2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview
Canton held on for a scoreless tie at Franklin that secured the Bulldogs the outright league title last season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)
2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

Canton

2019-2020 Record: 19-1-4
2019-2020 Finish: Division 2 State Co-Champion
Coach: Dennis Aldrich

The pandemic has cost Canton an opportunity to defend its first D2 state championship, but the Bulldogs have an experienced squad that will be looking to claim a second straight league title. Although dynamic defenseman Olivia Maffeo has transferred, Canton can count on 13 returning players, including nine forwards, so there is plenty of continuity as the program makes its move to the rebuilt Metropolis Skating Rink.

Maffeo’s goals will certainly be missed, but the Bulldogs will expect the forward lines to pick up the slack. Seniors Maria Femia, Lizzie Tassinari, and Ellie Rae Roberts all have four years of experience at the varsity level and each is capable of putting the puck in the net on a consistent basis. The forwards will also be the first line of defense, as their forechecking ability puts pressure on the opponents in all three zones.

Defense has been a strength for Canton throughout this impressive run of success. This year, there will be a few new faces on the blue line but junior Allie McCabe and sophomore Maya Battista will lead the defensive unit and both stood out last year for their strength, skating, and passing out of the zone. Backstopping the Canton defense is sophomore goalie Carolyn Durand, who recorded 14 shutouts as a freshman.

“I look for our team defense to be a strength as usual and am looking for our experienced forwards to find the back of the net more often with the confidence gained by capturing the first state title for Canton High School Girls Ice Hockey,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich.

Franklin

2019-2020 Record: 7-9-5
2019-2020 Finish: Reached D1 Preliminary Round
Coach: Margie Burke

2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

Last winter, Franklin pushed its league title defense right to the final game of the regular season and this year the Panthers will be hoping to reclaim the crown in what should be a typically competitive league campaign. Franklin will hope that a young defensive group can get up to speed right away to complement the experience that the Panthers have in attack.

The forward line should be a strength for Franklin this season. Senior Amanda Lewandowski is back to be the focal point after recording 21 points as a junior. Fellow seniors Libby Carter and Katelyn Brown will add experience and energy to the forward line, providing not only scoring punch but also helping out in the defensive zone as well. Sophomore Lyndsey Atkinson is coming off an impressive rookie season in which she led the team with 10 goals.

Defensively, Franklin graduated a group of players that had several years of varsity experience so it will be new faces that will have to step in this year. Junior Katie LeBlanc and sophomore Shaw Downing are two of the defenders back from last year’s squad. If teams get through the Franklin defense, senior goalie Gabby Colace is back to keep things difficult for opposing forwards. Colace was one of the league’s top shot stoppers last year, allowing fewer than two goals per game.
“We are very grateful to have the opportunity to get on the ice and compete,” said Franklin coach Margie Burke. “This year we expect to have a balanced squad. The Hock should be very competitive as always. ‘Play every game like it’s the last’ will be our motto.”




King Philip

2019-2020 Record: 10-11-1
2019-2020 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ken Assad

After coming up just one point shy of the state tournament last season, the Warriors are entering the 2020-2021 campaign with a lot of determination, ready to make a run at the Hockomock League title.

The Warriors have a large amount of returning players back for this season and all now have a year of experience under their belts playing for head coach Ken Assad, who enters the season with plenty of optimism and excitement. Assad will look to role three to four lines throughout the season, giving the Warriors a lot of flexibility with their offensive looks. In senior captain Averi Maxwell (18 points) and juniors Moran Cunningham (24) and Sydney O’Shea (20 points), King Philip has one of the most dangerous attacking units in the league. Not only will the Warriors get a lot of production from that line, but it should also open things up for everyone else on the ice.

Junior Jen Daniels (16 points) is back after a breakout sophomore campaign, sophomore Katarina Precobb will look to follow up a strong freshman season, and seniors Nicole Brady, captain Olivia Donovan, Kara McWhinnie, and sophomore Bridgette Nally will all be in the mix offensively for the Warriors. There will be a lot of familiar faces on the defensive end for the Warriors as well with senior assistant captains Gabriela Trujillo and Libby Curran anchoring the blue line unit. Juniors Meg Sherwood and Alison Donovan bring key experience from last year while sophomores Brielle Hearon and Emma Sullivan will factor in defensively as well.

