Boston High School: Cam Curley

Our MIAA boys' hockey All-State Team

March, 28, 2013
3/28/13
9:11
PM ET
FIRST LINE
All-StateF - Liam Coughlin, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Finished third among all Division 1 players in scoring, while leading the Knights back to the Super 8 for the first time since 2009-10. The South Boston native put up 28-20-48 totals, tied for first among Catholic Conference scorers this season.

All-StateF - Ara Nazarian, Soph., Malden Catholic
ESPN Boston’s Mr. Hockey award winner this season, Nazarian had 26-22-48 totals for the regular season, along with nine goals and five assists during the Super 8 tournament for the three-time defending champions. The Boxford resident and center is the first underclassman to win the Mr. Hockey award.

All-StateF – Brian Pinho, Sr., St. John’s Prep
The Providence College commit led the Eagles to a No. 1 seed in this year’s Super 8 tournament. The North Andover resident compiled 12-24-36 totals this season and, in January, was ranked No. 117 among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings.

All-StateD – Casey Fitzgerald, Soph., Malden Catholic
The North Reading resident earned his second Super 8 title with the Lancers, playing on all defensive units and is one of two players making a second-straight appearance on our All-State team. The Boston College commit had 5-17-22 totals on the season and recently was accepted in the United States National Team Development Program’s U-17 team.

All-StateD – Matt Foley, Sr., Springfield Cathedral
The two-way blue-liner finished third on the Panthers in scoring with 10-16-26 totals this year while leading them to another Super 8 apperance. A Longmeadow resident, the captain is deciding among prep schools for next year, as well as offers to play in college.

All-StateG – Peter Cronin, Sr., BC High
The only repeating First-Team All-Stater this year, Cronin finished in the top five among Division 1 netminders in both goals against average (1.40) and save percentage (94.6) while starting all 23 of the Eagles’ games. He is currently considering colleges among playing opportunities at the prep school and junior levels.

SECOND LINE
All-StateF – Tom Besinger, Jr., BC High
The Eagles’ top center and captain was force to reckon with in the circle, in addition to leading the Eagles with 35 points (10 goals and a team-best 25 assists).
All-StateF – Cam Owens, Sr., Wilmington
Finished his high school career with back-to-back Division 2 state championships. Owens racked up 30 points, playing alongside All-State honorable mention Brendan McDonough. Owens is currently weighing prep and junior options for next year.
All-StateF – Nolan Vesey, Sr., Austin Prep
The senior captain led the Cougars back to the Super 8 for the first time since the 2009-10 season and all the way to a finals appearance at the Garden. Vesey led AP in goals (18) and points (31) while kicking in 13 assists.
All-StateD – Nick Gorski, Sr., Central Catholic
A player who head coach Mike Jankowski repeatedly called his “most improved player” since freshman year, the Raiders captain played on all units, leading Central to another Super 8 appearance.
All-StateD – Jack Williams, Sr. Springfield Cathedral
A major component to perhaps the state’s best blue-line core, Williams did a little bit of everything for the Panthers, including playing forward on power-play units. The Suffield, Conn. resident tallied four goals and 19 assists for 23 points. He is currently weighing his playing options for next season.

All-StateG – Colin Soucy, Jr., Central Catholic
The break-out star of this year’s Super 8 tournament, Soucy nearly delivered the Raiders to a quarterfinal-round upset of No. 1 seed St. John’s Prep in his first year as Central’s starting netminder.

Best of the Rest – Honorable Mention
Forwards
Tyler Bird, Jr., St. John’s Prep
Tommy Bishop, Sr., Chelmsford
Matt Brazel, Jr., Hingham
Brian Brooks, Jr., Canton
Mike Carbone, Sr., Marshfield
Bobo Carpenter, Soph., Austin Prep
A.J. Couto, Sr., Danvers
Ben Cox, Sr., Medfield
Peter Crinella, Soph., Springfield Cathedral
Cam Curley, Sr., Franklin
Sam D’Antuono, Jr., Hingham
Jordan Dow, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury
Josh Edwards, Sr., Blue Hills
Brendan Greene, Jr., Winchester
C.J. Grinnell, Sr., Burlington
Marc Happy, Jr., Wachusett
Lloyd Hayes, Jr., Central Catholic
Kevin Hock, Frosh., Catholic Memorial
Mike Iovanna, Sr., Malden Catholic
Andrew Irving, Sr., Beverly
Connor Irving, Jr., Beverly
Ryan Jones, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy
Jack Kilty, Sr., Medway
Pat Kramer, Soph., BC High
Tom Koopman, Jr., Marblehead
Matt Kustra, Sr., Natick
Brendan McDounough, Jr., Wilmington
Anthony Lespasio, Sr., Bedford
Jack O’Hear, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Derek Petti, Sr., Tewksbury
Eddie Pratt, Sr., Xaverian
Nolan Redler, Jr., Winchester
Tyler Sifferlen, Jr., Malden Catholic
Mike Sorenti, Jr., Archbishop Williams
Sean Spohr, Sr., Westfield
Max Turcotte, Sr., Holliston
Max Willman, Sr., Barnstable

