2018 Hockomock League Boys Hockey All Stars

Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Boys Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Jack Goyetch, Canton

Hockomock League All Stars

Jake Parker, Attleboro
Nick Allen, Canton
John Hagan, Canton
Jack Goyetch, Canton
Ryan Nolte, Canton
Quinn Gibbs, Canton
Aidan Sullivan, Foxboro
Brendan Tully, Foxboro
Luke Downie, Franklin
Owen Ginley, Franklin
Jack McGrath, Franklin
Jeremy Miller, Franklin
Collin Cooke, King Philip
Mike Curtin, King Philip
Cullin Anastasia, Mansfield
Tim Arnold, Mansfield
Jason McNeany, North Attleboro
Drew Wissler, North Attleboro
Matt McCormack, Oliver Ames
Michael Nikiciuk, Oliver Ames
Brett Williams, Oliver Ames
Brendan Campbell, Stoughton
Will Walsh, Taunton

Hornets Knocked Out By Xaverian Comeback

Mansfield boys hockey
Mansfield senior Patrick McCafferty opened the scoring in the first round playoff match-up with Xaverian at the Canton Ice House. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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CANTON, Mass. – The final score was in no way indicative of the type of game it had been, but the end result was the same as last year for Mansfield against Xaverian in the opening round of the Div. 1 South tournament at the Canton Ice House.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Hawks tacked on three goals in the final 1:02 of the game, including an empty net goal and one with six seconds on the clock, to add gloss to a 6-2 scoreline and knock the Hornets out of the playoffs for the second straight season.

“They played very disciplined hockey and they capitalized on our mistakes,” explained Mansfield coach Mike Balzarini. “It’s been a tough struggle with that all year, but I thought we battled back. I thought we played really well all three periods. We played with the same intensity with the lead and without the lead.”

Mansfield (9-7-5) came into this year’s game as the nine seed and Xaverian as the eight, a reversal of last season, and the game played out as these match-ups typically do. The game was end-to-end, hard-hitting, and tight.

Ryan Pomposelli had the game’s first chance straight off a draw but his point-blank effort was saved by Mansfield goalie Sean McCafferty at the near post. Two minutes later, the Hornets nearly took the lead with a shot from beyond the blue line by Jake Lund that took a slight deflection in front and turned into an awkward blocker save for A.J. Scott, who played at Stoughton last year.

McCafferty came up with a kick save to deny Ross Vona midway through the first and Scott was called upon to stop a backhanded effort by Cullin Anastasia. With four minutes left in the first, the Hornets took advantage of a power play opportunity to take the lead. Tyler Oakley’s shot from the point was tipped in front by Patrick McCafferty, giving Scott no chance.

“One of the things we talked about was getting off to a good start and playing with the lead and we did,” said Balzarini. “They outshot us in the first period but we were able to capitalize.”

The lead was doubled early in the second. Freshman Matty Copponi skated past his marker on the left side of the goal and attempted to saucer a pass in front to Coleman O’Brien but instead, the puck took a deflection and slid under the pads of the Xaverian goalie.

There was a delay before the officials signaled for a goal and then Scott argued that the net had been dislodged prior to the puck crossing the line. After a conversation between the officials, the goal stood and Mansfield had the 2-0 advantage.

“The ref was right there and he called it a good goal,” said Balzarini, “and that seemed to pick us up even more. We played with the same intensity all three periods, but they’re a good team.”

The Hornets could have added a third on two occasions. Dylan Tivnan forced Scott into a shoulder save with a wrister from the left circle after a quick transition and then Anastasia put the puck into the crease where a scrum of bodies was located but no one was able to find the necessary touch to knock it in.

Xaverian had speed to bother the Hornets, but generally, the defensemen, led by Tim Arnold and Oakley, were able to keep the Hawks to the outside and limit their chances. With 1:16 left in the second, Xaverian finally managed to get on the board. Pomposelli got a third bite of the apple from the edge of the crease and managed to lift it over the leg of the sprawling McCafferty, who had already made two saves in the sequence.

The goal gave the Hawks a little energy, but they took a penalty that appeared to give the impetus back to Mansfield. Unfortunately for the Hornets, a mix-up on an offensive zone face-off led to a tying goal. The puck could not be held in at the blue line and Josh Barton was on it in a flash, creating a shorthanded breakaway that made it 2-2 with just 15.2 on the clock.

