Oliver Ames Battles Back To Earn Tie With Rocketeers

Oliver Ames boys hockey
Oliver Ames players celebrate with Brett Williams (second from right) after he scored the tying goal against North Attleboro. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BROCKTON, Mass. – Win, lose, or tie, there is one thing that Oliver Ames boys hockey coach Sean Bertoni knows about his team: they aren’t going to give up.

Trailing by a goal entering the third period, and without two of their top point producers due to injury and illness, the Tigers battled back to score the tying goal midway through the period and killed off a penalty in the final two minutes to grab a 2-2 tie with visiting North Attleboro.

“It was an awesome effort, I’m really proud of them,” Bertoni said. “We didn’t win the game but it was one of my proudest moments, being down guys and most teams in that situation against a quality team like North Attleboro are in trouble. Our theme is being resilient. No matter what, we just keep fighting, the effort is always there. We showed it against Canton, we showed it tonight. It’s rewarding to see as a coach.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Despite being without leading scorers Cullen Gallagher and Brian Kearns, who each have 17 points, the Tigers twice overcame a one-goal deficit in the game.

North Attleboro took a 1-0 lead just over five minutes into the game and took that advantage into the locker room during the first intermission. OA knotted the score with 9:50 to go in the second period but the Rocketeers took the lead back with a late goal in the second.

“That’s a bad tie for us,” said North Attleboro head coach Ben McManama. “That’s taking nothing away from OA, they work their butts off. They have some guys who are sick, some guys who are injured and my hats off to them, they showed something today. We didn’t respond today, we have a full four line, healthy group that just didn’t get it done.”

Rocketeer senior defenseman Brendan McHugh put the visitors up 2-1 with just 1:03 left in the second period. After skating to a relatively even period, McHugh tossed a high shot on net from the blue line that OA goalie Owen Connor (14 saves) never seemed to get eyes on and it fluttered into the back of the net.

The Tigers opened the third by earning a power play but couldn’t muster any chances on goal. Instead, the best chance came for North Attleboro when the penalty expired. Rocketeer junior Jack Connolly came out of the box, took a pass and went flying into the offensive zone alone. But Connolly couldn’t quite get off a final shot with Connor covering the post with the pad.

Three minutes later, Oliver Ames had its equalizer. Senior Brett Williams prevented a clearance along the boards with a strong check that put the puck in the center of the ice. Junior Ryan Gottwald was able to bat the puck back to Williams, who was all by himself, and he deposited his shot five-hole to knot the score 2-2 with 6:47 to go.

North Attleboro had a final chance to go back on top when it went on the power play with 2:13 to go in the game. Oliver Ames’ top penalty killer Matt McCormick was whistled for a boarding penalty but the Rocketeers were only able to get one shot on net during the final two minutes.

Max Ward came up with a big early clear, and then teamed up with Williams to provide an aggressive forecheck that didn’t allow the Rocketeers to leave its own zone. McHugh had the lone shot of the man advantage but Connor easily gloved it.

“Even just getting the penalty with two minutes left in a tie game can deflate a team, especially with our top penalty kill guy in the box,” Bertoni said. “But it felt like we were attacking on it, we didn’t let them set up. I think they only had one shot on net, we had a good chance too. Brett and Max were relentless in the offensive zone. The kids are giving us everything, it’s awesome to see. We haven’t got much puck luck this year but hard work will pay off.

The Tigers even had a chance to score the game winner while shorthanded. Junior Hunter Costello cleared the puck off the boards and senior Colin Bourne used his speed to get around a North defender and get to the puck first. He was able to get a close bid on goal but North senior goalie Ryan Warren (19 saves) made a big pad save to prevent the shorthanded bid.

“They had a lot more energy in the third, they work really hard,” McManama said. “It didn’t feel like one team was better than the other in the third, it felt pretty even but I thought we could have been better. It breaks down into just some simple plays. We weren’t getting pucks in deep, we were turning it over at the blue line. Those little things, they add up. Those little things snowball and can really hurt you.”

North Attleboro struck on a rebound chance 5:31 into the contest. Andrew Zammiello put a shot on goal that Connor turned aside but junior Dennis Morehouse had plenty of space in front to bury it into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

North had a couple of chances to add to its lead in the first but couldn’t find the back of the net. The best opportunity came when Todd Robinson fed Connolly in the slot but Connor came up with a big pad stop.

OA’s best chances came off the stick of McCormick, who fired a slap shot that Warren gobbled up and a backhand chance from Jake Gottwald that Warren turned away.

OA senior James Beatty set the tying goal up with an absolute perfect pass. With possession in his own defensive end, Beatty fired a perfectly weighted pass through the neutral zone right onto the stick of Williams as he entered the offensive zone for a breakaway, and Williams used a nice move and lifted the puck into the net to make it 1-1.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Beyond North Attleboro’s first goal, the Tigers’ defense did a nice job of limiting chances for the Rocketeers.

“Defensive positioning has been great all year,” Bertoni said. “We only rolled four defensemen tonight, [McCormick], James [Beatty], Julian [Krowski], and Ryan [Gottwald]. They gave us a ton of minutes, and we had to kill a couple of penalties too. Other than that first goal, where we didn’t get our sticks in there, we didn’t give up a lot of quality chances. And we had some chances in the third too so I’ll get that point for sure.”

Oliver Ames boys hockey (2-2-1 Hockomock, 7-4-1 overall) hits the road on Saturday with a visit to Taunton at 2:00. North Attleboro (3-1-1, 5-5-1) is off until Monday when it takes on Foxboro at 6:00 at the Foxboro Sports Center.

Ebert Scores Winner As North Battles Back To Beat KP

North Attleboro hockey
North Attleboro celebrates after Jake Ebert scored the game-winning goal against King Philip with only a minute play. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


ATTLEBORO, Mass. – North Attleboro came into Saturday afternoon’s game with King Philip a game below .500 and already thinking about how many points it will need to ensure a playoff spot. When games are tough and points are at a premium, then it take goals of all kinds to build momentum.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With one minute left to play, Jake Ebert fought his way to the crease and was the first to react when a shot slipped past KP goalie James Lewis. Ebert tapped the rebound into the open net and secured the Rocketeers a much-needed, come from behind 3-2 victory that pulls North back to .500 on the season.

“That’s what we’ve been focusing on,” said North coach Ben McManama. “I asked him after the game, how did you score that and he said, ‘dirty goals,’ and that’s what we’re trying to do. Hopefully they understand now that it doesn’t have to be pretty.”

Through two periods it didn’t look like the Rocketeers would need late heroics to pull out the win.

North grabbed an early lead on a two-man advantage inside the opening five minutes of the game. Will Yeomans had the initial shot from the slot that Lewis (28 saves) was able to get a piece of but not fully collect. The puck fell behind the goalie and Justin Moccia was in the right place at the right time to tap it in.

It took the Warriors more than nine minutes before they recorded their first shot on goal. Jack Coulter picked off a cross-ice pass and forced Ryan Warren (20 saves) into his first stop of the night.

The Rocketeers kept pushing for a second goal. A scrum in front forced a last-ditch, goal line clearance by KP defenseman Kyle Gray. With a minute left in the first, Lewis was forced into two reaction stops to deny both Jack Connolly and Ebert from point-blank range.

In the second period, the Warriors struggled to stay out of the box. KP picked up four penalties in that period alone, including a five-minute major that carried over to the third.

“We’ve got to stay out of the box,” KP coach Paul Carlow said. “You have to play even strength hockey to win. I would’ve like to have played them even strength more. We were shorthanded most of the night.”

Joe Boselli had a good look dragging the puck into the slot but he shot over the net and then Luke D’Amico forced Warren into a good glove save from a tight angle. Jake McNeany tested Lewis with a shot from the point that was kicked aside and Todd Robinson set up Connolly for a tip on the edge of the crease but it was sent just past the post.

