Canton Avenges Loss to KP, On Brink of League Title

Canton girls hockey
Canton players celebrate a goal during a 5-1 victory at King Philip that puts the Bulldogs on the brink of a second straight Hock title. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FOXBORO, Mass. – Canton has developed a well-earned reputation for being a team that finds ways to win big games. The Bulldogs focus on the defensive zone, get the puck deep and forecheck, and take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to them. Saturday evening’s league title showdown with King Philip at the Foxboro Sports Center was another example.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Even after falling behind inside the opening two minutes of the game, Canton never looked flustered. The Bulldogs went 3-for-3 on the power play, got three goals from defensemen, made timely saves to prevent KP from getting momentum, and skated to a 5-1 win that puts them just two points from clinching their third league title in four years and becoming the first Hock team to repeat as champion.

As if winning the title wasn’t enough motivation, the Bulldogs were also playing with head coach Dennis Aldrich in mind.

“They realized that they had an opportunity and I think they’re really motivated by Coach Aldrich,” said Canton assistant Nick Maffeo. “I think it means a lot to them that he’s watching from the hospital and that he’s pulling for them. They really believed in themselves and that was huge for us.”

He added, “That’s their goal in this shortened season, this crazy season, to try and capture the Hockomock League. It’s important to them, especially for the seniors.”

Just like in the first meeting between the teams, the Warriors got off to the perfect start. Freshman Kelly Holmes split a pair of defenders and drove to the net. Carolyn Durand (15 saves) made the initial stop but the rebound popped out to Jen Daniels on the post and she knocked it in for a lead just 1:44 into the game.

Unlike the first meeting, KP was not able to sustain that momentum past the opening few minutes.

“In their barn, we were flying the whole game, we were chasing pucks, were first on pucks, won one-on-one battles,” said KP coach Ken Assad. “Today was nothing like that except the first one or two minutes and I just don’t know why it’s not consistent.”

A power play sparked the Bulldogs into life. Maya Battista camped out on the edge of the right circle and she fired a wrister in off the post to tie the game. It was only Canton’s second shot on goal in the opening eight minutes.

Canton closed the first period with a flurry of chances. Lizzie Tassinari’s outlet pass sprung Maria Femia to drive at the KP goal, but Mallory Johnston (23 saves) kept her pads down to make the stop. Ellie Bohane’s pass across the crease nearly created a second goal, but Audrey Koen’s tip went just wide.

KP nearly regained the lead a minute into the second. Daniels went one-on-one with Canton defender Kylie Martone and forced Durand into a good pad save.

Again it was a penalty that would stall the KP energy and put Canton in front for the first time. This time it was Allie McCabe that popped up with the goal, as she eased in from the blue line, taking the space that the KP defense was giving up, and fired a wrist shot through a crowd and inside the post.

“I think our defense has been a strength for years and years and this is something we’ve worked on all season,” Maffeo explained. “Our defense is committed to offensive zone, neutral zone, and defensive zone and we work on that and practice that and they have confidence in that.”

Sydney O’Shea was one of KP’s best outlets on offense and she forced Durand into another good stop, but Canton was taking control of the game and doubled its lead with 6:59 left in the period. Battista’s shot from the point was kicked aside, but Canton kept the puck in the zone and it cycled around to Koen in the left circle. She turned and fired and found the back of the net to make it 3-1.

The game could have been put away in the second. Canton outshot the Warriors 15-7 in the period and dominated zone time. Johnston came through with a pair of point-blank saves to deny Tassinari on the doorstep and then McCabe saw a shot come back off the post.

“The depth they have is incredible,” said Assad. “You have to match line-for-line with them and we tried. A team like that, once you score a goal you’ve got to stay on them, keep pressuring them.”

Even with Canton controlling play, KP had a couple of chances to make it a one-goal game. In the final seconds of the period, Avari Maxwell got free for a one-timer inside the left circle that seemed destined for the back of the net only for Durand to get across with her blocker. Fifteen seconds into the third, Katarina Precobb fired a pass from the near boards out in front to Morgan Cunningham but she was unable to get a clean shot off and Durand covered.

“It was there and I thought it was a goal but she came out of nowhere with that pad,” said Assad about Maxwell’s chance. “I thought that would’ve been great being down one going into the third. We had a great talk between periods, they came out and did exactly what we wanted to do, went after the net, and it just didn’t happen.”

Those misses would be costly. Just 32 seconds into the third, Battista whipped a shot in from the left point that somehow eluded the bodies in front and snuck past Johnston to make it 4-1.

Canton is a tough team to play against when they have a lead late in the game. The Bulldogs spent long stretches in the attacking zone. Although they weren’t creating a lot of chances, they were keeping the Warriors pinned back.

