Boston High School: Billy Grant

Recap: Franklin 3, Mansfield 2

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
12:57
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - It had not been his strongest game of the season, but in the final minute with his team leading by just a single goal, Franklin senior goalie Devon Maloof made the play that saved the game. His instant reaction allowed him to get a toe to a blast from the point and preserve the Franklin lead.

“He had a huge save at the end,” said Mansfield head coach Rick Anastos about Maloof. “That kick-out save…that was a goal from where we were.”

The save helped Franklin (7-4-1, 5-0-1) hold on for a 3-2 victory over the Hornets (9-2-1, 6-1-1) on Wednesday night in front of a packed house at the Foxboro Sports Center.

The win propels the Panthers to the top of the Kelley-Rex division and a step closer to another Hockomock League title.

Franklin head coach Chris Spillane reflected, “That’s what we expected for it to be -- a rough, physical game that’s back-and-forth. I’m glad to get this one behind us. It’s Mansfield-Franklin, that’s a typical game.”

He added, “You hate to say that it’s the one that you mark at the beginning of the season but we’ve been looking at it for a while and we’re glad to have it behind us and that it ended up in our favor.

The Panthers looked shaky in the opening couple of shifts, but Mansfield penalties allowed Franklin to settle down on the power play and led to dominating first period in which Franklin outshot the Hornets 15-4.

Senior Vince Geromini opened the scoring for Franklin with 7:28 remaining in the first period. He was on hand to follow up after Troy Donahue drove to the net and had his shot saved by Mansfield goalie Dan Moyer. Nearly two minutes later, Franklin scored again and this time on the power play (Mansfield took four first period penalties). Junior Alec Borkowski buried the shot that doubled the lead.

“The first couple of shifts were pretty shaky, but the rest of the first period we pretty much dominated and I think it was our speed causing them to take penalties,” said Spillane.

Anastos could only shake his head at the penalties that allowed Franklin to gain momentum in the first period.

“Penalties kill us,” he insisted. “You can’t give them power plays; you can’t give a good team the opportunity to score. They only scored one power play goal, but you can’t give them that many chances.”

In the second period, Anastos got the reaction that he was looking for from his team. The Hornets bounced back and started hitting in the second and gained the momentum. Junior defenseman Evan Kershaw made it a game again with a blast from the point that eluded Maloof and made it 2-1. Sophomore Pat Graham tied it with 2:59 left in the period on a low shot to the near post on a two on one.

“I think we got a little comfortable with a two-goal lead coming out in the second period and they jumped on it,” explained Spillane. “They were aggressive, they had a two-man forecheck, and they were throwing pucks at the net and they went in.”

The Hornets were not level for long though as a minute after Graham’s goal, Franklin broke for a three-on-one, odd-man rush. Geromini turned provider with a perfectly placed pass across the crease for Donahue to tap in for what turned out to be the game-winner.

Anastos noted, “We let up a three on one just a minute after tying the game and that killed us. It was a sinker. They won the first period, we won the second period, and it was a tie in the third period -- they just got one more goal.”

Spillane praised his senior leadership for coming up big in a huge rivalry game, especially after Mansfield seemed on the verge of taking control.

“[Mansfield was] building on it and they had all the momentum so it was good,” he said. “Our seniors stepped up today. Vince Geromini had a goal and an assist and then Troy [Donahue] had a nice goal. We need those guys.”

The second and third periods were evenly matched and both goalies came up with big saves. Moyer stuffed Franklin’s leading scorer Ryan Spillane from point-blank range and then just a minute later Maloof did the same to Billy Grant. Then with a minute to go, Maloof pulled off his kick save and set off celebrations on the Franklin bench.

Unfortunately, the celebrations turned into more with both teams coming together against the far boards after the final whistle and having to be separated by coaches and officials. The referees pushed both teams off the ice and scrapped the traditional postgame handshake to avoid further trouble.

