Mitch's Sports Report: Steidl Enters Record Books In UVM Win; Bruins Honor #15 But Fail In Game
The University of Vermont mens' basketball team got a bit of a scare from the Maine Black Bears before pulling away to a 90-77 win in America East play in Maine last night.
The Catamounts held just a three point lead without about 2 and a half minutes to go as Maine made a late charge and was spoiling for a comeback after trailing UVM by ten at half time. But the Catamounts went on a 10-0 run to close out the game, led by Kurt Steidl who entered the record books, scoring career point number 1,000 as part of his 20-point night. UVM improves to 11-5 with the win, notching their their first victory of the season in America East play in the process. Maine falls to 4-12.
Elsewhere in mens' hoops despite a career best 21 points from junior Joe Bertrand, the Norwich Cadets lost to Albertus Magnus 86-69 in Northfield last night. The Falcons improve to 7-3 with the win while the Cadets fall to 4-7 overall but they'll get another shot at beating them January 10th on the road following another road game against Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island this Saturday.
Before the Boston Bruins took to home ice to skate against he Edmonton Oilers last night the team remembered and honored one of their legends, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 98.
Milt Schmidt was the oldest former living NHL player and one of the greatest of his or any age. He led the Bruins to Stanley Cup victories in 1939 and 1941 before heading off to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. In his final game before going off to war the Bruins defeated the Montreal Canadiens and Schmidt, along with his fellow German descendant linemates Bobby Bauer and Woody Dumart, were carried off the ice by members of both teams. After the war Schmidt would return to the Bruins and was named the league's most valuable player in 1951. After his playing days in Boston were through Schmidt would serve the team as general manager and deliver two more cups to Boston, in part by engineering one of the greatest trades of all time, bringing in Ken Hodge, Fred Stanfield and Phil Esposito from the Chicago Blackhawks in 1967. That trade helped solidify the Big Bad Bruins teams of the early 1970s that featured the greatest player of all time, Bobby Orr, anchoring the defense and changing the game as we know it forever. The Bruins won two Stanley cups in that era in 1970 and 1972 and Schmidt remained a proud member of the Bruins family until he died. His #15 has long been retired to the rafters of the Garden and he will be remembered as the consummate Bruin and one of the most accomplished and beloved players in NHL history.
Sadly, though, the current Bruins team could not follow the ceremony with a victory in Schmidt's honor. Failing to preserve a 2-1 lead in the second period the Bruins allowed the Oilers to score three unanswered goals, getting one back too late in a 4-3 loss. Patrick Maroon scored a hat trick for Edmonton and scored some honor points by agreeing to fight after being challenged by the towering Zdeno Chara in the first period. The Bruins got goals from Colin Miller, Patrice Bergeron, and David Krejci, but couldn't get the equalizer following a two-man advantage late in the game. The Bruins are now currently sitting outside the playoff bubble and are generally spinning their wheels on the season, looking at a likely third straight season without post-season hockey in the Hub. Scoring has been a big problem for Boston this season, and it's no small irony that the man who's now the General Manager of the same Oilers that beat the Bruins last night, Peter Chiarelli, is very much responsible for the Bruins lack of offensive prowess, having traded away Tyler Seguin to Dallas several years back. Thanks for nothing, Pete. Well, there was the Stanley Cup victory in 2011, but there could have been more if not for his inexplicable moves afterwards.
In other action the members of the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins, one of whom, amazingly, is still playing hockey as a member of the Florida Panthers, can rest easy, knowing that their NHL record of 17 consecutive regular season victories still is intact. Jaromir Jagr is the guy that played for those Penguins and may have smiled a bit upon learning that the Columbus Blue Jackets had their 16-game winning streak snapped by the Washington Capitals in a 5-0 drubbing in D.C. last night.