HOLYOKE – With 6:01 to go in the opening period of Wednesday’s game against No. 6 Chicopee Comp, the No. 5 Greenfield boys’ hockey team took a 1-0 lead after a great individual effort from senior Kyle Barnes.
Three minutes later, the Green Golf had filled his lead with two more goals, using the quick start to knock the Colts off, 4-2.
17 seconds after Barnes drove past a Chicopee Comp defender and sent a wrist shot past goalkeeper Victor Caravan for the opening score; junior Kevin Baumann unleashed a shot from just inside the blue line that found the back of the net to double Greenfields’ lead.
The Green Waves’ third goal came via an accidental bounce with 3:01 remaining, when a Colts defender attempted to clear the puck from his own zone, but it hit Greenfield’s Brody Gagne and snuck under Caravans pads.
Green Wave head coach Adam Bouchard, who was already three ahead in the second period, knew his team needed to avoid complacency against an extraordinarily talented Chicopee Comp attack.
Being 3-0 to one is something you don’t often get, so it’s really great to have, he said. The hardest part is that these student athletes maintain that motivation for the rest of the game.
For us to fight on and get away with the W after getting up so early so quickly, it is again kudos to the leaders and captains of this team for really helping their teammates dig deep, Bouchard added.
Barnes recognized the boost his early goal gave to the rest of his teammates.
It gives us a lot of confidence, he said. Targets are contagious, so once you see one go in, you’ll gain just as much speed as you’re on the ice.
When you see one, it’s much easier to get out and get more.
Despite lacking the size division compared to the Colts, Greenfield used his speed to develop high-quality opportunities in the attack zone.
Two Green Wave players to take advantage of such an advantage were Barnes and Devin Niles, who scored the team’s fourth goal after a brief breakaway in the second period.
We know we weren’t the biggest, we attackers, Barnes said. We have to play to our strengths, and luckily we have team speed, so we were able to set some guys on fire, create some more opportunities and bury some targets.
Before the match against Greenfield, Chicopee Comp had scored at least five goals in five consecutive matches led by the trio of David Girouard, Dylan Seymour and Danny Stefanik.
In the defeat on Wednesday, Girouard and Mason Whitehead’s two goals matched the Colts’ lowest total of the year, as the Green Wave’s defense managed to play in the neutral zone and interrupt their own defense zone before they could develop.
We are immensely proud of all three areas of our game: defensive, neutral and offensive, Bouchard said. We put together a plan to slow down their attack, and it was great to see our team perform.
He continued: It’s not easy when you look at that top line they have, so keeping the team at bay with two goals conceded was something we were proud of in our defensive zone.
Both Bouchard and Barnes praised goalkeeper Josh Bordeaux, who continues to perform at a high level in his first year as a starter, making several key saves to secure the win.
Josh has been tremendous to us all year round in his first year as a starter, Bouchard said. He learned a lot last year behind Riley Drew and how to handle games and big situations.
We were all a little nervous because he was so young, and it was his freshman year, Barnes added, but after that opening day Chicopee match, we have nothing but confidence and he impressed just about everyone in this squad.
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