Saturday, December 31, 2011

Panthers Beat Habs On New Year's Eve

It was the traditional New Year's Eve game at the Bank Atlantic Center and the Montreal Canadiens disappointed their transplanted fans as they were edged by the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Saturday night. The Habs got on the scoreboard 5:37 into the game. Travis Moen finished off a give-and-go with Lars Eller in the neutral zone and blasted a shot from the top left circle for a 1-0 lead. Florida held Montreal to only two shots on goal after more than 16 minutes into the game, but the Canadiens had the lead after one period. At 3:46 of the second period, Tomas Fleischmann received a drop pass from Stephen Weiss as fired a high shot from the top right circle that grazed off Carey Price's right arm and into the net. The power play goal to tie the game was Fleischmann's 14th tally of the season. Jose Theodore was hurt on a play at 8:04 with a lower body injury and had to leave the game. He was replaced by Scott Clemmensen in net. Florida took their first lead of the game at 3:08 of the third period as Shawn Matthias streaked through the neutral zone and shot the puck from top left circle. It deflected off P.K Subban's stick and went underneath the left arm of Price. The game was not decided until the Canadiens pulled their goalie in the final minute. Fleischmann stripped the puck from Tomas Plekanec in the neutral zone, skated it up the ice and flicked a shot from the left-wing boards into the open net at 19:19 for his second goal of the game. Montreal surprisingly came back just eleven seconds later after the center ice face-off as Eric Cole raced down the right side and lifted a shot that got past Clemmensen. The Florida, now 8-1-2 when tied after two periods, remain in first place in the Southeast Division by four points over the Winnipeg Jets at the end of 2011. The Panthers don't play again until Thursday when they face the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hochman Steps Down As WAXY Program Director

Marc Hochman stated to his staff on Friday that he has stepped down as program director at WAXY. He will continue to be the executive producer of the Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz in afternoon drive. Hochman was promoted to program director at the station in September 2009. He replaced Steve White who is now in the WQAM sales department.

Rangers Easily Win, Head For Winter Classic

The Florida Panthers fell into a first-period buzz saw as they were beat by the New York Rangers 4-1 at the Bank Atlantic Center on Friday night. The blueshirts wasted no time scoring 35 seconds into the game as Carl Hagelin redirected a left-wing shot by Ryan Callahan from the low slot past Scott Clemmensen for an early 1-0 lead. New York followed it up at 5:10 as Brad Richards fired a slap shot from the top right circle into the far side of the net. He received a led pass from Jeff Woywitka from his own blue line. The Rangers picked up their third goal of the opening period as Michael Del Zotto pounded a left point shot at 15:37. The Panthers then pulled Clemmensen from goal and replaced him with Jose Theodore. Florida seems to have a goal 3:57 into the second as Dmitry Kulikov hit a slap shot from the top of the zone that landed on the goal line. Brandon Dubinsky increased the Rangers lead to 4-0 as he went through the left circle and backhanded a shot from the slot area at 7:41. Florida finally got on the scoreboard at 9:28. Following a right point shot by Erik Gudbranson, Matt Bradley found the loose puck in the slot and place a backhand shot above the right shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist for his second goal this season. Neither team scored in the third period. The Rangers are now 18-1-1 when leading after one period. New York heads to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers in the Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Ballpark on Monday. The Panthers will have no time to rest as they host the Montreal Canadiens on New Years Eve.

Amigo Leaves WMEN For WINZ

Larry Milian a.k.a The Amigo has left the morning show at WMEN and will join WINZ as a sports host from 3 to 5 p.m. beginning in January. The announcement came this afternoon during the The Big O Show with Orlando Alzugaray. After a short stint as a WMEN weekend host, Milian joined the morning show as a co-host with Miami Herald sports columnist Armando Salguero in late July 2010. They were known as Armando and The Amigo. He previously worked as a co-host on the late night show and weekend show Dos Amigos with Alan Strauss at WAXY. He won an on-air contest with Stauss in late 2005 to join that station.

Sid Rosenberg Returns To WQAM

Sid Rosenberg will return as afternoon host on WQAM January 3 after a six-week suspension. He was taken off the air on Thanksgiving week and has not been heard on the airwaves ever since. Rosenberg made a brief appearance at 4 p.m. Friday on the afternoon show with fill-in hosts Marc Eisenberg and Channing Crowder stating that he would return to WQAM this Tuesday. He continued at his post as the morning sports anchor at 1010 WINS in New York City while he was suspended. Rosenberg will have a different lead-in show in January as Steve Goldstein and Adam Kuperstein will co-host a show from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Michael Irvin moves to an earlier shift.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WQAM Changes Midday Lineup

WQAM announced that there would be a change in their weekday schedule as of next Monday. The Gino Torretta Show with sidekick Steve White was being eliminated at the end of the year. Steve Goldstein and Adam Kuperstein would host their own show from 1 to 3 p.m. Goldstein is currently the Florida Panthers television play-by-play announcer and weekend host at WQAM. He was previously the morning sports anchor, weekday talk host and Florida Panthers studio host at the station. Kuperstein was recently moved at WTVJ-TV from a sportscaster position to morning news co-anchor at that station. In addition, he has been hosting weekend shows at WQAM. The Michael Irvin Show will be shifted from 12 to 3 p.m. to an earlier spot from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. White will remain as part of the WQAM sales staff. Torretta joined the station in early September 2010.

Heat Erase 15-Point Deficit At Halftime For Win

The Miami Heat pulled off one of their best comebacks in franchise history on Wednesday as they shocked the Charlotte Bobcats from being down 15 points at halftime for a 96-95 win. Playing in front of the largest crowd to ever attend a Bobcats home game, Charlotte led Miami 60-45 going into the second half. The Heat outscored their opponent 24-10 in the third quarter, which included finishing up the stanza on an 18-4 run. Chris Bosh made a slam dunk to give Miami their first lead of the game 80-79 with 6:35 left in the fourth. With 0:41 left in the game, Bosh hit a 21-foot shot to extend the Heat lead to 94-90. The Bobcats scored on their next two possessions as Gerald Henderson hit a lay-up followed by a three-pointer for a 95-94 Charlotte lead with 0:12 left. Dwyane Wade, who came back into the game in the final quarter after suffering an leg injury in the first half, fired a bank shot from the left of the lane with under three seconds left to give the Heat the eventual victory. For the third time in Heat history, the team came back from more than 15 points at halftime. It had not happen since March 29, 2009. Miami also had never won a game after getting rebounded by more than 20 until tonight. The Heat improved their record to 3-0, only the fourth time in the 24 years that they have done that.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Heat Control Celtics

The Miami Heat raised their Eastern Conference championship banner on Tuesday night and carried that pride throughout the game as they beat the Boston Celtics XXX-XX at the American Airlines Arena. A big surprise was Heat guard Norris Cole, playing in his second NBA, scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. The Heat jumped out to a comfortable lead 26-15 midway through the first and were up 69-54 at halftime. It was the most points given up by the Celtics since February 8, 2005. Miami was up 85-65 midway through the third quarter, then Boston went to a 2-3 zone defense to stifle Miami's driving attack. The 17-time NBA champions when on an 18-6 run to close out the third down 91-83. The deficit was cut down to three points with three minutes remaining, then Cole hit several outside shots to put the game away. LeBron James scored 24 points, Dwyane Wade added 24 points and Chris Bosh had 18 points for Miami. The Heat are now 2-0 and travel to Charlotte to play on Wednesday night.

Panthers Sneak By Leafs

The Florida Panthers showed that it does not matter how few amount of shots you have, as long as they go into the net. That proved true as they were victorious over the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 Tuesday night at the Bank Atlantic Center. The Panthers got up 1-0 just 1:57 into the game as Erik Gudbranson took a right point slap shot after Tim Kennedy beat a Toronto defender for a loose puck on the right-side wall. For Gudbranson it was his second goal in the NHL. In the second period, Mikhail Grabovski tied the game with a shot from the left circle at 2:11. Just 19 seconds later, Bill Thomas scored his first goal of the season on a breakaway and the Panthers regained the lead. Florida scored on their first power play at 4:13 as Michal Repik put in his second goal this year on a redirection from the end of the crease off a Jason Garrison top right circle shot. Kris Vetsteeg picked up his 17th goal on a five-on-three power play at 6:55 as he fired a shot from the left sude of the crease for a Panthers 4-1 lead. After giving up four goals on seven shots, Toronto goalie James Riemer was pulled by coach Ron Wilson for Jonas Gustavsson after that goal. Dion Phaneuf cut the lead at 9:34 with a slap shot from the right circle. Toronto closed the gap to 4-3 when Grabovski put in his second goal of the game on the power play with a deflection in front of the crease. Tomas Fleishmann put the game out of reach with a right circle wrist shot two minutes later. Florida has three days off until they face the surging New York Rangers on Friday.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Heat Destroy NBA Champion Mavericks

It had been a longer time since last season due to the lockout when the NBA Finals were played between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. The Heat savored revenge and got it as they dominated the first three quarters of their opening game of the season in Dallas with a 105-94 victory. The game was more one-sided than the final score indicated. LeBron James had a franchise opening-game record 37 points with ten rebounds, six assists and went 15-for-19 from the free throw line. Dwyane Wade added 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Miami. The Heat began scoring the first five points of the game and went up 9-3 after four minutes. Dallas would put in their first field goal on its next possession and continue on an 8-2 run capped by a three-pointer by former Heat player Lamar Odom at 6:22 to tie the game at 11-11. Miami would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game as they responded with 13 unanswered points leading to a 21-6 spurt to end the first quarter ahead 32-17. James had ten points and Wade placed seven points after twelve minutes of play. The Heat continued to roll going on a 21-10 run at the start of the second quarter and extended the lead by 26 points, 53-27 with four minutes left in the first half. James Jones hit three treys from downtown in the second for his only scoring of the game. Dallas was down 62-41 at halftime. Miami continued their dominance after the half getting 14 straight points on their way to a 16-3 run, which gave them their biggest lead of the game at 35 points with 8:20 remaining in the third. After three quarters, James had 33 points and eight rebounds while Wade contributed 22 points and seven rebounds. Over the next 20 minutes, the Mavericks cut the deficit down to 11 points by the end of the contest. The Miami Heat play their home opener on Tuesday night at the American Airlines Arena and will raise their 2010-11 Eastern Conferences championship banner prior to their game against the Boston Celtics.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Stanley Cup Champs Dominate Panthers

