Boston High School: Rick Anastos

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.

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.

D2 South final: Franklin 5, Mansfield 2

March, 12, 2012
3/12/12
4:19
AM ET
BOURNE, Mass. -- There aren’t a lot of second chances in life, but the Franklin boys’ ice hockey team assured themselves of a big one.

After losing in the Division 2 state championship game a year ago at the TD Garden, the Panthers assured themselves of another shot at the title with a 5-2 win over Mansfield Sunday at Gallo Ice Arena.

The top-seeded Panthers jumped out to a 3-0 lead and then held back a late Hornets charge, popping a pair of empty netters in the final seconds. Franklin is now 19-2-3 for the season and can’t wait to try to secure their 20th victory next Sunday.

“I think that the kids that were there last year understood what it took to get here, and hopefully they now they understand what it takes to win that hockey game,” said a pleased Franklin head coach Chris Spillane following his team’s second straight Division 2 south title. “You don’t want to end your season on a losing note. You want to be the team that wins the last hockey game.”

A big reason that the Panthers were the last winning team in the south was that they were able to catch lightning in a bottle right out of the gate. Franklin scored twice in the first 5:53 of the game as they assaulted the Mansfield net with vigor.

Nick Bertoni opened the scoring with a pretty individual effort, wrapping one around from behind the goal and beating Rich Shipman to the far side post just 2:44 into the game. Three minutes later Franklin struck again. Ryan Garland used the defense as a screen and whistled an arrow past the keeper’s right ear to give the Panthers a 2-0 advantage at 5:53.

“We got the first two goals and set the tone right there,” Spillane said. “If we didn’t get those first two goals I don’t know where this game would have went because we were tired at the end.”

Mansfield head coach Rick Anastos, whose team rallied back from a 3-1 deficit in the third period in the semifinals to beat North Quincy, said that the first period has been a bugaboo for the Hornets all season.

“You can’t make mistakes. We turned the puck over, they scored. You just can’t make mistakes against a good team like Franklin.”

Each team popped one in the second period to keep it a 2-goal game going to the third. Franklin opened up a 3-0 lead at 5:44 on a pretty play by Adam Hall, who got a pass up the left wing from Nick Bertoni and put on burst of speed. He lifted a wrister from 8-feet out to the upper far corner.

Things were unraveling for the Hornets, but a good job of selling a penalty by Erik Foley led to a power play for Mansfield at 6:53. Four seconds later the Hornets were finally on the scoreboard as Brendan Murphy got the puck off the draw, slid from the left hashes to the slot and sneaked a wrister behind Mike Danadio.

Mansfield made it really interesting in the third, pulling to within one just 58 seconds into the third period. Foley, a very talented freshman, scored a goal-scorer’s goal to cut the deficit to one as he flew up the right wing and sniped one inside the nearside corner on the top shelf.

The Hornets continued to get after for the rest of the period, but Franklin goalie Mike Donadio was up to the task. The sophomore made a number of big saves in the third. With 8 minutes remaining he got piece of a chip by Steve Folan from the doorstep. With just under three minutes to go Donadio gobbled up a backdoor tip by Cam Neary, who was set up brilliantly by Kevin Flynn from the left wing wall, to preserve the lead.

“I thought we might have a little magic left, it was close,” Anastos said.

Mansfield pulled Shipman for the extra attacker with 80 seconds remaining. Franklin cleared the zone and could finally breathe a sigh of relief when Hall chipped one from the red line into the vacant goal to make it 4-2. With seven seconds left, Farnklin got another empty-net goal from Aidan Isberg, who hit the post and then buried his own rebound to make it 5-2.

Despite his team ending the night on the wrong end of the scoreboard, Anastos was quite upbeat about his club, one that featured 7 freshman playing roles on it. “I couldn’t be any prouder of the way these kids played and battled,” he said. “They did a great job. I mean, they’re playing Franklin and Franklin is such a great team.”

D2 South: Mansfield 5, North Quincy 3

March, 10, 2012
3/10/12
12:39
AM ET
BOURNE, Mass. -- Freshman Erik Foley scored the three biggest goals of his young high school career to help lead his Mansfield Hornets to a thrilling 5-3 come-from-behind win over North Quincy (13-6-4) Friday night in the MIAA Division II south semifinals at Gallo Ice Arena in Bourne.

