Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Boys Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Jack Goyetch, Canton
Hockomock League All Stars
Jake Parker, Attleboro
Nick Allen, Canton
John Hagan, Canton
Jack Goyetch, Canton
Ryan Nolte, Canton
Quinn Gibbs, Canton
Aidan Sullivan, Foxboro
Brendan Tully, Foxboro
Luke Downie, Franklin
Owen Ginley, Franklin
Jack McGrath, Franklin
Jeremy Miller, Franklin
Collin Cooke, King Philip
Mike Curtin, King Philip
Cullin Anastasia, Mansfield
Tim Arnold, Mansfield
Jason McNeany, North Attleboro
Drew Wissler, North Attleboro
Matt McCormack, Oliver Ames
Michael Nikiciuk, Oliver Ames
Brett Williams, Oliver Ames
Brendan Campbell, Stoughton
Will Walsh, Taunton
The Bulldogs have been the most successful team in the Division 2 South bracket over the past decade, reaching the semifinals nine times and the finals four times. Only one team made the finals more (Franklin) in that span but no one has been as consistent as the Bulldogs.
With another playoff season upon us, the Bulldogs made a statement that they plan on making another deep run.
#2 Canton dominated from start to finish, skating past D2 newcomer #15 Somerset-Berkley with an 11-0 decision.
“A lot of these guys have been here before, they want it,” said Canton head coach Brian Shuman. “They know there are expectations and pressure. As much as we like to say there aren’t seeds and everyone is 0-0, they expect a lot of themselves so it was good to see them work through those first 10 minutes when they weren’t playing up to their potential and comeback and have a good second period.”
Canton scored a pair of goals in the first period but delivered the knockout blow with seven goals in the second period. The Bulldogs scored the first two goals of the period just 22 seconds in and then buried three goals in a period of 92 seconds later in the frame.
“I thought the first 10 minutes or so we played very nervous,” Shuman admitted. “You could feel it on the bench, they weren’t talking on the bench, they weren’t talking on the ice.”
But after those 10 minutes, Canton went on cruise control.
Sophomore Owen Lehane finally broke the statement just over 10 minutes into the game. He took possession behind his own goal, skated the length of the ice and past the defense but had his bid in close denied.
While the puck bounced around in front of goal, Lehane alertly got back into position at the blue line. The puck popped free onto the stick of the sophomore and he ripped a low shot through traffic to give Canton a 1-0 lead.
The Dogs capitalized on the momentum, adding a second tally with under a minute to play. Off of an offensive zone faceoff, junior Ryan Nolte was the draw clean right back to sophomore Johnny Hagan. Hagan skated between the circles and fired a wicked wrister top shelf to make it 2-0.
“I think goal scoring is equally as mental as physical,” Shuman said when asked how scoring the first goal changes his team. “All it takes is to squeeze the stick a fraction of a second too long or squeeze the stick half a pressure too tight and that makes all the difference. When you get the first one, and then the second, guys start to relax a little more and make some more plays.”
It didn’t take nearly as long for Canton to find the back of the net in the second period. Nolte won the opening draw back to Hagan who skated along the boards on the left side. He tossed a pass back in front to Nolte and the junior played the puck off of his skate and onto his backhand and flipped in his shot to make it 3-0.
Nolte gained possession of the puck himself on the ensuing faceoff. After losing it briefly, he picked the puck back up again, circled into the center of the ice and rifled a wrist shot in for a 4-0 lead just 22 seconds into the second.
Canton continued its offensive pressure with a fifth goal less than five minutes into the second. Sophomore Jack Connolly dumped a puck in, senior Jack Goyetch did well to keep possession, eventually getting it back to Connolly. The sophomore delivered a shot through traffic that senior Bubba McNeice got a tip on, making it 5-0 with 10:05 to play.
The Bulldogs went on the power play for the first time in the game shortly after their fifth tally and cashed in late with the man advantage. After a lengthy possession in the offense zone, senior Matt Casamento to across the blue line to junior Brad Murphy. Murphy took his time, allowing the forwards to get possession in front of goal. Murphy then released his shot and Joe Robinson redirected it off the post and in to make it 6-0.
The offense continued to dominate for Canton, especially its top line of Hagan, Nolte and Timmy Kelleher. Just a minute over Robinson’s tally, Nick Allen dumped the puck in deep, Hagan touched it along to Nolte, Nolte lifted a pass in the air in front of goal and Kelleher batted it out of the air and into the net to make it 7-0.
“That was a good start, that’s the line that’s getting that’s sort of getting a lot of the production this year,” Shuman said of the Hagan-Nolte-Kelleher line. “Ryan Nolte had the two goals and Johnny Hagan threw that nice pass to Timmy Kelleher for one. That line seems to get the big goals for us when we need it, to get us going. They like to be the go-to line.”
Off the ensuing face-off, Tommy Ghostlaw won it back to Murphy, who connected up ice to Chris Lavoie. Lavoie skated to his left and fired a wrist shot to make it 8-0.
Less than two minutes later, Goyetch found the back of the net himself to make it 9-0 with 4:42 left in the period.
In the third period, Charlie O’Connor and Ryan Colby set up Kevin Murphy on the right side, and the senior drilled his shot off the post and in. The Dogs added a final goal when Colby tipped in a shot off the stick of senior Brian Ghostlaw.
Canton boys hockey advance to the D2 South Quarterfinals and will take on either #7 Westwood or #10 Oliver Ames. The Dogs are familiar with both teams, sharing a home rink with the Wolverines while splitting the season series with the Tigers. The game is scheduled for Saturday with the time and location to be determined.
“Our side of the bracket is brutal, anybody can beat anybody,” Shuman said. “OA has proved that, Westwood has proved that. The difference among these teams is razor thing. Whoever plays well on any given night can get the win. From now on in there are going to be some tough games.”
RAYNHAM, Mass. – For the fourth straight year, Canton found itself in the final of the annual Joseph I. Quinn Memorial Tournament at the Raynham IcePlex, but the Bulldogs also found themselves down a goal to the host team, Coyle & Cassidy, heading into the third period.
Junior forward Ryan Nolte scored 21 seconds into the third to tie the game and then he popped up with just 54 seconds left on the clock with the tournament-winning goal, handing Canton a 3-2 win, its third Quinn Tournament title in the last four seasons, and a chance at the top seed in Div. 2 South.
“It was a good comeback,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “It was a great third period. We responded well in the third and I’m proud of the guys for that.”
The Bulldogs got off to a perfect start to the game. Nick Allen’s shot from the blue line was kicked aside but right to the stick of forward Timmy Kelleher. The sophomore knocked in the rebound for a 1-0 lead just 34 seconds into the game.
While Canton got the early strike, Coyle did not allow the Bulldogs to control the game, quickly regaining the momentum in what turned out to be an evenly played period that did not feature many clear-cut scoring chances.
“We were talking about learning our lessons from past games,” said Shuman. “We went up early and I think we took our foot off the gas a little bit. We got fired up on the bench and we talk about good starts but you’ve got to have a good start and sustain it.”
Kevin Murphy and Jack Goyetch each had shots on target midway through the first, Murphy from the slot and then Goyetch following up the rebound, but both shots were turned aside. With 1:17 left in the first, Coyle finally connected on a long outlet pass, catching the Canton defensemen wide and pushed forward, and Drew Arpin made it count with a five-hole finish on goalie Quinn Gibbs.
Canton came out of the gates on fire in the second period, despite having to kill off an early penalty. Shorthanded, Nolte created havoc on the forecheck and forced a turnover that he nearly put away with a wraparound chance and then John Hagan was denied as he got to the rebound.
