The Winthrop High hockey team improved its chances for a top seeding in the upcoming state tournament with a win and a tie in its two games this past week.
The Vikings battled to a hard fought 2-2 tie with Danvers last Wednesday and then shut out Medford 3-0 on Saturday. Coach Dale Dunbar’s squad now stands at 13-1-3 on the season with three games left before the start of state tournament play.
The 2-2 tie with Danvers was a bit of a heartbreaker for the Vikings. Winthrop led 2-0 from the outset on two early goals by Joe Casey (assisted by Joe Scarfo and Brendan Loomis) and Loomis (assisted by Casey and Jake Rand).
However, the Vikings never were able to put away the Falcons, who shook off the quick haymakers by Winthrop and began to assert themselves as the game progressed.
"We had at least four outstanding opportunities to score that third goal," said Dunbar, "but we weren’t able to capitalize and we let Danvers stay close."
After a scoreless middle frame, the Falcons closed the gap to 2-1 with a lamplighter midway through the third period. Then, after pulling their goalie in favor of a sixth skater, Danvers notched the equalizer with 16 seconds showing on the clock.
The match up with Medford three days later proved to be a totally different story however, as Winthrop controlled the play against their GBL opponent from the outset and never was seriously challenged.
Scarfo accounted for two goals and Casey potted one to provide the offense, while goaltender Pat Feeley and the defense took care of business at the other end to record the ninth Viking shutout of the season, which is quite an amazing statistic.
The contest gave Dunbar a chance to play some of his junior varsity players, with Nick Amatucci, Kenny Hodgkins, Thomas Lund, and Dave Capone seeing some significant minutes.
Dunbar and his crew travel to Gloucester tonight (Thursday) for a game that was postponed from Wednesday because of the impending snow storm. On Saturday the Vikings will play their last home game of the regular season, hosting Beverly. The affair will be highlighted by Senior Night festivities. Face off is 7:20.
Winthrop will travel to Tewksbury next Wednesday and then will await their tourney seeding and opponent.