Quick turnaround as Greenfield faces Lunenberg for state title hockey game

  • Greenfield’s Sean O’Sullivan (20) fires a shot saved by Wahconah goalkeeper Jake Risley in the second period of the Western Mass. Division 3A title game on Thursday night at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield’s Bryan Baumann breaks past Wahconah defenders Mike Cullet and Owen Kroboth to take a shot on goalkeeper Jake Risley in the third period of the Western Mass. Division 3A title game on Thursday night at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield players celebrate their 2-1 overtime win over Wahconah for the Western Mass. Division 3A title on Thursday night at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield players celebrate in the locker room after their 2-1 overtime win over Wahconah for the Western Mass. Division 3A title on Thursday night at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 3/7/2020 12:33:16 AM
Modified: 3/7/2020 12:33:03 AM

GREENFIELD — The celebration for winning a Division 3A Western Massachusetts championship was short for the Greenfield hockey team, but the Green Wave will look to celebrate again on Saturday.

Greenfield travels to the campus of Holy Cross to play Central Massachusetts champion Lunenberg/Ayer-Shirley for a state championship at the Hart Center in Worcester.

Lunenberg (13-9-1) entered the Central Mass. bracket as the No. 5 seed. The Blue Knights powered through the quarterfinals and semifinals with wins over fourth-seeded Worcester and top-seeded Northbridge.

The Blue Knights are a two school co-op program.

Lunenberg took the Central Mass. championship with a 4-2 win over No. 2 Hopedale at the Wallace Civic Center in Fitchburg on Wednesday.

“They are a hot team,” Greenfield coach Adam Bouchard said. “They knocked out the big boys. They are in the state finals for a reason.”

Matt Albert scored twice for the Blue Knights in the championship game.

The Blue Knights started the season 3-7 and qualified for the postseason on the last day of the regular season.

“From what we have been able to tell, they are a small, quick team,” Bouchard said. “Lot of skill. Comparable to our style of hockey. We are looking for a really fast, puck moving, skating kind of game.”

Greenfield had a short practice on Friday to prepare.

“We went light today,” Greenfield’s Jacob Bryant said. “Really appreciated our seniors today. It was just another bonding day. Coming together for a big game.”

Regardless of their opponent, the Green Wave will play their game.

“We just go out there and play Green Wave hockey,” Bryant said. “It’s all we have preached for the last three and a half months. It’s what we work every day for ... we are going to go out there play our game and hopefully come out with a state championship.”

In the 48 hours in between games, the Wave will look at film of the Blue Knights along with their usual routine.

“Business as usual,” Bouchard said. “We have a traditional pregame skate. For preparation, there are some avenues for us to see the games they have played. We feel as a coaching staff that we have prepared our team.”

It is possible that this is the first meeting between the two schools, according to Bouchard.

“I am not sure if the two programs have ever played each other,” Bouchard said. “I don’t know the history of that but I know not in the last 20 years.”

Lunenberg goalie Nick Granger has played well in the playoffs.

“Their goaltender is on fire right now,” Bouchard said.

Granger made 17 saves in the win over Hopedale.


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