Sports 01-05-2017

WHS SPORTS roundup

GIRLS HOCKEY TEAM EDGES BELMONT, 3-2

Winthrop High Lady Bulldawg hockey fans can be forgiven if they thought they were watching an episode of Stranger Things in the latter part of the girls’ encounter with Belmont at Larsen Rink Saturday.

The contest was proceeding in the usual fashion for a battle between two good girls’  teams through the first two periods and the opening minutes first of the third. Winthrop had grabbed a 2-0 lead in the fist period thanks to goals from McKayla Norris, whose long toss from outside the blue line handcuffed the Belmont goalie, and Kelsey Griffiths, who delivered a hard wrist shot from just inside the blue line, using the Belmont defender as a screen, that found the top corner.

Belmont cut the deficit to 2-1 with a goal in the middle stanza, setting the stage for what would turn out to be an improbable ending. The Stranger Things chain of events began when Lady Bulldawg Mia Price was whistled for a penalty for a check from behind.

“Mia is a strong skater and when she makes contact with an opposing player, it appears to be harder contact than it really is,” said WHS head coach Anthony Martucci. “Mia had no intent to make a hard check and in this case, the Belmont girl turned at the last moment before they collided. But when the opposing player is not a strong skater, it can make the contact look worse than it is.”

The Belmont girl, who had fallen to the ice, got up and came after Price. Teammate and captain, Gretchen Gill, Winthrop’s goalie, then grabbed the Belmont girl to prevent her from getting to her teammate, prompting another Belmont girl to jump into the fray. After the ice chips had settled and the refs had sorted things out, they decided to give Price a four minute major penalty and sent Gill and a Belmont girl off the ice with misconduct penalties, which in high school amounts to half of the period (7:30).

With his all-star netminder now in the penalty box for most of the remainder of the game, Martucci turned to senior Maddie Fainga’a, his back-up goaltender, who prior to this season had never played hockey, let alone played in goal.

“Maddie came out for the team knowing that we did not have a back-up to Gretchen,” said Martucci. “She’s a fantastic athlete and a hard worker who has been learning and improving every week.

“But no one expected that in her first game, she’d be coming into a one-goal game   in the third period with the other team having a power play for four minutes,”

added the coach.

Although Belmont managed to light the lamp midway through the power play (and because it was a major penalty, Winthrop did not get back to full strength after the goal), Fainga’a turned in what can only be described as a superlative performance, making seven saves of both the glove and kick-out variety.

By the time the penalty had ended, the Lady Bulldawgs and Fainga’a had managed to hold onto a 2-2 tie. However, Gill still was in the sin bin, and Fainga’a and her teammates had to figure out how to preserve the tie — or even go for the game-winner.

Although the Lady Bulldawgs were playing defensively, Norris saw an opening for a break-out from behind her goal and skated fiercely and determinedly up the wing. After crossing the enemy blue line, she spotted her linemate Griffiths breaking toward the goal. McKayla rifled a hard pass Kelsey’s way. Griffiths put the puck on her stick and fired a perfect shot past the Belmont goalie for the go-ahead, and eventual game-winning, goal.

“McKayla has really assumed the leadership in our offensive end,” said Martucci. “She is leading the team in scoring with nine points in five games. McKayla and her linemates, Emma Carleton (eight points) and Kelsey Griffiths, have made their line a threat to score every time they are on the ice.”

Howard’s penalty time of 7:30 eventually expired and she came onto the ice to replace Fainga’a in goal for the final minute-plus of the game. However, at the final buzzer, Fainga’a was the center of attention. Her teammates bestowed on her the team award that the Lady Bulldawgs present to their most deserving player after a victory.

“Maddie has provided this team with a lot of leadership,” said Martucci of Fainga’a, who officially was credited with the victory in goal. “She’s been a role model whom the younger players have looked up to. Despite her lack of hockey experience, she really has meant a lot to the team.”

