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Caps Holtby

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Holtby Slams the Door on the Blue Jackets in Caps 3-2 Victory

Posted on 02 April 2017 by Ed Frankovic

Braden Holtby made 35 saves and the Washington Capitals received second period goals from T.J. Oshie, Andre Burakovsky, and Matt Niskanen to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2 at Nationwide Arena on Sunday Night.

The Caps victory improves their record to 52-18-8 (112 points) and it pretty much ends any chance Columbus has of winning the Metropolitan Division. They are now six points behind with four games remaining and the Pittsburgh Penguins moved into second place, five points back, with their win over Carolina on Sunday. The Pens also have just four games remaining.

After playing the worst first period of the season and getting blown out in Arizona on Friday (6-3), Coach Trotz’ club came ready to play in this affair. Washington’s Justin Williams had several good chances to score, but Sergei Bobrovsky (27 saves) was excellent early on. Both Holtby and “Bob” were on their craft in the scoreless opening frame.

In the middle stanza the Caps took over quickly. Nicklas Backstrom made a great cross ice outlet pass to Oshie on the right wing boards that #77 skated after while Alex Ovechkin was flying down the center of the ice. It looked like Oshie, after corralling the loose biscuit, was going to pass the puck, but with the Gr8 smartly going to the net, Oshie was able to skate into the slot and lift a backhander past Bobrovsky at 1:12. Ovi creating havoc in front was certainly a big factor in Oshie’s 33rd tally of the season.

Pay the Man!

Just 1:44 later the Caps increased their cushion to two. Kevin Shattenkirk fed Lars Eller in the neutral zone and the third line center carried the puck down the right boards and eventually tracked towards going behind the net. #20 then did his best Evgeny Kuznetsov imitation to spin around and pass back to Burakovsky in the right wing circle. Andre then buried his 12th goal of the season top shelf and into a very tiny window with an incredibly skillful shot.

The Capitals would continue to keep the heat on Columbus and Burakovsky, the game’s official number one star, set up Matt Niskanen all alone on Bobrovsky with a sensational pass on a two on one rush. The American defenseman skated in and quickly beat Bob to the far post for a 3-0 lead with 10:05 gone in period two.

From there things opened up since Columbus had to gamble to try and get back in the game. Washington certainly gave them their share of chances as they were caught out of position on multiple occasions, which led to several Blue Jacket odd man rushes. Fortunately the Holtbeast was dialed in and he kept it 3-0 after 40 minutes.

In the final frame, the Caps played fairly solid to preserve their three goal lead, but then at 9:22 Karl Alzner got caught in the offensive zone and Jack Johnson skated up the ice and around John Carlson and Tom Wilson to get a clean look against Holtby. #7 made no mistake about it and suddenly we had a game.

Things then became physical and heated. Josh Anderson took a run at Ovechkin at a whistle and then he hit the Gr8 in the head with a punch when everyone came to together at the Columbus blue line. It was clearly a John Tortorella type cheap shot tactic to try and bait the Caps into at least a four on four situation, but when it was all said and done, Anderson received four minutes for roughing, while Ovi only was whistled for a single minor for roughing. Wilson and Kyle Quincey also were sent to the sin bin and the Capitals received a power play with 8:39 remaining. Somehow the fact that Bobrovsky left the crease area to join the donnybrook wasn’t penalized.

Washington had a chance to close this one out, but they failed and sure enough, the Blue Jackets cut the lead to one on a Quincey point shot that Holtby didn’t see cleanly with Sam Gagner and Backstrom directly in front of him. That tally came with 4:27 left. Columbus would pull “Bob” for the extra attacker and they very nearly tied it up at the horn, but the Holtbeast stoned Seth Jones on the doorstep with three ticks left.

Whew!

This was a highly intense hockey game and provides a sneak preview of how things will go next week when the playoffs begin on April 12th. The contest was very physical and there were many post whistle scrums. It will be important for the Caps to keep their discipline because given their inability to play well at four on four this season, there is no doubt in my mind that opponents will try and bait them into penalties that could create that situation.

There were several positives that came out of this win. First off, the Holtbeast was outstanding and he outplayed Bobrovsky. Washington needs #70 to be at the top of his game if they want to make it out of the Metropolitan Division playoffs (rounds one and two). Second, despite playing only 13 shifts and just over eight minutes and 20 seconds of even strength time together, the 3rd line was very good. There is no doubt that when Burakovsky, Eller, and Brett Connolly are playing their game that the Capitals are extremely tough to match up against. Third, from a standings and home ice perspective, the Caps need just three more points (either Washington points gained or Pittsburgh points missed) to clinch the Presidents’ Trophy (Chicago has 107 points and only 3 games left). Given the way Washington plays so well at home and the fact that Coach Trotz can dictate the matchups in four of the seven tilts in each series, home ice is big from a strategic standpoint.

