The Western Mass. Division 3A tournament will feature six total teams with top-seeded Greenfield and second-seeded Amherst receiving opening round byes. There will be a new Western Mass. 3A champion this year as 2019 winner Easthampton did not qualify for this year’s tournament.
In one of two quarterfinal matchups, No. 4 Chicopee (9-7-4) will face No. 5 South Hadley (11-7-2) on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Olympia Ice Center. The Pacers and Tigers met twice during the regular season, with South Hadley earning a 7-1 win back on February 1st, before the two teams skated to a 5-5 tie late in the regular season. The Tigers are led by goaltender Anthony Cigal and up front by Ryan Tucker (14-7-21). The Pacers are led by sophomore sniper Trevor Poirier, who scored 21 goals in the regular season. The Chicopee/South Hadley winner will move on to the semifinals where top-seeded Greenfield awaits.
The Green Wave (17-3) put a ten-game winning streak together before dropping their season finale to Division 2 Whitman-Hanson. Bryan Baumann (21-22-43) and Sean O’Sullivan (14-14-28) lead the way for the top offensive team in Western Mass.
In the other quarterfinal contest, No. 3 Wahconah (14-3-2) will play No. 6 Belchertown (7-8-3) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Olympia Ice Center. The Warriors and Orioles played once during the regular season, a 1-1 tie back just before Christmas. Andrew Fijal (8-6-14) is a player to watch for Belchertown while senior netminder Ethan Rajpold held opponents to under two goals per game. Owen Kroboth is the offensive catalyst for the Warriors. The Wachconah/Belchertown winner will face Amherst-Pelham in the semifinal round.
The Hurricanes (13-4-3), winners of the Fay Division, earned the No. 2 seed. Goaltender John Hanscom has been tough to beat all season long, while Chris Foster (18-19-37) and Kouji Ishida (16-21-37) provide much of the offense for the Hurricanes.