Tuesday, Jan. 3 — Snow School Programs Begin, various times, Ski Ward Ski Area, 1000 Main St., Shrewsbury Quite the run this little mountain has had. Once known as Ward Hill Ski Area and, simply, Union Hill, Ski Ward has been breaking 12-year-olds’ legs since 1939. Speaking of that — hey, parents, why not sign up the kiddos (ages 4 to 18) for some skiing lessons, maybe keep all Brianna’s bones in one piece? Well, for one, Mr. Sun, they ain’t free! True enough, but it’s the New Year and you just got a bajillion gift cards in your stocking. That’s $25 Uncle Ralph spends at Dave & Buster’s, not you.
Plus, you know Brianna — she’s going to be unbearable in a cast. Might be worth a few bucks to get in front of that. Sessions run once a week for 5 or 6 weeks, with varying time slots depending on the program.
Wednesday, Jan. 4 — Clark women’s basketball vs. Springfield College, 11 a.m., Kneller Athletic Center, 57 Downing St. Good test for the resurgent Cougars, who at 8-2 have already won more games than they did last season (or the one before that, for that matter). As area hoop heads have come to realize, such success can generally be attributed to a Big Three — and, girl, the Cougars have a big-time one of those, led by a pair of Main South-bred stars.
Junior Sam O’Gara (Claremont Academy) is the team’s top scorer at 16 points per game; senior Aretha Sullivan (University Park) is the other starting guard and averages 12.6 points and 6.1 rebounds; and sophomore center Ogechi Ezemma (13.6 points, 9.7 rebounds) is the rising star.
The Pride’s roster features a local link in 5-foot-6 senior Molly McCausland, a do-it-all starting guard from Millbury who averages 6.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists and is hitting 52 percent of her 3-point attempts. The physical therapy major’s career-high 12 points came in a February matchup last season with Clark.
Thursday, Jan. 5 — First Thursday Film: “Morozko (Father Frost),” 6-7:30 p.m., Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton Well, since Ski Ward got us on the Plucky Nearby Hidden Jewel train, let’s take a swing up Route 70 to this underappreciated venue where rare religious (Russian) artifacts are merely the beginning. This classic family film is “a comedic fairy tale about a conceited young man and a young woman with a tyrannical stepmother, who must overcome magical trials in order to be together.”
The museum has a First Thursday something-or-other — film, Q&A, game night — on the initial Thursday of each month. The movie is free with admission, which is $10 for adults, $7 seniors, $5 students with ID and kids (children under 3 free).
Friday-Saturday, Jan. 6-7 — Holy Cross men’s hockey vs. Niagara, Kids Weekend, 7:05 p.m., Hart Center, College of the Holy Cross, 1 College St. (Gate 7) When these two teams tangled in their first twinbill to open this season, the Crusaders cruised to an 8-2 Friday night win before settling for a Saturday sister-kissing (4-4). Holy Cross went onto log wins against No. 11 Providence and No. 20 Union before inconsistency plagued the rest of November and December. The Purple Eagles have been more predictable, foundering to a 2-13-3 record thus far.
HC was 6-7-3 heading into this weekend’s double dip with Canisius. Junior Paul Berrafato started the first 16 games in net for the Crusaders, and has a 3.16 goals against average with an .892 save percentage. Junior forwards T.J. Moore (11 goals, 8 assists) and Danny Lopez (10, 9) lead the team with 19 points.
Save the date!
Friday, Jan. 20 — Winter Soiree, An Evening of Dinner and Dancing, 7:30-11:30 p.m., Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St. Let’s face it, today’s a day — no matter what side you’ve been on — when we all could probably use a little bit of distraction. Once President Putin … er, I mean, Trump … yeah, definitely Trump (right?!) … is sworn in and after he so eloquently outlines his plans for a revived American greatness, some dancing, good company and fine dining — and, y’know, maybe an Old Fashioned for the Bernie fans — sounds like just the thing to wash away the divisive bluster of present-day politics.
A 6:30 cocktail reception kicks off the evening in Washburn Hall. Catered dinner, DJs, and free parking is available for early birds. Sorry kids, the party’s 18-plus. Tickets are $45.