Winter Sports Retrospective: Hockey’s Super

Winter Sports Retrospective: Hockey's Super

Fans and players standing for the national anthem before game two against MC

just some video I took at the play in game

Tom Kelly, Writer

This season, the Franklin Panthers hockey team stunned the high school hockey world and became the first hockomock league team to qualify for the Super 8 state tournament in just their second year in Division one.

It didn’t come easy for the Panthers as they had to play a one game playoff  against the Xaverian Hawks to qualify for the Super 8.  Trailing 2-1 with 30 seconds left in the third period, it was senior Nick Morris who tied the game at two and sent the game into overtime.

In the extra period, senior Ryan Spillane picked up the garbage from an Alec Borkoski breakaway and put the puck in the wide open net for the win.  This sent rattle city into a frenzy and propelled Franklin into the Super 8.

This set up a matchup with the four time defending Super 8 champion Malden Catholic Lancers in the first round of the the tournament, which is best two out of three elimination instead of single elimination.  The challenge posed by the Lancers was definitely daunting, but the Panthers didn’t let that distract them from the task at hand as head coach Chris Spillane said that his team “understood the mountain they needed to climb.”   The Panthers hung around for as long as they could, even leading by a goal at one point, but eventually unraveled losing both game one (2-1) and game 2. (5-0)

Franklin Goalie Ryan Shea
Franklin Goalie Ryan Shea Standing Tall In Game One vs MC (In which he stopped 39 of 41 Lancer Shots)

It was truly a gallant effort for the Panthers as Spillane recalled “We had a lot of great opportunities and just didn’t capitalize.” He went on to say that he felt that they had good first periods, but MC tilted the ice in their favor as both the games went on.  “I can say with confidence that the better team won.”  He continued.

Very proud of his team and program, coach Spillane said their birth in the Super 8, the first in school history, was a “Huge step in the right direction for our program” and that he would never trade the early exit in the elite tournament for a deeper run in the regular DI South tournament, saying that “What they achieved in the Super 8 was much more than they could in DI South.”

Surely this run in the Super 8 will be something neither any fan or player will forget.