Teams of the Decade #1: 2019 Canton Boys Hockey

Canton boys hockey

Team: Canton Boys Hockey
Year: 2018-2019
Record: 25-0-1
2019 Davenport Division Champions
2019 Division 2 State Champions


There has been a lot of talented teams in the Hockomock League over the past decade, and narrowing it down to a select few was a tedious and challenging task. With nearly 40 state championship teams, dozens of state finalists, and numerous sectional champions, there was no shortage of talent to select from.

When it came to selecting the top team for the list, there was one squad that stood out above the rest: the 2018-2019 Canton boys hockey team.

Like all of the teams at the top of the list, Canton was loaded with talent on the roster from the first player through the last, and the Bulldogs also checked every box when it came to championships, winning at the league, sectional and state level.

But what really separated this group from the rest was the manner in which they dominated the competition from day one up until the Division 2 State Championship at the TD Garden. Outscoring opponents 133-23, the Bulldogs picked up marquee wins throughout the regular season; they were great from the first game (7-2 over Plymouth South) all the way to their crowning achievement against Tewksbury (6-2).

Some of the great teams on this list have had slow starts while others came up just short late in the tournament or in the state championship. And of course, there were some teams that had a hiccup here or there in the middle of the season against top competition.

This Canton team rolled from the opening puck drop down in Bourne, a season-opening win over Plymouth South to avenge a heartbreaking loss that abruptly ended their season a year prior. In fact, you could circle that game — the 2018 D2 South Semifinal 5-3 loss to Plymouth South — as one of the biggest motivators for the 2018-2019 squad.

“I’m going to use a word that HockomockSports came up with for this team and that’s relentless,” said Canton head coach Brian Shuman. “I think that was the perfect word that sums up this team, they just did not stop. I think we scored the more goals in the opening couple of minutes of a game than I’ve ever been apart of as a coach.

“From the opening puck drop to the very end, just not stopping. Coming shift after shift, three or four lines, and six or seven defensemen playing consistently. Just non-stop and you don’t have to be a hockey aficionado to know that this team was a relentless group of driven and talented hockey players who were on a mission. Not even from day one, it was from the end of the season before from that heartbreaking loss to Plymouth South.”

And when the postseason rolled around, the Bulldogs were at their very best. Against the best competition in the area, Canton made it look easy by outscoring teams 29 goals in just five games, scoring six or more goals in four of those contests.

“We were just so close with each other,” said Ryan Nolte, a senior captain and forward that registered an impressive 71 points (32 goals, 39 assists) that season. “Most of us played together our whole lives growing up. We all had the common goal of playing for the varsity team, we were all together for one last ride my senior year so we wanted to make the most of it.

“We were just so competitive in practice, no one wanted to lose. I think that translated onto the ice in games. And off the ice, I think it was probably the closest group out of all four years I was there. We were always together, even after film and after practice, we’d hang out together. I think being such a close-knit group played a huge role in our season.”

Canton notched two impressive wins before the new year, knocking off a good Franklin team (that went on to the D1 South Finals that season) and dominating Westwood, 4-0. The Wolverines entered unbeaten and didn’t lose a game the rest of the regular season, eventually meeting with the Bulldogs in the South final.

When league play began in January, Canton continued to have its way with opponents. The Bulldogs won their first six league games by outscoring foes 36-5. A good non-league win over Newburyport preceded a two-game span that ended up being a big defining point in the season.

A Wednesday night trip to Franklin nearly derailed the perfect season as Zac Falvey and Scott Elliott each scored to put the Panthers up 2-0 through two periods. But in true fashion of a great team, the Bulldogs battled back. Nolte set up Jack Connolly less than a minute into the first period and Tommy Ghostlaw tied it 2-2 less than two minutes later. Despite playing with a 101-degree temperature, junior Johnny Hagan (21 goals, 31 assists) scored the game-winner with under two minutes to play.

“I’d say the moment when we kind of realized we were really good was that second Franklin game,” Nolte said. “Johnny Hagan was playing with the flu, we were down 2-0 and probably played two of our worst periods of the year, and we went out, in Franklin, and scored three in the third to come back and win 3-2. In the locker room after that game, it was like ‘Okay, we have a real shot at this.’”

Just days later, Canton was put to the test against a hungry North Attleboro squad. After letting a 2-0 lead slip away, Nolte notched his 100th career point by setting up Owen Lehane for the game-winner with just over two minutes to go.

“The two games back-to-back that really showed the grit and mettle was the game at Franklin which we were down 2-0 at their place and came back with three goals in the third period to win 3-2,” Shuman said. “And then to gut out a tough win against a really good North Attleboro team, who had us on the ropes, and we scored a late goal to get the win. That showed they had the mental toughness to do something special.”

Canton completed its unbeaten league schedule with a win over Taunton and then really beefed up its resume by knocking off top non-league foes: Bishop Feehan (6-0), Smithfield (8-1), Shrewsbury (5-0), Hanover (4-3), and Natick (3-0), garnering them attention for the Super 8 (Division 1A) Tournament.

“This team was unique and one way was because some of our best players had a confidence — not a cockiness — but a confidence that when they played well, we would win,” Shuman said. “Ryan Nolte, Johnny Hagan, Mike Staffiere…those guys in particular, the guys we were leaning on to score big goals and make big saves. They were definitely the most confident group I’ve coached. That mentality was contagious and infectious throughout our team. When they have that attitude, it really filters throughout the team.

The lone “blemish” of the season came in the opening round of the Quinn Tournament. Hagan scored a late equalizer for the Bulldogs against Boston Latin, with the game going down as a 2-2 in the MIAA record books. Since it was a tournament, it went into overtime and Hagan added another goal to give Canton the win. In the tournament finale, the Bulldogs put an exclamation mark on their resume with a 6-1 beating of Coyle & Cassidy.

The Super 8 committee met two days later and there Bulldogs got four votes in the first round of nominations to advance to the second stage, but didn’t get nominated again and were not selected despite boasting a 20-0-1 record.

“Honestly, I thought we had a shot at it,” Shuman said of the Super 8. “To go undefeated is incredibly difficult. If you’re involved in sports, you know how hard it is, day in and day out, game in and game out, get everybody’s best and respond like we did, it was pretty remarkable. We didn’t talk about (the Super 8), but I think it was on everyone’s mind, including myself.

“I felt the MIAA and the coaches association had opportunities to shake it up over the years and get teams into the Super 8 tournament that never had the chance before. Teams have those windows where they have a great group and they can hang with the best teams in the state. Like Wilmington had a good run, and Franklin had a good run in Division 2 that those teams should get a chance. I thought we made a great case…if they didn’t give it to us, they’ll never give it to a Division 2 team as far as I’m concerned. I think it would have been fun, it would have been special but everything works out for a reason.”

Longtime Franklin coach Chris Spillane, who guided the first Hockomock team to the Super 8 tournament in 2015, saw the Bulldogs a handful of times throughout the season and suffered a pair of setbacks to Canton as mentioned above.

“It’s heartbreaking that Canton didn’t get a look [in 2019] and didn’t get a sniff this year,” Spillane said. “The process is flawed tremendously because people get so caught up on Div. 1 and Div. 2 and there’s no doubt in my mind watching Canton play last year and this year there was no doubt in my mind that not only would they have held their own they probably would’ve had success.”

