Mitch's Sports Report

Weekdays at approximately 6:45 a.m.

Sports can be fun, thrilling, and heartbreaking... local, national or global. I love talking sports, and I've been known to express an almost imperceptible preference for certain teams.

Listen to my sports report every weekday as part of the 6:44 a.m. newscast, or listen here or the podcast any time.

Let's agree that as amazing and historic as the best ever start in Boston Red Sox franchise history has been, the pace it set was not sustainable. And so it was that the Red Sox suffered their second loss in a row and dropped their first series of the year with a 4-1 defeat in Oakland against the A's yesterday afternoon.

In Toronto last night the Maple Leafs hit a milestone, recording the team's 46th win of the season in a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers, and in doing so setting a franchise high mark for most regular season wins.

The Boston Bruins picked up a point in a 5-4 overtime shootout round defeat to the Jets in Winnipeg last night, but the team could be facing a far greater loss.

The women's bracket of the NCAA basketball tournament has been whittled down to the Final Four and with UConn included in that quartet, the Huskies now hold the record for most appearances in an NCAA semi-final at 19, one more than Tennessee.

Before the men's NCAA basketball tournament began I'd wager you couldn't find anyone who would predict that the 11th seeded Loyola-Chicago Ramblers would be in the Final Four, while the perennial powerhouse and number two seeded Duke Blue Devils would not, but brackets are immune to prediction, reputation, or odds, and that's where we stand today with a Final Four that makes about 3/4 worth of sense.

A couple of days back you may have heard the interview NPR did with Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, Loyola-Chicago's 98-year-old team chaplain, about the team's incredible Cinderella run thus far in the men's NCAA basketball tournament.

The number of key players out with injury now at seven, the Boston Bruins have got to feel good about taking away at least one point from last night's tilt against the Blues in St. Louis, even if they ultimately lost the game.

The Essex Hornets are in a familiar spot as state champions in division one boy's hockey after a resounding 5-0 win over Spaulding at Gutterson Field House last night.

Stratton Mountain Ski School alum Jessie Diggins, fresh off her history-making performance as the first American, along with Kikkan Randall, to ever win a medal in cross-country at the Olympics, has climbed into second place overall in the International Ski Federation World Cup standings.

In the NHL Mika Zibanejad scored a tying goal late in the third period and then decided that wasn't quite heroic enough, going on to net the game winner in overtime to lead the NY Rangers to a 4-3 win over the two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

The amazing winning streak. The regular season that saw them finish with the best record and top seed in the America East conference. It all looked so good for the University of Vermont men's basketball team, until they stumbled in the conference championship game against UMBC and had to settle for an invite from the N.I.T. tournament rather than the coveted NCAA dance.

It's as true on the ice of the high school hockey sheet as it is in the biggest arenas where the pros of the NHL skate: to win a championship, at some point, you're going to need great goaltending. That's what the BFA-St. Albans Comets got last night from Maddy Hungerford, who faced 24 shots by the Essex Hornets at Gutterson Field House and turned them all away in a 2-0 victory that delivers BFA the division one girl's state hockey title for the first time in five years.

They were looking to make it six state division one girl's high school basketball titles in a row. They came in as the favorites to do so, even though they were not the number one seed. But yesterday, the CVU Redhawks found out why the St. Johnsbury Hilltoppers were the top-seeded team, as St. J beat CVU, dethroning the five times in a row champs in a 48-33 stunner at Patrick Gym.

The state championship for division one girl's hockey is set, following a 4-1 win by BFA-St. Albans over Rutland last night.

For two decades they waited for redemption. Different players, yes, but all of them representing one country, all of them pining for the chance to reclaim the mantle as best women's hockey team in the world.
And last night in Pyeonchang, the U.S. women's hockey team regained that honor, beating team Canada in a thrilling 3-2 overtime shoot-out to win the gold medal, just as Montpelier's Amanda Pelkey predicted they would do.

History has been made at the Olympics with Stratton Mountain school's Jesse Diggins winning an Olympic gold medal along with Dartmouth College alum Kikkan Randall, the first medal ever at the winter Games for American women in cross country skiing.

The U.S. men's hockey team is heading to the quarterfinal round of the Olympics after a 5-1 defeat of Slovakia today in Pyeonchang.

At the Winter Olympics, the US women's hockey team is one step closer to its goal of winning gold.

One of the pleasures of watching sports is seeing the unexpected unfold, but that same unpredictability can also be a source  of disappointment.

The late, great Tom Petty said it best: The waiting is the hardest part. That was certainly the case for the woman who trained at Burke Mountain Academy and is now considered one of the greatest alpine skiers in history, Mikaela Shiffrin, who waited out two postponements due to high winds at the Winter Games in PyeonChang, and had to wait again for a second run on the Giant Slalom yesterday before finishing with the gold medal, her second.