Vatrano, Milanos turn back Slapshot

WESTFIELD – There is someone standing in the way of Slapshot Regatta’s quest for a fifth championship.
That someone is none other than Frank Vatrano, current center for the Boston Bruins and a 22-year-old native of East Longmeadow.
Vatrano scored four goals in leading Milanos to a 6-2 win over four-time defending champion Slapshot Regatta in a Pro Division matchup Friday night during the seventh annual Kevin J. Major Memorial Hockey Tournament at Amelia Park Ice Arena.

Milanos’ Frank Vatrano, the Boston Bruins center and 22-year-old East Longmeadow native, evades a Slapshot forecheck during the seventh annual Kevin J. Major Memorial Hockey Tournament Friday night at Amelia Park Ice Arena. (Photo by Bill Deren)

Vatrano went top shelf right corner from the left circle for a game-tying goal early in the first period, a beauty which found the only daylight in a small window between Slapshot goalie Brian Billett (ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits) and the back of the net.
Early in the second period, both teams exchanged goals with one score apiece from Slapshot’s Jack Kilty (Endicott) and Milanos’ Danny Petrick (Northeastern University). Vatrano made it 3-2 on a goal at the 7:09 mark, and followed that up with a save moments later, plucking away a puck that nearly trickled into his own team’s open net.
Milanos added some insurance with three more goals in the third period, including two more goals from Vatrano. Vatrano scored a hat trick on an empty net with the goalie pulled, and tacked on another in traffic with 43 ticks left.
In just 30 minutes of action, Vatrano and Milanos put Slapshot on notice that with a new season, hopes are renewed. The Bruins center was quick to curb any celebratory thoughts revolving around the revenge factor though.
“This is all for fun,” said Vatrano, who was last seen by millions scoring in a Bruins’ playoff win over Ottawa. “All my buddies are here, family members, and it’s all for a good cause.”
The main reason for the tournament is to raise awareness of the importance of using Automated External Defribrillators, and is held in the honor of Kevin Major, a Westfield student-athlete who passed away from sudden cardiac arrest at age 19.
Games will continue Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight with an official “welcome ceremony” at noon. The tournament will conclude Sunday with championships for the Old Boys Division (4 p.m.), Social Division (5), and Pro Division (6).

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