HYANNIS, Mass. – Franklin used its superior size and speed to wear down Westfield and defeat the Bombers 5-1 to claim the Cape Cod Showdown championship at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center.
The Panthers outshot Westfield, 38-11, and rode the wave of a three-goal second period to take the tournament title.
“[This weekend] was good for us,” Franklin coach Chris Spillane said. “I sort of thought we'd see Barnstable somewhere down the line, but we saw a good hockey team today in Westfield. It was good for us to get down here and get out of our league and play some teams we could potentially see in the Division 1 tournament.”
The Panthers, which dressed 14 more players than Westfield, dominated time of possession. Franklin broke through just three minutes and 27 seconds into the game when Alec Borkowski passed the puck against the grain to Joe Bourque who potted an easy one.
Westfield goalie Garrett Matthews proved a tough nut to crack after that. The senior kept raising the bar for spectacular saves throughout the rest of the period, as well as during many times throughout the game, to keep the Panthers off the board.
Franklin finally solved him for good when Alex Campbell potted one off a rebound early in the second period and Nick Downie did the same just under three minutes later.
“We watched them play last night and their goaltender stood on his head,” Spillane said. “We knew we had to move the puck post to post and capitalize on rebounds. I think we had two goals on rebounds, and the other two were just really nice passes at the goalmouth for the open net. They knew what they had to do and they achieved it.”
With the season now over Franklin will wait until Sunday to see if they will be going into the Division 1 tournament or earn the program's first ever spot in the Super 8. It's been a remarkable rise for Franklin to reach this level in just its second season in Division 1. The Panthers jumped to Division one after a winning two state titles, and a South section title, in their last three years in Division 2.
“It's wild because I don't think anyone thought we could do it, going from D2 to D1, and now we're getting looks at the Super 8,” Borkowski said. “I think it shut a lot of people up. They questioned coach and his decision, but I think it was the best decision he ever made.”
BARNSTABLE WINS CONSOLATION: Host Barnstable used a three-goal third period to power past Marshfield 4-2 in the consolation game. Kevin Conway had a goal and an assist for the Red Raiders.
Three different players scored for the Red Raiders in a 6:22 span to turn a 2-1 deficit into the winning margin.
“We mixed our lines up,” Barnstable coach Scott Nickerson said. “Two weeks ago we were 12-2-1 and looking pretty good. For some reason things went kind of stale. So we mixed everything up a little bit to get going. In the long run I think it might help us because we got a couple of lines scoring.”
The game started with a flash when Marshfield's Will Cole snapped home a goal just 12 seconds in. Barnstable equalized when Donny Brodd finished a one-timer from Conway on a two-on-one. Eddie Everett scored Marshfield's second goal.
Conway got the Barnstable rally started in the third period when he too buried a goal on a one-timer. Kevin Craig and Matt Kaski also scored for Barnstable. Dylan Campbell had 23 saves in the win.
The win helps Barnstable right the ship after a rough few weeks heading into a wide-open Division 1 South tournament.
“Honestly, it doesn't matter where we get seeded,” Nickerson said. “I really think Division 1 South is wide open. I just don't see anybody in there that is that strong. We've played almost everybody in there. Of all years I think any team can win it.”