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South Hadley ends Greenfield’s season, 6-0

It was only a six-minute breakdown, but it cost the Greenfield High School hockey team its season.

Second-seeded South Hadley High School scored three times in the first six minutes of the second period to break open a scoreless game, and the Tigers went on to eliminate the seventh-seeded Green Wave, 6-0, in a WMass Division IIIA hockey quarterfinal Tuesday at the Olympia Arena in West Springfield.

The teams skated evenly through the first period, with the Tigers holding a 12-11 edge in shots, but both goalies were up to the task. Noah Foster-Marquis kept the Green Wave net empty with 11 saves, while South Hadley’s Devin Hoagland turned aside all 12 shots he faced in the period.

“It was good up-and-down play,” Greenfield coach Mike Duclos said. “We were really flying and playing well.”

The second period opened with a flurry. Evan Sullivan picked up the puck off the opening faceoff, skated into the Greenfield zone and beat Foster-Marquis to give the Tigers (15-3-3) a 1-0 lead just eight seconds into the period. Greenfield had another breakdown two minutes later, when the Wave defense got caught pinching up ice, and Sullivan skated into the Wave zone with teammate Jake Knowles on a 2-on-1. Sullivan slid a pass across to Knowles, and he buried it from in close on Foster-Marquis for a 2-0 lead.

Then, just past the six-minute mark, Jeff Beauregard used his size to his advantage as he muscled his way to the Wave net and slammed home the puck for a 3-0 Tiger lead.

“It was a six-minute letdown, but that was the game,” Duclos said.

Greenfield did manage to get some chances over the rest of the period, but could not solve Hoagland.

“I thought we were going to make it 3-1 at one point,” Duclos said. “We should have had a few goals, but we missed some opportunities.”

South Hadley put the game away in the third period. Robert Kass struck for the goal that proved to be the dagger at 3:01 when he buried a pass from Nate Garon. Nick Harris would make it 5-0 at the nine-minute mark on Beauregard’s third helper of the game, and that spelled the end of the night for Foster-Marquis, who finished with 31 saves in the loss. Jack Richardson came on in relief for the Wave and gave up a goal to Kass at the 12:56 mark to end the scoring. Richardson would finish with four saves in his time in net.

Hoagland finished with 28 saves to register the shutout. South Hadley moves on to Monday’s semifinals where it will take on sixth-seeded St. Joseph’s Central High School, which pulled off a mild upset on Tuesday, 5-3, over No. 3 seed Chicopee High School.

Despite the loss, Duclos said he was proud of his team after the Green Wave went 10-10-0 in the regular season.

“We showed up with 11 skaters and two goalies on the first day of practice,” he said. “The kids played hard, they played with heart all year. They won some games and they made the tournament, and that’s what you set out to do every year. It’s tough to go out this way, but I’m proud of the guys.”

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