Maffeo said, “Because of our commitment to the defensive style of play, once we can get some offense generated then we can play the game we’re most comfortable with, all of our forwards back-checking and supporting our D.”

KP did have a couple of opportunities to maybe get back into the game. Holmes and Daniels forced a double save out of Durand with 10 minutes remaining. A minute later, O’Shea drove at the goal from a tight angle and tried to stuff in a backhand, but again had no way past the Canton netminder.

With 1:18 to go, on another power play, Tassinari wrapped up the win for the visitors. She spun on the puck in the high slot and ripped a shot past Johnston’s outstretched pad to make it 5-1.

Canton (7-1, 5-1) will take on Mansfield/Oliver Ames twice in the next two days needing a point to clinch at least a share of the league title. King Philip (4-3-1, 3-2-1) will face Stoughton/Sharon and root for the Warriors to trip Canton up.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

KP and MOA Share Point After Back and Forth Opener

King Philip girls hockey
King Philip and Mansfield/Oliver Ames battled to a 2-2 tie in the season opener for both teams. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FOXBORO, Mass. – It was a game that ebbed and flowed. First one team had momentum and then the other would make a play and the ice would start to tilt back the other way.

Mansfield/Oliver Ames rallied from one goal down in the third period, taking the lead with just 1:41 left, but King Philip answered back only 43 seconds later with the goalie pulled and the two teams skated off with a point apiece following an exciting 2-2 tie. It was the season opener for both teams, who will meet again on the same ice less than 24 hours from when this game finished.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I didn’t expect anything different,” said King Philip coach Ken Assad about the matchup with MOA. “I knew they were going to be tough beat. Our girls were picking things up day-by-day and I didn’t know how today would go. We still need to pick some things up speed-wise but they did a pretty good job today.”

King Philip had the game’s first good chance when Libby Curran fired a shot through a crowd that had to be knocked aside by MOA goalie Jess Widdop. The visitors came right back with chances of their own. Emma Pereira circled all the way around the zone, behind the net, and back in front where she picked out Julia Muttart for a chance that was saved by Mallory Johnston.

Ella Waryas showed off her stick-handling when she weaved through traffic starting at her own blue line, but her backhand shot was saved. Meg Sherwood set up Kelly Holmes for a chance right in front but Widdop made the stop and then the rebound was flicked just over the bar.

After a scoreless first period, MOA started the second brightly. Reese Pereira had two tries at the near post but Johnston kept her pad on the ice and blocked both efforts.

Just when it looked like MOA was starting to assert control, KP opened the scoring on the other end. Nicole Brady touched the puck past a defender and into the right circle before sending a low pass to the edge of the crease. Kara McWhinnie was in front and got the deflection under the pads of Widdop to make it 1-0.

Almost immediately after going in front, Sydney O’Shea had a chance to double the lead with a wrister from the slot, but Widdop saved. Reese Pereira then had a shot gloved by Johnston and Waryas was denied on the rebound.

KP finished the second with nearly four minutes of power play time and could have gone into the intermission with a bigger lead if not for the MOA goalie. Holmes fired a pass across goal to Avari Maxwell at the post but Widdop got the pad down to make a point-blank save. With less than 30 seconds left in the period, Katarina Precobb slipped a pass to Morgan Cunningham on the back post but Widdop’s blocker was in the way.

“In the first half of that game, she was the game for us,” said MOA coach Roy Bain. “She was the team. She had a blocker save that was huge, a leg save on a rebound. She kept us in it, kept us in striking distance.”

Assad added, “We need to take our opportunities that we created. She’s a great goalie and we’ve just got to be able to pounce on those rebounds. We practiced the power play a lot the last couple days and I’ll give the girls credit they ran it to perfection but we just have to put it in the net.”

It stayed a one-goal game heading to the third and MOA came flying out of the break in search of the tying goal. Emma Pereira had a blast from the point that Johnston parried. KP nearly snuck a second on the break when O’Shea’s pass sprung Jenn Daniels only for Widdop to stand tall again.

With 10:57 on the clock, MOA was level. Megan O’Hara got free at the left point and sent a shot through traffic that somehow found a little seam to get to the net and then ricocheted off the post and in. It was all MOA from that point on. After recording 10 shots on goal through the first period, the Warriors had 12 in the third period alone.

Emma Pereira continued to be the driving force for MOA. The senior defenseman raced down the left side and then turned towards goal, forcing Johnston (20 saves) into a good stop. Then, with 1:41 to play, Pereira cut across the high slot and forced a glove save out of Johnston. The rebound dropped right at the stick of Waryas, who made no mistake and slammed it into the empty net.

