Central Mass. Top 10: Shrewsbury hasn’t missed a beat

Fran Sypek
Fran Sypek
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.

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Central Mass. Top 10 Poll

RankTeam[tooltip text="PR*" gravity="ne"]Previous Ranking[/tooltip]WLT
1Shrewsbury1600
2North Middlesex2400
3Nashoba Regional5500
4Groton-DunstableNR410
5Wachusett7421
6Algonquin3312
7GraftonNR500
8HudsonNR421
9Littleton9330
10Northbridge10330

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Last season, Shrewsbury led the Top 10 poll nearly wire to wire. However, North Middlesex stunned Shrewsbury during the final week of the regular season and went on to win the Central Mass. Division 3 championship.

Fast forward to this season and there again is No. 1 Shrewsbury, leading the pack with an impressive 6-0 record. Despite losing key players to graduation, the Colonials have not missed a beat.

Shrewsbury defeated state Division 3 finalist Agawam, 5-0 in an independent game.

Adam Twitchell scored one goal and added an assist for the Colonials in that game. Liam Quinlivan added a goal and two assists. Christian Mauro, Conall Persechino and Dillon Brown also scored. The Colonials are a skilled team with the ability to score goals in bunches.

No. 2 North Middlesex also beat Agawam, 4-2 in an independent game. The Patriots avenged last season’s state semifinal loss to the Brownies. Matthew McCarthy and Nick White put that game away in the third period. North Middlesex’s Tyler Riel and Donny Frederick each had one goal and an assist. Joe Sheridan made 18 saves for the Patriots. The Patriots gave the Brownies fits by utilizing an aggressive forecheck to create turnovers.

No. 3 Nashoba is off to a 5-0 start. Bryce Chaput has led the way with eight goals and six assists.

At 4-1, No. 4 Groton-Dunstable has adapted well to new coach Brendan McCann’s system. Groton-Dunstable suffered its first loss to Shrewsbury.

Alex DiPadua Algonquin
Alex DiPadua
Algonquin

No. 5 Wachusett has been led by  Kyle Snow and Brandon Williams. Shane Sullivan had two goals and an assist as the Mountaineers beat St. Peter-Marian in a non-league game.

No. 6 Algonguin has been an up and down team. The Tomahawks will look to find more consistency during the month. Alex DiPadua is off to a strong start with six goals and three assists. The Tomahawks gained a measure of confidence by winning the Boros Cup. Coach Andy McGowan’s squad has received solid leadership from DiPadua and fellow captains Joe Sullivan, Mike Tascione and O’Connell. Tascione owns a .918 save percentage and recorded shutouts in each of the two Boros Cup games.

Nick Hart has led No. 7 Grafton with six goals and four assists.

Rocco Malloy has led No. 8 Hudson’s turnaround with eight goals and eight assists.

No. 9 Littleton received a hat trick from Jacob Montepeluso scored three goals in a 13-1 victory over Gardner. Brandon Lefebvre has five goals and seven assists.

Matt McGreevy has eight goals and two assists for No. 10 Northbridge.

HIGHLIGHTS

Adam Clark Auburn
Adam Clark
Auburn

Cam Moran scored two goals to lift Leominster to a 5-5 tie with Westborough. He tied the game at five apiece with 4:47 remaining with an assist from Dillon Gallant.

Despite two goals and an assist from Rocco Malloy, Hudson dropped a 4-3 decision to Longmeadow. Kyle Lally added a goal and assist for Hudson.

Adam Twitchell scored the game-winning goal on the penalty kill during the second period to lift Shrewsbury to a 4-1 victory over Groton-Dunstable. The Colonials also got goals from Anthony and Liam Quinlivan, and Matt Ward.

John Paterson scored two goals and set up another as Algonquin edged Auburn, 5-4. Alex DiPadua had one goal and two assists. Adam Clark had a hat trick for Auburn.

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