WHS routs Minnechaug, 7-0

Westfield’s Sean Spohr watches as the puck finds the back of the net late in the second period as Minnechaug goalie Ross Kiah turns his head. (Photo by Chris Putz)

WEST SPRINGFIELD – The Westfield High School hockey team’s loss to one of the state’s best teams appears to be nothing more than a small blip on their radar screen.
Westfield bounced back from a 4-2 loss to Wachusett (Wednesday) to blank the Minnechaug Falcons 7-0 Thursday evening at the Olympia in West Springfield. The Bombers improved to 12-2-1.
Westfield scored one goal in each of the first two periods before exploding for five goals in the third.
“We should have played like that last night,” Westfield coach C.B. “Moose” Matthews said, referring to the lethargic effort against Wachusett. “We were aggressive on the puck tonight – the Bombers wanted the puck. Sometimes I have to remember they are only high school young men, not NHLers. But they came to play tonight. They were supporting each other, backchecking, and moving the puck.”
The Bombers also scored, quite a bit, in fact.
Mike Santinello notched the first goal in the 11th minute for Westfield, which had a 17-1 advantage in shots on goal in the first period. The Bombers appeared to break Minnechaug’s back in the second period when Sean Spohr tallied a goal with just 7.1 seconds on the clock.
Spohr added another goal on a power play in the opening minutes of the third period on a nice backhanded pass from Adam Collier. Santinello set up the play with a feed to Collier.
Even being short-handed could not slow Westfield. A minute into his team’s penalty halfway through the final period, Collier scored on a breakaway to make it 4-0. Santinello added his second goal just after the penalty expired.
Neil Parrow and Collier punched in Westfield’s sixth and seventh goals, respectively, in the waning minutes of the game.
Westfield’s defense was stout. Bombers goalie Mike Chaderjain (15 saves) made two key saves with the team shorthanded in the third period. He also got a bit of assistance from Brandon Miemiec. Miemiec made a diving save, swiping away a puck teetering near the front corner of the net after a rebound on a save by the goalie.
With an upcoming schedule that includes five games over the next six days, and a Western Massachusetts Division 3 top seed likely locked up, Westfield will turn its attention to fine-tuning its play and attempting to avoid injury. The Bombers return to the ice Friday night against West Springfield at Amelia Park Ice Arena, beginning at 7.

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