Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sabres Scratch Panthers

    The Florida Panthers ended a three-game home stand as they were beat by the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in a shootout at BB&T Center on Thursday night. The Panthers fell to 1-5 this season when a game goes beyond regulation. Both teams combined with five goals in the first period.
    Buffalo(8-12-1) scored on their first shot of the game at 6:30 of the first period. Right wing Nathan Gerbe skated to the right-circle dot and stopped. He took a shot that deflected off center Peter Mueller's stick directly in front him and sailed over the right shoulder of Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen.
    The Sabres added to their lead with nine minutes left in the period. Center Tyler Ennis sent a centering pass in the low slot that ricocheted off several players back to him in the low right circle. He then scored on their only power play of the game with a forehand shot. Buffalo was 1-for-36 in their last 10 games on the power play as they entered this game.
    Florida(6-9-5) connected on their first power-play attempt at 14:24 and cut the margin down to 2-1. Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov bashed a shot from the top of the zone that caromed off the back glass. Center Drew Shore put in the loose puck from the crease area for his second career goal.
    The Panthers tied the game just 56 seconds later. Center Marcel Goc scored in his second straight game. He bumped defenseman Robyn Regher off the puck while they were behind the Sabres cage and let a wrist shot go from the right side of the crease.
    Buffalo regained the lead 3-2 at 16:46 as Gerbe got his second goal of the game. He went around defenseman Erik Gudbranson and threw a backhand shot from the low right circle over Clemmensen's left shoulder. Jose Theodore replaced Clemmensen, who gave up three goals on 10 shots, for Florida in net after that goal.
    Neither team scored in the second period. Former Sabres and current Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell burned his former team on a game-tying goal with 1:26 left in the third period. Goc won the left circle face-off and guided the puck back to Campbell. He blasted a slapshot from the left point by Sabres goalie Ryan Miller for his sixth goal this season.
   The game went to a shootout when both teams could not score in overtime. Left wing Jonathan Huberdeau and Muller missed shootout attempts for Florida while left wing Thomas Vanek and right wing Jason Pominville scored for Buffalo as they won on the minimum four shots.
    Miller made 40 saves on 43 shots for the win and goes to 8-10-1. Theodore played over 48 minutes, made 15 saves and did not allow a goal as his record fell to 4-6-3. The Cats outshot the Sabres 43-25 which included a 16-5 edge in the second period. The Panthers will play a home-and-home series with the Carolina Hurricanes this weekend and will visit Raleigh on Saturday.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kopecky Hat Trick Beats Pens

    Florida right wing Tomas Kopecky got his first hat trick in his NHL career as the Panthers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4 on Tuesday night at BB&T Center. It was a rare circumstance where all four eligible goaltenders for the contest played in the game as both starting goalies were pulled.
    Florida(6-9-4) scored the only goal of the first period as they did it on the power play at 13:57. The Cats had been 1-for-24 on the power play in their previous eight games. Defensman Dmitry Kulikov passed the puck from the top of the zone to defenseman Brian Campbell at the top left circle who slammed a slapshot. After the initial save by Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun, Kopecky put in a backhand shot from the crease for his sixth goal.
    Both teams combined for seven goals in the second period. Pittsburgh(13-7-0) evened it up 51 seconds in as right James Neal took a slaphot from the top right circle following a feed by center Sidney Crosby from the top of the zone.
    The Panthers retook the lead 2-1 with a power play goal when left wing Tomas Fleischmann made a right circle shot and Kopecky pounced on the rebound with a turnover shot in the crease at 3:22. 
    They converted on a delayed penalty call during another power play when left wing Jonathan Huberdeau was hooked from behind by Penguins left wing Pascal Dupuis. Center Drew Shore sent the puck to Kulikov on the right post who passed across to Campbell. His left point slapshot went in off the right post at 8:23. It was Campbell's fifth goal of the season.
    The Cats got their fourth power-play goal of the game just 31 seconds later to make it 4-1. Kopecky threw a backhand pass from the right of the cage to center Marcel Goc in the crease for his first tally this season. Following the goal, Vokoun was pulled from the game for Marc-Andre Fleury.
    The Pens began to mount a comeback at 9:51. Defenseman Brooks Orpik passed from the blue line to center Dustin Jeffrey in the top left circle who then ripped in a wrist shot.
    They cut the deficit to 4-3 as defenseman Paul Martin popped a slapshot from the right wing off a center-ice pass by Neal at 14:08.
    Pittsburgh tied the game at 4-4 with 41 seconds left in the period on the power play. Crosby stopped a Panthers clear-out pass on the right-wing wall and passed to left wing Chris Kunitz in the low right circle. His intended pass in front went off defenseman Mike Weaver's skate and between goalie Jose Theodore's legs. Theodore was pulled from the net after the second period and replaced by Scott Clemmensen.
    Florida regained the lead 3:27 into the third period as Fleischmann scored his 100th NHL goal. Center Jerred Smithson sent a lead pass from his own defensive zone to Fleischmann who streaked down the right side and scored on a wrist shot from the right circle.
    Kopecky wrapped up the Panthers victory on his third goal of the game with one minute left as he banked a backhand pass from the Florida blue line that went off the right-wing wall and carried into the Penguins open net.      
    The Cats had their best game on the power play this season as they went 4-for-7 while the Pens were 1-for-4. Clemmensen improved to 2-1-2 as he stopped all 15 shots in the third period. Jose Theodore played in the first two periods and made 15 saves on 19 shots. Fleury entered the game and made 12 saves in 31 minutes which dropped his record to 10-4-0. Vokoun played the first 29 minutes and gave up four goals on 22 shots. The Panthers will host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night to end the three-game homestand.

