Reading Takes Down Arlington 3-1

Arlington, MA – The Reading Rockets traveled to the Ed Burns Arena for a New Year’s Eve Day matinee game against the Spy Ponders of Arlington High School

The first period seemed to be a feeling out process between these two teams. Although Reading only had a couple of shots in the period, they played a physical brand of hockey, especially below the goal line. Both teams seemed to be OK with dumping and chasing pucks for most of the period. Reading would go on a power play with four minutes to go in the period, but the Spy Ponders did a good job blocking shots and killing the penalty off. Although Arlington carried a lot of play in the period, Reading would get on the board  with under a minute to go when an Arlington defender wrapped a puck around on a breakout that was chipped out of the zone by senior forward Drew Fecteau. Reading’s junior defenseman TJ Michel picked up the puck in the neutral zone and sent a seam pass up the middle to senior forward Matt Walsh who redirected it to senior forward Jack DonnellyDonnelly took a couple strides over the blue line and threw a puck to the net beating Arlington goalie Jake Davies bar down glove side.  The period would end 1-0. 

Two and a half minutes into the second period the Spy Ponders would get on the board. Junior forward Kevin O’Connor would send a loose puck to senior defender Ryan Gilbert at the point. Gilbert put a shot to the net that was saved by Reading goalie Chris Hanifan but the rebound was banged home by senior defender Stephanos Sotiropoulos to tie the game. Towards the end of the period, Reading would take the lead.  On a Reading dump in Arlington’s Davies would skate towards the corner to play the puck around the boards. Unfortunately it ended up on Reading senior forward Mark Boyle’s stick who fed junior forward Matt Fichera in the slot. Fichera stepped around Arlington defenseman Gilbert and as he was losing his balance beat Davies over the glove for the 2-1 lead.

Both teams came to play in the third with some good back and forth action to start.
With 9 minutes to go, Arlington would go on the power play. This was a crucial point in the game and Reading rose to the occasion, shutting down Arlington’s power play holding on to the 2-1 lead, and would add to it a few minutes later. Reading retrieved a puck dumped in by Arlington and sent it up the boards to Fichera who was pressured and played it back to senior defenseman Nate Johnson in the zone. Johnson chipped the puck off the glass and it was picked up by junior forward Laz Giardina who skated by the Arlington defense and ripped a shot high glove side to give Reading the 3-1 lead. Arlington would go on the power play one last time with five minutes to go. They would pull the goalie and play 6-on-4. Arlington had some chances but Reading once again sacrificed their bodies blocking shots and selling out to hold on to the 3-1 lead.  Arlington thought they banged one in with about three minutes left but Rockets goalie Hanifan made a great left-to-right push to smother the scoring attempt and sealing the win for the Rockets.

Three Stars:

  1. G Chris Hanifan, Reading
  2. F Matt Fichera, Reading
  3. F Jack Donnelly, Reading