BOURNE—Milton coach Paul Noonan was adamant about one thing his top-seeded Wildcats had to do in Sunday’s Division 1 South championship game against ninth-seeded Natick.
“The first line jumped on them and we got an early goal,’’ Noonan said after Milton’s 3-1 victory at Gallo Ice Arena. “That sure helped. Then, we got a nice second goal a little while later. We kept the pressure on them.
“It’s much easier to play with a two-goal lead then being behind two goals.’’
How early did Milton (19-3-2) score its first goal?
Paul Curran beat Derek Kwok (20 saves) just 10 ticks after the opening faceoff.
Brian Higgins won the opening faceoff to Terrance Walsh, whose shot missed short side.
“I tapped it in, which was huge for us,’’ Curran said.
Ryan McDougall gave Milton a 2-0 lead at 6:32 of the same period when he beat a screened Kwok with a slap shot.
Natick (11-9-4) pulled within 2-1 when Mike Perry scored on a wrist shot from the slot at 4:17 of the second. But Higgins countered when he slid home a backhander at 7:27.
Franklin 5, Mansfield 2 - Adam Hall had two goals and Mike Donadio had a strong night between the pipes as the Panthers won their second consecutive Division 2 South title.
Nick Bertoni collected a rebound and wrapped the puck around the net and out of the reach of Mansfield goalie Rich Shipman for a 1-0 lead at 2:44 of the first.
A little more than two minutes later, Ryan Garland beat Shipman glove side on a screen for the 2-0 lead after one.
The Panthers stretched it to 3-0 in the second off a Hall wrister before Mansfield’s Brendan Murphy put the Hornets on the board with a power-play tally at 6:53. Erik Foley made it a one-goal game 58 seconds into the third.
Donadio stopped multiple scoring chances in the period before Hall and Aiden Isberg scored empty-netters to salt it away.
Medway 4, Rockland 1 - John O’Toole netted two goals as the Mustangs claimed their first Division 3 South title with a victory over the Bulldogs.
“It’s a great feeling,’’ said Medway coach Chris Ross. “I had a lot of confidence in our boys.’’
Rockland’s John Mulready netted the first goal 10 minutes in.
The Mustangs tied it early in the second as O’Toole, a sophomore forward, netted his first goal at 3:03, moments after a Rockland roughing penalty expired. O’Toole made it 2-1 at the 6:42 mark. Medway took the 2-1 lead into the dressing room for the second intermission.
O’Rourke put the game away, netting the Mustangs’ third goal at 13:09 of the third.
Globe correspondents Hannah Becker and Andrew MacDougall contributed to this report.