Canton, 34 @ Bishop Feehan, 69 – Final – Canton was limited to just two points in the second quarter as the Shamrocks built a 34-10 lead at halftime and never looked back. Bulldog sophomore Matt Giglio scored a team-high 12 points while Peter Hayward added eight points.
Franklin, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Scott Elliott scored a pair of goals and three other Panthers found the back of the net as Franklin skated to a shutout win over Attleboro. Senior Joey Lizotte, senior Zac Falvey, and sophomore Declan Lovett also scored for the Panthers in the win.
Canton, 1 vs. Westwood, 1 – Final – Canton sophomore Lizzie Tassinari scored with 1:41 left in the game to help the Bulldogs earn a tie in what felt like a championship level game according to CHS head coach Dennis Aldrich.
Franklin, 6 vs. Medway, 3 – Final – Franklin senior Cassi Ronan scored a hat trick to pace the Panthers to a win over Medway at home on Saturday night. Ronan also had an assist while Regan Paterson and Gianna Cameron scored once. Libby Carter, Katelyn Brown, and Tina Pisano added assists while Gabby Colace made 12 saves to earn the win.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 vs. Dedham, 1 – Final – Dedham scored on a shorthanded goal in the second period but MOA responded within two minutes to tie the game, and that ended up as the final score. Ella Waryas connected with Kylie O’Keefe, and she in turn hit a streaking Emma Garland, who tucked the puck through the goalie’s pads to tie the game. Warrior freshman goalie Jess Widdop had a standout game, making 30 saves.
Stoughton, 0 @ Cohasset, 6 – Final
Norton Quad (Canton, Stoughton) –
Foxboro Quad (Foxboro) – Foxboro hosted Carver, Hanover, and Hingham for a quad meet, picking up two wins but suffering a loss to the Harbormen. The Warriors defeated Carver (84-0) and Hanover (58-21) but lost 44-36 to Hingham. TJ Whitehouse (113), Adam Lanctot (120), Tom Cullen (170), William Ogbebor (220), and Billy McNeil (285) each went 3-0 on the day for Foxboro.
Algonquin Quad (Franklin) – Franklin picked up three impressive wins at the Algonquin quad, including a dramatic come-from-behind victory. The Panthers beat Framingham (36-29), Algonquin (49-12) and used a last match pin from Drew DiFilippo to secure a 33-28 win over West Springfield. Dominic Sackley went 3-0 for Franklin with three pins.
Quabbin Tournament (King Philip), 10:00
Milford @ Wilmington, 9:00
Cumberland Meet (North Attleboro, Oliver Ames) – In a tournament featuring some of the top teams from around New England, North Attleboro took fifth place with 122 points and Oliver Ames was eighth overall with 85.5 at the John Gorman Invitational. North Attleboro senior Mateusz Kudra (2850 remained unbeaten on the season, picking up three pins to advance to the final where he earned a 7-0 decision over second-seeded Edison Guarcas of Hope High School. Liam Rizk (182) added a third place finish for the Rocketeers while Michael Burns (138) and Ethan Smith (120) each took fourth overall. Oliver Ames’ Dean Pacini (195) picked up an individual title with an upset in the final round. Pacini had three wins to get to the final, and trailed top-seeded Kaream Sangare of Cumberland High 4-1 after the first round. Pacini was down 6-3 late in the third round before earning a takedown and getting at pin at 5:31 for the title. Billy Tat (170) added a third place finish for the Tigers, Remi Creighton (113) was sixth, and Nick McGovern (120) went 4-2 on the day.
St. John’s Shrewsbury Quad (Sharon) – Sharon picked up a pair of wins at the St. John’s Shrewsbury quad. The Eagles recorded victories over the hosts (57-12) and Marlboro (34-32) but came up short against powerhouse Masconomet (42-33). Jon Wald (182) and Amit Levin (120) each went unbeaten on the day while Nathan Daley (285) earned his first varsity win.
Methuen Quad (Mansfield, Taunton) – Mansfield earned three wins while Taunton picked up one at a super quad at Methuen High School. The Hornets beat Monty Tech (46-14), Silver Lake (58-9), and Marshfield (48-18) but lost to host Methuen (34-31) in a close match. Taunton recorded a win over Monty Tech (45-21). Mansfield’s Antonios Sevastos, CJ Glaropoulos, George Glaropoulos, Jayden Curley, and Ethan Nirenberg were all undefeated throughout the day. Taunton’s Tyler Lima (120, dec. 6-5), Wansly Perceval (126, pin), and Mason Frank (285, pin) picked up wins in the victory over Monty Tech.
Attleboro, 159 vs. Lowell, 103.4 – Final
North Attleboro, 48 @ Attleboro, 37 – Final – North Attleboro made it three straight wins and earned a season split with the Bombardiers behind 11 points from Amanda Kaiser and 10 points from Eliza Dion. Attleboro was led by Nyah Thomas’ 14 points.
Foxboro, 3 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Foxboro’s Ronnie MacLellan and Brendan Tully each scored once and had an assist, and Kirk Leach scored once as the Warriors built a 3-1 lead in the second period but Franklin scored a pair of third period goals to salvage a point. Zac Falvey scored in the first for Franklin but the Panthers trailed 2-1 after one. Junior Kyle Hedvig scored with 12:38 to go to bring the Panthers within one and senior Joey Lizotte netted a shorthanded breakaway with six minutes left to knot the score 3-3.
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 9 – Final – Canton senior Maggie Malloy scored her 50th career goal as the Bulldogs skated to a Hockomock League win over Stoughton.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 @ Cape Cod, 3 – Final – Mansfield/Oliver Ames scored three times in the final period to earn a victory on the road against Cape Cod. Trailing 2-1 left in the period, the Warriors scored two straight to take their first lead of the game before Cape Cod struck for a power play goal with 2:45 to play to tie the game. MOA answered with 1:29 left to earn the full two points. MOA freshman Skyler Sharfman scored the game-winning goal and also had an assist in the win. Mackenzi Fraser scored twice, Ella Waryas and Emma Garland each scored once, Izzy Shanteler had two assists, and Emma Pereira had one helper. Jess Widdop made 15 saves in net.
Canton, 18 @ Foxboro, 58 – Final
Franklin, 73 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Franklin’s Jake Carlucci (113), Alex Fracassa (126), Ken Sauer (138), Tommy Zogby (145), Caleb MacLean (160), Dominic Sackley (170), Dylan Nawn (182), Ben Jacoby (195), and Riley Downing (285) each earned pinfall victories for the Panthers. Taunton’s Tyler Lima earned a 5-2 win at 120.
