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Mitch's Sports: Bruins Top Habs; Hockey Dominance By Cadet Women; Upset By Guy Named Tennys At Open

Playing the second of three games scheduled against each other over an eight day stretch, the two teams that have met more times than any other in any pro sport danced again in Boston last night, and the Bruins, as they did last Saturday, got the better of their ancient rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, in a 4-1 victory.

The game did not start out well for the hosts, with Montreal scoring just 30 seconds after the opening face-off, getting a fortunate bounce when Jakub Jerabek threw a puck toward the crease that banked into the net off the body of Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. It may not be how Jerabek pictured scoring his first NHL goal, but he'll happily take it.

But the Bruins settled down after that and began tilting the ice in their favor, with the Canadiens at one point going more than 18 minutes without putting another shot on Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, and the Bruins tied the game at one on a goal by David Pastrnak.

The Bruins pushed the lead to 2-1 on the eventual game winner by Ryan Spooner, who scored a goal very similar to Jerabek's, centering a puck into the slot that caromed in off a Montreal skate. Brad Marchand made it 3-1 late in the third on the power play, and David Krejci added an empty netter to spoil the first game coached back in Boston by former Bruins coach Claude Julien, now behind the Canadien's bench and quite possibly not for long if the Habs fall much further out of the playoff race.

The Bruins, meanwhile, have now garnered at least one point in fourteen straight games and have opened up a two game lead over Toronto for sole possession of second place in the Atlantic division. Rounding out this familiarity breeds contempt stretch of games between the Bruins and Habs is a contest Saturday night back at the Bell Centre in Montreal, but the Bruins will still be busy this evening taking on the NY Islanders in Brooklyn, while the Canadiens skate against the Capitals in Washington Friday night. The Saturday showdown against the Bruins feels like it could be a make or break game for Julien, even though most of Montreal's problems are related more to the construct of the roster rather than Julien's defensive minded coaching style, but if the Habs lose to Washington Friday and then can't shake the fatigue playing the next night at home against Boston and fall again, Montreal may go into full-on sell mode in advance of the trade deadline, and could be Julien's swan song for a second time in Montreal. I'd almost feel bad for them if the franchise hadn't caused so much misery for me as a young Bruins fan suffering through the heartbreaking playoff losses of the 70's and most of the 80's, and yeah, even the 90's too.  

To the college ice sheet and the balance and depth of talent on the Norwich women's hockey team was on full display last night in the Cadet's 4-1 win over Endicott at Kreitzberg Arena in Northfield.

The Cadets got two goals from junior Adrieana Rossini and sophomore Amanda Conway continued her strong season with her team leading 16th goal of the year. The Cadets also scored even when down a player, getting a short-handed tally from senior Nicole Goebel, coinciding with her 100th career game in a Norwich uniform, a goal that also stood up as the game winner. The Cadets are having a season to remember, now with a 13-1-1 record and they remain unbeaten in New England Hockey Conference play, a perfect 7-0 against conference opponents.

In men's college hoops, the Norwich Cadets charged out of the gates against Lyndon State, opening up a 23-7 lead after tip-off, and didn't let up in a 91-58 rout of the Hornets in Northfield last night. Zygimantas Sirvydas recorded a double double with 11 points and the same number of rebounds and added seven assists. Senior Mike Hogervorst led all scorers with 19 points and Norwich as a team shot 53% from the floor in netting their fifth win of the season against eight losses.  

At the Australian Open tennis tournament 36-year old defending champ Roger Federer shows no signs of slowing down. He's looking to get back to the finals and is engaged currently in a battle against Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff, and Federer has taken the first set two sets 6-4, 6-4 .

Women's third round matches take place later today.

Back to the men, and number 14-seed Novak Djokovic has made it to the third round of the Australian Open with a four set win over Gael Monfils, and there's been an upset with ninth seed Stan Wawrinka beaten in straight sets by a 25-year old American from Tennessee named Tennys Sandgren. Yes, his name is Tennys, spelled with a "y" where the "i" would normally be, and if he can keep pulling off upsets like this one parents all over the country we'll probably start seeing a trend of kids named after other sports. This is my son Golf. No, that's golf with two "f's". You get the idea.

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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