Thursday, March 31, 2016

Panthers Strike Devils

     It was the return of the rats to celebrate the 1996 team at BB&T Center on Thursday night as the Florida Panthers defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-2. The last two times the Panthers had made the Stanley Cup playoffs back in 2000 and 2012, the Devils were their opponent in the first round. The Panthers tied a franchise record with their 43rd win of the regular season which equaled the mark from 1999-2000.
     New Jersey(37-33-8) first got on the scoreboard on their second power play at 8:30. Devante Smith-Pelly released a shot from the high slot which went off the leg of Erik Gudbranson. Mike Sislo got to the loose puck in the low left circle and snapped in a shot by Al Montoya for his third goal this year. Adam Henrique picked up his 200th career point on the play.
     Florida(43-25-9) was able to tie the contest 1-1 at 7:57 of the second period. Aaron Ekblad was at center ice and forwarded the puck then got body-checked by Kyle Palmieri. Shawn Thornton entered the Devils zone and sent a lead pass to a streaking Jonathan Huberdeau in the slot area. His first shot from close range was stopped by Keith Kincaid, however Huberdeau followed up and scored on a forehand shot in the blue paint for his 17th goal of the season. The crowd began to throw rubber rats which were distributed prior to the game onto the ice surface following the goal. The Panthers held the Devils to three shots in the second and had a 29-10 shot advantage after two periods.
     In the third period, the Panthers took their first lead of the contest at 3:13. Brian Campbell put the puck down the left-wing wall to Jaromir Jagr. He handed it to Huberdeau who dashed across the goal line and stuffed in a shot from the left of the crease for his second goal of the game and 18th tally. The fans dropped rats on the ice again and Florida was given a delay of game penalty.
     The Cats put the game with 2:08 left as they got a two-goal cushion of 3-1. Jagr skated into the Devils on a two-on-one breakaway. He waited and fed a backhand pass through the low slot for Aleksander Barkov to score on. New Jersey ended the scoring as Blake Pietila put the puck in the net with 5.8 seconds left for his first NHL goal.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Lakers Edge Heat In Overtime

     The Miami Heat faced Kobe Bryant for the final time in his NBA career as they fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 102-100 in overtime at Staples Center on Wednesday night. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Heat against the Lakers. Miami had beaten them 12 of the previous 13 times prior to this game.
     Dwyane Wade played in his 20th game against Bryant and finished with a record of 11-9. Bryant did not face the Heat in Miami for the past three seasons. 
     Miami(43-31) scored 13 consecutive points to go up 17-7 five minutes into the contest. They advanced their lead to 15 points at 25-10 with more than three minutes left in the first. Los Angeles(16-59) responded with 13 unanswered points and were down 27-25 after one quarter.
     The game remained close in the second quarter as the Heat pulled out to an eight-point lead just once. The Lakers trailed 48-41 at halftime as Bryant played the first nine minutes of the first half and had two points on 1-for-7 shooting from the field. He left the game and never returned to the floor. Luol Deng had 14 points at the half while Wade added 12 points.
     The Heat were outscored 26-19 in the third quarter and were tied with L.A, at the end of the frame 67-67. Los Angeles went on a 7-1 spurt to begin the fourth quarter and moved out to their biggest lead of the game 78-70 with 8:55 left. Miami came back with a 9-2 run to close the gap to 80-79 at the five-minute mark.
     After the Lakers scored four straight points, the Heat answered with six straight and took the lead 85-84 with 1:08 to go when Wade went across the paint with a finger-roll shot. Wade made a spin-away shot from the left side with 29.7 seconds left on the clock for a Miami 87-85 lead. The Lakers tied it 87-87 on two free throws made by Jordan Clarkson with 19.8 seconds to go and sent it into overtime.
     In the extra session, Clarkson and Deng matched each other with three-point shots in the first two minutes of overtime. Both teams were within three points of each other for the rest of the way. Julius Randle hit a spinning left-handed shot in the lane with 1.9 second left to give the Lakers the victory.

Len Martez Goes To Tampa

     Former South Florida radio person Len Martez has joined WDAE-AM in Tampa as a sports reporter and part-time sports host. Martez is remembered locally as a producer, board operator and reporter on Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM. He held a position at that radio station from September 1997 until June 2007. Martez, a Towson State University grad, was occasionally mentioned on the midday show hosted by Neil Rogers.
     Martez moved on to WKEX-AM in Blacksburg, Virginia in late June 2007 where he became a weekday host, producer, account executive and sports director. He stayed in that organization until March 2008. Martez later landed in Charlotte and worked as a weekend host and reporter on WFNZ-AM from August 2009 to April 2014.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Maple Leafs Sting Panthers