Martucci and his crew, who now stand at 3-2 on the season, will host non-league foe Algonquin Regional Saturday afternoon at 1:30 at Larsen and then will entertain Medford Wednesday evening at 6:10.

Boys hockey team

defeats Somerville

The Winthrop High boys hockey team improved to 5-1 on the season with a 6-1 victory over non-league rival Somerville Monday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Rink in Somerville.

The teams were tied at 1-1 after the first period, with WHS junior Henry Brooks lighting the lamp for the Vikings, assisted by linemate Charlie Page.

Junior Steve Holgersen forged Winthrop into a 2-1 advantage with a goal in the middle frame, assisted by Matt Tarantino and Page.

However, Winthrop broke open the contest ion the final stanza, erupting for four unanswered goals. Page potted a shorthanded goal (when Winthrop was down a man for four minutes thanks to a penalty for checking-from-behind) to make it 3-0. Holgersen netted his second tally, assisted by junior Brian Chalmers, and then Page, the WHS captain, struck again for the hat trick, assisted by Chalmers, to increase the lead to 5-1.

Sophomore Luke Evangelista, assisted by Sam Yarrow, reached the back of the Somerville net to account for the 6-1 finale.

Sophomore goalie Ryan Skoczylas earned the win, making 20 saves in another solid effort.

Coach Dale Dunbar and his Vikings, who are 1-0 in the Northeastern Conference, were set to meet Bishop Fenwick last night (Wednesday) in another non-league encounter. They then will begin a key stretch against their rivals from the North Division of the NEC, starting Saturday against Marblehead at Salem Sate College at 5:10. They will trek to Saugus Wednesday for a 7:00 face-off at Kasabuski Rink.

Cormac MacPhail wins

at NEC Fr./Soph. Meet

Winthrop’s Cormac MacPhail came home with a first place medal at Saturday’s  Northeastern Conference Freshman/Sophomore Meet that was held in Beverly.

Cormac won the 1000 meter event with a time of 3:05.4, edging out the second place finisher, Cristian Acuna of Revere, by a scant 0.6 of a second.

On the girls’ side, two Lady Vikings earned second place ribbons in their respective events. Mary Kate Pote took second spot in the shot-put with a toss of 27′-9″, while teammate Camilla Miranda-Llovera came across the line in second in the two-mile run with a clocking of 13:36.

Fiona MacPhail also won a ribbon, tying for sixth place with two opponents in the high jump with a leap of 4’4″. Fiona earned 0.33 of a point for the Lady Viking cause.

The entire boys and girls track teams next will compete at Revere this coming Wednesday.

WHS boys defeat

Essex Tech, 82-47

The Winthrop High boys basketball team had little trouble disposing of Essex Tech last week in the opening round of the Pope John Christmas Tourney, running away to an 82-47 victory.

Winthrop led all the way, grabbing a 22-12 lead at the first buzzer and extending their advantage to 45-21 at the intermission, from where the Vikings cruised the rest of the way over the final 16 minutes of play.

Tayjuan McKenzie turned in an efficient evening of basketball, scoring 20 points in just 17 minutes on the floor. Tayjuan was 5-for-7 on his two-point field goal attempts and drained a trey as well. He also shot a fine 7-for-10 from the free throw line.

Devin Pulsifer was next on the Winthrop point parade with 19 points, including a trio of three-pointers on four attempts from behind the arc. Altogether, Winthrop sank nine-of-17 attempts from three-point land.

David Diaz also reached double figures for the Vikings with 11 points, including two treys. David turned in a fine, all-around performance with five assists and four steals.

Alex Dernier, Jared LaVigeur, Luigi Spinazzola, and Chris Zuffante all added five points, with Zuffante also pulling down six rebounds.

Vin Harrison chipped in four points and the duo of Jake Polino and Johnathan Van

Dalinda struck for two points each.

The win advanced the Vikings to the finals of the tourney, but they dropped a 79-66 decision to Bishop Fenwick.

