Saturday, February 28, 2015

Jagr Debuts And Panthers Beat Sabres

     Jaromir Jagr made his debut for the Florida Panthers on Saturday as they defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 at BB&T Center. It ended a four-game losing streak for the Cats who played their second game of a seven-game homestand. The Panthers traded Tomas Fleischmann to the Anaheim Ducks for Dany Heatley and a 2015 third-round pick prior to the game.
     For the second straight game, Florida(27-22-13) surrendered a goal within the first five minutes of the contest. Zach Bogosian set up the play with a short pass through the slot area and Cody Hodgson slapped a shot by the right arm of Roberto Luongo for a Buffalo(19-39-5) 1-0 lead.
     The Sabres extended their margin to 2-0 at 7:18. Johan Larsson made a clearing pass out to center for Andrej Mezaros. He skated into the Panthers zone and snapped a shot from the top left circle through the legs of Luongo.
     In the second period, the Panthers scored on the power play for the first time in six games with two seconds left in a five-on-three situation. It ended a string of 14 consecutive scoreless man-advantage attempts. Brad Boyes won the face-off in the left circle and Jussi Jokinen passed it up to Brian Campbell on the left point. He sent a cross-ice pass to Brandon Pirri above the right circle and he blasted a shot by the left shoulder of Michal Neuvirth at 12:01.
     They did not stop at all as they connected again with another power-play tally at 13:24. Campbell was at the top of the zone and passed the puck to Pirri in the top right circle. He scored his second goal of the game as his slapshot went through traffic in the low slot.
     The Panthers took their first lead of the game with 1:29 remaining in the second. Brad Boyes lifted the puck from the high slot to Jokinen in the low right circle. He moved a backhand pass to Nick Bjugstad in the low slot and he put in his 22nd goal of the season between the pads of Neuvirth.
     The Sabres evened it at 3-3 with 7:06 to go in the third period. Matt Moulson had the puck from behind the Panthers cage and centered to Torrey Mitchell for a one-time shot from the slot area.
     The Cats regained the lead just over one minute later at 14:52. Derek MacKenzie was in the right corner and found Scottie Upshall at the edge of the right circle and he finished it with a wrist shot for his seventh tally this year. MacKenzie put a finishing touch on the contest with an empty-net goal with 16.2 seconds left.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hawks Shut Out Panthers

     The Florida Panthers returned from a five-game road trip and lost to the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 on Thursday night at BB&T Center. It was the second back-to-back games between both clubs as they both played against each other two nights ago. It was the first of seven consecutive home games for the Panthers.
     It did not take long for Chicago(37-20-5) to score as they got ahead 1-0 just 3:08 into the first period. Teuvo Teravainen bumped Dmitry Kulikov off the puck in the right corner and passed back to David Shaw. He returned it to Teravainen in the low right circle and he snapped a shot by the left glove of Roberto Luongo.
     In the second period, the Blackhawks extended their lead to 2-0 at the 3:07 mark. Duncan Keith passed the puck from the neutral zone to Marion Hossa at the Panthers blue line and passed it back to him in left circle. Keith moved the puck across to Brandon Saad at the edge of the right circle and he softly shot the puck for a score.
     Florida(26-22-13) gave up an empty-net goal with 46.8 left in the third period as Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews scored his 19th goal of the season. Matian Hossa was at center ice when he angled the puck to his left to Toews who put the puck into the Panthers cage from inside the blue line.

Panthers Acquire Jaromir Jagr

     The Florida Panthers acquired Jaromir Jagr from the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. The Panthers sent a second-round pick in 2015 and a third-round pick in 2016 back to New Jersey. Jagr, who was in the middle of his second season with the Devils, comes to Cats after getting 11 goals and 18 assists in 57 games with New Jersey in 2014-15.
     He began his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins and captured two Stanley Cup champions with the team in his first two seasons in 1990-91 and 1991=92. He would go on to win five Art Ross Trophies as the leading scorer in 1994-95, 1997-98, 1998-99 1999-2000 and 2001-02. He also won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL Most Valuable Player in 1998-99.
     Jagr has played for several other teams during his NHL career. He has been with the Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins. He helped the Bruins win an Eastern Conference title in 2012-13.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Panthers Fall To Blackhawks