The Boston Bruins came out with an avalanche of goals in the first period and blew away the Florida Panthers 8-0 at the TD Garden on Friday night. Twelve seconds into the Panthers first power play, Brad Marchand skated around the Florida net, circled around the zone and then fired a shot from the right circle for a shorthanded goal at 5:56. The Bruins scored on their first power play at 13:40 when a Patrice Bergeron slap shot from top of zone caromed off the back half-wall where Milan Lucic followed with a crease shot. With 1:39 left, Chris Kelly won a defensive zone face-off, then Benoit Pouliot skated the puck to the other end of the rink, went around Dmitry Kulikov and finished with a backhand shot in the slot. Thirty-one seconds later, former Panther Dennis Seidenberg got his first goal of the season on a slap shot from the left point to make it 4-0. Jose Theodore was pulled from goal by Panthers coach Kevin Dineen after the first period ended and was replaced by Scott Clemmensen. It didn't help as Boston scored again less than four minutes into the second as another former Panther Gregory Campbell added to the rout as he went end-to-end and finished with a wrist shot from the high slot. The Bruins increased their lead to 6-0 on the power play at 15:50 as Bergeron skated through the right circle and his pass across the crease was deflected off Ed Jovanovski's skate into the Panthers net. Marchand got his second goal of the game 1:53 into the third period as he took a one-time slap shot from the right circle. He picked up the hat trick at 9:53 following a cross-ice pass by Tyler Seguin to him in the slot. Brad Marchand ended with three goals and two assists for a career-high five points in one game. Florida used a lineup of eleven forwards and seven defensemen for this game due to the recent glut of injuries to the squad. The Panthers will take several days off before playing home and face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Coyotes Edge Panthers

The Florida Panthers finished off a four-game home stand on Tuesday night and were held off by the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 at the Bank Atlantic Center. Former Panther Ray Whitney scored from the left circle on a five-on-three power play with seven seconds left in the first period. Phoenix increased their lead to 2-0 just over nine minutes into the second period when Keith Yandle fed a pass from the top of the zone to Radim Vrbata for a one-timer from the left face-off circle. Whitney also added an assist. The Panthers closed the gap at 17:42 as Brian Campbell fired a shot from the top right circle for his third goal this season. Kris Versteeg and Jason Garrision got the assists on the play. Florida had their best chance to tie the game with 24 seconds left in the third period when the Panthers were rewarded a penalty shot after two Coyotes knocked over their own net. Stephen Weiss represented Florida on the penalty shot, came onto the crease area and fired a shot that went under Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera and stopped on the goal line. The Panthers lead in the Southeast Division became closer with the Washington Capitals win tonight at seven points. Florida will play two road games prior to the Christmas break as they travel to Ottawa and Buffalo.

Miramar Loses 8A Title Game To Tampa Plant

The Miramar Patriots were trying to be the first Class 8A state champions in Florida, however they were beaten by the Plant Panthers of Tampa 31-20 on Saturday night at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Plant, who won their third state title in four years, lost the Class 5A title to St. Thomas Aquinas last year. Miramar won the 2009 Class 6A state title and returned to Orlando for the second time in three years. The Panthers scored on their opening possession as Wesley Bullock had a 21-yard run at 9:45. It was a six-play 63-yard drive in which Bullock had rushed for 56 yards. Less than two minutes later, the Patriots capitalized on fumbled punt return as D'Vontis Arnold ran in a two-yard touchdown on a one-play drive to tie the game 7-7. Plant retook the lead at 4:03 as James Few scrambled in from eight yards out. In the second quarter, Grant Van Aman kicked a 37-yard field goal with 9:38 left. On the Panthers next possession, Mike Tate scored on a one-yard run with 1:05 remaining in the half to complete a ten-play, 44-yard drive and take a 24-7 lead. The Patriots closed the gap with two touchdowns in the third quarter. Malcolm Lewis caught a 31-yard pass on the left sideline from Camren Hudge at 2:40. Trevor Robinson made a 27-yard touchdown catch just 24 seconds later on a two-play drive and Miramar cut the lead to 24-20. Miramar was bottled near their end zone midway through the final quarter. On third down from their own one-yard line, Hudge fumbled the ball in the end zone and it was recovered by Tate Rogers for a 31-20 Plant lead.

Miami Central Unable To Repeat

The Miami Central Rockets were looking to repeat as Class 6A state champions, however it didn't happen as they lost to the nationally-ranked Seffner-Armwood Hawks 40-31 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Saturday. Armwood(15-0), who lost the 4A state title last year against Tallahassee-Lincoln, won their first state title since 2004. Central had their 27-game winning streak snapped. Even though they were defeated by Camden County of Georgia in 2010, the last time they lost a game against a Florida high school was against Miramar in the state semifinals in 2009. Parkland-Douglas transfer and Central quarterback Austin Stock had a horrible first quarter as his first pass was intercepted by Jarvis McCall and returned 56 yards for a touchdown at 10:47. Armwood followed with a 27-yard field goal by Nick Feeley at 5:23. Three plays later, Stock was picked off again and Leon McQuay brought the ball back 32 yards for the score at 3:51 making it 16-0. Miami Central(13-1) bounced back with 14 points in the second quarter. Dalvin Cook went up the middle with a 63-yard run at 7:14 and Joseph Yearly bowled in on their next possession on a seven-yard run at 1:56. The Hawks capitalized on a Central fumbled turnover on the second play of the third quarter. On their first play, Alvin Bailey found Wade Edwards wide open down the left sideline with a 32-yard touchdown pass. The Rockets responded with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Cook 14 seconds later. Armwood finished the quarter up 30-21 at 1:41 with a running back pass option by Javonte Sneed who threw the ball across the field 19 yards to Bailey. In the fourth quarter, Central's Emilio Nadelman kicked a 36-yard field goal at 8:04 to close the gap. On the first play of the following drive for Armwood, Matt Jones pulled in an 80-yard touchdown catch from Bailey to increase their lead to 37-24. Yearly put in his second touchdown run for the Rockets with five minutes remaining. Although the Rockets were down 37-31 with under two minutes remaining, they failed on the decisive possession as Central went four-and-out. The final play was a quarterback sack by Oklahoma commitment Eric Striker. The Hawks put the game out of reach on a 43 yard field goal by Nick Feeley with 0:31 remaining. Armwood will most likely finish either second or third in all national high school football prep polls when they are released.

Spoelstra Signs Contract Extension

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has signed a contract extension with the team on Friday. The length and amount of the contract was not released by the organization. He has been the Heat head coach for the past three seasons. Spoelstra led the team to an Eastern Conference championship and an NBA Finals appearance in 2010-11 with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. The Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks 4-2 in the finals. Spoelstra joined Miami in 1995 as a video coordinator and was promoted to assistant coach in 1997. He was an assistant under Pat Riley when the Miami Heat won the NBA world championship in 2005-06 over Dallas.

Sparano Out As Dolphins Coach

The Miami Dolphins fired head coach Tony Sparano on Monday. He was hired by the team prior to the 2008 season. Sparano led the team to the AFC East division title in his first season with an 11-5 record. The Dolphins tied an NFL record as they picked up ten wins more than the previous season. Miami would fall to 7-9 and into third place in 2009 and 2010. Sparano, whose team lost their first eight games in 2011, had won four straight until they lost on Sunday at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Devils Burn Panthers

The Florida Panthers returned home to begin a four-game stint and lost to the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday night at the Bank Atlantic Center. In their previous meeting, Martin Brodeur and the Devils were unable to hold a 3-0 lead and lost to the Panthers 4-3 on November 21. It was only the second time in Florida Panthers history that they overcame a three-goal lead. Florida had numerous close-range chances in the first 14 minutes of the game, with Brodeur making brilliant save-after-save. Things changed at 15:10 when Adam Larrson sent a pass from the end-boards through his own left circle. It was intercepted by Stephen Weiss who skated alone into the crease and passed it to the right where the trailer Kris Versteeg placed it into an open-net after Brodeur was committed. Florida took a two-goal lead as Versteeg put in his second goal of the game at 7:29 of the second period in a shorthanded situation. He poke-checked Hendrik Tallinder at the red line and skated in on a one-on-one breakaway where he put a wrist shot over Broduer's glove. The Devils cut the lead to 2-1 just one minute later. Iyla Kovalchuk placed the puck from the left corner to the slot, it grazed off a Panther defender and Patrik Elias finished the play from the right of the crease. The Devils tied the game at 7:40 of the third period. Tallinder took a slap shot from the top of the zone that went wide and rebounded off the back wall. Parise shot the puck from the left of the crease over Jose Theodore for the equalizer. With ten seconds remaining, Petr Sykora redirected Mark Fayne's right-wing shot from the crease, however it went behind Theodore and across the goalmouth for no goal. The Panthers set a season record with only one shot in the third period. The previous mark was two shots in the first period against the Washington Capitals on October 18. There was no scoring in overtime. In the shootout, Kovalchuk scored first with a wrist shot over the left shoudler of Theodore. Elias wrapped up the win on the Devils third attempt as he put the puck between the legs of the goalie. New Jersey improved their record to 7-1 in shootouts. Florida will host the Calgary Flames with former Panther players Olli Jokinen and Jay Bouwmeester on Friday.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rangers Blow Out Panthers

The Florida Panthers played the final game of their three-game road trip at the newly renovated Madison Square Garden and lost to the New York Rangers 6-1 on Sunday night. Both teams had played their previous game this past weekend in Buffalo. The blueshirts scored on their second power play of the game at 11:40 of the first period. Ed Jovanovski tried to clear the puck out of the Panthers zone, however Ryan Callahan stopped it at the right point and found Brad Richards streaking through the left circle. He waited for Jose Theodore to commit then fired a high shot over the right shoulder of the goalie. New York put in their second power-play goal at 17:27 as Artem Anisimov followed up with a crease shot from the right side after Erik Christensen hit the right post with the initial left-circle shot. Erik Gudbranson put in his first NHL goal from the right point with a slap shot at 18:07. Stephen Weiss and Kris Versteeg scrambled in the left circle to get the puck to the rookie for his first tally and cut the lead to 2-1. The Rangers extended their lead with four second-period goals. At 5:45 Derek Stepan put in an unassisted goal. He stopped the puck in the defensive zone, rumbled down the right side, went by two defenders and wristed a right-wing shot into the top of the cage. New York increased their lead to 4-1 when Steve Eminger burned his former team with a top right circle shot at 10:43. Marian Gaborik added a backhand goal on a rebound shot from the low slot at 16:53 followed by another goal by Stepan in the slot after a Michael Del Zotto shot from the left circle at 17:48. Florida returns home for four straight games at the Bank Atlantic Center beginning with the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

American Heritage Wins 3A Title

The American Heritage Stallions and head coach Doug Socha redeemed themselves and defeated the Madison County Cowboys 30-3 to win the Class 3A FHSAA state championship at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Saturday. The Stallions fell in the 2010 Class 1A state final last year to Trinity Christian. American Heritage(11-2) entered the game on a ten-game win streak following an overtime loss at home against the Glades Central Raiders. Late in the first quarter, the Stallions looked like they were bottled in their own on a third-and-long and short of the first down, however the Cowboys were called for roughing the passer. The Stallions then marched the ball down the field through the second quarter with Greg Bryant scoring from one-yard out with 9:25 left for a 7-0 lead. It was a 16-play, 89-yard drive that took 7:32. Madison County(12-2) rebounded with a 34-yard field goal by Zack Money with 7:10 remaining in the first half. American Heritage scored on their first possession of the second half as Bryant finished a five-play, 44-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown run through the right side with a lead block by Tyler Provo at 8:16. The Stallions followed up on their next drive five minutes later as Greg Joseph kicked a 24-yard field goal for a 17-3 lead. Bryant capped things off with 1:01 left in the contest with a five-yard run, his third touchdown in the game. It was a 19-play, 87-yard drive that lasted ten minutes and nineteen seconds. Heritage extended the lead to 30-3 on the final play of the game. Cameron Posey jarred the ball out of the hands of Deonshay Wells who just received a pass from Charles Brown, then Silmore Dallaway returned the ball 44 yards for the score. Greg Bryant finished with 39 carries for 243 yards, which was 72 yards more than Madison County had in total offense. American Heritage had won the Class 1A state title in 2007 and 2009 under former head coach Willie Bueno.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Panthers Shut Out Bruins

