Brownies blank Tribe
WEST SPRINGFIELD — The Turners Falls High School hockey season came to an end on Thursday night as the eighth-seeded Indians fell to Agawam High School, 4-0, in the quarterfinals of the MIAA Western Mass Division IIIA boys’ hockey tournament at the Olympia Hockey Complex.
It was the second consecutive year the Brownies ended the Indians’ season following a 2-0 Agawam win in the 2012 quarterfinals. The Brownies (16-3-2) used a blend of speed and physicality, along with depth on all three lines, to outlast Turners Falls and move on in search of their second consecutive Western Mass. championship.
“Their depth was definitely tough on us,” said Turners Falls assistant coach Jake Brennan. “They are deep on all three lines and it was something that we couldn’t match.”
Turners finished its season at 10-9-2.
From the opening faceoff, the Brownies showed why they were the top seed in this year’s bracket as they jumped out to a quick lead. Agawam’s Billy Wysocki snuck a shot past Turners goalie Brandon Bryant just 3:41 into the opening period. Agawam wouldn’t let up as the Brownies fired another 17 shots on net in the period, but Bryant was spectacular for the Indians, stopping all 17 to keep the deficit at 1-0 after the first.
The second period was much like the first for the Indians, as Agawam dominated the puck with Bryant doing everything he could to keep Turners in the game. Bryant stopped all 17 shots he faced in the second period, but Turners could not generate any scoring opportunities. The Indians tallied just three shots in the period and went into the locker room still trailing 1-0.
Bryant and the Indians could not hold off the Brownies any longer coming into the third. Agawam came out and registered its second goal of the game six minutes into the period, as the Brownies’ Alex Abilantis won the faceoff and dropped the puck back to teammate Corey Jenks, who ripped a blistering wrist shot past Bryant to give Agawam the 2-0 advantage.
Agawam would find the net again just three minutes later. Jenks benefited from some fine passing and found himself at the side of the net with the goal exposed, netting his second goal of the game and giving the Brownies a commanding lead. Agawam would record its final goal with nine seconds remaining, as Abilantis managed to slip a shot into the back of the net.
Bryant played a wonderful game for Turners Falls, as the freshman stopped 45 shots on the night and kept the Indians within striking distance. But Turners could not establish its rhythm against Agawam as the Indians were only able to muster 12 shots on net and could not find quality scoring chances against Agawam’s stout defense. Brownies goalie Anthony Ascioti saved all 12 shots he faced to record the shutout.