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
Canton, 7 vs. Boston Latin, 3 – Final – Canton overcame a two-goal deficit to finish the season with a win. Junior Bubba McNeice and sophomore Ryan Nolte each scored a pair of goals for the Bulldogs while Tommy Kilduff, Johnny Hagan and Jack Goyetch each scored once in the win.
Franklin, 5 vs. Barnstable, 2 – Final
Taunton, 9 @ Durfee, 3 – Final – Taunton senior Zack Albert registered four points while classmates Nick Terry, Cam Carnes and Jordan Hoey each notched three points in the win. Albert scored twice and had two assists, Terry found the back of the net twice with one assist, Carnes scored once with two helpers and Hoey had three assists. Mike Volkmann and Cam Welby each added a goal an assist while Jake Roberts and Owen Ross each scored once. Cam Sneyd and Andrew Carter each had two assists while Camden Faria had one assist. Goalie Justin Chappell (16 saves) also had an assist in the win.
Canton, 3 vs. Walpole, Final – Canton’s Colleen Kelleher recorded her seventh shutout of the season for the Bulldogs.
TAUNTON, Mass. – Prior to the game, Taunton honored its 10 seniors for helping to turn the program around and for being, as head coach Kris Metea announced, the winningest senior class in the 20-year history of the program.
On Saturday afternoon against Attleboro, those seniors provided another victory for the Tigers, contributing a combined two goals and three assists while senior goalie Justin Chappell made 26 saves in a 3-2 victory that moves Taunton to .500 in Hockomock play.
“This class means a lot,” said Metea outside the locker room after the game. “They’ve really had the ideals of commitment and it translated to success. The direction the program has gone is in large part due to them and the success we’ve had over the last six years is a big testament to them.”
The Bombardiers looked determined to ruin the day for the Taunton seniors, storming out of the blocks and dominating play in the first period. But, despite leading 11-6 in shots and creating a host of chances, Attleboro went into the first intermission trailing by two goals.
Chappell came up big right from the opening face-off. Just three minutes in he spread himself to stop Liam McDonough’s rebound effort after making the initial save on P.J. Elliott. Three minutes later, Cam Carnes teed up junior Jakob Roberts for Taunton’s first shot on goal from inside the blue line and he wristed it into the corner.
Attleboro continued to attack and Kyle McCabe thought he had a tying goal with a breakaway effort that Chappell was able to block and control the rebound as it squirted loose. Two minutes later and it was 2-0, as senior Jordan Hoey tossed a puck towards goal that went off the stick of classmate Zack Albert and trickled inside the far post.
Sam McKenzie rang the bar just before the end of the period, but Attleboro went into the dressing room playing well, but staring at a two-goal deficit.
“I know we outshot them in the first period, had better opportunities, but the score is 2-0,” said Attleboro coach Mark Homer. “We’ve been preaching to these guys all year not to play to the scoreboard; we just need to play a good period.”
The Bombardiers finally got one past Chappell four minutes into the second. Cam Littig saw his close-range effort blocked but the puck bounced to Jake Parker and he knocked it home. With four minutes left in the period, Littig set up McCabe in front and he thought he had the game tied but for a sprawling save by Chappell.
“He makes the saves he needs to make,” said Metea. “He’s big and he takes up a lot of space, so as long as he moves he’ll make those saves. He’s come up big for us.”
Attleboro held a 20-12 lead in shots after two periods, but many of those chances were from the outside, as the Taunton defense continued to absorb the pressure. Seniors Mike Volkmann and Svein Ormseth and junior Cam Welby also pushed forward and created shots on Attleboro freshman goalie Derrik Rivet.
“A lot of our kids are quietly confident,” said Metea about the defense, “so they know to play percentages and do your job and they’ll be okay.”
Taunton thought it had wrapped up the points six minutes into the third when Hoey fed the puck in front to Josh Denham but Rivet (15 saves) came through with a stellar stop to keep Attleboro within one. Just two minutes later, the save loomed even larger when Elliott was able to beat Chappell stick side from the right circle to tie the game.
“He’s only a freshman, this is probably only his fifth or sixth game on varsity and he gave up some goals in the first period, but that just shows the resiliency he has to play a better second period and then a better third,” said Homer of Rivet. “If not for those saves he makes, we might not be in position to tie the game.”
With 4:47 left to play, Taunton went on the power play and 30 seconds later the Tigers had the game-winner. Welby threw the puck at net from beyond the right circle, it deflected off a stick in front and fell to Hoey with an open net and he made no mistake for his second and the game’s decisive point (senior Nick Terry also had an assist on the play).