In his 600th NHL career appearance, Florida Panthers goalie Jose Theodore made 40 saves en route to a 2-0 shutout over the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins at the TD Bankworth Garden on Thursday night. The Panthers jumped the Bruins in the standings and are now tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for second place in the Eastern Conference with 36 points, one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers. The game was scoreless after two periods and almost had no score after regulation time. It changed with 2:32 left when Tomas Kopecky followed up on a rebound in the crease from a Shawn Matthias shot from the left wing. For Kopecky it was his fourth goal as a Panther. Kris Versteeg capped the victory with an open-net goal, his club-leading 13th goal this season, with 42 seconds remaining. Theodore picked up his second shutout this season and his 32nd in the NHL. Florida continues their three-game trip on the road and take on the Buffalo Sabres Friday night.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mark Buehrle Signs With Marlins

Former Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle signed a four-year 58 million dollar contract with the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. He rejoins Marlins manager Ozzie Gullien who managed him in Chicago for eight seasons. Buehrle made his major league baseball debut with the White Sox in 2000 and won a world championship in 2005. In 12 seasons with the pale hoses, he went 161-119 with 1,396 strikeouts and a 3.83 ERA. He pitched a no-hitter in April 2007 and a perfect game in July 2009. The Marlins have now signed Buehrle along with Jose Reyes and Heath Bell as free agents in the past week.

Major League Baseball Issues Media Dress Code

Major League Baseball became the first professional league in North America to issue a dress policy to all members of the media on Tuesday. The decision was announced at the baseball winter meetings in Dallas. Media personnel would be dressed in a professional business casual manner in the locker rooms, dugouts, playing field, press box and press lunch room. Starting next season media members will be prohibited from wearing bermuda shorts, flip-flops, tight tee-shirts, short skirts, tank tops, ripped jeans, see-through outfits, sports jerseys and any clothing with a team logo/insignia. One of the reasons for the dress policy was how local television and radio reporters covering the Florida Marlins were dressed during the 2011 season at Sun Life Stadium. In addition nationally, several baseball writers and team broadcasters had been wearing shorts instead of long pants while working games.

Sid Rosenberg Suspended By WQAM

WQAM afternoon talk host Sid Rosenberg has been suspended by the station through the end of 2011. People were aware that he would not work the week of Thanksgiving. It was a surprise that he did not return to the air on Monday after being two weeks away. Rosenberg continues as the morning sports anchor at WINS-AM in New York City. In addition, he appeared on the Tony Bruno midday show on WPEN-AM in Philadelphia on Wednesday as a guest. WQAM producer and weekend host Marc Eisenberg filled in for Rosenberg during the two-week period and Channing Crowder joined him as a co-host for this week. Rosenberg joined WQAM in 2009 for middays and moved to the afternoon post in June 2010.

Monday, December 5, 2011

NHL Announces New Conferences

The National Hockey League announced Monday that they will have realignment for the 2012-13 season. The Florida Panthers will be moved along with the Tampa Bay Lightning from the Southeast Division. They will share a new conference with the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators. The Panthers have been in the Southeast Division since the 1998-99 season. Prior to that, the team played in the Atlantic Division from their first season in the NHL in 1993-94 until the 1997-98 season. Florida has never won a divisional title and have appeared in the NHL playoffs just three times in their history.

Panthers Increase Division Lead Over Capitals

The Florida Panthers entered Monday's game with a five-point lead over the Washington Capitals in the Southeast Division. They clashed at the Bank Atlantic Center as the Panthers beat the Capitals 5-4 to extend their lead in the division. Florida was playing their only home game in an eight-game stretch. The Panthers picked up two goals in just 13 seconds early in the first period. On Florida's first power play, Brian Campbell sent a pass from the top of the zone to Weiss on the right wing who then fired a shot past Michal Neuvirth with a Tomas Fleischmann screen in front at 6:50. On the following face-off at center, Mike Weaver passed the puck across to Dmitry Kulikov at the Panthers line. He found a streaking Mike Santorelli down the right wing who then blasted a slapshot from the right circle over the right shoulder of Neuvirth at 7:03. The Panthers picked up another power- play goal at 16:31 as Kulikov pounded a slapshot from the top right circle following passes around the defensive umbrella by Weiss and Campbell for a 3-0 lead. The Capitals finally scored at 17:11 as Mike Knuble finished off a three-on-two play from Marcus Johansson with a shot between the pads of Scott Clemmensen from the high slot. Florida picked up their third power-play goal of the game 3:41 into the second period as Sean Bergenheim, his fourth this season, made a wraparound shot following a mad scramble for the puck in the crease. Weiss picked up his second goal of the game at 12:11 putting the puck into an open net after Fleischmann carried it through the slot into the left circle then fed it across to Weiss. Washington closed the second period cutting the deficit to 5-2 with 20 seconds left in the second as Mathieu Perreault fed a pass from behind the Panthers net to Cody Eakin in the crease. The Capitals made it close in the third period. They picked up a goal 12:09 into the third period as Brooks Laich scored from the slot area. With less than two minute remaining, Jason Chimera put one in from close range. The Panthers have three days off before they take on the Stanley Cup champion Bruins in Boston.

Marlins Sign Jose Reyes

The Miami Marlins continued to make a splash in the free-agent market as the team signed all-star shortstop Jose Reyes on Sunday. He agreed to a six-year 106 million dollar contract to come to Miami. Reyes had been with the New York Mets since being signed by the team in 1999. During that time, he led the Mets to the National League Eastern Division title in 2006 and won the batting title in 2011. Reyes joined former San Diego Padres relief pitcher Heath Bell who signed with Miami as a free agent late last week for three years at 27 million dollars.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Panthers Beat Hurricanes

The Florida Panthers continued their trip on the road in Raleigh and defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 at the RBC Center on Tuesday night. It was the debut of former Panther Kirk Muller as head coach of the Hurricanes. The game was scoreless after one period. Florida picked up a power-play goal at 10:45 of the second period. Stephen Weiss won a left circle face-off that went back to Brian Campbell at the top of the zone. He put a pass to the left point to Tomas Fleischmann, who skated to the top left circle and blasted a slapshot past Cam Ward that hit the right post and went in. Fleischmann picked up his 11th goal this season. Carolina tied the game just one minute later. Eric Staal placed a pass into the slot area where Jeff Skinner scored on his follow-up shot, his tenth this season, in the crease area. The Panthers had their opportunities in the third period. Jack Skille was taken down from behind on a breakaway by Joni Pitkanen at 7:51 and was rewarded a penalty shot. He skated up the middle and fired a wrist shot that was stopped by Ward's glove. They also had a two-on-one breakaway while shorthanded at 12:00, however Sean Bergenheim had his left wing shot blocked by Ward. Shawn Matthias scored from the right side of the net with 3:19 left after Tomas Kopecky stopped a clearing pass on the right side wall and passed it ahead. Several minutes later, Matthias skated through the neutral zone and put in an open-net goal with 49 seconds remaining for his second of the night and fifth this year. With the win the Panthers extended their Southeast Division lead over the Washington Capitals by five points. Florida heads across the country to take on the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks later this week.

Former Panther Muller Named Carolina Coach

One-time former Florida Panthers center Kirk Muller was named the new head coach for the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday. For the last several months he had been the head coach of the Nashville Predators AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. Muller was an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens for five seasons until this spring. He played for 19 seasons in the NHL which included winning the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1992-93. Muller, known as Captain Kirk while with the New Jersey Devils, was part of the Florida Panthers when he was picked up in a late-season trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1996-97 season and stayed until 1998-99. Although he had 13 goals and 47 points in 162 regular season games with the Panthers, he played well in the 1996-97 first-round playoff series against the New York Rangers scoring one goal and three points in five games.

Guy Rawlings Moves To Atlanta

Former WTVJ-TV sports anchor and sports reporter Guy Rawlings has joined WGCL-TV in Atlanta as a news anchor and will begin there in January. He has been a sports anchor at WESH-TV in Orlando since 2007. Prior to that, he was part of the sports crew at Channel 6 in Miami with Craig Minervini and Joe Rose for nine years. He's also had previous sportscasting stints in Baltimore, Charleston, Jacksonville and Gainesville.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Panthers Announcers Receive Contract Extensions

The Florida Panthers announced on Wednesday that they have extended the contracts of all their announcers to long-term deals. The Panthers broadcasters are television play-by-play announcer Steve Goldstein, television game analyst Bill Lindsay and radio play-by-play announcer Randy Moller. Goldstein, who has the longest tenure of the three, has been the television voice of the team since the 2007-08 season. He joined the team as the radio studio host in 1996-97 and had that role until 2003-04. Goldstein was promoted to radio play-by-play announcer prior to the lockout in 2004-05 where he stayed for two NHL seasons. Moller began with Florida in 1996-97 as radio game analyst. He was upped to the radio play-by-play role when Goldstein switched to television in 2007-08. Moller is currently in his fifth season as the radio voice of the team. Lindsay, a former Panthers left wing, was named a radio game analyst in 2007-08. He remained in that spot for two seasons until he moved to television as a game analyst.

