Sunday, March 26, 2017

Celtics Hold Off Heat

     The Miami Heat started a three-game road swing as lost to the Boston Celtics 112-108 at TD Garden on Sunday night. The Heat have lost three of their last four games. The Celtics tied the Cleveland Cavaliers for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
     Miami(35-38) pulled out to a 27-22 lead after one quarter and at one point had a 15-point margin during the second quarter. Boston(48-26) went on a 15-7 late in the second and were down 58-53 at halftime. The C's then outscored the Heat 32-17 and took a 85-75 lead after third quarters.
     Tyler Johnson had a team-high 24 points while Hassan Whiteside compiled a double-double of 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Heat. Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 30 points for the Celtics.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Marchesault Hat Trick Beats Blackhawks

     Jonathan Marchessault got his first career hat trick as the Florida Panthers completed a three-game homestand with a 7-0 shutout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at BB&T Center on Saturday night. The Panthers have won four of their last seven games. The Blackhawks, who have the best record in the Western Conference, entered the contest 6-0-1 in their last seven games.
      After no scoring in the first period, Florida(33-30-11) got on the scoreboard 17 seconds into the second on a 4-on-4 situation. Jonathan Huberdeau had the puck in the right circle and sent a cross-ice pass to Aleksander Barkov in the left circle. He placed a snap shot by Corey Crawford for his 21st goal of the season.
     The Panthers got numerous opportunities on the power play midway through the frame and scored on a 5-on-3 man advantage at the 10:21 mark. Barkov was in the top slot and fed Huberdeau for a slap shot from the right circle.
     Florida converted on another power-play tally against Chicago(48-21-6) at 11:40 for a three-goal margin. Barkov was in the right circle and zipped a pass to Jonathan Marchessault in the left circle. He fired home a slap shot for his team-high 26th goal of the season.        
     The Cats continued their momentum early in the third period as they made it 4-0 at 4:59. Colton Sceviour skated down the right wing and connected a cross-ice pass to Marchessault who then scored on a one-time slap shot from the left circle for his second goal of the contest. The Blackhawks replaced Crawford in net with Scott Darling.
     Marchessault completed a natural hat trick at the 7:13 mark. He performed a give-and-go pass with Huberdeau in the slot area before he scored from close range, Nick Bjugstad added another tally just 40 seconds later when he redirected a Sceviour shot from the blue line.
     The Panthers increased their margin to 7-0 with 8:15 left in the third. Vincent Trocheck hit the right post on a snap shot from the left circle. Reilly Smith then followed up and scored on the rebound.

Miami FC On Local Television

     Miami FC regular season games will be televised by WSFL-TV Channel 39 in 2017. It is the second season for the franchise in the North American Soccer League.
     WSFL-TV had broadcast another NASL team the Fort Lauderdale Strikers for the last couple of seasons. The Strikers are currently reorganizing their club and will not participate in the 2017 NASL spring season.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Big O Joins Miami FC

     Longtime South Florida sports radio host Orlando Alzugaray, a.k.a. The Big O, has joined Miami FC as their new public address announcer for home games. He was the public address announcer for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers for several seasons up until last year.
     Alzugaray is currently the midday host at Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM and has held that post since August 2014. Prior to his second tenure at WQAM, he was the afternoon host on 640 Sports WMEN-AM from October 2010 until August 2014.
     He first got noticed locally as a sports reporter for News Radio 610 WIOD-AM and 940 WINZ-AM in 1993 and stayed there for two years. Alzugaray moved to San Francisco and hosted a sports show on the first national Spanish language sports station in the United States. The organization went out of business in less than a year.    
     The Big O returned to Miami for his first tenure at WQAM as he worked as a sports reporter and weekend host. He was elevated to weekday host and Miami Dolphins pregame host during the 2000s. Alzugaray was shifted from middays to late mornings in July 2010 and then to evenings in September 2010.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Raptors Eat Up Heat

     The Miami Heat lost to the Toronto Raptors 101-84 on Thursday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat finished their five-game homestand with a 3-2 record. They have lost two of their last three games, however they have won 24 of their last 31 games.
     Miami(35-37) finished the first quarter up 33-23 and led 47-45 at halftime. Toronto(43-29) took over in the second half and pulled ahead 75-68 after three quarters. The Raptors, who at one point had a 29-9 run, outscored the Heat by 10 points in the final quarter.
     Hassan Whiteside had a team-high 16 points along with 14 rebounds and compiled a double-double while Goran Dragic contributed 13 points for Miami. DeMar DeRozan drained a game-high 40 points for Toronto.

Panthers Cage Coyotes

     The Florida Panthers played the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night and won 3-1 at BB&T Center. The Panthers have won three of their last six games.
     Lawson Crouse, who was drafted in the first round by Florida at the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, played his first game against his former team in South Florida. Former local hockey prospect and Junior Panther player Jakob Chychrun also played his first game in Sunrise.
     Arizona(27-38-9), who entered the contest with the second worst record in the National Hockey League, took the lead on their first shot of the game at 3:20 of the first period. Tobias Rieder skated into the Panthers zone on the right side, raced through the right circle and put in a forehand shot by James Reimer from the crease area.
     In the second period, Florida(32-30-11) tied the game 1-1 in an unusual way at the 7:38 mark. Colton Sceviour passed the puck from the end wall to the crease. Shawn Thornton scored on his second attempt as the cage was pushed off its pegs by the right hand of Mike Smith and stick of Jordan Martinook. It was the second tally this season by Thornton.
     Jonathan Marchessault compiled two goals in a 26-second span late in the frame to give the Panthers their first lead of the contest. Aleksander Barkov sent a cross-ice pass from the left circle to the right circle and Marchessault put in a snap shot with 2:22 left.
     Thomas Vanek held the puck in the right circle and fed Marchessault on the left side. He fired a wrist shot in for his 26th goal of the season with 1:56 remaining.

West Palm Beach Ratings February 2017

     There was only one sports radio station listed in the monthly ratings that were issued for Palm Beach County. 640 Fox Sports South Florida WMEN-AM appeared while ESPN West Palm 106.3 WUUB-FM did not because they do not use the service.
     640 Fox Sports South Florida fell from a 0.6 to a 0.5 in the month of February. Their ratings were the lowest since last September. Alpha Media became the new owner of the radio station during the month. They had a local management agreement to operate it since August 2016.
     It was the first month that the station did not have Jay Mohr in the afternoon slot. They had no NFL game broadcasts following the Super Bowl.
     February was also the final full period in which the local morning show hosted by Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach was aired by WMEN. There is still little to no interest in Nova Southeastern University basketball games.