The Greenwood Inn took home the 2018-19 Warwick Men’s Senior Hockey League title recently, which was its first championship in three years.
After winning multiple titles a few year back, the Greenwood Inn was determined to put an end to the drought this year, and was successful as it topped the Bridgeview Construction Kings 6-2 in the championship clash. It was the team’s third title in five years.
“It was great. Our team had somewhat of a dynasty, we were winning year after year, but the last two years we were knocked out in the semifinals. It was tough because we were so used to always finishing as one of the top two teams but we hadn’t for a while. We finished (the regular season) in second place and we really rallied together in the playoffs. It was nice to get the cup back which can now be found at the Greenwood Inn,” said player-organizer Christopher D’Ovidio.
The Greenwood Inn has had nearly the same squad for the past five years, and has had returning players over the course of the last decade and beyond. The Warwick Men’s Senior League has players come out from all over the state, and is considered one of the top men’s leagues in the area.
The Greenwood Inn and Bridgeview Construction Kings clubs have battled in tightly-contested games over the past few years, including in a 5-5 draw this year, and have regularly finished atop the standings. They expected another close match in the championship.
“We were pretty evenly-matched heading into the game. We won a few more games than they did in the regular season but we were saying in the locker room that you can never count (the Kings) out … they always seem to be able to make a comeback,” said D’Ovidio. “They are a scrappy team, we felt confident going into the game but never over confident because we knew what they were capable of, they’re very scrappy.”
The guys at the Greenwood Inn enjoyed bringing the cup back to their home, and to earn some bragging rights over the other clubs that make up the six-team league.
“There will definitely be some bragging, but it’s all in good fun. Everyone generally knows everyone. Many of the guys grew up together, played hockey together in high school or other men’s pickup leagues. We’re all good friends,” said D’Ovidio.
D’Ovidio and company also appreciate the help that the Greenwood Inn has provided the team over the years, as well as the City of Warwick for giving everyone access to these leagues and rinks.
“It’s really important … to be able to play these games and to be able to work out and have fun,” said D’Ovidio. “It’s a lot easier to commit yourself to play hockey instead of going to the gym. We’re very grateful for the city of Warwick, having these two rinks and to have these leagues available. Sometimes you think, ‘Man, I’m not sure if I feel like going,’ but you are always happy that you did. These leagues are great for the city.”