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Stony Brook Hockey Falls to Rhode Island Rams 3-2

Posted by Gene Morris on October 24, 2009

The final seconds were ticking off the clock, and Stony Brook forward Moe Torres corralled the puck on his backhand behind the Rhode Island net. Trailing 3-2, Torres cut hard to the front of the goal, looking to score his third of the night and tie the game. He took a quick shot, looked down, raised his stick above his head and skated away in celebration as the goal horn sounded.

After a few moments of indecision the referee skated over to the Stony Brook bench to deliver his decision; no goal.

“I just didn’t get it high enough,” Torres said about the play after the game. “He caught it, and from my angle I wasn’t sure it went in but I tried to sell it. He caught it and it was either on the line or past the line, but he got it.”

Despite a stellar effort from goaltender Derek Stevens and Torres’ two goals, the Seawolves were unable to pull off the upset of the #10 Rhode Island Rams Friday night at The Rinx, falling 3-2.

“As a team we didn’t play very well, we gave up way to many opportunities and we got out hustled all over the ice,” Torres said.

One player who did shine on this night was Stevens, who made 39 saves, many in spectacular fashion as he was bombarded all game long.

“It’s always good to stay consistent in a game,” Stevens said about seeing such a steady stream of shots. “But I don’t know anyone who likes to see that much work. A steady amount keeps you in, that much gets you tired.”

The Seawolves opened the scoring 7:33 into the opening period when Torres found a rebound on a point shot and banged it past the Rhode Island goaltender. But after Stevens made a spectacular save on a Rhode Island 3-on-1 rush, the Rams kept the pressure on, and Devin Sheehan countered with a goal of his own just 3:19 later to tie the score at one.

Stevens continued to bail his team out through the second period, making some big time glove saves and keeping Rhode Island off the board.

“We had a pretty big letdown after they got their first goal,” Stevens said. “They took momentum, and we couldn’t get it back. It transpired into a whole mess of a second period and we really got lucky walking out with the lead.”

That lead came courtesy of a strong individual effort by Torres. With under three minutes to go in the period, he laid a heavy body check on a Rhode Island player in the offensive end. After the puck was cleared he skated it back down the left wing, deked the defender in front of him and scored a tough goal on a powerful move to the net. The Seawolves seemed to have some extra jump in their game for the remainder of the period, and went into the locker room up 2-1.

Although they didn’t play well in the second period, it was a three minute span in the third that finally did the Seawolves in. After an awful defensive zone turnover left Stevens and a single defender facing three Rhode Island forwards, Evan Dietz fired a point blank wrist shot that beat the goaltender through the five hole to tie the game.

The Seawolves went on the power play just 1:05 after the tying goal was scored. They were only 1/7 on the night with the man advantage, and this particular power play was disastrous.

Peter Zarrella was caught in a 2-on-1 rush after an ill advised pinch by his defensive partner. Zarrella took away the passing lane but Richie Falasca’s quick wrist shot from the right circle was placed perfectly, just inside the far post, beating Stevens low and to the stick side.

“They were outplaying us all game, they were smothering us,” junior forward Chris Ryan said. “It was just a matter of time before they cashed in on some chances. “

Stevens continued his stellar play through the third period, but the best chance the Seawolves had to tie the game was Torres’ effort in the final seconds.

“We have to change our whole game plan tomorrow,” Ryan said “We need to play aggressive and use our speed.”

The Seawolves and Rams clash again at 8:00pm on Saturday night at The Rinx.  Check out http://www.sbinews.org for continuing coverage of the club ice hockey team.

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World Track And Field Championships, Brett Favre, Brandon Marshall, Top Stories

Posted by Gene Morris on August 19, 2009

Brett Favre causes emotions to flair

The opinions have been flying over Brett Favre’s decision to sign a contract to join the Minnesota Vikings yesterday. If I was a Packers fan I would be extremely upset that Favre decided to sign with a division rival, and as a sports fan I just don’t want to hear anything else about this over exposed story.

Vikings legend Fran Tarkenton, who had been outspoken in the past about the Favre situation, spoke out again today. “Wouldn’t you be upset if you’re a Packer fan? I think you’re going to have Packer fans burning the No. 4 Favre Green Bay jersey. I think the Packer fans have every right to be outraged,” he said on “The Opening Drive” on Sirius NFL Radio.

ESPN’s Howard Bryant wrote a column in which he sided with Favre and against those speaking negatively about the indecisiveness of the veteran quarterback.

Jeffery Chadiha had a differing opinion, calling Favre “selfish” for showing up at training camp three weeks after his teammates and making the story about himself instead of a solid team with playoff aspirations.

