Sports 02-02-2017

WHS SPORTS roundup

WHS boys hockey team wins two more; now stands at 11-1-1


The Winthrop High boys hockey team raised its record to 11-1-1 with a pair of victories over Northeastern Conference North Division rivals this past week. The Vikings also moved into sole possession of first place in the NEC North with a mark of 4-0-1.

Coach Dale Dunbar’s Vikings dispatched Danvers, 3-1, last Wednesday at Bourque Arena at Endicott College in a battle for first place in the NEC North. The Vikings’ victory handed the Falcons their first division defeat and sets Danvers behind Winthrop by a game in the loss column with a 4-1-1 mark.

After a scoreless first period, Henry Brooks broke the deadlock with a lamplighter, assisted by Sam Yarrow and Charlie Page. Tyler Marley made it 2-0, assisted by Tyler Mignosa and Gene August, but Danvers got on the board with 20 seconds left in the period to leave matters at 2-1 entering the final 15 minutes of play.

Page, assisted by Steve Holgersen, put home an insurance goal on a power play to seal the win.

Winthrop maintained its momentum three days later with a 6-1 rout of Peabody Saturday at Larsen Rink. Mignosa (from Yarrow) gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead in the first period. Dave Barry (from Brooks) and Brooks (from Holgersen and Page) made it 3-0 after two.

Captain Charlie then scored twice to start the final period and Yarrow added another. The Tanners scored their one tally with about 10 seconds shown o the clock.

Winthrop now has outscored its opponents by a wide 55-16 margin in its 13 games for an impressive goals-against percentage of just under 1.25 goals per game (okay, for you perfectionists, it’s 1.2307 goals-against per game) and are ranked 18th in the Boston Globe’s top 20 poll.

The Vikings face three key encounters this week against NEC North foes, the outcomes of which will go a long way toward determining the division title picture. The Vikings took on Marblehead last night (Wednesday); will host Saugus (which tied Winthrop in their first meeting) Saturday at Larsen at 3:30; and then will travel back to Bourque Rink to meet Beverly next Wednesday.

WHS girls hockey falls to Beverly, edges Peabody 1-0

The Winthrop High Lady Bulldawg hockey team played well, but could not overcome the strength of an undefeated Beverly squad, dropping a 4-2 decision to the first-place Lady Panthers Tuesday evening at Larsen Rink.

The teams had entered the battle with first place on the line in the Northeast Hockey League (NHL). Beverly was undefeated, while the Lady Bulldawgs were one game behind, their lone league loss coming at the hands of Beverly earlier in the season by a similar two goal margin, 5-3.

After a scoreless first period, the Lady Bulldawgs seized the initiative early in the middle stanza when McKayla Norris put home a rebound of a shot by Sydney Adamson. However, the cheering of the large Winthrop hometown crowd had barely subsided when the Lady Panthers notched the equalizer 15 seconds later when a Beverly girl whacked a loose puck in front of the Winthrop goal that found its way into the back of the net.

Beverly added two more goals before the horn to take a 3-1 lead into the final period, but the Lady Bulldawgs drew within a goal early in the third period when Emma Carney scooped up a loose puck in front off another shot by Adamson to make it a 3-2 contest.

The Lady Bulldawgs continued to press in the Beverly zone, but could not quite find the back of the net. Emma Carleton just missed notching the equalizer when she ripped off a shot that clanged off the cross-bar — some Winthrop fans thought it had struck the inside of the top of the net — but the Lady Bulldawgs were unable to bring the game back to level.

With 35 seconds to play, Beverly slid home an empty-net goal for the 4-2 finale.

“I’m very proud of the way our team played,” said WHS head coach Anthony Martucci. “We made a couple of mistakes by not clearing the puck as well as we should have from in front of our goal, but you have to play an almost perfect game to beat them.”

