Published March 21, 2019

ANDOVER — The North Reading 5th/6th grade team, led by coach John Stringer Jr., Peter Day and Mark Losoflo went .500 this season to finish the Martian Hockey Bergeron West division in 1st place. Medford, Georgetown, Belmont, North Andover and Masconomet comprised the Bergeron West Division. The Hornets also faced teams from the East division including the Canadian SOMANG, Andover, Wilmington, Lynnfield, Woburn and Burlington.

The roster included 5th graders Brayden Carlson, Jacob Cochran, Robbie Daley, Corbin Day, Jack Harty, Jack Lazure, Devin Lavers, Ryan Losoflo, Hazel Pearsall and Ryan Stringer and 6th graders Duncan Gulino, Max Gulino, Michael Pittore, Max Forristall and Tommy Gazda.

The Hornets earned a bye as the 1st place seed to face Belmont in the semifinals at Philips Academy in Andover. The young Hornets, came out buzzing with Daley and Stringer posting two quick goals. Belmont answered making it 2-1 at 10:37 in play. With back-and-forth action, Losoflo, with the help of defensive pairs of Forestall and Pearsall and Gazda and Lavers, frustrated Belmont. Belmont’s goalie played strong, stopping offensive pressure from Day, the Gulino brothers, Harty, Lazure and Cochran.

NORTH READING with their Martian Hockey cup. Pictured in the front row from left to right are Corbin Day, Jack Harty, Tommy Gazda, Max Forristall, and goalie Ryan Losoflo. In the second row from left are Jacob Cochran, Hazel Pearsall, Ryan Stringer, Devin Lavers, Robbie Daley, Brayden Carlson, Jack Lazure, Max Gulino and Michael Pittore. In the back row from left are coaches Mark Losoflo, John Stringer and Peter Day. (Courtesy Photo)

A Belmont penalty was called after tripping Max Gulino who was on a breakaway. The lines changed and with the help of Day and Lazure, Duncan Gulino scored to end the period 3-1.

Belmont scored early in the second on power play but on the next faceoff Daley rushed the net making it 4-2. The Hornets kept the pressure up as Losoflo continued to make saves, Gazda had a huge back check, and Lavers rushing up the puck into the offensive zone. Belmont closed the gap, now 4-3.

Daley responded, making it 5-3. Belmont was held with Pearsall poke checking the puck at the blue line and Forestall stopping them in their tracks. Losoflo made three straight saves while Harty and Cochran swiped away redounds. Daley scored again to end the period 6-3. In the 3rd, Belmont, with a “golf shot”, made it 6-4. After a nice give-and-go, Pittore and Stringer assisted another Daley goal and Forrestal scored to end the game 8-4.

The team returned to Phillips Academy to face Georgetown for the championship The stands were packed with parents, sibling, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and members of North Reading Youth Hockey; the enthusiasm was palpable.

The Hornets, came ready to play, each playing their personal best game of the season. It took Daley just nine seconds to put Georgetown on notice, scoring off the initial puck drop. Georgetown fought back, but were denied by Losoflo, with help from Harty, Lavers, and Forrestal. The lines of Carlson, Day and Lazure, Cochran, and Max Gulino pressured the Georgetown goalie and broke up several offensive attempts by Georgetown. Pittore hit Stringer with a pass who then made a neutral zone pass to Daley. Daley then broke to the net and scored closing the first with a two-goal lead.

After Carlson, Day, and Lazure cleared the puck in the defensive zone, Gazda rushed up the ice and scored, making it 3-0. Stringer and Daley each scored again in the second, closing the period 5-0.

In the third, Cochran and Max Gulino battled in the corners, while Carlson helped protect Losoflo. Lavers caused a turnover, creating an opportunity for Max Gulino to enter the offensive zone and score. Losoflo was a brick wall but Georgetown managed to post a goal. The Hornets quickly answered, Pittore made a play on Belmont, got the puck to Daley who put the puck on Stringer’s stick making it 7-1. Georgetown answered again with 5 minutes left to play, now 7-2. Pearsall had the hit of the night, physically stopping Georgetown’s only 7th grader. Harty with a fast backcheck broke up another Georgetown attempt and the game ended 7-2 earning North Reading the Martian Hockey League Championship cup.