If the Bulldogs were disappointed by the snub, they certainly didn’t let it translate to their play on the ice. When the Division 2 South tournament started the following week, it was all business for Canton. And for the rest of the bracket, it was trouble.

“You always want to be playing your best hockey going into the playoffs and that’s what this team was doing,” Shuman said. “You look at that Boston Latin overtime win, it was like a playoff game so it showed we were ready for the postseason. As bummed out as a lot of kids were that we tied the game, it showed me we were ready for the playoffs that we went on to win in overtime.

“When you get to the playoffs, everyone is good. We looked at our side of the bracket, you could not have structured a more difficult road to the Garden from D2 South.”

It was like a revenge tour for the previous decade during the playoffs. After drubbing Norwood (6-0) to start the tournament, the Bulldogs welcomed league rival Oliver Ames to the Ice House. Despite holding a 5-2 win over the Tigers from earlier in the season, OA was a team with a successful track record against Canton in the tournament. Back in 2011, the Tigers stunned Canton in overtime, and two years later OA posted a 2-0 shutout in the semifinals.

True to form, the Tigers gave Canton their stiffest test of the tournament. Going stride for stride, up and down the ice, trading hits, it was one of the most competitive games of the year. A one-minute span in the second period changed the game as Nolte tipped in a shot from Connolly, and just 52 seconds later, Chris Lavoie redirected a shot from Matt Martin. Staffiere (17 saves) stood tall in net as the Tigers continued to pressure but Hagan recorded his 100th career point with an empty net goal to secure the win.

Up next was a trip to Gallo Arena, which had recently turned into a house of horrors for the Bulldogs in the month of March. Dating back to 2013, Canton reached at least the semifinals each season, which meant a trip down over the bridge to Gallo. And unfortunately, it also meant heartbreak. A 2-0 loss to OA in 2013, a 3-2 loss to Medfield in 2014, a 4-1 setback to Westwood in 2015, being upset 4-2 by Scituate in 2016, and back-to-back heartbreakers: a 3-2 loss to Medway in 2017 and the 5-3 defeat to Plymouth South a year prior.

“The word was that we couldn’t win at Bourne,” Nolte said. “We wanted to keep the haters in the rearview and prove them wrong.”

Not only did Canton go on to win at Bourne, they decimated the competition. Going against one of the best goalies in the region in Norwood senior Austin Reardon, the Bulldogs put together a terrific performance, scoring six goals against one of the stingiest defenses around.

To top that performance, Canton went on to light the lamp eight times in the South sectional final. Westwood, which hadn’t lost a game since its setback to the Bulldogs in December, entered with a 16-1-6 record but it took Canton less than a minute to score and the rout was on from there.

“You talk about being relentless? We scored early in that game and that set the tone for the entire game,” Shuman said. “We just didn’t stop at that point, we continued to put the pressure on. There aren’t many times you can look back and see an 8-0 win in the sectional final. It’s tough to beat a team twice and tough to beat a team with that much talent but it was truly a team effort. Our depth really carried us that game, that was the most complete game of the season.”

While nothing is given, and the Canton boys hockey program had certainly seen its share up ups and downs during the postseason over the past decade, it certainly felt like the state championship was just a formality; that’s how good this team was playing at the time.

If there was any doubt or nerves while playing under the bright lights at the TD Garden against Tewksbury for the D2 State Championship, it certainly didn’t show. In typical fashion, Canton needed just five minutes to find the back of the net. Lehane blasted a shot from the point and Timmy Kelleher buried the rebound. Just 90 seconds later, Ronan O’Mahony set up Connolly for a blast for a 2-0. And just 16 seconds later, Nolte joined in on the scoring party and suddenly Canton had a 3-0 lead just 7:49 into the game.

Tewksbury battled back in the second, cutting the deficit to 4-2, but Staffiere came up with some big saves to preserve the lead and Hagan added two more goals to complete the hat trick, earning a 6-2 win and the state championship.

“You dream of getting off to a good start like we did but it’s a 45-minute hockey game and you don’t win a game in 15 minutes,” Shuman said. “We knew Tewksbury didn’t play their best, they played much better in the second and scored a couple of goals but credit to our guys, we responded and fought back like we had all year long. We came out swinging early on, took a few blows in the second but then closed it out in the third.”






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Canton boys hockey
Canton boys hockey

Opponent
Result
Plymouth SouthW, 7-2
Plymouth NorthW, 5-0
FranklinW, 3-1 (Recap)
WestwoodW, 4-0
AttleboroW, 9-0
MansfieldW, 4-0 (Recap)
King PhilipW, 2-1
Oliver AmesW, 5-2 (Recap)
FoxboroW, 4-0
StoughtonW, 12-2
NewburyportW, 3-1
FranklinW, 3-2 (Recap)
North AttleboroW, 3-2 (Recap)
TauntonW, 5-0
Bishop FeehanW, 6-0
SmithfieldW, 8-1
ShrewsburyW, 5-0
HanoverW, 4-3
NatickW, 3-0
Boston LatinT, 2-2 (W, 3-2 in OT)
Coyle & CassidyW, 6-1 (Recap)
MedwayW, 6-0
Oliver AmesW, 3-0 (Recap)
NorwoodW, 6-1 (Recap)
WestwoodW, 8-0 (Recap)
TewksburyW, 6-2 (Recap)






Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey

Canton boys hockey


Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/03/20

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Hockey
Canton, 3 @ Barnstable, 1 – FinalBarnstable scored the first goal of the game just over four minutes into the contest but Canton responded within a minute and scored three straight to earn an important win on the road. Trailing 1-0 with 10:45 left in the first period, Canton senior Johnny Hagan scored 39 seconds later to make it 1-1. Hagan added a second late in the second period with an assist from Jack Connolly, and Tommy Vaughan made it 3-1 from TJ McCabe in the third period.

North Attleboro, 8 @ Wayland, 3 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ Pope John Paul II, 6 – Final

Foxboro, 6 vs. N. Smithfield (R.I.), 1 – Final

Taunton, 4 vs. Apponquet, 4 – FinalTaunton senior Michael Albert scored once and had two assists, recording his 100th career point to help the Tigers earn a point. Albert is the seventh Tiger all time to reach the 100-point plateau and the first since 2007 to do so. Brady Nichols scored twice and had an an assist, Steve Roderick scored his first career goal, Loran Corcorcan had two assists, and Jack DeMoura and Nathan Fernandes each had an assist in the tie.

Girls Gymnastics
Taunton @ King Philip, 7:30

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro @ Burlington, 7:00
Attleboro vs. Newton North, 7:00 (@ Burlington)

Canton Beats Franklin For 10th Straight Davenport Title

Canton boys hockey
Canton boys hockey players celebrate with Jack Connolly (7) after his second period goal. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
CANTON, Mass. – It was a championship theme inside the Canton Ice House on Saturday afternoon.

It started with a pregame ceremony honoring the 10th anniversary of Canton’s 2010 D2 State Championship squad and it ended with the 2020 Bulldogs clinching the program’s 10th straight Davenport division title with a 3-1 win over rival Franklin.

The Canton boys hockey team is the only program in the entire Hockomock League in any sport to win ten 10 straight division championships. The Bulldogs are the only team to win a Davenport title for boys hockey, winning every year of the decade since the league split into two divisions.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It’s a great thing, we’re very lucky to be apart of something like this here in Canton,” said Bulldogs coach Brian Shuman, who quickly went from one rink to the other inside the Ice House, coaching a 6th/7th grade Canton youth team immediately following the Bulldogs’ win over Franklin. “All of these guys were watching our game before coming over here for their game, and all of our guys watched the teams before them.”