Heat Edge Kings In 2OT

    The Miami Heat won their 12th consecutive game as they got by the Sacramento Kings 141-129 in double overtime on Tuesday night at American Airlines Arena. LeBron James led the Heat with a team-high 40 points, 16 assists and eight rebounds in 48 minutes of play. Dwyane Wade added 39 points, seven assists and eight rebounds in 45 minutes.
    Miami(41-14) led 27-22 after one quarter after they finished the period on a 19-6 spurt. The Kings outscored the Heat 31-24 in the second quarter and had a slight lead of 53-51 at halftime.
    Neither team led by more than six points in the third quarter as Sacramento(19-39) were ahead 85-84 at the end of the frame. The Heat got their biggest margin in regulation at 105-96 with 4:01 left in the fourth quarter. The Kings put the game into overtime on a 16-7 rally.
    Both teams kept close to each other in the first overtime as the largest lead was only three points by Miami. The only point scored in the final minute of overtime was a James free throw. The Heat, who held a slim lead of 128-127, went on a 13-2 tear in the final 3:14 of double overtime to get the win.
    Ray Allen dropped down 21 points in 41 minutes while Chris Bosh added 15 points and eight rebounds in 41 minutes. Chris Andersen contributed 10 points in 19 minutes off the bench for the Heat.
    Kings reserve Marcus Thornton a team-high 36 points in 40 minutes. DeMarcus Cousins nailed a double-double with 24 points and 15 rebounds in 49 minutes. Tyreke Evans poured in 26 points and Isaiah Thomas knocked down 14 points in 48 minutes.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Heat Survive Cavs

    The Miami Heat blew a 22-point lead but held on to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-105 on Sunday at American Airlines Arena and extended their winning streak to 11 games. Dwyane Wade scored 15 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter. The Heat improved their home record to 24-3 this season.
    Cleveland(18-36) started the game on an 8-2 advantage, however Miami(40-14) hit a 23-6 run at the end of period to lead 33-20 after one quarter. The Heat extended their margin to 20 points at 42-22 with 9:18 left in the first half and were up 64-46 at halftime.
    Miami were ahead 68-46 just one minute into the second half, but the Cavs went on a 36-13 tear to take the lead 82-81 after three quarters. The Cavaliers expanded the gap to eight points midway through fourth quarter to 97-89. The Heat bounced back and finished with a 20-6 rally to win the game.
    LeBron James knocked down 28 points with eight assists in 39 minutes for Miami. Mario Chalmers nailed 16 points in 35 minutes while Shane Battier came off the bench with 14 points in 24 minutes.
    The Cavs got 26 points by Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving had 17 points and five assists in 36 minutes. Former William T. Dwyer grad Alonzo Gee contributed nine points and six rebounds in 40 minutes while reserve C.J. Miles dropped down 19 points in 21 minutes of play.

WEFL Gets FM Simulcast

    Good Karma Broadcasting has purchased 106.3 WUUB-FM in Jupiter from Palm Beach Broadcasting and will be known as ESPN 106.3FM. They will flip the format of the station from urban music to sports with a simulcast of ESPN Radio 760 WEFL-AM at 5 p.m. today. It looks like this is a way to confront the 104.3 The Ticket WAXY-FM simulcast of 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM that began in August 2012 by Lincoln Financial Media.
    ESPN Radio 760 will celebrate their tenth anniversary next month as that station began as a sports format in March 2003. Good Karma Broadcasting has numerous sports stations throughout their organization which includes being in Cleveland, Milwaukee and Madison.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bruins Jump On Panthers

    The Florida Panthers returned to Sunrise to begin a three-game homestand as they lost to the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Sunday at BB&T Center. It was the only appearance for the B's in Florida this season. The Cats have now lost seven of their last eight games.
    Boston(11-2-2) got on the scoreboard at 7:57 of the first period. Center David Krejci won a face-off in the left circle and left wing Milan Lucic blasted a slapshot from the high slot past the stick side of Panthers goalie Jacob Markstrom.
    The Bruins added to their lead on a razzle-dazzle play at 13:52. Center Brad Marchand had the puck on the left wall and backhanded toward the top of the zone. Defenseman Zdeno Chara did a spin-a-rama around one defender, came through the right circle and flung a backhand shot over Markstrom's left shoulder for a 2-0 lead.
    Florida(5-9-4) cut the deficit down to 2-1 with 4:22 remaining in the first period. Center Drew Shore softly put a shot on net from the low slot then right wing Tomas Kopecky scrambled to the edge of the crease and put in the puck in the open net for his fifth goal this season.
    The B's scored on their first power play of the game as center Chris Kelly connected from the low slot at 2:30 of the second period and a 3-1 margin. Left wing Chris Bourque, son of Hockey Hall-Of-Famer defenseman Ray Bourque, passed the puck from the right wing to the high slot where left wing Daniel Paille had his stick hooked from behind on the attempted slapshot.
    The Panthers could not capitalize on a four-minute power play that stretched from the second into the third period and resulted in no shots on net. Paille raced in from the right side to score a shorthanded goal into an open net with 1:37 left in the third period.
    The Panthers outshot the Bruins 35-32 in the game and had a 17-8 advantage in the third period. The B's scored on their only power play opportunity in the game and the Cats were 0-for-4. Markstrom dropped to 0-2-0 for the season as he made 28 saves while Boston goalie Tuukka Rask stopped 34 of 35 shots and improved to 9-1-2. Florida will host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.

