Football Friday Notebook: Friday Night Lights Returns to New England!

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Happy Friday, Noontime Sports fans and friends!

We have some exciting news to share: Friday Night Lights has officially returned to New England – let’s go!

(Special thanks to Coach Eric Taylor for some inspirational words to kick-off the very first Friday Night Lights weekend in New England!). 

So, while we anxiously await for games to kickoff, let’s dish out some links and news from the New England football world.


Friday Night Lights Games to Watch/Follow/Attend Tonight (Friday, Aug. 31st)

WPI at Anna Maria, 7 p.m.
Western New England at Springfield College, 7 p.m.
Nichols at Westfield State, 7 p.m.
Becker at MIT, 7 p.m.
Dean at Curry, 7 p.m. 


News and Notes from the New England Football World 

Ryan Jones enjoyed a successful debut under center last night for the Coast Guard Academy football team – he finished with 411 yards of total offense. He tossed a career-best 336 yards for two scores, while rushing for 75 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown.

Despite falling to Coast Guard in its first-ever varsity contest, University of New England quarterback Brian Peters said it was “awesome” to be on the gridiron last night.

Despite the distance, the UNE fans made sure to support their Nor’Easters on the road last night when they traveled to New London, Connecticut to face-off against Coast Guard.

Prior to last night’s tilt against UNE, Coast Guard offensive coordinator Ray LaForte told quarterback Ryan Jones the following: “I’m going to make you better.”

University of Maine pounded its rival last night, defeating University of New Hampshire, 35-7, in Orono, Maine. Perhaps this was a statement win?

Last night was the final preseason game for the New England Patriots, so here are 17 thoughts from the great Chad Finn of the Boston Globe!

Finally, an in case you missed it piece from the Washington Post: A California high school football team has chosen to cancel its season after being outscored, 102-0, in its first two contests.


Tweet of the Week 

Did you see Danny Etling‘s 86-yard touchdown run last night against the New York Giants? If not, make sure to watch it now (below!).


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB!  

New England College Hockey: Frozen Fenway Returns In 2017

Frozen Fenway will return in January 2017. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)
Frozen Fenway will return in January 2017. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The City of Boston and Fenway Sports Management (FSM) announced earlier today that Fenway Park would become Frozen Fenway this January, beginning Wednesday, January 4, 2017. Frozen Fenway will conclude Monday, January 16, 2017 and will feature a pair of Hockey East double-headers on January 7 and 14, along with additional college and high school hockey games.

Frozen Fenway will also feature a public skating day for City of Boston residents, too.

“Outdoor hockey is quickly becoming a staple on Boston’s winter sports calendar and we look forward to joining with the Hockey East and the City of Boston to build on that tradition by bringing some of the most accomplished and talented collegiate teams in the country to compete on the ice at Fenway Park,” Boston Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said in a statement.

As noted in the Hockey East release, Boston University will face-off against University of Massachusetts, while Boston College takes on Providence College – both contests will take place Saturday, January 7. One week later – Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Northeastern University will skate against University of New Hampshire, while University of Maine competes against University of Connecticut.

“Hockey East and our schools could not be more excited to take the ice once again at Fenway Park,” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna said in the conference release. “Once Frozen Fenway 2017 is complete all twelve Hockey East schools will have played an outdoor game at Fenway Park, creating once-in-a-lifetime memories for the players, students, alumni and fans.”

Additional details, including other contests and events will be announced in the coming months. Fans can visit RedSox.com for more information on Frozen Fenway.

Mass. College Football: Rohde Joins Harvard’s Football Staff

By NoontimeSports.com 

As announced yesterday in a release, Harvard University’s football staff has added Steven Rohde as an assistant football operations coordinator. We’ve provided the release below, courtesy of the Harvard University Athletic Communications Office:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Steven Rohde has joined the Harvard football staff as its assistant football operations coordinator. Lukas comes to Harvard after spending a year as a football operations intern at New Hampshire.

At UNH, Rohde was responsible for assisting with videotaping practice, setting up the practice field, helping with travel schedule for road trips and giving recruiting tours of football facilities before home games. Rohde also helped host postgame functions following home games.

A 2014 graduate of UNH with a degree in business management, Rohde previously served as a sports associate intern for the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League (AHL). With the Whale, he assisted with daily operations in sales and marketing for the franchise.

Mass. College Hockey: UML Tops UNH, Claims Second Straight Hockey East Crown

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – For the second straight year, UMass Lowell claimed the Hockey East crown as the River Hawks skated past University of New Hampshire, 4-0, on Saturday evening at the TD Garden.

With the win, UMass Lowell is now 2-2 in title contests. Their last win occurred last season when the River Hawks defeated Jack Parker and the Boston University Terriers.

Similar to their semifinal contest against Notre Dame last night, the River Hawks scored two goals in both the first and second periods. They also relied on their backstop, Connor Hellebuyck, who deflected 30 shots and was named the Hockey East Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

“I thought we started the game rather well,” said UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin, who guided the River Hawks to its second consecutive Hockey East championship.

“(The) first and second periods obviously were very opportunist and getting off to that type of lead certainly eases attention, but it didn’t make it easier in the third, I can tell you that.”

A.J. White provided the River Hawks with an early lead as he redirected a shot in front of the New Hampshire cage at 12:12.

UMass Lowell netted its second goal literally three minutes later as Josh Holmstrom fired a shot past a diving Casey DeSmith (26 saves), which provided the River Hawks with a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.

Joe Gambardella and Jake Suter each netted goals in the middle frame that pushed the River Hawks ahead by four goals.

New Hampshire ramped up its intensity during the final minutes of the third period; desperately trying to find a goal, but Hellebuyck and the River Hawks defense dashed any hopes of a potential comeback.

“It was a strange game,” said New Hampshire head coach Dick Umile, who guided the Wildcats to the title game following a series win last weekend against Northeastern University and a semifinal victory last night against Providence College.

“I thought our team competed, we played hard, (but) it just didn’t happen. Eric (Knodel) and the seniors have been a great group for us with great leadership and the difficult part is it’s a team with great chemistry, we wanted to keep going, (but) not only were they winning and playing hard, but we were enjoying it and having fun doing it and its tough for the season to end.”

UMass Lowell finished with 35 shots on net, while New Hampshire fired 30 shots. The River Hawks were one for four on the power play, thanks to their final goal by Suter, while the Wildcats were unsuccessful on two attempts.

UMass Lowell, which will be making its sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, will look to build on its success this weekend when they return to the ice next week. The River Hawks made it to semifinals (Frozen Four) last year, but lost to Yale University, 3-2.

“Tonight, like I told you, it wasn’t a work of art, but we found a way and that’s a good trait of a winning club,” said Bazin. “This year was such a grueling year. We’re going to give them some time off here before we play next week and we’re going to make sure we keep working on special teams, (which) seems to be the difference in all these games. Thankfully for us we were one for four I believe tonight, scoring another power play goal. Yesterday, we scored a couple, so from that standpoint it has been the difference and will be for all teams.”

Mass. College Hoops: BC-UNH Video Recap

By NoontimeSports.com 

On Sunday, the Boston College men’s basketball team picked up their fifth win of the season by defeating University of New Hampshire, 61-59 in overtime.

The Eagles have won two of their last three, and three of their last five.

The men sporting the maroon and gold will look to extend its current winning streak on Saturday when they host Providence College for a 2:00 p.m. tip-off.

Below is a highlight package courtesy of the Eagles YouTube page. For more information the men’s basketball team or other sports — HOP HERE.