WEST SPRINGFIELD – It was a championship match-up that lived up to its heavyweight billing last night, pitting the top two Division III high school boys ice hockey teams in western Massachusetts against one another.
After three hardfought periods of puck, the Bombers fell to Agawam 2-1, with Agawam defenseman Seamus Curran notching two goals to end Westfield’s season. The Brownies held a 30-19 advantage of shots on goal for the evening.
The top-seeded Westfield Bombers skated into the Olympia Ice Center in Westside to face an 16-3-2 Agawam side that had already finished the season with a win and a tie against the Bombers, who entered last night’s championship with a 14-5-3 record.
The Brownies struck first as the second period was coming to a close and Curran would seal it up with his second goal on the night midway through the third period.
Though Westfield notched a goal from sophomore Ryan Porter with five minutes remaining, the Bombers couldn’t put the equalizer past Agawam Goalie Connor McAnanama, who WHS Coach C.B. “Moose” Matthews praised for his efforts.
“The game could’ve went either way, we certainly had our chances,” said Matthews. “McAnanama and (Garrett) Matthews (Westfield goalie) played stellar games.”
Matthews spoke highly of the efforts of his defensemen, especially seniors Greg Lindsey and Craig Lacey.
“We played them twice this year, losing once 2-1 and then tying them 4-4,” said Matthews. “All of the times we faced them this year have been great games.”
“It was one of those games. We had opportunities but we just couldn’t put them in at the end,” he said. “The boys played hard and gave it their all.”
Agawam will go on to face the winner of the central Mass. championship, to be held Monday between Shrewsbury and North Middlesex, next Thursday at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.