Saturday, March 24, 2018

Panthers Come Back On Coyotes

     The Florida Panthers played in Sunrise on Saturday night and overcame a two-goal deficit in the third period to top the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 at BB&T Center. It was the lone home game of a two-week stretch where the team will play seven of eight game on the road.
     A moment of silence for Panthers original owner H. Wayne Huizenga was held prior to the contest. Huizenga passed away on Friday at the age of 80.
     In the first period, Arizona(25-39-11) got ahead 1-0 with 5:24 to go. Derek Stepan connected a cross-ice pass fromt he left circle to Richard Panik in the low right circle. His backhand shot was stopped by James Reimer, however Clayton Keller pushed in the rebound from the left of the crease. It was the 22nd goal of the campaign for the rookie Keller.
     The Coyotes moved it to 2-0 on the power play at the 1:33 mark of the second period. A clearing pass up the middle by Keith Yandle was stopped by Stepan at the top of the zone. He blasted a slap shot and it was deflected in by Panik in the crease area.
     The third period belonged to Florida(38-28-7) as they closed the gap. Jamie McGinn banked the puck off the end wall from the left wing and found Trocheck at the right goal line. He lifted a wrist shot from an acute angle by Darcy Kuemper at 6:13.
     The Panthers tied it up 2-2 just over three minutes later at the 9:33 mark as Trocheck compiled his 30th goal of the season. Mark Pysyk snapped a shot from the high slot area that hit the right post and Trocheck banged in the rebound.
     The Cats completed the comeback and took their first lead 3-2 with 3:45 left in the third. Colton Sceviour made a centering pass from the right wing which went off a defender. It bounced to Denis Malgin in the slot and he put in a wrist shot. McGinn added an empty-net power-play goal with 13.2 seconds remaining on a feed from Aleksander Barkov.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Thunder Storm Past Heat

     The Oklahoma City Thunder stopped the Miami Heat 105-99 on Friday night. The Heat had their three-game winning streak snapped.
     Oklahoma City(44-30) had a 24-18 advantage after the first quarter and led 44-40 at halftime. Miami(39-34) eventually took the lead 66-64 after three quarters. The Thunder outscored the Heat 41-33 in the final quarter.
     Russell Westbrook fell short of a triple-double with game highs of 27 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists for Oklahoma City. Steven Adams contributed a double-double of 24 points along with 12 rebounds while Paul George added 14 points. James Johnson had a team-high 23 points for Miami and Goran Dragic dropped in 20 points.

Wayne Huizenga Passes Away

     Original Florida Marlins and Florida Panthers H. Wayne Huizenga passed away on Friday at the age of 80. His last public appearance was on January 19 when the Panthers retired the number 37 jersey in his honor and raised a banner prior to their game against the Vegas Golden Knights.
     Huizenga made Miami a major sports city by bringing Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League to the region. South Florida was awarded a MLB franchise in May 1991. The team played their first regular season game in April 1993 against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Joe Robbie Stadium.
     The club became the fastest to win a World Series as they captured the title in just their fifth season which was in 1997. He sold the team to John Henry in 1999.
     The Panthers came as a general surprise as the National Hockey League awarded Huizenga an expansion franchise at The Breakers in Palm Beach on December 10, 1992. The team played their first regular season game at Chicago Stadium against the Blackhawks and faced the Pittsburgh Penguins in their first home game at Miami Arena in October 1993. The club set a NHL record with the most points by a first-year NHL franchise with 83 points in 1993-94. The team won the Eastern Conference title in 1995-96 as they beat the Penguins in seven games. They fell to the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Finals.
     Florida moved to a new arena in Sunrise to begin the 1998-99 season. Huizenga sold his majority share of the Panthers in 2002 to Alan Cohen and became a silent minority owner for several years.
     Huizenga was also the owner of the Miami Dolphins. He had a minority stake in the team in 1990 when the family of Joe Robbie was the majority owner. Huizenga eventually became the lone owner of the Dolphins in 1993 when he bought the remaining shares of the club from the Robbie family. The Fins did reach the AFC Championship game in 1992 with Dan Marino as quarterback and lost to the Buffalo Bills.
     The Dolphins under Huizenga had Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson, Dave Wandstedt and Nick Saban as head coaches. He sold 50 percent of the team to Stephen Ross in 2008 and another 45 percent to him in 2009.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Blue Jackets Knock Down Panthers

     The Florida Panthers were blanked by the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 at Nationwide Arena on Thursday night. The Cats, who failed to sweep the three-game road trip, have tried to keep up with the Blue Jackets for an Eastern Conference playoff spot for over a month. Columbus won their tenth consecutive game with the victory. Vincent Trocheck played in his 300th NHL game with the Panthers.
     After a scoreless first frame, Columbus(42-28-5) piled on three goals in the first six minutes of the second period. Cam Atkinson broke the tie 59 seconds into the stanza and Sonny Milano added to it at the 3:20 mark.
     Florida(37-28-7) was in a three-goal deficit at 5:42 while Columbus converted on the power play. Pierre-Luc Dubois guided the puck from the right wing to Seth Jones on the right point. He made a back-and-forth pass with Atkinson and then Jones blasted a slap shot from the top of the zone past Roberto Luongo.
     The Panthers pulled their goalie for an extra attacker with several minutes left in the third period. Former Panther Thomas Vanek placed the puck into an empty net with 2:25 remaining.

West Palm Beach Ratings February 2018

     The West Palm Beach ratings were rolled out for sports format radio stations. There seemed to be not much change from the previous month for all three competitors in the market. The numbers for ESPN West Palm 106.3 WUUB-FM were not published.
     640 The Hurricane WMEN-AM remained at a 0.3 for the second straight period. It will be the final month that they will be syndicating Fox Sports Radio throughout the weekdays. Kevin Rolston started his new midday show on the station in the final three days of February.
     1230 The Zone WBZT-AM stayed at a 0.0 for the sixth consecutive month. The station has not had any local game broadcasts during that time and that will change in a couple of months.

Frank Gore Signs With Miami Dolphins

     The Miami Dolphins have signed free agent running back Frank Gore to a one-year contract. He has 14,026 rushing yards and 77 rushing touchdowns in 13 NFL seasons.
     He played high school football with the Coral Gables Cavaliers. Gore later played college football with the University of Miami Hurricanes from 2001 to 2004 and won the 2001 BCS National Championship game over Nebraska at the Rose Bowl.
     Gore was chosen by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played ten seasons with the Niners and helped the club win the 2012 NFC Championship. They lost Super Bowl 47 to the Baltimore Ravens. Gore was selected to the Pro Bowl on five occasions while with the team.
     He spent the last three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Gore joined Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and Curtis Martin as the only NFL players with at least 14,000 career rushing yards.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Heat Bash Knicks

     The Miami Heat routed the New York Knicks 119-98 at American Airlines Arena on Wednesday night. The Heat increased their winning streak to three games while the Knicks had their two-game win streak snapped.
     Miami(39-33) had a 27-26 edge after the first quarter and put in the first six points of the second quarter to complete a 15-3 run to make it 33-26. The Heat outscored the Knicks 37-21 in the second and led 64-47 at halftime. New York(26-46) fell behind even more and trailed 99-77 after three quarters.
     Tyler Johnson and Kelly Olynyk both had 22 points for the Heat. Wayne Ellington added 16 points, Justise Winslow got 15 points and Goran Dragic poured in 14. Enes Kanter compiled a double-double of  a game-high 23 points along with 13 rebounds and Michael Beasley added 22 points for the Knicks.