By Ryan McLaughlin- Sports Chowdah. In no particular order. The NHL draft has come and gone, and not surprisingly, no current or incoming University of Maine players were selected. Hockey East rival Boston University had eight players selected, the most of any NCAA institution.
It’s a sad sign of the times when a once-proud program like UMaine gets shut out in the draft and fledgling programs like Arizona State and Penn State each have players chosen. Shawn Walsh is likely rolling over in his grave.
– Anyone else find it crazy that four local Class D high schools – Central Aroostook, Searsport, Greenville and Penobscot Valley – had to travel to St. Joseph’s College in Standish for recent state baseball and softball championship games? All these schools had to drive past Mansfield Stadium and Brewer’s Coffin Field to get to Standish.
While any athlete will tell you “I’ll play anywhere” if a state championship is on the line, maybe it’s time for the Maine Principals’ Association to adjust the sites based on which teams are playing in which games? Two years ago, I covered a Bangor Christian-Searsport Class D state final. At St. Joe’s. Tell me how much sense that makes?
– The Bruins will open next season against old friend Tyler Seguin and former Black Bear Ben Bishop in Dallas. Anyone got Oct. 26 marked on their calendars? St. Louis comes to TD Garden that night for a Stanley Cup Finals rematch.
– A well-deserved happy retirement to longtime Maine high school sports icon Paul Vachon, who retired this spring as Cony High’s athletic administrator. My first story as a full-time writer came when he traded his coaching whistle for administrative duties in 2008. The Cony-Lawrence rivalry of the early 1990’s was part of a major upswing of girls basketball in Maine, and Vachon’s run-and-gun style was a refreshing change in an era where “four corners” and stallball often ruled Maine high school hoops.
– Longtime Boston College hockey coach Jerry York will be inducted in to the Hockey Hall of Fame this fall. It’s hard not to think that Shawn Walsh would be headed that way had lung cancer not cut his life short in 2001. Anyone remember a basketball player named Maurice Stokes from the late 1950’s? Similar scenario. A paralyzing injury cut his career short, and Red Auerbach once said he was a prototype of Magic Johnson in the 50’s.
– Over-under on how many games UMaine hockey will win this winter? We already known Nebraska-Omaha and Alaska-Anchorage will be non-conference home opponents this season. I’ll go with 14. Anyone got Greg Moore on speed dial?