The win all but assures Beverly of repeating as NHL champs. The Lady Panthers are 7-0 in the NHL and have outscored their league rivals by a wide margin of 48-11. Winthrop has accounted for five of those 11 goals.

Beverly stands at 13-0-1 overall and has outscored its opponents by an astonishing 83-19 differential. Beverly presently is ranked second in the state in this week’s Boston Globe poll.

Winthrop, which dropped to 5-2 in the NHL, now stands at 8-3 overall. The Lady Bulldawgs edged closer to securing a berth in the post-season state tournament with a 1-0 victory at Peabody last week. Sophomore Emma Carleton notched the lone goal of the game in the opening minutes of the opening period, from which point a staunch Lady Bulldawg defensive corps and WHS goalie Gretchen Howard secured the win with her 19th career shutout, adding to Gretchen’s all-time WHS record.

The victory moved Winthrop within two points of punching its ticket for a Journey to the Tourney.

Coach Anthony Martucci and his crew host Masconomet Saturday at Larsen Rink at 1:30 and then take on St. Mary’s of Lynn at Connery Rink in Lynn Monday evening at 8:00.

WHS gymnastics scores

highest mark since 2010

The 2017 Winthrop High gymnastics team continued to reach new heights, scoring a total of 136.675 points in a victory over Gloucester (which scored 110.7 points) Friday evening at the Winthrop Gymnastics Academy.

“We set a goal before the meet to get a team score of 133,” said WHS head coach Daria Millerick. “In order to qualify for sectionals we need our team score to continue to increase, so that’s how we got the idea of shooting for a 133.”

The Lady Vikings got off to a strong start on bars, with all six Winthrop girls hitting their routines without major mistakes. “We had yet to accomplish that feat so far this season, so it created major excitement among the girls,” noted Millerick.

Mary O’Donnell started off with a new connection and received a well-earned 7.4. Up next was Charlotte Hurley with a clean routine, earning a 7.55. Then came Danielle Carter, who performed a flawless routine scoring a 7.8, followed by Megi Zogasi with a 7.95.

Brandi DiCiccio, who took the all around spot next to WHS senior captain Christa Vaccaro, had a beautiful routine and scored an 8.2. Lastly came Vaccaro, who turned in the high score of a 9.1.

“Collectively the team was ecstatic after having the best bars performance of the season, and the motivation helped them on beam,” said Millerick.

First up was senior captain Kaitlyn Carter with a 7.5, followed by Jillian Lerner with a 7.65. Both girls earned their highest score of the season.

Assistant captain Lacey Scott was up next and she too, received her highest beam score of the season with a 7.85. Brandi DiCiccio competed beam for the first time and earned an 8.35. Danielle Carter was up second to last and earned an 8.5.

“Among our first five gymnasts, there were no falls, which is very rare,” said Millerick. “They worked hard and fought throughout their entire beam routines and we were all feeling the momentum on the sidelines.”

Last up was Christa Vaccaro, who earned an 8.9. Although the Lady Vikings by this point in the meet were comfortably ahead, they did not let up and pushed to perform their absolute best.

Moving onto vault, the WHS girls continued to power forward. Sage D’Amelio was up first with a 7.7, followed by Kaitlyn Carter with an 8.5, and Megi Zogasi with an 8.1. Brandi DiCiccio was able to earn an 8.35, Rachel Farley an 8.6, and lastly Christa Vaccaro with a 9.2.

Lastly on floor, the Lady Vikings turned in dominating performances throughout. Emily Rodriguez started us with her typically-bubbly performance, earning a 7.7. The judge complimented Emily’s personality and willingness to put on a show.

Next up was Gracie Armitstead, competeing on floor for the first time this season and earning a 7.5. Third was Danielle Carter who received a well-deserved 8.5 for her graceful performance.

Then Rachel Farley was up with her powerhouse tumbling and received an 8.65. Brandi DiCiccio scored an 8.725 followed by captain Christa, who earned the highest score of the night, a 9.5.

