Home / High School Hockey / Massachusetts / 2019 MIAA Playoffs / Western Mass Division 3A Final: Easthampton Takes It Again

Western Mass Division 3A Final: Easthampton Takes It Again

Easthampton won its second straight Western Mass. D3A championship.

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 years.

Vaughn Gillen had both Belchertown goals.

Easthampton will meet the winner of the Sunday’s Central Mass D3A final between reigning champion Lunenburg and Northbridge on Wednesday at 7 at Holy Cross for the state title.

The Eagles raced to a 3-0 first period lead on goals by Duda and Tenczar. Both struck during the second period as the Eagles moved to a 4-0 advantage.

Gillen cut the deficit to 4-1 with his late second period tally. Gillen scored at 8:44 of the final period before Jacob Batcherold sealed things with an empty-net goal with 0.4 seconds remaining. Belchertown finishes at 14-4-3.

A moment of silence was held before the game for Belchertown player Brendan Conroy, who died following a car accident earlier in the week.

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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