Sanford giving Bruins the Blues; big day for Claire & Co.
Here are some tids and bits as many will flock to games on High School Championship Day, but don’t forget there are two baseball title games on Monday at Manchester’s Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, including local Hollis Brookline facing Bow in the Division II final:
—- There are a lot of reaons why the St. Louis Blues are one game away from winning the Stanley Cup. One of them is Pinkerton Academy alum Zach Sanford, who was a healthy scratch in 18 straight playoff games before replacing the suspended Oscar Sundqvist in Game 3. He’s clicked on the Blues line with Ryan O’Reilly and Dave Perron, with assists in three straight games – including Thursday night’s emotional 2-1 Game 5 win at TD Garden. Blues coach Craig Berbue reunited the line that had had a few games in spurts together during the season.
Sanford, from the Manchester area, obviously grew up a Bruins fan, and in three years at Pinkerton totaled 125 points (including 65 goals) and went on to play with the Islanders Junior team out of Skate 3 before continuing on to Boston College. Amazing.
“It’s been fun,” Sanford said during Thursday night’s post-game press conference.. “It’s a fun ride when you’re part of the team and then you get in some games.
“It’s pretty awesome. At the same time, it’s all business. We’re looking toward the next game.
“It’s clear he’s made an impact,” O’Reilly said. “On the scoresheet, making plays, possessions, he’s been a huge piece against this team.”
“The importance of staying ready is huge, and a lot of that’s on him working hard,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “He’s jumped in there and he’s been great. Looks strong, fresh, skating well. It’s good on him and good on our staff.”
But not good for Bruins fans, who if they lose these Finals, can point to the lack of their top line scoring. And perhaps even to a hand injury suffered by Brad Marchand in the team scrimmage held two weeks ago. Ouch. It’s clear he’s not the same.
— Here’s hoping Wilton-Lyndeborough can send 500-win, 31-year coach Denny Claire out a winner if this is indeed his last game. That was the word circulating when the season started, and Claire even told the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript a month ago he was “95 percent sure” this would be it. But that five percent has always summoned him back before.
If it is his last game, the irony is that the only year the Warriors under Claire didn’t make the tournament, they lost out because they couldn’t reschedule a rainout with Epping, their opponent today, and lost out by a half game.
—- How’s this for an internet opionion? A website known as collegefactual.com whose self-proclaimed purpose is to help students find a college and major that best suits them, has named Nashua one of the best cities for men’s soccer in the nation.
Yes, the nation.
The reason is likely the proximity to UMass-Lowell, with the site ranks No. 87 in men’s soccer. It also lists Rivier, but at No. 261.
Interesting. But you can bet the Nashua Eagles semi pro soccer team would agree. Don’t forget, the Eagles will finally have their home opener, as it stands now, on Friday, June 21 at Rivier at 6 p.m.
—- The Campbell baseball team fell one run short of the semis after a 7-9 regular season. But the Cougars weren’t able to gain any steam at the New Hampshire Baseball Coaches Association All-State Meeting as coach Drew Gora was away in Texas at his son’s graduation. But he nominated three players, and at least one, Keegan Mills, who hit .509 and won four games on the mound, should have made the All-State team in some spot. Tough to figure.
— Well, here goes nothing, the last Triple Crown race pick of the season for today’s Belmont. We’ll go with Sir Winston, 12-1 odds. Sucker for royalty.
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251, or@Telegraph_TomK, or firstname.lastname@example.org