Sports 12-31-2015

WHS sports roundup

Vikings win shootout

to capture tournament

The Winthrop High hockey team earned a pair of hard-fought victories, including the championship game in a shootout, to capture the Kasabuski Christmas Classic at the Kasabuski Rink in Saugus this past week.

The triumph over No. Reading in the title game Tuesday was indeed a classic contest. Winthrop took a lead of 2-0 into the third period thanks to goals by Henry Brooks and Sam Yarrow and shutout netminding by goalie Greg Gill.

However, No. Reading battled hard in the third frame and notched two unanswered goals to send the contest into overtime.

High school hockey games typically do not go into OT, but with a tourney title at stake, the deadlock-breaking format called for the teams to skate 4-on-4 for a five minute, sudden-death period. Winthrop’s Mike Norris almost connected for the game-winner, but Mike’s bid just missed.

With the horn signaling the end of the five-minute session, the teams then engaged in a shoot-out consisting of three players to start. Winthrop won the toss and (,the New England Patriots’ recent bad luck notwithstanding) elected to defer to No. Reading.

Gill cut the angle just enough on the first No. Reading skater, and the puck dinged the post. Viking Sam Yarrow then took his turn. Sam skated in on the No. Reading goal and lit the lamp for a 1-0 Winthrop advantage.

The attempt by the next No. Reading skater showed why the posts are called a goalie’s best friend as he too, clanged the post. The bid by Winthrop’s next skater, Henry Brooks, was saved by the No. Reading goalie, setting the stage for the third and final No. Reading attempt. Gill proved equal to the task, making the game-winning save, and the jubilant Vikings celebrated their tourney victory.

“It was a great win,” said WHS assistant coach Mike Norris, who was filling in for head coach Dale Dunbar (who was absent because of a family emergency). “The team knows what Dale expects of them and they went out and did what they had to do. No. Reading made a big run at us in the final period, but the team responded to the pressure.”

Winthrop had advanced to the title game thanks to a 2-1 victory over Division 1 Melrose in the preliminary round Monday. Charlie Page — who was waiting in the wings as the third Winthrop man up in the shootout if he had been needed — scored both Viking goals, including the game-winner with just two minutes to play.

Senior netminder Brandon Creador turned aside 30 Melrose shots-on-goal to earn the “W.”

“We’re very fortunate that we have two outstanding goalies in Brandon and Greg,” noted Norris.

The Vikings will be back in action Saturday evening when they host Saugus at Larsen Rink. Face-off is set for 6:30pm. They will travel to Endicott College Wednesday to face Beverly at 8:00pm.

WHS boys basketball team earns first win

The Winthrop High boys basketball team earned its first win of the season with a 52-40 triumph over EssexTech in the consolation round of the Pope John XXIII Holiday Basketball Tourney.

The contest was a nip-and-tuck affair most of the way until the Vikings pulled away in the final frame. The teams were deadlocked at 10-10 after one period and 24-24 at the half. Winthrop held a slim 31-30 edge entering the final eight minutes.

Sophomore Devin Pulsifer led the Vikings in the scoring department with 18 points, while also grabbing four rebounds and dishing out four assists. Junior Chris Zuffante was Winthrop’s main man on the boards, pulling down 14 rebounds and hitting for eight points. Zach Fisher tingled the twine for 12 points, followed by Dimonne Marshall with six points, Tayjaun McKenzie with four, and Loran Shuka and Alex Dernier with two points apiece.

The Vikings almost advanced to the tourney championship round, but fell short in overtime to Bishop Fenwick, 69-63. Winthrop led most of the way, grabbing an 18-13 lead after one period and holding a 38-29 advantage at the intermission. The Vikings maintained a 51-44 lead entering the fourth stanza, but Fenwick pulled even by the fourth buzzer and then outscored Winthrop 11-5 in the four-minute OT session.

Fisher led Winthrop with 18 points, with Zuffante and McKenzie reaching double figures with 13 points apiece. Zuffante snared nine rebounds and Tayjaun pulled down eight boards. Pulsifer enjoyed a nice night with seven points and eight rebounds. Henry Floyd and Marshall chipped in five points apiece and Jake LaFratta added two points.

On Wednesday before the holiday, the Vikings dropped an 81-57 decision to Salem. The Witches moved out quickly to a 24-14 lead after the first period and enjoyed a 48-27 advantage at the half. Pulsifer struck for 18 points and grabbed seven caroms, while McKenzie and Zufffante had identical lines of 14 points and six rebounds each.

Coach Ignacio Oyola and his crew, who now stand at 1-4 on the season, play at Saugus Tuesday.

Lady Bulldog hockey team blanks Marblehead

The Winthrop High Lady Bulldog hockey team improved to 2-1 on the season with a 2-0 victory over Northeast Hockey League rival Marblehead last Wednesday in a contest played at the Salem State College Arena.

