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Mitch's Sports Report: Thornton's Hat Trick Not Enough As Bruins Beat Sharks In Overtime

Two teams on hot streaks from opposite coasts swam together at the Shark Tank in San Jose last night and roiled the frozen waters with a back and forth thriller that wasn't decided until sudden death overtime.

The game also featured the first hat trick in nine years by a star forward who's entire career has been split between the two franchises.

The San Jose Sharks hosted the Boston Bruins having won seven of their past eight games, and the Bruins came into the contest on a five-game winning streak,

But even though the Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, old friend Joe Thornton stole that thunder by scoring three goals, including the temporary tie-breaker late in the third. It was Thornton's first hat trick since 2010 and the fifth of his stellar 20-year career, the first eight of which were spent with the Bruins, well before Jumbo Joe started sporting the immensely bushy Paul Bunyan-like beard that makes him the very definition of the grizzled veteran these days.

Another of those grizzled vets, Zdeno Chara, scored one of three Boston goals that came in the first eleven minutes of the opening frame, sandwiched between a Torey Krug strike and the first career goal by rookie Karson Kuhlman, playing in just his second NHL game since being called up from Providence to fill in for the injured David Pastrnak.

So it looked like the Bruins would skate breezily to their sixth straight win but the Sharks bit back hard, scoring three in the middle frame and they trailed by just one as Jake DeBrusk had scored the fourth Bruins goal, increasing his personal scoring streak to three games.

The Sharks then tied the game in the third period before Thornton sent hats flying to the ice with his hat trick goal to give San Jose the lead, and it looked like Boston would see its winning streak end in disappointing fashion by blowing that early three-goal cushion.

But with just under two minutes to go in the game Chris Wagner got the equalizer for the Bruins, deflecting a puck up high that San Jose protested should have been ruled a no-goal due to a high stick. It was close to being so, and no doubt was above the shoulder if you're a Sharks fan, and not quite to that level if you root for the B's, but in any case such calls are not subject to video review and the call on the ice stood for a good goal, so to three on three overtime it went.

And in the OT the Bruins escaped with the win when a beautiful tic-tac-toe rush resulted in the game winner. Jake DeBrusk burst into the Sharks zone, saucered a perfect pass to David Krejci, who immediately swerved it back into the high slot, and that's where defenseman Charlie McAvoy one-timed the winning goal behind Martin Jones for Boston's sixth consecutive victory.

With the win the Bruins now have a three point lead over Toronto for second place in the Atlantic division and teh Sharks have yielded first place in the Pacific to the Calgary Flames. The Bruins continue what has already been a wildly successful west coast road trip with a tilt against the Golden Knights in Las Vegas tomorrow night.

 Led by first-place finishes in the 1.5-kilometer sprint and the 10-kilometer classic, the Castleton University men's nordic ski team earned the ECSC Mansfield Division Championship at the Gore Mountain Ski Bowl over the weekend.

Competing in the 1.5-kilometer skate sprint on Saturday Castleton claimed the team title by placing its skiers in first, third and fourth for a total of eight points. Second to the Spartans was Clarkson ,followed by the University of Vermont and Cornell.

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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