Winthrop was set to take on Saugus this past Tuesday and will play at Lynn Classical Friday. They return home to host Danvers Tuesday.

 From the Press Box

The Perfect Game

By: Jim Lederman

The sport of bowling has lost the popularity in our local community. The original ‘ten-pin’ bowling alley has been reduced to two. Winthrop once had seven ‘candlepin’ alleys in town.

Winthrop has only two bowling alleys in town. The Winthrop Lodge of Elks and the Cottage Park Yacht Club Lanes.

The Corkhum family has had many outstanding athletes. Jim and Cindy Corkhum are the ‘first family’ of bowling in town.

The ‘Corkhum Gang’ includes Kenny, Scott and Jimmy (sons of Jim and Cindy). Jim and Cindy brought the boys to the all-star lanes in Lynn when they were only 5 years old. They competed in the junior leagues and won over 80 awards. That was the start of a 40-year legacy of bowling stardom!

When young Scott began his long career, he qualified for a trip to Atlantic City and a final match. Ken was invited to the “Masters Tournament,” competing with the finest bowlers in the United States. He won the ‘Boston City’ and Mass State titles during a long career.

Ken and Scott have combined for 25-‘perfect games’ and one dozen (800) scores (a perfect game is a score of 300).

Ken holds the Malden ten pins lanes record of three games and a score of 868!

Last year Ken averaged 245-, Scott average 242 and Jimmy 218.

Proud dad Jim Corkhum is a 1952 graduate of Winthrop High School and held records in track on historic Miller Field. The only athlete he could not catch was the legendary football star, Tommy Trainor. Jim retired after a 15-year career in Town Hall as our tax collector, after long career in banking.

Winthrop has had many outstanding bowlers like, Mike Williams, Billy Shell, Jim Merchant, Jackie VanBuskirk, Paul Lucerto and Shawn Hagan.

We salute the Corkhum gang! With a perfect strike and a salute.

Let the Games Begin!

Behind The Blue Line

The early ‘game of the year’ in high school hockey will be played Saturday night, January 7th at Salem State’s Rocket Arena. The Vikings (6-1) are red hot!

The Marblehead Magicians will battle the Winthrop Vikings. Marblehead was undefeated (24-0) last season winning the NEC title, before losing to Medfield for the Division 2 State title.

Marblehead lost eight outstanding skaters and is off to a slow start (3-4-1). The Vikings will make a huge statement on Saturday night and claim a first place standing by knocking off our arch rivals in hockey!

The rivalry goes back to the days of Don ‘Toot’ Cahoon and captain Mike Eruzione. Legendary Marblehead coach Bob Roland and WHS Hall of Fame coach Billy Falasca captured many NEC titles.

The Vikings have captured 14 NEC titles, a State title in 1976 with an undefeated (26-0-1) record, winning the Division One championship in the old Boston Garden!

The Vikings are led by captain Charlie Page, a three time NEC all-star and a player selected to the Boston Herald ‘Dream Team’ in pre-season.

Page centers a sensational first line with junior Henry Brooks who is off to a great start and was an NEC all-star in 2016. Sophomore Samy Arrow continues to improve and this trio could be the top line in the NEC.

The defense is anchored by assistance captain Matt Tarantino, who looks like a top NEC blue liner and a solid replacement for ex-Viking captain Noah Hodgkins. The top defenseman in the conference in 2016. Senior Dave Barry and Juniors Jake Adam son and Michael Lane continue to improve. Sophomore goaltender Ryan Skoczlas has been a standout this season.

Junior all-stars Steve Holgerson and senior Gene August are great athletes. Tyler Marley, Tyler Mignosa, Bryce Costin and soph standout Brian Chalmers will add scoring to a team that is shooting for another NEC championship.

The strong NEC will be a challenge for the Vikings in 2017 at Larsen Rink at the Michael Eruzione Center!

Hope to see 100 Viking fans on Saturday night at Salem State University for a 6:30 face-off. Let’s cheer the Vikings to victory – “Winthrop Hockey Capital of the North Shore.”

