Mitch's Sports Report: Chapman Gets Record Deal From Yanks; Down 0-3, Bruins Rally For Point In D.C.
The hot stove wars are heating up major league baseball, one day after the Boston Red Sox ramped up the arms race by acquiring White Sox ace Chris Sale from Chicago. The NY Yankees weren't about to let that shot across the bow go unanswered and yesterday re-acquired the game's premier closer in Aroldis Chapman, luring him away from the World Champion Chicago Cubs with the biggest contract ever handed out to a reliever, a five-year, $86 Million deal.
The Cubs didn't wait around to find another closer to replace Chapman, sending outfielder Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for a pretty darn good closer in Wade Davis, so not too much of a drop off for the Cubbies there. But the Yankees had to overpay for Chapman, who was also being courted by the L.A. Dodgers and Miami Marlins, given the balance of power tipping towards Boston in the Sale deal. The Yankees strategy next season? Build up leads early and get to the bullpen where they have some impact arms ready to close things out in Dellin Betances and now Chapman, who nobody wants to face in the ninth inning when he's bringing 100 mph heat.
In the NHL, there are teams that can sometimes lose a game, but still, kinda win. And the Boston Bruins are one of those teams after losing 4-3 to the Washington Capitals in overtime last night, in a game the Capitals really should have won in regulation, after they built up a three-goal lead early in the second period.
Justin Williams scored for Washington just 23 seconds into the first period on a tip in that Tuukka Rask had no chance to stop, and added another goal before Daniel Winnick made the lead 3-0 about six minutes into the second period. But that's when the Bear woke from hibernation and the Caps went to sleep. Washington went a full 26 minutes after their third goal without landing a shot on net and the Bruins came back, first on a goal by Dominic Moore and then on another highlight reel tally by David Pastrnak, who's emerging as a star this season. He broke down the left wing boards, almost got taken off his feet on a check at the blue line, but maintained his balance and broke in alone on Braden Holtby, sliding the puck five hole on his backhand to bring the Bruins to within one. Then in the third the Bruins secured at least one point for the regulation tie when Collin Miller blasted a one-timer slap shot that was in the back of the net before Holtby even had time to blink. In the overtime a sloppy line change led to a Capitals two on one and Nicklas Backstrom finished it off with a wrister to beat Rask for the win, but the Caps were fairly subdued in their celebrating, evidenced by the closed door, players only team meeting they held after the game, in which the message was: that game never should have gone to overtime and we can't blow three goal leads. The Bruins will take it, though, and will hope to get off to a better start than they did in this one when they host the Colorado Avalanche tonight at the Garden in Boston.
The Boston Celtics took the floor against the Orlando Magic without their best player Isaiah Thomas, out with a groin injury suffered in the loss to Houston the other night, but his teammates made up for his absence with a balanced scoring attack, leading to a 117-87 pummeling of Orlando. Avery Bradley scored 23 points, Jae Crowder had a double double with 15 and ten rebounds, and 51% shooting from the floor propelled the Celts to the win.
In mens' college basketball the Dartmouth Green were hanging tough against the heavily favored UVM Catamounts at Patrick Gym last night. Dartmouth had the lead late in the first half but UVM recovered and ran away with the game in the second half, in a 73-58 win. Peyton Henson had a double double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Trae Bell-Haynes led all scorers with 19 points as UVM improves to 7-3 with the victory.
Elsewhere in Waltham, Massachusetts last night a huge sigh of relief for the St. Michael's College Purple Knights, who finally won their first game of the season in dramatic fashion, edging Bentley University 77-76. Matt Bonds continued his stellar season, scoring the game winning bucket for St. Mike's as two of his game high 27 points on the night.
The Middlebury Panthers had four players in double figures in their 86-72 win over southern Vermont, despite a game high 23 points from the Mountaineers' Rayshawn Taylor, and Suffolk beat Norwich 61-52.
In womens' college hoops it was Bentley beating St. Michael's 80-59 and Middlebury went on a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to pull away from Clarkson 54-40. Catherine Harrison led the way with 18 points for the Panthers,and in womens' college hockey Bryn Labbe scored her second career hat trick to lead the Norwich University to a 5-0 shutout win against Amherst.