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Archive for January 1st, 2019

Tonight’s Sugar Bowl pits #6 Georgia against #14 Texas

 

Mercedes-Benz Superdome 2011 photo Nwill21 - Own work via wikipedia commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final game on New Year’s Day 2019, is a good one between Georgia and Texas. Game time is 8:45 pm on ESPN. The game will take place at the Superdome in New Orleans.

Jake Fromm at 2018 CFP media day photo By Thomson200 - Own work, CC0, https commons.wikimedia.org

The Bulldogs (11-2), who’s only losses were to LSU and Alabama. They felt that they were good enough to be in the College Football Playoffs for the second year in a row. But they could not close the deal after leading the Crimson Tide the entire game until Jalen Hurts came in and won the game single-handedly.

Georgia under head coach Kirby Smart, average 12th nationally, averaging 251 yards a game between RB’s D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield.

Bulldogs QB Jake Fromm is a good one. Despite being slowed with a sore shoulder for much of the season, he connected on 68.4 percent of his passes, with 27 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions.

Smart has the Bulldogs program rolling. In three seasons, they have won two SEC East titles, one conference title and a national championship game appearance.

Urban Meyer protege, Tom Herman, has made significant strides in just his second season in Austin. The Longhorns split with arch-rival Oklahoma this year, made it to the Big 12 championship game and made it to a major bowl. Texas fans are known to be impatient, but what Herman has done in just two years, isn’t easy to do in any conference.

Texas (9-4) has a nice running game combo of Tre Watson and Keaontay Ingram. Herman has groomed a solid QB in Sam Ehlinger who threw for 3,123 yards with 25 TD’s, 5 picks and a completion percentage of 64.3.

These two teams have only met 4 times in history, Texas leads 3-1. The schools did announce recently that they will be playing in the future with home-and-home series in 2028 and 2029.

Will be a tough game for Texas that has not faced a defense in the Big 12 like the one Georgia will present.

 

 

 

 

 

NHL announces 2019-20 Outdoor Games and 2020 All-Star Weekend

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL Jeff Day & NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets to face off in the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™
at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Sask. on Oct. 26

2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® visits Dallas as Stars play host at Cotton Bowl Stadium on New Year’s Day

The City of St. Louis and the Blues will host the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at Enterprise Center Jan. 24-26

2020 NHL Stadium Series™ will feature the Colorado Avalanche at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium on Feb. 15

NEW YORK (Jan. 1, 2019) – The National Hockey League announced today the locations and dates for the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™, 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend and 2020 NHL Stadium Series™ planned for the 2019-20 NHL season. The events were officially announced today by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman during the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind.

 

The 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ will feature the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Sask., on Oct. 26. The NHL Heritage Classic™ returns to the NHL regular-season schedule after games in 2016 in Winnipeg, 2014 in Vancouver, 2011 in Calgary and 2003 in Edmonton. The game will be the second regular-season outdoor contest for both the Flames and Jets.

 

The 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature the Dallas Stars at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas, on Jan. 1, 2020. It will mark the first NHL regular-season outdoor game for the Stars. The game continues the tradition the League established in 2008 of hosting a regular-season outdoor game at the onset of the new year, with the 2020 edition marking the 12-year anniversary of the first NHL Winter Classic® in Buffalo. Dallas’s opponent for the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will be announced at a future date.

 

The 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend will take place in St. Louis, Mo., on Jan. 24-26 at Enterprise Center, home of the St. Louis Blues. It will be the third time St. Louis has hosted NHL All-Star activities (1970 and 1988, both at St. Louis Arena). The 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend will include the 2020 NHL All-Star Skills™ and the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game. The 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend will feature various hockey-themed events, entertainment and activities.

 

The 2020 NHL Stadium Series™ will visit the United States Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., where the Colorado Avalanche will play host on Feb. 15. It will be the second regular-season outdoor game for the Avalanche. The 2020 NHL Stadium Series™ will mark the second time the NHL has brought a regular-season outdoor game to a U.S. service academy following the Washington-Toronto NHL Stadium Series™ matchup at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. in 2018. Colorado’s opponent for the 2020 NHL Stadium Series™ will be announced at a future date.

