Sports 02-09-2017

NEC title on the line when Vikings host Danvers Wednesday

The championship of the North Division of the Northeastern Conference in all likelihood will be on the line this coming Wednesday evening when the Winthrop High hockey team hosts Danvers at Larsen Rink. Face-off time is set for 6:10.

Danvers presently holds the top spot in the NEC North with a 6-1-1 record, the lone loss coming to Winthrop two weeks ago. Danvers was set to meet Saugus last night (Wednesday), a team that  Danvers defeated 6-4 in their first meeting this season. A victory over Saugus thus would give Danvers a 7-1-1 mark heading into the showdown with the Vikings.

Winthrop is 5-0-2 in the NEC North and was set to face winless Beverly, whom Winthrop easily handled 5-0 in their initial meeting, last night. The Vikings then will travel to Salem State College Monday evening to go up against Marblehead, with whom Winthrop battled to a 3-3 deadlock this past Wednesday.

So assuming Winthrop disposes of Beverly, regardless of whether Winthrop defeats, ties, or falls to Marblehead, the Winthrop vs. Danvers tilt will be a winner-take-all battle for the NEC North crown.

In games this past week, the Vikings remained undefeated in the NEC North with the 3-3 tie with Marblehead last Wednesday and a 5-2 win over Saugus Saturday afternoon at Larsen.

The Marblehead battle was a bruising affair in which 19 penalties (11 on Marblehead) were whistled by the refs and in which the Vikings found themselves trailing throughout the contest.

Marblehead took a 1-0 lead after one period, but a goal by Brian Chalmers in the second period, assisted by Charlie Page and Chris Finn, tied matters at 1-1.

The visitors were awarded a penalty shot and made good to regain the lead, but Sam Yarrow brought Winthrop back to level with a lamplighter, assisted by Page ad Steve Holgersen, before the end of the second stanza.

Marblehead seized the initiative again to start the third period, but Henry Brooks, assisted by Page’s third assist of the night and Chalmers’s second point of the evening, brought the game to the final 3-3 standoff.

In Saturday’s contest with Saugus, the Vikings moved out to a 4-0 lead by early in the third period on goals by Jake Langone (unassisted), Bryce Costin (assisted by Brooks and Dave Barry), Holgersen (assisted by Luke Evangelista), and Brooks (assisted by Page).

However, the scrappy Saugus squad battled back and drew within 4-2 to make things interesting before Page, assisted by Holgersen, slid home an empty-netter in the waning seconds for the 5-2 finale.

WHS goalie Ryan Skoczylas (24 saves vs. Marblehead, 22 saves vs. Saugus) went the entire way in both victories.

Coach Dale Dunbar’s Vikings, who now stand at 12-1-2 overall, will have a busy schedule this week prior to the Danvers game, which will be Winthrop’s fourth game in eight days. After the Beverly contest last night, they are set to host Lynn Saturday at 1:30; trek to Salem State for the Marblehead game Monday; and then return home next Wednesday for Danvers.

WHS gymnastics team defeats Peabody

The Winthrop High gymnastics team continued its winning ways this past week, defeating Peabody, 132.55-119.15.

Winthrop opened the meet on bars.  First up was Mary O’Donnell, who has been Winthrop’s go-to in consistency, and who scored a 7.2. Charlotte Hurley followed with a 7.0 and Danielle Carter with a 7.4. The next three were Megi Zogasi with a 7.3, Brandi DiCicco with a 7.4, and Christa Vaccaro with an 8.7.

Peabody, which had started on vault and earned scores of 8.0 or better, at that point had grabbed the lead.

Winthrop moved to vault and started with Sage D’Amelio, who scored a 7.4, followed by Lacey Scott with a 7.5, Kaitlyn Carter with an 8.05, and Brandi DiCicco with an 8.25. The last two Lady Vikings were were Rachel Farley with an 8.7, and Christa Vaccaro with a 9.5.

The fine scores on vault vaulted Winthrop into a four point lead that the Lady Vikings never would relinquish.

Moving onto floor,  Winthrop opened with Gianna Guarino, who delivered her best floor routine of the season, scoring a 7.6. Emily Rodriguez followed with a 7.3. Danielle Carter also delivered a great routine, scoring an 8.35, followed by Rachel Farley, who scored an 8.5. Brandi DiCicco scored an 8.45, and Christa Vaccaro ended floor with a 9.25.

