Sports 03-01-2018

WHS sports roundup

WHS boys hockey team defeats Beverly in tourney opener, 6-2; plays tomorrow night

The Winthrop High boys hockey team opened play in the Division 2 North Sectional of the MIAA state hockey tournament in successful fashion with a come-from-behind, 6-2 victory over Beverly Tuesday evening at O’Brien Arena in Woburn.

The Vikings thus advance to the next round of the tourney and will meet the Wildcats of Wilmington tomorrow (Friday) evening at O’Brien Arena. Face-off time is scheduled for 8 p.m. for the quarterfinal battle.

Winthrop entered the tourney as the #6 seed in the D-2 North with a 12-6-2 regular-season record, while Beverly was seeded 11th with a 10-6-4 mark.

The team were familiar rivals, having met twice during the regular season as members of the Northeastern Conference’s North Division. Winthrop prevailed in both of those hard-fought encounters, 2-1 on Jan. 13 and 3-0 on Feb. 19.

However, it is axiomatic in sports that it often is difficult to beat an opponent three times in one season, and such seemed to be the case for the Vikings through the first half of Tuesday’s tourney encounter, as the Panthers scored a power play goal in the opening period and added a second marker in the middle stanza to grab a 2-0 lead midway through the game.

However, Bryce Costin reached the back of the Beverly net with about two minutes left in the second period and Luke Evangelista netted a goal on a power play a minute later to bring the teams back to level at 2-2 by the end of the second.

The third period proved to be all Winthrop, as the Vikings scored four unanswered tallies, two by junior Sam Yarrow, another by Evangelista, and an empty-netter by Steve Holgersen.

WHS goalie Ryan Skoczylas played a key role in the contest, making some incredible saves — especially late in the second frame — that prevented Beverly both from enlarging its lead earlier in the contest and then keeping the Panthers at bay after the Vikings had found their offensive footing.

Coach Dale Dunbar and his crew will be facing a stern test tomorrow against the Wildcats. Wilmington entered the tourney as the #14 seed in the D-2 North with an 11-9 record, but knocked off the #3 seed, Lynnfield, 2-1, scoring the winning goal with three seconds left in the game.

Winthrop and Wilmington shared two common opponents this season, Medford and Scituate. Winthrop split its games with Medford, an NEC North foe, winning 2-1, but then losing 5-2, while Wilmington defeated Medford, 2-1. The Vikings lost to Scituate, 5-0, while Wilmington defeated the Sailors, 1-0.


Boys basketball team looks to rematch with Pope John in tourney

The Winthrop High boys basketball team was scheduled to take to the floor last night (Wednesday) against Excel Academy in a first-round game of the Division 4 North Sectional of the MIAA state basketball tournament.

The Vikings entered the tourney as the ninth seed in the D-4 North with a 9-11 record. Excel was the eighth seed with a 12-7 mark.

If Winthrop emerged triumphant last night, coach Dave Sacco and his crew will advance to the quarterfinal round to face the D-4 North’s top-seeded team, Pope John XXIII of Everett, Saturday evening at 7:00 at Pope John.

The Tigers compiled a 19-1 record during the regular season and have climbed into the ranks of elite Catholic high school hoop programs.

Winthrop and Pope John faced each other in the last game of the regular season, with the Tigers claiming a 77-60 victory last week

The Vikings hung tough in the first half against the talented Pope John quintet. The teams traded buckets for most of the first half. PJ held a 21-20 lead at the first buzzer and, with two minutes left in the half, clung to a 31-30 edge.

However, the Tigers ran off nine unanswered points before the intermission to forge into a 40-30 advantage.

Winthrop proved unable to close the deficit in a meaningful way after the intermission, drawing no closer than eight points on a few occasions.

Tayjuan McKenzie paced the Vikings in the scoring column with 18 points. Devin Pulsifer struck for 17 points and Chrono Washington reached double figures with 10.

McKenzie now is just 19 points away from attaining the 1000-point plateau for his WHS career, a feat achieved by teammate Pulsifer earlier this season.


WHS girls hockey opens tourney play


The Winthrop High girls hockey team was set to open play in the MIAA Division 1 State Tournament last night (Wednesday), with the Lady Vikings hosting Westford Academy at Larsen Rink.

Winthrop entered the tourney as the 15th seed in D-1 with a 12-5-1 record, while Westford was the 18th seed with an 11-5-4 mark. Winthrop has met Westford in

the opening round of the tourney in both of the past two years with unfavorable results, so the Lady Vikings were looking to turn the tables last night.

Coach Anthony Martucci and his crew concluded their regular season last week with a 5-2 victory over the HPNA (Haverhill/Pentucket/No. Andover) co-operative team at Larsen Rink.

Both teams came out of the gate fast, but the Lady Vikings were the ones who took advantage of their scoring opportunities, with goals by Sophia Kennedy and Sydney Mignosa giving Winthrop a 2-0 lead at the first horn.

