Boys Hockey: Ten Players to Watch in 2018-2019

2018-2019 Boys Hockey Players to Watch
Mansfield goalie Sean McCafferty will be one of the player to watch as the Hockomock boys hockey season kicks off. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Player are listed alphabetically

Mike Albert, Junior – Taunton

Albert is coming off a remarkable sophomore season in which he was among the league’s leading scorers and helped the Tigers make an improbable run to the Div. 2 South semifinal. Albert scored 17 goals and recorded 15 assists last year and is a tenacious forward in the attacking zone, chasing every puck and capable of making plays anywhere in the offensive zone. Although not the biggest forward, Albert never shied away from a hit and his speed makes him a threat wherever he picks up the puck. Taunton has been a program on the rise over the past few seasons and Albert’s skill and scoring touch have the Tigers confident of continuing that upward trajectory this winter.

Johnny Hagan, Junior – Canton

The reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, Hagan is one of the top forwards in the Hockomock League and part of the league’s most dynamic scoring duo, along with senior Ryan Nolte (see below). Hagan was tied for the team lead with 36 points last year, including 14 goals and a team-high 22 assists, and came through in the clutch with nine of his points coming in three playoff games. He seems to love the physical part of the game and is very difficult to dislodge from the puck when he is breaking into the zone and he has the vision to find seams to set up his teammates or take the puck to goal. Hagan has an impressive shot and a love for the big hits (which sometimes gets him in trouble with penalties) and when he is on the ice opposing defenses have to keep an eye out for him at all times. Canton has been consistently among the top teams in Div. 2 and Hagan’s growth on the first line should keep the Bulldogs in that category again this winter.

Joe Lizzotte, Senior – Franklin

Lizzotte is one of Franklin’s top returning forwards from last year’s league title-winning side and he could make the move up from the second to the first line for the Panthers this season. His energy and tenacity in the offensive zone made him one of Franklin’s top scoring threats, as the Panthers advanced to the final of the competitive Mount St. Charles tournament and got a point for the first time against Malden Catholic. Lizzotte scored nine times and assisted on four other goals, partnering with Zac Falvey on the second line and both are back to keep Franklin rolling into a new season. Lizzotte utilizes his speed to open up space for diagonal passes and is willing to chase pucks into the corners to try and keep the offense going. In addition to league play, Franklin has a schedule loaded with some of the top teams in Div. 1, so Lizzotte and the forwards will need to be firing right from the start to help the Panthers compete with some of the state’s best.

Sean McCafferty, Junior – Mansfield

McCafferty has put in two impressive seasons for the Hornets and he will be one of the top returning goaltenders this winter, as Mansfield looks to challenge Franklin for the league title and make some noise in the state tournament. As a sophomore, McCafferty allowed only 1.85 goals against and saved 92 percent of the shots that he faced. Overall, he made 377 saves last year and had a solid performance in the loss to Xaverian in the tournament. McCafferty is quick with a strong glove and does a good job of positioning to be in the right places to make saves. The loss of graduated defensemen Tyler Oakley and Tim Arnold will make McCafferty’s communication with the blue line group even more important this season, but at least the Hornets know that there will be a solid last line of defense if things do break down. McCafferty will be tested this season, but the Hornets are confident he can come through and give them the type of performances needed to push Franklin and try to win a first league title since 2011.

Matt McCormack, Senior – Oliver Ames

McCormack has been one of the most consistent defensemen in the league over the past couple of seasons and is an imposing figure on the blue line for the Tigers, who will be hoping to challenge perennial power Franklin for the Kelley-Rex division title. In addition to his physical presence in the defensive zone and his ability to dominate the crease, McCormack also chipped in on offense, scoring eight goals and providing eight assists. His passing in the transition game is a key to the Tigers taking advantage of their speed in the forward lines and he has a rocket of a shot from the point. Teams look for reliability from the blue line and McCormack has provided that for OA the past few seasons, limiting the opposition’s scoring chances and adding toughness to the lineup. With McCormack in the back line, the Tigers will be confident of keeping pace with the top teams in the division.

Ryan Morry, Junior – Attleboro

With the graduation of leading scorer Jake Parker, the Bombardiers will be counting on Morry to continue his development into a top line center. As a sophomore, Morry centered the second line and was part of the top power play and penalty kill units and he contributed 11 goals and 15 assists to help Attleboro get back into the state tournament. This year, the skilled, physical forward will be counted on to make up some of the production lost from Parker’s graduation and continue playing big minutes (more than 25 minutes per game last season). He has solid stick-handling skills and an accurate shot on the move, but it is his vision and ability to pick out the right pass under pressure that makes him effective for the Bombardiers. With Sam Larkin back after a year at juniors and a year of experience for Morry, Attleboro has the pieces in place to make another run at a playoff place.

