Wachusett bests WHS in hockey, 4-2

Westfield goalie Nick Liberto makes a save. (Photo by Chris Putz)

WESTFIELD – Two of the state’s top Division 3 high school hockey teams battled it out in the Whip City, but Central Mass. got the better of the western part of the state in round one.
Wachusett High scored two first-period goals in less than a 60-second span and built a 3-0 lead en route to a 4-2 win over Westfield in an independent hockey game Wednesday at Amelia Park Ice Arena. The Mountaineers (14-2-2) are considered arguably one of the top three teams in the state, while the Bombers (11-2-1) are not far behind.
“We can skate with them,” Westfield coach C.B. “Moose” Matthews said. “We had a few lapses that cost us a couple of goals.”
Colin O’Brien got Wachusett off to fast start, assisting on Marc Happy’s goal with 3:16 remaining on the first period clock, and scoring 41 seconds later to make it 2-0.
Happy tallied a goal four minutes into the second period to help Wachusett take a commanding 3-0 lead. But this is Westfield, where hockey is ingrained at a very young age. The Bombers stuck with it, emerging from the doldrums when Adam Collier trimmed the deficit to two with 4:06 left in the middle frame.
Neil Parrow made it 3-2 with a goal for Westfield with 9:16 remaining in the third period. The goal came a few seconds after a borderline illegal takedown for Wachusett. No call was made, but Parrow cashed in as the Bombers’ push toward the goal succeeded.
“We were sitting back for a while,” coach Matthews said. “Once we started going to the puck, things started to happen.”
Westfield looked to tie the game in the third on a shot which appeared to bounced in and out of the net, but the officials deemed it a “no goal,” and Bombers’ fans erupted in protest.
“The puck went in and out,” Matthews said. “They took the goal away, and it took a lot out of us.”
Wachusett took advantage. Happy scored his third goal – recording a hat trick – with 6:56 left to secure the victory.
“We still have some good games coming up,” Matthews said. “That should help us.”
Westfield will get another crack again at Wachusett away Monday.

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