North Attleboro, 3 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – North Attleboro took a lead three times in the game but Mansfield had an answer each time. North’s Jason McNeany put the Rocketeers up but Mansfield freshman Chris Jenkins scored an unassisted goal to tie the game. Zach McGowan put Big Red up 2-1 late in the first but the Hornets tied the game on the power play in the second, Joey Olsen converting off assists from Matt Farragher and Tyler Oakley. Drew Wissler put North ahead 3-2 but Jenkins tied the game on assists from Olsen and Farragher with 4:15 to play. Tony Rullo made 28 saves for the Hornets while Ryan Warren made 30 saves for Big Red.
Oliver Ames, 5 vs. Brockton, 1 – Final – OA junior Rory Madden netted a pair of goals while junior Eric LeBlanc, senior Evan DiMartinis and senior Jared Costello each scored once for the Tigers. Sophomore Cullen Gallagher had three assists. “It was a strong team effort, a complete game from all three lines,” OA head coach Sean Bertoni said.
Canton, 1 @ Hingham, 2 – Final
Franklin, 1 @ Medfield, 3 – Final
King Philip, 1 @ Norwell, 0 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 6 vs. Shawsheen, 0 – Final
Stoughton, 4 @ Nauset/Cape Tech/Monomoy, 5 – Final
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Former Franklin goalie Sean Bertoni (Class of 2002) made his first return to his alma mater as a head coach on Saturday night, leading Oliver Ames into Pirelli Veterans Arena with a chance to take control of the Kelley-Rex title race.
But it was current Panthers netminder Cam Benham that stole the headlines and the two points with a 40-save performance that helped Franklin claim a 4-1 victory and control of its own destiny as it seeks to clinch a sixth straight league championship.
“That’s the goaltender that we need every night,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “We’re looking forward to Cam getting on a roll. He had a shutout the other night, played unbelievable for us tonight, made some really big saves, and kept us in the game.”
Benham needed to be ready right from the opening face-off because the Tigers came flying out of the gates with 18 shots in the opening period and used their speed to create host of great scoring chances.
Eric LeBlanc set up Cullen Gallagher in front just a couple minutes in only for the sophomore to fire wide. Five minutes into the game, Brett Williams found Korey Sweezey in front alone but Benham made a point-blank pad save to keep the game scoreless. Rory Madden got free for a shorthanded chance but again Benham was up to the challenge.
Franklin took advantage of those saves and of a four-minute major penalty to get the lead against the run of play. Tom Sicchio’s shot from the point was kicked aside by Zach Walsh (16 saves) but right to Matt Holmes and he knocked in the rebound.
“I knew they were going to [start quick] and they were all over us,” admitted Spillane. “We weathered the storm and we sort of had our opportunities and we found the back of the net.”
Right at the end of the first, Benham came through with a flurry of saves, batting aside five or six shots from the Tigers who were trying to head into the first intermission on even terms.
“The first period was probably our best period of the season,” said Bertoni. “I was saying to the coaches maybe if we were a little bit older because young guys in a big game, maybe they were a little tight on their stick.”
Franklin settled down after the break and started the second much stronger and finding ways to slow down the speedy Tigers.
Just a minute into the period, Adam Assad controlled the puck near his own blue line and took a hit to feed Sicchio pushing forward into the neutral zone. Sicchio drove into the attacking zone, dragged the puck past his defender and fired a shot into the bottom corner for a 2-0 lead.
“He has stick skills, which is nice because he can make those plays,” said Spillane of Sicchio. “He’s really the backbone of our defense right now.”
Three minutes later and the Tigers were stunned again, as a shot from the point by freshman Connor Opelt was redirected in front by Jeremy Miller and past the left pad of Walsh for a 3-0 lead.
When asked if his team had been disheartened by dominating the first period but trailing, Bertoni responded, “I don’t think so because we’ve been there before. They were so excited to start the second period especially because of how we ended the first. We must have had four shots in that scramble and just couldn’t bury one.”