Heat Pound Sixers

    The Miami Heat won their tenth consecutive game as they beat the Philadelphia 76ers 114=90 at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night. LeBron James powered through with a triple-double of 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes of play.  
    Dwyane Wade had a game-high 33 points with six rebounds in 32 minutes while Mario Chalmers added 14 points and six assists in 27 minutes. Chris Bosh contributed 13 points along with Ray Allen and Norris Cole who had 12 points each.
    Jrue Holiday led the way for the Sixers with 21 points, six assists and six rebounds in 37 minutes. Former Heat player Dorell Wright got 17 points in 32 minutes and Nick Young knocked down 19 points in 33 minutes. Evan Turner picked up 16 points and seven assists in 36 minutes.
    Philadelphia(22-31) jumped to a 9-4 lead, but Miami(39-14) took the lead on a 12-4 spurt at the end of the opening period and were up 27-24 after one quarter. The Heat had a 19-12 edge at the end of the first half and led 56-47 at halftime.
    Miami extended their margin up to 22 points at 85-63 with 1:40 left in the third quarter, however the 76ers cut the lead down to 87-71 at the end of the stanza. Philadelphia got no closer than 15 points in the fourth quarter as the Heat went ahead by 26 points at 106-80 with 4:26 remaining.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Penguins Skate By Panthers

    Florida goalie Jacob Markstrom made his season debut in net on Friday night as the Panthers were defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 at Consol Energy Center. It was Markstrom's ninth game in the NHL as he made 37 saves in the loss. It was the Cats only appearance in Pittsburgh this season.
    Florida(5-8-4) was outshot 12-3 in the first period as neither team scored. Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver scored the only Cats goal at 8:25 of the second period from the right point for a 1-0 lead. Defenseman Brian Campbell fed him the puck from the left point for his first goal of the season.
    Pittsburgh(12-6-0) tied the game just over two minutes later on the power play as left wing Chris Kunitz scored at 10:26 from the edge of the crease after left wing James Neal placed a shot from the right of the crease.
    The Penguins took the lead at 7:49 of the third period as defenseman Matt Niskanen blasted a one-time slapshot from the left point as he received the pass by defenseman Kris Letang on the right point. The Pens extended their lead on a Panthers turnover in their own zone with 4:45 left. Right wing Tyler Kennedy chipped a pass ahead to left wing Matt Cooke in the right circle, his turnover wrist shot was saved and center Dustin Jeffrey tipped in the rebound.
    The Panthers were outshot in all three periods and 40-23 overall. The Cats were 0-for-2 on the power play while the Pens were 1-for-4. Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves and improved to 9-3-0 this season. Florida returns home to face the Boston Bruins on Sunday.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Panthers Roll Over Flyers

    Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau had a four-point game and Florida snapped a five-game losing streak as they blew by the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night. The last time the Cats won a game was two weeks ago on February 7 in the same arena. The Panthers won two games in a season at Philadelphia for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
    Florida(5-7-4) scored three goals in two minutes during the first period. Center Peter Mueller put in his fifth tally at 8:15 then right wing Tomas Kopecky followed with his fourth goal at 8:44. Huberdeau was rewarded a penalty shot at 10:15 and converted it for a 3-0 lead.
    Huberdeau extended the margin to 4-0 on the power play with his eighth goal of the season at 11:46 of the second period. Philadelphia(8-10-1) pulled their goalie Ilya Bryzgalov after that score and replaced him with Brian Boucher.
    The Flyers broke the shutout with 6:11 left in the third period with a goal by defensman Luke Schenn. Muller scored his second goal of the game less than one minute later at 14:33. Philadelphia answered back with a score one minute later at 15:35 by right wing Jacub Voracek.
    The Panthers were outshot in all three periods at a 34-26 margin, however they scored on three of their 10 shots in the first period.  The Cats were 1-for-3 with the man advantage while the Flyers were 0-for-2. Florida goalie Scott Clemmensen picked up his first win this season as he made 32 saves and improved to 1-1-2. Bryzgalov only made 11 saves on 15 shots and fell to 8-8-1. The Cats travel to Pittsburgh for their only time this season and face the Penguins on Friday night.

Heat Walk By Bulls

    The Miami Heat won their ninth consecutive game as they handled the Chicago Bulls 86-67 on Thursday night at United Center. LeBron James dropped down a double-double with 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in 34 minutes. Miami(38-14) improved to 15-11 on the road and face the 76ers in Philadelphia on Saturday night.
    Neither team led by more than six points in the opening period as they were tied 22-22 after one quarter. The Heat began the second quarter on a 16-6 rally and were up 45-35 at halftime.
    Chicago(31-23) were down by double digits for most of the period and fell behind 65-54 after three quarters. The Bulls never came closer than nine points in the fourth quarter as the Heat extended their lead up to 20 points at 80-60 with 4:26 left.
    Dwyane Wade had 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes for the Heat while Chris Bosh added 12 points in 32 minutes. Ray Allen came off the bench and knocked down 11 points in 29 minutes.
    The Bulls were led by Carlos Boozer who had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in 33 minutes. Joakim Noah contributed 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 38 minutes while Nate Robinson had a team-high 14 points in 29 minutes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Miami/Fort Lauderdale Ratings January 2013

