Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Catherine Luciano, Mansfield/OA/Foxboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Kendra Farrelly, Canton
Lauren Fitzpatrick, Canton
Colleen Kelleher, Canton
Maggie Malloy, Canton
Leah McLellan, Canton
Jackie Connelly, Franklin
Regan Paterson, Franklin
Natalie Stott, Franklin
Nicole Connor, King Philip
Jessica Daniels, King Philip
Meghan Gorman, King Philip
Olivia McCarthy, King Philip
Catherine Luciano, Mansfield/OA/Foxboro
Isabelle Shanteler, Mansfield/OA/Foxboro
Melissa Shanteler, Mansfield/OA/Foxboro
Julia Russell, Stoughton
Sarah Widrow, Stoughton
BOSTON, Mass. – Wellesley and Canton (18-4-3) combined to hold opponents to only 48 goals in 47 games this season, including just three goals apiece during their three tournament games leading into Sunday afternoon’s Div. 2 state championship game at the TD Garden.
It was no surprise then that scoring was at a premium in the final. Jenna Harrison’s goal with only 4.7 seconds remaining in the first period turned out to be enough to lift Wellesley, which was in its fourth trip to the TD Garden in the past five years, to a 1-0 victory and the state title.
“We’ve been riding Colleen for so long that we thought if the shots were even then we’d have a very good chance,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich. “I don’t think we concentrated enough on getting shots through them. We sometimes would make a little extra move, we felt confident about that, but it wasn’t necessarily the game plan.”
He also praised Wellesley, adding, “They are the best team we’ve faced this year and they are a true champion.”
The Raiders dominated puck possession and created far more scoring opportunities than the Bulldogs, who found their chances limited throughout the game. Senior goalie Colleen Kelleher put in another stellar performance in net, stopping 30 shots in her final game for Canton.
“Another big game by Colleen,” said Aldrich feigning a yawn about his senior goalie who has been consistently strong in helping Canton get to the TD Garden in each of the last two seasons. “I’m trying to red-shirt her by the way. She’s a heck of a player…and she’s the first one to pass it off to her teammates and that’s what makes her special.
Canton was limited to just eight shots in the game. The offense was stymied by the talented Wellesley defense, which blocked a number of shots to protect sophomore goalie Liddy Schultz and kept the Canton attackers to the outside.
Olivia Vernon had the first good chance for Wellesley, forcing Kelleher into a glove save three minutes into the game, and Erin Fleming skated to the right circle to bring out a blocker save. Canton took seven minutes before creating its first scoring chance. Alexa Maffeo’s shot from the point picked out freshman Lizzie Tassinari on the near post but Schultz got down quickly to block.
Wellesley nearly took the lead with three minutes left in the first after Kelleher’s initial save went straight to Lauren Ruggiero but the rebound effort slid just wide. Tassinari drew a save out of Schultz that fellow freshman Maria Femia followed up but also could not beat the Raiders goalie.
A warning shot came with 30 seconds left in the period when Mackenzie O’Neil got free on the right side, but fired her shot just wide. With the clock ticking down in the period, Wellesley finally made its dominance pay with a great individual effort. Harrison dragged the puck through her legs and dangled past three Canton defensemen before lifting a shot past Kelleher.
The rest of the game followed a similar pattern of Wellesley getting a number of shots on Kelleher, while the Bulldogs struggled to get into the transition game that made its offense so potent during the season.
Kelleher made a kick save to deny Isabelle Kressy from the slot and made a pair of quick saves to keep out Catherine Crosier and then the rebound shot from Bliss Vernon. In the third period, she also stuffed O’Neil on the edge of the crease and then seconds later on a one-timer from the right circle.
Canton created few chances but in the second period the Bulldogs nearly pulled even. SeniorKatie Halloran skated down the near boards and picked out freshman Ellie Rae Roberts, who was all alone in front. Roberts struggled to handle the pass and then rushed a backhand effort on goal that Schultz pushed aside. It was the only shot that Canton would put on target in the period.
Despite experiencing the TD Garden ice for the first time, the freshmen on the second and third lines put in impressive shifts for the Bulldogs on Saturday.
“They’ve got a huge upside,” said Aldrich. “Ellie Rae’s speed is terrific. Maria, her compete level, and Lizzie is just one of the smartest players we have. They’re definitely going to be future leaders coming through.”
The other great chance came only a minute later when Maggie Malloy found room on the near boards and sent a near-perfect pass across the crease to Lauren Fitzpatrick, but it went straight through with Schultz stranded.