Finally, it was important for the Caps to win a low scoring game to remind them of how to close out a win in one of those tilts that we should see quite a bit of in the spring. It wasn’t a textbook “protect a lead” performance, but being able to hold off a very desperate team in their own building was big for Holtby and the entire Capitals club. Their defensive posture took a major step in the right direction after some shaky efforts on a road trip that saw them allow 13 goals in the first three games, including nine tallies to the two worst teams in the NHL. Defense wins championship and holding Tortorella’s crew to two tallies has to build confidence.

Confidence is such an important part of hockey and Washington needs to have that going into the post season.

Notes: Washington won the faceoff battle, 34-20. Jay Beagle was 10-6 while Kuznetsov went 9-3…shots on goal were 24-20, Caps, after 40 minutes, but ended up, 37-30, for Columbus. Shot attempts were 68-46 for CBus. A lot of that is score effects, but the Capitals have to learn to get more pressure and chances on their opponents when they are leading the game without abandoning their defensive structure…both teams were 0 for 2 on the power play…Carlson led the Capitals in ice time with 23:41…the Caps next game, and final one on this five game, eight day road trip, is in Toronto on Tuesday night.

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Caps End Streak

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Braden Holtby and the Caps End Columbus’ 16 Game Win Streak

Posted on 05 January 2017 by Ed Frankovic

The streak is over while another one continues…

Braden Holtby, aka The Holtbeast, stopped 29 shots and the Washington Capitals went to the net with authority for the fourth straight game to bury Columbus, 5-0, and end the Blue Jackets winning streak at 16 games while increasing the Caps victory run to four.

#70, who was pulled after 20 minutes against the Leafs on Tuesday, was dynamite in this one and several of his best saves came in the opening frame. About the only mistake he made was an early big rebound that he left in the slot which Brandon Saad shot wide. For the rest of the game, it was downhill for the Blue Jackets.

Nate Schmidt, who was scratched for two games, came to play and around the five minute mark his point shot found Jay Beagle parked all alone in front of Sergei Bobrovsky (18 saves). “Bob” made the first save, but Daniel Winnik made a great play to corral the rebound and put it behind the goaltender for a one goal Caps lead just 5:06 into this affair.

Just 20 seconds after that tally, Evgeny Kuznetsov (two assists) would take a terrible offensive zone penalty and the NHL’s best power play, at 28.3%, was looking to even things up. But the Caps penalty killing has been stellar this year and the only shot on net that CBus got was a 45 footer from Saad.

Washington then put the Blue Jackets down by two goals for the first time all season, according to Joe Beninati, as John Carlson scored off of his skate going to the net after both Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson made nice passes.

Despite the Capitals lead, Columbus carried the play and led in shots on goal, 11-6, after one period, but the Holtbeast was the big difference.

From there, the Capitals took over the game. Schmidt, who looked recharged after sitting out, received a great pass from Alex Ovechkin (1 assist) in the right wing circle a third of the way through period two. Two Blue Jackets went to the ice to block #88’s initial shot, they both missed, and then they went sliding by as the rebound went right back to Schmidt. Nate then fired it again as a third Columbus defender tried to block the shot and that player ended up deflecting it past Bobrovsky to make it 3-0. I’ve talked often about not leaving your feet on defense and Columbus, who thrives on blocking shots, did just that and it cost them.

At that point, you could see the Columbus energy start to diminish and Washington’s just getting stronger. It takes a ton of effort to maintain a long winning streak and with their hopes of tying the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL record dying, you could see the stress of it starting to zap the Blue Jackets.

The Caps third line then ended all doubt as Lars Eller and Brett Connolly put on a great forecheck/backcheck combination and that forced a Blue Jackets turnover. Carlson gathered up the errant pass just inside the offensive blue line and fed Andre Burakovsky in the slot, who snapped the biscuit by Bob at 16:27 of period two. At that point, the game was pretty much over.

Burakovksy backed up his “it will be fun to end the streak” talk from the AM skate with that goal and he and his linemates continue to look like the answer Coach Barry Trotz and GM Brian MacLellan have been trying to find with that third unit for several years.

The last nail in the coffin was then added by Justin Williams just 5:36 into the third period when Kuznetsov won a puck battle on the left wing boards and fed #14 in the left wing corner. Williams skated in on Bobrovsky, and roofed it to make it 5-0. That prompted Columbus coach John Tortorella to take out his #1 goalie and insert Curtis McElhinney.

