Mitch's Sports Report: UVM In Gulf Coast Showcase Final; Bruins Lose Game And Chara To Blues
The University of Vermont mens' basketball team is competing in the Gulf Coast Showcase and they've got a chance to win that tournament after beating Hofstra in the semi-finals last night 87-73, led on offense by a career-best 33-point performance from sophomore Ernie Duncan, who was especially deadly from three point range, hitting seven from beyond the arc.
The Catamounts are now 5-1 overall on the season, the best start in John Becker's six-year stint as UVM head coach, and the Catamounts go for the GCS title tonight against Houston.
Elsewhere in mens' hoops the Middlebury Panthers cruised to victory in their home opener, trouncing New Paltz 94-62 at Pepin Gym last night. Matt St. Amour led all scorers with 27 points in 22 minutes of playing time and the division three 24th ranked Panthers are 3-0 to start the season.
In Colchester the St. Michael's Purple Knights ran into trouble against St. Anselm in a 104-87 loss despite a 19-point effort from senior Levi Holmes. The Purple Knights are still trying to get off the schneide, now 0-5 to start the season.
The Castleton Spartans won a nail-biter, 52-50 against Plymouth State last night. Big game for Edmund Fitzgerald, who wrecked the boards for 13 rebounds to go with his 11 point double-double night, along with two blocked shots.
Johnson State got 20 points from Kawaun Chavis but it wasn't enough to get past southern Vermont in a 95-84 loss in Bennington. The Mountaineers were led by a game high 25 points from Rayshawn Taylor. The Badgers are now 2-2 on the season as are the Mountaineers.
A close game between the Lyndon State Hornets and Fisher college went the way of the Falcons in a 71-67 loss in Massachusetts last night. Charles Correa led the Hornets with 20 points but a game high 25 from Fisher's Kyle Holmes put the game out of reach for Lyndon State.
In womens' college hoops the St. Michael's Purple Knights have now won three in a row after dropping their first two games of the season, beating St. Anselm 62-57 at the Ross Sports Center. Leah Spencer had 18 points on the night and Samantha Delaney had a huge game on the glass, pulling down 11 rebounds for St. Mike's, now off to the best start for a women's squad in nine years.
The Middlebury Panthers also were winners yesterday, routing Johnson 62-34, and Castleton defeated Plymouth State behind 19 points from Makayla Farrara in a 58-49 win.
In womens' college hockey, Plattsburgh State beat Castleton 7-3.
The Boston Bruins got off to a good start against the St. Louis Blues last night, then lost towering defenseman Zdeno Chara to an injury, and the Blues wore down Boston in a 4-2 come from behind win.
The first period was all Bruins, with former Blue David Backes scoring against his old team in his first foray against them since signing with Boston as a free agent, and the goal was historic as well: Number 20,000 for the Bruins as a franchise, putting them into the record books with their bitter rivals the Montreal Canadiens as the only two NHL teams to have scored 20,000 goals in NHL history.
But after Chara left the game with an undisclosed injury the Bruins were down to five defensemen and the Blues took advantage, scoring three times in the second to give goalie Jake Allen all the cushion he would need. The Bruins got one back in the second on a goal by Dominic Moore but Allen made 39 saves and an empty netter sealed the win for St. Louis, their fourth win in a row. The Bruins have played five straight games against western conference teams but face an eastern conference foe Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators.
Those same Senators were in action against the Montreal Canadiens last night and scored a 4-3 come from behind victory on a late third period goal by defenseman Erik Karlsson. His teammate Mark Stone had tied the game at three apiece after the Habs got turned around behind their own net and left Stone open in the slot to beat Carey Price. Then Karlsson gathered a turnover from Montreal's Jeff Petry near the blue line, whirled around and sent a no-look shot on Price that found its way through for the game winner. Montreal got goals from Shea Weber, Alex Galchenyuk, and Alexander Radulov, who made Ottawa defenseman Mike Hoffman look silly after sliding the puck through his legs, wheeling around the turned-around Hoffman, and then skating in alone to tuck the biscuit behind Craig Anderson. But the loss for Montreal also came with a defenseman of their own leaving the game with an undisclosed injury as Nathan Beaulieu left the game at the end of the second and did not return. The Habs next host the Carolina Hurricanes at the Bell Centre Thanksgiving night.