“We were able regroup,” Bain said about the strong third period from his team. “It took some time. They didn’t like where they found themselves but they came back like they always do. Kudos to KP, there was no quit in them either.”

MOA thought it had the come from behind victory, but there was still drama left in the game.

KP pulled Johnston for the extra skater. As the clock ticked down under one minute to play, Holmes made her first varsity goal a memorable one. The freshman got loose in the slot and sniped the space above Widdop’s shoulder to salvage a point.

“We’ve got some talented forwards on our team,” Assad said, “and we know we can score when we want to. When we pulled the goalie and put Kelly out there and she got the puck on her stick and she went end-to-end and got a great shot off.”

King Philip (0-0-1) and Mansfield/Oliver Ames (0-0-1) will meet again on Saturday afternoon in Foxboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview
Canton held on for a scoreless tie at Franklin that secured the Bulldogs the outright league title last season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)
2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

Canton

2019-2020 Record: 19-1-4
2019-2020 Finish: Division 2 State Co-Champion
Coach: Dennis Aldrich

The pandemic has cost Canton an opportunity to defend its first D2 state championship, but the Bulldogs have an experienced squad that will be looking to claim a second straight league title. Although dynamic defenseman Olivia Maffeo has transferred, Canton can count on 13 returning players, including nine forwards, so there is plenty of continuity as the program makes its move to the rebuilt Metropolis Skating Rink.

Maffeo’s goals will certainly be missed, but the Bulldogs will expect the forward lines to pick up the slack. Seniors Maria Femia, Lizzie Tassinari, and Ellie Rae Roberts all have four years of experience at the varsity level and each is capable of putting the puck in the net on a consistent basis. The forwards will also be the first line of defense, as their forechecking ability puts pressure on the opponents in all three zones.

Defense has been a strength for Canton throughout this impressive run of success. This year, there will be a few new faces on the blue line but junior Allie McCabe and sophomore Maya Battista will lead the defensive unit and both stood out last year for their strength, skating, and passing out of the zone. Backstopping the Canton defense is sophomore goalie Carolyn Durand, who recorded 14 shutouts as a freshman.

“I look for our team defense to be a strength as usual and am looking for our experienced forwards to find the back of the net more often with the confidence gained by capturing the first state title for Canton High School Girls Ice Hockey,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich.

Franklin

2019-2020 Record: 7-9-5
2019-2020 Finish: Reached D1 Preliminary Round
Coach: Margie Burke

2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

Last winter, Franklin pushed its league title defense right to the final game of the regular season and this year the Panthers will be hoping to reclaim the crown in what should be a typically competitive league campaign. Franklin will hope that a young defensive group can get up to speed right away to complement the experience that the Panthers have in attack.

The forward line should be a strength for Franklin this season. Senior Amanda Lewandowski is back to be the focal point after recording 21 points as a junior. Fellow seniors Libby Carter and Katelyn Brown will add experience and energy to the forward line, providing not only scoring punch but also helping out in the defensive zone as well. Sophomore Lyndsey Atkinson is coming off an impressive rookie season in which she led the team with 10 goals.

Defensively, Franklin graduated a group of players that had several years of varsity experience so it will be new faces that will have to step in this year. Junior Katie LeBlanc and sophomore Shaw Downing are two of the defenders back from last year’s squad. If teams get through the Franklin defense, senior goalie Gabby Colace is back to keep things difficult for opposing forwards. Colace was one of the league’s top shot stoppers last year, allowing fewer than two goals per game.
“We are very grateful to have the opportunity to get on the ice and compete,” said Franklin coach Margie Burke. “This year we expect to have a balanced squad. The Hock should be very competitive as always. ‘Play every game like it’s the last’ will be our motto.”




King Philip

2019-2020 Record: 10-11-1
2019-2020 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ken Assad

After coming up just one point shy of the state tournament last season, the Warriors are entering the 2020-2021 campaign with a lot of determination, ready to make a run at the Hockomock League title.

The Warriors have a large amount of returning players back for this season and all now have a year of experience under their belts playing for head coach Ken Assad, who enters the season with plenty of optimism and excitement. Assad will look to role three to four lines throughout the season, giving the Warriors a lot of flexibility with their offensive looks. In senior captain Averi Maxwell (18 points) and juniors Moran Cunningham (24) and Sydney O’Shea (20 points), King Philip has one of the most dangerous attacking units in the league. Not only will the Warriors get a lot of production from that line, but it should also open things up for everyone else on the ice.