The Lady Vikings made some mistakes in their final routine on beam, but not enough to allow Peabody to cut into the lead. After Jillian Lerner started with a 6.4,  Lacey Scott received a 7.3. Rachel Farley scored a 7.6 and Danielle Carter came up with an impressive 8.1. Brandi DiCicco scored a 7.75 and Christa Vaccaro finished with a 9.25 to seal the victory.

This past Sunday morning coach Daria Millerick and her seniors traveled to O’Leary’s Gymnastics Academy in Norton for the Senior Super Bowl.

“This is a showcase meet for only the seniors in Massachusetts, and it’s a fun meet,” noted Millerick. “National Team Coaches are there to scout gymnasts for the National team, and the girls are also given a chance to end their high school gymnastics career by having some fun.”

Lady Viking captain Christa Vaccaro had an incredible meet, her best of the season. Christa  received two awards for best overall bar routine and most explosive vault.

Fellow WHS captains Kaitlyn Carter and Molly Janielis decided to have some fun on Sunday by performing on the vault and beam together.

“They had not only the entire gym, but even the judges laughing, it was a great time,” noted Millerick. “These three senior captains have surely made a positive mark on this team, and they will be missed.”

Winthrop travels to Beverly tonight (Thursday) for the NEC/CAL meet and will host Marblehead Saturday night at 5 p.m. for the last meet of the season that will feature Senior Night festivities.

Close encounters for WHS girls hockey

“Live by the sword, die by the sword,” could have been the theme for the Winthrop High Lady Bulldawg hockey team in its two games this past week. After edging Masconomet by a single goal, 3-2, Saturday at Larsen Rink, the Lady Bulldawgs dropped a similarly-close 2-1 decision to St. Mary’s of Lynn Monday evening at Connery Rink in Lynn.

In the former contest, Winthrop seemingly had matters well in-hand with a 2-0 lead midway through the second period. Mia Price scored the goals, one in each period, for the Lady Vikings (moving Mia up to 91 career points) with assists from Sydney Adamson. However, Masco dented the Winthrop net twice before the second period ended to leave matters at level entering the final 15 minutes.

Bella Perrotti then donned the hero’s cape for Winthrop halfway through the final period, assisted by McKayla Norris, to provide the game-winning tally.

The victory was a key one for Winthrop, moving the Lady Bulldawgs into a tie for second-place in the Northeast Hockey League with a 6-2 record.

In Monday’s contest with St. Mary’s of Lynn, an annual rivalry game for both schools, superb goaltending by Lady Bulldawg netminder Gretchen Howard kept matters at 0-0 after one period. Gretchen, who would end up with 34 saves on the night, made 14 of them in the opening period.

However, St. Mary’s notched two goals in the middle period and preserved its 2-0 advantage until the final two minutes of the final period when Norris, assisted by Emma Carleton, lit the lamp to bring Winthrop within a goal. McKayla’s tally culminated the surging Winthrop momentum that had been building since midway through the second period.

The Lady Bulldawgs continued to attack the St. Mary’s net furiously in the waning minutes, pulling Howard for a 6-on-5 advantage, but could not find the handle to notch the equalizer.

“I was pleased with our performance against Masconomet, but we were flat for most of the game against St. Mary’s,” said WHS head coach Anthony Martucci. “We didn’t come alive until the latter part of the game, but it was too late.”

Martucci and his crew, who punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney with the win over Masco, now stand at 9-4 overall. The Lady Buldawgs now will be seeking to move up to a first-class seat (i.e., a home game or two in the tourney) in their remaining five games of the season. They play at NHL foe Medford Saturday afternoon and travel to non-league foe Belmont Monday.

Benson, Beshere take third place at NEC Meet

Heidy Benson and Nik Beshere were the top finishers for the Winthrop High girls and boys track teams at the Northeastern Conference League Meet held Friday at the Reggie Lewis Center.

Heidy brought home a third place medal in her specialty, the 600 meter dash, with a clocking of 1:40.96 in a highly-competitive event in which the winning time was 1:38.87.

Beshere likewise earned a third-place medal with his performance of 10:50.78 in the two-mile run.

Other Lady Vikings who medaled by placing among the top six in their events were Gianna Massa with a fourth place finish in the shot-put with a toss of 33’-7.7”; Regina Garufo with a sixth in the 300 dash in 46.70; and the 4 x 400 relay team, which earned a fifth place award in a time of 4:39.17.

