Wave grabs No. 1 seed
Greenfield defenseman Zach Langlois (17) looks for an opening to get a pass out of his defensive zone against Turners Falls during a 4-3 win this season.
GHS 7 Townsley Recorder/Paul Franz
GHS 6 York-WelcomeRecorder/Paul Franz
Greenfield's Cam Woodward (14) celebrates a Dec. 28 Green Wave goal against Turners Falls at Collins-Moylan rink. He and the Wave will open their WMass WMass Division IIIA Tourney run tonight with a semifinal game against Chicopee.
GREENFIELD (December 28, 2013) — Green Wave player Zach Langlois (17) gains control of the puck during Saturday night's hockey match against Turners Falls High School, where the Green Wave won 4 - 3. Recorder/Trish Crapo
Greenfield High School was rewarded for losing just once during the regular season by gaining the top seed in the WMass Division IIIA Hockey Tournament.
The seeds were announced Saturday morning and seven teams will compete for the WMass IIIA title, which Greenfield last won in the inaugural year of the IIIA division in 2008.
That season also marked the last time Greenfield won a division crown, something it did this season with a 17-1-2 record, including a 12-1-1 mark in the Fay-Wright Division, easily giving the Green Wave the crown.
The No. 1 seed was even more coveted because seven teams qualified for the tournament, which meant the top seed also earned a bye into the semifinals. While each of the other six teams have to play a quarterfinal game, Greenfield will be able to rest until the March 3 semifinals.
Although it does have the top seed and the bye, Greenfield will not have an easy time advancing. The Wave has a semifinal date with the winner of the quarterfinal game between fourth-seeded South Hadley High School and fifth-seeded Chicopee High School. South Hadley, the reigning IIIA champion, is the only team to move down from the Berry Division to play in the IIIA tournament. Chicopee, meanwhile, was second in the Fay-Wright this season with a 12-7-1 record.
“Having the one seed is great. We get a bye, which helps our program given our numbers,” Wave coach Mike Duclos said. “You’ve got to beat South Hadley to win it all anyway, so I’d rather play them in our first game out. You still have to beat two good teams to win it, and we’re excited to get going.”
Wahconah Regional High School, the lone Berkshire school to qualify for the postseason, was awarded the No. 2 after going 13-6-1 this season. The Warriors will open the tournament against seventh-seeded Easthampton High School, a team Wahconah beat 7-1 Friday. The winner of that game will take on the winner of the other quarterfinal between third-seeded Chicopee Comprehensive High School and sixth-seeded Belchertown High School.