King Philip Stuns North With Last Second Goal

King Philip boys hockey
King Philip senior Sam Naggar (right) celebrates his game-winning goal with 5.8 seconds left. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 FOXBORO, Mass. – King Philip established control early in the game while North Attleboro asserted itself in the third period.

It looked like the Warriors and Rocketeers were destined to finish level, especially with the strong play of goalies Kyle Abbott and Nate Kelly.

The Warriors peppered Kelly for two periods but only lit the lamp once while North gained traction offensively in the third, including the tying goal early in the fame. But Abbott came up with two of his biggest stops with under a minute to go.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With 21.9 seconds left in the game, KP senior James Boldy won a faceoff in the defensive zone back to classmate Sam Naggar, who whipped a clearance around the boards and out of the zone. North collected the puck in its own zone but heavy pressure from junior Rowan Boulger down low forced a turnover at the blue line.

With the clock ticking down, Naggar released a quick slap shot that deflected off a defenseman’s leg and through the five-hole with just 5.8 seconds left in the game to deliver King Philip a stunning 2-1 win over North Attleboro.

“Just put it on the net in that situation, good things will happen when it gets there,” said first-year King Philip head coach Toby Carlow. “The first half of the game we were better for sure. The third period, give credit to [North] because they came out and played very hard, they didn’t want to go home with a loss. In a game like this, one mistake ends up as the difference in the game.”

King Philip carried a 1-0 lead into the third period thanks to a second period goal from junior Tyler Douglas. The Warriors had a hefty advantage in offensive zone time and a large edge in shots on goal (29-10) entering the final period.

The chances for North started early in the final and snowballed from there. A weird bounce off the glass on a clearance from KP presented North senior Mark Ayvazyan with a good chance right in front but Abbott came up with the stop.

“I think the kids deserved a better fate,” said North Attleboro head coach Kyle Heagney. “Nate Kelly played very well for us. We had a very sluggish start but we got better as the game went on, got better each shift. The third period, I thought we controlled the majority of the puck but just a simple breakdown at the end destroyed our destiny.

“There’s always a lesson in a win and a loss, but there always seems like a bigger lesson in the loss. When you lose with five seconds in the game, as a coach, you’re always wondering what if, what if, what if. It comes down to inches and milliseconds…there were a lot of what ifs.”

The Rocketeers’ pressure was rewarded with a power play opportunity and despite having limited offensive zone time through the first 30-plus minutes, North wasted very little time cashing in.

Brody Gaulin took the faceoff, Joe Quinn skated in and dished the puck back to Ayvazyan at the blue line and his low shot/pass found Kaden Burns skating in front of the net all alone and he tucked away a low backhand shot into the back of the net just five seconds into the man-advantage situation to pull the Rocketeers level at 1-1 with 10:09 to go in the game.

North kept it going and had another power play chance just two minutes later but Abbott and the KP defense was up to the task. Boldy and Naggar had early clearances, and the line of Nate Garstka, Douglas, Cam Lehan-Allen, and Sonny Bianculli denied North any chances.

The best chance of the power play came when North defenseman Gavin Arabian ripped a deflected shot that took a bounce right in front of goal but Abbott gloved it comfortably and held on.

KP’s second penalty kill unit of Max Robison, Evan Trujillo, Naggar, and Ethan Sullivan killed the rest of the power play.

North had two good chances in the final two minutes. First, Dominic Bertino came flying down the right side but his wrist shot was snagged by Abbott. And right before the final face-off that sent KP to the win, Ayvazian had a good bid from a similar spot but Abbott had another stop.

“Kyle made two huge saves and he was ready for them,” Carlow said. “It’s tough sometimes when for the first half of the game, you’re not seeing a lot so you have to stay ready for when it does come and he was. Their goalie played outstanding too.

The Warriors came out on the front foot and registered 20 shots on Kelly in just the opening 15 minutes. Jack Gresham had two early chances, Evan Regan had a good shot after a feed from Trevor Pelkey, and Tim Mullen had a shot through traffic but all of KP’s chances in the first were turned aside by Kelly.

“Nate showed up and did his job,” Heagney said. “The defense and the forwards, we didn’t do our job for Nate tonight. I thought he played very well and he’s the reason we were in the game so late.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

KP’s breakthrough came just over a minute into the second period. Douglas won a faceoff in the offensive zone, Robison battled in front with a defenseman and Douglas came skating back through and finished a low shot from in close to make it 1-0 at 13:56 of the second.

“Give credit to KP, I thought they outplayed us, I thought they beat us to pucks, and I thought they were tougher on pucks,” Heagney said. “It just seemed like it was their night, I don’t think we put enough pressure on them or tested their goalie. In order to win a game, you need effort, energy, and execution and we were lacking in execution tonight.”

King Philip boys hockey (3-0 Hockomock, 7-1 overall) travels to Canton on Saturday for a big showdown with the Bulldogs at 6:20. North Attleboro (1-2, 4-3) has a non-league tilt at home against Dartmouth.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/04/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Division 1

#16 Weymouth, 6 @ #1 Franklin, 36 – Final
1Q: (F) Jase Lyons 8-yard pass to Derek Dubriske, Garrett Portesi XP good; (W) Weymouth kick return, XP failed.
2Q: (F) Mike Davide 6-yard rush, XP failed; (F) Ethan Pflomm 22-yard fumble return, XP failed.
3Q: (F) M. Davide 2-yard rush, G. Portesi XP good.
4Q: (F) J. Lyons 13-yard pass to Luke Davis, G. Portesi XP good; (F) G. Portesi 33-yard field goal.

#11 Everett, 33 @ #6 Taunton, 14 – Final
1Q: (E) Karmarri Ellerbe 67-yard pass to Giacobbe Ward, Adoni Santos XP good; (T) Malachi Johnson 59-yard rush, Sete Deletoille XP good; (E) K. Ellerbe 11-yard rush, A. Santos XP good.
2Q: (E) K. Ellerbe 6-yard rush, XP failed; (E) Damien Lackland 2-yard rush, 2pt rush failed; (T) Jacob Leonard 38-yard pass to Dmitrius Shearrion, S. Deletoille XP good.
3Q: No scoring.
4Q: (E) David DeSouza 4-yard interception return, A. Santos XP good.

#10 Attleboro, 7 @ #7 St. John’s Prep, 46 – Final

Division 2
#16 Concord-Carlisle, 13 @ #1 Milford, 42 – Final

#15 Westford Academy, 6 @ #2 King Philip, 49 – Final

#9 Wellesley, 26 @ #8 Mansfield, 42 – Final
1Q: (M) Conner Zukowski 1-yard rush, C. Zukowski XP 2pt rush.
2Q: (M) C. Zukowski 37-yard pass to Trevor Foley, XP failed; (M) Brandon Jackman 31-yard rush, Travis Hennessy XP good.
3Q: (W) Vincent Ferrara 9-yard pass to Justin Williamson, Eddie Webb XP good; (M) C. Zukowski 28-yard pass to Tommy Smith, T. Hennessy XP good.
4Q: (M) CJ Bell 28-yard pass to T. Foley, T. Hennessy XP good; (W) Max Poirier 14-yard pass to Xavier Ferrara, XP failed; (W) V. Ferrara 26-yard pass to M. Poirier, E. Webb XP good; (M) B. Jackman 9-yard rush, T. Hennessy XP good; (W) Tom Burton 7-yard rush, 2pt failed.

