Follow Jarett Leoanrd
TAUNTON, Mass. – Though Stoughton was significantly out skated for the majority of the opening period, the backstopping of AJ Scott and an explosive second frame from Mark Sheehan allowed the Black Knights to capture a 4-1 win over Attleboro on Saturday.
“Like last week against Taunton, when we skate we can play,” Stoughton head coach Dan Mark said. “When we don’t skate, it doesn’t matter who it is. If you don’t skate, it makes all the difference in the game.”
Trailing by a goal after a first period in which the Black Knights were outshot 14-2, Sheehan went to work to erase the deficit. Similar to his game-tying goal in a win against Taunton last week, the senior captain hustled into the offensive zone, cut through the defense and slid the puck past Attleboro goaltender Tim Gile (13 saves) to even the score.
“We told them they were going to have to come out strong,” Attleboro head coach Mike Cripps said of his message during the first intermission. “They weren’t going to be quitting and we needed the next goal, but unfortunately we came out a bit flat in the second period.”
Later in the second, Jon Lessa sealed in a clearing attempt at the line and fed it down low to Nick Hardy, who ripped a wrist shot past Gile to give Stoughton the lead. Just over a minute later, Sheehan netted his second of the game to add some insurance for the Black Knights. Stoughton flipped the script on Attleboro in the second, outshooting the Bombardiers 11-1 in the period.
“The kids decided to skate,” Mark said of his team’s second period effort. “The second part of that first period I thought they really started to pick it up speed wise. I thought the second and third period we really skated hard.”
Sean Doherty added a late goal for Stoughton on a two-man advantage to seal the win. Doherty also had two assists in the game while Sheehan and Lessa each had a helper.
“The kids are starting to feel good about themselves, which is good,” Mark said. “They can do it when they want to.”
Despite collecting 14 shots in the first period, Attleboro could only solve Scott once. About five minutes into the game, Sam Larkin buried a rebound from a Cam Littig shot to capture the early lead. But Scott, who finished with 20 saves, kept his team in the game until they could figure it out offensively.
“They have an extremely strong goalie,” Cripps said. “We knew going in that is was going to be low scoring for us.”
With its second league win in three games, Stoughton hockey improves to 6-10-3 overall, 4-6-0 in the league, and will have a week off before hosting Bishop Feehan next Saturday. Attleboro, now 5-10-2 overall and 1-8-1 in the league, will host Dighton-Rehoboth on Monday.
Today’s games are listed below.
Attleboro, 72 @ Oliver Ames, 76 – Final – Oliver Ames created an early cushion and used that to fend off a late charge from Attleboro. Senior Tim Kelley and junior Carter Evin each scored 21 points for the Tigers with Dylan Mahoney adding 10 points. Attleboro’s Andrew Milliken had a team-high 20 points and added five rebounds, Jake Dunkley added 17 points and six rebounds, Lucas Boucicaut had 14 points and sophomore Nate Douglas chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Taunton, 63 @ Canton, 51 – Final – Jose Mercado led all scorers with 23 points for Taunton. Canton sophomore Tony Harris had 19 points and nine rebounds for the Bulldogs.
King Philip, 44 @ Foxboro, 64 – Final – Foxboro used a 15-0 run in the third quarter to create the separation against the Warriors. Three different Foxboro players registered in double figures for scoring, led by Alex DuBrow’s 15 points. Mark Clagg added 13 points and Jason Procaccini had 12 points. Kyle Layman led King Philip with 14 points and Will Weir added 11 points.
Franklin, 55 @ Sharon, 41 – Final – Franklin turned a four point deficit at halftime into a nine point lead by the end of the third quarter. Sophomore Connor Peterson had 15 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, Tim Prunier had 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals and freshman Jay Dieterle added 13 points and four rebounds.
Canton, 60 @ Taunton, 46 – Final – Emma Murphy scored a career-high 24 points in the win for the Bulldogs. Hannah Jerrier added 14 for Canton and Meaghan Hunter had six.
Foxboro, 60 @ King Philip, 42 – Final – Cassidy Harrison was the top scorer for the Warriors with 20 points and Ashley Sampson chipped in with 19.
