The 2016 Hockomock Hockey All Stars & HMs

Below are the official Hockomock League Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Mark Sheehan, Stoughton

Hockomock League All Stars

PJ Elliott, Attleboro
Matt Lazaro, Canton
Jackson Maffeo, Canton
Justin Slocum, Canton
Bobby Mullaney, Canton
Aidan Sullivan, Foxboro
Tyler Oakes, Franklin
Nick Jasinski, Franklin
Jake Downie, Franklin
Jack Chaffee, Franklin
Clay Geuss, King Philip
Collin Cooke, King Philip
Evan Remmes, King Philip
Anthony Visconti, Mansfield
Michael Arnold, Mansfield
Brian Ireland, Milford
Andrew Casson, North Attleboro
Zach McGowan, North Attleboro
Matt Mancini, Oliver Ames
Jared Costello, Oliver Ames
Mark Sheehan, Stoughton
Nick Terry, Taunton
Tyler Pietrzyk, Taunton

Honorable Mentions

Jake Parker, Attleboro
Jim Jenkins, Canton
Jeremy Miller, Franklin
Kyle McCarthy, King Philip
Matthew Chirichello, Mansfield
Jonathan Chase, Milford
Paul Baker, North Attleboro
Owen Gallagher, Oliver Ames
Eoin Doherty, Stoughton
Michael Volkmann, Taunton

Franklin Wins First D1 State Championship in 2OT

Franklin hockey
Franklin hockey celebrates its first ever D1 State Championship. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BOSTON, Mass. – A Cinderella run from the Franklin Panthers ended with a true storybook ending.

Sophomore Luke Downie, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Sunday, scored on a wrist shot six minutes into the second overtime to give Franklin a 4-3 win over St. Mary’s Lynn and the program its first MIAA Division 1 State Championship.

Senior Tyler Oakes connected on a pass from his own zone to senior and Jake Downie (Luke’s cousin) along the boards in the neutral, who then dropped the puck back to Luke after crossing the blue line. Luke fired a wrist shot that deflected off the the leg of a St. Mary’s defenseman and found its way over the goalie’s pad short side for the game winner.

“This is awesome,” Luke Downie said postgame. “This is the best birthday present you could ask for.”

Franklin – who had been shutout three straight years in the D2 State Final from 2011-2013 —got off to an ideal start with a pair of first period goals and took that same lead into the final period. But two goals in the first five minutes of the final period from St. Mary’s knotted the game 3-3.

The final 10 minutes remained scoreless, sending the game into a sudden death overtime period. Neither team could find the back of the net in that period either, sending the teams to the locker room for the ice to be cleaned for a second overtime period.

With exactly nine minutes to go in the second overtime period, Downie scored the game winner.

“I think that the problem was we were playing in the wrong division the other times,” Franklin head coach Chris Spillane joked. Franklin moved up to Division 1 at the start of the 2013 season. “This has just been one of those Cinderella years. To follow up last year with a new crop of kids and have them commit to something from day one, and to see them enjoy this success, that’s what high school sports are all about.”

Senior captain and defenseman Joe Corsi scored just his third goal of the season to give Franklin the lead midway through the first period. Sophomore Brendan O’Rielly relayed a perfect outlet pass to senior Sean Hedvig in alone on goal but St. Mary’s goalie Andrew LoRusso got a pad to it.

The puck bounced around and as a St. Mary’s defenseman tried to chip it out, Corsi had pinched in and jumped off the ice to grab the puck, put it on the ice and fired it into the back of the net with 8:26 left in the first period.

“They tried to chip it out and I caught it and just put it down,” Corsi said. “Coach always tells me to roll my wrist and I had to roll it on that one. It was just surreal. I haven’t scored a goal like that before.

“This a dream come true. No one believed we could do this at the beginning of the year, except us, all the guys in the locker room. Each in every day we grinding it out, it’s just a dream.”

