Natick High boys’ hockey program earning respect
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■ Will Hudson play a more conservative style with the loss of most of its offensive firepower?
Probably not, but it’s worth keeping an eye on. Coach Mike Nanartowich isn’t in the business of playing for ties, and with goalie Shane Barry, a very technical netminder with spontaneous athleticism, the Hawks can afford to take chances. “I’ve seen teams in the past run trap systems and do this other stuff,” Nanartowich said. “I say, ‘Let’s go out and play the game. We’re going to go after them.’ ”
■ Was Bedford High's resurgence a fluke?
Mark Fontas led the program to its first tournament berth in 26 years and first Merrimack Valley Conference/Dual County League title, going 10-0 in league play and 18-5 overall. And his team is young. The squad’s returning all-star goalie, Abe Grainger, could be the difference-maker. “On paper we’re better,” Fontas said. “We have the makeup. We haven’t done anything yet.”
■ Will the TD Garden be friendlier to Franklin?
The Panthers have bused players and fans into Boston for two straight years only to come up empty in the Division 2 state championship game. Promising freshman Justin Miller left for a U-16 team, and the offensive load will fall on Cam Curley, who scored 24 goals in 25 games. “If he has success,” said coach Chris Spillane, “we’ll have a good year.”
Jason Mastrodonato can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.