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Archive for September 1st, 2020

NHL Morning Skate, Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition- Tuesday, September 1, 2020




Victor Hedman scored the game-winning goal in double overtime to lift the Lightning to a 4-1 series win over the Bruins and into the Conference Finals for the fourth time in six seasons.

* The Avalanche scored five goals in one period of a playoff game for the first time in franchise history and never relinquished the lead to stave off elimination in Game 5.

* The Islanders and Golden Knights can both advance to the Conference Finals with a win today.


Victor Hedman (1-1—2) scored at 14:10 of double overtime to lift the Lightning to the Conference Finals for the sixth time in franchise history and fourth in the last six seasons. Tampa Bay will now travel to Edmonton for the Eastern Conference Final where they will face the winner of the Flyers-Islanders series.

* Hedman became the third Lightning player to score an overtime goal in a series-clinching game, joining Brayden Point earlier this postseason (Game 5 of 2020 R1) and Martin St. Louis (Game 5 of 2004 CQF and 3OT in Game 6 of the 2003 CQF).

* Hedman, who became the third Lightning defenseman to score a playoff overtime goal, is just the third blueliner on any team in the last 10 years to score a series-clinching goal in a game that required multiple overtime periods. The others: Kevin Bieksa (2OT: Game 5 of 2011 CF w/ VAN) and Alec Martinez (2OT: Game 5 of 2014 SCF w/ LAK).

Ondrej Palat extended his goal streak to four games (5-1—6 in 4 GP) to match the longest such run by a Lightning player in the postseason, joining Steven Stamkos in 2018 (4-2—6 in 4 GP) and 2015 (4-3—7 in 4 GP), Vincent Lecavalier in 2007 (5-1—6 in 4 GP) and St. Louis in 2003 (5-3—8 in 4 GP).

* Point added a pair of assists to extend his point streak to six games (2-9—11 in 6 GP), marking his second six-game stretch this postseason. The last time one player had multiple six-game point streaks in a single postseason was Cory Stillman in 2006 (7 GP and 13 GP) en route to helping the Hurricanes capture the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship.

With their season on the line and Michael Hutchinson (31 saves) making his first career playoff start, the Avalanche jumped out to a 5-0 advantage in the first period and never relinquished the lead to win Game 5 and stave off elimination. It marked the first time in Avalanche/Nordiques history the team has scored five goals in one playoff period.

* Colorado’s first period outburst included four goals in a span of 2:36 to mark the second-fastest four goals by one team in a playoff game.

* This marked the fourth time in the 2020 postseason the Avalanche have scored six or more goals. The franchise has only had as many six-goal performances in a single postseason on one other occasion (4 in 1997). Additionally, the 2018 Capitals are the only other team in the last 20 years to post four or more six-goal outings in a single postseason.


Andre Burakovsky led the offense with 2-1—3 to become the 11th player in franchise history to record three or more points in a game when facing elimination and just the fourth in the last 20 years, joining J.T. Compher (2-1—3 in Game 6 of 2019 R2), Adam Foote (1-2—3 in Game 6 of 2001 SCF) and Alex Tanguay (2-1—3 in Game 7 of 2001 SCF).


* Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon (1-1—2) has found the scoresheet in all 13 games contested by Colorado this postseason (8-15—23 in 13 GP). Only Bryan Trottier (18 GP in 1981), Mark Messier (14 GP in 1988) and Bobby Orr (14 GP in 1970) have recorded longer postseason-opening point streaks.

* MacKinnon’s 23 points in 13 games so far this postseason is already tied with the leaders from the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Blues forward Ryan O’Reilly (8-15—23 in 26 GP) and Bruins forward Brad Marchand (9-14—23 in 24 GP).


The Islanders and Golden Knights each have a chance to advance to the 2020 Conference Finals as they face off against the Flyers and Canucks, respectively, for Game 5. Teams that hold a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series own an all-time record of 285-29, including a 7-0 mark in 2020.

A team has overcome a 3-1 series deficit to advance five times since 2012: the Sharks in the 2019 First Round (vs. VGK), the Rangers in both the 2015 Second Round (vs. WSH) and 2014 Second Round (vs. PIT), the Kings in the 2014 First Round (vs. SJS) and the Blackhawks in the 2013 Conference Semifinals (vs. DET).

