Sports 12-22-2016

WHS SPORTS roundup


The Winthrop High boys hockey team skated to a pair of victories in its season-opening week, defeating non-league foe Mansfield last Wednesday and taking the measure of Northeastern Conference South Division rival Swampscott this past Monday.

A contest that had been scheduled for Saturday at Larsen Rink with East Longmeadow, an opponent from Western Mass., was postponed because of the snowstorm.

In Monday’s 3-1 triumph over Swampscott at Larsen, captain Charlie Page and linemate Henry Brooks (two goals) lit the lamp for the Vikings. Sophomore goalie Ryan Skoczylas earned the win, as he did in the season-opener against Mansfield.

“Ryan played very well for us and made some big saves in both games,” said WHS head coach Dale Dunbar of Skoczylas, who played with the junior varsity for most of last season and saw limited varsity action toward the end of the year.

In the triumph at Mansfield, Winthrop overcame a 1-0 deficit to post a 3-2 win.

In addition to captain Page, a trio of fellow seniors, Dave Barry, Matt Tarantino, and Gene August, will be providing the leadership on and off the ice in their roles as assistant captains for this year’s Viking squad.

Dunbar and his crew will be competing once again in the North Division of the Northeastern Conference with Marblehead, Danvers, Beverly, Peabody, and Saugus. The NEC’s South Division will consist of Revere, Lynn (with boys from Lynn English, Lynn Classical, and Lynn Tech), Swampscott, and Gloucester. Salem, which had been playing in the NEC South, dropped its program this season.

The Vikings were set to be back on the ice last night (Wednesday) against Peabody and then will compete in a tournament in Saugus Monday and Tuesday. They will play North Reading Monday morning at 10:00 in the tourney opener.


The Winthrop High boys basketball team turned visiting Swampscott blue to the tune of a 70-44 rout Friday evening in the Vikings’ debut in their sparkling new gym at the beautiful new Winthrop High School/Middle School complex.

Winthrop jumped out to a 25-10 lead after the first period and never looked back, leading at all the subsequent junctures (43-28 and 53-35) en route to the victory.

The duo of Tayjuan McKenzie and Devin Pulisfer proved to be a lethal combination to the visitors. Devin hit for a game-high 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while Tayjuan achieved a nice double-double with 18 points and 11 boards.

Chris Zuffante also turned in a strong effort, hauling in 11 caroms and striking for six points.

Altogether, nine Winthrop players reached the scoring column, the other six being: Vin Harrison, who hit for eight points, while pulling down four rebounds and blocking four shots in a highly-efficient 10 minutes on the floor; Alex Dernier (five assists, two steals, and no turnovers) and David Diaz, who scored five points apiece; Christian Lyons, who tingled the twine for four; Jonathan Van Dalinda, who struck for three; and Ray Bennett, who added two.

The Vikings were a respectable 20-of-40 from two-point field goal range and 10-for-18 from the free throw line. However, Winthrop was just 4-for-15 from three- point range, of which McKenzie accounted for three treys on six attempts. Dernier sank the other three-pointer.

The Vikings took on Marblehead this past Tuesday and will trek to Salem this evening (Thursday). They will play in a holiday tournament at Pope John the XXIII in Everett starting next Tuesday against Essex Tech at 5:00, with their next game set for Wednesday in either the consolation or final.

WHS girls start with two triumphs

The Winthrop High Lady Bulldawg hockey team started its season in fine fashion with a pair of victories over two rivals from the Northeast Hockey League.

Coach Anthony Martucci’s crew defeated Marbelehead, 4-1, last Wednesday, and then edged Peabody, 2-0, Saturday at Larsen Rink.

The Peabody win marked the 17th career shutout for WHS senior captain and goaltender Gretchen Howard, tying her for career shutouts in a Lady Bulldawg uniform with Katie Burt, who presently plays for Boston College (and who is entering her junior year for the Eagles as the all-time leader in NCAA Division 1 women’s hockey with a .929 winning percentage in goal.)

Kelsie Griffiths (assisted by Mia Price and Sydney Adamson) and Price (assisted by Griffiths and Abby Stafford) lit the lamp in the Peabody tilt.

The Lady Bulldawgs were set to meet Beverly, the top team in the NHL for the past two seasons, last night (Wednesday) and will host non-league foe Stoneham at Larsen this coming Wednesday with the opening face-off set for 6:10.

From the Press Box

One hundred wins

By Jim Lederman

The ‘Lady Bulldawgs’ opened the (2016-2017) season with a (4-1) win over the Marblehead Magicians at Salem State’s Rockett Arena. The win for coach Anthony ‘Butch’ Martucci was his 100th in his 8th season behind the bench.

Coach Martucci was inducted into the 2016 WHS Athletic Hall of Fame on October 29th. Butch is the man who built the girls hockey program over the last 17 years!

