Greenfield comes up short, 4-3
Easthampton High School took advantage of a physical edge to jump out to a 3-0 lead and hold off Greenfield High School late to earn a 4-3 Fay Division hockey victory Tuesday night at Collins-Moylan Arena in Greenfield.
The Eagles (9-4-4 overall, 4-3-3 Fay) moved into a second-place tie with Greenfield (10-9-0, 4-3-0) in the Fay Division and is likely to finish second as the teams each have one remaining league game — Greenfield’s against Fay champion Agawam High School tonight in West Springfield, Easthamptons’ coming against Fay bottom-feeder Amherst Regional High School, also tonight. The win also gave the Eagles the season sweep over the Green Wave. Easthampton knocked off Greenfield, 5-1, earlier in the season.
Easthampton held a 3-1 lead late into the third period but Greenfield pulled to within one with 1 minute, 27 seconds remaining by scoring on the only power-play opportunity by either team. Kyle Smith netted his sixth goal of the season, on assists from Josh Brandl and Dillon Dodge, to cut the deficit to a single goal, and Greenfield pulled its goalie to bring out an extra skater to try and pot the equalizer. The Eagles took advantage of the empty goal and Rob Carmel fired a puck into the empty net to give the visitors a two-goal cushion with 43 seconds left. It proved to be a big goal when Greenfield’s Mike Duclos scored his ninth of the season with 28 second remaining on Dodge’s third helper of the night. But the Wave could not draw even.
Easthampton netted the only goal of the first period, when Tim Pfau scored off passes from Alex Zadworny and Michael Grise. The Eagles struck for a second goal early in the second period off the stick of Carmel, and then made it 3-0 with 3:24 left in the frame when Grise scored on assists from Carmel and Rubin Swenson. Greenfield coach Mike Duclos said the biggest issue plaguing his team was its inability to keep up with a bigger Easthampton club.
“They are a bigger, stronger team and they neutralized us,” he explained. “We controlled the first five minutes of the game but they took control for the next period and a half. We just don’t have the physical players to compete like that. We rely on finesse and just didn’t have it tonight.”
Greenfield did manage to get one goal back late in the second period when Brandl scored his 14th of the season. Easthampton goalie Matt Sarafin stood tall for the rest of the second period and throughout much of the third, stopping 31 shots, to earn the victory. Noah Foster-Marquis finished with 26 saves in the Green Wave net.