Canton erased a one-goal deficit after a period of play, scoring twice in a two-minute window in the second period and tacked on an insurance goal in the third period to secure the win. The Bulldogs went a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

A pair of those kills came in the first period, including one just under three minutes into the contest. A tripping call put Canton down a man but an aggressive kill prevented the visiting Panthers from registering a serious chance on goal.

After Canton had a power play go without a goal shortly after, the Panthers once again had a man-advantage chance just past the midway point of the period. Again, the Bulldogs applied plenty of pressure, not allowing Franklin a good look in the offensive zone.

Instead, the best chance of that two-minute span fell to the Bulldogs. Senior Johnny Hagan pounced on a loose puck, slammed on the brakes as he crossed the blue line to shake a defenseman, dropped a pass to senior Chris Lavoie, who dished it back across to Hagan in front but the senior center couldn’t get his stick on the puck in time as the bid went just wide.

The Bulldogs knocked on the door against as the clock ticked under two minutes as Dylan Coyne connected with Donny McNeice but Franklin goalie Ray Ivers (18 saves) came up with the save and covered the rebound.

Although it was Canton who had the best chances for the majority of the period, it was Franklin that found the back of the net first. Junior Conor O’Neil connected with classmate Sean Connelly as the pair entered the offensive zone. Connelly worked his way past a defenseman and tossed the puck back in front and O’Neil completed a hard crash on net with the final touch into the back of the net.

Canton came out strong to start the second period, with Lavoie smashing a shot off the crossbar in the opening minute. The equalizer came just under four minutes into the period as sophomore Eamon Kelly drove hard behind the net, dishing the puck in front just before circling around. Hagan found the puck in the middle and dished it off to senior defenseman Jack Connolly, who deposited a shot into the top corner to make it 1-1 with 11:13 left in the second period.

The Bulldogs went on the power play shortly after and needed just seven seconds on the man advantage to go ahead. Lavoie dished it back to senior defenseman Owen Lehane after an offensive zone faceoff win and, after skating towards the center of the blue line, Lehane unleashed a wrist shot. With both Kelly and Hagan in front screening, Ivers had no chance as the puck found the back of the net for a 2-1 lead.

“Just a huge goal…when you think too much on the power play, you get in trouble,” Shuman said. “Our guys tonight, they really did a phenomenal job moving the puck. And when they had the opportunity, just rip it. If you wait a half second longer or think too much, you miss the chance. We want Owen to shoot more at the top and he just fired it, it was a huge goal.”

Franklin had a golden chance with five minutes left in the second as Connelly came up with a turnover in the attacking zone, firing a pass over to Shane McCaffrey in front but the senior forward couldn’t get all of it on his shot and it went just wide.










The Panthers went on a power play in the final minutes of the second but were unable to convert. Dylan Marchand had a shot denied by Canton goalie Joe Cammarata on one try, and Cammarata made a stop on a tip from Connelly on a shot from Joe LeBlanc.

“We gave them too much space,” said Franklin head coach Anthony Sarno. “We didn’t take good care of the puck…we have to be better in every facet of the game. We have to be committed to our game, stick to our game, we have to forecheck hard. We can’t give them that much space on the blue line…instead of forcing a dump in we were giving them 20 feet of room to maneuver. Against a good team like that, you have to minimize your mistakes.

“Special teams is going to make or break you in a game like that. They brought it and we didn’t. The first period was fine but after that, they wanted it more than we did.”

Coyne delivered the insurance goal for the Bulldogs. The junior forward whipped a low shot on goal as he crossed the blue line and the puck eluded Ivers and bounced into the back of the net for a 3-1 lead.

Franklin had a final power play chance to cut into the deficit but again without a goal. Tommy Tasker blasted a low shot but Cammarata read it the entire way without traffic in front. The Bulldogs went on to block two more shots and deflect another pair out of play to kill the penalty.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We spend a lot of time on it, at least once a practice,” Shuman said. “And I think that was the best game we’ve had so far on the penalty kill. They were aggressive, and you have to be aggressive against [Franklin] because they are aggressive on their power play. You look at a kid like TJ McCabe, filling in for one of our best penalty killers in Tommy Ghostlaw, and he had a great game.

“It’s about being smart in those situations. You have to recognize what’s around you when you have the puck and make the right decisions, and we had some chances tonight. They put some forwards on the point [on the power play] so they aren’t used to playing defense so you can kind of take advantage of that.”

Canton boys hockey (6-0-0 Hockomock, 11-0-2 overall) is back in action on Wednesday when it hosts North Attleboro. Franklin (3-1-2, 5-4-3) will host King Philip on Wednesday in a battle of the top two teams tied atop the Kelley-Rex division.

Kelly’s Third Period Goal Lifts Canton Over Mansfield

Canton boys hockey Johnny Hagan
Canton senior Johnny Hagan looks to finish off a move in front of goal in the third period against Mansfield. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
FOXBORO, Mass. – Canton head coach Brian Shuman planned on easing Eamon Kelly back into the lineup after the sophomore forward missed the past four games with an injury.

But that plan didn’t last long as Kelly’s time on ice quickly increased into regular shifts, and that ended up working out just fine for the Bulldogs.

Kelly scored the game-winning goal less than two minutes into the third period in his first game back as Canton grinded out a 2-0 win over Mansfield after an empty net goal in the final minute.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“He gives good energy and we’ve missed that energy guy so far this year…and he brings it,” Shuman said. “I was really happy for him, he’s a hard worker and he deserved that [goal]. He’s been hurt for most of the season so far and we tried to ease him in but that lasted about half a period and we threw him out there in regular shifts.”

After 30 minutes of back-and-forth, up-and-down the ice at the Foxboro Sports Center, neither team had a goal to show for. Both Canton goalie Joe Cammarata (21 saves) and the Bulldog defense along with the Hornet blue line unit and goalie Sean McCafferty (28 saves) had done their part with the game scoreless heading into the final period.

Canton needed just 1:40 to break the deadlock at the beginning of the third period. Junior Donny McNeice won possession behind the net and quickly tossed a pass in front. The puck took a fortunate deflection off of a Hornet stick and fell right to Kelly, who made no doubt about it to put the Dogs up 1-0.

“We showed some promise in the second period towards the end, started to play better,” Shuman said. “I just think for our psyche we had to get a goal early in the third. Some of our guys are trying to score every time they touch the ice and putting a lot of pressure on themselves. They just need to go out there and outwork the other team and the opportunities will come.

“We’ve had to work for all of them, there hasn’t been an easy [game] all year. Credit to Mansfield, they are a good team, Mike does a good job with them. They had four lines going, they brought a lot of energy and they took it to us in the first half of the game. A typical game against Mansfield, they always bring their ‘A’ game and play hard, play tough. That was a good hockey game.”

The remainder of the third played out similar to the first two periods with both teams clogging passing lanes and applying a lot of pressure, making it tough for either team to connect more than a pass or two in a row.

Canton Johnny Hagan had the best chance of the period to double the advantage. The senior forward used his speed to race around a defenseman before cutting back in front of goal, just missing the inside the post.

