Saturday, March 31, 2012

WWE Holds Hall Of Fame Ceremony

World Wrestling Entertainment will hold their annual WWE Hall Of Fame induction ceremony tonight at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. New inductees will include the Four Horsemen, Edge, Ron Simmons, Yokozuna, Mil Mascaras and Mike Tyson. The Four Horsemen consist of Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, Barry Windham and James J. Dillon. They were the first group faction that dominated professional wrestling during the 1980's in the National Wrestling Alliance. Recently retired Edge, a performer from Canada, won several world titles and tag-team titles in the WWE. Former Florida State football player Ron Simmons was the first African-American to win the world championship in the sport. The late Yokozuna was the first Samoan to win the WWF title. Mil Mascaras was the first masked wrestler to impact the World Wide Wrestling Federation in the 1970's. Mike Tyson will be inducted in the celebrity category for his role as a ringside enforcer. Wrestlemania 28 will take place on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Panthers Fall On Road

The Florida Panthers played two straight nights on the road and picked up one point out of four. The Cats were defeated by the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in overtime. Tomas Fleischmann scored his 25th goal while Scott Upshall added his second. The following night the Panthers fell to the team with the worst record in the NHL. They lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1. Tomas Kopecky put in his ninth goal of the season. The Panthers lead the Washington Capitals by four points in the Southeast Division. Florida finishes their four-game trip on the road against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Castleberry Named WAXY Program Director

Tod Castleberry has been named the new program director at 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM. He replaces Marc Hochman who resigned from the post in December, but remains the executive producer of the Dan Lebatard Show heard during afternoon drive. Castleberry recently held the executive producer role for the John Riggins Show which was on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network based in Maryland and WTOP-HD3 in Washington D.C. He was once with WTEM-AM and Red Zebra Broadcasting as the vice president of operations and programming. In addition, he worked at Clear Channel Washington D.C. as vice president of operations.

Panthers Take Habs

The Florida Panthers began a four-game trip on the road Tuesday night and beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 at the Bell Center in a shootout. Florida had to enter a shootout for a third consecutive game and this time they were victorious. The Cats got a three-on-one break down the ice and Wojtek Wolski ripped a wrist shot from the right circle by the left shoulder of Carey Price for an unassisted goal at 13:04. It was his fourth goal since joining the team in February. Less than one minute later, the Habs evened the game at 1-1 on a power-play goal. Max Pacioretty banged a shot on net from the right of the crease that was saved by Scott Clemmensen. Eric Cole put in the rebound on a wrist shot from the hash marks of the left circle at 14:00. Montreal took their first lead of the game with 1:03 left in the second period as Louis LeBlanc scored on a one-on-one breakaway and finished it with a backhand shot. Florida was able to tie the game at 2-2 at 12:48 of the third period. Erik Gudbranson skated through the neutral zone when he put a drop pass to Mikael Samuelsson as he entered the Canadiens zone. Samuelsson flicked a wrist shot on net from the right point that sailed over Price's glove and into the net. There was no scoring in overtime and the Cats went to a shootout for their third straight game. On the Panthers first attempt, Wolski delayed his shot then went forehand. It was the only goal in the shootout as Clemmensen stopped all three attempts by the Habs. The Panthers extended their division lead over the Washington Capitals to five points. Florida travels to Minnesota and face the Wild on Thursday.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Vandermeer Exits KILT-AM

Former University of Miami Hurricanes play-by-play announcer Marc Vandermeer will leave the morning show on KILT-AM in Houston this spring. He has co-host mornings with John Lopez since 2010. In addition, he was once a co-host for the midday show at that station. Vandermeer will be promoted to Director of Radio Broadcasting with the Houston Texans. He continues as the radio play-by-play announcer for the team. Vandermeer joined the Texans in 2002 when they became an NFL expansion team. Prior to his move to Texas, he announced University of Miami radio sporting events on radio at 560 WQAM-AM. Vandermeer was the radio play-by-play announcer when the Miami Hurricanes when they won the 2001 BCS National Championship at the Rose Bowl.