Balzarini remarked, “It was just a miscommunication. We didn’t get the puck in deep on the first one and they were able to come down through transition in the neutral zone and on the second one we had a lefty on the right point and it got by him but, it happens and they capitalized.”

The momentum carried over into the third period. Xaverian quickly took control again and Austin Ricker was forced to give up a power play in order to stop a breakaway opportunity. On the power play, the Hawks crashed the net and, again after a couple of McCafferty saves, Matt Ryan was able to punch across the go-ahead goal.

Mansfield was struggling to create scoring chances against the organized Xaverian defense, which was clogging the shooting lanes. The Hornets only put five shots on goal in the third, although Patrick McCafferty did have a breakaway chance with six minutes to play that was saved by Scott.

With 1:02 remaining, as people were waiting to see when Mansfield would pull its goalie, Xaverian got a quick breakout of the zone and Matt Talarico scored to seal the win. An empty netter and a goal with barely any time on the clock would make the score far more lopsided than was the action on the ice.

Balzarini said, “They just kept coming and coming, but I thought player for player we hung right with them. It wasn’t a 6-2 game. I’m very proud of them.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

King Philip Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive Against Mansfield

King Philip boys hockey
King Philip’s Jack Coulter tries to get past Mansfield’s Tyler Oakley in the second period. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
FOXBORO, Mass. – One team is already qualified for the D1 South tournament, the other is battling to keep its postseason aspirations alive.

So it was no surprise that Wednesday night’s tilt between Mansfield and King Philip felt like a playoff game.

The teams skated to a 1-1 tie, exchanging goals in the final four minutes of the second period. With the point, King Philip is still alive for a playoff berth. The Warriors need to win their final two games of the season to join the Hornets in the tournament.

“We can’t lose,” said King Philip head coach Paul Carlow of the remaining games. “We were up 1-0 but our Achille’s Heel, penalties. If we can play even strength, I like our chances. But we had to kill a couple more extra penalties than I would have liked to. But the kids responded, they played a strong third, they killed that penalty off to start. We had our chances.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

After a relatively even first period, Mansfield began to gain control of the game, having long stretches of possession in the attacking zone. The Hornets had a 16-5 edge in shots on goal in the frame, peppering King Philip senior goalie Shane Frommer (29 saves).

“Shane played maybe his best game of the year tonight,” Carlow said. “[Mansfield] is a good team, they are very well coached. They are already going to the Division 1 tournament so it was a tall task for our guys to stay alive. They put it on us pretty good earlier in the year.”

It’s best early chance came off the stick of freshman Matt Copponi as he whistled a shot with both Chris Copponi and Adam Anastos skating in front looking for a tip.

When Mansfield went on the power play at the midway point of the game, senior defenseman Tyler Oakley had his wrist shot redirected by sophomore Jake Lund but Frommer was able to get his glove on top of the dribbling puck.

Two minutes later, the Hornets had another chance when Tim Arnold kept the puck in the offensive zone and the puck landed at the feet of Chris Copponi, but Frommer made a point-blank save.

But despite the Hornets having the edge in play in the period, it was the Warriors that struck first. Mansfield goalie Sean McCafferty (23 saves) turned away a bid from Gavin Maxwell, but the puck found its way back in front and sophomore Joe Boselli lifted his shot into the back of the net. Luke D’Amico was credited with the assist while Maxwell provided the screen in front.

“Their goal was at the end of a long shift, our guys were out there for over two minutes so it cost us,” Balzarini said. “They tried their damnedest to get back but they just couldn’t. I don’t think Sean got a good look at it. But I thought we responded well. I thought the second period was much better for us.”

Less than 90 seconds after the Warriors took the lead, they took a penalty to put the Hornets on the man advantage again. This time, Mansfield cashed in.

Matt Copponi tossed a puck towards net from the blue line, where Oakley ripped a shot in close. The puck squirted free onto the other side and Chris Copponi batted in the rebound to tie the game with 1:09 left in the period.

“It was [like a playoff game],” Balzarini said. “I thought we started off slow, which is one thing we struggle with….They did a good job of putting sticks in the passing lanes and the shooting lanes. They had a handful of blocked shots, we just had trouble getting pucks to the net.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

KP had an 11-3 advantage in shots in the first period, but the teams split attacking zone possession. The best chance for King Philip came with just under three minutes to go when Maxwell saw his shot go wide and D’Amico had his rebound bid denied by McCafferty’s paddle on a diving save.

