With the NHL Playoffs beginning last weekend, it can be hard to know who to root for.Maybe your team didn’t make it, or maybe you’ve never watched hockey before.Either way, here are some former University of Wisconsin men’s hockey players you can cheer for who are currently competing in the 2017 NHL Playoffs.Badgers leading Team USA into 2016 World Cup of HockeyThe 2016 World Cup of Hockey, a.k.a. the NHL’s response to the International Olympic Committee’s banning NHL players from the 2018 Winter Read…Jake Gardiner, D, Toronto Maple LeafsJake Gardiner played for UW from 2008-11 alongside current assistant head coach Mark Osiecki and fellow NHL defensemen Ryan McDonagh. The Maple Leafs are tied up with the Washington Capitals at 2-2.Courtesy of wikipedia commonsRyan Suter, D, Minnesota WildRyan Suter has been gaining quite the name for himself since leaving Wisconsin back in 2004. Suter has made a grand total of 10 playoff appearances, and is becoming one of the best defensemen in the league. The Wild sit down 0-3 to their Central Division foes the St. Louis Blues this playoff season.Courtesy of Wikipedia CommonsRyan McDonagh, D, New York RangersThe current captain of the Rangers spent a grand total of three years with Wisconsin back in 2007. The Minnesota native has currently obtained 42 points (six goals, 36 assists) so far this season. The Rangers are hoping to knock out the Montreal Canadians during the first round of the playoffs, sitting at a 2-2 tie.Courtesy of Wikipedia CommonsCraig Smith, D, Nashville PredatorsA native to Madison and a Badger from 2009-11, Craig Smith is one of the more recent Badgers to join the NHL. Smith left college after two years to join the Predators organization, and has been playing for Nashville ever since. Smith and the Predators are up 3-2 on the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round.Courtesy of Wikipedia CommonsBrian Elliott, G, Calgary FlamesBrian Elliott is a two-time all-star in the NHL with some serious skill. Elliott helped UW earn their sixth national title back in 2006. Since his time at UW, Elliott has played with the Ottawa Senators, the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues. Elliott and the Flames are currently down 0-3 to the Anaheim Ducks for one of two Pacific Division spots.Courtesy of Wikipedia CommonsJustin Schultz, D, Pittsburg PenguinsBig things have happened since Justin Schultz left Wisconsin in 2012. For starters, Schultz took quite the risk and deferred his last year of eligibility with the Badgers to become a free agent. That risk paid off because in 2015 Schultz was traded to the Pittsburg Penguins, who would win the Stanley Cup later that year. Shultz and the Penguins continue to defend their Stanley Cup reign, starting with the Columbus Blue Jackets and up 3-1.Courtesy of Wikipedia CommonsBrendan Smith, D, New York RangersThis Canadian native has been making waves since leaving the Badgers in 2010. Originally a player for the Detroit Red Wings, Brendan Smith was traded to the Rangers in 2014, where he would join former teammate Ryan McDonagh. The two Wisconsin alums will help defend the Rangers blue line against the Canadians.Courtesy of Wikipedia CommonsCorcoran: Wisconsin hockey has far-reaching influenceAround this time of year, as the playoffs begin for the NBA and NHL, the age-old debate of which postseason Read…Kyle Turris, C, Ottawa SenatorsEven though Kyle Turris spent one year with the Badgers, he still managed to net an impressive 35 points (11 goals, 24 assists). Turris spent some time with the Arizona Coyotes (formerly the Phoenix Coyotes) before heading to Ottawa. Turris and the Senators lead the Boston Bruins 2-1 in the first round of the playoffs this year.Courtesy of Wikipedia CommonsJoe Pavelski, C, San Jose SharksJoe Pavelski has probably been one of the most successful products of Wisconsin men’s hockey. Not only did he help the Badgers win a national championship back in 2006, he has since gone on to win an Olympic silver medal and helped lead the Sharks to their first Stanley Cup final in 2016. Pavelski begins this playoff season, tied 2-2 with the Sharks against the Edmonton Oilers.Courtesy of Wikipedia CommonsDerek Stepan, C, New York RangersDerek Stepan is the third former Badger/current Ranger on this list. Stepan played for Wisconsin from 2008-10 before leaving to join McDonagh and B. Smith in New York. In the six playoff seasons he has been in since joining the Rangers, Stepan has managed to score 43 points (17 goals, 26 assists) for New York. Alongside his fellow Wisconsinites, Stepan looks to continue to add to those totals against the Montreal Canadiens.Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
