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Arnold to take shot at US hockey team

By Marvin Pave
Globe Correspondent / December 15, 2011
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Bill Arnold could not have picked a more opportune time to try out for the Team USA junior hockey squad, which starts pretournament camp Saturday in Camrose, Ontario.

A sophomore forward at Boston College, the 19-year-old from Needham has 11 goals and 9 assists for the Eagles, including a goal in each of his last three games, and has surpassed his freshman goal total (10).

“My international experience will help, but that’s all in the past and I’m just looking forward to showing my coaches what I can do,’’ said the 6-foot, 210-pound center, who played two years at Noble & Greenough School in Dedham.

“Playing on a line with skilled players like Chris Kreider and Johnny Gaudreau,’’ who was also named to the preliminary US team roster, “and already having a full year under my belt at BC has been important to my development,’’ Arnold said.

Drafted in the fourth round (108th pick overall) of the NHL draft by the Calgary Flames, Arnold played on the gold medal-winning U-18 US team and captained the U-17 select team at the Five Nations Tournament, when he was named the outstanding forward.

The US national junior team will be cut to 22 players next Thursday, and then compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Junior Championship, taking place Dec. 26 through Jan.5 in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.

“We’re extremely pleased with Bill. His offense has improved remarkably,’’ said BC coach Jerry York, whose team is 12-6 overall (9-4 Hockey East) and resumes play Dec. 29 at the Great Lakes Invitational against Michigan. “His selection to the US camp is a reflection of how well he is playing.’’

Arnold was on skates at the age of 3, thanks to his father, David, who played hockey at the Middlesex School in Concord. He finished high school in Ann Arbor, Mich., while playing for the national development program.

“I accelerated my studies so I could get to BC a year earlier and it’s been a good decision,’’ said Arnold, who has two goals on the power play and another shorthanded.

“Johnny is a creative player, Chris has great speed and passing skills and I’m a two-way player with a scoring touch who can also find the open man.’’

Palazini is back, healthy and scoring

After missing the second half of his freshman season with an injury, Matt Palazini has emerged as scoring threat off the bench for the Babson College men’s basketball team.

A 1,000-point scorer and Globe All-Scholastic at Franklin High School, the 6-foot-3 Palazini averaged 6.7 points and 1.5 rebounds in the first 11 games last season for Babson, including a career-high 22 points in his college debut.

As a sophomore, he has upped his numbers to 9.0 points per game, while chipping in with 10 steals and two blocks to help the Beavers get off to their best start in nine years (7-0). The team was 7-3 through last weekend.

He had a season-best 20 points earlier this month against Emerson, when he drained six of his 10 three-point attempts. He was 25 for 66 (45 percent) on threes through 10 games.

“Matt has had a strong start for us this year,’’ said coach Stephen Brennan. “It’s terrific to have him healthy again and contributing to our program. We count on his offense and defense every game, and hope he will continue to have a breakout season for us.’’

Schluntz receives football honor

Newton resident Ed Schluntz, former football coach and athletic director at Brookline High, recently received the National Football Foundation’s Chapter Leadership Award for the Northeast Region. He was one of five regional honorees recognized at the foundation’s luncheon Dec. 6 in New York City.

A three-sport athlete at Franklin High and a football captain at Tufts University (class of 1950), where he also starred in baseball and basketball, Schluntz was a 1986 inductee to the Massachusetts Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He has served on the foundation’s Jack Grinold/Eastern Massachusetts chapter board of directors since its inception in 1976.

For the past 35 years, he has coordinated the chapter’s scholar-athlete awards, and expanded the number of high school seniors honored each year from 11 to 33. He was given the chapter’s Contribution to Amateur Football Award in 1978; the honor was later named for him.

Schluntz also spearheaded the effort to name the chapter after its founder, Belmont native and longtime Northeastern University sports information director Jack Grinold, in 2007.

“This is a very humbling experience,’’ said Schluntz, a driving force behind the creation of the state’s high school Super Bowl competition. “There are so many chapter members who contribute in so many ways that I feel I received this honor on their behalf.’’

Carter, McCarthy lift North squad

Springfield College quarterback Josh Carter of Marlborough and Framingham State University wide receiver James McCarthy of Newton were difference makers for the victorious North squad in last Friday’s Division 3 North-South Senior Classic in Salem, Va.

Carter passed for three touchdowns and ran for another in the 27-14 victory, while McCarthy was named MVP after hauling in two TD passes and adding a pair of interceptions - including a pick in the end zone on the final pass of the game.

The North squad was coached by the Curry College staff, including head coach Skip Bandini, a Waltham resident.

Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com.

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