant found Jack Garland as he entered the attacking zone but his backhand attempt was gobbled up by Franklin goalie Ryan Cameron (30 saves). Mansfield sophomore Matty Copponi had a partial break in the final seconds but saw his wrist shot go over the bar.

While there were fewer chances in the second period, there were more goals. The teams combined to score three goals inside of a three minute span during the second period.

Before the opening goal, Mansfield had the best chance of the game just minutes into the middle stanza. Grant hooked up with Garland again, this time on a pass off the sideboards, and Garland ripped a wrist shot that clanked off the cross bar and went out of play.

“It’s a big game, there were some nerves,” Balzarini said. “There were some guys probably holding the stick a little too tight, making passes they don’t usually make. But as the game progressed, I thought we got better.

“We knew that they were quick so I think our defense was a little hesitant to give up the neutral zone. I think in the third period, we made the adjustment…we had the forwards coming back hard and I think that was a difference.”

Just over six minutes into the middle period is when the visitors were able to break the scoreless tie. Franklin forced a turnover near the blue line and senior Scott Elliott took possession of the puck and darted toward goal. With the defenseman committed to him, Elliott dished the puck across the crease to classmate Dan Magazu for the one-timer and a 1-0 lead.

The lead lasted less than two minutes as the Hornets took advantage of their second power play of the game. Senior Jake Lund stepped into a hard slap shot just over the blue line and the puck found its way through traffic, with the help of O’Brien screening in front, and into the back of the net.

But before the Hornets could enjoy being level in the game, Franklin senior Joey Lizotte deposited the go-ahead goal just one minute later, with assists going to Zac Falvey and Cam Cassella.

“I don’t think it was as free flowing or as an open game as you’d expect sometimes,” Spillane said. “We don’t want to get into a shootout with anyone so we’re going to rely on our system. I think Mike was doing the same thing with his guys. I think it was both teams didn’t want to let the offensive guys control the game.”

Mansfield scored the tying goal with its first real chance of the third period. Garland forced a Franklin turnover right in front of goal and quickly unleashed a wrist shot under the bar from the slot to make it 2-2.

Both teams had chances over the final 10 minutes but couldn’t convert. Matt D’Errico ripped a shot for Franklin that was redirected by Magazu but McCafferty was in position for the stop. A minute later, Cassella whistled a shot that was tipped but again McCafferty tracked the puck and knocked it down.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The best chance fell to the stick of Lizotte, who used his speed to split a pair of Mansfield defenseman. He was able to get past both Hornets, faked forehand and went to his backhand but McCafferty tracked it the whole way and made a terrific sliding pad to preserve a point for the Hornets.

“Franklin is Franklin, they have their style of play,” Balzarini said. “But they have some fast forwards which I’m not used to seeing them with that much speed. Lizotte was the fastest kid on the ice by far.”

Franklin boys hockey (4-0-2 Hockomock, 5-4-4 overall) returns home for a big showdown with Davenport division leading and undefeated Canton for an 8:00 puck drop. Mansfield boys hockey (4-1-1, 10-2-1) will host King Philip the same night at Foxboro Sports Center at 6:00.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/12/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Canton, 34 @ Bishop Feehan, 69 – FinalCanton was limited to just two points in the second quarter as the Shamrocks built a 34-10 lead at halftime and never looked back. Bulldog sophomore Matt Giglio scored a team-high 12 points while Peter Hayward added eight points.

Boys Hockey
Franklin, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalScott Elliott scored a pair of goals and three other Panthers found the back of the net as Franklin skated to a shutout win over Attleboro. Senior Joey Lizotte, senior Zac Falvey, and sophomore Declan Lovett also scored for the Panthers in the win.

Canton, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Stoughton, 3 @ Foxboro, 9 – Final

King Philip, 2 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final

Mansfield, 7 @ Taunton, 2 – Final

Girls Hockey
Canton, 1 vs. Westwood, 1 – FinalCanton sophomore Lizzie Tassinari scored with 1:41 left in the game to help the Bulldogs earn a tie in what felt like a championship level game according to CHS head coach Dennis Aldrich.

