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Mitch's Sports Report: Rookie Sets NHL Record With Four Goals in Debut But Leafs Still Lose

The National Hockey League dropped puck on its 2016-17 season last night, and never in the league's history has there been a debut like the one made by rookie Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Playing in his first NHL game, Matthews scored four goals, and yes, that's an NHL record for most goals scored in a player's first pro game, and Matthews didn't even need all three periods to crack the record book, scoring all four goals, which accounted for all the Maple Leaf goals on the night, in the first two periods of play. That's exciting news for Maple Leafs fans, who have been waiting for quite some time to see their original six franchise get back to the business of winning. The Leafs haven't won a Stanley Cup since 1967, by far the longest drought of any team that's won at least one Cup. Here's the kicker, though. Despite Matthew's four goals, the Leafs still lost the game against the Ottawa Senators, 5-4 in overtime.

The Boston Bruins hit the ice tonight, starting their season on the road in Columbus, Ohio, against the Blue Jackets, and they'll be dong so without two of their starting defenseman, Adam McQuaid and former UVM standout Kevan Miller. Both are injured to start the season, although McQuaid is expected back well before Miller. If that wasn't bad enough, the team's best player, center Patrice Bergeron, will miss the opener with a lower body injury. As for the defense, this is not great news for a Bruins team that had one of the worst blue lines in the game last year and did nothing to improve it via trade or free agent signing. If you're a cup half full guy, though, you can say it gives a chance for rookies Rob O'Gara and Brandon Carlo, who had impressive rookie camps, to show they're good enough to stick a roster spot. But the Bruins have fell one point shy of making the playoffs the last two seasons and a bad start to this one could have the fan base in revolt in pretty short order.

The Montreal Canadiens also open on the road tonight in Buffalo against the Sabres. It'll be the first game the Habs have played withou their superstar defenseman P.K. Subban, traded in the offseason for another all-star D-man, Shea Weber. The Sabres, meanwhile, have some impressive youngsters ready to turn that franchise around, including former Boston University star forward Jack Eichel, although he'll miss the opener with an ankle sprain.

Big baseball game in the nation's capital tonight. It's a winner take all game five between the Washington Nationals and L.A. Dodgers, with the winner to go on to face the Chicago Cubs for the National League pennant. Max Scherzer gets the start for the Nats against Rich Hill for the Dodgers. I'm going with the Nats in this one.

Locally, in mens' college soccer, America East conference foes UMass Lowell and the University of Vermont went head to head in Massachusetts yesterday and it was a header by Lowell's Joe Kellett with less than five minutes left in the game that gave the River Hawks a 2-1 win over the Catamounts. UVM trailed 1-0 until the 77th minute when Jon Arnar Barddal put home the equalizer but Kellett's header shortly after handed UVM its fourth loss of the season against nine wins and a tie. The Catamounts are now 1-2 in conference play.

It was a milestone game for Middlebury's Adam Glaser yesterday, who became the school's all time leading scorer in the Panthers' 4-1 win over Castleton. Glaser scored twice to put him at 93 career points, passing Kyle Dezotell, who set the previous record in 2003 by amassing 90. The Division three 19th-ranked Panthers are now 7-1-3 on the season.

The Castleton women had a better result, running their winning streak to three games after a 1-0 shutout against Gordon College in a non-conference game. Brownen Hopwood scored the only goal of the game for the Spartans who are now at .500 for the first time this season, 6-6-3 overall.

Elsewhere in the womens' game, Assumption topped St. Michael's 3-1, with Amanda Arnold tallying a goal and an assist for the Greyhounds. Michaela Horne scored the lone goal for the Purple Knights.

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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