Just three minutes later, Franklin doubled its lead. Senior Matt Pleshaw fired a wrist shot from inside the blue line that was blocked down. Before LoRusso could smother the puck, junior Joey Blasie poked it in to make it 2-0 with 5:14 left in the period.


Video courtesy of Gavin Mealey

The Spartans cut the deficit in half just 11 seconds into the second period when Eric Pedro knocked in rebound of shot by Dante Maribito.

But Franklin had an answer just minutes later as Alec Gilliatt found sophomore Jeremy Miller behind the net. Miller skated around and found a perfect passing lane between the post and a defenseman to feed freshman Kevin Mackay. Mackay took a step in and sniped one top shelf to make it 3-1 with just over 12 minutes to play in the second period.

Franklin took a 3-1 lead into the final period but once again St. Mary’s found early period success. Less than a minute in, Conor Foley batted in rebound for powerplay goal to make it 3-2. Just three minutes later, Maribito found the back of the net for his third point of the net to tie the game 3-3.

“Huge momentum swings,” Spillane said. “They started to carry the play and their offensive kids started to open up the ice. Nick did a great job making the saves he needed to make. We talked about team defense, keeping them high on the forecheck and the defensive guys winning the battles and chipping the puck out.

“That was a great hockey team we played tonight, it was back and forth and both teams had chances to win. I’m proud of my kids, they responded.”

The Panthers nearly had the winner at the end of the third period but LoRusso went post to post to deny Jake Downie with 1:11 to go.

Neither side produced a clear scoring chance in the 12 minute overtime period but Franklin goalie Nick Jasinski came up with a huge kick save off a redirection in the opening minutes of the second overtime. Just two minutes later, the Panthers had the game winner.

Like it has been all season, the Panthers got contributions from all three lines — and four different goal scorers.

“Four different goal scorers and that’s kind of been the key to our success,” Spillane said. “You can’t really one focus on that one player. I said in the locker room after overtime, someone in this room is going to be a hero. Who wants to be that hero tonight? Luke’s been playing great hockey for us, midseason he just turned it on. As a sophomore it’s great to see him be that hero. Also, Kevin Mackay scored his first high school goal tonight. That’s quite a team to score your first goal of the year. That’s the type of team we are. There are no one or two superstars, it’s 22 kids out there having the same belief, working hard and just grinding it out.”

“To win championships, you have to have depth and that’s what we have,” Corsi added. “Everyone believed and look at where we are now.”
The Panthers were somewhat of an unknown coming into season after graduating 21 seniors from a squad that made a historic run to the Super 8 last season. Now this year’s team has created its own place in history.

“I think it gives us a little validity as a program that we can do that, anytime you graduate that many seniors it’s a challenge,” Spillane said. “It just tells us what our junior varsity and youth programs are like. We have a lot of kids that want to wear that jersey and they’re going to wait around until they get that opportunity. We have 13 seniors this year and very few of them skated last year, if any. They waited four years to put that jersey on and they made the most of it.

“It feels good but it’s not about the coaching staff. Yeah we’re excited but it’s about seeing the faces on these kids in that locker room, how excited they are and how committed they were to win the hockey game. I know a lot of people said it’s a rebuilding year but I guess they thought different.”

Franklin hockey finished the season with an 18-4-5 record.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Franklin Claims D1 South Title, Advances To State Final