“Their goalie played well,” Carlow said. “We definitely had our chances, we had an odd-man rush late, we had a breakaway early on a shorthanded bid…both goalies played well. It was a good game, it was pretty evenly matched all night.”

Both teams had chances at the winner in the third period but couldn’t find the back of the net. D’Amico took a feed from Jack Coulter but McCafferty made the save right in front. D’Amico set up Boselli with just under six minutes to go, but again McCafferty was there for the save.

Right after the save, Mansfield went down the other end only for Matt Copponi’s shot to ring off the crossbar.

King Philip boys hockey (4-4 Hockomock, 8-10-1 overall) will try to keep its postseason hopes alive when it hosts Norwood on Monday at 5:20. Mansfield (5-2-2, 8-5-5) is on the road on Saturday, traveling to Larsen Arena to take on Winthrop.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/31/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
North Attleboro, 55 @ King Philip, 51 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Girls Basketball
King Philip, 48 @ North Attleboro, 57 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Boys Hockey
Mansfield, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalMansfield took a 1-0 lead after one period and then scored twice more in each the second and third to beat Attleboro. Cullin Anastasia scored in the second (unassisted) and in the third (from Tim Arnold and Austin Ricker), Ryan O’Hara opened the scoring in the first (from Adam Anastos), Chris Kelleher (from Coleman Jenkins) made it 3-0 and Jake Lund scored an unassisted goal in the third period. Sophomore Sean McCafferty had the shutout in net for the Hornets.

Canton, 10 @ Taunton, 0 – Final

Foxboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalOliver Ames junior Brett Williams gave the hosts a 1-0 lead in the second period but Foxboro stormed back with a pair of third-period goals to earn the upset on the road. Junior Brendan Tully scored on a power play with eight minutes left in the game to tie the game, and then, along with Aidan Sullivan, set up Tanner Kennedy for the game-winner with two minutes to play. Espen Reager made 36 saves in net for Foxboro.

Franklin, 3 @ King Philip, 1 – FinalKing Philip’s Collin Cooke scored in the first period to give the Warriors the lead after 15 minutes of play, but Franklin tied it in the second and scored two more in the third for the win. Dan Magazu had a pair of goals for the Panthers while Jeremy Miller scored once.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 6 vs. Sandwich, 0 – FinalCanton senior captain Kendra Farrelly and freshman Lizzie Tassinari each scored a pair of goals to help the Bulldogs skate past Sandwich. Junior Maggie Malloy recorded two assists for her 50th career point.

King Philip, 10 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final

Wrestling
Stoughton, 13 @ Canton, 56 – Final

Mansfield, 36 @ Foxboro, 37 – Final

King Philip, 6 @ Franklin, 45 – Final

Taunton @ Milford, 7:00

North Attleboro, 59 @ Sharon, 12 – Final

Oliver Ames, 49 vs. Newton South, 15 – FinalOliver Ames seniors Cobey Williamson (126) and Casey Bellevue (132) each victories on Senior Night for the Tigers.

Boys Swimming
Foxboro, 70 @ Hopkinton, 91 – Final
King Philip, 75 @ Franklin, 93 – Final

Girls Swimming
Foxboro, 67 @ Hopkinton, 95 – Final
King Philip, 83 @ Franklin, 87 – Final

Gymnastics
Oliver Ames, 143 @ King Philip, 134.5 – FinalOliver Ames improved to 7-0 with the win, setting up a showdown with Mansfield next week that will likely decide the Hockomock champion. The Hornets stand at 6-0 with a meet against Canton on Thursday night. For Oliver Ames, sophomore Lauren Picanzi won the all around with a 35.9 while junior Gianna Martucci took second with a 35.8. Picanzi scored a 9.2 on the bars and an 8.9 on each the vault, beam and floor. Martucci earned a 9.2 on both the bars and the floor. Hannah Moynihan had the highest score of the meet with a 9.5 on both the beam and the floor while also recording a 9.0 on the bars. Senior Charis MacCuish scored a 9.3 on floor while freshmen Kiara Nagle, Ashlyn Latham, and sophomore Tina O’Neill also made strong contributions to the team score.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/27/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Mansfield, 73 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 53 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Boys Hockey
Canton, 3 @ Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final

Stoughton, 2 @ Foxboro, 7 – Final

Franklin, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalFranklin sealed its postseason berth with a win at Asiaf, scoring once in each the first and second periods before tacking on two more in the third. Zac Falvey, Jeremy Miller, Scott Elliott, and Tom Tasker each had goals for the Panthers. OA senior Eric LeBlanc had the lone goal for the Tigers on an assist from sophomore Hunter Costello while sophomore Owen Connor made 35 saves in net.