Winthrop’s final tally of 136.675 points was the highest score by a Lady Viking team since 2010. “This was a huge accomplishment for the girls,” said Millerick. “They exceeded their team goal by almost four points. This team score will allow us to have a good shot at sectionals, and it definitely has  boosted some momentum in their hearts.”

Senior captain Kaitlyn Carter added, “Tonight was the best meet WHS gymnastics has had in the four years I’ve been on the team. It was such a rewarding feeling getting a 136.675 and realizing how far we have come as a team and as a family. We have so much potential and it is beginning to show as we are on the road to sectionals.”

This past Sunday morning Millerick and her crew traveled to Masconomet. Although the Lady Vikings came up short, they achieved their goal of 133 points, with Masco scoring 141.75

Winthrop started on bars and had great performances, but disappointing scores. Mary O’Donnell started again and received a 7.3. Next was Charlotte Hurley with a 7.0. Megi Zogasi had her best performance of the year so far and scored a 7.7, followed by Danielle Carter with a 7.45. Brandi DiCiccio earned a 7.9 and Christa Vaccaro got a 9.25.

Masco started on vault and was ahead by four points after the first rotation.

Winthrop moved to vault and had decent scores. Lacey Scott started with an 8.1. Then Megi Zogasi with an 8.3 and Kaitlyn Carter with an 8.0. The next three WHS performers were Brandi DiCiccio with an 8.2, Rachel Farley with an 8.5, and Christa Vaccaro with the highest score of the meet, a 9.55.

Masco by this point had moved to bars and maintained their lead of four points.

On floor Winthrop executed very well. Gianna Guarino started off and had her best routine of the season, scoring a 7.8. Emily Rodriguez shone with a 7.35. Danielle Carter and Rachel Farley stuck their landings nicely, scoring 8.4 and 8.5 respectively. Brandi was up next, earning an 8.35. Christa Vaccaro suffered a fall, but still earned a high score of 9.05.

Winthrop ended on beam, which is very difficult to do. Kaitlyn Carter started off with a stuck routine, earning a 6.8, then Lacey Scott with a 7.1, and on to Rachel Farley, who earned a 7.4.

Brandi DiCiccio pushed Winthrop into the 8’s with an 8.0. Danielle Carter scored a 7.75 and Christa Vaccaro took an 8.7.

“Although we lost, the girls did not take it as a loss,” said Millerick. “They performed beautifully and had counted less than two major deductions. They knew they had a great meet. We just could not compete with Masco’s amazing talent.

Millerick and her crew were set to travel to Peabody tonight (Thursday night) and then the seniors will be in Norton on Sunday morning for the annual Senior Super Bowl.

WHS boys fall

to Gloucester, 71-61

The Winthrop High boys basketball team dropped a 71-61 decision at Gloucester Friday evening.

After battling the Fishermen to a near-standoff, 15-14, after one period, the Vikings were outscored 22-7 in the second stanza, boosting Gloucester into a 37-21 advantage that the Vikings never were able to overcome. Winthrop cut the margin to 11, 53-42, by the end of third quarter, but could not get over the proverbial hump.

Tayjuan McKenzie turned in a memorable, all-around performance, scoring 38 points on 7-for-11 from two-point range, 6-for-9 from three-point distance, and 6-for-8 from the foul line. Tayjuan also pulled down five rebounds while playing all 32 minutes of the game.

Devin Pulsifer reached double figures with 12 points, followed by Vin Harrison with seven points, Chris Zuffante with five, Alex Dernier with three, and David Diaz with two.

The Vikings host Marblehead Friday and entertain Salem Tuesday.

From the Press Box

Super Bowl LI

By: Jim Lederman

Start with the two best quarterbacks in the NFL, add in multiple receiving weapons, the threat of excellent running backs, and add in two of the best offensive co-ordinators. This is potentially an explosive match-up!

The game features the leagues No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks. The Falcons have scored 540 points the Patriots 442.