Defense
Matt Burchill, Sr., Marshfield
Derek Butler, Jr., Natick
John Carlson, Jr., Hingham
Adam Crowley, Jr., Burlington
Nick Edwards, Jr., Blue Hills
Sean Heelan, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Kurt Leavitt, Sr., Canton
Bryan Nelson, Soph., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Nick Rolli, Jr., Malden Catholic
Ryan Shea, Frosh, BC High
Sam Topham, Sr., BC High

Goaltenders
Tim Birarelli, Soph., Beverly
Alex Buckley, Sr., Newburyport
Brandon Collett, Frosh., Catholic Memorial
Jordan Davis, Sr., Norwood
Derek DeCastro, Sr., Burlington
Drew Foley, Jr., Wilmington
Nolan Greene, Jr., North Quincy
Elijah Harris, Soph., Austin Prep
John Liquori, Jr., Springfield Cathedral
Al Lynch, Jr., Framingham
Evan Morelli, Sr., Reading
James Offner, Soph., Winchester
Nick Russo, Sr., Waltham
Jimmy Tierney, Soph., Oliver Ames

MIAA championship hockey picks

March, 16, 2013
3/16/13
9:55
PM ET
GIRLS’ DIVISION 2
No. 1 Duxbury (21-1-2) vs. No. 2 Falmouth (19-1-2), 11 a.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Duxbury – F Hannah Murphy, F Marissa Fichter, F Jane Dudley, F Meredith Wright, F Julia Nolan, D Ally Hammel, D Payton Donato, G Rachel Myette; Falmouth – F Alexa Scribner, F Rachel Moore, F Madison Haberl, F Kelly Ferreira, D Hannah Ghelfi, D Alexx Good, G Madison Scavotto.

Breakdown: It is perhaps the most predictable of all of Sunday’s matchups and the most anticipated. The Dragons and Clippers renew a burgeoning rivalry, intensified by last year’s duel at the Garden and invigorated by the fact that either team’s lone loss of the season was handed to them by the other. Duxbury has been playing lockdown defense throughout the playoffs and haven’t allowed a goal in more than six games, including the regular season. The Clippers’ young corps will look to get over the hump, building on a bittersweet experience on the Bruins’ home ice sheet one year ago.

X-factor: Scavotto. As dominant as Duxbury’s defense has been in front of and including Myette, the Clippers are capable of the same. And their sophomore netminder is a big reason why. She could steal one.

Pick: Duxbury, 1-0.

GIRLS’ DIVISION 1
No. 4 St. Mary’s of Lynn (18-3-4) vs. No. 7 Arlington Catholic (17-4-2), 9 a.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: St. Mary’s – F Alison Butler, F Kaleigh Finigan, F Gabby Crugnale, F Madison Molea, D Tatiana Doucette, D Amanda Donahoe, G Lauren Skinnion; AC – F Adrieanna Rossini, F Jess Piracini, F Duggan Delano, F Hayle Rudin, D Melissa Richard, G Megan Messuri.

Breakdown: The Catholic Central rivals meet for the second straight year on championship Sunday and, like their Div. 2 counterparts, also split their season series at a game apiece. Behind the benches, both the Spatans’ Frank Pagliuca and the Cougars’ Maggie Taverna have done work worthy of Coach of the Year honors. St. Mary’s has the feel of a team of destiny, neither a short bench nor nagging injuries all season long have kept the Spartans from returning to the biggest stage, all while dispatching No. 1 Woburn in the process.

X-factor: Rossini. You’d be hard pressed to find a young player in recent memory who has scored more clutch playoff goals than the AC sophomore.

Pick: St. Mary’s, 3-2.

BOYS’ DIVISION 3
Swampscott (19-5-0) vs. Westfield (18-3-2), 3:30 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Swampscott – F Corey Carmody, F Noah Maercklein, F Nunzio Morretti, D Chris Carman, D Trevor Massey; Westfield – F Sean Spohr, F Mike Santinello, F Anthony Cagliostro, F Adam Collier, F Neil Parrow, D Nate Barnes.

