Western Mass. Poll: No. 1 Agawam vaults past Westfield

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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Western Mass. Top 10 Poll

RankTeamPrevious RankingWLT
1Agawam21032
2Westfield1722
3Longmeadow3434
4Minnechaug4760
5Chicopee Comp.5932
6Chicopee71040
7East Longmeadow6580
8Amherst8933
9Ludlow93111
10Belchertown10760

Only one team was capable of knocking Westfield off its perch atop the poll. New No. 1 Agawam beat now No. 2 Westfield, 3-1, to remain unbeaten in Western Massachusetts competititon.

Earlier this season, the teams played to a 1-1 tie. But the Brownies went into the Bombers home rink, Amelia Park Arena, and won a tight game that many believe could be a preview of the sectional final.

The next two teams in the Berry Division, No. 3 Longmeadow and No. 7 East Longmeadow remain inconsistent. No. 6 Chicopee and No. 5 Chicopee Comp continue to win in the Fay/Wright, while No. 8 Amherst has come down a notch after starting the season with a long winning streak.

Highlights

Seamus Curran Agawam
Seamus Curran
Agawam

– Elijah Bard’s goal midway through the third period snapped a tie and lifted Agawam to a 3-1 victory over host Westfield in a Berry Division showdown. Westfield pressed for the equalizer, but Cory Pfau sealed the game for the Brownies via an empty net goal with 59.8 seconds remaining. Seamus Curran also scored for the Brownies, while Connor McAnanama finished with 29 saves. Garrett Matthews made 31 saves for the Bombers.

– The first of two goals by Alex Bachand gave him 100 career points as Belchertown earned a 7-5 victory over South Hadley.

– Easthampton rebounded from an earlier 7-1 loss to Turners Falls as the Eagles beat the Indians, 3-1. Jon Brodeur scored two goals and assisted on another.

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