Islanders Edge Panthers

The Florida Panthers played their last home game as they wore their alternate two-toned blue jerseys for the final time after three seasons on Sunday. The Cats fell to the New York Islanders 3-2 in a shootout at the Bank Atlantic Center. The Panthers drew first blood in the game as Stephen Weiss scored his 19th goal of the season at 5:05. Tomas Fleischmann got to the puck first behind the Islanders cage and passed to Weiss to the right edge of the crease. He roofed the wrist shot past the left shoulder of Evgeny Nabakov for the 1-0 lead. The Islanders had the man advantage in the final four minutes of the second period and were able to capitalize at 18:57. Matt Moulson pulled off a give-and-go pass with John Tavares in the slot area and scored on the power play to tie the game. In the third period, Florida retook the lead at 9:51 on a giveaway by Mark Streit in his own defensive zone. He passed the puck up the left side from behind the Islanders net and bounced off the body of Tomas Kopecky on who was hugging the wall. Fleischmaan got the puck in the right circle and fired a slap shot by Nabakov for his 24th goal. New York climbed back at 12:22 to tie the game at 2-2 as Kyle Okposo blasted a slap shot from the top left circle that deflected off a defenseman's stick in the low slot area and into the net. Both teams had a chance to win overtime. Frans Nielsen and Michael Grabner of the Islanders both had shots blocked by Theodore who was on his belly in the low slot area with 1:20 left. Brian Campbell took a wrist shot from the high slot area which Nabakov made a glove save with one minute remaining. Only one person scored in the shootout and that was Nielsen of New York. He faked a forehand and went backhand on Theodore during the Islanders first attempt. Florida failed on all their three attempts in which they were stoned by Nabakov. The Panthers now lead the Washington Capitals and the Buffalo Sabres by three points. The Cats will head for the road for their next four consecutive games. They will play in Montreal, Minnesota, Columbus and Detroit.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Oilers Splash Panthers

The Florida Panthers played on Friday night at the Bank Atlantic Center and lost to the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 in a shootout. The loss ended the Cats longest home win streak at five games which tied a franchise record. Neither team was able to score in the first period as the Panthers held Edmonton to just five shots. Things changed as the Oilers took a 1-0 lead 1:37 into the second period. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins came into the Panthers zone on a three-on-two and passed off to his right. Jordan Eberle then sent a cross-ice pass to Ryan Jones who beat Jose Theodore with a shot over his right shoulder. The Panthers responded back at 4:58 as Jason Garrison put in his 16th goal of the season. Stephen Weiss dropped a pass from the right circle to Tomas Fleischmann who then backhanded a pass to the open left wing to Garrison. He fired a slap shot through the legs of Devan Dubnyk. Garrison passed Jay Bouwmeester and Bryan McCabe for most goals in a season by a Florida Panthers defenseman. Weiss also extended his point streak to five games. Both teams had several good chances to take the lead in the third period. Nugent-Hopkins had a crease shot that was stopped at 15:10. Mikael Samuelsson fired a one-time slap shot from the low left circle that was saved at 16:59. Eric Belanger pounded a slap shot from the left circle that trickled behind Theodore in the blue paint before Brian Campbell swept in out. In the final seconds of overtime, Weiss passed from his own high slot to Kris Versteeg at the Oilers blue line for a one-on-one breakaway. Versteeg faked a backhand and went forehand where Dubnyk made a skate save against the right post. With the puck lying there, Versteeg followed with the rebound which went across the goal line and hit the left post. Florida and Edmonton missed on their first three attempts in the shootout. On the Panthers fourth attempt, Weiss delayed his shot and went wide left and his shot was saved. Nugent-Hopkins followed and made a backhand shot into the top right corner of the net for an Oilers win. Florida gets one point in the game and remains four points ahead of the Washington Capitals. The Panthers host the New York Islanders on Sunday.

Miami/Fort Lauderdale Arbitron Ratings February

790 The Ticket WAXY-AM took the top spot as the highest rated sports radio station in February for Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The station remained steady with a 1.4 based on being the flagship station of the Miami Heat broadcasts and the addition of Jason Jackson to early afternoons in February. He replaced the Sports Brothers whose contracts were not renewed at the start of 2012. Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM fell slightly from a 1.0 to a 0.9 due to the lack of interest toward Miami Hurricanes radio broadcasts of college basketball. The shift of the Michael Irvin Show to middays at the start of 2012 did not help . 940 The Sports Animal WINZ-AM dropped to a 0.4 because it is no longer football season for the Miami Dolphins. In addition, the shift of the Jeff DeForest Show to evenings is tough because the signal does not reach north Broward County at night. 640 Sports WMEN-AM stayed at 0.1 due to their signal not reaching Dade County at night.