This winter, Badger basketball and hockey fans have been given much to gripe about — two teams that underperformed with large expectations.Traditionally, when a team underperforms, fans point their fingers to the coach and in both cases, they may have an argument.For the basketball team, their recent success has jolted Badger fans’ views of Head Coach Greg Gard and flipped them upside down. Gard went from a coach who couldn’t recruit in-state players to the “silent assassin,” written on shirts worn by players and now being sold to fans.For the hockey team, however, their continued lack of success has caused the feelings of fans toward Head Coach Tony Granato to get worse.Men’s Hockey: Badgers capture key sweep of No. 9 Arizona State in final home series of seasonThe University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (13-18-1, 6-15-1-1 Big Ten) took on the Arizona State University Sun Devils (22-11-3) Read…University of Wisconsin alumni and father of four, Coach Granato played in the NHL for 13 years before going on to coach an additional 13 years in the league.Finishing his collegiate career fourth all-time for the Badgers in points scored with 220 points, Granato was drafted as the 120th pick in the sixth round by the New York Rangers and posted four 30-goal seasons. Granato was also chosen for the 1988-89 NHL Rookie Team, as he set a franchise record for a rookie with 36 goals. After playing for multiple teams and sustaining the typical veteran injuries, Granato retired in 2001 and became a coach immediately.Owning a 102-78-17 coaching record as a coach for the Colorado Avalanche and owning a winning record as a head or assistant coach for 12 of his 13 years coaching in the league, Granato became the UW men’s hockey coach prior to the 2016-17 season and has remained in the position ever since.In his first year as the Badger head coach, Granato finished his degree earning a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies.Men’s Hockey: Experience gained this season cannot be overlookedGoing into the 2019-2020 season, the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (10-17-1, 5-14-1-1 Big Ten) faced high expectations from Read…Across just over three seasons, Granato is 61-70-11 including an impressive 20-15-1 record in his first season. With tall highs and even lower lows, Badger fans have built a distrust in the coaching methods of Granato, so much so that over the past few months, a light chatter has been made about whether Granato should remain the Badgers’ head coach following what has been an extremely disappointing season.Coming off a 14-18-5 season last year, Badger fans looked hopeful due to the strong freshman core, including NHL Draft picks in No. 5 Alex Turcotte and No. 15 Cole Caufield.Led by Turcotte and Caufield, in addition to fellow draftees in Ryder Donovan, a fourth-round selection to Las Vegas Golden Knights, and Owen Lindmark, drafted in the fifth round by the Florida Panthers, the 2019-20 Badger hockey team looked to take the next step and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2013-14 season.After a hot start, the Badgers struggled to stay consistent and the frustration of fans grew. While several players have had terrific individual seasons, the consistency has never been there for this squad and lots of blame is thrown on the coach.Whether deserving or not, Granato has received lots of criticism about how he lacks the ability to light the fire under his team and get them playing at the level every expert thought they would.Currently sitting in last place in the Big Ten with a 13-18-1 overall record (6-15-1-1 Big Ten), it is easy to look at the record and think this was yet another waste of a season. But, with the recent hot streak the Badgers are on, it may be time to stop the talk of firing Granato.Men’s Hockey: Yet another split series for Badgers vs No. 11 Penn StateThe University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (11-18-1, 6-15-1-1 Big Ten) took on the No. 11 Nittany Lions of Pennsylvania Read…By winning three of four games prior to their weekend series with The Ohio State University, the Badgers seem to have found their stride and may be able to turn a lost season into a deep run in the Big Ten Conference Tournament.This year’s Badger team has proven themselves through small bits and pieces against top-level talent in arguably the best conference in men’s college hockey. The Big Ten this season is the home to three top-20 programs in the nation and is also home to three other teams who received votes to be ranked within the top 20 as well.In a deep conference mixed with some unfortunate injuries to crucial players, Granato should not be fired following the 2019-20 campaign. Should he be on the hot seat? One could argue he should be following what will now be his third consecutive losing season at the helm, and I would agree. What I will not agree on, however, is that he should be fired without being given a chance to see if he can continue to develop the young core.A life-long Badger deeply rooted in the city and culture of the school, Granato has earned at least one more season to lead the team. If things start to go further downhill next season, then I can understand a possible change in coaching. But, hopefully this team will carry the momentum from the end of this season into next season, making the Badgers a team to look out for next year.