Camilla Miranda-Llovera just missed the medal-circle with a seventh place finish in the two-mile in 13:10.52.

For the boys, Will Holden grabbed a fifth place medal in the mile with a run of 4:53.73. David Navarro took sixth-place honors in the long jump with a leap of 18’-8.5”.

WHS sports years

10 years ago

February 8, 2007

The WHS girls basketball team remained undefeated at 16-0 with wins over Beverly, 57-52, and Revere, 68-36. Lady Viking Katerina Mallios scored 16 points in the Beverly contest.

Jason Griffin scored 23 points to lead the WHS boys basketball team to a 63-52 win over Revere. The Vikings now stand at 6-9 on the season.

The WHS hockey team stands at 5-5-3 after a 2-1 win over Saugus. Joe Frasso and Joe Casey scored the Viking goals.

The WHS gymnastics team achieved its first victory over Beverly in 10 years with a 138.3-136.7 win. Jane Derderian and Nicole Gennaco led the way for Winthrop.

20 years ago

February 13, 1997

A goal by Gino DeAngelis in the final seconds lifted the WHS hockey team to a 3-2 win over Beverly.

The WHS girls track team capped an impressive 6-2-1 season with a 59-26 victory over Lynn English.


30 years ago

February 11, 1987

The 12-4 WHS boys basketball team will seek to claim a share of the NEC title when the Vikings take on the 13-3 Lynn Classical squad in the season finale tonight. B.J. MacPhail and Lenny Riley both scored 14 points and Larry Thomas and Angelo Marcoccio hit for 10 points apiece in a win over Swampscott  this week.

The 19-4-2 WHS hockey team clinched a berth in the state tourney with a 4-3 win over Beverly. Rolf Beutel, the NEC’s third-leading scorer, had two goals for Winthrop.


40 years ago

February 9, 1977

The WHS girls basketball team ended its season-long chase of Saugus for first place in the NEC with success, defeating the Lady Sachems 44-35. Coupled with Saugus’s win over Salem, the three schools now are in a three-way tie for first place. Kim Wessling scored 11 points for Winthrop, with Terry Gass hitting for eight points and pulling down 16 rebounds.

Former WHS star Mike Eruzione, the all-time leading scorer for the Boston University hockey team, has been named the BU Athlete of the Month.

The return of Chris Zikos to the lineup sparked the streaking WHS boys basketball team to a win over Marblehead, the Vikings’ third straight as they make a stretch run to qualify for a berth in the state tourney.

50 years ago

February 9, 1967

The WHS hockey team, in only its second season as a varsity sport, came within 35 seconds of pulling off a major upset, but settled for a 2-2 tie with Beverly. Jack McDonald and Bob Tallent scored the goals for Winthrop.

The WHS basketball team battled unbeaten Swampscott to the wire, but dropped a 59-52 decision. Ray Anderson led Winthrop with 21 points. Bob Graziano added 11 points and co-captain Bill McNeil scored 10.

60 years ago

February 7, 1957

The WHS basketball team avenged its only loss of the season with a 47-46 victory over Woburn in an exciting game. Co-captain Marty Fischer scored the winning basket with 22 seconds to go. Fischer needs just 12 points to set a new Northeastern Conference scoring record.

70 years ago

February 6, 1947

With Norm Hubley, the NEC’s top scorer leading the way with 15 points, the WHS basketball team easily defeated Newburyport, 65-21. Paul Millerick added 11 points, as Winthrop continues to roll past its opponents and now stands at 7-0 on the season.

100 years ago

February 17, 1917

Winthrop High won a hard-fought game of basketball over Wellesley, 16-11. The 500 fans who packed the galleries were treated to thrills thick and fast. Spinney, Winthrop’s nimble sophomore forward, scored half of Winthrop’s points. Capt. Bill Talcott was called out of the game for slugging an opponent and it is rumored that Supt. Clarke may keep him out of action for the rest of the year.

From the Press Box

The Marblehead Rivalry

By: Jim Lederman

The Winthrop-Marblehead rivalry dates back to the 1950’s. In hockey the games were played at Lynn Arena in the 70’s and continued at the new Larry Larsen Rink in Winthrop.

Two of the legendary coaches in the NEC in hockey – Billy Falasca head coach of the Vikings and Bob Roland for Marblehead. Players such as Don ‘Toot’ Cahoon (former hockey coach of University of Mass. And the legendary line for the Vikings – Michael Eruzione, Chris Costonis and Stephen Christopher. The two top teams in the NEC for many years – Winthrop and Marblehead.

