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Strong Season Ends in Semis for Grafton/BVT Hockey

By Chris Villani
Sports Reporter/Columnist
The Grafton/Blackstone Valley Tech ice hockey co-op earned a spot in the Division 3A district semifinals for the third season in a row and, even though the year came
to an end with a 3-1 loss to Lunenburg, head coach Mike Binkoski couldn't help but marvel at his program's level of success.
"I told the guys after the game, 'you
played in three straight district semifinals, won two district championships, won
a state championship,'" he said, "that's a tremendous high school career."
The Indians lost just four games this winter, two of them by a single goal. The semifinal loss was, in essence, a one-goal game before Lunenburg tacked on an empty net tally. "It was a great game, we out shot them and I thought we outplayed
them," Binkoski said. "We had great energy throughout all three periods, we just didn't get that goal we needed."
Co-captain Trevor Thomas, a Valley Tech senior, stood out in his final game.
"He was all over the ice, doing the things he does all the time," his coach said. "He was winning races, winning battles and bringing great energy to the team."
Fellow BVT senior Griffin DiAntonio continued to skate as well as he has in his four years with the program, Binkoski said. "He was flying," the coach said. "He was doing all the little things right, so it was tough to see the outcome we did."
The season featured far more positive developments for the program than negative. Grafton/BVT was able to play at Worcester's DCU Center before the Worcester Railers, the ECHL affiliate of
the New York Islanders, took the ice. The Indians also challenged themselves with games against new Division 3 opponents like Longmeadow and Westfield. "That was a step up for us and these kids took that challenge head on," Binkoski said.
It was all part of the continued growth of one of the stronger emerging hockey programs in the area. Binkoski said the development of the teams is a testament to the hard work of his players, capped off by a crowd of nearly 1,000 people watching Grafton/BVT's most recent playoff contest.
"It's been special to be a part of those games," he said.




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