Canton Knocked Out By Raiders in Title Game Rematch

Canton girls hockey
Canton senior forward Lauren Fitzpatrick chases down a puck in the offensive zone against Wellesley in the D2 opening round. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


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.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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.”

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/09/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Canton, 2 – FinalCanton scored a pair of goals in the opening 10 minutes but Oliver Ames responded with a pair of second half goals to earn a point on the road. Senior Griffin Roach scored a pair of early goals to put the hosts ahead, a lead that Canton took into halftime. But Oliver Ames struck for a pair of goals inside a five minute span to level the scoring. Sophomore Kevin Louhis brought the visitors within one on an assist from sophomore Colin Milliken in the 59th minute, and two minutes later, Milliken tied the game off a feed from Haendel Louhis.

Taunton, 1 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalStoughton junior Mason Eschleman scored his first career goal in the final five minutes to hepl the Black Knights earn a point against visiting Taunton. Eschleman finished off a centering pass from John Ortiz with just three minutes to play to bring Stoughton level. Taunton took the lead in the 10th minute when Mateusz Hagemajer converted a pass from Dylan Kullas. Stoughton sophomore Nolan Gerome made 22 saves in net while Taunton keeper Nolan Melo made 13 stops.

Girls Soccer
Canton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalOliver Ames used a first half goal to earn a 1-0 win over visiting Canton, clinching a spot in the state tournament. Daniella Ferrini scored off a rebound of Erin Holmberg’s shot to put the Tigers ahead. Emma O’Donnell recorded the shutout in net for Oliver Ames.

Stoughton, 1 @ Taunton, 2 – FinalAlex Wapenski scored a pair of goals to help the Tigers edge Stoughton. Stoughton’s goal was scored by Cintia Khouzami, assisted by Mackenzie Manning. Nicole Weir and Nikki Anderson both had strong games on defense for the Knights.

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 6 @ Milford, 0 – FinalAttleboro went on the road and recorded a convincing victory, beating Milford 6-0. Alex Compton paced the Bombardiers’ offense, netting a hat trick while Anna Beck, Hannah Webster, and Takara Keele each scored once in the win.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 1 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery from the game – Maggie Connolly followed up a Meg Aldrich shot that OA goalie Kara Ostrander saved and knocked in the rebound to lift Canton to the victory. The Bulldogs created a number of chances to try and put the game away in the second half but Ostrander made a series of saves to keep the Tigers in it. Sophomore Riley O’Connor earned the shutout for Canton.

King Philip, 0 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalFoxboro senior Sophia Lowe scored late in the first half as the host Warriors handed King Philip its first loss of the season. Lowe converted with 4:15 left in the first half to give Foxboro the lead. King Philip had over 20 shots on goal but Foxboro keeper Julia Carangelo had a strong game, recording the shutout.

Franklin, 7 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalFranklin raced out to a 4-0 lead at halftime and never looked back in a win against Sharon. Cassi Ronan and Stephanie Bell each scored a pair of goals to pace the Panthers’ offense, Amanda Lewandowski and Victoria Quinn each had a goal and an assist in the win, and Olivia Rondeau (first career goal) and Katie O’Rourke (assist) each had one point apiece.

Mansfield, 4 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final

Taunton, 2 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalAfter the majority of the game went without any scoring, Taunton tacked on two goals late in the second half to grab two points on the road in a win over Stoughton. Kathryn Robinson (assisted by Jillian Pagliuca) and Cierra Bartel (assisted by Kennedy Thielker) each scored once for the Tigers.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton defended home court with a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 25-15, 25-17) of visiting Oliver Ames. Taylor Harris had eight kills, one block, and 13 digs, Olivia Chinsen had a solid night with two aces, three kills, and 10 digs, and Erin Devine and Bailey Shea both had solid games at the net, combining for seven blocks and eight kills. Nicole Brown continued to run the court with 17 assists and five kills for the Bulldogs. Oliver Ames’ Jordan Bosse had 12 kills, eight digs and three aces, Sadie Homer finished with 32 dig, and Allie Kemp added 24 assists.

King Philip, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalKing Philip’s Catherine Waldeck and Nicole Coughlan had strong performances at the net while Jessie Kornfeld and Kristen Masse were strong at the service line, helping the visiting Warriors knock off Foxboro (25-15, 25-5, 25-22). Coughlan had a team-high 12 kills while Waldeck added nine to pace the offense. Kornfeld finished with 10 service points, including four aces while Masse had 11 service points, one ace, and three kills.

