by Bob Morello
Bruins pre-season continues
Monday night’s pre-season opener provided both the Boston coaching and management staff the opportunity to evaluate some of their promising youngsters, during a 3-2 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. This pre-season will likely prove to be interesting with the number of possible openings, due to the buyout of Dennis Seidenberg, opening a spot on defense, and the recent torn ligaments surgery to forward Frank Vatrano, have enhanced chances of earning a spot. Monday’s game showed some promising signs for rookies Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk. It was the smooth pass from DeBrusk (2015 first round draft), to Jimmy Hayes that produced the Bruins’ first goal.
The Bruins’ played pre-season game number two last night (Wednesday), taking on the Detroit Red Wings in the first half of a home-and-home series, with the second half scheduled for Friday night in Detroit. The schedule continues with road games on Saturday October 1, in Philadelphia, taking on the Flyers; Tuesday October 4, facing the Montreal Canadiens at Quebec City; and Thursday October 6 versus the hosting Columbus Blue Jackets in Ohio. The final pre-season game will be played on TD Garden ice on Saturday October 8, as the Flyers will serve as the opponent in a 5:00pm start.
Missing from the Bruins training camp are Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, as both serve their country (Canada) on their drive to win the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto. Tuesday night saw both players scoring a goal in Canada’s 3-1 victory over Team Europe. Playing with Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby on the top line, has proved to be magic, for Bergeron and Marchand, as the trio blends nicely, and hopefully the experience will prove to be beneficial to the two Bruins stars in regular season play. Marchand was recently rewarded for his 2015-16, career year, with a $49 million dollar, 8-year contract extension, as announced by Bruins general manager Don Sweeney. The opening game win gives Canada the upper hand in this best-of-3 series. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and former Bruins Dennis Seidenberg are on the opposing Team Europe roster.
TD Bank and the Boston Bruins have teamed up another year to help continue to increase skills and create opportunities for youth hockey players throughout New England through the Partnership to Assist Skaters and Shooters (PASS) Clinic Series.
Youth hockey organizations, in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island, may enter by Friday, December 9 at 5PM for the chance to have their organization win one out of ten PASS Clinic Series. Each PASS Clinic is one hour long and is conducted by current Bruins players or alumni and members of the Boston Bruins Youth Hockey Development Team. Each clinic is open to 50 youth hockey players in the Squirt/U10 or Pee Wee/U12 age classifications. Each participant will receive a TD Bank PASS jersey, gift bag, and two tickets to an upcoming Boston Bruins home game. Additionally, TD Bank will present a $1,000 donation to the hosting youth hockey organization. To enter a youth hockey organization for the chance to host a PASS Clinic Series, the youth hockey organization’s President, board member can visit www.bostonbruins.com/youthhockey.
Bruins practice at their new Warrior Ice Arena (80 Guest Street, Brighton) is open to the public with tentative dates scheduled daily, and the first practice starting at 10:00am.
CHS football team
at Gr. Lowell Saturday
The Chelsea High football team will be looking for its first win of the season Saturday afternoon when the Red Devils travel to Greater Lowell. The opening kick-off is set for 1:00.
This past Friday evening Chelsea came out on the short end of a 34-0 decision to Hamilton-Wenham in a game played under the lights at Chelsea Stadium.
The contest began well for the Red Devils when they returned the opening kick-off to the H-W 35 yard line. However, any hopes of gaining an early advantage soon disappeared when a bad snap on the first play from scrimmage set Chelsea back 14 yards. The Red Devils eventually were forced to punt, squandering the early opportunity and field position.
The Generals (who are so named in honor of General George Patton, who was born in Hamilton) then took possession and promptly marched 66 yards in 11 plays to take a 7-0 lead.
“They were able to push the pile forward on a few runs that we greeted at two yards, but the ball carrier would fall forward to gain four or five yards, which kept their chains moving,” said CHS head coach Jack Halas.
Chelsea’s second possession began once again with fine field possession at the CHS 40 yard line. However, a fumble of the quarterback exchange on third-and-three was recovered by H-W on the CHS 42.
However, the Chelsea defense stood tall. Six plays later on fourth-and-eight, CHS linebacker Nelson Hernandez made an excellent play to break up a Hamilton-Wenham pass that would have resulted in a first down.
Chelsea took over with good field possession for a third time, but went three-and-out. “We had plenty of opportunities,” said Halas. “It was a tough game for us, inasmuch as Hamilton-Wenham is two divisions above us, but we were right there in the ballgame midway through the second quarter. We just can’t squander so many good opportunities. Eventually we have to string some plays together and put the ball in the end zone.”