Gallagher had a chance from the slot to get one back for OA but fired over the bar and Williams set up LeBlanc in front for a tip towards goal that was blocked by Benham.
The Tigers had the final seven shots of the second but trailed by three goals entering the third period. Within the first minute, Franklin had extended the lead to 4-0. Jack McGrath passed the puck across the blue line to Sicchio, who sent the puck towards net. Luke Downie redirected the shot from the slot and inside the post.
When asked if the Panthers had made any adjustments to try and combat OA’s speed, Spillane replied, “We’ve played fast teams before, we knew what we were in for and we just needed to pick up our tempo. Against a team like that, you have to play fast and move the puck.”
The Tigers finally got on the board on a power play goal with 1:32 remaining. Benham made two saves but the second rebound popped out to Williams, who knocked it into an open net. OA got some energy to finish with another flurry, totaling 14 shots in the third period, but Benham stood tall again to ensure that the Tigers only got one on the board.
“They played hard, just some of the penalties…I told them when we play 5-on-5 that we can skate with anyone,” said Bertoni. “We generate offense when we’re 5-on-5.”
Bertoni had previously returned as an assistant coach with the Tigers during the 2013-14 season and watched then Tigers goalie Jimmy Tierney make 40-plus saves for the win. He is now 1-1 coming back to his alma mater (where his father Bill Bertoni and his uncle Bruce Bertoni, who is still an assistant coach for the Panthers, are both members of the Franklin Hockey Hall of Fame).
He was asked how it felt to be back here and on the visiting bench and, with the hint of a smile, Bertoni said, “It felt good, it felt good…Man…I wanted to steal this one.”
Franklin (9-4-0, 4-1-0) has jumped to the top of the league standings at the midway point of the league campaign. Next up for the Panthers is King Philip at Pirelli on Wednesday, while Oliver Ames (7-4-1, 3-2-1) will travel to Foxboro.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Sophomore Anthony Zammiello and freshman Jack Connolly each scored a goal and had in an assist in the first period for the Rocketeers.
Canton, 6 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Freshman John Hagan netted a hat trick to lead the Bulldogs to a division win on the road. Stoughton head coach said goalie AJ Scott played well in goal for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Cullen Gallagher registered three points, with two goals and an assist to pace the hosting Tigers. Juniors Eric LeBlanc and Rory Madden each had a goal while senior Jared Costello had two assists. OA Goalie Zach Walsh made nine saves to record his first shutout of the season.
St. John’s Shrewsbury Quad (Canton) – Canton went 0-2 at the meet, falling to both Lynnfield-North Reading and St. John’s Shrewsbury.
Foxboro @ Duxbury Quad – Foxboro went 2-0-1 on the day. The Warriors rolled past Quincy 70-6 then beat No. 8 ranked Marshfield 42-33. Foxboro finished the day with a 39-39 tie with No. 4 ranked Methuen.
Franklin @ Merrimack Duals, – Franklin finished second out of 11 teams at the team duals, going 4-1 overall. Franklin beat Biddeford (Maine) 48-19, Alvirne (N.H.) 46-22, St. Johnsbury (Vt.) 49-6, and Lawrence (Mass.) 40-20. The Panthers lost to Marshwood (Maine) 45-18 in the final match.
Whitman-Hanson Quad (King Philip, Sharon) – Sharon went 3-0 at the Whitman-Hanson Quad. The Eagles beat KP to start the day, 51-21, and then followed it with wins against North Quincy (60-24) and Whitman-Hanson (54-18).
Cape Cod Invitational (Mansfield, Taunton) – Mansfield claimed the team title at the Cape Cod Invitational with 136.5 points. Freshmen Antonios Sevastos (106) and Vinnie Holmes (170) both finished first at their weight classes, while Will Stratton (126) and Ford DelVecchio (22) both took second place finishes. Taunton had three wrestlers place: Alex Rodriguez (138) placed second, Nuno Camara placed (182) was third and Woudanly Danger (220) placed fourth.
