Co-op hockey team faces West Warwick/EWG in this weekend’s D-III semis

Co-op hockey team faces West Warwick/EWG in this weekend’s D-III semis

WEST WARWICK – The Johnston/North Providence/Tiverton co-op hockey team will make its first postseason appearance in three seasons when it takes on the West Warwick/Exeter-West Greenwich co-op squad this weekend in a best-of-three Division III semifinal-round series.

The series will begin on Friday at 8:30 p.m. at West Warwick’s Magiera Arena, and the second game is scheduled for Smithfield Municipal Arena on Saturday at 9 p.m. If a third and deciding game is needed, it will take place next Monday back at Magiera Arena.

Both the Johnston/NP/Tiverton and West Warwick/EWG teams ended their regular seasons in a tie for second place with 8-6-1 records, but West Warwick/EWG landed the second seed in the playoffs because it won the season series with the locals. West Warwick/EWG beat Johnston/NP/Tiverton by a 4-1 score on Jan. 4 in Pawtucket, but the locals came back to win their rematch, 3-2, three weeks later in West Warwick.

Both teams then battled each other in their regular-season finale on Feb. 16 in Smithfield, and West Warwick/EWG escaped with a 4-3 victory. Johnston’s Ryan DiLorenzo scored his team-leading 16th and 17th goals of the season for the locals in that game.

In the other semifinal-round series, defending Division III champion Pilgrim (12-3) is the top seed and will take on 4th-seeded Mount Hope (8-7).

The best-of-three title series is slated to begin on March 8.