Mansfield Rides Power Play Success Past King Philip

Mansfield boys hockey
Mansfield’s Matty Copponi (left) and King Philip’s Brendan Shandley battle for possession of the puck. in the first period. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
FOXBORO, Mass. – It’s not an ideal scenario to surrender an early goal, but sometimes it can serve as a wake-up call.

Such was the case on Wednesday evening, as King Philip scored just over two minutes into the game but the Mansfield boys hockey team responded in impressive fashion, eventually skating away with a 6-3 decision on the back of four power play goals.

King Philip capitalized on a soft turnover early on to take the lead but the goal only seemed to spark Mansfield as the Hornets tacked on three goals over the final eight minutes of the period to seize a 3-1 lead, an advantage it never surrendered.

“I thought the first goal woke us up, absolutely,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Balzarini said. “We’ve been in that situation before against Taunton and responded well. It’s been taking us a little bit to get going in the first but I’m proud of the way we battled back.

“We started off a little flat footed but I thought we battled back and had a tremendous finish to the first period. The second period was not conducive of how we want to play. We won the third period but the penalties kind of took away from the win, not enough discipline.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

KP sophomore Paul McDonald ended up with the puck on his stick after the turnover, carried towards goal and slid a pass across where sophomore Conor Cooke just beat the defenseman’s stick to one-time it into the goal for a 1-0 Warrior lead 2:08 into the game.

From there, the period belonged to the Hornets. On the second power play chance of the frame, the Hornets cashed in. Sophomore Matty Copponi did the majority of the work down low before his shot hit the bottom of the crossbar and stayed out. However, senior Coleman O’Brien was right there to bang the loose puck in to tie it 1-1.

The momentum stayed with Mansfield and the home team cashed in just a minute later. This time, senior Jack Garland won possession behind the net and tossed the puck in front to a wide open Jake Lund, and the senior bored it for a 2-1 advantage.

The teams traded genuine scoring chances over the next two minutes with Mansfield senior Chris Copponi being turned away from KP goalie James Lewis (28 saves) and KP junior Ethan McGuire taking a pass from Luke D’Amico, but the shot was just over the net.

Mansfield added to its advantage with 3:40 left in the period as Brad Grant drew a defenseman to the sideboards, took a hit while finding Garland in the slot for a one-timer and a 3-1 lead.

KP had two good chances in the final minute on a power play but both Rocco Bianculli (slap shot) and Brendan Shandley (wrist shot) were turned away by Mansfield junior goalie Sean McCafferty (24 saves).

After killing an early Hornet power play in the second, King Philip went on a 5-on-4 for five minutes. While having a couple of chances with the man-advantage, mainly Shandley’s low shot hitting off the post, the Warriors really took control when the Hornets were whistled for another penalty.

On the 5-on-3, Bianculli delivered a perfectly weighted pass as he stepped in from the point across the ice to an open Ryan Fitzpatrick for a one-timer, bringing KP within a goal at 3-2.

But the Warriors were done in by another penalty, this time an interference call while in possession in the attacking end. Mansfield needed just 20 seconds to cash in for its second power play goal, as Matty Copponi worked his way from the corner to in front of goal and got just enough on his backhand for the puck to cross and Mansfield took a 4-2 lead into the second intermission.

“It’s one of the things we’ve struggled with but we’ve been working on [the power play] lately in practice,” Balzarini said. “The guys are keeping it simple which is good. The results are there. If we just stick to what the game plan is, we’ll get what we want. We were four for six on the power play so that was good, and our penalty kill was pretty good too.”

A penalty-filled third period saw three goals, the first two adding onto Mansfield’s lead. After KP couldn’t convert on a man-advantage opportunity early on, the Warriors were whistled for a cross check with 5:53 to go. A minute into the power play. KP was hit with another penalty, and the Hornets went on a 5-on-3 power play.

Mansfield quick cashed in with Grant firing a hard wrist shot from a tight angle into the back of the net. Just before his shot, KP was hit with another penalty so Mansfield’s two-man advantage continued after the goal. Just before one penalty expired, Garland took a feed from Kevin Belanger to make it 6-2.

“We can’t stay out of the penalty box, no discipline,” said King Philip head coach Paul Carlow. “The same thing happened against North too. Playing at full strength, I thought we were every bit as good as [Mansfield]. At the end of the day, playing down a man, playing 5-on-3, you can’t win hockey games like that. Until we get it figured out, and play five-on-five….the league is too tough. If you take too many penalties, you won’t win.

“I thought the first half of the first period was good hockey for both teams. Then it just turned into a mess, no one wants to play that type of hockey.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Mansfield was hit with three penalties in the final five minutes, and the Warriors cashed in on a 5-on-3 chance with under a minute to go. Fitzpatrick connected with junior Joe Boselli with a nice pass, and Boselli hammered it in with a one-timer.