King Philip, 1 @ Mansfield, 6 – FinalAfter a scoreless first period, Mansfield built a 2-0 lead after two periods and then poured in four goals in the final frame to beat King Philip. Senior defenseman Tim Arnold had a hat trick for the Hornets.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 0 @ Hingham, 1 – Final

Franklin, 2 @ Medfield/Norton, 0 – FinalFreshman Natalie Stott tossed another shutout in net for the Panthers, while Amanda Lewandowski and Jordan Dwyer added the goals, to clinch Franklin’s spot in the postseason.

King Philip, 1 @ Westwood, 3 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ Dedham, 8 – Final

Wrestling
Hockomock League Championships – Click here for a Recap, Results, and a Photo Gallery from this meet.

Swimming
Stoughton @ Foxboro, 2:30

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/24/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Canton, 60 @ Boston Latin, 46 – FinalCanton trailed after eight minutes of play but built a five-point lead at halftime, and doubled that going into the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs qualified for the state tournament with the win. Junior Devin Foster had a team-high 21 points while senior Tony Harris had 18 points.

Boys Hockey
Foxboro, 1 @ Franklin, 6 – FinalFoxboro trailed by just two goals after two periods but Franklin put the game away with three third period goals. CJ Spillane, TJ Durkin, Dan Magazu, Shane McCaffrey, Joe Lizotte and Scott Elliot each scored once for the Panthers while Josh Bertumen scored for Foxboro in the second period.

Taunton, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – FinalKing Philip scored a pair of goals in the first period and had a quick response in the second after Taunton cut it to one to beat the Tigers. Sophomore Jack Coulter buried a rebound on a shot from freshman Rocco Bianculli just under five minutes into the game. Sophomore Joe Boselli doubled the lead five minutes later, firing a low shot after a feed from defenseman Mike Curtin. Taunton’s Will Walsh took a feed from Cam Sneyd, used his first touch to get past the defenseman and then used a nice move, finishing backhand to cut the deficit to 2-1 just two minutes into the second. But less than three minutes later, Curtin drove a hard slap shot through traffic to put KP up 3-1. Luke D’Amico added an empty net goal in the final minute. Taunton sophomore Sean Bunker played well in net with 32 saves while KP goalie Shane Frommer had 19 saves.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – FinalOliver Ames stole the momentum with a goal late in the first period and then capitalized on it with two second period goals to beat Mansfield. The Hornets scored first and last, but the Tigers had three straight between the first and second periods. Mansfield sophomore Kevin Belanger tallied his first career goal just over two minutes into the game, getting a tip on Tim Arnold’s shot. Oliver Ames’ Rory Madden tied the game with 30 seconds left in the opening frame, burying a rebound off a shot from Matt McCormack. Just over two minutes into the second, the Tigers took the lead when Brett Williams batted in a rebound off a shot from Ryan Gottwald, with Madden also notching an assist. Six minutes later, solid forechecking from Ross Carroll and Adam Lyons resulted in the puck squirting free to top of the circles where OA senior Michael Nikiciuk stepped into a slapshot for a 3-1 lead. Mansfield sophomore Joseph Troiano recorded his first career goal in the third period, taking a pass from Tyler Oakley before depositing his slap shot into the back of the net.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 5 vs. Dedham, 0 – FinalCanton’s Lauren Fitzpatrick recorded her 50th career point in the Bulldogs’ big win over Dedham.

Franklin, 1 vs. Westwood, 3 – Final

King Philip, 6 vs. Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 0 – FinalKing Philip scored three goals in each the first and second periods to build a big lead over DS/Hopkinton. Nicole Connor scored a pair of goals while Alli Meehan, Allie Wilson, and Katie Crowther each netted one goal apiece. Lilly Potts and Cristina Coleman combined for the shutout in goal.

