Published in the December 24, 2015 edition


NORTH READING — It has been a strong start to the season for the North Reading high boys hockey team as they won their first two games with a pair of shutouts. Last Saturday night, the Hornets beat host Masconomet, 3–0, at the Valley Forum in Haverhill to go to 2–0 overall and in the Cape Ann League.

After a scoreless first period, the Hornets scored once in the second as Mike Driscoll scored assisted by Brian Cotter.

North Reading then scored twice in the third. With 4:18 left in the game, John Merullo scored with Pat Scanlon and Jason Tannian both assisting. Driscoll then scored an empty net goal with 34 seconds left to close the door.

“That was a big test we passed against a good team,” said Hornets head coach John Giuliotti.

The Hornets outshot the Chieftains on goal, 28-18, as North Reading goalie Nick Ponte made 18 saves to record his second shutout in a row.

In the season opener, also at the Valley Forum, the Hornets rolled over Amesbury 5–0.

“It was a great way for us to open the season,” stated Giuliotti.

Pat Driscoll and his brother, Mike, scored in the first period. After a scoreless second, the Hornets struck for three goals in the third. Merullo, Cotter and Mike Driscoll had the third period goals. Mike Driscoll ended the night with four points as he finished with a pair of assists. Pat Driscoll also finished with two assists.

North Reading dominated the territorial play as they outshot the Indians on goal, 52–4, as Ponte had an easy night in goal.

Next Monday and Tuesday, the Hornets will compete in the Kasabuski Christmas Classic Tournament in Saugus. The Hornets will face Andover on Monday in the first round and that game will start at 2 p.m. They will then either play Melrose or Winthrop in the title or consolation game on Tuesday. The consolation game is at 10 a.m. while the championship game is at 4 p.m.