Mitch's Sports Report: UVM Fends Off Plucky Quinnipiac; Bruins Beat Jets Behind Rask
On paper, the game should have been a romp, but the UVM men's basketball team had to work pretty hard to eventually defeat Quinnipiac 80-73 last night at Patrick Gym's Tom Brennan Court.
The Bobcats came into the game with just three wins against eight losses but kept the game closer than the Catamounts preferred, mostly with some sharp three-point shooting led by Cameron Young, who finished with 18 points with four buckets from beyond the arc.
The Catamounts were paced by Anthony Lamb's 20 point performance and Trae-Bell Haynes, who scored 16 to go with eight rebounds. UVM's Payton Henson was out with a hip injury he suffered during practice earlier in the week, but he'll have some time to recover as UVM goes into the holiday break with an 8-5 overall record.
The Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets gave a clinic last night on why prp hockey can be one of the most exciting sports to watch, even when goals are few and far between.
The Bruins and Jets played entertaining end to end hockey at TD Garden last night, featuring pinpoint and clever passing, clean physical play, and plenty of scoring chances, most of which were turned away thanks to the excellent goal-tending of Boston's Tuukka Rask and Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck.
Rask turned away 37 shots and stood tall when the game went to an overtime shoot-out, letting only one get past him while Hellebuyck was beaten twice in a 2-1 Bruins victory.
The game was scoreless midway into the third period before Bruins defenseman Torey Krug collected an errant clearing attempt by the Jets and took a few steps in from the blue line before releasing a rising wrist shot that got over Hellebuyck's glove hand and gave Boston a lead that would last for less than a minute. The uber-talented Patrick Laine got the equalizer just 58 seconds later when Bruins forward Sean Kuraly lost both an edge and the puck behind the Bruins net. Jets defenseman Nikolaj Ehlers picked it up and sent a pass to Laine who had a wide open net to deposit his 18th goal of the season.
The chances for both sides continued right into the three on three overtime period but Rask kept calm and carried on, making several excellent saves to earn the regulation point and then the Bruins picked up that extra point when David Pastrnak scored in the shootout round and Charlie McAvoy, who turned 20 yesterday, gave himself and Bruins fans a great birthday present by skating in and ripping a wrist shot past Hellebuyck for the game winner, the Bruins third consecutive win and a victory that moves them to within one game of second place Toronto in the Atlantic division.
The New Jersey Devils and NY Rangers also went to a shoot-out to decide their contest in Newark last night, and it was former Ranger Brian Boyle getting the better of his old team by scoring the game tying goal in the third period and then the game winner in the overtime shootout in a 4-3 Devils win.
Boyle is not only thriving in New Jersey, he's providing a lot of inspiration as he continues his comeback to the game that was derailed by a leukemia diagnosis before the season began. Following treatment he returned to the ice for the first time in early November and has been a force for the Devils ever since. The Rangers had their three game winning streak snapped, no fault of goalie Henrik Lunsdqvist, who made 45 saves in the loss.
In the NBA, Michael Beasley showed NY Knicks fans at Madison Square Garden why he was once a number two pick in the draft, exploding for 28 of his season high 32 points in the second half, leading the Knicks to a 102-93 win over the Boston Celtics.
Beasley was hitting from everywhere after coming off the bench to spell Kristaps Porzingis, the 7 footer who's been the Knicks' best player the last couple of years but was playing for the first time in three games after resting a sore knee. Porzingis said the knee wasn't the issue, just his lack of rhythm, and the dissonance showed in an 0-11 shooting performance that forced Beasley into the game, and he just took over once that substitution took place.
Kyrie Irving did his thing, pouring in 32 for the Celtics, but Boston seemed to miss the presence of Jaylen Brown, who missed only his third game of the year with some soreness in his achilles tendon.