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Mitch's Sports Report: Bruins Leapfrog Canadiens With Shutout Win In Montreal

With just one point separating them in the standings, the teams with the greatest rivalry in hockey history met in Montreal last night for a game that had a playoff feel to it.

The Boston Bruins had played the night before in a tough loss to Buffalo, but came out roaring against the Habs, forcing eleven turnovers in the first ten minutes of the game, and kept the pressure on the hosts all night long to score a big 4-0 road victory, leapfrogging Montreal back into the first wild card position with the win.

Montreal goalie Carey Price was vying for career win number 300, but he was out-played by Jaroslav Halak, a one-time Canadien himself, who notched his third shut-out of the season and 45th of his career, stopping all 22 Montreal shots.

The Bruins got goals from Joakim Nordstrom, who broke the ice with a nice give and go one timer following a feed from David Backes, and rookie Colby Cave picked up his first career goal with less than a minute to go in the second period to double the Bruins lead.

David Pastrnak made sure to fish the puck out of the net and hand it to Cave for posterity, and Pastrnak was also in a giving mood with two assists to round out the Bruins scoring, feeding passes to David Krejci and Brad Marchand in the third. The Canadiens had won four of their last five and the Bruins end a two-game losing skid with perhaps their best road win of the season.

In other NHL news the Philadelphia Flyers have fired coach Dave Hakstol after a poor start to the season that has the Philly sporting the worst record in the eastern conference to go with a four game losing skid. He'll be replaced by the team's AHL affiliate coach Scott Gordon, although a bolder move would have been to put their new mascot Gritty behind the bench. If you're not familiar with Gritty, think of the orange monster in tennis sneakers from the old Bugs Bunny cartoons, if he went on a lost weekend bender with no sleep and traded in his sneakers for skates.

Hakstol has good company across the pond with the news that football club--and we're talking soccer here--Manchester United, has fired their head coach Jose Mourinho after a recent defeat against Liverpool left Man-U 11 points short of the of the Premier League's top four, not a position fans of the world's best known soccer team are used to being in, or willing to tolerate.

In Monday Night Football, two of the games more dynamic quarterbacks were held in check and instead the defenses dictated the action as the New Orleans Saints outlasted the Carolina Panthers 12-9 in Charlotte last night.

With Panthers quarterback Cam Newton limited by a sore shoulder, Carolina scored on a trick play on fourth down, a 50-yard touchdown pass from running back Christian McCaffrey to tight end Chris Manhertz. Carolina kept Saints quarterback Drew Brees from taking over the game, but late in the fourth quarter the Saints recovered a Carolina fumble and drove 84 yards to take the lead for good on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Alvin Kamara, and New Orleans at 12-2 is in great position to go into the playoffs as the number one seed, while the Panthers are all but eliminated from playoff contention with the loss.

The UVM women's basketball team hadn't lost a road game all season, but ran into a very good South Florida squad last night and took one on the chin in a 102-55 loss. The Bulls took control with a 17-0 run in the first quarter, and the Catamounts fall to 4-6 on the season. Hanna Crymble led all UVM scorers with 17 points in the losing effort.

In men's college hoops, the Middlebury Panthers trailed the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford by seven points after one half, but clamped down on defense in the second frame, holding Pitt.-Bradford to just 17 total points while pulling away for a 72-53 win.

Max Bosco had a strong game off the bench for Middlebury, scoring 14 points, and Jack Farrell led the team with 19 as the Panthers improve to 7-2 on the year.

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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