“Games likes this are good…you need the adversity, you need the battles,” said Metea. “If they’re going to play well in the tournament, they’re going to need these. You’re going to face adversity; it’s not easy.”
He took another moment to reflect on his seniors and how far they and the program have come in the past few seasons.
“They’re a bunch of great kids,” said Metea, “their teammates love them, they fight to the end, they’ve had to learn on the fly, and they’ve meant a lot to me, the other coaches, and ultimately to the program.”
Taunton (9-3-2, 3-3-0) will get a very tough test against Davenport leader Canton on Wednesday, attempting to make it two-for-two against the current league leaders. Attleboro (5-7-1, 1-4-0) will have a quick turnaround to play Foxboro on Sunday in a big Div. 3 game for the Bombardiers as they try to guarantee tournament play through the Sullivan Rule.
Mansfield, 9 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Mansfield had 15 different players register a point in a big win over Foxboro. Cullin Anastasia had two goals and two assists to lead the Hornets while Patrick McCafferty and Matt Farragher each netted a pair of goals. Tim Arnold, Adam Anastos, James Bezeau and Dylan Tivnan each registered two points as well.
Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 5 – Final – Taunton battled to take a 3-2 lead through two periods and then finished off the Panthers in the third period. The Tigers scored an early third period goal to go up 4-2 before Franklin cut the deficit to one with 2:11 to play. However, Taunton scored an empty netter from its defensive zone with 34 seconds to go to ice the game. Zack Albert had four points, registering three assists and scored the game-winning goal. Nick Terry scored twice and had one assist while Jordan Hoey and Mike Volkmann each scored once. Justin Chappell made 24 saves to earn the win.
King Philip, 2 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final
Sharon, 29 @ Canton, 31 – Final
Foxboro, 54 @ Stoughton, 21 – Final
Oliver Ames, 12 @ Franklin, 44 – Final – Oliver Ames received wins from Liston Funai (138), Dean Pacini (195) and Jack Mills (285).
Taunton, 28 @ King Philip, 51 – Final – Taunton picked up wins from Josh Alves (106), Josh Grasso (126), Elijah Simmons (195), Woudanly Danger (220) and Mason Frank (285).
Milford, 6 @ North Attleboro, 51 – Final – North Attleboro’s Nick Gould earned his 100th career win in the Rocketeers’ victory.
King Philip @ Attleboro, 3:30
Milford @ Canton, 5:00
Franklin, 45 @ Taunton, 49 – Final
Mansfield, 88 @ Oliver Ames, 95 – Final
King Philip @ Attleboro, 3:30
Milford @ Canton, 5:00
Franklin @ Taunton, 4:00
Mansfield, 91.5 @ Oliver Ames, 87.5 – Final
Sharon @ King Philip, 7:30
Canton, 2 vs. Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake, 2 – Final – Canton twice battled back from a one goal deficit, including scoring the tying goal inside the final two minutes to earn the tie. Sophomore Lauren Fitzpatrick and senior Rebecca Eckler each scored a goal for the Bulldogs.
Canton, 45 @ Milford, 61 – Final – Milford built a double-digit lead by halftime (29-17) and pulled away in the third quarter to get the win. Zach Tamagni led the way with 22 points for the Scarlet Hawks while Shane Cosquete added 13 points and junior Kayden Kelley had 10 points and 19 rebounds. Canton junior Tony Harris had 15 points and 12 rebounds while Devin Foster chipped in with nine points.
Foxboro, 43 @ Stoughton, 52 – Final – Stoughton hit four of its seven three pointers in the final quarter to pull away from the Warriors. Matt Valle (16 points) hit three trifectas in the frame while Colin Sanda also hit one as the Black Knights won the fourth quarter 20-15. Foxboro’s Joe Morrison scored a team-high 15 points while Jamaine Few added 13 points for the Warriors.
Franklin, 55 @ Taunton, 42 – Final – Taunton turned a second half deficit (25-17) into a third quarter lead (27-25) but Franklin rattled off a 10-4 run to close the quarter and never looked back. Junior Connor Peterson led the way for the Panthers with 21 points while Paul Mahon added 12 points and Jalen Samuels chipped in with 11 points.
Milford, 56 @ Canton, 42 – Final – Kate Irwin led the Hawks with 22 points and Milford coach T.J. Dolliver added that the Hawks got “lots of contribution from the bench offensively and defensively.”
