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Mitch's Sports: Hilltoppers Repeat As Girls D-1 Hoops Champs; Bruins Streak Ends In Pittsburgh

For the second consecutive year the girls of St. Johnsbury are the division one state basketball champions, and they scored the repeat taking down the same team they did last year.

With three players in double figures, the second seeded Hilltoppers beat top seed and previously undefeated CVU 42-35 at Patrick Gym yesterday, led by Josie Choiniere's 13 points, 12 from Sadie Stetson, and 10 points from senior Neva Bostic, who drilled three three-pointers in just under a three minute span in, appropriately, the third quarter, to help St. Johnsbury pull away for the win.

Mekkena Boyd led Champlain Valley with ten points in the losing effort, and St. J is proving to be a thorn in the side of the Redhawks, who dominated the D-1 girls hoops world for the better part of the last decade before these back to back losses in the title game.

UVM alpine skier Laurence St. Germain made history over the weekend, winning the slalom at the NCAA ski championships at Stowe Mountain, and combined with her giant slalom win earlier in the competition, the Quebec native becomes the first UVM skier, male or female, to sweep the alpine titles.

The individual accomplishment for the graduating senior took some sting out of the Catamounts falling short of winning the national title as a team. UVM finished in second place to the winning squad, the University of Utah.

Colorado finished in third place, Dartmouth, which led the field after two days of events, finished in fourth, and the University of Denver came in fifth.

St. Michael's College placed 13th and the Purple Knights also had an individual performance to celebrate as senior Guillaume Grand took fourth in the slalom and with that result scored his third All-America honor of his college career. Grand is the only Purple Knight to gain all-America honors in the school's history.

Middlebury finished in tenth place out of the 24 competing schools, and UNH came in 11th.

To the NHL, and at some point the point streak had to end. The Boston Bruins had not lost a regulation contest since mid-January, a span of 19 games in which the team recorded at least one point. Only the 1941 Bruins had a better streak, and that team will retain that distinction after the Bruins finally tasted defeat in regulation with a 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh against the Penguins last night.

The Bruins had to travel to Steel City one night after finishing a perfect homestand with a 3-2 come from behind win against the Ottawa Senators, and perhaps playing the second of back to back games against a high-powered Pittsburgh offense, with the travel, accounted for the Bruins' slow start. They fell behind early 2-0 and trailed 3-1 late in the third when it looked like another last minute comeback could be in the works.

Defenseman John Moore scored with a minute left to make it 3-2 game but the Penguins ended the Boston point streak with an empty net goal, which takes nothing away from the remarkable two-month run of hockey excellence displayed by the Bruins, who won many of those games  without the services of leading goal scorer David Pastrnak, and more recently, without forward Jake DeBrusk and the recently acquired Marcus Johansson, all three out with various injuries.

The run also helped separate the Bruins from the tightly packed wild card race in the eastern conference, still a sardine-like affair that has the Carolina Hurricanes owning the first wild card slot, followed by the Columbus Blue Jackets holding the second, a team the Bruins visit tomorrow night. The Montreal Canadiens are currently on the outside looking in, tied in points with Columbus but the Jackets owning the tie-breaker so the Canadiens will be in the odd position of rooting for their ancient rival Bruins Tuesday.

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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