     The Florida Panthers completed a five-game road trip with a 3-2 defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks in a shootout at United Center on Tuesday night. The Cats come home after finishing 2-2-1 in their last five games. The Blackhawks ended their eight-game homestand with a 3-2-3 record and will face the Panthers in a rematch on Thursday night in Sunrise.
     After Patrick Kane was cross checked by Alex Petrovic, Chicago(36-20-5) scored on their first power play of the game at 9:25 of the first period. Marian Hossa had the puck on the right wing and moved it to Jonathan Toews below the right circle. His centering pass to the crease area rebounded back to him and he scored on a wrist shot past Roberto Luongo.
     Former Panther Kris Versteeg snapped in a shot from the left circle to give the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead with 5:32 left in the second period. Brad Richards fed the puck from the right point to Patrick Sharp in the high slot for the initial shot which was deflected to Versteeg. 
     In the third period, Florida(26-21-13) cut the deficit to 2-1 with 7:37 remaining. A turnaround cross-ice pass by Brad Boyes was snapped in for a score by Jussi Jokinen from the low right circle
     The Panthers tied the game with 3:29 to go on a fortunate bounce. Vincent Trocheck was on the end wall and got his fifth goal of the season as he banked the puck off the right skate of Duncan Keith and by Scott Darling. Tomas Fleischmann and Chris Kampfer were credited with assists on the play.
     The game went to a shootout and Chicago scored on both of their attempts. Toews get a backhand tally and Sharp followed with a wrist shot to the glove side. The Panthers first attempt by Trocheck on a forehand stuff was saved and the second attempt by Nick Bjugstad went wide right of the cage.

Emily Austen Joins Rays Broadcasts

     Emily Austen has been named the new in-game reporter for Tampa Bay Rays telecasts on Sun Sports. She will replace Kelly Nash who held the position for one season. Todd Kalas remains as the pregame and postgame host for all team broadcasts.
     Austen, a Florida Atlantic University grad, leaves her position as web host and reporter for Boston which she began in September 2013. She started her broadcasting career at the Golf Channel in Orlando as a production assistant and features producer. Austen moved on to KAMR-TV in Amarillo, Texas as a sportscaster from February 2012 until September 2013.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dan Le Batard Radio Show On Television

     Dan Le Batard and his radio show will soon be simulcast on national television on Fusion. He along with his co-host Stugotz will branch their program to the television platform in a couple of months. ESPN2 will continue to broadcast Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable during late afternoons. That program, which started in September 2011, is taped earlier in the afternoon by Le Batard prior to his daily radio show.
     Le Batard began his radio program locally on 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM when the station launched into a sports format in August 2004. The show has remained in the same spot during afternoon drive for over ten years at 790 The Ticket. They added a local FM simulcast in August 2012 on 104.3 The Ticket WAXY-FM. The program was added to the ESPN Radio lineup in late September 2013.

Lost Weekend For Panthers

     The Florida Panthers were swept over the weekend as they compiled only two goals in two road games. They were defeated by the Ottawa Senators 4-1 on Saturday night and lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 on Sunday night.
     The Panthers jumped on the Sens in the first period when Aleksander Barkov scored 7:38 into the game. Ottawa took over and put in four unanswered goals to increase their margin.
     It was totally different contest on Sunday in which the Cats surrendered five consecutive goals to the Pens. They were down 1-0 until Pittsburgh scored again with 27 seconds left in the second period by Evgeni Malkin. The Penguins added three more goals in the first nine minutes of the third period then Scottie Upshall got his seventh tally of the season with 7:37 to go.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Panthers Slip By Habs

     The Florida Panthers played their second of five straight games on the road and came from behind to beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout at Bell Centre on Thursday night. The Cats are now one point back from the Boston Bruins for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
     Brandan Gallagher scored a couple of goals for Montreal(37-15-5) during the second period to take a 2-0 lead. He got his 14th goal at 2:31 as he put in the rebound from the crease between the legs of Roberto Luongo following a right-wing shot by Max Pacioretty. He picked up his 15th goal at 10:32 after P.K Subban backhanded the puck to the low slot and he scored off a scramble for the Canadiens from the left of the crease.
     Florida(26-19-12) answered back at 11:54. Tomas Fleischmann skated to the high slot area and released a shot that bounced past Carey Price for his seventh goal. He now has 16 points in his last 26 games. Jonathan Huberdeau was credited with an assist on that play when he stopped a clearing pass at the right point. 
     In the third period, the Panthers evened it up 2-2 at 4:57. Chris Kampfer scored his first goal in a Florida uniform on a wrist shot from the left side of the goal line. He performed a give-and-go pass with Fleischmann who was behind the Habs cage.
     The contest would go into a shootout. Pacioretty scored on the only attempt for the Canadiens during the second round on a wrist shot over the right shoulder of Luongo. Nick Bjugstad evened it on the Panthers third attempt with a shot over the leg arm of Price. Florida clinched it during the sixth round as Dave Bolland slowed down and put the puck through the five-hole for the victory.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Miami Ratings January 2015