North led 19-10 in shots heading into the third period and with 4:51 remaining on a major penalty, the Rocketeers looked like they were in control. But, KP stormed out of the locker room looking like a completely different team and, despite being down a skater, started to take the game to the hosts.

“You have to give credit to KP on that,” said McManama about North only scoring once while up a skater. “Our power play has been working at 33 percent coming into today and that’s the hardest our power play has had to work. They did a great job. They have a very good system and they work their butts off.”

Ryan Fitpatrick missed the net on a backhand seconds into the third and Warren was forced to make a sprawling save to deny Brendan Shandley when the rebound caromed to him at the far post. North nearly doubled its lead seconds later when Robinson’s shot forced a save out of Lewis and Connolly flicked the rebound wide of an open net.

That miss looked costly as KP skated down the other end and tied the game. Coulter had the initial shot from the right circle and Boselli was right there to follow up the rebound to make it 1-1.

“I think it was good that we had locker room time to talk about the kill and get the guys ready to go out for the kill,” said Carlow. “When you’re getting penalties all night, not only does it take away your chance to score but it kills your guys’ legs, so now when you come back from the kill then you don’t have any legs.”

Both teams continued to get chances in an end-to-end period. Robinson had a shot tipped inches wide by Ebert in front and Anthony Zammiello set up McNeany but his shot was blocked in front. Rocco Bianculli tested Warren with a blast from the edge of the right circle but the goalie got his blocker to it and Shandley forced another save that left the North defense scrambling.

With 5:47 to play, KP stunned the home crowd by grabbing the lead. Coulter played the puck into Conor Cooke, who was parked in the slot with a defenseman on his back. The forward collected the pass, spun, and ripped a shot over the shoulder of Warren and into the roof of the net to make it 2-1.

“Once we killed that penalty,” Carlow said, “it gave everyone a boost of confidence and then we were able to play some 5-on-5. When we played 5-on-5, we scored.”

Rather than get down, North turned the game around again. After KP cleared off yet another penalty (its eighth of the game), North got space in transition with Connolly finding a lot of room on the left circle. He opened his body up and went top shelf, far corner to beat Lewis and tie the game seemingly out of nowhere.

McManama explained, “Not much needed to be said. Everyone just started to step up and really it was one shift that got the other guys going. Winning a battle here or there and that built momentum for the last couple minutes.”

Zammiello hit the post from a very tight angle a minute later and then Ebert popped up 30 seconds after that with the dramatic finish that North needed to pull out a crucial two points at the midway point of its season.

“I thought they were playing very hard in the third period and they were winning all the battles,” McManama said. “It was very difficult to play them, even when we were on the power play…we didn’t match it in the third and that’s why the wheels started to come off a little bit, but I’m proud of the boys for battling back. It’s not an easy thing especially at this point in the season.”

North Attleboro (5-5, 3-1), which is just a game back of Canton in the Davenport title race, will travel to Oliver Ames on Wednesday, while King Philip (6-5, 2-2) will get a week off and be right back at the NESV to face Attleboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Mansfield Skates Past North For Balzarini’s 100th Win

Mansfield boys hockey
North Attleboro goalie Ryan Warren (left) makes a pad stop on a backhand shot from Mansfield sophomore Matty Copponi in the first period. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – For two periods, the Mansfield Hornets boys hockey team controlled the game, finally solving North Attleboro senior goalie Ryan Warren in the final seconds of the second period.

And after that, Mansfield turned to their own netminder, junior Sean McCafferty, to thwart a furious comeback attempt from the Rocketeers in the third period, resulting in a 2-0 decision for the visiting Hornets.

“That was a great game. North Attleboro is relentless, they really are, in all aspects of the game,” said Mansfield coach Michael Balzarini, who earned his 100th career win with the result. “[North Attleboro] got better period by period, they just kept coming and coming. But this was a team win, we played as a team tonight. And Sean McCafferty played out of his mind. His rebound control was great, he was phenomenal.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Balzarini previous had successful stints at Dover-Sherborn and Milford before coming to Mansfield two seasons ago.

A dominant first period saw the Hornets skate to an 8-1 advantage on shots on goal, but no advantage on the scoreboard. While North Attleboro asserted itself more in the second frame, the Hornets still had the edge in play and shots (19-8).

Warren denied Mansfield sophomore Matty Copponi in the first period on a nice backhand attempt with a sprawling pad save. The senior goalie kept senior Jack Garland off the board six minutes into the second on a nice chance at the back post, made a terrific stop on a one-timer from senior Chris Copponi with 7:30 to go in the second, and then gobbled up a hard slap shot off the stick of junior Joseph Troiano.

It wasn’t until the 20th shot, with less than 10 seconds to go in the second period, that the Hornets struck.

North Attleboro had its first power play of the game with 2:43 left in the second period but couldn’t generate any serious scoring chances. Mansfield capitalized on the momentum gained from the kill and took the lead with 8.4 seconds left to go in the frame.

Chris Copponi got the play going, forcing a turnover in the attacking zone with a hit along the boards. The puck popped to senior Brad Grant and his blast was knocked over the net by Warren (26 saves). Garland was first to the puck, he connected with Matty Copponi, who quickly fed older brother Chris right in front for the goal.

“I thought we controlled the play for the most part but getting that goal was huge, with only nine seconds or so left, it was huge,” Balzarini said. “It helped put the momentum our way. We knew they would come out hard in the third period.”

For North Attleboro, it was a tough goal to swallow after just having a power play and an improved period over the first.

“The minute, minute and a half after a power play is so important and we have to tighten that up,” said North Attleboro head coach Ben McManama. “It’s a crucial part of the game. After a power play and the end of a period, one of the most important times in a game. We just have to get better there.”

Despite giving up a late goal int he second, North Attleboro came out flying in the third period, putting 15 shots on frame. Just seconds into the period, the Rocketeers were testing McCafferty, who was clearly up for the challenge.

North senior Anthony Zamiello found senior Justin Moccia in the slot for an open wrist shot but McCafferty turned it away. The Rocketeers earned another power play and had a big chance off the stick of junior Jeff Baker but McCafferty knocked it down and stood tall on a pair of rebound chances.

Just after the power play expired, the Rocketeers had one of their best chances when Zammiello and senior Todd Robinson found themselves alone in front of the net, and a pass from the former to the latter led to a one-timer in close but McCafferty made an amazing stop to keep the puck out.

“He stepped up tonight — he was calm, he wasn’t frantic, he was in the zone the entire game,” Balzarini said of McCafferty. “Coming off of the loss against Canton, I thought he really elevated his game tonight.”

Mansfield couldn’t capitalize on a power play attempt with 9:16 to go, and was whistled for a trip with 5:46 to go to put the hosts back on the man-advantage. The Hornets were whistled for another penalty 44 seconds into the advantage, giving North a 5-on-3 for 1:17.

But one save for McCafferty and a terrific individual defensive play from senior Coleman O’Brien canceled the power play chance for the Rocketeers. With just under three minutes to go, North Attleboro sophomore Tyler Sarro made a nice read on a clearance attempt, intercepting the pass to go in alone on net but whistled his shot wide of frame.

Junior Dennis Morehouse had another big chance with a minute to go on a loose puck at the back post but he couldn’t get the puck past McCafferty (25 saves).

With just under a minute to go, North Attleboro had an attacking zone faceoff but Matty Copponi won it back to Troiano, who alertly flipped the puck out into the neutral zone and Chris Copponi won the foot race and tapped it into the empty net to go up 2-0 with 50.9 to go.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We’re trying to get better starts,” McManama said. “When our guys are going and we’re forechecking hard, we’re a very good team. But we’re not seeing it for 45 minutes, we’re seeing it spurts. It’s something we know about but we’re working about.