 

Additional details relating to the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™, 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, 2020 Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend and 2020 NHL Stadium Series™, including ticketing and broadcast information, will be released at a future date. Dates and locations for additional NHL events taking place during the 2019-20 season will be announced when available. Fans can sign up for news and information on all of the NHL’s events at www.NHL.com/events.

This season, the Sharks and the city of San Jose will host the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, Jan. 25-26, which will include the SAP NHL All-Star Skills™ on Friday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVAS) and the Honda NHL® All-Star Game on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET (NBC, SN, CBC, TVAS). The 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23, when the Philadelphia Flyers face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia at 8 p.m. ET (NBC, TVAS2).

 

Rose Bowl has Buckeyes taking on Washington in Urban Meyer’s final game as head coach

 

Rose Bowl 2017 photo By Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Urban Meyer is 82-9 at Ohio State (megasportsnews.com photo)

The Rose Bowl today at 5 pm will feature a couple of big-play teams in #5 Ohio State from the Big Ten against #9 Washington, members of the Pacific 12. ESPN is televising the game.

It will be the final game in the Hall of Fame career of Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer.

The 54-year-old Meyer, a native of Ashtabula, Ohio, and a fan of the team growing up when the legendary Woody Hayes was coaching there, has always wanted to coach in the Rose Bowl. He will get his wish today.

Meyer has had a very successful career coaching OSU. He has an 82-9 record, 7-0 vs. Michigan, 1 national title, 3 Big Ten titles, 5 Eastern Division championships and 2 Leaders Division championships. He is popular with players, fans and media. So when he announced his retirement in early December, it was a shock but everyone understood. He is retiring due to health concerns involving headaches.   After this game, Meyer will become an assistant athletic director to his friend and boss, Gene Smith. Meyer, who has also coached at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida, is 11-3 in bowl games. He and the Buckeyes have won three of the last four bowl games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fact that Ohio State (12-1), is in this game is a testament of good coaching, players hard work and being talented.

In a strange season, the Buckeyes have overcome a controversy involving former assistant coach Zach Smith with alleged domestic violence. The 3-game suspension of Meyer for how he handled that situation. Offensive coordinator Ryan Day becoming acting head coach during those three games where he was 3-0. Letting less talented teams hang around in games where it should have been blowouts. A once-proud defense giving up big play after big play. A 49-20 demolishing at the hands of Purdue on the road. Going 9-1 under Meyer after he came back. Surviving Maryland in overtime. Embarrassing Michigan 62-39 in the annual season finale to win the East Division. Beating Northwestern 45-24 to win the Big Ten title. So you see, this team has overcome several obstacles to beat a Top 5 team and even get to a prestigious bowl this year.

Along the way, Ohio State found a QB to replace the popular J.T. Barrett who had graduated. Dwayne Haskins did show in many 2017 games that he was capable, but that was in mop-up duty most of the time. He did win the game at Michigan when Barrett got hurt. An NFL prospect, Haskins has set several Big Ten and OSU passing records this year. Throwing for more than 396 yards or more six times in eight games. Just missed 500-yard passing game against Northwestern by 1-yard.  He has several weapons on offense for Washington to stop: RB’s J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber; WR’s Parris Campbell, K.J. Hill, Binjimen Victor, Terry McLaurin, Johnnie Dixon, C.J. Saunders and a late-in-the-season blossoming player in Chris Olave. All have speed, are elusive and can get open. Washington will have their hands full.

#9 Washington under Chris Peterson can never be counted out. They are 10-3 and always play well on the national stage.

The Huskies have playmakers too. Sr. QB Jake Browning has had an up-and-down career if you talk to media and

Myles Gaskin (courtesy gohuskies.com)

fans who follow the team. This season he threw for 2,879 yards with 10 interceptions. Only one passing game over 300 yards.

RB Myles Gaskins is the first Pacific 12 back to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons. Has 55 rushing touchdowns in his career.

The Huskies has a solid placekicker in Peyton Henry, who is 15-of-21.

Washington has a solid defensive unit. They are ranked 16th nationally against the run and have a defensive backfield as good as anybody’s in college football.