McKayla Norris gave Winthrop a 1-0 lead in the opening period with a top-shelf wrist-shot when she made a nice rush down the side across center ice and cut to the middle as she crossed the blue line. McKayla then let fly her powerful wrist shot from about 45 feet out that beat the Marblehead goalie cleanly to the upper corner.

Meaghan Chavis made it 2-0 with a slapshot from the point, assisted by Olivia Shkliew. Winthrop goalie Gretchen Howard once again was superb in the net, turning aside all 23 Marblehead shots to earn the shutout. The Lady Bulldog defense was solid throughout the contest, with freshman Bella Perrotti in particular being cited by Winthrop head coach Anthony Martucci for what Martucci described as Bella’s “fantastic defensive effort.”

The Lady Bulldogs were set to host Shrewsbury last night (Wednesday) and then will trek to Belmont Monday. Both are non-league foes. They will entertain NHL opponent Peabody this coming Wednesday at Larsen at 6:10pm.

WHS gymnasts edge Masco in opening meet

The Winthrop High gymnastics team opened its season in fine fashion with an exciting victory over Masconomet Regional by the slimmest of margins, 126.80-126.25.

“The outcome basically came down to one fall,” said WHS coach Daria Millerick, whose 2016 team is led by captains Mackenzie Chiudina (who currently is sidelined with an injury) and Julia Duplin.

Millerick lauded many of her Lady Vikings for their superb performances that resulted in the victory.

“Julia competed on bars and vault, her two favorite events. She had a high score of 8.3 on vault which is outstanding, considering the start value for her vault is an 8.6,” said .Millerick.

“Rachel Farley, one of the youngest girls on the team, had an outstanding vault on which she scored an 8.7. A highlight of the meet would also be Christa Vaccaro’s floor routine,” said Millerick. “Christa has power and determination to hit her floor routine every time she steps up. She scored a 9.0, which was not only the highest floor score, but the highest score of the meet.

“Usually our season starts in January, but we had to squeeze one in early this year,” added Millerick. “The girls were a bit nervous starting so early, but their hearts were ready to compete. The win was a big accomplishment.

“Masco is known to have a lot of talent year-after-year,” continued Millerick. “We are thrilled to have started the year off with a win, and look forward to working even harder towards more successes.”

Both Millerick and co-coach Pete Gobiel emphasized that with Chiudina out of action with her injury, the younger Lady Vikings will play a big role in any success Winthrop might enjoy this season.

“Mackenzie is an amazing team player and we know she will have her chance to shine this season,” said Millerick. “The underclassmen are vital to our team this year. They not only bring talent, but they also really push the team to work as a whole, and fight for those spots in the lineup.”

Winthrop’s next meet is set for Tuesday at Marblehead. Their next home meet will be held January 15 against Essex Tech at the Winthrop Gymnastics Academy at 7:00pm.

Morales takes second

at NEC Frosh/Soph Meet

Llibeth Morales sped to a second place finish in the 50 yard hurdles in last week’s Northeastern Conference Freshman/Sophomore Meet. Lilibeth’s time of 8.9 seconds earned her the second place medal and scored eight points for the Lady Vikings.

Teammate MaryKate Pote also brought home a medal with a fourth place effort in the shotput with a toss of 25’-11”, as did Zara Powell in the two-mile run with a time of 17:58.

Camila-Miranda Llovera turned in a fine performance in the mile event with an eighth place effort of 6:32.3, which was just one second behind the sixth and seventh place finishers.

The Lady Viking 4 x 400 relay squad also earned a medal with a sixth place finish with a clocking of 5:13.8.

The full WHS boys and girls track squads were set to be back in action yesterday (Wednesday) with a dual meet at Saugus.

WHS sports Years

10 years ago

December 29, 2005

Coach Peter Grimes’s WHS girls basketball team has sprinted to a 7-0 start after a 57-41 win over Beverly this past week. Freshman phenom Courtney Finn led the Lady Vikings with 19 points on 9-for-12 shooting. Nicole Giaquinto added 12 and sophomore Kristen Finn and Caterina Mallios hit for 10 each. In a 50-49 win over No. Quincy in the Chelsea Holiday Tournament, Kristen Finn bombed away from long-range to sink six three-pointers to lead Winthrop with 18 points and Meredith Soper struck for 13.

Coach Dave Brown’s WHS boys basketball team defeated Beverly, 58-50, to improve to 3-1. Michael Visco had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Anthony Giuliani hit for 11 points and Dave Segal and Matt Murray added 10 apiece.

20 years ago

January 4, 1996

Coach Peter Grimes’s WHS boys basketball team handily won a pair of games this past week, defeating Marblehead 79-52 and Gloucester 80-51. Lawone Bennett led the Vikings in scoring with 22 and 20 points in the two contests, including a slam dunk against Marblehead. James Buono struck for 21 points against Gloucester, including four three-pointers.