Mallory Johnston picked up some valuable experience between the pipes last season filling in for an injury and will now take over the starting job in net for KP. The Warriors also have a strong freshmen class ready to contribute right away with Kelly Holmes (forward) and Mara Boldy (defense) in the mix.

“With the experience we have this year and always being very optimistic for a good start, I expect them to work hard in all three zones and be a top contender for a Hockomock title this year,” Assad said. “There is great team chemistry on this team and with our captains’ leadership, they will definitely give it 110%. The girls accept the fact there is not going to be a tournament and are very excited to get on the ice no matter what the season will look like and for that, I continue to be very proud of them and what they have gone through.”

Mansfield/Oliver Ames

2019-2020 Record: 10-10-1
2019-2020 Finish: Reached D1 Preliminary Round
Coach: Roy Bain

Coming off a strong 2020 campaign and with a group of veteran players on the roster, MOA head coach Roy Bain has a positive outlook on the upcoming season for his Warriors.

MOA recorded double-digit wins last season and nearly pulled off a gigantic upset in the opening round of the state tournament (5-4 loss to #8 seed Boston Latin). The Warriors have 11 seniors on this year’s roster and that, plus a strong mix of experienced underclassmen, should mean good things for the season. The defensive unit for the team remains intact with senior Emma Pereira, the team’s MVP from a season ago, back to anchor that unit. She’ll reunite with junior Julia Muttart for one pairing while seniors Melissa Shanteler and Megan O’Hara are back together on the blue line again this year.

Not only will there be familiar faces along the blueline, junior Jess Widdop returns for her third season between the pipes for MOA. Widdop had a strong season in goal for MOA a year ago and with so much familiarity among the defensemen, the Warriors will be one of the toughest teams to score against. Freshman Kata Callanan will push for time in net as well.

On the other end of the ice, Bain has compiled four lines that could all see time on the ice. Senior Alex Ledin (16 points), senior Ella Waryas (15 points) and sophomore Reese Pereira (17 points) accounted for the majority of the Warriors’ scoring last year and will be among the most dangerous lines in the league. The line of Sam Ledin, Kylie O’Keefe, and Emma Garland will provide a change of pace, using their speed on both ends of the ice; the trio of seniors Lily O’Brien and Tess Luciano centered by junior Cierra Doherty will provide veteran leadership; and sophomore Mya Waryas will be surrounded by freshmen Maeve Anastasia and Cam Shanteler for a youthful option.

“This team only graduated two players, it has essentially the same personnel from last year, but with a renewed sense of the possibilities of what they can build for this program,” Bain said. “Some of the seniors were cheated out of their seasons in other sports and know what’s at stake for girls hockey. I’m impressed by the focus they’ve shown this far. The rules they play under may have changed, but their mindset and their love of the game has not.”

Stoughton

2019-2020 Record: 3-15-1
2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Rich Grasso

2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Hockey Preview

The Black Knights took a step in the right direction last season, picking up points in four contests including three wins. Stoughton will look to build on that this year in a very competitive Hockomock League.

Morgan Lessa was one of the best forwards in the Hockomock League last season, second in the entire league with 21 goals scored and tied for second-most in points with 31. Haley Nelson also had a strong junior campaign and was a big reason for Stoughton seeing an improvement on the ice from the season before. Nelson accounted for nine goals and six assists.

Zofia Bangs made an immediate impact for the Black Knights last season and is coming off a strong field hockey season. Both Bangs and Jillian Parker played key roles in the attack for the Black Knights. Stoughton will have to replace goalie Brianna Buckley (graduation). Buckley recorded over 350 saves last season and was a key piece in the Stoughton defense.

Franklin Holds Off Late Charge To Beat King Philip

Franklin field hockey Kelly Holmes Kate O'Rourke
King Philip’s Kelly Holmes pokes the ball by Franklin’s Kate O’Rourke. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 

Franklin field hockey King Philip field hockey

WRENTHAM, Mass. – It was nearly the perfect start for King Philip in its heavyweight battle against division rival Franklin.