Chris Peterson with Washington is 1-3 in bowl games.

 

NHL Winter Classic today from Notre Dame Stadium: Bruins vs. Blackhawks

GAME PREVIEW WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

 

 

Notre Dame Stadium aerial view 2009 photo By Tysto - Author, Public Domain, https en.wikipedia.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ORIGINAL SIX RIVALRY

The Blackhawks and Bruins have faced off 588 times in the regular season since Chicago entered the NHL in 1926-27. Their 588 head-to-head meetings rank 14th in League history, a list topped by Boston-Montreal (745 GP). Overall, the Bruins hold the edge in both wins (BOS: 266, CHI: 243) and points (BOS: 615, CHI: 567) in their regular-season matchups with the Blackhawks.

 

Boston also owns a 5-2 advantage in its seven playoff series against Chicago. Four of those series occurred during the 1970s, with two preceding in 1927 and 1942. The most recent, in 2013, was the only Stanley Cup Final matchup between the Original Six franchises. In Game 6 of that series (at BOS), the Blackhawks rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the final 1:16 of regulation, scoring twice in a span of 17 seconds to capture their fifth championship.

 

Dave Bolland’s goal at 19:01 of the third period marked the latest Stanley Cup-winning goal ever scored in regulation. Chicago also became the first team to win a Stanley Cup-clinching game in regulation by overcoming a one-goal deficit in the final two minutes of the third period.

 

The Blackhawks and Bruins have played 10 times (in the regular season) since the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, with each team winning five games (CHI: 5-5-0, BOS: 5-4-1). They will face off one more time in 2018-19, on Feb. 12 at TD Garden.

 

BACK OUTDOORS

Both the Blackhawks and Bruins have prior outdoor game experience. Chicago will be playing in its sixth outdoor game (1-4-0) and fourth Winter Classic (0-3-0) – both tops in the NHL. The team’s lone outdoor win came in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Soldier Field, a 5-1 triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

 

Boston will be skating in its third outdoor game, all of which have been in the Winter Classic. The Bruins hosted their prior two such contests, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 at Fenway Park (2-1 OT W) and losing to the Montreal Canadiens in 2016 at Gillette Stadium (5-1 L).

 

Four members of the Blackhawks have played in their five prior outdoor games (tied for the most such appearances in NHL history): Patrick KaneDuncan KeithBrent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews. Toews ranks second in career points in outdoor games, totaling 2-4—6 across his five such appearances.

 

A pair of the Bruins has played in their two prior outdoor games: Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara. Goaltender Tuukka Rask, who started the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, also dressed for the 2010 game but did not play.

 

NHL RETURNS TO INDIANA

The NHL returns to Indiana for its sixth regular-season game in the state – and first since 1992. The Blackhawks have played in all five prior such contests, including a 3-2 loss to the Bruins on Jan. 21, 1954, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum in Indianapolis. That venue, now known as Indiana Farmers Coliseum, is the current home of the Indy Fuel, Chicago’s ECHL affiliate.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

* The University of Notre Dame will be the second college campus – and fifth football stadium – to host the Winter Classic, following the 2014 game at the University of Michigan.

 

* A total of 126 skaters, goaltenders and head coaches have competed for both the Blackhawks and Bruins, including current Boston forward Joakim Nordstrom. Of those 126, only one has appeared in at least 300 games with each franchise: forward Doug Mohns (415 w/ CHI, 711 w/ BOS).

 

* The official games pucks for the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will feature thermochromic coatings supplied by PPG. The advanced coatings change from purple to clear when a puck’s temperature is above freezing, providing a visual indication to officials that the puck should be replaced.

 

* As a legacy to the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the NHL and Blackhawks donated $100,000 to support the redevelopment of the University of Notre Dame’s Robinson Community Learning Center.

 

* The Blackhawks have earned points in seven of their past nine games (6-2-1), including wins in five of their last six contests. The Bruins own a 7-4-0 record in their past 11 outings. Both teams picked up 3-2 overtime victories in their final games prior to 2019.