The only question for the last 15 minutes was would the Holtbeast get a shutout? The zebras once again tried to help the Blue Jackets giving them a 76 second five on three with Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen in the sin bin. Washington, however, was fantastic on the kill with Holtby making three saves, including two in tight on Cam Atkinson. Tom Wilson, who had one of his best games of the season, then drew a tripping infraction on a two on one with Eller, who had just blocked a shot to spring it and any real scare was over with 5:30 remaining.

Columbus received one more power play, but the Holtbeast gobbled three shots up and he easily earned his number one star of the game award.

This was quite an effort from Washington and in arguably their two biggest games this season, home against the Penguins and on Thursday against the Blue Jackets, they have won by a combined 12-1. There is no doubt that this club, when focused and motivated, can play with any team in the NHL.

The bottom six forwards were outstanding in this affair and the Caps gap control was sensational all game. They throttled the Blue Jackets ability to generate quick scoring chances and after a rough first period, they dominated the boards and loose puck battles.

It was a huge victory to knock off the first place Blue Jackets, who had a very impressive 16 game run. Washington is now 24-9-5 (53 points) and is just five points behind Columbus, who have a game in hand.

For the Caps, this was an encouraging and dominating victory, especially from the second period until it was 5-0.

Everyone in hockey says that the NHL season really doesn’t begin until January.

So far in the first month of 2017 the Caps are 3-0.

Notes: Shots on goal were 29-27 for CBus and shot attempts were 51-50 for the Caps…Washington was a perfect 5 for 5 on the penalty kill, but were 0 for 4 with the man advantage…Carlson was the second star and Schmidt was the third star. Both were really good on the back end, as was Dmitry Orlov (22:42)…Niskanen led the Caps in ice time with 23:18…Williams now has 11 goals on the season, he’s on fire right now…Orpik and Schmidt were both +3…Kuznetsov had four shots on goal…Brandon Dubinsky was -4 for the Blue Jackets.

 

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Washington finds a way to win against a pesky Blue Jackets squad, 2-1.

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Oshie & Williams Score in Caps Victory Over Columbus

Posted on 30 October 2015 by Ed Frankovic

When you play against a John Tortorella coached squad, the game is rarely pretty. That was the case at the Verizon Center on Friday night as the Capitals managed to do enough to defeat a pesky Columbus club, 2-1.

Justin Williams scored the first goal in the latter half of period two for the Caps. Karl Alzner did a super job of pinching in from the point and that allowed Marcus Johansson to feed Williams above the right circle for a shot that Sergei Bobrovsky didn’t really see, thanks to a Nicklas Backstrom screen. The Caps buzzed the tower in the last 10 minutes of period two, but somehow “Bob” (28 saves) kept his club in it.

In the third period, Columbus found some legs for the early part of the stanza before the Caps started to take over possession-wise with their first and second lines. It would be the first line who would give Washington a cushion it would really need down the stretch. Braden Holtby (29 saves) used his great puck handling ability to lift one high off of the glass for a clear on the left wing boards and that sprung Alex Ovechkin on a three on one break with Backstrom and T.J. Oshie. The Gr8 had a lane to the net, but instead of shooting he sent a beautiful pass that split the Columbus defense. The recipient of the pass, Backstrom, then teed it up perfectly for Oshie, who buried it under the cross bar with 8:01 left to make it 2-0.

The Blue Jackets would score at 14:45 in a goal mouth scramble that Coach Barry Trotz challenged. The Washington bench boss felt that Holtby was interfered with on the play. He was, and it was worse than what Jay Beagle was whistled for earlier in the season in the San Jose game, but go figure?

Fortunately, the Capitals clamped down and preserved the win to send Torts and company to a 2-9 record. Washington moves to 7-2 and will face the Panthers on Halloween night at 7 pm in Sunrise.

Backstrom, Williams, Ovechkin, Oshie, and Johansson had very strong games up front for the Caps. That second line was really the key to the victory. In addition, Matt Niskanen, Alzner, Nate Schmidt, and Dmitry Orlov were very good on the back end. Alzner got hit and shaken up early in period two and then came back to play a monster game. King Karl and Niskanen were downright dominant as a pair. Schmidt, who saw his first game action since the San Jose loss, performed better and better as the game went on. He was skating well and making solid clears. His only weakness is his size, which makes it tough for him in goal mouth scrambles. But #88 was really good against Columbus.

