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Mitch's Sports Report: Essex Girls Are Hockey D-1 Champs; Roger Goodell Schooled By Seventh Grader

The Essex Hornets are once again champs of Division one girls' hockey, but it didn't come easy in the title game last night against BFA-St. Albans.

The Hornets' 2-0 third period lead was put in jeopardy by a spate of penalties that had to be killed off, including a five-on-three stretch, but the Essex defense rose to the challenge and ST. Albans couldn't break through against goalie Vika Simons, who finished with a shut-out in the 2-0 victory. Piper Descorie and senior co-captain Sarah Tobey scored the only goals Essex would need to capture their third straight D-1 crown.

In division two, it was second-seeded Mount Mansfield topping number one U-32 5-2 for MMU's first state title. Jackie Ryan led the way for the Cougars with two goals and two assists on the night. U-32 goalie Chloe Sairs was very good in the losing effort, making thirty-three saves, a record for a state title game in any division.

Tonight the boys' championships will be decided. In division one, you can't beat the match up of the top seed playing against the second seed for the title. The top-seeded BFA-St. Albans boys skate against number two Essex, while in division two it'll be second seed U-32 taking on number four Stowe, with both games at UVM's Gutterson Fieldhouse.

After one day of races at the NCAA ski championships in Colorado UVM finds itself in seventh place. Dom Garand led UVM skiers in the mens' division by finishing fourth in the Giant Slalom. For the women, UVM's Laurence St. Germain grabbed a seventh place finish.

Dartmouth currently sits in fourth place and leading the field of fourteen schools is Montana State. UNH and Middlebury are currently in ninth and tenth place, respectively.

In the NBA, the Boston Celtics found themselves trailing at half time  a Memphis Grizzlies team decimated by injuries to some of their best player, but after a rare scolding by the usually stoic head coach Brad Stevens the Celtics picked up their second half play and picked up their fourteenth straight home win in the process, beating Memphis 116-96 at the Garden. Isaiah Thomas scored sixteen of his twenty-two points in the third quarter to lead the Celtics, who also caught a break when another key Grizzly, Memphis guard Mario Chalmers, was forced to leave the game in the third quarter with a leg injury.

In the NHL the Boston Bruins are back on home ice at TD Garden after a great stretch of games that saw them grab nine out of a possible ten points against some of the league's elite teams including Chicago, Washington, Florida, and Tampa Bay. The question is whether they'll continue their winning ways against the likely non-playoff bound Carolina Hurricanes, or play down to the level of their opponent, as has sometimes been the Bruins' modus operandi this season, especially at home. If the B's need any extra motivation they need only look at the standings. A win tonight could give the Bruins sole possession of first place in the Atlantic division.

Finally, I don't know if you've heard the story about the seventh grader who performed his own experiments with NFL footballs and basically tore to shreds any credibility to the league's ridiculous assertion that Tom Brady and the New England Patriots purposefully lowered the air pressure of footballs in the 2015 AFC title game to give them some kind of advantage over the Colts, who they could have beat throwing beach balls instead of footballs. The Boston Globe has the story of twelve-year old Ben Goodell, and isn't irony wonderful, there's no relation to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell there. Ben Goodell tested footballs in humid conditions, then subjected them to cold, including snow and wind, and discovered that each time the football’s pressure dropped by two pounds per square inch, which is of course at odds with the NFL's contention that weather conditions could not have dropped the pressure of the footballs. Ben Goodell won his school's science fair when his work was tested and now it's gaining national attention. No word yet on whether the elder Goodell will admit that his league's Salem Witch Hunt for Brady and the Patriots should be dropped, or if he'll reinstate the draft picks the league shamefully took away from the Patriots as a result of the nonsensical football kerfuffle.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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