Below are the official 2019 Hockomock League Girls Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Maggie Malloy, Canton
Hockomock League All Stars
Maggie Malloy, Canton
Lauren Fitzpatrick, Canton
Leah McLellan, Canton
Ava Pacitti, Canton
Lizzie Tassinari, Canton
Cassi Ronan, Franklin
Regan Paterson, Franklin
Tina Pisano, Franklin
Gabby Colace, Franklin
Nicole Connor, King Philip
Sydney O’Shea, King Philip
Avari Maxwell, King Philip
Danae Reager, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Mackenzi Fraser, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Isabelle Shanteler, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Katie Widrow, Stoughton
Morgan Lessa, Stoughton
Alexa Maffeo, Canton
Gianna Cornetta, Franklin
Meghan Gorman, King Philip
Skylar Sharfman, Mansfield/Oliver Ames
Brianna Buckley, Stoughton
WATERTOWN, Mass. – Sometimes you run into the wrong team at the wrong time. Canton (12-6-5) believed it was one of the top teams in Division 2 heading into the state tournament and had the potential to make a run at a third straight title game appearance, but then it got drawn with arguably the top team in D2, Wellesley, in the first round.
The Raiders seemed to have found another gear in the past few weeks and that form continued on Monday night at the John A. Ryan Arena, as Wellesley rolled to a 5-0 victory and a return to the D2 quarterfinal.
“That’s not the team that I scouted that tied Walpole and lost to Notre Dame,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich about Monday night’s opponent. “They’ve got three solid lines, they’re strong with their sticks, their transition game is the best that I’ve seen. We couldn’t get pucks through. It’s just a really, really deep, solid team.”
Wellesley opened the scoring after five minutes when freshman forward Lulu Rourke weaved through a trio of Canton defenders and dropped a perfect pass in the path of her sister Emily, who then fired a shot inside the post. Only 71 seconds later and Wellesley doubled its advantage. Bridget Noonan got the puck in the slot and picked the corner for a power play tally.
“Unfortunately, the slow start, we’ve had that this year a few different times,” Aldrich explained. “I didn’t think we played too badly. Our breakout I thought was fine. We knew some things they were going to do and we counteracted that pretty well.”
The Raiders dominated zone time in the first period, but the Canton defense managed to hold the puck to the outside and limited Wellesley to only three shots on goal. Meg Aldrich, Alexa Maffeo, Katie Trerice, and company were able to block shots and keep the front of the net clear.
On the other end, Canton’s chances were rare. The Bulldogs also managed three shots on goal in the first, but were unable to sustain zone time and take some of the pressure off the defense. Aldrich created a turnover in the neutral zone, which sprung Leah McClellan for a shot from inside the left face-off dot that was saved by Wellesley goalie Liddy Schultz.
The second period was all Wellesley. The Raiders put 13 shots on goal in the second and Canton goalie Ava Pacitti had to hold firm to give the Bulldogs any shot of a comeback. Erin Fleming added a third goal with an unstoppable shot from the right circle to the stick side and Bliss Vernon found the five-hole from the high slot, but Pacitti kept Canton close despite all of Wellesley’s attacks.
Tess Khoury nearly created a goal out of nothing for the Bulldogs when she poke checked a Wellesley defender on the edge of the crease and forced Schultz into a pad stop. McClellan aggressively forechecked shorthanded and tried to stuff the puck in from a tight angle after forcing a turnover.
Although they went into the third period trailing by four goals, the Bulldogs managed to put together their best attacking period of the game. Lauren Fitzpatrick and Maggie Malloy were finally able to create some space to get off shots, as did Lizzie Tassinari.
“There’s only so many things that you can control,” said Aldrich. “People can beat you but they can’t out-compete you and I thought they really brought it in the third period. The seniors, it was their opportunities to sign their names to this game as what they want to leave as a legacy. I was really pleased with the effort.”
Canton would outshoot the Raiders 10-9 in the third, but it was Wellesley that added to the scoreline. Lulu Rourke took the puck down the left side and again showed off her stick skills to dodge a pair of defenders and stick the puck in with a backhand shot that made it 5-0.
“I think we’re one of the top four teams in this division,” said Aldrich, “and to have to meet probably the best team in the division in the first round kind of stinks.”
Foxboro, 1 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro received goals from three different players on its way to a key win over visiting Foxboro. Kyle McCabe, Ryan Morry, and Sam Larkin each found the back of the net for the Bombardiers while Cam Littig had an assist.
