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Mitch's Sports: Pastrnak's Beautiful Goal, A Red Sox Prediction, And A Fun Run To Fight K9 Cancer

Carson Wentz threw three touchdown passes for the Philadelphia Eagles in a 34-13 drubbing of their inter-divisional rivals the NY Giants in front of a disgruntled crowd in East Rutherford, New Jersey last night.

The Eagles have evened their record at 3-3 after a bit of a hangover start to their season following their upset superbowl victory over the Patriots last year. But the Giants are the real disappointment, now at 1-5 after a game that was pretty much over in the second quarter.

Rookie Saquon Barkley had the only real highlight for Giants fans, a 50-yard rushing touchdown, but quarterback Eli Manning was left hung out to dry by his offensive line, sacked four times in the loss, the Giants' third straight defeat at home.

To the NHL and if you want to see a goal that looks like ballet on ice, watch Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak scoring the game tying goal against the Edmonton Oilers last night in an eventual 4-1 Bruins win.

Pastrnak showed why he's one of the game's most exciting young players, collecting a puck deep on the power play deep in the Oiler zone near the front of the net. He then dangled the puck behind him, and slid it through his own legs in one smooth motion, completely flummoxing the Edmonton defender who dropped to one knee and was rendered little more than an orange road pylon as Pastrnak swept around him, brought the puck to his forehand in the crease, then shifted to his backhand to calmly lift the puck top shelf past a frozen Cam Talbot, one of the prettiest goals you'll ever see, and here it is:  

The tally negated Edmonton's only goal of the night, scored by the player regarded as the game's best right now, Connor McDavid, who used his mercurial speed to blow between two Boston defenders and beat Jaroslav Halak, who finished with 25 saves on the night in his first home start for Boston.

Joakim Nordstrom got his first goal as a Bruin, potting a one timer on a nice pass from David Krejci. Brad Marchand scored his first goal of the year and Patrice Bergeron added an empty netter to give the Bruins their third win in a row after getting blown out by the Capitals in their season debut.

The Montreal Canadiens didn't have much luck in their home opener, shut out 3-0 by the L.A. Kings behind 40 saves made by Jack Campbell, and Auston Matthews scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-3 in the Motor City.

The UVM men's hockey team played an exhibition game against Laurentian University  last night, and despite out-shooting the Canadian visitors by a more than two to margin, fell 4-1 at at Gutterson Field House.

Martin Frechette had UVM's lone goal, the only puck to get past Laurentian goalie Mackenzie Savard, who finished with 43 saves. UVM has its home opener in games that do count against Quinnipiac tomorrow.

UVM did pick up a win in women's college soccer, and it was a long time coming with a 2-0 victory over UNH, a team the Catamounts hadn't beaten in seven years.

Casey Garfinkel netted the first goal of the game in the 61st minute off a free kick from 35 yards out, and Savana Yurick added the insurance goal off a header in the 76th minute, improving UVM's record to 5-7-3 on the season while UNH drops to 6-6-2.

If you're looking for a fun athletic event to take part in this weekend, and want to strike a blow against canine cancer in the process, the Chase Away 5K fun run is happening at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction.

Debbie Safran is the race director. In 2006 her greyhound was diagnosed with osteo-sarcoma and after receiving a lot of help and solace from the local community she decided to give back and came up with the idea for a fun run fundraising event to fight canine cancer in 2011. The effort has been an annual event ever since.  

She says that canine cancer is more prevalent than people may believe, with one in three dogs suffering from the disease, and since canine cancer is treated in much the same way as human cancer is, the research has benefits for humans as well.    

Safran says the 5K fun run starts at 9am Sunday, and there's also an optional walk. Your $20 entry bib for the fun run also gets you into the larger event sponsored by Petfood Warehouse called "Wag It Forward", and all the proceeds for the Chase Away 5K go to the non-profit grassroots  "Chase Away Canine Cancer" organization. You can run the 5K with your four legged friend if they're friendly and on a short leash, or you can run without.

Registration is open until midnight tonight, and you can sign up here:

Finally, the Boston Red Sox open their bid to win the American League pennant tomorrow, taking on the team that beat them last year in the divisional series en route to winning the World Series, the Houston Astros.

The Astros are essentially the same team they were last year, only better. Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander top a strong starting pitching rotation, they have big power hitters like George Springer and Alex Bregman who can go yard seemingly at will and one of the game's best all-around hitters in Jose Altuve.

The Red Sox bullpen is, as we saw in the series win over the Yankees, often quite shaky and closer Craig Kimbrel can sometimes make you feel like you're riding in a single engine aircraft that's trying to navigate through a wind storm.

All that said, I'm picking the Red Sox to win the series, with that 108 best in the majors regular season and the home field advantage that comes with it paying off. I also think Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, the Sox two best hitters, haven't even played their best baseball yet, and if Chris Sale stays healthy and David Price can pitch like he did the second half of the season (and not against the Yankees) they'll win when they have to.

There's also the X-factor of fearless first year manager Alex Cora, who was the bench coach last year for Houston, and maybe he has an edge knowing that team so well and how they approach things. He's made great moves so far and it's no small thing getting past the Yankees, so the call here is Red Sox in seven, with a truly epic win at Fenway Park to clinch it.

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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