SPRINGFIELD – What a difference a few weeks can make.
Westfield goalie C.J. Czarnecki racked up 28 saves and the Bombers’ ice hockey team departed the City of Springfield’s Mass Mutual Center with a 2-2 tie against the Longmeadow Lancers Friday night.
“We played a lot better this time,” said Westfield coach C.B. “Moose” Matthews, whose team fell to the defending Western Massachusetts Division 3 champion Lancers 4-1 in a Dec. 18 meeting at Amelia Park Arena. “It was a big improvement.”
In the first meeting, Westfield (2-4-4) fell behind 3-0 and just never could recover. This time around, things were a bit different.
Kevin Hosmer put Westfield out front early in Friday’s game. After Longmeadow scored the equalizer in the middle frame, Westfield battled back to retake the lead in the third period, 2-1, on a goal from Matt Bacon. Joe Taupier assisted on both scoring plays.
“Our defense was covering the net and getting the puck to the forwards,” coach Matthews said. “The major difference was we had some good practices, and got (our players) focused on what to do to stay with those guys.”
Still, Longmeadow scored in the game’s final two minutes to escape with a tie. Cole Guidrey and Chris Salwen were each credited with a Lancers goal.
“We could have won it and they could have won it,” coach Matthews said. “We had our chances.…C.J. kept us in it.”
Czarnecki finished with 29 saves. Longmeadow goalie Connor Rintoul had 14.
Westfield returns home Saturday to face Auburn at Amelia Park at 5:40 p.m.
GIRLS ICE HOCKEY
Finally not a tie as Westfield-Longmeadow nets a win
Longmeadow-Westfield 2, Saint Peter-Marian 1
Jill Croteau (Longmeadow) and Joey Typrowicz (Agawam) scored one goal apiece as Longmeadow-Westfield (6-0-3) broke a string of three consecutive 3-3 ties.
Sydney Tenczar (Minnechaug) and Abby Hartley (South Hadley) each earned an assist.
Longmeadow goalie Mackenzie Rae (Westfield) made 11 saves.
Bombers turn back Colts
Westfield 55, Chicopee Comp 45
Niko Kapsanis and Riley Coughlin led Westfield (2-4) with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Bombers’ Mike Hall and Jake LaBombard scored eight points apiece; Tony Torres and C.J. Flores-Skribiski each had six.
Billings’ block propels Rams
Southwick 54, Granby 53
Sophomore center Leighton Billings made a key block on the game’s final possession to preserve Southwick’s victory at home.
Ryan Molta led Southwick with 21 points, 15 of which came on 3-pointers. Rams’ Rylan Sechovich (8 points), Evan Clarke (7), and Billings (6) rounded out the team’s top scorers.
Granby’s Ryan Gaughan (21 points) and Brandon Wishart (18) combined for 39 of their team’s points.
Southwick improved to 2-4 overall, 1-1 league play.
Free throws sink Tigers
Hampden Charter School of Science 41, Westfield Technical Academy 35
Hampden Charter outshot Westfield Tech 30-3 at the foul line, rallying in the fourth quarter for a victory. Three Tigers’ players started the final eight minutes with four fouls each.
“The shot choices and percentages were not good, we just couldn’t find the ball movement that was needed and there was a little panic as we went down the stretch,” Westfield Technical Academy boys basketball head coach Kyle Dulude said.
Despite the loss, Westfield Tech showed marked improvement against Hampden Charter. The Tigers lost by more than 20 points in the previous meeting.
“The good thing is if we learn from tonight and correct our mistakes, it could pay serious dividends,” coach Dulude said. “We will improve and get better and that is our focus, just to learn, and make each person better by coming together as a team. If we can do that, all is good.”
Pepe, Collins lead Saints
Duggan Academy 87, St. Mary’s 47
Mike Pepe (14 points) and Brady Collins (11) led St. Mary’s. Saints’ Jack Lamirande and Nick Montenero scored eight apiece.
“Unfortunately the score really doesn’t indicate really how much we improved and how well I thought we played,” said St. Mary’s coach Joe Molta, whose Saints fell to 1-5. “I thought we played a pretty good basketball game. Just too much talent we were going up against, and too much depth.”
Duggan Academy applied the pressure nearly from start to finish.
“When teams play you 28-30 minutes full court press, it just wears you down when you basically have seven kids and your bench is pretty young,” coach Molta said. “I’m pretty happy the way we are progressing. Hopefully when we get into our league, we can maybe make things a little better.”