Hockey: Greenfield rallies twice to secure 2-2 tie with Belchertown (PHOTOS)

  • Greenfield’s Jayson Smith, left, controls the puck against Belchertown’s Jack Mandeville at the Mullins Center Practice Rink in Amherst on Sunday. The Green Wave and Orioles tied 2-2 STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Greenfield’s MJ Paulin, left, and Belchertown’s Jack Mandeville battle for the puck at the Mullins Center Practice Rink in Amherst on Sunday. The Green Wave and Orioles tied 2-2. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Greenfield’s Hunter Smith (3) checks Belchertown’s Caleb Reardon in front of the net at the Mullins Center Practice Rink in Amherst on Sunday. The Green Wave and Orioles tied 2-2. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Belchertown’s Ryan Fernandes and Greenfield’s Jayson Smith cross sticks at the Mullins Center Practice Rink in Amherst on Sunday. The Green Wave and Orioles tied 2-2. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Greenfield’s Jayson Smith and Belchertown’s Luke Wojnas battle for the puck at the Mullins Center Practice Rink in Amherst on Sunday. The Green Wave and Orioles tied 2-2. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Belchertown’s James Dleaney shields the puck against Greenfield at the Mullins Center Practice Rink in Amherst on Sunday. The Green Wave and Orioles tied 2-2. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer
Published: 1/23/2022 4:54:45 PM
Modified: 1/23/2022 4:53:29 PM

AMHERST – Belchertown and Greenfield’s draw resembled a Rorschach test for both hockey programs. 

Both could see what they wanted in the 2-2 Wright Division result Sunday at the Mullins Center Practice Arena.

For the Orioles, it was a positive step in their second game back from a three-week COVID pause. They lost 3-2 against East Longmeadow in overtime on Saturday but hadn’t played since Dec. 27 at Oakmont.

“We’ve just got to get rolling. We’ve got some more tough ones coming up,” said Belchertown goalie Tim Mitus, who made 29 saves. “We’ve got to get rolling and try to get to the playoffs and see what we can do.”

For the Green Wave, it was a lesson in resilience. Belchertown (2-2-1) took the lead twice, and Greenfield (6-3-2) responded each time to knot the game.

“We put ourselves in that position and had to scrap back to put that tie in place,” Greenfield coach Adam Bouchard said.

Charlie Fijal gave the Orioles their first lead with a wrist shot 8 minutes, 57 seconds in. Andrew Fijal and Charlie Henderson assisted on the play.

“We have a strong culture in this locker room, winning culture,” Belchertown coach Derek Chandonnet said. “We’re trying to build off that and make it even stronger.”

Greenfield converted the game’s only power play with 5:15 left in the second period to tie the game for the first time. Fijal was whistled for tripping at 5:21, then Shane Prusak capitalized six seconds later with an unassisted goal that made it 1-1.

“We’ve been working really hard at practice on our power play, so to see it pay off is a good feeling,” Prusak said.

The Orioles went ahead again 3:05 into the third. Ryan O’Neil made a great cross-ice stretch pass to Aidan Torna that put the junior 1-on-1 with Greenfield goalie Joshua Bordeaux (27 saves). Torna beat him for his first career goal to make it 2-1. 

“It was definitely a beautiful pass,” Torna said.

He avoided thinking about lighting the lamp for the first time until the puck hit the twine.

“You can’t think about that because then you get jitters and it can’t go in sometimes,” Torna said. “It felt really good to get the first one in the back of the net.”

That lead held until the final two minutes when Prusak found Trevor Kuchieski on the back side of the goal and he tapped it in to tie the game 2-2 with 2:06 remaining.

“We work on that play a lot in practice, too,” Prusak said. “I knew it was going to be open, and it worked.”

Both teams had chances to win the game in regulation. Greenfield took a timeout with 12.1 seconds left before a defensive zone face off. The Orioles won the face off and nearly snapped the puck into the net, but it went wide.

In the 4-on-4 overtime period, the Green Wave rang the post. Belchertown fired a couple shots just high and wide. Greenfield had a clean look with a few seconds left that Mitus saved as the buzzer sounded to award each team a point.

“You think there’s two seconds left, but it feels like an eternity,” Mitus said. “You’ve got to play to the buzzer, maybe a little past it because if that goes in even if it went off before they may have counted it.”

Greenfield 7, Drury 1 – It was a much different story on Saturday night, as Greenfield exploded for a lopsided win over a Drury team that has played the Wave tough over the years.

Tied 1-1 after one, Greenfield put four in the net in the second stanza.

Kuchieski and Sammy Knight each finished with hat tricks for the Wave, and Jake Jurek also scored. Prusak assisted on three of the team’s tallies, and Hunter Smith dished out a pair of helpers.

Next up for Greenfield is a Friday night independent tilt with Amherst (8:30 p.m.).


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