Division 3
#15 Oliver Ames, 0 @ #2 North Attleboro, 56 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (NA) Greg Berthiaume 63-yard rush, Austin Clemente XP good; (NA) Nathan Shultz 77-yard rush, A. Clemente XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) N. Shultz 12-yard rush, A. Clemente XP good; (NA) G. Berthiaume 6-yard rush, A. Clemente XP good; (NA) G. Berthiaume 16-yard rush, A. Clemente XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) N. Shultz 57-yard rush, A. Clemente XP good; (NA) Corey Rofino 18-yard rush, A. Clemente XP good.
4th Quarter: (NA) Joe Quinn 8-yard rush, A. Clemente XP good.

Division 4
#11 Pembroke, 21 @ #6 Foxboro, 24 – Final
1st Quarter: (P) Jake Falco 8-yard pass to Will McNamara, XP good; (F) Sam Carpenter 23-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: (F) Mike Marcucella 45-yard pass to Luis Sulham, S. Carpenter XP good; (P) J. Falco 59-yard pass to Steve Johnson, XP good; (F) M. Marcucella 30-yard pass to Nolan Gordon, S. Carpenter XP good.
3rd Quarter: (P) Jack Tosone 79-yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) M. Marcucella 16-yard pass to Rashaan Lewis, S. Carpenter XP good.

Non-playoff
Stoughton, 34 vs. Dartmouth, 24 – Final
1Q: (D) Jackson Hart 54-yard rush, Louie Freitas XP good; (S) Jarred Daughtry 5-yard pass to Alex Huynh, Josh Masuwa XP good.
2Q: (D) L. Freitas 17-yard field goal; (S) J. Daughtry 7-yard rush, J. Masuwa XP good; (D) J. Hart 2-yard pass to Markus Andrews, L. Freitas XP good.
3Q: (S) J. Daughtry 72-yard pass to Tagh Swierzewski, J. Masuwa XP good.
4Q: (S) A. Huynh 2-yard rush, XP failed; (S) Liam Pearl 19-yard rush, J. Masuwa XP good; (D) Ray Gramlich 3-yard rush, L. Freitas XP good.

Canton, 21 @ Norwood, 20 – Final

Girls Soccer
Division 2

#35 Pembroke, 3 @ #30 Sharon, 2 – FinalPembroke jumped out to a 2-0 lead but the Eagles, who were playing their first playoff game in nearly a decade, came storming back in the second half to tie the game. Sofia Goclowski had a goal and assisted on an Autumn Simon score that equalized. The Titans scored the winner in the final five minutes.

Division 3
#42 Diman, 0 @ #23 Foxboro, 8 – FinalFoxboro rolled to a big win over Diman in the playoff opener. Chloe Ostis had two goals, Erin Foley had three assists, and Shea Dorney accounted for four points (one goal and three assists) to lead the Warriors. Grace Riley, Morgan Riley, Makayla Peck, and Neve Taylor also found the back of the net in Foxboro’s biggest win of the season. The Warriors will get a rematch with Dedham, which they played in last year’s state semifinal.

Field Hockey
Division 1

#28 Barnstable, 0 @ #5 Franklin, 2 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Division 2
#28 Mansfield, 1 @ #5 Leominster, 4 – Final

Volleyball
Division 2

#31 Notre Dame Academy, 0 @ #2 King Philip, 3 – Final
#28 Mansfield, 3 @ #5 Oliver Ames, 1 – Final
#20 Hopkinton, 2 @ #13 Canton, 3 – Final
#27 Stoughton, 0 @ #6 Melrose, 3 – Final

Hormann Helps Mansfield Beat North in Songin Opener

Mansfield Boys Hockey
Mansfield junior goalie Chris Hormann made 28 saves to help the Hornets pick up an important 4-1 win over North Attleboro in the Songin Cup. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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WALPOLE, Mass. – When North Attleboro and Mansfield met the first time, the Hornets were missing junior goalie Chris Hormann and the Rocketeers took advantage to score seven goals. Hormann was back between the pipes on Saturday morning when the teams met again at Rodman Arena in the opening round of the Songin Cup and he came through with a big performance.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Hormann made 28 saves, including a penalty shot and a big stop on a third-period breakaway, helping Mansfield pull out a much-needed 4-1 victory that moves the Hornets closer to clinching a spot in the postseason.

“We knew coming in what they were all about,” said Mansfield coach Mike Balzarini. “They’re very structured, they’re very well-coached, and they just work hard. We knew if we could get pucks on net, crash the net, rebounds, then it would be a different game from the last time we played them.”

Mansfield got off to the perfect start. Mark DeGirolamo stepped up from the blue line and fired a wrist shot on net. North goalie Kyle Gruber was unsighted by bodies in front and the puck snuck into the top corner to make it 1-0 after just 90 seconds.

Kyle Oakley nearly doubled the Mansfield lead a few minutes later, but his wrap around was gobbled up by Gruber with Dillon Benoit waiting on the edge of the crease. Midway through the first, the Hornets did get a second. Freshman Ty Carroll flung a puck from the point that the North goalie didn’t see and it went in off the far post.

Only 15 seconds after the Hornets took a two-goal lead, North had the chance to get on the board with a penalty shot. Sam Clarke tried to beat Hormann on the glove side, but the Mansfield goalie came up with a big stop.

Liam Anastasia came close to making it 3-0 when he sent a knuckling shot towards goal that dipped at the last second and came back off the bar. North was struggling to get much going in the offensive zone (outshot 11-6 in the first) but Nik Kojoian set up Gavin Arabian for a rush down the right side and he forced Hormann into a good blocker save.

North was on its heels for most of the opening 15 minutes but the Rocketeers came out in the second with a different level of energy. Kojoian again was the creator of a good chance a few minutes in when his pass set up Mark Ayvzayan right in front. Hormann made the pad stop, but Ayvzayan also drew a penalty on the play.

The Rocketeers went to work with the extra skater and halved the deficit when Anthony Westcott’s diagonal pass picked out Nick Longa alone at the far post. Hormann somehow got across to get a pad on the first attempt and managed to get a piece of the second shot as well. The puck bounced to the edge of the crease and Brady Sarro was there to knock it into the empty net.

Gruber came up big just a minute later to keep North within one. Oakley got behind the North defense but Gruber closed the pads to deny the first chance and then stayed tall to save the follow-up attempt by Benoit as well. Carroll had a shot from the point that Brayden Purtell tipped in front but Gruber flung out a pad at the last second to keep it out.

North kept pressing. A bad bounce off the end boards gifted Kojoian with a good opportunity but Hormann was in good position to make the save. Sarro was then left wide open in the right wing circle, but his one-timer was gloved by the Hornets netminder.

“I think the speech in the locker room between the periods lit a fire under them and I think they responded and I thought we carried the play in the second,” said North coach Kyle Heagney. 
“His goaltender played outstanding, stood on his head. We had some chances in the third and we didn’t capitalize on them and Mansfield did.”

It felt like the Rocketeers went into the second intermission with momentum, but it was the Hornets that came out on the front foot. Mansfield held North to just one shot on target through the first 10 minutes of the third period.

Ryan Doherty had a good early look with a snap shot off a face-off, forcing Gruber into a good stop. Four minutes into the third, Mansfield restored its two-goal lead. Declan Foley’s angled pass from the point picked out Oakley all alone at the back post and the senior forward buried his chance to make it 3-1.