Mansfield’s best chance at an equalizer came in the final two minutes. Senior Ben Ierardo ripped a shot from the blue line that was saved by Cammarata and covered as a pair of Hornets poked at the loose puck on the doorstep.

And a minute later, with the net empty, Hornet defenseman Jack Gormley rifled a hard shot that was redirected by Jake Lund but it was just over the net.

Canton senior Shane Marshall won a foot race to a loose puck and went in alone and tucked in an empty net goal with 34 seconds to play to secure the win.

“They are very skilled, they work hard, they are well-coached, Brian is a great coach,” said Mansfield coach Mike Balzarini of the Bulldogs. “We knew the task at hand but we had two really good days of practice leading up to the game. We did all the little things right, winning faceoffs especially in the defensive end was huge for us. Overall I thought we played really well.”

While it was during the infancy of the game, a pair of power plays in the opening five minutes might have been the Hornets’ best chances.

Going up a man just over a man, Mansfield’s best chance of the first power play came on a slap shot from senior Joseph Troiano but Cammarata was equal to the task.

Just seconds after killing its first penalty, Canton was whistled for its second trip of the game. Senior Chris Jenkins put a shot on goal with classmate Kevin Bellanger on the doorstep trying to bury the rebound, but the Hornets couldn’t find the back of the net.

Canton went on the power play late in the first period but the first two chances of that stretch went to the Hornets. Lund had a partial breakaway turned aside by Cammarata and Jenkins put his shot over the net after a steal in the neutral zone.




The Bulldogs’ best chance of the first came in the final seconds when junior TJ McCabe centered for senior Tommy Vaughan but his one-timer slid wide.

The middle period featured more chances for each side but nothing past either Cammarata of McCafferty. Belanger gained some space with a nice move but Cammarata saw it the entire way for the glove save.

Midway through the period, Canton’s fourth line produced a great chance with sophomore Sam Carlino linking up with senior Dom Cammarata but his bid was denied. A minute later, senior Jack Connolly had a blast knocked down and gobbled up by McCafferty.

“Our fourth line played great, they turned the tide for us,” Shuman said. “We gave them regular shifts the second half of the game because they earned it. Sam Carlino, Dylan Coyne, and Dom Cammarata…they played great and they deserve credit for helping us grind that one out.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Mansfield sophomore Kyle Oakley had a turn around wrist shot denied with four minutes left in the period and Cammarata had his best stop of the day, denying a wrist shot from Braedon Copparini with his stick on a chance in transition.

“We’ve been struggling the first five minutes of each game so I gave our green line, which is our fourth line [Dillon Benoit, Ryan Doherty, Jake Berdine], the start. And they responded great. We’ve been having trouble setting the tone and they certainly helped us tonight. We had two early power plays early with some good looks but overall I thought we played well.”

Canton boys hockey (2-0 Hockomock, 6-0-2 overall) wrapped up a three-game road trip with the win and returns home on Saturday to begin a three-game home stretch, starting with King Philip. Mansfield (1-1, 3-3-1) is back in action on Thursday at Brown University against Barrington.

First Half Goal Just Enough for KP at Canton

King Philip Boys Soccer
KP defender Matthew Clarke (15) and the rest of the Warriors back line kept Canton off the board to secure a 1-0 road win. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


CANTON, Mass. – The field seemed to be tilted towards the far end zone all night. In the first half of Thursday night’s game at WWII Veterans Memorial Field, King Philip threatened with every attack, creating a number of chances, and putting Canton on the back foot. After the break, the hosts turned the game around and suddenly had the Warriors on their heels.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

When you’re on top in the game, you have to find the back of the net. KP managed it once, junior Tadhg Keller tapping in a rebound in the 14th minute, and that turned out to be just about enough, as the back line held up against the Canton pressure and held on for a 1-0 win.

“They had a lot of momentum,” said KP coach Mike O’Neill about the pressure his team faced to preserve the lead in the second half. “I’m really happy. It’s a character win, these guys really grinded it out. It was close, it was touch-and-go for a while, but I’m proud of how my boys stuck to it.”

Canton had the game’s first shot on target, but it would end up being the only save that KP starting keeper Aidan Lindmark had to make in the first half, as the Bulldogs struggled to manufacture consistent offense in the opening 40 minutes.

KP grabbed control by exploiting the edges of the Canton defense. Junior Alex Leon had a bright start down the left and he slipped a pass into the channel for Andrew Robinson to have a shot just six minutes into the game. Five minutes later, Leon quickly turned on his defender and had a go from inside the box but hit the side netting.

In the 14th minute, KP got a free kick opportunity from about 25 yards out. Sophomore Caleb Casseta-Waxman curled a shot that seemed destined for the back of the net only for Canton keeper Alejandro Correal to fly across and get a fingertip to it and put it off the bar. The rebound fell to Keller, who took a touch to settle it before slamming the ball into the goal.

“I thought we played a relatively complete game today,” said Canton coach Danny Erickson, “but soccer comes down to moments and we fell asleep admiring our goalkeeper’s save. They didn’t fall asleep and they buried a rebound and that’s what happens.”

Just a minute later, the lead was very nearly doubled. This time KP attacked down the right. Wesley Orzell and Owen Teixeira played a one-two to get Orzell into space and he burst past the defender on the end line. The senior looked up and slid a pass to Casseta-Waxman, who was unmarked in the six-yard-box. Only a heroic intervention by freshman Carson Eagles kept the goalbound shot from hitting the back of the net.

The chances kept coming for the visitors. Evan McEvoy teed up Teixeira in the right channel and his shot flashed into the side netting, confusing some in the crowd, on the KP bench, and the scorekeeper who all thought it had gone into the top corner.

Stephen Griffin managed to hold possession against several Canton defenders and he set up McEvoy for a 20-yard strike that Correal held for one of his five first-half saves. A long cross from right back Matthew Clarke picked out Keller for a free header with just minutes to go before halftime, but the shot was easily grabbed by Correal.

Whatever was said at halftime seemed to work for the Bulldogs. Canton came out of the break inspired and instantly started to put pressure on the KP defense.

“I’d love to take massive credit for an inspirational halftime speech,” Erickson joked, “but I thought we were showing signs of really good stuff in the first half and we focused on those things. Honestly, they started winning some battles and feeling good about themselves and that results in good things.”

Just three minutes into the second half, Dylan Baird had a shot from a long way out that new KP keeper Grant Orzell had to collect at the second attempt, just in front of Jacob Crugnale. Five minutes later, Crugnale had a go from distance that took a touch off a KP boot before going over the bar. From the resulting corner, Colby Cifolillo rose highest but his goal-bound header was deflected wide of the post.

“We’re still a team that’s struggling to create chances and finish and that’s something that we’re going back to the drawing board to keep working on,” Erickson said.

Midway through the second half, freshman Jorge Sanchez set up Crugnale for a one-time hit but Orzell was able to get behind it. TJ McCabe had several shots from the edge of the box that the defense had to charge down. Despite the chances they were able to create, the Bulldogs just couldn’t find a way through and the KP back three of Clarke, Jordan Hoyle, and Jeremy White held firm.

“They are the core of this team and they are the rock, the wall we build, and we really rely on them,” said O’Neil of his defense. “In addition to be excellent defenders, they’re really skilled, composed, and they know what they’re doing.”

KP had a couple of chances on the break to try and put the game away. The best chance came for Anthony Zappala, but his curling effort from distance was collected by Canton back-up goalie Giovanni Ruggeri.