     The Florida Panthers returned home to begin a three-game homestand and lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 on Tuesday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers dropped to second place in the Atlantic Division. Nazem Kadri compiled a hat trick for the Leafs in the victory. Both teams will meet again six days from now in Toronto.
     In the first period, Toronto(28-37-11) had two scoring opportunities during the Panthers second power play of the contest. Michael Grabner missed wide left with a shot as he skated in alone on Roberto Luongo. The Maple Leafs broke out of their zone 20 seconds later on a two-on-one breakaway. Grabner came down the left side and passed to his right to Connor Brown. He returned the puck to him in the slot and Grabner scored on a high wrist shot against his former team at 15:11. It was just the second shorthanded goal by the Leafs this season.
     Florida(42-25-9) would tie it 1-1 at 6:23 of the second period. Aleksander Barkov sent a lead pass to Jonathan Hubeadeau as he entered the Maple Leafs zone on the right side. He carried it in through the right circle on a two-on-one before he released a snap shot by Jonathan Bernier for his 16th goal of the season.
     The Maple Leafs regained the lead 2-1 at 10:36 on their second power play of the game. Milan Michalek got the rebound on the right side of the crease and backhanded a pass between his legs to Kadri across the crease. He swept in the puck for his 15th tally of the campaign.
     The Leafs added another goal on their second straight power play with 1:46 left in the period. Brown was in the low slot and found Kadri on the left side of the crease. He faked a forehand shot before he connected with a backhand shot for his second goal of the frame.
     The Panthers surrendered another power-play goal to Toronto 6:34 of the third period. Jake Gardiner fed the puck from the left point to P.A. Parenteau. He then fired a high snap shot from the top right circle for his 19th goal of the season.
     Florida cut the deficit to 4-2 as Greg McKegg was able to score his first NHL goal at 11:26. Teddy Purcell and Alex Petrovic were credited with assists on the play.
     Kadri got his third goal of the contest for the hat trick with 2:39 remaining as he scored into an empty net. It was the third time for Kadri to complete a hat trick in his NHL career.

The Home Team Moves On ESPN 106.3

     ESPN 106.3 WUUB-FM announced on Tuesday that The Home Team with Josh Cohen and Ken LaVicka will move from middays to the late morning spot from 10 a.m. to noon starting April 5. The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz will be piped in on tape delay during middays from ESPN Radio.
     Cohen has hosted The Home Team middays at ESPN 106.3 since January 2014. He began at that station as a weekend host from February 2013 until late September 2013. Cohen was promoted to the evening shift and held that spot through December 2013. He once hosted an afternoon show on WZZR-FM from September 1999 to late March 2012.
     LaVicka, a Valparaiso Unbiversity grad,  is currently the radio play-by-play announcer of Florida Atlantic University and has broadcast their football and basketball games since August 2011. He joined The Home Team in August 2015 as a sports anchor and sidekick as he replaced Joe Colella. LaVicka began in South Florida as a sports reporter at ESPN 760 WEFL-AM then added duties as a weekend host, sports anchor and high school football play-by-play announcer.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Panthers Take First From Lightning

     The Florida Panthers jumped over the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division with a 5-2 victory on Saturday night. The Panthers finished a three-game road trip winning their last two games.
     Tyler Johnson gave Tampa Bay the early lead at 5:52 of the first period on a power-play goal. The Panthers bounced back with two goals to take the lead 2-1 as both Vincent Trocheck and Jaromir Jagr scored their 25th goals of the season.
     In the second period, Jiri Hudler put in the only goal of the frame. He scored his 15th goal this year with 4:07 left to give the Panthers a two-goal advantage.
     Jonathan Huberdeau extended the Florida margin to 4-1 at 4:02 of the third period. Steven Stamkos followed with his 36th tally of the season for the Lightning while on the power play at 16:48. Jussi Jokinen finished the contest with a shorthanded empty-net goal with 25 seconds remaining.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Panthers Regain First Place Over Bruins

     The Florida Panthers played the second game of a three-game road trip and regained first place in the Atlantic Division as they defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 at TD Garden on Thursday night. The Panthers stopped a nine-game winless streak in Boston going back in December 2011. The B's reached a five-game losing streak with the defeat.
     The Panthers had two shots in the first 15 minutes of the contest and only five shots after 24 minutes. Following a scoreless first period, Boston waited until midway through the second period to score at 7:42. Ryan Spooner turned at the top right circle as he put a wrist shot through traffic and by Roberto Luongo.
     Reilly Smith burned his former team as Florida tied the game at 13:51 of the second as they pulled off a three-man weave play. Jussi Jokinen performed a give-and-go pass with Smith in the right circle. He then backhanded a pass to Vincent Trocheck in the in low slot. The shot by Trocheck was saved by Tuukka Rask, however Smith scored on the rebound from the top crease.
     The Cats took the lead 2-1 with 1:14 remaining in the frame on their fourth shorthanded goal of the season. Alex Petrovic knocked away a pass deep in his zone ahead to Trocheck. He skated the puck out into center ice and in the Bruins zone before he released a shot from the top right circle.
     In the third period, Florida extended their margin to 3-1 at 10:56. Steven Kampfer sent a cross-ice pass from the left wing to Dmitry Kulikov on the right side. His slapshot was redirected in by Jokinen from the slot area. Jonathan Huberdeau capped things with an empty-net goal with 20.9 seconds left with assists from Jaromir Jagr and Aleksander Barkov.