As time started to wind down in the third, North started pressing to try and get back into the game. Arabian’s shot from the point was touched inches wide by Sarro in front and Joe Quinn had a nice rush down the left wing but sent a shot (possibly off a defenseman’s stick) narrowly wide of the top corner.

North’s best chance came with four minutes to play. Sarro took advantage of a poorly timed change to break in alone, but Hormann flashed the glove to keep the lead at two. Only 30 seconds later, Mansfield put the game away and picked up a valuable margin of victory bonus. Carroll hit Benoit in stride down the middle and the forward roofed his shot, giving Gruber no chance, to make it 4-1.

“We had a bad a change and it was a legit 3-on-0, so Patrick Gormley owes him 100 percent,” Balazarini joked about the lead up to North’s breakaway opportunity. “I thought we played well in the defensive zone, getting out to the points. We were 3-for-4 in penalty kills, so that’s huge.

Heagney added, “I give Mansfield all the credit in the world. They came out and took it to us, won puck races all over the ice. We were flat and they outplayed us.”

Mansfield (7-9-1) will get a rematch with rival King Philip on Monday in the Songin Cup final, after the Warriors beat Walpole in a shootout. North Attleboro (9-9-1) will face the Rebels in Monday’s consolation game.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/19/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Oliver Ames, 66 @ Southeastern, 67 – FinalOliver Ames led after each of the first three quarters but Southeastern scored the go-ahead bucket with just over two seconds to play to steal the win from the Tigers. Junior Zach Tagliamonte scored a team-high 25 points for the second straight game to pace the Tigers. Jake Grimaldi chipped in with 17 points and Drew Baxter had 10 for the Tigers.

Stoughton, 72 @ Weymouth, 61 – FinalDeadlocked after three quarters, Stoughton poured in 24 points and get some key stops to secure a win on the road at Weymouth. Freshman Matt Greenspoon hit a big three and added another field goal in the fourth quarter to spark the Black Knights, finishing with 11 points (all in the second half). Senior Connor Andrews scored nine of his team-high 24 points in the final frame and junior Rayan Sablon had 11 of his 19 points in the last frame to help Stoughton get the win.

Girls Basketball
Sharon, 46 @ East Bridgewater, 63 – FinalJasmine Davis scored 27 points and added 20 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as the Eagles fell on the road in a non-league game. Rachael Hager chipped in with 12 points for the second straight day.

Stoughton, 35 @ Canton, 60 – FinalFay Gallery led the way for the Bulldogs with 23 points, including four three-pointers, as Canton extended its win streak to five games. The Bulldogs held a three-point lead after one and extended it to 10 by halftime. The Black Knights stayed within 13 heading to the fourth, but Canton outscored the visitors 19-7 over the final eight minutes to pull away for a big win. Kiara Cerruti scored 14 and Sydney Gallery added seven for Canton. Kate Bulger scored 13 for the Black Knights, including six in the first, and Vanessa Phelimond and Raina Tat each scored six.










Boys Hockey
Attleboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 8 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. – Troy Carlisle scored a pair of goals and assisted on two other, helping North sweep the season series against Attleboro. Carlisle opened the scoring with a breakaway goal four minutes into the game and then picked up an assist about four minutes later when he set up Jack Dluhy in the slot. Attleboro goalie Nick Piazza made a pad stop but Joe Quinn knocked in the rebound. North hit the post twice in the first and Attleboro had a shot cleared off the line. Carlisle got his second when he stole the puck in the attacking zone and found the top corner. Nick Longa made it 4-0, assisted by Nik Kojoian and Mark Ayvazyan. North then got two more 39 seconds apart to lead 6-0 after two. Quinn scored his second off a Dluhy assist and Brody Gaulin was credited with a tip of Austin Comery’s shot from the point. Kojoian got his second assist early in the third when Anthony Westcott’s shot from the point went in off the bar. Gaulin added a 4-on-4 goal with 8:37 to play, assisted by Brady Sarro. Attleboro got on the board in the final 90 seconds, as Sean Marshall went the length of the ice on the power play and buried his shot in the top corner past North goalie Nate Kelly (eight saves). Piazza finished with 46 saves in the loss.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 7 – Final

Foxboro, 1 @ King Philip, 6 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.King Philip sophomore Brad Guden scored a hat trick to lead the Warriors to a league win over Foxboro at the Foxboro Sports Center. King Philip scored twice in the first, three times in the second, and tacked on one more in the third to get the win. Guden set up KP’s first goal, carrying possession into the offensive zone before teeing up classmate Sam Naggar for a one-timer from the blue line that found its way through. Less than two minutes later, John Campbell used a nice move in front to beat the goalie, assists going to Sean Crowther and Kevin Birenbaum. Foxboro cut the deficit in half with 8:08 to play in the first as senior Ben Ricketts intercepted a clearance attempt and fired a wrister that was partially stopped but trickled over the line. Guden lit the lamp twice in the second, first firing a low wrister from the blue line that found the back of the net, and then minutes later, had another low shot take a fortunate deflection off a Foxboro skate and into the back of the net. Crowther came flying down the left side before roofing a shot with less than two minutes to go to make it 5-1 after two periods. Guden completed the hat trick in the third, finishing off a pass from Crowther for a 6-1 edge. Senior Josh Marcoux made 33 saves in net for Foxboro.

Franklin, 7 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalFranklin scored three goals in each the first and second periods on its way to a league win on the road over Taunton. Christian Shabbick scored a hat trick for the Panhters, scoring with eight minutes left in the first (on an assist from Ben Paterson) to make it 3-0, again less then two minutes into the second (from Anthony Lampasona) to make it 4-0, and then completed the hat trick (on another assist from Paterson) to push the lead to 6-0. Dylan Marchand added a pair of goals, Ryan Sicchio scored on the power play in the first period, and Paterson lit the lamp once and had a total of three assists. Freshman Jack O’Connor made 16 saves for the win. Taunton sophomore Conner Goranson scored off of an assist from senior Nathan Fernandes in the third period. Freshman Cam Tomaszycki made 46 saves in net for the Tigers.

Stoughton, 7 @ Cardinal Spellman, 2 – Final Stoughton’s Sean Farley scored a pair of goals to help the Black Knights pick up their second win over Cardinal Spellman this month. Ryan Summers, Joe McNulty, Cooper Card, Colin Alessi and Charlie Caputo each added one goal for Stoughton.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 4 @ Medway/Ashland, 1 – FinalAudrey Koen scored a pair of goals to lead Canton to a third straight win and its fifth win in the last six games.

Franklin, 0 @ Medfield, 1 – Final (OT)

Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 2 @ Westwood, 2 – Final

King Philip, 9 @ Dedham, 0 – Final

Stoughton/Sharon, 2 vs. West/East Bridgewater, 7 – Final

Wrestling
Canton, 12 @ North Attleboro, 69 – Final

Sharon, 62 @ Foxboro, 14 – FinalAshmith Yeruva, Vehnil Rangaraman, Adam Landstein, Cam Birnbaum, Nick Varvak, Kyle Samuels, Aaron Cashton, Phil Varvak, Cormac Horlbogen, Ethan Siao, and Ron Loebl each won for the Eagles, who clinched at least a share of the Davenport division title with the victory.

Mansfield, 21 @ Franklin, 49 – Final

Milford @ King Philip, 6:00

Oliver Ames, 78 @ Stoughton, 6 – FinalSenior Gio Juste, juniors Ryan Widdop, Kyle Hardie, and Victor Romeiro, and freshman Rory Gallagher-Lambert each earned a pinfall win for the Tigers.