Five minutes into the second, with Canton clearly in control of play, the Bulldogs made a mistake trying to clear the puck out of the defensive zone. It hit Jacob Ducharme on the leg and he was able to step forward clean through on goal. His backhand effort slipped under Gibbs for a Coyle lead against the run of play.
“It doesn’t matter shots in the end, who had zone time, puck possession, all that matters is the scoreboard and after two we were down,” said Shuman. “We were panicking a little bit. We just said, this time of year, you can’t let one- or two-goal deficits get in your head. You just have to take it one goal at a time.”
Canton had plenty of chances to tie the game in the second, outshooting Coyle 15-2. Sophomore Chris Lavoie had a shot from the left circle tipped just past the top corner and into the netting and Nolte took a shot from the same spot on a 3-on-1 break that was comfortably saved. Despite dominating play in the period, the Bulldogs went into the third down by a goal.
Starting the third with a power play, the Bulldogs wasted no time in getting level. Hagan had the first chance on the edge of the crease but the puck was blocked right to Nolte at the far post and he roofed his close-range shot to make it 2-2 just 21 seconds into the third.
Shuman explained, “You saw there with the power play at the end of the second period, we had a 5-on-3, we were panicking and just throwing shots on net from bad angles and I think those guys showed some poise [in the third] and made a good shot.”
The game settled into a similar pattern with Coyle trying to sneak players behind the aggressive back line of the Bulldogs, but the defenseman continuing to make plays to keep the Warriors from getting off shots. Jack Connolly, Owen Lehane, Matt Casamento, Charlie Malloy, Brad Murphy, and Allen all made big plays to stop Coyle in the neutral zone or at least keep the Warriors from getting a clean look. Gibbs faced only three shots in the final 30 minutes of the game.
Malloy also had one of Canton’s best chances in the third with a blast from the point that was saved to the corner. Charlie O’Connor also had a couple of chances but multiple times hit the side of the net in the third. Allen had Canton’s best chance after he stepped up into the attack with Kelleher and Hagan, but his one-timer missed the net by inches.
Just seconds after Hagan saw a shot that looked destined for the top corner gloved to the back boards, Nolte again found himself in a battle on the edge of the crease and managed to find the back of the net with the go-ahead goal.
“It’s great when one of your most skilled players is also one of your best defensive players,” said Shuman of Nolte, who he praised for his all-around performance. “Ryan played great defensively this game and his goals just came from being in the middle of the ice. A lot of times, Ryan will make a move, deke, and beat guys but he also needs to score in those dirty areas and he had a couple today.”
It was the second time in the past three games that Canton had scored a game-winner in the final minute, a trait that could be the difference between a potential tournament run and an actual one.
Canton (15-2-4) will wait for the result of a coin toss to see if it ends up with the top seed in Div. 2 South.
It was just the second penalty of the game for the Dogs, but the visiting Panthers of Franklin High needed just 20 seconds in the second period on their first chance of the man advantage to cash in.
With the game on the line, Canton’s penalty showed it had learned its lesson from earlier on, coming up with a near perfect kill. The Bulldogs went on to score just over a minute after killing the penalty, and again with the net empty, to earn a 4-1 win in a clash of Davenport and Kelley-Rex division champions.
“That was a great kill,” said Canton head coach Brian Shuman. “Bubba [McNeice] had a great game with the two goals but he was great on the kill. Jack Goyetch, Johnny [Hagan], Ryan [Nolte]…they all had a big kill. They learned their lesson from the first one around. They played very smart on that second kill, that was a huge part of the game.”
Franklin needed just seconds on its first power play of the game with senior Brendan O’Rielly finding classmate Luke Downie at the back door for a simple one-timer. The goal had tied the game at 1-1 early in the second period.
“I was happy with our effort in the first period and a half,” said Franklin head coach Chris Spillane. “I thought we competed with them, skated with them, and even had some stretches where we controlled the play. But the second half of the game, they just outplayed us. All three zones, they wanted it much more than us and it showed.”
This time around, Canton didn’t even let the Panthers have a sniff at a scoring chance. Matt Casamento blocked an early chance, leading to a clear from Hagan. When Franklin attempted to bring it back in, Casamento forced the puck loose with a hit and Charlie Malloy came in and made the clear.
“I thought the defense was ready,” Shuman said. “I thought Matt Casamento played the best game I’ve ever seen him play, he was exceptional. Talk about a guy that played every other shift for us. Losing Brad Murphy put a little strain on the defense but Matt has stepped up like I’ve not seen a defenseman step up before. He played at a whole new level tonight, big hits, big plays. Charlie Malloy played well as well too. The defense stepped up and played well.”
Franklin had its lone shot of the power play up next but Quinn Gibbs (20 saves) made the save right into his chest. From there, McNeice had a pair of clearance, the latter helped along by a nice stick lift from Nick Allen.
Shortly after the penalty was killed, Canton’s Timmy Kelleher linked up with Nolte, but his backhand attempt was just wide. Nolte then returned the favor, finding the sophomore in front for a one-timer but Franklin goalie Owen Ginley (31 saves) made a point-blank save.
With Franklin pushing numbers trying to find an equalizer, Canton was able to take advantage of a mistake in the neutral zone. McNeice jumped on a loose puck a Franklin defenseman couldn’t handle, skated in on a breakaway and roofed his shot to make it 3-1 with 1:19 to play.
McNeice added an empty-net goal in the final seconds to put an exclamation point on the win.
“The line of Bubba, Mike Dadasis and Jack Goyetch…they thrive in that type of game,” Shuman said. “They’re all about getting pucks to the net, playing hard, playing in tight spaces…they love a game like that. They aren’t flashy, they might not have the flashiness of some of the other guys but they get their nose dirty, they play hard. I thought they were probably our one consistent line and we built on that going forward.”
While Canton had the strong finish to the game, Franklin was the team that came out on the front foot. The Panthers’ speed caused problems for the Bulldogs and the visitors had a lead in shots until the final few minutes.
Franklin’s best chance of the opening period came when senior Kenny Demerchant took a pass against the grain, catching the defense going the opposite way. That allowed him to skate in alone but Gibbs came up with the pad save on Demerchant’s tough angle bid.
Canton picked up some momentum at the end of the period when Franklin was called for tripping with 1:09 left. Ginley stopped a shot from Allen, and then a follow-up chance from McNeice. And then Owen Lehane had his shot stopped and Dadasis saw his rebound chance blocked.
The power play carried over into the second period, and the Bulldogs needed just 13 seconds to convert. After winning the opening faceoff, Kelleher linked up with Hagan in front of goal, and the sophomore used his backhand to go upstairs to beat Ginley for a 1-0 lead.
Franklin tied the game exactly four minutes later, just 20 seconds into their first power play chance.
With the rest of the period playing out equally, Canton grabbed the momentum back with four minutes to go. Nolte had a chance at the right post but went just wide. On the ensuing scrum in front, Kelleher was able to get his stick onto the puck and into the back of the net to make it 2-1.
“That was a great goal, [Franklin] has a great power play,” Shuman said. “It was well drawn up by the coaches…nice shot, nice goal. Couldn’t do much about it. But getting one back was big, we had to respond. In the past, they’ve gone up or they’ve scored and we haven’t responded, and that was a time we had a good response.”
“It took a little wind out of our sails but we still had a whole 15 more minutes to come out and play hockey,” Spillane said of Canton’s late second-period tally. “We had a power play late in the third and had nothing to show for it. We looked like a tired team out there, they looked fresh. They are a great hockey team and they just wanted it more than us. I don’t think the players that we lean on played to their capabilities.”