Mansfield boys hockey (5-1-1 Hockomock, 11-2-1 overall) move into first place in the Kelley-Rex with the win, holding a one-point lead over Franklin with two games to go. The Hornets travel to Asiaf Arena on Saturday for a big clash with Oliver Ames, who is just two points out of first place. King Philip (3-3-0, 7-6-0) is home with a 7:20 tilt against the Panthers.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/16/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 71 vs. New Bedford, 48 – FinalAttleboro put a stop to New Bedford’s transition offense in the second half and ran away with a big win over the visiting Whalers. The Bombardiers led 35-31 at half but had a dominant third quarter, outscoring New Bedford 18-5 in the third to pull away. Attleboro limited New Bedford to just three field goals in the second half. Attleboro junior Bryant Ciccio had a team-high 24 points while Qualeem Charlies hauled in 15 rebounds.

Foxboro, 43 @ Bishop Feehan, 40 – FinalFoxboro held Bishop Feehan scoreless in the third quarter and then withstood a late push from the Shamrocks to secure a win on the road. Foxboro led 33-21 going into the fourth quarter and had a seven-point advantage with two minutes left before Bishop Feehan made a late push to get close. Anthony Mollica paced the Warriors with 11 points while Will Morrison added 10 points.

Boys Hockey
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final

Canton, 4 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalCanton senior Ryan Nolte scored a hat trick as the Bulldogs remained unbeaten in both Hockomock League play and overall.

Stoughton, 1 @ Franklin, 11 – Final

North Attleboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

King Philip, 9 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalKing Philip registered 41 shots on net and had three players score a pair of goals in a win on the road over Taunton. Chris Daniels, Aiden Boulger, and Rocco Bianculli each scored twice for he Warriors while Brendan Shandley, Joe Boselli, and Paul McDonald each scored once.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 2 vs. Duxbury, 5 – Final

Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 2 @ Norwood, 4 – FinalEmma Pereira and Alex Ledin scored the goals for the Warriors in the loss.

Stoughton vs. St. Joseph Prep/Mt. Alvernia, 7:00

Wrestling
North Attleboro, 39 @ Canton, 19 – Final

Foxboro, 41 @ Sharon, 30 – Final

Franklin, 27 @ Mansfield, 30 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this dual meet.

King Philip, 23 @ Oliver Ames, 45 – FinalSix Tigers scored pinfall victories and OA senior Dean Pacini earned a win in a showdown of two of the Hockomock’s best grapplers at 195 as Oliver Ames knocked off King Philip. John Dobbin, Starvos Constantinous, Nick McGovern, Nelson Malone, Billy Tat, and Andrew Fraser all won by pin for the Tigers. Pacini knocked off KP’s Shawn Conniff, 6-3, in a close match at 195. Remi Creighton and Joe Savino also had wins for OA.

Stoughton @ Milford, 7:00

Taunton, 13 @ New Bedford, 54 – FinalTaunton suffered a loss on the road to New Bedford but picked up wins from Christian Balmain (152), Candido Santos (160, pin), and Joseph Kazlauskas (170).

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro vs. Newton North, 7:00

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/26/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Hockey
Mansfield, 2 vs. Shrewsbury, 3 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Mansfield outshot the Colonials 29-19 but the two-time defending D3 state champs (who moved to D1 this season) pulled out a one-goal victory at Rodman Arena. Jake Lund scored the game-tying goal in the first period, assisted by Austin Ricker and Brad Grant, but the Colonials scored twice in the second, including the eventual game-winner with a two-man advantage. With the goalie pulled and less than two minutes on the clock, Mansfield got back into the game when freshman Mark DeGirolamo knocked in a rebound of a shot by Matt Copponi, but Shrewsbury held on.

King Philip, 3 vs. Milton, 2 – FinalKing Philip’s Conor Cooke scored the game-winning goal with 6:28 left in the third period to lift the Warriors to a win over the Wildcats. Paul McDonald had the assist on the game-winner. KP took a 1-0 lead in the first period off a power play goal from Ryan Fitzpatrick, assisted by Brendan Shandley. Kyle Gray scored unassisted in the second but Milton scored twice to make it a 2-2 game. James Lewis made 15 saves in net for KP.

Stoughton, 0 vs. Littleton, 12 – Final

Girls Hockey
Franklin, 3 @ Algonquin, 2 – FinalAmanda Lewandowski, Cassi Ronan, and Regan Paterson (game-winner) each scored goals for the unbeaten Panthers and Gabby Colace (14 saves) picked up the win in goal.

Stoughton vs. Cohasset, 4:00