Breakdown: The Big Blue took down defending D3 finalist and South sectional champion Medway (thanks to an OT goal from Maercklein) to advance to the program’s first title game appearance. Westfield returns to the Garden ice after a one-year hiatus after taking a scorched-earth policy to Western Mass. competition, while averaging more than 5.5 goals per game.

X-factor: Swampscott freshman goaltender Tristan Bradley. The first-year backstop has been a key element to the Big Blue’s success, maintaining a 91.5 save percentage through the season.

Pick: Swampscott, 5-4.

BOYS’ DIVISION 2
Wilmington (20-3-2) vs. Franklin (17-7-2), 1:30 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Wilmington – F Cam Owens, F Brendan McDonough, F Jake Rogers, F Dylan DiNatale, D Brian Pickett, D Cam Collins, G Drew Foley; Franklin – F Cam Curley, F Dennis Pisani, F Aidan Isberg, F Troy Donahue, D Kyle Powers, D Kyle Filbert, G Devon Maloof.

Breakdown: The third of six rematches on the day, after the Wildcats claimed a 3-2 victory over Franklin a year ago on championship Sunday, propelled by a hat trick from Owens. The Panthers will be looking to avoid their third straight fruitless trip to the Garden, having dropped title tilts with Wilmington and Tewksbury. The Wildcats, who had Super 8 aspirations until late in the season, are eying their second straight title.

X-factor: McDonough. He’s been the break-out performer of the tournament and provides a great complement to Owens on Wilmington’s top line.

Pick: Wilmington, 3-2.

BOYS’ DIVISION 1
Burlington (13-6-5) vs. Marshfield (20-6-0), 8:15 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Burlington – F C.J. Grinnell, F Joe Berardi, F Joey Scali, D Adam Crowley, D Sean Costa, G Derek DeCastro; Marshfield – F Mike Carbone, F Pat Burchill, F Joe Admirand, F Pat Shea, D Matt Burchill, D Trevor Salmon.

Breakdown: While this isn’t another rematch, these teams are no strangers to this stage, with the Red Devils and Rams representing as the last two Div. 1 state champions. Both teams were near .500 squads through the first month of the season, and closed their regular-season slates with momentum they’ve carried over into the playoffs. Both these teams can skate with the best of them, but they also pay attention to the little things in the defensive zone as well.

X-factor: Crowley. I’d expect a defensive struggle in this one and so I’m going with the Red Devils’ blue-liner who always makes his presence felt.

Pick: Burlington, 3-1.

BOYS’ DIVISION 1A – SUPER 8
No. 4 Austin Prep (16-1-6) vs. No. 7 Malden Catholic (15-6-3), 6 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: AP – F Nolan Vesey, F Bobby Carpenter, F Frankie Candelino, F George Sennott, F Eric MacAdams, D Andrew Cross, D J.J. Layton, G Elijah Harris; MC – F Ara Nazarian, F Mike Iovanna, F Tyler Sifferlen, F Pat Wrenn, F Austin Goldstein, D Casey Fitzgerald, D Nick Rolli, G Connor Maloney.

Breakdown: AP, while short on years, is not short on talent. I think we all knew coming into this season that they were capable of reaching this stage, but it might have been a question of when. The Cougars earned their way to Sunday after dispatching town rival Reading and then No. 1 seed St. John’s Prep in Wednesday’s semifinal. It seems like years ago since there was a time when the Lancers were in jeopardy of missing the tournament all together, but they’ve played the best hockey in the state during the last month.

X-factor: Nazarian. It’s his tournament, the rest of us are just living in it.

Pick: Malden Catholic, 4-2.

D2 South: Franklin 3, Oliver Ames 1

March, 13, 2013
3/13/13
2:19
AM ET
BOURNE, Mass. – The storylines from Tuesday’s sectional final at the Gallo Ice Arena will sound very familiar to anyone that has followed Division 2 hockey for the past few years.

For the third straight season, the Franklin Panthers took home the sectional title and, for the fourth straight season, Oliver Ames’ season ended against Franklin. The Panthers scored the game’s first three goals and held Oliver Ames to just 17 shots to claim a 3-1 victory and return trip to the TD Garden.

The Panthers started quickly with a goal inside the opening 30 seconds of the first period.

Aiden Isberg flipped the puck in front of the net to fellow senior Cam Curley and Franklin’s leading scorer in the postseason threw the puck on net. Somehow, through traffic, the puck slipped past Oliver Ames star goaltender Jimmy Tierney and stunned the huge OA crowd stationed behind the net.

