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Western Mass. Top 10: #4 Ludlow thriving in new division

Western Mass. Top 10 Poll

RankTeamPR*WLT
1Longmeadow11012
2Westfield21221
3West Springfield3950
4Ludlow6624
5Chicopee5833
6East LongmeadowNR470
7Easthampton7623
8Greenfield8931
9Amherst9433
10Belchertown10334

Division 3A seems to suit No. 4 Ludlow just fine. Ludlow has thrived since moving from the Berry Division to the Fay. Saturday’s 4-4 tie with No. 10 Belchertown gave Ludlow a 6-2-4 record. T.J. Modzelewski tipped in a shot by Ryan Martin with 28 seconds left for the equalizer after the Lions pulled goalie Mike Young for an extra attacker.

Young has been a big part of Ludlow’s resurgence, giving the Lions steady goaltending. His best game came when he made 31 saves in a 5-3 win over No. 5 Chicopee on Thursday. Chicopee had been averaging nearly five goals per game.

No. 9 Amherst suffered a 4-3 loss to South Hadley after Trevor Ouimet tipped in a shot by Ryan Tucker.

No. 1 Longmeadow and No. 2 Westfield continue to lead the way. They will meet on Feb. 22.

No. 3 West Springfield continues to be the surprise team of the Berry Division.

No. 8 Greenfield earned wins over Chicopee and Ludlow. Bryan Baumann, Evan Simmons and Doug Hanieski have teamed up for 58 points this season.

HIGHLIGHTS

*Matthew Kowal scored four goals to spark Minnechaug to a 5-5 tie with Longmeadow. Tyler Rose also scored for the Falcons. Thomas Sheehan had 31 saves. Jack Barron had two goals and two assists for the Lancers. Mason Baron-Pinkowski added one goal with two assists.

*Jayden Blackburn scored two goals and set up another to lead Amherst to a 5-1 win over Wahconah. Nico Cardaropli scored two goals and Eli Stevin had one.

*Mike Palmero and Ryan McDonough each had a goal and two assists in Chicopee’s 3-1 triumph over Easthampton.

*Matthew Villandry scored twice as Chicopee Comp defeated Drury, 3-1. Derek Boutin set up two goals and Kyle Vezina finished with 26 saves.

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.