Franklin, 6 vs. Medway, 3 – FinalFranklin senior Cassi Ronan scored a hat trick to pace the Panthers to a win over Medway at home on Saturday night. Ronan also had an assist while Regan Paterson and Gianna Cameron scored once. Libby Carter, Katelyn Brown, and Tina Pisano added assists while Gabby Colace made 12 saves to earn the win.

Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 vs. Dedham, 1 – FinalDedham scored on a shorthanded goal in the second period but MOA responded within two minutes to tie the game, and that ended up as the final score. Ella Waryas connected with Kylie O’Keefe, and she in turn hit a streaking Emma Garland, who tucked the puck through the goalie’s pads to tie the game. Warrior freshman goalie Jess Widdop had a standout game, making 30 saves.

Stoughton, 0 @ Cohasset, 6 – Final

Wrestling
Norton Quad (Canton, Stoughton) –

Foxboro Quad (Foxboro) – Foxboro hosted Carver, Hanover, and Hingham for a quad meet, picking up two wins but suffering a loss to the Harbormen. The Warriors defeated Carver (84-0) and Hanover (58-21) but lost 44-36 to Hingham. TJ Whitehouse (113), Adam Lanctot (120), Tom Cullen (170), William Ogbebor (220), and Billy McNeil (285) each went 3-0 on the day for Foxboro.

Algonquin Quad (Franklin) – Franklin picked up three impressive wins at the Algonquin quad, including a dramatic come-from-behind victory. The Panthers beat Framingham (36-29), Algonquin (49-12) and used a last match pin from Drew DiFilippo to secure a 33-28 win over West Springfield. Dominic Sackley went 3-0 for Franklin with three pins.

Quabbin Tournament (King Philip), 10:00

Milford @ Wilmington, 9:00

Cumberland Meet (North Attleboro, Oliver Ames) – In a tournament featuring some of the top teams from around New England, North Attleboro took fifth place with 122 points and Oliver Ames was eighth overall with 85.5 at the John Gorman Invitational. North Attleboro senior Mateusz Kudra (2850 remained unbeaten on the season, picking up three pins to advance to the final where he earned a 7-0 decision over second-seeded Edison Guarcas of Hope High School. Liam Rizk (182) added a third place finish for the Rocketeers while Michael Burns (138) and Ethan Smith (120) each took fourth overall. Oliver Ames’ Dean Pacini (195) picked up an individual title with an upset in the final round. Pacini had three wins to get to the final, and trailed top-seeded Kaream Sangare of Cumberland High 4-1 after the first round. Pacini was down 6-3 late in the third round before earning a takedown and getting at pin at 5:31 for the title. Billy Tat (170) added a third place finish for the Tigers, Remi Creighton (113) was sixth, and Nick McGovern (120) went 4-2 on the day.

St. John’s Shrewsbury Quad (Sharon) – Sharon picked up a pair of wins at the St. John’s Shrewsbury quad. The Eagles recorded victories over the hosts (57-12) and Marlboro (34-32) but came up short against powerhouse Masconomet (42-33). Jon Wald (182) and Amit Levin (120) each went unbeaten on the day while Nathan Daley (285) earned his first varsity win.

Methuen Quad (Mansfield, Taunton) – Mansfield earned three wins while Taunton picked up one at a super quad at Methuen High School. The Hornets beat Monty Tech (46-14), Silver Lake (58-9), and Marshfield (48-18) but lost to host Methuen (34-31) in a close match. Taunton recorded a win over Monty Tech (45-21). Mansfield’s Antonios Sevastos, CJ Glaropoulos, George Glaropoulos, Jayden Curley, and Ethan Nirenberg were all undefeated throughout the day. Taunton’s Tyler Lima (120, dec. 6-5), Wansly Perceval (126, pin), and Mason Frank (285, pin) picked up wins in the victory over Monty Tech.