Mansfield (15-4-3), which scored three times over the final 3:26 of the game to erase a 3-2 deficit, stunned the Raiders to move on to the sectional championship game where they will get one last shot to defeat Hockomock League rival Franklin, a team that they have a loss and a tie against so far this year.

The deck seemed stacked against Mansfield in the third period, but the Hornets found a way to turn a losing hand into a winning one with some unorthodox happenings late. After killing off a pair of mid-period penalties, the Hornets netted the tying goal on a crazy play from behind the North Quincy net as Foley – who was set up behind the cage – threw one at the cage that hit off of James Dunn’s pads and ricocheted over the goal line to knot things up. The goal came just seconds after the North Quincy goalie had robbed Bryan Hurley with a superb lunging glove snare to keep his team ahead by one.

Foley’s fluky go-ahead goal led to the Raiders’ unraveling.

“When we tied the game up, [Dunn] was really dejected. You could see it. I felt bad for him,” Mansfield head coach Rick Anastos said. “After that they called a timeout and we told our kids to just throw it at the net.”

North Quincy head coach Matt Gibbons said that the momentum certainly had turned against his team when the Hornets knotted things up. “Once you see that go in, the way that they can score goals, when they score that one it’s a back-breaker.”

The true back-breaker was yet to come, though, and it was one that drew some controversy. With just 82 seconds to go in regulation senior co-captain Steve Folan set up shop south of the hash marks and redirected a shot by Jason Collins, who flung it towards the net from the left wing wall. Folan’s stick seemed to be a bit high, but the referees conferred and allowed the goal, putting Mansfield up 4-3.

While the referees’ talked things over the Red Raiders’ faithful that packed the stands prayed that the call would be reversed and jeered the decision vehemently.

Gibbons said that he deferred to the referees’ decision, noting that they had a better view of the play than he did. “I thought it [was a high stick], but there’s no point [arguing]. It was a goal,” he said.

North pulled Dunn for an extra attacker with about 50 seconds left and was able to get the puck down low, but Rich Shipman held the fort. With 25 seconds to go the Raiders tried to work the blue line but Foley read a pass perfectly that was intended for the high slot, skated onto it and deposited it into the empty goal from just inside the red line to put an exclamation mark on his team’s riotous reversal of fortune.

“I felt like they were back on their heels (in the third period) and it was our goal to take it to them,” Anastos said.

North Quincy was the team taking it to Mansfield early in the game. North Quincy scored the game’s first two goals over a span of 15 seconds late in the first to seemingly take control. Nick McGaughey opened the scoring at 13:36 when he walked off the left wing wall and beat Shipman to the near side. NQ won the ensuing draw, took it down and got a shot off that Shipman deflected, but the keeper was unable to stop the follow-up by Andrew Currie.

Mansfield trimmed the lead to 2-1 early in the second when Kevin Flynn flew down the middle of the ice, but lost the handle as he was about to snap a shot off. Rather than panic, he collected the puck and fed trailer Brendan Murphy, who snapped one off to get his team on the board just 72 seconds into the middle frame.

North Quincy got that one right back on a shot from between the hash marks by Pat Verhault. With chaos all around him, Shipman went down early and Verhault waited an extra heartbeat before sniping one stick side.

Foley rallied his team to within one with 1:02 to go in the third. With the Hornets on a power play, Collins made a brilliant diagonal pass from the top of the right wing circle to a wide-open Foley on the bottom of the left wing circle. Foley quickly let one rip to the wide-open near side to make it a one-goal game heading to the third.

That set up the crazy comeback in the third by the Hornets, who will now point their stingers in the direction of the Franklin, Saturday at 5:45 p.m. back at Gallo.

Franklin advanced in the early game with a 4-1 win over another Hockomock rival, Oliver Ames.

Anastos said that he could not have asked for a better foe for his team to face as the hive feels like it has unfinished business.

“We owe them one big time,” the coach said. “I’m so glad that we get a chance to get them. They’re a great team, it’s going to be tough, but I’m so happy we have that opportunity.”

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