Today’s games are listed below.
Foxboro, 39 vs. Wachusett, 50 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. Foxboro got off to a strong start on Wednesday against unbeaten Wachusett, leading 11-8 after one, but struggled to maintain its offensive output and the experienced Mountaineers made the plays down the stretch to pick up the win. Camryn Collins was the top scorer for Foxboro with 14 points, scoring five each in the first and the third. Hannah Blake also had a big game for the Warriors with 13 pints and 14 rebounds. Erin Foley chipped in with seven points and Kailey Sullivan added five. The Warriors had the lead down to four in the fourth quarter (36-32) before Wachusett senior Charlotte Head took over. She scored nine of her game-high 19 in the fourth and Wachusett closed the game on a 14-7 run to win by double digits.
North Attleboro, 39 @ Franklin, 60 – Final – Franklin jumped out to a 35-16 lead by halftime and never looked back, picking up its fourth win in four days and clinching the outright Kelley-Rex title in the process. Stefany Padula led the way for the Panthers, burying four three-pointers and scoring a game-high 20 points, including eight points in the first as Franklin led 17-8. Padula added another seven points in the second, helping the Panthers score another 18 points in the quarter. Olivia Quinn hit a pair of threes and scored 12 points and Katie Peterson added 11. Brigid Earley and Julia White each scored six points in the win. North’s offense got going in the second half, as the Rocketeers scored 23 points (including a 13-6 fourth quarter), but it wasn’t enough to close the gap. Sam Faria was North’s top scorer with eight points, including a pair from downtown, while Abby Camelio added seven. Summer Doherty scored six and Ava McKeon scored five in the loss.
Stoughton, 24 @ Mansfield, 51 – Final – Mansfield used its defense to pull out a win on Tuesday and was dominant again on Wednesday for a third win in the last four days. After a 13-9 first quarter, the Hornets held Stoughton to just four points in the second, seven in the third, and four in the fourth. The Hornets are now just one win away from clinching a playoff berth. Abby Wager had a game-high 13 points for the Hornets, scoring all of her points in the second and third quarters. Bridget Hanley added six in the third, on a pair of threes, and had 11 for the game. Kara Santos added 10 points and Olivia Salisbury had seven for the Hornets. For Stoughton, senior forward Vanessa Phelimond grabbed 10 boards and had eight points, Kate Bulger scored six points, and freshman Leah McCarty chipped in with seven points and seven boards.
Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 9 – Final – Eight different Panthers found the back of the net as Franklin celebrated senior night with a win over visiting Attleboro. Dan Daley scored a pair of third period goals for the Panthers while Ryan Sicchio, Ben Jarosz, Aiden Linehan, Aiden Kuykendall, Ben Paterson, Tommy Balducci, and Domenic Lampasona each found the back of the net once. Nate Parker scored an unassisted second period goal for Attleboro while Nick Piazza turned away 45 shots in net.
Canton, 7 vs. Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final
North Attleboro, 5 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game.
Mansfield, 4 @ Taunton, 2 – Final
King Philip, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final
Stoughton, 8 vs. Wareham, 0 – Final – Stoughton notched a key win in its push for a spot in the Division 3 State Tournament, knocking off visiting Wareham/Carver. Colby Strunk led the offense with four goals while Cooper Card, Josh Greenspoon and Steven Westerlund scored a goal each. Chris Andrade and Sean McGowan combined for the shutout for the Black Knights.
Stoughton/Sharon, 0 @ Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 8 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Mansfield/Oliver Ames exploded for six goals in the middle period in a win over visiting Stoughton/Sharon. Cataline Kipp scored a pair of goals for the Warriors while Kylie O’Keefe, Maeve Anastasia, Ava Adams, Erin DiCenzo, Madison Guilfoyle, and Samantha Ledin each lit the lamp once. Jess Widdop recorded the shutout in net for MOAF. Janelle Murphy played well in net for Stoughton/Sharon.
King Philip, 8 vs. Ursuline Academy, 0 – Final
Franklin, 2 @ Longmeadow, 4 – Final
Stoughton vs. Middleboro, 6:00
Taunton, 67 @ Bristol Plymouth, 6 – Final – Taunton knocked off city rival Bristol-Plymouth to claim the City of Taunton Championships and Christian Balmain became the program’s all-time wins record with his 114th career win. Balmain surpassed former team captain Keith Porazzo, who held the previous record at 113. Michael Leskoski, Ryan Jones, Brandon Mendes, Anthony Vieira, Xavier Sandoval, Ben Mandeville, John Mandeville, Elijah Prophete, Peter Ye, Logan Frank, and Robert Tran also won for the Tigers.
ATTLEBORO, Mass – After recording 15 shots in the first period, Taunton was in control of the play, but had yet to find the back of the net. That changed in the second, as the Tigers found the breakthrough, grabbed momentum, and then tacked on two more goals in quick succession to break open Sunday afternoon’s game at the New England Sports Village.
Taunton added a fourth in the third period to beat Attleboro 4-0. It was an ideal win for the Tigers, who are battling for a spot in the state tournament. Not only did they get the result, but they also added the margin of victory bonus and freshman goalie Cam Tomaszycki recorded his first career shutout.
“Between COVID and injuries and the flu, it’s been one guy in, one guy out, two guys in and three guys out, no continuity, but the last week we’ve been able to have solidified lines in practice and some sort of rhythm,” said Taunton coach Kris Metea about his team’s three wins in the last four games.
“You can definitely see it with the boys,” he continued. “In the last week, we’ve finally gotten three lines that have been healthy. We’ve been playing with 10, 11, 12 players and to have some energy and to have the guys not be tired when they hit the third period has been nice.”
The visitors came out flying from the opening face-off and immediately put the Bombardiers on the back foot. Despite the pressure and having far fewer scoring chances (being outshot 15-5 in the first), Attleboro still managed to get several quality looks on goal.
Nate Parker created a good opening for Attleboro five minutes into the game when his forechecking forced a turnover in the attacking zone. He fed the puck back to Nathan Conroy, but Tomaszycki (12 saves) had a quick glove to prevent a shorthanded goal.
Taunton was able to create some noteworthy chances on that power play. Colton Scheralis played the puck up the far boards and into the path of Nathan Fernandes, who fired a shot from the right wing circle that was blockered aside by Attleboro goalie Nick Piazza (36 saves). Loran Corcoran then had a blast from the other side that Piazza kicked away.
