Sports 03-05-2015

3-2 proves an unlucky combination for Winthrop boys, girls hockey teams

The Winthrop High boys and girls hockey teams learned the hard truth of post-season play — that only one team will end its season on a happy note — after they were ousted from the MIAA state tournament this past week by identical scores of 3-2.

On the boys’ side, coach Dale Dunbar’s squad entered the tourney as the third seed in the Division 2 North sectional, having compiled a brilliant 15-3-2 regular season record that included an undisputed championship of the North Division of the Northeastern Conference.

The Vikings dispatched its first round foe, St. Bernard’s, the 14th seed in the bracket, with a 4-0 triumph last Wednesday evening in Watertown. Steve Holgersen gave Winthrop a 1-0 lead in the opening period, assisted by Mike Norris and Sean Gillis, and Norris made it 2-0 in the middle frame, assisted by Holgersen and Noah Hodgkins.

Pat Todisco applied the coup de grace with a pair of lamplighters in the third period, assisted by Charlie Page and Alex Anzuoni on the first and Marc Ferullo and Page on the second. WHS goalie Ray Feeley earned the shutout in net, as the Vikings outshot St. Bernard’s 28-12.

However, the victory would prove to be a costly one for Winthrop. The Vikings lost the services of Norris, who broke five ribs thanks to a blindside check along the bench area. “Mike’s injury was a big loss for us,” said Dunbar. “He’s one of our key performers and we really missed him in our next game.”

Winthrop was back on the ice, minus Norris, three nights later at Chelmsford where they took on an overachieving Haverhill squad which entered the tourney as the 11th seed in the D-2 North, but which had knocked off No. 6 Lincoln-Sudbury, 4-3, in their opening round contest. The Hillies had lost to Lincoln-Sudbury twice during the regular season by a score of 5-0 on both occasions, but found the winning touch the third time around.

Haverhill continued its magical run at the start of its game with Winthrop, taking a 2-0 lead in the opening period. Winthrop cut the margin to 2-1 at the start of the second frame on a power play goal by Dylan Driscoll, assisted by Todisco and Ferullo. But whatever momentum Winthrop might have been hoping to build was thwarted with a Haverhill response to make matters 3-1 entering the final 15-minute stanza.

Henry Brooks, assisted by Todisco and Page, brought the Vikings back within a goal with about 7:30 to play, but despite non-stop pressure in the Haverhill zone — while Winthrop was limiting Haverhill to just two shots on goal in the last period — the Vikings could not find the handle to bring about a tying tally.

“It was a disappointing loss for us,” said Dunbar afterwards. “We thought we had a good chance to get to the Garden. But in the state tournament, anything can happen. Haverhill played a great game and they deserve a lot of credit.

“But overall, we had a great season,” said the coach. “We had outstanding leadership from our seniors and our underclassmen really stepped up for us. It’s always tough to end your season on a down note, but this team has a lot to be proud of.”

Lady Bulldawgs fall to Melrose in heartbreaker

By Transcript Staff

The Winthrop/Lynn Lady Bulldawg girls hockey team learned the meaning of the time-honored phrase, “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” (which was uttered by legendary sports announcer Jim McKay in the introduction to ABC’s Wide World of Sports every week) in their 3-2 loss to Melrose last Wednesday evening at Larsen Rink in a Division 1 preliminary round contest of the MIAA state hockey tournament.

The encounter lived up to its pre-game billing as an evenly-matched affair between the 12th-seeded Lady Bulldawgs and the 21st-seeded visitors from Melrose. After a scoreless opening frame in which both teams played tentatively, Melrose drew first blood with a goal on a shot from the point that deflected off the shoulder of a Winthrop skater. However, the Lady Bulldawgs struck back when Caroline McKinnon lit the lamp for her 105th career point, assisted by Gabby Kenniston, on Winthrop’s lone power play of the evening (in contrast to the five power play opportunities the refs awarded to Melrose).

