SPORTS YEAR-IN-REVIEW: Dramatic start to ’18

St. Mary ski coach Andy Lussier (left) and Saints’ superstar skier Matt Masciadrelli (right).

This is the first of a four-part series looking back at the year that was…

Patriots Nation rang in the New Year like we have eight previous times in the Brady-Belichik era – with the New England Patriots playing for another Super Bowl ring.
While New England capped an unprecedented comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in the previous year’s Super Bowl, the Patriots were less fortunate this time around as the Nick Foles-led Philadelphia Eagles pulled off a stunning upset.

Springfield Thunderbirds Senior Vice President Christopher Thompson, left, welcomes USA Women’s Hockey Gold Medalist Kacey Bellamy, of Westfield to the MassMutual Center on March 31. (Submitted photo)

…Meanwhile, on the slopes of Berkshire East in Charlemont, St. Mary High School senior skier Matt Masciadrelli made history of his own, wining a silver medal at the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship for the second consecutive year.
Team USA defenseman Kacey Bellamy, of Westfield entered the 2018 Winter Olympics as a two-time silver medalist, but departed this championship with a gold medal. After several years of futility, the U.S. finally defeated Canada, winning a 3-2 thriller.

Saint Mary’s senior Jake Butler (20) finesses in a layup for his 1,000th career point during the 2017-18 high school boys basketball season. (File Photo by Randall S. Burlingame)


The excitement continued, locally, when St. Mary boys basketball senior guard Jake Butler joined the 1,000 point club, joining former Saints’ Judge Beattie (1966), Kevin Miller (1974), Steve Drenen and Jon Ference, who also accomplished the same feat.
March Madness continued to keep local fans glued to the action.
The Westfield High School boys basketball team advanced to the West Division 1 semifinals before falling to unbeaten Central 67-48 at Western New England University, 67-48. Coach C.B. “Moose” Matthews and the Bombers boys ice hockey team won their 13th West D3 title in 17 seasons and fifth in six years, completing a three-peat with a thrilling 2-1 win over Longmeadow at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield.
As the winter sports season came to a close, Masciadrelli capped it all off with two more silver medals, placing second in the Giant Slalom and the Super GS at the USSA Eastern ski finals March 22-23 at Gore Mountain in New York.

Your 2018 Western Massachusetts Division 3 Boys Ice Hockey Champion Westfield Bombers! (File Photo by Bill Deren)

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