Mansfield, 45 @ Oliver Ames, 22 – Final – For Oliver Ames, Nick McGovern and Nelson Malone earned victories via pinfall while John Dobbin won by major decision.
Milford, 28 @ Sharon, 35 – Final
Stoughton, 16 @ North Attleboro, 63 – Final – North Attleboro went on the road and picked up a division win over Stoughton behind eight pinfall victories. Michael Burns (145), Michael Edmunds (152), Montrel Jackson (160), Matt Warsofsky (170), Liam Rizk (182), Alex Warsofsky (195), John Kummer (220), and Mateusz Kudra (220) each won via pin. Stoughton’s John Santos (113) and Ethan Freedman (132) won by pin while CJ Carpenter (106) won by major decision (14-4).
Canton @ Mansfield, 8:00
Taunton, 132.2 @ Franklin, 133.3 – Final – Franklin freshman Kate Rudolph stepped up to take second overall in the All Around, helping the Panthers edge Taunton. With top gymnast Mia Lizotte sidelined with an injury, Rudolph stepped up to earn a 34.1 in All Around, which was second against Taunton and first against Medway. Rudolph earned a 9.1 on vault, 8.0 on bars, 8.4 on beam, and 8.6 on floor. Emma Owens added an 8.5 on the vault, 8.3 on the bars, and 8.7 on the floor.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – When you are struggling to get into a rhythm offensively and everyone is grabbing the stick a little tighter, it takes players grinding in the corners and making the effort to get to the front of the net to turn things around.
After watching Oliver Ames tie the game early in the third period of Wednesday night’s league opener at Pirelli Veterans Arena, Franklin needed a little inspiration to avoid extending its winless streak to six games (0-3-2 after opening the season with an exclusion win against Malden Catholic). Up stepped senior forward Joe Lizotte.
Despite being the only Panther in the offensive zone, Lizotte managed to hold possession in the corner against three OA defensemen. He squeezed the puck out to the right boards where it kicked to Tom Tasker, who sent a puck across the crease. The puck was deflected by C.J. Spillane, and several bodies in front of goal, to the far post and Zac Falvey popped up to knock the loose puck into the back of the net.
It was the spark that the Panthers needed. Franklin scored again three minutes later to seal a 4-2 victory and kick off its league title defense with a much-needed two points.
“He’s by himself and we get help off the bench and next thing you know it’s in the back of the net,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane about the game-winner. “A dead play, with a little effort, turned into a positive play. It’s just hard work. He’s a good player and we love having him on our team.”
Franklin came out strong in the first period, holding a 9-3 edge in shots after the first, despite giving up a power play only 50 seconds into the game.
Sophomore Declan Lovett had a good look from the dot that he sent just wide and the puck bounced out to Cam Cassella at the point, who forced a save from OA goalie Owen Connor (26 saves). Lizotte forced a save from the left circle and then Spillane and Tasker put shots on goal only to be denied.
“He kept us in it,” OA coach Sean Bertoni said of his goaltender. “It was his best game of the year. We just didn’t take sticks out on those last two goals. He played excellent.”
OA’s best chance of the opening period came with just under six minutes left. Jake Gottwald slipped a pass into the slot where Ross Carroll put a shot on net only to have Panthers goalie Ryan Cameron (10 saves) kicked it aside. The hosts nearly took the lead with just seconds left in the first but Tasker’s shot came back off the post.
“Our forecheck non-existent to be honest,” Bertoni admitted. “The first period was one of our weakest of the year, which was kind of disappointing. They know if we don’t establish our forecheck, then we’re not going to win anything. We rely on our speed.”
The Tigers started the second on the power play and needed only 19 seconds to make it count. Following a Connor save, Brett Williams broke down the right side and was able to play the puck across the crease into defenseman Matt McCormack, who forced a save from Cameron, and Cullen Gallagher was on hand to tap in the rebound.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, Gallagher was injured not long after the goal and forced to leave the game, one of two OA forwards to get injured on Wednesday.
Lizotte had a decent chance at an instant response only for Connor to make the save and then the OA goalie kept out Kyle Hedvig on a tip of a Cassella slap shot. Brendan Sicchio came close too with a shot off the post.
Finally, with 7:33 left in the second, Franklin’s pressure paid off. Lizotte got behind the OA defense in the left circle and cut across goal onto his backhand before sliding it under Connor.
Just seconds after Williams and Carroll had chances on the other end, the Panthers took their first lead of the night. Again it was Lizotte that created the opportunity by riding a challenge and keeping hold of the puck. It skipped behind the net to Matt Holmes, who flung a pass out to the point where Cassella fired a wrister through traffic and into the top corner.
“We worked on chipping the puck into space and every time you have No. 11 (Lizotte) on the ice you’re going to win those races and we had a couple of other kids pick up pucks too,” said Spillane. “It’s not the prettiest brand of hockey but it’s effective.”
Franklin almost doubled the lead in the third when Falvey made it three posts for the Panthers, but OA answered back to tie it. Off a face-off in the attacking zone, Gottwald had a chance from the slot that Cameron saved, but the rebound was knocked out of mid-air by Colin Bourne and slammed into the back of the net.
Bertoni said, “Their energy was there to start the period, their effort was there, and they didn’t get down on themselves when two guys went down and that’s all you can ask for.”
Williams almost gave the Tigers the lead but Cameron made a sprawling save. It was one of the few times that OA managed to get in behind the Franklin defensemen.
Spillane explained, “I thought we did very well defensively with our gap control, slowing them down as they came in the zone and not giving them space to move around.”
With 8:49 left, after Lizotte’s effort in the corner, Falvey put Franklin in the lead. Three minutes later, the Panthers sealed the win. Dan Magazu threw a puck in front from the right boards and Shane McCaffery managed to squeeze the tip under Connor’s pads for a 4-2 lead.
“We have nine forwards and when you lose two of them it’s hard,” said Bertoni. “I threw a guy out there on the ice cold and they scored the goal to make it 3-2. That’s on me but it’s hard when you’re short-benched against a team with so much depth.”
Freshman Brian Kearns had one more good chance for the Tigers but his shot was kicked out by Cameron and the Panthers got their first two points (for MIAA purposes) of the season.
Spillane said, “We just need to find an offensive flow. We had plenty of shots, we missed the net way too much, so we need to clean things up offensively.”
Franklin (2-3-2) will travel to Taunton on Saturday, while Oliver Ames (5-3) will look to bounce back when it hosts Foxboro.