The Ticket Adds Brendan Tobin And Amber Wilson

     Brendan Tobin recently added the title of morning co-host on 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM alongside Jonathan Zaslow and Brett Romberg. Amber Wilson has also been named as a new morning co-host. They replace Joy Taylor who left the station in February.
     Tobin has been part of the morning show on The Ticket for many years as a sidekick, sports anchor, producer and board operator. He has hosted a weekend show there since the late 2000s. Tobin currently co-hosts a mixed martial arts Sunday morning show called Fighters Fury for over five years.
     Wilson, a University of Florida and University of Miami grad, had previously worked at SNY in New York as the host of Beer Money from 2010 to 2011. She followed that as a studio co-host on the weekend show Sports Bang at WFOR-TV for several years with Steve Goldstein and Stugotz, a.k.a. Jon Weiner. She had been part of several sports organizations in South Florida which included CBS Sports Interactive from 2006 to 2008 and Open Sports with Sid Rosenberg from 2008 until 2009.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spurs Slam Heat

     The Miami Heat finished their short two-game road trip as they fell to the San Antonio Spurs 112-88 at AT&T Center on Wednesday night. The Spurs, who led the game from wire-to-wire, extended their home winning streak to 45 games and are 36-0 this season at home.
     Miami now have a 3-25 all-time regular season record in San Antonio. They also snapped an 11-game streak of scoring at least 100 points in a contest. It was their longest run of hitting the century mark since 1994.
     The Heat started out slow as they were down 12-4 early in the contest. San Antonio(60-11) was up 26-21 after one quarter and 56-47 at halftime. Kawhi Leonard had 24 points and seven rebounds by the end of the first half for the Spurs.
     Miami(41-30) dropped further behind by 20 points at 75-55 just seven minutes into the second half. San Antonio stayed ahead 88-63 after three quarters.
     Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 16 points and five rebounds in 25 minutes of play. Hassan Whiteside completed a double-double with 12 points along with 14 rebounds. Leonard tied a career-high with 32 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs in 24 minutes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dick Stockton To Podcast

     Boca Raton based sportscaster Dick Stockton will move into a new venture when he hosts a podcast on CRN International this summer. He has worked as an NFL play-by-play announcer at Fox Sports since 1994.
     Stockton first got noticed nationally when he called the Carlton Fisk Game 6 extra-inning home run in the 1975 World Series on NBC. He would join NBC Sports as an NFL announcer for two seasons. He moved to CBS Sports in 1978 and had a 16-year tenure there as an NFL and NBA play-by-play announcer. Stockton became their primary voice of the NBA from 1981 to 1990 and called 10 NBA Finals for them.
     He has called NBA games on Turner Broadcasting for over 20 years. Stockton has been on the local airwaves and broadcast preseason football games of the Miami Dolphins on television since 2010 with the exception of one season in 2013 when Jesse Agler announced games.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Rangers Defeat Panthers

     The Florida Panthers began a three-game road trip and lost to the New York Rangers 4-2 at Madison Square Garden on Monday night. The Panthers have lost two straight games and remain on top of the Atlantic Division over the Tampa Bay Lightning by two points. The Rangers have won eight of their nine meetings against Florida and jumped over the Pittsburgh Penguins for second place in the Metropolitan Division.
     Midway through the first period, the Rangers pulled out to a 1-0 lead at 11:15. Viktor Stalberg came into the Panthers zone on a two-on-one break and performed a back-and-forth pass with Dominic Moore. Stalberg then put a backhand shot from the top of the crease between the pads of Al Montoya. The Cats were held to just two shots on goal in the first 19 minutes.
     The Blueshirts made it 2-0 at 3:33 of the second period on the power play. Mats Zuccarello scored his 23rd goal of the season following assists by Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan. 
     Florida made a dent in the deficit at 6:51 of the third to make it a one-goal game. Vincent Trocheck entered into the Rangers zone and connected a pass to Jussi Jokinen on the left wing. He returned it to the low slot where Trocheck redirected the puck by Henrik Lundqvist for his 23rd goal and 50th point of the season. Jokinen set a new a new career high with his 39th assist on the play.
     The Rangers got a tally with 8:46 remaining in the period following a Teddy Purcell turnover in his own zone. Kevin Klein was in the top slot and moved the puck to Rick Nash in the low right circle for a one-time slapshot.
     The Panthers finally got a power-play opportunity in the final minute of the contest and added an extra attacker. It worked as they converted with 35.7 seconds left. Dmitry Kulikov flicked a shot from the right point which was deflected on net by Purcell in the slot area. Jiri Hudler swept in the rebound from the blue paint. 
     Former Panther player Tanner Glass finished things off with an empty-net goal with 8.2 seconds to go. Klein earned his second assist on that play.

Heat Pound Cavaliers

     Dwyane Wade became the 41th player in NBA history to score 20,000 points as the Miami Heat breezed by the Cleveland Cavaliers 122-101 at American Airlines Arena on Saturday night. The Heat have four consecutive home victories by double digits over the Cavs since LeBron James returned for his second stint with Cleveland(49-20).
     Miami(40-29) jumped out to a 31-19 lead after one quarter and were up 65-44 by halftime. The Heat led the contest from wire-to-wire and were ahead 98-70 by the end of the third quarter.
     Wade was the leading scorer for Miami with 24 points and Joe Johnson drained in 18 points. The Heat had two double-doubles as Hassan Whiteside contributed with 16 points and 13 rebounds while Goran Dragic compiled 18 points and 11 assists.
     James led Cleveland in scoring with 26 points in 27 minutes of play while Kyrie Irving added 14 points. Richard Jefferson dropped in 20 points as he came off the bench.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Kevin Spacey Witnesses Panthers Loss