 

* Blackhawks forward Patrick Kanethe NHL’s ‘First Star’ for the week ending Dec. 30, enters the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on a seven-game point streak (7-6—13). That includes consecutive three-point performances for the first time since Dec. 29-31, 2015.

 

* Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has played in 468 career regular-season games (all w/ BOS), tied for the most in franchise history among netminders with Tiny Thompson. Rask’s 247 career wins rank second to Thompson’s 252 with Boston.

 

* The 2018-19 campaign marks the 50th season of varsity hockey at the University of Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have reached the NCAA title game twice, losing to Boston College in 2008 and Minnesota-Duluth last season.

 

* Nine former members of the University of Notre Dame hockey team have appeared in a regular-season NHL game in 2018-19. Cal Petersen, who made his League debut with the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 13, became the first-ever Fighting Irish goaltender to play in an NHL game and the 33rd Notre Dame player to do so all-time.

 

* The Fighting Irish hockey team will face off against Big Ten rival Michigan in an outdoor game at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, Jan. 5.

 

OUTDOOR GAME NOTES AND TRENDS

* There have been 25 regular-season outdoor NHL games to date: 10 Winter Classics, nine Stadium Series, four Heritage Classics, one Centennial Classic and one NHL100 Classic.

 

* The NHL’s 25 regular-season outdoor games have drawn total attendance of 1,313,613 – an average of 52,545 per game.

 

* Fourteen outdoor games have taken place at football venues, 10 have been hosted by baseball parks and one has been staged in a soccer stadium.

 

* A total of 708 players and head coaches have participated in the NHL’s 25 regular-season outdoor games to date.

 

* Road teams are 15-8-2 in the League’s 25 regular-season outdoor games. Home clubs are 10-12-3 overall, but 5-0-1 in the last six and 6-2-1 in the past nine.

 

* Teams that score first are 15-7-3 in the NHL’s 25 regular-season outdoor games, including a 10-1-1 record in the last 12 such contests.

 

* Five of the League’s 25 regular-season outdoor games have required overtime, with three decided in the 5-minute extra session and two determined in a shootout.

 

WINTER CLASSIC UNIFORMS

Chicago Blackhawks

Paying homage to their 1933-34 uniform, the season Chicago won its first Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks’ black and white jersey features heritage materials and striping. Highlighting the throwback look, the team’s crest includes a combination of felt letters and chain stitching. To complete the theme, the player names and numbers feature single-layer felt materials. Additional design details include the years the Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup (1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, 2013 and 2015) emblazoned on the interior neckline, paired with the classic hash marks of Notre Dame Stadium as a nod to the classic end zone pattern.

 

Boston Bruins

Similar to the sweaters the Bruins wore from 1932-36, Boston’s brown and gold uniform also features heritage materials and striping. The crest includes the classic “B” logo from the team’s home and away sweaters during those years, created with a carpet-like, two-layer felt application. The player names and numbers – as with Chicago’s uniform – also feature two-layer felt materials. One of the most unique parts of Boston’s sweater is on the inside of the collar, where the years of the Bruins’ Stanley Cup victories (1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972 and 2011) are emblazoned on shamrocks, in a nod to the Fighting Irish.

 

WINTER CLASSIC ENTERTAINMENT

The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will feature a tribute to former Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins legends; special appearances by Notre Dame football greats, including 1987 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown, and The Notre Dame Leprechaun; and musical performances by Grammy Award-winning band Weezer as well as Judah & the Lion and The Jacks.

 

The Blackhawks’ and Bruins’ Original Six legacies will be recognized in the field décor inside Notre Dame Stadium, with eight Chicago and Boston players showcased on individual shamrocks surrounding the NHL rink: Ray BourqueJohnny BucykTony EspositoBobby HullStan MikitaBobby OrrDenis Savard and Eddie Shore. Bourque, Bucyk, Esposito, Hull and Savard, as well as a representative for the Mikita family, will be in attendance for a special pregame ceremony and will greet the current Blackhawks and Bruins players at the famed Notre Dame tunnel. When Boston and Chicago make their way into the stadium for the first time, they also will be greeted by several Fighting Irish football greats, including Brown.