     104.3 The Ticket WAXY-AM remained on top as the leading sports format radio station in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region for the 17th consecutive month. It was a decent month in which all three local sports stations did not go down in their ratings.
     The leader of the pack was 104.3 The Ticket as they remained flat at a 1.6 in January. Their shows have remained consistent even with a mediocre season by the Miami Heat for the first time in five years.
     Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM showed improvement as they moved from a 0.9 to a 1.1. The Florida Panthers have stayed in playoff contention while the University of Miami basketball team has more competitive programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference to deal with this season.
     Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM was the same as the station stayed at a 0.3 during the month of January. There was no drop off for them despite the end of the Miami Dolphins season in the previous month.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Panthers Top Maple Leafs

     The Florida Panthers arrived in Canada and defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night. It was the first stop in a five-game stretch for the Cats on the road.
     In the first period, Toronto(23-30-5) scored on their first power play at 4:03. Nazem Kadri fed the puck from the right wing down to James Van Riemsdyk to the right side of the crease. He found Tyler Bozak in the slot area for a slapshot by the right blocker of Roberto Luongo for his 16th goal this year.
     Florida(25-19-12) evened the contest with 47 second left in the first on the power play. Brad Boyes connected a pass from the low left circle to Jussi Jokinen where he ripped a one-timer by Jonathan Bernier.
     The Panthers took their first lead of the game at 4:42 of the second period as they scored on their second straight power-play attempt. Tomas Fleischmann went through the right circle, faked a shot from the right of the crease and skated to behind the Maple Leafs cage. He backhanded a pass to Nick Bjugstad at the left of the crease and he lifted a wrist shot into the net for his 21st goal of the season.
     The Maple Leafs trailed 3-1 with 6:12 remaining in the second as the Cats scored again. Jokinen moved the puck from the left wing to Brian Campbell on the left point. His shot was deflected in by Jimmy Hayes in the left circle for his 17th goal.
     Phil Kessel pulled the Leafs back to 3-2 on his 22nd goal with just 49.1 seconds to go in the third period as they had a 6-on-4 situation on the power play. Kadri sent a cross-ice pass from the right-circle dot to Kessel who snapped home a shot from the low left circle by the stick side of Luongo.

Big Three Reunite At All Star Game

     The Big Three of the Miami Heat reunited at the 2015 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden where the West defeated the East 163-158. LeBron James led the East with 30 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 32 minutes while former teammate Chris Bosh scored 11 points to go along with three rebounds in 11 minutes. Dwyane Wade, who was voted in for the All-Star Game, did not play due to an injury.
     Madison Square Garden held the event for the first time since 1998. It was the highest scoring contest in All-Star Game history as both teams combined for 321 points and a combined 48 three-point shots. Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder won the Most Valuable Player award as he scored 41 points which was one point short of the record held by Wilt Chamberlain.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Blues Edge Panthers

     The Florida Panthers almost came back to win, but were stopped by the St. Louis Blues in a shootout 2-1 at BB&T Center on Sunday. The Panthers have scored just two goals in their last three games. It was their final game of a six-game stretch for them against Western Conference opponents.
     St. Louis(37-15-4) dominated the first period as they outshot the Cats 14-7 and were unable to score against Roberto Luongo. Florida(24-19-12) committed five giveaways in the opening frame.
     The Blues took the lead at 11:48 of the second period as Jaden Schwartz scored his 20th goal of the campaign. Jori Lehtera had the puck in the right corner and passed it to Schwartz in the low right circle where his snap shot went over the right shoulder of Luongo.
     The Panthers had to wait until there was 1:13 left in the third period to tie the game at 1-1 when they had an extra attacker on the ice. Aaron Ekblad took a shot from the left point which was tipped wide left of the net by Aleksander Barkov in the low slot. It banked off the back wall to Nick Bjugstad to the right of the crease area. His wrist shot bounced off the left skate of Brian Elliott and into the short side for his team-leading 20th goal of the season.
     In the shootout, Vladamir Tarasenko and Brad Boyes both scored for their teams during the second round. Lehtera put in the winning tally for the Blues in the fifth round.

