Mass. College Hockey: Record Number of Hockey East Players Taken in NHL Draft

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Hockey East Association and Director of communications, Brian Smith, here is this morning’s release on this past weekend’s National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft that saw a record 23 current or future players selected:

WAKEFIELD, Mass. – A record 23 current or future Hockey East players were selected in the 2015 National Hockey League Entry Draft, including Boston University’s Jack Eichel (Rd. 1, Pick 2/Buffalo Sabres) and Boston College’s Noah Hanifin (Rd. 1, Pick 5/Carolina Hurricanes). The two rising sophomores, who were each selected in the top five, marked in the attached release.

In addition to Eichel and Hanifin, two other current Hockey East skaters heard their named called in Sunrise, Florida as BU rising sophomore A.J. Greer (Rd. 2, Pick 39/Colorado Avalanche) and Merrimack rising sophomore Brett Seney (Rd. 6, Pick 157/New Jersey Devils) were chosen. Also included in this year’s crop were 13 incoming freshmen for the 2015-16 season, five skaters verbally committed for 2016-17 and one player verbally committed for 2017-18.

In total, the 23 players with Hockey East ties represent 41% of the 56 current or future NCAA players selected.

The Hockey East Association is a 12-team Division-I college men’s hockey conference founded in 1984 and also sponsors a nine-team Division-I women’s league that began play in 2002-03.

Mass. College Football: 26 Players Earn USA College Football Div. III Preseason All-American Honors

By NoontimeSports.com 

The 26th Annual USA College Football Division III Preseason All-American teams were released today and 26 players were selected to the First, Second and Third Teams.

Below are the 27 players that received preseason honors, along with their school and position.

First Team:

Kemani Jones (Worcester State/RB)

Lucien Cance (Nichols College/ FB)

Keith Rodman (Springfied College /FB)

Kevin Gray (Anna Maria College /OL)

Nick Stanfield (Framingham State/OL)

Marcus Pettigrew (Westfield State/DL)

Luis Feliz (Fitchburg State/LB)

Dean Soucie (Western New England/LB)

Matt Mangano (Framingham State/DB)

Vinny Tavernelli (WPI/P)

Second Team:

Matt Silva (Framingham State/QB)

Chris Bettano (Anna Maria/ RB)

Brian Copeland (MIT/OL)

Joseph Hak (Bridgewater State/OL)

Kyle Regan (Endicott College/PK)

Quentin Jones (Framingham State/DL)

Jaymie Spears (Amherst College/DB)

Sean Murphy (WPI/DB)

Richard Bellizzi (UMass Dartmouth/P)

Third Team:

Ryan Sweeney (Westfield State/FB)

David Digiorgi (Curry College/FB)

Elliot Tobin (MIT/OL)

Joe Hanley (MIT/OL)

Elvis Romero (Bridgewater State/DL)

Derek Tarpey (UMass Dartmouth/LB)

Greg Sheridan (Westfield State/DB)

Mass. College Football: 8 Northeast-10 Players Earn USA College Football Div. II Preseason All-American Honors

By NoontimeSports.com 

The 26th Annual USA College Football Division II Preseason All-American teams were released today and eight Northeast-10 Conference players were selected to the First and Second Teams.

Below are the eight players that received preseason honors, along with their school and position.

First Team:

Colin Markus (Stonehill College/ Running Back)

Danny Omoregie (American International College/ Defensive Lineman)

Bakari Blunt (Assumption College/ Defensive Back)

Second Team:

Eric Beckwith (Bentley University/ Offensive Line)

Jere Brown (Merrimack College WR/Second Team)

Jarrod Casey (Assumption College/ Linebacker)

Paul Norris (Bentley University/ Defensive Line)

Devonte Jones (Merrimack College/ Defensive Back)

Sunday Column: Why We Should All Root For Cleveland In The N.B.A. Finals

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are two wins away from winning the franchise's first N.B.A. Finals. (Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are two wins away from winning the franchise’s first N.B.A. Finals. (Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

By Matt Noonan 

The 2015 N.B.A. Finals have been a real treat.