     Actor Kevin Spacey made his first appearance to a Panthers home game on Saturday night as the Detroit Red Wings came back from two goals against the Florida Panthers to win 5-3 at BB&T Center. Spacey, a two-time Academy Award winner, has partnered with the Panthers organization by selling blue sweatshirts with his picture on it called Spacey In Space for charity since November.
     Florida(40-23-9) scored on their third shot of the game at 10:49 of the first period. Nick Bjugstad performed a back-and-forth pass with Jiri Hudler in the slot area before he ripped a snap shot by Jimmy Howard for a 1-0 lead.
     Detroit(36-25-11) came back and tied the game with an initial shot on their first power play with 1:35 left in the first. After winning a right circle face-off, Mike Green sent the puck across for Mike Richards to fire a slapshot from the left point. It was deflected in Tomas Tatar in the crease past Roberto Luongo for his 20th goal of the season.
     In the second period, the Panthers regained the lead at 7:08. Jussi Jokinen fed a lead pass into the Detroit zone and put Vincent Trocheck on a breakaway. He skated through the slot area and scored on a backhand shot for his 22nd goal.
     Teddy Purcell would get his 100th career goal at 12:48 and expanded their margin to 3-1. He took a shot from the crease which was saved. He went behind the Detroit cage, backhanded the puck to the front off the leg of Howard and into the net.
     The Red Wings cut the deficit to 3-2 on the power play with 10.1 seconds left in the frame. A mad scramble happened in the low slot when Justin Abdelkader poked the puck back to Pavel Datsyuk. He put in a soft shot through some traffic in front.
     Detroit tied the contest at 3:52 of the third period. Jonathan Ericsson blasted a slapshot from long range which was stopped by Jakub Kindl. Dylan Larkin pulled away and scored on a high wrist shot from the right-circle dot.
     The Red Wings took their first lead 4-3 at the at 8:39 mark of the stanza. Larkin lifted a shot from the left wing and it was redirected in by Luke Glendening in the blue paint. Datsyuk clinched it with an empty-net goal with 37 seconds to go.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Panthers Scramble Maple Leafs

     The Florida Panthers finished a three-game road trip as they got by the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 at Air Canada Centre on Thursday night. The Panthers have won four of their last five games and now lead the Atlantic Division over the Boston Bruins by three points.
     Florida had to wait until 24 seconds into the second period on the power play to break the tie. Jussi Jokinen fired a shot from the top left circle which went of a Toronto defender and by Jonathan Bernier for an unassisted goal. Jokinen would collect another unassisted goal at 9:22 to make it 2-0.
     The Maple Leafs closed the gap with 3:27 left in the second. Morgan Rielly ripped a wrist shot past Roberto Luongo on a feed by Michael Grabner.
     The Panthers scored twice into an empty net late in the third period to put the contest away. Jaromir Jagr got his 24th goal of the season and his 746th career tally with 2:06 remaining. Teddy Purcell followed with his first goal as a Florida Panther with 23 seconds to go.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Eric Reed Leaves The Ticket

     Eric Reed has left his position as the early afternoon co-host on 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM. Will Manso, Adam Kuperstein, The Beast, Leroy Hoard and Josh Friedman have handled the show for the last two weeks.
     Reed started at The Ticket in 2008 as a weekend host and also as a producer for the Sports Brothers program with Ed Freeman and Jeff Fox for three years. That show appeared on weekends first then had a run as the early afternoon show from January 2010 to January 2012. Reed followed that as the early afternoon show producer for The Jax Show with Jason Jackson from February 2012 until late July 2012. He then worked as the afternoon sports anchor on the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz in early August 2012 when he replaced Alex Donno.
     He was elevated to midday co-host with Brandon Guzio in late August 2012 when the station began to simulcast on an FM signal as 104.3 The Ticket. Their partnership lasted just one week when Guzio left for Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM to become the afternoon sports anchor and show sidekick for the Jorge Sedano Show.
      Reed gained Ethan J. Skolnick as a part-time co-host in October 2012 and he became a permanent co-host the following year. The show moved to an early afternoon spot on both stations in 2013 and later added Hoard and The Beast to the program. Reed was a sports host at Sunshine Broadcasting in Gainesville for two years until 2008 before he arrived in South Florida.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


     CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves mentioned to investors on Tuesday that his organization is expected to sell the entire CBS Radio division of 117 radio stations in the United States within one year. That would include their Miami cluster of radio stations which consists of Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM, WPOW-FM and WKIS-FM.
     CBS purchased all three local radio stations in early October 2014 from Beasley Broadcasting. It was approved by the Federal Communications Commission in late November 2014. CBS Corporation will still have a local broadcast property with their television station WFOR-TV Channel 4 in Miami.

Panthers Take Habs And First Place

     The Florida Panthers rebounded with a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Tuesday night. The Panthers, who won for the third time in their last four games, jumped over the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division.
     Florida got out to a 1-0 lead at 11:46 of the first period. Reilly Smith made a cross-ice pass to Brian Campbell at the top left circle. He then fed a diagonal pass to Vincent Trocheck in the low right circle and he scored on a high wrist shot for his 21st tally of the season.
     The Panthers controlled the second period and scored on a power-play goal at 5:10. Teddy Purcell passed it from the left wing to Ekblad at the left point and he skated to the middle. Ekblad fired a slapshot which was saved by Mike Condon, however Nick Bjugstad batted in the rebound from the left of the crease for his 12th goal this year.
     The Habs fell behind by three goals with 7:15 left in the frame. Trocheck got the puck in the neutral zone, skated through the left circle, behind the Canadiens net and then let go a wraparound backhand shot which was stopped. Jiri Hudler poked in the rebound from the blue paint for his third goal with his new club.
     Montreal eventually got on the scoreboard in a four-on-four situation with 2:37 remaining. Max Pacioretty entered the Panthers zone on the right side and dropped off a pass to Alex Galchenyuk. He released a snap shot from the right-circle dot by Al Montoya.
     The contest was put out of reach by Florida with 8:28 to go in the third period. Jonathan Huberdeau performed a give-and-go pass in the left circle with Jaromir Jagr. Huberdeau then found Barkov in the low slot for a one-time shot to make it a three-goal margin again.

