Chelsea draw a rare blank

first_img Press Association Willian struck the foot of the post and Vergini clipped the crossbar in a tight first half, but apart from on those occasions neither Costel Pantilimon nor Thibaut Courtois was overextended, with the Romanian’s block from Branislav Ivanovic the only troublesome save either had to make. It proved a disappointing afternoon for the visitors, who failed to score for the first time this season, and striker Diego Costa was in danger of allowing it to get the better of him, appearing to kick out at defender John O’Shea and then catching Wes Brown with his arm in an aerial challenge, an offence which earned him a fifth booking of the campaign. Chelsea arrived on Wearside having started the season with an unbeaten run of 19 games and hot favourites to extend it with a victory, although they were largely frustrated during a first half featuring plenty of combative action. Sunderland, defending a more modest sequence of three games without defeat, sat deep when out of possession and although that policy invited pressure, they dealt relatively comfortably with what the visitors were able to throw at them. The approach allowed Gus Poyet’s men to hit the Blues on the break, and they did that to good effect twice within the opening nine minutes with Connor Wickham, once again starting wide on the left side of midfield, forcing a block from an uncharacteristically flustered Ivanovic and then firing over from long distance. Chelsea started to exert concerted pressure as the half progressed, with Oscar forcing Pantilimon into a 13th-minute save, although one with little degree of difficulty, before he tipped Willian’s 17th-minute strike on to the foot of the post. It took a superbly-timed 23rd-minute challenge by O’Shea to deny Costa a clear run at goal from Cesc Fabregas’ defence-splitting 23rd-minute pass, but Jack Rodwell tested Courtois for the first time with an effort from distance two minutes later. Eden Hazard saw a well-struck 27th-minute shot blocked by the impressive Lee Cattermole with the game warming up. The Black Cats, who were looking for a third successive victory over Jose Mourinho’s men inside 12 months, withstood periods of pressure. But in front of a crowd of 45,232 at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland were not unduly stretched by the Barclays Premier League leaders. Referee Kevin Friend did not endear himself to the locals with a series of decisions which did not go their side’s way, and assistant boss Mauricio Taricco was sent from the bench on the half-hour mark after fourth official Lee Mason drew the senior official’s attention to his protestations. The visitors might have been ahead seconds later when Ivanovic got in on the right only to see his strike blocked by Pantilimon’s foot, and the Black Cats very nearly took the lead when Cattermole’s deflected 34th-minute cross fell nicely for full-back Vergini, whose snapshot clipped the crossbar. As the whistle approached, the game became increasingly tetchy and Costa was fortunate to escape further punishment when he appeared to kick-out at O’Shea after a tussle on halfway. Central defender Gary Cahill headed straight at Pantilimon from Willian’s 49th-minute corner. Brazilian Brazilian flashed a fierce left-footed strike just wide two minutes later with Sunderland pinned back once again. Costa incurred punishment from referee Friend after catching Brown with a flailing arm, although the home fans were unimpressed by the referee’s decision to issue a yellow, rather than a red card, one which means he will miss Wednesday’s clash with Tottenham. Poyet replaced Rodwell and lone striker Steven Fletcher with Jordi Gomez and Jozy Altidore with 28 minutes remaining, and United States international Altidore was only just denied a header at goal by Cahill from Larsson’s inviting cross. Nemanja Matic fired straight at Pantilimon with 68 minutes gone, but it was Courtois who had to be alert to pluck Wickham’s rasping drive out of the air at the second attempt with 18 minutes left on the clock. Mourinho took off Oscar and Costa to send on Didier Drogba and Loic Remy with 76 minutes played, and Ivorian Drogba forced a diving save from Pantilimon within seconds. But in a strong finish by the home side, Altidore saw a shot blocked amid a goalmouth scramble and then another effort dropped to Adam Johnson, who scuffed his effort harmlessly. Johnson blasted inches wide with three minutes left, with Sunderland then grateful late on when Drogba headed off target. Willian and Santiago Vergini both hit the woodwork as Sunderland extended their run of good results against Chelsea with a 0-0 draw. last_img read more