On the downside, the Capitals third line, which had to face the Blue Jackets best line, struggled for most of the night. Tom Wilson took two penalties that were unnecessary. You can add Brooks Orpik’s delay of game infraction to that list. #44 needed to make a pass in a situation where he had time with the biscuit. Instead, Columbus received an early third period power play when down just a puck.

However ugly it was, and a good chunk of the game was sloppy hockey, especially the first 30 minutes, the Capitals did what they had to do to defeat a desperate team. Good teams find ways to win close games and so far the Caps have been fairly good at that. 7-2 is an excellent start and another win in the division is important. The Caps are now 3-1 against their Metropolitan foes.

Notes: Andre Burakovsky was having a decent game and then he got hit in the head by Oshie’s stick and barely played in the third period. Overall, he only logged 7:09 of ice time…Michael Latta, who was back in after missing six games, only played 3:55 and Brooks Laich just 7:28. The performance of the 3rd and 4th lines is a bit of a concern right now…the Caps out shot attempted Columbus, 55-50, but shots on net favored the Blue Jackets at 30-28…Face offs were pretty much even, with the Caps short by one win (29-28). Beagle was 9-7, Backstrom 8-7, but Laich was 1-4.

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Navy QB Reynolds honored by Touchdown Club of Columbus

Posted on 05 December 2013 by WNST Staff

Navy Quarterback Keenan Reynolds Named The Touchdown Club Of Columbus, Ohio Male Athlete Of The Year

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Navy sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds has been named the Male Athlete of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio.  Reynolds will be honored on Saturday, February 8 at the 59th annual Touchdown Club of Columbus Award.  Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M won the award last year.

Reynolds has led Navy to a 7-4 record with games still remaining against Army on Dec. 14 and the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 30.  He has rushed for 1,124 yards and 26 touchdowns on the year.  He needs one more rushing touchdown to tie and two to break the NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback set by Ricky Dobbs (Navy, 2007) and Collin Klein (Kansas State, 2011).

Reynolds is averaging 14.2 points per game, which leads the country for all players, and is responsible for 18.7 points per game (11th best in the country).

Reynolds has been responsible for a school record 204 points already this season (passing and rushing touchdowns) and his 36 career rushing touchdowns stands third on Navy’s  career list.

Reynolds has also been deadly threw the air, completing 63 of his 114 pass attempts for 1,028 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions.  He is just the fourth quarterback in school history to rush and pass for more than 1,000 yards in a single season.

Reynolds ran for seven touchdowns in Navy’s last game, a 59-52 triple overtime victory over San Jose State, which tied the NCAA record for most rushing touchdowns in a game against an FBS opponent.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 03 December 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Big Ten/ACC Challenge: Ohio State @ Maryland (Wednesday 7pm Comcast Center), Siena @ Maryland (Monday 7pm Comcast Center); NBA: Milwaukee Bucks @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Denver Nuggets @ Washington Wizards (Monday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet/NBA TV); Boxing: Zab Judah vs. Paulie Malignaggi (Saturday 8pm from Brooklyn live on Showtime); Auto Racing: NASCAR Awards Banquet (Friday 9pm from Las Vegas live on Fox Sports 2)

10. Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Wednesday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Halestorm (Wednesday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Panic! at the Disco (Monday 8pm Rams Head Live); Spacehog & Sponge (Friday 7:30pm Baltimore Soundstage), Monster Magnet (Sunday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Carbon Leaf (Friday 8pm Saturday 3pm & 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Megadeth (Wednesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), NOFX (Friday 7:25pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Matisyahu (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Muse “Live at Rome Olympic Stadium” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I don’t care what face you’re making, it doesn’t change how much I secretly love TSO.

I don’t know if I’ll make it to Soundstage Sunday night, but you should sing along with this tune for me.

I believe by law Carbon Leaf is not allowed to go more than a month without playing around here.

I’ll be the Muse record doesn’t suck.

9. Jeff Dunham (Thursday 7pm Patriot Center); Donnell Rawlings (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); The Wolverine” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Tuesday-Sunday France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at The Hippodrome); Parade of Lighted Boats (Saturday 6pm Fells Point/Inner Harbor); “A Monumental Occasion” (Thursday 5pm Mount Vernon Place)

I don’t really have a lot to say about any of this. Sorry. I didn’t really have time to study if we’re being fair.

Instead, courtesy of The Robb Report, for Christmas this year I’d like you to buy me a backyard stadium for $30 million. For reals.

I would also settle for this $83 million sky yacht.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Caps Start 2013-14 With High Expectations Once Again

Posted on 29 September 2013 by Ed Frankovic

It is awfully difficult to win a championship in professional sports but heading into 2013-14 that is once again the goal of the Washington Capitals, who have yet to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup since their inception in 1974. The Caps, who have made the playoffs the last six years, have another quality team as they prepare to open their season against the defending champs, the Chicago Blackhawks, in the Windy City on Tuesday night at 8pm on NBCSN.