Recap: Mansfield 6, No. 25 Oliver Ames 2

January, 9, 2014
Jan 9
3:05
AM ET
BROCKTON, Mass. - The game plan was simple for Mansfield: be as aggressive on the forecheck as they could.

They did that and it worked, forcing turnovers that led to goals in a 6-2 win over previously unbeaten No. 25 Oliver Ames.

The Hornets pressure paid off right away, dumping the puck down into the zone before junior Jared Collins fed senior Kyle Hurley on the doorstep for a one time goal that put Mansfield up 1-0, just 2:45 into the game. The period would end 1-0 in favor of Mansfield, which outshot the Tigers, 13-6.

"That was probably our best first period this year," said Mansfield coach Rick Anastos. "We followed it up with an even better second period I thought. It was an overall good effort on both team's part."

Mansfield's pressure paid off once again, this time while on the penalty kill. As their power play came to a close, they were whistled for a minor to put them on the kill. As Oliver Ames tried to bring the puck out of their own end, junior Adam Blackman came away with the steal and went in alone on goal and beat OA goalie Jimmy Tierney to make it 2-0 Mansfield with 9:03 left in the second period.

Less than a minute later, back at even strength, the Hornets continued to push the puck into the offensive third. Sophmore Billy Grant took possession of the puck on the edge of the face-off circle to the left of Tierney and fired a wrist shot that found the back of the net.

"As the game went on, we had some lapses," Oliver Ames head coach Mark Homer said. "When you play good teams, they are going to take advantage of that."

But as expected, Oliver Ames fought itself back into the game.

The Tigers started the final frame on a power play and took advantage 52 seconds in. Senior Colin Lozzi hooked up with classmate Matt Campanella, who fired an absolute snipe past Mansfield goalie Dan Moyer to make it 3-1.

The Tigers made things even more interesting six minutes later as junior defenseman Thomas McCormack sent the puck up along the boards and it was corralled by junior Tyler Provost. Provost faked around the defender before sending a perfect cross-ice pass to classmate Timmy Doherty. Doherty took control of the puck before firing in a shot from close range to make it 3-2 with 7:56 left.

"In the locker room between the second and third periods, we told them 'Look, it's 3-0, they are coming out full force,’” Homer said. “They aren't going to lie down and more than likely going to score, because they are a good team. When they do, that’s the time you need to not panic and just play your game.'

“When they scored that second goal, there was no panic on the bench and there was no let down either."

Just when it looked like Oliver Ames was going to be back in the game, Blackman proved why he's one of the best players in the Hockomock. After Oliver Ames was caught up in a delayed offside, Collins found Blackman in the slot and his wrist shot beat Tierney, scoring with just 2:47 remaining in the game.

"He's just good," Anastos added. "That's what we want from him."

Mansfield added to their lead with two goals in the final two minutes. Senior Ryan Burns intercepted a D-to-D pass in his own end and took it alone the distance before slotting it into the back of the net to make it 5-2. Collins capped the scoring with 1:15 left with a low shot that was able to find the back of the net.

"It wasn't any one thing that went wrong this us, I thought it was several issues," Homer added. "I can put it this way, our forwards didn't score enough goals, our defense let up too many goals, and our goalie didn't stop enough goals. There was no blame on any individual player."

Mansfield outshot Oliver Ames 41-24 in the game and Anastos knows that putting six past Tierney is no small feat.

"He's the best goalie in the league," Anastos said of Tierney. "We had 41 shots, I mean he's really good, there's not much else, he's just real good. We just wanted to shoot, shoot, shoot, and we excited it on the ice and he played outstanding. And I thought our goalie Dan Moyer played real well too."

Mansfield improves to 5-1-0 and will host Milford on Saturday at 5:20 p.m.

The Tigers dropped their first game of the season and are now 3-1-1. They'll be back in action when they take on North Attleborough, Saturday at 6:30 p.m., at the Foxboro Sports Center.

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