Panthers Edge Rangers

The Florida Panthers continued their four-game homestand at the Bank Atlantic Center and got by the New York Rangers 2-1 on Wednesday night. The Panthers had a barrage of shots at the 6:30 mark of the first period as Tomas Fleischmann missed an open net from the right of the crease and Jason Garrison hit the right post on his shot from the right point. Florida was able to score on their first power play at 10:06. Fleischmann carried the puck through the right circle, backhanded to Brian Campbell on the left point who passed across to Garrison for a slapshot that went over the left shoulder of Hendrik Lundqvist. Florida continued to roll early in the second period as Fleischmann went around Artem Anisimov in the low rignt circle, backhanded a pass up to Kris Versteeg for a one-timer at 1:09. Versteeg now leads the Panthers with 12 goals this season. New York responded and cut the lead to 2-1 at 4:18 when Marian Gaborik passed across the high slot to Derek Stepan who took a wrist shot from the left face-off circle that beat Jose Theodore to the stick side. Neither team scored in the third period in which Lundqvist kept the game Rangers in the game as he made 36 saves. Florida extended their win streak to three games and host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Panthers Pull Off Three-Goal Comeback

Tomas Fleishmann got the winning goal from a right-corner feed by Stephen Weiss with 2:03 left in the game to cap off a three-goal comeback as the first-place Florida Panthers shocked the New Jersey Devils 4-3 Monday night at the Bank Atlantic Center. Florida failed with a five-on-three power play early in the first period, then the Devils followed with three goals in just over three minutes. Ilya Kovalchuk scored the first goal at 8:17 as he dropped a pass at the top of the Panthers zone to Henrik Tallinder, who put a shot on net, then Kovalchuk followed up in the crease with the rebound. Petr Sykora roofed in a backhand shot from the right edge of the crease at 9:26 after a slapshot from Adam Larson from the right point. Later on, a lead pass by Martin Brodeur went to Patrick Elias center ice. He skated through on a two-on-one breakaway, faked a shot and passed across to Dainius Zubrus who put a forehand into the open net from the right circle at 11:49. The second period went for Florida after they killed off a Devils power play. Dmitry Kulikov skated the puck through the right circle and placed it in the low slot off Weiss skate. Kris Versteeg pounced on the loose puck for the goal at 5:28. The Panthers pulled within one goal at 10:40 as Jason Garrison stopped the puck on the left point when the Devils tried to clear zone. His shot was stopped in front by traffic where Versteeg finished the play off with a wrist shot from the right of the crease. The Panthers tied the game in the third period as Weiss put in a shorthanded goal on a four-on-three situation with a wrist shot over Brodeur's left shoulder after a give-and-go play from Garrison. In a surprising piece of news, Florida came back from three goals down for only their second time in their 18-season franchise history. The Panthers host the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Panthers Take Down Penguins

The Florida Panthers returned to the Bank Atlantic Center beginning a four-game homestand on Saturday night and beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. The Panthers now stand alone in first place in the Southeast Division with 23 points. The Penguins were without Sidney Crosby, however they jumped on the lead early. Chris Kunitz won a face-off in the neutral zone, then Pascal Dupris brought the puck across the Panthers line. His shot was redirected by Kunitz on net and followed through on his rebound shot at 1:09. Florida tied the game at 7:28 on a nifty play where Stephen Weiss dropped a pass on the right-wing wall to Kris Versteeg. He then passed into the slot area to Brian Campbell who skated into the crease and went around Brent Johnson finishing with a backhand shot. In the second period, the Panthers took the lead on a power play goal at 5:48 as Tomas Fleischmann picked up a loose puck in the high slot area for his eighth goal of the season. Pittsburgh tied it at 12:38 when Jordan Staal scored his tenth goal this season as he followed up a left circle shot by Dupuis in the crease area and waited for Jose Theodore to be out of position. The Penguins were called for a bench minor with too many men on the ice at 15:55 and the Panthers capitalized on the power play. Versteeg's shot front the left edge of the crease was saved by Johnson, however Weiss placed a soft shot from the top of the paint that hit the right post. With the backward momentum of Johnson falling down, his body pushed the puck across the goal line at 16:30. The Panthers play their next game on Monday night against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dwyer Eliminates Blanche Ely

It was a battle between two high schools that have consistently appeared in the postseason for the past decade, Dwyer and Blanche Ely. In this Class 7A regional quarterfinal game, it seemed to be no contest as the Dwyer Panthers shut down the Blanche Ely Tigers 28-0 at Blum Stadium in Palm Beach Gardens on Friday night. The Tigers began the first quarter sluggish just like they have for most of their games this season. The Panthers dominated scoring 21 points within the first 12 minutes. On a fourth-and-13 from the Tigers 36, Faton Bauta found Clinton Stephens on the right side and he broke one tackle at the 15 to score at 6:46. Ely started their first possession badly on the third play of the drive as Julian Whigham intercepted a pass from Darrien Allen in the middle of the field and returned it 31 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown making it 14-0 at 5:30. Bauta added to the score with a one-yard run on Dwyer's next possession with 0:26 left in the first quarter. Neither team got any points in the second quarter. The Tigers were unable to come back in the second half as they have numerous times in 2011. The Panthers increased their lead to 28-0 as Bauta connected with Malik Brown on a seven-yard pass with 7:17 remaining in the third quarter. Dwyer will host the Northeast Hurricanes of Oakland Park next Friday night in a regional semifinal game.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blues Bounce Panthers

It was a game where both teams capitalized on turnovers in the defensive zone as the St. Louis Blues beat the Florida Panthers 4-1 on Thursday night. The Blues struck first as David Backes scored an unassisted goal at 6:04. Mike Santorelli tied the game seven minutes later with his own unassisted goal as he made a turnaround shot from the left face-off circle into the top shelf of the cage following a Blues turnover. At 5:48 of the second period, Chris Porter slapped a loose puck from the right circle and St. Louis regained the lead 2-1, again on an unassisted goal. Midway through the third period, the Blues were able to create a two-on-one breakaway when Ed Jovanovski pinched in from the left point. Vladimir Sobotka skated the puck all the way into the Panthers zone and placed a backhand pass from the right circle onto the stick of Kris Russell for a tip-in goal at 9:46. Backes finished things off with his second goal of the game and sixth goal this season with 1:50 left. The Panthers return home to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night and begin a four-game homestand. The Penguins will make a game-time decision if Sidney Crosby will return to the lineup and play his first game this season.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Panthers Blast Stars

Scott Clemmensen made 25 saves as he led the Florida Panthers to a shutout win over the Dallas Stars 6-0 at the American Airlines Center on Tuesday night. For Clemmensen, who was called up from the minors several days ago, it was his seventh career shutout. With the win Florida is now tied with the Washington Capitals for first place of the Southeast Division at 21 points. Tomas Kopecky backhanded a pass from the right side to Dmitry Kulikov and he fired a shot from the slot area at 16:44 for a 1-0 lead. Jason Garrison nailed a top zone shot for a goal from Mike Santorelli just one minute later and now leads all NHL defensemen with seven goals this season. At 15:02 of the second period, Tomas Fleischmann kept things going with a left circle shot that was placed in the top right corner of the net. All five Panther players on the ice touched the puck which lead to a Stephen Weiss goal with eight seconds remaining in the period. Weiss also moved to second all-time for Florida in games played with 574 passing Robert Svehla. Kris Versteeg added to the blowout with his ninth of the season at 10:00 followed by Evgeny Dadonov putting one in off his own skate from a lead pass at 13:19. The Panthers improved their road record to 7-3 and head for St. Louis to take on the Blues Thursday night.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Nieuwendyk And Belfour Enter Hockey Hall Of Fame

Two former Florida Panthers were inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame in Toronto on Monday night, center Joe Nieuwendyk and goalie Ed Belfour. Both players joined the Panthers at the end of their illustrious NHL careers. They were teammates with Florida in 2006-07. Following the NHL lockout of 2004-05, Nieuwendyk joined the Panthers and played for two seasons then became part of their hockey operations for two years. He won three Stanley Cups with three different teams(Calgary, Dallas and New Jersey) in his 20-year career scoring 564 goals and 562 assists. Nieuwendyk is currently in his third season as general manager of the Dallas Stars. Belfour was in net with the Panthers for only one season. He garnered 484 wins, third all-time, and 76 shutouts in his 18-year career that included a Stanley Cup title with Dallas in 1998-99.

Flyers Outbattle Panthers

The Florida Panthers returned from Canada for a one-game stop at home and lost to the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 at the Bank Atlantic Center on Sunday. The Panthers and the Flyers entered the game with the same record after 15 games at 8-4-3. Both teams had good scoring opportunities on two power plays each in the first period. The Flyers took the lead at 16:10 as Danny Briere(5) followed up a rebound shot with a backhand from the right of the crease that hit the crossbar before going in. Philadelphia increased their lead 6:50 into the second period as an unlikely player scored. Braydon Coburn put in his first of the season, his first tally in 40 games, as he finished up a give-and-go play with Jakub Voracek in the Panthers zone. Florida stepped up just three minutes later as Evgeny Dadonov, playing in his first NHL game this season after being called up from the minors, received a pass from Ed Jovanovski and fired a shot from the slot area. Following a Maxime Talbot four minute double minor penalty for high sticking at 3:13 of the third period, the Flyers were rewarded a penalty shot while shorthanded as Jason Garrison tripped Matt Read(4) as he headed through the slot on a breakaway. Read was able to squeeze the penalty shot through the pads of Jose Theodore who was in the butterfly position at 4:14. It was a little too late for Florida as they pulled the goalie and closed the gap to 3-2 with eight seconds remaining in the game. Tomas Fleishmann, his sixth goal this season, was able to rip a shot from the inner edge of the left circle on an assist by Tomas Kopecky. The Panthers head out of town for their next two games as they travel to Dallas and St. Louis facing those teams for the only time this season.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Florida Marlins Renamed Miami Marlins

The Florida Marlins baseball franchise officially changed their name to the Miami Marlins on Friday. The date 11-11-11 has numerical significance to some people in society, but it will be known throughout South Florida as the day the Marlins renamed their organization. The organization will be wearing new uniforms and caps starting in the 2012 season. Fans knew when the change would happen at the Marlins final home game in 2011 when team owner Jeffrey Loria and former manager Jack McKeon ripped down the last panel of the games remaining sign on the left field wall at Sun Life Stadium. It revealed Miami Marlins 11.11.11 in a black box. The main reason for the name change was that if the city of Miami would build a new stadium for the team, then the team would implement Miami and eliminate Florida from the franchise name. A baseball stadium has almost been completely done where the Orange Bowl once stood in Little Havana. The facility will be open by the first week of April. The Marlins will face the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals opening day on April 4. The team had been known as the Florida Marlins after original owner Wayne Huizenga and South Florida was rewarded an expansion franchise by Major League Baseball in June 1991. The Marlins had played all their home games in Miami Springs since April 1993. The original team logo and cap design are history. There were minor league teams named the Miami Marlins previously. The Philadelphia Phillies and the Baltimore Orioles had a Florida State League affiliate with the same name from 1962-1970 and 1982-1988 that played at Bobby Maduro Miami Stadium.

