2018-2019 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

2018-2019 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview
King Philip and Franklin will do battle again this winter in the second season of Hockomock League girls hockey and both will look to unseat inaugural champion Canton. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017-2018 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

Canton

2017-2018 Record:
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 state title game.
Coach: Dennis Aldrich
For two straight winters, Canton has advanced to the TD Garden to play in the Div. 2 state title game. Two years ago, the Bulldogs shocked everyone by getting to the final, but last season there was an expectation that Canton could make a deep tournament run. Those high expectations are there again this year, as the first-ever Hockomock League champions return two experienced lines of forwards and defensemen that all saw time during the tournament run.

The first line returns the team’s top two scorers with senior forwards Maggie Malloy (10 goals, 13 assists) and Lauren Fitzpatrick (14 goals, nine assists) forming a dynamic partnership that sparked the Bulldogs attack last season. Malloy was particularly prolific in the playoffs, providing decisive goals throughout the playoffs. Second line center Andrea McNeil has graduated but sophomores Lizzie Tassinari, Maria Femia, and Ellie Rae Roberts provided speed and energy during solid rookie seasons.

Defense has been Canton’s best weapon in each of the last two seasons. Although outstanding goalie Colleen Kelleher has graduated, senior Ava Pacitti is earning rave reviews during the preseason and she will have a well-drilled group of defensemen in front of her. Seniors Katie Trerice and Leah McClellan and junior Meg Aldrich and Alexa Maffeo will form a solid top two pairings at the blue line, with McClellan adding the different dimension of also jumping into the attack as often as possible.

“Canton’s staple has always been one of a hard skating, defensively stingy, opportunistic team. This year should be no exception,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich, who is looking forward to the new challenge of defending a Hockomock League title.

Franklin

2017-2018 Record: 14-4-4
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 first round.
Coach: Margie Burke
Franklin had a very strong 2017-18 season, winning 14 games, including one in the postseason, and will try to build on that momentum to make another run at the postseason and to challenge inaugural league champ Canton at the top of the standings.

There is plenty of experience coming back to power the Panthers up the league standings. Senior Regan Paterson is one of the league’s top skaters and was the league’s top scorer last year with 18 goals and seven assists. Sophomores Victoria Quinn, Amanda Lewandowski, and Libby Carter will also provide offense after combining for 16 goals as freshmen. Junior Jordan Dwyer is also back up top after a 12-point season last year. While this a lot of youth in the forward lines, all saw time last season.

Defense will be one of the team’s strengths this season, with juniors Tina Pisano, Gina Vignone, and Gianna Cameron and senior Cassi Ronan all back to lead a veteran crew. One of the biggest changes for the Panthers will be in goal. Natalie Stott had an impressive freshman campaign but left to attend prep school, so Franklin will turn to sophomore Gabby Colace, who allowed only 0.56 goals against, saved 96 percent of the shots she faced, and had three shutouts as a freshman, and is ready to step into a bigger role. Senior Gianna Cornetta will also see time in net.

Franklin coach Margie Burke, who was honored with the National Ice Hockey Officials Association (NIHOA) Coach of the Year award last March, said, “I expect the hockey [in the league] to be very competitive again this year.”

King Philip

2017-2018 Record: 11-9-2
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 first round.
Coach: Jack Unger
King Philip finished second in the inaugural season of Hockomock girls hockey and nearly reached the Div. 2 quarterfinal, only losing to Archbishop Williams by single goal, and the Warriors bring back their leading scorers to try and make a run at the Hock title. With a mix of experience and youth, KP could give Canton a run in the league and be poised for a tournament run as well.

The forward line will be very experienced with seniors Meghan Gorman, Alli Meehan, Alli Wilson, and Emily Brawley all back to provide scoring punch. Leading scorer Nicole Connor is also back and the senior defender is one of the most dynamic players in the league, giving KP strong play at the blue line and adding to the attack. Connor will be joined in the defense by seniors Madelyn Kelley and Lilly Worthington.

Goaltending should be a strength for the Warriors this season with senior Lilly Potts and junior Cristina Coleman both capable of shutting down the opposition. The team is also loaded with underclassmen, which bodes well for the program’s future. Freshmen Sydney O’Shea and Morgan Cunningham are a pair of newcomers that could make instant contributions for the Warriors this season.

“Despite being a younger team overall, the players have tremendous potential,” said KP coach Jack Unger. “Typical of all the sports programs within the Hockomock League, each game is against the best inter-league contestants out there. We all have the ability to beat one another each time out.”

Mansfield/Oliver Ames

2017-2018 Record: 12-7-3
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 first round.
Coach: Roy Bain
While Mansfield/Oliver Ames has a new coach, as Roy Bain takes over the program this season, and will be looking to move on without leading scorer Cat Luciano, who is now at Holy Cross, there are 15 players returning from the team that got back into the state tournament last winter and nine freshmen that have added depth to the growing program.