Usain Bolt reaches 200-meter final, South African teen to undergo gender testing

The worlds fastest man, Jamaican Usain Bolt, easily reached the finals of the 200-meter after running his heat in 20.08 seconds. This comes just days after he destroyed the world record in the 100-meter, clocking in at a time of 9.58 seconds. The finals of the 200-meter take place Thursday.

The other big story coming out of the World Championships involves Caster Semenya, a female runner from South Africa.

Semyena ran away from the field in the 800-meter, but the big story involved the fact that it was announced earlier in the day that she would be undergoing a gender test because of concerns that she doesn’t meet the requirements to compete as a women.

The process will take weeks to perform and involve a multitude of different doctors.

Brandon Marshall back in the headlines, again for off the field incidents

Denver Bronco’s wide receiver Brandon Marshall, a specimen of an athlete and great performer on the field, can’t seem to stay out of the headlines for his actions off of it.

Marshall spoke out against the Broncos organization after hearing that a team public relations staff member told the rest of the team to not gloat over the fact that Marshall was acquitted of misdemeanor assault last week. Marshall made sure to mention “trust issues” between himself and the team.

This incident was far from the first time that Marshall has had brushes with the law.

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New York Giants: 10 Things To Watch For in ‘09 (Part 2)

Posted by Chris Monahan on August 18, 2009

6. The Linebackers- Finding Some Consistency

Other than Antonio Pierce and the MLB position, the OLB position has been a revolving door for New York the past few years. In the offseason the Giants addressed the need by drafting Clint Sintim, an aggressive pass-rushing specialist out of Virginia. They also added Atlanta linebacker Michael Boley in free agency. Boley can cover a lot of ground and is a sure tackler but suffered a serious setback when he underwent hip surgery in the offseason and is still not close to seeing the field.

Returning from last season is Danny Clark who started 15 games in 2008 and played admirably. He should lock up a starting position in week 1. Keep an eye on 2nd year player Bryan Kehl who continues to show improvement and has starter written all over him. Kehl is an intelligent player who is always in on the tackle and some think he could be a starter on the team for years to come. Zak DeOssie and Chase Blackburn will see some reps at the position but are better suited for special teams and bench roles. Look for Clark-Pierce-Kehl to be the starters week 1 with Sintim getting plenty of work in pass-rushing situations.

7. Eli Manning Becoming an Elite QB

Last week, Eli Manning signed a 6 year $97 million extension making him the highest paid player in the entire league. Now that Eli is getting paid elite money, he’ll be expected to play at a consistent, elite level. No one is questioning Eli’s ability to win games for the Giants. He has already proven that time and again. People will now look to Eli to play at a pro-bowl level game-in and game-out.

Manning has shown steady improvements the last 2 seasons in addition to a growing confidence. His ability to produce in the clutch at the end of games is evidence of this. Statistically, Manning had the best regular season of his career in 2008. He finished with career highs in completion percentage (60.3 %), quarterback rating (86.4), and he also threw a career low 10 interceptions. The Giants are a clear, run-oriented team which helps take some pressure off Manning. All he has to do is limit his mistakes and lead the team down the field to score in any way possible. The good news is he is already doing just that. A few extra TD passes also wouldn’t hurt. Expect Eli Manning to have the best season of his career in 2009.

8. Week 2 @ Dallas

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The Giants travel to Dallas in week 2 for the regular season opener of the Cowboys new billion-dollar-mega-stadium. This primtime matchup between two division rivals is sure to be hyped up beyond belief. Dallas is looking to put their troubles of the past 2 seasons behind them by christening their new palace with a victory. The Giants and their fans would like nothing more then to spoil the party and give Dallas something else to cry about. You can argue that its impossible to have a must-win game in week 2, but try telling that to the Cowboys and their fans. This is a game that could set the tone for Dallas’ season.

9. The Last Season at the Current Giant’s Stadium

In 2010, the Giants will be moving into their own brand new stadium and will be leaving behind a field that was home to 3 Super Bowl Champions. The Giants will look to leave it on a high note as they try to make it a 4th.

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  • September 13th vs. Washington
  • October 11th vs. Oakland
  • October 25th vs. Arizona
  • November 8th vs. San Diego
  • November 22nd vs. Atlanta
  • December 6th vs. Dallas
  • December 13th vs. Philadelphia
  • December 27th vs. Carolina

10. Can They Win Super Bowl XLIV?

You can make a legitimate argument that on paper this is the best Giants team in recent memory. Make no mistake about it, this is a team expected to win it all. Along with a proven QB they have arguably the best defense, offensive line and running game in all of football. All the ingredients are there for a run at the title. New York was 12-4 and the number 1 seed last year but ran out of gas towards the end. With the moves they’ve made in the offseason, that should not happen this time around. Standing in the Giants way this year are the always competitive Eagles and Cowboys, the defending NFC champion Cardinals and a large number of other teams with legitimate playoff aspirations. Coach Tom Coughlin understands and has a great feel for his team and will never let them take any opponent lightly. The Giants thrive in the underdog role, but this season they may have to do it as the favorites. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if New York is playing in Miami on February 7th.

