The Winthrop High hockey team, the number two seed in the 16 team bracket of the Division 2 North Sectional of the MIAA state tournament, cruised to an easy 7-0 triumph over No. 15 seed Bishop Fenwick Tuesday evening in a first round contest that was played in Stoneham.
The Vikings, who sported a 16-2-3 record coming into the tilt, served notice from the outset of the game that they would be advancing to the quarterfinals against the Bishops, who no doubt cringed when they saw that they had drawn Winthrop in the opening round. Fenwick, which finished with a 10-11-0 record on the season, had been plastered by Winthrop, 9-3, three weeks earlier during the regular season.
The Vikings carried the action to Fenwick from the opening face off, scoring twice in the first period, a lead that expanded to a 3-0 bulge early in the second frame when Chris LeBlanc lit the red lamp just 14 seconds into the period.
“Our puck movement was exceptional all game,” said WHS coach Dale Dunbar. “Our power play was crisp and the defense played great.”
The Viking Blue Line crew showed why some rate it as the best defensive corps on the North Shore as they once again provided a phalanx-like bulwark in front of their NEC North Division MVP goaltender, Pat Feeley, allowing only 11 shots on goal.
“Pat wasn’t tested a lot, but when Fenwick did, Pat was Pat,” was how Dunbar summed up his netminder’s amazing ninth shutout performance of the season.
After LeBlanc’s tally, Winthrop added another marker in the second frame and then iced their victory cake with three more lamplighters in the final period. The line score showed that Alex Hamilton and Connor Brugman (whom Dunbar noted played “an outstanding game”) potted two goals apiece and Harry Benson and Joe Casey each reached the back of the Fenwick net once to go along with LeBlanc’s goal.
Winthrop now will face number 10 seed Boston Latin (10-6-4) which knocked off seventh seed Watertown, in a quarterfinal matchup Friday evening at 5:00 at Salem State.
Other Division 2 North winners from Tuesday night were Wilmington, Lincoln-Sudbury, Newburyport, Tewksbury, Peabody and Masconomet.