Miami Gets All Star Game

     Marlins Park has been rewarded the 2017 All Star Game by Major League Baseball. It will be the first time that South Florida will host the mid-summer classic. The Miami Marlins have played at Marlins Park since the 2012 season.
     South Florida was once given the All Star Game to be played at Joe Robbie Stadium back in the late 1990s when the team was known as the Florida Marlins. However, it was taken away by Commissioner Bud Selig and Major League Baseball.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Stars Blank Panthers

     The Florida Panthers were shut out by the Dallas Stars 2-0 at American Airlines Center on Friday night. The Cats, who scored only one goal in back-to-back nights on the road, return home on Sunday to face the St. Louis Blues and finish a run of playing six straight Western Conference opponents.
     Both goals in this game were scored by Dallas(26-21-8) during the first period. Florida(24-19-11)  gave up a shorthanded goal by Jamie Benn at 9:27. Aaron Ekblad was unable to hole the puck at the left point as Vernon Fiddler knocked it down the ice. He brought it through the right circle, backhanded a pass to the top of the crease and Benn one-timed the puck into the cage for his 19th goal of the season.
     The Stars added an additional goal with 2:51 left in the first. Jason Spezza brought the puck into the Panthers zone on the right side from a short pass by Erik Cole. He cut to the middle, put on the brakes to let Ekblad go by him and scored on a turnaround shot from the high slot.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wild Get By Panthers

     The Florida Panthers began a short two-game road trip in the central time zone and were edged by the Minnesota Wild 2-1 at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday night. The Panthers moved to 16-6-11 in one-goal games this season. The Wild are now 8-0-1 in their last nine games and 9-1-2 in their previous 12.
     In the first period, Minnesota(27-20-7) moved out to a quick lead at 4:12. Mikko Koivu sent a cross-ice pass from the left wing to the low slot where Jason Pominville redirected the puck off his right skate by Roberto Luongo.
     The Wild got the game-winning goal on the power play at 6:52 of the second period as Zach Parise scored his 22nd goal of the season. Koivu passed the puck from behind the Cats cage to Thomas Vanek in the low right circle. His shot was saved but Parise poked in the rebound from left of the crease.
     Minnesota native Nick Bjugstad cut the lead down to 2-1 for Florida(24-18-11) at 9:53. Jussi Jokinen connected a pass from the high slot to Bjugstad at the right circle dot. His wrist shot from the low right circle went over the left shoulder of Devan Dubnyk and into the top shelf of the net for his 19th goal this season.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

LeBron James And Cavs Beat Heat

     The Miami Heat appeared in Cleveland on Wednesday night and were defeated by the Cavaliers 113-93 at Quicken Loans Arena. It was the first time this season that they visited Ohio to face their former teammate LeBron James. The Heat were victorious over the Cavs 101-91 back on Christmas Day in Miami.
     Both teams stayed close to each other in the first five minutes of the game. Cleveland(33-21) scored nine straight points to get up 25-14. They finished off a 25-8 run and led 36-18 with 1:00 left in the opening quarter. Miami(22-30) trailed 38-23 after one quarter and 59-48 at halftime.
     The Heat could not come no closer than 12 points during the third quarter and fell behind 85-69 at the end of the frame. The Cavs remained ahead by double digits throughout the fourth quarter and cruised to victory.
     All five starters for Cleveland finished with double figures in scoring. James compiled a double-double with team-highs of 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in 31 minutes of play. Timofey Mozgov put in 20 points along with seven rebounds. Kyrie Irving sank in 15 points while Kevin Love added 12.
     Hassan Whiteside settled with a double-double for the Heat with 17 points and 14 rebounds in 28 minutes. Mario Chalmers had a team-high 18 points while Chris Bosh dropped 15 points and Luol Deng got 17 points.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Panthers Pound Ducks