A win for Canton boys hockey (8-0-0 Hockomock, 11-1-4 overall) meant avenging its lone loss in regulation this season. The Bulldogs fell to Franklin earlier this season in the second game of the season in a non-league clash. Not only was it their lone loss in regulation, it was just one of three games they had allowed two or more goals in three periods of play.
That, on top of senior, with bragging rights between division champs on the line, resulted in a spirited effort from the home side.
“We sometimes talk about having the best record in the Hockomock,” admitted Shuman, but added that there wasn’t much talk about the first meeting. “These guys have done a pretty good job of looking forward. There’s so much of a difference between the first week of December and February. We don’t really look back, we didn’t even watch that film to get ready for it. We watched some more recent film because its two different teams from then and now. It was a good hockey game, Quinn made some save, their guy made some saves. It could have gone either way, but just a good hockey team between two good teams.”
Franklin (12-3-3) dropped its second straight game after falling to Hingham 6-2 earlier this week.
“We’re in a good position but you want to be playing your best hockey in the last week or two of the season, and we’re having a hard time finding that again,” Spillane said. “I think our locker room has to do some soul-searching. The 22 guys that suit up and ultimately have a say in the game, they just aren’t performing the way they should.”
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Through two periods of play, the Canton boys hockey team had controlled the game, dictated the tempo, dominated time in the attacking zone, and had a large advantage in shots on goal.
Despite all of that, the Bulldogs led just 1-0 through 30 minutes of play.
But instead of letting North Attleboro hang around in the third period, Canton emphatically slammed the door shut with four goals in the final frame, picking up a 5-0 win over the Rocketeers in a clash of the Davenport’s top teams.
“We didn’t really change anything in the third, we just kept trying to get pucks and bodies to the net,” said Canton head coach Brian Shuman. “We just focused on the next play. There wasn’t a better representation of our season so far than those first two periods. We had 40-something shots on net and only one goal, that’s how it’s been all season.
“Instead of focusing on missing a chance, we talked about focusing on the next play, the next opportunity. I think that’s what they did in the third period. I thought the guys did a nice job of getting to the net without being chippy out front.”
Holding a 1-0 lead and a 39-3 advantage in shots entering the third period, the Bulldogs wasted little time adding to its lead. Despite starting with a 5-on-3 opportunity, Canton took a penalty just 23 seconds in to make it 4-on-3.
North killed off the remaining 47 seconds to get a skater back to make it 4-on-4 but Canton cashed in just seconds later. After he first mishandled the pass across the blue line, senior Brad Murphy collected the puck off the boards, skated towards the center of the ice and unleashed a low wrist shot that found its way through traffic for a 2-0 lead.
“If there’s one thing we’ve really been working on the last couple of weeks its been getting more shots from the defense,” Shuman said. “We don’t need the big slap shot to generate goal scoring chances. I thought our defense did a fabulous job of getting shots through. Brad Murphy…talk about improvement of generating offense from the blue line. He’s a four-year player for us but this year he’s playing at a whole new level and I was happy to see him get his first tonight.
The goal seemed to give the visitors confidence as they were able to add to the lead just four minutes later. McNeice created the play from the beginning, knocking down and controlling a saucer pass as he entered the zone. He then dropped a pass right in front of goal that both Goyetch and Dadasis crashed the goal on. The puck popped free back to McNeice and he converted to make it 3-0.
“When you can establish that forecheck and then get a turnover and attack right away, you can catch some teams,” Shuman said. “We tried to do that…get a turnover, get a forward caught down low, use the point and generate the offense from there and I thought we did a pretty good job of that tonight.
“I thought our breakout was good tonight. When North did get the puck in the zone, we won the puck and we broke it out pretty well tonight. That was a big part of generating our offense.”
Just a minute later, Murphy rifled another low shot through traffic that North goalie Ryan Warren (52 saves) turned away with a pad save but Nolte latched onto the rebound and roofed his shot for a 4-0 lead.
With less than a minute to play, Canton put an exclamation point on the win when Goyetch tipped in a shot from Lehane from the blue line for the Dogs’ fifth goal.
Canton established control in the opening period, keeping the puck in its attacking zone for the majority of play and outshooting Big Red 14-3.
The Dogs had a couple of solid chances, including Ryan Nolte’s rebound bid off Nick Allen’s shot just a couple of minutes in, Mike Dadasis had his pass slide just ahead of the reach of both Bubba McNeice and Jack Goyetch at the midway point, and Nolte nearly pound McNeice with two minutes left but drew a tripping call on the play.
The second period is where Canton really asserted itself, finishing with a 24-0 advantage in shots. Big Red only had two half chances in the period and neither were on frame thanks to an uptempo pressure defense from Canton.
Despite the large margin in shots, the Dogs didn’t get a good scoring chance until they went on the power play with nine minutes left in the period. Less than a minute after going on the man advantage, Allen slid a pass along the blue line to sophomore Owen Lehane, who quickly fired a diagonal pass through the defense to Nolte. Nolte got a touch onto Johnny Hagan, who bored is chance from in close for a 1-0 lead.
“We recognize there is a target on our back,” Shuman said. “When you’ve had the success that this program has had, there is a target. We have really good teams in this league that bring out the best in us, and North Attleboro is one of them. They’ve been a good rival for some years now, they have some good players, it’s a good program. We know that we have to show up every game we play them.”
Canton boys hockey (5-0-0 Hockomock, 7-1-4 overall) returns to the New England Sports Village on Saturday in a non-league tilt against Bishop Feehan.
North Attleboro (3-4-0, 8-6-0) will try to bounce back next Wednesday when it welcome Stoughton.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2017-2018 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview
2016-2017 Record: 6-12-2
2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason.
Coach: Mark Homer
Attleboro struggled in its closing games of 2016-17 and narrowly missed out on a place in the state tournament via the Sullivan rule. This year’s Bombardiers are hoping that a mix of youth and experience will be enough to get the team over the hump and back in the playoff mix.
The main scoring threat for Attleboro this season is senior forward Jake Parker, a HockomockSports.com Second Team selection last winter who led the team with 20 goals despite facing regular double teams and playing loads of minutes. Parker will be joined up front by sophomore Ryan Morry, who is coming off a solid rookie campaign and will try to take advantage of the opportunities Parker creates near the net.
Attleboro’s experience is on the defensive side of the ice. Seniors Eddie Noel and Sam MacKenzie and junior Kyle McCabe provide size, physicality, and reading of the game to protect the Bombardiers goal. Attleboro coach Mark Homer, in his second season with the team, is expecting the defensemen to be aggressive in the zone and be more prepared to clear the puck. The Bombardiers are also experienced in goal with junior Evan Andrews and sophomore Derrik Rivet offering a solid one-two between the pipes.
“As a team, we are working on becoming more competitive in our games at all phases of the game, said Homer. “We will strive to be better today than we were yesterday but not as good as we will be tomorrow. Our success will be measured by how hard we work and not by our wins and losses.”
2016-2017 Record: 16-5-3
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal.
Coach: Brian Shuman
After another league title in 2016-17 and a run to the Div. 2 South semifinal, Canton has started this season with a win and a draw (that turned into an overtime win in the final of the Gormley Cup) and the expectations remain as high as ever for one of the teams to beat in D2.
Last season, Canton was by far the league’s best defensive team, allowing only 32 goals in 24 games. The next best defense allowed 48 goals. But, the Bulldogs will need to rebuild the blue line this season after the graduation of HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Jackson Maffeo and Third Team selection C.J. Martin. Defensemen Brad Murphy and Nick Allen have experience and will be counted on to step up to bigger roles this year.