Tomaszycki wasn’t tested often but he had to be alert to deny a tip in front off the stick of either Conroy or Austin Bessette. He also showed quick reactions to get a pad on a deflected shot from the point by Dane Holske. Scheralis had a good shorthanded chance for the Tigers in the final two minutes with a steal at his own blue line and long rush up ice that ended with Piazza denying his close-range backhander.
Attleboro nearly provided a shock at the start of the second period. Sean Marshall went on a weaving rush from his own defensive zone and got all the way to the slot on the other end only to have Tomaszycki make the save.
Taunton finally broke the deadlock just about two minutes later, with its first shot of the period. Fernandes took advantage of a turnover to get free beyond the right wing circle and his wrister went high to the glove side past an unsighted Piazza.
Metea said, “First goal is always important. You need to play with the lead because it changes the game. If they had capitalized and gone up 1-0 then it changes the whole momentum of the game, so it was great to get the first one. Our captain stepped up and made a nice play.”
The Attleboro goalie made amends almost immediately after giving up the goal when he flashed a glove to rob Dillon Parker on a breakaway. Corcoran also tested the Attleboro goalie with a shorthanded slap shot from the point. Attleboro’s best chance came with five minutes left in the period, when a slip gave Michael Lachance a free run on goal but Tomaszycki stayed tall and then the freshman also was well-positioned to save a tip from right in front.
After nearly allowing Attleboro to tie it, Taunton broke the game open with two goals in just 26 seconds. Fernandes got the first with another seeing-eye wrist shot and Connor McGrath made it 3-0 when his wrister on a two-on-one also found its way past Piazza.
“Once you get the first one, hopefully you get the momentum and the second one comes pretty quickly, so once they had the momentum and that confidence then they were able to keep going,” Metea explained.
Nick Fernandes had a chance for the Bombardiers early in the third period, but his backhander from the slot was kicked away by Tomaszycki. Piazza twice denied Nathan Fernandes his hat trick. The first was on a shot from the edge of the crease that the Attleboro netminder smothered and then he stopped another breakaway chance, closing up the five-hole to keep it a three-goal deficit.
Scheralis would put the game away for the Tigers with six minutes to go. He went on a long rush up the right wing, before angling towards goal. His patience forced Piazza to open up and then the defenseman slipped the puck under the pads for a 4-0 lead. Taunton finished with a 40-12 edge in shots.
“Power rankings change the whole dynamic of everything,” said Metea when asked about how to approach the third period leading 3-0. “Every moment of a game becomes more important. It’s not just the matter of getting the win, now it’s the matter of making sure you have the three-goal margin, after that making sure you don’t give up a goal. It’s great for the kids because every game is important.”
Today’s games are listed below.
Oliver Ames, 66 @ Southeastern, 67 – Final – Oliver Ames led after each of the first three quarters but Southeastern scored the go-ahead bucket with just over two seconds to play to steal the win from the Tigers. Junior Zach Tagliamonte scored a team-high 25 points for the second straight game to pace the Tigers. Jake Grimaldi chipped in with 17 points and Drew Baxter had 10 for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 72 @ Weymouth, 61 – Final – Deadlocked after three quarters, Stoughton poured in 24 points and get some key stops to secure a win on the road at Weymouth. Freshman Matt Greenspoon hit a big three and added another field goal in the fourth quarter to spark the Black Knights, finishing with 11 points (all in the second half). Senior Connor Andrews scored nine of his team-high 24 points in the final frame and junior Rayan Sablon had 11 of his 19 points in the last frame to help Stoughton get the win.
Sharon, 46 @ East Bridgewater, 63 – Final – Jasmine Davis scored 27 points and added 20 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as the Eagles fell on the road in a non-league game. Rachael Hager chipped in with 12 points for the second straight day.
Stoughton, 35 @ Canton, 60 – Final – Fay Gallery led the way for the Bulldogs with 23 points, including four three-pointers, as Canton extended its win streak to five games. The Bulldogs held a three-point lead after one and extended it to 10 by halftime. The Black Knights stayed within 13 heading to the fourth, but Canton outscored the visitors 19-7 over the final eight minutes to pull away for a big win. Kiara Cerruti scored 14 and Sydney Gallery added seven for Canton. Kate Bulger scored 13 for the Black Knights, including six in the first, and Vanessa Phelimond and Raina Tat each scored six.
Attleboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 8 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. – Troy Carlisle scored a pair of goals and assisted on two other, helping North sweep the season series against Attleboro. Carlisle opened the scoring with a breakaway goal four minutes into the game and then picked up an assist about four minutes later when he set up Jack Dluhy in the slot. Attleboro goalie Nick Piazza made a pad stop but Joe Quinn knocked in the rebound. North hit the post twice in the first and Attleboro had a shot cleared off the line. Carlisle got his second when he stole the puck in the attacking zone and found the top corner. Nick Longa made it 4-0, assisted by Nik Kojoian and Mark Ayvazyan. North then got two more 39 seconds apart to lead 6-0 after two. Quinn scored his second off a Dluhy assist and Brody Gaulin was credited with a tip of Austin Comery’s shot from the point. Kojoian got his second assist early in the third when Anthony Westcott’s shot from the point went in off the bar. Gaulin added a 4-on-4 goal with 8:37 to play, assisted by Brady Sarro. Attleboro got on the board in the final 90 seconds, as Sean Marshall went the length of the ice on the power play and buried his shot in the top corner past North goalie Nate Kelly (eight saves). Piazza finished with 46 saves in the loss.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 7 – Final
Foxboro, 1 @ King Philip, 6 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. – King Philip sophomore Brad Guden scored a hat trick to lead the Warriors to a league win over Foxboro at the Foxboro Sports Center. King Philip scored twice in the first, three times in the second, and tacked on one more in the third to get the win. Guden set up KP’s first goal, carrying possession into the offensive zone before teeing up classmate Sam Naggar for a one-timer from the blue line that found its way through. Less than two minutes later, John Campbell used a nice move in front to beat the goalie, assists going to Sean Crowther and Kevin Birenbaum. Foxboro cut the deficit in half with 8:08 to play in the first as senior Ben Ricketts intercepted a clearance attempt and fired a wrister that was partially stopped but trickled over the line. Guden lit the lamp twice in the second, first firing a low wrister from the blue line that found the back of the net, and then minutes later, had another low shot take a fortunate deflection off a Foxboro skate and into the back of the net. Crowther came flying down the left side before roofing a shot with less than two minutes to go to make it 5-1 after two periods. Guden completed the hat trick in the third, finishing off a pass from Crowther for a 6-1 edge. Senior Josh Marcoux made 33 saves in net for Foxboro.
