Published in the March 10, 2016 edition
By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
NORTH READING — The season came to an end in heartbreaking fashion for the North Reading High hockey team as they lost, 5–4, in overtime to Lincoln–Sudbury in the Division 2 North quarterfinals last Friday at the Chelmsford Forum in Billerica.
Ryan Duffy was the hero for the Warriors scoring the game–winning goal just 57 seconds into the overtime session.
“We knew that they would be a challenge,” said Hornets head coach John Giuliotti, afterwards. “It was a back-and-fourth game all night.”
The Warriors notched the first goal as Eric Holden scored with 3:46 left in the first period. Less than a minute later, John Merullo tied it, tipping home a shot by James Dolan.
Tyler Calos gave the Hornets their first lead, scoring in the second period in what turned out to be the lone tally of the period.
Holden tied the game at 2–2, 1:49 into the third but Nicco Pastore gave the Hornets the lead again with Mike Driscoll assisting 3:35 in.
Lincoln–Sudbury then tied the game again at 3–3, as Myles Cohen lit the lamp on the power play. Holden then got the hat trick with 4:12 remaining but Pastore tied the game with 2:59 left, beating goalie Cam Kessler (33 saves).
Duffy’s overtime goals was assisted by Holden.
The Hornets outshot the Warriors on goal, 37–30, as Hornet goalie Nick Ponte made 25 stops.
With the loss, the second seeded Hornets end the year at 14–5–3. The seventh seeded Warriors, meanwhile, improved to 14–-6–2 as they faced Gloucester on Tuesday night in the semifinals (results not available at press time).
In the opening round, the Hornets hammered 15th seeded Everett, 8–2, on March 1 at the O’Brien Rink in Woburn.
“That was a good opening-round game for us,” recalled Giuliotti. “We had a great second period.”
North Reading led, 2–1, heading into the second period and then erupted for five goals in that period to turn the game into a rout.
Patrick Driscoll led the way with a hat trick while Calos added two goals. Mike Driscoll, Tyler Collins and Brian Cotter had the three other goals against the overmatched Crimson Tide (10–11).
Pastore led the team in assists with three while Mike Driscoll and Jared Valade both had two assists.
Ponte made 23 stops in net.