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The Sports Blog

UNH hockey: Matchup with Union and other thoughts

As a team with a lot of youth and unproven players in key spots, the University of New Hampshire hockey team could have benefitted from an easy start to the season to help it find a rhythm, work out its kinks and build some valuable chemsitry. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that won’t be the case. No. 19 UNH kicks things off at the home of the national champion, playing No. 5 Union Saturday at 7:30 p.m., so the Wildcats will have their hands full from 0

UNH hockey schedule released; thoughts on the Wildcats’ slate

The UNH men’s hockey team released its full 2014-15 schedule Friday, and a few games and thoughts stand out: ∎ Opening against the champs: The Wildcats drew as tough an opponent for their opener as they could get. They’ll get the season started at Achilles Rink, home of defending national champion Union, which knocked off power after power en route to the program’s first title. UNH will hope for a better outcome than the teams’ two-game set last year, which resulted in a Dutchmen sweep at 1

Willows selected as captain for 2014-15 UNH hockey team

The 2014 University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team has its leader. Matt Willows was named the next Wildcats captain at the team’s hockey banquet yesterday, while rising seniors Casey Thrush and Grayson Downing will be alternate captains. The designation comes on the heels of a season in which Willows emerged as a vital cog in the UNH offense. The winger combined a hard, accurate shot with a hard-nosed style down low to develop into a pure scorer, setting career highs with 18 goals, 21 0

UNH hockey: Looking at the Wildcats’ position after split

It’s hard to pinpoint what the emotions should be for the University of New Hampshire hockey team after taking a win and a loss in the always anticipated series with Maine this weekend. After all, UNH (14-13-1, 6-6-0) did score one of its most impressive victories of the year, acing its first test without star defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk by pulling together, weathering an early Maine attack and striking late in a hard-fought 3-2 win over the Black Bears. The progress made in that win 0

What to do with Rajon Rondo?

As it turns out, this was the perfect season for Rajon Rondo to become the face of the Celtics franchise. It doesn’t matter that Rondo has only played four games, including Friday’s 101-83 loss against Oklahoma City. Being a Boston fan this year has been more about debating (to tank or not to tank) than rooting, and the polarizing Rondo is nothing if not debatable. Rondo is unlike any other player in the league, maybe ever, so he naturally elicits varying opinions on his value. 0

Patriots bye week quotes

Here are some of the most interesting quotes coming out of Foxborough from Wednesday and Thursday, via the Patriots media relations department. Tom Brady Q: When you have so many players who haven’t been to the postseason before, do you ever offer advice to them about what to expect? Is it a lead-by-example kind of thing, or do you actually go and talk to somebody about it? TB: Coach (Belichick) handles the team pretty well, so he’s got a great handle on what he thinks 0

UNH hockey: Tying up a few loose ends

Thanksgiving’s hours away – but there’s no rest for the UNH hockey team. The Wildcats are on the road, getting ready to play a weekend series at Colorado College. Once the second game ends, No. 20 UNH will have played 10 games in 23 days, a stretch that has been made all the more grueling for the well-traveled ’Cats with a weekend in Providence and a cross-country trip to Colorado. It hasn’t been an easy slate. But the Wildcats haven’t seemed any worse for the 0

VIDEO: Concord High gets pumped for the NHIAA Division I championship football game

Concord High held a pep rally for its football team this afternoon to get ready for its championship bout tomorrow when it hosts No. 3 Pinkerton at 1 p.m. at Memorial Field. 0

UNH hockey: What to watch for vs. Providence

When the UNH men’s hockey team fell to 1-5-1 for the season, it had the benefit of a portion of the schedule coming up that was significantly weaker than the assembly line of national powers it had faced to begin the year. After games against teams like Minnesota, Michigan and UMass Lowell, the Wildcats were facing Massachusetts, Brown and Northeastern, solid teams (NU was ranked going in, after all), but not of the caliber of their previous opponents. And to UNH’s credit, the team capitalized, 0

UNH hockey: Sorkin’s rejuvenation sparks Wildcats’ scoring success

Call it a comeback, call it improvement, or call it anything else you want. Whatever name you want to slap on it, the 2013-14 season is shaping up to be a memorable one for Nick Sorkin. And for the UNH men’s hockey team, it couldn’t be more timely. Sorkin is leading the resurgent Wildcats offense with seven goals, already just two shy of his career high set two seasons ago. He’s been busy around the net, knocking in feeds and loose pucks that stray away 0

UNH hockey: Wildcats’ line changes paying off in turnaround

The UNH men’s hockey team wasn’t scoring. And while Dick Umile never strayed from his point that plenty of time remained in the young season, the coach saw that the time was right to make a change. So on Nov. 1, with the Wildcats about to begin a home-and-home series with UMass Lowell, Umile shook things up. The first and second lines were split up, with Kevin Goumas joining Nick Sorkin and Matt Willows on the second line and Dalton Speelman moving up to play 0

UNH hockey: Reeling Wildcats face softening schedule

Now might be as good a time as any to go over the good news and bad news facing the UNH men’s hockey team. Finding the bad news is easy. Just look around. The Wildcats have been, by far, Hockey East’s least successful team, with a 1-5-1 overall record that is hardly a death sentence but isn’t insignificant either. They’re not scoring. They’re not keeping teams from scoring. They’re not killing penalties, not scoring on the power play, not playing consistently. So on and so 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