Guinness Greatest of the Streets heads to Linden

first_imgTHE Linden leg of the Guinness Greatest of the Streets will kick off this Sunday at the Mackenzie Market Park from 19:00hrs with defending champions Team 25 back in the running.They will join 31 other teams in Magic Star, Swag Entertainment, Goal Getters, Good Fellas, Araima Colo Colo, Future STAR, Hard Knocks, Cherokee Park, High Rollers, Constab, Main Street Panthers, Unknowns, South Stars, Mile Star, Coomacka, Amazings, Silvertown All-Star and Dream Chasers.The other teams are Speightland, Jermaine’s and Family Silver Bullets, High Star, Bourda All-Stars, Dave & Celina All-Star, Ripping Bullets, Attackers, High Life Crew, Eagles, Trainline Warriors, Running Guns and RussiansIn the night’s opening fixtures, High Rollers will play Silvertown All-Star, Dream Chasers take on Speightland, Jermaine’s and Family Silver Bullets challenge High Star and High Life Crew meet Eagles.In the second round of games on the evening,, Amelia’s Ward Russians will go toe-to-toe with Constab, Main Street Panthers lace up against Unknowns, defending champions Team 25 play South Stars and Dave and Celina All-Star oppose Ripping Bullets.The winners will receive a top prize of $400 000, with second-place securing $150 000, third-place $75 000 and fourth-place $50,000The tournament will be played at three venues namely the Mackenzie Market Park, Silver City Hardcourt and Amelia’s Ward Hard Court.last_img read more