Ryan Nolte, Senior – Canton

The 2017 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year and 2018 Player of the Year, Nolte is arguably the top two-way forward in the Hockomock League and leads the top line for the Bulldogs, who went unbeaten in the Hock last year. His partnership with Johnny Hagan (see above) was the league’s most dynamic last year and they are back to try and bring another league title to the Canton Ice House. Nolte scored 18 goals and had 18 assists for the Bulldogs and was also part of both the penalty kill and the power play because of his work in all three zones. Physically strong and with impressive skill with the puck, Nolte can score in a variety of ways and is not afraid of getting into the crease and causing havoc in front opposing goalies. He is also a patient attacker, willing to cycle the puck and wait for the right opening. Canton has high expectations every winter and this season is no different, as the Bulldogs look to secure another league title and make a run at an elusive sectional title.

Tom Tasker, Senior – Franklin

Tasker jumped into the mix for Franklin and made a quick impression as a solid performer on the blue line in all three zones, providing big hits and a hard shot from the point. Now as a junior Tasker has solidified himself as a mainstay and one of the leaders of the Panthers defense as they try to continue their dominance in the Kelley-Rex division and make another run in the tournament. Tasker is a physical presence in the defensive zone but also showed good touch on his outlet passes to get the Panthers into the attack quickly. He scored four goals and had four assists last season and became a dangerous weapon on the power play. After a year of experience on the varsity level, Tasker will be one of the leaders in the back line and keep driving the team forward from the defensive zone. Expectations are high for Franklin defensemen but Tasker seems more than capable of meeting them.

Brendan Tully, Senior – Foxboro

Tully spent a year in juniors but returned last season to lead the Warriors to the best season in program history. The senior defenseman will hope to repeat that success this year, as not only the leader of the team’s blueline corps but also as one of Foxboro’s top scorers. Tully scored 19 goals and had 18 assists from his defenseman position, which was among the top scorers in the Hockomock League regardless of position. He is a skilled player with the puck, but can also play the physical game necessary to keep opponents away from goal. With his speed and game IQ, Tully can cover a lot of ice and always seems to be in the right position to make plays in either zone. Coming off a 10-win season, the Warriors will be turning to Tully to lead another run at a state tournament berth and continue the program’s forward momentum.

Ryan Warren, Senior – North Attleboro

Warren has been one of the league’s top goaltenders for the past three seasons and he enters his senior year with the opportunity to help North Attleboro unseat Canton at the top of the Davenport division. Warren, the 2016 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, allowed only 2.75 goals per game last season and held 11 opponents to two goals or less, which gave the potent North offense the chance in just about every game. A quick and agile goalie, Warren makes some of the most difficult saves seem easy and he came through against some of North’s toughest opponents, such as 36 saves against Franklin or more than 50 stops against Canton. When Warren is on his game, North can compete with anyone in Div. 2 and the Rocketeers will be counting on consistent performances this winter as they make another run at a league title. With Warren back in goal, a tournament run isn’t out of the question for North as well.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/28/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Canton, 71 vs. Boston Latin, 56 – FinalCanton’s offense poured in 25 points in the first quarter, building a 15-point lead and never looking back against visiting Boston Latin. Senior Tony Harris scored a team-high 17 points and hauled in nine rebounds, setting a new program record for career rebounds. Senior Jake Verille added 14 points, junior Devin Foster had 13 points and senior Austin Maffie added 11 points.

Foxboro, 49 vs. Bethel Park, 37 – FinalHolding a two-point lead at halftime, Foxboro outscored Bethel Park 14-5 in the third quarter to create the necessary separation to get the win. Sophomore Brandon Borde scored nine of his 14 points in the crucial third quarter while senior Joe Morrison had five of his team-high 15 points. Bobby Harrison helped seal the win with nine of his 14 points in the final quarter. Foxboro will play Shaler Area High School (PA) in the championship round of its bracket at 12:30 on Friday at Disney.

Franklin, 48 vs. Arlington, 46 – FinalFranklin kept Arlington without a final point over the final two minutes and rattled off five straight points to turn a late deficit into a win. Senior Matt Elias (nine points) hit his first three of the game to tie it 46-46 and sophomore Chris Edgehill scored seven of his 14 points in the final quarter, including a pull-up up jumper late to give the Panthers the lead. Senior Paul Mahon (14 points) was named MVP of the tournament while Edgehill and junior Jalen Samuels were named to the all-tournament team.

Mansfield, 64 vs. BC High, 73 – FinalBC High outscored Mansfield 17-9 in the third quarter, including an 11-0 run to start the second half. Senior John McCoy scored a team-high 21 points while classmate Justin Vine added 12 points for the Hornets.

