Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Jackson Maffeo, Canton
Hockomock League All Stars
PJ Elliot, Attleboro
Jake Parker, Attleboro
Quinn Gibbs, Canton
Tom Kilduff, Canton
Jackson Maffeo, Canton
CJ Martin, Canton
Mike Carresi, Foxboro
Aidan Sullivan, Foxboro
Luke Downie, Franklin
Brendan O’Rielly, Franklin
Tom Sicchio, Franklin
Jacob Kelly, King Philip
Gavin Maxwell, King Philip
Matt Farragher, Mansfield
Joe Olsen, Mansfield
Erik Clements, North Attleboro
Zach McGowan, North Attleboro
Jared Costello, Oliver Ames
Jack Maloney, Oliver Ames
Brett Williams, Oliver Ames
Cam Doherty, Stoughton
Zack Albert, Taunton
Nick Terry, Taunton
Ryan Morry, Attleboro
Bubba McNeice, Canton
Peter Smith, Foxboro
Cam Benham, Franklin
Jeremy Smith, King Philip
Cullen Anastasia, Mansfield
Vincent Zammiello, North Attleboro
Cullen Gallagher, Oliver Ames
Jon Lessa, Stoughton
Mike Volkmann, Taunton
BOURNE, Mass. – It’s not often you get a second chance in a playoff game, let alone one that reaches 3-on-3 double overtime.
But North Attleboro sophomore Brendan McHugh battled his way to a second opportunity and didn’t let this one past.
Just seconds after the defenseman had his breakaway turned aside, he tracked the puck down in the corner, got around an opponent and muscled his way to the game-winning goal on the doorstep to hand the fifth-seeded Rocketeers a 2-1 win over 12th-seeded Plymouth North.
“I have pretty awful hands and I came in on a breakaway and I had no idea what to do,” admitted McHugh. “I tried to put it five hole but it didn’t work. I picked it up in the corner and they were kind of off me.
“We play a lot of 3-on-3 at practice so after I beat the first guy, I stuffed it in and then just kept pushing as hard as I could and I saw it go in.”
With the win, North Attleboro advances to the MIAA Division 2 South Sectional Quarterfinals to take on the winner of Westwood and Plymouth South.
“It takes a lot of character, a lot of poise, a lot of teamwork really,” said North Attleboro head coach Steve Snizek. “It’s about knowing your limitations and my guys, they did. They weren’t going to try to overextend themselves when they didn’t have a lot left in the tank. It takes a tremendous amount of self-awareness.
“It’s about smart, unselfish hockey. [Plymouth North] played a great game, they have a hell of a team over there. We were lucky to get the bounces when we needed it.”
The teams were knotted 1-1 after 45 minutes of play, sending the teams into a first overtime period played 4-on-4. While the Rocketeers had a couple of offensive zone trips early, the six-minute span really belonged to the Panthers.
But for every shot, North Attleboro goalie sophomore Ryan Warren had an answer. He registered seven of his 26 saves in that frame to keep Big Red level. The Panthers also had a chance on a rebound but when the puck was chipped across the goal line, North defenseman Will Yeomans knocked it away over the top of the goal.
“I thought our goalie kept in it as usual,” Snizek said. “He was definitely player of the game in mind. They came out strong in that first overtime period and he handled it. He played his angles very well and gobbled everything up, which is what he usually does.”
North Attleboro went on the power play just over a minute into the second overtime period, playing with a 4-on-3 advantage. The Rocketeers nearly cashed in right away but Yeomans had his close range big go over the bar.
After a scoreless first period – a frame that saw the Rocketeers dominate offensive zone time but register just two shots on goal – Big Red was able to break through late in the second period.
Junior Jason McNeany dished the puck back to senior Vincent Zammiello at the blue line. The defenseman took a stride towards goal and unleashed a wrist shot. With plenty of traffic in front, the puck found its way through and looked to take a slight deflection off a Plymouth North player before finding the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Plymouth North found the equalizer right around the same point in the final period. After a faceoff, the puck was played in front before taking a weird bounce with the Panthers’ Brian Kingsbury putting it in the back of the net late in the third.
The two teams played nearly 10 minutes of extra hockey at either 4-on-4 or 3-on-3.