Instead, a pair of great chances were turned aside by Franklin, one by goalie Neilee Hess and another by the stick of midfielder Sara Carney, and the Panthers took control from there.

Behind goals in the first and third quarters, Franklin field hockey secured a 2-1 win over the Warriors in the first of two meetings between the teams this week in a rain-filled contest on the slick turf of Macktaz Field.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We didn’t show enough energy,” said King Philip head coach Lisa Cropper. “We didn’t believe that we could win the game…they didn’t say that but I could see it in their body language. We had chances right off the bat and I think if we popped one in, it would have been a different story. But we didn’t, they did and they relaxed played their game, and we had to struggle the whole way.”

There was a burst of energy at the opening whistle as the Warriors marched down the field into the attacking zone less than a minute into the 7-on-7 style contest, one of the modifications due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Senior Grace Crocker unleashed a low, hard shot from the right side that was denied by Hess with a kick save. After a brief scrum in front, KP once again put a shot on frame that got by Hess but only to be deflected wide by Carney, who was alertly covering the goal line for the Panthers.

The rest of the opening quarter belonged to the visitors, who continued to put pressure on KP goalie Makenzie Manning (14 saves). Just under 10 minutes into the game, the Panthers broke through.

Junior Kailyn Carney carried possession into some space but whacking a low shot on goal. Senior Amanda Lewandowski was positioned perfect right in front of the keeper and deflected the shot perfectly into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.










Franklin field hockey

“There’s a lot of nerves in a big game like this between these two teams so getting that goal [in the first quarter] kind of broke the ice, kind of helped us to settle in a little bit,” said Franklin head coach Michelle Hess. “To KP’s credit, they did more subbing than I did and I think that made a difference towards the end. It was a pretty competitive game, back-and-forth.

“Their goalie is really aggressive and since we’re not used to seeing that, it almost makes them think a little more. For us, just shoot the ball. We had a bunch of shots but we also had trouble putting shots on net.”

It was a scoreless second quarter but both teams came close to putting the ball in the back of the net. First, KP senior Isabelle Crocker forced another big save from Hess just before the midway point of the quarter. And with just under four minutes to go, Sara Carney dropped a pass to the far post that was just out of the reach of the sticks of both Lewandowski and sophomore Shaw Downing.

“My two backs, Kate [O’Rourke] and Kendall [Jones], they are so strong and they see the field so well,” Hess said. “Once they get the stop, we’ve drilled it into them to get it out to the side and clear it up and find the open man. And then Sara Carney playing in the center, she has the endurance to get forward and get back and play defense.

“A lot of teams are packing it in…King Philip had all six defenders in the circle so that’s hard to play against offensively. And with an aggressive goalie like they have, it makes it even more difficult. So we knew it’d be a low scoring game. We’re trying to work on our triangles, see the space, cut into space, and find the ball.”

Manning made a stellar save, diving out to deny a chance from Stephanie Bell just two minutes into the second half, but Bell added a big goal for the Panthers just five minutes later.

The Panthers broke out of the back, taking advantage of open space on the right wing. Lewandowski carried toward goal before rifling a pass to the far post where Bell one-timed it into the back of the net.

“[Franklin] passes really well, they move off the ball extremely well and they find each other,” Cropper said. “And they have a couple of very good shooters. Amanda scored one and created the second one, we had someone on her most of the game so we held her to one and an assist. They had [23 goals] in the first two games.

“We had some chances early on but didn’t score and didn’t follow up We kind of sat back in a shell and they took it to us. You can’t play that way. But with this format, no lead is safe, we knew we could come back. We started to some in the third and then the fourth quarter we really came alive.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Fresh legs allowed the Warriors to get some momentum in the final quarter. KP forced a turnover in the defensive third which led to a counterattack the other way. Isabelle Crocker used her speed to split a pair of defenders and then slid the ball past the charging keeper, the ball rolling in just inside the post to make it 2-1 with seven minutes.

KP continued to garner more offensive pressure than it had throughout the previous quarters but couldn’t register a serious chance on goal to find the equalizer.