“We have to be tougher in front of the net, we have to bear down. We’re still not going at 100 percent in front of the net, that’s how goals are scored. It doesn’t have to be pretty.”

Mansfield boys hockey (2-1 Hockomock, 8-2 overall) concludes its three-game road trip on Saturday when it travels to Aleixo Arena to take on Taunton at 2:00. North Attleboro (2-1 Hockomock, 4-5 overall) returns to action at the New England Sports Village on Saturday against King Philip at 4:30.

Shamrocks Stun North Attleboro With Late Winner

North Attleboro hockey
North Attleboro senior goalie Ryan Warren made 26 saves to keep Bishop Feehan off the board until the final two minutes of the game. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The parking lot was packed on Saturday afternoon, fans forced to make the trek up to the New England Sports Village from the street, and the stands were filled to the brim for a battle of neighbors. Bishop Feehan’s reaction after pulling out a 1-0 win over North Attleboro matched the atmosphere pulsating down from the crowd.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Feehan’s players swarmed each other at the final horn, while North players dropped to the ice in anger and frustration. This felt like a Div. 2 playoff game, not one being contested before Christmas with the teams having played only a handful of games between them.

“We did enough to win, but we’re fighting through back breaks,” said North Attleboro coach Ben McManama. “It’s tough. The kids are working hard, they’re good kids, so it’s harder for me to watch them have to go through that. We’re turning the page; it’s not where we start, but where we finish.”

Having had a week off between its opening game against Oliver Ames and its meeting with Feehan, North took a while to get its skates under it. Senior goalie Ryan Warren (26 saves) was on top of his game, however, and held the Shamrocks off the board during a dominant opening period.

Warren made nine saves in the first, while the Rocketeers managed only three on the other end. Just two minutes into the game, Warren was forced into a big pad stop to deny Ben Gaucher as North freshman defenseman Austin Comery chased back to hassle the Feehan forward.

With six minutes left in the first, Warren got a big helping hand from his defense. After Warren was knocked out of goal making a save, junior Jeff Baker reacted first to clear a loose puck off the line. Warren was caught wide of the goal in a mass of bodies and the puck went out to the point, Comery stepped in front of a goal bound shot to prevent the opening goal (in the process suffering an injury that forced him out of the game).

Feehan continued to attack and Gaucher had another chance with a tip on the edge of the crease but again Warren managed to get his pad across to make the stop.

“He was great,” McManama said of Warren. “That’s what we need from him for the rest of the season and I’m confident we’re going to get it from him.”

North’s first good scoring chance came early in the second when Dennis Morehouse dragged the puck through a pair of defensemen and was stopped from a tight angle. A minute later, the Rocketeers were positive that they had the lead. John Connolly got free in the slot and his shot clanged off a post and out towards the corner. North was sure that it hit the back of the net and everyone seemed to pause for a second but there was no signal from the officials.

“We did get the puck in the net, but they called it back,” said McManama, who was clear in his disdain for Saturday’s officiating. “It’s not right. It’s hard for our boys to work hard and compete when they really get the short end of the stick.”

Feehan had its fair share of chances to grab the lead as well. A minute into a penalty kill, North was given a major penalty, meaning 50 seconds of a two-man advantage and then more than four more minutes of power play to kill.

C.J. Botelho had a pair of chances, one saved by Warren and the other that he sent wide of an open net, and Jack Murphy’s shot from the point was redirected in front by Kevin Barrera but Warren managed to keep his pad on the ice to keep the shot out.

Surviving the long power play opportunity seemed to spark the Rocketeers into life. Jake Ebert had a good chance right after North got back to even strength and Will Yeomans had a shot from the point kicked aside. With 90 seconds left in the second, Todd Robinson backhanded a pass across ice to Connolly, who rode a check and managed to get a shot on net.

It was a good flurry for North in the attacking zone and foreshadowed a strong third period push. After being outshot 20-11 through the first two periods, North outshot Feehan 14-7 in the third.

McManama explained, “I think we have to do a better job getting pucks to the net. They did a good job blocking shots, but we’re trying to stickhandle it into the net instead of get it on net and go after the rebounds.”

Anthony Zammiello saucered a pass to Robinson on an odd-man rush and the senior forward forced Feehan goalie Rory Geraghty into a shoulder save. Connolly had another chance from inside the left circle but that was stopped too.

“It’s just because we spent the rest of the game in the box,” said McManama about the North attack in the third period. “It was nice to be able to play five-on-five for a little bit. The captains just talked about, we know what to do, we know we’re the better team, let’s just show it. We just ran out of time.”

Warren was forced into two big stops on the other end to keep the game scoreless and North broke up ice quickly with Justin Moccia forcing Geraghty (24 saves) into another stop. The chances kept coming for North, which was in control of the period, including a series of close calls on a power play opportunity with four minutes left.

But, with just 1:43 on the clock, Feehan managed to find one good scoring chance and made it count. Kevin Borah roofed his shot as he cut across the crease to give the Shamrocks the lead.

North had one more great chance when Robinson, despite Feehan going on the power play during a scrappy closing sequence, got behind the Shamrocks defense but Geraghty stood tall again and made a solid pad save to deny the breakaway and the opportunity for a tie.

North Attleboro (0-2) will be back on the ice on Thursday afternoon at Levy Rink when it opens the Burrillville (R.I.) Hockey Winter Classic against Cumberland (R.I.).

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Boys Hockey: Ten Players to Watch in 2018-2019

2018-2019 Boys Hockey Players to Watch
Mansfield goalie Sean McCafferty will be one of the player to watch as the Hockomock boys hockey season kicks off. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Player are listed alphabetically

Mike Albert, Junior – Taunton

Albert is coming off a remarkable sophomore season in which he was among the league’s leading scorers and helped the Tigers make an improbable run to the Div. 2 South semifinal. Albert scored 17 goals and recorded 15 assists last year and is a tenacious forward in the attacking zone, chasing every puck and capable of making plays anywhere in the offensive zone. Although not the biggest forward, Albert never shied away from a hit and his speed makes him a threat wherever he picks up the puck. Taunton has been a program on the rise over the past few seasons and Albert’s skill and scoring touch have the Tigers confident of continuing that upward trajectory this winter.

Johnny Hagan, Junior – Canton

The reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, Hagan is one of the top forwards in the Hockomock League and part of the league’s most dynamic scoring duo, along with senior Ryan Nolte (see below). Hagan was tied for the team lead with 36 points last year, including 14 goals and a team-high 22 assists, and came through in the clutch with nine of his points coming in three playoff games. He seems to love the physical part of the game and is very difficult to dislodge from the puck when he is breaking into the zone and he has the vision to find seams to set up his teammates or take the puck to goal. Hagan has an impressive shot and a love for the big hits (which sometimes gets him in trouble with penalties) and when he is on the ice opposing defenses have to keep an eye out for him at all times. Canton has been consistently among the top teams in Div. 2 and Hagan’s growth on the first line should keep the Bulldogs in that category again this winter.

Joe Lizzotte, Senior – Franklin

Lizzotte is one of Franklin’s top returning forwards from last year’s league title-winning side and he could make the move up from the second to the first line for the Panthers this season. His energy and tenacity in the offensive zone made him one of Franklin’s top scoring threats, as the Panthers advanced to the final of the competitive Mount St. Charles tournament and got a point for the first time against Malden Catholic. Lizzotte scored nine times and assisted on four other goals, partnering with Zac Falvey on the second line and both are back to keep Franklin rolling into a new season. Lizzotte utilizes his speed to open up space for diagonal passes and is willing to chase pucks into the corners to try and keep the offense going. In addition to league play, Franklin has a schedule loaded with some of the top teams in Div. 1, so Lizzotte and the forwards will need to be firing right from the start to help the Panthers compete with some of the state’s best.

