Sports 08-11-2016

August 19, 2016
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Townies make comeback to defeat Somerville, 6-4

By Kevin Kelly

Charlestown (9-6) rode the arms of starting pitcher Jared Burhoe (3-2, 3.50 ERA) and Jason Smith (5-1, 1.90 ERA, 2 saves) to keep the potent Somerville Reds (11-3) offense in check and advance to the Summer League Babe Ruth championship game against top-seeded Watertown (12-1). The stage was set in the gutsy 6-4 comeback triumph when the “Townie” defense faltered allowing Somerville to take a 4-1 lead entering the 5th inning. Charlestown responded with clutch RBI hits by James Hollien and Eddie Pistorino to cut the margin to 4-3. In the last inning, Smith clobbered a two-out, bases-loaded double over the center fielder’s head to knock in three runs and seal the improbable victory. Defensively, Smith was outstanding at shortstop and Gavin Kelly and Hollien made key plays to snuff out rallies. The “Townies” shellacked Watertown by a 14-1 score in their previous matchup and travelled to Victory Field (40 Orchard St., Watertown) for a 5:45 p.m. game Wednesday to decide the championship.

The results of that game came too late for Patriot Bridge deadlines.

Charlestown cooks up Kitchen Kup trophy

By Seth Daniel

It was a tight overtime game between the ‘Tony R.’ team, mostly from Southie, and the ‘Sandro’ team, mostly from Charlestown, late on Sunday evening, Aug. 7, when Kitchen Kup legend Joe Hurley took the ball and maneuvered through a crowd, found an opening, and did what legends in the Kitchen do.

Cooked up a trophy.

“When Joe Hurley hit the game winner, it was legendary,” said Joe Brennan, tournament organizer and commissioner, commenting on the late goal that sealed the win for Sandro. “He is the most unbelievable, all-around, in-line hockey player I’ve ever seen. There is something about him and this game where he just can’t be beat. He scored a number of goals that were just highlight reel stuff.”

The Sando team had its name engraved on the Kup this year, with the Charlestown team taking home top honors and all the pride in the world at a roller hockey tournament that is two parts legendary and two parts gritty skill. All of those parts were on display last Saturday and Sunday when teams from all over the City and the region traveled to Eden Street Park, known as the Kitchen, to compete with some of the best hockey players in the area for summer bragging rights. It’s a weekend that has become as much anticipated in the Town as the vaunted two-week festival of Bunker Hill Day events.

The winning team consisted of Brendan Collier (Northeastern University), Mike Wood, Pat Fidler, Joe  Hurley and the goalie, Sandro. They beat the ‘Tony R.’ team in overtime on Sunday after two jam-packed days of three-on-three inline roller hockey games. The Tony R. team consisted of Charlestown’s Tony Resendes and Southie players like Liam Coughlin and Michael Carr.

Collier said winning the tournament is a great feeling, but it’s the way the community comes together for a weekend in August that is the most enjoyable to him.

“I think the tournament was better this year,” he said. “On Saturday, that was the most people down here I’ve ever seen. There were a lot of good teams playing this year. There wasn’t one dominant team winning it all. There were four or five very good teams all going for the top spot. It’s just something I’ve always looked forward to. This and Bunker Hill Day are the best two weekends out of the year. This is the most fun though. It’s just great because everyone comes down here on Friday (to see the brackets) and no one leaves until Sunday.”

Certainly, the atmosphere is one of the Parade, with lawn chairs dotting the fence and families in groups camped out by their favorite teams. Space on the fence is at a premium most of the weekend, and former Kup players are always in attendance to check out the new talent and critique the games. Brennan said the outside appeal of the tournament, both to players and hockey enthusiasts, has to do with that tight-knit Charlestown atmosphere. While there are two other roller hockey tournaments in the City, none compares to the high skill level and authenticity of the Kitchen Kup.

“This is really one of only a few things we have left,” he said. “Within our community, this is one event that they really, really enjoy…This is what drives Charlestown. The competition, the sport, the skill and the unity of the city. That’s why it rivals Bunker Hill Day. That’s why year after year everyone comes out and enjoys it so much.”

This year, Brennan said there were a number of visitors too, including Mayor Martin Walsh, who stopped by on Saturday afternoon to watch a few games and take a peek at the Kup.

