In a key early-season Middlesex League Liberty Division contest, Winchester scored twice in both the second and third periods for a solid 4-0 win over Reading in a game at Burbank Arena.
Senior Joe Lepore scored three goals for the Sachems, now 6-1-0 overall, while Nolan Butler notched the only goal Winchester would need early in the second period. And, the Sachems got a solid performance between the pipes from sophomore Rob DiVincenzo, who pitched the shutout.
Reading (3-3-0 overall) had plenty of chances in a scoreless first period, and had they been able to score, it could have been a different outcome, But credit DiVincenzo, who made 11 first period saves.
“Our goaltending was absolutely pristine tonight,” said Winchester coach Bill Burns. “Rob stood in there every step of the way. He took all kinds of shots from a very good Reading team. To come in here, in this rink, and to hand them a loss is a very big deal for us. The first period was a great high school hockey period. Really up and down. Both teams played very well. We were able to break it open in the second period.”
At the 4:12 mark of the second period, the Sachems grabbed a 1-0 lead on a goal by Nolan Butler just off the left post. Just over two minutes later, the lead was increased to 2-0 with Lepore’s first goal of the night, Michael Drew made a nice rush into the Reading zone, circled the net and made a perfect feed in the slot to Lepore, who rifled it home.
The Rockets killed off a pair of penalties later in the second period and hoped to use that momentum in the third to get back in the game, but Lepore halted that, snapped one home from the doorstep just 50 seconds into the third period. Linemates Drew and Ryan McCarthy assisted on the goal.
An unassisted goal by Lepore from behind the goal line at 6:56, pretty much sealed matters for the Sachems.
“That goal to start the third period was huge,” Burns said. “That was it. It went from two to three and the confidence grew on the bench. The battle cry was “over the red and dump in deep.'”