Franklin, 7 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Franklin scored three goals in each the first and second periods on its way to a league win on the road over Taunton. Christian Shabbick scored a hat trick for the Panhters, scoring with eight minutes left in the first (on an assist from Ben Paterson) to make it 3-0, again less then two minutes into the second (from Anthony Lampasona) to make it 4-0, and then completed the hat trick (on another assist from Paterson) to push the lead to 6-0. Dylan Marchand added a pair of goals, Ryan Sicchio scored on the power play in the first period, and Paterson lit the lamp once and had a total of three assists. Freshman Jack O’Connor made 16 saves for the win. Taunton sophomore Conner Goranson scored off of an assist from senior Nathan Fernandes in the third period. Freshman Cam Tomaszycki made 46 saves in net for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 7 @ Cardinal Spellman, 2 – Final – Stoughton’s Sean Farley scored a pair of goals to help the Black Knights pick up their second win over Cardinal Spellman this month. Ryan Summers, Joe McNulty, Cooper Card, Colin Alessi and Charlie Caputo each added one goal for Stoughton.
Canton, 4 @ Medway/Ashland, 1 – Final – Audrey Koen scored a pair of goals to lead Canton to a third straight win and its fifth win in the last six games.
Franklin, 0 @ Medfield, 1 – Final (OT)
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 2 @ Westwood, 2 – Final
King Philip, 9 @ Dedham, 0 – Final
Stoughton/Sharon, 2 vs. West/East Bridgewater, 7 – Final
Canton, 12 @ North Attleboro, 69 – Final
Sharon, 62 @ Foxboro, 14 – Final – Ashmith Yeruva, Vehnil Rangaraman, Adam Landstein, Cam Birnbaum, Nick Varvak, Kyle Samuels, Aaron Cashton, Phil Varvak, Cormac Horlbogen, Ethan Siao, and Ron Loebl each won for the Eagles, who clinched at least a share of the Davenport division title with the victory.
Mansfield, 21 @ Franklin, 49 – Final
Milford @ King Philip, 6:00
Oliver Ames, 78 @ Stoughton, 6 – Final – Senior Gio Juste, juniors Ryan Widdop, Kyle Hardie, and Victor Romeiro, and freshman Rory Gallagher-Lambert each earned a pinfall win for the Tigers.
Taunton, 72 @ Keefe Tech, 9 – Final – Ryan Jones (113), Christian Balmain (152), John Mandeville (160), Peter Ye (195), and Logan Frank (220) all won by pin to help Taunton secure a win on the road over Keefe Tech.
North Attleboro @ Canton, 5:15
King Philip, 29 @ Taunton, 43 – Final
North Attleboro @ Canton, 5:15
King Philip, 63 @ Taunton, 17 – Final
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview
2020-2021 Record: 1-8-0
Coach: Greg Chamberlain
Attleboro had a difficult 2020-21 season, as delays and big breaks early in the season led to three games in three days to close things out. The Bombardiers will be hoping that they can build off that experience and make a push to get back into the postseason mix with several underclassmen stepping in to supplement the returning corps.
The offense has depth to it this season and head coach Greg Chamberlain is expecting a lot of grit and effort in the attacking zone to create scoring chances. Senior Nate Parker will be the leader of the forward line but he will get help from juniors Colin Flynn and Mike Lachance, who have both had two seasons on varsity already. Freshmen Austin Bessette and Nate Conroy have impressed the coaches in the preseason and could be ready to contribute right away.
Defense could be a strong unit this season, as the Bombardiers have decent skaters and decent depth along the blue line. Senior Sean Marshall will be the key to that group, providing on-ice leadership. Sophomore Dane Holske had a good first season on varsity and can help out both in defense and at forward. Senior Nick Piazza is capable of being one of the top netminders in the league and will be back between the pipes for Attleboro this season.
“Biggest thing that is a positive for us is the guys wanna earn some respect and be tough to play against,” said Chamberlain. “We understand what we have but we think our schedule can help us gain some real confidence.”
2020-2021 Record: 11-0-1
Coach: Brian Shuman
The Davenport division has been ruled by Canton, which has won the title every season since the league split. The Bulldogs bring back a lot of returning players to hunt a 12th straight league title and defend the Div. 2 state title that they won back in 2019-20, but for many of the players, this will be their first season with a full slate of games.
Canton is known for its goalscoring, but the Bulldogs typically start from the defensive zone and this year should be no different. Senior Sean Connolly, the reigning league MVP, will be back at the blue line alongside classmate Ryan Doucette. Juniors James Young and Leo Owens should also see plenty of time on the ice with seniors Brennen Pecararo and Jay Kelleher slotting in at defense or at forward. The goalie job is up for grabs coming into the season with a three-way battle going on between senior Aiden French, junior Carson Eagles, and freshman Collin Davis.
As usual, the Bulldogs should be potent in front of the goal this winter. Senior Eamon Kelly, the team’s leading scorer last year, is back for his fourth season on varsity. Seniors Andrew Valkanas, Tommy Phaneuf, Sam Carlino, and Eddie Gillis will all chip in and junior Jeff Chaput could be poised for a big season after scoring 13 points last year.
“Solid team defense is the expectation as always this season, and we ask all positions to be important players all over the ice,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “Our forwards need to be able to shut down opponents and our defense must contribute to our offensive production to have a successful year.”
2020-2021 Record: 4-6-0
Coach: Mark Cedorchuk
Just two years removed from one of the best seasons in program history, Foxboro comes into the winter with an experienced squad, featuring nine seniors, to try and make another push for a state tournament berth. Although the Warriors went 4-6 in the shortened 2020-21 season, four of those losses were against Franklin and Canton and the other two were to North Attleboro by a combined three goals, so there is potential for the Warriors to get back to their 2019-20 form.
The forward line should have plenty of firepower this season with the return of seniors Jack Watts, Matt Grace, and Ben Ricketts, who combined for 13 goals in 10 games last year. Fellow forwards Derek Axon and Steven Bridges will give Foxboro good leadership and depth in the forward line. The Warriors also got plenty of scoring from the blue line, with senior Tom Marcucella adding four goals and three assists last winter.
Improvements in the defensive zone (and not playing almost every game against the league’s top-scoring teams) will be expected this season. Marcucella is listed as a defenseman but has the versatility to line up in multiple positions and he will be helped on defense by classmates Dylan Pothier and Brady Callahan. Junior Alex Coviello and sophomore Sully Kenneally are also going to step into bigger roles on the blue line this season.
“I would say all nine of our seniors are going to be major contributors and that’s definitely a first for Foxboro hockey and it’s a good thing!” said Foxboro coach Mark Cedorchuk. “I would say we will be skilled and experienced.”