Franklin hockey
Franklin junior Adam Assad scored a pair of goals against Marshfield in the D1 South Final. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
BOURNE, Mass. – A rebuilding year? Think again.
After graduating 21 seniors from a squad that made a historic run to the Super 8 tournament, there were plenty of questions surrounding this year’s Franklin hockey team.
But those questions have now been answered and this year’s group of Panthers made history themselves, beating Marshfield 3-1 in the D1 South Sectional Final. It marks the program’s first D1 sectional crown just in just its third season at that level.
“People were saying this was a rebuilding year but the guys in the locker room and me, we knew this wasn’t a rebuilding year,” junior forward Adam Assad said. “We were going to get out here and do our best and try to win it.”
Assad scored two goals in the game, including the game-winner late in the second period and an empty netter from his own blue line. Senior Sean Hedvig had the game-tying goal in the second period, just his second goal of the season.
“It’s all about playing hard and believing in themselves,” Franklin head coach Chris Spillane said. “We have a lot of character guys. We’re not going to beat teams by going 200 feet flash, but we’re going to work for every inch that they’re going to take from us. It was just a perfect game plan for us. We got up by a goal and we just played smart. We had two guys high, we didn’t want them to open the ice surface and go back and forth.
“We made them earn every inch of ice and it worked to our favor. It wasn’t pretty in the third period just dumping the puck in but the ultimate goal was to win the hockey game and I thought that was our best opportunity to get it done. Credit to the boys in the locker room, they did a fantastic job.”
Franklin faced a 1-0 deficit after the first period of play despite outshooting the Rams. Marshfield’s Aidan Connolly picked a pass out of the air in the Franklin defensive zone, passed it to Hunter McCauley, who walked in alone. He fanned on his first shot attempt which put Franklin goalie Nick Jasinkski out of position and McCauley slipped it in five hole.
“That was a tough turnover, the kid picked it out of the air. Then the other kid fans on the first shot and Nick’s going with it and it opened up five hole and he made a nice shot,” Spillane said. “You’re going to have those in games so credit to Marshfield. But we definitely we minimized their opportunities and we didn’t have many mistakes as probably they wanted. I thought we played great hockey, we definitely minimized our own mistakes.”
But from then on, Franklin seemed to be in control. It look the Panthers less than three minutes in the second period to tie the game, and they did it via their third line.
Sophomore Brendan O’Rielly dug a puck out of the corner and found junior James Kilroe. Kilroe immediately turned and dished a pass right in front and Hedvig hammered home the oner timer to tie the game.
“You need guys to step up,” Spillane said of the third line. “Sean Hedvig stepped up and a nice pass from James Kilroe. I think they might be Sean’s second or third goal all year. We couldn’t skate two lines from start to finish against a team like this, we would have been gassed. So we found the opportunity to match our line with their third line and we liked that. I thought they did a great job. They carried the play mostly in the offensive zone. If we can get a breather and get them out there and still be in the offensive zone, that’s good hockey for Franklin.”
“It’s freaking awesome,” Assad added of the third line contributions. “I just love when the coach calls third line because they get out there and they bust their (butts) and they got a goal. It was well deserved.”
Later in the second, a big hit from sophomore Jeremy Miller in the offensive zone forced a loose puck to squirt out to Alec Gilliatt. Gilliatt skated to the middle of the offensive zone, passed it back to Miller – who spun to collect it and dished a backhand pass almost all in one motion to find Assad. Assad’s backhander in the crease was initially stopped by Marshfield goalie Nick Young but the junior kept with it and put home the rebound chance.
“He stoned me on the first one and I just kept on fighting and just put it in,” Assad said, noting he wasn’t really expecting the pass from Miller. “I’m surprised I caught [the pass].”
The third period was scoreless for nearly the entire 15 minutes but there was plenty of drama.
Inside the first 30 seconds, Assad nearly had himself a second goal when he broke past a fall defender but his wrist shot sailed wide as he came across the goal.
Just over midway through the period, Marshfield’s Chris Sullivan’s bomb rang off the crossbar but Franklin was able to deal with the rebound.
With just over a minute to go, a slap shot from the Rams’ super sophomore Neil Shea was batted down by Jasinski but right into the middle to Andrew Fithian. The puck trickled to the goal line and Franklin senior Joe Corsi launched himself into the net as freshman Kevin MacKay took possession right on the red line and cleared it out.
Marshfield pulled its goalie and called a timeout but the Panthers were able to hold on for the final minute. After a shot went wide in the offensive zone, Assad picked off a pass, skated to his own blue line and fired it the length of the rink while falling down to ice the game.
“This is amazing, a dream come true,” Assad said. “No one thought we were gonna do this and it’s nice to prove people wrong.”
Franklin now improves to 17-4-5 overall and has scored nine goals in four playoff games with just two allowed. The Panthers return to the TD Garden for the fourth time in six years after having a three year run while in Division 2.
When asked if this was the most unexpected run he’s had to the Garden, Spillane said, “Yeah and no. I think when you look back at teams I’ve had, I’ve had some really outstanding hockey teams that should have been in the Garden but didn’t get there because they just didn’t have that intangible, that intestinal fortitude to go out and play. This team just has that. To win with the schedule we had, to end up with only four losses is such a credit to them.
“Initially I’d say this has been surprising but at the end of the day it really isn’t because you have to take into account the character of those 22 kids in that locker room. It’s a credit to our program. We were in the Super 8 last year and everyone else said this was a rebuilding year. But our kids were like ‘No, this is our year.’ And they’ve made it one hell of a year for us.”
The Panthers will look to turn their fortune around when they play the North champion at the TD Garden on Sunday, March 20th. The time is still to be determined. St. Mary’s (20-5) and Arlington Catholic (11-7-4) square off in the North title came on Monday night.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Franklin Edges Walpole To Advance To D1 South Semis