Tipp will meet the reigning Munster and All-Ireland champions on July 5th in the provincial final. The Premier County overcame near neighbours Clare by the narrowest margins after three late Tipp points saw them run out winners in Semple Stadium on a scoreline of 16 points to the Banner’s 2-9.In a repeat of last year’s semi-final McGeever’s men will take on a Kerry side pushing for their third title in a row. He says high standards in Tipperary football means the players will be hungry to win their first championship since 2012.
Having won the first four races at Navan, Double Scores then added to Elliott’s tally when taking the beginners chase at Limerick. Minellafordollars then rounded off an excellent afternoon for the yard in the bumper at Navan.Eliott’s total amount of winners in Britain and Ireland has surpassed 200 for the season.
Accra Great Olympics Head Coach Walker Annor has attributed his team’s second half turnaround against Liberty Professionals to his inspirational halftime talk.The Dade Boys bounced back from their midweek humiliation at the hands of Accra Hearts of Oak with a 2-1 win over Liberty in Accra on Sunday.With the score level at halftime, Olympics came out with a spirited second half performance to claim all three points thanks to a Maxwell Quaye wonder-strike.Annor highlighted the impact of his halftime team talk on his side’s win.”I reminded them of the defeat against Hearts and told them we had to win at all cost,” he said.”Because of this, mentally and physically my players were ready.”I reminded them at halftime that all was not lost, and that we had to win the match after 90 minutes,” he added.The win pushed Olympics up to 12th on the league standings, above Liberty and Dreams FC.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has ordered a temporary ban on Asante Kotoko SC. from using the Baba Yara Stadium, Kumasi as its home venue with immediate effect.This decision has become necessary in view of the unfortunate incident of throwing of objects at the Match Officials during and after the match which resulted in the injury of the Assistant Referee 1, A. S. Malik and the damage to the bus of Medeama SC. by supporters of Asante Kotoko during the GLO Premier League Match between Asante Kotoko and Medeama played on 8th May, 2013 at the Baba Yara Stadium, Kuamsi.The Executive Committee of the GFA took the decision is in accordance with Article 15 (2) of the GFA Regulations which states that the GFA may order the closure of any league centre where the safety of Clubs, Match Officials or Spectators cannot be guaranteed.The decision is without prejudice to a determination of the case by the Disciplinary Committee.Meanwhile the GFA has asked the Premier League Board to determine the venue for the Club’s subsequent home matches in accordance with the provision of Article 15 (3) of the Regulations.The Disciplinary Committee has been charged to hear the case in accordance with the Regulations of the Association.