Sean McCafferty, Junior – Mansfield

McCafferty has put in two impressive seasons for the Hornets and he will be one of the top returning goaltenders this winter, as Mansfield looks to challenge Franklin for the league title and make some noise in the state tournament. As a sophomore, McCafferty allowed only 1.85 goals against and saved 92 percent of the shots that he faced. Overall, he made 377 saves last year and had a solid performance in the loss to Xaverian in the tournament. McCafferty is quick with a strong glove and does a good job of positioning to be in the right places to make saves. The loss of graduated defensemen Tyler Oakley and Tim Arnold will make McCafferty’s communication with the blue line group even more important this season, but at least the Hornets know that there will be a solid last line of defense if things do break down. McCafferty will be tested this season, but the Hornets are confident he can come through and give them the type of performances needed to push Franklin and try to win a first league title since 2011.

Matt McCormack, Senior – Oliver Ames

McCormack has been one of the most consistent defensemen in the league over the past couple of seasons and is an imposing figure on the blue line for the Tigers, who will be hoping to challenge perennial power Franklin for the Kelley-Rex division title. In addition to his physical presence in the defensive zone and his ability to dominate the crease, McCormack also chipped in on offense, scoring eight goals and providing eight assists. His passing in the transition game is a key to the Tigers taking advantage of their speed in the forward lines and he has a rocket of a shot from the point. Teams look for reliability from the blue line and McCormack has provided that for OA the past few seasons, limiting the opposition’s scoring chances and adding toughness to the lineup. With McCormack in the back line, the Tigers will be confident of keeping pace with the top teams in the division.

Ryan Morry, Junior – Attleboro

With the graduation of leading scorer Jake Parker, the Bombardiers will be counting on Morry to continue his development into a top line center. As a sophomore, Morry centered the second line and was part of the top power play and penalty kill units and he contributed 11 goals and 15 assists to help Attleboro get back into the state tournament. This year, the skilled, physical forward will be counted on to make up some of the production lost from Parker’s graduation and continue playing big minutes (more than 25 minutes per game last season). He has solid stick-handling skills and an accurate shot on the move, but it is his vision and ability to pick out the right pass under pressure that makes him effective for the Bombardiers. With Sam Larkin back after a year at juniors and a year of experience for Morry, Attleboro has the pieces in place to make another run at a playoff place.

Ryan Nolte, Senior – Canton

The 2017 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year and 2018 Player of the Year, Nolte is arguably the top two-way forward in the Hockomock League and leads the top line for the Bulldogs, who went unbeaten in the Hock last year. His partnership with Johnny Hagan (see above) was the league’s most dynamic last year and they are back to try and bring another league title to the Canton Ice House. Nolte scored 18 goals and had 18 assists for the Bulldogs and was also part of both the penalty kill and the power play because of his work in all three zones. Physically strong and with impressive skill with the puck, Nolte can score in a variety of ways and is not afraid of getting into the crease and causing havoc in front opposing goalies. He is also a patient attacker, willing to cycle the puck and wait for the right opening. Canton has high expectations every winter and this season is no different, as the Bulldogs look to secure another league title and make a run at an elusive sectional title.

Tom Tasker, Senior – Franklin

Tasker jumped into the mix for Franklin and made a quick impression as a solid performer on the blue line in all three zones, providing big hits and a hard shot from the point. Now as a junior Tasker has solidified himself as a mainstay and one of the leaders of the Panthers defense as they try to continue their dominance in the Kelley-Rex division and make another run in the tournament. Tasker is a physical presence in the defensive zone but also showed good touch on his outlet passes to get the Panthers into the attack quickly. He scored four goals and had four assists last season and became a dangerous weapon on the power play. After a year of experience on the varsity level, Tasker will be one of the leaders in the back line and keep driving the team forward from the defensive zone. Expectations are high for Franklin defensemen but Tasker seems more than capable of meeting them.

Brendan Tully, Senior – Foxboro

Tully spent a year in juniors but returned last season to lead the Warriors to the best season in program history. The senior defenseman will hope to repeat that success this year, as not only the leader of the team’s blueline corps but also as one of Foxboro’s top scorers. Tully scored 19 goals and had 18 assists from his defenseman position, which was among the top scorers in the Hockomock League regardless of position. He is a skilled player with the puck, but can also play the physical game necessary to keep opponents away from goal. With his speed and game IQ, Tully can cover a lot of ice and always seems to be in the right position to make plays in either zone. Coming off a 10-win season, the Warriors will be turning to Tully to lead another run at a state tournament berth and continue the program’s forward momentum.

Ryan Warren, Senior – North Attleboro

Warren has been one of the league’s top goaltenders for the past three seasons and he enters his senior year with the opportunity to help North Attleboro unseat Canton at the top of the Davenport division. Warren, the 2016 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, allowed only 2.75 goals per game last season and held 11 opponents to two goals or less, which gave the potent North offense the chance in just about every game. A quick and agile goalie, Warren makes some of the most difficult saves seem easy and he came through against some of North’s toughest opponents, such as 36 saves against Franklin or more than 50 stops against Canton. When Warren is on his game, North can compete with anyone in Div. 2 and the Rocketeers will be counting on consistent performances this winter as they make another run at a league title. With Warren back in goal, a tournament run isn’t out of the question for North as well.

North Attleboro Edges Beverly For First State Title

North Attleboro baseball
North Attleboro’s Nick Sinacola (left) and Aidan Harding celebrate after recording the final out to win the D2 State Championship. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
By Brian Hines, HockomockSports.com Contributor

LOWELL, Mass. – North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart knew he was going to get one ring this year.

Now he’ll get two.

Just days before the first-year head coach says ‘I do’ at his wedding, he celebrated a Division 2 State Championship after his Rocketeers prevailed over Beverly, 4-3, at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.

“It sounds great, it has a very nice ring to it,” Hart said.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

In the win, the Red Rocketeers followed the same formula that won them 20 regular season games: riding the right arm of pitcher Nick Sinacola, the bat of catcher Zach DeMattio, solid defense, and a relentless aggressive approach.

“We’ve been on their backs pretty much the whole season,” Hart said of Sinacola and DeMattio. “They’re our leaders, there are a lot of guys that contribute and have stepped up big time, but tonight, stick with your strengths and those two guys are our strengths right there.”

The Rocketeers jumped out to an early start, as they have done all postseason. After Sinacola singled and stole second, DeMattio gave North a 1-0 lead in the first after hard hit ground ball took a crazy hop through the right side and plated Sinacola.

After Sinacola (7 IP, 0 ER, 9 K, 5 H, 2 BB) and Beverly pitcher Spencer Brown (7 IP, 4 ER, 10 K, 6 H, 1 BB) exchanged scoreless second innings, DeMattio and North struck again.

Leadoff hitter Brendan McHugh started the rally, getting hit by a pitch then stealing second. Sinacola then followed with an infield single to the left side to put runners on the corners. DeMattio laced a double into the left field gap scoring both runners and increasing North’s lead to 3-0.

“The first thing is getting [McHugh and Sinacola] on base, and that’s more important, but when they get on base, Brendan’s got great speed, Nick is a contact hitter and then you got Zach,” Hart said.

“I trust my guys every day, day in day out and I just did what I can do,” DeMattio said. “I looked for a pitch that I can get.

“They get all the credit. All my RBI’s come from [McHugh and Sinacola], there are just such pure hitters. McHugh gets on, speed, Sinacola always is getting base hits then it’s just a snowball effect.”

North followed a similar pattern just two innings later. After a McHugh leadoff walk and steal, he was then pushed to third on Sinacola’s fly out. DeMattio recorded his fourth RBI of the night on a shallow sacrifice fly into right field. McHugh raced home to beat the throw.