Taunton, 72 @ Keefe Tech, 9 – FinalRyan Jones (113), Christian Balmain (152), John Mandeville (160), Peter Ye (195), and Logan Frank (220) all won by pin to help Taunton secure a win on the road over Keefe Tech.

Boys Swimming
North Attleboro @ Canton, 5:15
King Philip, 29 @ Taunton, 43 – Final

Girls Swimming
North Attleboro @ Canton, 5:15
King Philip, 63 @ Taunton, 17 – Final

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview

Attleboro

2020-2021 Record: 1-8-0
Coach: Greg Chamberlain
Attleboro had a difficult 2020-21 season, as delays and big breaks early in the season led to three games in three days to close things out. The Bombardiers will be hoping that they can build off that experience and make a push to get back into the postseason mix with several underclassmen stepping in to supplement the returning corps.

The offense has depth to it this season and head coach Greg Chamberlain is expecting a lot of grit and effort in the attacking zone to create scoring chances. Senior Nate Parker will be the leader of the forward line but he will get help from juniors Colin Flynn and Mike Lachance, who have both had two seasons on varsity already. Freshmen Austin Bessette and Nate Conroy have impressed the coaches in the preseason and could be ready to contribute right away.

Defense could be a strong unit this season, as the Bombardiers have decent skaters and decent depth along the blue line. Senior Sean Marshall will be the key to that group, providing on-ice leadership. Sophomore Dane Holske had a good first season on varsity and can help out both in defense and at forward. Senior Nick Piazza is capable of being one of the top netminders in the league and will be back between the pipes for Attleboro this season.

“Biggest thing that is a positive for us is the guys wanna earn some respect and be tough to play against,” said Chamberlain. “We understand what we have but we think our schedule can help us gain some real confidence.”

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview

Canton

2020-2021 Record: 11-0-1
Coach: Brian Shuman
The Davenport division has been ruled by Canton, which has won the title every season since the league split. The Bulldogs bring back a lot of returning players to hunt a 12th straight league title and defend the Div. 2 state title that they won back in 2019-20, but for many of the players, this will be their first season with a full slate of games.

Canton is known for its goalscoring, but the Bulldogs typically start from the defensive zone and this year should be no different. Senior Sean Connolly, the reigning league MVP, will be back at the blue line alongside classmate Ryan Doucette. Juniors James Young and Leo Owens should also see plenty of time on the ice with seniors Brennen Pecararo and Jay Kelleher slotting in at defense or at forward. The goalie job is up for grabs coming into the season with a three-way battle going on between senior Aiden French, junior Carson Eagles, and freshman Collin Davis.

As usual, the Bulldogs should be potent in front of the goal this winter. Senior Eamon Kelly, the team’s leading scorer last year, is back for his fourth season on varsity. Seniors Andrew Valkanas, Tommy Phaneuf, Sam Carlino, and Eddie Gillis will all chip in and junior Jeff Chaput could be poised for a big season after scoring 13 points last year.

“Solid team defense is the expectation as always this season, and we ask all positions to be important players all over the ice,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “Our forwards need to be able to shut down opponents and our defense must contribute to our offensive production to have a successful year.”

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview

Foxboro

2020-2021 Record: 4-6-0
Coach: Mark Cedorchuk
Just two years removed from one of the best seasons in program history, Foxboro comes into the winter with an experienced squad, featuring nine seniors, to try and make another push for a state tournament berth. Although the Warriors went 4-6 in the shortened 2020-21 season, four of those losses were against Franklin and Canton and the other two were to North Attleboro by a combined three goals, so there is potential for the Warriors to get back to their 2019-20 form.

The forward line should have plenty of firepower this season with the return of seniors Jack Watts, Matt Grace, and Ben Ricketts, who combined for 13 goals in 10 games last year. Fellow forwards Derek Axon and Steven Bridges will give Foxboro good leadership and depth in the forward line. The Warriors also got plenty of scoring from the blue line, with senior Tom Marcucella adding four goals and three assists last winter.

Improvements in the defensive zone (and not playing almost every game against the league’s top-scoring teams) will be expected this season. Marcucella is listed as a defenseman but has the versatility to line up in multiple positions and he will be helped on defense by classmates Dylan Pothier and Brady Callahan. Junior Alex Coviello and sophomore Sully Kenneally are also going to step into bigger roles on the blue line this season.

“I would say all nine of our seniors are going to be major contributors and that’s definitely a first for Foxboro hockey and it’s a good thing!” said Foxboro coach Mark Cedorchuk. “I would say we will be skilled and experienced.”

Franklin

2020-2021 Record: 10-2-1
Coach: Anthony Sarno
This will be a new-look Franklin team that takes the ice this season, looking to win its 11th straight league title and make a deep run in the postseason. The Panthers graduated 16 seniors from last year’s team and only return seven players with significant varsity experience to try and manage a schedule loaded with some of the best teams in the state.

Senior forward Dylan Marchand is the key returning player in the forward line. The team’s leading scorer last year, the speedy center scored eight goals and nine assists in 13 games. Seniors Justin Magazu and Domenic Lampasona and juniors Ben Jarosz and Ryan Sicchio will also return to add more firepower to the attacking end of the ice. With 14 new players on the roster, there could be a lot of new names on the score sheet this winter.

Defensively, the Panthers will lean on experienced players like seniors Aidan Hunt and Jack MacKinnon to guide the younger players, as they take on the high-end talent that Franklin will face right from the start of the season. In goal, sophomore Cole Pouliot-Porter and freshman Jack O’Connor will both get chances between the pipes.

“I am optimistic with the youth we have and excited to watch us grow together,” said Franklin coach Anthony Sarno. “We will just have to weather the ebbs and flows, try to remain even-keeled, communicate, and trust each other as a team in order for us to grow and move forward as a complete unit.”

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview

King Philip

2020-2021 Record: 9-1-0
Coach: Paul Carlow
Last season, King Philip won a share of its first league title since 2006, picking up a rare win against rival Franklin in the process. With 12 returning players and a roster that has 16 upperclassmen, the Warriors will try to make more history by winning back-to-back titles for the first time in program history and also put together a run in the state tournament.

There are four players coming back this year that averaged a point per game in 2020-21. Three of those players are forwards. Seniors Shaun Fitzpatrick and Sean Crowther and junior James Boldy, who combined for 15 goals and 22 assists in 10 games last season. Senior Nolan Feyler will be a big boost, as the forward had a strong sophomore season but missed all of last year due to an injury. Senior Kevin Birenbaum is another of the nine seniors on the forward line.

Sophomore defenseman Brad Guden is the fourth Warrior who averaged a point per game last year. He broke into the lineup and scored 10 times and had 10 assists in his first varsity season. Seniors Nolan Jackson and Quin Garstka add leadership and experience at the blue line and sophomore Max Robison returns after an impressive rookie season. Senior Kyle Abbott will be back between the pipes for the Warriors.

“We have a tough schedule this season but we are looking to challenge for another Hockomock League title,” said KP coach Paul Carlow. We have great leadership from our seniors and a good mix of skill and speed with the younger players. I’m really looking forward to working with this group and build on last year’s success.”

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview

Mansfield

2020-2021 Record: 5-6-0
Coach: Mike Balzarini
With its top six forwards all back from last year, there is optimism that Mansfield will consistently put the puck in the back of the net and in turn, challenge for the Kelley-Rex division title.

