WEST SPRINGFIELD – It took 76 days, or more than 1,824 hours, but in their final game of the regular season, the Westfield High School boys’ ice hockey team finally defeated their arch-nemesis.
Westfield received goals from four different players, and the Bombers held off a furious third quarter rally to get even with Longmeadow 4-3 Thursday night at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield.
Westfield (15-5) came out firing on all cylinders, scoring two goals in each of the first two periods and killed off three Longmeadow power plays.
Ryan Porter chipped in a rebound off a shot from Liam Whitman for the first Westfield goal less than three minutes into the game. Sean Moorhouse assisted on the play.
Danny Antonellis took a pass from Joe Czarnecki and wristed a shot past Longmeadow goalie Max Loyuk (26 saves) with 6:23 remaining in the first period to give Westfield a 2-0 lead.
Scotty Bussell tapped in a rebound with 5:45 left in the second period to make it 3-0. Sullivan Webster and Max Maggipinto set up the play.
Maggipinto took the ensuing faceoff up the ice and flicked the puck into the Longmeadow net 25 seconds later to give Westfield a 4-0 advantage.
“Everybody is scoring for us whenever the opportunity is there,” Westfield coach C.B. “Moose” Matthews said. “We are a blue collar team that has to work their ass off to get a goal.”
It was a new wrinkle though that allowed Westfield to avenge a 3-0 loss suffered Jan. 4 at home against Longmeadow.
“We put in a new forecheck system to come at these guys,” coach Matthews said.
Longmeadow did not go quietly though. The Lancers put up a fight in the third period, scoring goals at the 9:58, 8:40, and 2:37 marks.
Videep Vemulapalli ricocheted the puck into the net past Westfield goalie Cameron Parent (38 saves) for the first Longmeadow score. One minute, 18 seconds later, Andrew Pierre-Pierre squeezed the puck through a scrum out in front of the goal to cut the Lancers’ deficit in half, 4-2. Spencer Robbins deflected a shot into the net with 2:37 left in regulation.
Longmeadow received a power play opportunity for the game’s final 103 seconds, but Westfield held strong.
Longmeadow fell to 16-3-1.
With the Western Massachusetts Division 3 tournament just around the corner, it is likely the two teams will meet again.
“I hope we can meet them on the ninth,” said coach Matthews. The Western Massachusetts Division 3 championship will be held on March 9. The tournament is expected to begin Thurs., March 2. The postseason schedule will be released this weekend.