Published in the December 15, 2016 edition
By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
NORTH READING — Last season was a solid one for the North Reading High hockey team as they reached the Division 2 North quarterfinals before falling, in overtime, to Lincoln-Sudbury 5-4. With that defeat, the Hornets ended the year at 14-5-3.
Seven seniors from that squad graduated but eighth year head coach John Giuliotti did return most of his defense spearheaded by the two senior co–captains, James Doran and Tyler Collins.
The third captain this season is senior forward John Merullo.
The Hornets offense is the team’s biggest question heading into the year as only ten goals were scored last year by the remaining forwards.
Also, John Day will be the team’s new goalie moving in for the graduated Nick Ponte. Day is a junior.
“There is a lot of competition going on for spots,” said Giuliotti, about the preseason.
North Reading’s preseason has been very busy as they have scrimmaged against Concord-Carlisle, Reading and Groton–Dunstable.
The Hornets are slated to play a 20 game regular season. Giuliotti feels that the defending Cape Ann League champions, Newburyport, will be the team to beat in the league again this year along with Masconomet.
North Reading will also have a new home rink this winter as they will play their home games at Kasabuski Rink in Saugus after playing at Merrimack College last year.
The Hornets played their first game on Wednesday night as Kasabuski as they faced Pentucket (results not available at press time). Their next game is also at home as they take on Amesbury. That contest will start at 4:30 p.m.