Franklin, 45 @ Sharon, 33 – Final – Alyssa Piazza led the Eagles with 11 points. Sharon also got eight points from Charlotte Ransom and seven from Veronica Wallace.
Oliver Ames, 44 @ Attleboro, 56 – Final – Emily Houle scored 30 points to lead the Bombardiers. Sarah Deyo added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Attleboro. Oliver Ames was led by Francesca Calabraro, who scored 11 and Hannah Carroll added 10.
Canton, 5 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Matt Lazaro scored his 100th career point for Canton in the win. Dan Creavin scored the lone goal for the Bombardiers and goaltender Tim Gile made 26 saves.
By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
TAUNTON, Mass. – After a scoreless first period, Attleboro scored the all important first goal in the second period less than a minute in, added three more in the frame and skated to a 6-1 over Milford.
Milford goalie Brian Ireland made 10 his 30 saves in the first period while Attleboro goalie Tim Gile stopped 12 of his 17 saves in the opening frame. The best chance from either side came when Bombardiers junior PJ Elliott rang the post with a wrist shot with just over six minutes to go.
“The first period went really well,” Milford head coach Mike Balzarini said. “We had two solid days of practice and really focused on breaking down d-zone coverage and making sure guys were where they were supposed to be. And it was evident int he first period, the shots were even too. We made sure we were sound defensively first then transitioned into offense.”
On the other side, Attleboro head coach Mike Cripps wasn’t too pleased with being level after the first 15 minutes.
“We weren’t too happy going to the locker room after that first period,” Cripps said. “We came out a little flat to start despite coming off two good games. That was pretty much our message in the locker room, you better come out with some intensity.”
The Bombardiers had the opportunity to cash in right away as they had 35 seconds of man advantage to start the second period. It took nearly all of that time but Attleboro was able to take advantage of the power play. Senior Keagin Larkin had his shot saved by Ireland but the rebound was batted in by Parker to put Attleboro up 1-0.
Attleboro’s offense was able to keep Ireland busy for the next six minutes, evan forcing a kick save off a double deflection and then a rebound save to rob Nick Miniati with just over nine minutes remaining in the second period.
“Four mistakes in the third period cost us four goals,” Balzarini said.
But inside a four minute span, Attleboro was able to find the back of the net three times to create a big cushion heading into the final period. First, the Bombardiers caught Milford’s defense in a long chance and used a two on one with Elliott feeding Miniati for a tap in with 8:53 left. Two minutes later, the Scarlet Hawks were once caught in a long change after a turnover in the neutral zone with Elliott picking off a pass and finding Parker right on the doorstep to make it 3-0.
“They’ve been clicking well all year,” Cripps said. “Elliott has led us in points and the two of them have some good chemistry.”
Just over a minute later with a man advantage, with a face off in the attacking zone after Milford was called for a penalty, the Bombardiers added another goal to their lead. Just five seconds into the power play, Parker was wide open in the slot and ripped a shot upstairs for Attleboro’s second power play goal of the period.
“We’ve been working on [the power play] quite a bit and that unit’s finally kind of gelling after six games,” Cripps said. We had some success in the last game too. That group is starting to calm down and take their time, realizing they have a minute and a half to use.”
Sam Larkin added a fifth goal for Attleboro in the final period after picking up a loose puck along the nearside boards, skating to between the circles and firing a low shot through traffic. Mitchell Caruso capped Attleboro’s scoring with just under two minutes to go after a deflected shot beat Milford freshman goalie Matt Shaver. Shaver had four saves over the final four minutes, including a glove save on an open shot from Larkin.
Milford was able to get onto the scoreboard with just under five seconds to play on a great individual effort from sophomore RJ Stansbury. Stansbury weaved his way through through a pair of defensemen and then beat Gile.