Melrose pulled ahead early in the third frame, but with the clock winding down under 2:00, Lady Bulldawgs’ coach Anthony Martucci pulled goalie Gretchen Howard for a sixth skater. The strategy paid immediate dividends as Olivia Shkliew, assisted by Sophie Leray and Caroline O’Keefe, tied the score with a goal with 1:45 to play, much to the delight of the large hometown crowd on hand at Larsen.

Winthrop seized the momentum and poured on the pressure in the final minute, but could not push across the go-ahead goal. The Lady Bulldawgs’ joy then was tempered when the refs whistled a Winthrop player for a penalty with 17 seconds to play in what appeared to be a case of tangled skates, rather than tripping.

Although Melrose did not score in regulation, the visitors enjoyed the balance of their power play in the subsequent overtime session and took full advantage of the 5-on-4 advantage to score the deciding goal.

“It was a tough way to lose,” said Martucci afterwards. “Still, we had our opportunities to win the game, but we did not take advantage of them. We can’t blame anybody but ourselves.

”We had a great year,” continued the coach. “We started out 8-0 and then hit a rough patch midway through the season, but we bounced back and finished strong. The girls have a lot to be proud of, both individually and as a team.”

WHS Sports through the years

10 years ago

February 24, 2005

WHS senior Anthony Griffin reached the milestone of 1000 career points in the Vikings’ contest with Saugus Friday night. Griffin came into the game with 979 points and hit for 30. WHS head coach Dave Brown lauded Griffin’s work ethic, noting that Griffin was a bench player while a middle-schooler, but became a starter for the WHS varsity in his sophomore year. After a 67-58 win over St. Mary’s of Lynn, in which Griffin scored 21 points and Alex Hoomis hit for 19, the Vikings now are 10-8 on the season.

The WHS girls basketball team defeated Saugus, 55-49, and Revere, 57-28, in the final week of the season to finish with an 11-9 record and qualify for the state tourney. NEC all-star Rachele DeLeo scored 22 points in 21 minutes in the Revere contest and hit for 23 against Saugus.

Seniors Anthony Fucillo and Nick Bettano scored two goals each to pace the WHS hockey team to a 4-2 win over Gloucester on Senior Night.  The victory was Winthrop’s first of the season over a Tier 1 NEC team. The Vikings now stand at 6-10-2.

20 years ago

March 2, 1995

The WHS boys basketball team, which is seeded third in the Division 3 North sectional of the MIAA state tourney has set a high goal of a state championship as the Vikings get set to meet Northeast Regional in their tourney opener.

Margo Souza scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Shara Geraghty pumped in 16 points to lead the WHS girls basketball team to a 54-45 win over St. Mary’s of Lawrence. The Lady Vikings  finished the season at 7-13.

30 years ago

March 6, 1985

The Winthrop High hockey team, which entered the state tournament as the top-ranked team in Division I and the number one seed in the tourney, was ousted from the competition with a 4-1 loss to Reading in a quarterfinal contest at B.U.’s Walter Brown Arena. Sean Magee scored the lone goal for the Vikings, who were thwarted by a stellar effort by the Reading goalie.

The Winthrop Rotary Club will sponsor a hockey game between a group of Boston Bruins and former Olympians, including Winthrop’s Mike Eruzione, and a legislative team headed by State Senator Mike LoPresti March 22 at Larsen Rink to benefit the Rotary’s scholarship fund.

40 years ago

March 5, 1975

The WHS hockey team captured the NEC title with a thrilling 5-4 win over Saugus in sudden death overtime of the championship game of the NEC playoffs. Paul Plakias, Mike Fielding, Tommy Kearney, Joe McDonald, and Jackie Burke all scored for the Vikings, who earned their first-ever NEC title with a 15-4-2 record, one point ahead of Lynn English. However, Winthrop’s season came to a swift end in the state tourney with a 7-3 loss to perennial power Arlington in the opening round of the Division I tournament.

