Mike Szostak

Sports Blogger

Mike Szostak covered sports for The Providence Journal for 36 years until retiring in 2013. His career highlights included five Winter Olympics from Lake Placid to Nagano and 17 seasons covering the Boston Celtics. His beats  also included tennis, skiing and college sports, especially Brown and URI football.

Ways to Connect

  Kris Dunn is making the smart move to return to Providence College for the 2015-16 basketball season.  The Friars point guard has not announced his decision, but Yahoo! Sports, citing NBA sources, is reporting that Dunn will skip the 2015 NBA Draft. The deadline for underclassmen to declare of the draft is Sunday. Once a player declares, there is no going back.

  Hail to the Providence College hockey Friars, NCAA Division I champions for the first time.

PC rallied for a 4-3 victory over Boston University Saturday night before 18,022 spectators at TD Garden in Boston. The Friars scored two goals in a span of 2 minutes and 19 seconds in the third period to erase a 3-2 deficit. They needed an acrobatic save by goalkeeper Jon Gillies on a Nick Roberto shot with a minute to play to preserve the victory.

Providence lost its only other championship game appearance in 1985 to RPI.

 The beginning of the end of the long college hockey season occurred Thursday when Providence College defeated Nebraska-Omaha, 4-1, and Boston University beat North Dakota, 5-3, in the Frozen Four semifinal games at TD Garden in Boston. The Friars and Terriers, Hockey East rivals, will meet Saturday night for the national championship. They split their regular-season series, each winning at home

  With apologies to the great rock band Chicago, “Does anybody really know what time it is . . . Does anybody really care?”

Monday, April 6, was Opening Day for Major League Baseball, and the Red Sox, in Philadelphia for their season-opening series, shut out the Phillies, 8-0.

Monday was also Closing Day for college basketball. Kentucky-slayer Wisconsin took on tradition-rich Duke in Indianapolis for the NCAA Championship, and Duke rallied from nine points down in the second half for a 68-63 victory.

  Catholic schools won eight of 11 winter sports championships in the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, proving once again that public schools do not stand a chance in this state, right?  Catholic and private schools should compete in their own league, right?

  It’s all over. University of Rhode Island and Providence College basketball, that is. But don’t shed many tears for the Rams and Friars. They may have lost over the weekend, but they won admirers during their memorable seasons.

URI did not have enough answers for Stanford guard Chasson Randle  Sunday night, and the Rams fell to the Cardinal, 74-65, in the second round of the NIT at Stanford. Randle, a senior, scored 35 points, his season best, and needs only 27 to become the school’s career scoring leader.

It’s Basketball Championship Week in the Big East, Atlantic 10 and Rhode Island Interscholastic League.

Local favorites Providence College and the University of Rhode Island are in New York for the college tournaments, and the top four teams in boys and girls basketball will be at URI for high-school Final Four action this weekend.

Here’s a look:

BIG EAST

 The best season in women’s basketball history at Bryant University continues for at least another game while the rebounding Rams of the University of Rhode Island hope they get the call to play again.

  Words Unlimited, Rhode Island’s organization of sports writers, sportscasters and sports publicists, will honor 14 individuals and three teams for their 2014 accomplishments, or their careers, at its 69th Annual Sports Awards Banquet on Sunday at the West Valley Inn in West Warwick.

Bill Reynolds, a Providence Journal award-winning columnist since 1984 and author of 12 books, will be inducted into WU’s Hall of Fame. His Saturday column, For What It’s Worth, is must reading for Rhode Islanders.

  Thirty-five years later, I still get chills, a lump in my throat and, yes, a sentimental tear when I remember Feb. 22, 1980. For on that Friday in Lake Placid, N.Y., an underdog team of college kids from Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin shocked the best hockey team in the world.

United States 4, Soviet Union 3.

Aaron Read RIPR

  Winning, like savoring a single malt Scotch, is an acquired taste. It takes time, 12 years in some cases. It takes work and patience and luck. And just as one must learn to sip that single malt, neat or on ice, one must learn how to win. Providence College and the University of Rhode Island are proof.

Unbelievable!

Absolutely unbelievable!

No other word aptly describes the New England Patriots 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks Sunday night in Super Bowl XLIX.

Unbelievable that Patriot Malcolm Butler, an undrafted rookie free agent from that college football factory West Alabama, intercepted a pass at the goal line with 20 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Aaron Read RIPR

  We all know that Tom Brady grew up in San Mateo, Calif., played football at Serra High and Michigan, started in five Super Bowls and won three.  We also know he will start his sixth Super Bowl Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

Aaron Read RIPR

  Snowmageddon 2015 will melt into history in a week or so. Deflategate unfortunately, will take a bit longer.  So let’s turn our attention to Super Bowl XLIX, or Super Bowl 49 for those of you who slept through Roman Numerals in elementary school.

Specifically, let’s turn our attention to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady because a long time will pass before we see another like him.

Deflategate is a migraine for the National Football League and an embarrassment for the New England Patriots, but for the nation’s sports media, it’s a gift. A Big,Beautiful, Wrapped Present.  Think Christmas morning, and the largest box under the tree is labeled: To Reporters, From The Patriots.

That’s Deflategate, the ball controversy swirling about the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots. Did the Patriots deflate game balls last Sunday, possibly making it easier for quarterback Tom Brady to throw and tight end Rob Gronkowski to catch in the rain? If they didn’t, who did?

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