King Philip (3-1-2, 2-1-2) will get nearly a week off before traveling to division rival Attleboro on Wednesday. Canton (1-3-2, 1-3-1) will try to end its three-game losing streak when it hosts Sharon on Monday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/01/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Sharon, 1 @ Attleboro, 2 – FinalSharon took the lead early in the second half but Attleboro tied it quickly and found the game-winner late. After the Eagles went up in the 45th minute, the Bombardiers quickly leveled in the 47th minute when Mike Russo scored on a breakaway on a pass from Aidan Lancaster. Eli Araujo scored the game-winner, heading in a pass from Will Halben, to give the Bombardiers two points.

Canton, 6 @ Taunton, 2 – FinalCanton senior Griffin Roach scored a first half hat trick as the Bulldogs rolled to a big win on the road at halftime. Canton built a 4-0 advantage after 40 minutes of work, and then both sides found the back of the net twice in the second half. Roach also had two assists while Paul Corcoran (goal, assist), TJ McCabe (goal assist), Colby Ciffolillo (goal), and Paolo Ruggeri (two assists) all found the scoresheet for Canton.

North Attleboro, 2 @ King Philip, 0 – FinalNorth Attleboro scored once in each half while keeper Kyle Briere came up big on a pair of corner kicks as the Rocketeers blanked King Philip. Alessandro Gioria scored his first varsity goal on an assist from Alex Pfeffer, giving Big Red a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute. Late in the game, Alvaro Calvo iced the game, scoring in the 75th minute on an assist from Joe Hilf. Briere (eight saves) had his seventh shutout of the season.

Stoughton, 0 @ Mansfield, 6 – FinalStoughton sophomore goalie Nolan Gerome had a spectacular first half, keeping the Hornets scoreless for the opening 40 minutes. But Mansfield’s offense finally broke through early in the second half on its way to a 6-0 win. Luke Savoie scored a second half hat trick (46th, 52nd, and 57th minute) with Luke Devine and Dylan Buchanan earning assists. Senior Ethan Brill-Cass (from Peter Oldow), Raffi Marzella (from Evan Eames), and Sam Nugent (unassisted) each scored in the second half as well.

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

Girls Soccer
Attleboro, 3 @ Sharon, 1 – FinalMaxine Gordon scored the Sharon goal.

King Philip, 0 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalThe North Attleboro defense put in a great performance to hold the league’s top attack off the board on Monday. North coach Bill Wallace praised Liz Smahi, Lydia Hershey, Morgan Silver, Olivia Bishop, Sam Hawkins and Brie Westcott for their “smothering defense.” Goalie Emma Noreck kept the clean sheet, including a pair of great saves in the first half. Ashlyn Gaulin scored the game’s only goal late in the opening half off a Haley Ferrin assist and the defense made the goal hold up over the final 40 minutes.

Mansfield @ Stoughton – Postponed to day/time TBD.

Oliver Ames, 5 @ Milford, 1 – FinalGabi McLaughlin scored a pair of goals to lead the Tigers to a divisional crossover win. Erin Holmberg, Lauren Sellmayer, and Lauren Picanzi also scored goals for OA, while Cassie Probert had the Milford goal. Brianna Gibson had three assists for the Tigers.


Field Hockey
Attleboro, 2 @ Taunton, 3 – FinalJillian Pagliuca scored the game-winner for the Tigers with 13 minutes remaining in the game. The winning goal was assisted by Alana Tavares. Cierra Bartel and Lauren Torres also scored for Taunton, while Anna Beck and Alex Compton had the Attleboro goals. Taunton coach Liz Hathaway said that Jocelyn Pagliuca and Kathryn Robinson also played well defensively in the win.

North Attleboro, 2 @ Canton, 5 – Final

Sharon, 0 @ Foxboro, 6 – Final

Franklin, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalHannah Stryke opened the scoring with 10 minutes left in the first, but Franklin scored four times over the next half hour to get control. Sarah Carney tied the game for Franklin and Victoria Quinn scored twice (both assisted by Cassi Ronan) to give Franklin a 3-1 lead. Ronan then scored unassisted in the second half to extend the advantage to 4-1. The Tigers answered back with two goals in two minutes, one by Stryke (assisted by Kayla Lozzi) and the second by Maggie Woods (assisted by Emily Dionne) to cut the lead to just one. OA kept pressuring and had several chances to tie it but the Panthers held on for the win. OA coach Sharon Lawrence praise Lozzi for her overall performance. Franklin goalie Anna Jardine made four saves in the win.

Milford @ Stoughton – Postponed to day/time TBD.

King Philip, 4 @ Mansfield, 4 – FinalThe Hornets nearly made it three straight wins against King Philip (after handing the Warriors their only two losses last year), but Alli Meehan’s second goal of the game (assisted by Nicole Connor) tied the game and kept KP unbeaten this season. Lauren Craig scored the first Mansfield goal off an assist by Hayleigh Crawford. Alicia Hottleman scored the next three for the Hornets, one assisted by Maggie Danehy and the other two by Becca Hottleman. Meehan scored twice and assisted on two others for KP. Meghan MacDonald and Claire Lawlor had the other two goals for the Warriors.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ Taunton, 3 – FinalTaunton defended its home court with a 3-0 sweep (25-21, 25-12, 25-11) over visiting Attleboro. Sam Silviera had 13 kills while Mckenzie Lucie had a strong game in the back row, recording six digs, four aces, and 22 service points. Jaime Brown also had a strong game for the Tigers with 25 assists, three digs, and two aces.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton won 25-11, 25-22, 25-14 and head coach Pat Cawley said that the entire team contributed to the win. Nicole Brown had another solid all-around game with 16 assists, 10 digs, an ace, and a kill for the Bulldogs. Megan McDonough had 12 digs and Taylor Harris and Erin Devine each had eight kills and two blocks.

Sharon, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final

Franklin, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalOA won the opening set, but Franklin won the final three sets to stay unbeaten. The Panthers won 17-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-15. Sadie Homer set a career-high with 40 digs for OA, while Allie Kemp had 31 assists. The Tigers also got 14 kills from Jordan Bosse and seven kills and three aces from Jackie Raymond.

King Philip, 2 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalMansfield raced out to a 2-0 lead only for King Philip to storm back, winning the third set big and then edging the Hornets in a close fourth set. But the Hornets were able to close the win, earning a 16-14 win in the fifth set to get the victory (25-19, 25-17, 11-25, 24-26, 16-14). For Mansfield, Greenly Kelly had 10 kills, 10 service points, and five blocks, Olivia McGrath added 12 kills, Emily Dardinski chipped in with 11 kills, and Katie Dardinski finished with 11 service points and six digs. Catherine Waldeck led KP with 15 kills two blocks and Nicole Coughlan had a strong game, finishing with 14 kills, seven blocks, and two aces.

Milford, 2 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalMilford rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force a fifth set but Stoughton held on to defeat the Hawks. For Stoughton, Sasha Hyacinthe had a strong game behind the line with 19 service points, Molly Turner and Mia Bennett combined for 40 digs, and Delaney Nagel and Hanna Holden each had seven kills to pace the Knights.

Golf
North Attleboro, 164 @ Attleboro, 165 – Final

Franklin, 162 @ King Philip, 165 – Final

Mansfield, 164 vs. Norton, 158 – FinalMansfield’s Jason See was the team medalist, carding a team-low round of 38 but the Hornets fell at Norton Country Club.