* The Islanders can reach the Conference Finals for the first time since 1993. When leading a best-of-seven series 3-1, New York holds an all-time series record of 10-0 (1.000).

* Three current Islanders have scored a series-clinching goal: Anthony Beauvillier (Game 4 of the 2020 SCQ vs. FLA and Game 5 of the 2020 R1 vs. WSH), Brock Nelson (Game 4 of the 2019 R1 vs. PIT) and Johnny Boychuk (Game 4 of the 2011 CSF vs. PHI w/ BOS)
* The Flyers aim to overcome a 3-1 deficit for the second time in franchise history after accomplishing the feat against the Bruins in the 2010 Conference Semifinals. Two current Flyers were part of that series comeback: Claude Giroux (1-4—5 in 7 GP) and James van Riemsdyk (1-0—1 in 7 GP).

* The Golden Knights can become the first team in NHL history to reach the Conference Finals at least twice in their first three seasons.


* Four teams have reached the final four in the playoffs at least twice in their first three NHL seasons, with three doing so in campaigns that featured anywhere from three to 10 teams: the Canadiens (1918 & 1919), original Senators (1919 & 1920) and Rangers (1927, 1928 & 1929). The fourth team is the Blues (1968, 1969 & 1970), who advanced to the Semifinals in each of their first three campaigns out of the West Division, which contained only clubs that had joined the League with them in 1967-68.

* Additionally, Vegas can become the third franchise in NHL history to earn multiple series wins in two of its first three NHL seasons, in which they would join the Rangers (1928 and 1929) and Blues (1968, 1969 & 1970).
* The Canucks have rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to win three times in franchise history (2003 CQF vs. STL, 1994 CQF vs. CGY and 1992 DSF vs. WIN). They advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in 1994 before falling to the Rangers in Game 7.










Crew SC finds out that FC Cincinnati is a much improved team in 0-0 draw

Hell was real but also scoreless on Saturday night, as the Columbus Crew SC (5-1-2, 17 pts.) and FC Cincinnati (2-4-2, 8 pts.) dueled to a 0-0 draw at Nippert Stadium in the latest installment of their “Hell is Real” Derby.

The first half had the physicality and energy you’d expect in a rivalry game, but no goals. The best scoring chance for each team came, oddly, on an FC Cincy corner. In the 11th minute, the Crew broke a counter on the set-piece finishing with Youness Mokhtar trying to chip a very-off-his-line Przemyslaw Tyton. The shot went wide, however. Then, in the 17th minute, a strong Siem de Jong free-kick forced Eloy Room into a diving save. FCC couldn’t convert on the rebound, even though Joe Gyau did get off a far-post header attempt.

Goalkeeper Eloy room made several game-saving saves which allowed Crew SC to gain a point on the road

The second half continued with more tantalizing chances but no breakthrough. That included a Lucas Zelarayan 51st-minute shot that skipped to the wrong side of the post, a Maikel van der Werff attempt on another spot-on de Jong free kick, a 55th-minute Gyasi Zardes cross in the box that Pedro Santos couldn’t slide onto the end of, and a 71st-minute long Yuya Kubo shot that tested Room.

Speaking of Room, it was his first appearance back since injuring his hamstring in the MLS is Back Tournament, and it looked like he never left.

Columbus didn’t have too much to worry about defensively, conceding two shots on target, and Room made both stops look easy.

Following his diving save in the first-half, the Curacao international came up big in the 52nd-minute with an insane reflex save.

On the day, Columbus maintained over 60-percent of the possession and hit three shots on target, and perhaps telling of Cincinnati’s defensive bunkering, the Crew delivered an astounding 30 crosses into the box.