Franklin hockey
(Ryan Lanigan/Photo)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
FRANKLIN, Mass. – The biggest difference between Franklin and Walpole might not have even been something that happened on the ice on Saturday night.
Instead, one extra day of rest might have been enough to push Franklin to a 1-0 win over the Rebels and into the D1 South Semifinal. Franklin beat Wellesley on Wednesday night and Walpole picked up a shootout win over Archies on Thursday to meet one another in the quarterfinals.
“It was a good physical game and from here on out that’s what you’re going to get,” Franklin head coach Chris Spillane said. “Walpole just came off a really physical, exhausting game on Thursday night. I think us having that extra day of rest, being able to go watch them play, and have two practices and sort of going easy in them knowing this would be a tough game, I think that was a little bit of a benefit for us. They were sort of gassing out there, the schedule definitely worked to our benefit.”
To be fair to the Panthers, they were dominant in almost every area of the game except for the scoreboard. Sophomore Luke Downie scored the lone goal on a power play in the second period and Nick Jasinski made 17 saves for the shutout.
The Rebels had the better start to the game with a couple of early shots, even going up a man less than three minutes in because of a tripping call. Yet Walpole was unable to muster up a serious scoring chance in the period. The best chance of the first period fell to the stick of senior Jake Downie. Downie blocked an attempted clearance and skated in alone on goal. He fired a low wrist shot but Walpole goalie James Corcoran was able to get his glove in the way for a huge save.
The play was just the start of the momentum swing as the Panthers slowly took control of the game. At nearly the same exact time in the second period, another penalty was whistle but this one a hooking call that put the Panthers on the power play. 40 seconds in, Luke Downie was able to corral a loose puck off a rebound that forced Corcoran out of his crease and wrap it around the other end, bouncing it off the goalie and just over the line.
“It was a power play opportunity and it was sort of a busted play,” Spillane said. “Luke Downie sort of wrapped it around and bounced it off their goaltender. It doesn’t matter how it goes in, it goes in and it’s still one on the board. I’ve said Luke has to be one of our better players for us to have success. He’s playing through an injury and he played very well for us.”
Shortly after the goal, the Rebels went on the man advantage but once again, Franklin’s defense stood tall and didn’t allow a serious chance against Jasinski. In the period, Franklin only allowed four shots on goal for Walpole.
“This was a good one to be in,” Spillane said of it being close throughout. “I don’t think at anytime I was saying we’re not playing good hockey. We played really sound forechecking and we eliminated all of their opportunities. I think the shots were two to one [ratio]. We threw a lot of pucks at [their goalie], he had a lot of work. But our goal was to forecheck and sort of eliminate the up and down hockey and I think we did a really nice job of that for three periods.”
The Panthers continued to roll three lines all game and it proved to be a big help in the third period. Franklin dominated the final frame with a 14-5 advantage in shots.
“We realized we wouldn’t be able to run two [lines] as much as we wanted to but that third line played great,” Spillane said. “They came out, forechecked, worked hard and were in the offensive zone. If you’re putting a third line out there and they are in the offensive zone, they’re doing something right. It was a good team effort. I think that was our best game for 45 minutes this year. The scoreboard doesn’t indicate it but I thought we played 45 minutes of hockey and we really didn’t give them too many quality opportunities.”
Just after an early power play concluded, Franklin nearly doubled its lead with 12 minutes to play in the third. Adam Assad saw his backhand attempt go just wide after a rebound off a good shot from senior Joe Corsi fell to his stick. The Panthers nearly put in a second with just two minutes to play when James Kilroe tipped a shot from Jack Chaffee but Corcoran was able to get a piece. 30 seconds after that, Assad had another chance kicked aside.
On the other end, Walpole’s best chances came in the final minute. Charles Harrington picked off a pass at the blue line and ripped a shot but Jasinski made the glove save. After a timeout and with the goalie pulled, Owen Hunter found himself in some space and fired a backhand that Jasinski just got a piece of. The puck trickled on the ice with an open goal but Franklin freshman Kevin McKay got to it first and clear it away, taking a hit into the post right after.
“Kevin overcompensated for his mistake, he was sort of creeping up into the high slot and that guy was wide open behind him,” Spillane said. “I’d rather the two defensemen be the last guys out of the zone but he’s a good skater and he was able to get back and make a great play for us.”
Franklin (14-3-5) advances to the D1 South Semifinals against Newton North at Gallo Arena in Bourne. At the time this article was published, the time and date are still to be determined.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 03/05/16