And another big positive for the Hornets is junior Chris Hormann back between the pipes with a solid amount of varsity experience now under his belt. That combination of experience in the offensive zone and in the crease is what Mansfield is hoping translates to success. The challenge will be getting a new mix of defensemen working together as the Hornets graduated the majority of that unit.

Leading scorer Mark DeGirolamo returns with a lot of varsity experience under his belt, coming off a season with eight goals and five assists. He’s joined by Dillon Benoit (7 goals, 5 assists), Kyle Oakley (2 goals, 5 assists), Doherty (2 goals, 3 assists), Liam Anastasia (6 goals, 5 assists), and Brayden Purtell (4 goals, 2 assists). As the stats suggest, the Hornets have a very even top two lines which means head coach Mike Balzarini can trust both units to get it done.

Looks for the line of Cullen Egan, Cody Gordon, and Connor Davey to provide energy and some offensive punch throughout the season. Balzarini is looking for some new faces to step up on the blue line. A mix of depth pieces are back, and the Hornets have converted some forwards to defensemen looking to solidify that unit. Patrick Gormley, Brendan Flynn, Will Cameron, Ryan DeGirolamo, and Ty Carroll are all in the mix to get some minutes.

“Last season was difficult for everyone so we’re excited for a more normal year,” Balzarini said. “We’re going to be quick and we have multiple lines that can be a factor for us. We’ve seen some success on offense in our scrimmages so scoring should be a strength, these kids are working well together.”

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview

North Attleboro

2020-2021 Record: 8-6-0
Coach: Kyle Heagney
North Attleboro returns 14 players from last year’s roster, including two of the league’s top three scorers, and the Rocketeers will be looking to use that experience under first-year coach Kyle Heagney (who formerly coached Norton and was a North assistant the past two seasons) to challenge Canton at the top of the Davenport division and to put together a playoff run.

Although the Rocketeers bring back senior forwards Nik Kojoain and Brady Sarro, who combined for 41 points in 14 games last year, North is a team built on hard work and team effort in the offensive zone, rather than on individual stars. Seniors Sam Clarke and Nick Longa and juniors Joe Quinn and Mark Ayvazyan will provide plenty of help in front of goal and all have plenty of experience at the varsity level.

North graduated only one of its defensemen from last year. Senior Austin Comery will be the leader for North at the blue line and he will be assisted by classmate Anthony Westcott. Sophomore Kyle Gruber is back in goal for North after an impressive debut season, where he was thrown in against some of the league’s top teams, including a first appearance against Canton.

“Our strength is that we are not a team of superstars,” said Heagney. “We are a team of hockey players that will win first in the locker room before the ice. We look forward to the season and having fun. These are memories that will live forever with our players.”

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview

Oliver Ames

2020-2021 Record: 1-10-0
Coach: Mike Zucarelli
Oliver Ames has been in a rebuilding phase under head coach Mike Zucarelli. The Tigers won just once in the shortened 2020-21 season and head into this winter with a roster loaded with underclassmen. While this may be a difficult season, Zucarelli is excited for the potential on his team and the growth the program is making for the future.

Seniors Cam Tower and Eliot Cohen will be instrumental in shoring things up at the blue line. The two defensemen will need to provide leadership for the younger players and help limit the opposition scoring chances. Junior forwards Sean McCarthy and Jack Perron will hope to improve the team’s scoring punch as well, after OA was held to 10 goals in 11 games last year. Zucarelli is already seeing more confidence and better decision-making in the offensive zone and is hoping the team’s work rate will lead to more chances.

With seven sophomores on the roster, OA will rely on its youth movement to turn things around. After a lot of growth in the offseason (both physically and mentally), Zucarelli thinks that the septet is ready for the challenges of playing varsity hockey day-in, day-out. Winger Andrew Livingstone and center Matt Lawson will add to the team’s production in the offensive zone and defenseman Landon Grothe could be a standout in the defensive end of the ice. Junior Brandon Burke had a solid summer with his club team and will be the starting goalie for the Tigers this winter.

“If we continue to put in the effort I have seen both on and off the ice to start this year, I believe these young men have the opportunity to do something special,” Zuccarelli said.

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview

Taunton

2020-2021 Record: 0-6-1
Coach: Kris Metea
Taunton had a tough 2020-21 season, as the Tigers were only able to six games, and come into a winter of transition. The roster is going to be very young, with only nine upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) in the program, so there will be a lot of younger players getting their first taste of varsity action and others experiencing a full season for the first time.

The forward line has a lot of speed and the Tigers are going to rely on that energy to try and create scoring chances. Senior Nathan Fernandes is the most experienced forward returning and he will be joined up top by junior Connor McGrath.

Defensively, the Tigers will be an inexperienced group but there is potential and the desire to get better over the course of the season. Senior Ethan Ross will be the leader at the blue line and junior Colton Scheralis can add his experience there as well. Freshman Cameron Tomaszycki will be jumping between the pipes this season to get his first varsity action.

“We are happy to be back for a full year,” said Taunton coach Kris Metea. “Last season was full of delays, pauses, and feelings of frustrations that made for a very long, short, season. The lessons learned from last season has made the players within the program grateful for a return to a more normal season. We will plan to improve every day and be a better, more complete team by the end of the season.”

North Shrugs Off Slow Start, Rallies to Beat Foxboro

North Attleboro Boys Hockey
Sam Clarke (19) skates over to celebrate with Nik Kojoian after the Rocketeers battled back from three goals down against Foxboro to tie the game late in the second period. (Josh Pery/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Five minutes into Wednesday night’s game at the New England Sports Village and it looked like North Attleboro’s senior night was going up in flames. Foxboro had a three-goal lead and the Rocketeers had barely gotten into the attacking zone.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

North coach Ben McManama took his timeout with 10:22 left in the first to settle his team down, remind them that there was still 40 minutes of hockey to play, and try to stem the momentum that the Warriors had at the start.

Whatever was said in that huddle worked. From that point on, North was dominant.

The Rocketeers rallied, scoring once in the first and three times in the second period, then adding two in the third to pull out a 6-5 victory and clinch second place in the Davenport division. After struggling to get started in the game, North ended up with a 34-17 edge in shots on goal.

“We tried to slow them down but they came out flying,” McManama explained. “From that timeout on, I thought we played outstanding.”

He added, “The message was there’s a lot of hockey to be played and we had to go one goal at a time, one shift at a time, and if we have that mindset once that first one goes in then it starts to build. We just worked our butts off and I couldn’t be more proud of how they competed.”

Foxboro needed no time at all to grab the lead. Matt Grace went down the left wing, angled towards goal, and picked the far corner to make it 1-0 after just 58 seconds. The lead was double just 24 seconds after that. North turned the puck over in its defensive zone and Grace found himself free in the left circle for a one-timer.

Things went from bad to worse for the host a few minutes later. Foxboro caught North pushing up the ice and a stretch pass freed Grace down the wing again. This time he saucered the puck across the crease where Tom Marcucella knocked it into the empty net.

About 90 seconds after the timeout, North got one back and started to build momentum. It was a perfect breakout, as Jake Gruber fired a pass up the near boards to Tyler Sarro at the opposite blue line. Sarro drove into the zone and his perfect dot-to-dot pass found Nick Longa for a one-timer.

Ben Ricketts, who was credited with assists on each of the first two Foxboro goals, nearly answered right back, but his shot smacked off the crossbar.