Dave Collins scored a hat trick for the WHS hockey team in a 6-3 win over previously-undefeated Lynn English.


30 years ago

January 8, 1986

Sean Conway poured in 33 points to lead the WHS basketball team to a 73-54 win over Gloucester. In a 66-58 loss to Salem, Conway hit for 31 points.

Seniors Jim Ezekiel and Bryan Pullin both scored hat tricks to lead the WHS hockey team to a 7-2 win over Salem.

Diane Gallo led a Winthrop sweep in the shotput to pace the girls track team to a 70-16 romp over Salem as coach Larry Keegan’s squad opened the defense of its NEC title.

Andrew Turransky set a new WHS school record in the 50 yard hurdles with a time of 6.86 seconds in the Vikings’ recent meet with Salem.

Senior Laurie Pearce pumped in 20 points to lead coach Ron Spinney’s WHS girls basketball team to a 56-33 win over Gloucester.

40 years ago

January 7, 1976

Jackie Burke tallied a hat trick to pace the undefeated WHS hockey team to a 4-1 win over Danvers. In an exhibition contest with a team from Finland, the Vikings won by a score of 11-4.

The WHS boys basketball team remained undefeated with a 77-51 triumph over Gloucester thanks to fine efforts from Kevin English, Steve Demetriou, and Kevin Corkhum.

Coach Ron Spinney’s WHS girls basketball team stands at 4-2  after a 51-24 rout of Gloucester paced by 12 points from Terry Gass.

50 years ago

January 5, 1966

Bob Tallent and Hucky Larsen scored the goals for the WHS hockey team in a 3-2 loss to St. Mary’s of Lynn. Coach John Marsh’s squad is winless in its five games thus far this season, as the fledgling WHS program has had difficulty finding ice time for its practices.

60 years ago

January 5, 1955

The WHS basketball team will play its home-opener in the new, though as-yet-unfinished Memorial gymnasium when Coach John Sheehan’s young quintet hosts Swampscott Friday evening. Winthrop chalked up its fifth straight win of the season with a 74-39 thrashing of Amesbury. Captain Charlie Rand led the way with 20 points , followed by Jack MacDonald with 15 points and husky sophomore Ted Conley with 10.

70 years ago

January 3, 1946

Coach Gordon Connor’s WHS basketball team will open the defense of its Northeastern Conference title when the local quintet hosts Danvers Tuesday. WHS captain Myron Atlas chucked in 23 points in the team’s recent annual contest with an Alumni squad

Looking at the Viking athletes of 2015

By Jim Lederman

*Game Changer – Number 21 – Jon Gonzales – when he played the Vikings won. On Thanksgiving he saved his best game for the game.  His 105-yards and biggest play fumble recover, led to winning touchdown (Vikings 15 – Revere 12).

*Coach of the Year – Despite a year of turmoil and controversy – Dale Dunbar coached his Vikings to another NEC Hockey title. Coach Dunbar is the most respected high school coach on the North Shore and Eastern Mass hockey circles!

*Future All-Scholastic – Following in the footsteps of his brother Buddy Page, NEC MVP Charlie Page.

Family Tradition

When frosh wing Sam Yarrow scored the winning goal in the victory over Peabody, he added to the Vikings hockey legacy. His grandfather Bobby Tallent celebrated with his teammates on Saturday – 50 years of WHS hockey. Bobby enjoyed watching young Sam Yarrow skate for the Vikings on the 50th reunion.

Proud parents Chris and Lisa (daughter of Bob) will enjoy watching the WHS Vikings win in the Viking tradition.

Let the Games Begin!

Junior NEC all-star Charlie Page will follow ‘Buddy’ and perhaps win NEC MVP. Keep your eyes on a budding all-scholastic player – he needs a big 2016!


Touch Luck Awards

To coach John Gambale in his first year as Lady Vikings coach injuries to Allie Love, Jayda Hightower and Nina Bartlette, they could have led his team to a winning season. He will build a strong program!

Game Changer – Pro football Malcolm Butler, his interception to win another super bowl for the Patriots!

Faces in the Crowd

A special birthday salute! To a grandma with a special wish! Congrats to Ellie Gouoni, who celebrated her 86th birthday with family and friends at the fabulous JW’s Restaurant.

To Amy, Amanda, Roseanne, James, Nick and Bobby, a special Happy New Year after their hospitality and class at the exciting new dining destination – JW’s Restaurant.

To Chris, Gus, Carl and Kathy, Al Angelo, Max, coach Nick, Sean for making 2015, a year to remember.

We all look forward to many Viking victories in 2016 – another championship and the hope of a new Miller Field in the future!

Happy New Year!

The Voice of the Vikings


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