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Mitch's Sports: In Back And Forth Pond Hockey Pens Outlast Bruins; UVM Women Earn Tie With Friars

Playing the second of back to back contests, it probably wasn't a great idea for the Boston Bruins to get into a run and gun game with the likes of Phil Kessel, Sidney Crosby and the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, even if it appeared for a while like the Bruins would win that race.

Pittsburgh jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first period, but the Bruins rallied in the second to score four unanswered goals of their own on tallies by Brad Marchand, Noel Acciari, David Pastrnak, and David Backes, and if they had taken that 5-3 lead into the period they may have secured the win. But with just three seconds left in the second period and Pittsburgh on the power play, the Bruins mismanaged the puck in their own end, trying to pin the puck against the boards and run out the clock instead of clearing the zone, and the Penguins were able to dig it out and send a pass into the slot to Evgeni Malkin, who one timed it past Tuukka Rask to make it a 5-4 game.

The Penguins tied it at five in the third on a goal by Riley Sheahan, and then in overtime Malkin scored his second of the game and the game winner, finishing off a two on one with a feed from Phil Kessel for a 6-5 win. The Penguins have been struggling this season despite their still power-packed roster, and this is the first time they've won back to back games since early December. As for the Bruins, they did earn a point for the regulation tie and have earned at least one point in their last eleven games with an 8-0-3 mark.

In any event, both teams get to rest now with their scheduled mandatory five-day bye week and the Bruins won't play again until Saturday when they take on the Canadiens in Montreal.

And there may be some hope for Les Habitants, now that the Canadiens have won back to back games, including last night's 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks at the Bell Centre. Brendan Gallagher snapped a tie in the third period, one of three straight Montreal goals to pull away from the Canucks. Carey Price made 34 saves in net for the victory, which comes on the heels of an impressive overtime win against the first place Tampa Bay Lightning. The Canadiens may have been looking to be sellers as the trading deadline approaches, but if they go on a winning streak of anyh great length right now, there's still more than half a season left to play and they could be buyers instead, eyeing a wild card spot in the jammed up eastern conference.

At Madison Square Garden, the NY Rangers became the latest victims of the how-can-this-really-be-an-expansion-franchise Las Vegas Golden Knights. William Karlsson scored the game winner midway through the third period in a 2-1 Vegas win as the Knights maintain their top spot in the Pacific division, completely flipping the script on what an expansion team is expected to do in its inaugural season.

In women's college hockey, the UVM Catamounts skated to a 1-1 tie against Providence Sunday at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Saana Valkama scored for the Catamounts, her fourth goal of the season, and Sydney Scobee made 24 saves in net to preserve the tie. It was UVM's fourth tie of the season against five wins and thirteen losses, and the tie may feel like at least a moral victory given that the eighth ranked Friars are 13-5-5, and have only one loss in Hockey East play.

In Northfield, two of the best women's hockey squads renewed their rivalry in the opening game of the 2018 East-West Hockey Classic, with Plattsburgh State taking on top-ranked Norwich. The Cardinals scored the first three goals of the game and it looked like it would be a runaway win for the 10-2-0 Cardinals, but the Cadets battled back with two goals by Amanda Conway, her team-leading twelfth of the season, and Samantha Benoit, but the Cadets could not get the equalizer and suffered just their first loss of the season 3-2. Norwich had its twelve game unbeaten streak snapped with the loss, their 11-0-1 start the best in program history.

In men's college hockey a tight, scoreless game between Trinity and Middlebury tipped Trinity's way in the third period when the Bantams scored three unanswered goals for a 3-0 victory, a loss that drops the Panthers to 3-9 on the season.

The NFL playoffs are in full swing, but for the Buffalo Bills and their fans, they waited 18 years to get in, and it took just one game to be ousted. The Bills just couldn't get any offense going against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a listless 10-3 loss in Florida. Best chance for Buffalo came in the first half when they had a first and goal from the Jacksonville one yard line but inexplicably called a pass play rather than a run, and were flagged for offensive pass interference and were pushed back to the ten. They couldn't get into the end zone from there and settled for a field goal and their only points of the contest. The Jaguars, for their part, will find environmental conditions more uncomfortable when they take on the Steelers in Pittsburgh next weekend.

In New Orleans, Saints quarterback Drew Brees reminded the Carolina Panthers why he's one of the most dangerous signal callers in the game, throwing for 376 yards and two touchdowns in the Saints 31-26 win, which went down to the wire as New Orleans held off a Panthers comeback attempt. Carolina had the ball at the Saints 26 yard line with less than a minute to go and a touchdown would have given them the game, but the New Orleans defense made sure that wouldn't be a big easy for Cam Newton, who was forced into an intentional grounding penalty thanks to pressure from Cameron Jordan and the Panthers couldn't recover. The Saints will move on to face the Minnesota Vikings.


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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