Stoughton, 29 @ Foxboro, 72 – Final – Lily Sykes led the way for the Warriors with 19 points and Ashley Sampson chipped in with 16. Grace Tamulionis added 10 points for Foxboro. Stoughton junior Val Whalen registered 17 points and eight rebounds for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 21 @ Franklin, 63 – Final – Ali Brigham was the top scorer for the Panthers with 13 points. Franklin also got 11 points from Kate Morse and nine points from Bea Bondhus.
King Philip, 34 @ Oliver Ames, 65 – Final – Oliver Ames limited the Warriors to just 13 points in the first half, running away with a big win at home. Kayla Raymond scored 12 of her game-high 17 points in the first quarter to set the tone for OA. Niyera Mitchell notched a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds while Abby Reardon chipped in with 11 points.
North Attleboro, 73 @ Sharon, 48 – Final – Caroline Collard was the top scorer for the Rocketeers with 12 points and Emily Schromm scored 11 for North. Emma Eberhardt had a game-high 19 points for the Eagles and Faythe Gomolka scored nine.
Taunton, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Taunton scored once in each period while Justin Chappell made 22 saves to earn the shutout win. Nick Terry netted a pair of goals while Cam Sneyd found the back of the net once. Zack Albert, Mike Volkmann, Jordan Hoey and Cam Welby each had an assist in the win.
Foxboro, 65 @ Sharon, 88 – Final – Foxboro’s Dan Egan had a first place finish in the 100 free for the Warriors.
Foxboro, 80 @ Sharon, 90 – Final – Emma Bridges came in first place in four separate events and qualified for both sectionals and states in one of them but the Warriors fell short to Sharon. Bridges qualified for states by winning the 200IM in 2:24.35. She also finished first in the 100 fly, the 200 medley relay (with Allison Curran, Lexi Nelson and Lindsey Nelson) and the 400 free relay (with Curran, Nelson and Nelson as well). Lindsey Nelson also won the 100 breaststroke.
Foxboro, 65 vs. Hingham, 57 – Final – Foxboro cut into a seven point deficit at the end of the first quarter and turned a three point Hingham lead at halftime around to earn the win in the consolation game of the Westwood Holiday Tournament. The Warriors won the fourth quarter 16-9. Junior Joe Morrison scored a career-high 19 points and was named to the all-tournament team. Jamaine Few chipped in with 13 points while junior Matt Rongione added a career-high 12 points.
Mansfield, 75 vs. Everglades (FL), 56 – Final
North Attleboro, 51 @ Bishop Feehan, 56 – Final – Trailing by 12 with four minutes to play, the Rocketeers cut into the Shamrocks’ lead to get within four in the final minute but couldn’t complete the comeback. Brent Doherty scored 10 of his team-high 12 points in the second half while Thomas Reynolds and Jonny Friberg each had 11 points.
Franklin, 76 vs. East Boston, 35 – Final – Junior Paul Mahon scored a team-high 17 points as the Panthers cruised in their final game of the calendar year. James Hanlon added 11 points while sophomore Jalen Samuels recorded 10 points.
Attleboro, 63 vs. Brockton, 55 – Final – Sarah Deyo scored 22 points and pulled down 23 rebounds for the Bombardiers, who took control in the third quarter after trailing by two at the half. Julia Strachan added 18 and Sam Pierce had 14 for Attleboro.
North Attleboro, 46 @ Hingham, 34 – Final – North Attleboro claimed its second straight impressive win, knocking off host Hingham in the final of the Hingham Holiday Tournament. The Rocketeers have won three straight games against MIAA D2 South Semifinalists from a year ago – Oliver Ames, Westwood and Hingham. Ashley Ahern scored 14 points and was named the tournament MVP. Samantha Taggart dropped a season-high 17 points to lead Big Red and was named to the all-tournament team along with Caroline Collard.
Sharon, 50 @ North Quincy, 54 – Final – Sophomore Emma Eberhardt paced Sharon with 18 points while junior Shira Stoller hauled in a team-high 11 rebounds.
Franklin, 5 vs. La Salle Academy 1 – Final
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Westwood, 5- Final
Taunton, 12 vs. Apponequet/Connolly, 1 – Final – Jordan Hoey and Zack Albert each recorded five points as the Tigers ended 2016 on a high note. Hoey had a hat trick and two assists while Albert scored once and had four helpers. Nick Terry scored once and had three assists, Cam Welby scored twice and Cam Carnes and Jaden Weyant each had a goal and an assist. Josh Denham, Cam Sneyd and Owen Ross each scored once in the win.