 

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Stephen Strasburg Finally Signs With Nationals

Posted by Gene Morris on August 18, 2009

According to a report on ESPN.com, Stephen Strasburg, the #1 overall selection in the 2009 MLB draft by the Washington Nationals, has agreed to a record breaking deal worth a record $15.67 million over four years.

Strasburg, who pitched for the San Diego State Aztecs in the NCAA last season, throws his fastball upwards of 100 MPH.  But the real reason he smashed the record with the highest deal for a draft selection is because of his “adviser”, Scott Boras.

Before the signing period for draft picks begin, Major League Baseball announces a slotting system that they hope for teams to follow.  But big market clubs like the Yankees and Red Sox routinely blow the slot money out of the water in order to obtain the best young talent.  Teams that strictly follow the leagues slotting system put themselves at an extreme disadvantage.  Unlike the NBA and NFL draft, players are very often passed over because a team doesn’t believe it will be able to sign the prospect, and they instead go with a safer pick.

If Strasburg had not signed with the Nationals this evening, he would have been eligible to enter into the 2010 draft.  The Nationals would then be awarded a compensation pick, which in this case would have been #2 overall.  With far and away the worst record in the league, the Nationals would almost assuredly end up with the top 2 selections, but would not have been able to select Strasburg again.

The consensus #1 overall pick in 2010 is high school junior Bryce Harper, a catcher who was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated earlier this year.  Now fans in Washington can begin dreaming of a battery consisting of Strasburg and Harper.  That should be fun.

Here’s video of Strasburg striking out 23 in a game against Utah.

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Cyborg, Mousasi Shine at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg

Posted by Gene Morris on August 16, 2009

Gina Carano may (emphasize may, especially after the beating she took tonight) have the prettiest face in all of women’s MMA, but there is no doubt who the best fighter in the world is.

Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos was too much for Carano in the main event of the Strikeforce show Saturday night in San Jose.  Carano showed guts and heart in surviving as long as she did, but she was overwhelmed by Santos’ attacking, push forward style.  Carano’s counter striking looked good at times, but it was Santos who dictated the pace.

The crowd was rabid and loud during the entire 4:59 of the fight.  The atmosphere surrounding the slug fest was impressive, but it remains to be seen if Strikeforce can market a legitimate women’s fight without Carano’s face plastered all over the posters.

Mousasi destroys Sobral

The most impressive fighter on the card may have been Gegard Mousasi.  The much hyped 24-year old Armenian was making his debut in the United States and he did not disappoint in winning the Strikeforce light-heavyweight championship.

Sobral, a former UFC light-heavyweight contender known for his slick jui-jitsu was supposed to be the biggest test of Mousasi’s career.  But within a minute of the opening bell Mousasi became a household name in the MMA world.  He knocked Sobral out cold with a barrage of punches with Sobral on his back.  And in a show of sportsmanship, Mousasi let up when he saw Sobral’s eyes roll into the back of his head, even though referee John McCarthy was slow to jump in.

Mousasi put himself on the map with the hardcore fans after winning the DREAM middle-weight grand prix tournament in 2008, but knocking Sobral out and winning the Strikeforce light-heavyweight title should increase his exposure exponentially.

Mousasi now faces the same question as Cyborg; who are they going to fight next?  He proved himself to be the best light-heavyweight in the entire organization, and a move to the UFC may be in his future.

Melendez beats one-dimensional Ishida, Werdum submits Kyle

Gilbert Melendez won a fight for the Strikeforce interim lightweight title against Mitsuhiro Ishida in the first of three title fights on the card.  Champion Josh Thompson is still on the shelf with an ankle injury, and there was never much doubt that Melendez would win this fight.

His striking was superior, and he nullified Ishida’s wrestling, which was really the only thing the Japanese fighter had in his arsenal.

Former UFC contender Fabricio Werdum, who was originally scheduled to fight Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, easily submitted journeyman Mike Kyle in the nights opening bout.  The only surprising thing about this fight was that it took the jui-jitsu black belt 1:24 to submit Kyle.  I thought it would be over before that.