Curley remarked, while sporting a freshly broken tooth, that getting in front on the scoreboard was a priority for the Panthers. He also commented that he did not even know that the puck had gotten through.

“I got as much on it as I could and I knew that if I put it on net, good things would happen. I had no idea that it went in until Dennis Pisani started yelling,” he noted.

Curley added, “Me and my linemates talked about getting that first one. We got to the net, we put it on net and it went in. And it made it easier for us to play.”

Franklin head coach Chris Spillane also spoke about the importance of getting an early goal past Tierney, who has been one of the stars of the sectional to that point. He credited a change in style for the Panthers’ strong defensive performance.

“We changed up our forecheck and trapped them,”Spillane said. “They struggled to get the puck out of the zone. I think that was a huge part of our success, not letting the big kids stretch their legs through neutral ice.”

Franklin doubled its advantage with just less than three minutes to go in the first period. Eight seconds into the game’s first power play, Tierney robbed Franklin with a great kick save only to have the rebound go directly to senior forward Pat Slason, who buried his shot over the sprawling goalie.

The Panthers made it 3-0 midway through the second period on a well-worked goal from the third line. Nick Downie and Alec Borkowski combined at the blue line before defenseman Kyle Powers drove at the net. Powers sent the puck through the crease where Borkowski was on hand to tap home his second goal in as many games.

“That’s the way we have been the last couple of years; three or four lines,” said Spillane. “You never know when your number is going to get called and you better be ready when we call it.”

Oliver Ames scored a consolation goal in the game’s final minute. Kyle Hayes scored an unassisted goal with a rocket of a shot over the shoulder of Franklin goalie Devon Maloof. Maloof was not tested frequently, but was solid in net for the Panthers.

Oliver Ames head coach Jim Sullivan was proud of his team despite the loss and was proud of the Tigers’ deep run in the tournament.

“We still had the potential to come back,” said Sullivan. “The only way I look at it is someone had to win, someone had to lose. You know, we went all the way and gave it all that we had, can’t be down.”

He added a positive not about the OA program, “We’re moving one step at a time - maybe next year.”

Franklin will now look to a rematch of last year’s D2 final against Wilmington at the TD Garden. Both coach and senior captain are hoping that the third time is the charm.

“We’ve been there three years in a row and been bridesmaids two years in a row,” Spillane reflected. “I just told these kids that I will not be the Marv Levy of high school hockey.”

Curley related, “This is great right here, but I want that big one. Three years in a row I’ve been there and haven’t won one. Especially with them taking it from us last year, we want it bad.”

This has not been the perfect season and Franklin has not been the dominant team of years past, but regardless of how they got there, in their final season before a move to D1, once again the Panthers are the last team standing in D2 South.

D2 South: Franklin 4, Mansfield 3

March, 11, 2013
3/11/13
1:04
AM ET
BOURNE, Mass. – During two regular season meetings, only a single goal separated Hockomock League rivals Mansfield and Franklin. So, it was no surprise that Sunday’s Division 2 South semifinal would come right down to the wire.

A third-period goal by sophomore Alec Borkowski was the difference for Franklin, as the Panthers pulled out a 4-3 victory at Gallo Ice Arena and the two-time defending D2 South champions clinched a spot in their third straight sectional final.

Borkowski, who also assisted on the Panthers’ first goal, has been one of Franklin’s best forwards in recent weeks and head coach Chris Spillane called him the player of the game.

“He just demands ice time,” said Spillane. “He’s one of those kids that, in practice, he gets it done and you put him out in the game and he gets it done. As a coach, you just say, alright I’ll give you a little more and a little more and he’s delivering.”

The winning goal came with 8:24 remaining in the game. Borkowski combined with fellow sophomore Nick Downie and, after a great save by Mansfield goalie Rich Shipman, he was on hand to flick home the rebound to make it 4-3.

“I was forechecking near the net, got it off the half boards, Nicky Downie took the shot and I got the rebound,” said Borkowski. “It feels really good, especially being an underclassman and first time being in the playoffs.”

It was the Hornets (14-6-3) that scored first. Senior forward Brendan Murphy took a pass from classmate and linemate Kevin Flynn, shifted the puck onto the backhand, and beat Franklin goalie Devon Maloof on the short side. It was a great goal for the forward, who had been struggling to find the net in the playoffs.

The lead did not last long, however. Franklin got back into the game thanks to Borkowski. He shook off two Mansfield defensemen with a great spin move and laid the puck on a platter for junior forward Randy Gilbert to tap home and make it 1-1.