“It shows how important it is for other guys to step up,” McHugh said. “It’s a full team effort every game, you can’t rely on just one line. Everyone has to pick up the slack and work together.”
“At the end when we got the goal, I just wanted to get the freshest legs we had out there,” Snizek said. “We had so many guys that are gassed so we were trying to play everybody. We’ve have some depth so it paid off.”
North Attleboro (14-3-4) will play either #4 Westwood or #13 Plymouth South on Saturday at 2:00 at Asiaf Arena in Brockton.
CANTON, Mass, – For 43 minutes, Canton was clicking and playing impressive hockey.
But in a two minute span, North Attleboro completely changed the game and erased a three goal deficit.
Fortunately for the Bulldogs, they were able to bounce back with one more goal late in the second period to pick up a 4-3 win over the the Rocketeers in a Davenport division showdown.
“I don’t think I’ve ever coached in a game like that were all of a sudden we were up three and then tied in a blink of an eye,” admitted Canton head coach Brian Shuman. “But that’s North Attleboro, they are dangerous. They shoot the puck harder than any team we’ve faced. Those guys can shoot and they had a couple good shots off and it’s a tie ball game, that’s how explosive they are.”
Canton scored a pair of goals in a dominating first period and added one more early in the third period and looked to be cruising. But midway through the period, the Rocketeers turned things around.
First, Hunter Sarro pounced on a loose puck in the offensive zone, corralling the puck and turning and firing all in one motion. Canton goalie Quinn Gibbs (14 saves) got a piece of the shot but the puck found its way over the line.
Just 42 seconds later, the Rocketeers made things interesting as Jason McNeany centered the puck right in front of goal, allowing a tap in opportunity for Sarro to make it 3-2 with 7:17 to play in the second period.
And just over one minute later, Will Yeomans knocked down a clearance and centered it for Erik Clements, who fired a wrist shot top shelf to tie the game with 6:10 to play in the period.
“No adjustments, we told them we just had to stay with our game,” said North Attleboro head coach Steve Snizek. “We came out flat; our team knew it and [Canton] took advantage. It’s tough to comeback but they showed a lot of character tonight which I’m very proud of. We came up short but there were a lot of positives – some negatives – but I thought the positives outweighed especially just being a man and showing a lot of character.”
Canton was able to respond shortly before the end of the period, a goal that turned out to be the game-winner.
Senior defenseman DJ Trerice weaved his way into the offensive zone and dropped the puck back at the blue line to Bubba McNeice. McNeice played catch with CJ Martin on the blue line before firing the puck towards goal. Junior Charlie O’Connor was able to get his stick on the puck to redirect the puck into the back of the net.
“Not only was it important for the scoreboard, it was important for the bench,” Shuman said. “A lot of guys were getting on each other to pick it up so that was huge. CJ Martin, that was the best game I’ve seen him play in two years. He was outstanding out there defensively, he skated the puck when we needed him to and then it was really nice to see him factor into that goal, he had a great game.”
The third period was mostly even, but neither side registered a serious scoring chance. North Attleboro had a power play opportunity with 2:47 left but couldn’t cash in. Canton was able to keep the pressure in the offensive zone to prevent the Rocketeers from pulling goalie Ryan Warren (28 saves).
Canton opened the scoring just three minutes into the game. After an offensive zone face off, junior Mike Dadasis went into the corner and dug out the puck. He carried it right to he near post and tucked it in for a 1-0 lead.
Tommy Kilduff had a chance for Canton midway through the second period but a diving effort from Vincent Zamiello disrupted the partial breakaway chance. The Bulldogs did breakthrough with just under four minutes to play. Jack Goyetch blocked a clearance just inside the blue line and raced in and found the back of the net while being tripped out in front for a 2-0 lead.
“We played really well in the first period,” Shuman said. “We had some really good scoring opportunities, it was nice to spot ourselves the lead but we left a couple on the board. We played really well in the first and then [North Attleboro] came back and killed that penalty in the second period which was a big momentum shift. The third was back and forth game, I thought they had some really good pressure on us in the third but I thought we played better defensively. The few opportunities they had in the second they buried and they played well in the third but we were able to play tighter defensively and limit the good shots.”
