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Archive for May 4th, 2019

Blue Jackets continue to add goaltending depth with signing of Daniil Tarasov




Daniil Tarasov (courtesy goalie archives)

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed goaltender Daniil Tarasov to a three-year entry level contract beginning in the 2019-20 season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.  Tarasov was selected by the club in the third round, 86th overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft.


Tarasov, 20, spent the 2018-19 season in Russia with Toros Neftekamsk (VHL) and Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL).  He made his Kontinental Hockey League debut, sporting a 2.86 goals-against average (GAA) and .917 save percentage (SV%) in two games.  In 25 regular season outings in the VHL, he compiled a 17-6 record with a 1.71 GAA, .928 SV% and two shutouts.  He finished sixth in the league in GAA (20 or more GP).  He went 9-8 with a 1.87 GAA and .930 SV% in 17 VHL playoff games.  He also went 2-0-0-0 with a 2.80 GAA and .893 SV% in three games for Russia at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships, helping the squad capture a bronze medal.


A native of Novokuznetsk, Russia, Tarasov spent the 2017-18 campaign with the MHL’s Tolpar Ufa, finishing fifth in the league in GAA and shutouts (tied) and seventh-T in SV% with a 24-10 record, 1.85 GAA, .928 SV% and six shutouts in 40 outings.  He missed the 2016-17 campaign due to injury.  In 2015-16, he played for Tolpar Ufa (MHL) and Salavat Yulaev Ufa (Russsia U17) and was named one of Russia’s top three players at the IIHF World Under-18 Championships after posting a 2.11 GAA and .921 SV% in five contests.


The Blue Jackets ­­return to action tonight in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. the Boston Bruins.  Game time from TD Garden is 7:15 p.m. ET .  The game will be televised live on NBC.  In addition to national television coverage, FOX Sports Ohio will air the “Blue Jackets Live” post-game show immediately after each game of the series.  Brian Giesenschlag and Bill Davidge will serve as hosts with Jeff Rimer, Jody Shelley and Dave Maetzold providing insight, analysis and interviews from the arena.  All Blue Jackets playoff games will be broadcast live on the Eldorado Scioto Downs Blue Jackets Radio Network, including flagship station Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan, and online at, with Bob McElligott calling the action and Shelley providing color analysis.  Coverage will begin with a one-hour pre-game show prior to each radio broadcast.




Game 4 Recap: 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, Eastern Conference SemiFinals: Blue Jackets lay an egg in 4-1 loss to Bruins; Series tied 2-2



*First game ever played by the Blue Jackets in the month of May

*Up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series, CBJ fails to capitalize in Game 4 to take home ice advantage

*19,431 largest crowd ever to see the Jackets in Nationwide Arena which holds 18,500

*CBJ hurt its chances with too many penalties (6) which led to two power play goals for Boston

*Bruins controlled game from outset of the first period by scoring first at 3:33


All three goes to the Bruins

Center Sean Kuraly, who is from the Northwest Columbus suburb of Dublin, Ohio, scored the third Boston goal.

Center Patrice Bergeron, an annual Jackets killer over the years, scored 2 goals and the eventual game-winner

Goalie Tuukka Rask, made a statement in this game, by stopping 39 of 40 shots. But halted 25 of 25 in the 2nd and 3rd periods when the Jackets were crashing his net.


Columbus Blue Jackets Post-Game Notes

Stanley Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 4

Columbus Blue Jackets (1) vs. Boston Bruins (4)

May 2, 2019 – Nationwide Arena (19,431)

Goal Scorers
Columbus: A. Panarin (5)

Boston: D. Pastrnak (4), PP – P. Bergeron (4), S. Kuraly (2), PP – P. Bergeron (5)



Columbus: S. Bobrovsky (42 Saves on 46 shots, L)
Boston: T. Rask (39 Saves on 40 shots, L)

Game Summary:

Event Summary:

  • The Blue Jackets moved to to 2-2 in the series against the Bruins with tonight’s loss.
  • Tonight’s game was the first of the series that was won by multiple goals.  It was also the Jackets’ first loss in regulation of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
  • Boone Jenner (unsuccessful) took the first postseason penalty shot in franchise history in the first period.
  • The Blue Jackets went 4-for-6 on the penalty kill tonight and have killed off 18-of-22 opponent power plays this postseason (81.8 pct.).  It was the first time the Jackets gave up multiple power play goals in the 2019 playoffs. The Jackets faced a playoff-high six opponent power plays tonight.
  • Tonight’s crowd of 19,431 is the largest crowd in franchise history, surpassing Apr. 30, 2019 vs. Boston and  Apr. 17, 2018 vs. Washington (19,337).

