READING — The Reading High boys hockey team played its best game of the season against a red-hot Woburn team that came into town.
The Rockets defeated the Tanners, 3-0, Wednesday night at Burbank Arena behind two second-period goals from juniors Trevor Owens and Landyn Greatorex that led the way and a shutout from senior captain goalie Dylan Emery.
“Our last two practices have been very good and we were hoping it would be a continuation of that,” said Reading coach Mark Doherty. “Woburn plays hard every night and I thought we brought a very good effort tonight.
After going not scoring a goal in its past two games, Reading came out with a different energy in this one on its home ice. It seemed to pay off as the Rockets kept Woburn goalie Kevin Burkett busy all night.
“The young kids are learning,” said Doherty. “I think we kind of caught Woburn when they were ripe, they have been on a real good roll and we were on bad roll needing to change things. There are a lot of positives from tonight and it all boils down to effort, so from that perspective it was much better.”
Burkett was outstanding for Woburn, totaling 35 saves on the night including a few highlight ones and keeping his team in the game.
“Our goalie played great tonight,” said Woburn coach Jim Duran. “Hopefully it wasn’t a wasted game making all those saves, but we just didn’t have it tonight. Reading was much better than us, they pressured us and they were just that much better.”
Woburn (3-2-2) has gotten off to a great start this season and Duran knows his team can take this loss and build off of it moving forward.
“We are really proud of our team,” said Duran. “We have played well all year and tonight is really the first night we didn’t play well. But, that has to do with the way Reading played and we were just flat all night. But, that is part of being a young team."
Reading came out with a great effort right out of the gate and got three shots on net in the first 40 seconds of play making its presence known.
The Rockets totaled 14 shots on net in the first period, while holding the Tanners to only two. Burkett was great all period and made two diving saves in the last 30 seconds to keep Reading off the board and leave both teams scoreless after one.
Mid-way through the second period, Reading finally broke through. Owens earned his first goal on the season when he fired a rocket just passed Burkett to give Reading a 1-0 lead. Brandon Millerick and Michael Dufton assisted on the play.
A few minutes later at 12:47 of the second period, Reading upped its lead to 2-0. Fiorenza passed a beauty across ice to Greatorex who blasted one home giving the Rockets the two-goal advantage.
Woburn had a few good opportunities in the third period to score, but was unable to get anything by Emery, who earned himself another shutout in the process totaling 14 saves on the night.
The Tanners’ best chances came mid-way through the third on their first power play of the game. They had good scoring bids by Jonathan Surrette and Lance Anderson, but Reading continued to dominate play killing it off.
With two minutes left to go in the game, Brukett was pulled and Reading took advantage when senior Cam Lawhorne scored the empty-netter from across the ice on a pass from goalie Emery, who earned his first assist to go 3-0 and seal the game for the Rockets.
Reading (4-3-0) will look to keep it going Saturday at Belmont (4-2-2) at 1 p.m. Woburn will look to get back in the win column Saturday versus Lexington (3-3-2) at O’Brien Rink in a noontime faceoff.