Malloy came into the game having scored six goals in three playoff games, including all three game-winners, but she struggled to consistently get on the puck in the final. The top line, which includes Kendra Farrelly, Malloy, and Fitzpatrick, had all but one of Canton’s goals in the postseason but managed very few shots on goal in the final. Malloy had one inside the final six minutes but that would be Canton’s last of the game.
“We tried to break into short, two-minute games, play each shift out there like the goalie’s pulled,” Aldrich said of the mentality in the third period. “If we could match that intensity, go a shift at a time, forget about the match-ups, where everything goes to the net. Forget about mistakes, out-compete them in the third period.”
He continued, “I thought we were certainly a little more desperate than they were and we’re hoping we could catch them being a little comfortable and playing not to lose, but they’re a well-coached team and they did a nice job. They’ve been here before and they’ll be here again and hopefully we’ll be joining them.”
Aldrich also praised his group of seniors, including a few who do not see much time on the ice but got the chance to skate at the TD Garden in the final nine seconds after a late penalty on the Bulldogs forced them into a defensive zone face-off.
“These guys were with us when we played our last game at Ponkapoag Rink and the next year the rink went down and we were a road team all over the place,” he said. “These guys were there. They played the first game in our new rink and brought us to the Garden the last two years, so for them I’m just so thrilled.
“It will sting now but they’re going to look back and they’re going to smile.”
BRIGHTON, Mass. – Last winter, Canton was the No. 14 seed, an underdog and an afterthought for many of the people picking favorites to make a run at a state championship. This season, the Bulldogs have been considered Div. 2 title contenders for months and earned the No. 2 seed coming into the tournament. There was no sneaking up on opponents this year, instead Canton has had to deal with the weight of high expectations.
While the journey has been very different from last year to this one, the end result is the same. Canton will be heading to the TD Garden to play for the state title on the final day of the winter season.
The Bulldogs earned their spot in the final with a 1-0 victory over third-seeded Archbishop Williams on Monday night at the Warrior Ice Arena courtesy of 16 saves from senior goalie Colleen Kelleher and a goal from junior Maggie Malloy, her sixth of the postseason.
“Last year was insane,” Kelleher explained. “We had no idea we could even do that, it was a joke. We just kept going, game after game, but this year it was more like, we have to make it back and we have to get our second chance and we have to win. I think we were a little more motivated this time but it still feels just as sweet.
Canton coach Dennis Aldrich said, “Last year we snuck up on a lot of people. We were supposed to lose every game last year. To do what these kids have done with the target on their back all year because people knew where we were last year…this is a bigger accomplishment for this program. They stuck together.”
The Bulldogs got off to a strong start to the state semifinal, suffering no hangover from last week’s win over Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) that avenged last year’s title game defeat. Andrea McNeil set up Maria Femia for a golden scoring opportunity just five minutes in only to be denied the opener by Archies goalie Allison Delmonte.
Two minutes later, Lauren Fitzpatrick drove at the net from the left circle but a last-second poke check by the goalie kept her from getting off a shot. McNeil stole the puck on the forecheck but missed the net from the slot and freshman Lizzie Tassinari managed to get off a shot while falling down and forced a pad stop.
Kendra Farrelly nearly picked the top corner only to have Delmonte get her shoulder to the first try and also block Farrelly’s follow up. Canton finished with six shots in the first, despite controlling most of the play and keeping Archies on its heels.
The Bulldogs kept pressing at the start of the second with the forecheck continuing to cause problems for the Bishops, forcing turnovers and leading to shots on goal. The Canton forwards were also putting in shifts in the defensive zone and one backcheck by Femia allowed her to break out quickly and create an odd-man rush with Tassinari but again Delmonte made the save.
The breakthrough finally came with 8:42 left in the second. Malloy, who also scored the game-winners in each of Canton’s two previous playoff games this season, showed off her speed in the neutral zone after an outlet by Alexa Maffeo and got space in the right circle. As she angled towards goal, she fired an unstoppable shot just under the bar for the 1-0 lead.
“There is no one who works harder,” said Aldrich of Malloy. “She deserves everything she gets because she’s the hardest working player on our team. She’s a gamer and she brings it every night. She may not have the polished skill that some people do but what she has you can’t teach.”
Femia and Tassinari continued to cause fits on the second line with both having good scoring chances in the second and Fitzpatrick got free for a shot after Leah McClellan managed to keep a puck in at the blue line.
Before the game, Aldrich talked about trying to wear Archies down and in the second period he used his third line of Marissa Devane, Ellie Rae Roberts, and Katie Halloran a few times to try and add a little energy and give his other lines a short breather.