Franklin, 5 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – Franklin tied the game at 2-2 with less than a minute left in the second period and then outscored the Warriors 3-0 in the final period to earn a key division win, moving into first place with one league game left to play. KP had a 1-0 lead after one period and took a 2-1 lead in the second but Franklin knotted the score with 51 seconds left in the second period. Franklin took a 3-2 lead just two minutes into the third, and then tacked on two goals in a two minute period halfway through the third. Cam Cassella, Matt Holmes, Scott Elliott, Shane McCaffrey, and Joey Lizotte each had a goal for Franklin. Brendan Shandley and Jack Coulter (from Garrett Maxwell) had goals for KP while James Lewis made 20 saves in net for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames scored three straight goals between the first and second periods to take a 3-1 lead, and then tacked on an empty net goal in the final minute of the game to secure two points and a win over Mansfield. Hornet junior Joseph Troiano put Mansfield 1-0 on an assist from Coleman O’Brien but OA’s Max Ward (from Brett Williams) tied the game with 3:16 to go in the first period. Freshman Bryan Kearns (two assists) finished off a scrum in front in the second to put OA up 2-1 and James Beatty found Colin Bourne for a one-timer to give the Tigers a 3-1 advantage after two periods. Mansfield’s Jack Garland scored shorthanded on a breakaway early in the third to make it a one-goal game but Jake Gottwald iced it with an empty netter in the final minute. Owen Connor had 22 saves in net for the Tigers.
Taunton, 9 @ Stoughton, 4 – Final – Taunton senior defenseman Dylan Nichols scored two of his three goals in the first period and Camden Faria netted a pair in the first as the Tigers built a 5-1 lead after a period and never looked back. Nichols and Stoughton’s Sean Doherty traded goals to start the game but the Tigers scored four straight to take a big lead. Taunton’s Cam Sneyd had three assists in the opening period. Sean Doherty scored twice for Black Knights.
Canton, 6 vs. Norwood, 0 – Final – After scoring her 50th career goal last game, Lauren Fitzpatrick scored the first four goals of the night for the Bulldogs. Maggie Malloy and Lizzie Tassinari also scored in the win.
Franklin, 3 @ Medfield/Norton, 1 – Final – Three different players each scored once as Franklin rolled to a win on the road over Medfield. Cassi Ronan (two assists), Regan Paterson (assist) and Amanda Lewandowski each found the back of while Gabby Colace (13 saves) earned the win in net for Franklin.
King Philip, 1 vs. Westwood, 4 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 vs. Medway, 1 – Final – Emma Pereira scored the lone goal of the game for the Warriors, putting them up 1-0 in the third period but Medway was able to find the equalizer.
Canton, 34 @ Bishop Feehan, 69 – Final – Canton was limited to just two points in the second quarter as the Shamrocks built a 34-10 lead at halftime and never looked back. Bulldog sophomore Matt Giglio scored a team-high 12 points while Peter Hayward added eight points.
Franklin, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Scott Elliott scored a pair of goals and three other Panthers found the back of the net as Franklin skated to a shutout win over Attleboro. Senior Joey Lizotte, senior Zac Falvey, and sophomore Declan Lovett also scored for the Panthers in the win.
Canton, 1 vs. Westwood, 1 – Final – Canton sophomore Lizzie Tassinari scored with 1:41 left in the game to help the Bulldogs earn a tie in what felt like a championship level game according to CHS head coach Dennis Aldrich.
Franklin, 6 vs. Medway, 3 – Final – Franklin senior Cassi Ronan scored a hat trick to pace the Panthers to a win over Medway at home on Saturday night. Ronan also had an assist while Regan Paterson and Gianna Cameron scored once. Libby Carter, Katelyn Brown, and Tina Pisano added assists while Gabby Colace made 12 saves to earn the win.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 vs. Dedham, 1 – Final – Dedham scored on a shorthanded goal in the second period but MOA responded within two minutes to tie the game, and that ended up as the final score. Ella Waryas connected with Kylie O’Keefe, and she in turn hit a streaking Emma Garland, who tucked the puck through the goalie’s pads to tie the game. Warrior freshman goalie Jess Widdop had a standout game, making 30 saves.
Stoughton, 0 @ Cohasset, 6 – Final
Norton Quad (Canton, Stoughton) –
Foxboro Quad (Foxboro) – Foxboro hosted Carver, Hanover, and Hingham for a quad meet, picking up two wins but suffering a loss to the Harbormen. The Warriors defeated Carver (84-0) and Hanover (58-21) but lost 44-36 to Hingham. TJ Whitehouse (113), Adam Lanctot (120), Tom Cullen (170), William Ogbebor (220), and Billy McNeil (285) each went 3-0 on the day for Foxboro.
