WOBURN, Mass. – Heading into Saturday night’s game against Middlesex League rival Woburn, the seniors of Reading’s boys’ hockey team had never come away with two point from the Ned O’Brien skating rink. Whether it was against the Tanners, or Winchester, which also calls the Ned home, the Rockets haven’t been able to muster a victory during the last three years there.
Perhaps the Rockets’ 7-1 drubbing of No. 13 Woburn last night might count for a couple win.
The Rockets (9-1-1 6-0-1) played their most complete game to date, jumping on the Tanners for five goals in a second-period explosion to roll over the Tanners (4-3-2, 4-2-2).
Both Mark Dente and Mike Thomson both had two-goal games for the Rockets.
“I thought for the first time all season that we played three hard periods,” Reading head coach Mark Doherty said. “I’m glad it happened tonight. This senior group, some of them, six or seven that have been here for three years, haven’t won a game here [at O’Brien].”
The teams skated to a scoreless first period before the Rockets burned some fuel in the second.
Derek Galante, Matt Hagan and Robbie Devaney had Reading to a quick 3-0 lead to start the second before Dente ripped off two straight goals to close out the onslaught.
Thomson followed with both of his goals in the third.
Joe Connors scored the lone goal for Woburn.
After a sloppy first period, when the Rockets took some undisciplined penalties, Doherty’s message to his team was clear: tighten up and stay out of the box.
It is then, at those times, when the Rockets have shown they’re among the elite teams in the state this season.
“We’ve got guys that can skate, we’ve got guys that can make plays, but all season I’ve said can we just skate 5-on-5,” Doherty said.