2017-2018 Record: 9-10-2 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South preliminary round. Coach: Mark Homer
After a two year drought of postseason hockey, the Bombardiers made it to the playoffs last year and are aiming to make it two years in a row. The Bombardiers only had three seniors on the roster last season, so the majority of the squad is back, plus a familiar face is back in the fold this season.
One of the three seniors that graduated was Jake Parker, who led the Bombardiers in scoring last season with 26 goals and eight assists. But Attleboro is slated to return its next three scorers in senior Cam Littig (12 goals, 14 assists for 26 points), junior Ryan Morry (11 goals, 15 assists for 26 points) and senior Kyle McCabe (three goals, 10 assists for 13 points).
Another positive is that the Bombardiers have some experience in goal. Both senior Evan Andrews (13.66 games played) and junior Derrik Rivet (6.33 games) are set to return. Having an experienced goalie is a huge positive but having a strong backup helps even more. Andrews had 270 saves last season with a 0.882 save percentage while Rivet turned away 144 shots and had a 0.842 save percentage. In front of goal, McCabe, Sam Flynn, and Matt Viveiros will be joined by Liam McDonough, Kyle Miniati, and Zach Pierce as members of the defensive unit.
While Littig and Morry will try to replicate their success from a season ago, one name that could help bolster the offense is senior Sam Larkin. Larkin played his freshman year and had seven goals and seven assists before switching over to juniors. His experience should give Attleboro a boost during the season.
“We have had some additions to our team this year that has created a little more depth that had been absent in previous years,” said Attleboro coach Mark Homer. “We are working on maintaining a better consistency in our play. We are still in our tryout mode and hoping to find the right mix to make us more competitive this season, especially in our league games.”
2017-2018 Record: 17-3-4 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South semifinal. Coach: Brian Shuman
Canton comes into every year with high expectations and the Bulldogs will be favorites to bring home a ninth straight Davenport division title and 11th Hockomock League title in the past 12 seasons. While the league campaign is a priority, the Bulldogs will also be comparing themselves to the top teams in Div. 2 and hoping this will be the year to break through in the South sectional and get back to the TD Garden for the first time since 2010.
After a dominant winter, the top scoring line is back in full for Canton. Senior Ryan Nolte, the reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Year, and junior Johnny Hagan, the reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, will draw most of the plaudits but junior Timmy Kelleher gives the Bulldogs strong play on the other wing as well. That line combined for 69 points last season (27 apiece for Hagan and Nolte) and will be one of the league’s best going into this year. Canton also has juniors Tommy Ghostlaw and Chris Lavoie back to add scoring punch to the second line.
At the blue line, juniors Owen Lehane and Jack Connolly will both be expected to eat up a lot of minutes after strong sophomore seasons, and the Bulldogs will be looking for other players to step up and fill in defensively. After consistently strong goaltending from Quinn Gibbs over the past few seasons, Canton will turn to senior Mike Staffiere, who has been a backup the past two years and is drawing great reviews for his play during the preseason.
“Overall, we have a lot of experience returning up front at the forward position, but that’s true for a lot of teams in our league and in our division,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “The real question will be how much these players improved from last year, which we won’t know for sure until the games get going.”
2017-2018 Record: 10-9-2 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South preliminary round. Coach: Mark Cedorchuk
Foxboro is coming off the best season in program history, as the Warriors won 10 games and qualified for the state tournament without relying on the Sullivan Rule. Now, the Warriors come back this season hoping to build on that season and make another run at the state tournament behind an offense that, according to coach Mark Cedorchuk, is as deep as it has ever been.
Junior Ronnie MacLellan and sophomore Kirk Leach are two of the forwards to keep an eye on this season for the Warriors after the duo combined for 15 goals and 32 points last season. Also up front will be senior Tanner Kennedy and juniors Sebastian Ricketts and Josh Bertumen, who combined for 10 goals last year and are looking to continue their development to add depth to the attack.
Senior Brendan Tully will lead the defensive effort but is also the team’s leading scorer. The blue line standout scored 18 goals and had 19 assists and is going to be a major factor in all three zones as well as a leader on the penalty kill and power play. He will be joined on the blue line by junior Kyle McGinnis, while junior Espen Reager will be between the pipes this year.
“Even though we had a successful season last year, best in team history,” Cedorchuk said, “our players are not satisfied, they are hungry to improve on that.”
2017-2018 Record: 12-6-5 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round. Coach: Chris Spillane
Franklin started well last winter, reaching the final of the prestigious Mount St. Charles tournament and taking a point off Malden Catholic for the first time, but the Panthers couldn’t carry the momentum throughout the season and were knocked out in the first round of the tournament. As usual, Franklin graduated a lot of players, but also return a strong corps of experienced players to take on arguably the program’s toughest regular season schedule, which is loaded with some of the state’s top teams.
The Panthers return 11 seniors for this season, including eight forwards, but also have a group of eight sophomores that are jumping up from the JV to contribute on varsity this season. The forward line has plenty of experience and should be able to fire in the goals this year. Seniors Joey Lizotte, Zac Falvey, Scott Elliott, Dan Magazu, and C.J. Spillane will all be able to jump into the top scoring lines after playing major roles last year.
Defensively, the top five defensemen will be juniors Tom Tasker (who was on the HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team last year) and Colin Hedvig and seniors Cam Casella, Matt D’Errico, and Evan Forbes. Three sophomores will also see time on the blue line for the Panthers this season. After graduating three senior goaltenders, the job is open to senior Ryan Cameron and junior Ray Ivers, who are both making the jump from JV.
“Our hope is that team speed will drive the offense and that our returning defense will have the experience to make sound decisions in our end,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “The boys are looking forward to the upcoming season. I see the Hockomock as an extremely competitive league this year. We will also challenge our boys with a high-end non-league schedule.”
2017-2018 Record: 8-12-1 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Paul Carlow
King Philip brings 11 players back from last year’s squad and is hoping a tough schedule will result in a battle-tested team ready for the D1 South Tournament at the end of February. It starts with the seniors for the Warriors with four of them back, plus a transfer.
There will be a lot of experience in the top line for KP, as well as its first defensive pair and between the pipes. Captain Ryan Fitzpatrick (10 points) had a strong season last year and will be trying to replicate that this year. Fitzpatrick is joined by assistant captain Luke D’Amico (13 points) as wingers while senior transfer Brendan Shandley steps in at center to give the Warriors a formidable line to work with. Juniors Chris Daniels (13 points), Joe Boselli (11 points), and Jack Coulter (10 points) are all back after successful sophomore seasons and should provide KP with good depth.
