In the Western Mass. Division 3 final Thursday, second-seeded Longmeadow came from behind to upend fourth-seeded West Springfield, 4-2. With the win, Longmeadow advances to Saturday’s Division 3 state-semifinal where they will face Wachusett Regional, the D3 Central Mass. champs.
The Lancers and Mountaineers met in the same game a year ago, with the Mountaineers claiming a thrilling shootout victory before going to win the state title at the TD Garden five days later. This year’s state-semifinal will once again be played at the Hart Center on the campus of Holy Cross starting at 6:30 p.m.
On Thursday night, the Lancers found themselves trailing the Terriers 2-1 heading to the third period, but with 8:54 left in that third period, Mike Bonvita’s wrister tied the game. With just under four minutes to go, Longmeadow went ahead for good on Sean Baker’s tally. Chris Salwen sealed the victory with a late empty-netter. Cole Guidrey opened the scoring, giving the Lancers a 1-0 lead when his one-timer got home at the buzzer to end the first. West Springfield jumped ahead in the second on Chris Torres and Eric Stone tallies.
In the Western Mass. Division 3A final, top-seeded Greenfield won its first title since 2008, coming from behind late to nip third-seeded Wahconah, 2-1 in overtime. Bryan Baumann had the game-winner one minute into overtime to send the Green Wave to Saturday’s Division 3A state championship game at Holy Cross against Central Mass. champ Lunenburg.
Ryan LaPierre’s first period goal put the Warriors up early, and Wahconah netminder Jake Risley nearly made that single goal stand up with his stellar 37-save performance. Late in the third period though with the extra attacker on, Greenfield finally broke through when Baumann kept a puck in near the blue line and zipped a pass to a wide-open Kyle Barnes who converted to send the game to OT.
In the four-on-four first overtime period, Jacob Bryant assisted on Baumann’s winner.
The D3A state title game at Holy Cross between Greenfield and Lunenburg will start at 3:00 p.m at the Hart Center.