 

When the Blackhawks first arrive at approximately 10 a.m. ET, the team will be escorted into the stadium by the Pipes & Drums of the Chicago Police Department. Weather permitting, Chicago will uphold Notre Dame’s game day tradition of greeting fans outside the Hesburgh Library Mall on the University of Notre Dame campus.

 

The Jacks, a Southern California four-piece rock ‘n’ roll band, will entertain fans inside Notre Dame during the Blackhawks’ and Bruins’ pregame skates. The formal pregame festivities will begin with the introduction of Chicago and Boston, set to the Notre Dame fight song performed by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. The teams will be escorted by members of Notre Dame’s men’s hockey team as well as The Notre Dame LeprechaunNotre Dame’s ROTC will present colors while members of South Bend’s St. Joseph High School varsity and junior varsity hockey teams will unfurl the U.S. flag onto the auxiliary rink.

 

The U.S. national anthem then will be performed by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. The pregame festivities will conclude with a flyover featuring four A-10 Thunderbolt II planes flown by Blacksnakes of the 163rd Fighter Squadron from the Fort Wayne Air National Guard Station.

 

Grammy Award-winning band Weezer will headline the entertainment for the game with a performance during the first intermission. A portion of that set will be televised on NBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports. Judah & the Lion, the most genre-bending band out of Nashville in recent memory, will entertain fans in attendance during the second intermission.

 

 

Legacy to 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, Blackhawks, NHL support Robinson Learning Center at Notre Dame

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

(photo by Getty Images, courtesy NHLmedia.com)

 

University of Notre Dame Community Center Receives Donation to Help Increase Access to Youth Hockey

 

NEW YORK/SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Dec. 31, 2018) – As a legacy to the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, the National Hockey League (NHL) and Chicago Blackhawks® have donated $100,000 to support the re-development of the University of Notre Dame’s Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC). Today, the learning center was presented with check at Compton Family Ice Arena, a day before the Blackhawks and Boston Bruinsmeet outdoors at Notre Dame Stadium.

 

The donation will be used to increase access to youth hockey in South Bend, Ind., in RCLC’s new 13,800 square-foot building, scheduled to open in 2020. Currently, the community center services approximately 600 people each week. The new building will provide more activities to residents, students, and community members, including regular access to hockey clinics and programming.

 

The Blackhawks, through their Get Out and Learn (G.O.A.L.) program, are providing the new center with hockey equipment, training programs, and hockey clinics. Each year, the Blackhawks will offer updated training support for Robinson Community Learning Center staff and participants. To date, more than 300,000 students across 650 schools have participated in the Blackhawks’ G.O.A.L. program.

 

The NHL’s donation will support a new computer lab that will include the Future Goals’ Hockey Scholar online program, which uses hockey to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Education, Math) concepts. The program is targeted to students in grades 4-7, leveraging hockey to teach critical STEM skills, develop scientific and critical thinking skills, and get introduced to STEM-related hockey careers.

 

“We are so grateful to the Blackhawks and the NHL for their support of the Robinson Community Learning Center’s youth,” said Jennifer Knapp Beudert, manager of the center. “Through our amazing partnership with the Blackhawks, RCLC kids have been given opportunities to learn new skills, explore potential career paths, and have been able to experience hockey firsthand. Thanks to this Blackhawks and NHL Legacy Project, more RCLC participants will become involved in hockey as well as in STEM learning areas.”

 

Additionally, the nearby Compton Family Ice Arena will host its first-ever Little Blackhawks Learn to Play program this spring. The program will be open to children ages 5-9 who want to try hockey for the first time. Participants are provided with free head-to-toe equipment, instruction, and certified coaching with appearances from NHL alumni. Five participants will receive a ‘hockey scholarship’ to the Learn to Play program, covering the costs of all fees.

 

The Legacy initiative is an ongoing philanthropic endeavor in which the League and the local club support community organizations in the host city of an NHL event. Since 2007, the League, its teams and partners have collectively donated more than $1.6 million to communities across North America. In the past decade, the Legacy Projects have aided thousands of hospital patients in recovery; helped at-risk youth and families gain better access to educational and vocational training; and provided greater access to people of all ages to learn and play hockey.

 

 

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