Franklin, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – Final

Mansfield, 2 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalAfter splitting the first four sets, North Attleboro earned the win with a 15-5 win in the fifth set, taking the match 3-2 (25-19, 19-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-5). For Mansfield, Greenly Kelly had 11 kills and three blocks and Sam Sternberg added 19 digs and 15 service points.

Taunton, 0 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalStoughton swept Taunton (25-22, 25-23, 25-16) in a close match, earning its ninth win of the season and clinching a spot in the state tournament. The Black Knights got contributions from the entire line up with Amaya Morris having a strong two-way game, recording six kills and five blocks.

Boys Cross Country
Attleboro, 30 @ Taunton, 25 – FinalTop 10: 1. Nolan Tavares (Tau, 17:37) 3. Ty Cali (Tau, 18:01) 4. Colin Quinlan (Tau, 18:23) 7. Cameron Parker (Tau, 18:31) 10. Ryan Strawbridge (Tau, 19:04).

North Attleboro @ Canton, 3:45

Sharon, 19 @ Foxboro, 43 – FinalSharon’s Alex Starovoytov edged Foxboro’s Ryan Proulx for first place, and the Eagles had six of the top seven finishes in a big win over the Warriors. Starovoytov beat Proulx by just one second, both runners nearly a minute ahead of the rest of the pack. Sharon’s Jacob Dubin rounded out the top three.

Top 10: 1. Alex Starovoytov (Sha, 17:22) 2. Ryan Proulx (Fox, 17:23) 3. Jacob Dubin (Sha, 18:21) 4. Jordan Saks (Sha, 18:22) 5. Bradley Weiss (Sha, 18:37) 6. Nathan Stockton (Sha, 18:41) 7. T. Liu (Sha, 18:52) 8. Trey Lawson (Fox, 18:56) 9. N. Wieland (Sha, 19:11) 10. Mark Starovoytov (Sha, 19:32).

Franklin, 23 @ Oliver Ames, 33 – Final

King Philip, 35 @ Mansfield, 25 – FinalKing Philip had the top two runners in the race but Mansfield had the next six, helping the Hornets pick up the win. KP’s Mike Griffin won the race, over 20 seconds ahead of the rest of the pack. KP’s Mike Nordberg was second overall while Jason Windvogel, Patrick Heavey, and Paxton Howard were Mansfield’s top three runners.

Top 10: 1. Mike Griffin (KP, 16:42) 2. Mike Nordberg (KP, 17:05) 3. Jason Windvogel (Mans, 17:13) 4. Patrick Heavey (Mans, 17:26) 5. Paxton Howard (Mans, 17:31) 6. Mike Mullahy (Mans, 17:35) 7. Cullen Lancaster (Mans, 17:52) 8. Justin Miller (Mans, 18:07) 9. Eric DeLorenzo (KP, 18:10) 10. Peter Sullivan (Mans, 18:24).

Milford, 20 @ Stoughton, 41 – Final

Girls Cross Country
Attleboro @ Taunton, 3:45

North Attleboro @ Canton, 3:45

Sharon, 31 @ Foxboro, 24 – FinalFoxboro’s trio of Abby Hassman, Lexi Quinn, and Lindsey Nelson continued to dominate, taking the top three spots in the race to lead the Warriors to a close win over Sharon. Sharon had the next four runners cross the finish line but Jill Finn’s eighth place finish help secure the win.

Top 10: 1. Abby Hassman (Fox, 20:18) 12. Lexi Quinn (20:18) 3. Lindsey Nelson (Fox, 20:34) 4. Daphne Theiler (Sha, 21:42) 5. Eliana Boxerman (Sha, 22:10) 6. Margaret Li (Sha, 22:23) 7. Juliana Dudziak (Sha, 22:37) 8. Jill Finn (Fox, 23:07) 9. Catherine Griffin (Sha, 23:19) 10. Emily Steele (Fox, 23:22)

Franklin, 25 @ Oliver Ames, 34 – FinalOliver Ames had the top two runners cross the finish line but Franklin had the next five, resulting in a close win over the Tigers. OA’s Meghan Reardon and Catherine O’Donnell crossed together but Franklin’s Julia Fenerty, Sydney Hawkins, and Kat Walbert all crossed within a minute, and Sarah Giulino and Julia DiGiacomo came across less than a minute later to help secure the win for the Panthers.