Shattuck keeps up elite trend

first_imgFrom the right, Jordy Murray, Derek Stepan, Ben Grotting and Jamie McBain are products of Shattuck-St. Mary\’s prep school.[/media-credit]When it comes to hockey, it’s tough to find a school that has produced more notable alumni than Shattuck-St. Mary’s.Jonathan and David Toews. Zach and Jordan Parise. Ryan Duncan. Kyle Okposo.And some guy named Sidney Crosby.But there’s a handful of graduates from the prep school in Faribault, Minn., that Badger fans might know a bit better.Jamie McBain. Ben Grotting. Jordy Murray. Derek Stepan.The juniors McBain and Grotting and freshmen Murray and Stepan were all products of one of the country’s biggest hockey factories. But what exactly separates Shattuck from the rest of the pack?“Everything,” Tom Ward, director of hockey and the head coach of the boy’s prep team said. “It’s part of our culture here. We’ve got a student body of about 400 kids, and almost 200 of them play hockey. It is an everyday thing here at our school, from nutrition to strength and conditioning to ice time to all different things that go along with being an athlete and a student-athlete.”More specifically, the number of games the teams play and minutes they log on the ice far exceed any high school team — and even most college programs. Last season’s Sabres prep team played 62 games, and students are on the ice five to seven days a week.By comparison, this year’s Badger squad will play just 36 regular-season games.“Instead of playing two games in a weekend, you’re playing three or four in a tournament and then maybe playing a game midweek,” Grotting said.“You have to somehow get yourself ready to go every night,” Stepan said. “There’s some very good, tough competition because everyone always gets fired up to play Shattuck.”However, playing as many games as Shattuck’s teams do helps its players prepare for the next level both physically and mentally.“Competition may not be quite as strong, but anytime you’re playing 70 games, obviously it’s going to prepare you for the future and making sure that you’re in shape enough to play that many games in a row,” McBain said.But the grind of a long season — which includes bussing to every road game and tournament — certainly helps build team chemistry. It also doesn’t hurt that teammates see each other often off the ice, as they live in the same dorms together.“I think a big part is our team chemistry,” Murray said. “When you live with the guys in the dorms and you’re always around them in classes and at nights and on the bus trips, it’s a huge part.”All in the familyFor some, attending Shattuck is a no-brainer. Murray’s father, Andy, now the head coach of the St. Louis Blues, coached at Shattuck. His older brother Brady and sister Sarah were also Sabres. There was just no way around it for the youngest Murray.“I knew I was going to Shattuck,” Jordy said.But Jordy chose a different path after graduating from Shattuck. Brady attended North Dakota and now plays for the Los Angeles Kings. Sarah went on to play for the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.“I’ve always liked Wisconsin,” Jordy said. “My brother went to North Dakota. I talked to him a little bit, but I never really wanted to follow my brother. My sister went to UMD. I didn’t want to go there really. I was thinking WCHA, definitely. I grew up watching college hockey and the WCHA.” Current Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves also has family ties to the Shattuck-St. Mary program. His brother, Murray, is the head coach of the Midget AAA boy’s team. The Wisconsin coach also coached the prep team there from 1994 to 1996.Having his brother there, however, has not necessarily equated with recruits signing with the Badgers — especially since Murray played for the Michigan Wolverines.“I don’t think it hurts at all, because obviously Murray and Mike are close,” Ward said. “Their family’s close. Patrick and Ben Eaves, Mike’s boys, still live in town. … We consider Mike a former Sabre himself and a good friend. He’s got a good thing to sell over there with Badger hockey.”Since Murray Eaves doesn’t coach the prep team, Mike and his coaching staff may not be eyeing the kids his brother coaches. But that’s not to say Murray won’t give him any help.“I’ll make specific questions and ask him. He’ll share his opinion,” the UW coach said. “He can give us some insight, but the real insight comes from watching the kids play and talking to their head coach.”Regardless of whether his brother has coached them or not, Mike Eaves and other college hockey coaches naturally turn to Shattuck as a hockey hotbed when on the recruiting trail.“It’s got a great tradition, so people are looking to go to a place like that in terms of, ‘Where can I send my kid to combine both a pretty good academic program and follow their dreams as a hockey player?’” Eaves said. “Good players seek that place out and see if it will work out for them.”For Grotting, family played a big part in his decision to attend Shattuck as well. A Birmingham, Ala., native, Grotting had relatives in the Twin Cities area, less than an hour from Faribault.“I looked at a lot of East Coast prep schools, and I looked at Shattuck in the Midwest. Pretty much it came down to I have a bunch of family in Minneapolis,” Grotting said. “Being as young as I was after the eighth grade, going to Minnesota all the way from Alabama, I wanted to have some family close by.“Obviously the hockey is the main factor that took me there, but just having family there helped.”Not all fun and gamesAs much a part of everyday life that hockey is at Shattuck, the college prep school is just that: preparation for the next stage. For students at SSM, that includes the classroom too — something that can become tough to juggle with nearly 70 games a year.“The first month was real tough,” said Stepan, who moved from Hastings, Minn., as a high school junior to attend Shattuck. “It was something I really needed to adapt to, being away from home, without your mom and dad to say ‘Get your homework done.’”“It was tough at the start,” Murray added. “My first couple years, I struggled a little bit in middle school. … I think it sort of helped in the transition from high school and college, for sure.”It wasn’t all fun and games on the ice, either, for Grotting. In four years at Shattuck, Grotting was never able to get a spot on the top Sabres prep team.“I always enjoyed the teams I was on,” Grotting said. “I would have loved to play on the prep team after being there for four years, but just couldn’t crack the lineup.”And unlike McBain, Murray and Stepan, Grotting didn’t take the direct path from Shattuck to Wisconsin. He found a home on a few minor league teams before drawing interest from the Badger coaching staff.“I had no college interest coming out of Shattuck,” Grotting said. “I ended up signing a tender with the Texas Tornado in the NAHL and played a year down there, then was drafted by the Lincoln Stars in the USHL. I played a year there. That’s where Wisconsin noticed me.”Life-long connectionsStudents at Shattuck see each other often, as the average class boasts just 14 students. But for those playing hockey, the time spent together becomes even greater.“The one thing about the people that come out of there, when you live in the dorms as a high school student, there’s a brotherhood that gets established,” Eaves said.“Being such a small school, you know everyone and you get real close with your buddies,” Stepan said. “You see them every day. It’s something special. The environment’s pretty much the key element.”The friendships established at Shattuck don’t end at graduation. Players keep in touch with each other — often times facing off at the next level — and coaches are sure to keep tabs on their former players.“It’s a great fraternity and sorority we have with our kids,” Ward said. “It’s very rewarding, and all of us here at our school — people that work in the kitchen, the ladies in the head office of the school, the teachers, the rest of the student body — we’re all very, very proud of the kids that have moved on from here and keep tabs on them.”“A lot of them go back over the summer to work at different camps, so it gives us a chance to reconnect,” McBain said. “As much as you can, you try to keep in touch with them during the season. A lot of them you’re actually playing against.”Not all Shattuck graduates go on to play after graduating, but they never lose the camaraderie from their playing days.“All my best friends there are still my best friends today, hands down,” Grotting said. “A lot of them are still playing hockey; a lot of them aren’t. That’s just the way life goes.”last_img read more

