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Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo.’

Umberger’s hat trick, penalty-kill, Mason’s goaltending fuels 5-1 win over Carolina

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets showed Friday night in their 5-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, how good they can be as a team.

They dominated the game from the outset and received excellent work between the pipes by goaltender Steve Mason, a solid penalty-kill and a hat trick from R.J. Umberger.

Vinny Prospal collected a goal and assist in win (photo by Jason Mowry courtesy ColumbusWired.net)

R J Umberger scored a hat trick in the win (photo by Jason Mowry courtesy Columbuswired.net)

Coming into Friday’s matchup with one of the NHL’s worst teams in the Blue Jackets, Carolina at 30-29-15, 75 points on the season, are trying to chase down the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference from Buffalo or Washington.

But with only seven games remaining, the defeat was a costly one for the Hurricanes who are 11th in the East race, fell seven points behind the eight spot.

They should’ve known the Blue Jackets have been tough on playoff-caliber teams since Todd Richards took over for the unpopular Scott Arniel on January 9.

R.J. Umberger has had an up-and-down season, but he is one of the team’s most popular players due to the fact that he is an Ohio State hockey product and he gives his all whether the team is winning or losing and he wants to be a part of the franchise when things turn upward.

But March 23 became Umberger’s day with three goals for the second time in his Jackets career, third overall to fuel the team’s 24th win of the season.

Other heroes included Vinny Prospal with a goal and assist, Steve Mason, who has won six of his last eight starts, stopped 39 shots in goal against a good Carolina lineup featuring Eric Staal, Tuomo Ruutu, Jeff Skinner, Brandon Sutter, Jiri Tlusty and Jussi Jokinen.

Derick Brassard assisted on each of Umberger’s goals, while Nikita Nikitin and Jack Johnson garnered two assists. Johnson also earned his 100th assist of his career.

The key part of the game was the start of the third period when the Blue Jackets killed off a 5-on-3 penalty-kill leading 3-1. The Hurricanes did not score and that was the game.

Carolina goaltender Cam Ward looked lost all night as the Jackets scored five goals on 26 shots.

GAME NOTES

* Columbus has won two of its last three games after dropping the four previous games.

* The hat trick scored by R.J. Umberger was the third this season and 22nd in the franchise’s history. The now-traded and unpopular Jeff Carter had the other two.

* Columbus scored the first goal of the game for the 34th time this season. The team is 18-12-4 in those games. When leading after the first period they are 13-2-1 and 18-6-2 leading after two periods.

* The Blue Jackets are7-6-0 all-time vs. Carolina, 4-2-0 at Nationwide Arena. Overall, the Jackets have won five straight games vs. the Hurricanes.

* Goalie Steve Mason is 4-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average and a .952 save percentage in four games against Carolina.

CAROLINA HURRICANES POST-GAME DRESSING ROOM

50,222 Drayson Bowman Carolina LW The Canes got enough power plays and shots

50,223 Drayson Bowman Carolina LW The game got away from them in the 1st period

50,226 Brandon Sutter Carolina Center Not the way they should be playing trying for playoffs

50,228 Kirk Muller Carolina coach Team looked tired tonight

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS DRESSING ROOM

50,231 R.J. Umberger CBJ center He was in on key 5 on 3 penalty kill to start 3rd period

50,234 R.J. Umberger CBJ center A hat trick is rare, his 2nd as a Blue Jacket

50,236 Todd Richards CBJ coach 5 on 3 PK to start 3rd period was key up 3-1

50,237 Todd Richards CBJ coach This team shows that it could be good at times with a game like this

Bowden hiring at Akron has fans optimistic; 2012 football tickets now on sale

Press release & logo courtesy of Akron athletics

 

AKRON, Ohio – With interest surrounding The University of Akron football program at an all-time high following the naming of Terry Bowden as head coach last month, season tickets are now on sale for the Zips’ much anticipated 2012 campaign. Fans can choose from a variety of economical packages that feature great amenities and provide special event access.

Bowden, who was head coach at Auburn from 1993-98 and spent the previous three seasons (2009-11) at Division II North Alabama, was hired at UA on Dec. 22. He owns a 140-62-2 career record and earned the 1993 national coach of the year award after leading Auburn to an 11-0 finish. In between stints at Auburn and North Alabama, he served as a television analyst with ABC college football for 10 years.

