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Mitch's Sports Report: Bruins Dig Hole Again But Regroup For Win; Middlebury's Last Second Hoops Win

The University of Vermont mens' basketball team is still undefeated all-time against Siena, but they needed some help from their bench to get the job done in a 76-60 win in Albany last night.

Darren Payen poured in a game-high 17 points, 12 of those in the first half, to lead UVM to the win. Trae Bell-Haynes was right behind his teammate with 16 as UVM played yet another game without their injured leading scorer Payton Henson. The Catamounts improve to 9-5 on the season with the win while the Saints drop to 4-9.

It was a much more thrilling contest in division three play for the Middlebury Panthers, who nipped Illinois Wesleyan 77-75 on a last second jump shot by Jack Daly. Daly put through the game winner with 1.6 seconds left ion the clock to notch the victory over the 18th ranked Titans at the College of Staten Island 15th Annual Tournament of Heroes last night. The Panthers improve to 8-1 with the victory, their first game after a nearly month long break, and can win the tournament championship tonight when they play the host Staten Island Dolphins. Matt St. Amour led all scorers with 23 points for Middlebury in the dramatic win, and moved himself up in the record books, now in 10th place on the Panthers' all-time scoring list.

The Castleton Spartans are in tournament play as well, at the Coaches vs. Cancer Holiday Classic hosted by Lehman College in the Bronx, and last night the Spartans won their opening game 62-57 over Stevens Institute of Technology. Huge game for Tondi Mushandu, who recorded a double-double for the Spartans with a career high 21 points to go with ten rebounds. The 8-2 Spartans wrap up the tournament facing Lehman tonight.

The Castleton women had a tougher go of it at the Music City Classic in Tennessee, blown out by 12th ranked Ohio Northern 60-36 yesterday. No shame there, the Polar Bears have yet to lose a game this season, now a perfect 10-0. The Spartans still have a winning record at 6-3 on the year and wrap up play in the tournament against Marymount University today.   

In the NHL, the Boston Bruins again started slow, a stubbornly bad habit of late, spotting the Sabres a two-goal lead in Buffalo last night. The Bruins have fallen behind by two or more goals in half of their last twelve games, but this time they did something they hadn't done before: they came back and won, scoring four unanswered goals after a terrible first period for a 4-2 win. The Bruins comeback came after forward David Backes had to leave the game after a dangerous check to the head by Buffalo's William Carrier, a hit the league will no doubt take a look at. Backes did not return but his teammates got revenge on the scoreboard with Patrice Bergeron scoring to cut the lead to one and then David Krejci getting the tying goal. Krejci would figure in the game winner as well, threading a beautiful pass to Ryan Spooner with less then four minutes to go in the third period and Spooner one-timed a slap shot past Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner for the eventual game winner, and Spooner made sure there would be no equalizer, making some nice moves around Buffalo defenders after picking off a pass and putting the game on ice with an empty netter. There was a lot of bad blood between these two after the Backes hit and that could spill over as the Bruins face these same Sabres Saturday in the back end of the home and home series.

The Montreal Canadiens were in danger of losing their fourth game in a row, trailing the Florida Panthers 2-1 late in the third period in Florida last night, but Brendan Gallagher tied the game at two, ending a personal 13-game goal drought, and just 39 seconds into overtime the Habs won the game on the game winner off the stick of Phillip Danault. Al Montoya got the win in net, making 31 saves against his former Panthers team.

The NY Rangers doubled up the Arizona Coyotes 6-3 in the desert behind a hat trick by Matt Puempel, an unlikely candidate given that he'd only scored two goals all season. But the Coyotes are terrible and so, why not Puempel?

And one more NHL note. The Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets face off against each other Saturday and something's got to give. These are the two hottest teams on ice rihgt now, with the Wild riding a 12-game winning streak and then Blue Jackets on a 14-game streak of their own.

In the NBA the Boston Celtics gave the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers all they could handle last night, nearly coming back from a 20-point third quarter deficit but ultimately falling short in a 124-118 loss in Cleveland. Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 32 points and Kevin Love added 30. Lebron James criticized his own performance, after the game, despite the 23 points he scored in the contest , which was played on his 31st birthday. Isaiah Thomas scored 31 to lead Boston but said after the game "we're not on Cleveland's level", and yeah, that pretty much sums it up.


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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