Junior Jen Daniels (16 points) is back after a breakout sophomore campaign, sophomore Katarina Precobb will look to follow up a strong freshman season, and seniors Nicole Brady, captain Olivia Donovan, Kara McWhinnie, and sophomore Bridgette Nally will all be in the mix offensively for the Warriors. There will be a lot of familiar faces on the defensive end for the Warriors as well with senior assistant captains Gabriela Trujillo and Libby Curran anchoring the blue line unit. Juniors Meg Sherwood and Alison Donovan bring key experience from last year while sophomores Brielle Hearon and Emma Sullivan will factor in defensively as well.

Mallory Johnston picked up some valuable experience between the pipes last season filling in for an injury and will now take over the starting job in net for KP. The Warriors also have a strong freshmen class ready to contribute right away with Kelly Holmes (forward) and Mara Boldy (defense) in the mix.

“With the experience we have this year and always being very optimistic for a good start, I expect them to work hard in all three zones and be a top contender for a Hockomock title this year,” Assad said. “There is great team chemistry on this team and with our captains’ leadership, they will definitely give it 110%. The girls accept the fact there is not going to be a tournament and are very excited to get on the ice no matter what the season will look like and for that, I continue to be very proud of them and what they have gone through.”

Mansfield/Oliver Ames

2019-2020 Record: 10-10-1
2019-2020 Finish: Reached D1 Preliminary Round
Coach: Roy Bain

Coming off a strong 2020 campaign and with a group of veteran players on the roster, MOA head coach Roy Bain has a positive outlook on the upcoming season for his Warriors.

MOA recorded double-digit wins last season and nearly pulled off a gigantic upset in the opening round of the state tournament (5-4 loss to #8 seed Boston Latin). The Warriors have 11 seniors on this year’s roster and that, plus a strong mix of experienced underclassmen, should mean good things for the season. The defensive unit for the team remains intact with senior Emma Pereira, the team’s MVP from a season ago, back to anchor that unit. She’ll reunite with junior Julia Muttart for one pairing while seniors Melissa Shanteler and Megan O’Hara are back together on the blue line again this year.

Not only will there be familiar faces along the blueline, junior Jess Widdop returns for her third season between the pipes for MOA. Widdop had a strong season in goal for MOA a year ago and with so much familiarity among the defensemen, the Warriors will be one of the toughest teams to score against. Freshman Kata Callanan will push for time in net as well.

On the other end of the ice, Bain has compiled four lines that could all see time on the ice. Senior Alex Ledin (16 points), senior Ella Waryas (15 points) and sophomore Reese Pereira (17 points) accounted for the majority of the Warriors’ scoring last year and will be among the most dangerous lines in the league. The line of Sam Ledin, Kylie O’Keefe, and Emma Garland will provide a change of pace, using their speed on both ends of the ice; the trio of seniors Lily O’Brien and Tess Luciano centered by junior Cierra Doherty will provide veteran leadership; and sophomore Mya Waryas will be surrounded by freshmen Maeve Anastasia and Cam Shanteler for a youthful option.

“This team only graduated two players, it has essentially the same personnel from last year, but with a renewed sense of the possibilities of what they can build for this program,” Bain said. “Some of the seniors were cheated out of their seasons in other sports and know what’s at stake for girls hockey. I’m impressed by the focus they’ve shown this far. The rules they play under may have changed, but their mindset and their love of the game has not.”

Stoughton

2019-2020 Record: 3-15-1
2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Rich Grasso

2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

The Black Knights took a step in the right direction last season, picking up points in four contests including three wins. Stoughton will look to build on that this year in a very competitive Hockomock League.

Morgan Lessa was one of the best forwards in the Hockomock League last season, second in the entire league with 21 goals scored and tied for second-most in points with 31. Haley Nelson also had a strong junior campaign and was a big reason for Stoughton seeing an improvement on the ice from the season before. Nelson accounted for nine goals and six assists.

Zofia Bangs made an immediate impact for the Black Knights last season and is coming off a strong field hockey season. Both Bangs and Jillian Parker played key roles in the attack for the Black Knights. Stoughton will have to replace goalie Brianna Buckley (graduation). Buckley recorded over 350 saves last season and was a key piece in the Stoughton defense.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/06/20

Today’s games are listed below.

Field Hockey
Canton, 7 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalCanton’s Maria Femia recorded a hat trick as the Bulldogs opened with a big win on the road at neighboring Stoughton. Meghan LaBelle added a pair of goals to go along with Femia’s three tallies while Erin Lane and Sarah Cunningham each scored once in the win. Haley Nelson scored for Stoughton on an assist from Zofia Bangs.