WHY IS IT WORTH FOLLOWING?The game will be Ghana’s first game in 2016 and the first under Sports Minister Nii Lantey Vanderpuye. The Stars begin what happens to be a busy year when they combine both the AFCON and World Cup qualifiers. Ghana can seal qualification to the Cup of Nations in Gabon next year with a win in both games against the Os Mambas. Also in store is the return of Adam Larsen Kwarasey. His inclusion from the start is solely a technical decision. The Mozambicans will also be curious to see how their feature under new coach Abel Xavier for the first time. HOW HAVE THEY FARED SO FAR IN THE GROUP?Ghana have enjoyed a fine start to the group with two wins from two. The Black Stars walloped Mauritius 7-1 in Accra before sinking Rwanda 1-0 courtesy a late Mubarak Wakaso free-kick. On paper, it looks a straightforward qualification for Ghana but football has a funny way of springing surprises and the Stars will have to guard against complacency in the remaining four matches. Jordan Ayew and Asamoah Gyan have scored two goals each so far in the campaign with Jeffrey Schlupp, David Accam and Christian Atsu all getting a goal.Mozambique’s record is the direct opposite of Ghana’s. Two defeats in two and no goal scored. Their first came away to Mauritius before a home defeat against the Amavubi of Rwanda cost coach Joao Chisaano his job. A defeat could all but end the Mamba’s slim chances of qualifying for the Cup of Nations in 2017. Their last AFCON experience was in 2010. They currently lie bottom in the group. MANAGER QUOTES:AVRAM GRANT:“We have a very important Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Mozambique in a two-legged qualifier.They are a very good team, so we want to be at our best. And then we look to the next Africa Cup of Nations. We haven’t finished the job yet! I believe when you come to a team, and you see progress, progress and progress, the results will come.Ghana is a country of football, there are very good people there and players with a lot of talent and I can see progress. Every game we are better, every game we improve in other aspects. People say we have a problem with mentality, and that’s not true. We have a very strong mentality. They take on the information very well. I’m enjoying Ghana very much.”ABEL XAVIER: “We are going to fight in Ghana. “It would be a big mistake to believe that we do not stand a chance.“My players have the will to improve so we are ready for Ghana, I have ambitions and I am a realist. I know with the right attitude and the right people, things will happen naturally. “Ghana is a good team and we are coming here to give in our best, we believe in ourselves and we know we can get a result here. We want to make the country proud so we will give in our best tomorrow.People see us like a small team but we are here to play good football.TEAM NEWS:Ghana’s team under Avram Grant has usually picked itself with the only difference coming in the midfield partnership. Grant has chopped and changed Mubarak Wakaso’s partner according to the opponents and style of play. Agyeman Badu has got the nod ahead of Afriyie Acquah in all home matches so far and it will come as no surprise should he start today. However, a third name seems to be appearing after monitoring their training. Russian based Rabiu Mohammed could be the surprise inclusion. However, Badu remains favorite to start. In Asamoah Gyan’s absence, Majeed Warris will partner Jordan Ayew upfront. Frank Acheampong will deputize for the injured Andre Ayew. The key question however remains: Braimah or Kwarasey? Ghana XI: Braimah/ Kwarasey; Afful,Rahman, Boye, Jona Mensah; Wakaso, Atsu,Acheampong, Badu; J.Ayew, Warris.Abel Xavier is expected to continue with the 4-3-3 formation of the Mambas. The Mozambicans’ success is built around a solid defensive base with Mexes, who plays for Stade Rennes in France and Zainadine Junior who plays in China. Their major bane has been goalscoring. In 6 matches in the 2015 calendar, they managed only 6 goals failing to find the net in three games. They will however be relying on striker Elias Pelembe to find the net. The South African based striker has scored three goals in 28 appearances and scored the only goal when they beat Gabon 1-0 in Maputo.MATCH FACTS;READ 10 QUICK FACTS ABOUT GHANA READ 7 THINGS ABOUT MOZAMBIQUEREAD HISTORY OF MEETINGS BETWEEN BOTH SIDES –Follow Kweku on Twitter: @nana_odum. Get more updates on Facebook/Twitter with the #JoySports hashtag
How far did the ball travel? REACTION: Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Chris Taylor with that HOMER !!— DUHNET (@KidrauhlDanette) October 25, 2017 The Los Angeles Dodgers take the early lead in Game 1 of the World Series after Chris Taylor hit a home run in the bottom of the first inning against Houston Astros’ pitcher Dallas Keuchel.
