Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Penn State-Vermont to clash in Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff

PHILADELPHIA - Penn State and the University of Vermont will clash on the ice during the Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, November 29.

Penn State will be entering its fourth year as an NCAA Division I ice hockey program and its third year in the Big Ten Hockey Conference. The Nittany Lions finished 18-15-4 last season, including a run to the quarterfinals in the Big Ten Tournament. Head Coach Guy Gadowsky earned Big Ten Coach of the Year for the team’s achievements, which included the program’s first national ranking.

Vermont finished the 2014-15 season with a mark of 22-15-4 including post-season play in the Hockey East playoffs for the ninth time in the last ten seasons. Vermont advanced to the semi-finals of the Hockey East playoffs. A program-record 15 athletes from the 2014-15 squad were named to the Hockey East All-Academic Team.

The Nittany Lions won the third College Hockey Faceoff by a score of 4-2 after overcoming a two goal deficit, claiming the all-time series lead 2-1 against Vermont.

Penn State trio land on Maxwell, Bednarik Watch Lists

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.– Penn State football landed three players on the preseason watch lists for the Maxwell Award and the Bednarik Award Tuesday.

Junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg and redshirt sophomore wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton were among the candidates for the Maxwell Award for the National Player of the Year, while senior defensive tackle Anthony Zettel is a nominee for the Bednarik Award for the National Defensive Player of the Year.

Penn State is tied for the national lead among all colleges and universities with its seven Maxwell Award winners. The Nittany Lions' four Bednarik Award recipients are the most of any school in the nation.

The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell, has been given to America's College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell's contributions to the game of football were extensive, including time as a player, a sportswriter and an official.

The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67.

Entering the season poised to become the top passer in Penn State history, Hackenberg capped his sophomore season by breaking or tying nine PSU single game bowl records. He has stated all 25 career games under center and enters the season ranked No. 3 in career passing yards (5,932), attempts (876) and completions (501), and is No. 4 in career total offense (5,770). He is one of just eight Nittany Lions to amass over 5,000 passing yards and is the only Penn State signal caller to break the 400-yard mark in a game, throwing for a school-record 454 yards in a victory over UCF at the Croke Park Classic in Dublin. Ireland. In 2014, Hackenberg led the Big Ten with 20.7 completions per game, ranking 23rd nationally, and finished second in the conference and 39th nationally with 2,977 passing yards.

Hamilton earned third-team Freshman All-America accolades from Athlon Sports last season after leading the Big Ten and ranking 28th nationally with 6.3 receptions per game. His 82 receptions set the school record for catches by a freshman and rank No. 2 on the all-time charts behind Allen Robinson’s school-record 97 catches from 2013. He became the third straight Penn State wide receiver to lead the Big Ten in receptions and was named second-team All-Big Ten following his first season on the field. His 899 yards also set the PSU freshman record, while his 14-catch effort vs. Ohio State are the most catches in a game by a Nittany Lion in program history.

After moving from defensive end to defensive tackle in 2014, Zettel enjoyed his most productive season on the field in the blue and white. A fourth-team All-America selection by Athlon Sports and an All-Big Ten first-team pick by both the coaches and media, Zettel logged career-best totals with 17 tackles-for-loss and 8.0 sacks. His 16.0 career sacks rank tied for No. 15 in Penn State history and his 27.0 career TFLs are just five shy of entering the top-15 in the PSU record books.

Zettel was the only FBS player to rank among the national leaders in sacks and interceptions per game in 2014. The athletic defensive lineman nabbed three interceptions, the most by a PSU defensive lineman since at least 1959, to tie for the team lead in the category and added one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and eight pass deflections.

The Nittany Lions open the 2015 campaign on the road against Temple at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Saturday, September 5 at 3:30 p.m.

Flyers re-up deal with 97.5

PHILADELPHIA – The Flyers have renewed their broadcast partnership with Greater Media Philadelphia, including 97.5 The Fanatic, which will continue as the flagship station of the Flyers Radio Network as part of a multi-year agreement.