2020-2021 Record: 10-2-1
Coach: Anthony Sarno
This will be a new-look Franklin team that takes the ice this season, looking to win its 11th straight league title and make a deep run in the postseason. The Panthers graduated 16 seniors from last year’s team and only return seven players with significant varsity experience to try and manage a schedule loaded with some of the best teams in the state.
Senior forward Dylan Marchand is the key returning player in the forward line. The team’s leading scorer last year, the speedy center scored eight goals and nine assists in 13 games. Seniors Justin Magazu and Domenic Lampasona and juniors Ben Jarosz and Ryan Sicchio will also return to add more firepower to the attacking end of the ice. With 14 new players on the roster, there could be a lot of new names on the score sheet this winter.
Defensively, the Panthers will lean on experienced players like seniors Aidan Hunt and Jack MacKinnon to guide the younger players, as they take on the high-end talent that Franklin will face right from the start of the season. In goal, sophomore Cole Pouliot-Porter and freshman Jack O’Connor will both get chances between the pipes.
“I am optimistic with the youth we have and excited to watch us grow together,” said Franklin coach Anthony Sarno. “We will just have to weather the ebbs and flows, try to remain even-keeled, communicate, and trust each other as a team in order for us to grow and move forward as a complete unit.”
2020-2021 Record: 9-1-0
Coach: Paul Carlow
Last season, King Philip won a share of its first league title since 2006, picking up a rare win against rival Franklin in the process. With 12 returning players and a roster that has 16 upperclassmen, the Warriors will try to make more history by winning back-to-back titles for the first time in program history and also put together a run in the state tournament.
There are four players coming back this year that averaged a point per game in 2020-21. Three of those players are forwards. Seniors Shaun Fitzpatrick and Sean Crowther and junior James Boldy, who combined for 15 goals and 22 assists in 10 games last season. Senior Nolan Feyler will be a big boost, as the forward had a strong sophomore season but missed all of last year due to an injury. Senior Kevin Birenbaum is another of the nine seniors on the forward line.
Sophomore defenseman Brad Guden is the fourth Warrior who averaged a point per game last year. He broke into the lineup and scored 10 times and had 10 assists in his first varsity season. Seniors Nolan Jackson and Quin Garstka add leadership and experience at the blue line and sophomore Max Robison returns after an impressive rookie season. Senior Kyle Abbott will be back between the pipes for the Warriors.
“We have a tough schedule this season but we are looking to challenge for another Hockomock League title,” said KP coach Paul Carlow. We have great leadership from our seniors and a good mix of skill and speed with the younger players. I’m really looking forward to working with this group and build on last year’s success.”
2020-2021 Record: 5-6-0
Coach: Mike Balzarini
With its top six forwards all back from last year, there is optimism that Mansfield will consistently put the puck in the back of the net and in turn, challenge for the Kelley-Rex division title.
And another big positive for the Hornets is junior Chris Hormann back between the pipes with a solid amount of varsity experience now under his belt. That combination of experience in the offensive zone and in the crease is what Mansfield is hoping translates to success. The challenge will be getting a new mix of defensemen working together as the Hornets graduated the majority of that unit.
Leading scorer Mark DeGirolamo returns with a lot of varsity experience under his belt, coming off a season with eight goals and five assists. He’s joined by Dillon Benoit (7 goals, 5 assists), Kyle Oakley (2 goals, 5 assists), Doherty (2 goals, 3 assists), Liam Anastasia (6 goals, 5 assists), and Brayden Purtell (4 goals, 2 assists). As the stats suggest, the Hornets have a very even top two lines which means head coach Mike Balzarini can trust both units to get it done.
Looks for the line of Cullen Egan, Cody Gordon, and Connor Davey to provide energy and some offensive punch throughout the season. Balzarini is looking for some new faces to step up on the blue line. A mix of depth pieces are back, and the Hornets have converted some forwards to defensemen looking to solidify that unit. Patrick Gormley, Brendan Flynn, Will Cameron, Ryan DeGirolamo, and Ty Carroll are all in the mix to get some minutes.
“Last season was difficult for everyone so we’re excited for a more normal year,” Balzarini said. “We’re going to be quick and we have multiple lines that can be a factor for us. We’ve seen some success on offense in our scrimmages so scoring should be a strength, these kids are working well together.”
2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview
2020-2021 Record: 8-6-0
Coach: Kyle Heagney
North Attleboro returns 14 players from last year’s roster, including two of the league’s top three scorers, and the Rocketeers will be looking to use that experience under first-year coach Kyle Heagney (who formerly coached Norton and was a North assistant the past two seasons) to challenge Canton at the top of the Davenport division and to put together a playoff run.
Although the Rocketeers bring back senior forwards Nik Kojoain and Brady Sarro, who combined for 41 points in 14 games last year, North is a team built on hard work and team effort in the offensive zone, rather than on individual stars. Seniors Sam Clarke and Nick Longa and juniors Joe Quinn and Mark Ayvazyan will provide plenty of help in front of goal and all have plenty of experience at the varsity level.
North graduated only one of its defensemen from last year. Senior Austin Comery will be the leader for North at the blue line and he will be assisted by classmate Anthony Westcott. Sophomore Kyle Gruber is back in goal for North after an impressive debut season, where he was thrown in against some of the league’s top teams, including a first appearance against Canton.
“Our strength is that we are not a team of superstars,” said Heagney. “We are a team of hockey players that will win first in the locker room before the ice. We look forward to the season and having fun. These are memories that will live forever with our players.”
2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Hockey Preview
2020-2021 Record: 1-10-0
Coach: Mike Zucarelli
Oliver Ames has been in a rebuilding phase under head coach Mike Zucarelli. The Tigers won just once in the shortened 2020-21 season and head into this winter with a roster loaded with underclassmen. While this may be a difficult season, Zucarelli is excited for the potential on his team and the growth the program is making for the future.
Seniors Cam Tower and Eliot Cohen will be instrumental in shoring things up at the blue line. The two defensemen will need to provide leadership for the younger players and help limit the opposition scoring chances. Junior forwards Sean McCarthy and Jack Perron will hope to improve the team’s scoring punch as well, after OA was held to 10 goals in 11 games last year. Zucarelli is already seeing more confidence and better decision-making in the offensive zone and is hoping the team’s work rate will lead to more chances.