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro, 159 vs. Lowell, 103.4 – Final

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/09/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Girls Basketball
North Attleboro, 48 @ Attleboro, 37 – FinalNorth Attleboro made it three straight wins and earned a season split with the Bombardiers behind 11 points from Amanda Kaiser and 10 points from Eliza Dion. Attleboro was led by Nyah Thomas’ 14 points.

Boys Hockey
Attleboro, 0 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Canton, 2 @ King Philip, 1 – Final

Foxboro, 3 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalFoxboro’s Ronnie MacLellan and Brendan Tully each scored once and had an assist, and Kirk Leach scored once as the Warriors built a 3-1 lead in the second period but Franklin scored a pair of third period goals to salvage a point. Zac Falvey scored in the first for Franklin but the Panthers trailed 2-1 after one. Junior Kyle Hedvig scored with 12:38 to go to bring the Panthers within one and senior Joey Lizotte netted a shorthanded breakaway with six minutes left to knot the score 3-3.

Mansfield, 2 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.

Oliver Ames, 14 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final

Girls Hockey
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 9 – FinalCanton senior Maggie Malloy scored her 50th career goal as the Bulldogs skated to a Hockomock League win over Stoughton.

Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 @ Cape Cod, 3 – FinalMansfield/Oliver Ames scored three times in the final period to earn a victory on the road against Cape Cod. Trailing 2-1 left in the period, the Warriors scored two straight to take their first lead of the game before Cape Cod struck for a power play goal with 2:45 to play to tie the game. MOA answered with 1:29 left to earn the full two points. MOA freshman Skyler Sharfman scored the game-winning goal and also had an assist in the win. Mackenzi Fraser scored twice, Ella Waryas and Emma Garland each scored once, Izzy Shanteler had two assists, and Emma Pereira had one helper. Jess Widdop made 15 saves in net.

Wrestling
Canton, 18 @ Foxboro, 58 – Final

Franklin, 73 @ Taunton, 3 – FinalFranklin’s Jake Carlucci (113), Alex Fracassa (126), Ken Sauer (138), Tommy Zogby (145), Caleb MacLean (160), Dominic Sackley (170), Dylan Nawn (182), Ben Jacoby (195), and Riley Downing (285) each earned pinfall victories for the Panthers. Taunton’s Tyler Lima earned a 5-2 win at 120.

Mansfield, 45 @ Oliver Ames, 22 – FinalFor Oliver Ames, Nick McGovern and Nelson Malone earned victories via pinfall while John Dobbin won by major decision.

Milford, 28 @ Sharon, 35 – Final

Stoughton, 16 @ North Attleboro, 63 – FinalNorth Attleboro went on the road and picked up a division win over Stoughton behind eight pinfall victories. Michael Burns (145), Michael Edmunds (152), Montrel Jackson (160), Matt Warsofsky (170), Liam Rizk (182), Alex Warsofsky (195), John Kummer (220), and Mateusz Kudra (220) each won via pin. Stoughton’s John Santos (113) and Ethan Freedman (132) won by pin while CJ Carpenter (106) won by major decision (14-4).

Gymnastics
Canton @ Mansfield, 8:00

Taunton, 132.2 @ Franklin, 133.3 – FinalFranklin freshman Kate Rudolph stepped up to take second overall in the All Around, helping the Panthers edge Taunton. With top gymnast Mia Lizotte sidelined with an injury, Rudolph stepped up to earn a 34.1 in All Around, which was second against Taunton and first against Medway. Rudolph earned a 9.1 on vault, 8.0 on bars, 8.4 on beam, and 8.6 on floor. Emma Owens added an 8.5 on the vault, 8.3 on the bars, and 8.7 on the floor.

Frankin, 133.3 vs. Medway, 132.15 – Final