Seniors Isabelle Shanteler (Mansfield) and Mackenzi Fraser (Foxboro) will try to make up some of Luciano’s scoring from last year. The duo will be on the top scoring line along with freshman Kylie O’Keefe (Foxboro) and provide the speed and energy to jumpstart the MOA attack. Unlike past years, the Warriors won’t be counting on one player to dominate the stats but will look to take advantage of its depth. Senior Lindsey Corning (Mansfield) will center the second line between sophomore wingers Ella Waryas (Foxboro) and Emma Garland (Mansfield), while sophomores Alex Ledin (OA) and Lily O’Brien (Mansfield) have shown promise as centers as well.

The defense is led by senior Danae Reager (Foxboro), who has been a varsity player for four years and sets the standard for the blue line group. Sophomores Melissa Shanteler (Mansfield) and Emma Pereira (OA) will be paired together, while Reager will be paired with sophomore Megan O’Hara (Mansfield). Freshman Jess Widdop (OA) has been outstanding in net during the preseason and has built the team’s confidence heading into the opening game.

Bain said of his new goalie, “In the 10 days since we’ve started practicing, she’s been nothing short of impressive. Her athleticism and work ethic will serve the team well as we enter the season.”

Stoughton

2017-2018 Record: 4-17
2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Rich Grasso
Last winter, Stoughton had its best season as a program, winning four games, including a three-game win streak early in the schedule. This year, the Black Knights will get a boost from a co-op with Sharon, which should increase the numbers in the program as it tries to add its first win in the Hockomock League to its recent accomplishments.

The loss of leading scorer Julia Russell to an injury, which also kept her out of the field hockey season, will be tough, but the Black Knights have several other experienced players coming back to try and pick up the slack. Senior Katie Widrow is one of the leaders on the forward line and she will be joined up front by sophomore Morgan Lessa and a pair of newcomers to keep an eye on: junior Taylor Kim and sophomore Samantha Sherman.

On defense, senior Jordan Lyons and sophomore Haley Nelson will be the returning players to watch, keeping things organized on the blue line. Behind the defense, junior goalie Brianna Buckley will be between the posts to try and keep the opposition out. Stoughton coach Rich Grasso called Buckley the team’s “show stopper” and she is looking to build off a solid year of experience in goal.

“The team has one goal in mind and that is to make the tournament,” said Grasso. “This is a huge task being in the Hockomock League playing against powerhouse teams…We are small in numbers but talented. Looking forward to proving we belong in that league.”

Girls Hockey: Ten Players to Watch in 2018-2019

2018-2019 Girls Hockey Players to Watch
Canton senior forward Maggie Malloy (27) is one of the players to watch as the Hockomock Leagues second season of girls hockey kicks off. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Player are listed alphabetically

Brianna Buckley, Junior – Stoughton

The Black Knights are coming off the best season in the young program’s history, having won four games last winter and Buckley was one of the reasons for the team’s success, backstopping the defense and at times doing everything she could to keep Stoughton in games. While not one of the biggest goalies around, Buckley plays much larger (like she is 6-foot-3, according to head coach Rich Grasso) and she is able to cover a lot of ground with her quickness. She is also an aggressive goalie, challenging shooters, and athletic enough to pull off the tough saves. Stoughton has added a co-op with Sharon for this season and the program is continuing to grow. With Buckley in net, the Black Knights have a great building block to try and carry over the momentum from last season and take it to another level this year.

Nicole Connor, Senior – King Philip

Connor is one of the top defensive players in the Hockomock League, but it is her versatility that really sets her apart. Connor was KP’s top goal scorer last season with 12 and was second on the Warriors (and tied for sixth in the league) with 22 points. Not only is she able to stop the opponents in one zone, but she can carry the puck the length of the ice and create a scoring chance on the other end. A tenacious player, who brings a ton of energy to the ice, Connor is also a talented skater and has the stick skills of a forward. With Connor returning at the blue line, and giving a boost to the Warriors experienced forward line, KP will be expecting to challenge Canton for the league title.

Lauren Fitzpatrick, Senior – Canton

Fitzpatrick was one of the main reasons that the Bulldogs won the inaugural Hockomock League title and reached a second straight Div. 2 title game at the TD Garden. She was tied for the team lead with 23 points and was the team leader with 14 goals on the season. Fitzpatrick has great skill on the puck and with her strength is tough to move off it as she carries into the attacking zone. She also has a great shot on the move and can score from different areas of the ice. Her partnership with Maggie Malloy heading into the state tournament last year was a huge boost for the Bulldogs and she is already off to a great start with a pair of goals in the season-opening win against Sandwich on Saturday. Canton will be hoping to make a third straight run to the Garden and if the Bulldogs are going to get there again Fitzpatrick’s goals are going to be a critical piece.