In 2016, Marblehead finished the season – NEC undefeated champions (24-0-0) Marblehead and runner up the Winthrop Vikings.

Wednesday night before a capacity crowd at Larsen Rink, the two teams battled in a crucial game. The first place Vikings (11-1-2) and Marblehead (6-603) in a game that could decide the final NEC standings.

The ‘battle’ was very physical, there were 20 penalties called by two officials that should be banned from Larsen Rink. The ‘penalty shot’ call was the worst I have ever witnessed – the result a crucial goal scored by Marblehead.

The (3-3) tie was one point for each team. The Vikings hope to turn the game into a crucial game to be played on Monday, Feb. 13th at Rockett Arena in Salem State University.

“It is always a great rivalry” said Vikings coach Dale Dunbar after the game. “It was a good, hard fought game, a good point for Marblehead and a tough point for us, we wanted a victory,” said coach Dunbar.

In the first period there was eight penalties, with Marblehead whistled for five. Marblehead scored the only goal.

In the second period, sophomore standout Brian Chalmers scored the first goal for the Vikings.

The key play of the game and the terrible call by a referee was a break away for Marblehead and he was taken down by a Viking. Marblehead capitalized with captain James McCarthy scoring for a (2-1) advantage. Sophomore Sammy Yarrow scored a clutch goal to tie the score at (2-2).

Marblehead standout Braden Haley scored for Marblehead to glue the Magicians a (3-2) advantage. The Viking scored the tying goal when junior standout Henry Brooks ‘lit the lamp’ on a breakaway to knot the score at (3-3).

The Magicians are desperate to make the MIAA playoffs. They are only five points (as of Thursday) away from the tourney.

The rematch on Monday, Feb. 13th – Monday night at Salem State will given captain Charlie Page (three assists in the game) a chance to prove who is the “top team” in the NEC.

Let the Games Begin!

See you at Salem State!

Lord of the Rings

The Patriots captured their 5th super bowl championship with an incredible comeback to win the super bowl (34-28) on Sunday.

Tom Brady finally convinced the country he is the greatest quarterback in NFL history. He won his fifth super bowl with the Patriots and he has a new title “Lord of the Rings”.

The Pats trailed Atlanta (28-3) and staged the greatest comeback in the NFL – super bowl history. There were many outstanding players that led the Pats to victory! Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, James White (three touchdowns), Donta Hightower and Martellus Bennett were players who all had a big role. The Pats scored 31 points to win in overtime.

I watched Joe Montana in a super bowl in Miami. Brady passed for a record 425 yards and I predict if the Patriots stay healthy, they can win another title in 2018!

Let the Games Begin!


Larsen Doubleheader – Two Wins

Viking fans packed Larsen Rink at the Michael Eruzione Center on Saturday. The ‘Lady Bulldawgs’ (who let the Dawgs out?) defeated Masco (Masconomet Regional) in the first game of a thrilling doubleheader. Mia Price had two goals to lead the Dawgs to a –

And a trip to the MIAA playoffs.

The Vikings defeated Saugus (5-2) to record their 12th victory of the campaign. The Vikings had energy early in the game and another standout performance from sophomore goaltender Ryan Skoczylas, led the Vikings to a (5-2) victory and the first place on top of the NEC (12-1-2).

The capacity crowd (the building was rocking) inspired coach Dale Dunbar’s team to a huge victory in a big game after the two rivals had a (2-2) tie at Saugus.

The Viking lamplighters included Jake Langone, Bryce Costin, Henry Brooks, Steve Holgerson and captain Charlie Page.

The Vikings have huge NEC games with Beverly (last night at Beverly), Saturday (Lynn Jets) at Larsen Rink (1:30 p.m.), Marblehead Monday, Feb. 13th at Salem State and Feb. 15th at Larsen with Danvers at 6:10 p.m.

Let’s Go Vikings!

Let’s fill Larsen Rink!

Let the Games Begin!

Slap Shots

The crowd filled the Larsen Rink at the Michael Eruzione Center on Tuesday night.

The Beverly (Danvers and Ipswich) Lady Panther hockey team defeated coach Butch Martucci’s – Bulldawgs – (4-2).

The Beverly team is ranked number three in division one. They have three of the top four scorers in E Mass.

The Bulldawgs led (1-0) and trailed (3-2) in the final period, before an open net, goal with 40 seconds to play.

