Fran Sypek

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Fran has covered hockey at all levels, NHL, AHL, junior, college and high school for the Springfield Republican from 1978-2013. His column "Hockey Talk'' appeared in the Sunday Republican. The hockey beat took him from Maine to Arizona in the United States and from Newfoundland to Alberta in Canada. Fran was the recipient of the Matthew Ryan Award for Outstanding Coverage of High School Hockey and the Janet McCormick Award from the Springfield Olympics. He then shifted from pros to college when the University of Massachusetts restored its program and joined Hockey East. Later, he continued covering the Boston Bruins and the Springfield Falcons. Fran's covered future NHL players from Western Massachusetts in Paul Fenton, Bob Kudelski, Rick Bennett and Bill Guerin. He is a member of the Bessone Award committee, which helps select the top high school hockey player in Western Mass. Fran was a goalie for Holyoke Community College in 1973-74 and graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1977. Fran is currently a free lance writer living in Bondsville, Mass and grew up in Chicopee, Mass, has visited all 50 states, and is an avid photographer.

MIAA Division 3A State Final: Third Period Surge Lifts Northbridge To Championship

Northbridge and Easthampton were locked in a scoreless struggle for 35 minutes, 24 seconds until Owen Hogan  broke the deadlock. Hogan, Liam Gill and Nolan Brown scored third period goals and Northbridge claimed its first state Division 3A championship following a 3--0 victory over Easthampton Wednesday at Holy Cross’ Hart...

MIAA Division 3 State Semifinal: Wachusett Edges Longmeadow In Shootout; Advances to State Final

This was an intense game between two fast teams, both of whom had ample opportunities to decide this one in regulation. But two overtime sessions could not produce a winner. So it came down to a shootout. Jack Felicio, Sean Gardner and Grant Gardula scored during the shootout and goalie Jackson...

Central Mass. Division 3A Final: Northbridge Gets It Done In Overtime

No one gave Northbridge much of a chance after it started the season 2-5-1. But No. 4 Northbridge played its best hockey down the stretch and earned  a 2-1 overtime win over No. 3 Lunenburg/Ayer in the Central Mass. Division 3A title game Sunday. The teams had split two regular...

Central Mass. Division 3 Final: Late Goal Lifts Wachusett Over Groton-Dunstable

Grant Gardula scored with 3:09 remaining in the third period to lift No. 2 Wachusett  to a 3-2 victory over No. 5 Groton-Dunstable Sunday in the Central Mass. Division 3 Tournament championship game. It was the Mountaineers(16-4-3)  first sectional title since 2013. Wachusett will face Longmeadow (15-5-2) in a state semifinal...

Central Mass. D3 Semifinals: Wachusett, Groton-Dunstable Will Play In Sectional Final

* Kevin Skagerlind scored during a  power-play with 5 minutes 55 seconds remaining before Grant Gardula scored an empty-net goal during last minute to lift Wachusett to a 3-1 win over Auburn in a Central Mass. Division 3 Tournament semifinal. No. 2  Wachusett (15-4-2) will  meet No. 5 Groton-Dunstable...

Western Mass. Division 3 Final: Longmeadow Reigns Supreme

This time, Longmeadow lived up to its top seed billing. No. 1 Longmeadow ended No. 3 Westfield’s three-year championship reign as Jack Barron registered a hat trick to power the Lancers to a 5-1 triumph over the Bombers Thursday in the MIAA Western Massachusetts Division 3 championship game. Barron also had...

Western Mass Division 3A Final: Easthampton Takes It Again

Easthampton captured its second straight Western Massachusetts Division 3A hockey title Thursday, downing third-seeded Belchertown, 5-2. Brian Duda and Chris Tenczar scored two goals each for the Eagles. Easthampton, which was a pedestrian 10-7-3 during the regular season, peaked at the right time for the second time in as many...

Central Mass. Division 3A Tournament: Lunenburg/Ayer, Northbridge Take Semifinal Contests

It’s back to the Central Mass. Division 3A championship final for Lunenburg/Ayer. #3 Lunenburg/Ayer (15-6-1) advanced  to Sunday’’s championship game following a 3-1 win over Grafton and will meet No. 4  Northbridge, which upset No. 1 Worcester. Sean Simpson snapped a tie during the second period when he converted a feed...

Western Mass. Division 3A Semifinals: Belchertown, Easthampton Will Meet in WMass Final

* Vaughn Gillen scored two goals and set up another to spark Belchertown to a 4-2 victory over Greenfield Saturday in a Western Massachusetts Division 3A semifinal. Belchertown , 14-3-3 will meet Easthampton in the WMass Final on Thursday (5:30pm - Olympia) Glenn Scott and Frances Nigro also scored for...
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