“We’re just going play aggressive and that’s what it comes down to,” Hart said. “I think it was a point in the game where if we could get extra one, go for it. Brendan is extremely fast, so that makes us feel more comfortable about it too.”

“Going up to the plate I knew that anything outside of the infield in the air, [McHugh] had the speed to get home,” DeMattio said. “I was just looking to get a ball and drive it up. I got the right pitch and put it to right field. You have to give him all the credit, he hustled home.”

Even with a 4-0 lead, North knew Beverly was more than capable of making a comeback, and that’s exactly what the Panthers did.

“We were expecting Beverly to make some sort of comeback,” Hart said. “They’re an incredibly great team and we’d expect nothing less in this game. Our guys, they’ve been through things like this before.”

The Panthers rally started with Ryan Munzing’s double, which was just Beverly’s second hit. An infield single by Tim McCarthy (on a close play at first) and walk by Matt Collins loaded the bases for Brown, who helped his own cause with a bases-clearing triple off the wall in left field.

But the Beverly rally didn’t seem to rattle the Rocketeers or Sinacola, who bounced back by striking out the next batter and stranding a runner at third. He continued that momentum with strong sixth and seventh innings.

“I picked up my pace a little bit more, worked a bit little quicker,” Sinacola said. “I thought that was my best inning, the sixth inning, coming after that tough inning which shut them down with their momentum and picked us back up where we had to be.”

“We have had a couple tight wins and some losses but I think all of that just builds and builds,” Hart said. “We just still stay confident with it through thick and thin we’re still going to keep pushing it… we’re still going to play our game despite what the score is.

“And Nick trusts his stuff, he’s a very, very skilled pitcher and we believe in him… he doesn’t let things bother him. I can’t say enough about him… He’s one of the top pitchers in this entire state, we had absolute confidence in him to finish it out.”

Drama was still to be found, however, as Beverly had the tying run on base in both the sixth and seventh innings. A strong pair of defensive plays from the Rocketeers allowed Sinacola to avoid any more damage.

Senior outfielder Jeff Gale fielded a Beverly single in right field with two outs in the sixth inning and gunned down the runner trying for second base to end the inning. Then in the seventh after a leadoff walk, DeMattio fired a relay to first baseman Aidan Harding, who caught Beverly’s runner in a pickle.

“That’s huge,” Hart said. “That was an incredible play and in these games, in this spot in the tournament, that’s where you win or lose.

“It was a good read by Zach, he’s been catching for three years, he’s done it a lot. He has a lot of confidence in his throwing ability. He’s an incredible player.”

“Me and Aidan, after practice, we always work on those because being able to throw it down,” DeMattio said. “Especially in that situation where they bunt and he’s looking to go when it’s on the ground. We work on those all the time and he was ready for it, got to give [Aidan] credit for it, he made the play.”

Sinacola got the second out with a strikeout, and after a two-out single, the senior induced a ground ball up middle and second baseman Ryan Warren flipped it to shortstop Shawn Watters for the force out at second, clinching the win.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The win marks North Attleboro’s first-ever baseball state championship. The Rocketeers (22-2) came into the South Section as the No. 1 seed and outscored their opponents 46-7 on their way to a title.

“It’s just insane, insane,” DeMattio said.

“This means everything,” Hart said. “These kids will remember this for the rest of their life’s. It’s such a great opportunity that they’re able to be here in the first place and then able to take home the win. It means a lot.”

DeMattio, North Beat Attleboro to Win Blue-Red Cup

North Attleboro baseball
Senior catcher Zach DeMattio drove in two runs, including the game-winner in the fifth inning, as North beat Attleboro to win the annual Blue-Red Cup. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Last year it was North Attleboro that came into the rivalry game under the lights against Attleboro at Community Field needing a win to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Bombardiers pulled out that win to keep North out of the postseason, but on Wednesday night the roles were reversed and the Rocketeers exacted a measure of revenge.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Behind a complete game, four-hitter from senior Peter Cohen and a pair of RBI from senior catcher Zach DeMattio, the Davenport division champion Rocketeers pulled out a 3-1 victory, bringing home the Blue-Red Cup for the first time in three years and officially knocking their rivals out of tournament contention.

“I think that was in the back of their minds,” admitted North coach Mike Hart. “We knew they were going to come out jacked up and we had to match it and exceed it. I definitely think we matched the excitement and the energy. It’s probably the most energetic I’ve been this season and I think it’s the same with them.”

Offense was in short supply, as the two teams only combined for eight hits. Cohen kept the Bombardiers off-balance and junior Eoin Kelleher limited the high-powered North offense to just four hits as well.

“We’ve been in this situation before and came through,” said Hart. “We just stuck to our approach and believed that we could do it. I think it helps us coming towards the playoffs. It’s the Hockomock League and every game’s going to be a fight, no matter who it is.”

Attleboro coach Matt Bosh added, “That was a great game, two good teams, great crowd, rivalry, atmosphere, you know, and it was 3-1. That’s an awesome baseball game. Cohen pitched outstanding. He made good pitches when he had to. It was a great pitcher’s duel.”

The visitors took the lead in the top of the first. Tim Callahan led-off with a double into right center and, with one out, Alvaro Espinal drew a walk. Nick Raneri made a great barehand play on the run on a swinging bunt up the third baseline by Jon Candiales, but both runners moved into scoring position.

Corey McKenna singled to left, scoring Callahan, but Brendan McHugh came up firing and threw a strike to DeMattio at the plate, who managed to get the tag on Espinal just before the runner touched home.

The lead was short-lived. North answered back in the bottom half of the inning. McHugh started it with a single to left and then stole second. Nick Sinacola moved him to third with a grounder to the right side and DeMattio roped a line drive to right to bring McHugh home. McKenna ended the inning with a barehand pickup and throw on the infield grass to get Raneri.

Neither team would manage another hit until a two-out single by Sam Larkin in the top of the fourth. Both went in order in the second after Jeff Gale was caught stealing by Dakota Kirby and both had base runners in the third on a couple of walks, but the pitchers and the defenses were keeping scoring chances to a minimum.

That changed in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, nine-hole hitter Ryan Warren dropped down a perfect bunt up the third baseline for North’s first hit since the first. McHugh followed with a walk. Sinacola hit a grounder to second but Attleboro couldn’t complete the double play to end the inning, as the University of Maine-commit hustled down the line to keep the inning alive.

“Ryan does a very good job with that,” said Hart. “We were just trying to keep Attleboro on its toes too and it does spark some energy on the bench.” About Sinacola beating out the double play grounder, Hart added, “He’s been a great leader just hustling down there.”

DeMattio ripped a single through the left side for his second hit and second RBI of the night to put North back in front. After Nate Pearce walked to load the bases, Raneri took one off the top of his helmet to give North an insurance run.

Hart said, “Zach’s a special player. He’s definitely become a better hitter since last year. He may not have all the home runs that he’s had in the past but he’s definitely become a better hitter.”

Bosh joked, “I was kidding with DeMattio that’s why he hasn’t seen a pitch in four years because he hammers it every time.”

Attleboro went into the seventh down by two trying to keep its playoff hopes alive and Kirby gave the Bombardiers some added energy with a lead off single. Troy Van Vliet came up next and hit a soft liner that North first baseman Aidan Harding was able to snare at full stretch.

Cohen fed off the big defensive play and was able to bear down, closing the game out with a strikeout and then a grounder into the hole at short that Shawn Watters not only got to but was able to fire a strike to second to get the game-ending force.

“Peter’s a bulldog. He’s out there and he’s battling every single pitch,” Hart said. “He has good stuff and he trusts his fastball, which has got a little movement on it. He just gets out there and battles and I think that’s really what a lot of our seniors and our whole team bring to the table.”