With seven sophomores on the roster, OA will rely on its youth movement to turn things around. After a lot of growth in the offseason (both physically and mentally), Zucarelli thinks that the septet is ready for the challenges of playing varsity hockey day-in, day-out. Winger Andrew Livingstone and center Matt Lawson will add to the team’s production in the offensive zone and defenseman Landon Grothe could be a standout in the defensive end of the ice. Junior Brandon Burke had a solid summer with his club team and will be the starting goalie for the Tigers this winter.
“If we continue to put in the effort I have seen both on and off the ice to start this year, I believe these young men have the opportunity to do something special,” Zuccarelli said.
2020-2021 Record: 0-6-1
Coach: Kris Metea
Taunton had a tough 2020-21 season, as the Tigers were only able to six games, and come into a winter of transition. The roster is going to be very young, with only nine upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) in the program, so there will be a lot of younger players getting their first taste of varsity action and others experiencing a full season for the first time.
The forward line has a lot of speed and the Tigers are going to rely on that energy to try and create scoring chances. Senior Nathan Fernandes is the most experienced forward returning and he will be joined up top by junior Connor McGrath.
Defensively, the Tigers will be an inexperienced group but there is potential and the desire to get better over the course of the season. Senior Ethan Ross will be the leader at the blue line and junior Colton Scheralis can add his experience there as well. Freshman Cameron Tomaszycki will be jumping between the pipes this season to get his first varsity action.
“We are happy to be back for a full year,” said Taunton coach Kris Metea. “Last season was full of delays, pauses, and feelings of frustrations that made for a very long, short, season. The lessons learned from last season has made the players within the program grateful for a return to a more normal season. We will plan to improve every day and be a better, more complete team by the end of the season.”
By HockomockSports.com Staff
Player are listed alphabetically
Sean Connolly, Senior – Canton
The reigning Davenport division MVP returns to man the blue line for the Bulldogs this season in search of another league title and another deep run in the state tournament. Connolly is the latest in a line of smooth-skating defensemen for Canton and he is just as comfortable mixing it up in the corners to win possession back as he is carrying the puck up ice to get the Bulldogs into their transition game. He finished last year with five goals and seven assists, as well as being a force in the defensive zone and kept the Bulldogs rolling in Hock play. With a strong shot, quick hands, and good hockey IQ, Connolly always seems to pop up in the right spot, whether it’s breaking up an attack or jumping in to give the Bulldogs numbers on the other end. Canton is still the defending Div. 2 co-champs (and open the season with fellow champ Lincoln-Sudbury) so expectations are high that the Bulldogs can make another deep run to retain that title and Connolly’s impact on both ends of the ice will be key to that success.
Nathan Fernandes, Senior – Taunton
While everyone experience a shortened season last year due to COVID, Taunton’s year was cut short more than most with just six games played total. With many delays and pauses, it was tough for the Tigers to develop any sort of consistency on the ice so Taunton is excited for a full season ahead of them. Senior captain Nathan Fernandes is one to keep an eye on this year, one of the fastest skaters in the Hock. Fernandes has been with the program since he was in eighth grade and has been an impact player for the past couple of seasons. He scored five goals and had 10 assists during his sophomore season and had three goals and nine assists as a freshman. He will be one of the leaders both on and off the ice as a captain and he will spearhead the Taunton offense as they try to navigate through the always difficult Hockomock League schedule.
Shaun Fitzpatrick, Senior – King Philip
King Philip is coming off its first Hock title in 15 years and first-ever Kelley-Rex division crown, and with 12 returners and all three of its top scorers back from a year ago, the Warriors are aiming to be in the mix again this year. One of those returners and top scorers is senior left wing Shaun Fitzpatrick, who scored eight goals and added five assists to help the Warriors compile a 9-1 record with 61 goals scored last season. A crafty forward, Fitzpatrick has strong stick skills and an accurate shot on the move, but his decision-making under pressure makes him effective. With his speed and game IQ, Fitzpatrick can cover a lot of ice and always seems to be in the right position to make plays in either zone.
Brad Guden, Sophomore – King Philip
King Philip had the recipe for success last year, earning its first-ever Kelley-Rex division title and first Hock title in 15 years. One of the key ingredients was the emergence of then-freshman Brad Guden, who gave the Warriors an instant boost. He scored 10 goals and added 10 assists, finishing second in scoring with 20 points in the COVID-shortened season. This year, Guden makes the switch back to defense to help the Warriors shore up the blue line group. His ability to carry the puck out of the defensive zone and join into the offense will make King Philip a dangerous team offensively. KP has a lot of experience in its forward group so getting a boost to the scoring from the blue line will balance out the offense.
Chris Hormann, Junior – Mansfield
Mansfield had the luxury of Sean McCafferty between the pipes for a couple of years but there was no drop off when he graduated and Chris Hormann stepped in a year ago. Hormann was under a lot of pressure a season ago, recording a league-best 220 saves to help the Hornets grab five wins. Now with a year of experience under his belt, Hormann will be among the top goalies in the Hockomock League. The Hornets are going to lean on his experience heavily as they sort out their new defensive pairings, having graduated the majority of that unit from last year. Hormann does a really good job putting himself in position to make the stop and doesn’t give up many good rebound opportunities.
Eamon Kelly, Senior – Canton
Canton rarely lacks for scoring punch and this season should be no different. Kelly is back as the team’s leading scorer after recording eight goals and nine assists in just 12 games last year and he will be the focal point for this season’s high-powered offense. Strong with the puck and with a motor that doesn’t seem to stop, Kelly is hard to stop when he gets a head of steam entering the zone and has a willingness to chase pucks into the corners to keep plays alive. He is also willing to get into the physical battles in front of goal to get the rebound goals and tips that you need to keep scoring over the course of a long season. Kelly’s tenacity has made him a regular, when healthy, for the past three seasons and, with the Bulldogs aiming at yet another Davenport division crown and another deep playoff run, he will be counted on again to be the spark plug for one of the league’s top offensive units.
Nik Kojoian, Senior – North Attleboro
The league’s leading scorer last season, Kojoian scored nine goals and recorded a league-high 14 assists in 14 games last winter and the Rocketeers will be leaning on his experience in the offensive zone to make a challenge for a league title and to get back into the postseason mix. A high-energy player, Kojoian is a good decision-maker in the offensive zone and has the vision to create chances for his teammates. He is also a scrappy player who puts constant pressure on the defense in the forecheck, which leads to additional chances. Kojoian’s speed makes him a threat on the break out and North will look to take advantage of those transition situations. With a new coach and a full season ahead of them, the Rocketeers will have high expectations and experienced forwards like Kojoian will be the key to how far North can go this winter.