  • LW Artemi Panarin scored his fifth goal of the postseason in the first period.  His five goals are tied for the team lead (Matt Duchene) and tied for the most in a single playoff year in franchise history.  He has points in seven of eight postseason games (5-5-10).
  • RW Oliver Bjorkstrand assisted on Panarin’s goal for his first assist/point of the series.  He has 2-3-5 in eight playoff games.
  • Pierre-Luc Dubois collected an assist on Panarin’s goal, giving him 1-1-2 over his last four contests.  He’s recorded 2-3-5 this postseason.
  • Seth Jones recorded a single playoff game carer-high seven shots on goal tonight.  He also led all players with five blocked shots.
  • Sergei Bobrovsky fell to 6-2 with tonight’s loss being his first regulation loss in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.  He made a 2019 postseason-high 42 saves on 46 shots.

Blue Jackets Audio:
Coach John Tortorella | Cam Atkinson | Oliver Bjorkstrand | Sergei Bobrovsky | Nick Foligno | Seth Jones


Bruins Audio:
Coach Bruce Cassidy | Patrice Bergeron | Jake DeBrusk | Sean Kuraly | Brad Marchand | Tuukka Rask

Next Game:

Saturday, May 4 at Boston Bruins (Game 5) – TD Garden, 7:15 p.m. ET – NBC / Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan






Arena Football League reaches deal with ESPN3 to Broadcast all 2019 games



(courtesy ESPN)











PHILADELPHIA, PA – Today, the Arena Football League (AFL) and ESPN announce a media rights agreement for all of the AFL’s 2019 regular-season games., Effective immediately, all regular-season games will be available on ESPN3 and the ESPN App. In addition, ArenaBowl XXXII will be televised on ESPN2.

All games will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the ESPN App, beginning Friday, May 3, at 7:00 p.m. ET, when the Baltimore Brigade host the Philadelphia Soul at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, M.D. On Saturday, May 4 at 3:30 p.m., the Atlantic City Blackjacks host the Columbus Destroyers, in their first-ever home game at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. Following this matchup, the Albany Empire host the Washington Valor at 7:30 p.m. ET at Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. ESPN3 harnesses the quality ESPN has built through its TV networks and delivers sports programming to fans through a rich interactive and easy-to-use experience. Sports fans are empowered to access compelling live or recently completed events.

AFL games can be accessed through ESPN3 on computer, smartphones, tablets and other connected devices through the ESPN App. The network is currently available nationwide at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.

Scott Guglielmino, Senior Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions, ESPN

“We are delighted to be the national media home for Arena Football League – the leading professional indoor football league in the country. The AFL complements our commitment to serve fans with the best available football action year-round.”

Randall Boe, Arena Football League Commissioner

“We are pleased for the AFL, its players, coaches and fans, to be able to announce that all of our games will be broadcast on ESPN. We are pleased and proud to be working with ESPN and think they will be a great partner to help us grow the AFL.”

Zach Leonsis, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Monumental Sports and Entertainment

“ESPN is one of the most premier and progressive networks in all of sports both domestically and internationally and through this deal we are excited to have the opportunity to reach a greater number of fans while preserving access to media rights for our regional sports networks in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Albany and Columbus.

ESPN is constantly pushing the envelope on its digital platforms with the evolution of ESPN3 and ESPN+, as well as expanding and experimenting in the realm of sports betting, which aligns perfectly with our strategy at the AFL.”

Ron Jaworski, AFL Executive Committee Chair

“I’m delighted that AFL games will be on ESPN this season. I’m very proud of my broadcast career at ESPN and I know first-hand that there is no better organization in sports.”



ESPN, the world’s leading sports entertainment enterprise, features more than 50 assets – eight   U.S. television networks, direct-to-consumer ESPN+, ESPN Radio,, ESPN International, ESPN The Magazine and more.  ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc. (an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company) and 20 percent by Hearst.


The Arena Football League (AFL) enters its 32nd season in 2019. Since its inception in 1987, the AFL showcases a fast-paced, exciting game to a significant number of fans in a myriad of markets. With the addition of two new teams in Atlantic City, N.J., and Columbus, Ohio, the League totals six teams, all of which will play 12 regular-season games in 2019: Albany, Atlantic City, Columbus, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The League can be found on InstagramTwitter and Facebook using the handle @OfficialAFL.


The Columbus Destroyers are members of the Arena Football League (AFL) and make their return to Nationwide Arena this summer! Interested in purchasing tickets? Call (614) 228-5518, visit or stop by the Big Lots! Box Office at Nationwide Arena to get your seats today! For partnership opportunities, please click HERE. Be sure to follow the Destroyers on Twitter @AFLDestroyers, on Facebook at, and on Instagram @AFLDestroyers.