Let’s Go Vikings

Let the Games Begin!

Slap Shots

The Lady ‘Bulldawgs’ won a thriller at Larsen Rink on Saturday afternoon. The (3-2) victory over Belmont, improved coach Butch Martucci’s squad to (3-2) to end the 2016 campaign.

The score was tied at (2-2) with 1:05 on the Larsen Rink scoreboard, when McKayla Norris took the puck the length of the ice and fed Kelsie Griffiths in front of the net. Kelsie scored the game winner after a very frustrating period. Captain Gretchen Howard, the Bulldawgs all-star goal tender was in the penalty box with a terrible call from an official.

The Lady Bulldawgs (who let the dogs out?) will play host to Algonquin Regional at Larsen Rink on Saturday (1:30 face-off).

The Bulldawgs play their next four games at Larsen Rink that should help coach Martucci’s squad for the stretch run in January.

 Book Depot Athlete of the Week

The Viking hockey tradition of the most overall victories in high school hockey in the state continues. The Vikings latest ‘superstar’ is Charlie Page.

The (2016-2017) Vikings captain follows his brother, Chris ‘Buddy’ Page. Chris was an NEC MVP who is skating for Stonehill College.

Charlie has been a three-time NEC all-star and could follow his brother as ‘NEC MVP this season Charlie had four goals in the (11-2) victory over Peabody. His dad Chris played hockey at Fitchburg State, mother Mary is from the ‘Donahue Gang; a long list of outstanding Viking skaters. Uncle Sean played on the undefeated 1976 State Championship team. Sister Caitlyn attend Regis College.

We salute this weeks Winthrop Book Depot – Athlete of the Week – Charlie Page.

Light the Lamp Charlie!

Let the Games Begin!

 

Patriots Player in Town

New England Patriots player Nate Ebner will be in Winthrop on Saturday, Jan. 7th at the Winthrop Book Depot and Cafe, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Author Sean Stellato will have a book signing of his book “No Backing Down’ – Ebner was an Olympic athlete last summer and plays safety for the New England Patriots. Ebner has a super bowl ring with the Pats.

Meet and get an autograph on Saturday at 11 Somerset Avenue.

Let’s Go Patriots!

Let the Games Begin!

Trivia

  1. Can you name the ex-Viking hoop player (NEC champs) who played college basketball vs. Dr. Julius Irving and his college coach was an ex-NBA coach?

  1. Can you name the basketball camp that had two ex-NBA coaches and a player at camp was Citizens Bank V.P. – Jeff Howe, Winthrop resident and former Melrose standout.

  1. How many state championship WHS basketball championship teams are in Viking hoop history?

  1. Can you name the first three high school football stadiums on the North Shore?

  1. Can you name the original teams in the Northeastern Conference?

  1. Can you name the two ex-Viking hoop players who averaged 50-points per game?

  1. When will the Winthrop hoop tradition of brothers playing and not the present school choice players – the family tradition must return!

  1. How many playing courts (summer league teams) did Winthrop have?

Trivia answer: The member of the Boston Bruins living ink Winthrop is 51! Will he visit Larsen Rink to meet captain Michael Eruzione?

The Little Man

I have been a Boston Celtics fan for 59 years. I have watched the legendary Celtics capture championships in the Boston Garden from 1957-1986.

Last night (Friday) at the TD Garden I watched on TV the incredible performance of (5’9) Isaiah Thomas score 52 points, including an incredible 29 points in the fourth quarter. “It” as Tommy Heinsohn labels the “little man”, to lead the Green to a (117-114) victory over Miami. I was a Celtic season ticket holder 1981-1987 – Ii witnessed the Celtics win three world championships.

I was in “The Garden’ in March of 1985, when Larry Bird scored 60 points vs. Atlanta. I was at the Garden in March 1985 to watch Kevin McHale score 56 points! I was the Garden to watch Bird score 53 points.