Aldrich said, “We don’t normally go strictly two lines but we looked to do that in the first period to maybe get a little quick strike on them. It didn’t work as planned but then we were able to spot the third line out there a couple times and it really got us energized. They only got maybe three, four shifts but they were important shifts for us.”
Canton gave Archies the chance to get back into the game with three penalties in the third period, but the Bulldogs were so aggressive on the kill that the Bishops struggled at times to get the puck out of their defensive zone.
“When you’re tired,” Aldrich explained, “if you’re out-worked by the penalty kill it works against you; you have to work harder. I think we wore them out just enough. We take pride in the third period too, whether we’re even strength or a man down, we try to keep it simple and we actually did a great job of that.”
McNeil and Malloy both had chances to seal the win but Delmonte continued to be stout in the Archies goal. Kelleher was largely untroubled on the other end of the ice with the biggest save of note being a second period stop on Mackenzie Heath after she skated in all alone. With 4:35 remaining in the game, Kelleher was called on again after Hanna Bell spun in the slot and fired a snap shot that the Canton goalie was able to kick aside.
It was a solid stop, especially since Kelleher had been mostly a spectator as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 10-1 advantage in shots in the third.
“It’s so nerve-wracking,” said Kelleher of not having to be ready after a long time between saves. “Even though in the games I face more shots I may let in more goals but I’m more focused in the game and my legs are warmed up. It’s definitely harder in these types of games.”
Archies finished with a flurry, desperately seeking the tying goal. Heath had the final scoring opportunity as she pinched in from the point on the power play, but her shot was saved by Kelleher.
At the final horn, the Canton players raced to their goalie to celebrate. This tournament run may be different than last year, but in the end that feeling of knowing that you are playing for a state title remains.
“I couldn’t stop smiling,” Kelleher gushed. “My heart just like burst. I don’t even know, it gave me butterflies. I’m so excited still.”
Canton (18-3-3) will face top seed Wellesley in the Div. 2 state championship game on Sunday at the TD Garden, time to be determined.
BRIGHTON, Mass. – When Canton faced off against Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) in last year’s Div. 2 state title game at the TD Garden, the 14th seed Bulldogs were the prohibitive favorite against the undefeated defending state champions and the game played out as expected with the Cougars claiming a second straight title.
Fast forward 12 months and the Bulldogs were more experienced, deeper, and full of belief that they could skate with NDA in Tuesday night’s Div. 2 quarterfinal at the Warrior Ice Arena and that was exactly how the game played out.
Junior forward Maggie Malloy continued her hot start to the playoffs with two goals and two assists and Canton’s top line accounted for all but one goal in a 5-2 victory that returned the Bulldogs to the state semifinal and exacted a measure of revenge for last March.
“It feels great,” said Malloy outside the locker room after the game. “We reversed it. We’re calling it the revenge tour.”
Canton coach Dennis Aldrich credited a preseason scrimmage with the Cougars, which finished in a 2-2 tie, for giving the team an extra boost of confidence heading into the season. He was able to remind his team of that performance heading into Tuesday’s rematch.
“It just built a lot of confidence and they came out and just wanted to out-compete them,” he said. “We had the talent level, we had seen enough of them…It was just our time.”
Malloy agreed, adding, “Playing a team like that the first time is going to be shocking but once you play them a couple times we have a better feel for who they are. This year we just said, we’re in great shape, we have great competition, and we’re just working together well.”
When the Bulldogs beat Walpole in the opening round, Aldrich was reminded of how every opponent that Canton beat last year claimed the better team had lost. He should have no concerns about that this season, as the Bulldogs controlled the majority of play right from the opening face-off.
Malloy, who scored a hat trick in the win against Walpole, had an early chance with a backhand that forced NDA goalie Erin Murray into a save. Two minutes later and Malloy put the Bulldogs in front. She stole the puck in the neutral zone, which Canton successfully clogged up all night, and skated in alone on Murray before ripping a shot into the top corner.
“The biggest threat for them that I saw was their transition game and the best way to counter that for us is to get [the puck] behind them and wear them out a little,” Adrich said. “Our defensive reads were better, especially on [Alexa Graziano].”
With 4:39 left in the first, Malloy nearly doubled the lead after Lauren Fitzpatrick’s pass went off the skate of Kendra Farrelly on the edge of the crease and Malloy was able to put the loose puck on net. Just 10 seconds later, NDA had its first good look when Kelly Morrissey got free in the slot but Colleen Kelleher (20 saves) made a smart pad stop.