Meghan Gorman, Senior – King Philip

Gorman, who is also a star on the softball field, led the Warriors and was second in the Hockomock League in scoring last season. She finished with 24 points (eight goals and 16 assists) and she was one of the league’s most dynamic playmakers. Gorman has speed all over the ice and the vision to set up her teammates in great positions. She is strong on the puck and willing to chase it down into the corners to create scoring chances and her energy and aggressiveness sparks the rest of the team. KP was very close to a spot in the Div. 2 quarterfinal, losing by a single goal to Archies, and the Warriors will have their sights set on more this winter. Gorman is the focal point of the forward line and her experience and skills will be a big boost to KP this season.

Maggie Malloy, Senior – Canton

Malloy was the spark plug behind Canton’s tournament run last winter, scoring six goals and recording two assists in three playoff games and scoring the game-winner in all three to push the Bulldogs back to the TD Garden for the Div. 2 state title game for a second straight season. Malloy is one of the most tenacious forwards in the league, willing to chase down any puck into the corners, and with the strength to come out of any physical battle with the puck on her stick. A strong skater, an accomplished finisher, and a tough competitor in the face-off circle, Malloy brings a lot to the table and was one of the league’s leading scorers with 23 points in the regular season. Having already shown her capability of coming up big in the big moments, Malloy will once again be a focal point for the league’s top attack as the Bulldogs try to make it two league titles in two seasons.

Leah McClellan, Senior – Canton

While a lot of the attention is paid to the Canton forwards, the Bulldogs defense was critical to making a run to back-to-back state title games. Canton brings back an experienced crew of solid defensemen, but McClellan brings something a little different to the blue line group with her seemingly endless desire to get the puck forward quickly and try to create offense in transition. A three-zone player, McClellan has the speed to turn opposing attacks into offensive opportunities for the Bulldogs and the stick skills to weave her way through the neutral zone. Not just an attacking player, McClellan is also strong in the defensive zone and reads the play well to force the opposition to the outside. Scoring goals is a lot of fun, but defense is a key to success. Of course, if you can do both then it’s the perfect combination and the Bulldogs have the best of both worlds. McClellan is part of that balance with her skill set and she will be a major part of Canton’s attempt at defending its league title.

Regan Paterson, Senior – Franklin

The Panthers had a strong season in 2017-18 and Paterson’s return is a major reason why confidence is high that Franklin can put together another run at the postseason and also put together a challenge for the league title. One of the most skilled forwards in the league, Paterson has the rare ability to pick up the puck in the defensive zone and carry it through the opposition to create a scoring chance on the opposite end. She also showed the patience and confidence in possession to bring the puck backwards if it will open up space. Paterson led the league with 18 goals and 25 points in the regular season last winter and she was able to create scoring chances for a talented group of underclassmen forwards. If the Panthers are going to push Canton in the league this season (after handing the Bulldogs their only league loss last year), Paterson’s leadership and scoring will be key.

Victoria Quinn, Sophomore – Franklin

The Panthers have the potential to be one of the teams to watch out for in the league this season and a lot of that comes from the talented group of young forwards who stepped in an provided immediate contributions last year. Quinn was one of those rookies who stepped in an instantly proved that she belonged at that level, scoring 16 points on five goals and 11 assists, with her speed, tenacity, and ability to finish. Along with classmates Amanda Lewandowski (forward) and Libby Carter (defense), the freshmen combined for 16 goals altogether and helped the Panthers score 69 goals as a team, which was second best in the Hock. Quinn has the potential to pair up with Regan Paterson and provide one of the top scoring groups in the league again this year.

Danae Reager, Senior – Mansfield/Oliver Ames

One of the top returning defensemen in the league, Reager is a four-year varsity player and the leader of the Mansfield/Oliver Ames back line. The Foxboro senior is strong in the defensive zone and reads the play well to cover for teammates and be in the right spots when called upon. She also doesn’t shy away from the physical play, whether battling for a puck in the corner or trying to move forwards out of the crease. As MOA keeps trying to build and challenge for the top spot in the Hock, as well as get back into the state tournament, having a strong defensive unit will be a key for the Warriors. Reager gives MOA a tough presence at the blue line and sets the standard for the rest of the defensive pairings. The Warriors only gave up 31 goals last year, which is third best in the league and only nine more than league champ Canton, so Reager and her teammates will be looking to keep things solid in the back again and keep the program’s upward momentum.

