The puck drops on the 30th edition of Massachusetts’ Division 1A Tournament Sunday night with a pair of play-in games at Stoneham Arena. Middlesex League Freedom Division champion Burlington (14-4-4) faces off against Independent stalwart Hingham (12-7-3) at 4 p.m. while Bay State Conference Carey Division winner Framingham (14-5-2) squares off with Reading (10-5-6) of the Middlesex League’s Liberty Division
The Hingham/Burlington winner moves on to face No. 2 seed and two-time defending 1A champion B.C. High while the Reading/Framingham winner advances to meet No. 1 seed Arlington in the first round of the double-elimination tournament. Sunday’s play-in losers return to their respective Sectional tournaments as top seeds.
Among them these programs have accounted for 11 State Championships across three divisions. Reading (2008) and Hingham (2010) were the first two of the three public schools that have won the 1A Tournament with Arlington (2017) being the third.
Here’s a look at the four play-in selections, seeded by winning percentage by the Tournament Selection Committee:
The Red Devils have, in essence, been in playoff mode all season. Seven of their wins came by one or two goals and the majority of their games were settled in the third period. They own a plus-23 differential (67/44) and shut out Hingham, 3-0, on Jan. 11. Since losing to Arlington on Jan. 25 they finished 4-1-4 and closed the regular season by winning the Ed Cahoon Classic.
Junior goaltender Joe Trabucco has been as steady as they come, posting three shutouts to go along with a 1.88 GAA and .923 save pct. The balanced attack features seniors Ryan O’Halloran (16-17-33), Cam Costa (7-20-27), Jacob Vozikis (11-10-21) and John Condon (6-10-16) and juniors Zach Auble (9-9-18) and Sean Malone (7-3-10). Seniors Spencer Reith (11 points) and Trevor Janis, junior Colin Browne and sophomore Anthony Andriolo form the defense.
Coach: Bob Conceison
State Championships (2): 2013 D1, 2012 D1
Among public schools, the Flyers played one of the more challenging schedules in the state. They defeated Pope Francis, 3-2, tied Xaverian and had one-goal losses against both BC High and St. John’s Prep. Although 7-2-1 in their last 10, the Flyers (+29, 60/31) must crank up an attack that managed just 14 goals in the final eight games.
Senior captain Will Trischitta (19-25-44) has been a force at forward but is the only Flyer with double figure goals. Seniors Hunter Balducci (7-8-15) and Robbie Lopez (5-5-10), sophomore Joe Ferrante (6-5-11) and freshman Ryan Shimelman (5 goals) will be counted on as well. Steady senior goalie Jake Handy anchors the defense. Senior captain Jared Shimelman (3-7-10) and junior Dom Leone (2-13-15) are sound two-way performers on the back line.
Coach: Will Ortiz Jr.
State Championships (2): 1992 D1, 1961 D1
This was an interesting campaign for the Rockets, who dropped three of their first six contests then put together a nine-game unbeaten string (5-0-4) before closing 3-2-1. Along the way, they certainly acquitted themselves well in ties against 1-A automatics St. John’s Prep and BC High as well as Hingham. They showed well at The Ferreira Classic and will look to build off that performance.
Junior Landyn Greatorex (8-16-24), freshman Evan Pennucci (9-10-19), senior captain Sean Barbera (8 goals) and senior Kevin Donaghey (15 points) lead the forward group. A stout defense in front of senior captain and goalie Dylan Emery includes senior captain Matt Fiorenza, seniors Cam Lawhorne (5 goals) and Brandon Millerick (3 goals), and junior Charlie Miele.
Coach: Mark Doherty
State Championships (2): 2014 D1, 2008 D1A
The Harbormen’s schedule among public schools is unmatched – they played five of the six 1A automatics as well each of the other three play-in teams. Their best stretch of the season, a 4-0-3 run from Jan. 11 through Feb.1, included ties with Catholic Memorial and Reading as well as a 2-1 win against Pope Francis. They carry a plus-18 (55/37) differential into the tournament.
Senior Tim Carroll (8-17-25), senior captain Terrance Concannon (7-5-12) and junior Paul Forbes (9-14-23) have provided steady scoring throughout the season. Supplemental offense will come from seniors Will Ham (6 goals) and James Eustace (4 goals) and freshman Aiden Brazel (5-5-10). Senior captain Danny Packard, juniors Lars Osterberg (3 goals) and Tommy McNally and sophomore Bob Falvey (13 points) form the defensive corps in front of goalies Luke Merian and Jake Wilson.
Coach: Tony Messina
State Championships (5): 2015 D1, 2010 1A, 2001 D1, 1997 D2, 1992 D2