Winchester HS at Wilmington HS; January 18th, 2019
The Winchester Sachems picked up a road Middlesex League win over the Wilmington Wildcats at Ristuccia Arena in an afternoon tilt 4-0. Ugly game in many ways as the overall play and discipline was lacking, especially on the Wilmington side.
Very sloppy start to this noon time Middlesex league game. Both teams had some trouble getting started when Wilmington’s sophomore Jason Davey took an open ice run at Winchester’s Lucas Hoertdoefer giving the Sachems a five-minute power play. Junior Ryan McCarthy would make them pay with a Rebound goal at the right pipe to give the sachems a 1-0 lead with 10:41 left in the first. Winchester and their top line of McCarthy, Joe Lepore and Mike Drew continued to dominate play and capitalized on a turnover with McCarthy again, this time top shelf with assists to Lepore and Drew off a perfectly executed 3 on 2. Wilmington had power play the last 1:30 and had a couple chances but nothing to show for it.
The second period begins with a Wilmington power play for 30 seconds. When Luke Mix dumps the puck in and it takes a weird bounce off the end boards hits the Wilmington defenseman and into his own net. Off the next faceoff, Ryan Barrett of Wilmington takes a crosschecking major. Both teams worked on their PP and PK for most of a good eight minutes to no avail. Then at 6:56 Winchester’s sophomore Colin Van Stry receives a nice sauce from Luke Mix, beats the defense wide, dekes the goalie and goes backhand top shelf for a great goal. 4-0 Winchester.
At this point, both teams are looking to hurt each other and it turns into a full out brawl at center ice involving almost every player on the ice from each team including Winchester’s goalie Robert Di Vincenzo who was blind-sided by a cross check in the head by a Wilmington player. Di Vincenzo had no real reason to be out of his net and he had just knocked a Wilmington player down. We know who the Wilmington player was but will leave this whole situation to the proper authorities but it was a dangerous and cowardly play. No one was totally innocent in the scramble, sticks were up and punches were thrown. Ugly scene and quite honestly like most of the game, it was embarrassing. They are all eventually tossed. Which was good because the benches are so small at Ristuccia arena now players had some extra leg room. Senior Aaron Zacharian came in and played goal for Winchester making a few nice saves to close out second period. Overall, however, the second was a complete circus. Set hockey back 20 years.
In the final frame, with most of Winchester’s best players tossed, Wilmington finally had some offensive chances. Ryan Barrett and Jared Venezia of Wilmington lead the way putting multiple shots on Zacharian but he was equal to the task. The senior goalie turned away 12 Wilmington shots including one on the door step and a break away save on Venezia to secure the shutout for the Sachems. It was great to watch him get a chance to play and how the fans and his teammates backed him. This was the story. It’s how high school hockey should be. He played well and deserved credit.
1st Aaron Zacharian (Winchester)
2nd Ryan Mcarthy (Winchester)
3rd Michael Drew (Winchester)
NZ’s Take: We hate games like this. Just a bunch of nonsense that started early and came to a head halfway through. For Wilmington; They took bad penalties from the start, really turning game into a circus. With that being said, senior Ryan Barrett was their best player. He is small but quick and shifty. Patient with puck and made some great plays in 3rd. Had touch and creativity around the net and can use his backhand. He showed a quick release and looked like a goal scorer. Jared Venezia was the next player that caught our eye. Big, physical and fast. Attacked the net hard, and while he didn’t score created havoc and some nice chances. For Winchester; McCarthy, Drew and Lepore dominated the game until some of them got tossed in second. Freshman Henry Wilson (2004) and sophomore Colin Van Stry (2003) were good in 3rd. Created some nice chances together. Story for me was senior back-up goalie Aaron Zacharian. He was great. Played calm and simple square to every shot and no rebounds. Great breakaway save in 3rd to seal the shutout
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling Images/Dan Hickling