Kennedy reached the back of the HPNA net early in the second period to make it 3-1, but the visitors returned the favor on a power play to leave matters at 3-1 after 30 minutes of play in which Winthrop outshot HPNA 19-11.

HPNA continued to fight hard in the third period, but the Lady Vikings were equal to the task. Ashley Miles made it a 4-1 Winthrop lead, and after HPNA scored to bring the margin back to two goals, Gemma DiMento lit the lamp for some extra insurance and the 5-2 finale.

“We played very well and it was our team speed that they could not seem to handle,” said Martucci. “We play at a superior pace; it is something that we talk about a lot: Pushing the pace with our speed, and playing at a superior pace. We did that and it was tough to handle.

“Kennedy and DiMento are difference-makers for us,” added the coach. “They have completely different playing styles, but both get great results. Sophia is a speedster. She has what is referred to in hockey terms as ‘jump.’ She is very explosive, and she can score.

“Gemma has an enormous hockey IQ,” Martucci continued. “She is always 10 steps ahead mentally. She is also an incredible finisher and she rises to the occasion all the time.

“The Haverhill game’s true highlight though, was a first career goal by Sydney Mignosa,” added Martucci. “That goal gave our team a huge lift. The entire bench went berserk when she scored. Syd is a class act. This is the type of player whom a coach loves because they show up to work and never complain. Syd gets it. She is a team player and she does her best when she is called upon. I thought it was awesome when she scored, I was so happy for her.”

If the Lady Vikings break the Westford hex and advance to the next round, they likely will face the second-seed in the D-1 tourney, undefeated Woburn, which stands at 19-0-2.

The date, time, and location for that game had not been determined as of the Sun-Transcript’s press time.


Lady Vikings fall in state tourney 


The Winthrop High girls basketball team came up on the short end of a 55-40 decision at Manchester in the opening round of the MIAA Division 3 North state basketball tournament Monday evening.

Manchester was the #5 seed in the D-3 North with a 12-8 record, while the Lady Vikings were the 12th seed with a 6-14 mark.

From the Press Box

Tourney Time

By: Jim Lederman

This week marks another historic week in Viking sports memory. The MIAA playoffs bring excitement to the Viking sports supporters. Four WHS Viking teams will play this week.

I have to give a ‘tip’ of the hat to the two WHS Viking hockey coaches. Let’s salute coach Anthony ‘Butch’ Martucci and his first year Lady Viking’s hockey team. Coach Martucci in his 10th year as leader of ‘girls hockey,’ (formerly the Lady Bulldawgs) finished a very strong season with a (12-5-1) record and the number 15 seed in Division One standings. The ‘Lady Vikings’ will have a home game at Larsen Rink vs. Westford Academy (11-5-4) on Wednesday night.

The ‘Lady Vikings’ should be playing in Division 2 with school like Stoneham, Archbishop Williams, Canton, Natick and Milton. Coach ‘Butch’ has built a very strong program and has had to play in Division One every year (he has qualified 10 times for the Tourney). A ‘Lady Viking’ upset victory would send the Lady Vikings to play the winner of the Woburn-St. Peter – Marian winter.

Coach Martucci was inducted in the Winthrop High Hall of Fame in 2016, for the success he has established in girl’s hockey in Winthrop. A salute to coach Butch!

Coach Dale Dunbar’s Viking hockey sextet had a date with archrival Beverly high on Tuesday night at O’Brien Rink in Woburn. The Vikings finished very strong winning their final game at Saugus (4-2) and finishing with a (12-6-2) record and the sixth seed in a very strong division.

Coach Dunbar’s teams have qualified for the MIAA tourney in every season of his 13-year Viking career. An outstanding record as mentor of a very successful program.

The Vikings w ill play the winner of the Lynnfield (12-5-3) vs. Wilmington (11-9) game. The Vikings will return to O’Brien Rink on Friday night if they defeat Beverly.

Danvers (15-4-1) NEC champion was the number one seed. A victory over Beverly (10-6-4) would be the third for the Vikings this season. The Panthers vs. Vikings always brings out the best, and a victory over Lynnfield would be ‘sweet revenge’ for the loss the Vikings had last March at Stoneham Arena!

I have been covering Vikings hockey for the Transcript for over 42 years and I would be remiss if I did not bring back memories of trips to the ‘legendary’ Boston Garden, for the undefeated Division One State Champions of 1976!

When I see Viking hockey fans like Leo Haskell and Winthrop’s first hockey captain ‘Bob Tallent” (proud grandfather of junior standout Sammy Y arrow) they remind me of the celebrations iån the fames ‘Iron Horse’ in the old Garden, 5,000 Viking fans!

Let’s fill the rinks with ex-Viking hockey players and Viking faithful this week.

Let’s Go Vikings!

Let the Tourney begin!