Foxboro, 5 @ Sharon, 0 – Final

Franklin, 10 @ Milford, 0 – FinalFranklin scored four goals in the opening quarter and never looked back in a win on the road over Milford. The Panthers tacked on three more in the second quarter to build a 7-0 lead. Junior Kaitlyn Carney scored a hat trick and had three assists while Stephanie Bell also scored three times for the Panthers.

King Philip, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – FinalKing Philip senior Makenzie Manning shined in goal, turning away breakaway after breakaway to help the Warriors open the season with a tightly contested win over Mansfield. The Warriors held a 1-0 lead at halftime but each team found the back of the net twice in the second half. Senior Isabelle Crocker used her speed to get in behind the defense and scored twice for KP while senior Abby Nixon scored the opening goal of the game. Jenn Daniels and Lauren Barreiro played well in the win for KP. Abby Varicchione scored (on an assist from Grace Danehy) and registered an assist on a goal from Stori Rounds. Lily Danehy made 12 saves in goal for the Hornets.

Oliver Ames, 5 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery from this game – Georgia Costello and Julia Maclaine each scored twice and had an assist as Oliver Ames earned its first win of the season. Lexi Gennis added a goal while Haley Gilman registering an assist. Elleny Bau scored for North Attleboro.

Golf
Stoughton, 146 @ Canton, 189 – FinalCanton’s Thomas Singleton and Mike Leonetti shared medalist honors, each shooting a low-round of 36 to pace the Bulldogs at home over Stoughton. Will Gefteas and Owen Donovan rounded out the scoring, each carding a round of 37 for Canton. Stoughton’s Jake Curtis shot a team-low round of 43, Joe Mark added a 48, and both Max Huminik and Jonah Hochberg shot a 49.

Mansfield, 160 @ King Philip, 171 – FinalMansfield senior Brian See was the match medalist for the third straight time, helping the Hornets pick up a win on the road against KP and improve to 3-0. See shot a 39 while Ava Haggis and Cian Goulet were right behind at 40. Joe Gormley and Jason See each shot a 41 for the Hornets.

Oliver Ames, 161 @ North Attleboro, 165 – FinalIt came down to the final group but Oliver Ames was able to pull out a key win on the road. The Tigers trailed by four strokes with one group to go before junior Jake Kaplan, who shot one-over on the last seven holes, came in with a team-low 39 and senior Will Gianni carded a 40 to help Oliver Ames earn the win. Junior Carter Allbritton (41) added birdies on two of the first three holes and sophomore Daniel Paul (41) had a birdie on five. North Attleboro’s Dillon Harding was the match medalist with a round of 38, sophomore Jake Gaskin carded a round of 39, Tyler DeMattio added a 43, and both Aidan Weir and Sam Gallagher shot 45 on the middle course at Heather Hill.

Foxboro, 167 @ Sharon, 180 – FinalJunior Jack Watts was the lone golfer to score under 40, earning match medalist honors and helping Foxboro knock off Sharon. Watts carded a round of 39 on the front nine at Foxboro Country Club with Jack Rounds (42), Dylan Quinn (43), and Luke Davies (43) also scoring for the Warriors. Eric Carter led Sharon with a team-best round of 43 while Nathan Daley and Owen Kevorkian each shot a 45 for the Eagles.

Boys Cross Country
Stoughton, 35 @ Canton, 20 – FinalThe Bulldogs had the top three placements to open the season with a win at home over Stoughton. Junior Kyle Downing picked up where he left off, winning the race in 18:34. Downing was followed by senior captain Jack Hernon (19:08) and senior captain Elias Jabbour (19:41). Sophomore Matt Hart (20:59) and freshman Luke Darling (21:44) also scored for Canton.

Sharon, 15 @ Foxboro, 50 – FinalNicolas Olson (19:11), Liam Cody (19:26), and Brooks Stone (19:50) had the top performances for Foxboro.

Milford, 44 @ Franklin, 19 – FinalFranklin showed off its depth, taking first overall in the race and five of the top six spots overall in a win over Milford. Franklin’s Nicholas Calitri was the fastest on the day, taking first in a time of 16:01 on the 3.05 mile course. Josh Anderson (16:22), Griffin Sieczkiewicz (17:09), Clancy Golden (17:22), and Declan Walmsley (17:28) rounded out the scoring for the Panthers.

Mansfield, 20 @ King Philip, 35 – Final

North Attleboro @ Oliver Ames, 3:45

Girls Cross Country
Stoughton, 50 @ Canton, 15 – FinalIt was a clean sweep for the Bulldogs, taking the top five spots in the race to get a win at home over Stoughton. Senior captain Marie Messinger was first overall with a time of 21:52. Junior newcomer Kiara Cerruti was second (23:53), senior Amanda Duffin crossed third (24:22), sophomore Johanna Bouwmeester took fourth (24:42), and junior Corinne Campbell was fifth (25:34).