The Generals then took the ball and went on a methodical, 11-play, 55 yard TD drive. The extra point was pressured by senior Bryan Rivas, causing the PAT to sail wide right, leaving H-W holding a 13-0 advantage with 4:00 left in the half.
Thanks to two consecutive kick-off penalties, Chelsea was able to get the ball at the H-W 40 yard line, as freshman Nathyn Rosario dove on the Generals’ third kick-off attempt.
However, the Chelsea offense was unable once again to put together a successful drive and the Generals regained possession at the Chelsea 38 yard line with under 2:00 to go in the half. Six plays later the H-W found the end zone again for a 19-0 lead at the intermission.
“It was frustrating to have had so many good opportunities with good field possession against a strong opponent and not be able to capitalize,” said Halas. “We really are just one miscue away from playing some good football. It’s complimentary football. Offense helps the defense by keeping the chains moving. Defense helps the offense by getting them the ball back. Special teams give us field position to either shorten the field offensively or lengthen the field defensively. We are close, but we’re not there yet.”
H-W took the opening kickoff of the second half and moved 60 yards in nine plays to increase the margin to 27-0 and added another TD for the 34-0 final tally.
Offensively, Chelsea was able to move the ball better in the second half. Hamilton-Wenham successfully defended to the end zone in the last possession of the game and deflected a pass with 0:02 left to preserve the shutout.
“Hamilton-Wenham posed a different threat than our previous opponents,” said Halas. “They had a good passing game. They went for 118 yards passing on the day and 103 yards rushing. They ran a well-balanced offense and did a good job. I thought we played better defensively in this game than the past two games. However, we still need to tighten it up.
“I was happy with the effort and the fight in our kids” added Halas. “It is clear as day that is there. We just need to capitalize on some of our opportunities on both sides of the ball to be more competitive and get our first win.”
CHS boys soccer
team wins two games
The Chelsea High boys soccer team won two games this past week, extending its winning streak to four contests and improving to 5-1-1 on the season.
In last Friday’s 6-2 win at Essex Tech, the Red Devils got off to an inauspicious start, falling behind 2-0 in the opening minutes when Tech struck for two goals just 30 seconds apart at 4:00 and 4:30.
“We had a very sloppy start,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “Our defense got caught up and Essex has some very fast forwards who took advantage of the situation.”
Humberto Suarez put Chelsea on the board at 14:00 and then Kevin Umanzor-Torres drilled his third penalty kick of the season just before the end of the half to make it 2-2. For the second week in a row, Umanzor-Torres’s first kick was waived off by the ref because a Red Devil entered the box too soon, forcing Kevin to shoot the PK again — and as he did previously, he once again made good on the retake.
Red Devil Melvin Godoy had been taken down from behind by a Tech player in the box, awarding the PK to Chelsea.
“Kevin is very cool when he takes a PK,” noted Protasowicki. “He’s unflappable in those situations. That was a big goal for us because it allowed us to tie the game and shift the momentum to our side to start the second half.”
The Red Devils came out firing on all cylinders after the intermission, with Angel Ruiz reaching the back of the Essex net at 44:00 and Umanzor-Torres once again making good on a PK just two minutes later to give Chelsea a 4-2 advantage.
Ruiz potted his second goal of the game at 58:00 and Dan Sabu put the icing on the CHS victory cake with a goal in the final minute.
Angel Figueroa went all the way for Chelsea in goal.
This past Tuesday the Red Devils hosted Greater Lowell, traditionally one of Chelsea’s toughest Commonwealth Athletic Conference opponents. But this year GL provided little opposition as the Devils took a 5-0 lead at the half and cruised to a 7-1 victory.
Chelsea’s first two goals came off corner kicks, the first by Carlos Cartagena (from Umanzor-Torres) and Cruz (from Melvin Garay), in the opening minutes to jump-start the CHS offense. Sabu (from Umanzor-Torres), Suarez, and Kevin Valle added goals before the intermission for a 5-0 CHS bulge.
CHS head coach Mick Milutinovic liberally used all of his bench in the second 40 minutes in which sophomore Enrique Silva and senior Kevin Flores scored their first career varsity goals.
Figueroa and Diego Granados split the keeper duties.
“We seem to be coming together as a team and hopefully we’ll continue to improve in that respect,” said Protasowicki.
The Red Devils have some key battles in the coming week. They entertain Shawsheen today (Thursday), trek to Mystic Valley Monday, and then travel to Northeast Regional Wednesday in what looms as a showdown for first place in the CAC. The teams tied in their first meeting on September 8 and the winner will have a big leg up in the race for the CAC’s Large Division crown.
CHS boys cross country
defeats Mystic Valley
The Chelsea High boys cross country team earned its first win of the season with a 27-29 victory over Mystic Valley Charter School last Wednesday at Pine Banks Park in Melrose.