Wrestling
Canton, 21 @ North Attleboro, 46 – FinalNorth Attleboro had success with the lower and upper weights in a division win over Canton, clinching at least a share of the Davenport title for the second straight year, and fourth league title overall. “The best part was our execution on our feet,” North head coach Wayne Griffin said. “The team’s take-downs are getting better and better along with other aspects of our wrestling.” Ethan Smith (106), Brady Folan (113), Adam Eberle (160), Brad White (195) and Matteus Kudra (220) had pins for North while Anis Chakir (132), Max Gallagher (138) and Cole Murphy (182) had pins for Canton.

Sharon, 21 @ Foxboro, 38 – Final

Mansfield, 21 @ Franklin, 43 – FinalClick here for a Recap and a Photo Gallery from this dual meet.

Oliver Ames, 49 @ King Philip, 28 – FinalOliver Ames picked up some momentum heading into the league championships on Saturday with a division win over King Philip. Remy Creighton (106), Greg Griffin (120), Chris Belleton (160), Jay Fruci (195) and Dean Pacini (220) all won by pins for the Tigers while Casey Bellevue (132) had a major win and Brandon Belleton (138) had a minor win.

Milford, 27 @ Stoughton, 45 – Final

Swimming
North Attleboro @ Milford, 4:00

Gymnastics
King Philip, 127.90 @ Franklin, 133.15 – FinalFranklin junior Mia Lizotte won the All Around with a 35.75 while teammate Liz Traphagen took second with a 34.3 to help the Panthers beat King Philip. Franklin results: Vault – Lizotte 9.35, Traphagen 8.6, Lexi Lupien 8.3, Rachel Cyr 8.2; Bars – Lizotte 8.5, Sadie Rondeau 8.1, Traphagen 7.9, Katelyn Guidi 6.0; Beam – Lizzote/Traphagen 8.7, Rondeau 8.5, Lupien 7.9; Floor – Lizotte 9.2, Traphagen 9.1, Rondeau 8.3, Lupien 7.8.

Sharon, 130.00 @ North Attleboro, 139.20 – Final

Mansfield, Franklin Trade Third Period Goals In Tie

Mansfield boys hockey
Mansfield’s Sean McCafferty made 24 saves to help the Hornets earn a point against Franklin. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Mansfield scored the first goal of the game with less than seven minutes to play in the game, but Franklin had an answer four minutes later to help the Panther steal a point in a 1-1 draw.

The Hornets had a 29-25 advantage in shots, outshooting the Panthers in both the first and third periods. Despite multiple chances throughout the first and second periods, goalies Dan Sheehan (Franklin) and Sean McCafferty (Mansfield) kept the puck out of the net.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

But just over the midway point of the third period, Mansfield was finally able to break the stalemate. A turnover in the offensive zone allowed Mansfield to race out to a 3-on-2 chance. Coming down the right side of the ice, freshman Coleman Jenkins dropped a pass to the middle of the ice for junior Austin Ricker.

Ricker fired a wrist shot up high that Sheehan (28 saves) denied at first, but the puck had enough mustard to trickle over his shoulder, bounce off his back and fall into the net to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead.

“I thought we played a great game, I really did,” said Mansfield head coach Michael Balzarini. “We had two really good days of practice and the momentum just kind of carried over. We knew after the first 15 minutes that it would be a very close game. We knew whoever scored first might be the eventual winner so it was good to get that, just overall I’m really pleased with the way we played.”

The goal seemed to wake the Panthers up and they were finally able to solve McCafferty with just 2:42 left in the game. Senior Luke Downie had his pass partially blocked and the puck ended up on the stick of senior TJ Durkin.

With his back to goal in the center of the ice, Durkin turned, pulled the puck back on his stick and roofed a wrist shot to tie the game.

“The result reflects our performance, we did not play well,” said Franklin head coach Chris Spillane. “We didn’t skate, we didn’t win 50-50 battles, they were more physical than us…they wanted the game more than us, simple as that. We were very fortunate to get the point.

“We had a lot of breakdowns in our end but on the flip side, Mansfield played well. They played physical, they came out and wanted it more. They probably deserved the win but we’ll steal a point from them.”

After Franklin’s Jeremy Miller hit the post on a low, turn around shot just over a minute into the game, the Hornets seemed to take control of the game.