Dylan Marchand, Senior – Franklin
A dynamic forward, Marchand is one of the fastest skaters in the league and one of those rare players that seems to be going just as fast with the puck as he is without it. Franklin’s leading scorer from a year ago, he finished with eight goals and nine assists in 13 games. He has a strong, accurate shot even on the move and is a threat to score from anywhere inside the blue line. Marchand brings a lot of energy to the ice and is always driving towards the goal, putting pressure on the defensemen who are trying to stay in front of him. Never shying away from contact, he also starts the forecheck for Franklin and can provide defense from the front. With a schedule loaded with the top teams in Div. 1, the Panthers will be preparing themselves for a postseason run and Marchand’s scoring could be the key for Franklin extending its season well into March.
Nick Piazza, Senior – Attleboro
Last season was a difficult one for Attleboro, which recorded only one win and had to battle long layoffs over the course of the shortened season. Piazza will be hoping to put last year behind him and get back to the form that made him a standout goalie as a sophomore. In 2019-20, he allowed fewer than three goals a game and stopped more than 91 percent of the shots that he faced, finishing with 489 saves. Strong between the pipes with good positioning, Piazza reads the play well to be in the right spots but also has the quickness to react act the last second and make a big save. His size and his strength going post-to-post means he can come up with a stop even when it looks like the net is open. If Piazza can get back to his play from two seasons ago, the Bombardiers could make a quick recovery from last season and be in position to earn a way back into the state tournament.
Jack Watts, Senior – Foxboro
Foxboro lost six games last year but four of those were to Franklin and Canton and the other two were against North Attleboro by a combined three goals. The Warriors will lean on experienced players this year and Watts, a four-year varsity player, will be one of the leaders in the offensive zone. A strong, physical presence on both ends of the ice, Watts is a tough combo of size and speed and adds an accurate shot. He can go into the corners and battle but also can get out on the break and beat defenders down the ice. Watts had four goals last season but in a full sophomore campaign he had 13 goals and 14 assists and the potential is there for another big winter. The Warriors will have the goal of getting back into the state tournament this season and they will be leaning heavily on Watts and the senior class to provide the firepower to get them back in the playoff mix.
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Boys Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Kelley-Rex Division MVP
Rocco Bianculli, King Philip
Kelley-Rex Division All Stars
Aiden Dryjowiz, Attleboro
Nick Piazza, Attleboro
Dylan Marchand, Franklin
Conor O’Neill, Franklin
Declan Lovett, Franklin
Conor Cooke, King Philip
David Lawler, King Philip
Rocco Bianculli, King Philip
Brad Guden, King Philip
Cam Page, Mansfield
Joseph Gormley, Mansfield
Brady Nichols, Taunton
Davenport Division MVP
Sean Connolly, Canton
Davenport Division All Stars
Sean Connolly, Canton
Liam Polles, Canton
Eamon Kelly, Canton
Dylan Coyne, Canton
Kirk Leach, Foxboro
Brady Daly, Foxboro
Jack Watts, Foxboro
Nik Kojoian, North Attleboro
Brady Sarro, North Attleboro
Charlie Connolly, North Attleboro
Ross Carroll, Oliver Ames
Charlie Caputo, Stoughton
Today’s games are listed below.
North Attleboro, 49 @ Canton, 51 – Final – North Attleboro nearly erased a 21-point deficit but saw it’s comeback attempt come up just short at the buzzer when it’s attempt at the game-winning three went in-and-out. Canton got off to a great start, staking a 17-5 lead through eight minutes and pushing it to 31-16 at halftime. The Bulldogs looked to be in full control when they carried a 49-28 edge into the fourth but the game completely changed in the final frame. The Rocketeers limited Canton to just two points and its offense came to life. Tommy Onorato hit a pair of threes and scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth and Brody Rosenberg scored six of his team-high 16 points to help North Attleboro rally to get back within two. North got one final stop and launched a deep three at the buzzer but the ball went in-and-out and Canton held on for the win. Steven Burbank scored all 11 of his points in the first half while Ryan Connerney (14 points), Will Keefe (nine points), and Eric Mischler (13 points) all connected from downtown in the third to help Canton build its big lead.
Stoughton, 72 @ Sharon, 53 – Final – Stoughton had its best offensive outing of the season with nine players finding the scoring column, including four players in double figures. The Black Knights jumped out to a 19-10 lead after a quarter, adding 15 points in each the second and third quarters, and pulled away for good with a 23-point fourth quarter. Brett Pendenza and Waseem Sablon each hit four three-pointers and finished tied for the team-high in points with 14 each. Connor Andrews added two threes of his own and finished with 12 points while Jake Queeney added a pair of threes and a total of 10 points for the Black Knights, who led 34-22 at halftime. Sharon’s Matt Baskin had a game-high 19 points along with nine rebounds while sophomore Matt Baur added 15 points and five boards.
Mansfield, 58 vs. Plymouth North, 38 – Final – Mansfield established a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back in win over non-league foe Plymouth North. The Hornets jumped out to a 20-9 lead and then limited the visitors to just two points in the second as the advantage ballooned to 30-11 by halftime. Mansfield kept its large lead going into (47-27) and throughout the final quarter. Senior Matt Boen scored nine of his game-high 25 points in the opening quarter and added two more threes in the second. Jack Colby added nine points for the Hornets, who had nine players score.
Canton, 51 @ Stoughton, 35 – Final – In a game that both offenses took a while to get going, a strong defensive first half proved to be decisive for the Bulldogs. Canton held Stoughton scoreless in the opening quarter and to just eight points in the first half. The Bulldogs scored 20 to take a double-digit lead at the break, led by Fay Gallery, who scored 10 of her game-high 19 in the first half. Things remained tight in the third quarter as the teams combined for 16 points and Canton went into the fourth leading 29-15. After a struggle to score for 24 minutes, the teams exploded in the fourth, combining for 42 points in the final eight minutes. Gallery scored nine in the quarter and Kiara Cerruti added seven of her 13 points. Samya DaSilva added seven, including four points in the fourth. Makaiyah Singleton Rivera paced the Black Knights with a team-high 13 points, including seven in the final quarter. Kate Bulger scored eight points and knocked down a pair of threes in the fourth.
Oliver Ames, 62 @ North Attleboro, 33 – Final – Oliver Ames built a double-digit lead by halftime and then pulled away by holding the Rocketeers to just 13 points in the second half. Caroline Peper led a balanced scoring attack for the visitors while Hailey Bourne chipped in with 10 points and Caroline Flynn finished with eight points. Amanda Kaiser scored 12 points in the loss and was helped by Cailyn Maxcy’s seven points and six from Ava McKeon.
