super 8 championship game
Reading 3, Malden Catholic 0
Fifth-seeded Reading capped a remarkable 26-1 season by blanking Malden Catholic, 3-0, in Sunday's Super 8 championship game at the TD Banknorth Garden.
The Rockets, who put together a 21-1 regular-season record, but likely earned a low seeding after a poor performance in the Division 1A tournament last season, won five consecutive games, beating four Catholic Conference juggernauts (Catholic Memorial, BC High, Xaverian and MC) along the way to becoming the first public school to win the state's biggest prize in 30 years (Hudson, 1978).
What's more, Reading did it in dominating fashion. It outscored opponents, 19-6, in those five victories, and its top line of seniors Pat Kiley, Rob Toczylowski, and Mike Lozzi absolutely shined in tournament play. Goaltender Jeff Wyer, who endured struggles in last year's tournament, was showered with cheers of "MVP" from the Reading faithful as he collected his championship medal following Sunday's win.
Reading broke on top with 3:19 to play in the first period when Kiley made a phenomenal individual effort to get around a defender, then snapped a quick shot off the mask of MC netminder John Carbonneau that trickled over the goal line for a 1-0 advantage.
Rob Toczylowski added a fluky, but possibly pivotal goal just 12 seconds into the second period when his haphazard flip from the neutral zone hopped through Carbonneau for a 2-0 lead.
Wyer made some unbelievable saves in the second period to keep the Rockets out front and Toczylowski swooped in for a third score -- his second of the game -- with 8:27 to play. The goal essentially ensured the Rockets would be leaving Causeway St. with the championship trophy.
Sixth-seeded Malden Catholic enjoyed a phenomenal run to the Super 8 finals, outlasting all four of its leaguemates while posting four consecutive wins to start the tournament. But the Lancers were no match for Reading on Sunday.
Reading fans are chanting, "Public school." Yep, it looks look we might see a public school win the state's top prize for the first time in three decades tonight.
Malden Catholic fans responded with, "You need Jesus" and "Jesus loves us" chants. The game of chants is more entertaining than the game now.
Reading, 3-0 (8:47, 3rd)
Reading is putting a heftier focus on its defense, bottling up Malden Catholic in the offensive end and clearly trying to sit on this three-goal lead.
You get the feeling the Lancers need to score quick to get some life back in them (and the crowd) before time starts to slip away.
Don't Stop Believing
The second intermission featured a nice little 80s rock couplet with Whitesnake's, "Here I Go Again," and Journey's, "Don't Stop Believing." It merely served as the soundtrack for Jumbotron tomfoolery, but the moral here is that if Steve Perry's wailing can't inspire Malden Catholic, nothing can.
Reading skates into the second intermission with a commanding 3-0 lead over Malden Catholic in the Super 8 title game.
Reading skated 5-on-3 for almost a minute late in the frame, but Malden Catholic was able to kill off its infractions. But it simply doesn't seem like the Lancers' night.
Malden Catholic's Zack Sheppard had what appeared to be an easy goal as he tried to backhand home a rebound near the left post with 1:51 to play in the second stanza. Reading netminder Jeff Wyer somehow kicked out his right leg and turned it booted it aside (a play he had no business making) to keep MC scoreless. Just an unbelievable stop that words can't do justice to.
Reading, 3-0 (4:28, 2nd)
Malden Catholic's Andrew Cerretani had a golden opportunity with a free look in the slot, but his blast ricocheted hard of the crossbar keeping Reading out front, 3-0.
Cerretani got another shot off from in front of the crease a short time after, but Reading netminder Jeff Wyer made the save with his chest protector to keep the Lancers scoreless.
Reading, 3-0 (8:27, 2nd)
Rob Toczylowski flicks one in skating through the left circle and the Rockets extend their lead to 3-0 with 8:27 to play in the second period.
Reading, 2-0 (10:59, 2nd)
Pat Kiley just missed adding to the lead when his shot from the slot sailed just wide of its mark. Reading remains on top, 2-0, thanks to his two goals.
Reading, 2-0 (14:48, 2nd)
Wow, a fluky goal for Reading to start the second period.
Rob Toczylowski nets the game's second game by flicking a seemingly harmless lob from near midice that ate its way through goaltender John Carbonneau to put the Rockets out front, 2-0.
Pat Kiley muscles in a goal off Malden Catholic netminder John Carbonneau at 11:41 of the first period and the Rockets carry a 1-0 advantage into the first intermission.
Hard-skated first period with opportunities for both teams, but only Reading cashed in.
Malden Catholic put a good flurry around the net late in the frame, but Jason Yeomelakis couldn't put a stick to a loose puck at the right post with Jeff Wyer struggling to recover.
Kiley went through defender Evan Yanovitch before snapping a hard shot that seemed to rattle off the mask of Carbonneau before trickling just over the line.
Reading, 1-0 (3:19, 1st)
Reading's Pat Kiley swims around a defender, keeps the puck with his foot and snaps a wrister off John Carbonneau's mask for a 1-0 advantage at 11:41 of the first period.
Scoreless (7:36, 1st)
Best chance during Malden Catholic's power play might have actually been for Reading as RobToczylowski streaked in alone, only to be denied on the doorstep.
Scoreless (9:08, 1st)
Malden Catholic an early edge and the Lancers will go on the power play now with 9:08 to play in the period.
This place is packed. Somewhere the Bruins have to be wondering how they can draw these sort of numbers. The lower bowl is just about full and they've started seating people in the balconies (with much of the first few rows of the 300 sections filled, too.
Here are tonight's anticipated starting lineups:
LW - 17 - Zack Sheppard
C - 9 - Craig Carbonneau
RW - 5 - Andrew Cerretani
D - 7 - Greg Crovo
D - 6 - Jared Tringale
Goalie: 30 - John Carbonneau
LW - 20 - Rob Toczylowski
C - 12 - Mike Lozzi
RW - 19 - Pat Kiley
D - 7 - Travis Busch
D - 9 - Garrett Collins
Goalie: 35 - Jeff Wyer
Well, the undercard didn't disappoint as Westfield (Division 3), Sandwich (Division 2), and Needham (Division 1) skated to state title victories on the ice at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Now it's time for the main event as Reading jousts with Malden Catholic in the Super 8 final.
For more on tonight's game, check out this preview. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ZuriBerry for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Alex Hall | @AlexKHall | Baseball
- Colleen Casey | @ColleenCasey226 | Softball
- Mike Giesta | Boys lacrosse
- Catherine Calsolaro | @catrenee13 | Girls lacrosse
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Boys volleyball
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