Top 10: 1. Meghan Reardon (OA, 20:51) 2. Catherine O’Donnell (OA, 20:51) 3. Julia Fenerty (Frank, 21:12) 4. Sydney Hawkins (Frank, 21:20) 5. Kat Walbert (Frank, 21:40) 6. Sarah Giuliano (Frank, 22:27) 7. Julia DiGiacomo (Frank, 22:28) 8. Julia Sarro (OA, 22:29) 9. Brandi Osborne (Frank, 22:48) 10. Erin Barry (Frank, 22:50).

King Philip, 33 @ Mansfield, 22 – FinalMansfield’s Tessa Lancaster and Maggie Riley continued to shine, taking the top two spots in the race, while Jessica Alestock and Brinly Meelia took fifth and sixth, respectively, to help the Hornets clinch the win. After splitting the top four spots, with KP taking third and fourth, the race came down to the next two spots, which Mansfield took both of.

Top 10: 1. Tessa Lancaster (Mans, 20:31) 2. Maggie Riley (Mans, 20:38) 3. Maya Evans (KP, 20:50) 4. Ryenn Hart (KP, 21:50) 5. Jessica Alestock (Mans, 22:14) 6. Brinly Meelia (Mans, 22:19) 7. Isabelle Crocker (KP, 22:52) 8. Emma Lamson (Mans, 22:57) 9. Abigail Simmons (KP, 23:03) 10. Abigail Dunne (KP, 23:19).

Milford, 24 @ Stoughton, 31 – FinalStoughton had the top runner but Milford’s depth proved to be the difference. Milford’s Sara Comisky, Lillian Thibeault, and Lexi Marcolini finished second, third, and fourth overall, respectively, and senior Kate Donahue grabbed seventh overall to secure the win for the Scarlet Hawks.

Top 10: 1. Sydnee Hyacinthe (Sto, 22:58) 2. Sara Comisky (Mil, 23:07) 3. Lillian Thibeault (Mil, 23:24) 4. Lexi Marcolini (Mil, 23:40) 5. Rebecca Lally (Sto, 24:42) 6. Julia Franey (Sto, 25:17) 7. Katerina Donahue (Mil, 25:56) 8. Stephanie Goulet (Mil, 26:37) 9. Theresa Billo (Sto, 27:20) 10. Heather Maddalena (Sto, 27:29).

Golf
Sharon, 154 @ Canton, 149 – FinalCanton picked up an important win over division rival Sharon with junior Chris Lavoie leading the way. Lavoie carded a team-low round of 34 to pace the Bulldogs. Tommy Dimock (37) and Thomas Singleton (38) both had sub-40 rounds while Conor Hunter carded an even 40 for Canton. Sharon’s Corey Carter had one of the best rounds of any Hock golfers this season, earning match medalist honors with a 33. Ethan Skelly was also impressive, shooting a 34 for the Eagles.

Foxboro, 177 @ Franklin, 166 – FinalFranklin’s Matt D’Errico earned match medalist honors after shooting a 40. Jack Paterson (41), Jake Blaney (42), and Gerard Collins (43) all scored for the Panthers while junior Matt Lathrop led the Warriors with a 41.

Mansfield, 158 @ Stoughton, 179 – FinalMansfield sophomore Jason See carded a round of 38 to earn match medalist honors and pace the Hornets to a win on the road against Stoughton. Ryan Dow, Ava Haggis and Joe Gormley all chipped in with a 40 for Mansfield. Stoughton was led by Luke Bainton with a 40 and Josh Hough with a 43.

Milford, 8 @ Nipmuc, 1 – Final (Match Play)

Oliver Ames, 160 @ Taunton, 191 – FinalOliver Ames senior Nolan Donze shot a 2-under par round of 34 to lead the Tigers to a win. Ryan Bock added a 40, Tate Hadges finished with a 42, and Brad Powers added a 44 for the Tigers.

Second Half Surge Helps Canton Edge Franklin

Canton field hockey
Canton’s Katie Trerice looks to make a clearance while Franklin’s Cassi Ronan applies pressure. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
CANTON, Mass. – While the majority of Hockomock League teams have hit the field, court, or links over the past two weeks to get their seasons underway, the Canton field hockey team has been left watching.

