by Bob Morello
Bruins on rocky road
The Bruins have fallen into a pattern that has a more scary effect than the Halloween night clowns we will likely be seeing in a few days. Battling the injury bug to their goaltending tandem of Tuukka Rask (general soreness) and Anton Khudobin (upper body), recent injuries to Patrice Bergeron and Adam McQuaid (both back in the lineup), and forward David Backes, who is recovering from elbow surgery, the team has spiraled to sixth spot in the Atlantic Division standings. Wednesday (last night), the Bruins arrived in New York to take on the Rangers, hoping to end a two-game skid, having scored a total of 15 goals in six games, while allowing 18. In a disappointing start on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild, Malcolm Subban came up short in his second NHL game, allowing three goals to the Minnesota in just a period and a half. Boston backup goalie Zane McIntyre replaced Subban, giving up a pair of goals on the night as the Bs were hit with a 5-0 shutout.
For Subban, it was a continuation of a poor start to the season, as his four games in net for the Providence Bruins left him with a 0-3-1 record, 4.50 goals against average, and a save percentage of .846. Without a doubt the Bruins defense did little to help Subban, and the powerless offense again sputtered, unable to dent the Wild net. The teams inability to score the first goal in any of their six games to date, has put them behind and in the position of playing ‘catch up.’ Prior to facing the Rangers, the Bruins had scored only four goals in their last three games. With Rask and Khudobin off the ice, and the shakiness of Subban, it is likely that McIntyre would get the start against the Rangers last night. Bruins coach Claude Julien would not use injuries as an excuse for the team’s lack of consistency, explaining, “I mean, this is hockey. We deal with it on a day-to-day basis with injuries, and you wait for the news and you go about doing your job as it’s required.”
The upcoming schedule does not offer any soft spots for Boston’s four-game road trip. Following Wednesday’s game with the Rangers, the Bruins will take on the Detroit Red Wings, (Saturday 10/29, 7:00pm), followed by a stop in Florida to face the Panthers (Tuesday, 11/1, 7:30pm), and finish off the road trip with a matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, 11/3, 7:30pm.
It is hoped that a return to form for Rask is in the mirror, and that his return will bring some consistency to the now floundering team. Rask’s record of 3-0-0, and his promising numbers of 1.68 goals-against-average, and a save percentage of .947 will at least restore some of the confidence that seems to be lacking at this point. Meanwhile, Julien will likely move his players around in chess match style, as he looks to find the right mix that will right this ship.
Tuesday night’s game hosted ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ night, presented by Lahey Health. Season ticket holders had donated tickets for current pediatric patients, cancer survivors, and individuals who are supporters of those affected by cancer. The color Lavender, which represents awareness for all forms of cancer, was incorporated into the game in several ways. The Bruins coaches and management wore lavender Hockey Fights Cancer ties to commemorate the night.
The Boston Bruins Foundation auctioned off and sold raffles to win the team signed, warm-up worn purple jerseys both in-game and online following the game. Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle will benefit the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care. One of the most touching moments had Tommy Scardina, a 9-year-old boy from Marshfield who was recently diagnosed with NUT, Midline Carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, participated with his dad in the ceremonial puck drop prior to the game. Scardina is undergoing treatment at Dana Farber and Boston Children’s Hospital. Carlie Gonzalez who was diagnosed with localized Ewing Sarcoma last October, and is now in remission, performed the National Anthem.
Chelsea bedeviled by lightning delay
The Chelsea High football team dropped a 32-12 decision to Mystic Valley this past weekend in a contest that in one respect will be one for the record books.
The teams began play Friday evening amidst the rain and it was clear from the outset that the Red Devils, who were coming off a 34-6 win the week before, were ready for action.
CHS linebacker David Bui stripped the ball from an MV ballcarrier on the second MV play from scrimmage to cause a turnover at the Mystic 39 yard line. The Chelsea offense, displaying the same high degree of energy and enthusiasm as their defensive brethren, needed just six plays to cover the distance to the MV end zone, with senior Kevin Ruiz going over from six yards out.
The Red Devils maintained their momentum by recovering an onsides kick, although they were unable to move the ball and went three-and-out. A nice punt return gave Mystic the ball at midfield, but once again Bui made a key defensive move, stripping the ball from the MV quarterback from behind. Ruiz recovered the loose pigskin to turn the ball back to Chelsea.
However, another three-and-out for the Chelsea offense and another good punt return by Mystic Valley brought the ball to the Chelsea six yard line, from where Mystic scored the TD and added a two point conversion for an 8-6 lead.
The Chelsea offense reasserted itself on the ensuing possession, driving 52 yards on 11 plays, but eventually sputtered and gave the ball back to MV on downs.
The Red Devil defense then forced a three-and-out, giving Chelsea the ball back at its own 40. The Red Devils picked up 31 yards on four plays to set up a second-and-seven at the MV 29 with 2:49 left in the half when thunder was heard in the distance and the skies lit up with a bolt of lightning.