Franklin had an early power play opportunity but an interference 20 seconds into the man advantage made it 4-on-4. That resulted in a quick 2-on-1 chance for the Hornets with Tim Arnold feeding Adam Anastos, but Sheehan made the save.

The Hornets had another odd-man rush with Chris Copponi and Anastos got into the zone but Copponi’s shot and rebound chance were gobbled up before Anastos could pounce.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

On the ensuing play, Franklin came flying up ice with Miller finding Brendan O’Rielly and O’Rielly returning the pass right on front of net but just out of the reach of Miller.

Mansfield went on the power play with five minutes left in the period but couldn’t covert. The Hornets had another man-advantage chance at the end of the first and 70 seconds into the second period, but couldn’t cash in.

The best chance on the power play came just a minute into the second when Mansfield freshman Matt Copponi deked around a defenseman to get an open chance on goal but he couldn’t finish with little space in front.

Franklin’s best stretch of the game came at the midway point of the second period when the Panthers went on the power play. Miller set up defenseman Tom Tasker for a point-blank shot that McCafferty turned away. McCafferty came up with two more huge saves on the kill to keep the game scoreless.

Just after Mansfield killed the penalty, the Hornets had a golden chance. Jenkins jumped on a Franklin turnover in the offensive zone and went at goal, trying to sneak a backhand in at the near post but Sheehan kept his position and made a big pad save.

With less than a minute left in the period, Copponi intercepted a Franklin pass across the blue line and raced into the offensive zone but his shot at the near post flew high.

Franklin had one final chance in the period when Matt Holmes made a nifty pass with his skate to set up CJ Spillane but his shot from in close was smothered by McCafferty.

The Panthers had two early chances in the third when Downie found Joe Lizotte in front but his shot went high. A minute later, Dan Magazu connected with Spillane but again McCafferty was up to the task.

Each team had a chance in the final two minutes but Mansfield’s Chris Kelleher had his backhand attempt turned away and Franklin’s Lizotte had his low shot denied.

Mansfield boys hockey (3-0-2 Hockomock, 5-3-3) remains in first place in the division with a one point advantage over Franklin. The Hornets host Oliver Ames on Wednesday at 7:50. Franklin (3-0-1, 8-1-3) is back in action on Wednesday with Foxboro scheduled to come to town.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Mansfield Edges North Behind Late Arnold Winner

Mansfield hockey
Tim Arnold (4) celebrates his power play goal with five minutes remaining that turned out to be the game-winner for Mansfield against North Attleboro. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FOXBORO, Mass. – Chris Copponi’s shot was scuffed. The forward barely making contact with the puck just outside the right circle, but enough contact was made to redirect it past several sliding North Attleboro players trying desperately to block the Mansfield junior’s attempt at a power play goal.

The puck squirmed through the crowd of bodies right to senior defenseman Tim Arnold, who took advantage of the space and a wrong-footed North goalie Ryan Warren to one-time it into the empty net.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Arnold’s goal with five minutes remaining in the third period turned out to be the game-winner for the Hornets, who held on to beat North 3-2 in Saturday night’s league encounter at the Foxboro Sports Center.

“He whiffs and it still gets through, but we’ll take it,” said Mansfield coach Mike Balzarini outside the locker room after the game. “We’ve been working on our power play because we knew they’d be a tough opponent from the first time we played them (a 4-1 North win in the season opener) and we were just patient. Yeah, it was a misfire, but we’ll take it.”

The Hornets converted on two-of-five power play opportunities in the game, including the game-tying goal in the second period and the eventual winner in the third. Arnold’s goal came on the third power play chance for the Hornets in the final period.

“Penalties are part of the game,” said first-year North coach Ben McManama, “but we’re getting too many lazy penalties where we’re playing defense with our sticks and not our feet. It was a game where we were in it but we shot ourselves in the foot.”

He added, “We also have to have more energy all game. We’re not having a consistent effort and that’s hurt us.”

There was no lack of energy from the Hornets at the start of the game. Mansfield came out flying in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd, part of what has made this one of the league’s top rivalries in the last few seasons.

Freshman Justin McIvor created an early scoring chance with a big hit on Will Yeomans on the half-board. The puck popped loose to Copponi for a one-timer from the slot, but Warren (21 saves) stood tall to stop it. Warren then came up with a big pad save to rob Jake Lund in the slot and then blocked the follow-up effort too.