There was also an unexpected surprise visit from Brian Dumoulin, a Maine native who plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins and just came off of a great playoff performance in winning the Stanley Cup. He was apparently visiting his girlfriend in Charlestown when he saw the lights on Sunday night and heard hockey sticks. It was enough to draw in the pro hockey star to the Kitchen.

“It was odd because he was just standing there and one of my volunteers told me he was there,” said Brennan. “I guess he had been driving by and saw us playing hockey and he stopped. He said it was unbelievable and he called Jimmy and Kevin Hayes to find out what was going on and they told him. I went over and introduced myself and gave him a Kitchen Kup shirt and told him to wear it in the locker room so Sidney Crosby sees it.”

Naturally, there were plenty of Charlestown visitors as well, and none were more excited than the young people, many of whom play Charlestown Youth Hockey and dream of playing in the Kup one day.

“The younger hockey players in Charlestown all watch the Kitchen Kup and it has become even more so over the past three or four years,” said Al Carrier of Charlestown Youth Hockey Association (CYHA). “Especially with the NHL prospects Matt Grzelcyk, Jimmy and Nolan Vesey and Brendan Collier taking part in this tournament. This tournament has become a very popular event with the younger kids and it still draws a fair amount of older kids and adults whom are watching the next generation of contenders. CYHA is always interested in seeing youth hockey players working on further developing their skills in the off season and roller hockey is a good way to do that. It is also a good way to stay physically fit and gives the ice hockey players the benefit of further developing their individual skill sets and it offers a nice break from the indoor rinks and hustle and bustle of traveling from rink to rink all the while playing with their neighborhood friends.”

Many college or former college players also made the trip to Charlestown for the tournament. Charlestown native John Harty has come back to his old neighborhood for the last three years to play in the tournament. While he lives outside of the Town, his grandparents and family still live here and his father is even the mailman here. Though he retired from college hockey at the University of New England a few years ago, he said the competition helps to develop skills.

“This is my third year and every year it gets better and better,” he said. “The 3-on-3 tournament helps you to play better defense and it definitely makes you keep you head up. It’s definitely a way to build up your skills because the game is so fast and the competition here is so good. We’ll definitely come back again.”

There were also no shortages of other Boston neighborhoods in the house, including East Boston’s team – which did really well this year and had a Sunday afternoon battle with the Sandro team that had many on the edge of their seats. Dave Chiara of Eastie said he plays every year because there is a lot of pride in winning against the best competition.

“See that kid over there?” he asked. “He was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks. We’re playing against him. You have to be really good to win here and there is a lot of pride in winning against those kinds of players. It really means something to win here.”

Brennan said he wanted to thank all of the sponsors and the volunteers who helped make the Kup a very special occasion once again.

“The sponsors and volunteers keep this going,” he said. “I also want to thank the surrounding neighborhood because it’s a densely populated residential area with houses all around and they put up with us all weekend. We want to thank them for that.”

City of Boston Credit Union is title sponsor for Putts & Punches for Parkinson’s Golf Tournament

City of Boston Credit Union has stepped up as the title sponsor for this year’s Putts & Punches for Parkinson’s Golf Tournament.  The tournament created and hosted by Shawn Thornton of the Florida Panthers, formerly of the Boston Bruins, was held on Monday, August 8. Now in its seventh year,  proceeds are donated to organizations that support the fight against Parkinson’s disease.

The decision to back Thornton was an easy one for the Credit Union. “Like the City of Boston Credit Union, Shawn is an institution in Boston.  Not just by bringing home the Cup in 2011, but for what he does for the community year round.  When Shawn chose the City of Boston Credit Union to be not only his, but his foundation’s financial institution it only strengthened our long standing relationship with him.  The City of Boston Credit Union is proud to stand with Shawn, as he and his foundation continue their good work in the fight against Parkinson’s disease and cancer,” stated Credit Union Chairman of the Board and President, Steve Green.

City of Boston Credit Union is one of the oldest credit unions in the country, established in 1915.  Individuals that live or work in Norfolk or Suffolk Counties, as well as, City of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts employees, can choose City of Boston Credit Union for all their financial needs.  The Credit Union has locations in Boston City Hall, Dorchester, West Roxbury and Canton.  For more information about City of Boston Credit Union visit cityofbostoncu.com or call 617-635-4545.

For more information about the Shawn Thornton Foundation visit thorntonfoundation.org.