On the blueline, veteran Garrett Maxwell is the lone senior back from last year so he will be relied on for leadership. He is one of the strongest players in the league and plays in all situations for KP, including the power play plus the penalty kill. There will be some other familiar faces on defense for KP with junior Kyle Gray (seven points) and sophomore Rocco Bianculli (eight points) both back with varsity experience.
Senior James Lewis takes over in the crease as the starting netminder for the Warriors. Lewis saw action in three games last season, including a pair of wins and shutouts. While new to the starting position, Lewis has plenty of experience and that bodes well for the Warriors. Jesper Makudera and Nate Ihley will be pushing for minutes in net as well.
“I expect the team to have some good chemistry and get off to a good start,” said King Philip head coach Paul Carlow. “Practice has been good, and we have good leadership this year with a strong core. The Hockomock League is always competitive, the Kelley-Rex is a strong division, and we have a tough non-league schedule too, so we want to challenge ourselves.”
2017-2018 Record: 9-7-5 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round. Coach: Mike Balzarini
The Hornets have a strong core of players back this season, along with the addition of a couple of new faces, and head coach Mike Balzarini is hoping that combination will result in success this season.
Experience will be a strong suit for Mansfield as five of its top six forwards played significant minutes last year. Chris Copponi (12 points) and Matt Copponi (16 points) will be on the wings around center Coleman O’Brien for one line while Jake Lund (eight points) and Kevin Bellanger are returners on another line. The sixth forward will be center Jack Garland, who played juniors last year but is back in the fold for the Hornets this year. Ben Ierardo, Cam Page, and Braedon Copparini will be in the mix for minutes as well.
Defensively, while there are certainly some holes to fill, Balzarini has some talent to rely on the blue line. Two-time HockomockSports.com selections Mike Arnold and Tyler Oakley graduated so there is a little bit of a void, but Austin Ricker has stepped on early on to anchor the Hornet defensive unit. Ricker is joined by Brad Grant, who played for the Hornets previously before switching to juniors. Nick Levine and Joe Troiano gained valuable experience last year, and Jack Gormley and Brian Grant should be in the mix as well.
Mansfield also has experience in the goalie position with junior Sean McCafferty back between the pipes after having a breakout sophomore campaign. McCafferty was one of the top goalies in the league last year, earning HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman honors. He had 377 saves and a 92 save percentage, which bodes well for the Hornets this year.
“We obviously want to pick up where we left off after making the playoffs the last two years,” Balzarini said. “With the returning players plus new additions, I think we’re a little bit deeper and we know what we need to do to be competitive and make sure we’re playing well at the end of the season.”
2017-2018 Record: 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round. Coach: Ben McManama
Defense will be key for the Rocketeers during the 2018-2019 season. With a handful of returners back on the blue line as well as veteran goalie Ryan Warren, North Attleboro boasts a talented defensive unit.
Senior captain Brendan McHugh will anchor the defensive group alongside juniors Jeff Baker and Will Yeomans. All three are very experienced players that put defense first. They can all get involved in the offense as well. Warren has shined between the pipes each of the last three seasons, earning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year as a freshman and was a HockomockSports Third Team selection last season. Warren is pushed in practice each day as Chris Ulrich and Nick Digiacomo push for time.
Offensively, North Attleboro only lost two forwards from last year’s group, but those two players (Drew Wissler, Jason McNeany) combined for nearly half of the Rocketeers’ 76 goals a season ago. So this year, Big Red will need forwards to step up and contribute. Captain Anthony Zammiello scored 13 goals last year and will look to continue his success this season. Todd Robinson, Justin Moccia, Dennis Morehouse, Jake Ebert, and Jack Connolly are all candidates to have big years for the Rocketeers.
“We are a very big and physical team that works hard,” said North Attleboro head coach Ben McManama. “We will need to stay out of the box to have success this year. Defense and depth will be the strength of our team. We will also need three lines that can score. I am very optimistic on the season because it is obvious that all our players put a ton of work in during the offseason.”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round. Coach: Sean Bertoni
Speed has been the strength of the Tigers since Sean Bertoni took over the team and Oliver Ames will be relying on that speed and aggressiveness to try and challenge Franklin at the top of the Kelley-Rex division and to make a run in the state tournament. With a few players coming back from juniors to join with an experienced group, OA has high hopes of pushing the Panthers for the league title.
Senior forward Brett Williams will be the key player in the attack, coming off a season in which he scored 21 goals and recorded 15 assists and was named to the HockomockSports.com First Team. Williams will have plenty of help up front from senior Colin Bourne, who is one of the fastest skaters in the league and had 13 points last season. Senior forward Cullen Gallagher will also give the offense a boost, as he comes back to the program after a year in juniors.
Senior Matt McCormack was one of the league’s top defensemen last year and his steadying presence on the blue line will be critical to OA improving on that end of the ice, after giving up 54 goals as a team last year. Senior James Beatty is back after a year in juniors and should be a big boost to the blue line. Junior Owen Connor is back in net and looking to build off last season’s efforts.
“We are a team that will rely heavily on our team speed,” Bertoni said. “Our aggressive style of defense will lead to a successful offense. We will have to establish our forecheck to be effective. Our transition game will be a strength for us this year, creating turnovers and getting on the attack.”
2017-2018 Record: 1-20-1 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Dan Mark
Overall, the Stoughton Black Knights will be on the young side but they have a veteran first line that will lead the way.
The Knights will be looking to improve on last year’s record, while possibly trying to surprise some teams along the way. Leading the way offensively will be senior Sean Doherty. Doherty was Stoughton’s second-leading scorer last year behind Brendan Campbell (graduated). Doherty was second on the Black Knights with 12 goals and added 11 assists and will be relied upon to be a key piece of the offense this season. Joining Doherty on the first line will be senior Luke Bainton, who brings a lot of varsity experience to the table. Bainton will look to improve on last year after recording seven points (four goals, three assists).
Senior Josh Hough will anchor the blue line for the Black Knights. In his fourth year on varsity, Hough has logged a lot of minutes on the ice over the past couple of seasons and will be one of the most experienced defensemen in the league. Hough is able to create on the offensive end as well, scoring a pair of goals last year along with seven assists. Senior Thomas McCoy is set to return in goal after getting experience between the pipes a season ago.
2017-2018 Record: 12-10-2 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South semifinal. Coach: Kris Metea
Taunton has been a program on the rise for the past few seasons and last year the Tigers took another big step forward by making a push to the Div. 2 South semifinal. That unexpected tournament run as the No. 13 seed, which included wins over No. 4 Old Rochester and No. 5 Nauset, has boosted the team’s confidence heading into a new year in which all but four players are back.
