A strong tie

Last-second goal gives Vikings a 3-3 deadlock vs. Wilmington

The Winthrop High hockey team opened its season in dramatic fashion with a game tying goal with just 4.9 seconds showing on the clock to earn a 3-3 deadlock with Wilmington Monday evening in a non league encounter at Larsen Rink.

Freshman Dan Eruzione lit the red lamp to earn Winthrop the tie, but his goal was preceded by another key marker when Mitch Paulson brought the Vikings within 3-2 with a tally with about two minutes to play.

Winthrop had trailed throughout the contest, 1-0 after the first period and 2-1 after the second, and appeared headed for certain defeat until Paulson and Eruzione performed their heroics. Senior  Joe Scarfo notched the first goal of the season for Winthrop in the middle frame, assisted by Chris LeBlanc. Both Scarfo and LeBlanc earned assists on Eruzione’s equalizer and Eruzione assisted on Paulson’s tally.

“This was a real character building game for us,” said WHS head coach Dale Dunbar. “It was hard fought all the way and the team never quit. We just kept the pressure on in the final minute and it paid off.”

In addition to the comeback, Dunbar also saw a lot of other good signs from his troops. “All four of our lines contributed, which was good to see,” said the coach. “We were very physical and controlled the play,” continued Dunbar, noting that the Vikings outshot Wilmington by a 2-1 margin. “We diagramed some plays in the final minutes and they executed them, which also was a positive.”

Dunbar also lauded the effort turned in by goaltender, Steven Waites. “Steven made a lot of big saves. We had some breakdowns in front of him when the defense didn’t clear the puck or the other team’s forwards as well as they might have, but those are the things we’ll be working on as the season progresses.”

Winthrop took part the day before on Sunday in the annual Northeastern Conference Jamboree at Salem State. The Vikings looked impressive, outscoring Beverly 4-2. Scarfo (from LeBlanc), Will Millar (from Drayton Chasteen), Nat Todisco (unassisted), and Mitch Paulson (from Eruzione and Todisco) provided the offense.

Dunbar and his crew took on the defending NEC champion, Peabody, last night (Wednesday) as the Sun Transcript was going to press. They will be back home at Larsen Saturday to host Danvers at 7:20 and travel to Saugus next Wednesday for a 7:10 face off.

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