Two big wins for girls hockey team
The Winthrop High girls hockey team turned in what arguably were its two most complete games of the season with victories over Northeastern Hockey League (NHL) rivals Masconomet Regional and Marblehead this past week.
The twin wins improved the Lady Vikings’ record to 8-5-1 overall and punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney, the MIAA post-season state hockey tournament.
The triumphs also set up a winner-take-all contest with Peabody last night (Wednesday) for the 2020 NHL championship. Winthrop is 7-2-0 and Peabody is 7-1-1 in the NHL entering last night’s match-up. Peabody defeated the Lady Vikings rather handily, 7-1, in their first meeting this season, but buoyed by a combination of their new-found stinginess on defense and their home ice of Larsen Rink, coach Anthony Martucci and his crew were seeking to turn the tables on the Lady Tanners in the final NHL game of the season for both teams.
“This was a huge week for our program with these two monster wins, “ saidMartucci whose Winthrop teams have qualified for the tourney every year for the 11 seasons that he and assistant coach Chris Palmer have been at the helm of the girls’ program.
The contest with Masco last Wednesday at Larsen was decided by a power play goal by sophomore Mia Martucci, who was assisted by Abby Holmes.
“The offense was great, despite only putting one goal past their goalie, Molly Elmore, who is a D-1 commit to Sacred Heart,” said Martucci. “The play of all four lines was incredible. Mia Norris, Hannah Parker, Olivia Driscoll, Syd Mignosa, Jenna Lindinger, Lily Tallent, Julia Holmes, Emma Holmes, Mia Martucci, Sami DiMento, Jenna Dorr, and Maddy Deeran all contributed to the huge conference win.”
However, Martucci had special praise for his defense, which put a goose egg up on the scoreboard.
“Summer Tallent was unreal in this game for us in goal,” added Martucci. “At least seven of her 24 saves were of the ‘10 bell’ variety. It was great to see her get her first shutout of the year.
“Defensively, Elle English was phenomenal,” Martucci continued. “She led the group of Abby Holmes, Fallon Hurley, Taya Schlichting, Casey Petersen, and Amelia Spencer. All of them played extremely well. Taya Schlicting played her best game of the season and Abby Holmes has really stepped up.”
Martucci also lauded the role that back-up goalie Ryan Parker played in the victory. “Ryan Parker, who has been an invaluable back-up senior goalie for us, was in charge of the defensive door and her flawless line changes were also instrumental to this win,” Martucci noted.
“All in all, this was a great game for us, probably the most complete game we played this year,” added Martucci. “All facets of the game were awesome.”
This past Saturday the Lady Vikings hosted their traditional NHL archrival, Marblehead, and skated to a 2-0 triumph.
Winthrop’s first goal came on a shorthanded situation in which Emma Holmes made an amazing individual effort, putting the puck past the Marblehead goalie despite being hauled to the ice by a Marblehead defender after Emma had skated in on a partial breakaway.
“It was just an awesome goal, by an awesome player,” said Martucci. “Emma leads our team in points and she has been huge all year.”
Similar to the Masco victory, the Lady Viking triumph was a nail-biter right to the end, with the outcome not being decided until the game’s closing seconds when Julia Holmes lit the lamp with an empty-net goal after Marblehead had pulled its goalie in favor of a sixth skater.
“It was another excellent game. We just played as solidly and as smart as we have all year,” Martucci noted. “We were very disciplined and it paid off.”
WHS netminder Tallent turned aside 24 enemy shots to record her second shutout in a row. “Summer Tallent was unreal again,” Martucci said. “She is an amazing goalie and when she is dialed in, she becomes pretty much unbeatable.
“Our defense was rock-solid and our forwards played with heart and discipline,” continued Martucci. “Our goalie was lights out and it translated into a big win that gives us a chance to win the conference if we can beat Peabody.”
Martucci also singled out for praise the performance of his 2020 captains.
“I just can’t say enough about the leadership of our four captains,” Martucci added. “At times this season we were on the verge of struggling to achieve the certain goals that we set at the opening of every season. But the captains would not allow that to happen. OD (Olivia Driscoll), MIG (Syd Mignosa), SNUKA (Mia Martucci), and SUM (Summer Tallent) have really dug in and led this team with their play and their hearts. I am so thankful for all their hard work and dedication.”
After last night’s encounter with Peabody, the Lady Vikings are scheduled to wrap up their regular season with contests against two non-league foes at Larsen. They will host Billerica on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 as part of a doubleheader with the WHS boys (who will skate against Danvers at 3:30 p.m.) and will entertain Wakefield next Wednesday evening at 6 p.m.
Martucci and his crew then will await word of their seeding and first round opponent in the MIAA Division 1 girls state hockey tournament.
Viking boys hockey aims at state tourney berth
The Winthrop High boys’ hockey team stands at a perfectly level 7-7-3, exactly the .500 mark that is required for the Vikings to qualify for the MIAA post-season state hockey tournament.
The Vikings dropped a 4-1 decision to Marblehead, the top team in the North Division of the Northeastern, this past Saturday at the Salem State arena. Marblehead took control early in the contest, scoring just seconds after the opening face-off, and built a 3-0 lead into the second period before Viking JD Parker lit the lamp to make it 3-1.
However, Marblehead put the icing on the cake with a goal in the final 15 minutes to skate away with the win.
Coach Dale Dunbar, assistant coach Mike Norris, and their crew of Vikings now must capture at least three points in their final three games in order to maintain their .500 record and punch their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney.
Winthrop was scheduled to play at Peabody last night (Wednesday) and will host Danvers Saturday afternoon at Larsen at 3:30 immediately following the WHS girls’ game, which faces off at 1:30 p.m.
They will wrap up their regular season next Wednesday when the Vikings play at Saugus.
WHS track girls impress at D-5 relays
A contingent of members of the Winthrop High girls indoor track-and-field team competed in the recent Division 5 State Relay Meet and turned in some impressive performances.
In the 4 x 400 relay, the girls ran their best time of the season with a clocking of 4:27.18. Fiona MacPhail got Winthrop off to a great start with a split of 66.5. Nora McCarey took the baton and sped to a leg of 69.8. Bea Holzbach then took over and sprinted to a split of 65.53. Anchor SoneidaDahlquist finished with a strong final leg, running a 64.8, to place the Lady Vikings in sixth position to earn a medal among the field of 29 entrants in the 4 x 400 in Division 5 race.
The girls 4 x 200 relayers also shone, just missing the medal podium with an eighth-place ranking among the field of 42 teams from across the state.
MacPail once again was the lead-off girl, racing to a split of 29.03. Clare Nargi took the baton and sped off to her split of 28.69. Sophia Munson ran a fast split of 28.96 and Dahlquist finished the race with a split of 30.4 for a final clocking of 1:57.1.
WHS girls host Swampscott tonight
The Winthrop High girls basketball team will play its last home game of the season when the Lady Vikings entertain Northeastern Conference rival Swampscott this evening (Thursday). The opening tip is set for 6:30.
The WHS boys, who will trek to Swampscott this evening, will host Lynn Classical next Thursday at 2 p.m.in their home finale.