WEST SPRINGFIELD -- Berkshire County’s high school hockey season ended in harsh fashion Monday night.
Top seed Agawam took control early and scored often, eliminating Hennessy League champion Wahconah from the Western Mass. Division III-A tournament with a 9-4 decision in Monday’s second semifinal.
Wahconah’s season ends at 15-5-1, while the 17-3-2 Brownies will face South Hadley on Thursday night for the sectional championship at the Olympia Ice Center.
Wahconah, which fielded 10 skaters and goalie Roger Stedman, was outshot 30-11 through two periods. Ryan Ouimet was listed with a hat trick for the Warriors, though coach Don Disbrow thought one of those should have been credited to Lane Grogan. Nick Montferret scored in the third period for Wahconah.
"We knew their depth, their speed and their physicality," Disbrow said. "We didn’t want to go toe-to-toe with them in the corners. That was just going to wear us down."
Cam Rivest and Corey Jenks scored two goals each for Agawam, which outshot the Warriors 42-16. The Brownies put the game away with a four-goal flurry in the final 9 minutes of the second period.
These teams had played earlier in the season, with Agawam beating Wahconah 6-4 in North Adams on Dec. 21. Wahconah, though, had a slightly bigger roster for the first matchup.
Disbrow said he wanted to play a more defensive game Monday night, but Agawam was relentless in its approach to the Warrior net.
"We either didn’t clear guys out or didn’t stop the first shot or the second shot," he said. "There were a lot of things going on."
Roger Stedman, facing one of his toughest tests of the season, stopped 33 shots for Wahconah. Agawam goalie Anthony Ascioti made 12 saves.
Disbrow thinks Agawam is capable of beating South Hadley on Thursday night for the championship, especially with Agawam tying Berry Division champion Westfield last month, but added that both teams are solid.
"I really think they [Agawam] picked up speed [from the first matchup]," Disbrow said. "They got better over the season. We got better, but not to the degree they did."
Wahconah 1 1 2 -- 4
Agawam 4 5 0 -- 9
A -- Zach Circosta (Seamus Curran), 6:23
A -- Billy Wysocki (Cam Rivest), 7:15
W -- Ryan Ouimet (Nick Montferret), 7:35
A -- Corey Jenks (Justin Lecuyer), 10:16
A -- Todd Ruby (UA), 11:58
A -- Corey Jenks (Cory Pfau), 2:23
W -- Ouimet (Montferret), 4:44 (PP)
A -- Rivest (Ruby), 6:02
A -- Lecuyer (Jenks), 6:59
A -- Rivest (Curran), 13:50 (PP)
A -- James Newsome (Eric Kierkla, Lecuyer), 14:07
W -- Ouimet (David Senecal), 2:29 (SH)
W -- Montferret (Jeff Hancock), 11:19
Saves: W -- Roger Stedman 33. A -- Anthony Ascioti 12.