Within a minute, Franklin (16-6-2) was in the lead. Senior Aiden Isberg, the hero of Franklin’s overtime win against Martha’s Vineyard in the quarterfinals, wristed a shot over the shoulder of Shipman and made it 2-1. It was a stunning turnaround for the Panthers.

Despite the goals, Mansfield kept the energy high in the second period and stormed right back.

With 10:35 left in the second and Mansfield on the power play, Murphy laid a pass into the path of sophomore Will Kelleher and the defenseman buried the shot to make it 2-2. Just 35 seconds later, Kyle Hurley’s shot hit the post and caromed to another sophomore, Jared Collins, and the forward finished into the open net to make it 3-2.

As the second period was winding down, the Hornets got another power play opportunity, but it was Franklin that took advantage. A loose pass was broken up at the blue line and Isberg stretched to tip the puck into the path of senior sniper Cam Curley, who raced clear and rifled a shot under the crossbar to make it 3-3 heading to the third.

Spillane credited the shorthanded goal as being a turning point for the Panthers.

“Huge, huge…their power play was setting up and they had a couple of beautiful opportunities,” remarked the Franklin coach about the importance of the goal. “Cam is our speedster, so anytime that you can get him in the open ice… and he’s a finisher.”

The third period was filled with chances for both teams. Shipman robbed Dennis Pisani after a behind the back pass from Curley set the senior forward clear in the slot and Maloof stopped a great chance from Murphy on the doorstep.

In the end, Spillane pointed to his team’s finishing as what separated the two teams.

“I thought we capitalized on our offensive opportunities,” he explained. “We didn’t have many of them, but every time that we had that quality opportunity – we scored.”

Mansfield head coach Rick Anastos was visibly disappointed after the game.

He said, “This is exactly what we expected, but we expected to win. Unfortunately, we didn’t. You couldn’t ask for a better game and I think we were that evenly matched.”

Anastos also commented that this was a great advertisement for the Hockomock League and the depth of talent within the conference. He was most disappointed for the seniors that had led the Hornets to the sectional finals and semifinals in back to back seasons.

“They’ve meant a lot to the program. We’ve got a really great group of kids, a really tight group of kids,” said Anastos.

Franklin will now prepare for its third consecutive sectional final. It will be the team’s last in D2 as next year the Panthers (along with Mansfield and King Philip) are slated to move into Division 1. The Panthers are confident that they have a good chance at a third straight trip to the TD Garden when they take on another league rival, Oliver Ames.

“If we move the puck, then it neutralizes the physical game and it comes down to who can put the puck in the net,” said Spillane. “I think we have the scorers that can get it done.”

The final will be played on Tuesday night at 5:15 p.m. at Gallo.

Recap: No. 24 Franklin 2, Mansfield 2

January, 3, 2013
1/03/13
12:06
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Franklin seniors Mike Patjane and Cam Curley had the chance to be heroes. In the final minute and with a man-advantage, each of the Panthers’ captains had a shot to break the deadlock, but both were robbed by acrobatic saves from Mansfield goalie Rich Shipman in the matchup of Hockomock League rivals Wednesday.

The Hornets’ senior netminder was the game’s standout player. Shipman made 39 saves and earned his team a 2-2 tie against the defending league champions in Wednesday night’s encounter – which did not, however, count toward the league standings -- at the Foxboro Sports Center.

With his team hanging on late in the third period, Shipman went post to post to deny Patjane with a kick save before throwing everything he had in front of Curley as the Panthers leading scorer bore down on the net.

“I thought Shipman played phenomenal,” said Mansfield head coach Rick Anastos, whose team was struggling with illness and, for the second time this season, had a late bounce go against them. “The second goal went off a skate. That sucks. It’s the second time that’s happened to us.”

Franklin head coach Chris Spillane praised the play of both Shipman and his own goalie Devon Maloof (21 saves), but felt that his team did not do enough to cause problems for a top goalie.

“We created a lot of turnovers, but we just didn’t turn them into quality scoring chances,” he explained. “He’s a good goaltender and he made quality stops but with a goalie of that caliber you need to move him post to post and we didn’t do that enough.”

The Panthers (2-1-1) dominated the opening period. Franklin out shot Mansfield 15-4 but was unable to find the back of the net. After Maloof started the second period with a great kick save, Franklin finally got on the board.

Junior forward Troy Donahue fired the Panthers into the lead. Donahue chose to shoot over trying to play a pass back to Dennis Pisani, who had hustled to fill the lane, and he picked the perfect spot over the shoulder of Shipman and just under the crossbar.