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Liam Anastasia had a goal and assist and Chris Hormann made 14 saves in the shutout, as the Hornets earned their first division win of the season. Brayden Purtell opened the scoring with 6:29 left in the first, when he tapped in a loose puck at the far post. It stayed a one-goal game until 10:50 left in the second when Mark DeGirolamo added an unassisted goal. Late in the third period, Anastasia stole the puck in the corner and played a pass across the crease to Kyle Oakley at the far post to make it 3-0. He added an empty net goal in the final minute to seal the win. Aidan Diggin nearly got Attleboro back into the game in the second period but had a breakaway effort come back off the post and and then struck the crossbar with a shot early in the third. Nick Piazza made 35 saves in the loss.
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 7 – Final
Foxboro @ Oliver Ames, 4:00
Taunton, 2 @ King Philip, 9 – Final – Junior Shaun Fitzpatrick scored a hat trick and freshman Brad Guden added two goals a the Warriors skated to a win over visiting Taunton. Junior Sean Crowther registered four assists in the win while senior Shea Cunningham picked up three helpers.
Boston Latin @ Stoughton/Sharon, 6:30
Attleboro @ Franklin (virtual)
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Heading into Wednesday night’s meeting at the New England Sports Village, Attleboro and Oliver Ames had combined to play just five games in the opening four weeks of the season. Even this game was a last-minute addition when OA’s game with Canton had to be postponed because of a rink closure.
It is certainly not the ideal circumstance to be taking over a program, but first-year Attleboro coach Greg Chamberlain had reason to smile after the Bombardiers held off a comeback by the visiting Tigers and picked up a 5-3 victory. It was Chamberlain’s first win as head coach.
“It’s been quite the interesting ride thus far,” Chamberlain said with a laugh. “We’re just happy to get a game in and my first win, it’s nice. With no state tournament, now is the time to teach. You have to have these guys playing and learning from their mistakes.”
After slow starts in both of the first two games, including a three-goal, first period deficit against North Attleboro on Friday, Attleboro made a point of getting off to a good start against OA. The Bombardiers would take control of the game early, scoring three times on their first four shots.
Four minutes into the game, Aidan Diggin got free in the offensive zone and beat OA freshman goalie Nolan Gemmiti to open the scoring. It took another eight minutes for the hosts to double their lead, but then just 12 seconds to tack on a third.
Nate Parker created the second goal with a long rush down the right wing and then a perfect feed across the crease to Diggin camped out at the back post for an easy tap in. Almost right from the face-off, Attleboro had another rush and a shot by Colin Flynn that found the back of the net.
“The first two games we had bad starts and then marched back, so that was the key to the game today to get off to a quick start,” Chamberlain explained. “Knowing their coaches and hearing they’ve been going through the same thing (with Covid-related cancelations), it was like okay boys let’s jump on it, we’ve been practicing all week.”
Despite trailing 3-0 after the first period, OA had created its fair share of chances. Matt Lawson forced a pad save from Attleboro goalie Nick Piazza with a shot from the point, Sean McCarthy raced down the wing and drew a shoulder stop, and Jack Perron teed up Lawson for a shot in the slot only for Piazza to again make the save.
“We’ve had two Covid issues and been shut down, we’ve played three games, we’ve probably had seven practices so far, so we haven’t really had a chance to work on anything,” admitted OA coach Mike Zucarelli. “They played with passion and heart today and that’s all I ask them to do. Just play for each other and play it’s like your last game.”
Attleboro pushed the lead to four less than two minutes into the second period. On the power play, Parker controlled the puck behind the OA goal, faked like he was heading out one side and then ducked back around to stuff it over the line at the near post.
It looked like the game might get out of hand, but then OA answered back.
Freshman Andrew Livingstone capped a good spell of pressure in front of Piazza by forcing a save with a snap shot from the high slot. After being forced to the bench and being treated for a cut on his chin during the first period, Livingstone returned to the ice and buried a rebound from Kevin Tremblay’s shot from the point. It was his first varsity goal.
The Bombardiers were spurred into action after the goal. Diggin fired a pass to Parker right in front only for Gemmiti to stand tall and make the save. With 7:28 left in the period, Attleboro’s pressure paid off with a fifth goal. The puck was sitting on the goal line and Jake Ward was able to knock it across for a 5-1 lead.
After a tough start to the night, Gemmiti settled down and made six saves in the second period. He stopped an Aidan Dryjowicz chance from the right wing right before OA got its second, as McCarthy finished from a tight angle.
“He put the pads on this year so we could have a JV program,” Zucarelli said of Gemmiti. “He got thrown in our second game against KP and earned his stripes that night. I couldn’t be prouder of that young man right now. He played outstanding today. For someone who’s never played net before this year, he played awesome.”
Down three goals heading to the third period, OA came back out on the ice with a purpose. Livingstone had an early chance smack off the crossbar. Gemmiti came up with another big stop on Parker before the Tigers struck for a third. Ross Carroll cut inside from the right wing boards and went top shelf with a wrister that gave Piazza no chance.
The Tigers kept pressing. OA would outshoot the Bombardiers 9-2 in the third (and 26-14 for the game), but couldn’t find a way past the Attleboro netminder. Landon Grothe (one of the eight freshmen on the OA roster) forced the best save with a shot from the point through traffic that Piazza managed to get a toe on.
“He’s the best goalie in the league,” Chamberlain said. “To have what we have with him is an absolute luxury. It’s a new system too that I’m teaching all of them, so it’s good to have a kid with a ton of poise back there because I want to have the ‘D’ be more aggressive.”
By HockomockSports.com Staff
Player are listed alphabetically
Rocco Bianculli, Senior – King Philip
King Philip has plans for trying to topple Franklin’s reign at the top of the Kelley-Rex division and Bianculli, a four-year varsity player, is one of the reasons for optimism. A quintessential attack-minded defenseman, Bianculli is always looking to push the puck up the ice and has the quickness to turn a standard breakout into an odd-man rush. His strength in possession and his stickhandling ability make him tough to stop in open ice and he has the vision to find scoring chances for himself or for teammates. He led the Warriors in assists and tied for the team lead with 24 points last season. Bianculli isn’t afraid to take risks moving forward and more often than not that leads to a shot on the offensive end. He’s also a physical presence in the defensive one and reads plays well to cut the danger. His energy is a key to KP’s success on both ends of the ice and a critical component to the Warriors making a league title challenge.
