Mitch's Sports Report: Comets Topple Hornets For Girl's State Hockey Title Behind Hungerford Shutout
It's as true on the ice of the high school hockey sheet as it is in the biggest arenas where the pros of the NHL skate: to win a championship, at some point, you're going to need great goaltending. That's what the BFA-St. Albans Comets got last night from Maddy Hungerford, who faced 24 shots by the Essex Hornets at Gutterson Field House and turned them all away in a 2-0 victory that delivers BFA the division one girl's state hockey title for the first time in five years.
Linsey Larrow gave Hungerford the only goal she would need on the night, but the Hornets, if you'll excuse the pun, were buzzing around the Comets' net all night, and the game wasn't put away until Lizzie Hill ripped a low wrist shot into the net with about two and a half minutes left in regulation to give BFA the breathing room they needed to secure the program's tenth state championship in school history and turn back their top-seeded rivals.
In division two, they've been waiting a long time in Stowe, but the Raiders have finally captured their first division two girl's state title with a 5-0 shut-out against Missisquoi, with freshman Allison Walker scoring a hat trick in the process. Freshman goalie Leo Clark made 28 saves to notch the shut-out, and that was par for the playoff course for Clark, who didn't let a single puck get by her during Stowe's entire post-season run to the championship.
The final four for the boy's high school basketball championships are set, with a double-header docket set for tonight at Patrick Gym. Top seeded Rutland tips off against number four St. Johnsbury in the opener, followed by number two Rice against third-seeded Mount Mansfield.
Playoff action did occur last night on the court for boy's hoops and in the division two quarterfinals
seventh-seeded U-32 pulled off an upset with a 57-51 win over number two Lake Region.
In semifinals play at Barre Auditorium, top-seeded Fair Haven defeated Otter Valley 58- 42.
Division three quarterfinals Thetford topped Hazen 63-44, Williamstown ran past Twinfield 70-49, and in the division four semifinals, top-seeded Danville beat Arlington 76-43.
And Barre Auditorium will be busy again tonight with the girl's division two championship title game set with the one and two seeds respectively in Fair Haven and Mount Abraham set to tip off in the late game. The earlier contest will decide the division four title between number eight seed Blue Mountain against second seeded Mount St. Joseph.
One other local note before we head to the pros. The NCAA women’s basketball tournament field was announced Monday and American University earned a No. 14 seed after defeating Navy in the Patriot League tournament finals. The Eagles will play at No. 3 UCLA on Saturday in large measure because of a former stand-out player for CVU , Emily Kinneston.
The senior guard was voted the Patriot League’s player of the year after Kinneston led American to a 26-6 overall record and a league-best 16-2 mark. She averaged 15 points per game and a conference best 4 assists while passing the career 1,000-point mark this season.
To the NHL and former Harvard stand-out Jimmy Vesey achieved a career first at Madison Square Garden last night, scoring a hat trick in the NY Rangers 6-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, who will host the Boston Bruins tonight in Raleigh.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are gunning for a wild card playoff berth and they could climb even higher. They've now won five games straight after a 5-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens last night. Seth Jones scored two power play goals before leaving the game with an upper body injury, but the win vaults the Jackets into the first wild card position, just ahead of New Jersey, and they're now just two points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the safer third place slot in the Metropolitan, the Flyers losing to the Las Vegas Golden Knights last night 3-2.
The NY Yankees made another move to shore up their already stacked roster, signing veteran second baseman Neil Walker to a one year, $5 Million deal.
And it's the off-season for the NFL but some teams are staying active, including the Denver Broncos. ESPN reports that Denver is primed to sign veteran Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum to a contract once football's free agency signing period opens tomorrow. Keenum had a great season for the Vikings last year, getting them to the NFC championship game after an injury to starter Sam Bradford put him on the shelf for most of the season.