Sports 09-08-2016

CHS Roundup

CHS football team opens season tonight against Lynn Tech

The Chelsea High football team will make the short trek northward to Lynn this evening (Thursday) when coach Jack Halas and his Red Devil gridmen open their 2016 season at Lynn Tech under the lights on Tech’s home turf at Manning Field. The opening kickoff is set for 7:00.

“Things are going well,” said Halas of his team’s pre-season preparations, which began August 22. “We’ve been very busy in these first few weeks of the pre-season.”

Halas greeted a large turnout of 48 candidates for the varsity squad, a good indication of the strong health of the football program. Five players come from Pope John XXIII of Everett, with which Chelsea shares a co-op arrangement.

The Red Devils engaged in two pre-season encounters, a tri-scrimmage with South Boston and Latin Academy last Saturday and a contest with West Roxbury this past Saturday.

“Overall, I was pleased with the way we performed in the scrimmages,” noted Halas. “I thought we played well. We moved the football and played decent defense. By no means were they perfect or the best we can play, but they were a good starting point and something to build upon.

“I like this team,” continued the coach. “We have a lot of good players at our skill positions (quarterback, wide receiver, and running back).  Our weakness this year is that we do not have much depth. The majority of the team is made up of underclassmen, so we need to stay healthy throughout the year.”

Leading the Red Devils in 2016 will be a pair of senior captains, Nick Ieng, who will see action on both sides of the ball at wide receiver and defensive back, and quarterback T.J. Patterson.

“These two are excellent players at their respective positions and should prove to be a dangerous pair for our opponents to prepare for,” said Halas. Other notable players for CHS fans to watch in 2016 are senior wide receiver/defensive back Bryan Rivas, senior wide receiver/defensive back Zach Leo, junior running back/defensive back David Bui, junior offensive lineman/linebacker Nelson Hernandez, and wide receiver/free safety Christian Herbert.

Tonight’s opener with Lynn Tech may well be the opening kickoff of the 2016 schoolboy season in Eastern Mass., with other schools in the state not opening up until Friday or Saturday. “Our kids are very excited,” said Halas of the prospect of playing in the first contest to open the 2016 high school season.

Halas and his crew will host Northeast Regional next Friday evening (September 16) under the lights at Chelsea Stadium at 7:00.

Boys soccer team

overcomes 1-0 deficit

to open with 5-2 win

The Chelsea High boys soccer team got off to a slow start, but revved into high gear in the second half to record a 5-2 victory in the Red Devils’ season-opener Tuesday afternoon at Shawsheen Tech.

Shawsheen drew first blood with nine minutes to play in the opening half to take a 1-nil advantage at the intermission. “We made a mistake in the defensive end and it cost us,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “But overall, we were not playing well. We were controlling the possession, but were unable to put anything together to sustain our attack.”

However, the second half proved to be another story altogether, as the Red Devils reached the back of the Shawsheen net five times, led by senior captain Carlos Cartagena’s hat trick.

Chelsea struck soon after the opening kickoff, with sophomore midfielder Dan Sabu delivering a nice strike from just outside the 18 after he had gathered in a  short goal kick, moved forward, and let fly a hard shot that caught the Shawsheen keeper off his line.

“It was a nice heads-up play by Dan and he took full advantage of the opportunity,” said Protasowicki.

Although Shawsheen responded with its second marker eight minutes later to regain the advantage, the goal proved to be a only a temporary one for CHS head coach Mick Milutinovic’s crew whose gathering momentum continued to build.

Junior captain and midfielder Kevin Umanzor-Torres brought Chelsea back to level with his first goal of the season, assisted by Humberto Suarez-Garcia, setting the stage for Cartagena’s amazing string of three goals in a span of 13 minutes.

“We moved Carlos up to the forward line from the backfield to give us some additional striking capability and it provided us with just the spark we needed,”  noted Protasowicki.

After Cartagena gave Chelsea its first lead of the game with 17 minutes to play, with an assist from fellow senior captain Carlos Cruz, Carlos struck again just three minutes later (assisted by Suarez-Garcia) before applying the coup de grace with four minutes remaining. Guillherme Suarez-Ruella assisted on the final marker.

Senior Kevin Flores and sophomore Diego Granados, a newcomer to the CHS program, shared the duties in net, with each playing a half.

“Shawsheen always plays us very physically and they played us as we expected,” said Protasowicki. “It was not a pretty win, but we did what we needed to do.”

Milutinovic and his squad next will host Northeast Regional today (Thursday) and then will entertain non-league rival Everett Monday evening under the lights at Chelsea Stadium at 7:00. A large contingent of fans from both schools is expected to be on hand for that contest, which has become the biggest rivalry game on the CHS soccer schedule in recent years.

Bruins Beat by Bob Morello

Bruins: World cup of hockey

The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association have announced the schedule for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Six players with Boston Bruins roots will be participating: Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand (Team Canada); newly acquired David Backes (Team USA); David Pastrnak (Team Czech Republic); and Tuukka Rask (Team Finland). Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara will represent Slovakia on Team Europe, and was named an Alternate Captain, joining Philadelphia Flyer Mark Streit, with L.A. King’s Anze Kopitar serving as Captain. Missing from Team Czech Republic will be Bruins forward David Krejci who has decided to focus on returning from his injury one-hundred-percent before returning to the ice. Former Bruin Dennis Seidenberg (Germany) is also listed on Team Europe. Bruins head coach Claude Julien will also participate as an assistant coach for Team Canada.

From Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, 2016, eight teams – Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden, Team USA, Team Europe and Team North America – will compete in a best-on-best international hockey championship. The two-week tournament, featuring more than 150 of the best players in the NHL, will progress from the Preliminary Round to the Semifinals and ultimately the Final. All tournament games will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The eight teams are split into two Groups, Group A and Group B, for the Preliminary Round (Sept. 17-22), when each team will play its three Group opponents in a round-robin format. Group A are Team Canada, Team Czech Republic and Team USA, plus Team Europe, a pan-European roster of players from birth countries outside of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden. Group B will have Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden and Team North America, a selection of the top players from Canada and the United States who are 23 or under as of Oct. 1, 2016.

The Preliminary Round schedule will highlight two of international hockey’s fiercest rivalries on Tuesday, Sept. 20, when Team Canada and Team USA face off in Group A and Team Finland and Team Sweden meet in Group B. North American archrivals Canada and the United States have faced off for the top prize in several international finals, including the 1991 Canada Cup, 1996 World Cup of Hockey, 2002 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the 2004 and 2010 IIHF World Junior Championships. The Nordic powers Finland and Sweden have met in the finals of the 1995 and 2011 IIHF World Championships, the 2006 Olympic Winter Games and the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships.

The top two finishers in Group A and Group B will advance to the Semifinals (Sept. 24 25), where the first-place team from each Group will face an elimination game against the second-place team from the other Group. The two Semifinal winners will meet in the Final, a best-of-three series on Sept. 27, Sept. 29 and, if necessary, Oct. 1.


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