Attleboro (4-2-1, 1-0) picked up its third straight win and will look to make it four when they travel to Asiaf Arena on Saturday night to take on Oliver Ames at 8:10. Milford (0-5, 0-1) will look to try and break into the win column the same day when they host North Attleboro at 5:30 at Blackstone Valley Ice Arena.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
2014-15 Record: 11-13-1 (2-8-0)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South semifinal
Head Coach: Mike Cripps
The Bombardiers made an improbable run to the Div. 3 South semifinal before being eliminated by Hanover. Even with a short bench and a goaltender that had never played before, Attleboro won three tournament games for the first time in program history and this year will try to build on that experience and get back to the postseason.
With 20 players on the roster, depth may not be Attleboro’s strength but there are some players that Cripps will be counting on to produce this season led by senior forward Keagin Larkin. He will be helped out on the forward line by junior P.J. Elliott and sophomore Sam Parker. Freshman Sam Larkin will also step in right away and Cripps said that he has been “impressive” during the opening two weeks of practice.
Senior goalie Tim Gile returns between the pipes after a season that saw him put on goalie pads for the first time. He will be joined at the goalie position by junior Tyler Koppy. In front of goal, seniors Will McKenzie and Jack Flynn and sophomore Sam McKenzie will be part of Attleboro’s defensive corps.
There may only be 20 players on the roster, but the Bombardiers are a tight-knit group and Cripps is hopeful that they can get back to .500 and another trip to the playoffs. He said, “Our team is a group of hard-working players with good chemistry. With our lack of depth, we have to avoid injuries and illness. I am very happy with the progress I have seen after the first week.”
2014-15 Record: 17-4-3 (10-0-0)
2014-15 Finish: Lost in first round of the Super 8
Head Coach: Chris Spillane
How does Franklin follow up its first ever appearance in the prestigious Super 8 tournament? How does the program recover from losing 21 seniors off a roster that finished unbeaten in the Hockomock League and had one of the league’s most exciting hockey moments when it beat Xaverian in overtime in the Super 8 play-in game?
Those are tough questions that head coach Chris Spillane will be trying to answer in the coming weeks as he incorporates almost an entirely new roster. The top returning scorer from last season is senior Alex Bissanti, who chipped in with five goals as a junior. He will be joined up front by junior Adam Assad, who Spillane said has “lots of offensive potential.” In addition, the coach noted that he is looking towards a “strong” sophomore class to provide a spark offensively.
Ryan Shea was a rock in goal last season after getting his first playing time as a senior and the Panthers will be counting on seniors Nick Jasinki (five games in 2014-15) and Cam Benham to step in this year and have a similar impact. In front of the goalies, Franklin has a strong defensive corps led by senior captains Matt Pleshaw and Jack Chaffee. The defense has been bolstered by the return of senior Tyler Oaks, who had been playing for the South Shore Kings. Spillane called him a “strong offensive defenseman.”
It is only the third season for Franklin in Div. 1 and already the Panthers have accomplished more than most public school programs. This could be a transition year for Franklin but expectations remain high for a perennial power. Spillane said, “With the departure of 21 seniors, the success of this team will rely on finding a identity early in the season.”
2014-15 Record: 7-10-3 (4-5-1)
2014-15 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Paul Carlow
For the second time in three season, King Philip has changed coaches with Paul Carlow taking charge of the Warriors this winter after two seasons as the JV and assistant coach. Thanks to his experience with the program and with the players, Carlow, who was once a standout player for KP, called the transition “smooth.” He added, “I know the players and they know me, which has made it pretty easy. Everyone know what is expected.”
The Warriors numbers were not huge this winter and depth may not be a strength, but Carlow is excited about the talent that KP will send out on the ice with six forwards and six defensemen returning from last year’s squad. The Warriors will be led on the forward line by senior captain Matt Smith, while fellow captain Clay Guess will lead an experienced blue line group that also includes football star Corey Lombardo.
Sophomore Collin Cooke is a player to watch this season and is poised for a breakout winter after scoring 11 goals and 10 assists as a freshman. Fellow sophomore Dan McLoughlin could be a player that steps in and provides a spark along with junior Richie Lucente, who saw plenty of ice time last season. Carlow also said that junior Jeremy Smith should step right in at defense. He noted that Smith had the talent to get on the ice as a sophomore but was only limited by the experienced players ahead of him.