Winthrop Hockey Capitol of the North Shore!




The Coach and Viking Tradition

Coach Dale Dunbar’s hockey career extends back to 1979 as co-captain of the NEC championship hockey team.

Dale had an outstanding career at Boston University and in the NHL (National Hockey League) with Vancouver and the Boston Bruins.

Dale has been a highly successful coach of the Winthrop Vikings hockey team over the past 13 years. Winthrop has built a reputation as one of the most outstanding high school programs in high school hockey in the state. He has a ‘tradition’ of honoring players and men who have contributed to the Vikings hockey program.

“Each year we honor those who have passed away or contributed to our program,” said coach Dunbar. “We place initials on the Viking players helmets. This year the initials –SK and BD are on the helmets for Steve “Senator’ Kennedy and Bob DeGregorio, who passed away last year. ‘The Senator’ worked at Larsen Rink for many years.” “Bob was a founder of Winthrop hockey and his smile and dedication to Winthrop hockey was huge,” said coach Dunbar. Bob was on the committee to Build Larsen Rink. ‘Mr. D’ – Bob DeGregorio was inducted in the prestigious WHS Athletic Hall of Fame for ‘exceptional service’ in 2016.

Coach Dunbar paid tribute to the late Jackie Burke, Steve Acone, Steven Gennaco and Bud Dacey with their initials on the players helmets. Howie “Mr. High School Hockey,” (a member of the WHS Athletic Hall of Fame) was honored following his recovery from two operations in (2016-2017).

The 1979 Vikings hockey team – champions of the Northeastern Conference, are the feature team this week in the Transcript. Almost 40-years since Dale Dunbar and his teammates skated for the Vikings. The high scoring line of co-captain Frankie Ferrara, Myles Boulter and Danny Morgan, was another ‘trio’ of outstanding Viking hockey players. Frankie played up in the New York at RPD (his cousin Jonathan was center on the National Championship RPI team) in Troy, New York. Myles skated at Elmira College in New York and Danny played for the Salem State Vikings.

Today we salute coach Dale Dunbar and the Winthrop Vikings hockey ‘tradition.’

Let’s Go Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!



Above the Rim

The boys and girls Viking hoop teams are in action this week. The boy’s team (9-11) finished the season with a loss to Pope John at the Chris Tsiotos Court last week.

The Vikings qualified for the Tourney under the ‘Sullivan Rule.’ The Vikings are playing in Division 4 North. They are the ninth seed Pope John (19-1) is top seed and the Vikings could play Pope John on Sunday if they defeat South Boston (Played on Tuesday night). Swampscott (3-17) qualified for the tourney under the ‘Sullivan Rule.’

The Lady Vikings hoop team (6-14) played at Manchester Essex (12-8) on Monday night. The future looks promising for the Lady Vikings with a solid group of freshman but changes have to take place.

I have watched the youth basketball teams playing at the Memorial Gym on Saturday’s. The traveling teams and resurgence of Viking hoop teams is a tribute to Sean Driscoll, Winthrop’s outstanding director of recreation. The new high school and the Chris Tsiotos Court should be filled in the future. Winthrop basketball, thanks to the many coaches in the youth and freshmen programs will return the Vikings to respect and winning teams in the NEC!

Go Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!



Two Crusaders

Friday was a day of bringing back memories of two ex-Holy Cross basketball players. I was leaving the Winthrop Public Library, when I spoke with a Viking ‘hoop legend’, Charles ‘Chuck’ Mullane. His jump shot to defeat Natick in the Tech Tourney in 1963 (55-years ago) – led the Vikings to the State Championship (the old Tech Tourney).

Chuck had an outstanding career as a ‘Crusader’ at Holy Cross College in Worcester.

Friday night I watched the Boston Celtics defeat the Detroit Pistons on NBC/Sports Boston with ex-Celtics legend and coach 83-year old Tommy Heinsohn do color commentary.

I watched Tommy Heinshon as a rookie on the 1957 World Championship team play in the old Boston Garden (61 years ago). Tommy is an NBA Hall of Fame player and coach. (He has ten championship rings).

Two Crusader Legends! And as we enter March Madness for basketball ‘junkies,’ it certainly brings back memories of the Garden.

Bring on March Madness

Let the Games Begin!



The Mortgage Man

There is a new ‘Mortgage Man’ in town. Al Petrilli and his son Albert Jr. has opened a new mortgage company.

Al has opened New Fed Mortgage at the Atlantis Marina on Pleasant Street. Al has had a very successful career in the mortgage business and will work with his son to take care of his many satisfied clients.

My TV broadcast partner on WHS Viking Cable TV, producing WHS Viking and ‘Thanksgiving’ Winthrop games. ‘Ariel Al’ aka – The Voice of the North Shore is a legend. Albert played on the 2006-super bowl champions!

Good Luck to the Petrilli family in their new business venture!

Let the Games Begin!

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