This has been the type of loss that has defined Attleboro’s season. The Bombardiers have lost six games by three runs or less this spring, including four by just a single run.

“Our kids battled but yeah it’s been the story of our season. We lose games like that,” said Bosh. “Our pitching has been great…but late in the year a lot of teams are pitching well so your runs aren’t going to be in bunches. I’m proud of my kids, they fought hard.”

North Attleboro (15-1, 12-1) will continue to prepare for the state tournament on Friday night against Bishop Feehan, again under the lights at Community Field. Attleboro (8-11, 6-9) will close out its season on Thursday at home against Stoughton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/09/18


Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 6 – FinalMansfield got off to a strong start with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, extended the lead with three runs in the fifth inning and tacked on one more in the sixth in a win over Attleboro. Tyler Dalton went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored to lead the Hornets’ offense while Cullin Anastasia was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored. Kevin Dow struck out nine in five innings of work, allowing four hits and just two walks with no runs against to earn the win. Alvaro Espinel was 1-for-3 with an RBI while Matt Callahan (hit) scored Attleboro’s run.

Stoughton, 6 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalStoughton plated four runs with two outs in the top of the third to build a lead it never let go of. Robbie Seaman had a two-run single and Evan Gibb (2-for-4) followed with a two-run double for the Black Knights. George Currier went 2-for-4 with two runs scored while Ruben Gonzalez had another strong day, getting the win on the mound (5 IP, 1 ER, 3 hits, 5 K) and went 3-for-3 with a walk.

Canton, 1 @ Milford, 11 – FinalMilford senior Aidan Wilde had three hits, the second one being the 100th of his career, to lead the Hawks to a big win over Canton. Wilde notched the milestone in the bottom of the fourth inning with a single into left field. Sophomore Luke Rosa earned his first career win, striking out three with just one run allowed in five innings of work.

Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 6 – FinalTaunton took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring three runs on five hits but Franklin tied the game with three runs off two hits in the top of the fifth. The Tigers responded right away with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Tyler Medeiros got it done at the plate and on the mound for the Tigers. Offensively, he had two hits and an RBI. And on the mound, he earned the win, allowing just three hits while striking out 10 in a complete game effort. Jacob Crawford added two hits and two runs and Griffin Tomaszycki had a hit, two RBI, and a run scored for the Tigers.

Oliver Ames, 5 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalOliver Ames and King Philip each scored two runs in the first inning but the Tigers were able to beat the Warriors the rest of the way. OA tacked on two more runs in the top of the third, KP cut the deficit to one in the bottom of the third, but the Tigers added the insurance run in the sixth inning. Michael Friel (hit) reached bases three times, stole two bases, scored a run, had an RBI, and played outstanding defense at second base to pace OA to the win. Matt Muir (RBI, double) and Jack Erlich (run) each had two hits for the Tigers. OA’s Tom Parker earned the win with six innings of relief work, not allowing an earned run.

Sharon, 2 @ North Attleboro, 4 – FinalNorth Attleboro junior Ryan Warren roped a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning to break open a tie game and help the Rocketeers beat upset-minded Sharon. Zach DeMattio got things started with a walk, and pinch runner Billy Drummond took second on a sac bunt from Jeff Gale (2-for-2, two runs). After Cohen reached on a drop third strike, Drummond advanced to third, and Cohen stole second. That’s when Warren delivered. Sharon held a 2-0 lead after an inning but North tied things in the third on DeMattio’s two-out, two-run single. Peter Cohen pitched 5.1 innings of relief to earn the way for the Rocketeers.

Softball
Mansfield, 3 @ Attleboro, 15 – Final (6 inn.)Attleboro exploded for 20 hits on the day, getting the game started on the right foot with seven runs in the first inning. Each Bombardier in the lineup had at least one hit led by MacKenzie Killough, who went 3-for-5 with two home runs. Freshman catcher Lora Woyton added a three-run home run, freshman Autumn O’Connell had three hits, Ashley Macia (two doubles) went 3-for-3 and Jordyn Lako was 4-for-5 for the Bombardiers. Jenna Gittle struck out five in six innings of work for Attleboro.

Canton, 1 @ Milford, 13 – Final (6 inn.)Milford senior Kelley Reichert struck out 10 in a six-inning performance and Emily Piergustavo (3-for-4, four RBI) and Emily Hartman each belted a two-run home run as the Hawks won big at home. Kate Irwin (two runs), Jess Tomaso (double, two RBI), Antonia Bonina (two runs, RBI), and Maddy Bonvino (double, RBI) each had two hits on the day for Milford.

Stoughton, 3 @ Foxboro, 10 – FinalFoxboro avenged a loss from earlier in the season to the Black Knights with a big win on its home field on Wednesday afternoon. Lexi Buckner went 3-for-4, including two doubles and a home run, and finished with six RBI to pace Foxboro’s offense. Morgan Sylvestre went 3-for-4, Kelli McCarthy added two hits and two RBI, and Hannah Davis knocked a run in Emma Rohan scattered five hits, walked one and struck out seven for Foxboro.

Taunton, 6 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalTaunton pushed across three runs in the first inning, added another in the second, and put the game out of reach with a pair in the fourth inning on the road at Franklin. Tigers freshman Kelsey White won her fourth game of the season, allowing just one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts (and no walks). Offensively, Alexa White and Liana Duarte (RBI) each had two hits while Jaime Brown (RBI) reached four times with three walks and a triple. Kya Enos, Hanna Aldrich, and McKenzie McAloon each knocked in a run for the Tigers. Franklin scored in the sixth inning when Ally Shea doubled and courtesy runner Molly Collins came around to score on a single from Tara Hartnett. Emily Valentino struck out four while Gabby Colace played a great game defensively for FHS.

King Philip, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalKing Philip scored eight runs in the top of the third to create separation against the Tigers and never looked back. Destiny Goyco, Lilliana Rolfe, and Faith Turinese each collected three hits for the Warriors while Nicole Carter and Meghan Gorman each pitched in with two apiece. Turinese earned the win, allowing one run in seven innings of work. For OA, Katie Mills was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Mills was knocked in by Katie Abreu (2-for-3); Sarah Tetrault and Lexie Campbell also each had a hit for the Tigers.

North Attleboro, 14 @ Sharon, 2 – Final (5 Inn.)Olivia DesRoches pitched five innings and struck out four to pick up the win for the Rocketeers. Abby Gallagher had four hits and drove in a pair of runs for the North offense, which also got two hits apiece from Olivia Capobianco, Bella Erti (including a two-run homer), and Andrea Miceli. Stephanie Inglese hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Emily Pastore made a “highlight-reel grab” for North in the win.


Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro, 2 @ Milford, 8 – FinalMilford scored four goals in each the second and third quarters, taking a shutout into the final frame against visiting Attleboro. Freshman Evan Hazard turned aside 15 shots while Andrew Gallagher and Ryan Hazard each scored three goals apiece for the Hawks.

Canton, 7 @ King Philip, 8 – Final (OT)Canton junior Mike Shaw scored in the final minute of the game to tie it and send it to overtime but the Warriors prevailed with the win. KP was able to hold off Canton’s extra-man opportunity to begin the overtime period before netting the winner. Canton sophomore Jack Connolly played great in goal with 12 saves while Dan Cohen (two goals) was one of six Bulldogs to score.

Foxboro, 7 @ Mansfield, 10 – Final

Oliver Ames, 4 @ Franklin, 17 – FinalSenior Johnny O’Glishen scored a pair of goals and added an assist to help the Panthers pick up a big win on Senior Night. Sophomore Ben Greco added a pair of goals, while sophomore Luc Sweeney and junior Patrick Morrison each had one goal and one assist each. Eric LeBlanc scored three goals for Oliver Ames.