Less than a minute into the second period, Canton added to its lead. With the puck dumped into the offensive zone, freshman John Hagan unleashed a big hit in the corner the forced the puck to pop free. That’s where Kilduff ripped a shot from the slot to make it 3-0.
With the win, Canton moves within a point of clinching its seventh Davenport title. Even with big league title implications on the line, Shuman said his team treated it the same they do every league game.
“We say it all the time that every game is important in the Davenport and in the league,” Shuman said. “It’s cliché but at some point it rings true where every game is a championship game. If you drop any game, your chances of taking the league title are hurt. We treated this game like we did Stoughton, Foxboro and all of the other games. We’re a step closer but we’re not there by any means we have three very tough games left in the league.”
Canton (9-2-2 overall, 6-0 Hockomock) will try to extend its 11 game unbeaten streak on Saturday against Medway. North Attleboro (7-3-2, 3-2-1) will try to bounce back on Sunday against Mansfield.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – North Attleboro moved into its new home at the New England Sports Village this winter and, although the rink is still under construction, the Rocketeers already looked like a finished product despite the season just getting underway.
Jason McNeany and Andrew Wissler each scored a pair of goals and senior center Zach McGowan recorded three points as North skated to a comprehensive 8-2 non-league victory over Dedham in Wednesday night’s season opener.
“I’m very happy with our effort, our finishing, our capitalization,” said North coach Steve Snizek about the team’s offensive effort. “One thing I do want to see is us stay out of the box. It’s becoming, as you know, more and more of a routine for us.”
It was the visiting Marauders that found themselves in the box in the first period and North took advantage of the extra skater and each time the goal came almost immediately after the penalty.
McGowan got the scoring started with 10:26 left in the first. He fired a wrist shot from the high slot, just eight seconds into the power play, off an assist from William Yeomans. Two minutes later, the lead was doubled by junior Hunter Sarro (assisted by defensemen Brendan McHugh and Vincent Zammiello) from a tight angle.
North outshot Dedham 13-7 in the first period, but after a boarding call against Erik Clements, goalie Ryan Warren needed to come through with a big save just before the horn to keep the Marauders off the board. Warren (20 saves) made the initial stop and then went post-to-post at full stretch to keep out the rebound.
“That was an amazing save,” said Snizek. “If he doesn’t save that then momentum is in their favor and it would’ve been a different ballgame. Again, he was lights out.”
Dedham did pull one back on the power play when Nick Mecuri knocked in a rebound from point-blank range, but the Rocketeers answered back less than a minute later. McNeany got free down the right wing and fired in a shorthanded goal that made it 3-1 and seemed to deflate the visitors.
Snizek said, “That was huge. It took the wind out of their sails a little bit and put it back into ours, so that was a good jumpstart again.”
Wissler stepped up two minutes later to knock in a rebound from McGowan’s shot to extend the lead to 4-1 and, after the Rocketeers cleared off a minute of two-man advantage, sophomore forward Todd Robinson turned a defensive zone face-off into a breakaway goal when he tipped the puck past the pinching defenseman and raced free.
North put the game away before the end of the second when McGowan assisted for the second time on a Wissler goal to make it 6-1. It was a dominating performance by the Rocketeers and Snizek was happy to see all three lines (and the fourth line during the third period) contributing to the win.
“They were impressive tonight,” said Snizek of the third line. “They jumpstarted us when the first two [lines] had some bad shifts, they would jump start us again. It’s good to see the third line contributing.”
He added, “That’s one of the things we practiced in the first week was the line stuff, get used to each other, so they picked it up really fast. I’m happy about that. It was a great win to start the season.”
McNeany added his second of the night off a Sarro assist with 8:36 to play and then freshman John Connolly answered a Dedham goal with the first score of his career to wrap up the scoring and get a pretty loud ovation from the sizable cheering section.
Besides getting two points to start the season, Snizek was also happy to get a debut win at the Rocketeers’ new home rink. He admitted that the crowd seems louder at the New England Sports Village (they are above the glass, unlike the Foxboro Sports Center) and he is looking forward to what the rink will be when it is fully built.
“I love it,” Snizek said. “I like the atmosphere. You saw the fans are right on top of you…it gets the adrenaline pumping.”
North Attleboro (1-0) will face a tough test on Saturday night when it plays host to rival Bishop Feehan.