I watched in the comfort of my home to watch the amazing Thomas score 52 to defeat the Miami Heat.

We salute a player that will some day be in the rafters with his ‘number 4’. ‘It’ should be considered for an MVP candidate this year. Keep watching the Celtics in 2017.

Let’s Go Celts!

Let the Games Begin!

Around the NEC

The hockey night in Boston (HNIB) Hockey news was predicted Winthrop, Marblehead, Peabody and Danvers are the top teams in the NEC. The Magicians have (three) loses in December. The big NEC match up is January 7th. Marblehead (NEC defending champs) vs. the Vikings Salem State University 6:30 p.m. Let’s Go Vikings!

How many titles for Marblehead, Peabody and Danvers – they do not equal 13-NEc hockey titles for the Winthrop Vikings!

Another hockey title for coach Dale Dunbar’s team and the tradition – Winthrop Hockey Town USA! The number one “ Hockey town on the North Shore.”

Larsen Rink – home of NEC hockey championship teams. Lets add another banner! Let’s fill Salem State with Viking fans to cheer for the Winthrop Vikings!

End of an Era

We said goodbye to some legends in sports, ending their pro careers.

One of the best to wear a Boston Celtics uniform Kevin Garnett (‘KG’) finished a 20-year NBA career. KG led the Boston Celtics to the NBA championship in 2008. He won his only ‘ ring’ leading the green with a huge defensive and offensive year. One of the games greatest competitors!

David Ortiz (Big Papi) was my favorite all-time Boston Red Sox player. Big Papi’s 14-year career ended at age 40 – he batted .315, hit 38 homers and drove in 127 runs. He led the Sox to three World Championships. We will call him – the man who led our city “This is our ____ city” after the tragic Marathon bombings.

One of the greatest athletes in our proud city (he ranks with Tom Brady, Bobby Orr and Larry Bird). “We will miss you” Big Papi!

I will give my 2016 Arete Award –  “Best Pro Athlete of the Year” to Big Papi – a legend in baseball and in the history of the Boston Red Sox – he broke the curse of World Championships for the Boston Red Sox – How can we forget the year 2004 in Boston!

The Lobsterman

We lost a neighbor on December 20th, Larry Bradley, unexpectedly passed away working on his lobster boat. I watched Larry work for many years at his lobster business, working long hours and year round.

I spoke with Larry a couple of weeks before he passed away, he was proud to show me his new truck. I watched his wife Sandy grow up in my neighborhood.

Larry leaves his wife and two beautiful daughters, Alexandra and Genevieve.

Larry’s love of the ocean ended on his lobster boat the Sandy B.

We will miss Larry, may he rest in peace.

Viking Football News

Coach Sean Driscoll announced the ‘Blue and Gold’ football dinner for 2016 will be held on Sunday, Jan. 15th at 11 a.m. at the Winthrop Lodge of Elks.

The Rotary Club will award the Irving P. Alexander Memorial Trophy on Wednesday, J an. 18th to a Viking senior player.

This month the NEC will announce the format for the new 15-team league and schedule for 2017.

The Vikings hope the construction of a new Miller Field could lead to the ‘big game’ with Revere will be played at Miller on Thanksgiving.

We are still waiting for the broadcast of the 2016 football games on TV. Four months is a long time for the telecast!

Let the Games Begin!

Viking Sports Schedule

Boys hockey – Saturday, Jan. 7th – Marblehead at Salem State

Wednesday, Jan. 11, 7:10 p.m.  – Saugus at Saugus

Saturday, Jan. 14th, 3:30 p.m. – Beverly at Larsen Rink

Girls Lady Bulldawgs

Saturday, Jan. 7th, 1:30 p.m. – Algoquin Regional at Larsen Rink

Wednesday, Jan. 11, 1:30 p.m. – Medford at Larsen Rink

Girls Basketball

Friday, Jan. 6th, 7 p.m. – Lynn Classical\

 

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