Today’s playoff games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
D1 Central
#3 Franklin, 73 vs. #7 Framingham, 36 – Final – The Panthers were in control from the get go, taking a 36-7 lead by halftime. Sophomore Connor Peterson had 15 points and 11 rebounds and freshman Jay Dieterle added 15 points and six rebounds. Franklin will play St. John’s Shrewsbury in the D1 Central Final on Wednesday, March 9th at 7:00 at WPI. 
Girls Basketball
D2 South
#2 Oliver Ames, 57 vs. #7 Notre Dame Academy, 49 – Final

#6 Foxboro, 57 @ #3 Falmouth, 59 – Final (OT) – Cassidy Harrison hit a pair of threes late in the fourth quarter to help the Warriors force overtime. Harrison finished with 20 points while Ashley Sampson added 14 points and Carolynn Will finished with 10 points.
Hockey
D1 South
#4 Franklin, 1 vs. #5 Walpole. 0 – Final – Sophomore Luke Downie scored on the power play in the second period for the lone goal of the game. Nick Jasinski made 17 saves for the shutout win. Franklin advances to the D1 South Semifinals and will play Newton North. 
D2 South
#3 Canton, 3 vs. #6 North Attleboro, 0 – Final

After Strong Start, Panthers Hang On For Win

Franklin hockey
Franklin held on for a 2-1 victory over Wellesley in the Div. 1 South first round at Loring Arena. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – With Franklin leading 2-0 in the second period, sophomore Jeremy Miller skated past three Wellesley defensemen in the zone and unleashed a rocket that appeared to hit the bar in the back of the net and ricocheted out.

Wellesley fans at that end of the ice were waiting for the officials to stop play for the goal, but instead it was ruled that the shot hit the crossbar and the Panthers’ lead stayed at two goals.

Just seconds later that lead was cut in half and for the final 23 minutes of the game Wellesley became the aggressor and put Franklin back on its heels. Despite the Raiders’ pressure, Franklin held on, thanks in part to 20 saves from senior goalie Nick Jasinski, for a 2-1 victory in the Div. 1 South opener at Loring Ice Arena in Framingham.

