Barron, Lancers block Bombers’ 4-peat

On one of the first Westfield rushes up ice of the contest, Ryan Moorhouse dings a shot off the crossbar in Thursday night’s D3 boys ice hockey championship at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield. (Photo by Bill Deren)

WEST SPRINGFIELD – The three-time defending Westfield Bombers came out firing in the opening seconds of the West Division 3 boys ice hockey championship when Ryan Moorhouse clanged a shot off the post.
That would be as close as Westfield would get to paving the way to another title as the Longmeadow Lancers spoiled a four-peat behind a monster effort from senior forward Jack Barron.
Barron had a hand in all five Longmeadow goals, scoring a hat trick and assisting twice as the top-seeded Lancers throttled No. 3 Westfield 5-1 in the D3 finals Thursday night at the Olympia Ice Center.
“Honestly, I think it was almost a wake-up call,” Barron said of Westfield’s near-goal in the opening minute. “They nailed that pipe and everyone was like alright, we’re going to get into a game here. It’s going to be a close one; it’s going to be a dogfight. We had to come out flying though.”
Barron led the way, putting an end to Westfield’s winning streak in the title game. This was the fourth straight meeting between the two teams in the championship.
“We’ve been outworked the past three years and tonight it was different,” said Barron, who is now one point away from 200 for his high school career. “We outworked them.”
Longmeadow (15-5-2) tallied the game’s first goal with 4:18 remaining on the first period clock. Jack Barron scored on a rebound, scooping up a loose puck following a C.J. Czarnecki save on a Pat Philbin shot.
Barron nearly made it 2-0 with about 46 seconds left in the period on a breakaway attempt, but Czarnecki thwarted the attempt.
Longmeadow kept the pressure on in a big, big way, thanks to a furious attack led by Barron.
Less than 1:30 into the second period, Barron set up Mason Baron Pinkowski’s goal. About four minutes later, Barron assisted Rob Giampietro on a one-timer.
Westfield (12-8-2) finally got on the board with 7:59 remaining in the middle frame, breaking through on a goal from Scotty Bussell. Bussell snuck the puck past Longmeadow goalie Max Loyuk.
The two-goal deficit was short-lived though as Barron drilled two more goals in the span of less than three minutes, scoring with 5:24 and 2:17 left on the second-period clock.
Liam Byrne and Giampietro assisted on Longmeadow’s fourth goal; Giampietro and Philbin set up the fifth.
Westfield showed some resolve early in the third period, successfully killing off a 5-on-3 Longmeadow power play, but the damage was already done.
Said Barron: ”(This is a) great rebound, probably the closest team we’ve ever had year. (Our) chemistry showed tonight.”
With the 2018-19 championship game now in the books, the two programs have combined for 17 of the last 18 titles.
“We were just shellshocked,” Westfield head coach C.B. “Moose” Matthews said. “We worked hard but just couldn’t finish this year.”

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