  • With his start in tonight’s road contest against FC Cincinnati, forward Gyasi Zardes reached 200 appearances (185 starts) in MLS regular-season action. Zardes is now one of only two players on Crew SC’s current roster to have made 200 or more appearances in MLS regular-season action, joining Darlington Nagbe (278 appearances). Since joining MLS ahead of the 2013 season, Zardes has scored 71 goals and provided 20 assists in his 200 regular-season appearances.
  • Goalkeeper Eloy Room earned his fourth shutout of the 2020 regular-season in tonight’s match against FC Cincinnati, making three saves en route to helping Crew SC earn a point on the road. Room’s first clean sheet of the 2020 regular season came on Opening Match at home during a 1-0 victory over New York City FC (March 1) followed by shutout wins against FC Cincinnati (July 11) and the New York Red Bulls (July 16). .
  • Midfielder Fatai Alashe made his regular-season debut for the Black & Gold as a substitute during tonight’s match against FC Cincinnati. Alashe came in for midfielder Lucas Zelarayan in the 67th minute. In addition to making his crew SC debut, his appearance in tonight’s match marked his 100th regular-season appearance (73rd start) since joining MLS MLS appearance in 2015.
  • With the result against FC Cincinnati, Crew SC’s record moved to 5-1-2 (17 pts.) in the 2020 MLS regular season.
  • Up next, Crew SC returns home to face Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, September 2 (7:30 p.m. ET [FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports Go App (Stream)] / Streaming online via the “Listen Live” button at / Spanish audio on





Crew SC gives update on Wednesday home match against Philadelphia

No tickets to Wednesday’s home match against Philadelphia to be sold;
Additional updates to be announced regarding Sunday, Sept. 6 home match against FC Cincinnati


For Immediate Release: August 31, 2020


COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC today announced that tickets will not be sold for Wednesday’s home match at MAPFRE Stadium against the Philadelphia Union on September 2 [7:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports GO (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & (English), (Spanish)].

Crew SC has collaborated with government health officials, medical experts, industry leaders and MLS and worked hard to develop a comprehensive venue reopening plan for MAPFRE Stadium. The Crew remains ready to host a limited number of fans with health and safety as its highest priority if and when the necessary approvals are secured. An update regarding the potential for supporters to attend in a significantly reduced capacity for the home match against FC Cincinnati on Sunday, September 6 is expected later this week as additional information becomes available.


The Club has continued to recognize that circumstances are fluid and as such, has designed its plans to maximize flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Crew SC looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the State of Ohio and local public health officials in Columbus on its venue reopening plans. In the meantime, the Club will follow the guidance of MLS and execute robust safety and sanitization protocols for players and staff at MAPFRE Stadium as it does its part to ensure a safe continuation of the 2020 MLS season. On Wednesday, only a very small number (approximately 250) of family members and guests of the team (players, staff) will be in attendance.
As previously announced, Crew SC’s re-opening preparedness at MAPFRE Stadium is guided by seven key principles: 1) physical separation, which includes a reduced capacity and specific circulation plan to maximize six feet physical distancing inside the stadium; 2) face coverings, which are required for everyone in the stadium; 3) health screenings, which include daily temperature screenings and symptom monitoring for all staff, as well as a fan health promise; 4) robust cleaning and disinfecting protocols throughout the venue; 5) comprehensive hygiene protocols for all supporters and staff; 6) clear signage and communication, including wayfinding and posted education and protocol materials that will be posted for fans and staff; and 7) accountability and flexibility in the form of robust plan governance, compliance and audit protocols along with continuous review and adjustment to evolving circumstances.
Within Crew SC’s “2020 Return to Play” schedule [Updated Crew Schedule], any ticketed matches played in front of fans at MAPFRE Stadium will be at significantly reduced capacity. As such, all tickets to future 2020 matches will be issued as new tickets. With respect to any future 2020 Crew SC home matches that are played with fans, Crew SC will offer Season Ticket Members the opportunity to purchase tickets in waves based on tenure. Supporters with questions may contact the Membership Services Team (614-447-2739, ext. 1 or or visit for updated information.

All Crew SC matches in Phase One continue to be televised locally on FOX Sports Ohio and SportsTime Ohio. Similarly, the Black & Gold’s matches will be aired locally on the radio in English on 97.1 The Fan and streaming online via “Listen Live” at, featuring Chris Doran broadcasting the contests. The club’s official website,, is set to stream Spanish-language audio broadcasts of all six matches with Juan Valladares behind the microphone.


For a schedule of Crew SC’s upcoming 2020 MLS regular-season matches in Phase One, please see below.

