For the second year in a row, Hockomock foe Franklin (18-2-3) knocked off the Oliver Ames hockey team (13-5-4) in the South Sectional Semi-Finals, ending the season for the Tigers.
Franklin can thank two quick goals and a dominant first round for setting the tone in the 4-1 win.
"I think we were a little over confident when we came out, but they just handed it right to us and we weren’t ready for it," Oliver Ames coach Jim Sullivan said.
Franklin's Evan Stawarz, a senior, was assisted by senior Adam Hall with 5:28 left to play in the first period. A short time later, with 2:29 left, Senior Ryan Garland was assisted by freshman Justin Miller to make the score 2-0 after a period.
Franklin was also able to hold the Tigers scoreless throughout most of the game by allowing few shots on net. The Panthers out-shot the Tigers, 40-13, but OA's freshman goaltender Jimmy Tierney was able to get in the way of most.
"Their goaltender is outstanding," Franklin coach Chris Spillane said. "I think those two goals in the first period definitely set a tone in this game. We preached all week to keep our bodies in front of the net and I think our guys did a good job."
The Tigers stormed back in the second period, though. With 10 minutes left in the period, freshman Tyler Provost found the net for OA, with an assist from senior Dylan Burns.
The momentum didn't last long for OA.
A goal from junior Cam Curley (assist by senior Justin Magerman) helped put the game out of reach with two minutes left in the period.
Franklin held OA scoreless in the third, and added another goal from Jake Sargeant to seal the win.
"We can’t hit the net," Sullivan said. "You’re not going to win it if you can’t hit the net. The defense has always come through for us, but we had no defense tonight. Jimmy [Tierney] did a nice job in the goal but they were just too much for us, they’re a great team but hopefully they’ll be able to win it for the Hockomock."
With the loss, OA ends the season at 13-5-4.
Seniors Ryan McGrath, Derek Johnson, Drew Koeppel, Alex Weibeler, Dylan Burns, Matt Carroll and Nate Studholme ended their high school careers.
"You hate to say goodbye and you hate to say next year," Sullivan said. "This senior group here, there's two of my captains (McGrath and Koeppel). They really took it hard. I commend all seven seniors. They did a good job stepping up, especially with freshmen coming in."