Franklin field hockey (3-0 Kelley-Rex, 3-0 overall) will host King Philip (2-1, 2-1) in a rematch on Thursday at 3:45 at Beaver Street Field.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/08/20

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Oliver Ames, 5 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames built a 3-0 lead by halftime and tacked on two more in the final quarter to earn a sweep over the Rocketeers. Sophomore Hector Bucio opened the scoring in the 10th minute as OA held a 1-0 advantage through one quarter. Senior Matthew Nikiciuk needed less than a minute into the second quarter to double the lead and junior Mathias Taylor made it 3-0 in the 23rd minute of the game. Nikiciuk scored twice more in the fourth quarter in the 69th minute and the 77th minute to complete his first career hat trick. Senior Colin Milliken notched three assists while Anthony DaCosta had one helper.

Field Hockey
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 5 – FinalCanton senior Maria Femia scored a pair of goals as the Bulldogs swept the season series against the Black Knights. After scoring a hat trick earlier this week against Stoughton, Femia found the back of the net twice in Canton’s home opener. Meghan LaBelle, Ellie Bohane, and Erin Lane each added a goal for Canton.

Sharon, 0 @ Foxboro, 7 – Final

Milford 0 @ Franklin, 13 – FinalFranklin recorded its second straight big win, opening its home schedule with a victory over visiting Milford. Senior Amanda Lewandowski and junior Kaitlyn Carney each scored four goals in the win for Franklin, who built a 6-0 lead by halftime. Sara Carney added three assists while Lindsey Morse, Stephanie Bell, Jill Fenerty, Shaw Downing, and Grace Bonacci each scored once.

Mansfield, 1 @ King Philip, 5 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

North Attleboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – FinalOliver Ames scored once in each quarter to secure its second straight win over North Attleboro. Julia Maclaine opened the scoring for the Tigers in the first quarter off an assist by Haley Gilman. Freshman Erin Cottam opened her account with her first varsity goal in the second quarter and then scored an insurance goal in the fourth on an assist from Lexi Gennis. Georgia Costello scored in the third quarter for OA with Maggie Woods recording the assist. OA head coach Sharon Lawrence noted the strong performance from Woods (in the midfield) and Emily Han (defensively). Julia Puccio scored for the Rocketeers while Hannah Bachand made 14 saves in net.










Golf
Canton, 146 @ Stoughton, 163 – FinalCanton junior fired a two-under par round of 34 to earn match medalist honors and lead the Bulldogs to a win on the road at Easton Country Club. Owen Donovan and Mike Leonetti were each one-over at 37 while Will Gefteas, Conor Hunter, and Nate MacDonald each shot 38 for the day. Stoughton’s Anthony Hern had a team-low round of 38, Max Huminik added a 40, Jake Curtis finished at 42 for the day, and Jonah Hochberg shot a 43.

King Philip, 179 @ Mansfield, 159 – FinalThe Hornets moved to 4-0 on the season with their second win over King Philip this week. Senior Jason See was the match medalist, leading Mansfield with a match-best score of 38. Nate Morreale was right behind with a 39 while Brian See (41) and Ava Haggis (42) also scored for the Hornets.

North Attleboro, 165 @ Oliver Ames, 159 – FinalOliver Ames junior Carter Allbritton birdied the sixth hole at Pine Oaks, finishing with a low round of 38 to earn match medalist honors and lead the Tigers to a 4-0 start. Senior James Walsh and freshman Sean Kearns each shot 40 for the Tigers while senior Will Gianni, junior Jake Kaplan, and sophomore Daniel Paul all came into the clubhouse with a 41 for OA.

Sharon, 175 @ Foxboro, 163 – FinalFoxboro’s Dylan Quinn carded a round of 37 on the front nine at the Cape Club of Sharon, earning match medalist honors and helping the Warriors to a win on the road over Sharon. Jack Rounds added a 40 for Foxboro while Dylan Pothier and Luke Dave each shot a 43. Sharon’s Eric Carter and Nathan Daley both shot a 43 for the Eagles while Rosie Leonard added a round of 44.