Carlow has added preseason scrimmages and has changed the schedule around to add teams like Nauset, Walpole, and Coyle to prepare the team for the rigors of the Div. 1 tournament. After narrowly missing out the past two seasons, Carlow is confident the Warriors can make a run to the postseason. “We need to be ready for the type of teams we’re going to face,” said Carlow. “We may not be the deepest team, we didn’t have 90 kids tryout like Franklin, but we’ve got speed and we can play.”
2014-15 Record: 10-11-0 (8-2-0)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round
Head Coach: Rick Anastos
Mansfield enters another season as one of the main threats to Franklin in the Kelley-Rex division. The Hornets, who are the only other team to have won the division (in 2011), are one of the few programs to consistently have the talent base to challenge the Panthers and this season is no different.
Junior forward Matt Farragher is primed for a breakout season after scoring 13 points as a sophomore and he will be paired up front with several classmates, including Pat Sunderland and Chad Piotti. Seniors Pat Graham, Shane Doherty, and Max Hoffman will return to give Mansfield strength in depth along its first two lines and the firepower to make the Hornets a dangerous team in the Hock.
Mansfield also has the potential to be strong defensively, as demonstrated by a scoreless tie with Winthrop on Saturday. Anthony Visconti, who gave up just more three goals per game last season, returns in goal and he will be helped out by senior defenseman Mike Arnold, who leads the blue liners, along with classmate Tim O’Brien.
The Hornets have experienced returning players, but there is plenty of youth coming through program as well with two freshman and five sophomores on the varsity roster. Franklin may remain the team to beat, but Mansfield is confident that it will be right there pushing the Panthers to the end.
2014-15 Record: 12-8-1 (6-4-0)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round
Head Coach: Stephen Snizek
The Rocketeers made it back to the tournament last season but were knocked out in overtime by Milford in the first round. With Sean Young graduated, North Attleboro will be looking for someone that can step into his role as the primary scorer and make a run at a first league title in its final season in the Kelley-Rex.
There is a lot of depth returning for North this season led on the forward line by senior captains Andrew Casson and Brian Poillucci and juniors Zach McGowan and Erik Clements, each of whom have years of experience for the Rocketeers. Sophomores Jason McNeany and Andrew Wissler and a strong freshman class will add to the forwards over the course of the season.
Defensively, North Attleboro will count on juniors Paul Baker and Vincent Zammiello and senior Matthew Marceau on the back line. The defense will be key and Snizek is expecting his forwards to help back as well as the Rocketeers will be using freshmen Chris Ulrich and Ryan Warren in goal this year.
The Rocketeers have a lot of weapons and Snizek is excited for the talent coming through the program. He said, “We have a lot of weapons on offense and we need to get pucks to the net and drive in the dirty goals. Our forwards will need to play in all zones on the ice. Not just the offensive zone.”
2014-15 Record: 9-12-1 (2-8-0)
2014-15 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Head Coach: Kris Metea
The Tigers have been building the program for the past few years, developing young skaters, and waiting for a time that it can come together for a potential run at the state tournament. Head coach Kris Metea is hopeful that this could be the year, as Taunton boasts a talented forward line that could provide the goals needed to get to the playoffs. Metea said, “The eighth graders and freshmen that took beatings three years ago have all grown up and can physically compete with players in the Hockomock now.”
Among the players that Metea highlighted this season are junior Nick Terry, who is coming off an all-star season, and senior Tyler Pietrzyk, who will both be starters. Junior Zack Albert and sophomore Will Walsh will add depth to the forwards as well. Defensively, senior David Perry and junior Mike Volkmann will be two of the key players and add a physical component to the Tigers.
Taunton has three goalies on the varsity roster and Metea has confidence in all of them to win games. Senior Cam Pitts is the most experienced of the trio but junior Justin Chappell and freshman Griffin Speicher both will see time as well.
If Taunton can improve the power play and utilize its overall team speed, this could be an interesting year for the Tigers. “It has been a pleasure working with these players and see them grow up as hockey players and young men,” said Metea. “They have matured physically and mentally and are ready to take the next step to compete with the top end of the ever-competitive Hockomock.”