The Cougars would go into the first intermission level. On the face-off following the game’s first penalty, Canton got mixed up on coverage and gave Kelsey Stewart the time to pick her corner.
NDA seemed to take some momentum from the tying goal into the second period and Kelleher had to be sharp to deny Alexa Graziano has she drove in from the left circle. Canton regained its edge and the lead with 7:36 left in the second. Fitzpatrick centered for Farrelly again and this time the puck found Andrea McNeil on the far post. She took a second and then fired a shot inside the post before leaping in celebration.
“Our second goal came right off what we’re trying to do [on face-offs],” Aldrich explained. “One of their guys is trying to fire out and we just want to set a pick on her coming out and it ended up screwing her up a little bit, puck bounced around and boom it’s 2-1.”
The goal sparked Canton back into action. A Theresa O’Brien shot from the point was stopped by Lizzie Tassinari in the slot but her backhand went narrowly wide. Kelleher then had to make three saves on Graziano, including a nice double save coming off an NDA face-off win.
Aldrich said of Kelleher, “She made some huge saves early on. That Graziano girl, god she’s quite a player. She gave us fits but the only shots that Colleen didn’t save were the ones she didn’t see and that’s our fault.”
As the clock ticked under two minutes left in the period, Malloy struck again (her fifth goal of the postseason). Farrelly’s shot from the left was blocked but not held by Murray and Malloy was quick to dig out the puck from a scrum of sticks and skates and then flick it in for a 3-1 lead.
Malloy deflected praise for her scoring streak onto her teammates. She said, “As a team, everybody’s getting their effort to the net and the fact that I’ve scored them reflects on everyone that is on the ice. You can just tell that everyone in the locker room, on the bench, wants to get the puck in the back of the net.”
The first line has only been playing as a unit for a few games, but it has certainly found a rhythm at the right time of the season. Malloy said, “The first game, I don’t think it went that well but once we decided it doesn’t matter who is putting the puck in the net than things started to go well.”
Fitzpatrick got behind the NDA defense right from the opening face-off of the third period but Murray made a big stop to keep the Cougars in it. NDA then turned on the pressure, out-skating Canton for the first and really only stretch of the contest as it desperately tried to get back into the game. It paid off with a goal a minute into the third, as Merideth Stewart snuck a shot through a crowd in front and past an unsighted Kelleher to make it 3-2.
After a few minutes of NDA pressure, Canton recovered and took back the impetus. Malloy saw a shot glance off the shoulder of Murray and then on the power play Maffeo’s shot from the point and Malloy’s follow-up were both kept out by the NDA goalie.
Murray could only do so much and with 6:25 to play, Fitzpatrick got on the scoresheet when she drove off the right circle and went top shelf at the near post to restore the two-goal advantage. With 1:20 left and NDA putting on some pressure with an extra skater, Farrelly managed to hold off a defenseman and slide into a shot for an empty net goal that sealed the win.
Canton (17-3-3) will await the winner of Archbishop Williams and Natick in the state semifinal on Monday night back at the Warrior Ice Arena.
CANTON, Mass. – The first two periods had been largely dominated by the 18th seed. Walpole held, by one count, a 23-9 edge in shots, including a 14-5 edge in the second period and had Canton on its heels in Sunday afternoon’s Div. 2 opening round game at the Canton Ice House.
It turned out the Bulldogs, and especially junior forward Maggie Malloy, were saving the best for last.
Malloy scored a natural hat trick in the third period to break open a tie game and lift second seed Canton to a 4-1 victory over the Rebels that sends the Bulldogs back to the Div. 2 quarterfinal and sets up a rematch with Notre Dame Academy (Hingham), which Canton faced in last year’s state title game.
“The first couple, we weren’t playing like us,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich. “I don’t know if it was the week and a half layoff or playing a heck of a team but they kind of took it to us a little bit and we were losing a few more battles than I’m used to us losing.”
He added, “All we talked about is no matter what happened, we can’t control whether we win or lose, but we can beat them on then compete level and I think we definitely did that in the third period, finally.”
Although Walpole had the advantage in shots in the opening period, it was Canton that had the lead. Sophomore Alexa Maffeo set up Kendra Farrelly in the slot for a rare scoring opportunity and the senior made no mistake, going bar down with her shot to beat Walpole goalie Kiera McInerny.
The Rebels came out flying to start the second and almost immediately found an equalizer on the power play. Amanda Janowicz was able to shed a defender behind the Canton goal and caught goalie Colleen Kelleher looking the wrong way when she stepped forward and slid the puck into the open net.