Palm Beach Arbitron Ratings February

For the second straight month there was a tie for the top sports radio station in Palm Beach County. 640 Sports WMEN-AM tied with ESPN 760 WEFL-AM with a 0.5 in February. Both had a 1.0 in January. It seemed that ESPN 760 dropped half their audience due to a full slate of Florida Atlantic University college basketball games, even though they are the local affiliate of Miami Heat broadcasts. 640 Sports still have a problem with them broadcasting Nova Southeastern University basketball games, based in Davie, to a region that have no concern. 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM dropped down from a 0.6 to a 0.4 with the addition of an early afternoon show with Jason Jackson that began in February. In addition, they took some audience from ESPN 760 because they are the flagship station of the Miami Heat. Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM fell to a 0.3 from a 0.4 due to the lack of interest in college basketball with the Miami Hurricanes along with the shift of the Michael Irvin show to middays at the start of the year. 940 The Sports Animal WINZ-AM was the only sports station that did not loss ratings as they held at a 0.1 in February. The main benefit was that they broadcast Fox Sports Radio during nights, overnights and weekends. They filled a void in Palm Beach County because WDJA-AM in Delray Beach changed format at the end of 2011 and eliminated Fox Sports Radio.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Heat Come Back Against Suns

The Miami Heat pulled off an incredible comeback in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night to defeat the Phoenix Suns 99-95. Miami now have won 14 consecutive games at the American Airlines Arena and improved their home record to 20-2. Phoenix went on an 8-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to take their biggest lead of the game at 10 points. The Heat was down 90-80 with 7:28 left in regulation, then they scored 17 straight points to retake the lead. Miami was up 97-90 with 1:52 remaining after LeBron James sunk a 20-foot jump shot. Chris Bosh had 29 points and eight rebounds. James poured in 20 points and added eight rebounds. Dwyane Wade had 19 points and seven rebounds. The Heat don't play again until Friday in Detroit against the Pistons.

Panthers Edge Flyers

The Florida Panthers played the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center and won 2-1 on Tuesday night. Florida now have a five-game winning streak and lead the second place Washington Capitals by five points. Scott Clemmensen made his first start in net for the Cats since March 3. Florida only had one shot in the first 12 minutes of the game. Jaromir Jagr hit the right post on a backhand ten minutes in. Seconds after the Flyers second power play ended, Stephen Weiss put in his 18th goal of the season at 13:04 from the high slot over the right shoulder of Ilya Bryzgalov. Dmitry Kulikov began the play with a cross-ice pass through the neutral zone. Philadelphia was 0-for-4 on the power play in the first period. Sean Bergenheim added to the Panthers lead at 6:23 of the second period with his 17th goal. Brian Campbell sent the puck around the back wall from the left point when it took a crazy bounce off the glass. Bergenheim got it at the left of the crease and put it in. Campbell picked up his second assist of the contest and 45th this season. Eric Wellwood closed the margin to 2-1 at 7:54 as he centered the puck from the left corner to the crease area where it went off a defensman's skate and behind Clemmensen. Neither team scored in the third period. The Panthers had only 13 shots on goal in the game following 17 shots they had against Buffalo on Saturday. Florida plays in Carolina against the Hurricanes on Wednesday.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dolphins Sign Garrard

The Miami Dolphins filled a need at quarterback as the team signed David Garrard on Monday. He did not play in the NFL last season. Garrard played quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars and started for them from 2005 until 2010.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Panthers Get By Sabres