Miami Ratings February 2016

     There is a new leader standing by themselves as the top sports format radio station in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region as 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM finished on top of their two competitors in February. They have not been alone on top since August 2015 when they were simulcast on an FM signal.
     The Ticket went up from a 0.9 to a 1.0 in the month of February. They have gone on with Ethan J. Skolnick as the primary host of the afternoon show with a bunch of fill-in co-hosts and the loss of Joy Taylor from the morning show.
     Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM did not hold first place in the market for the first time since last August as they remained at a 0.9 this month. It was helpful that the Florida Panthers stayed in front of the Atlantic Division for the entire ratings period. They also eliminated several of their local weekend shows for CBS Sports Radio.
     Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM fell for the second straight month as they went from a 0.3 to 0.2 in February. The station has lost more than half of their audience since December. It is currently a slow period for the organization between end of the football season and the start of baseball season.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Islanders Come Back On Panthers

     The Florida Panthers blew a two-goal lead during the third period and fell to the New York Islanders 3-2 at Barclays Center on Monday night. The Panthers had their four-game win streak against the Islanders snapped.
      In the first period, Florida moved out to a 1-0 advantage at 15:11. After Jaromir Jagr poke-checked Travis Hamonic in the Islanders zone, Jonathan Huberdeau put a pass back to Alex Petrovic at the right point. Petrovic sent a cross-ice pass to Aleksander Barkov in the low slot and he redirected the puck by Thomas Greiss for a score.
     The Panthers made it 2-0 on the power play at 8:03 of the second period. Follow a mad scrabble in the slot area, Huberdeau whacked it ahead to Barkov in the low left circle. He made a back pass to Nick Bjugstad at the left-circle dot and he scored on a snap shot.
     The third period belonged to the Islanders as they scored two goals in 80 seconds midway in the stanza and three goals in the final frame. New York broke the shutout at 12:51 when the Panthers gave the puck away in the neutral zone. Travis Hamonic made a lead pass to Kyle Okposo at the Panthers blue line and he ripped a wrist shot from the high slot past Roberto Luongo.
     The Islanders tied the contest 2-2 at 14:11 as they kept the action inside the Florida zone. Thomas Hickey pushed the puck from the left wing to John Tavares at the left point. His slapshot was saved but Josh Bailey pounced on the rebound from the right of the crease and scored into an open net.
     A loose puck in the right corner was compiled be Cal Clutterbuck and then he backhanded a shot from an acute angle with 1:39 left.

The Finsiders To End On WINZ

     The Miami Dolphins announced that they are ending The Finsiders show on Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM on March 31. The program will also end their one-hour simulcast on Fox Sports Florida. The six-year deal in which Clear Channel Communications, now known as iHeartMedia, acquired the Miami Dolphins radio rights in February 2010 just recently finished up.
     The Finsiders began in the middle of 2010 and was originally hosted by Jesse Agler. He held that spot until January 2014 when he became part of the San Diego Padres broadcasting crew. Greg Likens took over as the new host of the program in April 2014. Likens had previously worked at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM as a morning sports anchor, morning sidekick, weekend host. reporter and producer.
     Other people that contributed to the show included studio analysts Troy Stradford, John Congemi, O.J. McDuffie, Keith Sims, Kim Bokamper, Sam Madison and producer Jon Cope. All the studio analysts had prior local television or radio broadcasting experience prior to joining The Finsiders.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Panthers Top Flyers On 1996 Reunion Night

     The Florida Panthers had their 20th anniversary celebration of the 1996 Eastern Conference champions as they beat to the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 in overtime on Saturday night. 21 people formerly with the club were honored by Florida prior to the contest. It was the final game of a three-game homestand for the team.
     Florida(38-21-9) pulled out to a 1-0 lead at 10:22 of the first period. Vincent Trocheck sent a lead pass up the right-wing wall to Reilly Smith in the neutral zone. He skated into the Flyers zone and snapped a shot from the top right circle over the left shoulder of Steve Mason.
     Philadelphia(32-23-12) tied it 1-1 with 5:24 left in the frame. Sam Gagner stole the puck from Aaron Ekblad in the left corner. He centered it to Nick Cousins in the slot area and he put it past Roberto Luongo.
     In the second period, the Flyers got out to their first lead of the game at 13:16 on power play. Matt Read fired a shot from the right wing which was redirected by Gagner in the slot and went off Ryan White into the Florida cage.
     The Panthers responded 18 seconds later to tie it at 2-2. Jaromir Jagr controlled the puck to the left of the crease and made a back pass to the low slot. Jonathan Huberdeau put in a one-time slapshot for his 13rd goal this year.
     The Flyers struck early in the third period at 1:28 to go ahead 3-2. Evgeny Nevedev fired a shot from the left point which was deflected in by Michael Raffl at the top of the crease.
     The Cats followed up with two goals in over a minute to take a 4-3 lead. They first scored on the power play at 8:24 when Nick Bjugstad sent a cross-ice pass from the top right circle to Aleksander Barkov in the left circle and he faked an attempted shot then scored on a wrist shot.
     Smith would get his second tally of the game and his 23rd goal of the season at 9:29. Jakub Kindl moved the puck from the left point to Jussi Jokinen in the right circle. He pushed it ahead to Smith in the low slot for a score from close range.
     Former South Florida native Shayne Gottisbehere tied it up with 1:55 left in the third. He ripped a high slapshot from the right point off the left glove of Luongo.
     The contest was decided in a shootout and Florida scored on their two attempts. Nick Bjugstad made the first one as he put in a snap shot. Barkov followed with his own tally on the Panthers second attempt.

