Sports 10-22-2015

CHS Roundup

Boys soccer remains undefeated, now 13-0-2

The Chelsea High boys soccer team emerged from its toughest stretch of the season with its undefeated record intact, winning two of three contests and tying another. The Red Devils now stand at 13-0-2 on the season with three contests remaining on their schedule.

Coach Mick Milutinovic’s squad opened the week with a 5-0 victory last Wednesday at Essex/No. Shore Tech. Five Red Devils reached the back of the Essex net: Derilson DePina on a nice cross from Eric DePina; Eric DePina with an assist from Carlos Cruz; Yefferson Padilla, assisted by Derilson DePina; Carlos Cartagena from Padilla; and freshman Dan Sabu with an unassisted tally on a nice shot from the vicinity of the 18.

Milutiniovic and his crew then made the long trek to Greater Lowell to face a GL squad that is known for its “physical style” of play (a euphemism for yellow card-worthy aggression).

The teams battled to a nil-nil deadlock after 80 minutes (plus stoppage time) of soccer on GL’s grass field, one of only two grass surfaces the Red Devils play on all season.

“Greater Lowell always is a tough opponent, especially on their home field,” noted CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “Playing on a grass field is an adjustment for us. We had a lot of chances, but we were too tentative. It would have been nice to win the game, but we were not unhappy to come home with a tie.”

The Red Devils then trekked to Billerica Tuesday for a battle with first place on the line in the CAC Large against a Shawsheen Tech squad whose only loss came at the hands (or, more appropriately, feet) of the Red Devils earlier this season.

Shawsheen came out pumped and ready for battle and stunned the Red Devils with a goal just 23 second into the match. Moreover, with Chelsea missing three starters because of illness and work obligations, the quick start by Shawsheen appeared to provide the home team with an insurmountable degree of momentum.

However, as is the case with Bill Belichick’s Patriots, Milutinovic has trained his personnel to step in where needed. Elias Sahil, Francisco Velasquez, and Hector Garcia-Andino, all of whom already have roles for the Red Devils, stepped into the breach and assumed an even greater degree of responsibility. Kevin Umanzor-Torrres, normally  midfielder, moved to the back-line where he did a superb job.

In addition, Derilson DePina turned in one of the greatest-ever individual efforts in CHS soccer history, scoring four goals and assisting on the fifth to lead Chelsea to an eventual 5-2 victory.

“Derilson was amazing,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “He was so calm throughout the game under pressure. He volleyed two goals beautifully and headed another (on a crossing pass by Eric DePina), He also was taken down in the box and made the PK.”

Carlos Cruz applied the frosting to the CHS victory cake with a goal late in the game on a superb individual move after receiving a pass from Derilson DePina.

The goalkeeping duo of Angel Figueroa and Daniel Benitez shared the duties between the pipes.

With a CAC Large title all but assured, the Red Devils will wrap up their season starting today (Thursday) when they host Mystic Valley. They entertain Northeast Regional Tuesday and then host Winchester next Thursday.

CHS cross country teams engage in quad-meet

The Chelsea High boys and girls cross country teams traveled to Andover to face Greater Lawrence, Greater Lowell, and Shawsheen Tech at Greater Lawrence’s campus.

In the girls’ meet, the Lady Red Devils defeated two of their three opponents,  beating Greater Lowell, 21-34, and narrowly edging Shawsheen, 27-28. However, they came up short against Greater Lawrence, 23-36. The Lady Red Devils ended their Commonwealth Athletic Conference regular season with a 7-3 record.

“The girls had a tremendous meet,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “We had only five girls running, the bare minimum for a cross country meet, because of an injury and attendance issues.  If one of the girls had failed to finish the race, we automatically would have forfeited all three of the races.”

CHS senior captain Wendy Becerra was the overall winner of the race with a thrilling, come-from-behind victory.  Wendy was in third place for most of the race, but in the final 600 meters she caught the lead runner from Gr. Lawrence and beat her by two seconds, running 21:37 for the 3.1 miles.

Freshman Jocelyn Poste was the second Chelsea runner and seventh overall, running a time of 22:52.  Next for Chelsea was Melanie Nguyen in 11th place in 23:50.  Freshman Yarid Deras and Cynthia Guzman finished 18th and 19th respectively to round out the scoring for Chelsea.