Isabelle Shanteler, Senior – Mansfield/Oliver Ames

While Reager and the defense (see above) will be a key to Mansfield/Oliver Ames making a run this season, Shanteler has a big role to play as well, in trying to fill the skates of graduated forward Cat Luciano, who was the team’s leading scorer last year. Shanteler had a strong winter with nine goals and six assists, good for second best on the team, and the Warriors will be counting on her to fire in the goals this year to keep the program heading in the right direction. A speedy forward with strong skill on the puck, who can carry it through the neutral zone and find scoring opportunities for herself or her teammates, Shanteler has the ability to find little seams in the opposing defense. MOA has aspirations of making a push at the top of the Hockomock League and Shanteler is one of the reasons why the Warriors are confident that a tournament run is on the horizon.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/08/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Hockey
Attleboro, 2 vs. Martha’s Vineyard, 1 – FinalRyan Morry and Sam Larkin each scored once as the Bombardiers skated to a season-opening win over visiting Martha’s Vineyard.

Foxboro, 6 @ Norton, 0 – Final – Foxboro opened its season in style, scoring three goals in the second period en route to a 6-0 win over Norton. Kirk Leach (two goals, assist), Ronnie MacLellan (two goals, two assists), and Brendan Tully (goal, two assists) all had multi-point games for the Warriors while junior Espen Reager played well in goal to record the shutout.

Mansfield, 9 vs. Newton North, 0 – Final – Mansfield scored three goals in the first period and never looked back in a season-opening win over Newton North. The Hornets scored three more in the second period, and added three goals in the final period. Jack Garland and Coleman O’Brien each scored a pair of goals and had an assist to pace the Hornet offense. Jake Lund (goal, two assists), Kevin Belanger (two assists), Matt Copponi (goal, two assists), Ben Ierardo (goal, assist) and Joe Troiano (goal, assist) each had multi-point games for Mansfield.

Oliver Ames, 6 @ Medway, 1 – FinalOliver Ames outshot the Mustangs 23-9 and opened the season with a 6-1 decision. Seniors Colin Bourne and Cullen Gallagher each scored a pair of goals and had an assist while Max Ward and James Beatty each scored once and added a helper. Owen Connor earned the win in net for the Tigers.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 4 @ Sandwich, 2 – FinalCanton opened the season with a win on the road at Sandwich. Lauren Fitzpatrick paced the offense with a pair of goals while Maggie Malloy and Ellie Rae Roberts each scored once for the Bulldogs.

King Philip, 1 @ Ursuline Academy, 1 – FinalKing Philip freshman Sydney O’Shea scored her first career goal as the Warriors skated to a 1-1 tie with Ursuline Academy.

Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 @ Medfield/Norton, 3 – Final

Wrestling
Xaverian Quad (Canton) – Canton went 0-2-1 on the day at the Xaverian quad. The Bulldogs opened the day with a loss to the hosts (43-27) but bounced back to earn a tie with Burlington. Natalie Keppler earned a pin in her first varsity match to help the Dogs tie, 39-39. In the final match of the day, Canton was edged by Tyngsboro (40-39).

Danvers Quad (Foxboro), 9:30 – Foxboro picked up two wins in a super quad meet at Danvers but also suffered two setbacks to open the season. The Warriors picked up wins over Danvers (57-19) and Lowell (54-24) but lost to Shawsheen (46-25) and Chelmsford (49-28). Tommy Gallagher, Billy McNeil, and Tom Cullen went 4-0 on the day for Foxboro.

Mount Hope Tournament (Franklin, Stoughton) – At the annual Sharon Lombardo Holiday Tournament, Franklin took home the championship and Stoughton was fourth overall. Franklin placed first with 211.5 points with four champions and five finalists. Stoughton had two finalists and had 118.5 points. Franklin’s Jake Carlucci (113, dec. 8-7), Jordan Carlucci (132, pin 0:34), Ken Sauer (138, dec. 5-3), and Dominic Sackley (170, pin 3:09) won individual titles while Drew DiFilippo (106), Adam Colella (160), Caleb MacLean (160), Dylan Nawn (182), and Ben Jacoby (195) each finished second. Stoughton’s Thomas Ratcliff (170) and Carlvin Laguerre (285) each had second place finishes.

St. John’s (Shrewsbury) Quad (King Philip) – King Philip picked up two wins in its first action of the 2018-2018 season. The Warriors beat host St. John’s Shrewsbury (58-17) and Quabbin (48-24) but suffered a setback to Vermont’s Essex (45-27).

Lincoln-Sudbury Quad (Mansfield) – Mansfield opened the season in style, picking up three wins at the LS quad. The Hornets took down Brookline (51-29), Leominster (45-6), and Lincoln-Sudbury (60-23) to move to 3-0. Max Farley, Antonios Sevastos, Stefan Steyn, Will Stratton, CJ Glaropoulos, George Glaropoulos, and Jayden Curley each went undefeated on the day for the Hornets.