The goal sparked Mansfield (1-1-3) into life and the Hornets would play their best period of the game, outshooting Franklin, 14-12.

Mansfield evened things up at 1-1 with 2:19 left in the period. Senior captain Brendan Murphy scored on the rebound of a shot by fellow senior Kevin Flynn. With 34.7 seconds on the clock, Murphy was at it again with a scrappy goal on a loose puck on the edge of the crease. While not a pretty goal, it put Mansfield into the lead heading into the final 15 minutes.

Spillane was disappointed in the type of goals that his team has been giving up in recent games.

“It’s sort of been our nemesis the last couple of games, turning the puck over and giving up goals like that,” he said. “When he made the stop, we didn’t do enough to clear the puck away.”

“We just tried to be more aggressive and to play our system a little better than we did in the first,” noted Anastos about his team’s improvement in the second period. “The kids felt a little more confident about their game and I think that’s what you saw in the second period.”

The third period was all Franklin.

Three minutes into the third Donahue struck for the second time in the game when his shot deflected past Shipman for an unassisted goal to make it 2-2. The Panthers would go on to outshoot Mansfield 14-5 in the period, but could not generate a winning goal.

Spillane said, “You can’t win games when you’re chasing. Under a minute left you need to put the puck in the net and be a hero. There are no heroes in our room tonight.”

Franklin enters its most difficult stretch of the season when it travels to Newburyport on Saturday before hosting Lincoln-Sudbury on Monday night. Mansfield has a road game against league rival Foxborough on Saturday.

Recap: No. 17 Franklin 3, Canton 0

December, 19, 2012
12/19/12
10:27
PM ET
FRANKLIN, Mass. -- After the game, all the talk was about that one save. Not the hat trick or even the shutout, all the talk was about that one play and how it won Franklin the game.

With a quick lunge to his right, a stretch that a gymnast would envy, and a flick of his glove hand, Panthers junior goalie Devin Maloof ended a perfectly executed 2-on-1 with a save that left Canton attackers Brian Brooks and Pat Ward deflated and the crowd wondering what it just saw.

Early in the game, it would just be a great highlight to remember. But with the score 1-0 and only six minutes remaining, it felt like Canton had missed its last chance. It felt like the game was over.

Less than two minutes later, Franklin captain Cam Curley scored his second goal of the night (he tacked on an empty-netter for his hat trick) to give the Panthers a 3-0 win over their conference rivals in front of a packed house at the Staff Sgt. Robert Pirelli Veterans Memorial Skating Rink.

“The best player on the ice tonight was our goalie. That’s it,” said Franklin head coach Chris Spillane with a telling shrug. “It comes down to the save. All of a sudden everyone is tapping him on the pads and we all believe in ourselves.”

He added, “That’s the game right there. Because if they score right there, then they have all the momentum.”

Canton head coach Brian Shuman, whose team outshot Franklin 23-17 for the game, echoed his counterpart’s sentiments on the importance of that sequence in the third period.

“Their goalie played well," he said. "That post to post save was a game changer. What a great save."

Maloof had to be strong from the start, as the Panthers looked rusty out of the gates. Canton outshot Franklin 8-3 in the opening period with junior forward Ben Lodge having the best chance on a one-timer in the slot. Franklin had three power plays in the opening 15 minutes but could only manage 1 shot on goal, while holding a man advantage.

The defensive nature of the game continued into the second period with Canton having more chances, but not able to find a way past Franklin’s defense and the brick wall of Maloof. With 3:43 remaining in the period, and against the run of play, it was Franklin that opened the scoring.

On a Canton power play, Curley, the senior captain and the Panthers second-leading scorer from last season, took a chance to race forward on a turnover. Fellow captain Mike Patjane hit him with the perfect outlet and Curley was able to finish the breakaway over the blocker of Canton goalie Rich Nee to make it 1-0.

The Bulldogs stepped up the pressure in the third, and were outshooting Franklin 5-1 in the period when a slip at center ice allowed Brooks to start an odd man rush with Ward. After a quick give and go, Brooks slid the puck through the crease to Ward whose shot was snared by Maloof. The goalie quickly held his glove out to the referee as the Bulldogs bench looked on in disbelief.

Shuman admitted that his team will need to be more aggressive and clinical in front of the net going forward.

“Even though territorially we might have had more time in their zone, they did a good job covering the middle and limiting our chances,” he noted. “We’re a team that needs to rely on a lot of guys for goalscoring and some guys had the puck on their stick and they need to bear down and bury it.”