    790 The Ticket WAXY-AM was the top sports radio format for the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region in January. They barely edged out 104.3 The Ticket WAXY-FM and Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM.
    With the exception of the holiday period recently, the last time 790 The Ticket was on top was back in July 2012 which was the end of a four-month string. They improved from a 0.7 in December to a 0.8 in January. The minor bump was due to the performance of the Miami Heat.
    Their sister station 104.3 The Ticket jumped to tie for second place with a 0.8 in January after they got a 0.5 in December. The big move by the station was that they began to broadcast Miami Heat games on January 2. They were prohibited to do that since the start of the season due to ESPN Radio 760 WEFL-AM who had the Palm Beach County exclusive rights to the Heat broadcasts.
    Sports Radio 560 also tied for second place as they remained flat with a 0.7 in January. It seemed that the return of Florida Panthers games following the NHL lockout and the addition of CBS Sports Radio in late nights with Scott Ferrall and overnights with Damon Amendolara did not help the matter.
    940 The Sports Animal WINZ-AM dropped from 0.5 in December to a 0.3 in January. The station overhauled their daytime lineup as they added Jeff DeForrest and Steve Goldstein into the morning slot for Mike and Mike In The Morning from ESPN Radio. Defo shifted from evenings at WINZ and became the morning co-host with his former The First Team co-host Goldie. Jim Rome was also gone from middays and was replaced by Jay Mohr at Fox Sports Radio.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Maple Leafs Shut Out Panthers

    The Florida Panthers ended a four-game homestand and extended their losing streak to five games as they were blanked 3-0 by the Toronto Maple Leafs at BB&T Center on Monday night. It was the third time in the last five games where the Cats were shut out. The club got three of a possible eight points in their last four games at home.
    Toronto(10-6-0) scored first late in the first period as right wing Phil Kessel gave the team a 1-0 lead at 17:04. The Maple Leafs added a power-play goal by center Nazem Kadri at 12:13 of the second period. It was followed less then two minutes later as left wing Clarke MacArthur scored at 13:57 and extended their lead to 3-0.
    Florida(4-7-4) was held scoreless on the power play as they went 0-for-3 while the Leafs was 1-for-2. Panthers goalie Jose Theodore made 30 saves on 33 shots as his record fell to 4-6-2. Toronto goalie Ben Scrivens picked up his second career shutout as he made 37 saves and improved to 4-3-0 this season. The Panthers play their next two games in Pennsylvania as they face Philadelphia on Thursday and Pittsburgh on Friday.

Monday, February 18, 2013

East Loss NBA All-Star Game

    The Miami Heat were well represented at the NBA All-Star Game as the Eastern Conference lost to the Western Conference 143-138 at Toyota Center in Houston on Sunday. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Erik Spolestra and his coaching staff were part of the Eastern Conference squad. It was the second time since 2010 that the game was played in Texas.
    The Eastern Conference placed three starters from the Heat. James scored 19 points with five assists in 30 minutes while Wade added 21 points and seven assists in 29 minutes. Bosh contributed six points in 23 minutes. Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks led the East with 26 points and 12 rebounds in 31 minutes.
    Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers was named most valuable player of the game with 20 points and 15 assists in 27 minutes for the West. Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder had 30 points and six rebounds in 31 minutes while Blake Griffin of the Clippers dropped down 19 points in 27 minutes.

Grace Blazer New WINZ PD

    Grace Blazer has been named the new program director at 940 WINZ-AM The Sports Animal and News Radio 610 WIOD-AM. She replaces Ken Charles who left for the Clear Channel radio cluster in Sacramento.
    Blazer comes from WTKK-FM in Boston which switched from a news/talk format in January. She joined that station back in 2007. Prior to that, she was the program director and executive producer at The Big Talker 1210 WPHT-AM in Philadelphia. Blazer began at 1020 KDKA-AM in Pittsburgh as a producer and was elevated to morning news editor.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Canadiens Slip By Panthers

    It was a rare situation where both teams were held scoreless in regulation as the Montreal Canadiens edged the Florida Panthers 1-0 in overtime at BB&T Center on Thursday night. It was the second time in three games where Florida(4-5-3) were shut out and the third time this season that they were blanked.
    The only goal of the game was at 2:10 of overtime as left wing Rene Bourque scored his fourth goal this season on an assist by center Alex Galchenyuk for the Montreal(8-4-1) victory. The Panthers will host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.
    Former Canadiens and current Panthers goalie Jose Theodore made 31 saves in the loss as his record lowered to 4-6-1 this season. Montreal goalie Carey Price picked up the shutout as he stopped all 26 Cats shots and improved to 8-3-0. Florida went 0-for-2 while Montreal went 0for-3 on the power play. The Panthers were outshot 32-26 in the game although they had a 13-9 shot advantage in the third period.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Capitals Edge Panthers In OT