Sharon, 26 @ Foxboro, 31 – FinalFoxboro had a trio of runners in the top five but Sharon was able to squeak out a victory on the road. Aine Fitzpatrick took second overall (22:52) to pace Foxboro with Emilia Lacy (third, 23:11) and Mabel Linck (fifth, 23:12) following shortly after.

Milford, 27 @ Franklin, 30 – FinalMilford swept the top three spots to earn a close win over the defending Kelley-Rex division champions. Junior Emma Lawrence ran away with the win in 19:17, sophomore Sydney Kalil took second in 20:08, and senior Kerry O’Connor rounded out the top three by clocking in a 20:32. Sarah Flanagan (21:19) and Eva Parson (23:35) rounded out the scoring for the Hawks.

Mansfield, 25 @ King Philip, 31 – FinalMansfield took the top three spots in the race to earn a close win over King Philip. Senior Tessa Lancaster led the way for the Hornets, clocking in at 20:53.4 to take first place overall. Classmates Abigail Greenberg (21:35.6) and Emma Lamson (22:09.0) rounded out the top three for the Hornets. King Philip had the next four runners cross the finish line, led by senior Ava Pisani (22:50). Meg Sherwood (22:55), Katarina Precobb (23:32), and junior Maya Evans (23:41) followed suit for fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively.

North Attleboro @ Oliver Ames, 3:45

Shandley, Coleman Help King Philip Skate Past Franklin

King Philip girls hockey Jen Daniels
King Philip’s Jen Daniels watches after releasing a wrist shot in the second period against Franklin. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Ken Assad has plenty of good memories inside on the ice inside of Pirelli Veterans Arena just next to the campus of Franklin High.

Now he can add his first career win as a high school hockey coach to that list.

A state champion as a player in 1983 and a state champion as an assistant coach in 2016 with the Franklin boys hockey team, Assad traded in his Panther baby blue for the King Philip green and gold this season, taking over the helm of the Warriors girls hockey program.

In the second game of the season, Assad guided the Warriors to a 2-1 win over the Panthers for his first career victory.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“The girls earned it, they came in and played above our expectations today coming off a tough loss to Mansfield,” Assad said, adding he couldn’t have asked for anything better than getting his first win at Pirelli. “We didn’t come out flying in that game, and they got three goals on us in the second period. So to see them play the way they played today, it was fantastic.”

“That’s what we’re looking for. They’re always practicing hard, they are listening to the coaches, and that showed out there. We want them to go hard the entire game and that’s what they did tonight.”

King Philip took the lead just a couple of minutes into the game only for the Panthers to find the equalizer late in the first period. Franklin had a big chance to break the game open with a five-minute power play, but the Warriors killed it and changed the game.

KP senior Makenzie Shandley opened the scoring just three minutes into the contest for her first goal. After winning possession at the blue line, Shandley fired a shot that was originally saved but the rebound came right back and she fired a shot past the goalie.

While it looked like a goal, and the players’ reactions dictated the same, there was no whistle and the game carried on. After nearly 30 seconds of play, the refs got together on the next stoppage to confer. The decision ended up being a goal for Shandley and a 1-0 lead with just under 12 minutes to play in the first.

Despite taking the lead, the ice tilted in favor of Franklin for the rest of the period. The Panthers peppered the net with 11 shots, including a nice chance set up by freshman Lyndsey Aktinson, finding classmate Molly Hurley for a one-timer but her shot was denied by a stick save from KP senior Cristina Coleman (26 saves).

The Panthers couldn’t take advantage of a power play just before the midway point of the period, and then had a pair of chances inside a minute denied. Gina Vignone fired a shot that was loose in front with both Libby Carter and Ryan Sullivan digging in before Coleman covered. Less than a minute later, Coleman came up with a nice save on a strong shot from Franklin senior Gianna Cameron.

Franklin’s pressure finally paid off with just over four minutes to go in the frame. Senior Tina Pisano skated through a pair of stick checks, briefly losing control before settling the puck back on her stick and she roofed a shot from straight away to make it 1-1.

The first chance of the second period fell to the stick of KP junior Jen Daniels. After blocking a shot in the defensive zone, Daniels skated the puck across both blue lines before firing a wrist shot that was turned away by Franklin junior Gabby Colace (20 saves).

The Panthers went on the man-advantage for five minutes after a major with 8:37 to go in the period. Franklin put a handful of shots on net, including a big chance on a pass across the crease but Coleman denied the chance. King Philip’s Sydney O’Shea came up with a nice play on a stick check to thwart a breakaway chance as well.