The refs halted play before Chelsea could take the next snap and, after waiting for an hour, the decision was made to resume the game the following evening.
“It was really unfortunate that the game was stopped as we had some momentum going,” said CHS head coach Jack Halas.
The teams picked up Saturday at the same spot where they had left off Friday. Both defenses controlled the remaining 2:28 of the first half — Chelsea turned the ball over on downs and MV did not move the ball in its possession — leaving matters at 8-6 in Mystic’s favor at the intermission.
When the teams came out of the locker room, Mystic Valley immediately assumed control of the contest, scoring three unanswered touchdowns on their first three possessions of the second half.
CHS senior Nick Ieng added a late TD on a 91 yard run around the Mystic left edge to account for the 32-12 finale.
“I felt like our kids were very excited on Friday night to play in the rain and sloppy weather,” said Halas. “We played with great energy, causing two turnovers and recovering an onside kick. We moved the football well and only played about nine snaps of defense on Day 1.
“However, on Day 2, Mystic Valley outplayed us. It was a good weather day, a cool autumn evening. They played the better football on Day 2 and beat us,” added the coach.
The Red Devils will host Charlestown this Friday evening under the lights at Chelsea Stadium at 7 p.m.
CHS boys soccer team wins pair to earn share of CAC Large title
The Chelsea High boys soccer team won its final two Commonwealth Athletic Conference games of the season to claim a co-championship of the CAC Large Division with Northeast Regional Vocational School. Both the Red Devils and Golden Knights were undefeated in CAC play, with the lone blemishes on their records a pair of ties that they inflicted upon each other.
Chelsea traveled to Greater Lowell last Thursday and made the long trek a worthwhile one, coming home with a 4-1 victory. Kevin Valle scored a hat trick for the Red Devils. Kevin scored two of his goals in the first half to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead at the intermission.
Melvin Gare made it a 3-0 contest early in the second half when he caught the Greater Lowell keeper upfield on a quick counter and shot the ball into the back of the GL net from about 40 yards out. GL had been bringing its keeper — who is its tallest player — all the way into the Chelsea box on corner kicks, but Gare made GL pay for its risky move (which GL did not attempt again for the rest of the game).
“It was a nice, heads-up play by Melvin, who moved upfield quickly and caught their keeper well out of position,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki of Gare, who has scored four goals in the Devils’ past three CAC contests.
Valle applied the coup de grace for the Red Devils with his third goal to make it 4-0. Greater Lowell broke through for a marker late in the game to account for the 4-1 finale.
“Kevin really has been coming into his own as the season has progressed,” said Protasowicki. “He’s a scrappy player who has been utilizing his speed and physicality to make an impact for us.”
This past Tuesday Chelsea made another long trip northward, this time to Greater Lawrence, and cruised to a 10-1 triumph.
Melvin Godoy got Chelsea on the board early and Humberto Suarez added a pair of markers before the half for a 3-0 CHS lead at the intermission.
The Red Devils picked up the offensive tempo even further in the second half, with Carlos Cruz (who was returning from an ankle injury) scoring two goals (including one on a penalty kick). Angel Ruiz also reached the back of the Gr. Lawrence net twice, and teammates Kevin Flores, Dan Sabu, and Bryan Armas (his first varsity goal) added a goal apiece.
“These were solid wins and we were able to use our entire team extensively in both games,” said Protasowicki.
CHS head coach Mick Milutinovic and his crew will close out their regular season tonight (Thursday) when they host Wachusett Regional from Central Mass. Kick-off is set for 6:00.
The Red Devils, who now stand at 11-3-2 overall and who punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney a few weeks ago, then will await word of their seeding and first round opponent in the upcoming Division 2 North Sectional of the state tournament. The Red Devils undoubtedly will get to host at least one home game in the first round of the tourney with their fine record.
Deras defeats all opponents in quad-meet
The Chelsea High boys and girls cross country teams wrapped up their regular seasons last Wednesday, hosting a quad-meet with Commonwealth Athletic Conference rivals Essex Tech, Lynn Tech, and Shawsheen Tech on their home course at Admiral’s Hill.
On the girls’ side, the Lady Red Devils defeated two opponents, topping Shawsheen, 26-30, and Lynn Tech, 15-50, but dropping a close contest with . Essex Tech, 23-33.
“The Essex Tech girls finished the regular season undefeated and this was probably the closest score any team had against them this year,” said CHS head coach Don Fay.
CHS sophomore Yarid Deras continued her fine season with yet another spectacular race, winning with a wire-to-wire effort in a new personal record (PR) time of 21:31 over the 3.1 mile Admiral’s Hill route. Yarid’s performance was 53 seconds faster than her previous best and was the second-fastest clocking by any runner on the CHS home course.
Yarid’s only loss of the year came against two Notre Dame girls on their home course. Yarid has won her other 12 races this season and will be a strong contender to win the league meet this Saturday.
