Mitch's Sports Report: Barton's Own Susan Dunklee Makes History In Biathlon World Championships
The U.S. Biathlon team continues to rack up wins at the World Cup in Hochfilzen, Austria, and skiers with ties to Vermont keep finding their ways to the podium. Last week UVM alum Lowell Bailey became the first American ever to win a Biathlon World Championship, and yesterday Barton native Susan Dunklee took silver in the womens' 12.5-kilometer race.
Dunklee very nearly took the gold, leading for most of the race until overtaken in the final kilometer by Germany's Laura Dahlmeier, who finished just 4 seconds ahead of Dunklee. Dunklee graduated from Dartmouth in 2008, and with her silver medal yesterday becomes the first American woman to capture an individual medal at an Olympics or worlds event.
The Castleton women's alpine skiing team finished second in yesterday's slalom at West Mountain in the USCSA Eastern Regional Championships. The Spartans had three 10 finishers, Linn Ljungemo, Kirsten Kruk, and Kylie Mackie. Castleton's second-place mark put them at second place in the combined standings, and moves them on to the upcoming USCSA National Championships in Bend, Oregon next month. And it was the same story for the Castleton men, who took second place at West Mountain with three top ten finishers in Erik Brobacke, Jan Klindic, and Matt Couture. So the Spartan men will also compete in the USCSA nationals in Oregon next month.
Over the weekend the Essex Girls' gymnastics team did what it does, and that's win state titles. Make it twelve in a row for the Hornets, who haven't lost a state meet now since 2010.
The University of Vermont mens' hockey team skated to consecutive ties over the weekend against the same team, Boston College, 3-3 on Friday and 2-2 on Saturday, and like deja vu all over again, it was Brian Bowen twice bringing UVM back from one goal deficits to avoid a loss in both games.
And in the annual CSB Cup at Cairns Arena on Saturday afternoon Champlain Valley Union High School beat South Burlington 4-1 to win the Cup and snap South Burlington's streak of six Cup wins in a row.
To the pro ice, and the Boston Bruins returned from their bye week to start a west coast road trip in San Jose last night, and came away with a 2-1 overtime win against the Sharks to remain undefeated under interim coach Bruce Cassidy.
The game winning goal was a thing of timing and beauty. Skating 3 on 3 in the overtime the Bruins won a draw in their own end of the ice by maybe the best face-off specialist in the game, Patrice Bergeron, who got the puck to defenseman Torey Krug, and while this was happening Brad Marchand was taking off through center ice and into the clear to collect a perfect stretch aerial pass from Krug. Marchand skated in all alone on Martin Jones, put the puck on his backhand and calmly slid it 5-hole for the game-winner. Ryan Spooner had scored the Bruins' other goal on the night and Tuukka Rask made 29 saves in net for the win. The bye week is something new the NHL has tried this season and no one seems to like it. Most teams returning from their mandated five day break come back rusty and end up losing. In fact, the Bruins are just the fourth tam out of twenty who have had their bye weeks already to win their first game back. The road swing continues Wednesday night against the Ducks in Anaheim.
Elsewhere the NY Rangers edged the Washington Capitals 2-1 on a third period goal by Mats Zuccarello.
The NBA played its annual how many points can we score if no one plays defense contest, also known as the all-star game, and if you think I'm exaggerating consider the final score from last night's game: the West beat the East 192-182. That's a score that would make even the Harlem Globetrotters blush. Anthony Davis scored an all-star record 52 points.
There was a big trade in the league announced yesterday as the Sacramento Kings parted ways with their talented but troubled all-star center DeMarcus Cosuins, sending him to the New Orleans Pelicans with Omri Casspi in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and a 2017 first- and second-round draft pick. The deal will be submitted for league approval today, according to ESPN. It's a bit of a shocker as just two weeks ago the Kings said Cousins would not be dealt as rumors swirled that he would. He's one of the best offensive centers in the game but recently served a one game suspension after picking up his 17th technical foul of the season. Cousins is a New Orleans native but had professed his desire to stay in Sacramento.