BC High Team Duals (Oliver Ames) – Oliver Ames went a perfect 4-0 to at the BC High New Years Duals. The Tigers beat Silver Lake (58-15), New Bedford (72-12), Josiah Quincy (54-13) and Chicopee Comp (48-27). Liston Funai (132) and Eric Berardi (152) both went a perfect 4-0 on the day with four pins apiece. Brandon Belleton (138) also went 4-0, Cobey Williamson (120) went 3-0 with three opins and sophomore Anthony Berksza (145) was 3-0 with a pair of pins.
Milford, 41 @ Malden, 60 – Final – Zach Tamagni led the Scarlet Hawks with 13 points while Kayden Kelley added nine points and 10 rebounds.
Oliver Ames, 56 @ Nauset, 73 – Final – Nauset held a 49-43 lead through three quarters and pulled away from the Tigers in the fourth. Nick Welch led OA with 19 points while Dylan Mahoney had 14 points and Jack Spillane added 13 points.
Foxboro, 0 @ Taunton, 6 – Final – Nick Terry had two goals and an assist for the Tigers, while Zack Albert, Cam Sneyd, and Jordan Hoey chipped in with a goal and an assist apiece and Jake Roberts had a goal. Justin Chappell had 20 saves in net for the shutout and also registered an assist.
Franklin, 4 @ Newburyport, 1 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Plymouth South, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames’ second line had a big day on the offensive end, netting all three goals. Brett Williams scored a pair of goals and recorded an assist for the Tigers and Max Ward scored the other goal for OA and had one assist. Head coach Sean Bertoni said Zach Walsh was great in net with 22 saves while Jared Costello had a solid performance.
Foxboro, 27 vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, 36 – Final
Marshfield Quad (Franklin) – The Panthers went 4-0 at the Marshfield Super Quad. Franklin beat Duxbury 56-15, Bristol Aggie 54-15, Marshfield 36-24, and Pembroke 62-3.
Plymouth South Quad (Mansfield) – The Hornets picked up a pair of wins at the quad meet. Mansfield beat Middleboro (24-9) and Carver (27-21) but fell to host Plymouth South (46-24). George Glaropolous (152) went 3-0 on the day with three pins, Antonios Sevastos (106) went 2-0, both via pins and freshman Vinnie Holmes (170) was 2-0 with one pin.
Oliver Ames Quad (Oliver Ames) – The Tigers went 1-2 at the quad meet that they hosted. OA beat Plymouth North 53-30 in the opening match but lost 54-18 to Cambridge and 51-18 to BC High.
Taunton, 8 @ Dennis-Yarmouth, 3 – Final – Taunton raced out to a 6-0 lead through two periods and added two more in the third period for its third win of the season. Zack Albert had a pair of goals and an assist while Jack Patneaude (goal, assist), Mike Volkmann (two assists) and Andrew Carter (two assists) each had two points. Justin Chappell got the win in net with 14 saves. “We got contributions from all four lines,” Taunton head coach Kris Metea said.
Canton, 88 @ Oliver Ames, 82 – Final – Three individuals qualified for sectionals for Oliver Ames and one relay team qualified for states. Alex Buche qualified for the 200 IM and the 100 free, Kyle Gray qualified for the 50 free and the 100 free and Nicholas Lombardo qualified for the 100 backstroke. The Tigers’ 400 free relay qualified for states with an impressive showing. Eli Vidoni and Cam Bourne had strong days diving for the Tigers.
Sharon, 66 @ Franklin, 87 – Final – Roy Wang and Jack Cashin each won a pair of events to pace the Panthers. Wang won the 500 (5:22.31) and the 100 breaststroke (1:08.50). Cashin took the 200 IM (2:15.06) and the 100 backstroke (1:03.32).
Mansfield @ Taunton, 4:00
Canton, 94 @ Oliver Ames, 76 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Morgan O’Hara qualified for sectionals in the 100 free. Caitlin Campbell had a strong diving performance for the Tigers.
Sharon, 67 @ Franklin, 101 – Final – Franklin finished first in every single relay event on its way to a big win over visiting Sharon. Freshman Katie McGuire was a double winner, taking first in both the 200 and 500 freestyle events. Senior Megan Lazarek was also a double winner, finishing first in the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke.