     The Florida Panthers completed a three-game homestand with a 6-2 rout of the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night at BB&T Center. It was the fourth game of a six-game stretch in which the team will face Western Conference teams.
     In the first period, Florida(24-17-11) jumped on the Ducks with two early power-play goals. Dmitry Kulikov scored his second goal this year at 5:31 on a one-time slapshot from the right point. Brian Campbell fed him a pass from the left point.
     The second Panthers goal was a fine pass play. Jonathan Huberdeau had the puck on the right wing and passed to the low slot where Jimmy Hayes tipped it. Nick Bjudstad put a slapshot from the left circle through the legs of Ilya Bryzgalov at 12:20.
     The Cats extended their margin to three goals at 5:37 of the second period. Campbell found Huberdeau in the neutral zone and he skated the puck into the Ducks zone. His cross-ice pass was blasted in by Aaron Ekblad from the right circle for his ninth goal. Bryzgalov was pulled from net 20 seconds later and replaced by John Gibson.
     Anaheim(34-14-7) broke the shutout at 7:23 on a 5-on-3 power play. Rickard Rakell held the puck to the right of the crease and connected with Kyle Palmieri. He was able to beat Roberto Luongo from the left edge of the crease.
     Florida get two quick goals in a 22-second span to make it 5-1. Brad Boyes threaded a lead pass to Aleksander Barkov in the top slot, he skated along through the slot, faked a forehand and scored on a backhand shot at 12:50.
     Tomas Fleischmann picked up his 300th NHL point on the Panthers next tally at 13:12. He took a shot from the right circle which was saved, but Dave Bolland followed up with a goal on the rebound. Florida had five goals on their first 12 shots of the game.
     Luongo would back embarrassed with 5:06 left in the second when Tim Jackman dumped in a puck from the red line which dribbled past him and into the Panthers cage.
     Steve Kampfer was rewarded with his first point as a Panther on the power play at 12:44 of the third period. His cross-ice pass from the right of the crease was put in by Hayes for his 16th goal this season.

WMEN For Sale

     James Crystal Enterprises will put up for auction their three radio stations in the South Florida region. They will include 640 Sports WMEN-AM, 850 WFTL-AM and 1400 WFLL-AM. The public auction will be held in Fort Lauderdale on March 2. The organization filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2014.
     640 Sports had been a sports format radio station since March 2008. On-air personnel who have hosted a show there includes Sid Rosenberg, Orlando Alzugaray, Jeff DeForest, Andy Slater, Marc Eisenberg, Armando Salguiero, Chris Perkins, Larry Milian, Jon Linder, Ed Kaplan and Hank Goldberg. The station also broadcast New York Yankees games.
     850 WFTL-AM has held a news/talk format for over 15 years. WFLL-AM was once known as a sports station 1400 The Fan from April 2004 until May 2006. Prior sports hosts on that station included Dino Costa, Anita Marks, Bob Page and Marc Benarzyk.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Predators Come Back On Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played their second of six consecutive games against the Western Conference and fell to the Nashville Predators 3-2 in a shootout on Sunday at BB&T Center. The Panthers blew a two-goal lead in the third period as the Predators won for the 16th time this season after giving up the first goal of the game.
     In the second period, Florida(23-17-11) picked up two goals. Tomas Fleischmann intercepted a cross-ice pass by Matt Cullen at the top of the Predators defensive zone, skated toward the left circle and snapped a shot by the left glove of Carter Hutton at 8:37. Fleischmann extended his points streak to three games.
     The Panthers moved their lead up to 2-0 at 14:27 on a 4-on-1 break. Aaron Ekblad was tripped in the right circle and Seth Jones swept the puck to behind the Preds cage. Jimmy Hayes tried to stuff in a shot which was saved, however Ekblad flipped in a shot from the edge of the crease for his eighth goal this season.
     Nashville(35-12-6), who are now 5-0-0 during afternoon games this year, chipped at the deficit with two goals on the power play in the third period. Jones powered home a slapshot from the top of the zone at 4:44 as Mike Ribeiro got credited with an assist.
     Predators rookie Filip Forsberg added his 18th goal with 4:43 left in the third and continued a five-game point streak. There was a loose puck in the slot area and Forsberg ripped a shot from the right circle over the right blocker of Roberto Luongo.
     The game went into a shootout and there were many successful attempts. The Cats got goals from Brad Boyes in the second round and Nick Bjugstad in the third round while Nashville got goals from Cullen in the first round and Craig Smith in the second. Dave Bolland was stopped on the Panthers fourth attempt while Forsberg did a double deek and scored off the left leg pad of Luongo.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

