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Mitch's Sports Report: Bruins Can't Solve Capitals; Castleton Women Run Hoops Win Streak To Seven

Playing at home, hoping to build on a five-game winning streak, and with the extra motivation of avenging an opening night blow-out loss, the Boston Bruins threw everything they had at the Washington Capitals, and again they fell short.

The 4-2 loss was certainly an improvement over the 7-0 shellacking the Caps hung on Boston in game one of the NHL season, and for long stretches of the night the Bruins out-hustled, out-played, and out-shot the defending Stanley Cup champs.

By the end of the night the Bruins had thrown 41 pucks on Washington's net against just 22 going the other way, but the cliche holds true. They don't ask how many, just how many go in, and the Bruins for whatever reason have a recent history of trouble getting enough pucks past Braden Holtby to beat his team. The win last night was Washington's 14th straight over Boston, and this loss was particularly frustrating for the Black and Gold for the effort they showed inn twice tying up the game, only to hand the lead back to the Caps while the PA announcer was still announcing the details of the tying goal.

The Caps got on the board in the first period when TJ Oshie found teammate Jakub Vrana sneaking in behind the Bruins defense for a breakaway Vrana finished off by wristing one by Jaroslav Halak. The Bruins got even in the second period on a goal by Ryan Dontao, but just 36 seconds later the Caps got the lead back when a giveaway behind the Bruins net resulted in a pass out front to Alex Ovechkin who lasered one home, good for his 31st and league-leading goal of the season, and he would add another later to seal the win after the Bruins pulled the goalie for an extra skater.

But before that happened the Bruins tied the game at two with a blast from David Krejci on the power play, a goal that had the fans at TD Garden feeling good for all of about 60 seconds. That's how long it took for the Capitals to grab the lead back for good on a goal by Nicklas Backstrom, who used defenseman Brandon Carlo as a screen and put a shot on goal that Halak nevertheless probably should have stopped, although he did make some key saves at moments later that kept the Bruins within striking distance.

So the Bruins four game winning streak is halted while their losing streak against the Capitals is still intact.

In St. Louis, the Montreal Canadiens got their first look at Blues rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington, and they didn't like what they saw. Binnington turned away 28 shots in a 4-1 win for St. Louis in just his second career NHL start. He debuted with a shut-out against Philadelphia.

Brendan Gallagher scored Montreal's only goal to spoil the shut-out bid, and on the other end, Habs goalie Carey Price gave up four goals on 30 shots and lost his third start in a row. It also prevents Montreal from moving back into the playoff structure, still one point outside the wild card bubble behind the NY Islanders and Buffalo Sabres.

In New Jersey, Toronto native John Tavares scored career goal number 300 against the Devils, reaching that plateau on his second strike of the night in the Maple Leafs 4-2 win. Tavares is on pace for a career year, already with 29 goals on the season, well on pace to finish with more than his career best of 38 when he skated for the NY Islanders.

On the hardcourt the Boston Celtics fell far behind the Miami Heat, a 72-46 half time deficit seemingly putting the game out of reach, but the Celtics did go on a third quarter run, 16 straight points that turned it into a tight game. But Dwayne Wade of the Heat put a stop to any comeback hopes, scoring 19 points himself in the third quarter alone and Miami went on to a 115-99 victory, ending Boston's four game winning streak.  Kyrie Irving had a game high 22 points for the Celtics in the losing effort.

The good times continue for the Castleton Spartans women's basketball team, now winners of seven straight games after a 57-45 overtime win at Keene State last night.

The tight contest was blown open in the extra frame as the Spartans scored every basket in the OT, a 12-point barrage that runs Castleton's record to 12-3 on the season, and now 4-2 against Little East conference opponents.

Brooke Raiche led all scorers for the second straight game, dropping a game-high 30 points on 10-of-19 shootong from the floor.

The Castleton men could not find similar success against their Keene State counterparts, losing  83-70 despite a season-high 52% shooting from the floor as a team. Casey Belade posted a career-high 20 points in the loss for Castelton, as their record drops to 3-11 and the Spartans are still looking for their first win against Little East opponents.

Elsewhere in men's college hoops, Elms topped Norwich 54-48, and back on the women's side of the court, the Norwich women beat Simmons 69-54, earning their first win of the season against a GNAC conference foe. Kailynne Frederick scored a career best and game 18 poimts for the Cadets, who improve to 6-7 overall with the victory.

On the slopes the Castleton University women's alpine ski team opened the season with a team first place finish in the slalom competition at Okemo Mountain. The Spartans boasted the four fastest racers on the mountain and as a team finioshed a full 15 seconds ahead of scond place Brown University.

Li Aunes claimed the top spot individually, closing out a pair of runs a fraction of a second faster than teammate and first-run leader Linn Ljungemo.

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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