WHS sports roundup
WHS boys win NEC Ttitle; Fall in Tourney
The Winthrop High boys hockey team defeated Saugus, 3-2, last Wednesday in the final game of the season to capture an undisputed championship of the North Division of the Northeastern Conference.
Coach Dale Dunbar and his Vikings entered the contest tied with Marblehead for first place in the NEC North. Both teams had 17 points, but Winthrop had the game in hand and thus needed either a win or a tie with Saugus to claim an outright title.
Luke Evangelista, from Andrew DiMento and Joey Holgersen, lit the lamp in the opening period for the Vikings. Mike Brooks, assisted by Brian Chalmers and DiMento, upped the Winthrop advantage to 2-0 with a tally in the middle stanza.
But the pesky Sachems, who defeated and tied Marblehead this season, scored twice in the third period to throw a scare into Winthrop. However, Evangelista, assisted by Holgersen, scored the game-winner on the power play to give the Vikings the NEC North crown.
The triumph gave Winthrop a final record of 9-2-1 in the NEC North, with Marblehead coming in second at 7-2-3.
The victory propelled the Vikings to a fifth seed in the Division 2 North Sectional of the MIAA state hockey tournament with an overall record of 14-4-2. Winthrop took on 12th seeded Stoneham Tuesday night in Woburn in a first round matchup, but came up short by a score of 6-2.
After a scoreless first period, Stoneham scored twice in the middle stanza before the Vikings responded with a power play goal by Holgersen, assisted by Sam Yarrow and Evangelista, to make it a 2-1 affair entering the final 15 minutes.
However, Stoneham scored four unanswered goals, including a penalty shot, to start the third period. Jack Sicurella, assisted by Mike Brooks, scored a late goal for Winthrop to account for the 6-2 finale.
In between those games, Dunbar coached the North team in the annual NEC all-star game on Saturday. The North defeated the South, 7-6, with two Vikings, Joey Holgersen and Luke Evangelista, scoring goals for the North.
WHS boys fall in state tourney
The Winthrop High boys basketball team dropped a 66-39 decision to the Maimonides School this past Tuesday evening at Brookline High in a first-round contest in the Division 4 North Sectional of the MIAA state basketball tournament.
The Vikings entered the tourney with a 6-14 overall record and were seeded 12th among the 12 teams in the D-4 North. Maimonides was the fifth seed with a 10-4 mark.
The teams had met twice during the regular season, splitting their encounters in January. Maimonides won the first game on its home floor, 59-45, and Winthrop took the rematch, 58-55, at the WHS gym.
Girls hockey ends regular season with tie.
The Winthrop High girls hockey team concluded its regular season with a 2-2 tie with Winchester last Saturday at Larsen Rink.
The contest was a hard-fought encounter all the way, with the visiting Winchester squad notching the equalizer with 48 seconds to go after pulling their goalie in favor of a sixth skater and winning a face-off in the Winthrop zone.
“The Winchester game was a battle between two evenly-matched teams,” said WHS head coach Anthony Martucci. “It went right down to the wire and unfortunately, we lost a face-off and they scored to tie the game.”
The first period was scoreless, with neither team taking control. Both had a few decent chances, but Winthrop goalie Summer Tallent and her counterpart in the Winchester net were equal to the task and made some nice saves.
Julia Holmes broke the stalemate with a goal, assisted by Emma Holmes, in the second period to give the Lady Vikings a 1-0 advantage.
“That line — Julia and Emma Holmes and Kaiya Rodriguez — has been great since we put them together,” said Martucci. “Julia, Emma, and Kaiya work well together and have a lot of speed.”
Winchester brought the score back to level on a nice goal off the rush, but Winthrop regained the lead on a power play when Emma Holmes took a pass from Mia Martucci and deposited it in the back of the Winchester net for a 2-1 Lady Viking lead at the second horn.
The third period once again featured up-and-down skating action by both teams, but the Lady Vikings were unable to get an insurance goal, setting the stage for Winchester to earn a deadlock in the final minute when the visitors had a face-off in the Winthrop end and pulled their goalie in favor of a sixth skater.
“We played well and had a lot of chances,” said Martucci. “Winchester is a good team and they can skate. Right now the line of Holmes, Holmes, and Rodriguez is really going for us. They have a lot of jump, and they can cause a lot of havoc with their speed.”
Martucci and his crew were set to meet Peabody last night (Wednesday) in a preliminary round game of the Division 1 MIAA state hockey tournament. The Lady Vikings were the 22nd seed among the 27 teams in the D-1 tourney with a 10-6-2 record. Peabody was the 11th seed with a 14-4-2 mark.
The teams are familiar rivals. They play in the Northeastern Hockey League and met twice this season, with Peabody taking the first encounter, 3-2, early in the year, and then batting to a 2-2 tie in the rematch last week at Larsen Rink. “They are a very good hockey team with some very good offensive players and a great goalie,” said Martucci. “This will be a battle and the team that makes the least mistakes will win.”