The Florida Panthers took on the Buffalo Sabres in the final game of a four-game homestand at Bank Atlantic Center on Saturday night. The Cats won 3-2 in a shootout and now have won four straight games. The win streak of four games is the longest for the franchise since they won seven straight games in 2008. It was a big four-point swing game in which Florida led Buffalo, tenth in the Eastern Conference, by six points as they entered the contest. The Sabres got an early goal just 1:15 into the game as Tyler Ennis scored from up close with assists by Drew Stafford and Marcus Foligno. Florida failed to get a shot on goal in the first 17 minutes of the game. Mikael Samuelsson scored his 11st goal on the power play at 17:15 as Tomas Fleischmann and Stephen Weiss picked up the assists. Fleischmann set a single-season record in points notching his 52nd. He had 51 points with the Washington Capitals in 2009-10. Samuelsson now has a three-game point streak. John Madden scored in his second consecutive game just 38 seconds later as he flipped a wrist shot from the left circle over the right shoulder of Ryan Miller for a Florida 2-1 lead. Buffalo tied the game at 9:41 of the second period as Derek Roy put the puck in on a rebound from a slap shot by Jason Pominville. Neither team scored in the third period as both squads combined for five shots on goal in the third. The Sabres had four while the Panthers had one. Florida tied their season-low shots on goal in one period which was done against the New Jersey Devils back on December 13 in the third period. Both teams did not have any shots on goal in the five-minute overtime period which led to the shootout. Wojtek Wolski scored on the Panthers second attempt as put a wrist shot in off the left post by Miller. Ennis matched it on the Sabres second attempt as he faked the backhand shot and went forehand on Jose Theodore. Both teams would miss on their next four shots in the shootout. Dmitry Kulikov, who missed the last 23 games due to a knee injury, was called on by Panthers coach Kevin Dineen to take the next shot. He came on net and scored on a backhand shot. Theodore made a stick save on Drew Stafford to give Florida the win. The Cats have 83 points and lead second-place Washington by five points in the Southeast Division. Florida have several days off then travel to Philadelphia and take face the Flyers on Tuesday.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Panthers Nail Bruins

The Florida Panthers continued their four-game homestand as they took on the Boston Bruins from the Bank Atlantic Center on Thursday night. The Cats won 6-2 over the defending Stanley Cup champions and extended their winning streak to three straight. Boston has now lost a season-high four consecutive games. It seemed that the pace of this game was first determined almost nine minutes into the first period when Brian Campbell performed a hip check on Brad Marchand at the Panthers blue line. Both teams had limited shots on goal after 15 minutes as the Panthers had three while the Bruins had five. Florida succeeded on their second power play at 17:57 for a 1-0 lead. From the right point, Brian Campbell passed ahead on the wall to Mikael Samuelsson who fired a shot from the top right circle by Tim Thomas with Sean Bergenheim screening in front. Samuelsson picked up his tenth goal this season. The Panthers increased their lead 28 seconds into the second period to 2-0. Samuelsson passed the puck from the right-wing boards on top to Campbell who powered a slap shot that was deflected in by Marcel Goc in the low slot. It was the tenth goal this season for Goc who now has a three-game goal streak. Boston cut the lead down to 2-1 at 4:53 as Joe Corvo flicked a wrist shot from the left point that traveled over Jose Theodore's right shoulder. The Cats regained a two-goal margin at 6:32. Tomas Fleischmann threw a shot on net from the right face-off dot that was stopped by traffic in the crease area. Stephen Weiss put in the loose puck from the low slot area for his 17th goal this season. Campbell got his third assist of the game on that play. John Madden got his first point and scored his first goal as a Florida Panther at 15:27 for a 4-1 lead. Krys Barch sent the puck around the boards to the right corner, Jerred Smithson centered it to the crease area where Madden poked in his shot from the right of the crease. Smithson also picked up his first point for Florida since being acquired from Nashville. Although down by three goals after two periods, Boston needed to score quickly in the third period to get back in the game and they did. On their second power play of the game, Brian Rolston blasted a slap shot from the right point following a cross-ice feed by Zdeno Chara at 1:44. The Panthers got a gift goal at 7:51 as Chris Kelly sent a cross-ice pass through his own crease, but Tomas Kopecky stopped the puck at the edge of the crease and scored his eighth goal this season. The Cats made it 6-2 with 2:36 remaining on a two-on-one breakaway. Fleischmann passed it off to his right where Wojtek Wolski found the net. Florida now leads the Washington Capitals by three points in the Southeast Division and play on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres, who are currently ninth in the Eastern Conference.

Henne Signs With Jacksonville

Quarterback Chad Henne has signed a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday. Henne was in four games with the Miami Dolphins in 2011 and completed 64 passes in 112 attempts for 868 yards . He was drafted by the Dolphins from the University of Michigan in the second round back in 2008. Henne played in 14 games in 2009 and 15 games in 2010 for Miami.