Mansfield @ Taunton, 4:00
North Attleboro @ Sharon, 7:00
Oliver Ames, 125.55 @ Sharon, 122.7 – Final – OA freshman Lauren Picanzi won the all around with a 34.35 while junior Charis MacCuish finished second with a 33.9.
Canton, 0 vs. Duxbury, 0 – Final
Franklin, 1 @ Westwood, 7 – Final
King Philip, 1 vs. Ursuline Academy, 1 –Final – King Philip goalie Lilly Potts made a handful of key saves to help the Warriors earn a point. Jess Daniels scored from the blue line in the first period to put KP ahead but Ursuline tied the game in the second. KP and Ursuline will meet against in early January.
Foxboro, 4 @ Norton, 3 – Final – Foxboro scored two goals in the third period to earn its first win of the season. Taylor Sharfman tied the game midway through the third before Mike Carresi scored the game-winning inside the final two minutes. Carresi finished with a goal and assist in the win. Paul Vey and Sam Garrabrant also scored while Peter Smith had three assists and freshman Kyle McGinnis had an assist.
Taunton, 10 vs. Durfee, 1 – Final – Taunton’s Zack Albert scored a pair of goals and had two assists, Cam Carnes added a pair of goals and one assist, Cam Sneyd had three assists and one goal, and Cam Welby and Nick Terry each notched a pair of assists and scored once. Justin Chappell earned the win in net.
2015-16 Record: 7-11-2 (1-8-1) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Mark Homer
Attleboro narrowly missed out on a playoff spot last season, losing in its final game against a Div. 3 opponent and this year’s team will be motivated to try and get back in the postseason under new head coach Mark Homer, who made the switch from Oliver Ames where he coached the past three years, and with a new home – moving from Aleixo Arena in Taunton to the new England Sports Village just a couple minutes from the school.
In what has become a common issue for the Bombardiers program, Attleboro will not have
a lot of depth to call on this winter with only 15 skaters and two goalies on the varsity roster, but there is some experience coming back. Senior P.J. Elliott is a talented skater and stick handler who will be counted on to provide the scoring punch along with Jake Parker and Dylan Weallac on the first line.
Sam McKenzie emerged last year as a physical presence and senior captain Eddie Noel will partner him on the top defensive pairing. Sophomore Evan Andrews and freshman Derek Rivet will battle it out for the starting goaltender position for the Bombardiers. There are several other underclassmen who could make immediate impacts, including sophomore forward Cam Littig.
“With the new facility in Attleboro the hopes are that in the coming years, the roster will grow to include increasing depth to the program,” said Homer. “The goal of this years team is to stay healthy, work together as one unit on and off the ice, and get better each day. It’s a new day for Attleboro High School Hockey with a promising future.”
2015-16 Record: 18-4-5 (8-0-2) 2015-16 Finish: Won the Div. 1 State Championship Head Coach: Chris Spillane
After being the first Hockomock League team selected for the prestigious Super 8 tournament in 2014-15 and then graduating 21 players, Franklin was supposed to need a year to rebuild, but the Panthers showed just how strong their program is by bringing home the Div. 1 state championship in a dramatic double overtime thriller against St. Mary’s at the TD Garden. It was the program’s first state title at any level since 1983.
The Panthers graduated another large class of 13 seniors from last year’s champions and lost promising freshman defenseman Kevin Mackay who transferred to Dexter. Still, expectations remain as high as ever for the Panthers, who have won four straight league titles. Much of that excitement comes from the potential in the offensive zone with Franklin returning last year’s title game hero Luke Downie, leading goal scorer Jeremy Miller, and Brendan O’Reilly and the top line of seniors Joey Blasie, Adam Assad, and James Kilroe. Sophomores Matt Holmes and Zach Falvey will add depth to the offense.
Defense is where the Panthers will have some new faces, although seniors Tom Sicchio and Stan Carter will add some experience to the back line. Juniors Jack McGrath and Connor Norton will make the jump up from the JV team to add to the defensive lines and freshman Collin Opet will also see playing time on the defense as well. For the third season in a row, Franklin will have a new No. 1 goalie with senior Cam Benhamand junior Owen Ginley will battle it out for the starting spot.
“For the Panthers to be successful this year it will be a result of a team defense concept,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “The offense will take care of itself, we will be focusing on strong play in our zone.”
2015-16 Record: 9-8-4 (5-2-3) 2015-16 Finish: Reached the Div. 1 South playoffs Head Coach: Paul Carlow
The Warriors made strides last winter under first-year head coach Paul Carlow, including a regular season tie with Franklin and reaching the postseason for the first time since the program was moved back up to Div. 1. This season, Carlow is hopeful for a return to the postseason and to challenge for KP’s first league title since 2007, despite losing 10 seniors from last year’s roster.