“I have really enjoyed getting to meet our enthusiastic fans and supporters during these last few weeks,” Bowden said. “We need for the community to continue to support our program and the best way to do so is by renewing or purchasing season tickets. My staff and I have been hard at work the last three weeks recruiting the next class of Zips, and we’re excited to get on the practice field this spring to begin preparing for the season.”

InfoCision Stadium Summa Field at Akron (photo by JEN9841 via wikipedia commons)

For the first time, many season ticket packages will include a season parking pass, and concessions vouchers also provide added value for Priority Reserved and Reserved season ticketholders.

Packages start as low as $75 for General Admission seats. Those who purchase tickets in the Priority Reserved (starting at $200), Reserved ($120) and Family Plan (four tickets – including at least two youth – for $240) sections will receive a complimentary parking pass (one per every four season tickets purchased). Priority Reserved and Reserved season ticketholders also will receive $30 in concessions vouchers.

UA faculty and staff, and members of  the Varsity “A” Association (former letterwinners) will receive a discounted price of $105 for Reserved seats. Membership in the Varsity “A” Association costs $35 annually and can be arranged by contacting the Z-Fund at (330) 972-2695.

New this year is the “Bowden Backers” package, a $99 season ticket in a lower-level reserved section. A limited number of seats are available at this special price.

Seats in the Club Level have three price points ($500, $750, $1,000) and include a parking pass in a priority lot (one per every four season tickets purchased). Patrons on the Club Level have access to a premium food and drink menu and alcoholic beverages (for additional fees), as well as pregame field passes (number of passes based on ticket price). Fans purchasing tickets in the Club and Priority Reserved sections are required to pay a Z-Fund seat license donation, of which 80 percent is tax deductible.

On Saturday, April 14, legendary Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden, Terry’s father, will be the featured speaker at “Breakfast with the Bowdens”. The event will be complimentary for Club Level season ticketholders who purchase by Friday, March 30. Club Level patrons will receive one complimentary ticket to the breakfast for each season ticket purchased.

The 2012 schedule features six home games at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field, including four against Mid-American Conference opponents Buffalo, Miami (Ohio), UMass and Northern Illinois as well as non-league contests versus UCF on Thursday, Aug. 30 and Morgan State on Saturday, Sept. 15. Dates for the MAC games will be announced by the first week of March and start times for all six contests are to be determined.

Tickets can be ordered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Mondays through Fridays by either calling 1-888-99-AKRON (25766) or visiting The C.P. and Cornelia S. Chima Athletics Ticket Office at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field (located at 375 E. Exchange Street, near Gate 1 at the southwest corner of the venue, at the corner of E. Exchange and S. Union streets).

Those interested in purchasing season tickets online via GoZips.com/tickets will be able to do so starting at 9 a.m. on Friday.

Renewal invoices for 2011 season ticketholders will be mailed next week.

Group ticket packages are also available. On-sale dates and prices for mini plans and single-game tickets will be announced at a later date.

Bengals lose to Baltimore; make AFC playoffs as sixth seed with Clements as key figure

 

Nate Clements Bengals in 2011 (photo by Jeffrey Beall via wikipedia commons)

Eventhough the Cincinnati Bengals lost their final game to the Baltimore Ravens, the team still will be amongst the top 6 in the AFC Playoffs next weekend as the sixth seed.

The Bengals received help on Sunday when the Jets, Raiders and Broncos all lost but they earned the wildcard spot in a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Tennessee Titans, the only other AFC team with that same record of 9-7. The Bengals beat the Titans at Tennessee in November, 24-17. That’s why every game in the NFL is important.

They’ll be traveling to Houston to play the 10-6 Texans who they lost two three weeks ago in the final seconds.

Bengals QB Andy Dalton, who is from the Houston area, is 3-0 in Reliant Stadium home of the Texans. He played there during his college career at TCU.

Cincinnati defied all the odds playing with a rookie QB and won 9 games even after trading away veteran signal-caller Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders.

One of the reasons the Bengals made the playoffs was the play of former Ohio State defensive back Nate Clements, who they signed in the off-season to release Johnathan Joseph who bolted for Houston after the team had a losing season in 2010.