Heat Lose Twice On Road

The Miami Heat played two consecutive road games this week and lost both of them. On Wednesday night, the team took an overtime loss to the Orlando Magic 104-98. The following night Miami fell to the Chicago Bulls 106-102 who played without last year's most valuable player Derrick Rose. The Heat have now lost four straight road games.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Panthers Smash Leafs

The Florida Panthers continued their four-game homestand on Tuesday night as they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 at the Bank Atlantic Center. The Cats have beat the Maple Leafs six times in the last seven games. Florida was able to start off strong in the first minute of the first period and got the early lead. Keaton Ellerby softly pushed a shot in from the left point, Mikael Samuelsson redirected the puck from the left side of the crease where James Reimer made the easy save. Sean Bergenheim was able to get the rebound in front of the crease and put it into the open net at 0:59. The Panthers almost increased the lead on their first power play at 6:40 when Brian Campbell's backhand shot from the left of the crease hit the far post. In the second period, although Florida did not score on the their second power play, the movement of the puck at the end of the man advantage did help. From the Maple Leafs blue line, Jason Garrison passed the puck to Marcel Goc at the top right circle. He returned it back to Garrison who was charging through the slot area and he redirected the puck by Reimer's right leg one second after the power play ended at 14:43. Garrison tied a club record for most goals in a season by a Panthers defenseman with 15 goals. Jay Bouwmeester and Bryan McCabe had shared that amount. Toronto closed the gap to 2-1 with 58 seconds remaining in the period. Clarke MacArthur fired a shot from the low left circle that was saved by Jose Theodore, but Tyler Bozak put in the rebound from the low slot. The Panthers got a power play goal at 5:17 of the third period. Ed Jovanovski sent the puck from the left-wing boards to Garrison at the top of the zone. He blasted a slap shot that was deflected off Tomas Kopecky's shaft of the stick to make it 3-1. It was his seventh goal this season. Florida extended their lead to 4-1 on a another power play goal at 10:28. Carl Gunnasrsson's lead pass from his own left circle was stopped by Wojtek Wolski in the high slot. He fed a pass ahead to Goc in the slot who then lifted a wrist shot over the left glove of Reimer. Toronto scored seconds later after their second power play of the game at 13:50. Luke Schenn placed a backhand shot from the slot area on net that Theodore saved, Mikhail Grabovski flipped in the rebound from the right side of the crease. Bergenheim finished things off with an open-net goal with 1:20 left in the game. For Bergenheim it was his 16th goal this season which set a career-high for him. The Cats are now 13-3-2 against Canadian-based teams this season and 8-1-1 on home ice. Florida still holds a one-point lead in the Southeast Division over the Washington Capitals who defeated the New York Islanders in a shootout. The Panthers host the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins on Thursday.

Marshall Traded To Bears

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall has been traded by the Miami Dolphins to the Chicago Bears for two third-round picks in 2012 and 2013. Marshall played for the Miami Dolphins for the past two seasons and had 81 catches for 1,214 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011. Unfortunately, he had several key dropped passes that impacted numerous games for the Dolphins. He was Pro Bowl selection by the AFC this past season. The Dolphins acquired Marshall from the Denver Broncos prior to the 2010 season.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rose Takes Doral Tournament

Justin Rose finished with a -16 to win the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at the Blue Monster course in Doral on Sunday. He overtook Bubba Watson who led play after three rounds. Watson finished one stroke behind Rose after the final round of play. Rory McElroy, who won the Honda Classic last week in West Palm Beach, ended up in third with a -14. The PGA Tour is idle next weekend then it will resume the following week in Orlando at the Bay Hill Club for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Panthers Blank Canes

The Florida Panthers began a four-game homestand at the Bank Atlantic Center on Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes. Jose Theodore got his 33rd career shutout for a Florida 2-0 victory. Florida took the action to Carolina in the first 13 minutes of the first period as they outshot them 11-2. Neither team scored in the first period. Things changed in the second period at 4:22. Stephen Weiss made a drop pass as they crossed the Carolina line to Tomas Fleischman who ripped a wrist shot from the top left circle by Cam Ward to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. With three minutes remaining in the third, a Florida goal was reversed. Weiss fired a shot from the low slot that was initially saved by Ward, Jerred Smithson was on the doorstop to put in but replays showed it was not a legal goal. Marcel Goc put in an open-net goal from the red line with 1:32 left for his eighth goal of the season. The Panthers still hold a one-point lead over the Washington Capitals in the Southeast Division and will host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

Marlins Open New Stadium

The Marlins opened up their new stadium in Miami earlier this week for some exhibition games. Following a high school game involving two local Dade County schools on Monday, the Miami Marlins played against the Florida International University Panthers on Tuesday night and the University of Miami Hurricanes on Wednesday night. The New York Yankees will play two exhibition games as they take on the Miami Marlins March 31 and April 1. The Marlins will play their first regular-season game on opening day April 4 as they host the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.