Kelleher (26 saves) was the backbone to the Bulldogs’ run to the TD Garden in last year’s playoffs and their inaugural Hockomock League championship and she came through with a series of big stops to keep the game tied in the second.
Janowicz nearly got her second power play goal only to have Kelleher block it aside and then get down quickly to stop the rebound shot as well. Audra Tosone skated through a couple of Bulldogs before stopping on a dime and firing a wrister that Kelleher gloved.
The best chance for Canton in the second came from junior Lauren Fitzpatrick, who showed off her stick-handling skills to dance through the Walpole defense, but her shot attempt was blocked on the edge of the crease.
Aldrich said, “The talk we had with them [after the second period] was, we haven’t even played our best hockey and I think they’re playing as well as they’re going to play.”
He continued, “[Walpole] had the body language, they had everything, they were ready to go and for us to answer that bell…we talked about, you’re used to this type of game, it’s not new, you know how to come out on top, and I don’t know that they do.
After two periods on the back foot Canton came out flying for the third and snatched back the momentum after just 27 seconds. Malloy skated three-quarters of the ice down the left wing and drove towards the goal. She faked as though she was going to carry the puck across the crease to get McInerny to give up the near post and then just calmly slid it past the goalie’s trailing leg.
“She was shot out of a rocket on the go-ahead goal to start the third and a natural hat trick in the third period,” Aldrich raved. “You can’t beat that.”
Canton went on the power play with 6:06 remaining and on the ensuing face-off Malloy nearly got her second only to have McInerny make the point-blank stop. Twelve seconds later, Malloy scored. This time, she found space inside the left circle and was set up with a perfect pass from Farrelly, took a second, and then placed a shot just inside the far post.
Katie Trerice had a blast from the point tipped on goal by Fitzpatrick, but the Walpole goalie did a good job reading the shot through traffic and was able to get a pad on it.
In the final minute, Malloy took advantage of hesitation by a back-pedaling Walpole defenseman to latch onto a loose puck on the edge of the blue line and she easily dispatched an empty net goal for her hat trick and to clinch the win.
Last year, Canton was the 14th seed and played the role of the plucky underdogs all the way to the final. This year, the Bulldogs are expected to make a run and now have the target on their backs.
“Every team that we played last year said that the better team didn’t win,” Aldrich said. “Every team starting from Shrewsbury on down and that was fine because we were the hunter and this year we’re the hunted.”
Aldrich credited some of the seniors on his bench that do not see much ice time for the leadership and positivity that they bring to the Bulldogs bench. He said, “One of the biggest things that we have is the support of our non-playing seniors. They bring us up when we’re down and we owe a lot of that third period to them.”
Canton (16-3-3) will get another shot at NDA on Tuesday night at the Warrior Arena in Brighton. Aldrich knows that it will be a tough test against one of the best in the state, but he and his players are excited for the challenge.
“If you don’t want that shot, then you don’t belong playing sports,” he said. “Yeah we maybe would want to face them in the final, but you’ve got to beat good teams to get there and it would be another feather in the cap. Last year, we maybe weren’t sure but this year we’re sure, we can skate with them.”
Attleboro, 2 vs. Old Rochester, 1 – Final (3OT) – Attleboro beat Old Rochester in triple overtime to advance to the finals of the Farleigh Dickinson Tournament. The Bombardiers will play either Martha’s Vineyard or Weston in the final on Sunday at 1:00PM. The game against Old Rochester will go down as a tie for MIAA purposes.
Canton, 2 vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, 1 – Final – Canton overcame a one-goal deficit, scoring a pair of goals in the third period to beat Lincoln-Sudbury. Sophomore Chris Lavoie tied the game at the midway point of the final period and then classmate Johnny Hagan netted the game-winner with 23.7 seconds left.
Mansfield, 2 @ Winthrop, 4 – Final – Chris Copponi and Jake Lund each scored a power play goal but the Hornets fell on the road to Winthrop.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Brockton, 2 – Final – Brockton jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first 15 minutes of play but Oliver Ames tied it in the second period and scored the game-winner in the third. With the win, OA qualifies for the state tournament. Senior Rory Madden scored OA’s first goal on the power play (assisted by Colin Bourne and Michael Nikiciuk) and junior Brett Williams tied the game in the second. In the third period, Bourne netted the game-winner on an assist from Max Ward.
