by Bob Morello
Bruins streak snapped
We are all familiar with the saying: “All good things must come to an end,” and it was no different for the Bruins as they looked to extend their streaks of having played 18 games (13-0-5) and not suffering a regulation loss, and riding a five game win streak. On the other hand, their Tuesday night opponent the Anaheim Ducks had won seven straight games against the Bruins during the past three seasons. A 3-1 victory by Anaheim on Tuesday resulted in the Ducks extending their dominance over Boston, and the Bruins looking to begin a new streak. The Ducks are in a battle for a wild card spot in the Western Conference, and they played like a hungry, desperate team, in earning the win.
A lackluster first period by the Bruins quickly put them in a two-goal hole, again forcing them to play catch-up hockey, which is never a good thing, while providing Bs backup goalie Anton Khudobin little protection. Playing a much stronger second half of the game was just not enough to come back in this one. The loss of Brad Marchand (serving five-game suspension) on Boston’s first line was glaring, with many chances by David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron remaining unfinished. Add to that the loss of rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy (heart-related), and the hard-hitting, injured Noel Acciari, the team missed the solid defense of McAvoy, and the playing on the edge-style of Marchand and Acciari.
Tuesday’s losses were more than just in the final score, with both Anders Bjork and David Backes leaving the game with injuries. Bjork was lost in the first period, the result of a crosscheck from Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin, and is expected to miss time with a possible shoulder injury. Backes took a late hit from Duck’s forward Nick Ritchie late in the game and his status was unknown at press time. Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney recalled forward Peter Cehlarik from Providence on an emergency basis. Cehlarik joined the team for yesterday’s (Wednesday) practice at Warrior Ice Arena. Cehlarik, 22, has one goal and one assists for two points in five games with Boston this season. He also has six goals and seven assists for 13 points with a plus-four rating in 17 games with Providence this season.
At Monday’s press conference with McAvoy, internist Dr. David Finn, and Bruins trainer Don DelNegro, McAvoy explained, “I think it was a relief, first off, to find out that it was not life threatening and not dangerous to my overall health. That was my best takeaway from that to realize that obviously, because I’m in there, I’m kind of nervous, that this is going to be something that is really bad, that I might not be able to play again or anything like that. To find out that it was something that was not dangerous, not life threatening, something that I could still continue to play with, that was a good takeaway right away from the overall situation.” Bottom line, pretty good news for the young man.
Tonight (Thursday 7:00pm) the Bruins will face another strong opponent as they host the St. Louis Blues who presently hold onto fourth place in the Western Conference standings (65 points), as they battle to close the gap with Western Conference leading Las Vegas Golden Knights (70 points). The final game of Boston’s three-game homestand will end Saturday (7:00pm) with a visit from Atlantic Division rival, Toronto Maple Leafs who now trail the Bruins by five points (66-61), with the Bs holding three games in hand. Back on the road next week will have the Bruins in back-to-back contests, first in Detroit (Tuesday 7:30pm) against the Red Wings who look like they will again miss the playoffs, and finish with a visit to New York (Wednesday 8:00pm) to face the Rangers (who are fighting for their playoff lives, but still within reach of the eighth and final spot and a chance at a wild card spot.
Bruins fans looking for a bigger piece of the action can find that in the Boston Bruins Equipment Sale presented by TSR Hockey that will take place on Saturday, February 10 at TSR Hockey (5 Kelly Road, Salem, NH). The sale begins at 9:00 a.m. and will continue while supplies last. Fans will have the chance to buy an assortment of equipment previously used by current and former Bruins players in either practice or game situations. The equipment sold will include skates, practice jerseys, socks, helmets, gloves, pants, sticks, nameplates, and more. Items will be priced starting at five dollars. A portion of the proceeds from the Bruins Equipment Sale will benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation.
CELTICS: The Sports Museum announced that a raffle will be held for fans that wish to have a chance at winning the Paul “The Truth” Pierce’s Retirement Package. The raffle will end on Friday, February 9th, with the winner drawn on February 9th at 5pm. The package dedicated to #34 includes the following: Four (4) Lower Loge tickets to Pierce’s Retirement Ceremony and Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game on Sunday, February 11th at TD Garden. A pair of Paul Pierce’s autographed signature basketball sneakers. Two (2) one (1) night stays at The Langham, Boston Hotel. Along with a $100 gift card valid at Joe’s American Bar & Grill, Abe & Louie’s, Coach Grill and Atlantic Fish Co. Raffle tickets for this ultimate Celtics experience can be purchased for as little as $10 at ‘nhlalumniassociation.org/fundraisers.’
CHS girls track wins CAC title
The Chelsea High girls indoor track & field team completed an undefeated dual-meet season and claimed the championship of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference with a 60-25 win over Northeast Regional last week.
Winners for the Lady Red Devils in their individual events included Amanda Dias in the two-mile, Stephanie Simon in the hurdles, Martine Simon in the dash, Stephanie Rodriguez in the mile, Jocelyn Poste in the 600, Yarid Deras in the 1000, Masireh Ceesay in the shot put, and the 4 x 400 relay team of Stephanie Rodriguez, Awa Bajinka, Poste, and Martine Simon.
“This caps off a great dual-meet season in the CAC’s inaugural year,” said CHS head coach Mark Martineau.
The Lady Red Devils now will look to excel as championship season begins. The team traveled to the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston this past Sunday for the State Coaches Invitational, an elite meet that includes runners from all over the state.
Martineau and his crew then will look to have a great showing at the CAC championship meet at Lynn Tech.
CHS boys run past Northeast
The Chelsea High boys indoor track & field team captured its last dual meet of the season with a 54-32 triumph over Northeast Regional Vocational School.
The victory gives the Red Devils a final mark of 4-1 for the season and undisputed possession of second place in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference.
Among the Red Devil boys who took first place in their events were Justin Turner, who remained undefeated in the two-mile, Alex Pedrero in the hurdles, Jazmany Reyes in the mile, Kelvin Diaz in the 300 (Kevin’s first ever race), Jose Leclerc in the 1000, Tony Bui in the shot put, and the 4 x 400 team of Leclerc, Yosuf Rubin, Turner, and Jesus Matos.
“This team fought hard for every win this year,” said CHS head coach Mark Martineau. “We’ll be looking to have a strong showing at the CAC championship meet.”