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New Looks, New Champs & Some Shockers: CT’s Top Sports Stories In 2013

December 19, 2013 4:03 PM

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UConn Women, President Obama (Photo credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

UConn Women, President Obama (Photo credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

2013 was a big year for sports in Connecticut, with everything from surprise victories to shocking scandals throughout the last 12 months. CT also saw some new looks for beloved teams, and celebrated season-topping wins for UConn and the Red Sox. Here’s WTIC 1080′s picks for the ten biggest moments in CT sports.

MYSTIC’S MATT HARVEY STARTS AT THE ALL-STAR GAME

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

It was a roller coaster year for Mets ace pitcher Matt Harvey, but nothing was more exciting than when the Mystic, CT native was tapped to start for the National League team in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game. Sadly, Harvey sat out the later part of the season due to rehab on an injured elbow, but being on the mound to open the All-Star Game… what a way to go out.

UCONN HUSKY GETS A FACELIFT

UConn Husky Logo

UConn Husky Logo courtesy UConn

Getting ahead of an internet leak, UConn unveiled its new mascot logo last April to a strongly divided fan base. The sleeker looking Jonathan the Husky was rolled out on all new uniforms this Fall, and serves as a dramatic departure from the previous design. Love it or hate it, 2013 brought us a whole new Husky.

KEN DUKE WINS TRAVELERS

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Ken Duke became the sixth golfer in eight years to earn his first PGA Tour win at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell. The win was an exciting one for the 44-year-old journeyman, as well as solidfying the reputation of the Travelers as a tournament for breakthrough victories.

CT WHALE MAKES WAY FOR WOLF PACK COMEBACK

Image Courtesy Hartford Wolf Pack

Image Courtesy Hartford Wolf Pack

Hartford’s AHL team made the species-swap from Hartford Wolf Pack to Connecticut Whale three seasons ago, but saw the return to their lupine roots this year. May 14th marked the date when the familiar blue and green were once again retired in Hartford, for the (also) familiar blue and red of the Wolf Pack, before they took the ice for the start of the 2013-14 season.

WESPORT COMPETES IN LLWS

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Westport, CT’s own Little League team made it all the way to the Little League World Series this year. Although they eventually lost the series, to make it that far was an outstanding achievement, and they were celebrated with a parade back home right before the new school year began.

THE BIG EAST BREAK-UP

Big East split

The college conference realignment shook things up when it took effect in July, with the seven Catholic schools keeping the Big East name and leaving others, including long time rivals, in entirely new and different match ups. We are still less than one complete sports cycle in to the new landscape, so what kind of long term impact the realignment will have remains to be seen in full.

PASQUALONI FIRED FROM UCONN

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Paul Pasqualoni’s rough UConn Football season went from bad to worse, kicking off 2013 with a 0-4 record and ending (for him) when he was fired four games in. When Pasqualoni was let go from the team in late September, UConn’s struggling season continued under the interim management of TJ Weist and a rotating door of Quarterbacks. Now that things appear to have settled in place after this dark season, everyone is hoping to see 2014 as a building year for UConn.

AARON HERNANDEZ MURDER TRIAL

Aaron Hernandez sits in the courtroom of the Attleboro District Court during his hearing on August 22, 2013 in North Attleboro, Mass. (credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Aaron Hernandez sits in the courtroom of the Attleboro District Court during his hearing on August 22, 2013 in North Attleboro, Mass. (credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Bristol, CT native Aaron Hernandez was one of the most talked-about NFL players of 2013, but it wasn’t what he did on the field with the Patriots that made headlines. Hernandez was at the center of a brief manhunt and a long court process as he was charged and arrested in a shooting death. The case is still ongoing, but Hernandez has since been released from the Patriots, and several of his former associates from Bristol have surfaced throughout the proceedings of the trial.

RED SOX WIN WORLD SERIES

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 30: The Boston Red Sox celebrate after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Six of the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park on October 30, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1.

Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Red Sox soared high above the Cardinals in this year’s World Series, claiming the top spot in the MLB at home for the first time since 1918. While the game itself was fairly straightforward, the win felt especially personal for Sox fans in light of the Boston Marathon bombing, which rocked the city earlier in the year.

UCONN WOMEN SCORE 8th NATIONAL TITLE

UConn Women, President Obama (Photo credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

UConn Women, President Obama (Photo credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The UConn Huskies Women won their eigth national championship this year, with an amazing victory over Louisville. Geno Auriemma once again lead his team to the coveted top spot, but it was Breanna Stewart whose start shone brightest in the final game of the playoffs that lead her team to the big win.

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