Oliver Ames, 150 @ Milford, 171 – FinalThomas Walsh led the way again for OA, shooting a medalist round of 35. Liam Barry and Tate Hadges both shot a round of 38 and Nolan Donze carded a 39 for the Tigers.

Sharon @ Stoughton – Postponed to day/time TBD.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/28/18


Today’s games are listed below.

Game of the Week – FootballClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.
King Philip, 27 @ Mansfield, 28 – Final
1st Quarter: (KP) Cole Baker 23-yard field goal; (M) Nick Marciano 80-yard rush, Michael DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) C. Baker 33-yard field goal; (KP) Robbie Jarest 24-yard pass to Tim Nault, 2pt failed; (KP) Safety.
3rd Quarter: (M) Cincere Gill 7-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) N. Marciano 31-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Aidan Sacco 23-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (KP) R. Jarest 11-yard pass to T. Nault, C. Baker XP good; (KP) R. Jarest 18-yard pass to T. Nault, 2pt failed.

Football
Taunton, 3 @ Attleboro, 28 – Final

Canton, 43 @ Foxboro, 20 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 75-yard pass to Jace Emma, Owen Lehane XP good; (F) Liam Foley 26-yard pass to Rob Fay, Russell Neale XP good; (C) Gersom Rivera 6-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (C) Kyle Fitzgerald 33-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (F) Keyshawn Sanders 10-yard rush, R. Neale XP good; (C) J. Hagan 36-yard pass to J. Emma, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: (C) O. Lehane 27-yard field goal.
4th Quarter: (F) L. Foley 8-yard pass to Mike Luong, 2-point conversion no good; (C) J. Hagan 1-yard rush, XP no good; K. Fitzgerald 9-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Franklin, 41 – Final
1st Quarter: (F) Owen Palmieri 4-yard rush, Parker Chevront XP good; (F) O. Palmieri 4-yard rush, P. Chevront XP good; (F) Nick Gordon 32-yard pass to Jake Davis, P. Chevront XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) N. Gordon 65-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, P. Chevront XP good; (F) O Palmieri 40-yard fumble return, P. Chevront XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (F) Marcus Quintina 9-yard rush, Cody Trotin XP good.

Milford, 21 @ North Attleboro, 42 – Final
1st Quarter: (NA) Nick Raneri 1-yard rush, Tyler DeMattio XP good; (NA) N. Raseri 11-yard pass to Ethan Friberg, T. DeMattio XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) N. Raneri 39-yard pass to Ryan Gaumond, T. DeMattio XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) Brendan McHugh 80-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (M) Colby Pires 54-yard pass to Shapel Faster, Sean Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: (NA) B. McHugh 12-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (M) C. Pires 42-yard pass to S. Feaster, S. Lehane XP good; (NA) N. Raneri 38-yard pass to R. Gaumond, T. DeMattio XP good; (M) C. Pires 52-yard pass to S. Lehane, S. Lehane XP good.

Stoughton, 12 @ Sharon, 6 – Final
1st Quarter: (Sto) Malachi Green-Hightower 8-yard rush, XP blocked.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (Sto) Alex Iverson 6-yard rus, 2pt conversion failed (Sha) Jeremy Ruskin 20-yard pass to Chris Gong, XP failed.

Boys Soccer
Attleboro, 2 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalAttleboro scored a pair of first half goals, including a penalty late to pick up a win on the road at Taunton. Joe Soucy gave the Bombardiers the lead off an assist from Hugo Henriquez before the Tigers came back to tie the game. Nathan LaPlume scored on a penalty kick late in the first for Attleboro’s game-winning goal.

North Attleboro, 1 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton scored twice in the second half, breaking open a tie game, to earn two points at home against previously unbeaten North Attleboro. The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead but North Attleboro’s Joe Hilf tied the game on a cross from Gavin O’Malley. Canton tacked on two goals in the second half, finishing off a throw-in and a cross. Griffin Roach had two goals, TJ McCabe scored once, and Paul Corcoran recorded two assists for Canton.

Sharon @ Foxboro – Postponed to Monday, 10/29.

Franklin, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalOliver Ames built a 2-0 advantage over the first 40 minutes of play and held on for the rest of the way to earn two points. Sophomores Colin Milliken and Kevin Louhis each scored their third goals of the season while Louhis and Jimmy Keane each had an assist. OA head coach John Barata said his defense had a strong game.

King Philip, 1 @ Mansfield, 2 – FinalMansfield senior Luke Savoie scored a pair of first half goals to help the Hornets inch closer to a playoff berth. Savoie opened the scoring just two minutes in, finishing off a throw in from Cam Eddy. Savoie then doubled the Hornets’ advantage in the 11th minute, scoring directly off a corner kick to make it 2-0. King Philip cut the deficit in half in the 62nd minute when Ian Zimmerman was able to pounce on a ball in the area after a service from Cam Lawrence. Mansfield goalie Cam Bovey made three saves in the win.

Milford @ Stoughton – Postponed to Monday, 10/29.


Girls Soccer
Taunton, 0 @ Attleboro, 5 – FinalIsabella Salviati scored a pair of goals and assisted on a third to help the Bombardiers pick up a big divisional win. Julia Reyes scored once and assisted on another, while Jessica Gates had a pair of assists for Attleboro. Ashley Macia and Ashley Dame each scored once and Briley Harnois had an assist. Tayla Drape made three saves to keep the clean sheet.

Canton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 2 – FinalNorth Attleboro netted a pair of first half goals to defend home turf, picking up two points with a win over Canton. Kayla Pasquel scored from Lydia Santos, and Ashlyn Gaulin scored from sister Emma Gaulin for the Rocketeers. Bri Westcott and Sam Hawkins led the North Attleboro defense in front of Emma Noreck. North head coach Bill Wallace added that Haley Ferrin and Alex Moulson played excellent two way soccer at midfield.

Foxboro @ Sharon – Postponed to Friday, 10/5.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalErin Holmberg got a breakaway and scored 10 minutes into the game to give the Tigers the lead, but Franklin tied it on an Anna Balkus goal (assisted by Calen Frongillo) with less than five minutes remaining. Franklin coach Tom Geysen said that his team played well in the second half, hitting the bar several times. OA coach Britt Sellmayer noted that Brianna Gibson, Anna Tempesteoso, and Gabrielle McLaughlin all played well for the Tigers.

Mansfield, 4 @ King Philip, 1 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.

Field Hockey
Milford, 0 vs. Bellingham, 2 – Final

Sharon, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – FinalOliver Ames built a 3-0 lead at halftime and added two more in the second half to get a win over Sharon. After 20 minutes of scoreless action, sophomore Hannah Stryke scored three times over the final 10 minutes of the first half to put OA ahead. Stryke’s first two goals were assisted by Kayla Lozzi, and the third, with just under three minutes left, was set up by Georgia Costello. Haley Gilman (from Maggie Woods) and Costello (from Katherine McCarthy) scored in the second half for OA.

Volleyball
King Philip, 0 vs. Walpole, 3 – FinalKing Philip hosted Walpole on Friday afternoon but came up short, falling 3-0 to the Rebels (17-25, 18-25, 21-25). Catherine Waldeck led KP with nine kills and two blocks while Nicole Coughlhan had four kills and two blocks.