Milford @ Hopkinton, 10:00AM
Canton, 120.8 @ Franklin, 123.4 – Final – Franklin junior Liz Traphagen won the all around with a 34.7 – scoring a 8.3 on vault, 8.7 on bars and beam and a 9.0 on floor – to lead the Panthers to their first win since reestablishing the program. Sophomore Sadie Rondeau was second in all around with a 33.2 – scoring an 8.1 on vault, 7.4 on bars, 8.0 on beam and 8.2 on floor.
Canton, 4 vs. Sandwich, 2 – Final – Senior Rebecca Eckler scored two goals while sophomore Maggie Malloy added two assists.
Franklin, 4 @ Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake, 11 – Final
King Philip, 6 @ St. Joseph Prep/Mt. Alvernia, 0 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 0 vs. Medway/Ashland, 2 – Final
Stoughton, 2 vs. Quincy/North Quincy, 11 – Final
Attleboro, 128 vs. Lowell, 119 – Final
North Attleboro, 39 @ Cranston East, 67 – Final – North Attleboro’s Caroline Perry scored a team-high nine points but the Rocketeers couldn’t overcome 21 points from McKenzie Richards.
King Philip, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Collin Cooke netted a hat trick to pace King Philip to the win. Stoughton sophomore goalie AJ Scott made 42 saves for the Black Knights.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – In a back and forth game, Oliver Ames netted the equalizer with just three minutes left to earn a point. OA junior Rory Madden scored his second goal of the game in the third period for the equalizer while Max Ward also had a goal in the tie. OA head coach Sean Bertoni said sophomore James Beatty had an outstanding game for the Tigers.
Malden Catholic Quad (Canton, Mansfield) – Canton went 4-0 on the day, including avenging an earlier season loss. The Bulldogs picked up wins over Milton (51-27), Malden (27-12) and Malden Catholic (53-27) as well as a 37-36 win over Mansfield. The Hornets also had wins over Malden (42-12), Malden Catholic (45-37) and Milton (43-34). Mansfield had five grapplers go undefeated on the day: Antonios Sevastos (106) and Shane Cremmen (182) went 2-0, Jayden Curley (160) and Vinnie Holmes (170) went 3-0 and senior Ford DelVecchio (220) went 4-0. Freshman Will Stratton (126) and junior Hunter Shea (195) both went 3-1.
Carver Quad (Foxboro) – Foxboro went 2-1 on the day.
Algonquin Quad (Franklin) – Franklin went 3-0 on the day, picking up wins over West Springfield, Algonquin and Framingham, to improve to 15-0 on the season.
Holliston Quad (Milford) – Milford went 2-1 on the day.
Norton Quad (Oliver Ames), 9:00AM – Oliver Ames went 2-1 at the Norton Quad, beating Brockton (42-33) and Sabis (48-21) but falling to the host Lancers (41-31). Cobey Williamson (120) went 2-0 with a pair of pins while Liston Funai (132) went 3-0 on the day. Ryan DeCosta (113), Brandon Belleton (138), Eric Berardi (152), Dean Pacini (195) and Jack Mills (285) each had two wins on the day.
Sharon Quad (Sharon), 10:00AM
Metheun Quad (Taunton), 10:00AM
Canton, 1 vs. Hingham, 1 – Final
Stoughton, 1 @ Marshfield, 15 – Final
Attleboro, 138 vs. Lowell, 133 – Final
Foxboro, 65 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 36 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Wellesley, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames scored with just 20 seconds left to play to break the deadlock and earn the two points on the road. Junior Rory Madden netted a pair of goals in the win, including the game-winner. Junior Eric LeBlanc also scored for the Tigers. Senior Zach Walsh made 27 saves in net for Oliver Ames.