The Patriots have Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and an excellent tight end – Martellus Bennett. The Patriots have Bill Belechick, the all-time winner in the game. The Pats defense continues to improve. The Falcons have the 28th (out of 32) worst pass defense in the NFL.

Tom Brady will win his fifth super bowl ring to rank ‘number one.’

The picks – Coach Max (Maxwell J. Smart) likes the Pats (42035), ‘The Voice’ likes the Pats (38-31) Pats season ticket fan – Steve ‘Mr. Crimson’ Kostegan likes the Patriots (37 – Atlanta 34.)

Good luck to all the fans who have ‘squares’ in the pools. Super Sunday – the greatest day in sports!

Let the super bowl parties begin!

Go Pats!

Let ‘the Game’ Begin!

Thirty Love

There is a tennis resurgence at Winthrop high school. Coaches Marie Finn and Kenny Hodgkins, have built strong programs.

Forty-five Viking tennis players (boys and girls) are being threatened about their present WHS tennis courts! They want to tear down the legendary McClean tennis court and build a parking lot!

That proposal is uncalled for! To add a few parking spaces! You can voice your strong opposition on Tuesday night at WHS – Shapiro auditorium – u p.m. on Feb. 7th.

Show the Town Council and the administration – we want to rebuild the present McClean courts. Join us or call or e-mail your town councilor!

Tennis is strong – Viking tennis is back!

Let the Games Begin!

Calling all ex-Viking tennis players!

The Lombardi Trophy

The biggest sporting event of the year will be played on Sunday. The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will battle – the winner is presented with the “Lombardi Trophy” – named after legendary Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi.

I had the thrill of holding the Lombardi Trophy in 2015-after the Patriots won the super bowl, defeating the Seattle Seahawks, to capture their 4th Lombardi Trophy.

Joe Vellano won a super bowl ring when he played for the Patriots in (2014-2015); his player agent is Sean Stellato. I was at the Patriots draft party at the Kowloons Restaurant in 2015 and had a picture taken with Joe Vellano and six other New England Patriots.

Joe Vellano is currently a member of the Atlanta Falcons. He has a chance to win his “second ring” but Tom Brady and the Patriots will win their 5th title and capture another Lombardi Trophy.

I had lunch with Joe Vellano and Ryan Allen in April of 2015 at Rossetti’s Restaurant in Winthrop.

Joe discussed the type of organization coach Bellechick and owner Bob Kraft have built in Foxborough! Most of the Patriots have class and are well educated. The Pats draft players with class and that is why they are playing in their seventh super bowl for coach Bill.

The Kraft’s and coach Bill draft players from smaller colleges like Brown, Maryland, Monmouth College and Rutgers. The Patriots will win their fifth title on Sunday.

Sean Stellato wrote the book “No Backing Down.” He is making a movie to be played on the ‘big screen’, Winthrop high school football will be in the movie.

The last time Winthrop was featured in a movie was in the movie – ‘Miracle on Ice’, the story about the 1980 Olympic team winning the “gold Medal.” Captain Michael Eruzione was the U.S. Olympic Hero. Winthrop will be in another movie.

This season for Tom Brady and the Patriots was a “revenge season” after Brady had to face a suspension for his role in ‘Deflate Gate.’

Millions of Americans will watch Tom Brady and the New England Patriots capture t heir fifth super bowl championship on Sunday and lift the Lombardi Trophy.

Let the Game Begin!

Go Pats- capture the title!

Slap Shots

The Vikings won their 11th game of the campaign on Saturday, with a convincing (6-1) victory over Peabody. The win was the third for coach Dunbar and company over the Panthers.

Charlie Page led the offense with two goals. The other Viking ‘lamplighters’ were

The Vikings had a huge game with archrival Marblehead on Wednesday at Larsen Rink. The Vikings have to play Beverly, Saugus (Saturday, Feb. 4th at Larsen Rink at 3:30 p.m.) Lynn and Danvers and win the final four NEC games to capture the prestigious NEC title in 2017.

