In a postseason full of upsets, the Franklin boys hockey found itself on the wrong end of one Thursday night, getting shut out by 14th-seeded Archbishop Williams in a Division 1 South semifinal.
BOURNE —Another day and another upset in the Division 1 South playoffs, and this time the Franklin boys hockey team came out on the wrong end of one.
Powered by three goals on special teams, No. 14 Archbishop Williams blanked No. 10 Franklin, 3-0, in a Div. 1 South semifinal Thursday night at Gallo Arena.
“The seedings, just throw that away,” Panthers coach Anthony Sarno said. “We had our chances, we just couldn’t put it away.”
Franklin (11-8-4) outshot the Bishops 30-19 in the game, but thanks to some stellar goaltending by Archie sophomore goaltender Nic Buccella, came up empty handed.
“I thought we carried a lot of the play, in the first and second period,” Sarno said. “We just couldn’t put one behind him.
“Some of that is our fault,” Sarno added. “We didn’t help ourselves, put us in some bad spots. We coughed up the puck. We didn’t take care of the puck in our own zone and at this level that can hurt you.”
On the other side, when Archbishop Williams (11-8-4) was given opportunities, they made the most of them.
Early on in the first period it looked like Franklin had a great chance to get on the scoreboard early when it went on the power play about a minute into the game. Instead, it was the Bishops that drew first blood.
Junior Declan Lovett took a pass from senior Kyle Hedvig and attempted a wrist shot that was blocked by John Riley who converted on the other end for a shorthanded goal, giving Archbishop Williams an early 1-0 lead.
John Riley scores a shorthanded goal to give the Bishops a 1-0 lead.@MetroWestSportspic.twitter.com/p3BX7mnyJr— Ethan Winter (@EWints)March 5, 2020
“Giving up that shorty, we knew that they were aggressive on their penalty kill,” Sarno said. “To turn the puck over up top on the power play, from that point on, we’re chasing them now.”
In the second period, the Panthers had a number of scoring chances to even up the score, but Buccella was up to the task every time.
“We were just snakebitten,” Sarno said. “Everything that we threw at the net, it looked like he was there. We had plenty of chances, it just wasn’t our night.
“Sometimes you are just snakebitten,” Sarno added. “You can have 30, 40 shots, we’ve had games where we had 50 shots. ... Sometimes it’s the quality of shots and shot selection. Maybe we were a little bit too patient and then when we needed it, not enough urgency. But they are a great group of boys and they did work hard from start to finish and I’m gonna miss these seniors.”
A lot of that had to do with the Bishops team defense.
“Their forecheck was pretty good,” Sarno said. “They were aggressive, they had their sticks in the passing lane and clogging up the shooting lanes. They did a good job of getting in front of pucks up high.
“I thought we had a lot of shots – maybe not a lot of quality ones that we like, but what they did great was, they didn’t give us a lot of time and they were right on top of us.”
Late in the second period, the Archies went on a 5-on-3 power play and they took advantage. With 28 seconds left in the period, sophomore forward Jackson Sylvester went top shelf off of a rebound over a sprawled out Ray Ivers to give Archbishop Williams a 2-0 lead.
Eight seconds into the third period, the Bishops took advantage on the power play again when senior forward Tommy Page sniped a shot from the left circle over Ivers glove to put the Bishops up 3-0.
And just like that, it’s a 3-0 game. Tommy Page scores a power play goal 8 seconds into the period.@MetroWestSportspic.twitter.com/WifNx7JAzr— Ethan Winter (@EWints)March 5, 2020
“They took advantage of every special teams opportunity,” Franklin captain Shea Hurley said. “They executed every little opportunity that they got and three ended up in goal.”
Still, this Panthers team and seniors have a lot to be proud of for what they’ve accomplished.
.@FHS_Puck senior captains Shea Hurley, Tommy Tasker and Kevin O’Reilly reflect on the last four years playing for@FHSPantherHocke.@FHSSports@MetroWestSportspic.twitter.com/6vfgWguflB— Ethan Winter (@EWints)March 6, 2020
“There is nothing that I would love more is to play one more time with my boys,” senior captain Tommy Tasker said. “I loved every second of it, just the best days of my life.”
“Best memories I’ve ever made,” senior captain Kevin O’Reilly said. “I’ll never forget these days, the most fun I’ve ever had has been with these boys.”
Ethan Winter is a senior multimedia sports journalist at the Daily News. He can be reached at 508-626-3987 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @EWints. Sign up for the Sports Headlines Newsletter, which is sent to your email every morning by clicking here for the MetroWest Daily News and here for the Milford Daily News.