CT: To be able to hear all these stories and all the backstage news and little details behind the scenes. The idea that I get to come first is pretty cool.SN: A lot of people have been asking about the health of Ric Flair since he had to pull out of the roast and the panel with JR and Ricky Steamboat.CT: He’s a new man. He’s doing pretty well, and we are thankful to have him around. Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearAs if he did not have enough on his plate, the 37-year-old created Starrcast, a podcast convention featuring the top names who are not in the WWE. The third extravaganza takes place August 29-September 1 at the home of the first Starrcast at Hyatt Regency Schaumburg Chicago in Schaumburg, Ill., right outside Chicago.Recently, Thompson took time out of his busy schedule to talk with Sporting News about Starrcast 2, would he do the event again in Las Vegas, a fifth podcast with Arn Anderson and a healthy update on his father-in-law, the legendary Ric Flair.Sporting News: Starrcast II was rated very highly by the people who attended in Las Vegas and those who watched on FITE TV. How did you view the four days in “Sin City”?Conrad Thompson: I hope it was what wrestling fans were looking for. You heard a lot of candid stories from Hall of Famers, former world champions and legends alike. And then you get them in an intimate setting with the biggest stars in wrestling today in Cody and The (Young) Bucks. I really do think it’s the ultimate fan event. That’s what we’ve strived to do twice now and a third time in August.SN: When we talked about a month before the event, you said you had all these notes from the first event and implemented them into Starrcast II. What kind of feedback have you received from this event to put into Starrcast III?CT: For starters, we had this one at two different properties. For the one in August, our staff is already familiar with the venue. Running a place for the second time makes the planning a whole lot easier. You know the floor plans already and how the seating is going to look. There are no questions, and you don’t really need to do a survey.I’m looking forward to returning to Chicago and having it look like a much different product than it was the first time because now we have done two of these. We’re excited.SN: The most prominent question people had when the announcement of Starrcast III was announced was why the quick turnaround of the end of May to the end of August as there takes a considerable amount of detail that goes into putting it all together?CT: The plan all along was to do something big for the first two pay-per-view events with Double or Nothing in Las Vegas, and we wanted to go back to Chicago. When it was clear the boys were going back to the Sears Centre, we wanted to make sure we were back at the Hyatt Regency. Chicago is in at least my mind the home of Starrcast and always will be. I’m excited we get to come back to where it all started.SN: In your mind, which city was better for Starrcast: Chicago or Las Vegas?CT: Chicago, hands down. It’s a much different animal and much more familiar. It’s going to be a bigger, more fun and better experience, I think. I think Chicago runs away with it.SN: What logistic problems if any, did you have in Las Vegas because you were running two different venues and having more talent?CT: This event was a lot more difficult than the first one because it was two venues, and everybody isn’t in the same spot creates challenges. Last year, we had the whole hotel to ourselves, so wrestlers and fans alike were all right there. It was much easier to get people where they needed to be. And of course, Vegas unions are something that we hadn’t dealt with before. It was an experience, to say the least.SN: I’ve talked to people in the UFC that have said they have issues with unions when they have done shows at Madison Square Garden. For the fans that don’t know, what do you mean by working with the unions in Las Vegas?CT: You bring your staff in to handle X, Y, and Z and then you’re told, ‘No, that’s a union job’. We aren’t talking about a sound engineer or something mechanical. It’s carrying a box of this in and being told it’s a union job. Guys couldn’t even carry their own banners and tables. That’s not normal (laughs). Guys are used to bringing in everything in and setting up themselves. They couldn’t do that. It’s all a union thing. Now that means you have more added expense that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. Starrcast II ended up costing seven or eight times more than my overhead than Starrcast I.SN: People see that statement and will be like, ‘What’s the point of going back to Las Vegas if your overhead is that high?’ Is going back to Vegas to do another event in your plans down the line if you keep doing them?CT: No. Not Las Vegas again because of the overhead and the flights. Vegas is a fly-in town. We sold more tickets for Starrcast II, but because of the increased overhead with airfare and hotels and other little factors that happen in Vegas, your overhead goes way up. Chicago is a better place for us, and I’d rather not go back to Vegas.SN: I watched the event you did with Bruce (Prichard) and just watching you up there, you appeared to be more relaxed. Was that the case or was it more hectic than you let on compared to Chicago the first time around?CT: I was much calmer than I was in Chicago because I had a better grasp of what I was doing. We’re continuing to learn and evolve and are getting better. This time in Chicago, we will be in a much better spot than we were for the first one. What you saw with Bruce was on a Sunday morning. At that point, we were pretty much done.SN: Arn Anderson did his first interview since his exit from WWE with Tony Schiavone at Starrcast II. During their time on stage, it was announced that you would be doing a fifth podcast and it would be with Arn. How did it come about to where you are adding another podcast?CT: We spoke the week after his exit from WWE was announced. We made it a point to talk with each other in person the following week and made the deal right there. So I would say two weeks or so after he left WWE and now we’re rolling.SN: Was getting Arn to agree to do a podcast with you the easier than when you talked with Eric, Tony, JR, and Bruce?CT: Yeah, man. It was established. He knew the podcast with Bruce is doing well, the one with Bischoff is doing well, and he is lifelong friends with Tony Schiavone. He knew what to expect, so it was relatively smooth, I suppose.SN: What can expect out of this podcast that is different than the ones you are doing right now?CT: Everything in his career up until now. The high potential in doing a podcast with Arn is that Arn was John Cena’s agent. So all that stuff that Bruce missed because he was gone, Arn is there to fill in the blanks for. Everything from The Undertaker’s streak ending to CM Punk leaving. So it’s going to be everything in between including the territory days from Georgia Championship Wrestling, the Alabama territories and talk about matches in Pensacola and when he made the jump to Jim Crockett Promotions which led to the Four Horseman, where he made a name for himself. Who else has had a career like that going from the territory days to the NWA to Jim Crockett Promotions? It’s WCW, and it’s WWE/WWF. It’s a unique story and one we have never had before because except for the show that I had with Ric (Flair), I have been with office and never an actual in-ring performer. So it’s a different take and coming from someone who’s never done a shoot interview or a real book and never really broken kayfabe. The idea that we get to do that now is great because everyone will get to hear what they have listened to for years backstage. It’s a unique combination. It’s going to be a really popular show.SN: With the addition of a fifth podcast, people online have wondered how do you have to fit that in along with the other podcasts, doing shows on the road with them, having your mortgage company and having a family?CT: I don’t. I want to do it because it’s a story that needs to be told.SN: What’s the greatest thing about doing all these podcasts? Conrad Thompson is a very busy man.During the day, Thompson is a mortgage broker for First Family Mortgage Company in Huntsville, Ala. But by night, he co-hosts four successful wrestling podcasts in “Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard,” “83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff” and “What Happened When with Tony Schiavone” and “Grilling JR with Jim Ross”.
Image Courtesy: ReutersAdvertisement 4r5uxNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs7qWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E2dgj3m( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 3p2Would you ever consider trying this?😱u5tCan your students do this? 🌚602zepRoller skating! Powered by Firework Zlatan Ibrahimović is once again making the footballing headlines, as the Swedish superstar outlines his next career move which is most likely to be the Italian league, to rejoin with his former Manchester United teammate Romelu Lukaku, the Inter Milan attacker who was once approached by the veteran with a bizarre £50 bet back at Old Trafford.Advertisement Image Courtesy: ReutersThe 38 year old LA Galaxy striker, who is quivering up the Major League Soccer, departed the Red Devils in 2018, just a year before the Belgian, who joined the Nerazzurri this transfer window.In an interview with Italian sports news outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport about his speculations on returning to Italy, Ibrahimović spoke about his former Devils teammate, and unveiled a rather peculiar deal he made with the Belgian international.Advertisement “I will say this on Romelu: don’t expect good technique from Lukaku, but his best strength is sheer power. If only he’d listened to me…” he told the reporters.Under José Mourinho, the duo shared the 2017-2018 season together, just after Lukaku’s arrival from Everton and before Ibrahimović’s departure for the US next year.Advertisement “At Manchester United, we made a bet: ‘I’ll give you £50 for every decent first touch you make.’ He replied: ‘What do I win if I get them all right?”“I told him nothing, he would simply become a better player. For the record, he never accepted the bet! Perhaps he was afraid of losing…” he added.At the end however, Ibrahimović expressed optimism about Lukaku.“Joking aside, Lukaku has this mad hunger to prove himself to the world and I’m sure he will do well at Inter too.” Advertisement