Haverhill Hillies Boys Ice Hockey '14-'15

Wed, Mar 04, 2015 07:20 PM @ Haverhill
Team 1 2 Final
North Reading 1 0 1
Haverhill 0 2 2

Cinderella Hillies topple Hornets behind 44 Gleason saves

  • Currently 0.0 with 0 votes.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

BILLERICA — With every North Reading shot, the net seemed to shrink, while Haverhill’s Michael Gleason loomed larger and larger.

By the time the third period rolled around, well, you just weren’t going to beat the 6-foot-3 Hillie goalie.

“I can’t explain it. Whatever I have to do out there to make the save, I’ll do it,” said Gleason, who stopped 44 of 45 shots in the Hillies’ dramatic 2-1 win over North Reading in last night’s sectional semifinals.

“Once I get out there, and hear all those fans cheering for you, it’s crazy hearing that many people chanting your name. I just feed off it.”

Gleason, a junior who won the starting job about halfway through last year and hasn’t lost it since, has come into his own in the Haverhill postseason run.

Last night was no different as North Reading threw all it could at him. Ironically, it took a Hornets’ goal — their only goal — to make Gleason flip the switch to “Super-Goalie.”

“After that first one, I just snapped,” said Gleason. “I told myself I just wasn’t ready for this season to end. I’ve got too many great friends on this team, guys that I love, that I’ve been playing with since we were little kids. I wasn’t ready to end it.”

Gleason cruised through the Hillie-dominated second period, but he was prepared for the onslaught in the third.

A desperate North Reading team hit the ice for what turned out to be its final period of the season, because of Gleason. The Hillie, whose dream is to play college hockey, could use the 15 minutes of film as his own personal highlight reel.

“I have to admit, I had one eye on the clock and the other on the puck the whole period,” he said. “I guess I just didn’t want to let my teammates down. And now that it’s over it feels absolutely amazing, too.

North Reading had a late power-play and the last minute of 6-on-5 and simply couldn’t break through.

Gleason was not only good last night, he was a little lucky, too, though.

When Hornet Pat Driscoll came clean out of the corner, moved to the crease and slipped the puck across for a shot, the Hornets rang the post and the equalizer caromed out, not in.

“I went over and kissed that post,” said Gleason. “It was there for me, and at that point I will take them anyway I can.”

And so will the Hillies. Next stop, Tsongas Center in Lowell on Monday night for the Division 2 North title with Concord-Carlisle.

Game Statistics:

Division 2 North Semifinal

1st Period: NR — Pat Driscoll (unassisted) 8:56

2nd Period: H — Josh Goldstein pp (Cam Berube, Kyle Gosselin) 1:23; H — Gosselin (Goldstein, Eric Michitson) 11:34

3rd Period:  None

Saves: H — Mike Gleason 44; NR — Nick Ponte 19

0 Story Comments