The key for the Canton defense, which has allowed only one goal in two games so far this season, will be junior goalie Quinn Gibbs. He was a HockomockSports.com First Team choice last year with a league-best 0.924 save percentage and there is hope he can get even better with a year of experience. Offensively, the Bulldogs bring back most of the goals from last year with Ryan Nolte, Johnny Hagan, Bubba McNeice, and Jack Goyetch all returning this season and all having scored big goals in big moments for Canton during last season’s tournament run.
“I think the most important determinant of our success will be whether we can find some depth at forward and defense,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “Teams need more than two lines and four ‘D’ to make a deep run, so we need some guys to compete for those remaining spots.”
2016-2017 Record: 6-12-2
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 3 First Round.
Coach: Mark Cedorchuk
Foxboro saw improvement last year, increasing its win total, goals for, and allowed fewer goals than the season before. Head coach Mark Cedarchuk is hoping that trend continues this season as the Warriors look to try and compete for the spot in the postseason.
The Warriors will be relying on a mix of experience as well as youth to try and compete in the Hockomock League this year. Senior captain Aidan Sullivan (two goals, six assists) has been an anchor of the team’s blue line unit over the past couple of seasons and will be relied upon to lead the way again this year. Senior captain Taylor Sharfman is another defenseman that gives the Warriors two capable and reliable options in the back. Junior Tanner Kennedy is also back after a solid sophomore year and Warriors added junior Brendan Tully to the defensive unit.
On offense, Foxboro graduated its top three goal scorers but sophomore Ronnie MacLellan (four goals, seven assists) is back after a strong sophomore year. He will be joined up front by senior Sam Garrabrant and sophomore Sebastian Ricketts, who had four goals and two assists last year.
Foxboro will have to find a replacement for goalie John Cronin, a multi-year starter in between the pipes for the Warriors. Foxboro has three goalies – freshman Jack Spinney, sophomore Espen Reager, and freshman Connor Callahan – listed on the roster.
“With a combination of experienced upperclassman and talented underclassman, we’re looking forward to an exciting and competitive season,” Cedarchuk said.
2016-2017 Record: 14-9-1
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Quarterfinal.
Coach: Chris Spillane
Although last winter was atypical for the Panthers, losing two games in the league for the first time in several years, Franklin won another league title and with 20 players back for this season the expectation is that a seventh straight league crown is a distinct possibility – not to mention making a run in the state tournament.
Experience will be the key for the Panthers. Most of the forwards were members of the team that won the state championship two years ago and know what it takes to get goals against top competition. Leading scorer Brendan O’Rielly is back after scoring 20 goals and recording 11 assists last season. He should have plenty of help up front with classmates Luke Downie, Jeremy Miller, T.J. Durkin, and Ken Demerchant, who are all three-year varsity players for the Panthers.
Defensively, Franklin has lost several talented young defensemen to other programs in recent seasons, but still boasts a strong defensive corps heading into this winter. Jack McGrath, Matt Crane, Connor Norton, Cam Cassella, and sophomore Tom Tasker will all contribute to the defensive pairings this season and that depth will be important over a long season. The goalie position is a battle between three seniors, including returning netminders Owen Ginley and Dan Sheehan, who both saw time last year.
“I will be looking to our leading goal scorer from last year Brendan O’Rielly to once again lead the offensive charge,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “From a small practice sample (one skate) I was impressed with our team speed.”
2016-2017 Record: 4-16-0
2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason.
Coach: Paul Carlow
King Philip finished just below .500 in the league last season, and just five points out of second place in the Kelley-Rex division, but struggled in the non-league schedule, losing all 11 games outside of the Hock. The Warriors will look to improve that considerably this year with an experienced roster that wants to challenge for a league title.
KP returns 13 players from last year’s squad and that experience will be vital to allow the Warriors to compete not only in the league but against a schedule that has been bolstered because of the program’s move up to Div. 1 several seasons ago. Offensively, the attention will be on senior forward Collin Cooke, who chipped in with 10 goals and seven assists and has been drawing the focus of opposing defenses for several years. Senior Gavin Maxwell had nine goals and eight assists last season and will again be a solid counterpoint to take some of the pressure off Cooke in the attacking zone.
On the defensive side of the ice, KP continues to be a physical team that likes to be aggressive attacking the puck. Senior defensemen Will Connor will get some help at the back with the return of senior Mike Curtin from juniors, who head coach Paul Carlow said could be an “anchor” on defense. Senior Shane Frommer, fresh off a stellar football season and another Super Bowl title, will quickly transition from the gridiron to be the team’s starting goalie, after posting a 2.66 goals against average in 2016-17.
“Our strength is that we have a total of 13 returning players from last years team,” said Carlow. “We have experience up front and on the back end. We should see some team chemistry with this many returning players.”
2016-2017 Record: 12-8-2
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round.
Coach: Mike Balazarini
In last year’s state tournament, Mansfield held its own against perennial power Xaverian before losing 2-1 in the opening round and that defeat is spurring the Hornets on this season, as the team has built a deep roster that believes it can challenge for the Kelley-Rex crown.
Team speed is going to be a strength for the Hornets this season, even without several key pieces from last winter, including breakout freshman Chris Jenkins, lost to graduation or to juniors. Senior forward Dylan Tivnan and Cullin Anastasia will be back to man the top scoring line along with freshman Coleman Jenkins. The second line will feature a lot of youth with sophomore Jake Lund and freshman Matt Copponi alongside junior Chris Copponi.
Seniors Tyler Oakley and Tim Arnold will be the leaders on the defensive side this year, while senior Ryan O’Hara and juniors Nick Levine and Austin Ricker will give the Hornets depth in the defensive unit. That depth should make things easier for sophomore Sean McCafferty, who will be stepping between the pipes for Mansfield this season.
“I think everyone wants to pick up where he left off last year,” said Mansfield coach Mike Balzarini. “We’ve had a good mindset early on this season. We have some new faces and everyone has gelled so far. We can’t take everyone lightly, we have to play every shift as its out last.”
2016-2017 Record: 14-4-4
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal.
Coach: Ben McManama
North Attleboro is coming off its most successful season in program history, and will be starting a new chapter with new head coach Ben McManama.
The Rocketeers will be tasked with finding replacements for some of the top players in the league from a season ago. Someone will need to step up in order to fill the void left by Zach McGowan (19 goals, 13 assists for 32 points – third most in the Hockomock) as well as Hunter Sarro’s 22 points and Erik Clements’ 20 points.
Senior Jason McNeany is a key piece back for the Rocketeers, fresh off a terrific football season. He scored 13 goals last season and added 13 assists, and has been a big piece of the offense for many years now. He will be counted on to be a leader this season, both in the locker room and on the ice.
2016-2017 Record: 14-7-1
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal.
Coach: Sean Bertoni
Under first-year head coach Sean Bertoni, Oliver Ames proved to be a strong skating team that could cause a number of problems with its dangerous attack. That speed up front will be put to the test again this year, as the Tigers look to jump from second in the Kelley-Rex division to the top of the standings.
The Tigers have a number of talented forwards returning from last season’s team, which reached the Div. 2 South tournament and beat Nauset only to run into state finalist Scituate in the second round. That loss will provide motivation for junior forward Brett Williams, who was on the HockomockSports.com Second Team with 12 goals and eight assists last year, and the rest of the OA forwards. Williams will be joined up front by seniors Eric LeBlanc and Rory Madden and junior Max Ward.