On Sunday, Caps General Manager George McPhee made several moves to help put some clarity to the opening night roster culminating with a trade of center Matheiu Perreault to the Anaheim Ducks for a 4th round pick and AHLer John Mitchell. In addition, several players were sent to Hershey, including defenesemen Tyson Strachan and Dmitry Orlov. For now, here is what the Caps roster looks like:

Goalies (2): Braden Holtby, Michal Neuvirth

Defensemen (7): Mike Green, Karl Alzner, John Carlson, John Erskine, Jack Hillen, Steve Oleksy, and Connor Carrick

Forwards (14): Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Mikhail Grabovski, Brooks Laich, Troy Brouwer, Martin Erat, Tom Wilson, Eric Fehr, Joel Ward, Jay Beagle, Jason Chimera, Aaron Volpatti, and Michael Latta

The move of Perreault was predicted here last week and makes sense from a hockey and salary cap standpoint. This Caps team needed to get bigger and more powerful up front and Wilson’s outstanding camp made keeping him up with the main club, rather than shipping him back to a weaker league (OHL), an easy decision. The 19 year old, who was the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft, brings a dimension that this Washington team needs more of in the post season: size and the ability to score the tough goals in close. Six months with Coach Adam Oates and some highly talented teammates is what is needed for Wilson to continue his development, the OHL is just not going to help him get any better.

As for the rest of the squad, the strengths appear to be in goal and up front. Braden Holtby has established himself as a number one goalie and has the chance to move into the elite category with a very strong season. As McPhee told the media last Tuesday, to win the Stanley Cup you have to have great goaltending. #70 is the guy being counted on to deliver that, but Neuvirth is a more than capable net minder and will be needed to play well so that Washington can qualify for the post season in a very competitive Metropolitan Division.

At forward, the Capitals have some serious depth on the wings but still aren’t sure who is going to be the third line center. Backstrom has the first line locked up with Grabovski manning the second unit. The club could go with Beagle as the 3rd line center and Latta pivoting the 4th to start the season, but that depends on the health of the others, primarily Laich, who has been battling a hip flexor issue. Right wing is just loaded up with Ovechkin, Brouwer, Fehr, Wilson, and Ward. Both Fehr and Erat were tried at center this preseason by Oates with some success, so the head coach has lots of options. Johansson could play 3rd line center at some point too. The Caps have not had as talented a crew of forwards to start the season in many years and with the players they have there is lots of room for flexibility.

On defense, the top three is awfully good with Green, Alzner, and Carlson. After that, it gets dicey. Erksine was super last spring in the regular season but is he really a top 4 d-man? #4 will have a chance to prove it starting this week. Oleksy came out of seemingly nowhere to take a 3rd pair spot in the spring and Hillen overcame an early season injury to play a lot of quality minutes last year. Carrick was the biggest surprise of training camp, has great offensive skills and his hockey IQ is high. Learning to play defense in the NHL is harder than any other position so Washington has to be careful to not put too much on the 19 year old, who has incredible potential. The organization still has high hopes for Orlov, but given his injury situation last season, starting him in Hershey made too much sense. The 2009 2nd round pick will play top pair minutes in the AHL and can hone his craft for what appears to be an inevitable jump back to the NHL at some point during the 82 game season.

Special teams will be an important component of Washington’s success. Last season the Caps were #1 in the NHL with the power play (26.8%). You can expect it to remain at least top 5 and Oates and assistant coach Blaine Forsythe will continually be tweaking things to counter opposition tactics. As for the penalty kill, Laich stated on Tuesday that is one of the areas this Capitals club will have to improve in if they want to do well in the regular season and playoffs. The PK has been one of the team’s weaknesses the last few years and it was 27th out of 30 in 2012-13 with a success rate of only 77.9%.

In summary, the expectations are high for this Capitals team. The playoffs are not a given, but if this club can stay relatively healthy, then they have the talent to compete for the division title. Every team in the Metropolitan Division has its issues. The Penguins are the pick of many but their goaltending and team defense certainly has its question marks. Will the Rangers respond positively to a new coach in Alain Vigneault? How will the Devils do with the departure of Ilya Kovalchuk? The Flyers added Vinny Lecavalier but will Ray Emery or Steve Mason step up and be a top goalie in a pressure packed Philly market? Are the Islanders ready to take the next step up the ladder or was their playoff run last spring a one time deal? Is Columbus going to play like the team that nearly qualified for the post season last spring or the cellar dweller crew that started 2013? Finally, will Cam Ward returning in net for Carolina propel them to a winning season? Nothing is set in stone heading into the season and in the salary cap era every team has holes and/or issues. What is important is that the Capitals get off to a good start since coming from behind in the standings is not going to be as achievable as it was in the Southeast Division.