“We ran tough, strong, and aggressively,” noted Fay. “Some of the girls are still finding their ceiling.  The good news is that we are back on this same course in two weeks for the league meet.”

On the boys’ side, Chelsea was on the losing end against three rivals who came into the meet with undefeated records. The Red Devils ended their CAC regular season at 5-5.

“These three teams have won the league nine out of the last 10 years, other than when we (Chelsea) won it in 2010,” noted Fay.

Jose Aguiar, who is running his first season of cross country, ran what Fay termed “a  gutsy race” to finish 10th overall. “Jose went out real fast and ran out of gas at the end,” said Fay. “This was a learning curve for Jose. When we face these teams in two weeks (in the CAC league meet), he will have a better idea where he stands in this race and how to run it a little smarter.”

Next for Chelsea were Jansel Claudio in 18th, Johnny Gomez in 19th, Adriel Cedano in 22nd, and Diego Estrada in 25th.

“We are a pretty small team this year, but we are running well as a team and improving each week,” noted Fay.

Both the boys and girls teams are running against Everett and Medford this week and are also participating in the Gr. Lowell relay race this Saturday.

Bruins Beat by Bob Morello

Bruins finding their way

Going into yesterday’s (Wednesday) game against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Bruins had earned a record of two wins and three losses. The upside is that those two wins came in their last two contests, on the road, and against the Colorado Avalanche and the Arizona Coyotes. Not an impressive record for Boston with just four points in their first five games, but coming off their previous two victories, there is a ray of hope after opening the season with three consecutive losses. Riding a two-game win streak coming into the Flyers matchup, the B’s are looking to extend it to a three game win streak.

         In their two games on the road the team displayed a much more cohesive effort. An effort that showed strong signs that the defense and offense were working better with each other, and can hold their own, something that was missing in the three losses they’ve endured. The team has managed an effective power play with a very strong first power play team hitting the ice and capitalizing, while the second team is still struggling a bit on the man advantage.

Boston’s upcoming schedule features a tic-tac-toe effect with one game on home ice, followed by one game on the road. The B’s will be hosted tomorrow night Friday 10-23 @ 7:30pm, by the current leader in the Metropolitan Division, the New York Islanders, and returning to Garden ice for a Tuesday, 10-27 @ 7:00pm game with the Arizona Coyotes who are a single point from the top of the Central Division. Then it is back on the road for a pair of games as the Bruins take on the Florida Panthers, Friday 10-30 @ 7:30pm, and end the month of October by facing the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, 10-31 @ 7:00pm.

At press time, the Montreal Canadiens are the hottest team in the National Hockey League, posting a perfect 7-0-0 record while amassing a total of 14 points. The Dallas Stars follow, led by annual MVP candidate Jamie Benn (6-4=10), and former Bruin Tyler Seguin, also with 10 points (4-6). Dallas, along with the Nashville Predators, each team has played six games and boast matching 5-1-0 records.

Bruins head coach Claude Julien continues to juggle a few lines, still looking for the right combinations that will make his team click both offensively and defensively. In goal, Jonas Gustavsson gives the impression that he can be the solid backup to Tuukka Rask that Julien has been seeking. As the ever-changing defensive pairings continue, several players who’ve received considerable ice time are becoming very comfortable on the ice. Not to be lost in the discussion is the steady play on the blue line by former Boston College standout Tommy Cross, and the consistent play of Colin Miller.

         While it is still very early in the 2015-16 season, with just five games played, fans have to feel a slight bit more confident in seeing the Bruins’ turnaround in just over a week. The new guys are beginning to settle in to their roles, while the core veterans are stepping up to provide some stability.

‘EPIX PRESENTS ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC’

Premium TV network EPIX and the National Hockey League (NHL) have announced that EPIX Presents Road To the NHL Winter Classic™ will be returning to the channel and will make its U.S. television premiere Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 10pm Eastern Standard time.  The weekly series, consisting of four one-hour episodes, will focus on the heated rivalry between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens, as they prepare for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on New Year’s Day 2016.

    ‘Road To the NHL Winter Classic’ provides viewers with exclusive access to the players and coaches – in their professional and personal settings, capturing all the action, camaraderie, drama, humor, heartaches and triumphs as they unfold. The Bruins will be making their second appearance in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® while this is the first NHL Winter Classic appearance for the Canadiens.

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