All-star goalie captain Gretchen Howard turned aside 33 saves in a spectacular performance in the net!

The Bulldawgs have lost only three games and will finish strong in February, pointing to a playoff game.

We salute coach Martucci and his young squad! Girl’s hockey is very strong in Winthrop and will continue to grow!

Let the Games Begin!

Book Depot Athlete of the Week

We salute two unsung Viking athletes this week and we want to salute Maddie Fianga and Gene August as this week’s Winthrop Book Depot and Café’s Athlete of the Week.

Maddie Fianga is a back-up goalie on coach ‘Butch’ Martucci’s Lady Bulldawgs hockey team. Maddie never played hockey before she was asked to join the Bulldawgs because they needed a goaltender. She played her first hockey game when captain Gretchen Howard was sent to the ‘penalty box’ late in the game. She was spectacular, to help the Bulldawgs to victory.

Maddie is a three-sport standout. Co-captain of the volleyball team, captain and catcher on the softball team.

Maddie is an outstanding student athlete and she names Fordham University in New York City as one school she may attend.

We salute Maddie as the Book Depot Athlete of the Week.

Gene August is an unsung player on the Vikings football and hockey teams. Gene was a two-way lineman for the 2016 Vikings football team. Gene played guard and defensive end and never missed a play in a very long season.

Gene is assistance captain on coach Dale Dunbar’s hockey sextet.  He is a solid defensive player and just one more unsung player for a team that is shooting for the NEC championship. We salute Gene August as this week’s Winthrop Book Depot and Café – Athlete of the Week.

Black Bears

I will take a roughing penalty for leaving Mark Hamilton off my ‘college hockey’ report. The third son of Phil and Marie Hamilton (RPM Fitness) is playing Division One hockey at the University of Maine, Orono, Maine.

Mark attended WHS before attending prep school, before heading North to Maine. Mark leads Division One in blocked shots.

His older brothers, Phil and Robert played on the Vikings super bowl champions in 2006. Rob was a Boston Herald All Scholastic. Phil played football at St. Lawrence University. Dad is coach and number one fan – a product of the University of New Hampshire.

Ex-Vikings and two members of the WHS Athletic Hall of Fame, John Domenico and Mark DeGregorio, played for the Maine ‘Black Bears.’

We salute Mark

Let’s Give a Shout! Go Black Bears!

Let the Games Begin!

Number Four

Bobby Orr was a legend in the NHL and led the Boston Bruins to the ‘Stanley Cup.’ He established the ‘number 4’ as legendary in Boston sports.

The Celtics have another new superstar – Isaiah Thomas wears number 4. He was named NBA Player of the Month in January. Thomas is averaging 30 points per game and has led the Celtics to the number two team in the East. The Green defeated Toronto on Wednesday and the Green are second to Cleveland in their division.

I watched the game on TV following a thrilling Winthrop vs. Marblehead hockey game. The Celtics could reach the finals of the East in the playoffs with the return of Avery Bradley.

Coach Brad Stevens is an outstanding young coach. The Celtics are one player away from an ‘elite’ team in the NBA.

March Madness is next month and there will be only one team in Boston with title aspirations.

Tommy Heinsohn, Celtic’s TV analyst calls him ‘The Little Man’ – at only (5’9”) he is the leader of the exciting Boston Celtics.

Go Celts!

Let the Games Begin!

Celtic in Town

There was a ‘Celtic sighting’ in Winthrop last Thursday. Kelly Olnyk visited Winthrop Middle/High School, sponsored by ‘Jet Blue.’

Kelly6 was at the Chris Tsiotos Court – new WHS gymnasium. (The court will be dedicated in April) – The Christos Tsiotos Gym. The huge middle school listened to the Celtics seven footer.

Tino Capobianco (a huge supporter of Vikings sports) and Ron Vecchia represented the school committee.

The constant question I am asked when will they start construction of the new Miller Field? The answer is March! I’ve been told by the town manager – Mr. McKenna the Thanksgiving game – November 2017 will be played on the new Miller Field!

I spoke with the man who had a big part in the town passing the high school project and the Miller Field project – Jimmy Fabiano, I hope they have Jimmy at a presentation on the opening of the new Miller Field!

Coach Sean Driscoll will give me the Vikings 2017 football schedule this week.

Are you ready for football in 2017 – Vikings football at the new field?

The new sports complex new high school, baseball field, football stadium and a new Wallace B. McClean Courts.

Let the Games Begin!

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