Panthers Celebrate 1996 Team Reunion Night

     The Florida Panthers had their 20th anniversary reunion of the 1996 Eastern Conference champions on Saturday night at BB&T Center. 14 players from the 1996 team appeared along with seven members from the hockey operations department.
     The former Panthers players included John Vanbiesbrouck, Brian Skrudland, Scott Mellanby, Bill Lindsay, Gord Murphy, Ed Jovanovski, Tom Fitzgerald, Mike Hough, Jason Woolley, Ray Sheppard, Radek Dvorak, Johan Garpenlov, Terry Carkner and Geoff Smith.
     Head coach Doug Maclean, president Bill Torrey, assistant coach Duane Sutter, general manager Bryan Murray, assistant general manager Chuck Fletcher along with equipment personnel Dave Smith and Scott Tinkler represented team operations.

Dolphins Sign Jermon Bushrod

     The Miami Dolphins have signed offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod to a one-year contract. He has played in the NFL for nine seasons.
     Bushrod was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 4th round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He helped the Saints win Super Bowl 44 in Miami against the Indianapolis Colts. He joined the Chicago Bears in 2013 and was there for three seasons.

Dolphins Resign Jacques McClendon

     The Miami Dolphins have resigned offensive lineman Jacques McClendon. He played three games for the Fins last season in his first year with the organization.
     He has bounced around the NFL since he entered the league in 2010. McClendon played for the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Brent Grimes Signs With Bucs

     Defensive back Brent Grimes has left the Miami Dolphins and signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had been selected to the Pro Bowl for the past three years.
     Grimes played the last three seasons with the Dolphins and had 13 interceptions in 47 games with the club. He started his NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons and had 13 interceptions in 59 games during his six-year stint there.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Joey Bosa On NFL Draft Magazine Covers

     Ohio State University defensive end Joey Bosa appears on several magazine covers for the preview of the 2016 NFL Draft. He is on the front cover of Lindy's and Pro Football Weekly. He captured the 2014 CFP national championship with the Buckeyes.
     Bosa did play for St. Thomas Aquinas from 2009 to 2012.  He helped the Raiders win two FHSAA Class 7A state championships in 2010 and 2012.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Panthers Bury Senators

     The Florida Panthers ended a three-game winless streak as they defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-2 at BB&T Center on Thursday night. The Panthers hosted the Sens for the third time this season which is the most against any opponent.
     Florida(37-21-9) moved out to a 1-0 lead at 13:07 of the first period. Jonathan Huberdeau had the puck on the left wing and passed across to Jaromir Jagr in the slot area. He snapped a shot over the left glove of Craig Anderson for his 22nd goal of the season.
     Ottawa(31-30-8) waited until the final minute as they scored with 22.6 seconds left in the period. Erik Karlsson took a shot from the top right circle which was blocked by traffic. Zack Smith emerged out with the puck and put in a wrist shot by Roberto Luongo from close range.
     In the second period, the Panthers regained the lead at 5:52. Vincent Trocheck dropped the puck in the right circle to Erik Gudbranson. He followed with a diagonal pass to Jussi Jokinen in the low slot and he scored to extend his point streak to nine games.
     The Senators tied it at 2-2 just 27 seconds later. Smith cycled it from the right corner to the right point where Karlsson rocketed a slapshot into the Panthers cage.
     The Panthers roared with two goals in a 16-second span to move ahead 4-2. Aaron Ekblad helped the Cats get their third lead of the game at 9:32 when he scored on a wrist shot from the high slot after a feed by Trocheck. They added another tally at 9:46 as Huberdeau crashed the blue paint area and scored an unassisted goal.
     Jagr increased their margin to 5-2 with his second goal of the contest at 4:26 of the third period. Trocheck was on the right wing and threaded a pass to Jagr in the middle and put in a high wrist shot for his 745th career goal.
     Trocheck extended the gap to four goals as he scored from the slot area on a snap shot at 10:59. Reilly Smith stole the puck from Karlsson in the neutral zone to set the play up.

Sam Young Returns To South Florida

     South Florida native and offensive lineman Sam Young has signed a one-year contract to join the Miami Dolphins. Young had been with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the last three seasons and the Buffalo Bills previous to that. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2010 NFL Draft and played his rookie year there.
     Young first got noticed locally when he played for the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders as a guard for four years. He helped the school become FHSAA Class 7A state finalists three consecutive times from 2004 to 2006. The Raiders lost the title game each time to the Lakeland Dreadnaughts. Young moved on to play college football with Notre Dame for four years.