Mansfield, 1 @ Brockton, 3 – FinalMansfield grabbed a win in the first set but Brockton rallied to win the next three and the match (25-21, 20-25, 22-25, 16-25). Greenly Kelly had nine kills and nince service points, Katie Dardinski added seven digs and 12 service points, and Olivia McGrath chipped in with eight kills.

Golf
Canton, 164 @ Franklin, 167 – FinalCanton’s Thomas Singleton was the lone golfer to shoot under 40 on Friday, carding a medalist round of 39 to help the Bulldogs knock Franklin from the ranks of the unbeaten. Tommy Dimock and Mike Gobbi each shot 41 for Canton while Chris Lavoie chipped in with a 43. Matt D’Errio led the Panthers with a 40, Quinten Faro shot a 41, Gerry Collins carded a 42 and Nolan Norton finished with a 44.

Mansfield vs. Norton – Postponed to Monday, October 1st at 3:00.
North Attleboro @ Sharon – Postponed to Friday, October 5 at 3:15.

Attleboro Cashes In Late To Take Down Canton

Attleboro boys soccer
Canton’s Paul Corcoran (left) challenges Attleboro’s Aidan Lancaster in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Attleboro head coach Peter Pereira knew he needed junior outside back Josh Smith to have a strong game defensively.

Not only did Smith deliver, he gave a little extra.

Smith scored his first career goal in the 71st minute to break open a scoreless game to help the Bombardiers take a 2-0 decision over Canton in their season opener.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“More importantly than the goal, he defended their best player,” Pereira said. “We were trying to find someone to finish, we tried subbing too. It was good for Josh to get it. He’s a solid player, he’s not a flashy player but he’s very smart.”

For the majority of the game, Smith was tasked with dealing with a Bulldogs’ offense that scored four goals in their season opener just days earlier against Marshfield. But he was able to give Attleboro the lead just inside the final 10 minutes.

After a free kick was partially cleared by the Bulldogs’ defense, junior Michael Russo delivers a service back into the area. Sophomore Joey Soucy ran onto it and fired a one-time shot from in close. Canton keeper Alejandro Correal made a terrific first save but the rebound popped loose and Smith was there to tap it in for a 1-0 lead.

“It was a good win, the kids are excited,” Pereira said. Attleboro was the last of the 12 Hockomock teams to kickoff its 2018 campaign. “They’ve been ready to go, everyone else has been playing. They were nervous in the first half but then we settled down and it was a totally different team out there for us in the second half.”

The game was loaded was chances for both sides but it wasn’t until Smith’s goal in the final 10 minutes either side broke through.

With Canton down a goal and pushing for an equalizer, Attleboro senior Will Halben gained possession just over half after a turnover. He went at the defense with pace, getting by his mark and rifling a shot into the far corner to make it 2-0 in the 77th minute.

“Towards the end of the game, when you’re up by a goal, he can be deadly,” Pereira said of Halben, who has been the Bombardiers’ leading scorer for the past two years. “He had a couple of chances earlier too and he’ll get a couple of those each game, but it was nice to have him finish.”

The Bulldogs had the better of play for the first 40 minutes but couldn’t find the back of the net. Griffin Roach had a header off Paul Corcoran’s throw-in saved by Attleboro keeper Andre Menard in the opening 15 minutes.

The best chance came off the foot of TJ McCabe. After winning possession near midfield, the sophomore beat off two defenders to gain some space before ripping a hard shot from 25 yards out that just sailed over the crossbar.

“You can’t play 40 minutes of the first half where you’re really on your front foot dominating and not score a goal and think you’re going to win a game, you can’t do that in the Hockomock League,” said Canton head coach Danny Erickson, now in his 26th season at the helm of the Bulldogs.

“Attleboro is too good a team for that. I thought we played great soccer today, pretty much start to finish. I thought the second half was even, we both had some chances. I thought we dominated the first half but Attleboro was clean with a couple finishes in the end and that was the difference. But that was a great Hockomock League game. We could have come out on top but Attleboro deserved it today.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The first half hour of the second half was full of goal scoring chances, including two from Canton inside the first 15 minutes. Corcoran linked up with McCabe, who found Cruz but his chance was turned aside. Two minutes later, Roach once again got his head on a throw by Corcoran but it went just over the bar.

Attleboro countered two minutes later when Brady Holander’s service connected to Justin Lurssen but Correal made a nice diving save to keep the game level.

The Bombardiers next best chance came 10 minutes later when Eli Araujo played Halben into space behind the defense and the senior got past Correal but was forced wide enough by the keeper where his tough angle shot went high.

“The first half, they had the play and then in the second half I thought we outplayed them a little bit,” Pereira said. “They are a good team, they play physical, they play quick, they have size. That was a good game. You knew whoever got the first goal was going to get the win. We ended up with two nice ones.”

Attleboro boys soccer (1-0 Hockomock, 1-0 overall) faces another stiff challenge on Wednesday when it welcomes Mansfield (2-0) to Tozier-Cassidy Field. Canton (0-1, 1-1) will try to bounce back when it hits the road to take on Foxboro on the same day.

Canton Finishes Strong To Knock Off Oliver Ames

Canton boys lacrosse
Canton’s David Allen (44) fires a shot between OA defenders in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
CANTON, Mass. – In the opening game of the season for both teams, Canton held off a second half push from Oliver Ames to record a 12-6 win on Thursday afternoon.

The Bulldogs built a four-goal advantage over the first 24 minutes of action, taking a comfortably 7-3 lead into halftime. But Oliver Ames came out with renewed energy in the second half, scoring a pair of goals in the third while blanking Canton’s offense to make it a two-goal game (7-5) heading into the final frame.

But Canton responded well, scoring its first of four straight goals less than two minutes into the fourth to fend off the Tigers’ comeback effort.

“[OA] came out ready to go in the second half,” said Canton head coach Bill Bendell. “It’s the first game, which is part of it, but OA came out with grit in the second half and was ready to go. They took it to us in the third. Then we woke up a bit in the fourth, realized the game wasn’t over and went on to finish it. I’m really happy to come away with the win. We made our share of mistakes so we still have plenty to work on too.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Canton started the contest strong, scoring the opening goal less than a minute in when junior Griffin Roach charged up the middle and ripped a shot into the back of the net just 55 seconds in.

The Bulldogs kept their foot on the pedal as junior Mike Shaw took advantage of an OA turnover and scored from in close after a nice shot fake, Roach took a handoff from classmate Matt Martin, changed direction to get past a defenseman and rifled one in, and Ryan Sullivan took a feed from Shaw before firing a low shot, giving Canton a 4-0 lead eight minutes into the game.

Oliver Ames picked up some momentum before the end of the quarter by getting on the board. Sophomore Shane Kilkelly dodged past a defender, faked a shot to draw the attention of two others and then slipped a pass right in front to classmate Hunter Costello for a goal in tight.

The Tigers capitalized on that momentum to begin the second quarter, cutting the deficit to two when senior Owen Gallagher used his speed to wrap around the goal and a bounce shot to make it 4-2 just 32 seconds into the frame.

Canton sophomore David Allen extended the advantage back to three when he scored from a tight angle with 6:40 to go in the first half, only for Kilkelly to answer just over 30 seconds later. Kilkelly backed his way towards goal and used a nice spin move to create space for his shot.

