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Chris Duffy's Sports Editor's Notebook: Giampetruzzi honored to wear No. 8

Union Leader Sports Editor

January 23. 2018 11:39PM

Not often does a uniform number mean much, but in the case of Boston College baseball, it means a great deal.

Each season, since he took over in 2011, Eagles coach Mike Gambino reveals the player to wear No. 8 in honor of former BC team captain Peter “Sonny” Nictakis, who fought bravely before losing his battle with Hodgkin’s disease. The number goes to a player who has battled adversity and represents the best qualities of BC baseball. Team members vote for it.

This coming season, No. 8 will be worn by Manchester’s Carmen Giampetruzzi.

“Being chosen to wear number eight is a tremendous honor,” Gimapetruzzi told “Knowing everything Sonny Nictakis stands for — character, toughness and class — I try to represent that myself. I am excited to wear his number, represent him and this program and our Birdball values.”

“It has been awesome to watch Carmen’s growth and development as player and as a person,” Gambino said. “He had to work his way onto the travel squad early in his career and he always put the team before himself. His character, toughness and work ethic never wavered. He is a great role model within our program and an excellent representative to wear number eight.”

Giampetruzzi, a former Trinity High three-sport star, was voted the team’s captain as well. The left-handed pitcher, who has battled arm trouble in the past, has improved each season, culminating with a career-low 3.66 ERA as a junior.

The Eagles open Feb. 16 at Santa Clara. They play the Red Sox in their annual matchup in Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb. 22.

Granite Staters in Montreal

We received a helpful email a few weeks ago regarding Laconia native and Gilford resident Mickey Donovan, who has been named special teams coordinator for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. Donovan had served since 2014 as the head coach at Concordia University in Montreal.

Since Mickey Donovan’s hiring, his younger brother, Patrick, was named interim coach at Concordia. Patrick had been the Stingers’ defensive coordinator since 2014.

The Alouettes have some interesting characters in their fold, starting with head coach Mike Sherman. Yes, that Mike Sherman, formerly the head coach of the Green Bay Packers, Texas A&M and, most recently, Nauset Regional High School on Cape Cod.

The Alouettes also signed quarterback Josh Freeman, who was the 17th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and was destined to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to greatness for years to come. Freeman did have some big numbers (including interceptions) for a few years before ending up with the Colts. He started one game, on Jan. 3, 2016 — and hasn’t played anywhere since.

Hockey, hockey, hockey

Neither Dartmouth nor UNH should be crowing about their PairWise rankings, but at least the Big Green are trending upward. Two impressive victories last weekend, including one over then-No. 2 Clarkson, pulled Dartmouth up to 34th in the latest PairWise but, more importantly, tied for fifth in the 12-team ECAC.

Should be a fun weekend in Hanover with Colgate (also tied for fifth in the ECAC) and co-leader Cornell coming in. The Big Red, which replaced Clarkson at No. 2 in national polls, swept Colgate last weekend, both by 2-0 scores, to extend their unbeaten streak to eight.

Like great linebackers at Penn State, great goalies at Cornell just seem to happen. The latest is freshman Matthew Galajda, who made 24 and 23 saves in the two shutouts against ’Gate.

UNH, meanwhile, needs a win — something it hasn’t done since Dec. 6 The good news is the Wildcats (40th in PairWise, tied for eighth in Hockey East) are coming off two encouraging ties with Maine and play eight of their last 10 regular-season games against clubs no higher than sixth in the league. UNH plays a home-and-home this weekend against Connecticut, at the Whittemore Center on Friday night and then at the big arena in the Hartford mall on Saturday afternoon. UConn looked good in beating Providence College last Saturday night. ...

Andover, N.H.’s Reilly Walsh continues to play well for Harvard. The freshman defenseman, who was considered for the U.S. Junior team, according to New England Hockey Journal, picked up an assist in the Crimson’s 4-3 overtime win over St. Lawrence last Saturday. Walsh has three goals and nine assists in 19 games.

The Crimson might need some firepower once Ryan Donato, the nation’s leading goal scorer (20), heads off to South Korea to play for Team USA in the Winter Games ...

Speaking of New England Hockey Journal, the folks at that fine publication list defensman Michael Kesselring, of New Hampton School, as the No. 6 New England prospect for the upcoming NHL Draft. Kesselring is the son of former Pinkerton Academy coach and Merrimack College star Casey. ... The Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament, which was scheduled for this weekend, has been pushed to Feb. 8-11 at White Park in Concord. ...

A dash of UNH hoops

Yes, it was ugly, but how big was that UNH win over Stony Brook on Sunday? A loss would have sent the Wildcats to 3-3 in America East, but instead they’re 4-2 and optimistic, with upcoming contests at 1-5 Maine (tonight) and 1-5 Binghamton (Saturday).

Had the chance to see Vermont last week when the AE-unbeaten Catamounts came to Durham. They have a dynamic point guard in Trae Bell-Haynes, who penetrates at will, a great shooter in Ernie Duncan and some solid bigs. Plus, they have a coach, John Becker, who has been down this road before, and a solid fan base.

The league tournament is played at campus sites, the higher seeds earning the home games. There’s a lot of regular season left, but UVM seems on the way to the top seed.

Soon enough, we’ll see how Bill Herrion’s Wildcats fit into that equation.

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