WHS Girls Hockey Tops Masco, Takes First Place in NHL
Eighth-grader Adrianna Rizzotto made her first career varsity goal a memorable one, lifting the Winthrop High girls hockey team to a come-from-behind, 4-2 victory over Northeast Hockey League rival Masconomet Saturday evening at the Haverhill Valley Forum in a battle between undefeated teams.
Winthrop had grabbed a 1-0 lead in the opening period on an unassisted goal by Julia Holmes on a 2-on-1 break on which Julia held onto the puck and skated in on the Masco goal when the Masco defenseman shaded toward Lady Viking teammate Mia Martucci, who was breaking toward the net.
“Julia just walked in and beat the Masco goalie to the five-hole on a very pretty deke,” said WHS head coach Anthony Martucci. “Julia has been incredible this season. She has scored big goals and has made some phenomenal plays. Her goal to open the scoring in the first period was a goal scorer’s goal for sure.”
However, Masco responded with a pair of power play goals in the middle period to take a 2-1 lead heading into the final 15 minutes of play.
“We did not skate in the second period,” noted Martucci. “We kind of rested and did not work hard enough.”
However, the Lady Vikings came out on fire after the second intermission. Winthrop brought the contest back to level when Emma Holmes redirected a shot by Elle English on the power play.
“Emma has been snake-bitten thus far this season, so for her to get such a huge goal to tie the game will be big moving forward,” said Martucci. “We will be scary if she gets going.”
That set the stage for Rizzotto to notch the game-winner when she squeezed the puck past the Masco goalie to reach the back of the net. A nice passing play from Hannah Parker and Olivia Driscoll had set up the goal-scoring sequence.
Masco pulled their goalie in the final minute looking for the equalizer, but WHS senior captain Syd Mignosa slid home the puck into the empty net, assisted by Elle English, to clinch the victory.
Winthrop sophomore netminder Summer Tallent was immense between the pipes to earn her fourth win of the season. “Summer was brilliant in net,” said Martucci. “She made several huge saves, and really gave us a chance to win the game. On Masco’s power plays, she made two and three saves before they scored both of their goals.
“I also have to mention the play of our entire defense,” added Martucci. “All of the girls are playing, and playing extremely well. Elle English, Brooke Costin, Antea Schlichting, Abby Holmes, Fallon Hurley, Adrianna Rizzotto, Casey Petersen, and Amelia Spencer have worked so hard, and it has shown up in games.
“Our centers also have been doing some great work for us, helping in the defensive zone,” Martucci continued. “Mia Norris, Julia Holmes, Jenna Lindinger, and Lily Tallent have all done great on face-offs and D-zone coverage.”
The triumph improves the Lady Vikings’ record to 4-0, with all four wins coming against NHL opponents, and moves Winthrop into sole possession of first place in the NHL, two points ahead of Masco, which had been undefeated coming into the tilt.
Martucci and his crew were set to take on non-league rival and perennial Division 1 powerhouse St. Mary’s of Lynn on New Year’s Day.
They then will trek to Peabody on Saturday for another NHL showdown with the Lady Tanners, who have one loss in the NHL (a 1-0 defeat to Masco). Face-off at the McVann-O’Keefe Rink is set for 6 p.m.
Winthrop returns home Monday for a 6:10 p.m. face-off at Larsen Rink against non-league foe Longmeadow.
WHS Boys Hockey Team Wins Two Contests
The numbers “3” and “0” proved to be lucky for the Winthrop High boys hockey team this past week, as the Vikings earned a pair of victories by identical scores of 3-0 over non-league rivals Oliver Ames and Portland (Maine). Both contests were played at Larsen Rink.
In last Thursday’s triumph over Oliver Ames, Joey Holgersen gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead in the opening period, assisted by Kevin Dorr. After a scoreless middle period, Ari Hain, assisted by J.D. Parker, and Holgersen, assisted by Charlie Lane and Parker, lit the lamp in the final period for the 3-0 finale.
Two days later, Holgersen once again scored what would prove to be the eventual game-winner with a goal in the first period, assisted by Parker. Holgersen returned the favor on a goal by Parker in the second period and both Parker and Holgersen assisted on a goal by Hain in the final frame.
Coach Dale Dunbar utilized both of his superb goalies in the victories, with sophomore Anthony Indrisano earning the shutout win with 20 saves against Oliver Ames and junior Ryan Hovermale blanking Portland with a 10-save effort.
The twin-wins boost the Vikings’ overall record to 3-1-2. They were scheduled to host Saugus on New Year’s Eve and will entertain Northeastern Conference North Division rival Gloucester in a big showdown on Saturday. The Fishermen have moved from the South Division of the NEC into the North (Saugus moved from the North to the South) and are coming off a tight, 3-2 loss to highly-rated Marblehead (which is ranked third in the state in Division 2). Face-off for that tilt at Larsen is set for 1:30.
Winthrop then will entertain non-league opponent Cambridge next Wednesday (Jan. 8) at 6:10 p.m.