Boca Raton Pounds Olympic Heights

The Boca Raton Bobcats dominated their crosstown rival and defeated the Olympic Heights Lions 39-6 on Thursday night at Corey Lewis Stadium. The Bobcats jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead on a 28-yard catch by Ron Moore from Kevin Anderson just five minutes into the game. On their next possession, Blake Wilson converted on a 43-yard field goal to increase the Bobcats lead 54 seconds into the second quarter. The Lions responded as Diegaulle Sama returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown, however he was called for a taunting penalty several yards before entering the end zone. Olympic Heights(3-7) missed the 35-yard extra point and were down 10-6. This turned out to be the closest the Lions came to take the lead. Boca Raton(3-7) added two touchdowns prior to the end of the first half which was the start of 29 unanswered points. Davin Daley scored on an 11-yard touchdown run at 7:33, then in his final high school game, top college prospect Keith Byars II caught a 45-yard screen pass with 3:34 remaining in the first half to make it 24-6. The Bobcats put in their second team unit to begin the third quarter. They did not disappoint outscoring the Lions 10-0 in the third. With 7:53 left in the game, the Bobcats picked up a safety on a bad punt snap beyond the back of the end zone. Wilson capped things off with a 27-yard field goal at 3:57.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Boyd Anderson Forfeits District Title

Following at internal investigation of using three ineligible players for the first seven games this season, Boyd Anderson forfeited the District 14-7A title on Monday. The Cobras record will drop from 8-1 to 2-7. The Northeast Hurricanes(6-3, 5-0) were promoted from district runner-up to district champion while the Blanche Ely Tigers(7-2, 4-1) moved up from third place to district runner-up. Both teams will be involved in the Class 7A playoffs in less than two weeks. Northeast will host Royal Palm Beach while the Tigers travel to Palm Beach County and face William T. Dwyer. The Hurricanes won a 6A district title in the FHSAA highest classification last year, their first district championship of any kind since the 1980's. Blanche Ely has been a consistent playoff team over the past decade.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Panthers Blow Three Goal Lead

The Florida Panthers finished up a three-game homestand on Sunday and were defeated by the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in a shootout at the Bank Atlantic Center. The Panthers had won both previous meetings this season which involved both teams playing their home openers. Following a Vincent Lecavalier hooking penalty one minute into the game, Florida scored on their first power play at 1:49. Kris Versteeg passed from the right corner to Brian Campbell who then wristed a shot from the high slot over Mathieu Garon's left shoulder for his first goal as a Panther. The team added to the lead at 13:05 on a breakout play from of the defensive zone which led to a two-on-one. Jack Skille skated with the puck through center ice into the Lightning zone then backhanded a pass across to Tomas Kopecky(2) who finished the play with a top right circle shot. Garon was pulled from the game for Dwayne Roloson after he gave up a wrist shot goal from the left circle by Mike Santorelli, his first goal this season, at 15:21. The Lightning came back in the second period with a Ryan Malone(4) power play goal at 16:20 followed by Steven Stamkos with his tenth goal this season, tied for the NHL lead, at 17:46. Tampa Bay finished off being three goals down at 8:11 of the third as Steve Downie put in a rebound shot in the lower crease area for his second this year. Former Panther Dominic Moore was the only player to convert in the shootout. He was fourth up during the session for his team. Florida travels to Toronto and Winnipeg later this week.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Allison Williams Joins ESPN

Florida Panthers and Florida Marlins sideline reporter/studio host Allison Williams will join ESPN as a college basketball sideline reporter for ACC Sunday evening games beginning in January. Joining her as play-by-play announcer for those broadcasts will be Jon Sciambi, former WQAM sports talk host, WAXY sports talk host and Florida Marlins radio play-by-play announcer. She has worked at Fox Sports Florida for three years sharing duties for the two local sports teams along with Craig Minervini and Frank Forte. In addition, Williams has done college football sideline reporting and once hosted a college football tailgate show on Comcast Sports Southeast.

American Heritage-Delray Coasts To Victory

The American Heritage-Delray Stallions played their final district game in 2011 and had no problems as they came away with a 28-0 shutout win over Calvary Christian. They had already clinched District 7-3A prior to this game in Fort Lauderdale. American Heritage(7-1, 6-0) dominated the game with great field positioning and were ahead 14-0 at halftime. Following an Eagles punt to begin the second half, the Stallions scored on their first possession at 9:02 as Nick Lasalla rumbled in from one yard out making it 21-0. Calvary Christian(3-6, 2-4) and quarterback Javan Shashaty were unable to come close to a scoring opportunity throughout the game getting to the Stallions 30-yard only once. Midway through the fourth quarter, Jhavon Williams intercepted a Shashaty pass and returned it 46 yards to the Eagles one-yard line. On the following play, Jeremy Gaskins scored on a run to increase the rout 28-0. The Stallions will have a first round game at The Corral to open the playoffs in two weeks. The Eagles finished their first season in a new football facility, playing daytime games in 2011, and will have home games at night next season.

Cooper City Takes District Over Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas was looking for another district title, however they were shocked and lost the District 15-7A crown to Cooper City 21-16 at Brian Piccolo Stadium on Friday night. As the district champion, the Cowboys will host a first round playoff game against Miami Beach while the Raiders, district runner-up, won't play a home playoff game for the first time since 1996. Cooper City(9-0, 5-0) had not beaten St. Thomas Aquinas(7-2, 4-1) since 1972. Both teams met in the Class 5A regional semifinal in 2010 where the Raiders handled the Cowboys 49-7. Midway through the first quarter, Gavin Sinclair returned a punt 51 yards to the Cowboys 22. Nolan Bieck kicked a 36-yard field goal three plays later with 4:23 left. Momentum changed with eight minutes remaining in the first half. Bieck had a 43-yard field goal blocked at the line of scrimmage by Justin Ingram, then Camden Krohn picked up the loose ball at his own two-yard line, found a wall of blockers in front of him and ran down the sideline for a 98-yard touchdown and a 7-3 lead. Aquinas responded on their next possession as Fred Coppet capped the drive with a seven-yard run with 4:00 left to regain the lead 10-7. Cooper City commanded the third quarter scoring off two St. Thomas Aquinas turnovers. Tyson Burch intercepted a pass and returned it 26 yards to the Raiders 5. Krohn went up the middle for the score one play later at 2:13. Max Lescano fumbled on a pitch play on the Raiders next drive and Jordan Mornay took the ball back ten yards for a score and a Cowboys 21-10 lead. Lescano was replaced by John O'Korn, but the Raiders were only able to garner one touchdown in the final 13 minutes of the game. Mark Barr caught an eight-yard pass with 2:31 to go in the fourth quarter, but the two-point conversion was no good. St. Thomas Aquinas lost their second home game this season, something they have not done in over 15 years. The Raiders open up the postseason at American High School of Miami in two weeks.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hawks Edge Panthers In Shootout

The Chicago Blackhawks made their yearly appearance in South Florida and defeated the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Thursday night at the Bank Atlantic Center. Current Panthers general manager Dale Tallon was once associated with the Hawks as a player, broadcaster and general manager. Heading into the game, Florida's 6-4-1 record to start the season was their best start through 11 games since they had the same record back in the 2005-06 season. Chicago began strong with a goal 4:04 into the game as Jonathan Toews redirected a pass across the crease from Andrew Brunette. Florida outshot their opponent 15-7 in the first period. Panthers goalie Jacob Markstrom robbed Patrick Sharp on two point-blank shots in the low slot, one in the first and one in the second. In the second period, the Blackhawks increased their lead to 2-0 as Patrick Kane passed the puck through the left circle for a one-timer slap shot from Marian Hossa from the low right circle at 4:51. The Panthers closed the gap at 18:19 as Tomas Fleischmann dropped a pass at the top of zone to Kris Versteeg. He then gave a lead pass to Stephen Weiss in the slot area where he pounced on his intial shot for his fifth goal this season. The Panthers tied the game at 17:56 of the third by an unlikely scorer, Ed Jovanovski. Sean O'Donnell tried to clear the puck out of the Blackhawks zone on a save by Corey Crawford. Dmitry Kulikov stopped it at the right point, took a shot and Jovanovski deflected the puck from the inner right circle. The Panthers had a 14-5 shot advantage in the third. Neither team scored in overtime, although Chicago had six shots in the extra session. The Blackhawks got the only goal in the shootout on their third attempt as Kane went 5-hole with a backhand shot for the win. The Panthers have three days off until they host Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon while the Blackhawks travel to face the Lightning tomorrow night.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Majicjack Franchise Terminated By WPS

Women's Professional Soccer terminated the Majicjack franchise based in Boca Raton on Thursday. League officials had conflicts with team owner and Majicjack founder/owner Dan Borislow since he purchased the franchise earlier this year. Borislow moved the team from Washington D.C. to South Florida prior to the 2011 season and played their home games at Florida Atlantic University. Borislow and his organization then violated many rules and standards instituted by league. They included no implementation of a team website and blatantly ignoring orders from the WPS Commissioner and Board of Governors. Players from the United States national soccer team that played at the Womens World Cup in Germany were part of the team. They included forward Abby Wambach, midfielders Shannon Boxx and Megan Rapinoe, defenders Christie Rampone and Becky Sauerbrunn and goalkeeper Hope Solo. The Majicjack finished in third place in the regular season standings. They won at home in the first round 3-1 over the Boston Breakers, however they lost to the Philadelphia Independence 2-0 in the second round on the road. The Majicjack players will be placed in a supplemental draft in the near future.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

One Year Of The Big O At WMEN

Orlando Alzugaray, otherwise known at The Big O, celebrated his one-year anniversary as the afternoon drive host at WMEN on Wednesday. Since his arrival, the station increased its audience share over the past year and during the summer became the most listened to sports format radio station in Palm Beach County defeating WEFL, which held the top spot that featured Evan Cohen for the past six years. Alzugaray had been a staple with WQAM since the mid-1990's both as a sports reporter and later as a weekday talk host. You might wonder why The Big O made the switch to WMEN. He was reassigned from middays to late mornings when WQAM picked up former Miami Hurricane wide receiver Michael Irvin in July 2010. By early September, Alzugaray was demoted to the evening shift from late mornings when the station signed former Heisman Trophy winner and Hurricanes quarterback Gino Torretta. After two weeks working nights, he gave his resignation to WQAM management without a job waiting for him. He signed a deal with WMEN several days later, however WQAM prohibited his new station to allow The Big O on the airwaves for one month. Alzugaray finally began his new afternoon drive show in late October 2010 and he has changed the landscape of local sports talk radio for the better over the past year.

Former Dwyer Players Transfer From Florida

Two former Dwyer Panthers announced Wednesday that they would transfer from the University of Florida. Wide receiver Robert Clark and tight end Gerald Christian, both true sophomores, were mentioned by Gators head football coach Will Muschamp of leaving the school. Clark mainly played on the special teams unit this season and had seven catches for 69 yards and one touchdown in 2010. Christian was able to make four catches for 72 yards and scored one touchdown in 2011. Both players were with Dwyer when they won the Florida Class 5A state championship in 2009. Two former Palm Beach County high school players also left the Gators earlier this year. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins and wide receiver Chris Dunkley, both previously with Pahokee, transferred from the University of Florida prior to the season.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dolphins Blow 15-Point 4th Quarter Lead

Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos were able to overcome a 15-point deficit with under three minutes left in regulation to shock the Miami Dolphins in overtime 18-15 at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday. No team had done this feat in the NFL since 1983. Among the many circumstances of this game was that the Miami Dolphins organization honored Tim Tebow prior to the contest. He won the NCAA national championship with Florida in 2008 and a Florida Class 4A championship with Nease in 2005 on the same football field. Miami(0-6) have now lost 12 of their last 13 home games and nine consecutive games dating back to last season. In terms of scoring, the Dolphins got 38-yard and 36-yard field goals from Dan Carpenter in the second quarter. Miami extended the lead six seconds into the fourth quarter on a 16-yard catch by Anthony Fasano followed seven minutes later with a Carpenter 43-yard field goal. Denver then pulled off a miracle comeback. Tebow found Demaryius Thomas with a five-yard touchdown pass with 2:47 left. The Broncos then recovered the onside kick on the ensuing play. Daniel Fells caught a three-yard pass for a score with 17 seconds remaining. Tebow pulled off a two-point conversion with a run through the right side of the line to tie the game 15-15. Matt Prater capped the victory with a game-winning 52-yard field goal seven minutes into overtime. Just three plays earlier, former Miami Hurricane D.J. Williams created a turnover and forced Matt Moore to fumble the ball. Tebow pulled off his third second-half comeback in his lifetime on the field off Dan Marino Boulevard.