The WHS boys basketball team was eliminated from the state tourney for the second straight year by Andover this week. Winthrop had defeated Pentucket in the tourney opener. Bob Lundberg was high scorer for the Vikings in both contests with 12 and 13 points.

The WHS girls basketball team defeated Dracut, 37-36, in the Lady Vikings’ first-ever state tourney contest in dramatic fashion. Janet Baker scored nine of her team-high 12 points in the opening period. Lady Viking star Patty Hansen was off her usual game, but scored the game-winner with a 12-foot jumper in the final, frantic minute.

50 years ago

March 11, 1965

Junior pivotman Ronnie Miles scored 16 points to lead the WHS basketball team to a 71-44 win over Don Bosco in the opening round of the Bay State tourney, which is for teams that did not qualify for the state tournament.

The Winthrop Junior High basketball team will open play Friday in the Class A state tournament.


60 years ago

March 3, 1955

The WHS basketball team, though not invited to the state tournament, will open play in the Bay State Tourney against Malden this week.

Intensive spring football practice, the first here in many years, will get underway for some 45 athletes under the direction of WHS head football coach Ed MacFarland on the Ft. Banks Field this week.

70 years ago

March 2, 1945

With only two losses to Revere, including a thrilling 39-38 contest last week, marring their 11-2 record, the Northeastern Conference champion WHS basketball team is all but assured of an invitation to the Class B Eastern Mass. Basketball Tournament, formerly known as the Tech Tourney. Coach Gordon Connor’s squad will complete its regular season against Marblehead with its unbeaten NEC record on the line.

Six Lady Bulldawgs named to Northeast Hockey League all-stars

Six members of the Winthrop/Lynn girls hockey team were named to the Northeast Hockey League all-star team by a vote of the league’s coaches.

Senior captains Caroline McKinnon and Kasey Harris were selected as all-stars and also were named to the elite All-Conference squad. Teammates Gretchen Gill (goalie), Flora English, Gabby Kenniston, and Olivia Shkliew were named to the All-Star team.

From the Press Box

The Viking Tradition

By Jim Lederman

The MIAA playoffs are currently in the final week of action. Let’s salute the 2014-2015 year in WHS sports. The football team captured the 2014 NEC title with an undefeated conference record, a playoff game with Lynnfield and another victory over Revere on Thanksgiving.

We salute coach Sean Driscoll and his assistant coaches. WHS football is number one in the NEC in the last 15 years with 104 victories. The smallest school in the NEC (554 students) has the number one program. The prospects for 2015 are strong for coach Driscoll and company.

The Lady Vikings soccer team under the tutelage of coach Tracey Martucci reached the Division 4 North final with Georgetown after winning three victories in the MIAA playoffs. Coach Martucci has built a very strong program.

The 2014-2015 Vikings hockey team won another NEC hockey championship. Under the skilled coaching of coach Dale Dunbar. Larsen Rink at the Michael Eruzione Center was packed to capacity this winter to watch a program with the reputation of one of the strongest in the NEC and the third winningest program in Mass. high school hockey. Yes, the Vikings hockey program is number one in the NEC. The Winthrop Youth Hockey Program is very strong with ex-Viking hockey players coaching and developing young athletes.

Coach Anthony ‘Butch’ Martucci has built a very strong program in girl’s hockey. The Lady Bulldogs fell two points short of capturing another league title. Larsen Rink was filled to capacity to watch the Winthrop-Beverly hockey game this winter. The Youth Hockey Program has become very strong and coach Martucci will have another strong team next season.

The Lady Vikings hoop team (18-3) won their third consecutive NEC title this winter. The Lady Vikings under the tutelage of coach Ignacio Oyolais. Playing St. Mary’s of Lynn this week with the winner heading to the Division 3 North final. The winner will go to the Garden for the championship of Division 3.

What has happened to the V icings boy’s hoop program? The Vikings (2-17) record has many ex-Viking hoop players calling me to ask what happened to a program with 37 NEC titles (boys-girls) and many NEC and State titles? Will the Youth Programs continue to grow in hockey and Larsen Rink be filled to capacity?

