Foxborough High Hockey Earns First Win Of The Season
Warrior ice hockey defeats Stoughton, 5-2, earning their first win of the season.
The Foxborough boys' ice hockey team defeated Stoughton Saturday night, 5-2. Coming into the game, the Warriors had lost 29 consecutive contests, including a 9-2 defeat against Stoughton, just over three weeks ago.
“For the second straight game we didn’t show up to play and we now have put ourselves in a deep hole for any chance to qualify for the (post-season) tournament,” said Stoughton coach Dan Mark. “Foxboro deserves a lot of credit. They always battle and have never quit, and finally got a well-deserved win and I’m real happy for them.”
Foxboro coach Jim Genovese is in his fourth year at the helm of the Warriors. In his first season, Foxboro qualified for the post-season, but since then times began to get tough. The Warriors endured a winless 0-20 season a year ago, and had an 0-9 start this season—it seemed that Foxboro would never get another win in the very competitive Hockomock League.
“The record and all those losses in a row didn’t show it, but we have a lot of talent, we’re just really young,” said Genovese. “We’ve been getting closer and closer and better with every game and this win may surprise a lot of people, but not us.”
Foxboro has 16 freshmen and sophomores on its roster and needed a goaltender so desperately that the team summoned a young woman named Melissa Almeida only a few weeks ago to take over the net minding chores.
“I knew people and the other teams looked at first and thought it was a joke to play us with me in net, but no one is laughing now,” said Almeida, a freshman. “We have a good team and practice and play real hard and we finally got what we deserve. Now, we can’t be happy with just one win, we need to get more.”
Stoughton entered the game a little banged up and had to revamp its lines on several occasions, during the game. The Black Knights jumped ahead with a goal, less than five minutes into the contest. Steve Leoffler, a senior, scored his third goal of the season, with an assist from junior Dan Swartz.
Foxboro tied the score on its first of two power play goals when a pair of freshman hooked up. Connor Lynch got the goal, on an assist from Owen Campbell (two goals and two assists), with just over six minutes left in the first period.
The game remained tied until the opening minute of the second period, when Stoughton retook the lead on a goal by sophomore Jacob Rohrer, his first tally of the season. Josh Potter, a junior defenseman, along with junior Connor Heffernan got the assists.
But Foxboro took advantage of Stoughton losing its top two players during the midpoint of the second period.
The Black Knights’ leading scorer, sophomore forward Phil Falkof was assessed a game misconduct after a hit-from-behind penalty (Falkof will also miss the next two games) and senior forward Ricky Connaughton slammed feet first into the boards, a minute later, and didn’t return, although he was able to skate off the ice. Stoughton played the rest of the way with only two lines and two sets of defensemen, and it took its toll.
Foxboro connected for three unanswered goals in the final eight minutes of the middle period. Campbell scored on a four-on-four to knot the score, 2-2, with an assist from junior Greg Stamatov (one goal and two assists). The Warriors took the lead on a power play goal by sophomore Shawn Delaney, his first score of the season, with an assist from junior Nick Dowling.
Stamatov scored in the final minute of the second period, on an assist by Campbell and sophomore Scott McDonald. Foxboro added the lone goal of the third period with Stamatov assisting Campbell for the score. The rest of the way, Foxboro relied on solid defense and great goaltending by Almeida (20 saves) to preserve the win.
“It was finally a good feeling walking into the locker room after a game and we hope this night serves as the turning point for this team to build upon,” said Genovese.
Both teams return to action on Monday, with Foxboro playing North Attleboro at the Foxboro Sports Center and Stoughton (3-7-1 overall, 2-4-1 in the league and 1-2-0 in the division) hosting Oliver Ames at 4:15 p.m. at the Asiaf Rink in Brockton.
Stoughton-Steve Leoffler from Dan Swartz at 4:47
Foxborough-Connor Lynch from Owen Campbell (Power Play) at 8:48
S-Jacob Rohrer from Josh Potter and Connor Heffernan at 0:48
F-Owen Campbell from Greg Stamatov at 6:45
F-Shawn Delaney from Nick Dowling at 10:13
F-Greg Stamatov from Owen Campbell and Scott McDonald at 14:14
F-Owen Campbell from Greg Stamatov at 3:45