Stoughton, 4 vs. Nauset, 9 – Final – Stoughton’ Sean Doherty recorded a hat trick and Josh Hough scored once but the Knights fell at home to Nauset. SHS head coach Dan Mark said Thomas McCoy played well in goal for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 3 @ Dennis-Yarmouth, 1 – Final – Will Walsh scored a pair of goals to help the Tigers pick up two points on the road and qualify for the state tournament for the third consecutive year. It marks just the second time in school history the Tigers have reached the postseason three straight years (1994-1996). Walsh also had an assist while Cam Sneyd scored once and had two helpers. Jack Patneaude and Nathan Fernandes each had an assist in the win.
Canton, 2 @ Duxbury, 1 – Final – Canton scored less than five minutes into the game and doubled its lead early in the third period to upset Duxbury, ranked fifth in the state. Kendra Farrelly opened the scoring in the first and Maggie Malloy made it 2-0 in the third period. Duxbury scored with 14 seconds left.
Attleboro, 2 vs. Southeastern, 1 – Final – Attleboro’s Cam Littig and Ryan Morry each scored to lift the Bombardiers to a key division win over Southeastern (15-4).
Canton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames junior Matt McCormack scored early in the first period and sophomore Owen Connor had a strong game in goal, making 42 saves to earn the shutout in a non-league clash at Warrior Ice Arena. McCormack took a pass from sophomore Jake Gottwald to score the game-winning goal.
Mansfield, 4 @ Brockton, 1 – Final – Mansfield junior Chris Copponi scored a hat trick in the first period, the second two less than a minute apart to lift the Hornets to a win on the road. Copponi opened the scoring on an assist from Nick Levine. Coleman Jenkins and Jake Lund set up Copponi’s second goal, and Lund and Tyler Oakley earned helpers on Mansfield’s third goal. Cullin Anastasia added a goal in the second period with Chris Kelleher and Adam Anastos assisting.
Taunton, 9 vs. Durfee, 1 – Final – Taunton’s Cam Sneyd scored a hat trick, Mike Albert and Jakob Roberts each found the back of the net twice.
Canton, 2 @ Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Canton’s Kendra Farrelly scored a pair of goals to help the Bulldogs pick up the win. With the win, Canton clinches at least a share of the first ever Hockomock League title for girls hockey.
CANTON, Mass. – With two of the top defensive units in Canton and Franklin going head to head, goal scoring chances were going to be at a premium.
Franklin sophomore Jordan Dwyer took advantage of her chance, scoring the only goal of the game a minute into the final period to give the Panthers a 1-0 upset over Canton.
While Dwyer provided the lone tally of the game, it was Franklin freshman goalie Natalie Stott (35 saves) that put the Panthers in position to get the win.
“She made the difference,” said Franklin head coach Margie Burke of Stott. “Anytime its a one-goal game, you have to give it to the goalie. She gave us the opportunity to put one puck in the net. And it wasn’t until the third period. If [Canton] gets a couple goals early on, then we don’t even have that chance. She played great.”
Stott turned away seven Bulldog shots in the first period, blanked Canton on 17 chances in the second period, and completed the shutout with 15 saves in the final frame, including five stops while trying to kill a penalty.
“She’s terrific,” said Canton head coach Dennis Aldrich of Stott. “We had 17 shots in the second period alone. She’s in such control, her body control is so good and her focus…Maybe a couple of times we didn’t get the crowd out in front that we wanted to and if [Stott] can see it, she can stop it.”
After two scoreless periods, Dwyer broke the stalemate 61 seconds into the third. Off an attacking zone face-off, Dwyer slipped in behind after winning the face-off forward and was able to jump on the loose puck and find the back of the net.
“That’s a faceoff that we practiced but very rarely has worked in a game,” Burke said. “The wing got tangled so Jordan was able to slip right in and finish, it was great.”
The Panthers nearly had an ideal start when freshman Victoria Quinn batted in a loose puck 20 seconds into the game, but one of her teammates had been knocked into the crease and put Canton goalie Colleen Kelleher out of position. The ref waved the goal off due to interference.
Canton had its best chance of the first when junior Lauren Fitzpatrick broke out of her own zone and into the attacking end, finding Lizzie Tassinari with a pass, but Franklin defenseman Jillian McLaughlin was perfectly positioned to disrupt the 2-on-1 chance.
“Everyone stepped up and played well tonight, Burke said. Franklin was without Regan Paterson, one of the team’s top scorers. Burke complimented her team for the ability to adjust. “From beginning to end, I would say that was our best effort all year, all areas of the ice.”
The Dogs continued to pressure Stott in the second period, peppering the goal with 17 shots on target but the freshman didn’t flinch. With nine minutes left, Katie Trerice found Kendra Farrelly in front but Stott denied her with a kick save.