Following the save, Franklin (1-0) started skating a little quicker and with 5:12 left to go, Aidan Isberg played a puck off the boards to enter the zone and flew past his defender. Isberg gathered the puck to the right of Nee and played a perfect pass to Curley for a one-timer that made it 2-0 and effectively put the game away.

While saying that he needs to still work on the defensive end of the game, Spillane praised Curley’s ability to finish his chances.

“We know that he has the capability of scoring and we need to feed him the puck,” said Spillane. “We struggled a little bit getting him the puck tonight, but he also needs to help himself by coming back into the defensive zone to create those scoring opportunities.”

Both coaches spoke about the fact that this was not the typical free-flowing game that has been the hallmark of the series between Franklin and Canton. However for Spillane, the disappointment about the performance was mitigated by the result.

He said, “Not your typical Franklin/Canton game. I just don’t think that either team got off. They weren’t skating hard, the passing was off, and the goal scoring was off. It’s one of those games that you just have to battle through to get the result. It was ugly, but it was a win.”

Canton will take the ice again on Saturday at home against Mansfield, while Franklin will not skate again until December 28th against LaSalle (R.I.) in a tournament in Smithfield, R.I.

D2 boys' final: Wilmington 3, Franklin 2

March, 19, 2012
3/19/12
2:44
AM ET


BOSTON -- Wilmington junior forward Cam Owens has dreamed of playing in the state finals at the Garden since he was just a little kid.

On Sunday, Owens not only reached his long awaited goal, but he did so in impressive fashion. Owens earned himself a hat trick, scoring all three of the Wildcats' goals, to defeat South champion and first-seeded Franklin, 3-2 in the Div. 2 State Finals at the TD Garden.

“I can’t even describe the feeling right now,” Owens said. “We’ve all been playing together since we were little kids and we’ve been talking about making it to the Garden for a long time and we did it. It’s unreal. It’s something you’ll always remember for the rest of your life.”

Owens broke a 2-2 tie at 7:27 in the third period when line mate Luke Foley ripped a slap shot on net that bounced into the left corner. Junior forward Jake Rogers corralled the puck and found Owens set up in the slot and he fired a wrist shot to beat Franklin goaltender Mike Donadio (30 saves) to give Wilmington a 3-2 lead that they never lost.

“Owens was the show,” Wilmington head coach Steve Scanlon said. “He’s very talented offensively and he just has a knack for the net. He’s got a sixth sense when it comes to hockey. He’s elusive and has good skills. He was the man today on offense.”



Wilmington (16-4-5) jumped out of the gate appearing to be the more aggressive team, out shooting Franklin 13-3 in the first period. However, Donadio turned away several of the Wildcat’s early scoring chances to keep Franklin (19-3-3) in the game, holding the game scoreless after one.

Wilmington came out flying as they did in the first period, but found results this time around. Owens potted his first goal of the game at 3:10 when he ripped a shot through traffic from the high slot and beat Donadio to get Wilmington on the board.

Midway through the second period, Rogers carried the puck into the zone and threw a weak shot on net as he was losing balance. Owens trailed the play and crashed the net to scoop up the loose rebound and increased Wilmington’s lead to 2-0 at 8:02.

Franklin refused to go out quietly, however.

The Panthers responded to Owens’ back to back goals when freshman forward Justin Miller hit teammate Cam Curley in front of the net and he beat Wilmington goalie Drew Foley (19 saves) on a wrist shot to breathe life back into the deflated Franklin crowd.

Franklin capitalized on their momentum by netting another goal with 41 seconds left in the second period. Foley made a save on a long slap shot by Keith McKay and the puck flew up in the air and landed on the back of the net. Senior forward Evan Stawarz freed the puck off the net and shot it off Foley’s back to score and tie things up at 2 heading into the last period.

Owens showcased his playmaking ability in the third period when he flew to the net and connected on a pass from Rogers to score the game winning goal for Wilmington at 7:27.

The Wildcats buckled down on defense and denied the rest of Franklin’s scoring chances, including a last second slap shot by Franklin that was blocked by a diving crowd of Wilmington players.

For Franklin it was the second year in a row they had the state title slip through their fingers. After an overtime loss to Tewksbury last year at the Garden, the Panthers looked to right their wrong. But Franklin coach Chris Spillane acknowledged that they just couldn’t stop Wilmington’s high-powered offense.

“Our offense sputtered today and their offense was firing on all cylinders,” Spillane said. “Their first line just pretty much dominated that game and we didn’t have an answer for that. We just couldn’t slow them down.”

