Wave, Tribe 7, 8 seeds
Greenfield High School and Turners Falls High School picked up the final two seeds in the eight-team WMass Division IIIA Hockey Tournament.
The field was set Saturday morning at the Dante Club in West Springfield and Greenfield was awarded the seventh seed, Turners Falls No. 8.
That sets up a difficult road for the two local teams. The Indians (10-8-2) will open up against top-seeded Agawam High School (15-3-2) Thursday night at 8. The two teams have already met once this season back on Dec. 22 and the Indians put up a strong fight, eventually falling 4-0. This is also a rematch of last season’s quarterfinal game, and the Indians gave the Brownies a tougher-than-anticipated matchup that ended in a 2-0 Agawam victory. Turners coach Kevin Brennan said last year’s experience should prove valuable.
“We played a pretty good game last year,” he began. “I can’t speak for all the players, but playing a playoff game has got to take the butterflies out of them. And knowing that if we play well we can be competitive. We will go out there, play our best, give a good effort,and try to give ourselves an opportunity to win.”
Greenfield, meanwhile, will take on second-seeded South Hadley High School Tuesday night at 8 p.m. at the Olympia. The two teams met just two weeks ago and the Tigers (14-3-3) edged the Green Wave, 3-2, something Green Wave coach Mike Duclos said should give his team some confidence coming in.
“The last time we played South Hadley, we gave up two short-handed goals and lost to them 3-2,” he said. “We had a lot of pressure on them in that game and really pressured them in the final 10 minutes. We believe we can beat them.”
Greenfield has been playing well of late. Despite losing three straight to end the season, the Green Waved has played close games against higher-seeded teams, falling by one goal to fifth-seeded Easthampton High School, dropping a two-goal decision to third-seeded Chicopee High School and falling by three goals to Agawam.
“The guys are playing well,” Duclos said. “(Goalie Noah Foster-Marquis) has been playing better of late, our defense is pretty sound right now and we are putting the puck into the net, all things you need to do to win.”