Let the Games Begin!

Stinging the Hornets

By Jim Lederman

The Lady Vikings opened the MIAA playoffs with a (51-33) convincing victory over the North Reading Hornets.

A capacity crowd at the Saugus high school gym watched coach Ignacio Oyola’s Vikings record victory number 18. Captain Kristen Siscamanis continued her spectacular playing, scoring 18 big points to lead the offense.

After a (24-17) halftime lead, the Lady Vikings put on a man-to-man press that increased their lead to 25 points. Co-captain Niki Tsiotos was tenacious on defense, forcing 10 turnovers and scoring 10 points. Poli Tsiotos twin sister of Nicki had 8 big pints and solid defense.

The Lady V icings had balanced scoring with Nina Bartlette seven points, senior Maura Lanza (her best game) six points, Allie Love with 4 points and tenacious defense from the junior guard.

The Vikings set up a rematch with the defending Division 3 State Championship Lady Spartans of St. Mary’s of Lynn (last night Wednesday). The winner will play in the Division 3 North final with a trip to the Garden to the winner.

Crystal ball: The “Basketball Guru” (he shall remain a mystery) predicts a Winthrop victory over St. Mary’s at the Tsongas Center (Lowell) Saturday. Lady Vikings to win by 12!

See you at the Tsongas center! (A trip to the Garden is possible)

Behind the Blue Line

The hockey season ended for two Viking teams last week The 2104-2015 NEC hockey champions lost a thrilling (3-2) game to Haverhill at Billerica Forum in Chelmsford on a bitter cold Saturday night.

The Vikings defeated St. Bernard’s (4-0) last Wednesday night at Ryan Arena in Watertown. Coach Dale Dunbar’s sextet lost a key player due to broken ribs, junior standout Mike Norris had a strong year and was an offensive threat.

I have attended five games at Billerica Forum and the Vikings have lost every playoff game at that facility. The Vikings and Tewksbury were picked by the Boston Herald high school expert to meet in the Division 2 North fin al. The “Redmen” of Tewksbury lost a shootout to Concord-Carlisle in the first game on Saturday night.

Captain Dylan Driscoll and freshman standout Henry Brooks lit the lamp on Saturday night.

The loss was a touch one for a Viking team that worked hard and won another NEC title for coach Dunbar and his assistants.

The Vikings won 13 of the final 15 games and coach Dunbar was named “Coach of the Year” and captain Pat Todisco was selected Most Valuable Player (MVP) player in the Northeast Conference large division.

Ten seniors played their final game for the Vikings. Captains Dylan Driscoll and Pat Todisco, assistant captains Sean Gillis, Ray Feeley and Marc Ferullo, Dan Brogan, Tommy DiBenedetto and Jonathan Griffiths, played in three MIAA years of playoffs and concluded a tremendous senior season with a NEC title.

A look at the faces in the crowd

By Jim Lederman

Liana Ferullo, ex-Viking athlete playing softball at Bentley University at the Winthrop hockey game to watch brother Marc play. Two legends of Lewis Lake still skating – Howie Conley and Richard Thibeau. Ken Goddard, Viking fan extraordinaire enjoying Viking’s hoop and hockey. Coach Sean Driscoll and Cindy watching captain Dylan Driscoll score his final WHS goal. Ken and Maria Hodkins, John and Mary Gillis, Phil and Denise Todisco cheering for captain Pat Todisco, Papa Pat Staff watching grandson Henry Brooks scoring for the Vikings. Carl and Cathy Tarantino, Dave Barry, Tom and Sue Chiudina, Jim and Pat Griffin, George and Marianne Brooks, Brian and Stacie Marley, Phil and Susan Lunberg, Steve and Jeanne Holgerson, John and Karen Brogan, cheering for the NEC champions.

Trivia: Can You Name

Four ex-Viking athletes that played for Harvard University?

Can you name the two ex-WHS baseball players who were captains of baseball at Boston College?