Recap: No. 24 Franklin 4, Mansfield 2

January, 12, 2012
1/12/12
12:07
AM ET


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Foxboro Sports Center parking lot was full and the streets out front were lined with cars stretching half a mile on both sides of the road prior to Wednesday showdown between Hockomock League Kelley-Rex Division unbeatens Franklin and Mansfield.

The packed got its money's worth, as it often has when these two squads hook up, but it was No. 24 Franklin who cashed in on several turnovers and claimed a 4-2 triumph over the Hornets.

Sophomore goalie Mike Donadio made 16 saves for the Panthers (8-0-0, overall 4-0-0 Hockomock) while Cam Curley scored twice and Mike Patjane added a goal an assist.

"Coach was talking all week in practice leading up this about our forecheck and how we need to pressure those defensemen and get on the puck and make the most of the turnovers," Curley said. "That's proabbly a big reason why we got the W tonight."

Four big reasons, actually, as each of the Panthers tallies were the result of Mansfield miscues. Just 37 seconds into the game, Patjane intercepted a lazy clearing attempt at the Hornets blue line and got off a backhanded shot that was steered aside by Mansfield goalie Rich Shipman (21 saves). The rebound went right to Matt Teehan, however, and the senior sniped it right back into the net.

Mansfield (7-1-0, 3-1-0) responded on a power play when talented freshman Erik Foley pushed through the rebound of a Dylan Burns shot at 6:34.

Less than a minute later, Franklin capitalized on another Mansfield turnover as Patjane picked off another pass at the Hornets blue line and beat Shipman with a snap shot from the low slot to the goalie's left.

Not to be outdone, the Hornets came out blazing in the second and kept Donadio busy and ultimately got one past the sophomore as Foley cycled the puck behind the net to Steve Folan, who got a shot off from the goal line that went off Donadio's pads and right to Mike Blackman for a backhander with 3:31 to go in the second period.

As the final minute ticked away and it appeared to be heading into the final frame tied at 2-2, Curley forced another Mansfield mistake that led to his first goal of the night. The Hornets appeared to be trying to just kill off the final seconds behind its own net, but Curley's pressure forced the puck out and he was the first one to it, slipping it through with just :00.3 seconds showing on the game clock.

"Coach made the last second call to put us out there, to send [Justin] Miller's line up. And I talked to Miller and I told him to winm it wforward, just in case we had a shot to put it in the net," Curley explained. "I saw the defense go D to D so I just pressured him thinking don't let him get a breakaway pass or something. he just didn't get anything on it behind the net and I came around and couldn't believe the goalie wasn't even looking and I just tapped it in off him."

Added Panthers head coach Chris Spillane, "Just hard work. Everybody thought the period was done. Their kid just sort of chipped it behind the net, our kid didn't give up on it. He went, picked it up and caught the goalie sleeping. Cam Curley did a great job. Play to the whistle, that's what you always preach. Play to the whistle, play to the horn."

Curley tacked on another goal in the third with the Panthers shorthanded, as the Hornets failed to maintain control in the Franklin zone. Curley chipped a loose puck off the side wall, zipped past a defenseman and walked on alone, beating Shipman between the pads for a big insurance goal at 2:31.

"I think that last goal with point-three seconds was a big one," Spillane said. "That sort of turned the tide because they sort of took it us the second period. Getting a goal in with a second left to put us up by a goal was huge, and then the same kid scores a shorthanded goal to ice it and put us up 4-2. I just think that we were a little bit more conditioned than them in the third period. they had trouble keeping up the pace and it was a great effort."

THE HARD HAT


After each game, the Panthers have been presenting the most valuable player with a white construction helmet dubbed the 'Hard Hat.' It's signed by previous honorees and is delivered with a speech from the last game's owner.

Donadio has made tremendous strides in just his sophomore year, and his effort included several clutch stops as the Hornets applied pressure, earning him the hard hat on this night.

"The hard hat went to our goaltender. He made some great saves," Spillane praised. "When we needed him to he made the saves. I think their first goal was a power play and the second was sort of a not a good defensive zone coverage in our end. it was sort of in there for a while and they caught us guard. But he made some great saves when we needed him to."

Added Donadio, "Number 6, that freshman [Foley], was all over the net, he was pretty tough. Every time there was a rebound he was all over it. He's a pretty good player. They pressured us pretty well in the first two periods and then we started playing well.

And of his postgame award?

"It means a lot for me to have it. It goes basically to a team MVP. The person who gets the hard hat the game prior says a speech and gives it out and it means a lot to have it tonight."

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