MIAA Final Four: Vikings Lose to Dover Sherborn, 2–1 in a Shootout

The Winthrop High School boys hockey team’s hopes for a state championship ended in a 2-1 loss to Dover-Sherborn in the Division 4 state semifinals Saturday at Gallo Arena in Bourne.

The two teams battled through two eight-minute, thrill-a-second overtimes before Dover-Sherborn outscored Winthrop, 2-1, in the five-round shootout.

Senior captain Petey Silverman scored Winthrop’s goal late in the first period on one of his patented rushes into the offensive zone after receiving a pass from Mike Holgersen. Dover Sherborn’s Brayden McKenna tied the game at 1-1 on a shorthanded goal with 8:27 remaining in the second period.

The game remained deadlock at 1-1 as Winthrop goaltender Mike Donahue (33 saves) and Dover-Sherborn goaltender Andrew Goldstein (37 saves) were simply sensational and clutch as it became increasingly clear to the capacity crowd that the next goal in regulation would most likely stand up as the game-winner.

Silverman had one of the better scoring opportunities, but his shot rattled the crossbar and the puck soared upward.

Holgersen, who played a superb game, was tripped up on a rush toward the net late in the third period, giving the Vikings a power play that carried into the first overtime. The Vikings had some excellent chances but were unable to produce the tiebreaking goal.

Holgersen’s goal in the shootout (in which five players from each team individually try to score in penalty-shot fashion against the opposing goaltender) tied it at 1-1 after McKenna had given Dover-Sherborn the edge. Calvin Roman also scored for Dover-Sherborn in the shootout.

Dover Sherborn (20-4-0) will play Hanover (15-9-0) in the state championship game Sunday at 11 a.m. at the TD Garden. Winthrop (18-4-2) defeated Hanover, 5-2, in a regular-season game.

Dunbar Talks About the Shootout Controversy

Winthrop head coach Dale Dunbar, whose team had outscored its opponents, 22-3, in its run to the Final Four, said the goaltending was outstanding on both sides. He also addressed the shootout controversy.

“Both goaltenders were phenomenal,” said Dunbar. “We had our chances. But it never should come down to a shootout. You don’t end a basketball game with foul shots. You don’t end a football game with field goals. Overtime is one of the most exciting things you can do. And to take everybody out of the game and put all that pressure on five kids, it’s just a joke, and they do it for what, for scheduling so games are on time? Our whole crowd who was going crazy the whole game, all of sudden, you’re taking the crowd out, and you have to watch a shootout. The shootout is wrong. They should let it be decided on the ice. I feel devastated for our kids.”

Dunbar also questioned the choice of venue for the game.

“We’re the No. 1 seed. What did that mean? We have to travel an hour to Gallo [Arena]? It was a beautiful venue, but we should not have to get on a bus and go an hour when we should just be going to Stoneham [Arena] and selling that out like we have been. That’s the advantage of being the No. 1 seed, the proximity of the rink.”

(Coming in next week’s Sun-Transcript: Coach Dunbar honors his seniors, looks back on the 2023-24 season, and says he will return as head coach next season).

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