Boston High School: Randy Gilbert

D1 South: Framingham, Braintree to meet in semis

March, 1, 2014
3/01/14
7:38
PM ET


BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – Familiar foes will meet up in the Division 1 South semifinals after today’s action at Gallo Ice Arena. Top-seeded Braintree advanced to the next round with a methodical takedown of No. 8 Falmouth, 4-1, in the second game of the day.

In day’s opener, the region’s Cinderella, No. 13 Framingham, took down No. 4 Franklin, also by a 4-1 count.

The Wamps (14-5-3) showed no ill effects from their disappointing loss in the Super 8 play-in round. Braintree bounced back by taking apart the Clippers, as they dominated every facet of the game. The Wamps outshot Falmouth by a 35-7 margin and played hard through all three periods.

“If we were worried about a hangover, we took care of that … I couldn’t keep bringing back up Monday night, but in their heads, I know it was there,” Braintree Head Coach Dave Fasano said.

The Wamps swamped the Clippers early, scoring twice in the first nine minutes of the game. Kyle Weslie got the first one, on a pretty snipe from down low, and then at 8:32 Chris Googins connected from a tough angle, snapping one just under the crossbar. Had Falmouth goalie Jake Beaton not come up with a few big stops, and the pipe not helped him on another, things might have gotten out of hand early.

“That set the tone on our bench. I told the kids that the first five minutes were crucial. It’s always interesting to see how you respond from a tough loss, and they responded. They put 15 shots on net in the first period,” Fasano said.

Braintree got two more in the second to put it away, both by Dylan Casserly. The first was a pretty tip-in on the doorstep that saw Casserly change the puck’s direction after a shot from up high at 4:05. A few moments later Casserly got another, thanks to some adept passing by Googins. The set-up man took the puck deep against Beaton, and the goalie kept coming with him. Googins had Beaton way out of position and fed the puck out front for Casserly, who had the hockey equivalent of a lay-up to make it a 4-0 game.

The Clippers’ lone goal followed at 12:39 on a great individual effort by Robbie Souza, who chased down a clear out by Andrew Parkinson and won the race along the boards at the red line. With a burst of speed, the second leading goal-scorer in Division 1 picked the far post with a rocket of a wrister.

There would be no more highlight for Falmouth, though, thanks to the suffocating Braintree defense.

The Wamps did not allow Falmouth to get a single shot on goalie Nick Anson until the final minute of play with 38 seconds remaining in the game.

FRAMINGHAM 4, FRANKLIN 1

In the earlier game, the Jolly Roger flew high as the Flyers left the ice and should serve as a warning to teams that will be sharing the ice with them going forward. The 13th seeded team has embraced the Pirate theme this season, and on Saturday afternoon they made fifth-seeded Franklin walk the plank. The Flyers scored twice in the first period and never looked back, skating to a 4-1 win at Gallo Ice Arena.

Framingham broke out to an early 2-0 lead and never looked back as the top-scoring Flyer, Cory Gorowitz, got his team on the board with his first of two at 10:48 on a breakaway goal up the right side. With just 47 seconds left in the first Ryder Lessing popped in a power play rebound that doubled the lower-seeded team’s lead.

“When we score first, we’re pretty hard to play against because we have such good defensemen and our goaltender [Al Lynch] is so good,” Framingham Head Coach Paul Spear said.

Franklin’s Randy Gilbert shaved a goal off the lead for the Panthers early in the second period, which briefly had the Panthers back in the game. A shot by Kyle Powers from the left circle chipped high where Gilbert used his stick more like a bat to nudge it under the crossbar and behind Al Lynch. That would be the only one of the 21 shots that the Panthers put on the net that bested Lynch, who made the saves he had to and benefitted from a stifling effort in front of him by the Flyers’ staunch defense.

Framingham didn’t allow Franklin’s hope to float, though. The Flyers sunk it quickly with a third goal just six minutes later to go up 3-1 as Gorowitz – who forgot his road sweater at home and had to borrow the jersey of backup goalie Jason McCarthy – once again found separation from the Panthers’ defense and beat Devin Maloof with a pretty crossover move at 8:41.

Neither team did much in the third period, as most of the play was in neutral ice. Framingham assured themselves of a spot in the south with an empty-netter with 43 seconds to go. Despite drawing a penalty with five minutes to go, the Panthers were unable to generate a single shot on net at crunch time. In the last minute, Drew McKinnon blocked a shot in the defensive, raced down the ice and stole it away from the Panthers, tucking it in the vacated cage to assure that the Flyers will be breaking out the skull and crossbones at least one more time.

Spear, who captains a fishing charter during the summer, said that the pirate theme has been something that his team has rallied around this year. “I told them that during the summer I captain a fishing boat, but during the winter sometimes I feel like I run up a pirate boat,” Spear said. “I had them embrace the spirit of fighting to the death and playing for each other and being brothers out there. We were trying to find an identity for our team, and they’ve kind of rallied around that.

And now Cinderella wears an eye patch, and hopes to take down the top-seeded Wamps in the next round. The foes know one another well. Framingham won the first meeting, 4-0, and Braintree took the rematch, 4-2, to wrap up the Bay State Carey title.

“They beat us once, and we beat them once, so it’ll be a battle,” Fasano said.

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.

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