Sean Connolly, Junior – Canton
During its run to back-to-back state championships, Canton was known for a team that could score goals in bunches, overwhelming teams with its ability to put the puck in the net. The Bulldogs were also a dominant defensive team, allowing opponents only the rare open look at goal. Connolly has emerged from the pack as one of the top blueliners for the Bulldogs after an impressive sophomore season. He combines the speed, stickhandling, passing, and willingness to be physical in the corners that make Canton defensemen difficult to play against. He can also jump into the attack himself, scoring two goals and recording six assists last season, and showing the knack for finding the right breakout pass to get the Bulldogs transitioning up the ice. With a couple of years of experience at the varsity level, Connolly will have to be a leader on the ice this season and help the various new faces on the roster acclimate quickly and keep the Bulldogs at the top of the Davenport division.
Eamon Kelly, Junior – Canton
After back-to-back D2 state championships (with a combined one loss over two seasons), Canton has established itself as one of the top programs in the state. There will be a lot of new faces for the Bulldogs this winter and a lot of layers taking on bigger roles to try and maintain the team’s dominance of the Davenport division. Kelly is battling back from an injury for the second season in a row but will be one of the main attacking threats for Canton this year. The crafty forward scored five goals and had 12 assists last winter, despite missing games at the start of the season. A solid forechecker and a player willing to get to the front of the net, Kelly has popped up with big goals in big games, and his willingness to battle in the corners and fight for the puck open up scoring opportunities for his linemates. With graduations taking their toll on the roster, Kelly is Canton’s top returning scorer and will be counted on to make the jump up to the top lines and produce. Canton reloads rather than rebuilds and Kelly will be leading the cause this winter, as the Bulldogs seek an 11th straight league title.
Kirk Leach, Senior – Foxboro
Each of the past three years, Foxboro has set a new program best for wins and points in a season and last winter added a run to the D3 South semifinal as well. The shortened season means the Warriors won’t be able to keep that trend going but there is still a lot to play for and a lot of attacking firepower to make Foxboro a tough team to beat. Leach is one of the main offensive threats for the Warriors this season. Fresh off a 20-goal, 14-assist junior year, Leach enters the winter as one of the top scoring threats in the league. A creative forward with good speed and the size and strength to keep hold of the puck under pressure, Leach consistently find space for himself and his teammates. He can burst through the neutral zone to create odd-man rushes or go down into the corner and battle for pucks to maintain possession. Leach was the third-leading scorer in the Hock last year and will be hoping to keep Foxboro on the front foot again this winter.
Joe LeBlanc, Senior – Franklin
Year in and year out, Franklin is one of the toughest teams to break down defensively. They are one of the most disciplined groups that clog shooting lanes and work tirelessly to interrupt passes. And the Panthers usually have one defenseman they can rely on most and this year it’s the experience of senior Joe LeBlanc. In this third year on varsity, LeBlanc plays in virtually every situation for the Panthers – five-on-five, penalty kill, and power play. Not only is he a reliable option anchoring the blue line unit in the defensive end of the ice, LeBlanc is a weapon when the Panthers push forward. Franklin is aiming to be a puck-possession type team this year and LeBlanc’s skill with the puck will help in the attacking end. Last year as a junior, LeBlanc scored one goal and had eight assists.
Dylan Marchand, Junior – Franklin
Franklin junior Dylan Marchand burst onto the scene last year, emerging as one of the most dangerous attacking players in the Hockomock League. His speed is the first thing that jumps out, racing away from defensemen into the attacking area. Even if it seems like he is out of the play, his speed gets him right back in the mix. Not only can is he able to use his speed to work his way around and past defensemen, but he also has strong stick handling skills and does a nice job finishing around the net. He was a catalyst for the Panthers’ offense last year, scoring four goals along with registering nine assists. Look for Marchand to take a big step forward this year with an expanded role in the offense.
Brady Nichols, Senior – Taunton
If the Tigers get on the ice again this season — and we certainly hope that’s the case — the strength of the squad will be in its blue line group. Taunton has two of the top defensemen in the league in senior Brady Nichols, a Hockomock League All Star selection last year, and junior Jack DeMoura, a HockomockSports.com All Underclassman Team selection. Nichols is one of the most experienced players in the league, part of the varsity squad since he was an eighth-grader. Not only will he relied upon to lead the way defensively during his fifth season with the Tigers, but Nichols is also a catalyst on the offensive end too. His speed allows him to attack from the blue line and he has a strong shot as well. During his junior year, Nichols was among the top scorers in the Hock with 14 goals and 17 assists.
Mansfield relied on its top line for the majority of its offense last season but graduated all three players that combined for nearly 70% of the team’s goals. That means head coach Mike Balzarini will need some new players to step up and produce offensively. One candidate to step up and lead the charge will be senior captain Cam Page. In his third year on varsity, Page will see an expanded role this season. He will provide a lot of leadership both on and off the ice for the Hornets, who have a relatively inexperienced group of players. Page is a hard-worker that does a nice job back-checking and setting an example for others to follow. Offensively, he isn’t a flashy player but makes a lot of good decisions and is an unselfish player, always willing to make a pass to turn a good chance into a great chance.
Nick Piazza, Junior – Attleboro
New Attleboro coach Greg Chamberlain considers goalie to be a position of strength this season and Piazza’s return between the pipes is one of the main reasons for that. The junior netminder had a breakout season in 2019-20, earning All-Underclassman Team honors after an impressive debut as the starter. He made 489 saves in 19 games, recording a 0.911 save percentage and a pair of shutouts. In back-to-back games, Piazza held Mansfield and Canton to just one goal apiece, keeping Attleboro in games against two perennial league powers. He showed remarkable poise for a young goalie, not getting flustered as teams crashed the net, staying with and clearing pucks from the crease, and pulling off big stops against some of the league’s top forwards. His composure in net was a confidence boost for the guys playing in front of him, knowing that they could count on him to make the stops. As Attleboro learns a new system under a new coaching staff, the Bombardiers know they can rely on Piazza to make the stops to give them a chance at grabbing results.
Tyler Sarro, Senior – North Attleboro
North Attleboro is starting a new goalie and has a lot of new faces on the blue line so the Rocketeers will be leaning on its experience on the offensive end of the ice, especially early in the season. One of the most experienced players is senior forward Tyler Sarro, who is in his fourth year on the varsity squad. Sarro is a reliable player that is going to provide a lot of leadership both on and off the ice. He sets the tone with his hard work, a two-way type player that works hard on the backcheck. On offense, he does a lot of the little things right and his work ethic is contagious. He’ll be joined on North’s top line with his brother Brady, another experienced Rocketeer forward on the other wing, and center Nik Kojoian. Sarro, a captain, will look to build on his production last season when he scored once and had 10 assists.