In 1953 WHS played two teams from the Middlesex League in football. Name them.

In 1973 and 1976 WHS lost two state championship games in basketball to what school – same school?

In 1964 the future Athletic Director at the University of Connecticut and a ‘Big Ten’ hoop player was a standout in the Winthrop Summer League.

In 1960 a NFL number one draft choice played in the Winthrop Summer League. Name that player?

The Lacrosse Program

The winter sports season has finished for Vi king sports teams. Can we think spring with ten feet of s now on our athletic fields? Girl’s lacrosse is the latest new sports program at WHS.

Athletic Director Matt Serino has named ex-Lady Vikings three-sport athlete Andrea Martucci the first girl’s lacrosse coach. Andrea is a teacher in the school system. Will her uncle Anthony Martucci show coach Martucci how to handle the sticks?

Matt Serino has developed a strong program for the boy’s lacrosse team in only the third season in the NEC. Prospects are strong for the program and I will preview the team in a future article.

The success of the football, hockey and Lady Vikings hoop teams have built winning programs. With youth lacrosse increasing their programs in town, lacrosse is another great program for Viking athletes. We salute coach Andrea Martucci and wish her good luck this spring!

Number 10

I have watched three number 10’s play for the Vikings. The three Vi king standouts have all-star leadership to their legacy.

The three number 10 Viking athletes led their respective teams to NEC titles and MIAA and super bowl championships. Can you name them?

I will throw kudos to number 10 captain Dylan Driscoll. I watched him play his final hockey game in a Viking uniform on Saturday night. Dylan led his football team to an undefeated NEC title in football and was named NEC MVP quarterback. Dylan was captain of the NEC hockey champions and scored a goal on Saturday night. A great athlete and a super leader, a salute to number 10j – captain Dylan Driscoll!

Let the Games Begin!

 The ‘GIG’

Winthrop lost a loyal WHS football fan, Edward ‘Gig’ Hurley, who passed away last month, at the age of 90.

Edward ‘Gig’ Hurley would proudly tell me, “I have watched Winthrop play Revere on Thanksgiving for over 60 years.” Gig would be a fixture standing beside the Miller field clubhouse with coach Jack MacDonald.

‘Gig’ would love to tell great football stories and talk about “The good old days” at Brown’s drugstore.

We extend our condolences to the Hurley family, a proud family from Point Shirley. We miss the Gig at Winthrop football games.

Siscamanis scores 18 as Winthrop beats N.R. 51-33

The Winthrop High School girls basketball team did its part to set up the game of the year on the North Shore that was scheduled to tip off Wednesday night.

Senior guard Kristen Siscamanis scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Winthrop to a solid 51-33 victory over North Reading in the Division 3 North quarterfinals Friday night.

The win set up a State Tournament rematch with St. Mary’s in the semifinals for last night at Essex Tech High School. St. Mary’s played Winthrop in last year’s North sectional final and most observers expected that the two schools would meet again at some point in the 2015 Tournament.

Siscamanis helped Winthrop pull away from the Hornets in the second half. Senior guard Niki Tsiotos was dominant on defense with seven steals to go along with 10 points.

Junior center Nina Bartlette had seven points and six rebounds but more importantly she and the Viking defense limited North Reading’s 6-foot-5-inch star, Jessica Lauzon, to four points.

Winthrop coach Ignacio Oyola was pleased with his team’s performance against North Reading.

“We had an eight-point lead at the half and then we went on a run in first three minutes of the second half and built a 20-point lead,” said Oyola. “The press worked out really well and Niki generated a lot of steals through our defensive pressure.”

Oyola also lauded the defensive effort by Bartlette, who excelled in her individual matchup versus Lauzon.

Asked about the much-anticipated postseason showdown with St. Mary’s, Oyola said, “We’ve had good practices and we’re ready.”

The winner of the St. Mary’s-Winthrop game would play Bishop Fenwick in the North Sectional final Saturday at the Tsongas Center. The winner of that game would advance to the TD Garden for the state semifinals.

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