On defense, junior Matt McCormick returns to be one of the top four along with senior Mike Nikiciuk. Both players will provide leadership for a defensive unit that promises to be aggressive in both zones, as Bertoni continues to implement his system at OA. Sophomore goalie Owen Connor will be the new goalie for the Tigers.
“We will continue to use our team speed and play an aggressive style offensively and defensively,” said Bertoni. “We hope to compete at a high level in all three zones. If we bring an aggressive forecheck we can create turnovers which should result in production.”
2016-2017 Record: 7-12-2
2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason.
Coach: Dan Mark
Numbers are a bit down for the Stoughton High hockey team this season, so the Knights will be relying on their most experienced players to lead the way, especially early on.
On offense, the Knights boast senior Brendan Campbell at center and junior Sean Doherty at wing. Campbell had a team-high in points last season, finishing second with 11 goals while recording a team-best 15 assists for 26 points. Doherty was third on the team, tying for the team lead with 12 goals and finishing with 25 points.
Senior Cam Nelson and junior Josh Hough will be the leaders of the Knights’ defensive unit. Hough is a captain along with Campbell and Doherty and has the most experience on the blue line. Nelson also saw plenty of time last season, recording an assist.
“We are an inexperienced team that will improve as the season goes on,” said Stoughton head coach Dan Mark.
2016-2017 Record: 12-9-2
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round.
Coach: Kris Metea
Taunton has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of seasons, setting new program bests for wins and making the state tournament two seasons in a row. This year’s team features only three seniors, so the Tigers will be hoping recent success will continue with a youthful lineup.
Senior forward Will Walsh has returned from junior hockey and will provide a boost to the front line, which head coach Kris Metea has high hopes for this season. Senior Jake Roberts is also back for the Tigers after scoring 18 points last year and junior Cam Sneyd is back after a 16-point season last winter. Metea is counting on high energy from the offensive unit and believes that the roster is capable of creating loads of scoring opportunities.
Sophomore Sean Bunker will be in net for the Tigers and the defensive unit is fairly inexperienced, although the coach believes that by working together Taunton will be able to put together a solid back line. The hope is that defense will become a strength of the Tigers by the end of the season.
“The players enjoy wearing the orange and black and look forward to coming to the rink every day,” said Metea. “The coaching staff has preached about enjoying the journey of a season and the developmental process. These players strive to work hard and get better every day. They will be fun to watch grow throughout the season.”
2017-2018 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview
2016-2017 Record: 14-5-6
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 State Final
Coach: Dennis Aldrich
Canton is coming off a remarkable state tournament run that took the No. 14 seed all the way to the TD Garden and the program’s first state title game appearance since 2006. After years of competing in the SEMGHL Coastal division, the Bulldogs are excited for the first Hockomock League girls’ hockey season and enter the new season as favorites to bring home the first Hock title.
A number of key players are back from the team that battled Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) in the state championship game last March and will be counted on to put together another solid defensive effort that made the Bulldogs so tough to play against during the tournament run. Spearheading that defensive unit is senior goalie Colleen Kelleher, who was stellar throughout the state tournament with clutch saves in key situations.
On offense, Canton returns plenty of firepower. Juniors Maggie Malloy and Lauren Fitzpatrick emerged as big time scorers last year and came through with important goals to help the Bulldogs make a run to the Garden. Senior forwards Melissa Devane, Kendra Farrelly, and Andrea McNeil give Canton a loaded attacking unit that always seemed to pop up with goals when the team needed it most.
“The strength of the Bulldogs will continue to be a tenacious, smothering team defense, strong goaltending, and balanced, opportunistic scoring,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich. “We are proud to have our roster filled with 11 Canton team captains amongst our 22 rostered players.”
2016-2017 Record: 4-15-1
2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason.
Coach: Marjorie Burke
Franklin enters the first Hockomock League girls’ hockey season with a young roster, but one that is expected to compete with the other four teams and have a shot at bringing home the inaugural title.
Junior Regan Paterson and senior Jackie Connelly will be expected to provide leadership and create scoring opportunities for a roster that is loaded with underclassmen. Both players provide speed and playmaking ability in the attacking zone and the Panthers will be counting on their experience to make the difference.
Leadership is going to be critical for this year’s team and head coach Marjorie Burke is looking to her senior class to provide direction for the youthful lineup on both ends of the ice. Among the seniors that Burke is looking to this season are Bella Trask, Caroline Hedvig, Maddie Hinkley, Jillian McGlaughlin, and Connelly.
“We are excited about the upcoming season,” said Burke. “We are young but look to be competitive.”
2016-2017 Record: 11-10-2
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 First Round.
Three years ago, King Philip was the top seed in Div. 2 and after two more playoff appearance, the Warriors now have the opportunity to bring their recent success into the first ever Hockomock League girls’ hockey season and hope that an experienced lineup could make them the first Hock champs.
Junior Nicole Connor is off to a strong start this season and has the potential, according to KP coach Jack Unger, to be one of the top players in the Hockomock League this year. Connor will play both at forward and along the blue line, crucial versatility that makes her an important piece for KP. The Warriors return five seniors who will be the “backbone” of the squad, said Unger. Kyleigh Remmes, Olivia McCarthy, Jessica Daniels, Katie Crowther, and Talia Quinn give the Warriors depth all over the ice.
Lilly Potts returns for her third year in between the pipes, while sophomore Cristina Coleman will be the backup netminder. Freshmen Avari Maxwell and Jordyn Remmes will be instant contributors on offense, while classmate Marin Cormier will step in on defense. Sophomores Abby Carr and Sammy Robison are also expected to step in at forward this season.
“[The roster is] rounded out by a number of talented juniors who should be able to spread out the scoring amongst the three starting forward lines,” said Unger.
2016-2017 Record: 14-6-1
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 First Round.
Coach: Mike Dalton
Mansfield, Oliver Ames, and Foxboro have joined forces since the 2014-15 season and have reached the postseason each of the past two winters, suffering an overtime loss to Walpole in the first round of the state tournament last year, and have started this season with an impressive win in the opener.
The Warriors will be led by Foxboro’s Catherine Luciano. The senior was the team’s leading scorer last year and scored a hat trick in the season opener to get off to another strong start. Joining Luciano on the top line will be Mackenzie Fraser and Isabelle Shanteller. Other contributors in the offensive zone include senior Kayla Dalton, Kristina O’Connell, and Lindsey Corning.
While the Warriors are expected to create a number of scoring opportunities, defense will be just as important if Mansfield/OA (MOA) is going to make it a third straight playoff appearance. Denea Reager, Ali Delano, and Emily Bubencick will all be critical components of the Warriors defensive unit. Senior Kerren Holmes will be back in goal this year to stifle the opposition, while freshman Cate Gallegher will be the backup netminder.
“A strong freshman class will assist the team with help on both offense and defense,” said MOA coach Mike Dalton. “The team looks to compete for a top position in the Hockomock League and secure a spot in the tournament.”
2016-2017 Record: 1-19-1
2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason.
Coach: Richard Grasso
The newest of the programs in the inaugural season of Hockomock League girls’ hockey, Stoughton is in only its third season of varsity play, but the Black Knights are counting on last year’s experience and the growth in the program to make them a team to watch out for this winter.
Two-time all-star Julia Russell will be one of the key defenders for the Black Knights, but also brings an offensive punch with her speed forcing opponents to worry about her carrying the puck through the neutral zone. Senior Sarah Widrow will join Russell at the blue line and provides consistency in the defensive zone. Both will be expected to provide leadership for the less experienced players on the roster and try to make Stoughton a team that is tough to play against.