Scoring has not been a problem for the Tigers in recent seasons. Last year, Taunton scored a league-best 98 goals, five more than Davenport champ Canton, and senior forward Cam Sneyd (30 points) and junior Mike Albert (32 points) both eclipsed the 30-point mark. Senior Jack Patneaude added 15 points last year and he is poised for a big year along with classmates Jaden Weyant, Owen Ross, and Nick Vandermeel.
The defense is almost completely returned from last year, led by senior Andrew Carter, who was solid in the defensive zone but also chipped in with 20 points. Senior Brady Nichols and sophomore Dylan Nichols are also back for the Tigers. Junior Sean Bunker returns in net after a solid performance in the tournament run and he will be backed up by classmate Andrew Gomes, who has shown that he is a capable replacement when needed.
“The players have embraced the enjoyment of the journey, the process, and working hard to get better every day,” said Taunton coach Kris Metea. “They have the potential to continue their accomplishment of new heights. They will be fun to coach, and watch grow throughout the season.”
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – For the second time in three seasons, Franklin reached the championship game of the Mount St. Charles Holiday Face-Off at the venerable Adelard Arena and for the second time the Panthers were unable to come up with a third win in three days to claim the first place trophy.
Joe Mancini of Fairfield Prep (Conn.) scored his second goal of the game with 3:37 remaining in the second overtime to give the Jesuits the 3-2 victory in a game that featured non-stop, end-to-end action right from the opening face-off.
“I’m happy with the effort for sure,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane, whose team does take home a point, as the game will be officially recorded as a 2-2 tie for MIAA purposes. “Three games in three days and all three were sort of like this; nothing was easy here.
“So, at the end of the day we were happy with what we got. Sure, it’s a nice moral boost to get the victory, but we sort of ran out of gas. You could see that three days of hockey took its toll.”
The Panthers came out flying in the first period, dictating play, winning battles in the corners on both ends of the ice, out-skating Prep, and creating a host of scoring opportunities. Franklin held a 13-7 edge in shots after the first and had each of its first three lines contribute.
Junior Matt Holmes had Franklin’s first chance just two minutes into the game with a shot from the slot off a pass by T.J. Durkin that was saved by Prep goalie Jack McGee. Dan Magazu had a chance just seconds later off a Luke Downie feed but McGee gloved the shot to keep it scoreless.
The Panthers broke the deadlock with 5:08 left in the first. Durkin dug out the puck from the corner and slipped it from behind the net out in front to senior Brendan O’Rielly, who pulled it across the crease to his backhand and buried the shot high to the glove side.
Despite Franklin’s dominance, the Jesuits managed to create one great scoring chance with a minute to go in the period and pounced. A turnover in the attacking zone turned into a quick break and an odd-man rush for Prep, which Mancini finished off to tie the game at 1-1.
“We had one breakdown and they capitalized on it,” said Spillane. “We left a few goals on the table and that would’ve been a huge boost for us to score a couple of goals, but that’s the way the puck bounces.”
There is no break in between periods, as Adelard Arena only cleans the ice in the second intermission. The teams barely had a chance to get water let alone talk things over and the new period started. Spillane admitted that it was something the Panthers had to be concerned with.
He said, “It’s hard. We’re used to getting on a fresh sheet of ice and, if speed is our game, then we want a fresh sheet of ice. We’ve been down here long enough that we adapted, we expect it.”
The old ice worked just fine for the Jesuits. Having scored with a minute left in the first period, Prep took its first lead just a minute into the second. Franklin’s defense was caught pinching in at the blue line and Fairfield got another two-on-one break that Kevin Oricoli took advantage of with a snipe under the bar.
The Panthers nearly tied the game three minutes later when junior Joe Lizzotte stole the puck in the neutral zone on the penalty kill and skated in for a shorthanded breakaway, but McGee was able to deny the forward at full stretch.
At nearly the same time as the goal he scored in the first period, O’Rielly popped up with his second of the night to level things up. Downie was credited with the assist, although it appeared to be Magazu that was crashing the goal, when his shot was parried by McGee right to O’Rielly, who did not miss the chance.
“They were solid,” Spillane remarked about the Panthers top scoring line. “Bubba (O’Rielly) had two goals and I think Luke had two goals the night before that. It’s a nice balance and the third and fourth line is starting to feel its confidence growing.”
Franklin nearly grabbed the lead back early in the third period. Junior Zac Falvey skated into the high slot, nearly uncovered, and uncorked a wicked slap shot that hit the inside of the junction between post and crossbar, fell to the ice, and skidded straight across the mouth of the goal with McGee stranded.
Connor Norton had a shot from the point saved just a few minutes later and the rebound fell to Falvey, but this time the junior’s flicked backhand somehow looped narrowly above the bar.
After being just an inch away from the lead, the Panthers started to fade and Prep started to take control of play. The Jesuits held a 10-5 edge in shots in the third and put increasing pressure on Franklin goalie Owen Ginley (36 saves). The senior netminder came through with a series of solid stops including a glove save to rob Mancini with a few minutes left.
Prep continued the momentum into overtime and Ginley was called on for another spectacular stop with just three seconds left, going post-to-post to get a pad on a Ryan Eckert shot after a saucer pass across the crease by Mancini.
It was Mancini that knocked in the winner during the 4-on-4 second overtime. The Panthers lost the puck in the defensive zone and the puck was played across the goal to Mancini and he scored with a one-time to win the title.
“That last goal, it was a nice smart play by their forward to give it to the open guy, they caught us in a change, and we were gassed,” Spillane explained.
Franklin beat LaSalle College (Pa.) and Bishop Guertin (R.I.) to reach the final game. A lot has been made of the Panthers being the lone public school program in the eight-team field, but Spillane played down the importance of representing public school hockey.
He said, “You could say it’s a feather in our cap but at the end of the day they’re all 16-, 17-, 18-year-old kids playing a sport they love. It was great competition and we fit right in. That tells me that we’re a pretty good program consistently and we’ve been doing it year-in, year-out.”
Spillane added, “We’ve been here long enough, now we’ve just got to get that third win.”
Franklin (5-1-1) will get a week break before getting back on the ice to open Hockomock League play against Stoughton on Jan. 6.
Canton, 71 vs. Boston Latin, 56 – Final – Canton’s offense poured in 25 points in the first quarter, building a 15-point lead and never looking back against visiting Boston Latin. Senior Tony Harris scored a team-high 17 points and hauled in nine rebounds, setting a new program record for career rebounds. Senior Jake Verille added 14 points, junior Devin Foster had 13 points and senior Austin Maffie added 11 points.