 

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Towson run ends with Tourney loss to Ohio State

Posted on 12 May 2013 by WNST Staff

Columbus, Ohio – No. 3 Ohio State held No. 17 Towson to two goals in the second half en route to a 16-6 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday afternoon at Ohio State.

Towson (10-8) scored two of the first three goals before Ohio State (12-4) asserted itself, scoring four straight goals and holding an 8-4 lead at halftime. The Buckeyes’ defense improved in the second half, holding Towson scoreless for 14:46 over the second and third quarters and for 12:27 over the third and fourth quarters.

Junior Andrew Hodgson led the Tigers with a hat trick, while senior Matt Hughes posted two goals for the second straight game. Logan Schuss had a game-high six points on three goals and three assists for Ohio State. Senior Andrew Wascavage made eight saves for the Tigers, while Greg Dutton stopped seven shots for the Buckeyes.

“I want to commend Ohio State on an excellent game today,” said Head Coach Shawn Nadelen. “That said, we can’t make as many mistakes as we did today, we can’t allow them so many opportunities as far as possession times. They are a very balanced team and a very dangerous offense.

“I’m extremely proud of our team this year, and how they competed from the start to the finish. We didn’t start strong, but we finished strong. We were one of 16 teams to play in the NCAA tournament. A lot of people didn’t give us a chance, but our guys believed in themselves and put in the effort to get us to this point, back into the conversation as being a top team in the country.”

The Tigers won the opening face-off and worked the ball quickly down into the Buckeyes’ defensive zone. Sophomore Greg Cuccinello moved down the left side of the field and passed to Hughes who was waiting right in front of the cage. Hughes continued his stellar end-of-season play, posting the game’s first goal at 14:13.

Just under five minutes later, Schuss equalized for OSU unassisted at 9:16. The Tigers got strong play from their defense in the first quarter, particularly sophomore JoJo Ostrander and junior Jordan Fortmann. A caused turnover by Ostrander late in the third quarter led to a goal from Hodgson, off a feed from sophomore Justin Mabus, that gave Towson a 2-1 lead at 5:37 in the first quarter.

OSU’s King knotted the score at 2-2 with under two minutes remaining in the first quarter, and Carter Brown gave the Buckeyes the lead with 29 seconds left in the quarter, 3-2. Ohio State picked up a controversial David Planning goal as time expired on the first frame to hold a 4-2 advantage.

A series of quick passes led to King’s second goal for the Buckeyes at 14:09 in the second, but Towson’s Hodgson answered with his second of the game at 13:31 to inch the Tigers closer, 5-3. King’s third goal and a fast break tally from Dominique Alexander at 5:40 pushed the Buckeyes’ margin to four, 7-3. Hodgson then notched his second hat trick of the season with 2:06 left in the half. But confusion over the timer and possession led to another Ohio State goal, and the Buckeyes held an 8-4 advantage at the half.

Ohio State went on a tear in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 8-2 over the two frames. Cuccinello scored a goal at 2:52 in the third quarter and Hughes added his second at 5:26 in the fourth for Towson.

Towson finishes the season at 10-8, 4-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).

NOTES: Towson scored first for the eighth time this season (6-1) … Senior Matt Hughes scored two goals for the first straight game … Junior Andrew Hodgson posted his fourth straight multi-goal game and second hat trick of the season … the game marked Towson’s 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2007.

College Men’s Lacrosse: No. 17 Towson 6, No. 3 Ohio State 16
Towson (10-8)              2-2-1-1/6
Ohio State (13-3)          4-4-4-4/16

GOALS: TOW – Hodgson 3, Hughes 2, Cuccinello; OSU – King 4, Schuss 3, Brown 3, Planning 2, Alexander, Evans, Kapinos, Liddil. ASSISTS: TOW – Cuccinello, DeNapoli, Mabus; OSU – Alexander 3, Schuss 3, Planning 2, Brown, Crawford, Evans, King. SAVES: TOW – Wascavage (8, 60:00, 16 GA); OSU – Dutton (7, 60:00, 6 GA).SHOTS: TOW – 23; OSU – 40. GROUND BALLS: TOW – 23; OSU – 34. FACE-OFFS: TOW – 5-24; OSU – 19-24. CLEARS: TOW – 14-16; OSU – 14-15. EMO: TOW – 0-0; OSU 2-4. ATT: 2358.