The Carleton sisters – Abby, Emma and Grace combined for four points and junior McKayla Norris had three assists locking up coach Martucci’s 100th win.

Sydney Adamson (I think the entire ‘Adamson gang’ was at the rink) buried a goal assisted by Abby Stafford. Catie O’Shea had the next ‘Bulldawgs’ goal.

“The girls did a great job, it was great to see Emma ‘light the lamp” said a very humble coach Butch.

“It’s great to start the year with a big win. All the credit goes to the girls I’ve coached in the program – “100 w ins is just fantastic”, praised coach Butch.

George Barker praised Anthony Martucci as he presented Butch at the Hall of Fame induction. “Butch works 12 months of the year building a program that is number one on the North Shore.”

When you visit Larsen Rink over the winter and see over  100 young ‘Lady Viking’ skaters in the youth programs, you can see why Winthrop is the ‘number on e’ program in high school hockey.

We salute coach Martucci and his assistants for the milestone victory.

Let’s have a cheer led by mother Minnie, “Who let the Dawgs out!”

Let the Games Begin at Larsen Rink!

Faces in the Crowd

Trivia: Can you name the member of the Boston Bruins currently living in Winthrop? I was taking my morning walk when I saw a truck in my neighborhood heading up Highland Ave. driving the truck was a Boston Bruin! I will give you the scoop next week!

Rink side at Larsen Rink was the matriarch of the Martucci family on Saturday. Minnie Martucci cheering for her son Butch and his ‘Lady Bulldawgs’ team. Minnie has a sophomore skater on Dale Dunbar’s team – Cory Cherico. (Eight members of the Martucci/Ferrara family are in the WHS Athletic Hall of Fame) the hockey tradition continues!

Great letter to the editor – from Bill Schmidt (ex-Viking tennis captain) supporting the Wallace B. McClean Tennis Courts! Keep the courts – there is plenty of parking around the new Winthrop high school. Attend the town council meeting on January 3rd!

Tennis is back!

Let the Games begin!

A class of 2015 Reunion – Niki Tsiotos was playing for St. Rose of Albany, NY in a big tourney game at Springfield. Four of her friends and sister Poli were cheering for the former Lady Viking captain – Annie Mahoney, Caroline McKinnon, Caitlin Page and Angie Favolaro were at the game on Sunday. The ‘Golden Knights’ won the tourney game.

I attended the Winthrop-Swampscott hoop game. I remember the rivalry Winthrop vs. the Big Blue – capacity crowds filled Memorial Gym to watch the NEC champions defeat our arch rival – 1973 Chris Tsiotos ends a 39 game home win streak at the old Swampscott gym.

Swampscott is no longer a power in the NEC. Winthrop still has more NEC titles than Swampscott – Where is the banner of Vikings 1,000 point scorers?

Let the Games Begin!

The Comeback

The last six months has been difficult for my close friend Howie Conley. He faced a serious cancer operation and after 4 months of treatment he won the long and strenuous battle.

Howie is a member of my WHS Athletic Hall of Fame Committee and an inductee in the prestigious Hall of Fame.

He was scheduled to attend our 2016 induction, when he didn’t feel well. On Sunday, October 30th he was rushed to the MGH (Mass. General Hospital). The first diagnosis was not good; he might have had a minor stroke. After three days at the hospital he was released. He struggled at home for a few weeks.

I am happy to report the ‘Legend of Lewis Lake’ is back and singing with his group ‘The Senior Tones’. His love for Winthrop high school hockey is very strong.

Kudos to coach Dale Dunbar for honoring the comeback of Howie by placing the initials H.C. on the helmets of his hockey team. I look forward to seeing Howie at Larsen Rink!

Let the Games Begin!

Sports Schedule

The Christmas vacation week will limit the games for Viking teams coach Dale Dunbar’s hockey sextet will play two games in the Saugus Christmas Tourney at Kasabuski Arena. The Vikings face-off with North Reading for an early (10:00 a.m.) game on Monday, December 26th. The Vikings play on Tuesday at Kasabuski.

Catch the Lady Bulldawgs at Larsen Rink on Wednesday, December 28th at 6:10 p.m. The Dawgs face-off with Stoneham at the chilly Larsen Rink at Michael Eruzione Center.

Merry Christmas!

Let the Games Begin!

Vikings defeat Swampscott 3-1

The Vikings opened their Larsen Rink season with an impressive 3-1 victory over Swampscott on Monday night.

Junior forward Henry Brooks scored two goals and assisted on one Viking tally. The speedy junior skates on Winthrop’s top line, captain Charlie centering Brooks and sophomore Sam Yarrow.

Captain Charlie Page opened the scoring, lighting the lamp at 7:10 of the first period. Henry Brooks and Sam Yarrow assisted on the goal.

The Vikings led (1-0) after the first period. Sophomore goaltender Ryan Skoczylas turned aside some tough shots in the opening period.