The offense will be sparked by a pair of freshmen. Hailey Nelson and Morgan Lesso made an instant impact on their debuts, helping Stoughton start the season with a 6-5 win at Framingham in the season opener. Lesso recorded a hat trick against the Flyers to set a high standard in her first varsity action.
“Stoughton will be a much stronger team this year than last,” said Black Knights coach Richard Grasso. “However, this will be a great challenge for our program. We have a lot of respect for the teams in the Hockomock League. There’s a lot of talent out there and each team is well-coached.”
Today’s games are listed below.
Mansfield, 3 @ Franklin, 6 – Final – Click here for a recap of this game.
King Philip, 6 @ Taunton, 8 – Final – Taunton saw its 4-0 lead disappear when King Philip plated five runs in the fourth inning and went up 6-4 with a single run in the fifth. But the Tigers struck back with a run in the bottom of the fifth and then junior Christian Simoes had a three-run double in the bottom of the sixth to put Taunton back ahead. Tyler Medeiros also had an RBI for the Tigers, Matt Machado had two hits, Jacob Crawford reached base three times – two hits and a walk, and William DaRosa delivered a pinch hit RBI double. Sophomore Griffin Tomaszycki pitched a scoreless sixth inning to earn the win and Danny Keogh pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the save.
Milford, 3 vs. Catholic Memorial, 5 – Final
Foxboro, 3 vs. Dedham, 2 – Final
Franklin, 4 @ King Philip, 16 – Final (6 inn.) – King Philip junior Jess Bonner connected for a pair of home runs and knocked in a total of five runs as KP put up its second largest offensive output of the season. Meg Gorman added four hits, including three doubles and Hailey McCasland, Nicole Carter, Brooke Taute and Sydney Phillips each had two hits. Jenn Hutnyan earned the win, striking out 10. Franklin sophomore Ally Shea hit her first home run and finished with three RBI while freshman Anna Balkus had two hits.
Taunton, 8 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Taunton’s Jaime Brown (two RBI) and MacKenzie Handrahan each had two hits, while Kya Enos drove in a pair of runs with a base hit and suicide squeeze. Eighth graders Hannah Aldrich and McKenzie McAloon both had a base hit and RBI, while freshman Jaylin Couto had an RBI suicide squeeze. Courtney Fisher earned the win, allowing an unearned run in six innings of work on four hits. Couto pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
Attleboro, 3 @ Foxboro, 15 – Final
Canton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – In a back and forth contest, Canton came out on top by scoring the game-winner with less than a minute to play. Goals from OA’s Eric LeBlanc and Canton’s Nick Allen sent the game into halftime tied 1-1. Griffin Roach put Canton ahead 2-1 with 9:14 left in the fourth but LeBlanc netted his second, tying the game with just 1:40 to play. Matt Martin was the hero for the Bulldogs, netting the winner with 26 seconds to play. Canton freshman Jack Connolly made 11 saves in the win.
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 19 – Final
Mansfield, 9 @ Sharon, 5 – Final
Oliver Ames, 7 @ Canton, 11 – Final
Franklin, 19 @ Taunton, 4 – Final – Mairead Gogeun paced the Panthers’ offense with four goals and one assist and Shannon D’Arcangelo and Grace Platner each found the back of net once as Franklin clinched the outright Kelley-Rex title for the fifth straight season. FHS head coach Kristin Igoe Guarino said Kate Morse and Molly O’Reilly both played well defensively in the win. Abbey Kingman scored a pair of goals for the Tigers and Lorna Li came up with 17 saves in the loss.
Milford vs. Ashland, 3:30
North Attleboro, 17 @ King Philip 3 – Final
Franklin, 4 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Franklin earned two wins in singles play and two more in doubles to defeat Foxboro on the road. Eli Brooks won 6-1, 1-6, 6-2 at second singles and Rohan Herur secured a 6-1, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of James Johnston and Derek Wu won 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 at first doubles and Tyler DiPalma and Rahul Hosdurg won 6-4, 6-4 at second doubles.
King Philip, 2 @ Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final – King Philip earned a pair of singles wins but ultimately fell to Feehan. Cole Ginter won 2-6, 6-4, 10-8 at singles and Martin Matous recorded a 6-3, 6-2 win at third singles.
Attleboro @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to Wednesday, 5/24 at 3:45.
Foxboro, 4 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Foxboro swept doubles play and took two wins in singles action to defeat Franklin. Lexi Nelson (second singles) and Julia Muise (third singles) each won 6-0, 6-0. The team of Kayla Prag and Olivia Dantona won 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles and Morgan Krockta and Kendall Milender prevailed with a 6-4, 6-3 win at second doubles. Franklin’s Hannah Sweeney won 2-6, 6-0, 6-4 at first singles.
King Philip vs. Bishop Feehan, 3:45
Taunton, 3 vs. New Bedford, 1 – Final – Taunton jumped out to a 2-0 lead over New Bedford and held on for a 3-1 victory, 25-19, 25-22, 15-25, 25-22. THS coach Toby Chaperon said Mike Fernandez, David Fusiecki, Nick Sorm and Nate Grant each played great all around games, combining for 37 digs, 20 assists, 15 kills, four blocks and three aces.
Today’s games are listed below.
King Philip, 8 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – King Philip broke open a close game with six runs in the seventh inning to pick up a win on the road at Attleboro. The Warriors took the lead with two runs in the second inning but didn’t breakthrough again until the top of the seventh. In the top of the second, Ryan Coulter singled, stole second and then scored on a base hit from Chris Wing. Wing came across to score on a double by Patrick Limerick. Wing got the win on the mound for the Warriors, tossing a complete game with six hits allowed. The senior struck out eight batters in the win. In the seventh inning, Will Weir tripled in Kyle Guenthner, Weir came across on a single from Ben Furfari, Collin Cooke knocked in Furfari with a base hit and Jack Webster and Cooke scored on a double from Wing. Attleboro’s Tyler McGovern tossed five solid innings for the Bombardiers with two runs allowed.
North Attleboro, 11 @ Canton, 2 – Final – North Attleboro scored a pair of runs in each of the second and third innings and really created separation with a five-run fifth inning. Big Red added single runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Junior Nick Sinacola had a standout performance, both at the plate and on the mound for the Rockteers. He tossed six innings, scattering five hits with just one walk allowed while striking out eight. At the plate, Sinacola went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, a triple, a run scored and three RBI. Kyle McCarthy added two hits, two runs and two RBI, John Brennan had a pair of hits and Zach DeMattio hit a solo home run.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Franklin emerged from a pitcher’s duel with a 1-0 win, scoring the lone run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Franklin lefty Jason Ulrickson went the distance, tossing a complete game shutout with just four hits allowed. He walked just one batter while striking out three. Ulrickson also had a solid day at the plate, going 2-for-3. Oliver Ames sophomore Tom Parker also had a strong performance, going five-plus innings with just three hits against and two walks. The sophomore struck out a pair while allowing just the one. Franklin senior Ryan Hodgkins scored the lone run of the game, coming home on a sacrifice fly to right field from Josh Macchi. The Panthers had a strong game defensively, led by sophomore shortstop Alex Haba, who had eight putouts.