“The first period has been a struggle all year because we’ve come out flat,” Balzarini explained. “We played Stoughton on Wednesday and we scored three goals in the first period and that was the stresser during practice on Friday to come out with intensity.”

The Hornets made the good start count. Senior defenseman Tyler Oakley jumped up to join the attack, skating right down the middle of the North defense. His first shot was saved but he collected the rebound and finished. It was the first of two goals and three points out of the senior defensemen in the game.

“That’s why they where the ‘C’ on their jerseys,” said Balzarini of Oakley and Arnold. “They’re both really good captains, really good leaders and for those guys to step up not only on the ice but off the ice has been huge for us.”

With 7:11 left in the first, a fire alarm went off, momentarily forcing the stands to empty and the teams to head back to the locker rooms. It also stole the momentum from the hosts and allowed North the chance to regroup.

Drew Wissler had North’s first good scoring opportunity when he caught Mansfield up ice and found space in the left circle, but his shot was saved by Hornets goalie Sean McCafferty. The Rocketeers tied the game two minutes later, with only 25.1 on the clock, when Wissler fed the puck to Anthony Zammiello for a shorthanded breakaway and the junior went five-hole for the score.

“Before I could even have a chance to talk to them, they knew that they didn’t come out ready,” said McManama of the fire alarm break. “We’ve had a lot of bad starts this year and it really needs to change. The team is aware of it, but we just need to suck it up and come out ready to play.”

North took its first lead early in the second period. Wissler flew down the left side again, opened his body and unleashed an unstoppable shot over the shoulder of McCafferty and just inside the top corner.

The lead lasted six minutes before Mansfield responded with a power play goal of its own. Oakley lined up a blast from the point that Warren could only parry. The puck fell to Cullin Anastasia and he deposited it into the open net.

The Hornets had the chance to get back in front early in the third but Patrick McCafferty saw his shot carom off Warren’s mask and off the boards behind the net. After Arnold scored, defenseman Nick Levine nearly got into the act for the Hornets but Warren again made an important close-range save.

With time running down and North scrambling for an equalizer, Jason McNeanyhad a tap in at the back post that went wide of an open net and Nick Raneri had a shot in the final minute that was kicked aside at the post.

“The penalties in these games disrupt the flow, so things may be going our way but a penalty for or against if we don’t capitalize changes the whole momentum of the game,” said McManama. “A good hockey team doesn’t get affected by these things, but we’re not there yet. We’re going to get there, but we’re just not there yet.”

Mansfield has now won two in a row and Balzarini is hoping the Hornets can build off a strong week. He said, “The momentum was ours from Wednesday to today and I’m hoping it continues [at practice] on Monday and Tuesday.”

Mansfield (3-3-1, 2-0-0) will host Brockton in a non-league game on Wednesday. North Attleboro (5-3-0, 1-1-0) will host Franklin at the New England Sports Village.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/03/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 77 @ Durfee, 59 – FinalAttleboro junior Dom Victor dropped a career-high 18 points while hauling in eight rebounds to lead the Bombardiers to a win on the road. Sophomore Bryant Ciccio also added a career-high with 17 points while senior Elvin Sam added 15 points and junior Mason Houle finished with 12 points.

Canton, 62 @ Archbishop Williams, 57 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Franklin, 74 vs. Catholic Memorial, 60 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 69 vs. Durfee, 57 – FinalDespite 31 points from Durfee’s Shaelyn Correiro, Attleboro pulled out a double-digit win to move back above .500 on the season. Sam Pierce had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead Attleboro, while Nyah Thomas added 13 points, MacKenzie Roberts had 12, and Liv McCall had 11 in the win. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley said that Jordyn Lako was “immense defensively” for the Bombardiers.

Canton, 57 vs. Dover-Sherborn, 34 – FinalHannah Jerrier scored a game-high 24 points and pulled down 18 rebounds as Canton improved to 3-1 with the non-league win. Erin Devine added eight points, six blocks, and seven boards for the Bulldogs and freshman Kayla Albert scored four points, grabbed five rebounds, blocked three shots and had two assists on her varsity debut. Canton coach Jim Choquette called it a “great effort from the entire team.”