Milford Quad (Milford), 9:00

North Attleboro Quad (North Attleboro) – North Attleboro began the 2018-2019 campaign with three wins at its first quad meet of the season. The Rocketeers opened the day with a win over Burrillville (54-24), rolled over Whitman-Hanson (60-12) in the middle match, and closed with a win over East Providence (42-36). Ethan Smith, Montreal Jackson, and John Kummer each had three wins apiece while Mateusz Kudra earned a pair of wins for the Rocketeers.

Devin Ness Tournament (Oliver Ames) – Oliver Ames hosted its annual Devin Ness tournament to kick off the season and took ninth place with one champion. The Tigers earned 93.5 points and had a third, fourth, and fifth place wrestler. Dean Pacini was champion of the 195 bracket and earned the tournament’s outstanding wrestler award. Billy Tat took third at 170, Remi Creighton was fourth at 113, and Andrew Fraser earned fifth at 182.

Sharon Quad (Sharon) – Sharon started the season with a pair of wins, knocking off Pembroke and Walpole. The Eagles opened the day with a 54-12 win over the Titans and then grabbed its second win with a 46-27 decision over the Rebels. Sharon freshman Adam Landstein and Aaron Cashton each went 2-0, while Ben Shocket and David Hirshorn each went 1-0 for the Eagles.

Watertown Quad (Taunton) – Taunton opened the season by going 1-2 at the Watertown quad. The Tigers suffered setbacks to the hosts (48-36) and Norwood (60-21) but notched its first win over Carver (39-24). Candido Santos went 3-0 for the Tigers with a pair of pins, Devin Wilson went 2-0 with one pin, and Tyler Lima was 2-1 with a pin. Woudanly Danger was 1-0 with a pin.

2018 Hockomock League Girls Lacrosse Preview

2018 Hockomock Girls Lacrosse Preview
Franklin won another league title in 2017 and the rest of the Hockomock will be trying to bring down the Panthers as a new season gets underway. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2018 Hockomock Girls Lacrosse Preview

Attleboro

2017 Record: 2-16
2017 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Kevin Patton

Attleboro went into 2017 with an inexperienced lineup and first-year head coach Kevin Patton tried to bring together a roster that had essentially never played together at the varsity level. With all but two players back for this spring, Patton is expecting the Bombardiers to be improved in all facets of the game and to be more competitive in the league.

Leading scorer Kyra Lyons is back for her third varsity season and the junior midfielder will be a key player, as the Bombardiers look to improve on last season’s league-low 88 goals. The offense will be bolstered by senior Emily Patton, who is a four-year varsity player, and fellow senior Alison Wall. Junior Alex Compton will also be back for a third season to make an impact for Attleboro. On defense, seniors Graycen Cassidy and Kim White will provide much-needed leadership for a unit that allowed 273 goals last year.

“Because we only lost two players to graduation last year, we have a lot of varsity experience on both sides of the field,” Patton said. “I am looking for the upperclassmen to take a leadership role and am looking forward to seeing the girls in essentially their second year all playing together on varsity.”

Canton

2017 Record: 6-12
2017 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Laurie Chabot

Canton has a new coaching staff this season that will try to build on a talented crop of underclassmen to get the Bulldogs back into the postseason. Laurie Chabot has taken over this spring and the coaching staff is excited to get the season underway and see what this Bulldogs roster, which has only three seniors, can accomplish.

Senior midfielder Molly Colburn will be the leader for the Canton attack this season, while fellow captain Colleen Boucher provides vocal leadership in the defensive zone to keep everything in check. Senior Jess Powers is still battling an injury, but Canton has a host of younger players that can step in, including juniors Maggie Connolly, Lauren Fitzpatrick, Maggie Malloy, and Leah McLellan and sophomore Alexa Maffeo, who all had success with their winter teams.

Chabot said, “With three seniors (all captains) we are looking at a young but skilled and talented group of girls. With speed and a strong stick skillset our girls are ready to compete.”

Foxboro

2017 Record: 17-5
2017 Finish: Reached D2 East Final
Coach: Brittany Sherry

Last season, Foxboro reached the Div. 2 East final for the first time in program history, continuing the program’s upward trend as one of the top D2 teams in the state. The loss to Walpole in the final has left the Warriors, who had only four seniors on last year’s roster and return 10 starters, wanting more and the team comes into a new season experienced, battle-tested, and loaded with talent, including 2017 league MVP Sophia DiCenso, who in her two varsity seasons has already made quite an impression with her all-around game.

