Sports 01-18-2018

CHS Roundup

CHS girls track remains undefeated

The Chelsea High girls indoor track & field team continued their winning ways with a 56-30 win over Gr. Lawrence last week.

First-place finishers for Chelsea included Martine Simon in the dash, Stephanie Simon in the hurdles and high jump, Awa Bajinka in the 300, Yarid Deras in the two mile, and Amanda Diaz in the mile.

“Injuries have plagued this team all season long, but it looks we are starting to move on from some of them,” said CHS head coach Mark Martineau. “This team is in good position to claim the conference title this week with a matchup against an up and coming Northeast team.”

On the boys’ side, the Red Devils absorbed their first loss of the season with a tough, 52-34 setback.

The meet was back and forth both ways with the deep, tough, and well-coached Greater Lawrence team winning the hurdles, dash, 300, and high jump.

“As usual, our distance team brought their best fight, with Jose Leclerc continuing his undefeated season in the mile, Justin Turner continuing his undefeated streak in the two-mile, and a break-out performance by sophomore Josuf Rubin, who won the 600,” said Martineau.

Also helping the Red Devils’ cause was Tony Bui’s first place performance in the shot put.  The turning point of the meet was the 1000, where CHS senior Rony Lopez ran the gutsiest race of his life, but fell just short, finishing second.

“This was a great performance by this group of boys,” noted Martineau. “We were simply unable to overcome the difference in numbers, with Greater Lawrence having twice the number of athletes we do.”

Both the CHS boys and girls teams were set to face Northeast Regional in the last dual meet of the season yesterday (Wednesday).

Bruins Beat

by Bob Morello

Bruins and ‘O Canada

For the Bruins, the play of goaltender Tuukka Rask creates the flow of their success, and with that being the case, things have been good lately for Boston. Rask started last night’s (Wednesday) game versus Montreal, the holder of his longest career point streak, riding the crest of points in 14 starts, with a solid 12-0-2, which began November 29. The strong play of backup goaltender Anton Khudobin seems to have helped Rask accomplish that feat, being able to get some relief from Khudobin’s periodic starts.

Last night continued the erratic NHL schedule that has Boston meeting their opponents from the north three times in just eight days. Their first of three had the Bruins earning a shootout victory over Montreal last Saturday, with Brad Marchand notching the deciding goal in a comeback 4-3 shootout victory. Their overtime loss to Dallas Stars on Monday, added to the Bruins’ poor overtime efforts, leaving them with a 1-6 record in overtime games.

Former Bruins coach (and Bruins all-time wins leader) Claude Julien made his first return to TD Garden ice since his dismissal from the Bruins, leading his struggling Canadiens team, currently without a playoff spot. He was certain to receive a well-deserved ovation from the Boston crowd. Looking back on Julien’s time in the Hub, his 419-games coached in his ten Boston seasons, included a Stanley Cup victory in 2011, and the Jack Adam Trophy, as the NHL Coach of the Year in 2009.

Tonight (Thursday) the New York Islanders will host Boston, followed by the third game with Montreal in a bit over a week, this month set for Saturday night (7:00pm) on Bell Centre ice. Following the brief two-game road trip, the Bs will host the New Jersey Devils on Garden ice on Tuesday (1/23 at 7:00pm), before traveling to Ottawa to take on the Senators in Boston’s final game before the NHL All-Star Game break.

With the Bruins facing Montreal three times in eight days, and having taken the first game (last Saturday) with a shootout win, this puts the Habs in a ‘must’ situation, and facing a pretty hot Bruins team at this time is not a positive for the Canadiens. When Montreal landed in Boston on Wednesday, they were holding on to sixth place in the Atlantic Division, having garnered 42 points with an 18-20-6 record. They trailed Boston (56 points) by 14 points – with the Bruins holding two games in hand, and were in 14th position in the Eastern Conference standings… well out of the playoff picture at this time. Local hockey fans would likely be applauding the chance for the Bruins to put the Canadiens even further down in the pack, something that is very possible following their three games with the Bs. Before Wednesday’s game, the Bruins record for the last 10 games is 7-0-3, while Montreal was 3-5-2.

Prior to yesterday’s Bruins/Montreal matchup, the Boston Bruins, the City of Boston, and the National Hockey League dedicated a new street hockey rink in Allston-Brighton in honor of Willie O’Ree, the first black player to play in the NHL. Along with O’Ree, Boston Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs, the Mayor of the City of Boston Marty Walsh, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman were on hand to dedicate the new rink. The Bruins also honored O’Ree during the game at the TD Garden.

In the summer of 2018, Willie O’Ree Rink will officially open to the general public. The rink is located within Smith Playground (235 Western Avenue Allston-Brighton), which is undergoing a major renovation that includes improvement to the amphitheater, community space, ball fields and playgrounds. The new street hockey rink will be named Willie O’Ree Rink, recognizing O’Ree’s impact on the game, both on and off the ice. The date of January 18, 2018 marks the 60th anniversary from the date Willie O’Ree played his first game in the NHL, and he went on to play professional hockey for 21 years.

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