Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Greg Smyth Passes Away

     Former Florida Panthers defenseman Greg Smyth passed away on Friday at the age of 51. He was an original member of the Florida Panthers inaugural team in 1993-94 and played in the first game of the franchise on October 6, 1993 which was a 4-4 tie at Chicago Stadium against the Chicago Blackhawks. Smyth played just 12 games with the Panthers and had one goal against the Quebec Nordiques on November 14, 1993 before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 7, 1993.
     He scored four goals and 16 assists in 10 NHL seasons. It included stints with the Philadelphia Flyers, Quebec Nordiques, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks.

Maple Leafs Blank Panthers

     The Florida Panthers finished a five-game road trip through Canada as they were shut out by the Toronto Maple Leafs 1-0 at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night. Florida(26-25-6) will play 11 of their next 12 games at home and will not leave the state of Florida for 24 days.
     It was until the final minute of the first period for Toronto(37-20-5) to get on the scoreboard. James van Riemsdyk put in a shot by Roberto Luongo from the left circle off a feed by Tyler Bozak with 28.3 seconds left.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Curtis Stevenson Rejoins Hurricanes Broadcasts

     Sports Talk 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM afternoon co-host Curtis Stevenson has rejoined the University of Miami Hurricanes Radio Network as a backup play-by-play announcer for baseball radio broadcasts. He worked Sunday because lead play-by-play voice Joe Zagacki had to cover a Miami Hurricanes men's basketball game at Notre Dame.
     Stevenson, known as Captain Curtis, was the backup radio baseball announcer and statistician for Miami Hurricanes football games until early May 2017 when he was let go by Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM. He joined The Ticket in a fill-in host role in late May 2017 and was elevated to afternoon co-host with Chris Perkins in August 2017.
     790 The Ticket recently signed a multi-year deal to broadcast Miami Hurricanes baseball games and did their first games over the past weekend against Rutgers University. WQAM had done the Canes baseball broadcasts from 2000 until 2017.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Jets Knock Down Panthers

     The Florida Panthers fell to the Winnipeg Jets 7-2 on Sunday night at Bell MTS Place. The Cats, who had their five-game road winning streak snapped, have been victorious in seven of their last nine games overall. The Panthers will not visit Winnipeg next season because both clubs will be part of the NHL Global Series in Finland next season.
     In the first period, Florida(26-24-6) rode out to a 1-0 lead at 8:57 on the power play. Michael Matheson moved the puck from the top of the zone to the top right circle. Denis Malgin scored on a wrist shot for his 10th goal of the year.
     Winnipeg(35-15-9) tied it up 1-1 with their own power play at the 12:06 mark. Blake Wheeler whipped a cross-ice pass from the low right circle and Kyle Connor smacked in the puck from the left of the crease.
     The Jets took their first lead of the contest at 4:39 of the second period. Nicolaj Ehlers ripped a shot from the left circle where the puck hit the front of James Reimer, rolled down his back and into the cage. Tyler Myers and Josh Morrissey were both credited with assists on the play.
     The Panthers put in another power-play goal at 7:34 to make it 2-2. Keith Yandle released a wrist shot from the top of the zone which was saved by Connor Hellebuyck. Evgenii Dadonov batted the puck with a backhand swing and it went off Aleksander Barkov into the net.
     The second period was capped by Winnipeg with 1:31 left in the frame. Dustin Byfuglien connected a pass from the right point to Wheeler on the right wing. He set up Mark Scheifele for a one-time slap shot from the slot.
     Florida then trailed by two goals at 3:38 of the third period. Myers drove a diagonal pass from the right point to Wheeler in the left circle. He found Connor in the high slot who finished the play with a slap shot for the 21st goal of his rookie campaign.
     The Jets expanded their margin to 5-2 at the 6:03 mark. Myers skated the puck from the right point to the right corner. He centered it to the crease where Bryan Little switched to the backhand for the tally.
     The gap became four goals with 4:33 remaining in the third. Jack Roslovec made a lead pass in the neutral zone to Mathieu Perreault. He skated into the Panthers zone, walked through the left circle and lifted in a wrist shot.
     Winnipeg made it five unanswered goals with 1:35 to go. Patrick Laine scored his 27th goal of the season on a backhand shot from close range off a feed from Little in the left circle.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Panthers Fan Flames