    The Florida Panthers returned home after a four-game road trip with a 6-5 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night at BB&T Center. This was the second game of a home-and-home series between the Cats and the Caps. It was Florida's first overtime game at home this season and the first game of a four-game homestand as they got to the first-quarter mark into the regular season.
    Washington(4-8-1) was successful on their first power play at 4:26 of the first period. Center Mike Ribeiro, who was acquired from the Dallas Stars during the off-season, scored from inside the right circle and he ripped a rolling puck by Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen.
    Florida(4-6-2) evened the game at 1-1 when left wing Tomas Fleischmann tallied his fourth goal of the season on wrist shot from the high slot at 10:18 that deflected off John Erskine's skate.   Defenseman Filip Kuba stopped a clearing pass on left wing prior to that and fed Fleischmann on the play.
    The Panthers took their first lead of the game on a power-play goal at 13:09 to make it 2-1. Center Shawn Matthias got his second goal this season as he fired a shot from the high slot after center Marcel Goc made a backhand pass from the left corner.
    Both teams combined for four goals in the second period. The Capitals tied it at 2-2 against the Cats as defenseman Karl Alzner scored at 5:33. Florida regained the lead 3-2 as left wing Jonathan Huberdeau deflected a right-point shot by defenseman Erik Gudbranson in the low slot at 8:47 for his fourth goal this year. Washington evened it out at 3-3 as center Matt Hendricks struck a one-time shot from the left circle at 10:21. Huberdeau cut through the slot area and received a feed from center Peter Muller who was in the left corner. He finished up the play with a wrist shot in the crease by Captials goalie Braden Holtby at 18:26 for his second goal of the game and gave the Panthers a 4-3 lead.
    Center Drew Shore extended the Panthers margin to 5-3 with his first NHL goal at 6:25 of the third period. He was on the left side of the crease when he batted the puck into the net off the shaft of his stick.
    Caps right wing Eric Fehr scored as he redirected a shot from the low slot when defenseman Mike Green flipped a shot on net from the top of the zone with 5:07 to go. Left wing Alex Ovechkin tied the game at 5-5 with 2:49 remaining in regulation on the power play for his fourth goal this season.
    Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer got the game-winning goal 32 seconds into overtime as he streaked down the right side of the Panthers zone and scored on his own rebound. Center Nicklas Backstrom threaded a cross-ice pass from his own zone to set the play up.

Vladamir Louissant At NBC Sports

    Former Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM producer Vladamir Louissant is now with the NBC Sports Radio Network in New York City as a sports producer. He joined the organization when they expanded their roster of on-air talent at the start of January.
    Louissant worked as the overnight show producer on WQAM for Marc Eisenberg, currently 640 Sports WMEN-AM program director, and Joe Castello from 2003 until 2004. He added duties as the Florida Marlins reporter for the station in the middle of the 2003 season when Josh Friedman was fired. It was being in the right place at the right time for him as the Marlins won the World Series that year. Louissant also became the Florida Panthers reporter for the 2003-04 season. He finished his tenure at the station as a sports producer.
    He then went to Los Angeles and was the overnight producer at Fox Sports Radio where he worked on The Third Shift with Jorge Sedano during his time there. Sedano has been the program director at WQAM since August 2012. Louissant also contributed on two overnight shows with David Stein and then with J.T. The Brick until 2011.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dennis Erickson Joins Utah

    Former University of Miami Hurricanes football head coach Dennis Erickson has been named a co-offensive coordinator for the University of Utah for the upcoming 2013 season. He has made numerous head coaching stops in college football and the NFL. He was at the University of Idaho from 1982 until 1985 then followed by the University of Wyoming in 1986 and Washington State University from 1987 to 1988.
    The University of Miami hired him as head coach the following year as he replaced Jimmy Johnson who won a national championship the year before. Erickson made a tremendous impact on that program as he led the team to two national championships and a record of 63-9 in his six seasons there. He won a national title during his first season in 1989 over the University of Alabama at the Sugar Bowl and during his third season there in 1991 as they shut out the University of Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. The team fell short of a third title under his reign in 1992 as they lost to the University of Alabama at the Sugar Bowl in a matchup between the top two squads in the country. No other Hurricanes head coach has won more than one national title.
    Erickson entered the National Football League after he left the University of Miami following the 1994 season. He was the head coach for the Seattle Seahawks from 1995 until 1998 and then went back to college and coached Oregon State University between 1999 and 2002. He had a second tour in the NFL as the San Francisco 49ers head coach in 2003 and 2004. He returned back to the University of Idaho in 2005 and jumped to Arizona State University to run that program for five seasons from 2007 until 2011.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Heat Take Lakers

    The Miami Heat shined in the spotlight as they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 107-97 at American Airlines Arena on Sunday. Miami have been victorious over the Lakers in six of the last seven meetings between both squads. The Heat completed a Los Angeles sweep over the weekend at home after they beat the Clippers on Friday night.
    LeBron James set a new Heat franchise record as he scored at least 30 points for the fifth consecutive game. He finished with 32 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 36 minutes of play. Dwyane Wade added 30 points with five assists in 39 minutes while Mario Chalmers dropped in 13 points. Chris Bosh contributed a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in 34 minutes.
    Kobe Bryant led the way for the Lakers as he fell short of a double-double with 28 points, nine assists and six rebounds in 37 minutes. Dwight Howard had 15 points and nine rebounds in 41 minutes while Steve Nash sunk 15 points in 33 minutes. Earl Clark placed 18 points and nine rebounds in 42 minutes.
    Miami(34-14) started the game 6-2, but neither team led by more than five points in the first quarter. Los Angeles(24-28) were barely ahead 26-25 after one quarter after Steve Blake made a three-point shot from the right corner with four seconds left. The Lakers got their lead up to seven points, however the Heat would get a 9-2 rally to tie the game at 44-44 with 3:28 remaining in the second quarter. Both teams were tied at halftime 53-53.
    The Heat, who improved to 22-3 at home this season and extended their winning streak to five games, led 78-73 after three quarters. James scored the last 11 points for his team in the period which was capped by a three-point shot from the top of the arc after he missed his second free throw and got the rebound. Miami were ahead through the entire fourth quarter and got their biggest margin of the game at 102-90 with 1:30 to go on an 11-4 run.

