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Sports

March 1, 2014

Quick strike offense sends Marblehead past North Reading and into North semifinals

STONEHAM — Maybe you’re surprised that the Marblehead High hockey team is now in the North semifinals, two wins away from skating at the TD Garden in this, their first foray as a Division 2 club.

But the Headers aren’t.

“This was our plan from the start of the season. We expected this from ourselves,” said senior left wing Erik Powers, who scored twice in his team’s 4-1 quarterfinal triumph over North Reading last night at Stoneham Arena.

“What we’ve done, it is impressive,” added senior goaltender Miles Barry, when told it was his team’s 18th win of the season. “I think we all knew we had excellent potential coming into the season, and we’ve been looking towards this all year.”

Seventh-seeded Marblehead (18-5-1) took control early by scoring three times in the game’s first 7:43 and dominated the Hornets statistically, outshooting them 44-10.

The Headers now advance to the Division 2 North quarterfinals Monday at the Chelmsford Forum in North Billerica against the winner of last night’s late Masconomet/Tewksbury game (time TBA) at the Chelmsford Forum.

Marblehead’s Red (1st), Green (2nd) and Maroon (4th) lines all scored while its Grey (3rd) unit forechecked effectively the entire game and never let second-seeded North Reading (16-3-2) much in the way of an offensive attack. On the few occasions the Headers suffered a defensive breakdown, Barry was there standing his ground. The 5-foot-8, 140-pound keeper stopped Shane Driscoll on a semi-breakaway early in the second period before robbing Mike Driscoll on a clean break, catching the puck between his collarbone and mask.

“All four lines played very well,” said head coach Bob Jackson, “and Miles didn’t see a lot of shots but came up really big when he had to. And we did a great job on man-down situations (killing 5 of 6 penalties).”

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