UW-Milwaukee last in-state test

first_imgAlready owning victories against Green Bay and Marquette, there remains just one in-state Division I team Wisconsin hasn’t beaten this season. They’ll get their chance to sweep through the state as they take on UWM Wednesday night at the Kohl Center.A state-sweeping victory will continue Wisconsin’s impressive run throughout the nonconference schedule — one that is trending in an easier direction following Saturday’s victory over Marquette.After Wednesday’s game, the Badgers will face Eastern Kentucky and Prairie View A&M, both games from the comfort of the Kohl Center. However, before they get their, Wednesday’s game is no pushover. Milwaukee will enter the Kohl Center riding a five-game winning streak and owning a 9-2 record, best in the Horizon League.Similar to Wisconsin, the Panthers are led by a core starting group that plays 27-32 minutes per game. That group, which displays Matt Tiby, Jordon Aaron, Kyle Kelm and Austin Arians — the four leading scorers all averaging more than 12 points per game.The final piece is the spoon that stirs the pot, junior guard Steve McWhorter, whose 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals creates much of the offense on a team that averages 76 points per game.The stat lines rival Wisconsin’s in terms of minutes and output, so whichever front five play best might be the determining factor in the deciding a victor Wednesday night. Tipoff will arrive at 7 p.m.last_img read more

Acheson hails character of team ahead of Final

first_imgThe Premier County defeated Cork to set up a meeting with Kerry in Killarney on Sunday.Tipp resisted a huge amount of pressure late on in the historic win over the Rebels.Acheson has praised his team-mates for the way in which they dealt with the setbacks in that match. Our build-up to live commentary on the big match will begin at 1.30 on Sunday afternoon – coverage will be brought to you in association with Tipperary Co-Op Supervalu, Tipperary Town.last_img

Hurling championship finals up for grabs this weekend

first_imgTwo more divisional senior hurling titles are up for grabs this weekend.Kilruane MacDonaghs and Kiladangan meet in the North decider.The latter’s manager Dan Hackett is hoping his side will perform on the big day… Kilruane boss Michael Ryan is delighted the club are in with a chance of winning a first title in just over quarter of a century.Throw-in in Cloughjordan on Sunday is at 2 o’clock – Tipp FM will bring you regular updates on the match.We’ll also have reports on the West Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Final and the Mid Tipperary Senior Football Championship Final – both of which take place on Sunday as well.last_img read more

Help wanted: City accepting applications for Park Laborer

first_imgThe City of Wellington is accepting applications for Park Laborer responsible for routine manual labor involving care and maintenance of City parks and Public Works areas.  Duties include mowing, trimming, spraying and operation, maintenance and repair of equipment. Must have High school diploma or GED, valid drivers license and ability to obtain a CDL.  Pay range is $9.58 to $13.89 DOQ with excellent benefits.  Please apply at www.HrePartners.com or City Clerk’s Office, 317 S. Washington, Wellington, KS 67152 by 5:00 January 16, 2015.  EOE, Drug-free Workplace.last_img read more

Camo2Commerce Launches Military Spouse Ambassadors Cohort with the Pacific Harbors Council…

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Boy Scouts of AmericaThe Pacific Harbors Council of Boy Scouts of America is partnering with the veteran’s job program known as “Camo2Commerce” through the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council.   Volunteers will be helping maintain the Boy Scout camp on Summit Lake for a day.“Camo2Commerce” (C2C) is beginning its first “Spouse Camo2Commerce Ambassador Cohort” as a part of is Veterans Outreach Program Initiative.   The group is made up of eight local active duty military spouses interested in re-entering the workforce and learning about workforce development. Both organizations decided to host its first service project at BSA’s Camp Thunderbird just outside of Olympia, Washington.The camp occupies 200 acres along Summit Lake and is used year-round by young people across Western Washington for Scouting activities including campouts, leadership training and merit badge activities.  The camp is currently undergoing improvements and renovations and the volunteers will be cleaning and maintaining the buildings, grounds and camp sites.The work project will occur June 16, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. C2C Spouse Ambassadors will spend their day completing a project to help prepare the property for several events including Cub Scout Resident Camp, National Youth Leadership Training, Friends of Scouting Thunderbird Competition and a “Scouting Boot Camp” for young people interested in joining Scouts USA.Camo2Commerce (C2C) supports transitioning service members and their spouses so that they can enter the civilian workforce. Through one-on-one career counseling services, C2C helps develop employment readiness skills and career opportunities for eligible spouses and service members based on their career interests and goals.  C2C business teams build the connections between JBLM and business partners in our surrounding communities.The Pacific Harbors Council of the Boy Scouts of America serves nearly 10,000 Scouts across Southwest Washington from Chehalis north to Federal Way and from the Washington coast to the Cascade foothills. It was one of the first local councils started by the national BSA organization in 1910. In 2019, the Scouts name will be changed to Scouts USA.  The Council has 4,500 adult volunteers who serve as Scouting leaders teaching young people to be responsible citizens and meaningful leaders. The mission of the Boys Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.  The Pacific Harbors Council is proud to employ multiple Veterans and Military Spouses in the local Council.For more information, go to: www.pacificharbors.orglast_img read more