Joining DiCenso in the potent Foxboro attack is fellow junior Meghan Curran, who is coming off a breakout season and is capable of finishing against the best defenses. Senior Caroline Boudreau returns as one of Foxboro’s biggest threats on the draw and classmate Christina Rogers is back to lead the defensive unit, which is an aggressive group that puts a lot of pressure on the opposition. Sophomore Sara Addeche is back in goal after a very strong rookie season.

“Going into this year we’re looking to pick up where we left off,” said Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry. “Losing to Walpole in the sectional finals left us wanting more. These girls are ready to progress to the next level. They’ve dedicated their off-season and preseason to preparing our comeback.”

Franklin

2017 Record: 22-2
2017 Finish: Reached D1 State Semifinal
Coach: Kristin Igoe Guarino

Franklin has emerged not only as the top program in the Hockomock League but in recent seasons as one of the top programs in the state. The Panthers have won the Div. 1 East title in three of the past four seasons, although they have yet to find a way past the state semifinal and get the opportunity to play for a state championship. Despite being a team loaded with underclassmen again this spring, Franklin comes into the new season once again as the team to beat in the league and with state title aspirations.

Reigning Underclassman of the Year Annie Walsh is back to spearhead the Franklin attack and create scoring opportunities for herself and for her teammates. One of the teammates that benefits is her sister Erin. The sophomore is a creative finisher around the crease and will be a top scoring threat again this year. Sophomore Gianna Cameron is back in goal for the Panthers after an impressive rookie campaign and senior Grace MacCallum is back to lead Franklin’s stingy defensive unit. Sophomore Kelsey MacCallum will be a player to watch in the midfield, while freshman Katie Jones is a newcomer that could make an instant contribution.

“We are definitely still young, but now our youth has experience,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino. “The team is doing a great job so far of playing fast, smart and together. We have some excellent leadership in our senior class, and we are working hard every day to get better!”

King Philip

2017 Record: 10-11
2017 Finish: Reached D1 East Semifinal
Coach: Kourtnie Wilder

It was an up-and-down spring for King Philip in 2017, but it certainly finished on a high as the Warriors pulled off a pair of upsets in the state tournament to reach the Div. 1 East semifinal and a rematch with rival Franklin. The Warriors will have a new coach, Kourtnie Wilder takes over this season, and a number of returning players to make a run at unseating the Panthers from the top of the Kelley-Rex division, including senior attacker Katie Crowther, who comes into the season with more than 200 goals for her career.

One of the strengths for KP this season will be the defense, which is loaded with experience and vocal leaders. Christina Hathaway and Victoria Tormey will be the key defensive returners along with Caroline Watson, who has been one of the league’s top goalies for the past two seasons. The midfield will chip in on defense and help Crowther in the attack. Dana Truini, Alli Meehan, and Caroline Klim will all be back to solidify the midfield unit.

“We are going into the season with a clean slate and working to improve each week and being focused at practice,” said Wilder. “This is a hard-working and dedicated team and it will be exciting to see their hard work pay off.”

Mansfield

2017 Record: 10-9
2017 Finish: Reached D1 East First Round
Coach: Alexis Kobey

Mansfield got back into the tournament last season and gave Bishop Feehan all it could handle in the first round. The Hornets come into this spring motivated by unfinished business, as they look to not only get back to the postseason but also to make a deep tournament run. The first week of the season will provide a good early test with Mansfield facing Natick, Sharon, and North Attleboro, all 2017 playoff teams, right out of the gates.

The Hornets return four seniors from last year’s team and they will be expected to provide the leadership to push a talented group of juniors. Ann Maher will be back to add steel to the midfield and will try to get the ball forward to senior attacker Lauren Whitman and junior Katie Garvin. The defense will be as strong as its ever been, according to head coach Alexis Kobey, anchored by senior Danielle Skinner and with senior Hannah Sternberg back in goal.

“Making the tournament last year but losing by two to Bishop Feehan, we are definitely coming into the season with a bit of a chip on our shoulder,” said Kobey, “and want to improve on our record from last year and want to make it deeper into the playoffs.”

Milford

2017 Record: 4-14
2017 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Tim Dowd

In his second year in charge, Milford head coach Tim Dowd said that his team is focused on trying to outwork teams this season and to be “scrappy on the field,” as the Hawks look to make a move up the standings and compete with what has developed into a very deep league. The Hawks return several key players and have a few freshmen that will be added to the mix and given the opportunity to contribute right away.

Junior Emily Haley is the leader of the attack and Dowd said that he is expecting her to “have an incredible season.” Joining Haley in the midfield and attack are senior Jadyn White, junior Brianna Maietta, and sophomore Annie Flanagan. The defense has several players back from last season, including seniors Emily Condon and Alexa Lancisi, who provide the necessary vocal leadership to keep the defensive unit organized. Dowd added that there are a number of underclassmen that will play important roles this season, as the Hawks use their team speed to cause problems.

