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Chris Duffy's Sports Editor's Notebook: Winter wonderland of sports

Union Leader Sports Editor

December 05. 2017 1:00AM
University of New Hampshire played Providence in Durham on Saturday evening. Michael McNicholas, left, of UNH and Jacob Bryson of Providence spar for the puck during the first period. (Allegra Boverman/Union Leader)

Some thoughts while wondering exactly how many hours of air time NBC is planning to devote to former Lyme resident Mikaela Shiffrin during the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea ...

The next big hockey event worth watching is the women’s Olympic gold medal game, which will undoubtedly feature the United States vs. Canada. The two superpowers are playing a tour of exhibition games these days with an eye toward finalizing rosters. Canada won Sunday in St. Paul, Minn., 1-0 in overtime, but Hanover’s Hilary Knight and her U.S. teammates hold a 3-2 lead since October. They play again tonight in Winnipeg.

If you’re near your calendar with a pencil in your hand, the Olympic gold medal game is Thursday, Feb. 22 at 11:10 p.m. our time. So, yes, a nap may be required. The two teams also play a Group A preliminary-round game on Thursday, Feb. 15 ...

With the NHL players not participating in the Olympics, the most familiar men’s names trying to make Team Canada are former Manchester Monarchs: goalie Barry Brust, 34, most recently playing in Switzerland; forward Brandon Kozun, 27, who has been toiling in the KHL; forward Teddy Purcell, 32, who was sent down from the Kings to the Ontario Reign last season and has been playing in the KHL this season; and forward Linden Vey, 26, also of the KHL.

Stingy UNH

The University of New Hampshire’s 1-0 win over Providence College on Saturday night in Durham was arguably the Wildcats’ best of the season.

The Friars, ranked No. 9 nationally and skating nine NHL draft picks, dominated puck possession. But that and $1.99 will get you a small regular at the local cof coffee shop. UNH limited the Friars’ Grade A chances and goalie Danny Tirone was forced to make only 24 saves for his 10th career shutout.

All of that came on the heels of a less-than-stellar defensive effort the night before in Rhode Island. Now the Wildcats move on to a couple of non-leaguers, Wednesday night at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s wonderful barn, the Houston Field House, then home to Army West Point on Saturday.

UNH returns to Hockey East competition 19 hours later, on Sunday at 4 p.m. at home against Merrimack. Memo to UNH fans, and sports fans in general: The Patriots don’t play on Sunday ...

Bizarre weekend, to say the least, for Dartmouth. The Big Green were blown out 9-2 on Friday night at Princeton — sophomore goalie Adrian Clark was yanked in the first period after allowing five goals — then got it together for a 0-0 tie at Quinnipiac on Saturday. The star of Saturday’s game? Clark, of course, who stood on his head and made a career-high 43 saves.

On the hardwood

A big challenge awaits the Southern New Hampshire University’s men’s basketball team, which visits Bentley on Wednesday night. The Penmen are 8-0 for the first time since 2003-04 — that team started 9-0 — but the Falcons are also unbeaten (4-0) in the Northeast-10 Conference and are 6-1 overall. Bentley’s head coach is UNH grad Jay Lawson, and former Manchester Central and Bentley star Joe Fremeau is in his fourth year as an assistant in Waltham ...

Good to see the UNH men get their first Division I victory, even if it was against 1-7 Bryant. Tonight, Niagara and high-scoring guard Matt Scott (25.6 points per game), come to Lundholm Gym at 7 p.m. Of course, any conversation about Niagara basketball begins and ends with the great Calvin Murphy, who averaged 33.1 points per game over 77 games from 1967-70.

The 5-foot, 9-inch Murphy, who never missed a free throw (or so it seemed), dominated during a pre-Big East period, a much simpler time when Saturdays in winter meant Catholic school battles among the likes of Niagara, St. Bonaventure, Canisius, Providence College, Boston College, Holy Cross and Villanova.

Troy Pelletier’s amazing numbers

Deerfield’s Troy Pelletier made 10 catches for 94 yards and a touchdown in the Mountain Hawks’ FCS playoff loss to Stony Brook, finishing his senior season with 105 receptions for 1,292 yards and 10 TDs.

The Manchester Central product ended his career as Lehigh’s career leader in receptions and yards, and will graduate as the Patriot League’s career leader in receptions (328), yards (4,216) and touchdowns (37).

Pelletier is listed as 6-3, 210 pounds.

So is the Green Bay Packers’ Jordy Nelson, by the way.

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