Unlike past years that have pitted squads with championship resumes, this year’s finals features two teams representing cities desperate for hardware.

Cleveland hasn’t celebrated a championship since 1964, the year the Browns defeated the Baltimore Colts in the N.F.L. Championship.

Golden State – winners of the 1975 N.B.A. Finals – have come close to winning its fourth championship in franchise history, but have only appeared in the final round twice since defeating the Washington Bullets in four straight games.

Unlike Cleveland, Golden State, which plays its games in Oakland, has seen neighboring professional squads win titles. The Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers have won Super Bowls since the 1970’s, while the Oakland A’s captured the 1988 World Series, sweeping the San Francisco Giants in four game. The Giants have won a trio of championships since 2010, including their franchise’s eighth World Series crown last fall.

The San Jose Sharks, however, are the lone Bay Area team without a championship. San Jose has appeared in the Western Conference Finals three times since the turn of the century, but suffered setbacks to the Calgary Flames (2004), Chicago Blackhawks (2010) and Vancouver Canucks (2011).

So, who needs this title more? The answer would be both Cleveland, right?

If Cleveland wins the title then it will probably call-off school, work and everything else the following day. Yet, if the series does go the distance, I guess school would be cancelled the following Monday, right?

The Bay Area has celebrated multiple championships. So, while Oakland and San Francisco would rejoice in the Warriors’ fourth franchise crown, it may not feel as special as Cleveland finally getting over the hump and winning a title.

Cleveland has seen its baseball team come close to winning a World Series title since capturing the 1948 World Series.

In 2013, the Indians attempted to extend its campaign to the round of eight, but lost to Tampa Bay in a play-in-game, 4-0. Cleveland concluded the game with nine hits – one more than the Rays – but could not muster a single run.

In 2007, the Indians fell to the Boston Red Sox – remember when they were good? – in the American League Championship Series and dropped a pair of American League Division Series in 2001 and 1999.

Cleveland did, however, appear in 1995 and 1997 World Series, but did not win.

The Indians saw its best chance to end the city’s championship drought in 1997 when they prolonged their championship series with Florida to seven games following a 4-1 victory in the sixth game. Yet, despite an early two-run lead in the final game of the Series, the Marlins rallied to even the game at 2-2 before plating the final run in the bottom of the 11th to win their first-ever crown.

As for the Cleveland Browns, they haven’t earned a postseason victory since 1989 after defeating Buffalo, 34-30. The Browns advanced to the Conference Championship following their win against the Bills, but fell to the Denver Broncos for the second time in three seasons by a score of 37-21.

Cleveland outscored the Broncos, 21-14, during the third stanza, but did not register a single point during the final 15 minutes. John Elway connected with Sammy Winder for a 39-yard touchdown strike, while David Treadwell kicked a pair of field goals during the final session to send the Broncos to the Super Bowl.

Since the turn of the century, the Browns have posted a pair of winning seasons, including a 9-7 mark during their 2002 campaign. Yet, similar to past years, the Browns fell in the playoffs, losing to rival Pittsburgh. Cleveland registered a 10-win season in 2007 – their most wins in a single-season since 1994 – but did not qualify for the postseason.

Let the debate rage on, who needs this championship? Cleveland or the Bay Area? I guess you would say, Cleveland, right?

Initially, I chose to Golden State to hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, but after rattling off Cleveland’s frustrating postseason setbacks, I guess I have to root for the Cavaliers.

Enjoy the remainder of the N.B.A. Finals and consider rooting for Cleveland, so they can finally celebrate a championship for the first time since “Can’t Buy Me Love” by The Beatles was a chart topper.

Tufts Lacrosse, Softball & Track/Field Honored By Boston Red Sox

By Matt Noonan 

After winning a pair of team championships (men’s lacrosse and softball), along with an individual Outdoor Track & Field Championship title in the 800m (Mitchell Black), the Tufts University Jumbos were honored last night by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox, who played a double-header against the Minnesota Twins, celebrated the Jumbos’ successful spring season prior to the start of the second game as members of each squad posed for a photo in front of home plate.

