In the two years prior to the arrival of this year’s current senior class at Greenfield High School, the Green Wave won a combined six games. On Saturday afternoon at Holy Cross, Greenfield won the Division 3A state championship, capping a 20-3 season, by knocking off Lunenberg, 3-2. Bryann Baumann clinched that championship – the second state title in program history – thanks to his game-winner which came on a great individual effort with just 1:29 left in regulation.
“To see a program turn in four years like that is just unbelievable,” Baumann said.
Baumann’s goal came after picking a puck up with space in the neutral zone.
“I picked it up at center ice and only had one guy left to beat and he backed up pretty far so I used him as a screen and shot it low glove,” Baumann said.
The Green Wave overcame a 2-1 second period deficit on Saturday, coming back in a similar fashion to their 2-1 triumph over Wahconah in the Western Mass., 3A final. Greenfield coach Adam Bouchard said his team learned throughout the season how to win games late.
“I am really proud of everything that we did, and all the credit to the athletes in our locker room,” Bouchard said. “We said it all year long. Adversity, we’re going to see a lot of it as the season progressed. We saw a lot of it all year long but they learned what to do early in the season and how to get through it.”
“We’re just a tight-knit group and we believe in each other and we believe in ourselves and we face adversity well together,” Baumann added. “With one common goal, anyone can succeed.”
Bouchard said it was great to come out on top at a packed house at the Hart Center.
“From both towns, unbelievable atmosphere and experience for all the student-athletes on both teams and we’re just so proud and so happy to come out on top,” Bouchard said. “What a great environment for high school hockey.”
Greenfield opened the scoring with under five minutes to go in the opening stanza following a Kevin Baumann shot that was blocked in front. Derek Lenois collected the loose puck and slid it home on his backhand to give the Green Wave the early 1-0 advantage.
Lunenburg quickly tied it up on the power play after the Green Wave was assessed a penalty prior to the faceoff following the initial Greenfield goal. On that power play, Nathan Handy set up Hunter Arsenault for a one-timer in the slot. Arsenault’s quick shot got home to tie the game at one.
Lunenburg went ahead early in the second period on a Jason Brandy goal. Late in the second period, Greenfield evened the game when Shane Prusak scored off a rebound to tie the game at two.
After Baumann’s go-ahead goal, Lunenburg had their chances late, especially when Greenfield took a late penalty. Bouchard said his team was up to the challenge late.
The Green Wave successfully killed that penalty off until the buzzer rang, signifying a second state title in program history. The Green Wave killed an astounding 83 of 86 penalties off on the season.
“We were pretty confident knowing what we had to do,” Bouchard said. “We knew we had to block some shots which we did.”
Greenfield goalie Riley Drew made 23 stops in all, including a pair of key saves late to preserve the win.
Lunenburg, who was playing in their second D3A state title game after winning it all in 2018, finished 13-10-1.
“The program, we couldn’t be prouder, and we lost a lot of kids to graduation and to be able to get back to this shows it wasn’t a one-man band,” Lunenburg coach Eric Short said. “We did it with a different group this year and won the Central Mass. championship. It shows the program is strong and we’re going to hopefully continue that way.”