A minute after killing the penalty, the Warriors went on the power play themselves after an interference call on the Panthers. KP didn’t waste much time to cash in with O’Shea firing a shot from the slot that was blocked wide. Shandley was first to the loose puck, and after calmly collecting it, buried a tight angle chance into the open net for a 2-1 lead.

“It took three lines to kill that penalty, and that third line (Nicole Brady, Olivia Donovan, Katarina Precobb) was unbelievable during it,” Assad said. “They just go out there, they hunt the puck down, and they clear it out and you can’t ask for anything more than that. To be able to kill that major was huge for us. And then we’ve been practicing our power play, and the girls are like sponges because they pick it right up. We got that shot in the slot that we wanted.”

King Philip nearly put the game away early in the third period when O’Shea and Shandley nearly linked up but Vignone stepped in to deny the connection. Seconds later, the Warriors had a big clank off the crossbar and stay out.

Atkinson found junior Amanda Lewandowski but her deflection was gobbled up in front by Coleman. Donovan had a breakaway chance for KP but again Vignone intervened.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin was on the verge of a good chance with just over three minutes to go with Lewandowski and Atkinson skating in the offensive zone but Daniels made a nice hustle play to prevent a chance on goal.

“Coming off the Mansfield/Oliver Ames games, we really wanted to take away loose pucks in front of the crease,” Assad said. “We really focused on that and they did a great job with it tonight. [Mansfield] scored three of their four goals on scrums in front so we really worked hard getting our sticks on the puck and it really showed today. And [Coleman] was just fantastic. She made some key saves for us, she had a huge one during that power play.”

Franklin (1-1, 1-1) will try to bounce back on the same day when it hosts Austin Prep.

2019-2020 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

Franklin girls hockey
MOA’s Emma Pereira (left) and Franklin’s Gina Vignone battle for possession at the blue line last season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019-2020 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

Canton

2018-2019 Record: 12-6-5
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 First Round
Coach: Dennis Aldrich

The Bulldogs will be using a mix of veterans and new faces as they try to get back on top of the Hockomock League. After winning the first league championship in 2018, the Bulldogs finished second last year but will be aiming to take back the title in 2020.

The strength of the team will be along the blue line with senior captains Alexa Maffeo and Meg Aldrich leading the way. Both have a ton of varsity experienced, including playing in a state championship game, and Canton will lean on them heavily for their leadership both on and off the ice. The defense will also feature sophomore Allie McCabe, who picked up valuable experience as a rookie a season ago. The defense will also get a boost from a pair of new faces with freshmen Olivia Maffeo and Maya Battista expected to be big time players for the Bulldogs.

Offensively, head coach Dennis Aldrich said he expects his side to be very quick and opportunistic in the attacking zone. Junior captain Maria Femia (two goals, nine assists), junior Lizzie Tassinari (five goals, 13 assists) and junior Ellie Rae Roberts (four goals, eight assists) are familiar with the system and have high expectations for the season. Sophomore Tess Khoury (six goals, five assists) returns after an impressive freshman senior. Freshman goalie Carolyn Durand has impressed early on with senior Vicky Revanche give the Dogs an experienced option in net.

“The early energy and closeness of this team has been remarkable,” Aldrich said. “I look for us to make some noise both in the Hockomock League and the state tournament this season.”

Franklin

2018-2019 Record: 17-3-2
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 Quarterfinals
Coach: Margie Burke

It’s been back-to-back very successful seasons for the Panthers, and head coach Margie Burke is looking for that success to continue in 2020. Franklin won 14 games two years ago, and then went unbeaten in Hockomock League last year and finished with 17 wins overall.

The defending Hockomock champs have a lot of experience back on the defensive end. Junior goalie Gabby Colace is back between the pipes for Franklin and will be one of the top netminders in the area. She posted a 0.905 save percentage in the regular season a year ago, allowing just 1.77 goals a game while making 242 saves. She will have some familiar faces in front of her with seniors Tina Pisano, Gina Vignone, and Gianna Cameron all back playing defense. Franklin was tough to score against last year and that will likely be the case again this year.

The biggest question mark offensively will be trying to replace the production of Regan Paterson and Cassi Ronan, who were two of the top three point producers in the entire league last year. But Franklin has a good cast of players ready for expanded roles this year. Juniors Libby Carter (five goals, three assists), Amanda Lewandowski (eight goals, 10 assists), Katelyn Brown (five goals, three assists), and Maddy Dolan, give the Panthers plenty of options on the attacking end. The Panthers will be looking to get some production out of the eight underclassmen on the roster as well.