The 32-year-old native of the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, had never made the playoffs as his career has taken him to Buffalo and San Francisco after being drafted in the first round at #21 by the Bills in 2001.

Clements felt the Bengals, even being a young team had a chance at the playoffs and he was right.

The 2011 free agent signee who has been a standout player in the Cincinnati secondary this season, missed only one game with a hamstring injury he suffered in practice on December 1.

After sitting out the December 4 Pittsburgh game, he has been back at the Left cornerback spot the past three games against Houston, St. Louis and Arizona.

Clements was not fully healed for the December 11 game vs. the Texans, and he had just one tackle in very limited action. But returned to his big-play capabilities on December 18 at St. Louis, and also on December 24 vs. Arizona.

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Clements has made big plays all season:

* On October 16 against Indianapolis, he blocked a 52-yard FG attempt by Adam Vinatieri with 5;43 to play. Also in the opening quarter of the game, he forced a fumble by Colts TE Dallas Clark.

* On October 30 at Seattle, Clements stopped a two-point try by stripping the ball from WR Ben Obomanu in the end zone.

* On November 6 at Tennessee with under four minutes to play, and the Bengals up 21-17, Clements separated TE Jared Cook from the ball and recovered it at the Titans 20. From there, the Bengals scored a field goal for the final margin of 24-17.

* On November 27 vs. Cleveland, with the score 20-20, Clements ripped the ball away from WR Greg Little for an incompletion which would’ve given the Browns a first down. It forced the Browns to kick a 55-yard field goal which missed and the Bengals started their game-winning drive on their 45-yard line.

* On December 18 at St. Louis, Clements was responsible for making four, huge third down plays that caused the Rams to punt on three of them and kick a field goal on another.

* On December 24, against Arizona, his second-quarter interception against John Skelton set up the Bengals TD drive for a 17-0 lead.

With Right cornerback Leon Hall going down with an injury a few games ago, the free agent signing of Clements has been huge for Cincinnati’s defense.

 

 

Tampa Bay escapes Blue Jackets, 3-2

 

Steven Stamkos of Tampa Bay March 2009 (photo by Resolute via wikipedia commons)

COLUMBUS, OHIO — The Tampa Bay Lightning scored quick in the first period against Columbus on Saturday night and hung on for the entire third period.

Blair Jones and Eric Brewer scored in the opening period and Steve Stamkos scored in the second period as the Lightning won 3-2.

Former Jacket goalie Mathieu Garon stopped 26 shots and made a triumphant return to Nationwide Arena.

Stamkos, who entered the game tied for the NHL lead with 19 goals with Milan Michalek of Ottawa, put up the game-winner, his 20th.

The Jackets momentarily came back in the second period to tie the game at 2-2 with goals from R.J. Umberger and Rick Nash, and Vinny Prospal provided two assists.

NOTES:

* Before the game, Prospal was honored by the Blue Jackets for becoming the 268th player to play in 1,000 NHL games. He reached the mark against Buffalo on November 25.

* Umberger’s scored his 8oth goal with Columbus. He is eight shy of tying Geoff Sanderson for third on the franchise’s career list.

* Derek Dorsett returned to the ice for the Blue Jackets after missing two games for a problem with his left lower leg, following a collision with Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas last week.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING POST-GAME LOCKER ROOM

49 029 Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay center Back on a row after losing 7 of 9 games

49 033 Mathieu Garon Tampa Bay goalie Back in Columbus to play his old team

 

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE

49 044 Scott Arniel CBJ coach 1-3-1 homestand very disappointing

Grier retires after 14 NHL seasons

 

Mike Grier with San Jose (photo by Robblv via wikipedia commons)

Right winger Mike Grier has retired after a 14-year career in the NHL which featured stints with four teams, Edmonton, Washington, San Jose and two stints with Buffalo.

The 36-year-old Grier played from 1996-2011 and was the 219th overall pick in 1993 by the St. Louis, appeared in 1,060 games, scored 162 games, assisted on 221 goals and garnered 383 points.

Some hockey fans may not know, but Grier was the first black american ice hockey player born and trained in the United States to play in the National Hockey League.

 

Info compiled from NHL, Radio & TV news

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