Henry Brooks scored his first goal of the night on a blistering shot at 8:25 of the second period. Junior Steve Holgerson and captain Charlie Page assisted on the goal. The Big Blue got very physical in period number two, but the dominating defense led by assistant captain Matt Tarantino who was dishing out some big hits, David Barry, Jake Adamson, Bryce Costin and Mike Lane, shutout the Big Blue (2-0) Viking after two periods.

Brooks scored a spectacular unassisted goal at 13:49 of the third period; to increase the Vikings lead to (3-0).

Louis Oliveri scored the Swampscott goal at 4:52 to cut the Vikings lead to (3-1).

The Vikings have blazing speed, a high scoring line and depth at every position to give the Vikings a powerful lineup.

The Vikings have to rate as one of the top two teams in the NEC. The Marblehead Magicians, the defending NEC champions lost seven key players from last year’s team. The Vikings and Marblehead play a key game on Saturday, January 7th at Salem State’s Rockett Arena at 6:30 p.m. The Marblehead head coach was at the Swampscott game to scout the Vikings on Monday night.

The Vikings travel to Kasabuski Arena for a Christmas Tourney game on Monday, December 26th at 10:00 a.m. to battle the North Reading sextet.

The Vikings return to Larsen Rink on Monday, January 2nd at 7 p.m. to face a Somerville team from the GBL league at 7 p.m. Somerville will be in the new NEC in 2017.

Somerville, Medford, Malden and Everett will be members of the new 15-team NEC. The new divisions will be announced in 2017.

The Vikings are picked third in Division 2 in the pre-season Boston Herald poll. Charlie Page was selected a ‘dream team’ player for 2017.

Behind the Blue Line

Great to see three ex-Viking players form the NEC 2015 champions at Larsen Rink.

Chris Page and Sean Gillis, along wit h Dylan Driscoll were at Larsen Rink to watch the (2016-2017) Viking team.

Dale Dunbar honored Howie Conley after the game speaking to the team. Howie had two medical setbacks and has returned to cheer for the Vikings.

Larsen Rink will be the place to watch an exciting Vikings team, be prepared for the chilly Larsen Rink as the cold months of January and February are on the schedule.

Happy New Year!

Go Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!

Game Story

Lady Bulldawgs Shutout Peabody 2-0

The Lady Bulldawgs opened their Larsen Rink schedule with a very strong defensive effort. The ‘Dawgs,’ behind captain Gretchen Howard’s goaltending, defeated the Peabody Tanners (2-0) on Saturday at Larsen Rink.

Gretchen was selected the ‘dream team’ goaltender in the pre-season Boston Herald Division One hockey poll. “Gretchen has worked tirelessly to reach her goal and we believe she is one of the best players in the state,” lauded Anthony ‘Butch’ Martucci. The Bulldawgs opened the scoring with assistant captain Kelsie Griffiths lighting the lamp in the first period, assisted by Sydney Adamson, another ‘Dawg’ assistant captain.

The Dawgs received their second goal of the night from assistant captain Mia Price, assisted by ‘number 88’ Kelsie Griffiths.

“WE played very strong defense and Gretchen had another shutout”, praised coach Martucci. Howard’s shutout was her 17th – she tied Katie Burt’s record.

Behind the Blue Line

The Larsen Rink press box was filled with Winthrop supporters. A proud dad Michael Adamson had a visitor – the women’s hockey coach at Curry College, coach Ron McCarthy.

He was here to watch Sydney Adamson play. Viking’s assistant coach Michael Norris and ex-Viking co-captain Mike Norris were cheering for McKayla Norris. Viking football assistance coach Michael DeFelice was in the Larsen Press Box. Coach Martucci had two of his 100-point scorers at Larsen Rink congratulating ‘Butch’ on his milestone. Assistance coach Taylor Brown was an all-star for the Lady Vikings and played at Nichols College.

Caroline McKinnon scored 100-points for the ‘Dawgs’ and plays for the Salem State Vikings. The Dawgs will continue to develop great players from Winthrop Youth Hockey and coach ‘Butch’ works year round to build a great program that produces top student-athletes!

Katie Burt played for the Dawgs in 2008 – she is now the Boston College Women’s Hockey goalie!

Mike Norris was home from the University of New Hampshire. Coach Sean Driscoll and wife Cindy were rink side, watching daughter Olivia a frosh on coach Martucci’s squad – another family tradition!

The Dawgs traveled to Endicott College to battle the defending NEHL Champions Beverly Panthers squad on Tuesday night, story next week.

The ‘Dawgs’ return to Larsen Rink on December 28th (Wednesday) for a 6 p.m. face-off with Stoneham.

Masconomet is another strong NEHL team. Coach Martucci feels “the competition is stronger every year because teams have players form three additional towns.” “We are in Division One and we are the smallest high school in our league.”

Gretchen is being recruited by many colleges and Salve Regina Rhode Island is hot after captain Gretchen!


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