Franklin Hopes to Upend Wildcats, End Title Game Frustration
The Panthers square off against Wilmington in the state championship game after losing the last two years, and we have some facts to know about the Wildcats' foe.
The Franklin High School boys hockey team's mascot is the Panther. But Wilmington is hoping to turn them into the Bills on Sunday.
If the Wildcats are able to topple Franklin in the Division 2 championship game, Franklin will have lost three straight title game contests. That's the feat accomplished by the Buffalo Bills of the early 1990s as they fell in the Super Bowl three straight years.
So who is Franklin and how did they get to the championship game? We look behind enemy lines with some facts about the Panthers.
- This is not the first time the teams have met. Wilmington won its first every state championship last year when Cam Owens put together a hat trick that led the Wildcats to a 3-2 victory.
- Franklin earned a regular season title in the Kelley-Rex division of the Hockomock League. The Panthers put together an overall record of 17-6-2, with an 11-2-1 mark in league play. That record was good enough to finish ahead of Mansfield, which ended the year in second place.
- Two opponents that Wilmington and Franklin had in common this year were Lincoln-Sudbury and Boston Latin. The Panthers lost to Lincoln-Sudbury, 3-2, on January 7 and Boston Latin, 2-1, on February 19. The Wildcats, meanwhile, faced both of those teams in the North Division 2 playoffs. In the quarterfinal round, Wilmington fell behind 1-0 but eventually beat Boston Latin, 4-1. Then in the next round, they thumped Lincoln-Sudbury by a 6-0 margin.
- The Panthers earned the No. 7 seed in the South Division 2 bracket and opened the playoffs with a 5-1 win over Plymouth South. In the quarterfinals, Franklin snuck past Martha's Vineyard with a 4-3 overtime win before skating to a win over Mansfield by the same margin. In the tournament final, the Panthers used a late push to beat Oliver Ames and return to TD Garden.
- You can expect to see plenty of blue and white at TD Garden on Sunday. Franklin's team colors are a combination of white along with dark and light blues, strikingly similar to Wilmington's colors.
No one will cover Sunday's game like Wilmington Patch, so be sure to check back throughout the day for complete coverage that will include a preview, live chat during the game, and photos and video from the tilt itself.