“We’ve just got to learn how to put teams away,” said a relieved Franklin coach Chris Spillane after the game. “We seem to have a problem; we keep teams around all the time and I can’t take many more of these games.”

In the first period, it seemed as though Franklin could run away with a comfortable win. The Panthers carried play for the majority of the first, outshooting Wellesley 14-4, and with 3:20 left in the period Adam Assad took an outlet pass from Joe Corsi and beat goalie Andrew Johnston five-hole to make it 1-0.

The lead was doubled just 1:42 into the second period and on Franklin’s first shot after intermission. Sophomore Luke Downie made a move past his man to the right circle and snuck his shot past Johnston into the far corner.

“It was a big goal,” said Downie. “I got a pass in the middle from Jake Downie (Luke’s cousin) and I made a move to beat the kid wide and shot it falling down and it went in.”

Spillane added, “Luke’s been a great player for us…as the year has progressed, he’s simplified his game a little bit, and become a north-south player. It’s good to see him play like that tonight.”

Miller thought that he had given the Panthers a three-goal cushion five minutes later, but with 7:52 left in the second Wellesley got on the board on Zach Doughty’s shot through a screen. 

The goal turned the momentum of the game and for the final eight minutes of the second it was one-way traffic towards the Franklin goal. While Wellesley was not racking up a ton of shots (just seven total in the second period), the pressure was mounting and the buzzer sounded during a flurry in front of Jasinski.

The buzzer felt like a reprieve for Franklin, as it seemed only a matter of time before Wellesley scored.

“It was coming,” said Spillane, “and maybe our guys were a little gassed, but it was wasted energy. I thought we were chasing the puck around too much instead of playing good, sound positional hockey.”

“They took it to us for two periods. I thought we had a good first period but after that they dictated the pace of the game.”

Early in the third, there was another scramble in front of Jasinski after he knocked down a shot from the outside but was unable to cover the rebound. Asad nearly wrapped up the win with a chance with 2:45 left but Johnston made a big save while on his back.

As the clock was winding down to the final minute, Jasinski had to come through several times to preserve the lead. He made a solid kick save and managed to get his stick on a shot when he seemed to be out of position. It was a scramble at times, but he managed to hold the lead.

“They were getting a lot of shots on me, but we just kept fighting them off getting it out of the zone as best we could,” Jasinski said. “I just focus on keeping my head and not thinking about giving up a goal but just stopping the next shot. It helps me out and makes me less nervous.”

Spillane said, “In tournament you need your best player to be your goaltender…I can’t knock Nick at all. He’s been there for us all season and we need him to step up next round.”

Finally the buzzer sounded and the Panthers could celebrate a victory and a chance to play in the quarterfinal against the winner of Archbishop Williams and Walpole.

Downie admitted, “When I looked at the clock, I didn’t realize there were zero seconds left. I thought there was a lot of time left so I was excited about that.”

“It was a grind,” he added. “We had to work really hard to keep the one-goal lead. They were coming strong and we had to keep fighting, but we pulled off the win.”

