WHS hockey chases Terriers

The Westfield Bombers hockey team celebrates one of four first-period goals en route to a 6-1 win over West Springfield on Thursday. (Photo by Chris Putz)

WEST SPRINGFIELD – The Westfield High School hockey team scored 1 minute, 27 seconds into its opener, and netted three more first-period goals – tallying four – en route to a 6-1 blowout victory over West Springfield Thursday in its opener at Olympia Ice Center.
Mike Santinello recorded a hat trick to lead Westfield (1-0), and Anthony Cagliostro and Sean Spohr each had three assists. Bombers goalie Nick Liberto finished with 27 saves.
Brandon Miemiec, Adam Collier, and Spohr also finished with one goal apiece. Santinello, Ethan Nassar, and Miemiec each had one assist.
Westfield came out fast in the first period, attacking West Springfield goaltender Kevin Griffen with a furious assault. The Bombers set up their scores with precision passing.
“We looked very strong in the first period,” Westfield coach C.B. “Moose” Matthews said. “I was really impressed. We showed what we did in practice.”
Matthews only critique of his team’s opening day performance was their second period slow down.

Westfield goalie Nick Liberto makes one of several saves as players for both the Bombers and West Springfield Terriers look on Thursday in a high school hockey opener at The Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield. (Photo by Chris Putz)

“We moved the puck well in that first period – I think it was too easy for them,” the Bombers’ coach said.
Westfield finished with 42 shots to 28 for West Springfield.
Belchertown 75, Gateway 40
Curtis Dowers (14 points) and Ryan Fisk (12) led Gateway (0-1) in the scoring column, and John Haskell came off the bench to score five points, including a first-half 3.
“Belchertown was coming off Western Mass. Championships in boys’ and girls’ soccer, their football team just played in a Super Bowl, and they have seven returning seniors back on their basketball team,” Gateway coach Mike O’Connell said, detailing the Orioles’ recent sports dominance and why the odds were stacked pretty high against them on opening night. “They have 90 percent of their scoring back.”
O’Connell said Gateway, who played much of the game without injured Gator, Justin Edinger, still battled.
“We were down 30 points in the third quarter and still scrapping,” the Gators’ coach said. “I took my final timeout and told (my players) this is what we build on. We’ve got to move on, but we definitely need to get better on the glass. We’ve got some work to do.”

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