Canton Ties Franklin to Win Outright League Title

Canton girls hockey
Canton held on for a scoreless tie at Franklin that secured the Bulldogs the outright league title. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – In two seasons of Hockomock League play, Canton and Franklin have established themselves as the teams to beat. The Bulldogs won the inaugural league championship and then last season Franklin took the crown for the first time. In year three, the two teams went into the final game of the regular season separated by just two points at the top of the standings.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

As has become the standard when the two teams meet, Wednesday night’s game at Pirelli Veterans Arena was close, defensive, and physical and, in the end, Canton was able to hold out for a 0-0 tie that secured the outright league title.

“It means a lot,” Canton coach Dennis Aldrich said about not sharing the title. “Especially here. When I used to coach the [Canton] boys, anytime we came here or [Franklin] used to come to Ponky, they called it the ‘Dungeon of Doom’, it’s just something about it. The crowd wasn’t the same, but the emotion was.”

With 1:37 remaining and with the Panthers setting up for an offensive zone face-off, Franklin coach Margie Burke called timeout and pulled goalie Gabby Colace (19 saves). There were several surprised reactions from beyond the glass, but it underscored the importance of the title race and how little one point would impact Franklin’s likely seed in the playoffs.

“A win gets us a championship,” said Burke. “I explained it to the kids and they understood why we did it. I had to do it. I’m extremely proud of my girls tonight, they played their heart out.”

The move nearly paid instant dividends, as the Panthers won the draw into the corner and puck was played out in front before being scrambled away. Olivia Maffeo came close to winning the game with 50 seconds left, but the Canton freshman sent a shot from beyond the red line inches wide for icing.

Another face-off led to another good chance for the Panthers, but Lyndsey Atkinson couldn’t keep her shot down from just inside the right circle. Canton pressured to try and get an empty net winner, but the Panthers defense was able to block a couple of shots heading towards goal. The pressure kept the puck in the Franklin defensive zone though and allowed the Bulldogs to run out the clock.

“I have so much respect for her and what she does,” said Aldrich. “It’s a lot of fun for our kids. She’s got a certain style. It’s throw three kids out front, throw the puck there, and see if you can beat them up. We knew that coming in, so we were really stick on stick. We had to commit on that.”

Franklin had more of the attacking play in the first period, outshooting Canton 6-3. Libby Carter had the first good look for the Panthers with a quick shot from the slot that Carolyn Durand (15 saves) was able to stop and then cover before Amanda Lewandowski could pounce on the rebound.

Canton took more than eight minutes to record its first shot, which came off a rush from her own zone by Maffeo. Less than 30 seconds later, the Bulldogs had another good chance when freshman Audrey Koen corralled a loose puck forced a save from Colace.

Atkinson had a near breakaway with six minutes left in the first but the puck was poked away as she tried to pull it onto her backhand and round the goalie.

The visitors started to gain a foothold in the game and ended up with a 10-6 edge in shots in the second. Koen teed up Tess Khoury for an early look right in front but Colace got a pad to the shot. With five minutes left in the second, Maffeo made another long rush into the attacking zone and fired a pass in front by Lizzie Tassinari couldn’t redirect it on net.

Tina Pisano forced a good pad stop from Durand with a wrister from the point and then Canton came inches away from the lead when Maffeo struck the post with a shot from the right circle. Maria Femia followed up the rebound but Colace got across to block the shot.

It remained tense into the third period and it felt like one goal could decide it. Ellie Rae Roberts had a great chance for the Bulldogs, as she collected a deflected puck on the edge of the crease, but Colace again flashed a pad to make the stop.

“It’s so important because we have that confidence that defensively we’re going to do well,” Burke said about the play of her goalie. “It’s putting the puck in the net and we had our opportunities tonight.”

With two minutes to go, Shaw Downing had a shot from the point that was knocked down in front and the Canton defense was able to get it out of the danger area before Lewandowski could get a stick to it. Twenty seconds later, Franklin had a two-on-one rush. Atkinson flipped a pass to Carter on the left wing, but Maffeo came sliding across to block the first chance, and Durand had the angle covered on the second shot.

That set up a frantic finish with the Panthers throwing an extra skater out there in hopes of stealing a share of the title, but the Bulldogs held on to the shutout and both teams got important experience playing in a playoff-like atmosphere.