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

MC Loss a Learning Experience for Panthers

Nick Jasinski
Franklin goalie Nick Jasinski (31) makes one of his 19 saves against Malden Catholic on Wednesday. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – There is not a single player that took the ice for Franklin on Wednesday night that had ever played against perennial power Malden Catholic. The game was billed as a rematch of last year’s Super 8 first round but in truth it was more of a learning experience, a building block for the Panthers.
With a Div. 1 tournament berth locked up and a fifth straight Kelley-Rex division title already sewn up, the Panthers used the exclusion game against the Lancers at Pirelli Veterans Memorial Rink as preparation for the playoffs.
Although the Lancers skated away with a 6-0 victory, the chance to play the No. 2 team in the state could be a boost for Franklin.
“They’re stronger, faster. No doubt about it,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “Every 50-50 battle they won. They’re good with puck possession and they’re faster.”
“Hopefully we see that this level is how we have to play.”
At the start of the game, Franklin matched the speed of the Lancers and came out with enough energy to get MC back on its heels. The Panthers went on the power play just 1:02 into the game and had five early shots on goal.
Unfortunately for Franklin, the initial burst of energy could not be sustained against the Lancers edge in speed and their ability to move the puck from back to front quickly. An early breakaway Justin Collins was a warning of what was to come, but Nick Jasinski made a kick save to deny the opening goal.
“In the first five minutes, we had a power play and had a couple shots on net and I was thinking okay let’s get one here and see what happens,” said Spillane.
He added, “If we play like we did in the first period during the final stretch than we’ll be fine and we’ll compete in the tournament. You’re not going to see too many teams of that caliber.”
MC dominated the second period, outshooting the Panthers 13-3 and scoring three goals, although it took nearly 10 minutes of the second before finally finding the back of the net. When they did, the Lancers took no time at all to find a second.
Nick Botticelli got the first with a burst down the right side and a wrister from the circle that squeezed just inside the arm of Jasinski. Only 41 seconds later and the lead was doubled through Colin Nestor, who found a loose puck in the slot and fired it home. With 1:08 left in the period, Cam Walter poked home a rebound that was lying just under Jasinski’s pad to make it 3-0.
“We play them every year and we seem to hang tough for a period but then that first goal comes,” said Spillane. “I saw it coming tonight but I just wish our guys could’ve popped one in to give them a little more confidence.”
Franklin managed to get the opening five shots of the third period. Sophomore Jeremy Miller continued his stellar season by creating a few chances including one shot from the slot that forced a nice kick save from MC goalie Kyle Casey. Senior defenseman Tyler Oakes also jumped into the play for a shot.
Once again, the Lancers scored in bunches and this time put the game away. Ryan Noonan scored on a two on one off an assist by Sean Wrenn and then just 16 seconds later Walter got his second of the night from an acute angle to make it 5-0. Nestor pounced again with a minute remaining to close out the scoring.
Playing MC is about taking the game to the next level and for a Franklin roster filled with youth, this was a good lesson in what it will take to get ready for the tournament.
Spillane explained, “The only thing I told them in the locker room was that you need to have an internal clock because once you get to three its to going to be knocked away or they’re going to back check you.”
It was also an exclusion game, so the Panthers will not lose ground in seeding for the tournament by challenging themselves against the best.
“If we keep playing them then one time we’ll beat them and I can say we’re not playing anymore,” Spillane joked. “Until that time comes we’re going to keep playing them.”
Franklin (10-4-3, 7-0-2) will travel to face St. John’s (Shrewsbury) on Saturday.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Canton and Franklin Finish Scoreless in Rematch

Nick Jasinski
Franklin goalie Nick Jasinski (31) denies Canton forward Matt Lazaro (9) in the second period on Saturday. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

FRANKLIN, Mass. – The top two teams in the Hockomock have been struggling to score goals consistently this season and on Saturday afternoon at Pirelli Veterans Memorial Rink Canton and Franklin continued to find offense hard to come by in a scoreless tie that provided plenty of excitement despite the puck never finding the back of the net.

“I joked with Coach Spillane in the line, if that doesn’t sum up both of our seasons right there then I don’t know what does,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “We’re both struggling to put the puck in the net.”

“Ironically that was one of the most wide open Franklin-Canton games. We both had plenty of chances.”

Franklin coach Chris Spillane agreed with those sentiments. All season he has talked about the need for players to step up on the offensive side and that continued against the Bulldogs.

“Canton has the same disease as Franklin, can’t put the puck in the net,” he laughed. “Both teams had really good opportunities and maybe credit the goaltenders, they stepped up and made stops when they had to but yeah it was a game with very few quality, wow that should’ve been a goal.”

Franklin had the first chance of the game just two minutes in. Alex Bissanti and Luke Downie combined to create an opening to slide a pass across the crease to Adam Assad charging in at the back post but the junior was not able to put the puck on net under pressure from the defenseman.

With 7:44 left in the first, Jeremy Miller had a chance after intercepting a poor clearance but his shot from the slot was wristed wide.