Thirty seconds later, Franklin had a bid when Quinn came off the bench for a line change and had a partial breakaway chance, but Kelleher cut the angle down and Quinn’s bid went just wide.
It looked like Canton was going to take the lead at the midway point of the period but once again, Stott came up big. Freshman Maria Femia found senior Andrea McNeil out front but Stott made a stop on her high shot. Just seconds later, the puck popped free in front and McNeil had another bid but Stoff made a tremendous save to rob Canton of the opening goal.
Fitzpatrick danced her way through three Panthers and fired a wrist shot but Stott made the save and prevented the puck from cross underneath with five minutes to go in the second. On the other end, Franklin’s Jackie Connelly forced Kelleher into a tough save, and the senior made an athletic play to cover the loose puck up.
“We’ve done this a lot this year,” Aldrich said of outshooting Franklin 35-10. “We do a lot well but we can’t seem to get it in enough. A lot of the teams we play kind of crowd the front of the net, so you try to spread them out using the defense. And we’ve practiced it a lot. At this point, I don’t know if the scoring is a mental thing because we’re certainly keeping it out of our net.
“It’s hard to talk to the team and tell them they played really well but didn’t come out on top.”
Franklin girls hockey (2-2-2 Hockomock, 11-3-3- overall) is back in action on Saturday when it travels to Gardner Veterans Arena to take on Leominster. Canton (5-1-0, 10-2-3) will try to bounce back on Saturday when it takes on Mansfield/Oliver Ames in a key league contest.
Mansfield, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Mansfield took a 1-0 lead after one period and then scored twice more in each the second and third to beat Attleboro. Cullin Anastasia scored in the second (unassisted) and in the third (from Tim Arnold and Austin Ricker), Ryan O’Hara opened the scoring in the first (from Adam Anastos), Chris Kelleher (from Coleman Jenkins) made it 3-0 and Jake Lund scored an unassisted goal in the third period. Sophomore Sean McCafferty had the shutout in net for the Hornets.
Canton, 10 @ Taunton, 0 – Final
Foxboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames junior Brett Williams gave the hosts a 1-0 lead in the second period but Foxboro stormed back with a pair of third-period goals to earn the upset on the road. Junior Brendan Tully scored on a power play with eight minutes left in the game to tie the game, and then, along with Aidan Sullivan, set up Tanner Kennedy for the game-winner with two minutes to play. Espen Reager made 36 saves in net for Foxboro.
Franklin, 3 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – King Philip’s Collin Cooke scored in the first period to give the Warriors the lead after 15 minutes of play, but Franklin tied it in the second and scored two more in the third for the win. Dan Magazu had a pair of goals for the Panthers while Jeremy Miller scored once.
Canton, 6 vs. Sandwich, 0 – Final – Canton senior captain Kendra Farrelly and freshman Lizzie Tassinari each scored a pair of goals to help the Bulldogs skate past Sandwich. Junior Maggie Malloy recorded two assists for her 50th career point.
King Philip, 10 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final
Stoughton, 13 @ Canton, 56 – Final
Mansfield, 36 @ Foxboro, 37 – Final
King Philip, 6 @ Franklin, 45 – Final
Taunton @ Milford, 7:00
North Attleboro, 59 @ Sharon, 12 – Final
Oliver Ames, 49 vs. Newton South, 15 – Final – Oliver Ames seniors Cobey Williamson (126) and Casey Bellevue (132) each victories on Senior Night for the Tigers.
Foxboro, 70 @ Hopkinton, 91 – Final
King Philip, 75 @ Franklin, 93 – Final
Foxboro, 67 @ Hopkinton, 95 – Final
King Philip, 83 @ Franklin, 87 – Final
Oliver Ames, 143 @ King Philip, 134.5 – Final – Oliver Ames improved to 7-0 with the win, setting up a showdown with Mansfield next week that will likely decide the Hockomock champion. The Hornets stand at 6-0 with a meet against Canton on Thursday night. For Oliver Ames, sophomore Lauren Picanzi won the all around with a 35.9 while junior Gianna Martucci took second with a 35.8. Picanzi scored a 9.2 on the bars and an 8.9 on each the vault, beam and floor. Martucci earned a 9.2 on both the bars and the floor. Hannah Moynihan had the highest score of the meet with a 9.5 on both the beam and the floor while also recording a 9.0 on the bars. Senior Charis MacCuish scored a 9.3 on floor while freshmen Kiara Nagle, Ashlyn Latham, and sophomore Tina O’Neill also made strong contributions to the team score.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – It was becoming a frustrating night for the visitors. Canton held a 15-1 edge in shots on goal during the second period against Franklin in Wednesday afternoon’s Hockomock League tilt at Pirelli Veterans Arena, but went into the second intermission locked in a scoreless tie.
