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Mitch's Sports: Panthers Stifle Bantams In Men's Hoops; Coyne Breaks NHL All-Star Gender Barrier

The Middlebury men's basketball team found little resistance from Trinity College in their visit to Pepin Gym yesterday, scoring a lopsided 75-38 win.

The Panthers set the tone on defense from the get-go, limiting the Bantams to just 15 first half points, and spread the ball around on offense, getting complete games from Max Bosco, who scored 15, and Matt Folger, who recorded a double double with 11 points and ten rebounds on the afternoon.

Despite the final blow-out score, Trinity came into the contest with a formidable 13-6 record, with two wins against NESCAC foes, but left with a message that the Panthers are a team to reckoned with in conference play. The Panthers improve to 15-5 with the decisive victory.

The Middlebury women were also in action against their Trinity counterparts but could not put the Bantams away in a close fought 59-55 loss on the road in Connecticut. Alex Huffman led all scorers with 19 points on the afternoon for Middlebury, and the Panthers kept things close after the Bantams had opened up a 24-15 lead in the first half. By intermission Middlebury had closed that gap to just 5. But the Bantams hung on for the win, running their record to 16-4 overall, and 3-3 against NESCAC opponents. The Panthers suffer just their third loss of the season with the defeat, and it was their second NESCAC loss against four wins. It'll be very interesting should these two evenly matched squads clash in the playoffs.

Regional Nordic ski teams took part in the University of Vermont Invitational at the Sleepy Hollow Inn Ski & Bike Center this weekend.

During the first day of events, which included the 10 kilometer classic, the Castleton Spartans men's team earned a second-place finish with 24 points, coming in just behind first place Clarkson, with the host UVM men's team finishing third. Individually, the Spartans' John Paluszek finished first overall.

On the women's side, the Spartans had a strong showing in the skate relay Sunday, with Megan Greene placing third overall.

The NFL played its annual Pro Bowl game yesterday, and kudos for the players who showed us what we already know, which is that no one really tries to win this game, and they certainly don't want to get hurt trying, which is why many of the players willingly switched positions for the game yesterday, which the AFC won for a third year in a row, the final meaningless score being 26-7.

The NHL all-star game isn't any more competitive, with the same desire for players to not get hurt as they prepare for the second half of the regular season. Sidney Crosby was named MVP of the game with two goals and three assists as the Metropolitan division beat the Central in the final 10-5.

But the coolest part of all the festivities was the skills competition, specifically the moment when Kendall Coyne became the first woman to compete in the event, doing so in the fastest skater competition.

Coyne was filling in for Nathan McKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, who was out with a bruised foot. So Coyne, who plays for the Minnesota Whitecaps of the women's national hockey league and has a gold medal as a member of the US women's Olympic team, wowed the crowd zipping around the rink with a time of 14.34 seconds, good for seventh place, and ahead of one of the men in the competition. Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers won with the fastest time of 13.37.

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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