     Roberto Luongo played in his first game for the Panthers since December 4 as Florida pounded the Calgary Flames 6-3 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday. The Panthers, who have seven of their last eight games, wore MSD patches for the first time in remembrance of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this week. The Cats extended their road winning streak to five games.
     Florida(26-23-6) scored on their first shot of the game at 1:09 into the contest. Michael Matheson skated the puck from his own left circle into the neutral zone. He snapped a shot from the top right circle by David Rittich for his seventh goal of the campaign. The Cats have scored first in eight of their last nine games.
     The game was evened up by Calgary(30-21-8) on the power play with 5:50 left in the first. Dougie Hamilton put the puck past Luongo on assists from Mark Giordano and Sean Monahan.
     Once again. the Panthers struck early in the frame to regain the lead. Vincent Trocheck made a give-and-go pass with Aleksander Barkov at center ice. Trocheck received the puck in the high slot and put in a wrist shot 58 seconds into the second period on the power play for his 22nd goal of the season.
     The Cats extended their margin to 3-1 on another power-play goal at the 3:09 mark. Trocheck moved the puck from the right wing to Keith Yandle on top of the zone. His slap shot was deflected in by Evgenii Dadonov in the slot area.
     It would become a three-goal gap for Florida at 6:03. Aaron Ekblad swiped at the puck just before it left the Flames zone. Dadanov made a centering pass from the right wing that glanced off the stick of Barkov at top of the crease. Rittich was then replaced in net by Jon Gillies following that play.
     The Flames got a goal back on the power play with 7:45 remaining in the second. Matthew Tkachuk backhanded a pass from the high slot to Monahan on the left wing. He returned it back to the middle where Hamilton scored on a slap shot for his second goal of the game.
     In the third period, the Panthers pulled ahead by three goals again at 3:41. Barkov cycled the puck from the right corner to Mark Pysyk at the right point. He passed to the middle and Matheson blasted a slap shot for his second tally of the contest. It was the second two-goal game for Matheson in his NHL career.
     Florida continued their momentum to make it 6-2 at the 5:42 mark. MacKenzie Weegar placed a diagonal pass from the left circle to Alex Petrovic at the blue line. He fired a slap shot that was deflected in by Jared McCann from the edge of the crease.
     Hamilton nailed the hat trick with his third goal of the contest with 8:05 left in the period. He sent the puck from the right corner toward the net and it went off the right skate of Ekblad into the Panthers cage.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Andrea Ocampo Back In Pro Wrestling

     Former Florida Panthers game operations arena host Andrea Ocampo has returned to professional wrestling. She started work as a television interviewer for Major League Wrestling last week.
     Ocampo went by the name Andrea D'Marco in her previous stint in pro wrestling. She became a ring announcer and interviewer for NXT in April 2016. Ocampo was promoted up to World Wrestling Entertainment as a interviewer in July 2016. She left the WWE organization in April 2017.
     She was the game operations arena host of all Florida Panthers home games for four years until April 2016. Ocampo also held the post as the stadium arena host for Florida Atlantic University football home games in Boca Raton.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Miami Hurricanes Baseball On The Ticket

     Sports Talk 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM has signed a multi-year deal to broadcast at least 15 University of Miami Hurricanes baseball games per season. Joe Zagacki continues as the primary baseball play-by-play announcer for the school. He has been associated with the Miami Hurricanes Radio Network in a broadcasting capacity for 29 years.
     The Ticket sister-station Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM held the radio broadcast rights for Canes baseball games from 2000 until 2017. WQAM signed a new multi-year contract with the University of Miami in February 2017 to broadcast just football and men's basketball games. The Hurricanes baseball team did not make the postseason in 2017 to snap a 44-year streak.