Thunder Girls make a statement at Whitecaps Showcase Tournament

first_imgBy Bruce FuhrThe Nelson Daily SportsThe Kootenay Thunder Regional squad once again held its own against some high level competition at the annual Vancouver Whitecaps Showcase Girl’s Soccer Tournament this past weekend in Surrey.The Thunder, competing in the U16 Division, finished the tournament with a 1-3 mark.“For the Kootenay girls this was a great showing as they received compliments from college scouts, Whitecap staff coaches and opposition coaches,” said coach Dave Spendlove of Soccer Quest Indoor in Nelson.This is the second season the Whitecaps have organized a tournament to showcase the top players in Canada for college and university scouts from across North American.Last year a handful of Soccer Quest athletes attended the tournament. However, this year Soccer Quest entered a full squad of players from throughout the Kootenay region but had several players aged at 14- and 15-year-old players on the roster.Therefore team was up against some stiff competition competing in the U16 Division.Friday the team opened with a 3-1 loss to Victoria Y League. The Island squad took the play to the Thunder before the Kootenay team was able to settle down.But Kootenay could not rebound from a three-goal deficit. Defender Brittany Wheeler scored the lone goal for Thunder, converting a direct free kick.Saturday, Kootenay dropped a winnable contest against the Calgary Blizzard. Missed chances came back to haunt the Thunder against the Alberta power, losing 2-1.Jaala Derochie scored the only goal for Kootenay.Game three Kootenay finally got into the win column, edging the cream from the Okanagan, Thompson/Okanagan Y League 1-0.Nelson’s Ameeta Bhabra scored the only goal of the game. However, the win was bittersweet for the Thunder, which lost Bhabra to a knee injury.Taylor Stewart, Taylor McKinnon and Danika Bartlett also left the game with injuries.The shortage of healthy bodies proved to be too much to overcome Sunday as Kootenay lost 3-1 to Coastal Y League from Vancouver Island.Tournament MVP for Kootenay, Andrea Stinson, gave the Thunder a 1-0 lead before Coastal rallied for three consecutive goals.“Elise Hewitt, Paige Mansveld, (goalkeeper) Larrisa Piva, Sam Einerson, Erica Augsten, Morag Peterson and Jessica Britton all stepped up and improved as the weekend progressed,” Spendlove said.Next up for the Thunder is the Western Canada Showcase Tournament in Burnaby April 21-23. OVERTIME: The Kootenay Boy’s Regional squad travels to Penticton this weekend to compete in a Boy’s Showcase Soccer Tournament. For more information on the Regional program contact Soccer Quest at 250-352-GOAL. . . .Eight of the Thunder Regional team are in Chilliwack Thursday to compete in the 16-team Best of the Best High School Girl’s Soccer Tournament as member of the L.V. Rogers Bombers. The Bombers play three games Thursday to conclude the round robin draw before entering the playoffs Friday. LVR is the defending Kootenay Champ.sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

Brad Fast named director of hockey operations at Michigan State

first_imgFast laced up the skates for the Spartans back in his playing days where he was an All-American, and an Academic All-American. From 1999-2003 he tallied 114 points in 164 games for the team. Fort St John alumni Brad Fast has landed one of the top hockey jobs with the Michigan State Spartans of the NCAA. The school announced last week that Fast would be joining the team as director of hockey operations.Fast applied for the job shortly after he returned from running this year’s North Peace Alumni Hockey School after a friend who previously held the position took a job with USA Hockey.While he won’t be coaching the players directly, Fast will have an active role in helping the squad get ready for their games this season- Advertisement -“I do a lot of preparation for games. It’s a non-coaching role so I’m not out on the ice because of NCAA compliance rules. They prevent me from getting out there. What I do is I watch video from our opponent’s previous games, I break down the video from our games and try and get us as best prepared as we possibly can for every weekend,” he said.Michigan State has always had a soft spot in Fast’s heart going back to when he first visited the campus when he was being recruited by the school as a player.“I really just love being a part of Michigan State. To be a part of the hockey program is an added bonus. From the time that I came here and visited the school way back when I was in high school I fell in love with this place,” he said.Advertisementlast_img read more