North Attleboro, 4 @ Sharon, 7 – FinalSharon limited North Attleboro to just one goal in the first half, building a 4-1 advantage that it never let go of. The Rocketeers got within two late in the fourth quarter but the Eagles secured the win with a seventh goal with three minutes to go. A big reason for Sharon’s big defensive game was goalie Jonathan Greenberg, who turned away 18 shots in the in. Offensively, Chase Waxman had three goals for the Eagles, Kadin Nestler added two, and Spencer Hall and Dan Lilienfield each scored once. Senior Brett Litner collected four assists for the Eagles.

Stoughton, 7 @ Taunton, 5 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Milford, 6 @ Attleboro, 12 – FinalKyra Lyons paced the Bombardiers with seven goals and Kim White scored her first varsity goal in the win. Attleboro also got goals from Hannah Aspinwall, Emily Patton, Sydney DiLiddo, and Rylee Fontes. Head coach Kevin Patton called it a “total team effort.”

King Philip, 16 @ Canton, 5 – Final Seven different players scored goals for the Warriors in another big league win. Olivia Tormey and Caroline Klim each scored four goals for KP and Dana Truini scored twice and assisted on three other goals. Alli Meehan, Lauren Anderson, and Emma Izydorczak each scored once in the win, while Caroline Watson made eight saves in the KP goal. Leah McClellan and Maggie Connolly each scored twice for the Bulldogs and Kaitlyn Goyetch scored once. Connolly also had an assist. Vicki Revanche made 13 saves in the loss.

Mansfield, 5 @ Foxboro, 20 – Final

Franklin, 17 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – FinalFranklin senior Nicole Houlihan and freshman Elizabeth Wilson each accounted for four points apiece as the Panthers rolled to a win on the road. Houlihan had two goals and two assists, Wilson finished with one goal and three assists, and sophomore Erin Walsh chipped in with three goals and three assists. FHS coach Kristin Igoe-Guarino said Annie Walsh and Hailey Toolin both played well in the midfield for the Panthers. Chloe Kilkelly scored twice for Oliver Ames while Olivia Piazza recorded three assists.

Sharon, 9 @ North Attleboro, 8 – FinalMaeve Barbera scored the game-winning goal, her second of the afternoon, for Sharon with 15 seconds left in the game to split the season series against North. Sharon coach Shara Ginthwain called this a “huge win” for the Eagles and said that the game was “very close and competitive the whole time.” She added that the Eagles defense created turnovers in big moments and that the transition was “really great.” Sabrina Robbins scored three goals and Emma Eberhardt had four goals and an assist. Jenna Goldstein had an assist and Rose Wald made five saves in the win. Mackenzie Rosenberg scored six goals in defeat for the Rocketeers.

Boys Tennis
Mansfield, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalMansfield went on . the road and picked up a sweep over Attleboro, winning all five matches in straight sets. Luke Nickerson didn’t lose a game at first singles, Luke Devine won 6-3, 6-1 at second singles, and Peter Lally emerged with a 6-3, 7-5 decision at third singles. The team of Sam Cavicchi and Nilay Pangrekar won 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles, and Sam Schirmacher and Sam Donellan won by the same score at second doubles for the Hornets.

Milford, 1 @ Canton, 4 – FinalCanton picked up a pair of wins in singles and two more victories in doubles to beat visiting Milford. Dillon Anderson won 7-6, 6-0 at second singles and freshman Minh Duong took a 6-1, 6-2 win at third singles for the Bulldogs. The team of Charlie Malloy and Aidas Jakubenas won 6-1, 6-3 at first doubles and Justin Luk and Ethan Nguyen prevailed 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles for Canton. Milford’s BrenO’Shaughnessyessy rallied from a one-set deficit to win 2-6, 6-0, 6-3.

Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – FinalStoughton freshman Waseem Sablon picked up a win in straight sets at first singles but the Black Knights fell on the road to the Warriors. Sablon won his match 6-3, 6-1.

Franklin, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalFranklin took a pair of wins from singles play and swept doubles in straight sets to get a win on the road at Taunton. Freshman Liam Marr won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles and senior Tyler DiPalma prevailed 7-5, 6-2 at third singles. The team of Tony Calderone and Derek Wu won 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles while Saketh Saripalli and Shournik Sompally lost just two games in a 6-2, 6-0 win at second doubles for the Panthers.

King Philip, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – FinalKing Philip’s Max Goreham and Riley Outlaw recorded their first career wins, taking a 6-0, 6-4 victory at second doubles in the Warriors sweep of OA. Jake Mager and Zak Ryan added a 6-2, 6-0 win at first doubles, Nick Putney (first singles) and Jack Cannon (second singles) didn’t lose a game, and Nick Ihley won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles for KP.

North Attleboro, 5 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalClick here for a recap of this match.

Girls Tennis
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 4 – FinalThe Hornets swept doubles play and picked up two more wins in singles action, winning all four matches in straight sets against the visiting Bombardiers. Senior Sarah Doyle won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles and junior Elizabeth Elsner notched a 6-2, 6-2 win at second singles for the Hornets. The team of Tessa Garufi and Hannah Podolske won 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles while Samantha Sternburg and Aryana Khosravani won 6-1, 6-4 at second doubles for Mansfield. Attleboro’s Anna Nelson won 6-4, 6-3 at third singles.

Canton, 5 @ Milford, 0 – FinalCanton freshman Natalie Keppler emerged with a third set breaker to get the win, helping the Bulldogs finish off the sweep on the road. Keppler won 6-4, 2-6, 10-6 to get the win, classmate Rachel Kupferman won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles, and Sarah Hernandez won 6-1, 6-0 at third singles for Canton. The team of Stelina Michaelidis and Caitlin Matthews earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at first doubles while Anjali Mandal and Jamie Cree teamed up to win 6-2, 6-3 at second doubles for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalFoxboro’s three singles players combined to drop just three games total in a clean sweep over Stoughton. Sophia Prinos didn’t drop a game at first singles, Pamela Nelson won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles, and Kayla Prag earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. Julia Muise and Sarah Prag paired together for a 6-2, 6-4 victory at first doubles while Olivia Dantona and Kendall Milender dropped just two games in a 6-2, 6-0 win at second doubles.

Taunton, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – FinalTaunton won all five of its matches in straights, going on the road to get a sweep at Franklin. Jillian Pagliuca won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Vanessa Rosa took a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles, and Jocelyn Pagliuca earned a 6-1, 6-2 decision at third singles. McKenzie Lucie and Samantha Martin notched a 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles while Amanda Pugh and Brianna Fevrier teamed together for a 6-2, 6-2 win at second doubles.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalAfter dropping a first set tiebreak, Oliver Ames’ second doubles team of Olivia Groebe and Rachel Stryke rallied to win two straight sets and clinch the winning point for the Tigers. Groebe and Stryke won 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2 while OA’s first doubles team of Kristin Bloumbas and Emily Yu also recorded a comeback win, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. Sophomore Maura Kiernan also won in three set for OA, taking a 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 decision at third singles. KP’s Erin Regnier won 6-2, 6-0 at first singles and Meghan Sepich prevailed 6-3, 6-0 at second singles.

Sharon, 5 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalSharon won all five matches in straight sets to earn a sweep of North Attleboro on the road. Nupur Shukla won 6-0, 6-2 at first singles, Lulu Yuan earned a 6-0, 6-3 decision at second singles, and EmilyWen prevailed 6-3, 6-1 at third singles. The team of Katie Merport and Sachi Bhasin notched a 6-1, 6-0 win at first doubles while Rithika Neti and Sophia Fein continued their strong season with a 6-3, 6-1 win at second doubles.