Panthers Get By Habs

The Florida Panthers were able to capitalize on the worst home start ever in the long-storied history of the Montreal Canadiens franchise. The Cats beat the Habs 2-1 on Monday night at the Bell Center. Montreal had entered this game losing their first three home games this season. Eric Cole, who scored his first goal as a Montreal Canadien, was in the low slot when he redirected a top zone shot from Raphael Diaz by Jacob Markstrom on the Canadiens first power play at 3:08 of the first. Florida came back with a score on their first power play in the game. A loose scramble for the puck in the crease area was put in by Tomas Fleischmann, his second goal this season, on an assist in front by Kris Versteeg with just over four minutes left. Neither team scored in the second period. At 5:02 of the third, Scottie Upshall picked up his first goal as a Florida Panther on a tip-in from a left point shot by Dmitry Kulikov. Markstrom, who made 40 saves for his second career win, made several great saves in the final minute on a six-on-four Montreal power play.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

WAXY Weekend Changes

In a staff meeting on Friday, WAXY-AM announced that they would make changes to their weekend lineup. The station was eliminating all local sports updates as of next weekend in favor of ESPN Radio programming. In addition, all part-time staff members would no longer do weekend sports talk shows and continue as weekday update anchors, producers and fill-in reporters. Brokered speciality weekend shows that included Craig Misch and Brenden Tobin will stay on the schedule. Talking Hardball with Warren Cromartie finished its final show of the season on Saturday and is uncertain if it will return in 2012.

Panthers Beat Islanders

Following the trade of David Booth to the Vancouver Canucks, the Florida Panthers snapped a two-game losing streak and defeated the New York Islanders 4-2 on Saturday night at the Bank Atlantic Center. The Islanders picked up a power play goal just 1:01 into the game as Mark Streit(1) blasted a top-zone slap shot through traffic for a 1-0 lead. Tomas Kopecky missed on a penalty shot at 2:39 after being hooked from behind by Andrew MacDonald. Kris Versteeg tied the game at 14:39, his fourth goal of the season, as he followed up his initial shot from the right circle with a rebound shot in the low slot area. In the second period, Florida took their first lead 2-1 at 13:39 when Shawn Matthias went around Streit in the right corner and found Matt Bradley(1) for a backhand goal in the crease area. New York responded and tied the game one minute later at the start of their second power play. John Taveres(6) won a face-off in the left circle that went back to Streit at the blue line, and his shot was redirected by Tavares in the slot area. Tim Kennedy scored his first goal of the season which gave the Panthers the eventual lead at 4:00 of the third period as he and Matthias performed a give-and-go cycle play around Mark Eaton to the side of the Islanders net. Former Panther Michael Grabner almost tied the game on a breakaway at 11:59 but his forehand shot was stopped by Jacob Markstrom, who picked up his first career NHL win. New York failed to convert on a 5-on-3 power play in the last three minutes of the game. Matthias(1) came out of the penalty box behind the Islanders defense and put in an open-net goal from a lead pass up the right wing boards by Tomas Fleischmann at 19:36. The Panthers begin a three-game road trip on Monday in Montreal.

Booth Traded To Vancouver Canucks

Twenty minutes prior to tonight's game against the New York Islanders, Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon traded left wing David Booth, center Steven Reinprecht and 2013 third-round pick, previously acquired from the Canucks, to Vancouver for right wing Mikael Samuelsson and left wing Marco Sturm. Booth, who was the Panthers second-round draft pick in 2004, played 309 games with 87 goals, 80 assists and 167 points. He had only one assist in six games with the club in 2011-12. Reinprecht was assigned to the Panthers AHL affiliate prior to the start of this season. He had been put on waivers by Florida several times over the past year. The Panthers picked up Samuelsson, who has played in three Stanley Cup Finals during his NHL career, and won the championship in 2008-09 with the Detroit Red Wings. He had one goal and two assists in six games with Vancouver this season along with recording 314 points during his NHL career in 621 games. Sturm was scoreless in six games with the Canucks this season. He's scored 239 goals with 243 assists in 897 games while in the NHL. According to Tallon, the Florida Panthers received two veteran players with a load of playoff experience and show a tremendous amount of character.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dwyer Stops Atlantic

The two top teams in District 7A-13 battled it out for first place as the Dwyer Panthers got a 14-0 shutout win over the Atlantic Eagles in Delray Beach on Friday night. Unlike last year's non-district scoring shootout, it was a major surprise that both teams were held scoreless in the first three quarters. Atlantic(5-2,3-1) had a chance to score with 1:34 left in the first quarter, but A.J. Puente's pass from the Panthers one-yard line was intercepted by Clay Meister. Dwyer's Bobby Puyol had a 27-yard field goal blocked by Gerald Fulton with over three minutes remaining in the first half. Following a three-and-out late in the second quarter, Panthers punt return Julius Whigham turned the ball over on a fumble. The Eagles were unable to capitalize as Nick Privitera missed a 47-yard field goal wide left to end the first half. Dwyer(6-1, 4-0) recovered a punt early in the fourth quarter when an arcing ball hit the right leg of Trinity Fordham. Six plays later, Faton Bauta scored on a one-yard run with 8:03 left to break the tie. Atlantic then lost the ball on a fourth-and-one from their own 29. Bauta rushed in from 13 yards out three plays later. Both teams play district foes next Friday as Dwyer continues their six-game winning streak and hosts Lake Worth. Atlantic travels to Royal Palm Beach with a runner-up playoff spot on the line.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sabres Shut Out Panthers

The Florida Panthers returned home after a short two-game road trip against the Southeast Division and were defeated by the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 on Thursday night at the Bank Atlantic Center. The game was scoreless after one period. Buffalo got the lead 2:33 into the second period. Keaton Ellerby's clearing pass out of the Panthers zone was stopped at the blue line by Tyler Myers. He found Jason Pominville at the top of the right circle, who followed with a slap shot that was redirected in the crease by Tomas Vanek while screening Jose Theodore on the play. The Sabres again capitalized on an attempted clear-out pass by Ellerby. Ville Leino stopped the puck on the left-wing boards, skated through the left circle, backhanded a pass across the low slot, then Pomanville put in a one-time at 16:56. Vanek scored his second goal of the game, sixth of the season, on the power play with 2:29 left. Vanek scored his second goal of the game, his sixth this season, on the power play with 2:29 left in the game. He got a cross-ice feed from Pominville, then teed up a slap shot from the right inner circle. Ryan Miller picked up his 23rd shutout of his career. The Panthers best chance to score happened 13:52 into the first period when Kris Versteeg blasted a 20-foot shot from the slot. Florida hosts the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Panthers Impress After Two Weeks

The Florida Panthers began the first two weeks of the 2011-12 season differently than they have in other seasons since the NHL lockout winning three of their first four games. The team opened up the season with four of their first five games on the road. Jose Theodore, who was acquired as a free agent during the off-season, made 27 saves and picked up a 2-0 shutout over the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum. Stephen Weiss and Jason Garrison scored goals in that game. Three nights later, the Panthers came up short in Pittsburgh falling to the Penguins 4-2. Free agent pickups Marcel Goc and Tomas Fleischmann both got their first goals in a Panthers uniform. The team returned home to the newly renovated Bank Atlantic Center(lower bowl red seats) where team revealed and played in their new red uniforms. Success showed with the new jerseys as they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in a shootout. Florida went 2-for-6 on the power play and got goals with the man advantage from new arrivals Ed Jovanovski and Kris Versteeg. Jovanovski, who was nicknamed Jovocop, played for the Florida Panthers from his rookie season in 1995-96 until 1998-99 when he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks for Pavel Bure. The Panthers finished the home-and-home series two nights later in Tampa and defeated the Lightning 7-4. Five different players put the puck in the net for the team. They inclued Weiss, Versteeg(2 PPG), Tomas Kopecky, Sean Bergenheim(SHG) and Garrison. The Cats power play was spectacular going 5-for-9. The Panthers were shut down the following night 3-0 in Washington D.C. against the Capitals.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

FAU Falls In New Stadium Opener

After ten years of playing college football, Florida Atlantic University hosted and played their first on-campus stadium game in their history. FAU fell to Western Kentucky 20-0 on Saturday afternoon. The team had played all their home games over the past ten years at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. The Owls opened their first five games on the road this season and were winless. Coach Howard Schnellenberger's team seemed lackluster throughout the entire game. They gave up two field goals in the first half and two touchdowns in the second half. Although their record dropped to 0-6, the Owls will host Middle Tennessee State in another Sunbelt Conference contest next Saturday night.

Palm Beach County Blowouts In Week 7

Most of the Palm Beach County high school football teams played on Friday night with the exception of Atlantic, American Heritage-Delray and Olympic Heights. In a major surprise, many of the games were lopsided. There were 16 high school games played in Palm Beach County and 13 of them were decided by over 17 points. Only one game had a seven-point or less scoring difference(Summit Christian 21, Coral Springs 20 in overtime). Ten games were decided by more than 25 points. With district play being given more attention from week 8 through week 10, hopefully games in Palm Beach County will be more competitive.

Blanche Ely Wins On Second Half Attack

Blanche Ely high school celebrated their 60th homecoming with a 28-10 over their northeast Broward County rivals Deerfield Beach. The Bucks got the only points in the first quarter as Oscar Rosales hit a 27-yard field goal. The Ely Tigers took the lead just four minutes into the second quarter as quarterback Tyquan Fields scored from one yard out. Deerfield Beach(1-5) got to the Tigers five-yard line with six seconds left in the half, however the clock ran out on an incomplete passing play. The Bucks retook the lead 10-7 in the third quarter as Brandon Powell raced in from 56 yards out. Blanche Ely(5-1) then scored on their next possessions in the second half. Fields found Avery Johnson on a 19-yard pass followed by a Darren Allen run from 12 yards away. The Tigers added another touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Blanche Ely faces District 7A-14 rival Northeast on the road next Saturday night. Deerfield Beach hosts Piper in an 8A-11 battle on Friday.