Taunton, 14 vs. New Bedford, 1 – Final – Taunton had 19 different players register a point in the big win over New Bedford. Jaden Weyant netted a hat trick while Brady Nichols and Noah Gravel each scored their first career goals. Sean Bunker and Andrew Gomes split time in net for the win.
Franklin, 93 @ Attleboro, 76 – Final
Franklin, 107 @ Attleboro, 63 – Final – Junior Ashley Loomis and senior Helen Huang each won a pair of individual events and were apart of two winning relay teams. Loomis won the 200 and 500 free while Huang took first in the 50 and 100 free. Huang and Loomis teamed up with Leah Benoit and Audrey Finn to take first in the 200 free relay. Isabel Capecci and Katie McGuire were apart of the first place 400 free relay with Huang and Loomis.
Franklin, 114.5 @ North Attleboro, 136.7 – Final – Franklin’s top all around finish came from Liz Traphagen. Traphagen scored 8.0 on vault, 7.8 on bars, 8.5 on beam and 8.6 on floor.
Attleboro, 6 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Attleboro’s Jake Parker netted a pair of goals while PJ Elliott, Cam Littig, Dylan Wallace and Ryan Morry each scored once as the Bombardiers opened the season with a non-league win over Foxboro.
Franklin, 5 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 2 – Final – Juniors Luke Downie and Brendan O’Rielly each scored a pair of goals while classmate Jeremy Miller scored once. O’Reilly and senior James Kilroe each recorded two assists as the Panthers opened the season with a win.
King Philip, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Junior Eric LeBlanc led Oliver Ames with two goals while sophomore Colin Bourne and senior Jack Maloney each found the back of the net once. OA goalie Zach Walsh made 20 saves. Cullen Gallagher and Rory Madden each had an assist.
Mansfield, 2 vs. Winthrop, 3 – Final – Mansfield led 1-0 after two periods but three straight goals from the visitors made all the difference. Matt Farragher and Tim Arnold each scored for the Hornets.
Taunton, 14 @ New Bedford, 0 – Final – Taunton freshman Mike Albert registered seven points, scoring once with six assists. Sophomore Jack Patneaude scored twice and had two assists and sophomore Jaden Weyant scored once and had two assists. Eighth grader Camden Faria scored his first career goal and also had an assist while senior Chris Gomes scored twice, including his first career goal.
Canton, 51 @ Oliver Ames, 27 – Final – Oliver Ames got wins from Liston Funai (138, pin), Eric Bernardi (152, pin), Sean Cosgrove (160, major) and Jay Fruci (195, pin).
Foxboro, 57 @ Milford, 18 – Final
Sharon, 15 @ Franklin, 52 – Final – Franklin’s Jordan Carlucci, Brian Farrell, Ian Bakalars, Dylan Maclean, Ed Cropper, Seamus Cogavin, Myles Polito, Kyler Colella, Jack Coughlin, and Brian Perry all won for the Panthers.
North Attleboro @ King Philip, 7:00
Mansfield, 58 @ Taunton, 18 – Final – Taunton’s Josh Grasso (126), Nuno Camara (182) and Elijah Simmons (195) each won via pin.
Canton, 103 @ Attleboro, 64 – Final
North Attleboro, 70 @ Franklin, 86 – Final
Canton, 86 @ Attleboro, 84 – Final
North Attleboro, 80 @ Franklin, 85 – Final – Junior Ashley Loomis was a double event winner, taking first in both the 200 and 500 freestyle. Franklin swept the 100 freestyle with senior Helen Huang taking first, senior Leah Benoit coming in second and junior Audrey Finn finishing third.
King Philip, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Sophomore Maggie Malloy netted a pair of goals and classmate Lauren Fitzpatrick scored one – the game-winner in the third period – and added an assist.
Franklin, 6 vs. Leominster/St. Bernards, 3 – Final – Sophomore Reagan Paterson netted a hat trick to pace the Panthers in their first game of the season. Junior Jackie Connelly added two goals and an assist while Maddie Hinkley scored once.