Wednesday, September 2 PHILADELPHIA UNION FOX Sports Ohio 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 6 FC CINCINNATI SportsTime Ohio 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 12 @ Chicago Fire SportsTime Ohio 7:30 p.m.


Columbus Crew SC (Soccer Club) is the first club in Major League Soccer. Crew SC is operated by The Edwards Family and Haslam Sports Group. The Black & Gold won their first MLS Cup championship in 2008 and also won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. The 2020 campaign is the Crew’s 25th season in MLS and the 21st season at historic MAPFRE Stadium – the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States.

Website: | Twitter: @ColumbusCrewSC | Instagram: @ColumbusCrewSC | Hashtag: #Crew96 | | Snapchat: ColumbusCrewSC | Stadium: MAPFRE Stadium | Training Facility: Crew SC Training Center at Obetz | Future Training Facility (2021): OhioHealth Performance Center | New, downtown stadium coming July 2021.



Former Wright State basketball star Bill Wampler signs professional contract with Ehingen Urspring

Bill Wampler (1) goes around a pick set by Loudon Love against Northern KY (courtesy

Monday, August 31, 2020

For Immediate Release


Wampler joins former Raiders Grant Benzinger & Matt Vest in the German league


DAYTON, OH – Former Wright State standout and two-time All-Horizon League player Bill Wampler has signed with Ehingen Urspring to begin his professional career. Ehingen Urspring is based in Ehingen, Germany and plays in the ProA, the second German division.

“I’m excited to continue my career professionally. It wouldn’t have happened without the opportunity I was given to play at Wright State,” Bill Wampler said. “Coach Nagy and the staff have prepared me to prepare like a professional. I’m ready to continue playing games, and representing Wright State in a positive way.”

“We are excited for the opportunity for Bill to continue playing,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “We are very appreciative of what he was able to accomplish at Wright State and look forward to watching him throughout his professional career.”

Wampler was named an NABC All-District performer and earned his second consecutive second team All-Horizon honor this spring after averaging 15.6 points per game and shooting 43 percent from the floor overall as a senior. He tallied 23 double-digit scoring games in 2019-20, including a season-high 27 points against Weber State last November as he passed the 1,000-career point milestone. Wampler ended his collegiate career with 1,006 points scored at Wright State and 1,414 total collegiate points between the Raiders and Drake.

ProA is the second-tier level league of professional club basketball in Germany. The league comprises 16 teams. Officially, ProA is part of the 2. Basketball Bundesliga, which consists of the two hierarchical leagues: ProA and ProB. Ehingen previously won ProB, Germany’s third tier league, twice, in 2011 and 2016.

Benzinger has played two professional seasons, both with Uni Baskets Paderborn of the ProA league, while Vest has played six professional seasons, all in the ProA league, and was with Science City Jena during the 2019-20 campaign.





This Week in the NHL: Morning Skate, Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition- Monday, August 31, 2020



* The Stars and Avalanche had another back-and-forth entanglement, with Dallas coming out on top this time to move within one win of the 2020 Conference Finals.

* The Golden Knights and Islanders also took 3-1 leads in their Second Round series with the Canucks and Flyers, respectively.

* Defensemen Miro HeiskanenCale Makar and Quinn Hughes each found the score sheet to climb various franchise and all-time lists, detailed below.

The Stars raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening 10:45, but the Avalanche counterattacked with two consecutive goals to cut the deficit to 3-2 through 40 minutes. In the third period, Roope Hintz (1-1—2) and Denis Gurianov each scored within a span of 32 seconds – with Gurianov’s goal standing as the winner – as Dallas took a 3-1 lead in its Second Round series.

* The Stars own a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series for the 12th time in franchise history. They went 10-1 in the 11 previous series, including five instances where the clinching win was earned in Game 5.

* Dallas has scored five or more goals in six of 13 games this postseason, including four times in its last five contests dating to a series-clinching win in Game 6 of the First Round (7-3 W). The Stars scored five or more goals five times in 69 games during the 2019-20 regular season, including just once since late November.

