Score a big upset for the University of Vermont women's basketball team, a 58-53 road win against the University of New Hampshire in Durham last night that avenged a close loss earlier in the season.
Hanna Crymble led the Catamounts with a game high 19 points and eight rebounds and was 7 for 7 from the charity stripe. Cassidy Dedra ended the first half with a three pointer that gave the Catamounts a lead they would not relinquish, making sure not to repeat the outcome of the contest when they lost to UNH in the final minutes after leading for most of the game back on January 18th. This time around UVM kept up the pressure on the Wildcats, controlling the boards while out-rebounding UNH 40-33, and the Catamounts notch their seventh win of the year against one of their biggest America East rivals. UNH drops to 15-9 with the loss.
One other note in college hoops, St. Michael's junior Levi Holmes III has notched a feather in his cap, named as the Northeast 10 Conference player of the week for the first time in his collegiate career. Hard to imagine a player who had a better week, as Holmes averaged an astonishing 40 points per game over the week and tied an all-time school record by hitting 10 three-pointers in a 96-94 overtime loss to Southern New Hampshire.
To the NHL, and there was a bit of a scare up in Toronto, where Maple Leafs fans saw their starting goal-tender Frederik Andersen leave the game in the second period after he was inadvertently struck in the head by the skate of Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry. Andersen was said to be dong well after the game, according to Leafs coach Mike Babcock, and his back-up Curtis McElhinney was fine in his stead, turning away 16 of the 17 shots he saw in Toronto's 7-4 win. William Nylander and Auston Matthews each had two goals for Toronto, Nylander's second one breaking a tie in the third that proved to be a game-winner. With the win the Leafs move to within three points of the Boston Bruins for second place in the Atlantic division, but both teams are sitting pretty for a playoff spot right now as we're starting to see some separation between the top three teams in each division of the eastern conference and the wild card hopefuls hoping to snag two available berths.
One team that's struggling to get a foothold on the post-season ladder is the NY Rangers, now mired at the bottom of the Metropolitan division after a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars in Texas last night. The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the first period but Tyler Seguin tied things up in the second and Martin Hanzal got the game winner in the third, tipping in a shot after screening goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who took the loss despite making 39 saves on the night. The game winner for Hanzal coincided with his first game back from the injury list, and the Stars are now just one point behind St. Louis for third place in the western conference's central division. The Rangers, who were playing in the eastern conference finals just a year ago, are still just three points away from a wild card playoff berth, but they've got several teams in front of them vying for those elusive two slots and they've lost six of their last seven.
It would make sense for the Rangers to be sellers in advance of the NHL trade deadline except for the point system that awards one point to each team when they finish tied at the end of regulation, no matter who wins in overtime or a shootout. It's good for parity and makes for an exciting end to the regular season, where one point either way can decide a team's playoff fate, but it also creates quite a logjam and prevents teams from making trades that could help them rebuild for next year and keeps some teams higher in the standings from acquiring some valuable players they could use heading into the Stanley Cup tournament.
The embers of Major League's hot stove baseball season have stirred some with the news that the NY Mets have pried third baseman Todd Frazier away from the NY Yankees. Frazier elected to sign a two-year, $17 Million deal to take over the hot corner for the Mets next season, giving the Mets another power threat to go along with Jay Bruce, who they brought back after his brief stint with Cleveland past season. Frazier has belted 102 home runs over the past three seasons, including 27 last year.