LauRen Merola Remains In Charlotte

     Former Miami radio sports reporter LauRen Merola has joined WNKS-FM in Charlotte as a morning co-host. She was recently a sportscaster at ESPN 730 WZGV-AM outside of Charlotte.
     Merola was once a reporter on the afternoon show The Finsiders on 940 WINZ-AM from the inception of that program in July 2010 until late 2011. She was once a cheerleader for the Miami Dolphins from 2003 until 2006. Merola is part of the dance team for the Charlotte Hornets this season.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Panthers Stop Kings

     The Florida Panthers returned home and beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Thursday night at BB&T Center. It was the first game of a six-game stretch for the Cats against Western Conference opponents. The Kings dropped their road record this season to 5-12-6.
     It took until halfway through the first period before Florida(23-17-10) scored. The Panthers got a 2-on-1 breakaway when Matt Greene pinched up into the neutral zone. Brad Boyes backhanded a cross-ice pass from the left circle and Barkov put in a one-time slapshot from the right circle underneath the left glove of Jonathan Quick at 10:39. He collected his ninth point in the last ten games.
     Jamie McBain compiled his 100th career point on a goal from the top right circle for Los Angeles(21-18-12) to tie the game. His slapshot went through a screen in front, over the right shoulder of Roberto Luongo, off the left post and in at 15:48. Dustin Brown fed him with a cross-ice pass from the left wing.
     In the third period, the Kings scored eight seconds into their second power play of game at 2:19. Anze Kopitar won the left circle face-off and drew the puck back to Jake Muzzin at the left point. His shot was saved by Luongo, Kopitar dropped the rebound back to the edge of the left circle and Marian Gaborik blasted home a slapshot for his 16th goal and a Kings 2-1 lead.
     The Panthers pounced on a cross-ice backhand giveaway by Muzzin at his own blue line. Nick Bjugstad picked up the puck, skated through the slot area and scored his 17th goal of the season at 7:26.
     Florida got the game-winning goal with 3:05 left in the third. Tomas Fleischmann carried the puck down the left wing and left it at the left-circle dot where Brandon Pirri put in a tally for the victory.   

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

National Signing Day Broward County 2015

     It was national signing day on Wednesday for high school football players in Broward County. The region had much more herald prospects than the previous signing day last year as Broward County schools were able to capture two state championships in 2014.
     The American Heritage Patriots won their second straight FHSAA Class 5A title and had leaders on both sides of the football. Quarterback Torrance Gibson committed to the defending national championship Ohio State Buckeyes who currently have an abundance of quarterbacks on their roster. Defensive back Tavares McFadden with be heading to Florida State University.
     The reigning FHSAA Class 7A state champion St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders lined up numerous players from their school that signed letters of intent. Running back Jordan Scarlett, who played his senior year with the Raiders, was the big switch of the week as he signed with the University of Florida instead of the University of Miami while wide receiver Devante Peete decided on Louisville. STA had more commitments from their defensive unit. Cornerback Damon Arnette signed with Ohio State. defensive back Rashard Causey went with Central Florida, linebacker Chris Hart choose Utah and defensive tackle Brandon Boyce selected Duke.
     The University of Alabama were able to sign two players from Monarch. Calvin Ridley, who is considered the top wide receiver in the nation and played only three games this season due to his age, went with the Crimson Tide along with defensive back Shawn Becker-Burgess. South Florida was able to get defensive back Ronnie Hoggins.
     The annual pipeline between the Miramar Patriots and West Virginia University continued. The Mountaineers got wide receiver Jovon Durante and cornerback Tyrek Cole to sign with them. Wide receiver Khalil Lewis decided to join Cincinnati instead of West Virginia.