“We are looking forward to building on the successes of last year and to be competitive in a very strong Hockomock League,” Burke said.

King Philip

2018-2019 Record: 4-13-2
2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ken Assad

After helping the Franklin boys team for over a decade, Ken Assad has traded in his Panther blue for the green and gold of King Philip, taking over the helm of the girls’ hockey program. Coming off a four-win season, Assad and his staff are very optimistic about the upcoming season.

The Warriors only have three seniors on the roster, so they will need contributions from every player on the roster to compete for a Hockomock League title and try to get back into the state tournament. Although it’s a small senior class, all three are important pieces to the team and are spread out on the ice. Makenzie Shandley is a newcomer to the program but will be leaned on to guide the offense on the first line. She is joined by returning forwards Avari Maxwell (seven goals, two assists) and sophomore Morgan Cunningham. Assad is hoping to have a deep offense with Jennifer Daniels, Olivia Donovan, Sydney O’Shea, Katarina Precobb, and Meg Sherwood all in the mix to get plenty of ice time.

Defensively, the Warriors are going to lean on senior captain Sami Robison. Fresh off a terrific field hockey season, Robison will be the veteran leader of the blue line unit for the Warriors. Junior Gabriela Trujillo should see an expanded role this year and will be an important part of the defensive unit. Junior Libby Curran, sophomore Ally Donovan, and freshman Maggie Griffin and Brielle Hearon are also apart of the KP defense. In goal, senior captain Cristina Coleman and freshman Mallory Johnston will push one another for time in between the pipes.

“Being a young team is great for the future of this program which is exciting,” Assad said. “We are always optimistic for a good start and to compete at a high level and I know the chemistry we have and the great leadership the girls will come out giving their best.”

Mansfield/Oliver Ames

2018-2019 Record: 9-9-3
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 Preliminary Round
Coach: Roy Bain

The Mansfield/Oliver Ames/Foxboro girls hockey team is relying on a mix of youth and veterans to push for a return to the state tournament in 2020. Although there are just two seniors on the squad, there is still a handful of experienced players that have played in plenty of contests at the varsity level.

Senior Liz Healy, junior Emma Pereira, and junior Melissa Shanteler will lead the way for the Warriors this season. Healy will be a leader on the offensive end while both Pereira and Shanteler will provide MOA with talent and leadership on the blue line. Joining that junior duo on the blue line will be classmate Megan O’Hara and sophomore Julia Muttart. The Warriors added some depth to the defensive unit with the addition of freshmen Brooklynn Levins and Maya Manganaro. Behind that talented group of defensemen will be sophomore goalie Jess Widdop, who had a terrific freshman year and earned team MVP honors.

On the offensive end of the ice, the Warriors return the speedy line of junior Alex Ledin (six goals, three assists), sophomore Sam Ledin (three goals, six assists), and sophomore Kylie O’Keefe, all representing Foxboro. Healy will be joined by Tessa Luciano and Emma Garland on another line while OA freshman Reese Pereira will be working with Foxboro’s Ella Waryas and Mansfield’s Lily O’Brien, giving the Warriors a lot of depth offensively. MOA is also looking for contributions from Elle Weinstein, Pam Nelson, Maeve O’Keefe, Erin DiCenzo, Cataline Kipp, Ciera Doherty, Ava Adams, and Mya Waryas.

“With a team comprised of two seniors, ten juniors, nine sophomores, and four freshmen, the program can look forward to continued consistency and success for the next few seasons,” said MOA head coach Roy Bain. “This team should compete against the talent-rich and always tight Hockomock League race.”

Stoughton

2018-2019 Record: 0-20-0
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Rich Grasso

After a down year, the Black Knights are looking to getting back on track as they team up with Sharon High for the second straight season.

Stoughton boasts skill at each position with junior Morgan Lessa back for her third year with the program, junior Haley Nelson returns to anchor the defense, and senior Brianna Buckley gives the Black Knights plenty of experience between the pipes. Stoughton will need contributions from everyone on the roster with four seniors, four juniors, six sophomores, and four freshmen.

Lessa is among the league’s top players at forward, scoring nine goals and adding three assists last year. Senior Abbey Kashian is one of the team’s three captains and will provide leadership on the offensive end. Look for Sharon junior Sam Sherman, another captain on the team, to fill in both offensively and defensively depending on the team’s needs. Seniors Carly Lader and Hannah Duff will provide depth on the attack this season.

Nelson, who logs a ton of minutes, will be the leader of the defensive unit. Sophomore Zofia Bangs and Sharon junior Jillian Parker are going to be key pieces on both ends of the ice this season for Stoughton. Freshman Ava Buckley has impressed early on this preseason and could give the blue line a big boost.