Rishard Matthews Goes To Tennesee

     Wide receiver Rishard Matthews has left the Miami Dolphins and signed a three-year deal with the Tennessee Titans. He has played the last four seasons with the Fins.
     Mathews was drafted in the 7th round by the Dolphins during the 2012 NFL Draft. He had 107 catches for 1,396 yards and eight touchdowns in 49 games with Miami.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Dolphins Sign Isa Abdul-Quddus

     The Miami Dolphins have signed defensive back Isa Abdul-Quddus to a three-year deal. This will be the third NFL team that he has been with.
     Abdul-Quddus played 32 games for the Detroit Lions in the past two seasons and had no interceptions. He started his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints in 2011 and had two interceptions in 42 games.

Olivier Vernon and Lamar Miller Leave Dolphins

     Two former players of the Miami Dolphins and University of Miami Hurricanes signed as free agents will different clubs on Wednesday. Defensive end Olivier Vernon signed with the New York Giants while running back Lamar Miller joined the Houston Texans.
     Vernon was a 3rd round draft pick by the Dolphins back in 2012 and has played four seasons with the team. He did not miss a game in four years with Miami and had 143 solo tackles along with 29 sacks. Vernon got 11.5 sacks in 2013 and 61 combined tackles last season.
     Miller was also drafted by the Fins in 2012 during the 4th round. He had 2.930 rushing yards on 638 carries and 19 rushing touchdowns in 61 games with the squad. Miller compiled 1,099 yards rushing  and eight touchdowns in the 2014 campaign.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Dolphins Acquire Alonso And Maxwell

     The Miami Dolphins have acquired linebacker Kiko Alonso, defensive back Byron Maxwell and the 13th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft from the Philadelphia Eagles for the 2016 eighth overall draft pick.
     Alonso was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft as the 46th overall selection. He played all 16 games of the Bills in 2013 and had 87 solo tackles along with four interceptions. After missing the entire 2014 season due to an injury, he was traded by the club in March 2015 to the Philadelphia Eagles for running LeSean McCoy. Alonso had 30 solo tackles in 11 games with the Eagles last season.
     Maxwell was picked up by the Seattle Seahawks at the 2011 NFL Draft during the 6th round. He stayed in Seattle for four seasons and helped the franchise win their first Super Bowl title in 2013 with a victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 48. They lost Super Bowl 49 the following year against the New England Patriots after they won the NFC Championship for a second consecutive season. Maxwell joined the Eagles in 2015 and had 53 solo tackles along with two interceptions in 11 games.

Miami Dolphins Sign Mario Williams

     Defensive end Mario Williams has signed a two-year contract with the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday. He will be on the same defensive line with Ndamukong Suh who signed with the Fins in March 2015.
     Williams was the overall 1st-round pick by the Houston Texans in the 2006 NFL Draft as he was selected over Reggie Bush and Vince Young. He played for the Texans for six seasons. Williams then joined the Buffalo Bills as a free agent in 2012 and helped them for four seasons.
     He has played 10 seasons in the NFL and has compiled 96 sacks along with 308 solo tackles in 145 games. Williams attended North Carolina State University for two years.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Jaromir Jagr Passes Gordie Howe In Points

     Jaromir Jagr passed Gordie Howe for 3rd all-time in NHL points as the Florida Panthers fell to the Boston Bruins 5-4 in overtime at BB&T Center on Monday night. The Bruins tied the Panthers for second place in the Atlantic Division and now both clubs are one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning.The Panthers are winless in five of their last six games.
     It just took 34 seconds for Boston (37-23-7) to get on the scoreboard for a 1-0 lead. Lee Stempniak made a cross-ice pass from the right side of the neutral zone to Brad Marchand at the Panthers blue line. He skated and passed to the low slot where Patrice Bergeron redirected the puck by Roberto Luongo. The B's now improved to 29-11-2 when they score first in a contest.
     The Bruins extended the gap to 2-0 at the seven-minute mark of the period. Beleskey received a lead pass at the blue line from Dennis Seidenberg. He backhanded it to the middle where David Pastrnak skated through the slot and scored on a backhand shot.
     Boston moved out to a three-goal cushion at 12:22. Brett Connolly had the puck on the left wing, waited in the left circle and then snapped in a shot from the low left circle.
     Jaromir Jagr would pass Gordie Howe in career points at 16:48 as he compiled his 1,851st point in the NHL. Jonathan Huberdeau went around the Bruins cage and centered it to Jagr in the low slot. His shot was stopped by Tuukka Rask, however Aleksander Barkov put in the rebound for Florida(36-21-9).
     The B's make it 4-1 when Stempniak made a cross-ice pass in the Panthers zone to Bergeron on the left side. He scored his second goal of the game with 2:35 left in the first. Al Montoya replaced Luongo in net for the Cats to start the second period.
     The Panthers inched their way back as Jiri Hudler scored his first goal as a Florida Panther at 3:15 of the second. Huberdeau was at the top left circle and found Hudler in the low right circle for a one-time shot from an acute angle.
     Florida closed the margin to 4-3 on the power play at 6:08. Vincent Trocheck cycled the puck from the left wing to Reilly Smith on the end wall. He put it into the low slot where Jussi Jokinen pounded home a shot into the cage. Jokinen extended his point streak to eight games on the play.
     The Cats tied it 4-4 with 4:43 remaining in the third period. Alex Petrovic blasted a slapshot from the right point which was saved and then Hudler scored on the slot area for his second tally of the contest.
     Stempniak scored the game-winning goal with one minute to go in overtime. Ryan Spooner placed a pass to Stempniak at the top right circle and he fired a shot by Montoya for the victory.