Sam Clarke stole the puck just inside the blue line and forced a good save out of Jack Spinney (15 saves). Foxboro managed to scramble clear the rebound. On the other end, Brady Daly teed up Kirk Leach in front but Kyle Gruber (12 saves) stayed tall and made the stop. Clarke was again a handful and set up Brady Sarro in the slot but Spinney took it in the chest.

“Obviously we had good jump right at the beginning,” said Foxboro coach Mark Cedorchuk. “We got the forecheck going and we tried to sustain that after it was 3-0 and I thought we had them back up against the wall, but they just changed their forecheck and came out more aggressive getting the puck in front of the net and putting pressure on our D getting it deep.”

Controversy erupted just 26 seconds into the second period, as Nik Kojoian was sure that he had knocked in a rebound to make it a one-goal game, but the officials had lost sight of the puck and blown the play dead. North kept pushing, with Joe Quinn coming close off a nice feed by Mark Ayvazyan and Austin Comery’s shot from the point forcing a nice glove save out of Connor Callahan (13 saves).

“We were really positive on the bench,” said McManama. “We weren’t yelling at them after we went down 3-0, just saying it happens, it’s part of hockey. We’re a confident group. I don’t know what happened those five minutes but we were ourselves after that.”

When North’s second goal did come, it sparked a crazy sequence that saw the teams combine for four scores in a little over a minute.

Tyler Sarro got it started when he collected Longa’s angled pass from the point, dragged it around Callahan and deposited it inside the post. Forty seconds later, it was Brady Sarro knocking in a rebound to bring North all the way back to 3-3.

The celebrations had barely started when Foxboro jumped back on top. Grace capped off his hat trick by jumping on a loose puck and smashing a one-timer past Gruber. Twelve seconds after it was tied, Foxboro led. Fourteen seconds after that it was tied again. Anthony Westcott stepped into a shot from inside the blue line and slammed it under the bar to make it 4-4.

“It was going back and forth,” said Cedorchuk about that sequence. “We were exchanging punches. It just showed that they weren’t going to lie down and give up. We knew they were going to keep fighting and we tried to keep that effort up.

He noted, “Our guys hung in there. We needed to get more pucks to the net obviously. After we went up 3-0, we just didn’t get enough pucks to the net and the shot total showed that but overall I’m happy with my guys’ effort.”

Playing two, high-energy games in two days seemed to take its toll on the Warriors and North took advantage in the third period, outshooting the visitors 9-4.

Midway through the third, North grabbed its first lead of the night. Longa got his second of the game, sniping the far top corner to make it 5-4.

Kojoian would hit Tyler Sarro with a cross-ice pass for an empty net goal in the final minute that turned out to be the game-winner because Leach popped up with another pinpoint shot into the corner but with only three seconds remaining.

“I think we had momentum, but more so we had the confidence that it was our game to win and if we just continued that effort shift-by-shift then we’d be fine,” said McManama about his team’s attitude heading into the third. “We were winning battles, puck races, and that’s how you win hockey games.”

North Attleboro (7-5) will play Bishop Feehan in a charity game and there is the possibility of a third meeting with Foxboro (4-6) at the NESV to close out the season on Sunday.

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Chaput Snipe Lifts Canton to Win Against North

Canton boys hockey
Sophomore Jeffrey Chaput celebrates his second period goal that turned out to be the game-winner for Canton against North Attleboro. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


CANTON, Mass. – North Attleboro got bodies in the way all game long, not letting pucks get through on goal, but sometimes it only takes a sliver of space to find the back of the net.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Sophomore Jeffrey Chaput got that one chance in the second period and buried it in the top corner and it turned out to be all that the Bulldogs would need. Canton added an empty net goal in the final minute and skated to a 2-0 victory over North Attleboro that puts the teams in a tie for first in the Davenport division.

“North Attleboro does a great job blocking shots, they always have,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “They sell out, they take away the shooting lanes. Also a failure on our part, too many shots above the knees, which are the easiest shots to block. We have to keep it low, along the ice, and find shooting lanes. Stop trying to go top shelf on their goalie and try to create more rebound opportunities.”

It was an even game, despite Canton’s edge in shots on goal. Both teams came out flying and the Bulldogs showed no rust from having a week off between games.

Shuman explained, “We’ve been fortunate enough to be skating normally, so I think that in itself is keeping us in a good flow and a good rhythm. We’re just lucky to be playing right now because there are a lot of teams that unfortunately aren’t.”

Jack Digirolamo sprung Brendan Tourgee down the left wing for an early chance that was saved by North goalie Kyle Gruber (23 saves). Andrew Valkanas stayed with the puck after his initial shot was blocked and had a good look coming off the right wing boards, but again Gruber stood tall.

The chances kept coming for Canton in the first. Digirolamo had a shot blocked in front and the rebound fell to Tourgee at the post, but the freshman forward was denied by the freshman goalie’s pad. AJ Thomas had another chance between the circles with a quick spin and shot but Gruber, who was making his first varsity start, was again equal to it.

“Why not?” chuckled North coach Ben McManama when asked about having his goalie make his debut against the Bulldogs. “I was a little worried about doing that but you can tell he’s a tough kid mentally and you know what? You’re going to have to learn sometime and we thought it would be good experience for him.”

North started to get more looks in the offensive zone as the first period wore on. Charlie Connolly angled a shot from the right point that was tipped in front by Joe Quinn, but went just wide of the post. In the final seconds of the first, Nik Kojoian pushed towards goal from the left circle but was denied at the post by Canton goalie Liam Polles (15 saves).

Despite starting on the kill, Canton dominated zone time in the second, keeping North pinned back in its defensive zone. Even with all that pressure, it was North that had the edge in shots on goal (6-5) in the period. The Rocketeers defensemen continually got in the way of shots and kept Canton out of the middle.

“It can be a little deceiving sometimes,” said McManama. “There may be a lot of zone time, but are we giving up quality shots? I think we didn’t give up too many except for the goal they scored. They did a good job of keeping everything to the outside and our goalie did a great job and we also helped him out.”

Jake Gruber had a good chance for North when he forced a turnover near his own blue line and then forced a blocker save from Polles on the other end of the ice. Mark Ayvazyan almost had a breakaway for the Rocketeers, but pulled up short of the crease to avoid a defenseman and then fired just wide.

By that point, Canton had gotten its one good chance. After a spell of pressure in the zone that saw a couple of shots blocked in front, the puck kicked out to Chaput just inside the left circle. He barely settled the puck before whipping a shot into the top corner that gave the goalie no chance.

“Jeff had a great shot and a quick shot, quick release that kind of surprised the goalie,” said Shuman. “He worked hard. He had the best game I’ve seen him play in his two years for us and he deserved that.”

The pattern continued in the third period, with Canton using its speed to gain the zone and put pressure on the North defense, but with the visitors holding firm and creating the occasional scoring opportunity on the other end.

“Coach Spillane said it best on the bench, let’s get some breathing room and get that goal early in the period,” Shuman said of Canton’s approach to the third period. (With his assistant coaches unavailable this week, Shuman asked former Franklin coach Chris Spillane to help out on the bench.) “We had a couple good chances, just couldn’t bury it.”

Sam Clarke nearly tied the game inside the first minute of the third. He blocked Jay Kelleher’s shot from the point and raced past the Canton defense before forcing a blocker stop from Polles.

It was a warning for the Bulldogs that the game wasn’t over. The best chance to double the lead came when Dylan Coyne’s shot from the slot was blocked and the rebound fell to Eddie Gillis, but his tip slid just wide of the post.