We are very proud to have another university from New England win more NCAA championships this year and we congratulate both the athletes and coaches,” the Red Sox wrote in their invitation, which was seen on the Tufts Athletics website. 

Below are tweets and photos from last night’s celebration.

Mass. College Sports: Recapping An Exciting 2014-15 Year in Div. III

By Matt Noonan 

It has been an extremely exciting 10 months of Division III College sports.

Tufts University highlighted the school year by winning a trio of championships in men’s soccer, men’s lacrosse and softball. The Jumbos’ softball team accomplished a feat that had never occurred in Division III, winning three consecutive World Series crowns (2013, 2014 and 2015). The men’s lacrosse team captured its second straight title (and third since 2010) by defeating Lynchburg, 19-11, while the men’s soccer team earned its first national championship with a 4-2 win over Wheaton College (Ill.).

Babson College also appeared in the headlines following its amazing come-from-behind win against Trinity College in the Sectional Finals. Trailing the Bantams, 41-33, entering the second stanza, the Beavers rallied by outscoring their opponent, 33-25, which extended the content into overtime. In the extra session, Joey Flannery converted three free throws, John Wickey sank a jumper, Matthew Droney scored a three-pointer and Sam Bohmiller hit a pair of free throws to clinch the victory and send Babson to its first-ever semifinal.

For the second year in a row, the Tufts women’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals. Carla Berube was presented the Pat Summitt Trophy as the 2015 United States Marine Corps/ Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NCAA Division III Coach of the Year in April. Under Berube, the Jumbos won back-to-back New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) titles (2014 and 2015).

MIT made its initial appearance in the NCAA Tournament and won its first-ever postseason contest against Husson College. Trailing the Eagles, 20-17, Tucker Cheyne booted a 38-yard field goal at the end of regulation that evened the score at 20-20. In the extra session, the Engineers secured the victory when Peter Williams hooked up with Seve Esparrago for a 13-yard touchdown strike.

The Amherst College men’s ice hockey team came within one game of the national championship. The Jeffs earned a semifinal matchup with Wisconsin-Stevens Point following a dramatic 4-3 victory over Norwich University. Mike Rowbotham extended the Jeffs’ season with an overtime goal – his ninth of the season (at the time) – that helped Amherst edge the Cadets. Trinity would up winning the national title, defeating Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 5-2.

A 1-0 victory against Johns Hopkins University sent the Williams College women’s soccer team to the finals. The Ephs, however, fell to Lynchburg in penalty kicks following a scoreless tie after two full halves of soccer, along with a pair of overtime periods. Audrey Thomas scored the lone goal in Williams’ win over Johns Hopkins in the semifinal. Prior to their semifinal and final appearances, the Ephs claimed tournament wins over Lasell College, Ithaca College, Roger Williams University and TCNJ.

Mass. College Lax: GNAC Women’s Quarterfinal Roundup

By NoontimeSports.com

It was another busy day in the Division III lacrosse world as eight teams competed in four Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) quarterfinals, including a quartet of teams from Massachusetts.

Emmanuel College – the defending conference champions – scored a 22-6 victory over Mount Ida College at Clemente Field in Boston this evening. The Saints outscored the Mustangs, 15-4, in the first session to secure a quarterfinal victory and a date with Saint Joseph’s (Maine) on Friday.

Sarah Wootten recorded nine points on five goals and four assists, while Kristen Tuleja netted a hat trick and dished out three assists for the Saints. Lauren White faced eight shots between the pipes and registered just two stops.

Mount Ida received a pair of goals from Rebecca Beaulieu and Amanda Bowen, while Sydney Fredette turned away nine shots.

Lasell College extended its season by defeating Norwich University in Newton this afternoon, 18-6. Toni Minelli and Bridget Doherty combined for eighth goals and seven assists and Alexa Katsigianis stopped 13 shots between the pipes.

Greer Gilbert netted five goals for the Sharks, but it wasn’t enough to lift Simmons past Johnson & Wales, which claimed a 15-9 victory in Providence.