Franklin, 43 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 53 – Final

Mansfield, 46 @ Bishop Feehan, 61 – FinalAnn Maher scored a team-high 17 points and Meg Hill added 15 for the Hornets, which split the season series with the Shamrocks. Maggie Danehy also scored eight points in the loss.

Boys Hockey
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 5 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Stoughton, 0 @ Mansfield, 9 – FinalMansfield scored three goals in the opening period and added four more in the second period. Tim Arnold had a pair of goals for the Hornets while Nick Levine, Matt Copponi, and Coleman Jenkins each scored their first career goals. Nick Menz recorded a shutout in the third period for the Hornets.

North Attleboro, 7 @ Taunton, 4 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s first line was at its best, scoring all seven of the Rocketeers’ goals in a win over Taunton. Anthony Zamiello scored a hat trick while Jason McNeany and Drew Wissler each scored a pair of goals for North.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 2 @ Franklin, 0 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.

Stoughton, 6 vs. St. Joseph Prep, 4 – Final

Wrestling
Canton, 48 @ Milford, 27 – Final

Foxboro, 8 @ North Attleboro, 57 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this meet.

Franklin, 64 @ St. John’s Shrewsbury, 6 – Final

Mansfield, 50 @ King Philip, 19 – Final

Taunton, 12 @ Oliver Ames, 59 – FinalOliver Ames junior Anthony Berksza picked up his 15th win of the season to help the Tigers defeat Taunton. Taunton’s Woudanly Danger (220) and Mason Frank (285) picked up wins for the visiting Tigers.

Sharon, 43 @ Stoughton, 29 – Final

Boys Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis)
Attleboro, 48 vs. King Philip, 51 – Final

Canton, 34 vs. Milford, 65 – FinalCanton’s Cordel Smith won a pair of events, taking first in the 300M (38.66) and qualifying for states in the high jump (5-10.00). Cam Sanchez crossed first in the 55M dash (6.99) while Jack Healey took second in both the 1 Mile (5:07.15) and the 2 Mile (11:05.91). Riley McDonnell placed second in the 300M (38.70).

Foxboro, 18.5 vs. Sharon, 81.5 – Final

Franklin, 73 vs. Taunton, 27 – Final

Mansfield, 66 vs. Oliver Ames, 34 – FinalMansfield swept the points in the 1000M with Kevin Crawford taking first (2:43.68), Jackson Murphy placing second (2:50.43) and Sean Lanzillo coming in third (2:51.51). Nick Horn (37.77) and Dan Knight (39.11) took first and second in the 300M for the Hornets while Jareme DiLorenzo (8.17) and Matt Buiser (9.12) were first and second in the 55M hurdles.

North Attleboro, 55.5 vs. Stoughton, 44.5 – Final

Girls Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis)
Attleboro, 25 vs. King Philip, 75 – Final

Canton, 24 vs. Milford, 75 – FinalCanton’s Chloe Pennacchio was a double winner, taking first in the 1 Mile (6:07.08) and the 1000M (3:33.09). Bronwyn Mahoney also placed first for the Bulldogs, winning the shot put (29-04.00).

Foxboro, 30 vs. Sharon, 70 – Final

Franklin, 69 vs. Taunton, 31 – Final

Mansfield, 49 vs. Oliver Ames, 51 – FinalOliver Ames pulled out a narrow win over Mansfield on Wednesday afternoon. Mansfield’s Amanda Mangano was first in the 55M dash (7.59) and the long jump (16-11.00) while taking third in the high jump (4-8.00). Alexis Kiyanda won her first race of the year, crossing first in the 300M at 45.61. The Hornets’ 4×200 relay of Gabrielle Devlin, Julia Harrison, Angela Corkery, and Meg Kuras ran a season-best time of 1:53.42 for the win.

North Attleboro, 82 vs. Stoughton, 14 – Final

Boys Swimming
Canton, 63 vs. Ashland, 91 – Final

Girls Swimming
Canton, 75 vs. Ashland, 91 – Final

Gymnastics
Mansfield @ Attleboro, 7:30

Sharon, 121.45 @ Franklin, 128.40 – FinalFranklin junior Mia Lizotte won the all-around for the second straight meet, earning a 34.7 to edge out Sharon’s Ariana Chabot (30.9). Franklin junior Sadie Rondeau placed first on the beam for the Panthers with an 8.35 while freshman Lexi Lupien took second in each the vault, beam, and floor.