Daily Almanac for Saturday, May 4, 2019: Kentucky Derby Day




America’s most famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby, has been held continuously since 1875 at Louisville, Kentucky, and has become one of the country’s largest civic celebrations (and betting opportunity). Not bad when you consider that the event lasts only two minutes! Modeled on England’s Epsom Derby, it is for three-year-old Thoroughbreds and was originally run at a mile and a half (now at a mile and a quarter). Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark organized the first race, and since he wanted the occasion to be festive, he gave a Derby breakfast for his friends before the first running (mint juleps anyone?). Dances, parties, and carnival-like gaiety have long been a feature of Derby week. The Derby is the first event in the “Triple Crown” series, followed by the Preakness (the second Saturday after the Derby) and the Belmont Stakes (the fifth Saturday after the Derby).














AFL Week 2: Destroyers (0-1) visit Atlantic City Blackjacks (0-1)













The Atlantic City Blackjacks look to get into the win column in Week Two against the League’s other expansion team, the Columbus Destroyers. Like the Blackjacks, the Destroyers also fell short in their season opener. Both these teams will be hungry for a win so expect to see some sparks. The game will take place on May 4 at 3:30 p.m. inside Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall.

The Blackjacks demonstrated that they are a legitimate team in this League last week against one of the better teams in Philadelphia. The Blackjacks put up a great fight but came up just one score short. If the team can sharpen up some areas of play leading up to this game, they should be in good shape. The Destroyers defense gave up 230 passing yards in Week One while intercepting Albany Empire quarterback Tommy Grady once.

The receiving core of the Blackjacks hasn’t really been dipped into just yet, only three players caught passes against Philly. Look for Rashad Still and Tyron Laughinghouse to have bigger games. Even though the two are rookies, they were able to get their first AFL game under their belt and have a better feeling of what to expect on gameday. The Destroyers cornerbacks will try and slow down Atlantic City’s hottest player from Week One, LaMark Brown. Brown had 90 receiving yards with three touchdowns in his Blackjacks debut, so Hippeard should have some open looks to his other receivers.

The second key matchup will include the Blackjacks secondary. After Marvin Ross went down, fans can expect the cornerbacks to play a little harder for their teammate. Destroyers quarterback Danny Southwick threw for only 123 yards, 23 yards less than what the Blackjacks let Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh throw for. Southwick also threw two interceptions in Week One against Albany.

Week One showed a lot of promise for the Blackjacks secondary, they didn’t give up many plays deep and that trend should continue in Week Two. Arthur Hobbs had nine tackles and Kiante Northington pitched in with six of his own. This core will only grow as the season moves on and that’s a good thing for Blackjacks fans. Look for LaRoche Jackson to have a big game, the veteran always comes to play and having the home crowd at his back should elevate his play that much more.

The final key matchup up to watch is going to be how the Blackjacks can stop Destroyers receiver Anthony Amos. Amos had seven receptions for 98 yards and four kick returns for 72 yards giving him 170 all-purpose yards. The Blackjacks special teams will need to limit his big return numbers if they want to give their defense field to work with.

The Blackjacks special teams did a nice job in week one limiting the Soul’s kick returns to a minimum. Nick Haag also came up with a big fumble recovery in the early stages of last week’s game for the Blackjacks and will need him to keep up the positive play. Mark Lewis has a knack of surprising opponents with his onside kicks and if used in the correct times, could play a big part in the Blackjacks drive to victory. On the other side of special teams, Kendrick Ings will look to have himself another big day on kick returns. Ings had four returns for 76 yards and is always a threat for opposing special teams. The smaller but shifty receiver always seems to find open space with his quick feet. Expect to see him more involved on the offensive side of the ball as well, he should have himself a big day.

Boardwalk Hall, home of the Blackjacks 2014 photo By Farragutful - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https

About Atlantic City Blackjacks

The Arena Football League’s newest franchise, the Atlantic City Blackjacks will begin play in Spring 2019 at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall.  Season memberships for the inaugural 2019 season are on sale now.  For tickets, contact the Atlantic City Blackjacks sales department at (609) 783-9494 or by going to  Follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @AFLBlackjacks

About the Arena Football League

The Arena Football League enters its 32nd season in 2019. Since its inception in 1987, the AFL showcases a fast-paced, exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets. With the addition of two new teams in Atlantic City, N.J., and Columbus, O.H., the League totals six teams for 2019: Albany, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Each team will play 12 regular-season games in 2019. One can find the League on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the handle @OfficialAFL.

About Spectra

Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center are owned and funded by the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA).  Spectra provides both Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center.  Spectra is an industry leader in hosting and entertainment, partnering with clients to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year. Spectra’s unmatched blend of integrated services delivers incremental value for clients through several primary areas of expertise: Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality, and Partnerships. Learn more at




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