With a perfect record and a league championship banner in hand, the Winthrop High girls hockey team will open the MIAA State Tournament against Hopkinton High Thursday at 7 p.m. at Larsen Rink at the Mike Eruzione Center.
Winthrop is the No. 5 seed in Division 1 with an 18-0 record. Coach Butch Martucciâ€™s Vikings are the only remaining undefeated team in Massachusetts girls hockey.
The Vikings won their second NEHL title in a row, led by the fabulous Holmes triplets, All-Conference honorees Emma Holmes and Julia Holmes and All-Star defenseman Abby Holmes, and All-Stars Mia Norris, Talia Martucci, and Adrianna Rizzotto. Freshman Riley Towse has enjoyed an excellent rookie season as the Vikingsâ€™ goaltender.
Coach Martucci expects a tough, opening-round test from Hopkinton, a town known for being the starting point of the Boston Marathon.
â€œHopkinton is a very good team,â€ said Martucci. â€œThey have a couple of really fast skaters, solid defensemen, and a good goalie. This will be a battle.â€
The Vikings played in a scrimmage versus Belmont Saturday. The intensity has picked up in practices.
â€œEverybody seems ready to go,â€ said Martucci. â€œPractices have been great. The girlsâ€™ attitudes are unbelievable and theyâ€™re ready to attack this tournament.â€
Winthropâ€™s tournament game is part of a doubleheader at Larsen Rink, with the boys hockey team taking the ice at 4 p.m. for its playoff opener.