Western Mass. Poll: Westfield, Agawam lead the pack

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. Poll

RankTeamWLT
1Westfield410
2Agawam601
3Longmeadow221
4Minnechaug340
5Chicopee Comp.401
6East Longmeadow140
7Amherst300
8Chicopee420
9Belchertown230
10Ludlow240

No. 1 Westfield is still dominating the competition in the region and the Bombers are the choice for the top spot in the Western Mass. Top 10 Poll.

No. 2 Agawam, though, is coming on strong. Following a 6-6 tie with Longmeadow, the Brownies have yielded five goals during a recent five-game winning streak. Sophomore Connor McAnanama has started those games in goal and owns a .932 save percentage.

No 3 Longmeadow is still a work in progress, but improved goaltending from newcomer Jack Tabb and a solid first line of Michael Tabb, John McDonald and Matt Pierson are providing scoring punch.

No. 4 Minnechaug is recovering from a slow start after losses to Wahconah, Agawam and Westfield by a combined score of 17-3.

No. 5. Chicopee Comp is on fire offensively. The Colts have scored nine goals twice this season and poured in six against rival Chicopee.

No. 6 East Longmeadow have been led by goalie Matt Gasparini, but the Spartans will need to improve offensively to remain in contention.

No. 7 Amherst may be the region’s most improved team. The players have bought into a new system and are thriving.

No 8. Chicopee has been led by Devan Longtin (9 goals, 7 assists).

No. 9. Belchertown feature balanced scoring. Five players have two or more goals apiece.

No. 10 Ludlow is getting good goaltending from sophomore Alex Will. Tyler Diotalevi and Brad Garete have led the offense.

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