Sports 01-08-2015

CHS Roundup

Red Devils post

first win of season

The Chelsea High boys basketball team broke into the win column with a 58-43 triumph over Lynn Tech Friday evening.

The Red Devils led all the way, though the contest was much closer than the final score might indicate. Chelsea led at all of the junctures, 14-11 after one period and 30-21 at the half, but held a slim six point advantage after three frames, 42-36.

However, the Red Devils turned it on down the stretch to pull away for the double-digit victory. Senior captain Eric Flores pumped in 22 points to pace Chelsea in the scoring department. Victor Corrales, who has been playing well for the Red Devils, also reached double figures with 14.

Dominic Hightower and Chris Torrez added seven points each and Albie Alicea and Jahro Marshal chipped in four points apiece.

“Although we didn’t open up a big lead until the final period, we stayed in control and played consistently throughout the game,” said CHS head coach Jay Seigal. “It was nice to get that first win under our belts.”

The Red Devils traveled northward Tuesday evening to take on undefeated Greater Lawrence and almost pulled off an upset, falling short by a slim 47-45 final score. The contest was a back-and-forth battle all the way, with neither team able to establish any separation. Chelsea held a five-point lead with 3:20 to go, but GL forged ahead in the final minute. The Red Devils had a chance to tie in the closing seconds, but misfired on their final possession.

Flores once again had a strong game, hitting for 24 points. Angel Alvarez was next for Chelsea in the scoring department with eight points, followed by Moises Casado and Freddie Cruz with four each and Alicea with two.

“Overall, we played well,” said Seigal of his team’s performance afterward. “But we still have little inconsistencies that add up over the course of a game and that make the difference in a close one such as we had tonight.”

The Red Devils, who now stand at 1-4 on the season, trek to Shawsheen Tech Friday. They will host Whittier Tech Tuesday at 5:30 and the entertain rival Revere Wednesday at 7:00.

Bruins Beat

by Bob Morello

Bruins at crossroads

The Bruins appear to be a team in need of a GPS system – they still have not found direction or the missing ingredient(s) that have them lacking in goal production, heads up play, and any signs of consistency in their play. Having managed three overtime losses in the past six days, it’s hard to understand how it all seems to have disappeared from the team’s memory bank of how the game is played. Shots on net have become an issue, the team’s poor showing on Sunday in Carolina was a prime example: a first period total of four shots on net (with the first shot coming with 16:55 gone in the stanza), and a third period that featured two shots on net. All while facing the lowly Carolina Panthers, a team that is in the bottom two of the NHL’s overall standings. Their total of 28 points in 39 games pales in comparison to the Bruins’ 44 points in 40 games – yet, the Panthers were able to hang on with the Bruins, and eventually beat them in the overtime shootout.

On the plus-side – if one is to be found, Boston was able to cull a single point from each of those games, but the concern continues as the team enjoys all players back healthy, but still fails to exercise a jump start, coming out sluggish on a regular basis. Frustration is evident, especially when listening to the post-game comments of goaltender Tuukka Rask – he hasn’t stolen any games lately for the Bruins, but he has managed to do a credible job in net, despite the power shortage the B’s are mired in.

On Tuesday, Charlie Jacobs was named CEO in charge of Boston operations, TD Garden, the Boston Bruins, and NESN. During his press conference Jacobs expressed his dismay at the team’s play. He minced no words regarding the current state of the Bruins, “I’d say without question this has been a very disappointing year. It’s unacceptable the way this team has performed given the amount of time, money and effort that’s been spent on this team, to see it deliver the way it has is unacceptable.” Regarding a change to correct the problems he continued, “I don’t have that answer. I can just tell you that at the moment this is a very fluid situation that is being monitored very closely. I don’t have any answers for why we’re under performing. If I did I would have tried to fix them long ago. For us to be a team that’s out of the playoffs is absolutely unacceptable. Everybody in the executive offices are fully aware how I feel and they feel the same way, which brings us to this evaluation process and it’s fluid right now. I can’t say at any moment we have a final decision other than to say that it’s been an utter disappointment and a failure, complete failure.”

Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli recalled forward David Pastrnak from the Providence Bruins (AHL), and he was scheduled to travel with the team to Pittsburgh. It was not known at press time whether he would play in last night’s (Wednesday) game, or be held out to be in the lineup on home ice tonight (Thursday) to face the New Jersey Devils. Pastrnak recently played for the Czech Republic in the World Juniors Tournament, where he led the team in points (seven) and assists (six) while scoring one goal. It would be expecting too much to think this young man is going to be able to step in, take the gauntlet and run with it, in light of the B’s tempo of play at the present time.

With the 2014-15 season nearing the halfway mark, the concern has started to creep in to discussions as to whether this current team will be able to get the ship righted in time to make the playoffs. Chiarelli is the man with the answers, and he will have to decide the direction he wants to take this team – does he go outside and make a trade to shake things up, or does he stand pat and hope that it all works itself out? Bruins coach Claude Julien basically has his hands tied, while he juggles the lineup with the players he has, having to work with the roster he’s been given. Hope lies in the thought that Captain Zdeno Chara will bounce back from the malaise he’s been in since returning from his knee injury. Chara is not 100%, but being the gamer he is, he continues to try to fight his way back to the high level of play of which he is capable.

Julien continues to juggle the lines, looking for the combination that might spark the return to the style of play he knows his team is capable of playing, but even with the return of David Krejci’s, things are still out of whack. Now getting close to crunch time, Chiarelli will have to decide if he should take the bold step and make some major moves. There is not much available that the team can afford to lose from the current lineup, so he may have to go along with his earlier thinking, that this team he has put together has the ingredients to be a Cup contender. Right now, the answer appears to be a ‘no-brainer,’ a shakeup is needed right now, or the end is closer than anyone wants to admit.

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