Boys hockey team opens with two wins
The Winthrop High boys hockey team is off to a flying start, racking up a pair of impressive victories in its opening week of the season.
The Vikings began their 2014-15 campaign Saturday evening at Larsen Rink with a 3-0 shutout of a potent Danvers squad that has been a Winthrop nemesis among its Northeastern Conference rivals in the past few years.
After a scoreless first period, senior captain Pat Todisco lit the lamp in the middle stanza on a power play for the first Viking goal of the season. Fellow senior Jonathan Griffiths made it 2-0 before the period ended and Jonathan applied the coup de grace with another lamplighter in the final frame.
Ray Feeley earned the shutout in net, but the real star of the game was the Winthrop defense, which once again displayed the sort of overall team defensive effort that has been a hallmark of the Vikings during the tenure of head coach Dale Dunbar, as they limited Danvers to a minimal number of shots on goal.
Two nights later in Mansfield, Winthrop made it two in a row with a 4-1 conquest of the home team, a non-league foe that has given Winthrop fits in the past few years.
After allowing Mansfield to grab an early 1-0 lead, the Vikings soon assumed control of the contest. Freshman Henry Brooks, who had some nice scoring opportunities in the season-opener, scored two goals and Todisco and junior Mike Casey each lit the lamp once.
Tom DiBenedetto took a turn in goal and earned the victory. “Tom has been tremendous,” said Dunbar. “We’re very fortunate to have two goalies in Tommy and Ray who are very talented.”
Dunbar also lauded the effort once again of his defensive corps, which is anchored by Marc Ferullo and Dan Brogan. Senior Sean Gillis, sophomore Matt Tarantino, and junior Noah Hodgkins also have been taking regular turns at the blue line.
The next major test for Dunbar and his crew was set for last night (Wednesday) when they were scheduled to entertain Peabody. The Vikings will hit the road Saturday for an afternoon (2:15 face-off) encounter with Marblehead at Salem State.
Winthrop girls hockey defeats Peabody, Masco
The Winthrop Lady Bulldog hockey team opened its season in superb fashion with a pair of victories over Northeastern Hockey League foes Peabody and Masconomet this past week.
Senior captain Annie Mahoney had the distinction of scoring the first goal of the 2014-15 campaign with a lamplighter just 1:30 into the season-opener Saturday against Peabody. Linemate Olivia Shkliew, whom Martucci lauded as “our most complete player at both ends of the ice,” earned the assist after winning the face-off in the Peabody end.
Although Winthrop would proceed to outshoot Peabody by a healthy margin (35-12) over the next 43:30, the Lady Bulldogs were unable to find the handle again and thus Mahoney’s goal stood up as the game-winner.
“It was a little disappointing that we didn’t score some more goals,” said Winthrop head coach Anthony Martucci, who is in his seventh year at the helm of the Lady Bulldog program. “We had plenty of chances, but we couldn’t finish them.”
Senior captain Kasey Harris turned in a strong performance on defense, as did fellow blue-liner junior Gabby Kenniston. “Kasey was all over the ice and Gabby is an incredibly hard worker,” Martucci said of his two defenders, “and Gretchen Howard did a great job in the net.”
Tuesday evening saw the Lady Bulldogs find their scoring touch in a 4-3 victory over Masconomet. After spotting Masco an early (just 32 seconds into the game) 1-0 lead, Winthrop battled back in the middle stanza to take a 2-1 advantage. Eighth grader Caroline O’Keefe stuffed home the puck when she circled from behind the net, with the assist going to linemate Caroline McKinnon. Harris then lit the lamp on a power play with a nice shot from the point, with assists going to Kenniston and O’Keefe.
Masco knotted matters before the period ended, but Winthrop struck for two more markers in the third frame. McKinnon, who is closing in on the 100-point mark for her career, notched her first goal of the year, assisted by Flora English, and then English made it a 4-2 affair with a lamplighter of her own, assisted by O’Keefe. Masconomet made things interesting with a goal with 34 seconds to play, but Winthrop killed off the final seconds to preserve the win.
“Our first line really came through for us,” said Martucci, referring to the trio of McKinnon (a goal and assist), O’Keefe (goal and two assists) and English (goal and assist). “We needed to score some goals and they did it.”
Martucci and his crew will host NHL foe Medford, a perennially-tough league rival, Saturday afternoon at Larsen with a 1:30 face-off.
WHS girls defeats Danvers in NEC opener
The Winthop High girls basketball team opened the defense of its Northeastern Conference South Division title with a 57-38 triumph at Danvers Tuesday evening.
The Lady Vikings led all the way, grabbing a 15-10 lead after one period and expanding it to 32-14 at the half. Leading the way for Winthrop was the trio of Kristen Siscamanis, Nikki Tsiotis, and Allie Love, all of whom scored 12 points. Nikki T. was 6-for-13 from the field, while also passing out five assists and pulling down six rebounds. Love drained four three-pointers (on four attempts), while Siscamanis hit for two treys and dished out four assists.
Nina Bartlett tingled the twine for eight points, followed by Maura Lanza with six and Poli Tsiotis with five. Poli T. also led Winthrop with seven rebounds and was 3-for-4 from the free throw line.
“We attacked their 2-3 zone and made a lot of buckets in transition,” said WHS head coach Ignacio Oyola, whose team committed only 10 turnovers in the contest . “When we executed well, we were able to pull away.”
The Lady Vikings opened their season last Friday, traveling to Attleboro to take on Bishop Feehan, one of the top girls teams in the state that reportedly features four girls who are Division 1 basketball recruits. Feehan struck for a 19-7 lead after one period, but Winthrop fought back to narrow the margin to 28-25 at the half. However, Feehan outscored the Lady Vikings 20-7 in the third quarter to open up a big lead en route to an eventual 72-38 triumph. Winthrop was within a manageable 10-point deficit with less than two minutes to go in the third period, but three Feehan hoops off Lady Viking turnovers created a 16-point deficit entering the final period.
“Bishop Feehan is an excellent team,” said Oyola. “They were very fast and quick, so they caught us a bit off-guard, which led to us committing a lot of turnovers (36 on the night for Winthrop) against their ‘run-and-jump’ full-court press.”
Bartlett paced Winthrop in the scoring column with 17 points. Siscamanis added 11 points with seven rebounds. Poli Tsiotis hit for seven points and Nikki T. chipped in four.
Oyola and his crew will host Saugus Friday night in their home opener and then will entertain Marblehead Monday evening in what should be a key early-season encounter against a top NEC rival. Tip-off for both games is 7:00.
WHS boys basketball team drops opener
The Winthrop High boys basketball team faced the unenviable task of opening its season against Danvers, one of the top teams in the state, Tuesday evening at the WHS gym, with the end result being a 62-26 loss for the Vikings.
“Danvers is a top five team,” noted WHS head coach Mike DiMarino of the Falcons, who feature both size (6′-10″ and 6′-6″ players in the front court) and experience in the backcourt. “It was a tough assignment to start our season.”
Bobby Fisher led the WHS offensive effort with 12 points.
The Vikings will hit the road for contests Friday evening at Saugus and Monday at Marblehead. They will play in the North Reading Christmas Tournament December 27 and 28.