The partnership will continue the Flyers broadcast schedule on both 97.5 The Fanatic (WPEN) as well as rock station, 93.3 WMMR-FM through the 2015-16 season and beyond.  Games will also include pre-and post-game shows on both networks surrounding the live game broadcasts.

As part of the agreement, all Greater Media Radio stations, which also include 102.9 FM WMGK and 95.7 FM WBEN, will remain promotional partners with the Flyers. First partnering in 2012 as Greater Media’s first local professional team, the Flyers frequently host special promotions with Greater Media shows such as 97.5 The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli Show and WMMR’s Preston and Steve Show.

“We are thrilled to renew this important partnership with Greater Media,” said Flyers Chief Operating Officer Shawn Tilger. “The promotional support, both for the team as well as for our corporate partners has been invaluable. We are excited to continue the momentum of the first three years of this partnership.”

“We are proud to be the radio home of the Flyers for years to come,” added Greater Media’s Vice President/Market Manager John Fullam. “The Flyers are extraordinary partners.  The Fanatic and WMMR are thrilled to connect passionate Flyers fans with their team all season long.”

Veteran play-by-play broadcaster Tim Saunders and color commentator Steve Coates will return in their roles for the 2015-16 season.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Champs: U.S. Women take World Cup

World Cup champs
VANCOUVER - Delran's Carli Lloyd netted the fastest hat trick in Women's World Cup history as the U.S. Women's National Team defeated Japan 5-2 at BC Place  to become the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Champion.

In the first 16 minutes of play the USA took a 4-0 lead on the three Lloyd goals as well as another from  Lauren Holiday, the wife of ex-Sixer Jrue Holiday en route to becoming the first three-time FIFA Women's World Cup winner.

Japan ended the USA's record-tying shutout streak at 540 minutes by scoring in the 28th minute. The Asian nation built a bit of momentum early in the second half as Julie Johnston's defensive clearance instead sent the ball into the USA's net. However, Tobin Heath responded two minutes later to make it 5-2 and complete the highest scoring Final (seven goals) in FIFA Women's World Cup history.

Loyd and goalkeeper Hope Solo were awarded the Golden Ball and Golden Glove, as the best player and the best goalkeeper at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, respectively. It was the second straight Golden Glove award for Solo (she also won it in 2011) and the first for Lloyd. Lloyd became the second American to win the award, joining Carin Jennings, who won it in 1991.

The USA is now the only country to win three Women's World Cup and the country to score the most goals (five) in a WWC Final - no other team has scored more than two.

The WNT will return to the USA for a pair of friendly matches against Costa Rica on Aug. 16 and Aug. 19 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, respectively, before embarking on their nationwide celebration tour.

Goal Scoring Rundown:

USA - Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe), 3rd minute: Playing a short corner kick on the ground, Megan Rapinoe sent a ball straight through several Japanese defenders to the middle of the six yard box. Carli Lloyd stormed from the back of the box to time her arrival with the ball perfectly and finished with a left-footed strike to score the fastest goal in FIFA Women's World Cup Final history. USA 1, JPN 0

USA - Carli Lloyd, 5th minute: Two minutes later, another set piece play led to a U.S. goal. Lauren Holiday stepped up to take the free kick from the right side of the box and sent a shot to the middle of the box that was flicked on by Julie Johnston through a forest of players before Carli Lloyd found it right in front of the net and tapped it in with the inside of her right foot for the second goal of the game and he fifth of the tournament. USA 2, JPN 0

USA - Lauren Holiday, 14th minute: The sequence began with Tobin Heath, who sent a pass from the midfield intended for Alex Morgan but had the ball intercepted by Japanese defender Azusa Iwashimizu. Iwashimizu tried to head it out of danger but instead directed the ball up in the air. It came down right in front of Lauren Holiday, who volleyed it in stride with her right foot to net her first goal of the tournament. USA 3, JPN 0