“We talked about how it was such a good game for us because we should expect that type of game,” Aldrich explained. “It’s going to be that type of punch you in the face, throw the puck to the net. Overall, defensively I thought we did what we wanted to do.”

Burke added, “Franklin and Canton just have that hockey rivalry. They always have and always will.”

Canton (14-1-4) will close out the regular season with a visit from Barnstable on Monday and a trip to Walpole on Wednesday. Franklin (6-8-5) will finish up its regular season when it hosts Leominster next Wednesday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/13/20

Today’s games are listed below.

Girls Basketball
Milford, 32 vs. Hopedale, 29 – FinalFreshman Brooke Ferreira scored a game-high 14 points to lead the Hawks to their third non-league victory of the season. Jillian Michelson added six points, while Emily Croteau (13 rebounds) and Carley Ferreira (11 rebounds) dominated the glass.

Boys Hockey
Attleboro, 6 @ Cardinal Spellman, 1 – Final
Taunton, 2 @ Apponequet, 2 – Final

Girls Hockey
Franklin, 7 @ Leominster, 0 – FinalFranklin scored four goals in the first period and never looked back in a big win on the road over Leominster. Freshman Molly Hurley (from Katelyn Brown and Maggie McCaffrey) and sophomore Emma Hunt each scored once in the first period while junior Katelyn Brown scored a pair of goals. Shaw Downing, Samantha Wong, Maggie McCaffrey, and Hurley had assists on Brown’s two goals. Libby Carter, Maddi Dolan, and Olivia Stoller also scored in the win for Franklin while Kelli Maple had a pair of assists. Gabby Colace made 16 saves for the shutout.

King Philip, 6 @ Walpole, 2 – FinalMakenzie Shandley and Morgan Cunningham each scored a pair of goals to lead the Warriors to a big win on the road. Sydney O’Shea and Avari Maxwell each scored once in the win.

Girls Gymnastics
Mansfield. 141.85 @ Franklin, 139.15 – FinalFranklin posted its best score in program history but came up just short against powerhouse Mansfield in a clash of two of the top programs in the league.

Franklin Results:
Vault – Kate Rudolph 9.2 | Caroline Woelfel 8.9 | Lexi Lupien 8.85 | Maddie McGuire 8.75
Bars – K. Rudolph 8.3 | C. Woelfel 8.3 | Emma Nelson 8.2 | Ashley Hammann 7.9
Beam – K. Rudolph 9.4 | L. Lupien 8.7 | E. Nelson 8.65 | A. Hammann 8.6 | Elizabeth Schirduan 8.2 | Olivia Reagan 8.0
Floor – K. Rudolph 9.3 | C. Woelfel 9.0 | L. Lupien 8.6 | E. Nelson 8.5 | A. Hammann 8.4 | Lizzie Brown 8.2

Oliver Ames, 133.95 @ King Philip, 128.7 – Final

Lewandowski Lifts Franklin Past Mansfield/OA

Franklin girls hockey
Franklin goalie Gabby Colace made 25 saves to record a shutout against Mansfield/Oliver Ames. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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WALPOLE, Mass. – Goals are at a premium in league games this season and that remained the case when Mansfield/Oliver Ames hosted defending Hockomock champion Franklin at Rodman Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Amanda Lewandowski scored against the run of play in the second period and Gabby Colace made 25 stops to preserve a 1-0 victory for the Panthers in a game in which they were kept on the back foot for the first 30 minutes.

“Definitely a slow start, but we know that every Hockomock League game is going to be like this,” said Frankin coach Margie Burke. “We’re not going to put a lot of pucks on the net this year. We’re going to have to count on good defense and a few lucky breaks.”

The Warriors came flying out of the gates, taking advantage of their team speed to put Franklin on its heels and force the Panthers to defend for long stretches. After Maggie McCaffrey got an early chance on goal for Franklin, MOA started to step on the gas. Tess Luciano started it with a shot from the right circle and Alex Ledin let fly with a slap shot from the high slot that Colace stopped.

With four minutes remaining in the first Reese Pereira managed to get to the front of the net and get a tip from close range. The puck came back around to Ledin and she sent her shot from the slot just wide of the post.