Foxboro, 49 vs. Bethel Park, 37 – Final – Holding a two-point lead at halftime, Foxboro outscored Bethel Park 14-5 in the third quarter to create the necessary separation to get the win. Sophomore Brandon Borde scored nine of his 14 points in the crucial third quarter while senior Joe Morrison had five of his team-high 15 points. Bobby Harrison helped seal the win with nine of his 14 points in the final quarter. Foxboro will play Shaler Area High School (PA) in the championship round of its bracket at 12:30 on Friday at Disney.
Franklin, 48 vs. Arlington, 46 – Final – Franklin kept Arlington without a final point over the final two minutes and rattled off five straight points to turn a late deficit into a win. Senior Matt Elias (nine points) hit his first three of the game to tie it 46-46 and sophomore Chris Edgehill scored seven of his 14 points in the final quarter, including a pull-up up jumper late to give the Panthers the lead. Senior Paul Mahon (14 points) was named MVP of the tournament while Edgehill and junior Jalen Samuels were named to the all-tournament team.
Mansfield, 64 vs. BC High, 73 – Final – BC High outscored Mansfield 17-9 in the third quarter, including an 11-0 run to start the second half. Senior John McCoy scored a team-high 21 points while classmate Justin Vine added 12 points for the Hornets.
North Attleboro 53 vs. Reading, 32 – Final – Big Red set the defensive tone early, limiting Reading to just four points in the opening quarter and building a double-digit lead (27-16) by halftime. Junior Josh Montague netted 10 of his team-high 15 points in the first half to help create the lead. Junior Jake Petersen added a career-best 13 points, senior Chad Peterson hit three triples for nine points, and Derek Shanks scored seven points to go along with a strong defensive performance. North will play host Lincoln-Sudbury in the championship of the Warrior Slam on Friday night at 7:00.
Taunton, 79 @ Durfee, 70 – Final – Taunton overcame a woeful start (down 12-1) and a 26-point second quarter from Durfee with a strong second half to earn the win in the championship of the Skip Karam Tournament. Junior Lou Vendrell poured in a career-high 26 points, including 14 in the third quarter, to help the Tigers turn the game around. Sophomore Dante Law added a career-high 25 points while senior Lens Esquil, who was named tournament MVP, scored five of his 10 points in the final quarter to help seal the win.
Franklin, 40 @ Mansfield, 50 – Final – The Hornets took the lead with a 22-11 second quarter and held on for a double-digit win over their Kelley-Rex rival. Ann Maher finished with a team-high 14 points for Mansfield on four three-pointers. Maggie Danehy added nine points and eight rebounds in the win. Bea Bondhus was Franklin’s top scorer with 14 points and Breanna Atwood added seven.
Oliver Ames, 61 vs. Brockton, 47 – Final
Sharon, 59 @ Holliston, 62 – Final – Emma Eberhardt scored 24 points for the Eagles in the loss.
Stoughton, 36 @ Newton North, 40 – Final – Stoughton, which trailed by as much as nine, cut the deficit to just one late in the fourth quarter but Newton North held on for the win. Senior Val Whalen had 17 points and 13 rebounds while sophomore Aliyah Wright chipped in with 13 points.
Taunton, 46 vs. Durfee, 57 – Final – Lily Patneaude and Hannah Moniz each scored 14 points in the loss, while Kelsey White added eight points for the Tigers.
Franklin, 4 vs. LaSalle College, 2 – Final – Luke Downie scored a pair of goals to help the Panthers win their opener of the annual Mount St. Charles tournament. Joey Lizzotte and Zac Falvey also scored for Franklin.
North Attleboro, 8 vs. Cranston West, 4 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Ursuline, 0 – Final – Isabelle Shanteler scored a pair of goals and Catherine Luciano added one for the Warriors. Cate Gallagher earned the shutout in goal.
Lowell Holiday Tournament (Foxboro, Franklin, Stoughton), 9:00AM
Marshfield Tournament (Mansfield, North Attleboro, Oliver Ames, Sharon) – North Attleboro and Mansfield both had top-five finishes in the team standings while Oliver Ames had its best showing in program history at the tournament. North was fourth with 183 points while Mansfield took fifth overall with 180 points. OA scored 96.5 points, the most in program history at the Marshfield Tournament (now in its 31st year) to take 14th overall while Sharon took 16th with 65.5 points. The Rocketeers had nine grapplers place inside the top seven, led by Danny Cooper (120, 3-1 with one pin) and Jake Direnzo (126, 4-1) who each finished second. John Kummer (285) took third overall, Adam Eberle (160) and Brad White (195) each placed fourth, Ethan Smith (106), Zack Gould (145) and Reid Wills (160) all placed sixth and Mike Burns (132) was seventh in his bracket.
Mansfield had a strong day with three individual champions, just one of two schools to accomplish the feat. Antonios Sevastos earned up upset over the top seed, 5-4, to win the 113 bracket, Jayden Curley also took down the top-seed, 4-2, to earn the 160 title and Vinnie Holmes won 8-6 for the 182 championship. CJ Glaropoulos finished third at 138 and George Glaropoulos (152) and Will Stratton (132) each had fourth-place finishes for the Hornets.
Oliver Ames’ memorable day was sparked by a second place finish from Dean Pacini (195), who was edged out 4-2 in the final, and junior Anthony Berksza’s fourth-place finish at 145. Freshman Remy Creighton was seventh overall at 106 and Nick McGovern took eighth at 113. For Sharon, Sam Mandelbraut (132) was sixth, Tyler Cashton (152) took seventh and Matt Callan (145) finished eighth.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Two good bounces turned into two goals for Franklin, one for Dan Magazu in the second period and one for Brendan O’Rielly in third, and senior netminder Owen Ginley made 27 saves to make those goals stand up, as the Panthers pulled out a 2-0 victory over rival Canton in a non-league meeting on Friday night at Pirelli Veterans Arena.
“We had a really bad practice yesterday after a big win Wednesday (4-3 against defending Div. 1 state champion St. Mary’s of Lynn) and I just didn’t know what to expect,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane.
“Canton did a great job taking a lot of space away. When we’re playing our best hockey is when we’re using our team speed and they didn’t allow us to do that tonight. We just had to grind it out.”
The Bulldogs came out of the gates flying, outshooting Franklin 11-4 in the opening period and creating a number of scoring opportunities only to be denied by Ginley.