Werdum, who was dropped from the UFC after being knocked out by Junior Dos Santos in his previous fight, will now most likely be in the mix for a match with Fedor Emelianenko.

Overeem has not defended his title since winning it nearly two years ago.  His last two scheduled fights have been postponed do to injuries he suffered in a bar room brawl earlier this year.

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Gina Carano Set to Battle “Cyborg” Santos In Women’s MMA Mega Fight

Posted by Gene Morris on August 15, 2009

Strikefocrce: Carano vs. Cyborg is set to take place this evening in San Jose, California. Strikeforce is the undisputed #2 mixed martial arts promotion in the United States, behind only the UFC.

The headline battle tonight pits two women against each other, the first time a women’s fight has ever headlined a major event.

Former American Gladiator Gina “Conviction” Carano will step into the cage against Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos to determine the first ever women’s 145-lb champion.

Carano has long held the key to the fortune of women’s mixed martial arts. Blessed with great Muay thai skills to go with an undeniable sex appeal, Carano’s success will most likely define whether the sport sticks around in the long term.

But there is no doubt that this evenings fight is the talk of the MMA world, and will likely garner some main stream attention if the fight lives up to the expectations.

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Headline(s) of the Day: AL East, Tiger Woods and Rogers Cup

Posted by Daniel Aldarondo on August 15, 2009

Victor Martinez is putting on some show in Boston.  Last night with two outs and runners on second and third, Martinez lined a 2-2 pitch down the right field line off of closer Frank Francisco to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead.  They would tack on an additional four runs and increase their lead over the Texas Rangers in the AL Wild Card standings to 1.5 games.

– Not to be outdone by their rivals, Mark Teixeira broke a 2-2 tie with the Mariners, crushing a home run deep into right field to lead off the ninth inning.  The home run was Teixeira’s 30th, and the win put the Yankees at 30 games over .500 for the first time this season.  Mariano Rivera, amidst talks of  shoulder soreness, pitched a one-two-three bottom half of the ninth.

– More AL East News?!?! Felix Pie (pee-Ay, not Pie) hit for the cycle yesterday for the Baltimore Orioles.  This may be the last time the Orioles make an appearance on this blog.

Tiger Woods is leading at the PGA Tour Championships.  Surprise, surprise.  Shooting at 7-under-par for the first two days, the rest of the field will have to try and put a blemish on Woods’ 8-0 record when leading after 36-holes in a major championship.  Coming in second includes his partner for the first two days Padraig Harrington and US Open Lucas Glover.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both saw their tournament end early yesterday at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. 
The top eight players in the world competed yesterday, with Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Juan Martin Del Potro upsetting the number one and two ranked players in the world, respectively.  Federer had the win in his grasps, but sloppy play became his undoing as he went from being up 5-1 in the third set to losing in the final tie breaker.  In his first tournament since the French Open, Nadal couldn’t keep up with Del Potro’s hot play.  In the semifinals, it will be Tsonga against Andy Murray in the matinee, and Del Potro will take on Andy Roddick, who knocked off the only other grand slam winner in the last four years in Novak Djokovic, in the evening.

(Note: With Rafa’s loss, Andy Murray has a chance to take the number two rank in the world if he reaches the finals of the Rogers Cup.  It’s been a tough couple months for the Spaniard, who has already seen his French and Wimbledon titles taken away by Federer along with his number one ranking.)

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New York Giants: 10 Things To Watch For in ’09 (Part 1)

Posted by Chris Monahan on August 14, 2009

1. The Wide Reciever Position

Plaxico Burress is merely an afterthought and the Giants can finally move on. A position that many consider a weakness for the Giants, wide reciever might turn out to be a strength. The talent is certainly there, they’ll just need someone to take that jump to the next level.

Steve Smith was targeted by Eli Manning often last year and is the most reliable posession reciever on the team. Dominick Hixon has deadly speed and can get by almost any secondary but just needs to show more consistency. Hakeem Nicks, New York’s 1st round pick, isn’t flashy but has sure hands, is tough to bring down and can contribute right away. Watch out for 6 foot 6 inch Ramses Barden, a 3rd round pick by the Giants. He has been stellar so far in camp and could be the “green” zone threat the Giants have missed since Burress’ departure.

2. The Best D-Line In Football

The thing that seperates New York’s defensive line from any other is the vast amount of depth and versatility. Almost every player is starter quality and each one will get considerable reps in 2009. This depth will keep each player fresh as the season goes on.