The offensive zone should be strong for the Warriors this season with several key returning players that put up solid totals last winter. Junior forward Collin Cooke is the main weapon after putting up 11 goals and 15 assists for a team-high 26 points to be named a league all-star. He is joined up front by senior Ritchie Lucente, who scored 10 goals and had nine assists last year, and senior Jacob Kelly, who finished with 11 goals and nine assists.
KP will also return a few important pieces on the defensive side of the puck, including junior goalie Shane Frommer, who was 3-1-1 in his five starts last year. Frommer’s start to the hockey season will be slightly delayed after helping the football team win its first Super Bowl title. In front of the Frommer will be senior Jeremy Smith, who chipped in with three goals and four assists last season.
“We had some success last season qualifying for the D1 playoffs,” said Carlow. “We have our work cut out for us this season… We are a young team with only five seniors but I expect us to get back to the playoffs.”
2015-16 Record: 5-10-5 (4-4-2) 2015-16 Finish: Missed the playoffs Head Coach: Mike Balzarini
Last winter was atypical for the Hornets, who missed out on the playoffs and finished fourth in the Kelley-Rex division, but Mansfield is hoping for a quick turnaround under new head coach Mike Balzarini, who makes the move from Milford. The Hornets have a number of returning players, including several from club or other school programs to bolster the depth.
One of the returning players is Joe Olsen, who spent last year with a juniors program but will be a significant addition to the Hornets top attacking line alongside fellow seniors Matt Farragher and Chad Piotti, who both had solid years in 2015-16. Junior Cullen Anastasia is another forward to come back to the program and could step right in to make an impact. Freshman Chris Jenkins is going to be the center on the third line and classmate James Bezeau will also see playing time this year.
On defense, the Hornets will be led by senior Cullen Murphy, a physical presence at the back and one of the leaders on the ice. Juniors Tim Arnold, Ryan O’Hara, and Tyler Oakley will also be important pieces on the top defensive pairings. Freshman Joseph Troiano will also be on the defense after he decided against attending Xaverian this year. The defense will be protecting senior goalies Brendan McKenna and Tony Rullo, who will each see time.
“We’re a lot deeper,” said Balzarini, who said that the Hornets would be carrying four lines and four sets of defensemen and is excited about the potential on the team. “It’s been good having two weeks to prepare. They have to get used to our new system and adhering to the structures that we’re putting in place.”
2015-16 Record: 10-10-1 2015-16 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Head Coach: Sean Bertoni
Oliver Ames will be looking to keep its postseason streak alive under new head coach Sean Bertoni – a former standout goalie for Franklin.
If the Tigers want to get back to the state tournament, they’ll need some help from their younger players; Oliver Ames has eight sophomores and four freshman on its roster this year. OA does have seven seniors and a group of experienced juniors that can help lead the way.
“The goals of the team are to progress from Day one to the end of the year,” Bertoni said. “We have to use our team speed and forecheck extremely hard. We will be a disciplined, hard working aggressive team.”
2015-16 Record: 13-10-0 (3-7-0) 2015-16 Finish: Reached the Div. 2 South playoffs Head Coach: Kris Metea
The Tigers got to experience what the state tournament is like last season for the first time since 2006-07 and only the second time in the past two decades. Taunton had the fourth most wins in a season in the 44-year history of the program and scored a remarkable 106 goals last season, which was the best in the Hock.
This year, Taunton will try to build on its historic season and make a quick return to the postseason. Leading scorer Tyler Pietrzyk has graduated but there is plenty of firepower returning for the Tigers this season, including senior forward Zack Albert who is coming off a 30-point campaign. He will be joined up from by classmate Jordan Hoey, who had 17 points last season and senior Cam Carnes, who had 10 points. Sophomore Cam Sneyd could be poised for a breakout year for the Tigers.
Defensively, Taunton can lean on three-time league all-star Nick Terry, who will man the top defensive pairing. Mike Volkmann may be listed as a defenseman on the roster but he can get forward into the attack with 29 points a season ago. Junior Cam Welby will be a new addition to the defense after playing juniors all of last season. Senior Justin Chappell returns in net.
“This year’s group of seniors are first class kids,” said head coach Kris Metea. “They exemplify leadership across the board…They had a chance to taste the tournament last year, and are focused on acquiring more than just a taste this time around.”