H.S. Hockey: Georgios Alimonos, Yuki Ishida tally but Amherst falls to Chicopee, 5-2

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  • Amherst goalie Spencer McDonald defends the net Wednesday during his team’s 5-2 loss to Chicopee at Smead Arena in Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst senior Kouji Ishida works the puck behind Chicopee’s net Wednesday during his team’s 5-2 loss at Smead Arena in Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst eighth grader Spencer McDonald reaches for a shot in a spray of ice in the second period Wednesday of a 5-2 loss to Chicopee at Smead Arena in Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst junior Georgios Alimonos carries the puck out of the defensive zone during his team’s 5-2 loss to Chicopee Wednesday at Smead Arena in Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst’s Joseph Freniere handles the puck entering the offensive zone during his team’s 5-2 loss to Chicopee Wednesday at Smead Arena in Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Carter Beckwith, left, and Kouji Ishida, right, celebrate Georgios Alimonos’ first-period goal during a 5-2 loss to Chicopee Wednesday at Smead Arena in Springfield. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst goalie Spencer McDonald pulls his jersey on in the parking lot of Springfield’s Smead Arena on Wednesday before a game against Chicopee. Due to COVID-19 protocols, teams don’t have access to locker rooms and must arrive at the arena ready for the game or change outside. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst assistant coach Rich Ferro delivers a pregame speech outside Smead Arena in Springfield on Wednesday. Ferro stepped in as acting head coach because Hurricanes coach Mike Rousseau suffered an allergic reaction prior to the game and needed to go to the hospital. Due to COVID-19 protocols, teams don’t have access to locker rooms in the arena. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer
Published: 2/17/2021 6:00:11 PM

SPRINGFIELD — Georgios Alimonos helped the Amherst Regional boys hockey team start strong, while Yuki Ishida bolstered a strong finish against Chicopee on Wednesday.

But the Hurricanes faltered in the middle of a 5-2 loss at Smead Arena.

Alimonos, a junior, struck two minutes into the game after receiving a backdoor pass from senior Kouji Ishida to give the ’Canes a quick 1-0 lead.

“I just slammed it in,” Alimonos said of the early strike.

It was only Amherst’s second lead of the season. The Hurricanes have struggled to score with an inexperienced roster, but that goal buoyed them for the game’s first 10 minutes.

Then Chicopee’s Ethan Kapinos tied the game with 5:03 to go in the first. The Pacers took control from there, scoring five consecutive goals. Three came in the third period.

“They scored that soft goal and then we give up on ourselves at times. We need a little something to get us going again,” said Amherst assistant Rich Ferro, who handled coaching duties Wednesday in the absence of head coach Mike Rousseau.

Trevor Poirier scored three of the Pacers’ final four goals — two in the second period and one 28 seconds into the third.

“You can’t let him skate with the puck,” Ferro said of Poirier. “If he gets a hold of it with any open ice he’s going to put it away.”

Kraig Gessier potted the other Chicopee tally with a backhanded move in the second.

Amherst stabilized in the third period. Yuki Ishida finished a pass in close with 10 minutes remaining to make it 5-2.

“They didn’t give up,” Ferro said.

The Hurricanes also had a 5-on-3 power play with eight minutes remaining but couldn’t generate many scoring chances. It was an unfamiliar situation for the plethora of young players Amherst relies on. There are 11 underclassmen on the roster, including eighth-grader Spencer McDonald, who took over in goal in the second period.

“It’s a really young group, so in terms of a rebuilding year, it’s a good year to have a rebuilding year,” Ferro said. “They’ve bought in, they’re getting the system, and this’ll be a good base for us. It’s about keeping it positive.”

Upperclassmen like Alimonos and Kouji Ishida have had to adjust to the challenging circumstances. Amherst has been a top-two seed in the Western Mass. postseason four out of the past five years.

“It’s definitely hard. It’s something you take and you have to move forward with and grow with it,” Alimonos said. “It’s been a challenging year with a lot of younger guys. Us upperclassmen have to make a stand and lead the way.”

Next up is a Saturday night trip to Greenfield to play the Green Wave at Collins-Moylan Arena.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.




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