By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
On Sunday afternoon, the North Reading High hockey team doubled up Masconomet, 4-2, at the Tsongas Center in Lowell. With that win, the Hornets ended the regular season at 16-4 overall and they finished 9-3 (second place behind Newburyport) in the Cape Ann League.
“This was a good stepping-stone game to get us ready for the state tournament,” said Hornets head coach John Giuliotti, whose team split the season series with the Chieftains this year.
Kevin Murphy, Jarred Valente, Tyler Calos and Jarred Potter had the four North Reading goals. Potter’s goal came on the empty net with 50-seconds left in the game.
The Hornets outshot the Chieftains on goal, 26-15, at goalie Nick Ponte (16-4) made 13 saves.
Last Thursday night, the Hornets blanked guest Lynnfield, 4-0, at Burbank Arena in Reading.
“It was a strong showing and I was happy for the seniors,” said Giuliotti, as it was Senior Night for the team.
Mike Driscoll, Griffin Paine, Calos and Potter had the four Hornets goals in the win as North Reading scored three time in the third period.
Ponte posted his fifth shutout of the season as the Hornets completed the season sweep over the Pioneers.
On Feb. 17, the Hornets captured the Jeff Hayes Memorial Tournament for the second year in a row as they beat Oliver Ames, 3-1, in the title game at Gallo Arena down in Buzzards Bay.
“This is a great tournament and we have been in it the past four years,” pointed out Giuliotti. “They do a great job of raising funds for cancer research.”
Nick Day led the team with a pair of goals while Calos had the other tally. Ponte allowed only one goal and that took place in the second period.
In the first game of the tournament, the Hornets blew out Sandwich, 10-3, on Feb. 16. Pat Driscoll led the way with a hat trick.
Leading, 6-3, the Hornets erupted for four goals in the third to turn the game into a rout.
North Reading was the second seed in the Division 2 North state tournament and they played 15th-seeded Stoneham on Feb. 25 in the first round (results not available at press time).
If they won that game, they will play the winner of the Danvers- Peabody game on Saturday (time and location unknown at press time) in the quarterfinals.