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Western Mass.Top 10: Potent offense is driving #5 Chicopee

Western Mass. Top 10 Poll

RankTeamPR*WLT
1Longmeadow1911
2Westfield21121
3West Springfield3850
4E. Longmeadow4470
5Chicopee5723
6Ludlow6513
7Easthampton7513
8Greenfield8731
9AmherstNR331
10Belchertown10233

No. 5 Chicopee and Chicopee Comp have one of the best rivalries in Western Massachusetts. The crosstown foes staged a real beauty last Friday at the MassMutual Center when Chicopee held on for a 4-3 victory. David Shea came on in relief of injured goalie Kelsey Czarnowski and finished with 12 saves after giving up a shorthanded breakaway goal on the first shot he faced.

Chicopee’s Mike Palermo fires home goal in 4-3 win over Chicopee Comp.

Chicopee may have the best offense in Division 3A in Western Mass. That vaunted offense is sparked by Ryan McDonough. He had two goals and two assists in the win against Comp and now has 36 points, an average of four per game. The Pacers will seek their first Sectional title since 1968.

Comp has struggled this season under new coach Lou Vezina. Derek Boutin has been a bright spot and in a late December game at Greenfield, he scored three shorthanded goals in a span of 48 seconds. Kyle Vezina had 48 saves against Chicopee.

No. 1 Longmeadow and No. 2 Westfield continue to hold down the top two spots. Longmeadow had wins over West Springfield and East Longmeadow while Westfield earned a 3-1 non-division win over Simsbury (CT).

No. 3 West Springfield has slipped a bit. In addition to Longmeadow, the other West Side losses were to teams from Central Mass.

No. 4 East Longmeadow got back on track following an impressive win over Minnechaug.

No. 6 Ludlow continues to thrive after moving into the Fay Division from the Berry. The Lions are a threat to win a Western Mass. title.

No. 7 Easthampton continues to win. The Eagles beat Mount Everett and No. 10 Belchertown and tied No. 8 Greenfield.

HIGHLIGHTS

*  Longmeadow beat East Longmeadow, 7-1 behind Cole Godfrey’s hat trick. Jack Barron scored two goals and set up two others. Spencer Robbins set up three goals.

* Vaughn Gillen scored two goals and set up another as Belchertown tied South Hadley 3-3. Max Pacheo also scored for the Orioles. Trevor Ouimet, Jack Munroe and Ryan Tucker had single goals for the Tigers.

* Bryan Bauman scored a pair of goals to spark Greenfield to a 6-2 win over Chicopee Comp. Cassidy Wozniak and Aurel Pydych had single goals for the Green Wave, while Doug Hanieski dished out three assists. Riley Drew made 19 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.