H.S. Hockey: Greenfield the only state champion in Massachusetts

  • Greenfield celebrates their 3-2 win over Lunenburg for the MIAA Division 3A state final on March 7 at the Hart Center on the campus of Holy Cross in Worcester. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield celebrates the game-winning goal against Lunenburg in the third period during the MIAA Division 3A state final on March 7 at the Hart Center on the campus of Holy Cross in Worcester. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield celebrates their 3-2 win over Lunenburg for the MIAA Division 3A state final on March 7 at the Hart Center on the campus of Holy Cross in Worcester. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 3/20/2020 5:58:30 PM
Modified: 3/20/2020 5:58:17 PM

 

With high school playoff brackets unfolding in basketball and hockey all over the Commonwealth, nobody could have known how the season was going to end.

There were visions of celebrations, game-winning plays, holding trophies in the air in a sea of teammates and fans during chaotic post-game scenes.

Athletes, coaches, and fans then had to deal with the disheartening news that COVID-19 slammed the door on the their state championship dreams.

Left with no other safe option, the MIAA canceled all state remaining championship games.

Who could forget the gut-wrenching video of Arlington High School  coach John Messuri informing his team that they could not play in the Super 8/Division 1A championship game at TD Garden?

All semifinalists in the remaining basketball and hockey tournaments received co-champion status. The basketball gyms and hockey arenas were quiet and empty.

But one team got to hoist a state champion trophy and celebrate with its fans. The puck dropped for the Western Mass. Division 3A state championship game before coronavirus changed our lives.

In that game, the Greenfield hockey team beat Lunenburg, 3-2, to become the one and only individual state champion in the entire state in basketball or hockey on March 7 on the campus of Holy Cross.

Greenfield celebrated but then had to watch others miss their opportunity.

“It was and still is a mixed bag of emotions,” Greenfield coach Adam Bouchard said. “I can only image the disappointment. To those student athletes who weren't able to finish their season, it's a surreal feeling of sadness.”

The celebration was rich for the team and the community of Greenfield and all of Franklin County.  

After the jubilation that immediately followed the game, fans of the team waited outside to greet the Green Wave on their way to the team bus.

“We got a picture of everyone that came to the game with the trophy which was pretty sweet,” Greenfield's Bryan Baumann said.

Once they returned, the Green Wave their fans continued the celebration in a banquet hall of the Terrazza in Greenfield.

“Everyone went there, family and friends,” Baumann said. “The mayor even showed up.”

The Green Wave were lucky based on the timing. They were one week away from losing out on a chance for a state championship.

“It would've been heartbreaking news,” Baumann said. “It's the last chance you get. You work so hard for it for so long and then it gets taken away from something out of your reach. I feel bad for all the kids that worked to get there.”

Senior captain Mike McGoldrick enjoyed his team's win but felt for those who were not able to play.

“I am extremely grateful that we were able to get our game in before all this stuff started to come along,” McGoldrick said. “It's a shame that everybody else didn't get to show how much they wanted the championship at the end.”

Bouchard hopes reflecting on the team's win can help those in the community. Through the Frontier Community Access Television Youtube channel, members of Franklin County can relive all of the championship moments.

“It's something positive to reflect upon right now for everybody,” Bouchard said. “We did something for the first time. Something we are extremely proud of. Hopefully that can give some people a little positivity in their day.

Shane Prusak enjoyed the parade of support the team received upon returning to Greenfield after the championship victory but had a feeling of remorse for the other teams in the state.

“I think it sucks for the other teams who did not get to play in the state championships,” Prusak said. “But it's really cool for us being the only state champion in Massachusetts.” 

Emergency personal gave the Wave an escort through downtown.

“It was cool for people from Greenfield and other towns be that excited,” Prusak said.  “It was really cool to see everyone gathered together to celebrate us.” 

FCAT Media has an assortment of regular season game as well in its YouTube channel.

“The community has that to lean on,” Bouchard said. “ To be able to look back, just fire up your smart phone your computer or your smart TV, fire up Youtube. Disappear from what's going on for a couple hours to look through the season. We hope as a team an an organization that could give people some escape.”


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