Between hot weather and thunderstorms, the Bulldogs have had their first game pushed back on a couple of occasions.

Canton finally began its 2018 season on Friday afternoon and used a late surge in the second half to pick up a 2-1 win over visiting Franklin.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It was our first game, had a very long preseason I think it took them a little while to get out of drill mode and get into game mode,” said Canton head coach Chrissy O’Connor. “We made some changes on the field and once it kind of clicked, then they started to get more comfortable.

“The past few days have been tough, the longer you wait, it can get stale. Practices get a little boring and they just want to get out there and play. The first half they were figuring things out a bit and then the second half of the second half they really started to click and work well together.”

Trailing 1-0 in the second half, the Bulldogs came to life at the midway point. After fending off pressure from Franklin over the first 15 minutes of the second half, Canton turned on the pressure.

After earning a penalty corner, Canton’s Meg Aldrich served a pass in. Maria Femia was able to put it back in, Molly Cummings deflected it along, and senior Maggie Malloy cleaned up the loose ball to make it 1-1 with 12:50 to play.

Canton kept its pressure up and found the back of the net again just over a minute later. Malloy had her first shot denied by Franklin goalie Christina Luccini but the Panthers defense was unable to get a clearance.

The ball popped back onto the stick of Malloy, who pushed it forward some and then unleashed a hard shot at the near post that put the Bulldogs up 2-1.

“She’s a gifted goal scorer but she’s always a great motivator,” O’Connor said of Malloy. “She’s a hard worker and she kind of brings everyone along with her. I think that energy will translate to the younger players and they’ll start picking it up a little bit just based on her play.”

Franklin’s best chance at an equalizer came with just over six minutes to go. Senior Cassi Ronan split a pair of defenders and sent a pass into the area to Ashley Reutlinger but Canton defender Allie Gefteas made the clear.

“We let down a little bit,” said Franklin head coach Michelle Hess. “That’s something we’ve been working on because we get a little too comfortable. We let down and [Canton] completely capitalized. We’re still learning to bounce back, we let down once and then again right away. Hopefully, we can work on some transition stuff and have them get right back in the game.

We have two starters out so we had a little bit of a different look today and for it being the first time, they did pretty well. But once we get healthy I think we’ll be more solid in the middle and in transition.

It was a back-and-forth contest early on but little chances for either side. The Bulldogs had the best two chances early but couldn’t get a chance on net.

A shot from Maggie Malloy was deflected in the 9th minute but freshman Erin Lane couldn’t get to the loose ball before it skipped over the end line. Ten minutes later, Kaitlyn Goyetch found Femia in front but Franklin freshman Kate O’Rourke did well to break the play up before a shot.

The first shot on goal came from Reutlinger in the 22nd minute, forcing a save from Canton sophomore goalie Riley O’Connor. On the ensuing corner, Reutlinger linked up with Ronan and the senior lofted a shot perfectly over the goalie and just under the bar for a 1-0 lead.

Canton nearly tied it just three minutes later when Goyetch found Malloy in the middle but Franklin goalie Anna Jardine closed the pads at the perfect time to deny the chance. Malloy had another chance two minutes later but Franklin’s Elizabeth Clark thwarted the bid.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Before Canton took momentum in the second half, Franklin was just inches away from doubling its lead. Ronan’s shot was deflected by Olivia Rondeau and found the stick of Stephanie Bell. But Canton’s Rose Malloy was positioned perfectly on the goal line to knock the shot away.

“We have a very young starting team, we lost some good talent last year.,” O’Connor said. “It’s about getting comfortable with each other and filling in some spots. Even coaching-wise, we’re figuring out where everyone fits. I think we spent part of that game doing that but we’re glad they were able to come through with the win.”

Canton field hockey (1-0 Hockomock, 1-0 overall) is back in action on Monday when it hosts Stoughton at 7:00. Franklin (1-2, 1-2) hits the road to visit Mansfield on Monday afternoon.

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)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


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.