North Attleboro 53 vs. Reading, 32 – FinalBig Red set the defensive tone early, limiting Reading to just four points in the opening quarter and building a double-digit lead (27-16) by halftime. Junior Josh Montague netted 10 of his team-high 15 points in the first half to help create the lead. Junior Jake Petersen added a career-best 13 points, senior Chad Peterson hit three triples for nine points, and Derek Shanks scored seven points to go along with a strong defensive performance. North will play host Lincoln-Sudbury in the championship of the Warrior Slam on Friday night at 7:00.

Stoughton, 80 @ Randolph, 60 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Taunton, 79 @ Durfee, 70 – FinalTaunton overcame a woeful start (down 12-1) and a 26-point second quarter from Durfee with a strong second half to earn the win in the championship of the Skip Karam Tournament. Junior Lou Vendrell poured in a career-high 26 points, including 14 in the third quarter, to help the Tigers turn the game around. Sophomore Dante Law added a career-high 25 points while senior Lens Esquil, who was named tournament MVP, scored five of his 10 points in the final quarter to help seal the win.

Girls Basketball
Franklin, 40 @ Mansfield, 50 – Final – The Hornets took the lead with a 22-11 second quarter and held on for a double-digit win over their Kelley-Rex rival. Ann Maher finished with a team-high 14 points for Mansfield on four three-pointers. Maggie Danehy added nine points and eight rebounds in the win. Bea Bondhus was Franklin’s top scorer with 14 points and Breanna Atwood added seven.

Oliver Ames, 61 vs. Brockton, 47 – Final

Sharon, 59 @ Holliston, 62 – FinalEmma Eberhardt scored 24 points for the Eagles in the loss.

Stoughton, 36 @ Newton North, 40 – FinalStoughton, which trailed by as much as nine, cut the deficit to just one late in the fourth quarter but Newton North held on for the win. Senior Val Whalen had 17 points and 13 rebounds while sophomore Aliyah Wright chipped in with 13 points.

Taunton, 46 vs. Durfee, 57 – FinalLily Patneaude and Hannah Moniz each scored 14 points in the loss, while Kelsey White added eight points for the Tigers.

Boys Hockey
Attleboro, 3 vs. Weston, 4 – FinalClick here for a recap and a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin, 4 vs. LaSalle College, 2 – FinalLuke Downie scored a pair of goals to help the Panthers win their opener of the annual Mount St. Charles tournament. Joey Lizzotte and Zac Falvey also scored for Franklin.

North Attleboro, 8 vs. Cranston West, 4 – Final

Girls Hockey
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Ursuline, 0 – FinalIsabelle Shanteler scored a pair of goals and Catherine Luciano added one for the Warriors. Cate Gallagher earned the shutout in goal.

Wrestling
Lowell Holiday Tournament (Foxboro, Franklin, Stoughton), 9:00AM

Marshfield Tournament (Mansfield, North Attleboro, Oliver Ames, Sharon) – North Attleboro and Mansfield both had top-five finishes in the team standings while Oliver Ames had its best showing in program history at the tournament. North was fourth with 183 points while Mansfield took fifth overall with 180 points. OA scored 96.5 points, the most in program history at the Marshfield Tournament (now in its 31st year) to take 14th overall while Sharon took 16th with 65.5 points. The Rocketeers had nine grapplers place inside the top seven, led by Danny Cooper (120, 3-1 with one pin) and Jake Direnzo (126, 4-1) who each finished second. John Kummer (285) took third overall, Adam Eberle (160) and Brad White (195) each placed fourth, Ethan Smith (106), Zack Gould (145) and Reid Wills (160) all placed sixth and Mike Burns (132) was seventh in his bracket.

Mansfield had a strong day with three individual champions, just one of two schools to accomplish the feat. Antonios Sevastos earned up upset over the top seed, 5-4, to win the 113 bracket, Jayden Curley also took down the top-seed, 4-2, to earn the 160 title and Vinnie Holmes won 8-6 for the 182 championship. CJ Glaropoulos finished third at 138 and George Glaropoulos (152) and Will Stratton (132) each had fourth-place finishes for the Hornets.

Oliver Ames’ memorable day was sparked by a second place finish from Dean Pacini (195), who was edged out 4-2 in the final, and junior Anthony Berksza’s fourth-place finish at 145. Freshman Remy Creighton was seventh overall at 106 and Nick McGovern took eighth at 113. For Sharon, Sam Mandelbraut (132) was sixth, Tyler Cashton (152) took seventh and Matt Callan (145) finished eighth.

Gymnastics
Sharon @ North Attleboro, 7:00