Undefeated Coral Springs Beats Cardinal Gibbons

It was a battle between two unbeaten teams in Broward County as the Coral Springs Colts edged the Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs 28-23 on Friday night. The Colts begin a season at 6-0 for the first time ever. It was the third night home game played at The Furnace by Gibbons in their 51-year history. Both teams scored touchdowns early to make it 7-7 at halftime. Coral Springs struck with 8:50 left in third quarter as Jared Joyner scored on a 50-yard run to break the tie. The Colts then recovered the ball on the ensuring kickoff. One play later, Evan Lassiter found Dion Witty on the left side of the end zone with a 23-yard pass. A two-point conversion gave Coral Springs a 22-7 lead. Chiefs kicker Kevin McLaughlin put through a 26-yard field goal four minutes later. Cardinal Gibbons closed the gap to 22-17 on a three-yard run by Marcus Dixon with 9:50 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Colts responded on their first play of their next possession as Witty broke through several tackles on a 75-yard catch. The Chiefs got one final score with forty seconds left as Chase Bender connected with Dixon from 40 yards out. Cardinal Gibbons visits Dillard next Friday for the first time ever as both teams are on top of District 5A-15. Coral Springs, who currently lead District 11-8A, travel to South Plantation.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Glades Central Escapes Boca Raton

After playing an erratic first half of football, the Glades Central Raiders put things together in the second half and defeated the Boca Raton Bobcats 23-7. Following a scoreless first quarter, Bobcats linebacker Leon King returned a 37-yard interception off a screen play for a score at 10:47. On the first play of their next possession, the Raiders had a 64-yard run by William Likely negated by an illegal shift. Later in the drive, Boca Raton(1-4) safety Cedric Bryant made an interception at the one-yard line on a third-and-goal at the Bobcats ten. On the next play, Raiders linebacker Dominique Gibson sacked Bobcats quarterback Kevin Anderson in the end zone for a safety to close the deficit to 7-2 with 4:37 left in the half. Likely fumbled the ball after a reception in the final minute at the Bobcats two-yard line. Glades Central(4-0) had better focus in the second half. They got a 35-yard touchdown catch by wide receiver Jamie Wilson from quarterback Tanner Redish at 4:54 of the third quarter and took their first lead 9-7. The Raiders scored on their next two drives in the fourth quarter and increased their lead to 23-7. Likely caught a 62-yard pass from Redish at 11:34 followed by a Wilson 20-yard catch with 9:15 left in the game. District play begins next week for both teams as undefeated Glades Central travels to Suncoast next Friday while Boca Raton visits John I. Leonard next Thursday.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Florida Marlins Name All-Time Team

Following their final game ever at Sun Life Stadium, the Florida Marlins announced their all-time team in a postgame ceremony. The infield went Derek Lee at first base, Luis Castillo at second base, Hanley Ramriez at shortstop and Mike Lowell at third base. In the outfield were Gary Sheffield, Jeff Conine and Miguel Cabrera. Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez was named catcher. The pitching staff included Livan Hernanadez, Al Leiter, Kevin Brown, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis, Josh Johnson and Robb Nen. Utility player Alfredo Amezega was also added. Recently retired Jack McKeon was named manager.

Florida Marlins Play Final Game At Sun Life Stadium

The Florida Marlins played their final home game at Sun Life Stadium on Wednesday losing to the Washington Nationals 3-1. The Marlins joined the National League in 1993 and had called the stadium in Miami Gardens their only home. The facility had several different names in the last 18 years. It was originally called Joe Robbie Stadium after the Miami Dolphins first owner who built the venue from his own money. The place would be renamed Pro Player Stadium when H. Wayne Huizenga acquired complete control of the Miami Dolphins, the stadium and the surrounding land on August 26, 1996. After Pro Player Apparel went bankrupt, it was renamed Dolphins Stadium in January 2005. It was then adjusted to Dolphin Stadium in April 2006. Stephen Ross then picked up a majority share of the Miami Dolphins, the stadium and local parcels of land from Huizenga in January 2009. Four months later, it was renamed Land Shark Stadium and stayed that way until late January 2010. Sun Life Financial acquired the naming rights on January 20, 2010 and was named Sun Life Stadium which is what it is currently called. Florida won two World Series titles in 1997 and 2003 while being a tenant at the stadium. The team will be renamed the Miami Marlins on November 11 and will move into a new stadium in April 2012 where the Orange Bowl once stood.

Florida Marlins Lose Final Game At Stadium Finale

The Florida Marlins played their last game ever at a stadium that's been their home since 1993. The team, who will be renamed the Miami Marlins on November 11, lost to the Washington Nationals 3-1 at Sun Life Stadium on Wednesday. Nationals starting pitcher Steven Strasburg(1-1) made his fifth start this season going six scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out ten. He retired 13 straight Marlins before he was pulled by manager Davey Johnson. Marlins starter Chris Volstad, a Palm Beach Gardens native, gave up a two-run single to shallow center by Ian Desmond in the fifth inning that scored Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez and Steve Lombardozzi. Volstad(5-13)went six innings, allowed two runs on three hits and picked up five strikeouts. The Marlins got a two-out rally in the seventh inning. Following a Logan Morrison walk, Gaby Sanchez nailed a ball to deep right-center field where Rick Ankiel and Jason Werth were confused who would catch the ball, and it dropped between the two scoring Morrison from first for the Marlins only run in the game. Florida left two men on base to end the seventh after an infield hit by Bryan Petersen. Washington got a lead-off triple from former Miami Hurricane Alex Cora in the eighth innning against Ryan Webb. Two batters later, Roger Bernadina singled to right and increased their lead 3-1. Jack McKeon, who managed his final game with the Marlins, received a standing ovation prior to the start of the game. He leaves with game with a 1,051-990 record. Rodriguez, another person who led the Marlins to a World Series title in 2003, received a standing prior to his at-bat in the second inning. The Florida Marlins finished with a 781-723 record in 1,504 games at their only home ballpark. After the game, the Marlins held a postgame ceremony celebrating the top ten moments in franchise history and named their all-time team.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Panthers Fall To Stars

The Florida Panthers played their final home preseason game at the Bank Atlantc Center in Sunrise and lost to the Dallas Stars 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday night. The Panthers scored on their first shot of the game six minutes in as Tomas Fleischmann blasted a left wing shot by the right shoulder of Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen. Florida swtiched goalies as Jacob Markstrom left and Tyler Plante entered at 11:02 of the second period. Dallas tied the tie on their first shot on Plante as Tomas Vincour skated through the crease and went five-hole at 11:16. The Stars took the lead just over one minute later as Loui Eriksson crushed a loose puck in the crease after his initial shot hit Brian Campbell's skate and came back to him. Toby Petersen would increase their lead to 3-1 on a short-handed breakaway goal with 1:31 left in the second period. The Panthers tied on two consecutive power play goals off a double-minor penalty by Mike Ribiero in the third period. Jonathan Huberdeau scored on a five-on-three from close range at 16:08 followed by a slap shot from the top of the slot by Dmitry Kulikov on a five-on-four at 16:43. In overtime, Stars newcomer Michael Ryder got the game-winner at 1:11 on an assist from Ribiero. The Panthers travel to Dallas and take on the Stars Thursday for their final preseason game.

Marlins Trade For Ozzie Gullien

With two games left in the 2011 season and Jack McKeon announcing his retirement, in an unusual trade the Florida Marlins picked up Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Gullien for two future minor league prospects. Guillen, who had one year left on his current contract, will not manage the final two games of the White Sox season before joining the Marlins organization. He had a previous stint for the world champion Florida Marlins in 2003 as a third base coach under McKeon. Guillen took over as manager for the Chicago White Sox in 2004 and stayed there for eight seasons. In 2005 he led the team to their first World Series title in 88 years. Gullien will become the first manager of the Miami Marlins when the team moves into their new ballpark next season. He won two American League Central Division titles in 2005 and 2008 and once played 13 seasons as shortstop with the White Sox. In the last 35 years, a major league manager has been traded for a player on two occasions. The Pittsburgh Pirates picked up Chuck Tanner from the Oakland A's for catcher Manny Sanguillen prior to the 1977 season. Two years later, Tanner would help the Pirates win the World Series along with Sangullien who was reacquired by the team. Prior to the 2003 season, Seattle Mariners manager Lou Pinella was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for outfielder Randy Winn.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jack McKeon Retires

Florida Marlins interim manager Jack McKeon announced his retirement prior to the beginning of the three-game home series against the Washington Nationals on Monday. He rejoined the Marlins for a second stint as the club's manager back in mid-June when the team was going throught a bad skid and Edwin Rodriguez resigned. McKeon replaced Jeff Torborg as manager during the 2003 season and lead Florida to their second World Series title. He stayed with the team until the end of the 2005 season. McKeon had previous managerial stops with the Kansas City Royals, Oakland A's, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds. Otherwise known as Trader Jack, McKeon has won a Marlins franchise-record 280 wins and currently has an all-time record as a major league manager of 1,050-988 as of Sunday.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lightning Beat Panthers

The Florida Panthers played a preseason game at home on Saturday night and were defeated by the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise. The Lightning scored on their first power play as Pavel Kubina blasted a slapshot from the top of the zone through traffic past goalie Jose Theodore, who was playing in his first preseason game for the Panthers, at 1:29. Florida responded seven minutes later as David Booth finished off a drive to the net from a lead pass by Tomas Kopecky with a wrist shot by the glove side of goalie Mathieu Garon to tie the game. In the second period, the Panthers picked up two goals in less than a minute for a 3-1 lead. They capitalized on a Lightning clear-out pass from the top of their zone as Tomas Fleischmann stopped the puck for Stephen Weiss who then send a pass to the left face-off circle where Kris Versteeg hit a one-timer in at 4:59. It was followed by a slot wrist shot by Kopecky at 5:40 off a Tim Kennedy feed from behind the cage. Tampa Bay scored on a five-on-three power play as Brett Connolly redirected a pass across the crease by Steven Stamkos at 10:27. Lightning top prospect Carter Ashton was rewarded a penalty shot four minutes later after being tripped up by Erik Gudbranson, however he hit the crossbar on a backhand shot. Tampa Bay tied the game midway through the third period at 9:01 as Tom Pyatt skated around Theodore with a backhand in the low crease area on a Mattias Ritola attempted shot. The Lightning retook the lead 4-3 at 14:40 as Ritola came in from the backside and scored into a half-open net on a Steve Downie crease pass from the end line. Nine seconds later, Tampa Bay increased their lead on a Teddy Purcell goal. The Panthers went 0-6 on the power play while the Lightning converted twice on three power plays. Florida hosts the Dallas Stars on Tuesday in a home-and-away series.

Leo Nunez Placed On Restricted List

The Florida Marlins placed Leo Nunez on the Major League Baseball's restricted list following reports that he lied about his name and his age. He had used an assumed name and he's one year older than he claimed. Nunez has returned to his homeland of the Dominican Republic on a personal matter and won't pitch for the rest of the 2011 season. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning on Wednesday night in a game against the Atlanta Braves at Sun Life Stadium. Nunez had 36 saves in 68 games pitched this season and had been the Florida Marlins closer since 2009.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Brewers Clinch Division Title Over Marlins

Outfielder Ryan Braun hit a three-run homer to straight center field in the eighth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Florida Marlins 4-1 Friday at Miller Park. 25 minutes after the game ended, the Brewers clinched the National League Central Division as the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals. It was the first division title for the Brewers in 29 years. Milwaukee had won the American League East back in 1982. The Marlins fell behind in the second inning as Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder homered to right center for his 35th this season. Florida tied the game in the fourth inning when Bryan Petersen knocked a shallow single into center field to score Gaby Sanchez. Marlins starter Chris Volstad got a no-decision after giving up one run on six hits in seven innings. Clay Hensley(6-7) took the loss following surrendering Braun's home run.