Sophomore Chris Lavoie had the first good chance of the game nearly three minutes in when he was fed in front by junior winger Joe Robinson, but Ginley got his blocker on the shot. The puck deflected up off the post and out with several Bulldogs fans arguing that it had actually gone in. Five minutes later, Lavoie had another chance when he corralled a loose puck in the slot but it was saved and Robinson’s rebound was gloved.
“He was solid for us last year,” said Spillane of Ginley, “and it’s going to be hard for those other two senior goaltenders to take his spot away. It really is because when he’s focused and he’s mentally into the game then he’s a really good goaltender.”
Franklin had its best chance of the period when Zac Falvey managed to knock the puck into the zone with his hand, barely staying onside in the process. He slipped a pass to senior Jeremy Miller alone in front but his shot slammed off the post. A couple minutes later, Miller found Falvey with a drop pass but again the Panthers were denied by the post.
In between those chances, Canton junior Ryan Nolte found the perfect pass to spring senior Bubba McNeice behind the defense, but he was denied on the breakaway by Ginley. McNeice was stuffed a few minutes later with Jack McGrath clearing the rebound off the line and in the final seconds of the period Robinson had another chance but again the goalie was up to the task.
“To come out with no goals in a Franklin/Canton game is always disappointing,” said Canton coach Brian Shuman. “We couldn’t get any momentum at all. It’s one thing to have a shot on net and get a rebound and have an opportunity and it’s another thing to put one home.”
Franklin came out much stronger in the second period and started to take control of the game. Within two minutes, the Panthers nearly created the opening goal when Miller forced a turnover with an important back-check in the defensive zone. He hit Falvey on the outlet, who then found Joe Lizzotte flying past the defense only for Canton goalie Quinn Gibbs (22 saves) to make the stick save.
“Our second line is carrying a lot of weight right now,” said Spillane of the combination of Miller, Falvey, and Lizzotte. “Jeremy is just a strong, strong kid and he makes good hockey plays and he’s got two speedsters on his line that are small but they’re fast and they’re good with their hands. They seem to pick up the pace when we need it.”
The deadlock was finally broken with 9:13 left in the second. O’Rielly carried the puck into the offensive zone and was met just outside the left circle by two Canton defensemen. The puck squirted free and Magazu skated onto it all alone. He cut across the crease and lifted a backhand over Gibbs’ pad for a 1-0 lead.
Spillane said, “The first goal is huge and it definitely gave us a boost of energy. You could see the kids get into it. After the first period, I just knew it was going to be one of those games and we were going to have to grind it out and we were fortunate to get a couple bounces in the end.”
Franklin doubled its lead early in the third period thanks to another friendly deflection. Luke Downie battled along the nearside boards to sweep the puck back to the point and retain possession. Tom Trasker lined up a slapshot that kicked off the skate of a defenseman right to O’Rielly, who took a second before wristing a shot past Gibbs.
“We went down 1-0 and our bench felt like we went down 5-0 with two minutes to play and that was disappointing,” said Shuman. “We did fight back and had some chances, but it’s hard to climb back from 2-0 hole with eight minutes left against these guys because they have good goaltending and play defense better than most.”
Canton stepped up its intensity in the closing minutes, desperately searching a goal that would get the Bulldogs back in the game. Nolte had the best chance on a power play with five minutes left. He tipped a shot from the point right in front of Ginley, who made the first stop, and then had the rebound come right back to his stick only for Ginley to throw out a pad and stuff the chance on the post.
It was the first loss of the season for the Bulldogs, who won their third straight Gormley Cup last week. Shuman explained, “I just thought they outplayed us. They looked like a seasoned, veteran team out there that was ready to play, won more battles than us, and I think intimidated us in many aspects.”
Franklin is unbeaten through its opening two games of a very difficult stretch to start the season. Spillane remarked, “Pope Francis next and then Newburyport and then Mount St. Charles (Holiday Tournament) is just crazy and it’s back-to-back days. It’s going to tell us where we are and where we need to get to so that in league play we’ll be firing on all cylinders.”
Franklin (2-0) will travel to the Olympia Center in Springfield to face perennial Super 8 contender Pope Francis on Thursday. Canton (1-1-1) will host defending Div. 3 state champion Shrewsbury on Wednesday.
Attleboro, 4 @ Bourne, 5 – Final – Attleboro senior Jake Parker scored a pair of goals to open the season but the Bombardiers suffered a setback on the road to Bourne. Ryan Morry and Zack Pierce also scored for Attleboro.
Franklin, 4 @ Saint Mary’s, 3 – Final– Franklin rallied from a 2-1 deficit with three goals in the final period to pick up a win over the defending D1 State Champions. Senior Luke Downie scored the tying goal to make it 2-2 shortly before Zac Falvey gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead. Matt Holmes tipped in a shot from Connor Norton with four minutes to play for the game-winner. Brendan O’Rielly had a first-period goal for Franklin.
Oliver Ames, 9 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – Oliver Ames junior Brett Williams and sophomore Hunter Costello both had tremendous offensive outputs in the Tigers’ debut. Both Williams and Costello recorded hat tricks and added two assists each to help OA open the season with a win over KP. Chris Crouch earned his first win in his first varsity start.
Mansfield, 0 vs. Winthrop, 3 – Final
Canton, 5 vs. Ursuline Academy, 1 – Final – Canton freshman Ellie Rae Roberts scored a pair of goals in her varity debut to help the Bulldogs open the season in style, picking up a 5-1 win over visiting Ursuline.
Stoughton, 0 @ Archbishop Williams, 7 – Final
Oliver Ames, 39 @ Canton, 33 – Final – Without one of their top grapplers, Oliver Ames was forced to make some adjustments. Both Jay Fruci and Dean Pacini bumped up a weight class and both came away with victories to help the Tigers edge Canton. Fruci picked up a major win at 195 while Pacini pinned his opponent at 220. Other winners for Oliver Ames included Remy Creighton (106, pin), Nick McGovern (113, major), Cobey Williamson (126, pin), Casey Bellevue (132, pin), Brandon Belleton (145, pin) and Billy Tat (182, major).
Milford, 27 @ Foxboro, 51 – Final – Foxboro’s Phil Dure won his 100th career match in the victory over visiting Milford. Dure picked up a third-round pin at 126 to earn the milestone victory.
Franklin, 68 @ Sharon, 3 – Final
King Philip @ North Attleboro, 7:00
Taunton, 21 @ Mansfield, 60 – Final – Taunton picked up four wins in the loss on the road at Mansfield. Candido Santos (160), Alex Simon (195), Woudanly Danger (22), and Mason Frank (285) each won for the Tigers.
