Luke Downie Continues to Be a Force in Franklin Hockey

Christopher Tremblay
Luke Downie already scored a winning goal in a state championship for Franklin Hockey as a sophomore. Now a senior, he hopes to reach that level one more time. Submitted photos.
Issue Date: 
February, 2018
Article Body: 

As he enters his senior campaign for the Franklin High School hockey team, Luke Downie has already reached the pinnacle of his career, but would very much like to accomplish another Division 1 State Title before he graduates. As a sophomore in his first season on the varsity squad, Downie was a key component to the Panthers’ run to the State Championship.
Franklin went 12-3-5 during the regular season and grabbed a four seed in the Division 1 South Tournament. There, they eventually captured the Sectionals with a 3-1 win over Marshfield before beating St. Mary’s 4-3 in double overtime to win the States.
“Once we got into the playoffs, I seemed to come alive, scoring a goal in every game but one,” Downie said. “Getting to play in the TD Garden for the State Title was an unbelievable experience. Having the school come out in such large numbers to support us, we just wanted to go out and play our game and bring home a win.”
The then first year varsity center had the first period jitters as the Panthers took to the ice, but eventually things calmed down, and to Downie, it was just another high school game. That is, until in the second overtime he netted the game winner giving Franklin the Division 1 State Championship.
“It was insane. I couldn’t begin to think about what had just happened – it was awesome,” he said. “It really didn’t sink in until we got back into town, and there was a police escort waiting for us to take us to the rink where everyone was waiting for us.”
Downie has been playing hockey as long as he can remember. It was his older brother who introduced him to the sport, and since then, he’s been playing as much as he possibly can. The Franklin resident began skating with the Flyers for a few years before moving onto the Providence Capitals, a select team that not only exposed him to better competition, but better coaching as well. It was here that he strengthened his game that eventually prepared him for the high school.
During his freshman season, he suited up for the junior varsity team, where he was the team’s top scorer. He was promoted to the varsity team the following year, and although he didn’t put up the numbers he would have liked to, it was definitely a year he’ll never forget.
“Varsity was a much different game than I was used to, and there was a lot of learning on my part,” Downie said. “It took me awhile to get on the scoring sheet, but as I gained more confidence in my game I adjusted.”
Downie was also lucky enough to play on the same line with his older cousin Jake, who was a senior at the time; the two seemed to have built a chemistry on the ice.
Coming off the euphoria of the state championship, Downie found himself struggling a bit last winter. While he and his teammates were in the mindset of repeating, the team was not playing consistent hockey.
“Last year he hit that so-called sophomore slump, but still had himself a solid season,” Franklin coach Chris Spillane said. “So far this year, he’s stepped it up and currently is near the top of the league in scoring. We’re really excited about this, his senior year, and hope that he still has a little magic left.”
The Franklin captain is looking to get back to the Garden in his final season skating for the Panthers.
“We’re looking good so far, and being a team with a lot of juniors and seniors, we have high tendencies of getting back,” he said. “As a captain, I want to pump up the younger athletes like the captains did to me during my sophomore year. If they come out flying at the beginning of the game, then you know you did your job.”
As a year-round hockey junkie now, Downie, who did play lacrosse for two years but was not thrilled with the sport, is looking to go out on top as this is probably his final year playing hockey on a high level. When he gets to college, he believes that it will be too stressful to concentrate on his studies as well as hockey, so he’ll most likely just suit up and play for a club team.
Although Downie and his Franklin teammates would like nothing better than winning another Division 1 State Championship, he will always have at least one. A State Title in which he scored the game winning goal for the Panthers.