There are four games remaining at Larsen Rink in February. The first goal of coach Dunbar is another NEC title.

If you have not watched this exciting Viking team – let’s fill Larsen rink to cheer for another Viking championship team!

See you are Larsen Rink at the Michael Eruzione Center!

Let the Games Begin!

Number Five

The battle for first place in the NEC hockey – North Division – Winthrop Vikings vs. Danvers Falcons took place at Raymond Bourke Arena on the campus of Endicott College.

The Falcons record included only one loss. The Vikings recorded victory number 10 (10-1-1) undefeated in the NEC.

The winning goal for the Vikings came off the stick of ‘number five.’ Hardworking junior Tyler Marley to give the Vikings a (2-0) lead in the second period. Tyler, Bryan Chalmers and Henry Brooks – the junior trio of outstanding skaters for the Vikings scored the three big goals for coach Dale Dunbar’s first place Vikings.

I could hear the cheers from the Winthrop stands, led by proud parents Brian (Mr. Tile) and Stacie Marley.

A large crowed of Viking supporters was larger than the home crowd of Falcon fans!

The Vikings will return to the campus of Endicott College next month.

The ‘number one’ star for the Vikings was the “Super Soph” Ryan Skoczylas. Vikings star net minder – he was spectacular in net, making many key saves in a battle of two strong teams.

The physical play of captain Charlie Page and Matt Tarantino and a defense squad of Dave Barry, Jake Adamson and Michael Lane was the key to another Winthrop victory.

The New NEC athletic directors will meet today (Thursday, Feb., 2nd) to finalize the new Northeastern Conference.

The league will add the four GBL (Greater Boston League Teams) Everett, Somerville, Medford and Malden to the present NEC.

The three divisions will include Division One (Beverly, Peabody, Malden, Danvers and Marblehead)

Division Two (Revere, Gloucester, Lynn Classical, Somerville and Medford.

Division Three (Winthrop, Swampscott, Salem, Saugus and Lynn English). The Vikings will compete with four original NEC teams.

The enrollment at Salem has dropped to eight hundred students. The enrollment at Revere has increased to 1,800 students. Danvers and Marblehead have growing enrollments.

The schedule for Winthrop Vikings football will be announced this month. The first two non-league games are at Danvers and Triton. I will have a big story next week!

Let the Games Begin!

Tourney Time

February and March are crucial months for teams to qualify for the MIAA playoffs – ‘tourney time.’

Coach Dale Dunbar’s exciting 2017 Vikings hockey team qualified for the Division 2 – North playoffs, the first goal for the Dunbar Sextet is winning another NEC crown!

Winthrop has more NEC hockey titles than any school in the Conference. Danvers and Marblehead have a few NEC titles – The Vikings are ‘Kings of the Conference.’

Larsen Rink has had many exciting games that I have covered over the past 43 hockey seasons, but with coach ‘Butch’ Martucci’s Lady Bulldawgs having a great season we will have to teams in the playoffs. What NEC team can claim that success?

The total victories entering February is 19 wins! The smallest school in the NEC is the ‘number one’ school on the North Shore.

The hockey programs are built with excellent coaching and youth programs that continue to have playoff teams and a winning program.

Players from Winthrop families that was the reputation in basketball!

Faces in the Crowd

I will take a technical foul for admitting three players from my basketball all-star team.

Ray Anderson, Steve Mahoney and Lawonne Bennet. Ray played for the Vikings and had a stellar career at Bentley.

Steve Mahoney held the assist record at WHS before his son Gavin broke the record.

Lawonne played on the 1995 state champions and scored over 1,000 points.

The Vikings hockey team is ranked number three in the HNIB top 20 teams in Division 2.

The Vikings hockey team is ranked number 20 in the Boston Globe poll. February is the big month when Conference champions will be crowned.

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