CHS senior captain Melanie Nguyen also turned in a PR with a time of 23:44 that was good for sixth place overall among the horde of runners. Sophomore Joselyn Poste was right behind in eighth place, running 24:00. Senior Owliyo Mohamed was 12th with a PR of 25:29 and freshman Karina Avalos was 17th in a PR time of 28:51, knocking off almost three minutes from her previous PR.
“We had a great meet and we are peaking at just the right time for the bigger meets,” said Fay. “We have a small team but they work extremely hard and that is showing in the races. Our fourth and fifth girls are much improved from the beginning of the year.”
The Lady Red Devils finished their dual meet season at 6-7 overall and 5-6 in the CAC. Chelsea dropped four meets by four or fewer points.
On the boys’ side, Chelsea defeated Essex Tech, but dropped a close contest to Lynn Tech and lost to Shawsheen Tech. The Red Devils finished their dual meet season with a record of 4-8 overall and 4-6 in the CAC.
“Our whole team has improved dramatically from the beginning of the season,” said Fay, “and it showed in how well everyone ran on their home course.”
Junior Jose Leclerc ran the whole race alongside Shawsheen’s Jake Ferri in a tense battle. Ferri was able to outkick Jose in the last quarter mile to win by four seconds and establish a new course record of 18:12 for the 3.1 mile course. Leclerc was also under the old record, running 18:16 and had a PR by 1:11.
“This is only Jose’s second league loss of the year and Ferri beat the other runner who had beaten Jose,” said Fay. “So it looks like it will be a good three-person race for the individual championship at the CAC league meet.”
Red Devil Demitrius Martinez finished in fifth overall with a PR of 19:04 in the field of 56 runners. Senior captain Adriel Cedano was 17th overall running 20:32. Walid El Mellouki, running in his first race for Chelsea High School, came across in 20:56 to take 18th position. Finishing in 20th and 22nd spots respectively were Abraham Barrientos and Wuilfido Hernandez, running 21:13 and 21:16, both of which were PRs.
This past Saturday the CHS boys, girls, and coaches competed at the John Kent Relays at Greater Lowell. Coach Kent was the former cross country coach at Greater Lowell who passed away last summer.
The girls’ relay team of Jocelyn Poste, Yarid Deras, and Melanie Nguyen finished second overall to Notre Dame Academy. The boys’ team of Demitrius Martinez, Alex Pedrero, and Jose Leclerc finished fifth overall in the boys’ race. In the coaches, family, and friends race, the team of Nate Weaver, Mark Martineau, and Don Fay finished third overall, one second behind the Greater Lawrence coaches’ team.
Former Bridgewater State star Judah Jackson named new CHS boys hoop coach
By Cary Shuman
Judah Jackson knows all about winning traditions, having excelled in the Everett High School football and basketball programs.
Jackson, 28, will now try to duplicate his own high school successes as the new head coach of the Chelsea High School boys basketball team. Jackson was appointed to the position last week following a selection process that attracted several candidates.
“I am very grateful and appreciative of this new position and I look forward to taking on the challenge,” said Jackson.
The former Everett and Bridgewater State College basketball star applied for the position after former coach Jay Seigal resigned. Jackson was an assistant varsity coach on the CHS staff last season and previously served as the junior varsity coach.
Jackson, a teacher at Chelsea High School, has been building a following among the city’s student-athletes. He hosted an instructional clinic at the school in September that drew a sizable turnout. Jackson also works in the REACH after-school program.
The goal for Jackson will be to lead Chelsea to the top of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference and to a Division 2 state title. The Red Devils were a perennial postseason participant under former coach Seigal.
“The program has been moving in the right direction but there’s always room for improvement so I’m prepared to try help in that improvement,” said Jackson.
The 6-foot-2-inch Jackson was a standout at Bridgewater State University where he was named the Mass. State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) rookie of the year, All-Conference second team, and Tournament MVP. He completed his stellar career with more than 1,500 points.
His former coach, John DiBiaso, congratulated Jackson on joining the head coaching ranks. “It’s always great to see one of your former players become a head coach and I know he’ll do a great job in Chelsea. We hope to schedule games with Chelsea for this winter.”
Jackson also received congratulatory wishes from Chelsea Councilor-at-Large Leo Robinson, and his wife, Linda Alioto-Robinson, executive director of the Chelsea REACH Program.
Leo Robinson presented a signed basketball to Jackson at a celebration in his honor Sunday in Saugus. Linda Alioto-Robinson praised Jackson, stating, “He’s a great guy and a great role model for kids. He’ll do an excellent job as the head basketball coach at Chelsea High.”
Jackson thanked the Everett community for their support during his years in the city.
“Like I’ve said before, Everett is one of the top sports programs in the state and I would love to model my program after theirs,” said Jackson. “They prepared me to overcome obstacles and adversity and they were influential in me being where I am today.”