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Some picked-up pieces while trying to figure out what to do on a Patriot-less Sunday "Funday.&q


It's admittedly difficult for any University of Maine sports fan to root for anything Minnesota given what happened on an ice sheet in St. Paul in 2002, but how can you not be thrilled for former Black Bear football boss Joe Harasymiak?

Coach H is now coaching the defensive backs at the University of Minnesota, and the undefeated Gophers earned one of the biggest wins in program history, knocking off fourth-ranked Penn State 31-26.

It was only fitting that Coach H's secondary sealed the impressive victory with a late-game, red zone interception, Penn State's first red zone turnover of the season.

Black Bear Nation should be proud of Coach H. And given all that Penn State is one of the most despised programs in the nation after the heinous acts of Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky, it'll be refreshing to not see them in the college football playoff.

- The UMaine hockey team could only muster one point in a weekend series at Hockey East leader UMass Lowell, but you have to marvel at this team's compete level.

Yes, winning matters, but the Black Bears woke up Sunday morning in third place in Hockey East with a big home series against hated New Hampshire on the horizon.

UMass Lowell is probably going to be playing on Causeway Street in March, and the Bears will only keep getting better.

P.S., this weekend is the last chance to get to the Alfond until after Christmas. Hopefully the place will be rocking.

- While Southern Maine schools typically dominate their North cousins in state championship soccer competition, the girls from Camden Hills have embodied a standard of excellence the last four years.

The Windjammers won their fourth consecutive state championship last weekend, and its senior class exits the program with an impressive record of 64-0-1.

That's incredible.

- Gordon Hayward just can't catch a break. Literally.

The Celtics won their seventh straight game in San Antonio Saturday night but Hayward will be sidelined at least a month with a broken hand.

Fortunately, the C's have the talent around Hayward to hold down the fort until he returns to the lineup. Don't panic, Celtics fans.

- Congratulations to Andrew Fleming on eclipsing the 1,000-point mark, the 31st man in the history of the UMaine men's basketball program to do so.

The Norway native and Oxford Hills alum has been a great model of consistency as coach Richard Barron tries to rebuild the program, and he's one of only two seniors on the Bears' roster.

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