“We’re looking to be the team that goes the extra mile for each other and constantly works to win battles on the field,” said Dowd. “One of the things I’m looking for is improvement every day. We’re going to try to focus on the little things to hopefully make big improvements.”

North Attleboro

2017 Record: 13-7
2017 Finish: Reached D2 East Quarterfinal
Coach: Colleen Carchedi

North Attleboro has achieved quite a bit in the past few seasons, including its first home playoff game and its first playoff victories, and new coach Colleen Carchedi, who comes over from Sharon after achieving similar success in building that program up, is hoping to continue the Rocketeers’ upward trajectory. North will have a tough non-league schedule to prepare itself to make a deep tournament run.

One of the key players that North will rely on this season is senior midfielder Mackenzie Rosenberg, who was in the league MVP conversation last season and has been one of the league’s top scorers for the past two seasons. Senior Alaina Mello and senior goalie Kayla Moulin will lead the defensive effort along with classmate Caroline Vigorito. North will have plenty of speed to call on in the midfield this season with senior Julia Tolfa and sophomores Katie Lindstrom and Lindsey Spratt. The attack will be led by seniors Camille Pizarro and Julia Dakin, who are part of a very experienced roster that wants to lift North beyond the second round for the first time.

“These girls have been working really hard in the off-season and we are not willing to settle,” said Carchedi. “I have found that this team plays with passion and if we can continue to play with that energy and determination we are up for a great season.”

Oliver Ames

2017 Record: 8-12
2017 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Nicole Lang

Oliver Ames is another developing program that has added depth to the Hockomock League in recent seasons and the Tigers are poised to make a breakthrough into the postseason as first-year coach Nicole Lang takes over this spring. While the coach is one of several new faces for the Tigers this season, Lang believes that OA will be able to build on its successes from the past few years to continue building the program.

Senior goalie Ariana Waldorf, fresh off a trip to Israel this winter to help spread the game of lacrosse, will be back between the pipes this spring for the Tigers, one of many talented goalies across the league. Chloe Kilkelly and Olivia Piazza, who was named to the HockomockSports.com Second Team last year, will provide leadership and be counted on to step up in all phases this year.

Lang said, “Our girls have been preparing harder than ever for the upcoming season. We have a lot of new faces to the team and are looking to our seasoned players to lead the way to a potential playoff berth.”

Sharon

2017 Record: 15-5
2017 Finish: Reached D1 East Quarterfinal
Coach: Shara Ginthwain

Sharon has been a program on the rise for the past several seasons, including best-ever second-place finishes in the Davenport division, the program’s first playoff appearance, and last spring the Eagles added a first playoff win as well. While Sharon will move on this year with a new coach and without leading scorer Alex Rabb, the Eagles still have the talent to make a run at the postseason and new coach Shara Ginthwain has been an assistant at Sharon for the last three years, so it should be a smooth transition for the players.

Senior Sabrina Robbins is back to add dynamism to the midfield in both defense and attack and she will be joined by junior Emma Eberhardt, who adds speed, size and finishing ability from the middle of the field. Senior Abbi Solomon is back in the attack and junior Bridget McManus will be back in the heart of the defense. With 10 returning players, experience will be a strength for the Eagles, particularly on the defensive side where goalie Rose Wald also returns. Freshman midfielder Jenna Goldstein is a newcomer to watch for Sharon this year.

“Having our first playoff win in program history last season really lit a fire for a lot of these girls, it’s clear that the girls put in a lot of work in the off-season and they are ready to go!” Ginthwain said. “The girls are really motivated to work hard and to win. They are determined to be competitive in the Hock and into playoffs.”

Taunton

2017 Record: 7-11
2017 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Kerry Northup

Taunton is still a relatively young program and it enjoyed its best season in 2017 with seven wins, including a pair of wins in the league, and now the Tigers are going to try to build on that despite the loss of several players that had significant impacts. The focal point for Taunton this spring will be freshman midfielder Alana Tavares, who put together a stellar rookie campaign as an eighth grader and was one of the league’s leading scorers.

While much of the attention will, deservedly, be on Tavares and the attack, senior goalie Lorna Li is also back to give the defense some solidity after a really strong junior season. Seniors Hannah Moniz, Diana Brens, and Kayla Phillips will also be back to try and chip in with goals and leadership, while sophomore Kamryn Li could take on a larger role after the graduations of Abbey Kingman and Delaney Powell. Freshmen Anastasia Lajoie and Rosemary McGrath also saw time with Tavares as eighth graders last year and could step in to contribute more this season.

“We lost some talented seniors but have a lot of promise in some of our younger players,” said Taunton coach Kerry Northup. “We are excited to see what they can bring to the team this year.”