2015-2016 Record: 16-3-4 2015-2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal Coach: Brian Shuman
Throughout the years, Canton has had plenty of skillful goal scorers that pace the offense. Heading into this season, it’s still to be determined who will emerge as Canton’s top offensive threat.
The Bulldogs lost a lot of scoring from a year ago, including the team’s top for scorers – Matt Lazaro, Jim Jenkins, Bobby Mullaney and Seamus Pecararo – who combined for over 100 points. However, the Bulldogs have one of the strongest programs from top to bottom in the area and it will be the next man up. Senior Tommy Kilduff (nine points) and junior Jack Goyetch (12 poitns) are likely candidates to be top offensive weapons on their respective lines.
One area that Canton is rock solid is defense. The Bulldogs are bringing back their top four defensemen from a year ago, including HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Jackson Maffeo and HockomockSports Third Team selection CJ Martin. Those two will be joined once again by DJ Trerice and Brad Murphy, giving Canton a solid foundation to work off of.
“Overall, we expect to be a scrappy team with no real superstars, but a good balance of gritty forwards, experienced defensemen, and deep goaltending hopefully will allow us to compete with the top teams in the Hockomock League,” Canton head coach Brian Shuman said.
2015-2016 Record: 5-14-1 2015-2016 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Mark Cedorchuk
With a strong blend of experienced players and young talent, first year head coach Mark Cedorchuk is hopeful the Warriors can find their way back to the state tournament.
The Warriors return both of their top scoring threats from a year ago with seniors Mike Carresi (seven goals, 10 assists) and Peter Smith (10 goals, six assists) both back to pace the offense, as well as classmate Paul Vey. Junior Aidan Sullivan is back after an impressive sophomore season (eight points) and will be a big presence along the blue line along with classmate Taylor Sharfman and senior John Brolin.
It will be a familiar face between the pipes for Foxboro again this season as John Cronin returns as one of the top netminders in the league.
“With this core group of excellent upperclassman and talented underclassman we’re very excited about our season this year,” Cedorchuk said. “With the roster we have we’re looking to compete at a very high level and can’t wait for our season to start.”
2015-2016 Record: 13-5-4 2015-2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals Coach: Steve Snizek
Between a strong returning core of players and a switch to the Davenport division, 2016-2017 could be the year the Rocketeers make a serious run at a league title. Standing in the way will be Canton.
Five of the Rocketeers’ leading scorers are back this year, including top goal scorer Erik Clements (13 goals, 10 assists) and top assist man and HockomockSports.com First Team selection Zach McGowan (12 goals, 12 assists). Juniors Jason McNeany (eight goals, 12 assists), Andrew Wissler (nine goals, nine assists) and Hunter Sarro (nine goals, four assists) are all back as well with varsity experience. The depth in North Attleboro’s attack will make them tough to deal with.
Defensively, it all starts with sophomore goalie Ryan Warren, who had a terrific freshman year and was named HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year. In front of him, senior Vincent Zammiello – a HockomockSports.com Third Team selection – and sophomore Brendan McHugh will anchor the defensive unit.
“In order for our team to be successful, we need to stick to our style of hockey and be well positioned and physical,” North Attleboro head coach Steve Snizek said. “We also need to take advantage of power power play opportunities while staying disciplined.”
2015-2016 Record: 6-12-3 2015-2016 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Dan Mark
Stoughton returns a good handful of experienced varsity players from last year’s squad, but will still be one of the youngest teams in the league.
Senior forwards Jon Lessa and Nick Hardy are two of the more experienced players on the team. Lessa was second in scoring a year ago with nine goals and also added six assists while Hardy chipped in with seven points. Sophomore Sean Doherty will likely see a lot of ice time this season after an impressive freshman season. Doherty had seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points – second most on the team.
On defense, senior Cam Doherty will anchor the blue line while sophomore Josh Hough will look to build upon a strong rookie campaign a year ago. Sophomore AJ Scott is back in goal this season after making over 600 saves as a freshman. Having a year of varsity experience will be vital for a handful of Stoughton’s returning players.
“We are young team that will improve as the season goes on,” Stoughton head coach Dan Mark said.
Attleboro 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.”
Franklin 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.”
King Philip 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.”
Mansfield 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.
North Attleboro 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.”
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.”