WHS Sports Roundup

WHS boys edged in tourney opener, 1-0

The Winthrop High boys hockey team came up just short, 1-0, to Triton in a first round contest in the Division 2 North Sectional of the MIAA State Hockey Tournament Tuesday evening in Stoneham.

The Vikings entered the tourney as the 12th seed among the 16 teams in the D-2 North with a 9-8-3 regular season record. Triton was the fifth seed in the D-2 North with a 14-4-2 mark.

Lady Vikings tie Wakefield in finale; move onto tourney

The Winthrop High girls hockey team was scheduled to open play in the MIAA Division 1 State Hockey Tournament last night (Wednesday) against Belmont. The Lady Vikings, who compiled an 8-7-3 record on the season, entered the tourney as the 26th seed among the 32 teams who qualified for the post-season in D-1. Belmont is the seventh seed with a 13-3-4 mark.

The winner of last night’s encounter will advance to the Sweet 16 and will face the winner of the contest between Waltham and Whitman-Hanson.

Coach Anthony Martucci’s crew wrapped up their regular season schedule with a 2-2 tie against Wakefield, the identical score of the first meeting between the teams in early January.

The Lady Vikings came out of the starting gate on fire, pelting the Wakefield  goalie with shots and playing very smart, fast hockey. The early Winthrop onslaught translated into two quick goals. 

The first came via a picture-perfect play among Winthrop’s top line which has come to be known as “the backpack line.” It began with a nicely-executed drop pass just below the Wakefield blue line by Julia Holmes to her sister Emma. Emma took the puck and moved in on goal, drawing the two Wakefield defenders toward her. She then slid a well-placed pass to Mia Martucci, who was breaking toward the goal and who tapped the puck into the back of the Wakefield net.

“That was as pretty a play as I have seen all season,” said Martucci.

“The backpack line has been great all year for us. They have carried the team offensively, hence the name ‘backpack line.’ Julia and Emma Holmes, along with Mia Martucci, are 1-2-3 in scoring on our team with 21-20-19 points respectively.”

The Lady Vikings made it 2-0 just a few minutes later when they caught Wakefield in the midst of a line change.  Jenna Lindinger served up the puck on the proverbial platter for Julia Holmes, who ripped a one-timer, top-shelf.

“This was probably the best shot I have ever seen Julia take, and I have been coaching her since she was eight years old,” noted Martucci.

The Lady Vikings began the second period much as they dominated in the first. Winthrop had chances to put the game away several times, especially on a 5-on-3 power play for just under the full two minutes, but failed to capitalize on their opportunities.

“I think that took the wind out of our sails and gave them some life,” said Martucci. “I don’t believe in momentum, I believe in execution, and we just did not execute when we needed to.”

Winthrop came out a little flat in the third period and had two defensive zone breakdowns that allowed Wakefield to bring the contest back to level. 

“It is something that will kill us if it happens in the tourney,” Martucci said. “Credit Wakefield for capitalizing on our mistakes and working hard to get the two goals back. The game ended that way, and although we would have liked to have won the game. We just did not do enough to get it done.

“The Belmont game will be a great contest,” Martucci added, speaking of his team’s opening round tourney opponent . “I know how well-coached that team is, and that they are very fast. Their rink is one of the coldest in Mass., and it is a tough place to play. One thing I can promise you is that we will be ready, and we will do our absolute best.”

Four Lady Vikings, Summer Tallent, Mia Martucci, Julia Holmes, and Emma Holmes, were named to the Northeastern Hockey League All-Star team and participated in a skills competition at the Peabody rink this past Friday.

The Winthrop quartet were standouts at the event. Emma Holmes won the breakaway contest; Mia Martucci recorded the hardest shot; Julia Holmes had a time of .15 seconds in the fastest-skater competition, coming in third out of 12 skaters; and Summer Tallent was the fastest-skating goalie with a time of .18 seconds.

Viking hockey boys top Saugus to reach Tourney

The Winthrop High boys hockey team won its final game of the season, defeating Saugus 5-1 last Wednesday, to clinch a berth in the MIAA Division 2 State Hockey Tournament.

Captain Joe Deeb, assisted by Jack Sicurella, gave the Vikings a 1-0 edge in the opening period, but Saugus responded with a lamplighter early in the second period to bring the contest back to level.

However, from that point on the battle belonged to the Vikings, who responded with four unanswered goals. 

Connor Hurley, assisted by Deeb, put Winthrop back in the lead before the middle period ended and the Vikings scored three unanswered goals in the final frame to skate to the win.

Ari Hain, assisted by Captain Mike Brooks, made it 3-1, and JD Parker, assisted by Jonathan Lanza and goalie Ryan Hovermale, added another insurance marker.

Senior Mike Fitzpatrick, dressed to play in his first varsity contest, applied the coup de grace with a lamplighter with 17 seconds to go, assisted by Conlan Petersen.

Hovermale made 22 saves to record the victory,

For the Vikings, who entered the fray with an 8-8-3 record, the triumph punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney, which they opened this past Tuesday evening against Triton. 

Two Vikings, junior Joey Holgersen and senior captain Mike Brooks, were selected to the NEC All-Star team and represented Winthrop in the all-star contest that was played this past Saturday at Salem State University.

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