The line is anchored by Pro-Bowler Justin Tuck who can play inside and out, pressure the QB and stop the run. He has quickly become one of the best in the business. The return of Osi Umenyiora from injury will help draw double teams away from Tuck as well as Mathias Kiwanuka, keeping the pressure rampant. Newcomer Chris Canty also adds to the lines versatiliy and his huge frame will help swat down balls on the outside chance the QB is able to deliver the pass. Rocky Bernard joins Fred Robbins, Jay Alford and Barry Cofield at the tackle position which made great strides in ’08 and should be even better this year.

3. Brandon Jacobs. Period.

The video says it all. He’s probably my favorite player to watch in all of football. One of the greatest things to watch is Jacobs breaking through a line, finding the open field and then watching the carnage that ensues. He can alter a game like very few can.

4. More Ahmad Bradshaw

Anyone who watched the Giants Super Bowl run in 2007 knows how big of a part Ahmad Bradshaw played. Now with the departure of 1000 yard rusher Derrick Ward, Bradshaw should have a more featured role in the Giants offense. Bradshaw features blazing speed and an unstoppable motor that allows him to push the pile to pick up the extra yards. He has averaged 6.1 yards per carry in his short career and can be an excellent compliment to the bigger Jacobs.

In the NFC Championship game, Bradshaw had a 40+ yard TD run called back on a weak holding call. For me, that was one of the better running plays i’ve seen in recent memory. He ran with extreme conviction and skill. Giant fans should expect to see more of that in 2009.

5) Kenny Phillips becoming the safety the Giants have lacked

For years the Giants have lacked a true playmaking safety in the secondary. With Aaron Ross and Corey Webster having locked up the cornerback position, look for Phillips to do the same with safety this year. He showed flashes his rookie year and has all the tools to be that guy; great speed, strength and just overall good instincts. He has made some stellar interceptions in camp and can add a whole new dimension to the Giants defense if he progresses the way everyone is expecting him to.

Look for Part 2 (6-10) of My 10 Things to Watch For in ’09 in the coming days. Eli Manning, New and Old Stadiums and Super Bowl Aspirations.

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Jeremy Tyler Is No Big Deal

Posted by Michael Kelly on August 14, 2009

Jeremy Tyler will probably most be remembered for forgoing his senior year of high school basketball to play professionally overseas.

Not because this is a landmark, game-changing moment in the amateur-professional athlete debate. Rather because Tyler isn’t really a top level talent. He’s bored in America because he is being triple-teamed in games and still averaged 28 points a game during his junior season…so? I personally watched Jason Fraser play through a quadruple-teaming in high school, and he was a college bust, forget pros. And let’s be real- 28 ppg in high school is not amazing.

ESPN has highlighted the decision by Tyler, first mentioning it weeks ago when he announced his intention to do so, and recently when he finally inked a deal with an Israeli professional team. It is easy to see why ESPN cares- it’s a story that will generate traffic because of its uniqueness, and also because ESPN has had a very long, successful relationship working with the NCAA. If Tyler’s jump to Europe became normal, ESPN would be in a heap of trouble, not to mention the NCAA.

But, here’s the harsh truth- Tyler will have no impact on other American prep stars. Why? Because Tyler is hardly a prep star. According to Scout, he is a two star (out of five) player, who had some big schools, like UConn, looking at him- most likely because he was a guaranteed four year player, not because he could be a centerpiece on a national contender.

The stranglehold the NCAA has on the top high school basketball talent in this country is tenuous because the European option is there. And for some players the immediate money that can be made in Europe will be too much to pass up, especially when compared with having to deal with demanding college coaches and the need to at least fake interest in college courses for a year or so.

But, the smartest players will continue to play in the NCAA money machine because of the future incentives it allows them. Playing in March Madness or in a big conference gives these players national exposure which can help with endorsement deals once they do turn professional- playing in the obscurity of Europe does no such thing.

Remember when Josh Childress went to play in Greece about a year ago? Hailed at the time as an innovative, pioneering move, Childress’s decision was supposedly going to rewrite how the NBA had to deal with restricted free agents. But, have you heard of Childress since then? Not once. Have other players followed Childress to greener pastures overseas? Nobody who wasn’t forced to do so.

Some will say that Tyler’s decision could change the college basketball recruiting dynamic forever. They’re wrong, if only because he is not a high profile enough player to cause lasting change.

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Youkilis Loses Fight, Five Games from Season

Posted by Gene Morris on August 12, 2009

Major League Baseball just annoucned that Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis and Detroit Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello have both been suspended five games for their roles in a bench clearing brawl last night at Fenway Park.

Youk must have missed UFC 101 over the weekend, because even though he had a running start and threw his helmet, the lanky Porcello still got the trip takedown directly into side control. If only he would have dropped some elbows and ended it with a KO.

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