by Bob Morello
Bruins look to their youth
With opening night of the 2017-18 regular season set to begin tonight (Thursday, 7:00pm), the Bruins have made all the decisions necessary, following training camp, to set the required 23-player roster. Bruins goaltender Malcolm Subban a first round draft pick (24) in 2012, was claimed off the waiver wire by the Vegas Golden Knights in a somewhat surprise move. Both Torey Krug and Austin Czarnik have been placed on Injured Reserve, and the final cut had defenseman Rob O’Gara who had a solid training camp, being sent to play with the Providence Bruins.
At Tuesday’s Media Day conference, Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney viewed the Subban move as, “I think Malcolm has taken a step, and I’m not surprised in the situation,” said Sweeney. Vegas is doing what they’re trying to build. Zane McIntyre had experience last year, had a very good run. Daniel Vladar, if Malcolm does stay there (Vegas), will get an opportunity to back up in Providence and get the exposure there at the next level. It’s disappointing. We’ve had a lot of time invested in Malcolm, and we are seeing him grow as a person on and off the ice. It’s a loss for our hockey club, the system is in place for a reason.” This means that Anton Khudobin has won the spot, and will be Tuukka Rask’s backup to at least begin the season.
Boston’s youthful roster will have not only the impressive, young Brandon Carlo on defense, but the back line will also include the return of Charlie McAvoy, along with Charlestown native Matt Grzelcyk, filling in for the injured Torey Krug. While Krug did return to practice ice on Tuesday, wearing a face shield to protect his jaw, it is almost certain that he will not be on the Opening Night roster. Former Winnipeg Jets defenseman Paul Postma is likely the spare skater on defense, for now. Up front the addition of newly minted rookie forwards, Anders Bjork is being given the chance to be the missing puzzle piece the Bs have been seeking, as the right wing on the Patrice Bergeron/Brad Marchand line, and he will definitely create some excitement. The success of Jake DeBrusk’s training camp experience will likely get him a look at left wing on a line with David Krejci and David Pastrnak, which clearly indicates the forward thinking of the Bruins’ ‘youth movement.’ Both players showed signs in training camp that they can play at the NHL level, and Bruins management is giving them the opportunity to prove it.
At press time (Wednesday) no word had come forward regarding Bergeron’s injury as he left the practice ice early on Tuesday, with what was described by Coach Bruce Cassidy as a lower body injury, and didn’t expect it to be long term. Bergeron when questioned after practice remarked, “I mean, it’s day to day, so yeah, but it’s fine,” but was quick to make it clear that the situation does not have anything to do with the surgery he had at the start of the off-season.
Following Thursday night’s opener with the Nashville Predators, the Bruins will host the Colorado Avalanche (Monday, 10/9 at 1:00pm), before hitting the road for their initial road trip of the season. The B’s will start the trip by playing the back end of their Bruins’ home-and-home series with the Avalanche (Wednesday, 10/11 at 9:30pm), a visit with the Arizona Coyotes (Saturday, 10/14 at 9:00pm), and the final stop will be at the home of the NHL’s newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday, October 15th in a 7:00pm start, with Boston’s game being only the Knights fifth National Hockey League game for the new franchise.
The departure of Subban from Boston to Vegas has opened up a goaltending spot on the Bs roster, one GM Don Sweeney wasted little time in filling, with Kyle Keyser, 18, to a three-year entry-level contract. Keyser has appeared in four games for the Oshawa Generals this season, recording a 2-1 record with a 3.50 goals against average and .903 save percentage. He appeared in 26 games with Oshawa in 2016-17, compiling a 7-9-0 record with a 3.40 goals against average and .891 save percentage. The 6-foot-2, 182-pound netminder spent the 2015-16 season with the Flint Firebirds of the OHL, amassing a 4-10 record with a 4.37 goals against average and a .880 save percentage. The Coral Springs, FL native participated in Boston’s rookie camp from September 7-11.
Save the date. Bruins fans will have their first opportunity to mingle with their favorite players on Monday, October 23rd at the Royal Sonesta Hotel (6:00pm to 9:00pm). The Boston Bruins Face-Off Gala is an event that will bring together the current team roster, coaching staff, and alumni to kick off the 2017-18 season. Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to interact with the team in an informal setting.
throughout the evening, as well as enjoy hors d’oeuvres provided by select local restaurants. All proceeds will benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation. The event will conclude with a question and answer session hosted by Andy Brickley, featuring select Bruins players.
Up and down week for CHS boys soccer;N.E. Voke here today
The Chelsea High boys soccer team split its two matches this past week, topping Shawsheen Tech, 2-0, but falling to undefeated Mystic Valley, 3-0.
The Red Devils made their long trek to Shawsheen (which is located in Billerica) worth the trip, coming home with a 2-0 victory.
Sergio Hernandez reached the back of the Shawsheen net for his first goal of the season 30 minutes into the contest, finishing a textbook attack by the Red Devils. The CHS defense moved the ball upfield by changing the field from left to right to midfielder Kevin Umanzor-Torres, who then brought the ball up the right wing. Kevin in turn delivered a perfect crossing pass to the center of the box, where Hernandez, who was breaking in from the left wing, volleyed the ball into the net from about six yards out.
Chelsea was unable to add to its advantage until Umanzor-Torres made good on a penalty kick with about 10 minutes remaining in the game after he had been brought down in the box and was awarded the PK.
Keeper Bryan Armas made some nice saves to earn the shutout.
“Shawsheen is a big and very physical team,” said CHS assistant coach Evan Protasowicki. “Bryan in particular had to absorb some hits when he was in the air, but he played a tough game for us, as did all of the players on the field that day.”