Capitals Blank Panthers

    The Florida Panthers completed a four-game road trip on Saturday night as they were shut down by the Washington Capitals 5-0 at Verizon Center. The Cats finished the road string with five of a possible eight points. It was the second time this season that they were shut out. Florida(4-6-1) will host Washington(3-8-1) in the second game of a home-and-home series on Tuesday night.
    Late in the first period, the Capitals took their first and only lead in the game as right wing Troy Brouwer scored at 17:45. He would pick up his second goal of the game on the power play at 3:36 of the second period. Right wing Joel Ward extended the Caps lead to 3-0 at 11:55.
    The Capitals added two more goals in the third period. Left wing Alex Ovechkin nailed his fourth goal this season at 3:49 and center Mathieu Perreault scored at 9:28. Florida pulled goalie Jose Theodore after he gave up the fifth Washington goal in the game and was replaced by Scott Clemmensen.
     Theodore dropped to 4-5-0 this season as he made 16 saves on 21 shots. Washington goalie Braden Holtby made 27 saves in the shutout win as he improved to 2-4-0. The Cats outshot the Capitals in two of the three periods and 27-25 overall. The Panthers were scoreless in their one attempt on the power play while the Caps were 1-for-2. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Marlins Sign Chone Figgins

    The Miami Marlins have signed Chone Figgins to a minor league contract. He has fielding experience where he has played second base, third base and outfield during his career. He batted only .181 with two home runs and 11 RBI in 66 games last season with the Seattle Mariners.
    Figgins got to the majors in 2002 where he won the World Series with the Anaheim Angels. He would play there for eight seasons and make four other postseason appearances. He joined the Seattle Mariners as a free agent in 2010 and stayed there for three seasons.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Heat Slam Clippers

    The Miami Heat began their weekend hosting Los Angeles basketball teams on Friday night with a 111-89 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers at American Airlines Arena. The Lakers will visit Miami on Sunday. Heat forward Udonis Haslem picked up his 5,000th career rebound which continues as a club record. Ronny Turiaf, who played with the NBA champion Miami Heat last season, received his championship ring prior to the game.
    Los Angeles(35-17) started out 5-2 for their only lead of the game, but Miami(33-14) led after one quarter 30-29. The Heat went on a 25-10 spurt to go ahead 55-39 with three minutes remaining in the second quarter. Miami was up by double digits 62-50 at halftime.
    The Heat, who are now 21-3 at home this season, extended their margin by more than 20 points 89-57 on a 27-7 run. They led 93-68 after three quarters. Before both teams pulled out their starters, Miami increased their lead up to 31 points at 104-73 with 7:47 left in the fourth quarter.
    LeBron James contributed 30 points, six assists and five rebounds in 31 minutes for the Heat. Dwyane Wade added 20 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals in 31 minutes. Mario Chalmers knocked down 18 points in 25 minutes and Rashard Lewis had 10 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes.
    DeAndre Jordan led the Clippers with 17 points and six rebounds in 22 minutes. Blake Griffin dropped down 13 points with five rebounds in 24 minutes. Jamal Crawford came off the bench for 13 points in 24 minutes. Chris Paul was held to three points in 20 minutes. Former Heat players had limited impact as Caron Butler had eight points, Turiaf got two points and Lamar Odom was held scoreless.

Panthers Outshoot Flyers

    After playing their first game beyond regulation on Tuesday in Winnipeg, the Florida Panthers were involved in their first shootout this season on Thursday night as they got by the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 at Wells Fargo Center. Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson played in his first game with the club this season.
    Florida(4-5-1) jumped to a 1-0 lead at 10:52 of the first period as left wing Jack Skille got his first goal and first point of the season with a wrist shot from the slot area that got by Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
    Philadelphia(4-6-1) responded less than one minute later with a power-play goal by right wing Jacob Voracek on a slapshot from the right circle as he beat Panthers goalie Jose Theodore at 11:44.
    The Flyers scored the only goal in the second period. Matt Read, who picked up his first career hat trick against the Panthers on January 26, snapped a shot into the top of the net from the crease at 2:42. Left wing Mike Knuble was able to poke a rebound to him from the right of the cage.
     In the third period, the Cats tied the game 2-2 as center Stephen Weiss scored his first goal of the season on a power play at 8:35. Weiss won the right circle face-off to defensemen Dmitry Kulikov on the right point, he passed to left wing Tomas Fleischmann in the low right circle and he fed Weiss at the right-circle dot. Neither team scored in overtime and brought the game into a shootout.
    Left wing Jonathan Huberdeau scored on the Panthers first attempt as he went to his forehand for a 1-0 edge. Read missed on the first attempt by Philadelphia. Panthers center Peter Mueller made it 2-0 then Flyers center Claude Giroux failed on his shot as Florida won the shootout on a combined minimum of four shots.
    Theodore improved to 4-4-0 as stopped 30 of 32 shots while Bryzgalov dropped to 4-5-1 as he made 22 saves. The Flyers outshot the Panthers 32-24 and 5-0 in overtime. Both teams went 1-for-4 on the power play. The Cats finish their four-game road trip in Washington on Saturday night.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Heat Outrace Rockets

    The Miami Heat showed their dominance of the Western Conference as they defeated the Houston Rockets 114-108 on Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat are now 9-1 at home and 16-5 against the Western Conference this season. Miami Heat television play-by-play announcer Eric Reid missed the game due to a death in the family.
    Miami(32-14) jumped out to a 26-16 lead eight minutes into the game. Houston(27-24) closed the gap on an 11-2 spurt and were behind 32-30 after one quarter. The Heat finished the second quarter on a 20-6 edge and led 63-56 at halftime.
    The Rockets gave up the first eight points in the second half and a 16-6 tear by Miami as the Heat extended their lead to 79-62 with 7:05 left in the third quarter. Houston was down 89-83 after three quarters. The Heat broke through with a 9-0 run early in the fourth quarter, but the Rockets followed back with a 9-2 rally to pull within five points at 100-95. Miami stayed ahead by at least three points for the rest of the way.
    The Miami Heat were led by LeBron James who had 32 points and six rebounds in 37 minutes while Dwyane Wade dropped down 31 points with eight assists in 35 minutes. Shane Battier added 12 points in 29 minutes and reserve Norris Cole drained in 10 points.
    James Harden took charge for the Rockets with a double-double of 36 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in 41 minutes. Omer Asik also got a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds in 35 minutes. Jeremy Lin knocked down 13 points in 32 minutes and Patrick Patterson nailed 13 points in 35 minutes.