USA - Carli Lloyd, 16th minute: Carli Lloyd intercepted the ball in midfield and touched it past a Japan player. Crossing the midfield line, she launched a shot that caught Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori out of her net. While Kaihori got a hand to the ball, she could not keep it from bouncing off the post and into the back of the net, thus completing the fastest hat trick in Women's World Cup history. USA 4, JPN 0

JPN - Yuki Ogimi (Nahomi Kawasumi), 28th minute: Nahomi Kawasumi played a great ball from the right channel, spotting teammate Yuki Ogimi inside the box. Ogimi evaded a challenge from Julie Johnston, swiveled around and sent a curling shot beyond the reach of Hope Solo for the Japan's first goal of the match that ended the USA's record-tying shutout streak. USA 4, JPN 1

JPN - Julie Johnston (own goal), 52nd: Julie Johnston tried to clear a free kick attempt with a header that bounced across the face of goal and nestled inside the far post of Hope Solo's net for Japan's second score of the game. USA 4, JPN 2

USA - Tobin Heath (Morgan Brian), 54th: Japan's goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori  punched a Lauren Holiday corner kick clear to the right side. Kaihori's punch wasn't strong enough and the ball landed at Morgan Brian's feet. Brian cut the ball back into the middle where Tobin Heath used the inside of her foot to one-time Brian's perfect ball into the back of the net for the final score line. USA 5, JPN 2 (FINAL)

Thursday, July 02, 2015

John McMullen talks Eagles and NFL off season

Hinkie crowns Kings, gets shooter in Stauskas

PHILADELPHIA - Is Sam Hinkie actually moving forward?

The love-him-or-loathe-him Sixers general manager delighted his followers on Wednesday night by taking advantage of the Sacramento Kings in a Vlade Divac salary sump.

The Sixers acquired shooting guard Nik Stauskas, power forwards Carl Landry and Jason Thompson, a 2018 protected top-10 pick and the right to swap first-round picks in 2016 and 2017 in a late-night deal with Sacramento.  The Kings in turn will receive the rights to two of  last week’s second-round draft picks who were set to remain stashed overseas for the time being in Arturas Gudaitis (47th) and Luka Mitrovic (60th).

“I’m excited to start a new chapter in Philly! #The MarathonContinues,” Stauskas tweeted out after YAHOO! Sports reported the deal.

"Thank you to the whole Kings organization for drafting me and helping me start my NBA career. The city and fans were awesome," the University of Michigan product also tweeted.

The move clears significant salary-cap space for Sacramento, which is believed to be targeting players like Portland swingman Wesley Matthews, and Dallas guards Rajon Rondo and Monta Ellis.

The Sixers reportedly wanted Stauskas in the 2014 draft and were set to take the 6-foot-6 marksman with the second of two first-round picks at No. 10 overall but when the Kings selected him two spots earlier Hinkie grabbed guard Elfrid Payton and traded him to the Orlando Magic for Dario Saric’s draft rights.

Stauskas wasn't all that impressive during his rookie season, averaging 4.4 points and shooting 36.5 percent from the field.  He did, however, get better as the season progressed, connecting on 48 of his final 149 three-pointers.

In Philadelphia he will be given every opportunity to create space for post players like the incoming Jahlil Okafor as well as Nerlens Noel and possibly Joel Embiid, depending on the big man's health situation.

The other two players are more typical Hinkie pickups, the next round of so-called gypsies that Brett Brown is asked to incorporate for short periods or not at all.

The 6-foot-11 Thompson is a local product out of Lenape High School in South Jersey as well as Rider before being taken by the Kings as the 12th overall pick in '08. The big man averaged a career-low 6.1 points and 6.5 rebounds last season and was deemed expendable after Sacramento drafted Willie Cauley-Stein last week.

The 6-foot-9 Landry scored 7.2 points and snared 3.8 rebounds per game and is currently recovering from wrist surgery.