2018 Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars

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

Bulldogs Fall to Top Seed Wellesley in State Title Game

Canton girls hockey
Canton captains Marissa Devine, Colleen Kelleher, Kendra Farrelly, and Andrea McNeil pose with head coach Dennis Aldrich and the MIAA D2 State Finalist trophy. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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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.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Bulldogs Shut Out Archies to Get Back to the Garden

Canton girls hockey
Maggie Malloy (27) scored the only goal of the Div. 2 state semifinal to lift the Bulldogs to a win over Archbishop Williams and seal a return to the state title game. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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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.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Bulldogs Avenge Finals Loss and Return to D2 Semis

Canton girls hockey
Maggie Malloy (27) celebrates after scoring the first of her two goals against Notre Dame Academy (her fourth and fifth goals of the playoffs) to help Canton avenge last year’s state final loss and return to the Div. 2 semifinal. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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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.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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 Canton defensive pairings (Meg Aldrich and Katie Trerice and Alexa Maffeo and Leah McClellan) limited the potent Cougars attack to half-chances and only allowed six shots on goal in the first and 22 for the game.

“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.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Malloy Hat Trick Sends Bulldogs Into D2 Quarterfinal

Canton girls hockey
Junior Maggie Malloy scored a natural hat trick in the third period to lift Canton to a 4-1 victory over Walpole in its playoff opener. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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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.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/21/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 63 vs. Durfee, 55 – FinalDurfee exploded for 25 points in the third quarter to take a 46-41 advantage into the final frame, but Attleboro had a response with 22 fourth-quarter points to pull away. Sophomore Qualeem Charles scored 14 of his team-high 20 points in the second half and hauled in 16 rebounds to pace the Bombardiers while classmate Tim Callahan hit four three-pointers, including two in the fourth quarter, on his way to a career-high 17 points.

Foxboro, 59 vs. Walpole, 40 – FinalSophomore Will Morrison scored a career-high 11 points as Foxboro ended its season by earning its 18th victory. Seniors Teddy Maher and Matt Rongione also added 11 points apiece while Anthony Mollica chipped in with nine points.

King Philip, 51 vs. Dartmouth, 50 – Final (OT)King Philip’s defense held Dartmouth to just six points in the fourth quarter to help force overtime. Pharoah Davis scored half of his eight points in the fourth quarter and the other half in the overtime period to help the Warriors end the season with a win. Bruce Santillus scored seven of his team-high 13 points in the opening quarter and was named to the all-tournament team. Senior Tom Madden added 12 points, including nine in the third quarter.

Mansfield, 66 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 32 – Final

Milford, 46 vs. Dedham, 31 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

North Attleboro, 48 @ Bishop Feehan, 30 – FinalNorth Attleboro limited the Shamrocks to just five points in the second quarter and then just one free throw in the third to finish its season on a winning note. The Rocketeers led 24-16 at halftime and then took a 35-17 advantage into the fourth. Junior Jake Petersen recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds while classmate Josh Montague chipped in with nine points. North finishes the season 9-11.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 43 @ Durfee, 49 – FinalAttleboro rallied from 18 down entering the fourth quarter and cut the lead to as little as four points, but could not get the road win in the season finale. Sam Pierce led the way with 20 points and Kim White added nine for the Bombardiers.

Mansfield, 50 vs. Lowell, 48 – FinalClick here for a Recap from this game.

North Attleboro, 42 vs. Bishop Feehan, 61 – FinalEmily Haskell scored a team-high 14 points for the Rocketeers.

Oliver Ames, 42 @ Norwell, 48 – Final

Boys Hockey
Foxboro, 8 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 2 – Final

Franklin, 3 @ Barnstable, 2 – Final (OT)Joe Lizotte scored the game-winner in overtime to send Franklin to the final of the Barnstable tournament to face Marshfield. The game counts as a 2-2 tie for MIAA seeding purposes. Brendan O’Rielly and Jack McGrath also scored for the Panthers.

Mansfield, 2 vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 1 – FinalMansfield junior Chris Copponi help set up a pair of second period goals to lift the Hornets over the Trojans. Chris Copponi and senior Patrick McCafferty set up freshman Matt Copponi’s power play goal at 9:11. The Copponi brothers then combined to assist on junior Coleman O’Brien tally at 5:25 of the period.

North Attleboro, 4 @ Wayland, 0 – Final

Girls Hockey
Canton, 2 @ Walpole, 1 – FinalCanton junior Maggie Malloy assisted on both of the Bulldogs’ goals, giving the visitors a win to close out the regular season. Malloy set up Lauren Fitzpatrick and Lizzie Tassinari for the goals.

Franklin, 7 vs. Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake, 1 – Final

King Philip, 4 @ Mount St. Charles, 2 – Final

Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 @ Milton, 5 – Final