King Philip, 111 @ Milford, 51 – Final – King Philip’s Colby Vieira came in first in four separate events, Tate Duffy and Dean Whyte each won three events and King Philip rolled to a win over Milford. The Warriors took first in all events with Jackson Klein and Derek Whyte each coming in first twice. Tyler Stringfellow anchored both the 200 medley and 200 free relay teams to wins. Vieira was apart of the 200 medley and 400 free relay teams and also took first in the 100 backstroke and the 500 free. Duffy won the 200 Free (2:02.72) and the 100 breaststroke as well as being apart of the 200 medley team along white Whyte, who was also apart of the 400 free relay and won the 100 butterfly. Jacob Desmond had a three second-place finishes for Milford (200 medley relay, 50 free and 100 breaststroke).
North Attleboro @ Stoughton, 7:00
King Philip, 105 @ Milford, 65 – Final – King Philip’s Callie Sullivan placed first in three events and the Warriors took first in all but one race to open the season with a win. Sullivan won the 100 free and the 100 backstroke and was also the lead member of the winning 200 medley relay team. Sam Nasson, Sammy Dewitt, Megan Campbell, and Jess Sullivan also took first in three events – Nasson anchored the 400 free, won the 100 butterfly and was apart of the 200 medley team. Dewitt won two individual races, taking first in the 50 fee and the 500 free and Campbell won the 200 free and was a member of the 200 and 400 free relay teams with Jess Sullivan, who took first in the 200 IM. Milford’s Alexa Lancisi took second in both the 100 fly and 100 backstroke while Amber Stearns took first place in the 100 backstroke for the Hawks.
North Attleboro @ Stoughton, 7:00
King Philip, 131.15 @ Sharon, 125 – Final – King Philip swept the top three spots in the bar, helping the Warriors open the season with a win over Sharon. Sidney Treeful led the way for the Warriors, winning the all-around score with a 34.2, with first places in the bar (8.5), beam (8.7) and floor (8.7). Kailey Abbott (8.0) and Madeline Giesler (7.9) rounded out KP’s sweep of the bar. Sharon’s Ariana Chabot was second all-around with a 32.45, winning the vault (8.8) while placing second in the beam (8.45) and the floor (8.4).
FRANKLIN, Mass. – The last time that Franklin and St. Mary’s (Lynn) met on the ice, it was an instant classic. The Panthers and Spartans wowed the crowd at the Boston Garden in a dramatic, double overtime thriller that Franklin won to claim its first state championship in three decades.
On Saturday night, the teams met again, this time in the smaller confines of Pirelli Veterans Arena, and the game played out very differently.
Franklin got off to a great start, taking a lead just 1:23 into the first period, but for the majority of the next 43 minutes the game was dominated by the visitors. St. Mary’s took the lead by the end of the first and never looked back, pulling out a 7-3 victory and exacting a measure of revenge for last season’s title game defeat.
“I thought we played well for the first 10 minutes,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “I thought we had a jump in our step, we forechecked well, we were physical, and then right after that you could see it start to derail. That’s sort of been our season. We haven’t played a full 45 [minutes].”
The Panthers got off to the perfect start to the game. Jeremy Miller burst into the zone and had a shot from the right side kicked aside by St. Mary’s goalie Andrew LoRusso, but Adam Assad was following up the play and he knocked the loose puck into the open net.
Shortly after the goal, the Spartans would be given a four-minute power play of which the first 90 seconds would be a two-man advantage. Thanks to a couple of solid kick saves by goalie Owen Ginley and strong defense that kept the visitors on the edges, Franklin managed to clear it off and gain even more energy.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, the strong start could not be sustained.
Colin Reddy tied the game with 3:18 left in the first when he tapped in Jason Loeser’s pass that slipped through the skates of a Franklin defenseman. Two minutes later, Kyle Ouellette flipped a pass towards goal that was knocked down into the slot by Mike Zampanti and knocked in by Anthony Bono.
Ginley came through with a huge save on Bono after a mix up by the Franklin defense in the final seconds of the first, but he picked up an injury in the process and would be taken out for Cam Benham in the second.
Spillane said, “We had all the momentum. It was great and then right after that we just lost it. Our starting goaltender got hurt at the end of the first period and then we had to switch goalies, got a cold goalie coming in…and it just kept rolling.”
Franklin got off to a decent start to the second period with Miller setting up Zac Falvey only for LoRusso to deny him. Benham made a big save on Bono after a slip by the Franklin defense gave the St. Mary’s forward a breakaway, but was unable to stop a wraparound by Damon Maribito that made it 3-1.
Benham stopped Maribito four minutes later on another breakaway and the Panthers nearly had an answer when James Kilroe was set up Noah Nasuti, but the shot was off-target. Twenty-four seconds after that chance a puck up the boards bounced between a pair Panthers and started a 2-on-1 break for the Spartans. Reddy scored his second off an assist by Mike Desmond.
“One bad bounce and that’s it,” said Spillane. “We sort of hung our heads…We have capabilities, we have good hockey players, but we’re not consistent right now. Against a team like this, you can’t play inconsistent.”
The fourth goal seemed to open the floodgates for St. Mary’s with Bono scoring on a blast off a face-off win to make it 5-1. Assad struck the post before the end of the second, but just three minutes into the third period Loeser flicked a wrist shot from the high slot through traffic that snuck inside the post.
The Panthers showed some life in the final period helped out by several power play opportunities. Brendan O’Reilly set up Luke Downie (the hero from last March’s final at the TD Garden) but LoRusso again made the stop. T.J. Durkin had a goal disallowed a minute later when he knocked in Assad’s pass only for the officials to rule that the net was dislodged first.
With 8:34 left to play, Kilroe followed up a rebound from Jack McGrath’s shot from the point to cut the lead to four with a power play goal. Dan Sheehan stopped a breakaway to keep it 6-2 and Cam Trask had a chance saved before Franklin added a third. Tom Sicchio drove to the red line and cut a pass across the crease that was tipped on net by Matt Holmes and tapped in by Downie.
St. Mary’s sealed the win in the final minutes with a shot through traffic by Marc Zampanti. Despite the defeat, Spillane saw positives for his team from playing that level of competition.
He said, “At the end of the day, it’s good for our kids in the long run. They’re a good team and we’re going to see teams just like this down the road, so we’ve got to be ready.
Spillane added, “I think we have the players to compete, it’s just got to be 45 minutes night in, night out. Now we go into our league play and I’m going to demand we play 45 minutes every night or you’ll be on the bench. We’ve got a lot of kids that want to play.”
Franklin (6-3) will return to Hockomock play on Wednesday when the Panthers travel to Aleixo Arena to play Taunton.