Buoyed by the experience of having been in tough, close games many times before, the Bulldogs stuck with their game plan. Kendra Farrelly scored with the first shot on goal of the third period and Maggie Malloy added a second with two minutes left to secure a 2-0 victory and a two-point lead in the league standings.
“It really doesn’t bother us that much because we’ve been in so many of those late games,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich. “All through the playoffs there were late goals and we just never feel like we’re out of it. If we don’t win, we just feel like we ran out of time.
“We feel confident enough in what we do that we’re just going to stick to it.”
Thirty seconds into the third, Leah McClellan fired a shot from the point that was deflected by skates right in front of Franklin freshman goalie Natalie Stott (30 saves) and onto the stick of Farrelly (goal and an assist) at the back post for a tap in.
Canton nearly doubled its lead a few minutes later, but Stott stood tall to stuff fellow freshman Ellie Rae Roberts’ breakaway opportunity.
With just under three minutes to play, Franklin had a chance to tie the game with a shorthanded break by sophomore Jordan Dwyer, but her shot under pressure from Alexa Maffeo was knocked aside by Canton’s senior goalie Colleen Kelleher (19 saves).
The Bulldogs put the game away just 30 seconds later. Malloy (goal and assist) skated free into the slot, opened her body to get a forehand shot off, and put her wrister just under the bar for a 2-0 lead with 2:14 to play.
“They’re more experienced and they’re going to take advantage when we make a little mistake,” said Franklin coach Margi Burke. “We knew this was going to be really tough competition and we hung with them for two periods.”
It took a full period for the Bulldogs to get going, as Franklin came storming out of the locker room and took control of the play in the opening period, finishing with a 13-8 edge in shots. Regan Paterson had the first chance with a couple of shots from close range and had another chance when she stole the puck on the back-check and skated the length of the ice to force Kelleher into a save.
With 50 seconds left in the first, Franklin nearly took the lead. Gianna Cameron had a shot from the point saved by Kelleher, who then recovered quickly to make a pad stop on Jackie Connelly’s rebound effort on the post.
“We expected that,” said Aldrich of Franklin’s strong start. “Colleen had to make a real big, right-pad save or that was a sure goal and who knows where we would’ve been if she doesn’t make that.”
Stott also had to make big stops to keep Canton off the board in the first, particularly a great pad save on freshman Lizzie Tassinari after Malloy teed her up in the slot and a save on Farrelly seconds before the horn.
Those saves were just a prelude to the Stott’s performance in the second period, as she stopped a barrage of shots from the Bulldogs and kept Franklin in the game after 30 minutes.
Lauren Fitzpatrick had an effort cutting in from the left wing stuffed by the rookie netminder, who then stopped a blast from the point by Katie Trerice and the rebound effort by Marissa Devane. Meg Aldrich also had a shot from the point through traffic that forced a blocker save by the unsighted Stott.
“She doesn’t look like a freshman out there,” said Burke of Stott. “She’s a great kid and she’s doing a great job. It could’ve been so much more than 2-0, she kept us in the game especially in the second period.”
Canton grabbed the momentum after the second period and never looked back, which Aldrich explained is part of the game plan for the Bulldogs.
He said, “We pride ourselves on getting stronger as the game goes on and I think that showed. I think we wore them down a little bit, but we fully expected to come in here and have them throw haymakers right away.”
While praising the play of Stott, Aldrich admitted that he is also experimenting with the lines to try and boost the Bulldogs’ offensive output. “We’re still trying to find chemistry,” he said.
Despite the loss, Burke is pleased with the performance of her young team and the strong start that the Panthers have made to the season.
“Their effort was there the whole time and we can’t ask a lot more than that and we talked about simple hockey,’” she said. “The big things we were doing right, but it’s the little things that can make a difference in a game like this.”
Burke added, “We’ve had a great start to the season and they’re working hard. We get another shot at [Canton] too, which we haven’t had before since they weren’t in our league.”
Canton (4-0-2, 2-0-0) will look to continue its unbeaten start to the season when it hosts Mansfield/Oliver Ames on Saturday. Franklin (4-1-2, 0-1-2) will try to bounce back quickly when it travels to Stoughton on Saturday afternoon.