Roach had the answer for Canton, scoring back-to-back goals in under a three-minute space. Just a minute after Kilkelly’s strike, Roach rushed up the middle and fired a bounce shot that snuck just under the bar. The junior cashed in again up the middle, whipping a hard shot to make it 7-3 heading into halftime.

“He’s a stud,” Bendell said of Roach. “He’s a junior captain for us, he can go left or right hand, he gets back and plays defense. He’s just an all-around great player, he’s the hardest worker on the team…exactly what you want from a captain.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

OA got off to a strong start in the second half when senior Jack Lang put the Tigers on the board 38 seconds in, making it 7-4. That goal seemed to set the tone for the period as OA controlled for the majority of the 12 minutes.

But it wasn’t until the final two minutes that OA cashed in again. Sophomore Frankie Ireland made a nice hustle play at midfield to gain possession and then came sprinting into the zone. He found Costello in the middle, who instantly returned the pass on a give-and-go and Ireland tucked his shot from in close just under the bar at a tight angle it to make it 7-5.

“In the third quarter we started executing our offense,” said OA first-year head coach Ben Devlin. “We controlled the ball a little bit more, we worked it around, and we were running our offense the way its supposed to be run. In the fourth, we started to press a little. We were chasing the score. I think the kids thought the deficit was a little bit more than it was so they started to force a little bit. We started playing aggressive and they were able to beat it at times.

“Bill [Bendell]’s a smart coach, we know his offense can kill a lot of clock so we had to press. It all came down to execution…when we won ground balls, won faceoffs and ran our offense, we were right in the game.”

Canton put an end to that momentum early in the fourth. Albert found Shaw cutting through traffic in front less than two minutes in to make it 8-5.

“We were better when we moved the ball and moved around,” Bendell said. “We did a ton of standing around on offense. We tried changing formations…the guy with the ball would end up just standing, or maybe he was moving but then everyone else was watching. I think that’s early stuff, but we talked about moving off the ball a little bit more in the second half. It got better as the game went on, and then in the fourth, they had to press us and that made us move more.

Roach (with 8:14 left), Albert (7:43) and sophomore James Murphy (5:49) scored in succession during the fourth to pull away from the Tigers. Costello added his second, again on an assist from Kilkelly with 2:35 left.

Albert completed his hat trick with just over a minute left to cap the scoring.

“Our guys were really amped up for the game, they knew they had a chance to win it,” Devlin said. “We knew if we executed, we could win. I was encouraged by our scrimmages, I thought we looked really good. But we just didn’t put it on the field today and execute at our best.”

Bendell also noted he felt that freshman TJ McCabe’s performance at the faceoff X was a big factor in helping the Bulldogs earn the win. Canton senior Charlie O’Connor, the team’s normal FOGO specialist, is out hurt and Bendell said McCabe filled in admirably.

“One of the things I thought we did well today was on faceoffs,” Bendell said. “With Charlie out hurt, TJ took them and he competed on every single one and that really gave us a chance.”

Oliver Ames (0-1, 0-1) will try to bounce back on Friday when it hosts Foxboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/27/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Canton, 2 @ Norwood, 0 – FinalCanton senior Jake Verille converted a penalty kick and freshman TJ McCabe netted his first career goal as the Bulldogs earned two points on the road in a non-league game.

Field Hockey
Franklin, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalFrankin junior Cassi Ronan had a hand in all four Panthers goals, scoring a pair and assisting on the other two. Juniors Annie Walsh and Regan Paterson each scored once and added one assist in the win. Panthers goalie Christina Luccini made nine saves in the win while FHS head coach Lisa Cropper said Jill McLaughlin did “an outstanding job in the midfield.”

Foxboro, 1 @ Canton, 2 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Mansfield, 2 @ King Philip, 1 – FinalMansfield scored once in each half, netting the game-winner with just over 15 minutes to play in the game. Hayleigh Crawford opened the scoring, putting the Hornets up 1-0 on an assist from Ann Maher just before the midway point of the first half. KP tied the game five minutes into the second half when Dana Truini converted a centering pass from Alli Meehan. Kristina O’Connell netted the winner on an assist from Crawford. Mansfield goalie Kayla Hunter made 21 saves in net.

Milford, 0 @ North Attleboro, 6 – Final

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalOliver Ames had three different players score in its win on the road. Liz Nuss, Maggie Woods and Maura Kiernan each found the back of the net while Kayla Lozzi had two assists. Caitlin Grant made nine saves in net for Oliver Ames. For Taunton, Diana Brens scored on an assist from Lauren Torres.

Sharon, 0 @ Stoughton, 6 – FinalStoughton’s Lauren Berteletti and Julia Russell both found the back of the net twice while Kamryn Oliveira and Haley Apotheker each added single goals for the Black Knights.

Volleyball
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalMaggie Doyle had a strong day at the service line, recording 14 service points, including three aces, and added five kills as the Panthers earned a sweep on the road. Ellie Wisniewski (eight kills) and Meaghan Maguire (seven kills) helped pace Franklin’s offense.

Foxboro, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton defended its home court with a 25-20, 25-20, 25-15 sweep over the visiting Warriors. Nicole Brown led Canton’s offense with 18 assists, four kills and one block while Hannah Jerrier added 10 kills. CHS head coach Pat Cawley said Angie Elias and Nyah Claiborne played well off the bench.

Mansfield, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip earned a sweep against the visiting Hornets, cruising in the first game before edging Mansfield in the final two (25-13, 25-23, 26-24). Sydney Phillips led the way with 22 service points, including four aces, and led the offense with 14 kills. Michaela Palumbo added 12 kills, Rachael Veilleux finished with 32 assists and Julianne Rando had six digs. For Mansfield, Meg Hill had eight kills and four blocks, Julia Harrison added six kills and Greenly Kelly finished with five kills and three blocks. Junior Katie Dardinski had eight service points for the Hornets.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalAfter dropping the opening game, Oliver Ames rallied for three straight wins to earn the victory on the road (24-26, 25-17, 25-20, 25-23). OA head coach Chelsea Cunningham praised senior Caroline Cavanaugh, saying she was “the glue on and off the court.” Sophomore Ally Kemp finished 30 assists, junior Sadie Homer had 22 digs, senior Emma Petrillo added 14 kills, and senior Kayla Raymond finished with 11 kills, four blocks and three aces.

Sharon, 1 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22 win over Sharon. Senior Vicky Ramos and sophomore Mykiah Simpson had strong games from the outside while junior Molly Turner added 17 assists for the Knights.

Golf
Foxboro, 171 @ Milford, 170 – FinalMilford’s Andrew Fauerbach earned co-medalist honors, carding a team-low round of 39 to help the Hawks nip the Warriors. Foxboro’s Logan Sloan shared medalist honors with a 39 of his own. Milford’s Riley Lynch and Foxboro’s Noah Hicks each carded rounds of 42.

Franklin, 166 @ Mansfield, 162 – FinalMansfield senior Brendan Loomer and freshman Brian See both carded rounds of 38 to lead the Hornets to a close win over Franklin. Senior Madison Haughey and freshman Joseph Gormley added rounds of 43 for the Hornets.

Stoughton, 179 @ North Attleboro, 150 – FinalAll four of North’s top golfers finished with rounds under 40 in middle course at Heather Hill. Dylan Kane fired a one-over-par round of 36 while Matt Wanless, Marcus Costa and Jillian Barend each shot 38 on the day.