“Close but no cigar,” “Close only counts in horseshoes,” or “Live by the sword, die by the sword,” you have your choice of sayings for the Winthrop High girls hockey team, who held a 1-0 lead for 44:24 of their game Saturday against Marblehead.
However, two penalties whistled against the Lady Bulldogs with 1:48 to go set up Marblehead with a 5-on-3 advantage that became a 6-on-3 when the Lady Magicians pulled their goalie in favor an extra skater. And that further became a 6-on-2 when Winthrop defender Chelsea Bartlett caught a slap shot off her leg that left her hobbled, all of which conspired to let Marblehead push the game tying goal past Lady Bulldog netminder Katie Burt with 0:36 showing on the clock.
For the Winthrop team, the tie was tough to take, especially given the confluence of circumstances that gave Marblehead those insurmountable odds, but the Lady Bulldogs were on the other side of that equation two weeks ago when they earned a 2-2 tie with Masconomet on a goal with 1:23 to play.
“It was a great game by both teams,” said Winthrop head coach Anthony Martucci. “Both teams played hard and were tough defensively. They got a couple of breaks at the end and that gave them an opportunity to tie.”
Martucci lauded the efforts of his penalty killing trio of Taylor Brown, Kelly Devenney,
and Bartlett, as well as netminder Burt, who battled the 6-on-3 disadvantage for 1:12 before Marblehead was able to break through for the equalizer.
Winthrop scored its goal early in the opening period when Amanda Cordes popped home a rebound off a shot by Emma Rudser. However, that would prove to be the only time that the Lady Bulldogs would light the red lamp, as Marblehead and Winthrop eventually played out to a repeat of their 1-1 tie earlier in the season.
Still, a point is a point is a point (to paraphrase another famous saying) and the Lady Bulldogs moved one step closer to securing a berth in the state tourney. Martucci and his crew now stand at 4-2-5 on the season with 13 points and need just seven more to punch their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney.
Winthrop will host Peabody Saturday at Larsen at 1:30, a team which Winthrop handled easily the first time around. Next Wednesday the girls will travel to Wilmington, another foe whom they dispatched with relative ease (7-1) in their first encounter.