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Chris Duffy's Sports Editor's Notebook: Settling in for hockey and hoops

By CHRIS DUFFY
January 02. 2018 9:31PM




Bits and pieces as we head into a wonderful stretch of the year, two-plus months of nothing but league games in local basketball and hockey ...

Derry’s Paul Thompson, a right wing, continues to have a good year with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. Through 34 games, which is all of them, Thompson had 10 goals and 10 assists and is tied for fourth on the club in scoring. Not that we’re rooting for injuries by any means, but you would think the former Pinkerton Academy and UNH star would be one of the first callups to join the fun in Vegas should any of the Golden Knights’ forwards goes down.

Vegas is outhustling every team it plays. The Knights have a solid defense, and the return of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is making them a good bet to stay strong — which you can do (bet, that is) before every game across the street from the T-Mobile Arena. ...

The Manchester Monarchs, who played one home game in 33 days (New Year’s Eve, a 4-2 win over Worcester), play six home games from Jan. 12 to Jan. 21. ...

Hanover High School and Bedford High School looked very good last Friday night in the holiday tournament final at JFK Arena. Bedford won the game, but Hanover was the better team for long stretches of the game. Don’t be surprised to see both clubs back at JFK for the Division I state semifinals in March. ...

The NHL may have done the Olympics a favor by prohibiting players to participate. It never seems quite right to be rooting for “dream teams” of multi-millionaires in any Olympic sport. Good luck to former UNH Wildcat Bobby Butler and check out the video of him telling his dad he made Team USA. ...

Somehow, UNH, despite its recent struggles, has remained in the USCHO.com poll. The Wildcats are 20th. They’re unranked in the other poll put out by USA Hockey. Here’s the important number, though: UNH is 35th in the PairWise rankings, which the NCAA Selection Committee uses to pick at-large teams for the field.

UNH hosts improved Brown on Saturday night. The Wildcats will need to be improved, too, because they’re now a .500 team (9-9-1), having lost four in a row to clubs they probably think they’re better than. ...

Manchester’s John Trisciani, the defensive line coach at St. Anselm College, will be the assistant coach for the 2018 U.S. Under-16 National Team. The squad will play Mexico’s U16 Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon team on Jan. 19 at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Trisciani has been coaching football and the high school and college levels for nearly 40 years and is a former Trinity High School head coach.

The U.S. team’s head coach is Bill Volk, who coaches at Aloha High School in Beaverton, Ore. ...

Here we go with the continuation of Northeast-10 Conference basketball and the start of the America East season. We’ve already seen that the SNHU and St. Anselm men can contend in the NE-10. We have no idea if UNH’s poor non-league record is an indicator of the Wildcats’ AE chances, but the guess here is that it is not. ...

The weather forecast for Foxborough, Mass., for the Patriots’ first playoff game on Saturday, Jan. 13 is rain/snow, with a high of 37 and a low of 25. ...

I am far from convinced that Jimmy Garoppolo is the next coming of Brady/Montana/Unitas/Manning/Favre/Marino. He played well in those five games, yes, and has given the 49ers some hope. But none of those games mattered one whit to his last-place team.

See you in September, Jimmy G. But first you have to sign a contract ...

Quick note to varsity high school coaches of all sports: You can send us details of your team’s results and we’ll put it in the paper as well as online at UnionLeader.com. We’d prefer a short game synopsis to schoolsports@unionleader.com, but feel free to call us at 206-7880 or 668-4321, extension 676.

If you forget the emails and numbers, they’re on the front page of the section every day.

cduffy@unionleader.com


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