Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mitch's Sports Report: Giants Lose Game And Shot At NFC East Title; Bruins Boosted By Vatrano Return

The NY Giants had two goals to reach with just one win against the Philadelphia Eagles last night, but their 24-19 loss prevented both. Had the Giants won they would have clinched a playoff berth and kept the Dallas Cowboys from securing the NFC east division title, but now the Giants have more work to do to make the post season and the Cowboys got an early Xmas present with the division title and a first round playoff bye.

It was a rough night for Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who was intercepted three times, two of those picks courtesy of Malcolm Jenkins, who returned one of them for a touchdown. The other, by Terrence Brooks, came with 90 seconds left and ruined any chance for a Giants comeback. The Eagles got a 25-yard touchdown run from Darren Sproles and Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw a touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor. Wentz later had to leave the game to be checked for concussion symptoms, but he did return and guided the Eagles downfield in the fourth quarter for what would be the game-winning field goal.

The win snaps Philly's 5-game losing skid and while they won't be playoff bound many folks in Philadelphia will gladly enjoy the side dish of schadenfreude to go with their cheesesteaks in complicating the rival Giants' playoff hopes. At 10-5 the G-men still hold the top wild card spot with a game still to play against Washington and can get into the Superbowl tournament if Detroit, Green Bay, Tampa Bay or Atlanta loses this weekend, so the odds are in their favor. But they could have made things a lot easier for themselves with a win last night against the non-playoff bound Eagles.

The Boston Bruins have been unexpectedly good on defense so far this year, or at least it hasn't been the achilles heel most thought it would be when the season began. Having one of the best goalies in the game doesn't hurt either when it comes to keeping the puck out of your own net. No, the Bruins biggest issue this season has been a lack of finish. Scoring touch. Goals coming about as often as bipartisan agreement in Congress.

But enter Frank Vatrano, the young forward who made an impressive debut with Boston last year but missed the first 34 games of this season recovering from a broken foot. Playing in his first game since that injury Vatrano showed why he could be a huge boost to the struggling Boston offense, scoring the first goal in the Bruins 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers last night in his first game with the team this season. Vatrano collected a nifty pass inside the Florida blue line from defenseman Torey Krug and wasted no time whipping a wrist shot between the pads of Florida goalie James Reimer and the Bruins never looked back. They also got a power play goal, a sight about as rare as spotting Champ in the Lake, from Patrice Bergeron, and David Backes rounded out the scoring with an empty netter. One game after his worst performance of the season, Tuukka Rask was excellent, stopping 29 shots, so that was a good sign as well. And history was made in this game, on the Florida side. Jaromir Jagr assisted on Florida's only goal, moving him into sole possession of second place on the all-time NHL points scoring list ahead of Mark Messier. The game was halted for a few minutes to recognize that amazing accomplishment and the 44-year old modern day Gordie Howe was presented with a golden stick as the crowd and both teams showed their appreciation. It's remarkable to note too that Jagr was playing in NHL games when some of the players he was playing with and against last night were still crawling around in diapers. Now, Jagr won't catch Wayne Gretzky for number one on the all-time scoring list, but I'll bet dollars to donuts that no one catches Jagr for number two. To his credit, the Czech Republic native said after the game the accomplishment and celebration mid-game was nice, but he was disappointed overall because his team lost the game.

Elsewhere in the league Eric Staal scored a short-handed goal that gave the Minnesota Wild a lead they would not relinquish against Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens, winning 4-2 at the Bell Centre last night. Max Pacioretty and Artturi Lehkonen scored for the Habs in the losing effort. The Wild are running as their name suggests right now, winners of nine games in a row, and that would be most impressive if not for the where-did-this-come-from Columbus Blue Jackets, who have now won eleven straight games and last night put a 7-1 pasting on the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. The Blue Jackets are turning heads all around the league.

The Boston Celtics have got themselves a nice little four-game winning streak going, and their last three wins have come on the road including a 109-102 victory over the Pacers in Indiana last night. As usual, it was Isaiah Thomas leading the way on offense, scoring 14 of his 28 total points in the fourth quarter to power the Celtics to the win. Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder each chipped in with 15.

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.
Latest Stories