Franklin Girls Hockey Full of Promise this Year

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Franklin Girls Hockey might be ranked second by Mass Hockey, but Coach Marjorie Burke is not resting on her laurels. She’ll continue to hone team skills on the relatively young team.
Issue Date: 
February, 2019
Article Body: 

Riding two freshman goalies, the Franklin girls ice hockey team finished 13-3-4 during the regular season; advanced into the division 1 state tournament, where they defeated Belmont 2-0 in the preliminary round before falling to Methuen-Tewksbury 4-1 in the first round.
One of those freshmen left to play in prep school, leaving now sophomore Gabby Colace as the Panthers starting goalie. Franklin Coach Marjorie Burke will have Colace as well as senior Gianna Cornetta to mind the Panther net this winter.
“Gabby is our starter, she’s a much polished goalie who has played the game longer. Gianna is relatively new to playing goalie and only put on skates as a sophomore, but has been working hard to improve,” the Panther Coach said. “Luckily, we had Gianna to start the first three games as Gabby was injured. Now that she’s back, I’ll pick and choose who starts as the season goes on depending who we are playing.”
Thus far, the two goalies have each played three games at the time of this writing and Franklin finds themselves currently 6-0 (2-0 in the Hockomock League, including a 3-2 win over Canton). Burke believes that her girls will continue to be competitive against each and every team they take the ice. Currently, Mass. Hockey has the team ranked second in the state, but the Coach is not impressed.
“Being ranked second is a nice honor, but it is only based on our record and not the quality of opponents we’ve played,” Burke said. “So, I’m not jumping up and down, there are a lot of good teams out there.”
Although Franklin finds themselves atop the Hockomock League the team is overall a rather young squad, with only three seniors on the roster. Leading the team, pretty much since her freshman year, is senior forward captain Regan Paterson, who found herself in the top three of scoring for the Panthers as a freshman and has since been the team’s number one goal scorer. Throughout the early part of the season Paterson has 9 goals and 6 assists in 6 games.
Another senior who has been putting up numbers for the squad so far has been Cassie Ronan (7 goals 9 assists), who was the team’s number one scorer in her freshman season. During her sophomore and junior year, Ronan left Franklin to play elsewhere, before returning for her senior season. Ronan is primarily a defender, but due to injuries Burke has moved her off the blue line and onto an offensive line. With Ronan playing forward, junior captain Tina Pisano has anchored the defense, while still posting 7 assists.
In addition to Pisano on defense, Burke will also be going with Gina Vignone and Gianna Cameron.
“With Cassie up front, we only have three defenders, so there are no defensive pairings. I’ll continue to rotate the three throughout the game,” Burke said. “They’re going to log a lot of ice time, but they are all hard workers and play their positions well.”
Going with three forward lines, Burke still has the ability to pull Ronan back to play defense from time to time to give the other defenders a breather.
Offensively, Burke will have a handful of underclassmen looking to put the puck in the net. Freshman Olivia Stolla has already tallied a couple of points through the early stages of the season and has been skating on a regular shift. Sophomore Katelyn Brown, who was on the varsity team last year but didn’t see too much ice time, has been playing up front on a regular basis this winter and thus far has been one of the nicest surprises. Sophomores Libby Carter (3 goals and an assist) and Amanda Lewandowski (4 goals and an assist) have also been producing for the Panthers.
With still a lot of games to be played, Burke is looking to keep the girls skating in the right direction, while doing well in the Hockomock League.
“We’re a young and feisty team with a lot of girls that work hard,” she said. “Our goal is to continue playing well while we move into the tournament once again.”