Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Shrewsbury Hockey Headed back to D3 Final after Topping Westfield

By Nick Beaudoin (@beaudoin91_)

Springfield, Mass. - The Colonials of Shrewsbury (16-2-2) defeated the Bombers of Westfield (14-5-2), 2-1 at the Mass Mutual Center on Wednesday night, advancing to championship Sunday at the TD Garden in Boston for the second consecutive year.

The Colonials were led offensively by twin brothers Anthony and Liam Quinlivan. Each had beautiful snipes in the slot, tallying their 22nd and 28th goals this season, respectively. The Quinlivan brothers have also totaled 50 and 48 points respectively this season, carrying the load with fellow line mate Tyler Borys, who has 31.

A few other faces stood out for the Colonials, as senior goaltender Pat Shaughnessy made some critical saves at different points in the game, most notably a blocker save coming with 2:45 left in the third period. After letting up a goal within the first six seconds of the game on a great move by Westfield’s Connor Cottengim beat him high blocker side, Shaughnessy was stone cold in net.

Defensively in front of him, freshman Tommy Belbin was a force. He logged plenty of minutes for head coach Steve Turnblom and had 7 blocked shots. His best coming with just over a minute left that potentially saved a goal. His efforts were crucial in Shrewsbury’s win from a defensive standpoint.

Senior captain and goal scorer Liam Quinlivan said this win was big for their team, alluding to their defensive mindset after an early goal against.

“I think we battled hard today," Quinlivan said. "We put ourselves in the best position to win come the third period, and were able to close it out thanks to Pat [Shaughnessy] and the work of our defensemen.”

When asked what it would feel like steeping on the Garden ice four days from now Quinlivan smiled saying, “I can’t wait. A lot of these guys were there last year and we know what it takes to win. It’s going to be a great game and if we stick to our game plan, we can bring home some hardware.”

Shrewsbury heads to the home of the Boston Bruins on Sunday, looking to defend its D3 state title in a matinee matchup at 1pm against Hanover.

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