Algonquin Quad (Franklin) – Franklin picked up three impressive wins at the Algonquin quad, including a dramatic come-from-behind victory. The Panthers beat Framingham (36-29), Algonquin (49-12) and used a last match pin from Drew DiFilippo to secure a 33-28 win over West Springfield. Dominic Sackley went 3-0 for Franklin with three pins.
Quabbin Tournament (King Philip), 10:00
Milford @ Wilmington, 9:00
Cumberland Meet (North Attleboro, Oliver Ames) – In a tournament featuring some of the top teams from around New England, North Attleboro took fifth place with 122 points and Oliver Ames was eighth overall with 85.5 at the John Gorman Invitational. North Attleboro senior Mateusz Kudra (2850 remained unbeaten on the season, picking up three pins to advance to the final where he earned a 7-0 decision over second-seeded Edison Guarcas of Hope High School. Liam Rizk (182) added a third place finish for the Rocketeers while Michael Burns (138) and Ethan Smith (120) each took fourth overall. Oliver Ames’ Dean Pacini (195) picked up an individual title with an upset in the final round. Pacini had three wins to get to the final, and trailed top-seeded Kaream Sangare of Cumberland High 4-1 after the first round. Pacini was down 6-3 late in the third round before earning a takedown and getting at pin at 5:31 for the title. Billy Tat (170) added a third place finish for the Tigers, Remi Creighton (113) was sixth, and Nick McGovern (120) went 4-2 on the day.
St. John’s Shrewsbury Quad (Sharon) – Sharon picked up a pair of wins at the St. John’s Shrewsbury quad. The Eagles recorded victories over the hosts (57-12) and Marlboro (34-32) but came up short against powerhouse Masconomet (42-33). Jon Wald (182) and Amit Levin (120) each went unbeaten on the day while Nathan Daley (285) earned his first varsity win.
Methuen Quad (Mansfield, Taunton) – Mansfield earned three wins while Taunton picked up one at a super quad at Methuen High School. The Hornets beat Monty Tech (46-14), Silver Lake (58-9), and Marshfield (48-18) but lost to host Methuen (34-31) in a close match. Taunton recorded a win over Monty Tech (45-21). Mansfield’s Antonios Sevastos, CJ Glaropoulos, George Glaropoulos, Jayden Curley, and Ethan Nirenberg were all undefeated throughout the day. Taunton’s Tyler Lima (120, dec. 6-5), Wansly Perceval (126, pin), and Mason Frank (285, pin) picked up wins in the victory over Monty Tech.
Attleboro, 159 vs. Lowell, 103.4 – Final
Franklin, 63 vs. Brighton, 35 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Franklin clamped down defensively, forcing Brighton into 32 turnovers on its way to a big win over the Bengals. The Panthers forced 12 turnovers in the first quarter alone and hit their first eight shots from the floor, taking a 25-6 lead after eight minutes of play. Junior Chris Edgehill had a team-high 15 points, senior Will Harvey added eight points, and Jack Rudolph finished with seven points and three assists. Franklin will play host Bridgewater-Raynham in the championship game of the Larry Fisher Holiday Tournament on Saturday at 4:45.
King Philip, 64 vs. New Mission, 72 – Final – King Philip cut the deficit to just three points late in the fourth quarter but New Mission finished strong to close down the Warriors. Bruce Sanitilus scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the final frame to help KP get back into the game. KP scored 38 points in the second half after being held to 26 in the opening 16 minutes. Alex Fritz added 14 points (11 in the second half) while both Andrew McKinney and Tim Nault finished with 11 points. King Philip will play host Auburn in the consolation game on Friday night at 5:00.
Milford, 60 vs. New Bedford, 51 – Final – Milford built an eight-point lead (19-11) after one quarter, led by 11 at half and after three quarters, and held on for a win over New Bedford. Senior Brendan White had a team-high 17 points and hauled in 14 boards while sophomore Jordan Darling also had a big night, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Oliver Ames, 66 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 29 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Oliver Ames turned a dominant performance on the glass into a big win over Dighton-Rehoboth in an opening round game of the Muscato Tournament. The Tigers had an 11-0 advantage on the boards in the first quarter, grabbing six offensive boards to jump out to a 23-7 lead. OA continued to control the boards with a 23-3 advantage at halftime, resulting in a 34-16 lead at the break. Junior Jay Spillane had a career-high 14 points to pace the Tigers while senior Ethan Eckstrom added 11 points. OA will play Cardinal Spellman in the championship game on Saturday.