Boys Volleyball
Milford, 3 vs. Millis, 0 – Final


North Attleboro’s Wanless Wins In Season Debut


By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter

WRENTHAM, Mass. – Making his first appearance of the season on Friday afternoon at King Philip High School, North Attleboro junior Matt Wanless didn’t appear to be the least bit nervous. Wanless, a junior, threw a complete game, scattering hits, leading his North Attleboro baseball team to a 5-1 win over King Philip.

“He was in command of all his pitches, he felt really good about all of them, I think it was a lot of confidence, he got himself in a couple jams but I think he had a lot of confidence in his fielders and in his ability to pitch,” said North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart about Wanless.

North Attleboro was able to give Wanless some run support right from the get go, as after Nick Sinacola (1-for-3, two runs, RBI) was hit by a pitch, he advanced to second on a groundout. and then was singled home by Zach DeMattio (1-for-3, two RBI).

In the bottom half of the inning, Wanless allowed a leadoff single to Robbie Jarest, and after getting Tim Nault to fly out, he hit Pat Limerick with a pitch. After a Jeremy Rhines groundout, KP threatened with runners on first and third, but a flyout ended the inning for the Warriors. Wanless worked out of another jam in the bottom of the second, as with two outs, Jackson Shiebler and Ian Zimmerman hit back-to-back singles before Jarest drew a walk, but Wanless forced a fly ball to end the inning and preserve the 1-0 North Attleboro lead.

North Attleboro went back to work in the top of the third, showing off their patience at the plate as Kyle Bolger (1-for-2, triple, walk, run) and Ryan Warren drew back-to-back walks to open up the inning. Sinacola then delivered an RBI single to score Bolger, and Jeff Gale was hit by a pitch to load the bases. DeMattio then got hit on the elbow, which brought in Warren. After a popup, Brendan McHugh walked which brought home Sinacola, and Nick Raneri followed that up with an RBI groundout to plate the fifth North Attleboro run and fourth of the third inning.

“[Our patience] is just kind of part of our approach, we’re looking for certain pitches to hit, and we didn’t get them, so we just kept battling and we were able to get a couple off some walks with the bases loaded,” Hart said about NA’s patience at the plate

In the top of the fourth, North threatened again, as Bolger hit a rocket over the left fielder’s head for a leadoff triple, but Jarest was able to retire the next three hitters. In the bottom of the fifth, King Phillip pushed their only run of the game across, as Tim Nault walked, Limerick got by a pitch, and a single by Rhines scored Nault from second and left KP with runners on first and second with one out. Wanless was able to work out of it again though, as he struck out the next two KP batters to get out of the inning.

With the win, North Attleboro improves to 7-1 on the year. They’ll head to Canton on Monday to face off with the Bulldogs.

“We’ve had great senior leadership, and that’s carried over to our juniors, we’ve got a couple juniors that are really contributing,” Hart said about North’s hot start to the year.

King Philip (4-5) will look to rebound on Monday in Attleboro against the Bombadiers.

North’s Sinacola Fires No-Hitter Against Stoughton

North Attleboro baseball
North Attleboro’s Nick Sinacola fires a pitch in the second inning against Stoughton. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
STOUGHTON, Mass. – North Attleboro senior Nick Sinacola was at his best on Monday afternoon, striking out 10 batters and firing his second career no-hitter in a 12-0 win over Stoughton.

Sinacola tossed a no-no last year against Canton in a team in which North’s offense had to provide a late run to earn the win.

“I felt good today. I have a great catcher and I have a great defense behind me so that helps with my confidence,” Sinacola said. “All of my pitches were working today and I have so much trust in my defense. And then getting all of that offense helps too. I felt comfortable out there.”

There was no shortage of offense from the Rocketeers this time around, plating runs in every inning but the sixth.

“He was super efficient,” said first-year North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart. “That’s one of the big things he’s been working on and over the past few games, he’s really shown that. He’s coming after the batters, trusting his stuff and believing in the work he’s put in. Getting that first pitch strike on most of the batters help him.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Rocketeers came out swinging, scoring three runs on four hits in the top of the first inning, all before Sinacola (7 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 10 K) even took the mound.

Sinacola (2-for-4, RBI) helped his own cause with a leadoff single, Jeff Gale (2-for-5, three runs) doubled, and Zach DeMattio (5-for-5, three RBI, three runs) brought the first run in with a single. Nate Pearce (1-for-1) added to the lead with a two-run double to give Big Red a 3-0 advantage after just half an inning.

“Getting those runs early gives me a lot of confidence, I feel like I have freedom on the mound and I just have to hit my spots,” Sinacola said.

In the second, junior Ryan Warren (1-for-3, run) led off with a single and Gale reached on an error. DeMattio made it 4-0 with a double and Gale crossed home when Kyle Bolger reached into a fielder’s choice.

Big Red’s offense continued to have success in the top of the third inning, pushing across two more runs. Brendan McHugh started things with a leadoff single and came home when Nick Raneri found the gap in right center field for an RBI triple. Sinacola again helped his cause, this time with an RBI single to make it 7-0.

Sinacola was terrific in the bottom of the third, striking out the side – two swinging, one looking – on just 10 pitches.

“He knows how to pitch,” said Stoughton head coach Mike Armour about Sinacola. “We could have been more aggressive in our approach but at the same time, we’re young and Nick has been around. I think a couple at-bats, he sensed it…first pitch curveball and set up the rest of the AB. Nick knows how to pitch, we saw it last year in that 10-inning battle. We have a lot of areas that we can improve but obviously you tip your cap to him, he pitched a hell of a game today.”

Aidan Harding (1-for-3, run) was responsible for tacking on another Big Red run in the top of the fourth. After a leadoff single, he took second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Raneri.

Stoughton got its first base runner of the game in the bottom of the fourth when Robbie Seaman reached on an error but Sinacola needed just four pitches to get the next two outs.

The Rocketeers tacked on three more runs in the top of the fifth inning. Sinacola drew a one-out walk, took second on a single from Gale and scored on DeMattio’s RBI base hit. Bolger was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Harding and McHugh drew back-to-back walks to make it 11-0.

“A lot of guys, even the guys who aren’t starting, are putting in tremendous work during practice,” Hart said. “They know when they get an opportunity, they want to make the most of it. And they also put a lot of work during the offseason…guys want to play. They put me in a tough spot with so many guys but it’s a good place to be.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Sinacola got into trouble for the first time in the top of the sixth inning. After getting the first out via strikeout, Sinacola fell behind 3-0 on Stoughton star Ruben Gonzalez — the first time Sinacola hit that count all day.

But the senior right-hander fired in a strike and then induced a ground ball up the right side. North’s Jackson Billingkoff, who came off the bench in the top half of the inning as a pinch hitter, made a great play on the ball and fired to first to just beat out Gonzalez to keep the no-hitter alive

“[Ruben] is really quick…I tried to get ahead on everyone, I think I did a good job most of the game but I fell behind him there,” Sinacola said. “I just missed some of my spots but I dialed it in and got back in, got that next strike to make it 3-1. Jackson made a great play for us there.”

“Jackson is a great athlete,” Hart said. “I think it was Gonzalez that hit it and we know he’s very fast. Jackson got over there and made the play. He just has a lot of confidence in himself to get it done. He knew he had to get a quick release there too and he got it.”

Matt Seavey added an RBI single in the top of the seventh to make it 12-0.

Stoughton nearly broke up the no-hitter in the bottom of the seventh when sophomore James Genest hit a hard grounder to short. Ryan Pasquel, another defensive sub for the Rocketeers, made a diving play and fired to first in time. However, the ball was dropped at first resulting in an error but keeping the no-hitter alive.

Again, Sinacola needed just four more pitches to get the final two outs and complete the game.

North Attleboro baseball (4-0 Hockomock, 5-0 overall) is scheduled to return to action on Wednesday when it hosts Milford. Stoughton (2-3, 2-4) will try to bounce back when it hosts Sharon on Wednesday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.