Danbury SportsBeat: Chasing Glory

Two hockey players from the area chase the Stanley Cup and several baseball players pursue dreams of playing Major League baseball.

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Jonathan Quick, who was born in Milford and went to both and Avon Old Farms, is in the midst of a season that's propelled him to the fringe of elite status among NHL goaltenders. He helped the Los Angeles Kings gained the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a performance that ranks among the best in league history.

Games Record Shutouts Goals/Avg. Save % 69 35-21-13 10 1.95 .929

Quick has been even better in the post-season. He helped the Kings upset the Vancouver Canucks, the number seed in the Western Conference, in the first round of the playoffs. Going into Game 2 of the conference semifinals against St. Louis, Quick has posted some impressive numbers:

Games Record Shutouts Goals/Avg. Save % 6 5-1 1 1.49 .955

Quick and the Kings are taking on Kevin Shattenkirk and the Blues with the winner moving on to the conference finals. Shattenkirk is a Greenwich native who played two years of hockey at The former Boston University star enjoyed a solid regular season with nine goals and 34 assists as a defenseman for the Blues. He is logging just over 20 minutes of ice time per game in the post-season.

A number of baseball players from the area who were recently drafted by MLB teams have begun their seasons at various levels throughout the minor-leagues:

Matt Barmes (Bethel) After a tremendous career at UConn, Barmes was selected in the first-round (19th overall) by the Boston Red Sox in the 2011 MLB draft. He is pitching for the Greenville Drive of the South Atlantic League and the 6'4" 205lb Barmes has posted some impressive numbers:

Starts Record ERA IP K's BB Opponents Avg. 5 2-0 0.26 26.2 42 4 .130

Mike Olt (Branford) The graduate was selected out of UConn in the first-round of the 2010 MLB Draft. He has progressed to the AA level where he is plaing for the Frisco Roughriders in the Texas League. Olt has put up some strong power numbers early on:

Games Avg. HR RBI 22 .250 6 12

Max Russell (Orange) The lefty pitcher went to and Florida Southern before being drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB draft. He is currently playing for the Inland Empire 66ers, the Angels Class A affiliate in the California League

Starts Record ERA IP K's Opponents Avg. 5 2-2 6.75 26,2 17 .353

Jason Esposito (Bethany) Another outstanding player out of Amity High School, the third baseman enjoyed a great career at Vanderbilt University. Esposito was taken in the second round of the 2011 MLB draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He is currently playing for the Delmara Shorebirds, the Class A affiliate of Baltimore in the South Atlantic League.

Games Avg. HR RBI 21 .220 0 8

Dan Paolini (Stratford) The gritty second baseman went to and was taken in the 10th round by the Seattle Mariners in the 2011 MLB draft out of Siena. In rookie ball last summer, Paolini hit .284 with four home runs and 26 RBI playing for Pulaski. He earned a promotion to Seattle's Class A affiliate in Midwest League. Playing for the Clinton Lumberjacks, Paolini has gotten off to a slow start.

Games Avg. HR RBI 10 .231 0 4

Curt Casali (New Canaan) The former All-State quarterback of the Casali has caught the attention of the Detroit Tigers. Taken in the 10th round of the 2011 MLB draft, the rugged catcher earned an invitation to big league camp with the Tigers. He started the season playing for Western Michigan, Detroit's Class A affiliate in the Midwest League.

Games Avg. HR RBI 12 .286 2 4
Paul Schaffer May 01, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Mike Olt is a tremendous talent. He played for the Danbury Westerners summer collegiate team in 2008 and represented the team well, making the all-star team. The Danbury Westerners had nine players selected in last year's MLB draft and is an excellent venue for folks to see exciting baseball locally.


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