Canton held a 5-4 edge in shots after the first but the Panthers dominated territorially in the second, controlling the puck in the Bulldogs’ zone for the opening four minutes of the period and managing five shots on goal. Despite Franklin’s domination of possession, it was Canton that had the best chances.

Midway through the period, Jim Jenkins redirected a shot from the point but was denied by a quick kick save by Nick Jasinski (15 saves). Nearly two minutes later, Canton had two great chances, both created by Matt Lazaro. He set up Bobby Mullaney for a shot from the slot with a behind the back pass but it went wide and then 30 seconds later he had another chance on an odd-man rush and was stoned at the near post by Jasinski.

“Any time that their first line was on the ice they seemed to have a little edge,” said Spillane. “Lazaro creates opportunities and other than that it was equal. He’s always finding those second and third trailers and giving them good opportunities.”

With 4:23 left in the second Miller had another shot on a rebound in the slot but Justin Slocum (25 saves) stood tall and denied the close-range chance.

“You can’t discount what the goaltenders did,” said Shuman. “They made some big saves on both ends.”

The third period was a replica of the second. Franklin outshot Canton 21-10 in the final two periods and had almost constant pressure on the Bulldogs back line, but defensemen Jackson Maffeo, C.J. Martin, D.J. Trerice, and Ryan Lodge helped Slocum keep the Panthers off the board.

Shuman explained, “They were all over us for very long stretches of time. I thought they outplayed us for long part of that game, but we still had chances to win it. It was an exciting game.”

Canton also had the two  best scoring chances of the third, despite only recording four shots in the period. Brad Murphy created the first with a charge up the far boards and a pass right across the crease that Bubba McNeice directed towards goal but Jaskinski snatched it. With 1:01 remaining, Lazaro had a clear look from the slot but again the Franklin goalie stood tall to save.

“That’s what you get with us,” said Spillane about the rivalry. “There was very little flow, it was back and forth, hard forechecking, hard hits…it’s good hockey, good to watch.”

He also credited his defensemen for keeping shots from getting all the way to the goaltender. Joe Corsi made a diving intervention to block a 2-on-1 in the first period and he and fellow seniors Matt Pleshaw and Tyler Oakes and freshman Kevin McKay were regularly in the way.

“Sometimes, I think it was more out of panic, sliding around, but today I think that we did line up with them well and play good, positional defensive hockey,” said Spillane.

It was a game that had the potential to break open, but both teams came in struggling to create offense and that continued, although both will go home with an important point and still unbeaten in the league this season.

“We just couldn’t put it away and sometimes that happens,” said Shuman. “Two good teams, good defenses and a couple guys holding the stick a little tight and throwing it at the pads.”

Franklin (7-3-3, 5-0-2) will travel to Asiaf Arena to face Stoughton on Wednesday, while Canton (10-2-1, 7-0-1) will travel to Aleixo Arena to face Attleboro on Monday.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/30/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Hockey
Foxboro, 5 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final
Canton, 0 @ Franklin, 0 – FinalNick Jasinski made 15 saves for the Panthers and Justin Slocum made 25 saves for the Bulldogs. 
Milford, 0 @ Mansfield,  7- Final

Oliver Ames, 4 @ North Attleboro, 6 – Final – Erik Clements had a pair of goals and Drew Wissler had three points with a goal and two assists as the Rocketeers recovered from an early 2-0 deficit. OA’s Owen Gallagher had a hat trick for the Tigers. 
Stoughton, 2 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Mark Sheehan scored a pair of goals for the Black Knights and freshman goalie AJ Scott made 31 saves. 
Wrestling
Hockomock League Championships (@ Taunton) – Click here for full results. 
Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis Center)
Hockomock League Championships – Click here for full results. 
Gymnastics
Sharon @ Shrewsbury, 11:00AM
Girls Hockey
Canton, 1 vs. Duxbury, 1 – Final
King Philip, 5 @ Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 2 – Final