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The Sports Blog

UNH hockey: Ideas for how the Wildcats can turn things around after a rough first half

The University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team is on its break, so with no game to preview for this weekend, it’s appropriate to take a look back at what’s happened to this point. In short: Oy vey. A dramatic 7-4 win road win over Maine eased what could have been serious holiday blues, but there’s no hiding the fact that the first half has been a disappointment for the Wildcats. Struggles this year were not unforeseen; with the losses UNH endured this past offseason, 0

UNH hockey: Keys for Wildcats in weekend series with Boston College

The University of New Hampshire hockey team is in desperate need of a spark, and normally this would be the last weekend it could expect to get one. Boston College isn’t what it’s been in recent years, however. The Eagles have won three national championships and four Hockey East titles since 2008, but are scuffling through a lukewarm season in which they are having trouble finding the net and playing at a .500 clip (7-7-0, 3-4-0). They’re ranked 17th in the country, but they’re not 0

UNH hockey: Highlights from team media availability heading into Northeastern series

The University of New Hampshire hockey team has a chance to climb back to .500 both overall and in Hockey East when it faces Northeastern in Durham tonight and in Boston tomorrow. The Wildcats are 3-5, with an 0-2 record in conference after losses to UMass Lowell, while the Huskies are still looking for their first win at 0-7-1 (0-3-1 in Hockey East). Here are a few tidbits from the midweek media conference from Coach Dick Umile and some of his players. ∎ Wildcats stress matching 0

Merrimack Valley quarterback Ivan Niyomugabo is in the High School Spotlight

This week in the High School Spotlight, it’s Ivan Niyomugabo. Ivan, the junior quarterback for the upstart Merrimack Valley football team, has shined this season and helped take a team from a 14-game losing streak to reaching the playoffs for the first time in the team’s 12-year history.   Ivan credits his teammates for the success, but he can’t do without chicken alfredo. Haven’t met him? Chances are you’ll be able to catch him at Buffalo Wild Wings chowing down on some mango habanero wings. 0

UNH hockey: What to watch for vs. UMass Lowell

You had to flip through a little bit of history to get a sense for how UNH has fared recently against its previous three opponents: out-of-conference foes Minnesota, Michigan and Rensselaer. Not the case this time. The Wildcats know UMass Lowell well. And the memories aren’t too fond for UNH. The last time these two teams played was a tough moment for the Wildcats, as the River Hawks ended their season with a 2-0 win in the NCAA regionals. UNH had beaten UMass Lowell all 0

UNH hockey: Wildcats out of the top 20, other thoughts on the weekend.

A tough start for the UNH men’s hockey team has already earned a dubious distinction, as the Wildcats fell out of the USCHO top 20 yesterday after a 4-2 loss to Rensselaer, which dropped them to 1-3-1 for the young season. While not a disaster, it is still a surprising development for a UNH team that had the No. 1 ranking at one point last year and spent the majority of the season ranked in the top 10, and that has most of its impact 0

Belmont’s Austin Haddock is in the Monitor High School Spotlight

This week in the High School Spotlight, it’s Austin Haddock. Austin, a Belmont senior, moved forward midway through his senior season after playing defense after the team had a slow start. He helped lead Belmont back to the playoffs this year despite losing most of the starting lineup after last year’s championship season. He credits his dad for sparking his love for the game, likes math class, and to him, there’s nothing better than enjoying a nice juicy steak. Concord Monitor: You guys were undefeated 0

UNH hockey: What to watch for vs. Rensselaer

The Wildcats’ tough out-of-conference schedule continues this weekend, as one weekend after a pair of games against No. 4 Michigan, No. 13 UNH will travel to face No. 12 Rensselaer on Saturday night, the team’s only game of the weekend. Though the Engineers (3-1) aren’t a conference foe, there’s a degree of familiarity with them for many of the Wildcats. UNH beat Rensselaer last January, 5-2, getting goals from five different players, including three (Jeff Silengo, Justin Agosta and Eric Knodel) who are still on 0

Winnisquam freshman Lauren Bolstridge is in the High School Spotlight

This week in the High School Spotlight, it’s Lauren Bolstridge. Lauren, a Winnisquam freshman, has scored a ton of goals as a forward for the field hockey team, has a flair for science and thinks any kind of sandwich is a good sandwich. Concord Monitor: What was it like learning that you’d be a freshman on the varsity field hockey squad? Lauren Bolstridge: I was really intimidated by everybody, and I was always really nervous for every game and practice. I’m always really quiet, but 0

UNH hockey: Wyer logging starting minutes early

Dick Umile said before the season that he planned on using goalie Jeff Wyer more this year. If the first three games are any indication, the UNH hockey coach meant every word. The Wildcats took the ice against No. 5 Michigan last night with Wyer, the backup last year, in net. It was his second start in UNH’s three games this year and he performed well against a potent Wolverines offense, stopping 17 of the 18 shots he faced as the teams skated to a 0

Dade Perron of the Merrimack Valley boys cross country team is in the High School Spotlight

This week in the High School Spotlight, it’s Dade Perron. Dade, a freshman at Merrimack Valley, has come back from brain surgery earlier this year to run on the cross country team. Concord Monitor: What’s your favorite part about running a race? Dade Perron: My favoite part about running a race is knowing that I can finish it and that someday I’ll be able to make the varsity team. CM: How have your teammates and coaches helped you out? DP: The entire high school cross 0

How will the Patriots repair their defensive foundation?

When Vince Wilfork went down with a season-ending Achilles injury two weeks ago, there was concern the New England defense would crumble without its massive nose tackle foundation. Instead, the Patriots submitted two solid defensive performances with rookies Joe Vellano and Chris Jones filling in for Wilfork. The foundation took another huge blow last Sunday when linebacker Jerod Mayo was lost for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. New England has good depth at linebacker in four-year veteran Dane Fletcher and rookie Jamie Collins, 0

UNH hockey welcomes Michigan in home-opening weekend

The UNH men’s hockey team makes its home debut this weekend – and the fans in Durham will see their team face a stiff challenge. The No. 13 Wildcats face off against No. 5 Michigan, battling the Wolverines in a pair of games at the Whittemore Center. Michigan notched an impressive start to its season, going 2-0 by defeating RPI, 7-4, then topping then-No. 4 Boston College, 3-1. UNH’s opening weekend yielded a 1-1 result, with the Wildcats beating Clarkson, 4-1, before losing to No. 1

UNH football facing Towson in a tight spot

It’s early, very early, but the University of New Hampshire football team finds itself in a precarious position. The No. 19/18 Wildcats are sitting at 1-2 and a third loss would essentially eliminate their margin error for the rest of the season if they want to reach the FCS playoffs for a 10th straight year. Unitas Stadium in Baltimore is just about the last place a team looking to avoid a loss wants to be, but that’s exactly where UNH will find itself on Saturday 0

Patriots quotes: Tuesday press conference highlights

Here are some of the more interesting questions and answers from Tuesday’s press conferences with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as they prepare for Sunday’s game against Cincinnati. ∎ Brady Q: This (Cincinnati) defense is pretty highly regarded and they’ve got a lot of first round picks in the front and back ends. TB: Yeah, they can rush the quarterback. They have guys at all four spots that can rush and then when they bring the backups in, those guys rush. It’s really unique in that 0