2015-16 Record: 7-11-2 (1-8-1) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Mark Homer
Attleboro narrowly missed out on a playoff spot last season, losing in its final game against a Div. 3 opponent and this year’s team will be motivated to try and get back in the postseason under new head coach Mark Homer, who made the switch from Oliver Ames where he coached the past three years, and with a new home – moving from Aleixo Arena in Taunton to the new England Sports Village just a couple minutes from the school.
In what has become a common issue for the Bombardiers program, Attleboro will not have
a lot of depth to call on this winter with only 15 skaters and two goalies on the varsity roster, but there is some experience coming back. Senior P.J. Elliott is a talented skater and stick handler who will be counted on to provide the scoring punch along with Jake Parker and Dylan Weallac on the first line.
Sam McKenzie emerged last year as a physical presence and senior captain Eddie Noel will partner him on the top defensive pairing. Sophomore Evan Andrews and freshman Derek Rivet will battle it out for the starting goaltender position for the Bombardiers. There are several other underclassmen who could make immediate impacts, including sophomore forward Cam Littig.
“With the new facility in Attleboro the hopes are that in the coming years, the roster will grow to include increasing depth to the program,” said Homer. “The goal of this years team is to stay healthy, work together as one unit on and off the ice, and get better each day. It’s a new day for Attleboro High School Hockey with a promising future.”
2015-16 Record: 18-4-5 (8-0-2) 2015-16 Finish: Won the Div. 1 State Championship Head Coach: Chris Spillane
After being the first Hockomock League team selected for the prestigious Super 8 tournament in 2014-15 and then graduating 21 players, Franklin was supposed to need a year to rebuild, but the Panthers showed just how strong their program is by bringing home the Div. 1 state championship in a dramatic double overtime thriller against St. Mary’s at the TD Garden. It was the program’s first state title at any level since 1983.
The Panthers graduated another large class of 13 seniors from last year’s champions and lost promising freshman defenseman Kevin Mackay who transferred to Dexter. Still, expectations remain as high as ever for the Panthers, who have won four straight league titles. Much of that excitement comes from the potential in the offensive zone with Franklin returning last year’s title game hero Luke Downie, leading goal scorer Jeremy Miller, and Brendan O’Reilly and the top line of seniors Joey Blasie, Adam Assad, and James Kilroe. Sophomores Matt Holmes and Zach Falvey will add depth to the offense.
Defense is where the Panthers will have some new faces, although seniors Tom Sicchio and Stan Carter will add some experience to the back line. Juniors Jack McGrath and Connor Norton will make the jump up from the JV team to add to the defensive lines and freshman Collin Opet will also see playing time on the defense as well. For the third season in a row, Franklin will have a new No. 1 goalie with senior Cam Benhamand junior Owen Ginley will battle it out for the starting spot.
“For the Panthers to be successful this year it will be a result of a team defense concept,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “The offense will take care of itself, we will be focusing on strong play in our zone.”
2015-16 Record: 9-8-4 (5-2-3) 2015-16 Finish: Reached the Div. 1 South playoffs Head Coach: Paul Carlow
The Warriors made strides last winter under first-year head coach Paul Carlow, including a regular season tie with Franklin and reaching the postseason for the first time since the program was moved back up to Div. 1. This season, Carlow is hopeful for a return to the postseason and to challenge for KP’s first league title since 2007, despite losing 10 seniors from last year’s roster.
The offensive zone should be strong for the Warriors this season with several key returning players that put up solid totals last winter. Junior forward Collin Cooke is the main weapon after putting up 11 goals and 15 assists for a team-high 26 points to be named a league all-star. He is joined up front by senior Ritchie Lucente, who scored 10 goals and had nine assists last year, and senior Jacob Kelly, who finished with 11 goals and nine assists.