Eric Reid Misses Heat Game

    Miami Heat television play-by-play announcer Eric Reid missed the Miami Heat game against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena due to a death in the family. Jason Jackson took his place on the Sun Sports telecast. Reid had rarely missed a game broadcast over the last 25 seasons as the only original member of the Miami Heat broadcasting crew.
    Reid, an Ithaca College grad, joined the Miami Heat prior to their inaugural season in 1988-89 as the game analyst alongside Sam Smith on their television/radio simulcast of games. He would be elevated to play-by-play announcer for the team in 1991-92. The organization eliminated the simulcast in 1992-93 as Reid stayed on the television side. Due to broadcast restrictions by the league, he was allowed to announce the NBA Finals in 2006 and 2012 on a special feed. His calls would appear on eventual NBA Finals videos.
    He announced Ithaca College game broadcasts on WICB-FM and WVIC-AM while he was a student. Reid would work for WHCU-AM in Ithaca as a basketball game analyst and later as a play-by-play announcer. He moved on to Providence College where he was the basketball radio play-by-play announcer. He was hired by then Providence College athletic director and current New Jersey Devils CEO, president and general manager Lou Lamoriello. Reid was the radio voice when the team went to the Final Four in 1987 under head coach Rick Pitino.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Panthers Lose To Jets In OT

    The Florida Panthers played the Winnipeg Jets for the second time in five days, however this time they met in Canada. The Cats fell 3-2 in overtime at MTS Centre on Tuesday night. It was the first time this season that the Panthers played in overtime and they picked up one point.
    Florida(3-5-1) got the only goal in the first period. Center Drew Shore skated with the puck through the neutral zone and dashed by two defenders in the high slot area. His shot was saved by Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec, but left wing Jonathan Huberdeau put in the rebound on a one-time slapshot from the low left circle with 1:48 left in the period. It was Huberdeau's third goal of the season.
    Winnipeg(4-4-1) tied the game at 2:28 of the second period. Defenseman Tobias Enstrom rifled a lead pass from his own end line to right wing Blake Wheeler at the Panthers blue line. He skated down the right side and took a slapshot from the right circle that deflected off defenseman Keaton Ellerby's stick that went by Florida goalie Scott Clemmensen.
    The Panthers reclaimed the lead quickly at 3:52. Center Stephen Weiss won a right circle face-off against former teammate and Jets center Olli Jokinen that went to defenseman Brian Campbell on the right wing. He passed to left wing Tomas Fleischmann at the right point and he blasted a slapshot for his third goal.
    The Jets evened it up 2-2 at 12:21. Center Alex Burmistrov fed the puck from the low right circle, defenseman Zach Redmond passed the puck to the left point and defenseman Marc Stuart ripped in a wrist shot.
    Neither team scored in the third period and the game went into overtime. Defenseman Filip Kuba was called for tripping Jets left wing Evander Kane with 2:10 to go in overtime and gave Winnipeg a power play. The Panthers gave up the game-wining goal near the end of the man advantage with six seconds left in the power play and 16 seconds remaining in overtime. Right wing Bryan Little hit a one-time slapshot from the slot area for the win on a feed by Redmond from the right wing.
    There were a low amount of shots in this game with almost 65 minutes of play as Florida was outshot 21-19. The Panthers went 0-for-2 on the power play while the Jets were 1-for-4. Pavelec(3-4-1) made 19 saves in the victory and Clemmensen(0-1-1) in the defeat. The Cats fly to Philadelphia and face the Flyers on Thursday night.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Panthers Edge Sabres

    The Florida Panthers began a four-game road trip as they slipped by the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 on Super Bowl Sunday at First Niagara Center. The Panthers bounced back from a 3-1 deficit in the second period. Florida right wing Peter Mueller set a new career-high as he scored in his fourth consecutive game in the victory.
    Buffalo(3-5-1) scored early in the first period at 2:46. After Florida Panthers goalie Jose Theodore made an initial save, right wing Jason Pominville made a backhand pass between his legs across the low slot for left wing Thomas Vanek's one-time wrist shot.
    Florida(3-5-0) evened the game as center Jerred Smithson won a face-off in the left circle and center Shawn Matthias blasted a slapshot from the top left circle by Sabres goalie Ryan Miller for his first goal this season at 8:36.
    The Panthers turned the puck in their own slot area and the Sabres capitalized. Vanek made a backhand cross-ice pass through the crease where center Cody Hodgson finished with a forehand shot at 13:41 for 2-1 lead.
    The Sabres extended their margin to 3-1 as defensman Alexander Sulzer put in a long shot at 3:49 of the second period. The Cats rebounded with two goals to tie it up at 3-3. Right wing George Parros scored his first goal as a Florida Panther at 10:21.
    Panthers rookie center Drew Shore collected his first NHL assist and point. He rushed into the Buffalo zone, fired a slapshot that hit the end wall and then sent a backhand shot on net where Miller made the stop. Mueller pounced on the rebound with a backhand shot in the crease for a goal with 54 seconds left in the second period.
    Cats defenseman Brian Campbell burned his former team with a go-ahead power-play goal for a Panthers 4-3 lead with 10:33 remaining in the third period. Left wing Jonathan Huberdeau had the puck on the right-circle dot and dished it off to right wing Tomas Kopecky in the low right circle. He sent a soft backhand pass across the crease to Campbell where he banged a slapshot from the low left circle into the half-open net for his fourth goal this season.
    Florida outshot Buffalo 13-4 in the third period and 33-20 overall. Theodore(3-4-0) made 17 saves in the win while Miller(3-4-1) stopped 29 shots in the loss. Panthers center Stephen Weiss returned to the lineup for the first time since January 22 in Montreal. There were only three power plays in the game as Florida went 1-for-2 and Buffalo was 0-for-1. The Cats travel to Winnipeg and play the Jets on Tuesday night.