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Loyola defense strong in win over Ohio State

Posted on 30 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Defense Yields Just Four Goals In Men’s Lacrosse Win At Ohio State

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Loyola University Maryland’s defense allowed just 23 Ohio State University shots, and the Greyhounds shutout the Buckeyes for a stretch of nearly 33 minutes during a 9-4 ECAC Lacrosse League victory on Saturday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Field.

Jack Runkel made nine saves in goal for the Greyhounds (8-2 overall, 4-0 ECAC), while Loyola forced 16 Ohio State (6-3, 1-2) turnovers.

The Greyhounds also held Ohio State without an extra-man goal despite five opportunities in the game. Entering the contest, the Buckeyes was tops in the ECAC and fifth in NCAA Division I with a 53.8-percent success rate on man-up chances.

David Planning rolled off a check and scored on a shot at the top right for Ohio State with 3:03 left in the first half, tying the score at 3-3, but that was the last goal the Buckeyes would score until just nine seconds remained in the game.

The Loyola defense held Ohio State without a goal for 32:54 between scores. Meanwhile, the Greyhounds’ offense and transition game reeled off six unanswered goals.

Chris Layne put Loyola on top with 1:54 to go before halftime with his first goal a goal off a Justin Ward assist. Ward used a quick restart from behind the cage after a wide Loyola shot and found Layne running down the right side after checking in from the box. Layne one-timed a shot past Ohio State goalkeeper Greg Dutton who had 14 saves in the loss.

Just 70 seconds later, Layne shot a pass to Zach Herreweyers below goal-line extended on the right, and Herreweyers rolled to the crease, using a low-to-low shot to score.

Nikko Pontrello, who had a game-high three goals, made it three goals for Loyola in just 1:41 of action with a goal after a toe-drag move. Davis Butts reversed the ball from the top of the box to Layne who then got the ball to Pontrello who used the toe-drag to beat his defender and score 13 seconds before halftime, staking the Greyhounds to a 6-3 halftime advantage.

Pontrello scored his second-straight with 8:31 on the third-quarter clock, scoring from close on the right side after a feed by Herreweyers.

A Runkel save and ground ball pickup led to the Greyhounds’ eighth goal just before the end of the third period. Loyola cleared the ball to its offensive end, and when it looked like it would allow time to run out in the quarter, Layne sent a 20-yard pass from the high right side to Scott Ratliff on the left side of the crease.

Ratliff used a multiple shot-fake and beat Dutton with four seconds left in the quarter, pushing the advantage to 8-3 for the Greyhounds.

Ohio State committed a faceoff violation on the opening faceoff of the fourth quarter, and Josh Hawkins took a Ratliff pass and raced down the right side, scoring with an overhand shot form five yards out 13 seconds into the final period.

From there, the Greyhounds’ defense took the leading role, as they gave up just four shots in the final 15 minutes, and Ohio State committed four turnovers during the same span.

Nick Liddil scored the game’s final goal, off a Planning assist, with nine ticks left on the clock, snapping the 32:54 scoreless streak.

Joe Fletcher led Loyola’s defense with five ground balls, while Runkel had three in addition to his nine saves.

Brendan Donovan went 6-of-8 on faceoffs for Loyola, picking up three ground balls. Pat Laconi caused two of the six turnovers Loyola was credited with.

Ohio State’s Logan Schuss, who entered the game leading the Buckeyes with 20 goals, scored the game’s first just 55 seconds after the opening faceoff.

Loyola responded with its first at 10:27 when Sean O’Sullivan flipped a pass to Butts who whipped a 10-yard sidearm shot for a goal.

Pontrello then gave Loyola its first lead at 4:36, ripping a 12-yard shot from the top right after a long feed from Ward near the crease.

Ohio State tied the game 1:21 into the second quarter when Jesse King dodged from the top and fed a pass inside for a goal by Carter Brown with a 30-second warning in play.

Mike Sawyer gave Loyola the lead back at 6:11 after Ward threw a skip pass to the right side out of a double-team.

Loyola outshot Ohio State, 41-23, in the game while picking up 29 ground balls to the Buckeyes’ 20.

The Greyhounds return to Ridley Athletic Complex for the first time since early March for an ECAC game on Saturday, April 6, against Fairfield University. The game against Fairfield starts at 2:30 p.m. following the Loyola women’s game against Georgetown University that commences at 12 noon.

