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Mitch's Sports: Essex Girls Take D-1 Hockey Crown Back From Comets; UVM Seeks Revenge Against UMBC

There's a new champion in division one girl's high school hockey, and another chapter written in a great rivalry between the two schools that battled for the crown at Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington last night.

The Essex Hornets scored two goals and then played air-tight defense the rest of the way to take back the title from BFA-St. Albans in a 2-0 victory that marks the first state title for Essex since 2016.

Abigail Robbins and Hannah Himes were the Hornet's goal scorers and Sophia Forcier stopped 15 shots to earn her biggest shut-out of the year. The Comets beat the Hornets in last year's final by the same score that brought the title back to Essex last night, and the two schools have now skated against each other five times for the championship since 2013.

In division two, the Missisquoi Thunderbirds are the new champs, winning their first state title since 2012 after a 3-1 victory over Woodstock. Senior Callie Parks scored twice in the win for Missisquoi, who held a 2-0 lead before Alessandra Cimis cut that lead in half with a top shelf wrist shot in the second period, but they'd get no closer with the Thunderbirds getting an 18-save effort from goalie Madison Conley.

To boy's high school hoops playoffs, in the division three semi-finals Williamstown coach Jack Carrier earned his 200th career victory, one that'll send the Blue Devils to the state final for an eighth consecutive year after a 48-36 win over Peoples' Academy at Barre Auditorium.  

Williamstown will face Thetford in the final after the Panthers scored a 49- 41 win over second seeded Hazen.

To the pros now, and the Boston Bruins streak of 19 consecutive games collecting at least one point seems like a distant memory now after suffering their third straight defeat, a 4-3 road loss to the Jets in Winnipeg last night.

Mark Scheifele had two goals and two assists for the Jets and Blake Wheeler added insult to injury by adding another against his former team.

The injury bug has something to do with the three game slide for the Bruins, who did get goals from Charlie Coyle, his first for Boston since being acquired at the trade deadline from Minnesota. Joakim Nordstrom and Charlie MacAvoy also tallied for the Bruins, who were missing defensemen Matt Grzelcyk and Torey Krug with injuries, and forwards David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk, and Marcus Johansson are also still too banged up to play.

Some of those players may have time to rest up and get back on the ice before the playoffs start in a couple of weeks, but sooner would be better than later as the Bruins try to keep ahead of their likely first round opponent the Toronto Maple Leafs in order to secure home ice advantage in that series.

The Montreal Canadiens are just trying to make it into the post-season, and the NY Islanders didn't do them any favors in that effort last night, getting a goal with just under three minutes left in regulation by Anders Lee to top the Habs 2-1 in Uniondale.

Jordie Benn scored for Montreal but the failure to earn at least a point for a regualtion tie leaves Montreal just outside the playoff bubble, tied in points with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final wild card playoff berth, but with the Jackets owning the tie breaker.

In the NBA, Kyrie Irving recorded a triple double...31 points, 12 rebounds and ten assists to help the Boston Celtics overcome a sluggish start and a 17-point first half deficit in a 126-120 win over the Sacramento Kings in Boston last night.

The Celts are trying to gain some consistency with the playoffs looming about a month away, and Boston has won four of their last five.

The University of Vermont men's basketball team gets a shot at redemption, and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament when they tip off against the UMBC Retrievers at Patrick Gymnasium tomorrow.

I spoke with VPR Sports correspondent Andy Gardiner about this match-up, and I asked him if Catamount fans should be worried, given the two games UMBC won against UVM this season.

You can read Andy's full article previewing tomorrow's America East title game at vpr.org

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 WBUR...as 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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