Courtney Fallon Returns To Boston

     Former South Florida television sportscaster Courtney Fallon has joined WFXT-TV in Boston. She recently was a sports host on Sportsnet New York since July 2015 and a sideline reporter at CBS Sports Network for Army football games in 2014.
     Fallon, a University of Maryland grad, worked as a sportscaster at WTVJ-TV Channel 6 in Miami from August 2012 until August 2014. She had a prior stint in Boston as a news writer at WHDH-TV and a sports anchor at WBZ-FM. Fallon once interned for SiriusXM Radio and WTEM-AM in Washington D.C.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Coyotes Wipe Out Panthers

     The Florida Panthers ended a five-game road trip with a 5-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night. Florida, who went 1-3-1 during the five-game stint, dropped out of first place in the Atlantic Division. The last time they were in second place was on December 28 one point behind the Montreal Canadiens.
     It was the final time this season that the Cats face a Western Conference opponent. The Panthers have played seven of their last eight games and nine of their last 11 games against clubs from the Western Conference.
     Arizona put in two goals early in the second period as Jordan Martinook scored a shorthanded tally at 0:29 and Alex Tanguay followed with his first goal with his new team at 5:36.
     Aaron Ekblad cut the margin for Florida to 2-1 with 2:32 left in the period with his 13th goal of the season on an assist by Jussi Jokinen.
     In the third period, Shane Doan added to the Coyotes lead on the power play then Tanguay picked his second goal of the game at 5:35.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Jaromir Jagr Ties Gordie Howe In Points

     Jaromir Jagr picked up his 1,850th NHL point to tie Gordie Howe for 3rd all-time as the Florida Panthers fell to the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 at Pepsi Center on Thursday night. It was the fourth game of a five-game road trip for the Panthers as Jakub Kindl made his debut with the Cats.
     They are now tied for 1st place in the Atlantic Division with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts are technically ahead of Florida due to more regulation and overtime wins. The Panthers have been alone in 1st place in the division since December 29th.
     Colorado moved out to a 1-0 lead on the power play at 5:45 of the first period. Gabriel Landeskog split the defense at the top of the zone and snapped in a shot by Roberto Luongo on a breakaway.
     Jagr compiled an assist to tie Howe as Florida scored at 9:42 to tie the game 1-1. He passed the puck from the top right circle to Aleksander Barkov in the low right circle. He sent a cross-ice to Erik Gudbranson in the low left circle and he scored on a one-time shot past Calvin Pickard.
     The Avalanche regained the lead as their new acquisition Mikkel Boedker scored his first goal in a Colorado uniform at 13:50 when the Panthers turned the puck over in their own end line. Tyson Barrie fed a cross-ice pass across the crease on a two-on-one for Boedker to put it in from close range.
     In the second period, Matt Duchene make an all-out effort in the Panthers zone as he carried the puck on the right wing, dashed to the middle and scored on a wrist shot at 4:55. He gave Colorado a two-goal cushion on his 27th goal of the season.
     Brian Campbell cut the deficit down to 3-2 with 7:18 left in the stanza as he roofed in a shot from the high slot. Jussi Jokinen was credited with an assist on the play from the right side.

Panthers On World Cup Teams

     Several players on the Florida Panthers were named to clubs for the upcoming 2016 World Cup of Hockey this summer. The eight-team tournament will be held in Canada.
     Center Aleksander Barkov and left wing Jussi Jokinen were selected by Sweden while defenseman Dmitry Kulikov was chosen by Russia. Defenseman Aaron Ekblad was picked by the North America team that consists of players at 23 years old and younger.

Joey Harrington On TV In Oregon

     Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Joey Harrington has joined KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon as a sportscaster. Harrington played six seasons in the NFL which included being the starting quarterback in 11 games for the Dolphins during the 2006 season.
     Harrington has held several positions in the media since he retired from pro football. He has been a college football game analyst on Fox Sports, a college football expert for Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports Radio.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Panthers Sweep Jets

     The Florida Panthers went up to Canada and defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Tuesday night at MTS Centre. Jiri Hudler and Teddy Purcell make their debut with their new club following being acquired by Florida on Saturday. The Cats improved to 29-4-6 when they scored first in a game.
     The Panthers were unable to get a shot on goal until eight minutes in. They did pick up the first goal of the contest with 6:12 left in the opening period. Vincent Trocheck was on the left wing and placed a shot which was redirected in by Reilly Smith.
     Winnipeg got back in the game when they tied it 1-1 at 5:25 of the second period. A backhand by Nikolaj Ehlers from the right side of the crease was stopped by Roberto Luongo, however Dustin Byfuglien flipped in a backhand shot from the top crease.
     The Jets pulled out to their first lead several minutes later at 7:58. Alexander Burmistrov was at red line and sent a lead pass to Andrew Copp at the Florida blue line. He skated in on goal and scored on a wrist shot.     
     In the third period, Smith set a career-high with his 21st goal of the season on the power play at 1:46 to tie it 2-2. He had scored 20 goals with the Boston Bruins back in 2013-14.
     Jaromir Jagr compiled his 743rd career goal and his 1,848th career point as Florida regained the lead 3-2 at 3:31. He is now two points behind Gordie Howe for 3rd place all-time in NHL points. Jagr skated to the high slot and released a wrist shot for his 21st goal this season.