North came closest to tying the game with 2:30 remaining. Tyler Sarro stretched to tip a clearance in the neutral zone to avoid an icing and, after a battle behind the Canton net, the puck came out to Nick Longa on the edge of the crease. Polles kept his pads on the ice and was able to cover up.

Just a few seconds after North pulled its goalie, Canton wrapped up the win. Sam Carlino blocked a pass on one end, chased the puck down, and flicked into the empty net to make it 2-0 with 40.2 on the clock.

“We’re going to have to look at the film and see how we can generate more offense,” said McManama. “Sometimes they do such good job with our ‘D’ zone coverage that we get stuck down there. We’re going to have to work on ways to get ourselves better entries through the neutral zone.”

Canton (3-0) and North Attleboro (1-2) will meet again on Wednesday at the New England Sports Village.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

2020-2021 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview

2020-2021 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview
Mansfield and North Attleboro clashed on the ice in January 2020. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2020-2021 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview

Attleboro

2019-2020 Record: 5-14-1
2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Greg Chamberlain
Attleboro struggled down the stretch last season, losing nine of its final 11 games (five of those losses by two goals or fewer) and narrowly missing out on a postseason berth. Former Canton assistant Greg Chamberlain has taken over this season with the goal of making the Bombardiers competitive in the Kelley-Rex division.

Goalie will be a position of strength this year, as Attleboro has three players that can step in between the pipes. Junior Nick Piazza will be the starter after a breakout sophomore year where he made nearly 500 saves. Junior Michael DuTremble and freshman Julien Horton are the other goalies on the roster. In front of Piazza, Attleboro has three solid pairings. Senior Owen Dryjowicz moved from forward to defense late last season and looked comfortable on the blue line. Junior Sean Marshall and senior Zack Pierce are also returning defenders that the Bombardiers are counting on.

Offensively, the Bombardiers will miss the scoring of Ryan Morry, who led the team with 21 points, but with several returning players Attleboro has the potential to put together solid forward lines. Senior Aidan Dryjowicz is the team’s top returning scorer with nine goals and classmate Jake Ward, junior Nate Parker, and freshman winger Dane Holskie have the potential to contribute to the attack this season.

“I think the key to this season,” said Chamberlain, “is that everyone needs to pull their weight. If you look around the league teams that win have three or four lines that they can roll out every night. That is going to be the name of the game for us. Keeping it simple and do your job.”

Canton

2019-2020 Record: 21-1-3
2019-2020 Finish: Div. 2 State Co-Champion
Coach: Brian Shuman
Although Canton didn’t get the chance to go to the TD Garden to face Lincoln-Sudbury and try to avenge its only loss of the past two seasons, the Bulldogs brought home a second straight Div. 2 state championship. Even for a program with the sustained success of Canton, last year’s senior class had a uniquely impressive record and that class’ graduation leaves a lot of holes that new faces will need to step into.

Last year’s top scorers, Johnny Hagan and Chris Lavoie, combined for 37 goals and 68 points, so it will be tough to reproduce that output. Senior Dylan Coyne will be hoping to make up some of that scoring punch and the Bulldogs will hope junior Eamon Kelly can return from an injury and get back to the form he showed last year.

While the defense was also hit hard by graduation, Canton returns a pair of defensemen that saw considerable time on the blue line last season. Junior Sean Connolly and sophomore Vincent Sica both jumped right into the lineup and looked comfortable competing at the top level, but this year they will also be experienced veterans and leaders in that group. Senior Liam Polles will get the chance to jump in goal this year.

Canton coach Brian Shuman said, “I can say that after the first two weeks, things are certainly different in many ways, but I am confident that we will adapt and adjust like most teams our league to give our players a much-needed physical outlet and important connection to a team.”

Foxboro

2019-2020 Record: 12-5-5
2019-2020 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South Semifinal
Coach: Mark Cedorchuk
Foxboro has grown by leaps and bounds in recent seasons. Each of the past three years have seen the Warriors set a new standard for the best season in program history, culminating in last winter’s 12 wins and run to the Div. 3 South semifinal.

Depth at the forward line will be a strength this season and Foxboro should be capable of scoring plenty of goals. Senior forward Kirk Leach was second in the Hock last year with 20 goals and he leads an experienced group. Junior Jack Watts had 13 goals and 14 assists last year and is another big, physical forward. Senior Brady Daly will look to add to his nine points from last season and junior Eoin Reager can play multiple positions, including forward, and added 14 points as a sophomore.

The Warriors will obviously miss former Hock MVP Espen Raeger, who was one of the league’s top goalies. Senior Jack Spinney was the backup goalie last year and could step in between the pipes after seeing a few minutes of action as a junior. Junior Dylan Pothier and sophomore Alex Coviello are two of the returning defensemen from last year’s team and both played big roles in the team’s strong performance in the postseason. Eoin Reager can also play in the back line.

“We have a lot of forwards returning, so the depth is there,” said Foxboro coach Mark Cedorchuk. “We also have a lot of skilled defenseman holding the blue line. Looking forward to the season, even though it will look and feel a lot different, I’m just happy for our guys get to play.”




Franklin

2019-2020 Record: 11-8-4
2019-2020 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Semifinal
Coach: Anthony Sarno

Head coach Anthony Sarno can’t help but wonder what could have been for this season. Franklin had a strong group of returners back from last year’s squad and Sarno had a schedule filled with top teams from around the state ready to see how his Panthers stacked up to the elite talent. But now Franklin will focus on its 10-game Hockomock schedule with a chance to prove it’s the top team in the league.

Franklin will rely on its senior class to lead the way. The Panthers will be very solid in the back, starting with senior goalie Jack Paterson. After serving in a backup capacity previously, Paterson steps into the starting role but is getting pushed in practice by classmate Gary Mandia. Along the blue line, Franklin has plenty of familiar names with the likes of Joe LeBlanc (nine points), Will Sheehan, Justin Abely, and Pat Dolan — all four are seniors with a good amount of varsity experience.

Offensively, the Panthers have a good variety of attacking options led by last year’s HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Dylan Marchand (13 points). Sarno is carrying 20 players and plans to use them all, rolling four lines offensively. JT Dwyer and Declan Lovett are both senior centers and have been strong in the face off circle so far. Sophomore Ben Jarosz should see an expanded role after getting some time last year. Franklin will look to expand on its puck possession after making the switch from a dump-and-chase team.

“We were looking forward to playing against some of the best teams in the state but we’re going to make the most of this opportunity,” Sarno said. “We’re going to give it our all each game. We’ve going to practice as hard as we play in games, the energy the kids have brought has been contagious. We’re treating every game like a playoff game, that’s the type of energy we want to bring to each game.”

King Philip

2019-2020 Record: 10-6-5
2019-2020 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Paul Carlow
King Philip pushed Franklin to the final week of the regular season in its quest to win a first league title since 2013 (and end the nine-year reign for the Panthers in the Kelley-Rex). The Warriors did get back into the postseason, although again Franklin stood in the way in the preliminary round, and will return 13 players to make another run at that elusive league championship.

Experience on both ends of the ice will be the strength for KP this season, with eight seniors and eight juniors on the roster, including a pair of four-year players. Senior forward Conor Cooke and senior defenseman Rocco Bianculli have been critical players for each of the past three seasons. Bianculli is not only a leader at the blue line, but also one of the league’s top offensive defenders. KP returns three of its top four scorers from last year. In addition to Bianculli, senior Aidan Boulger and junior Nolan Feyler provide the scoring punch on the forward line and are a good mix with Cooke’s physical presence up front. Seniors Paul McDonald and Justin Yatsuhashi add speed and depth.