Mansfield, 0 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – Junior Tyler Medeiros shined in his first start of the season, striking out four while allowing just three hits and one walk in six scoreless innings. Trevor Pietrzyk and Danny Keogh (save) combined for a scoreless seventh inning to close the game. Taunton junior Joe Manchester singled in the fourth inning and came around to score after an errant pickoff attempt and a misplay in the outfield. Taunton tacked on a second run in the fifth. Billy Emerson singled, advanced to second on a sacrifice by David Schofield, advanced to third on a single from Matt Machado and scored on a single to left field from junior Jacob Crawford. “Tyler threw the ball exceptionally well today,” said first year head coach Blair Bourque. “He threw strikes and let his defense make plays for him. After the first inning he really settled in. He was mixing his pitches up and hitting corners.” Mansfield’s Nolan Dousa struck out six in six innings of work, scattering six hits. Max Boen had two hits for Mansfield.
Milford, 0 @ Stoughton, 15 – Final (5 inn.) – For the second time in three games, Stoughton’s offense has reached double figures in hits and runs scored. The Black Knights belted 16 hits while coming across to score 15 runs. Stoughton senior Justin Hutchinson (3-for-4 at the plate with a double, two runs and an RBI) got the win on the mound, tossing four shutout innings with just two hits and one walk allowed, all while striking out seven batters. Sophomore Evan Gibb (2-for-3, three RBI, run) tossed a scoreless 1-2-3 fifth inning with a pair of strikeouts. Also hitting well for the Black Knights were Ruben Gonzalez (3-for-4, three runs, RBI, three stolen bases), Jack Connelly (2-for-2, double, home run, three runs, three RBI), Pat Hagerty (2-for-3, triple, RBI, three runs), Nick Hardy (2-for-3, double, run, two RBI), Matt Hadley (triple) and Ryan Sullivan (run, RBI).
Attleboro @ King Philip, 3:45
Canton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 21 – Final (5 inn.) – Bella Erti was perfect through five innings to pick up the victory for North Attleboro, striking out five of the 15 hitters she faced. Olivia Capobianco went 4-for-5 and Liz Morehouse went 3-for-4 for North. Also for the Rocketeers, Meg Barlow, Amelia Murphy (3-for-3 on the day), and Stephanie Inglese each had two-run homers.
Franklin, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Franklin turned a 2-0 deficit into a big lead, plating 10 runs in the fourth inning and then adding three more runs in the sixth inning. Ally Shea had a hit and knocked in two runs for the Panthers while Meg Caron and Olivia Haba each knocked in three runs. Sophomore Emily Valentino tossed a complete game, striking out one to earn her first varsity win.
Taunton, 5 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Courtney Fisher went the distance for the Tigers, tossing a three-hit shutout with six strikeouts. Hannah Aldrich went 2-for-3 at the plate and scored a pair of runs for Taunton, while Jaime Brown had a pair of hits and Kya Enos drove in a pair of runs. Sarah Cahill made her first varsity start for the Hornets and went five innings, allowing just five hits.
Stoughton, 2 @ Milford, 10 – Final – The Scarlet Hawks broke the game open with a five-run third inning, turning a one-run deficit into a lead. Jess Tomaso (3-for-4, double, six RBI) had a three-run homer run and three batters later, Kelley Reichert (2-for-4) had a two run single to put Milford up 5-1. Shannon Cormier drew three walks and came around to score each time for Milford. Reichert got the win in the circle, tossing a complete game with five strikeouts.
Attleboro, 17 @ Stoughton, 4 – Final
Canton, 6 @ Scituate, 12 – Final – The Bulldogs finally played their first game of the season, but fell on the road to a tough Scituate team. Sophomore Mike Shaw led the Bulldogs with three goals and one assist while Kevin Albert added three asses. Ryan Lodge scored a pair of goals, Dan Cohen netted one tally and Nick Allen chipped in with two assists. Freshman Jack Connolly played with in goal in his first varsity game, making 12 saves.
Franklin, 7 vs. BC High, 8 – Final
King Philip, 8 @ Bishop Feehan, 7 – Final – King Philip overcame a plethora of penalties to edge out Bishop Feehan. The Warriors were down a man for over 16 minutes in the game but a great defensive effort and a stellar performance from Paul Macrina in goal helped KP hang on. Macrina made 16 saves in net while first year head coach Jamie Stefanini said Michael Curtain, Connor Khung, Zach D’Amico (goal), Wes Bishop and Garrett Maxwell all played outstanding. John DeLuca scored a pair of goals for KP while Tim Watson had one goal and two assists, Colin DeVellis had one goal and one assist and Ben Palmer and Robert Tartagulla each scored once.
Oliver Ames, 4 @ Silver Lake, 5 – Final – Oliver Ames shut out Silver Lake in the fourth quarter and scored three unanswered goals but fell just shy of completing its comeback against the Lakers. Senior Liam Brown, juniors Owen Gallagher and Eric LeBlanc and freshman Shane Kikelly each scored once for OA.
Foxboro, 7 @ Walpole, 8 – Final – Sophia DiCenso and Caroline Boudreau each scored hat tricks for the Warriors and Meghan Curran added one. Freshman goalie Sara Addeche made six saves, as Foxboro held the defending Div. 2 state champions scoreless in the second half.
King Philip vs. Bishop Feehan, 4:00
North Attleboro, 8 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Katie Lindstrom, Erin Holley and Kenzie Rosenberg each scored two goals for the Rocketeers and goalie Kayla Moulin made 12 saves in the win.
Milford, 19 vs. Bellingham, 5 – Final
Oliver Ames, 7 @ Whitman-Hanson, 9 – Final – Emalyn Duvall recorded a hat trick and Sofia Masciarelli found the back of the net twice but the Tigers fell on the road at Whitman-Hanson. OA goalie Ari Waldorf made 14 saves for the Tigers.
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – Cole Ginter didn’t drop a game at first singles, the team of Ryan Gemelli and Sam Collela did the same at first doubles and KP won all five matches in straight sets to beat Attleboro. Ginter won 6-0, 6-0 at first while brother Blake Ginter won 6-1, 6-0 at second singles. Martin Martous won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles for KP. Gemelli and Collela won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles while Jake Webster and Marco DiStefano won 6-0, 6-1 at second doubles.
Canton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – North Attleboro dominated in both doubles matches and took wins at second and third singles to pick up a win over Canton. Senior Barsomo Nuay win 6-2, 6-3 at second singles and junior Alex Rinaldi won 6-1, 6-3 at third singles. The team of senior Daniel Zhang and junior Ben Pfeffer won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles and senior Andrew Harris and Vikram Senthilakumaran won 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles. Canton junior Jake Wolicki won 6-1, 6-4 at first singles for the Bulldogs’ lone win.
Franklin, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Franklin’s Tony Calderone and Dan Angermeier both made their varsity debuts, teaming up at second doubles and won in straight sets without losing a single game. The pair won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles while the team of James Johnston and Derek Wu won by the same score at first doubles. Rahul Herur won 6-2, 6-2 at first singles, Eli Brooks won 6-1, 6-1 at second singles and Rohan Herur won 6-0, 6-2 at third singles.
Taunton @ Mansfield, 3:45
Stoughton, 0 @ Milford, 5 – Final
King Philip @ Attleboro, 3:45
North Attleboro, 5 @ Canton, 0 – Final – North Attleboro’s Emily Chiasson and Jordan Willis each won in straight sets without dropping a game to pace the Rocketeers. Chiasson won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles while Willis won with the same score at second singles. Kate Ovoian won 6-3, 6-1 at third singles. The team of Gabby Duva and Azka Siddiq won 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles while Katie Demontigny and Hana Hershey won 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin junior Hailey Strier rallied back after dropping the first set, winning the second set 7-5 and then winning the tiebreaker, 10-8, to secure the win for the Panthers. Franklin also got wins from senior Hannah Sweeney (6-0, 6-0 at first singles) and senior Anja Deric (6-1, 6-3 at second singles). Oliver Ames swept doubles play as Tori Wyman and Kristin Bloumbas won 6-2, 7-5 at first doubles and freshmen Tate Hadges and Maura Kiernan won 6-1, 6-2 at second doubles.