Penguins Edge Panthers

The Pittsburgh Penguins picked up their eighth win-in-a-row as they got by the Florida Panthers 2-1 in a shootout Friday night at Consol Energy Center. Neither team was able to score in the first period. The Panthers scored first midway through the second period when a Wojtek Wolski shot from the top left circle was wide of the net and rebound off the back half-wall. Tomas Fleischmann was to the right of the crease area and put in the puck. Pittsburgh tied the game early the third period as Jordan Staal scored from the low slot area. Pascal Dupuis had a goal disallowed at 8:53 when he tried to stuff the puck into the net from the left edge. Although the on-ice officials declared it a goal, a review from NHL hockey operations in Toronto reversed the call. Following no scoring for the rest of the third period and overtime, both teams would be involved in a shootout. James Neal and Evgeni Malkin scored on the their attempts for Pittsburgh while Florida missed on their two opportunities. The Panthers return to Sunrise on Sunday to begin a four-game homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes.

McElroy Wins Honda Classic

Rory McElroy captured the 2012 Honda Classic at PGA National Golf Club in West Palm Beach last Sunday. He held a comfortable lead after three rounds going into the final round on Sunday. Tiger Woods, a Jupiter resident, made his first appearance playing in the event for the first time in his career. He usually never scheduled to play in this tournament due to what time of the year it was and also because he was based in Orlando. Woods shot an impressive 62 in the final round of play and finished two strokes behind the leader. McElroy won the local event and catapulted himself to the number one ranking in the world. The PGA Tour will play the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship on the Blue Monster course in Doral this week.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Flyers Slay Panthers

The Florida Panthers made their first appearance in Philadelphia this season a forgettable one as the Flyers dominated 5-0 at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night. Philadelphia scored on their first power play of the evening after Ed Jovanovski took a roughing penalty. Claude Giroux passed across the slot where Brayden Schenn one-timed a shot from the right face-off dot by Jose Theodore at 10:35. The Flyers extended their lead to 2-0 as Matt Read scored from close range on a rebound at 3:06 in the second period. Scott Hartnell made it 3-0 on a quick wrist shot from the slot area at 12:49. The closest opportunity Florida had to score in the second period was at 16:45 when Stephen Weiss skated through the slot from right circle and placed a pass across the open goal crease from just left of the goal line, but no Panthers were in the area to put the puck in. The Flyers put another goal at 2:35 of the third period on the power play as Jaromir Jagr wristed in a shot from the slot. It was Jagr's 664th goal in the NHL. Eric Wellwood scored with 1:27 left in regulation with a goal in a four-on-four situation. The Panthers play tomorrow night versus the Penguins in Pittsburgh in another match up against a top-five team in the Eastern Conference.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Heat Fly By Hawks

The Miami Heat played for the second consecutive night at home and defeated the Atlanta Hawks 89-86 on Wednesday night. The Heat avenged a home loss earlier this season to the Hawks. Atlanta started off strong and led 8-4 almost four minutes into the contest. Miami came back with a 19-6 spurt to lead 23-14 with two minutes left in the first quarter. They were up 25-22 after one quarter with LeBron James pouring in 11 points in the opening period. The Heat scored the first four points of the second quarter to pull ahead by seven. The Hawks clawed back with a 16-9 run to tie the game at 38-38 nine minutes into the period and held a 45-43 halftime lead. The game was tied at 51-51 early in the third quarter, then Atlanta scored ten straight points for a double-digit margin. Later in the frame, Miami put in 13 consecutive points to regain the lead 68-65. The game was tied 68-68 after three quarters. LeBron James had 25 points at that point. Miami outscored Atlanta 9-3 in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, then the Hawks got nine straight points to lead 80-77. Miami finished the game with a 12-6 spurt that included two foul shots made by Dwyane Wade with two seconds left. The Heat have now won 11 consecutive games at American Airlines Arena. Wade had 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists while James added 31 points and 11 rebounds. Miami ends their short three-game homestand on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers.

