LOWELL ó Austin Prep used an early goal from freshman Jake McKenelley and an empty-netter to defeat Reading, 2-1, in the opening game of their Super 8 tournament series at Tsongas Arena in Lowell.
Reading rallied furiously in the third period, scoring with 22.2 seconds to play, but the Cougars held on.
Austin Prepís Andrew Cross was called for roughing in the final minutes, but Eric MacAdamsís clear during six-on-four play found the back of the Rocketsí net to put AP up 2-0.
Readingís Ryan Thomson scored with 22.2 seconds to play, but thatís where things stayed.
AP outshot the Rockets 31-24 on the night.
Reading took a holding penalty early on, and it looked as though it had dodged a bullet when Austin Prepís Andrew Cross was called for tripping just seconds into the man-advantage. However, the Cougars responded on the next faceoff with MacAdamsís goal anyway.
Austin Prep sophomore forward Bob Carpenter went flying toward the net on the left side and flipped a backhanded shot on Reading goaltender Evan Morelli. The senior captain made the save, but the rebound went straight to freshman McKenelley, who found the back of the net for the 12th time this season to put AP up, 1-0, 4:52 into the first.
The Cougars lead the series 1-0 and the teams will play again 7:45 p.m. Wednesday at Stoneham Arena.
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 @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.