National Signing Day Palm Beach 2015

     It was national signing day for all Palm Beach County football players on Wednesday. There were less buzz compared to last year because several top prospects had signed and enrolled prior to this month plus state colleges such as Miami, Florida State and Florida did not make offers to local athletes.
     There were many players from American Heritage that made their decisions following a 2013 campaign in which they finished as a state finalist in the FHSAA Class 3A championship game. Two of their wide receivers will attend the same college as Desmond Cain and Trenard Davis signed with the University of Illinois. Quarterback Warren Robinson will end up at Robert Morris. The Stallions had two members of their linebacker core get scholarships with Ronnie Bennett going to Colorado State and Rondarian Bell heading to Southern Illinois.
     Two quarterbacks that had a higher profile than others this past season in the Palm Beach County region made their mark on this day. Lamar Jackson, who led the Boynton Beach Tigers to the FHSAA playoffs in the last two years, announced that he will attend the University of Louisville. Daniel Parr had already enrolled at FAU that followed winning a FHSAA Class 7A championship with the Dwyer Panthers in 2013. The Panthers also had wide receiver Tavares Martin, who played his senior year with Dwyer, move on to West Virginia University while defensive end Alex Davis selected Nebraska.
      Two of top local players had already left Palm Beach County when they signed and enrolled early. Palm Beach Gardens linebacker Tevon Coney is now at Notre Dame while Royal Palm Beach linebacker Charles Perry has moved on to the Miami Hurricanes.

Marc Eisenberg On WINZ

     Marc Eisenberg served this week as a fill-in host for Andy Slater on Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM. He became the fifth person to host an on-air shift for four different sports format radio stations in South Florida. The other on-air personnel to do that are Jorge Sedano, Jeff DeForest, Hank Goldberg and Toast.
     Eisenberg was the program director and late morning host on 640 Sports WMEN-AM until the end of December 2014. He joined them as a weekend host and executive producer in May 2012 and served as an interim morning co-host with Chris Perkins from June 2012 until Sid Rosenberg took over the spot in August 2012. 
     He began to host a Sunday morning show at 640 Sports in September 2012 and added duties as the program director in November 2012. Eisenberg sandwiched two stints around Dan Sileo as the late morning host from May 2013 to late July 2013 and early November 2013 until December 2014. He also worked as a sports anchor at 850 WFTL-AM from August 2012 to March 2013.
     Eisenberg, a Florida Atlantic University grad, began in the South Florida market as an afternoon producer at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM in 1999. He eventually spend almost a year as an overnight co-host with Joe Castello from 2003 to 2004. Eisenberg was part of the launch of 790 The Ticket in August 2004 as the evening co-host with Toast. He later co-host a midday show with O.J McDuffie for over one year. He rejoined WQAM for a second tenure as a weekend host and afternoon producer until May 2012.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Panthers Win Finale On Long Island

     The Florida Panthers finished a three-game road trip through the New York metropolitan area with a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday night. It was the final appearance by the Panthers in Uniondale because the Islanders will be moving to Brooklyn next season.
     The Cats, who entered this game having lost seven of the last eight games, ended with a 1-2-0 record during their stretch away from home. They fell to the New Jersey Devils 3-1 in Newark on Saturday night and dropped a game to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Monday night by the score of 6-3.
     It took a short time for New York(32-17-1) to get on the scoreboard as they got ahead 1-0 at 1:44 on a three-man weave play. John Tavares skated the puck to the right point and connected with a lead pass to Josh Bailey in the high slot. He angled a pass to Anders Lee below the right circle where he slapped in a one-time shot by the left leg of Al Montoya.
     Florida(22-17-10) quickly recovered and evened the contest 1-1 at 4:43. Nick Bjugstad turned in the left corner and passed the puck to the middle and it was deflected by Jimmy Hayes over the right shoulder of Jaroslav Halak. It was his 14th goal of the season for him.
     The Panthers took the lead around the midway point of the game with 9:45 left in the second period. Tomas Fleischmann gave a backhand pass to Erik Gudbranson at the red line. He entered the Islanders zone, went through the left circle and flicked in a backhand from the low left circle for a Florida 2-1 lead.
     The Islanders converted on a power play at 12:45 as Lee scored his second tally on a deflection in the slot area to make it 2-2. Nick Leddy had it on the left point and fed Travis Hamonic for a snap shot from the top right circle.
     In the third period, Jimmy Hayes put in his second goal of the game while the Panthers were on the power play at 2:11. Aaron Ekblad had the puck at the top of the zone and moved it to Bjugstad at the top left circle. His one-time slapshot was saved by Halak, however Hayes scored on the rebound from the top of the crease.
     The Isles were unable to capitalize on a power play in the final three minutes of the game. Brandon Pirri clinched the victory for Florida with an empty-net goal from center ice with 22.1 seconds to go.