* Gurianov has accounted for eight of Dallas’ 44 goals this postseason (8-2—10 in 13 GP) and remained one back of Canucks captain Bo Horvat (9-2—11 in 14 GP) for the League lead. Only one Stars/North Stars rookie has scored more than eight goals in a playoff year, which was Minnesota’s Dino Ciccarelli in 1981 (14-7—21 in 19 GP).

Miro Heiskanen collected an assist on a goal by Radek Faksa (1-2—3) to record his team-leading 16th point since Aug. 1 (3-13—16 in 13 GP). He established a Stars/North Stars franchise record for most in a postseason by a defenseman.

The Stars and Avalanche have combined for 34 goals through the first four games of their Second Round series (8.5 G/GP). It marks the fifth Stanley Cup Playoffs series since 1995 to feature as many through four games, following the 1995 Conference Quarterfinals between the Flames and Sharks (39), 2002 Conference Semifinals between the Avalanche and Sharks (34), 2012 Conference Quarterfinals between the Flyers and Penguins (45) and 2014 First Round between the Kings and Sharks (34).

The Golden Knights and Islanders also moved within one win of reaching the 2020 Conference Finals:

Max Pacioretty (2-1—3) factored on two of Vegas’ three unanswered goals in the third period to help the Golden Knights overcome a 3-2 deficit and take 3-1 lead in their Second Round series. Pacioretty, who went without a point in each of his first three outings since returning to the lineup on Aug. 11, has averaged a goal per game over his last five dating to Vegas’ series-clinching win in the First Round (5-2—7).

Mark Stone (0-3—3) and Shea Theodore (0-2—2) each collected multiple assists, with Theodore extending his point streak to six games (1-8—9). Stone (6-8—14 in 12 GP) and Theodore (4-10—14 in 12 GP) share the team lead with 14 points overall this postseason.

Marc-Andre Fleury (28 saves), who made his first appearance since Game 3 of the First Round, earned his 81st career playoff win to pass Ken Dryden (80) for sole possession of sixth place on the NHL’s all-time list. He improved to 3-0 in three appearances this postseason (2.67 GAA, .893 SV%).

* The Golden Knights own a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series for the fourth time in franchise history. They went 2-1 in the three previous series.

* Brock Nelson tallied twice – including the winning goal with 8:48 remaining in regulation – as the Islanders won Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead in their Second Round series with the Flyers. Nelson recorded his second career multi-goal outing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, following Game 1 of the 2015 First Round (2-0—2 at WSH).

Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his seventh goal this postseason (7-2—9 in 13 GP) to move into a tie with Anthony Beauvillier (7-3—10 in 13 GP) for the team lead. It marked the first postseason in which multiple Islanders players each scored seven or more goals since 1993, when Ray Ferraro (13-7—20 in 18 GP) and Steve Thomas (9-8—17 in 18 GP) combined for the feat.

* New York owns a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series for the 11th time in franchise history. They went 10-0 in the 10 previous series, including four instances where the clinching win was earned in Game 5.

Rookie defensemen Cale Makar of the Avalanche (1-1—2) and Quinn Hughes of the Canucks (0-2—2) each recorded multiple points on Sunday. Makar (3-10—13 in 12 GP) and Hughes (1-12—13 in 14 GP) moved within one point of matching the NHL record for most in a postseason by a rookie defenseman, a mark last achieved by by Boston’s Glen Wesley in 1988 (8-8—16 in 24 GP). Wesley’s totals include two goals in the suspended Game 4 of the 1988 Stanley Cup Final.

* Hughes also established a franchise record for most points in a playoff year by a Canucks rookie (regardless of position), eclipsing the previous mark of 11 set by Lars Molin in 1982 (2-9—11 in 17 GP).

* The Stars/North Stars franchise has reached the Conference Finals six times since the series was introduced in 1982, with the last instance occurring over 12 years ago (1984, 1991, 1998, 1999, 2000 & 2008). Minnesota also reached the Semifinals four times before 1982, including during its inaugural season (1968, 1971, 1980 & 1981).

* Like the Bruins, Colorado also looks to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a Stanley Cup Playoffs series for the first time in franchise history.

* The Stars earned seven wins in the second half of back-to-back sets during the 2019-20 regular season (7-3-2), while the Avalanche had six (6-5-1). Dallas and Colorado are both 0-1 in those contests during the 2020 postseason.




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