Defensively, senior David Lawler will join Bianculli on the blue line. More of a defensive-minded player, Lawler adds solidity in his own zone and is counted on to make the right plays under pressure. Seniors Shea Cunningham and Geoff Bowes are also returning defensemen that couple size and experience around their own net. Sophomore Kyle Abbott will take over between the pipes

“As always we are looking to build on last year and compete for the league title,” said KP coach Paul Carlow. “Our team this season has some good experience. We also have some real skill and speed in the younger group.”

Mansfield

2019-2020 Record: 7-8-6
2019-2020 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Mike Balzarini

The Hornets aren’t focusing on how many games are on the schedule but focusing on taking it one game at a game instead. Mansfield brings back a lot of players that picked up varsity experience last season during the team’s postseason run.

Replacing three-year starter Sean McCafferty in goal won’t be easy but head coach Mike Balzarini has praised the work of Chris Hormann, who will be taking over in between the pipes. Balzarini said Hormann learned a lot last season in his backup role, is coming off a stellar fall season and has looked strong so far in practice this year. Captain Jake Quirk will anchor the blue line unit for the Hornets and will be joined by some familiar faces. Senior Joseph Gormley will bring a lot of experience to the defensive group and will be joined by sophomore Patrick Gormley as well as Ben Levine and James Hughes.

Senior captain Cam Page will spearhead the attack for the Hornets this season. Mansfield lost most of its point production to graduation so there will be plenty of opportunities for new faces to take advantage of. Mark DiDiralamo, Kyle Oakley, Dillon Benoit, Ryan Doherty, and Liam Anastasia are all in the mix for the top six for Mansfield.

“It’s a shortened season but we have looked good thus far in practice and in our scrimmage,” Balzarini said. “We’re looking to push the pace this year and play a faster-paced game.”

North Attleboro

2019-2020 Record: 7-8-6
2019-2020 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Preliminary Round
Coach: Ben McManama

On the ice, it’s been business as usual for the Red Rocketeers, who have a strong returning core ready to make a run at dethroning Canton atop the Davenport division. The biggest challenges for head coach Ben McManama and his squad so far have been adapting to all of the changes off of the ice.

Expectations are high for the Big Red with some familiar names at each position. The most returners come from the offense where the Rocketeers have a handful of forwards back, giving McManama the flexibility to run at least three lines. Senior captain Tyler Sarro will be a leader on and off the ice and will be joined by his brother Brady as the wings on the top line. Nik Kojoian is back after missing almost all of last season and will center the top line. McManama notes his second and third lines are interchangeable, more “2A” and “2B” rather than second and third lines. Juniors Sam Clarke and Nick Longa and sophomores Mark Ayvazyan and Joe Quinn will all be in the mix.

The Rocketeers will have a lot of spots to fill along the blue line after graduating a strong corps of defensemen from last winter. Senior Charlie Connolly and junior Austin Comery are the veterans in the group, entering this season with the most experience. McManama has tabbed junior Anthony Westcott as another option along the blue line while the final spot is up for grabs. Senior James Burtch will take over in net for the Rocketeers while freshman Kyle Gruber is pushing for time.

“The big thing for us this year is being a system team,” McManama said. “We have to be disciplined with our system. We’re really harping on sticking to our system and what we do, and we have to be really disciplined and do our jobs. That’s how we’re going to generate goals and it’s going to be how we stop shots too, it works on both ends. We’ve had great practices, it’s been fun getting the kids back.”




Oliver Ames

2019-2020 Record: 6-13-2
2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Mike Zucarelli
Oliver Ames finished 2019-20 with six wins, but also had four losses by a single goal (all four to teams in the playoffs), so the Tigers were closer to earning a postseason berth under first-year coach Mike Zuccarelli than the final record may indicate. This season, the Tigers return to the Davenport division for the first time since 2016 and with only six returning players there will be opportunities for new faces to step in and contribute right away.

Seniors Ross Carroll and Matt Nigro will provide leadership in the forward line and much-needed experience for a young group. Sophomores Sean McCarthy and Jack Perron both saw action last year and their development will be important for the Tigers to get consistent production from the forward lines.

Defensively, senior Kevin Tremblay and junior Elliot Cohen both grew into bigger roles last year and will be expected to lead the blue line corps this season. Sophomore Brandon Burke will take over in net after backing up Owen Connor last winter. Zuccarelli is also counting on a strong freshman group to come in and provide an instant impact and is excited about the potential for the program going forward.

“Patience and resilience are going to be two major themes this year as we have already experienced,” said Zucarelli. “Our goal is to grow as a team and tackle each challenge we are presented together both on and off the ice. I am confident with our senior leadership, outstanding assistant coaches, and the support we receive from the OA community that we will have a season to remember.”

Stoughton

2019-2020 Record: 4-16-1
2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Dan Mark

After an up-and-down first year in a co-op with Brockton, the Black Knights are aiming for an improved 2021 season. After a year away, Stoughton is back in Hockomock League competition and will be vying for the Davenport title.

With just four players gone to graduation, longtime head coach Dan Mark has a veteran squad at his disposal for the upcoming 10-game schedule plus a small postseason planned. The foundation of the team starts between the pipes as the Black Knights have two goalies back with experience. Sophomore Chris Andrade will compete with senior Ryan Spano for the starting job in net.

In front of goal, Mark is leaning on a trio of juniors plus one senior to get the job done. Senior Kenny Young will be joined along the blue line by Josh Greenspoon, Anthony Hern, and Steven Westerlund — all returners from a season ago. Offensively, the Black Knights will turn three-year starters in junior Colin Alessi and Joe McNulty to anchor the offense. They’ll be joined by seniors Kyle Cruickshank, Cade O’Connell, Mike Andrade, and Ryan Flannery to bolster the attack.

“We have a veteran team blended with some younger players and are looking to improve on last year’s record,” Mark said.

Taunton

2019-2020 Record: 10-11-3
2019-2020 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round
Coach: Kris Metea

Taunton is returning a plethora of players from last year’s varsity squad that had double-digit wins and made a trip to the postseason. Now, the Tigers are just hoping to play a complete — albeit shortened — season.

The Tigers got a couple of days on the ice before the school district paused all athletic activities over the winter break. Head coach Kris Metea and his 18 returning players are hoping to resume practice on Monday and get their season back on track. While the break will certainly be a setback for the Tigers, having such an experienced squad will help when Taunton does get back on the ice. Leading the way will be a pair of defensemen: senior captain and Hockomock League All Star Brady Nichols and junior Jack DeMoura, a HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team selection.

Having reliable options on the blue line will be key as the Tigers sort out the situation between the pipes. Senior Jason Frates, who only has a handful of years of experience at the position, is set to start in net. Offensively, the challenge will be replacing the production from Michael Albert, one of the most productive players in program history. Metea will look to juniors Nathan Fernandes and Loren Corcoran as well as sophomores Colton Scheralis and Connor McGrath to replicate that production. Senior Camden Faria will be a leader of the offensive group

“2020 has been a challenging time and we are hoping that athletics can provide respite for players and families as we enter 2021,” Metea said. “We will take whatever games guidelines allows us to play and be thankful for the opportunity to skate in the presence of friends!”