Red Devil Jose Leclerc, who was running in his first race of the year, teamed up with freshman Demitrius Martinez to go 1-2 for Chelsea. Jose’s time was 20:09 and Demetrius came across in 20:26.
“Jose and Demitrius have been competing and pushing each other in practice, so it was good for them to get in a race together against an opponent,” said CHS coach Don Fay. “They put us in a very good position to win the race getting the top two spots.”
Mystic Valley had six of the next eight runners, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Chelsea’s first win of the year. Senior captain Adriel Cedano was fifth overall with a finishing kick that enabled him to pass two Mystic Valley runners and ultimately clinched the meet for Chelsea.
Junior Alex Pedrero was eighth overall for Chelsea and Abraham Barrientos and Wuilfido Hernandez finished 11th and 12th in the same time of 24:00 flat. “We only have one senior in our top seven, so our future looks promising,” said Fay. “We finally have everyone back and running and we now are a much deeper team than we were at the start of the season. It was good to get our first victory and it will be interesting to see what our top guys can do against the rest of the league.”
This past Monday, the Red Devils took on former Greater Boston League rival Medford and came up just short by the narrow margin of 27-29 at the Admiral’s Hill course.
Leclerc and Martinez finished 2-3 for Chelsea, separated by only 12 seconds in 19:27 and 19:39 respectively. Junior Alex Pedrero finished in fifth place with another personal record (PR) by over a minute, running 20:09.
Sophomore Wuilfido Hernandez, racing for the first time on his home course, ran 21:23 to finish in eighth place. Freshman Abraham Barrientos also had a PR by over a minute, finishing in 11th place with a clocking of 22:02.
“This is our second loss by two or fewer points this year,” noted Fay. “The whole team knows that they all have to do a better job in the last half mile of a race to get into a better position to win. Our top five today are all first-year cross country runners, including two freshmen. We are continuing to work hard and are seeing major improvements from week to week.”
The CHS boys were set to travel to Tyngsboro yesterday (Wednesday) to take on Greater Lawrence. They also will be competing at the Frank Kelley Invitational Saturday in Wrentham. They will host Greater Lowell Wednesday.
Deras remains undefeated
for CHS girls cross country
Sophomore Yarid Deras remained undefeated with a convincing win against Mystic Valley’s top runner in a meet held last week at the Pine Banks Park course.
Yarid came across the line in a time of 23:41 over the hilly 2.9 mile course to win the race by over a minute and a half.
“At the beginning, one of the MV girls took off and had a pretty sizable lead, but Yarid didn’t panic,” said CHS coach Don Fay. “She gradually reduced the gap and dominated the race after she passed her. “
Finishing in third place for the Lady Red Devils was sophomore Jocelyn Poste, whose time of 25:16 was a mere four seconds behind the second place finisher.
CHS senior captain Melanie Nguyen was fourth overall for Chelsea, running a time of 26:08. Unfortunately for the Chelsea girls, Mystic Valley took the next seven places to clinch the meet.
CHS freshman Karina Avalos finished in 12th place and freshman Sandra Tun came across the line in 16th place overall. The final tally showed Mystic Valley winning by the score of 28-31.
“It’s frustrating that twice in a row that we have had three of the top four spots and then lost the meet,” said Fay. “However, we need to go forward and try to close the gap from three to four to be more competitive in the league.”
This past Friday at Admiral’s Hill the Chelsea girls hosted Medford.
Deras continued her top-finishing ways with a convincing victory by over a minute against the first Medford runner, establishing a personal record (PR) on her home course of 22:24 for 3.1 miles. Yarid is now 5-0 on the year and was set to have a big individual challenge yesterday (Wednesday) at Notre Dame of Tyngsboro when the Lady Red Devils also will be facing Greater Lawrence in a tri-meet.
“Last year six of the top nine runners in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference league meet were from Notre Dame or Greater Lawrence,” noted Fay, “so this will be a nice test for Yarid to see where she stands in the league.”
Finishing fourth for Chelsea against Medford was senior captain Melanie Nguyen, who was just off her PR by 12 seconds. Sophomore Jocelyn Poste finished fifth in 24:43.
“So far this year our top three have either gone 1-2-3, 1-3-4, or 1-4-5,” said Fay. “Unfortunately we are lacking in depth right now after our top three.”
Medford claimed the next seven positions after Poste to win the meet, 26-33. Freshman Karina Avalos had another PR by over a minute and finished in 13th place. Freshman Sandra Tun also achieved a PR, finishing in 14th place. This Saturday some of the girls will be competing at the Frank Kelley invitational in Wrentham. The Lady Red Devils will entertain Greater Lowell Wednesday.