Mansfield, 0 @ Taunton, 5 – Final – Taunton won all five matches in straight sets with Jillian Pagliuca taking the win at third singles without losing a game (6-0, 6-0). Olivia Sweeney won 6-4, 6-2 at first singles, Jordan Pagliuca won 6-2, 6-0 at second singles, Emily Moor and Ashleigh Eason won 6-2, 6-4 at first doubles and Callie Herbert and Jordan Martin won 6-2, 6-1 at second doubles.
Milford @ Stoughton, 3:45
Milford, 3 vs. Nipmuc, 1 – Final – Milford picked up its third win of the season, beating Nipmuc 25-21, 25-20, 16-25, 25-19. Outside hitter Jack Winship had 18 kills and 18 digs, middle Joao Boaventura had 10 kills, 11 digs and four blocks and setter Danny Zwonik finished with 37 assists, a block and an ace.
Taunton, 3 vs. Durfee, 1 – Final – The Tigers defended home court with a 25-20, 25-16, 14-25, 25-21 win over the Hilltoppers on Monday. Lens Esquil had eight kills, three blocks and an ace, Lance Law had seven kills, a block and an ace, Collin Hunter added five kills, two blocks and two aces and David Fusiecki had six digs, two blocks, two kills and an ace.
But not these Canton Bulldogs.
#6 Canton erased a two-goal deficit, survived being down a man for a third of the first overtime period and scored the game-winning goal less than a minute into double overtime to get a 3-2 win over #3 Bishop Feehan.
Sophomore Ryan Nolte scored 48 seconds into the second overtime period – his second goal of the game – to give the Bulldogs the win.
“The word is resilient…these guys are resilient,” said Canton head coach Brian Shuman. “We saw it just at the end of the season when we battled back after being down 3-1 to Boston Latin. This is arguably the most resilient team I’ve ever coached in over a decade here. We know we’re not the most talented but there’s something about this team, they just don’t get rattled when we get down. I can’t say enough things about the entire performance.”
It seemed the momentum was fully on the side of the Bulldogs after cutting the deficit in half in the second period and finding the equalizer just over five minutes into the third period.
The Bulldogs had a pair of power play chances but that’s when the momentum changed. After 45 seconds of a man advantage opportunities, Canton was whistled for a slash to make it 4-on-4 with 2:32 to play. Canton killed 46 seconds of Feehan’s power play.
With just two minutes to play, there was a wild swing when Canton freshman Johnny Hagan ripped a shot off the crossbar that appeared to cross the line, sending the Bulldogs into celebration mode. The ref immediately waived no goal, Feehan went racing the other way and Canton’s players had to scramble back. It ended up being Hagan that sprinted back in time to thwart the chance.
A minute later, Canton was whistled for just its third penalty of the game with 1:02 to play, giving the Shamrocks a man advantage for the rest of the game. The Bulldogs didn’t blink though, and sent the game into overtime.
Feehan had the 4-on-3 power play for 28 seconds to start the first overtime. The Bulldogs were able to kill that but were whistled for another penalty with 2:48 to play. Not only was Canton able to kill that one as well, but senior defenseman CJ Martin had the best chance. He blocked a shot, raced in, deked around a defenseman but his backhand attempt was wide.
That sent the game into double-overtime and into a 3-on-3 situation. The Bulldogs rolled out Hagan, Nolte and senior defenseman Jackson Maffeo.
“If we need a stop at the end of the game, Johnny Hagan is out there,” Shuman said. “If we need a goal at the end of the game, Johnny Hagan is out there. He’s a freshman but he plays like a senior. I can’t tell you how many times at the end of games this year, he’s out there and makes a big play for us. It was a no brainer getting him out there.”
Bishop Feehan had the first opportunity but Canton goalie Quinn Gibbs came up huge. Shamrock senior forward Kyle Browne raced into the offensive zone and released a shot. Gibbs made the save with his mask, the rebound went right back to Browne, but his second bid was also turned aside by Gibbs.
Hagan raced up the other way and unleashed a wrist shot but his shot was kicked aside. Browne came back the other way but Nolte and Hagan combined to take possession back. Hagan then found Nolte streaking up the right side. The sophomore crossed over the blue line, stepped around the defenseman, faked his shot before switching to his backhand and depositing it past the Feehan goalie.
— Ed McDonough (@Digucator) March 5, 2017
“Quinn, huge two saves there…Ryan Nolte, he just has a flair for the dramatic,” Shuman said. “He just loves to play in games like this. He’s exhausted, he’s out there a long time but he went and tried one more time and man, what a move.”
“Coach was telling me to dump it in but I saw I could make a move on the kid so I went around him and tucked it in,” Nolte said. “He tried to step up so I just went out wide on him. I knew I was going to go with the back hand once I got around the defenseman.”
Feehan originally took the lead in the first minute of the game. Josh Nelson sent his shot from the blue line wide off the boards, the bounce finding Connor O’Brien in front for an easy tap in.
Down 2-0, Canton didn’t panic and continued to battle back.
Canton nearly had the equalizer midway through the first when Mike Dadasis fired a shot that was partially stopped but the puck sat on the goal line behind Feehan goalie Derek Dattero but O’Brien was the first to it to prevent it from crossing.
Feehan had the top two chances to start the second period. First, John Anghinetti had his one-timer turned aside after a nice pass from Jason Sullivan. Just over five minutes into the period, the Shamrocks capitalized on a turnover from a Canton defenseman. Browne raced in, centering a pass for Jack Callahan’s tip in in front.
The Bulldogs got life just over the five minute mark when the Shamrocks were whistled for a cross checking penalty, just a seconds after killing a holding penalty.
After cycling the puck around, it eventually bounced out to Maffeo, who settled the puck and then stepped into a slap shot that rocketed through traffic and left Dattero with no chance at a save.
“By far, these first two playoff games are the best two games I’ve ever seen him play,” Shuman said of Maffeo. “He was phenomenal tonight defensively. He got that huge goal. That’s why he’s out there, that’s why he’s the league MVP, that’s why he’s who he is. I can’t say enough good things about Jackson, he really has anchored that defensive unit.”
“We just knew we had to play our game,” Nolte said. “We knew we were the better team, they were good but we had some good chances we just hadn’t scored. Jackson scored that big one to get us going.”
Canton nearly tied the game just before the end of the period when Martin tossed a shot in front that Tommy Kilduff got control of and lifted a backhand shot, but Dattero made a nice save to keep it out.
Three minutes into the third period, Hagan faked out a defenseman to get a chance but his back hand was just wide. On a power play chance, junior Nick Allen had his shot from the blue line whistle just wide as well.
The Bulldogs finally broke through to tie the game on the power play. Martin fired a shot that was saved but the rebound was left in the crease and Nolte pounced, pushing it across the goal line to tie the game.
“He was a fourth liner that didn’t see the ice at all in the tournament a year ago so this is his real first state tournament action,” Shuman said of Nolte. “For him to step up and be the player he has been this year, it’s just a testament to how good of a player he is. He has those intangibles that you just can’t teach. He really is someone that has a knack for the game and you saw that on the last play.”
Canton hockey (16-4-3) advances to the D2 South Semifinal to take on #2 Medway. The Bulldogs will play the Mustangs on Tuesday, at 5:30 at Gallo.