Heat Ice Raptors

    The Miami Heat finished a four-game road swing with a 100-85 win over the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on Sunday. It was their tenth straight win over the Raptors. The Heat have the best record in the Eastern Conference after Sunday which means head coach Erik Spoelstra will guide the East team in the NBA All-Star Game in Houston on February 17.
    Miami(30-14) held the lead throughout the first quarter as they scored the first six points and led 16-6 just six minutes into the game. They were up 24-21 after one quarter. Toronto(17-31) outscored the Heat 29-20 in the second quarter and were ahead 50-44 at halftime.
    The Heat reversed the tide as they began the second half on a 15-4 spurt and led 59-54 midway through the period. They were ahead 71-67 after three quarters. Miami would not relinquished the lead in the fourth quarter as the Raptors were down 86-83 with 4:20 left. The Heat knocked down the next nine points and wrapped the game up on a 14-2 run.
    Chris Bosh, who has not lost against his former team since he left as a free agent after the 2009-10 season, had 28 points and five rebounds in 28 minutes. LeBron James added 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 40 minutes while Dwyane Wade drained 23 points in 32 minutes for Heat.
    Rudy Gay, who played in his second game with Toronto following a trade from the Memphis Grizzlies, dropped down 29 points in 32 minutes. DeMar DeRozan contributed 27 points in 44 minutes and Kyle Lowry had 10 points in 31 minutes.

Dario Melendez To ESPN

    Boca Raton native Dario Melendez will join ESPN as a sports anchor beginning February 25. Melendez, a 2004 Spanish River High School grad, was a soccer all-star and played wide receiver in football. He attended Sacred Heart University and was a wide receiver for their football team. He worked as a sports intern at WPLG-TV Channel 10 in Miami and NBC Sports in New York City while in college.
    Melendez began his broadcasting career in October 2008 with WINK-TV in Fort Myers as a weekend sports anchor. He also was an afternoon co-host and a Saturday late morning co-host on Fox Sports Radio 1200 WPTK-AM and Fox Sports Radio 1460 WNPL-AM from March 2009 until October 2010. He moved to Milwaukee and joined WISN-TV in November 2010 as a sports reporter and weekend sports anchor. His last appearance there will be on February 17.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pro Football Class Of 2013

    The Pro Football Hall of Fame has elected seven people as the class of 2013. Three of them have a South Florida connection. They will be inducted in Canton, Ohio on August 3.
    Bill Parcells worked for the Miami Dolphins as the Vice President of Football Operations from September 2007 until September 2010. He was best known as the head coach of the New York Giants and led them to two Super Bowl titles. They won Super Bowl 21 over the Denver Broncos in Pasadena, California and Super Bowl 25 against the Buffalo Bills in Tampa. Parcells also coached the New England Patriots, New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys.
    Cris Carter played his final season in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins. He began with the Philadelphia Eagles when he entered the league in 1987 and stayed there for three seasons. He joined the Minnesota Vikings and played 12 seasons with them. Carter, a Boca Raton resident, has been an assistant coach with St. Thomas Aquinas High School since the mid-2000's. The school has won four state titles since he has been there which includes 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012.
    Warren Sapp played college football at the University of Miami. He played his NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders. Sapp, who is an Apopka High School grad, was part of the Super Bowl 37 champions with Tampa Bay.
    Other to be inducted will include Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Larry Allen, Kansas City Chiefs/Houston Oilers defensive tackle Curly Culp and Green Bay Packers linebacker Dave Robinson.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Todd Wright Out In Tampa

    Todd Wright is no longer with Sports Radio 98.7 The Fan WHFS-FM in Tampa Bay as an evening host. He joined that station in August 2012 as the afternoon co-host until he was shifted to nights in early October 2012. The Fabulous Sports Babe will move from overnights to evenings at the station.
    Wright, a University of Miami grad, was the television play-by-play announcer of the Miami Tropics on Sunshine Network back in 1993. The Tropics, with John Lucas as head coach and team owner, won the United States Basketball League(USBL) championship that year.
    He hosted the All Night With Todd Wright overnight show on ESPN Radio from 1996 until 2005. He then joined Sporting News Radio in June 2006 as the late night host of Todd Wright Tonight. The network changed its name to Yahoo! Sports Radio in August 2011. Wright remained as the late night host for several months until he was shifted to become the evening host. He left the organization in February 2012. Wright began his career as a sportscaster at Sports Radio 910 WFNS-AM in Tampa Bay.