Farrelly and Malloy Goals Earn Canton Win at Franklin

Canton girls hockey
Canton junior Maggie Malloy (27) had a goal and an assist to help Canton beat Franklin and jump to the top of the Hockomock League standings. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FRANKLIN, Mass. – It was becoming a frustrating night for the visitors. Canton held a 15-1 edge in shots on goal during the second period against Franklin in Wednesday afternoon’s Hockomock League tilt at Pirelli Veterans Arena, but went into the second intermission locked in a scoreless tie.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Buoyed by the experience of having been in tough, close games many times before, the Bulldogs stuck with their game plan. Kendra Farrelly scored with the first shot on goal of the third period and Maggie Malloy added a second with two minutes left to secure a 2-0 victory and a two-point lead in the league standings.

“It really doesn’t bother us that much because we’ve been in so many of those late games,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich. “All through the playoffs there were late goals and we just never feel like we’re out of it. If we don’t win, we just feel like we ran out of time.

“We feel confident enough in what we do that we’re just going to stick to it.”

Thirty seconds into the third, Leah McClellan fired a shot from the point that was deflected by skates right in front of Franklin freshman goalie Natalie Stott (30 saves) and onto the stick of Farrelly (goal and an assist) at the back post for a tap in.

Canton nearly doubled its lead a few minutes later, but Stott stood tall to stuff fellow freshman Ellie Rae Roberts’ breakaway opportunity.

With just under three minutes to play, Franklin had a chance to tie the game with a shorthanded break by sophomore Jordan Dwyer, but her shot under pressure from Alexa Maffeo was knocked aside by Canton’s senior goalie Colleen Kelleher (19 saves).

The Bulldogs put the game away just 30 seconds later. Malloy (goal and assist) skated free into the slot, opened her body to get a forehand shot off, and put her wrister just under the bar for a 2-0 lead with 2:14 to play.

“They’re more experienced and they’re going to take advantage when we make a little mistake,” said Franklin coach Margi Burke. “We knew this was going to be really tough competition and we hung with them for two periods.”

It took a full period for the Bulldogs to get going, as Franklin came storming out of the locker room and took control of the play in the opening period, finishing with a 13-8 edge in shots. Regan Paterson had the first chance with a couple of shots from close range and had another chance when she stole the puck on the back-check and skated the length of the ice to force Kelleher into a save.

With 50 seconds left in the first, Franklin nearly took the lead. Gianna Cameron had a shot from the point saved by Kelleher, who then recovered quickly to make a pad stop on Jackie Connelly’s rebound effort on the post.

“We expected that,” said Aldrich of Franklin’s strong start. “Colleen had to make a real big, right-pad save or that was a sure goal and who knows where we would’ve been if she doesn’t make that.”

Stott also had to make big stops to keep Canton off the board in the first, particularly a great pad save on freshman Lizzie Tassinari after Malloy teed her up in the slot and a save on Farrelly seconds before the horn.

Those saves were just a prelude to the Stott’s performance in the second period, as she stopped a barrage of shots from the Bulldogs and kept Franklin in the game after 30 minutes.

Lauren Fitzpatrick had an effort cutting in from the left wing stuffed by the rookie netminder, who then stopped a blast from the point by Katie Trerice and the rebound effort by Marissa Devane. Meg Aldrich also had a shot from the point through traffic that forced a blocker save by the unsighted Stott.

“She doesn’t look like a freshman out there,” said Burke of Stott. “She’s a great kid and she’s doing a great job. It could’ve been so much more than 2-0, she kept us in the game especially in the second period.”

Canton grabbed the momentum after the second period and never looked back, which Aldrich explained is part of the game plan for the Bulldogs.

He said, “We pride ourselves on getting stronger as the game goes on and I think that showed. I think we wore them down a little bit, but we fully expected to come in here and have them throw haymakers right away.”

While praising the play of Stott, Aldrich admitted that he is also experimenting with the lines to try and boost the Bulldogs’ offensive output. “We’re still trying to find chemistry,” he said.

Despite the loss, Burke is pleased with the performance of her young team and the strong start that the Panthers have made to the season.

“Their effort was there the whole time and we can’t ask a lot more than that and we talked about simple hockey,’” she said. “The big things we were doing right, but it’s the little things that can make a difference in a game like this.”

Burke added, “We’ve had a great start to the season and they’re working hard. We get another shot at [Canton] too, which we haven’t had before since they weren’t in our league.”

Canton (4-0-2, 2-0-0) will look to continue its unbeaten start to the season when it hosts Mansfield/Oliver Ames on Saturday. Franklin (4-1-2, 0-1-2) will try to bounce back quickly when it travels to Stoughton on Saturday afternoon.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.