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Capitals announce preseason schedule

Posted on 12 June 2012 by WNST Staff

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have released their 2012 preseason schedule, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. The schedule features seven games against four opponents and includes three games at Verizon Center. The Capitals will face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second-annual Baltimore Hockey Classic at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore on September 26.

Washington will open the preseason on Tuesday, Sept. 25 (7 p.m.), at Verizon Center in a rematch of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals vs. the Boston Bruins. The Capitals will begin their preseason road schedule on Sunday, Sept. 30 (5 p.m.), at Detroit versus the Red Wings.

The team’s preseason home schedule includes the Nashville Predators on Friday, Oct. 5 (7 p.m.), and Detroit on Sunday, Oct. 7 (5 p.m.). In addition, Washington will play exhibition games on the road against Columbus on Monday, Oct. 1 (7 p.m.), and at Boston on Wednesday, Oct. 3 (7 p.m.).

The Capitals were 3-3-1 in the preseason last year, and their all-time preseason record is 143-115-29-10.

Each preseason game will be broadcast live on WashingtonCaps.com. The complete 2012-13 NHL regular season schedule will be released at a later date.

2012 WASHINGTON CAPITALS PRESEASON SCHEDULE
DATE VISITOR HOME TIME (ET)
TUES., SEPT. 25 BRUINS CAPITALS 7 PM
WED., SEPT. 26** BLUE JACKETS** CAPITALS** 7 PM**
SUN., SEPT. 30 CAPITALS RED WINGS 5 PM
MON., OCT. 1 CAPITALS BLUE JACKETS 7 PM
WED., OCT. 3 CAPITALS BRUINS 7 PM
FRI., OCT. 5 PREDATORS CAPITALS 7 PM
SUN., OCT. 7 RED WINGS CAPITALS 5 PM

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Baltimore Hockey Classic Officially Set For September 26

Posted on 20 April 2012 by WNST Staff

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals will face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second Baltimore Hockey Classic presented by W.R. Grace on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, at 7 p.m. at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Capitals general manager George McPhee, 1st Mariner Arena/SMG general manager Frank Remesch and president of the Baltimore City Council Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced today.

“We are excited to return to Baltimore,” said Capitals president Dick Patrick. “The overwhelming support from the city of Baltimore and our fans in Maryland made this decision to return for a second-consecutive season an easy one.”

Last year’s inaugural Baltimore Hockey Classic, which featured the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals kicking off the Capitals’ 2011-12 preseason schedule, sold out as the capacity crowd of 11,082 fans enjoyed the first professional hockey game played in Baltimore since 1997.

Every Washington Capitals full-season account holder will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the Baltimore Hockey Classic presented by W.R. Grace beginning Friday, April 20, at 10 a.m. Details on ticket availability and pricing will be sent to full season-ticket holders when they become available. All other fans interested in attending the event are encouraged to purchase their tickets when they go on sale on Monday, April 23, at 10 a.m.

The Capitals clinched their fifth-straight playoff berth in 2011-12, marking the longest streak of playoff appearances in franchise history since their 14-straight postseason trips from the 1982-83 season through 1995-96. The streak of five straight playoff appearances is tied for the fourth-longest active playoff streak in the NHL. For the third consecutive year, the Capitals sold out all of their homes games and set a club record with 147 consecutive sellouts dating back to 2008-09 (including playoffs). Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin finished the 2011-12 season ranked fifth in the NHL with 38 goals and scored his 30th goal of the season on March 18 in Chicago to become the ninth player in NHL history to score 30 or more goals in each of his first seven seasons in the league.

The Washington Capitals called Landover, Md., home from 1974-1997. They played their home games at the Capital Centre before moving to downtown Washington, D.C., for the 1997-98 season.

From 1981-1993, Baltimore was home to the Skipjacks, a minor league affiliate that began in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League and then moved to the American Hockey League. The Jacks were affiliated with the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals before moving to Portland, Maine, after the 1992-93 season. Former Capitals legends Don Beaupre and Olie Kolzig, to name a few, spent some of their minor league careers in Baltimore. The Baltimore Bandits, AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks, played at 1st Mariner Arena from 1995-97.

The 1st Mariner Arena, formerly the Baltimore Arena, is Baltimore’s largest indoor venue and entertainment facility and has long been considered an anchor that contributed to the growth and prosperity of Baltimore. The arena opened in 1962 and was the cornerstone of the Baltimore Inner Harbor redevelopment. It hosts an average of 130 events and more than a half million guests come through the turnstiles annually.

For more information on The Baltimore Classic presented by W.R. Grace or 1st Mariner Arena, please visit www.WashingtonCaps.com or www.1stMarinerArena.com.

 

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