Super 8 final | Reading 3, Malden Catholic 0

No. 1 in more ways than one

Reading stops MC, becomes first public school to win elite tourney

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Matt Porter
Globe Correspondent / March 17, 2008

The cry was heard forcefully throughout the latter stages of the game.

"Public schools," the Reading fans chanted, asserting the Rockets' dominance over their parochial school opponent, Malden Catholic.

The fans were loud, and their counterparts on the other side of TD Banknorth Garden couldn't muster much of answer.

It was the same on the ice, as the Rockets owned the game from start to finish, taking a 3-0 win and the first title by a public school team in the 18-year history of the Super 8. Reading also became the first public school to win the championship of the top division in the state since Hudson in 1978.

"Overwhelming? Amazing? Speechless? I don't know what to say about this," said Reading senior Rob Toczylowski. "Making history is one thing, but going out on top with this team is even better."

When the final buzzer sounded, Reading players hugged in the corner, then broke toward their fans and jumped against the glass, while supporters chanted the Reading ZIP code, "0-1-8-6-7."

Regarded as one of the best lines in the state the past two seasons, Toczylowski and fellow seniors Pat Kiley and Mike Lozzi hadn't produced on the biggest stage, going 0-3 in last year's Super 8. They lived up to the billing this time around, factoring in all three goals.

But it was Rockets netminder Jeff Wyer who stole the show, making several glittering stops in a 23-save shutout.

"Our line didn't win it, our D didn't win it, it was Jeff in net that got us to this point," said Kiley. "He amazes me sometimes how he does it."

Wyer's best work came near the end of the second period.

Lancers forward Tony Serino's shot was blocked by Ryan Arsenault. Quinlan Junta whiffed on the clearing attempt, and the puck bounced to MC's Zack Sheppard, who simply had to slam it into an empty net. But Wyer had other ideas, sliding post-to-post to kick Sheppard's bid aside, keeping the Lancers off the board.

Toczylowski netted two for the Rockets (25-1). One involved luck, and the other was pure skill.

The Rockets controlled the faceoff at the start of the second period, and Toczylowski played it safe by dumping it in from 70 feet. But the puck skipped past MC goalie John Carbonneau (20 saves) and into the back of the net for Toczylowski's 34th goal of the season.

At 8:27 of the second, the big winger scored again, taking a neutral-zone pass from Lozzi, breaking into the MC zone, and ripping one past Carbonneau's blocker to put the Rockets up, 3-0.

MC had a few quality chances, the best of which was when Andrew Cerretani rang one off the crossbar in the second period. The Lancers held an 11-4 advantage in shots in the first period, but that only served to get Wyer warmed up.

"When he came out of the first period playing that well, I knew it was going to be a long night," said Lancers coach Chris Serino.

Kiley got the Rockets on the board at 11:41 of the first. After chipping the puck through the skates of defenseman Evan Yanovitch, Kiley regained possession and fired a shot that hit Carbonneau in the mask before trickling over the line.

Toczylowski tried to put Reading's win in perspective.

"All these kids going to Catholic schools or prep schools, it's unfortunate," he said. "We did something for public schools that says, 'Hey, you can do this.' It was a community effort - the crowd was amazing - and this is going down in history. It was just phenomenal."

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