Vikings Cruise Past Tewksbury in Tourney Opener; Face Second Seeded Boston Latin Tonight in Woburn

Thursday, March 1, 2012
By Transcript Staff

The Winthrop High boys hockey team made a successful debut in the Division 2 North Sectional of the MIAA State Hockey Tournament with a 4-0 victory over Tewksbury Tuesday evening in Stoneham.

Winthrop now moves on to the next round against Boston Latin tonight (Thursday) in Woburn at 6:00.

The Vikings took a 1-0 lead in the opening period, added two more lamplighters in the middle frame, and tacked on an extra insurance marker in the final stanza to skate away with the victory.

Steven Waites earned the shutout in the net for the Vikings. Although the Winthrop defense limited Tewksbury to an unofficial 10 shots on goal, Waites made some nice saves when he was called upon to do so.

Matt Todisco put Winthrop on the board in the opening period, assisted by Mitch Paulsen and Bobby Clewer. Chris LeBlanc (from Dan Eruzione and Mike Paulsen) and Eruzione on a nice wrist shot from the slot (assisted by Adam Lundberg) gave the Vikings a 3-0 bulge after two frames. LeBlanc finished off the scoring with an unassisted lamplighter in the third period.

“It was a total team effort,” said a pleased WHS head coach Dale Dunbar. “We set a goal of scoring first, which we accomplished. Our lines were well balanced and the entire defensive unit was superb, especially in killing the three Tewksbury power plays,” added the coach, though he did cite defenseman Mike Paulson for a “superb game.”

The ease with which Winthrop dispatched Tewksbury reinforced the view of many area sports observers that the Vikings could be the dark horse team in the D-2 North.  Winthrop is seeded 10th in the North (Tewksbury was the seventh seed), but the Vikings’ record of 12-6-2 is a bit misleading. Five of the Winthrop losses were by one goal and the sixth by two goals, which included an empty net goal at the end. Among those losses was a hard fought 4-3 defeat to Lynnfield, which happens to be the top seed in the D-2 North.

Dunbar and his crew now will take on the No. 2 seed, Boston Latin, which easily handled Watertown, 8-1, in its tourney opener Monday night.

“They have the top scorer in the state, but if we play our game, we should do well against them,” said Dunbar, who scouted Latin on Monday.

Face off is 6:00 p.m. in the O’Brien Arena in Woburn

Lady Vikings fall in tourney to Watertown

The Winthrop High girls basketball team, which qualified for the state tourney after a successful appeal to the MIAA, came out on the short end of a 50-42 decision Tuesday night at Watertown in an opening round game of the MIAA Division 3 North Sectional basketball tournament.

The Lady Vikings entered the tourney as the 12th seed after the MIAA reversed an earlier ruling and awarded Winthrop a forfeit for a game with Wayland which Wayland had decided not to play. Although the forfeit technically was not counted as a win (which would have given Winthrop a .500 record against its fellow Division 3 schools, thereby qualifying the Lady Vikings for a Journey to the Tourney via the so-called Sullivan Rule), the MIAA ruling effectively allowed Winthrop into the tourney.

A rough first period, in which the Lady Vikings found themselves trailing 20-3, was overcome by Winthrop in the second frame. The Lady Vikings pulled within 22-18 before Watertown scored the final four points of the half to take a 26-18 lead at the intermission.

Watertown (the fifth seed in the D-3 North which sported a 13-7 record) and Winthrop (which came in with an 8-13 mark) then played evenly in the second half, with the Lady Vikings’ unable to close the gap.

Temison Meggison turned in a nice double-double for Winthrop with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Kristen Siscamanis hit for nine points, followed by Ashelyne Babb with eight, Angie Favaloro with six, Alyssa Mackey with five, and Jen Adamson and Theresa Jones with two each.

“We had the jitters to start the game, but I was very proud of the way the girls hung in there and fought back,” said WHS head coach Ignacio Oyola. “We have a young team and this was a learning experience for them.”

Looking back on the season, Oyola noted, “We had a lot of question marks at the start of the year after we had lost Johnna Fisher (who now is playing Division 1 college basketball) to graduation, but we won as many games this year as last year and we made the tourney again. These girls worked very hard and improved as the season went along. We hit some rough patches, but all in all I was very happy with their effort and performance.”

Lady Bulldogs to meet Braintree if successful

The Winthrop Lady Bulldog girls hockey team opened play in the State Division 1 tournament last night (Wednesday) at Larsen Rink against a team from Medway/Ashland as the Sun Transcript was going to press.

The Lady Bulldogs are seeded eighth in the D-1 tourney with a 13-4-1 record. Medway/Ashland is the 24th seed with an 8-8-2 mark.

The winner will go on to meet ninth seeded Braintree (14-5-2) which defeated Arlington, 2-1, in its opening round contest. If Winthrop advances past Medway/Ashland, the Braintree vs. Winthrop game will be held at Larsen Rink Saturday evening.

The lone common opponent of Winthrop and Braintree this season is St. Mary’s of Lynn, which happens to be the No. 3 seed in D-1.  Winthrop defeated St. Mary’s in a hard fought game at Larsen, 3-2. However, St. Mary’s defeated Braintree, 2-1 in their encounter.

The closeness of both games against their common foe would indicate that a Winthrop-Braintree matchup should be an exciting contest.

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