Heat Crush Nets

The Miami Heat had no problem with the New Jersey Nets in a 108-78 victory. They returned home on Tuesday night after being on the road for the last three games that did not involve Chris Bosh, who returned to the team after a death in the family. It was the last appearance of the New Jersey Nets in Miami because they will move to Brooklyn next season. After being down 7-2 early, the Heat went on a 20-6 run to lead 22-13 eight minutes in. Miami would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game and were ahead 30-17 after one quarter. LeBron James and Bosh each had eight points in the first stanza. Miami put nine consecutive points to extend their lead to 39-17 two minutes into the quarter. The Nets were down by more than 20 points for the remainder of the half. It was 64-37 at halftime. The Heat increased the gap to 30 points three minutes into the second half 71-40 and led 88-56 after three quarters. Miami rested their starting lineup in the fourth quarter as they improved their home record to 16-2. James led the team with 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Dwyane Wade contributed 13 points while Bosh put in 20 points. Miami hosts the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

North Broward Prep Wins State Title Again

For the second consecutive year and the third time in four years, the North Broward Prep Eagles captured the Florida High School state hockey championship in Coral Springs on Sunday. The Eagles defeated the Cypress Bay Lightning 4-3 in overtime to win the championship game. Both squads have faced each other in the Florida state championship and South Florida championship the last two years with North Broward Prep victorious each time. Cypress Bay got a game-tying goal with just ten seconds remaining in the third period. Eagles captain Brandon Palacio would pick up the deciding goal in overtime to win the state championship. North Broward Prep have won the state title in 2009, 2011 and 2012. They now qualify for a national tournament that will take place next month in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Panthers Outlast Senators

Following a 3-1 home loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday, the Florida Panthers played a second straight day at home and defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-2 at the Bank Atlantic Center. The Panthers ended a two-game losing streak. After failing on their first power play, the Senators connected twice in the first period. Jared Cowen nailed a left point slap slot on a Kyle Turris pass from the left-wing boards at 13:23. Chris Neil increased their lead five minutes later as he hit a loose puck in the slot area past Jose Theodore. It was assisted by Jim O'Brien. Florida responded quickly at the beginning of the second period just thirty-three seconds in. Mike Weaver fired a right point shot that was redirected in front by Marcel Goc over the left shoulder of Robin Lehner. The Panthers added another goal to tie the game at 2-2 at 2:54. From the neutral zone, Jack Skille found Krys Barch streaking through the middle of ice and he skated on a one-on-one breakaway putting in a delayed forehand shot. Chris Neil was called for a double-minor penalty for high sticking Ed Jovanovski at 10:03. Florida scored on the first of two power plays given to them. Stephen Weiss sent a pass from the left corner toward the crease area where Mikael Samuelsson pounded a shot for his ninth goal this season. In the third period, The Senators best chance to tie the game was with 3:50 remaining when Turris hit the crossbar with a shot. Skille raced in from the left side around a defenseman and wrapped the game up with 1:26 left. Florida is now 12-3-2 against Canada-based teams and 7-1-1 on home ice. The Panthers travel to Philadelphia and take on the Flyers on Thursday.

Lakers Upend Heat

After losing three straight times to the Miami Heat over the last two seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers prevailed 93-83 at the Staples Center. The big hype entering the game was that Dwyane Wade broke Kobe Bryant's nose at the NBA All-Star Game in Orlando last Sunday. Chris Bosh did not attend the game due to a death in the family. Udonis Haslem made his first start this season for the Heat. The last time he was in the starting five was in 2009. The Lakers began the game on a 16-9 run in the first six minutes. Miami was down 28-20 after one quarter. Los Angeles extended their lead to 16 points, 50-34 with two minutes left in the first half. The Lakers led 50-38 at halftime. In the first eight minutes of the second half, the Heat went on a 20-10 spurt and pulled to within two points of the Lakers 60-58. Los Angeles finished off the third quarter with an 11-4 run and ahead 71-62. The closest Miami came to the lead in the fourth quarter was 87-81 on a Mario Chalmers three-point shot with 1:27 left in regulation. LeBron James finished with 25 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. Dwyane Wade contributed 16 points and five assists. Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 33 points. The Heat finished their three-game trip on the road and return home on Tuesday night against the New Jersey Nets.