St. Thomas Aquinas Pound De La Salle

Two of the top-ranked national high school football programs met in Fort Lauderdale on Friday as the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders took out the De La Salle Spartans of California 30-6. The nationally-televised game was delayed by 45 minutes prior to the contest due to a weather delay. The Raiders took the lead with 7:12 left in the first quarter as running back Fred Coppet hustled in from 12 yards away. St. Thomas Aquinas increased their lead to 10-0 with 2:57 remaining in the second quarter on a 23-yard field goal by Nolan Bieck. Following a Raiders fumble by wide receiver Mark Barr, De La Salle pulled off a double pass from scrimmage during the final minute of the first half. Quarterback Bart Houston threw toward the right side to Andrew Buckley who then found wide receiver Anthony Williams behind the Raiders secondary and completed a 58-yard pass for a score to close the defecit to 10-6. The Raiders capitalized on a Spartans fumble by Houston as Coppet finished a seven-play, 48-yard drive with a one-yard run at 5:44 of the third quarter. Houston then had a 10-yard punt on De La Salle's next possession. Raiders quarterback Max Lescano ended a five-play, 35-yard drive on a seven-yard touchdown dash with 2:12 left in the third making it 24-6. Bieck added a 40-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter and a 20-yard field goal in the final minute. The Raiders stopped De La Salle's win streak at 29 and are now 6-0 against out-of-state opponents. St. Thomas Aquinas travels to take on the McArthur Mustangs next Friday, who lost to Dr. Phillips 34-7 in Orlando.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Marlins Blank Braves

Javier Vazquez, Edward Mujica and Leo Nunez combined for a two-hit shutout as the Florida Marlins defeated the Atlanta Braves 4-0 on Monday at Sun Life Stadium. Vazquez(12-11), a former Brave, went seven innings, struck out six batters and gave up only two hits. He set a Marlins team record as a starting pitcher by going 25 innings without giving up a run. Pat Rapp had a scoreless streak of 24 2-3 innings back in 1995. The Marlins scored first in the second inning. Mike Stanton led off with a single up the middle. Logan Morrison advanced the runner on a fielders choice at first. Gaby Sanchez smacked a line drive to left center that scored Stanton. Florida increased the lead 2-0 in the fifth when Brett Hayes hit a lead-off solo home run, his fifth this season, to left field. In the sixth inning, Stanton got a lead-off double. Bryan Petersen produced an RBI-sacrifice fly to right scoring Stanton three batters later. Atlanta had their best chance to score in the seventh inning but left two men in scoring position. Morrison(22) capped the victory as he hit a two-out solo home run on a 1-1 pitch to right center. Braves pitcher Derek Lowe(9-16) took the loss after going 6 1-3 innings giving up three runs on six hits. The Marlins travel to Milwaukee for a three-game weekend series against the Brewers. The team will then return home to play their final three games of the 2011 season and as the Florida Marlins franchise at Sun Life Stadium from September 26 to September 28. It has been their only home since they entered major league baseball in 1993. They will move into a new stadium in Miami where the Orange Bowl once stood and be renamed the Miami Marlins in 2012.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Panthers Take Second Game Of Doubleheader

After losing 5-3 in game one of a preseason exhibition doubleheader, the Florida Panthers took game two in a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise. The Predators scored on their first shot of the game as defensemen Teemu Laakso blasted a right point shot over the right shoulder of Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen just 59 seconds in. Nashville increased the lead on their third shot on goal at 4:21. Left wing Ryan Thang backhanded a feed in the crease from center Blake Geoffrion over Clemmensen. The Panthers bounced back at 15:51 as left wing Eric Selleck slid the puck between the pads of goalie Anders Lindbeck from the right side of the crease. In the second period, Florida tied the game at 2-2 on a power play goal by Jonathan Huberdeau, who deflected a right point point shot by defensemen Erik Gudbranson, at 4:03. Nashville retook the lead at 16:33 as Geoffrion wristed a shot from the inner left wing circle from a Matt Halischuk pass. The Panthers came back in the third period. Center Mike Santorelli put in a power play goal in front of the crease at 8:12 from a right side pass from Huberdeau. Less than one minute later, Florida center Tim Kennedy finished off a scramble in front for their first lead of the game 4-3. The Panthers play back-to-back preseason games later this week against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Marlins Win In Ninth Over Atlanta

Second baseman Omar Infante capped a two-out rally in the ninth inning with a game-winning home run to lead the Florida Marlins over the Atlanta Braves 6-5 on Monday at Sun Life Stadium. Right fielder Mike Stanton hit two solo home runs off Mike Minor. It was Stanton's 33rd and 34th homers of the season. He smashed a two-out blast to left field in the first inning and to left center field in the third inning. Braves outfielder Jason Heyward(14) launched a live drive solo home run to right in the top of the sixth. Following a Stanton walk to lead off the bottom of the sixth, left fielder Logan Morrison(21) hit a no-out two-run homer run over the right field fence to increase their lead 4-1. Former Marlin second baseman Dan Uggla led off the seventh with a solo home run to right center field, his 35th this season. The Braves then got a two-out rally. Michael Bourn had an RBI infield single, Martin Prado followed with an RBI walk and Chipper Jones reached base on an error scoring pinch-runner Antoan Richardson. Following a two-out single by Emilio Bonifacio in the bottom of the ninth, Infante(6) finished the game with a home run to left field. Marlins pitcher Clay Hensley(6-6) got the win going two innings and striking out three. Braves reliever Craig Kimbrel(4-3) blew the save and took the loss.

Panthers Lose First Game Of Doubleheader

The Florida Panthers played an exhibition preseason doubleheader at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise on Monday against the Nashville Predators. Florida lost the first game 5-3. Neither team scored in the first period. Both teams combined for five goals in the second period. Nashville drew first blood at 2:02 as center Colin Wilson converted on a cross-crease pass by right wing Sergei Kostitsyn during a 5-on-3 power play. Panthers defensemen Dimitri Kulikov tied the game at 10:48 with a power play goal. The Predators regained the lead one minute later with center Chris Mueller's goal followed by a power play goal by defensemen Jonathon Blum at 15:40. Panthers center Mark Cullen put in a goal with 43 seconds left in the period. Florida tied the game at 3-3 at 2:26 of the third period with a goal by right wing Greg Rallo. Nashville broke the tie with center Jani Lajunen scoring a goal at 16:49. Predators left wing Kyle Wilson capped the victory with 52 seconds left. It's believed to be the first preseaon doubleheader in NHL history. The New York Rangers and the New York Americans occasionally played regular season doubleheaders at Madison Square Garden from 1926 until 1942. Also the Montreal Canadiens and Montreal Maroons played regular season doubleheaders at the Montreal Forum from 1926 to 1938.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Marlins Swept In Doubleheader

After losing the first game 3-1 earlier in the day, the Florida Marlins lost the second game of a doubleheader 2-1 in extra innings and were swept by the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Following a lead-off walk by Michael Martinez, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard hit a game-winning RBI double to left-center field in the tenth inning off Burke Badenhop(2-2). There was no scoring in the first five innings of the game. Phillies leftfielder John Mayberry, Jr.(16) smashed a lead-off home run to left field, his fourth homer against Florida in 2011, in the sixth inning to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead. It took the Marlins final at-bat in the ninth inning to break up the Cliff Lee shutout, who was going for his seventh in 2011. Florida first baseman Jose Lopez(8) hit an 0-2 pitch over the left field fence for a home run to tie the game. Lee was impressive in his start for the Phillies going nine innings with 12 strikeouts and giving up five hits. Marlins starting pitcher Alex Sanabia gave up one run on six hits in six innings. Florida extended their losing streak to four games, assured themselves a second straight under .500 season and play a three-game series in Washington this weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Glades Central Edges American Heritage

The Glades Central Raiders blew a 17-point halftime lead but held on in overtime and beat the American Heritage Stallions 41-34 at The Corral in Delray Beach on Thursday night. Nick Lasalla kicked a 37-yard field goal ten minutes into the game for the Stallions. Both teams combined for 34 points in the second quarter. Raiders wide receiver William Likely caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tanner Redish 22 seconds into the stanza for their first lead. Glades Central linebacker Jonathan Brockman returned a 41-yard interception for a score one minute later making it 13-3. The Stallions scored on the first play of their next possession as running back Greg Bryant sprinted up the middle from 86 yards out. The Raiders responded with running back Aaron Baker carrying the ball down the left sideline 53 yards off a screen pass from Redish at 8:03, then followed on their next possession with a nine-yard touchdown catch by receiver Jamie Wilson with 1:13 left in the first half. The Stallions scored 10 points in the third quarter on a Bryant 64-yard run and a 36-yard field goal by Lasalla to close the gap 27-20. In the fourth quarter, American Heritage tied the game with 8:40 left as quarterback Marcus Davis sneaked in from one-yard out. The Raiders lost the ball on downs at their own 42-yard line with 7:10 to go. Running back Jeremy Gaskins gave the Stallions the 34-27 lead with 4:16 left on a two-yard run. Glades Central tied the game with 1:31 remaining as Likely had nine-yard touchdown catch to send the game into overtime. The Raiders converted on their first play of the tiebreaker as Baker ran right up the middle for a ten-yard score. The Stallions went four-and-out and were unable to score. A game like this showed that these two teams from Palm Beach County could make a long run in the 2011 FHSAA playoffs.

Phillies Take First Game Of Doubleheader

The Florida Marlins made a quick one-day stop in Philadelphia on Thursday for a make-up doubleheader against the Phillies. Philadelphia took the first game 3-1 over the Marlins. The Phllies struck early with a first-innning rally. Placido Polanco got a one-out single and advanced to second on an Anibal Sanchez balk. Hunter Pence doubled into the left field corner to score Polanco. Following a Ryan Howard strikeout, Raul Ibanez hit an RBI double to right scoring Pence for a 2-0 lead. The Marlins had no hits in the first four innings and a combined consecutive eight innings without a hit from the previous game yesterday in Atlanta. Logan Morrison broke the string with a solo home run, his 20th of the season, to right field in the fifth inning on a 3-2 pitch. Marlins middle reliever Ryan Webb gave up a bases loaded walk to Polanco in the seventh inning scoring Brian Schneider. Florida failed to score in the eighth inning. Omar Infante got a one-out double followed by a pinch-hit walk by Mike Stanton. Gaby Sanchez cracked a base hit to left field and Infante was pegged on an Ibanez one-hop throw to the plate. Morrison loaded the bases on a walk, however John Buck struck out swinging to end the inning. Sanchez dropped to 8-8 after pitching six inninngs giving up two run on four hits with seven strikeouts. Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick(8-6) got the win giving up one run on two hits in five innings.