Taunton, 77 vs. Charlestown, 53 – Final – Taunton outscored Charlestown 24-9 in the second quarter, and put up 48 points between the second and third to earn a double-digit win over Charlestown. Senior Wesner Charles scored a career-high 21 points while junior Dante Law also had a 21-point performance, including 13 in the first half. Senior Mike Quinn added 11 points and Naz Kenion chipped in with 10 points. Taunton will play host Durfee in the finals of the Skip Karam Holiday Classic on Friday at 6:30.
Attleboro, 42 @ North Attleboro, 34 – Final – Liv McCall scored 16 points to send Attleboro into Saturday’s final of the North Attleboro holiday tournament. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley credited the Bombardiers great team defense and added that Lillian Froio played really well off the bench.
Oliver Ames, 47 vs. Needham, 64 – Final – Oliver Ames trailed by just a point after three quarters but the Rockets dominated the final quarter, outscoring the Tigers 23-7 to earn the win. Freshman Caroline Peper had a career-high 19 points for Oliver Ames, who will host Brockton in the consolation game of the Sue Rivard Holiday Tournament on Friday at 6:00.
Sharon, 34 vs. Middleboro, 38 – Final – Emma Eberhardt led the way for the Eagles with 17 points.
Stoughton, 39 vs. Belmont, 70 – Final – Stoughton junior Aliyah Wright had a team-high 11 points for the Black Knights, who will play Newton South on Friday at 5:00.
Taunton, 65 vs. Durfee, 49 – Final – Taunton jumped out to a 13 point lead by halftime (31-18) and kept control in the second half. Sonya Fernandez had another strong all-around game for the Tigers with 20 points, eight rebounds, and nine blocks. Alexa White added 17 points and Lily Patneaude chipped in with 11 in the win.
Franklin, 2 @ Mount St. Charles (R.I.), 3 – Final (OT) – Franklin senior Joe Lizotte and junior Shane McCaffrey each scored once but the Panthers fell in overtime to host Mount St. Charles. Ryan Cameron had an outstanding game in net for the Panthers. The game will go down as a tie for MIAA purposes.
King Philip, 0 vs. Quincy, 3 – Final
North Attleboro, 2 vs. Cumberland (R.I.), 0 – Final – Tyler Sarro and John Connolly scored for the Rocketeers, who earned their first win of the season.
Oliver Ames, 7 vs. Matignon, 0 – Final – Brett Williams scored two goals and assisted on another and Cullen Gallagher had one goal and a pair of assists to power OA to Friday’s tournament championship game against Hanover. Colin Bourne, Max Ward, Ross Carroll, and Brad Powers also scored for the Tigers, while Owen Connor made nine saves to record the shutout.
Stoughton, 5 vs. Tri-County, 3 – Final – Stoughton’s offense exploded for four goals in the second period, helping the Black Knights pick up the win. Senior Carter Gerome and freshman Colin Alessi each scored a pair of goals for the Knights while freshman Joe McNulty scored the other goal.
Taunton, 0 vs. Scituate, 2 – Final
Canton, 3 vs. Medfield/Norton, 2 – Final (2 OT) – After Medfield/Norton scored twice in the third period to grab the lead, Maggie Malloy scored with just 44 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 2-2, forcing overtime and keeping Canton unbeaten this season (both teams get a point for MIAA standings). During the 3-on-3 second OT period, Lauren Fitzpatrick went the length of the ice for her second goal of the game to send the Bulldogs into the Ice House tournament final to face Westwood. Fitzpatrick also opened the scoring for Canton with a second period goal assisted by Lizzie Tassinari and Payton McDonough.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 0 vs. Walpole, 5 – Final
Lowell Tournament (Canton, Foxboro, Franklin, Taunton), 9:00
Marshfield Tournament (Mansfield, North Attleboro, Sharon), 10:00
Attleboro vs. Norton, 4:30
Franklin, 137.5 @ Mansfield, 147.5 – Final
King Philip @ Taunton, 11:00AM
Sharon @ Taunton, 11:00AM
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
Attleboro, 63 vs. Durfee, 55 – Final – Durfee 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 – Final – Sophomore 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.
North Attleboro, 48 @ Bishop Feehan, 30 – Final – North 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.
Attleboro, 43 @ Durfee, 49 – Final – Attleboro 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.
North Attleboro, 42 vs. Bishop Feehan, 61 – Final – Emily Haskell scored a team-high 14 points for the Rocketeers.
Oliver Ames, 42 @ Norwell, 48 – Final
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 – Final – Mansfield 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
Canton, 2 @ Walpole, 1 – Final – Canton 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