Franklin had been forced back into a shell for much of the period, but did manage a late flurry of chances on the other end. Lewandowski was the catalyst as he forced Jessica Widdop (17 saves) into a stick save from a tight angle and after Gina Vignone threw one at net she forced a blocker stop while falling down.

The hosts were relying on their defensemen to create offensive chances, with Emma Pereira, Julia Muttart, Megan O’Hara, and Melissa Shanteler all getting looks from the point. Vignone and Gianna Cameron led the Franklin defense in trying to clear out any rebounds from the crease.

“They really played well, they blocked shots, they kept their heads up, they didn’t panic against the boards when they were pressured by two players,” MOA coach Roy Bain said about his blue line corps. “I can’t be upset with the way that anyone in that locker room played.”

MOA held an 11-6 edge in shots after the first and the momentum continued following the short breather between periods. Ledin again got a good look at net that went off Colace’s blocker and straight into the air. Cameron cleared before Reese Pereira could get a stick on the loose puck.

“We had a lot of the zone time, we were breaking out as we want to, and their game plan became obvious early, which was to crash the ‘D’ and pinch on the wings,” said Bain. “The goaltender gave up a lot of rebounds but their defense is very responsible in front of their net and stopped us from getting a lot of follow-up chances.”

Libby Carter sent a warning to the Warriors when she got free on a defensive zone turnover only to have Widdop make a big pad save. The breakthrough came three minutes into the second. Vignone flipped a high pass towards goal. Lewandowski managed to bring it down right on the edge of the crease, kicking it to her stick and sliding it past Widdop’s pad for a 1-0 lead.

“That goal tonight, it was a kick, a drop, and a reach,” said Burke. “It was like a soccer or field hockey goal but not an ice hockey goal. I tell them all the time that ugly goals count the same as pretty goals and ugly wins count the same as pretty wins.”

There were more chances for the Warriors to try and even things up in the second, as MOA outshot the Panthers 10-4 in the period and had a four-minute power play, but Lily O’Brien’s shot from the right circle was an example of how Franklin kept the middle of the ice clear.

It was clear that Burke spent the second intermission emphasizing the need to get on the attack, as the third period was by far the best that Franklin played in the offensive zone.

Burke said, “Absolutely, we talked about how everything in the first two periods was a reach and a poke but no body. You have to reach in with your stick and then with your body. They got more physical for sure.”

Lewandowski continued to be a thorn in MOA’s side. She skated behind the net and fired a pass all the way out to Vignone at the point for a shot through traffic that Widdop saved, and then stopped the rebound effort as well. Freshman Shaw Downing had an effort from the blue line that Lewandowski managed to tip in front but Widdop again stayed tall to stop.

The Warriors kept pushing for an equalizing goal, but Franklin continued to hold them at bay. Colace came up with a huge glove save on a blast by Emma Pereira from the edge of the left circle. It was the last good look for the home team.

“It’s tough when you lose by a goal but you can’t be upset that you lost by a goal because every single person played their heart out,” Bain said. “We played great, they were just one goal better.”

Franklin (2-2-1) will face a battle against the first league champion, Canton, on Wednesday. Mansfield/Oliver Ames (3-4-1) will have a short turnaround to try and end its three-game losing streak when it hosts Stoughton on Sunday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/14/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Hockey
Foxboro, 3 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalAfter a scoreless first period, Foxboro found the back of the net twice in the second and tacked on a third in the final period to pick up a win over Attleboro in a non-league clash. Junior Kirk Leach opened the scoring on an assist from Jack Watts, and Eoin Reager doubled the lead on an unassisted goal to make it 2-0. Sebastian Ricketts scored in the third period to make it 3-0 before Attleboro’s Ryan Morry got the Bombardiers on the board.

Canton, 3 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

North Attleboro, 5 vs. Smithfield (R.I.), 3 – Final

Oliver Ames, 2 @ Medway, 3 – FinalOliver Ames went on the power play and pulled its goalie for the final 1:40 of the game but couldn’t find the tying goal, falling to Medway in its season opener. Senior Duncan Pereira and junior Luca DeCillia (first career goal) scored for the Tigers while senior Owen Connor (29 saves) played well in net.