KP will also return a few important pieces on the defensive side of the puck, including junior goalie Shane Frommer, who was 3-1-1 in his five starts last year. Frommer’s start to the hockey season will be slightly delayed after helping the football team win its first Super Bowl title. In front of the Frommer will be senior Jeremy Smith, who chipped in with three goals and four assists last season.
“We had some success last season qualifying for the D1 playoffs,” said Carlow. “We have our work cut out for us this season… We are a young team with only five seniors but I expect us to get back to the playoffs.”
2015-16 Record: 5-10-5 (4-4-2) 2015-16 Finish: Missed the playoffs Head Coach: Mike Balzarini
Last winter was atypical for the Hornets, who missed out on the playoffs and finished fourth in the Kelley-Rex division, but Mansfield is hoping for a quick turnaround under new head coach Mike Balzarini, who makes the move from Milford. The Hornets have a number of returning players, including several from club or other school programs to bolster the depth.
One of the returning players is Joe Olsen, who spent last year with a juniors program but will be a significant addition to the Hornets top attacking line alongside fellow seniors Matt Farragher and Chad Piotti, who both had solid years in 2015-16. Junior Cullen Anastasia is another forward to come back to the program and could step right in to make an impact. Freshman Chris Jenkins is going to be the center on the third line and classmate James Bezeau will also see playing time this year.
On defense, the Hornets will be led by senior Cullen Murphy, a physical presence at the back and one of the leaders on the ice. Juniors Tim Arnold, Ryan O’Hara, and Tyler Oakley will also be important pieces on the top defensive pairings. Freshman Joseph Troiano will also be on the defense after he decided against attending Xaverian this year. The defense will be protecting senior goalies Brendan McKenna and Tony Rullo, who will each see time.
“We’re a lot deeper,” said Balzarini, who said that the Hornets would be carrying four lines and four sets of defensemen and is excited about the potential on the team. “It’s been good having two weeks to prepare. They have to get used to our new system and adhering to the structures that we’re putting in place.”
2015-16 Record: 10-10-1 2015-16 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Head Coach: Sean Bertoni
Oliver Ames will be looking to keep its postseason streak alive under new head coach Sean Bertoni – a former standout goalie for Franklin.
If the Tigers want to get back to the state tournament, they’ll need some help from their younger players; Oliver Ames has eight sophomores and four freshman on its roster this year. OA does have seven seniors and a group of experienced juniors that can help lead the way.
“The goals of the team are to progress from Day one to the end of the year,” Bertoni said. “We have to use our team speed and forecheck extremely hard. We will be a disciplined, hard working aggressive team.”
2015-16 Record: 13-10-0 (3-7-0) 2015-16 Finish: Reached the Div. 2 South playoffs Head Coach: Kris Metea
The Tigers got to experience what the state tournament is like last season for the first time since 2006-07 and only the second time in the past two decades. Taunton had the fourth most wins in a season in the 44-year history of the program and scored a remarkable 106 goals last season, which was the best in the Hock.
This year, Taunton will try to build on its historic season and make a quick return to the postseason. Leading scorer Tyler Pietrzyk has graduated but there is plenty of firepower returning for the Tigers this season, including senior forward Zack Albert who is coming off a 30-point campaign. He will be joined up from by classmate Jordan Hoey, who had 17 points last season and senior Cam Carnes, who had 10 points. Sophomore Cam Sneyd could be poised for a breakout year for the Tigers.
Defensively, Taunton can lean on three-time league all-star Nick Terry, who will man the top defensive pairing. Mike Volkmann may be listed as a defenseman on the roster but he can get forward into the attack with 29 points a season ago. Junior Cam Welby will be a new addition to the defense after playing juniors all of last season. Senior Justin Chappell returns in net.
“This year’s group of seniors are first class kids,” said head coach Kris Metea. “They exemplify leadership across the board…They had a chance to taste the tournament last year, and are focused on acquiring more than just a taste this time around.”