The Red Devils did not have as much luck this past Tuesday in their shutout loss to Mystic Valley on the local turf. Mystic, which plays in the Small Division of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference (CAC), scored a pair off goals to take a 2-0 lead at the intermission and then weathered a Chelsea offensive burst at the start of the second half before making it a 3-0 contest with about 25 minutes to play.
“Mystic Valley is one of the best teams we’ve faced in the CAC in quite a while,” said Protasowicki. “What is particularly impressive about them is their depth. They have a lot of players who can come in and play well throughout their lineup.”
Chelsea now stands at 5-2-1 on the season and needs four points in its remaining seven games to qualify for the post-season state tournament.
However, of more immediate concern to the Red Devils will be their quest for a CAC Large championship, which essentially will be on the line today (Thursday) when Chelsea hosts Northeast Regional at the Stadium.
Northeast is undefeated, but has two ties and has yet to play Mystic Valley. Chelsea has a path to the CAC Large crown if it can knock off Northeast today and can get some help from Mystic Valley when MV meets Northeast. Under this scenario, if the Red Devils can close out their CAC schedule undefeated, they would finish with two losses and a tie, thus edging Northeast, which would have two losses and two ties.
Kick-off for today’s game is at 4:00. Chelsea then travels to Lynn Tech this coming Tuesday and will host Minuteman next Thursday.
CHS girls cross country team remains undefeated
The Chelsea High girls cross country team continued its winning ways, defeating Greater Lawrence and Notre Dame of Tyngsboro in a tri-meet last Wednesday on a scorching Admiral’s Hill course.
With the temperatures reaching an unseasonable 90 degrees, the Lady Red Devils
took the measure of Greater Lawrence, 20-35, and Notre Dame, the defending Commonwealth Athletic Conference champion, 15-49.
Junior co-captains Joselyn Poste and Yarid Deras ran virtually the whole race together and finished second and third respectively. Junior Amanda Dias finished fourth for the Lady Red Devils, while Marissa Rivera had close to a four-minute personal best to finish in a gritty fifth place.
“There were four girls right behind Marissa that she held off and beat today. We have a solid top three and if she can continue to run like that, we will be much stronger as a team,” said CHS head coach Don Fay.
Freshman Kathy Lopez was six seconds behind Rivera to complete the sweep of Chelsea’s two opponents for the day.
Fay’s squad now stands at 5-0 on the season and is in prime position to challenge for the CAC title. The last time that the Lady Red Devils claimed a CAC crown was in 2010 (league meet champions) and 2011 (10-0 dual meet champions). The girls will host Greater Lowell next week at Admiral’s hill.
Deris, Poste win medals at Kelley Invitational meet
Chelsea’s Yarid Deris finished in ninth place to bring home a medal in the Division 1 meet at Saturday’s at Frank Kelley Invitational race that was held in Wrentham.
Yaris ran a 21:56 over the 3.1 mile (5K) course.
Teammate Joselyn Poste came across in 16th place and also received a medal. Joselyn’s clocking of 22:38 was a personal record by 46 seconds.
Lady Red Devil Cynthia Mancia ran 14:22 for the 3K race to finish 83rd in the field of 153 runners. Freshman Kathy Lopez finished in 107th place in the freshmen/sophomore 3K race that had included more than 200 runners.
Leclerc remains undefeated in dual meet competition
Chelsea High senior captain Jose Leclerc remained undefeated in Commonwealth Athletic Conference competition, handily outrunning the field by a 30-second margin in last Wednesday’s dual meet with Greater Lawrence that was held on a blisteringly-hot Admiral’s Hill course.
However, Greater Lawrence prevailed in the meet, edging the Red Devils, 26-31. GL runners took the next three spots, but the Red Devils made it a race by grabbing the next three places, with Wuilfido Hernandez in fifth, Alex Pedrero in sixth, and Demetrius Martinez in seventh.
The Red Devils needed their next runner to come across in eighth place to win the meet, but Greater Lawrence grabbed the next four spots to claim the race.
“We were competitive today with Greater Lawrence,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “It has been a while since we have beaten them. If we had a fifth runner today to take the eighth spot, we would have been able to come away with a win.”
Next week the Red Devils will host Greater Lowell at Admirals’ Hill for their last home meet of the year.
Leclerc shines at Kelley Invitational
Chelsea High senior captain Jose Leclerc turned in a stellar performance at the Frank Kelley Invitational meet this past Saturday, finishing in third place among the field of 150 runners in the Division 1 race.
“Jose went out with the leaders and maintained contact with them the whole race,” said CHS head coach Don Fay. “He ran a personal best by exactly one minute from last year’s state meet on this same course, running 16:51.
“Jose had great day,” continued Fay. “So far he hasn’t been pushed in a dual meet. Because of Jose and several others on the team, we are running in more invitational and state meets this year for some stronger overall competition. We will be running three more times in Wrentham this year, including the state meet. It will give everyone a chance to familiarize themselves with this course.”
Sophomore Demetrius Martines finished 60th in the junior/senior D-1 race, coming across in a time of 19:10. Alex Pedrero finished 81st in 19:35 and Ronny Lopez clocked in at 20:40.
Limilson Tavares ran 11:58 for the 3K race, finishing 121st out of 312 runners. Yosef Ruben and Jazmany Reyes were 157th and 160th respectively in the same time of 12:15. Rafeal Castillo also ran 12:15 in the junior/senior 3K race.
CHS football team hosts Minuteman
The Chelsea High football team will be looking to get into the win column when the Red Devils entertain Minuteman Regional to tomorrow (Friday) evening.
The opening kickoff for the Friday Night Lights battle is set for 7:00.