Stoughton, 0 @ Dartmouth, 3 – FinalStoughton goalie Ryan Spano was outstanding in net for the Black Knights, making 44 saves.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 5 vs. Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake, 0 – FinalCarolyn Durand made 15 saves to record her second shutout in as many games, as the Bulldogs won for the second time in three days to start the season.

Stoughton, 0 @ Franklin, 7 – FinalFranklin opened the season with a big win at home over visiting Stoughton. Freshman Lyndsey Atkinson had a big debut, scoring her first goal while adding a pair of assists to lead the way. Sophomore Maggie McCaffrey, freshman Shaw Downing, and freshman Molly Hurley also scored their first career goals for the Panthers win the win. Gabby Colace had a 12-save shutout for the win.

King Philip, 0 @ Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 – FinalMOA’s Lily O’Brien scored twice, Julia Muttart anchored the defense, and Jess Widdop notched the shutout in goal as the Warriors skated to a league win over King Philip. Melissa Shanteler put the hosts up with a goal with 5:49 left in the opening period while O’Brien scored twice in the first five minutes of the second. Junior Emma Pereira found her younger sister Reese Pereira with a pass, and she connected with O’Brien down low to make it 2-0. Three minutes later, O’Brien had her second after burying a rebound off a shot from Ella Waryas. Alex Ledin added another second period goal to put MOA up 4-0. Widdop finished with 18 saves for the shutout.

Wrestling
Ashland Early Bird (North Attleboro) – North Attleboro earned 106.5 points to take eight place overall at the Ashland Early Bird Tournament to kick off the season. Tanner Ferguson (106) picked up the first tournament win for the Rocketeers, earning two pinfall victories, including one in the final over the top seed. Michael Edmonds (170) and Montrel Jackson (182) each had third place finishes for the Big Red.

Devin Ness Tournament (Oliver Ames) – Oliver Ames hosted its annual Devin Ness Invitational to kick off the 2019-2020 season, with the Tigers taking fifth overall with 144.5 points. Ness was a captain on the OA wrestling team that died unexpectedly in January 2013, and the Tigers have hosted this memorial tournament since the start of the 2013-2014 season. Senior Max Anderson opened the season in style, winning the 195 bracket. Anderson won his first two matches by fall, the semifinal matchup by major decision, and then pinned his opponent in 1:52 to win the bracket. Stavros Constantinou (120) and Remi Creighton (126), and Gavin Morrison (285) each earned third place finishes for the Tigers.

Burlington Quad (Canton), 10:00

Mount Hope (R.I.) Quad (Franklin, Stoughton), 10:00AM

Sharon Quad (Mansfield, Sharon), 10:00

King Philip Quad, 10:00

Watertown Quad (Taunton) – Taunton’s Luke Fraga and Ethan Harris both went undefeated on the day while the Tigers post a 1-2 record at the quad meet. Taunton knocked off Carver (48-18) but suffered setbacks to Norwood (24-45) and Watertown (27-41). Fraga went 3-0 wrestling at 113 while Harris had three wins at 152. Taunton’s Christian Balmain (160), Nico Sallaway (170), 182 Peter Ye (182), and Sean Guilmette (195) each had two wins.

Boys Swimming
Attleboro @ Milford, 8:15AM

Canton @ Franklin, 10:30 (@ Milford)

Foxboro, 51 @ King Philip, 59 – FinalFoxboro won a pair of relays and one solo event but came up just short against King Philip. Kris Anderson won the 100 breaststroke in 1:29, and was a member of the winner 200 relay with Anthony Amico, Dimitrios Davis, and Jared Roke (2:11). Foxboro’s 400 relay team of Marek Stone, Amico, Roke, and Joseph St. Pierre won in 5:17.

Girls Swimming
Attleboro @ Milford, 8:15AM

Canton @ Franklin, 10:30 (@ Milford)

Foxboro, 77 @ King Philip, 97 – FinalFoxboro’s Megan Lanthrop recorded a pair of sectional qualifying times in the meet against King Philip. Lanthrop won the 100 fly with a time of 1:06, and took second overall in the 500 free in 5:51.