Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's Thursday













It's Thursday. Here's what's happening....

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Today is December 15th, the 349th day of 2011. There are 16 days left in the year.

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League needs help from players to limit concussions.

'24/7' brings fans up close to Rangers and Flyers.

Visit the official league website, http://www.nhl.com.

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Today's Birthdays: Actor Tim Conway (The Carol Burnett Show) is 78; Musician Dave Clark (Dave Clark Five) is 69; Actor Don Johnson (Miami Vice, Nash Bridges, Tin Cup) is 62; Actress Helen Slater (The Legend of Billie Jean, City Slickers) is 48; Actor Adam Brody (The O.C., Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Thank You For Smoking) is 32.

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Tampa, FL. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Calgary Flames tonight in the only meeting between the two teams this season.

Read all about it here.

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Today is Bill of Rights Day.

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National Team Development Program Weekly Update

Under-18 Team Takes Five of Six Points in USHL Standings, Face Two This Weekend;
Under-17 Team Drops Contest to Omaha, Looks to Rebound at Home

U17'S LOOK TO REBOUND AT HOME: The U.S. National Under-17 Team looks to rebound at the home confines of the Ann Arbor Ice Cube on Thursday (Dec. 15) and Saturday (Dec. 17) against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Puck drop for Thursday's game is slated for 7:00 p.m. ET, while Saturday's tilt is at 3:00 p.m. ET. The Under-17 Team previously defeated the RoughRiders, 2-1, at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Dec. 4. In that game, Kevin Labanc (Staten Island, N.Y.) and John Hayden (Greenwich, Conn.) each tallied one goal to lead the U.S. to a victory.

U18 TEAM FACES TWO OPPONENTS THIS WEEKEND: The U.S. National Under-18 Team faces two United States Hockey League foes this weekend. The U18's take on the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Friday (Dec. 16) at 7:00 p.m. ET and close out the weekend with a bout against the Muskegon Lumberjacks on Saturday (Dec. 17) at 7:00 p.m. ET. This is the first time the Under-18 Team has faced either squad this season.

U17 TEAM DROPS CONTEST TO OMAHA: Forward Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.) notched Team USA's lone tally, as the U.S. National Under-17 Team fell to the Omaha Lancers, 6-1, at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube on Dec. 9. The U.S. outshot its opponent, 39-21, in the loss.

U18 TEAM TAKES FIVE OF SIX POINTS IN USHL: Forward Kyle Osterberg (Lakeville, Minn.) notched one goal and added an assist, but the U.S. National Under-18 Team was handed a 4-3 shootout loss against the Fargo Force at Scheels Arena on Dec. 9. Team USA earned one point in the first game of the three-game Western Conference swing. The following night (Dec. 10), Collin Olson (Apple Valley, Minn.) stopped all 26 shots he faced in net, as the U.S. National Under-18 Team blanked the Sioux Falls Stampede, 4-0, at Sioux Falls Arena. In the final game of the trip on Dec. 11, forward Quentin Shore (Denver, Colo.) netted two goals, including the eventual game-winning tally, as the U.S. National Under-18 Team completed a comeback to defeat the Sioux City Musketeers, 3-2, at the Tyson Events Center. With the win, Team USA earned five of six points in the USHL standings and vaulted ahead of two teams in the Eastern Conference (Chicago, Muskegon).

PARISI ADDED TO UNDER-18 ROSTER FOR WEEKEND BOUTS: Tom Parisi (Commack, N.Y.) has been added to the U.S. National Under-18 Team roster for the weekend bouts in the USHL. The 6-foot-0, 195 pound defenseman comes to the NTDP from the New York Bobcats of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League. His first game in a Team USA jersey will be on Dec. 16 against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

U18 TO VISIT VA NEXT WEEK: The U.S. National Under-18 Team will visit with men and women who have so proudly served our nation at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System next week (Dec. 19). Players will spend time sharing stories, signing pucks and taking pictures in an effort to reach out to the community during the holidays.

UNDER-17 TEAM NEWS/NOTES: Forward Kevin Labanc is on a two-game point streak, scoring one goal and collecting one assist from Dec. 4-9 ... Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis.) leads the U.S. National Under-17 Team with four power-play markers. His nine total points (4-5) in 19 games leads all defenseman on the team ... Tyler Motte (St. Clair, Mich.) leads the Under-17 Team with a plus-5 rating through 10 games. The forward also leads the team in points (20) and goals (12) ... Goaltender Jimmy Howe (Northville, Mich.) will serve as emergency back-up to Hunter Miska (North Branch, Minn.) for the second straight weekend. Howe comes to the National Team Development Program from the Little Caesars (Mich.) midget major team ... The games on Thursday (Dec. 15) and Saturday (Dec. 17) mark the last USHL contests before the U17's set out to Windsor, Ont. for the 2012 World Under-17 Challenge.

UNDER-18 TEAM NEWS/NOTES: Frankie Vatrano (East Longmeadow, Mass.) is a NTDP-best plus-8 through eight games in the United States Hockey League ... Brady Skjei (Lakeville, Minn.) is currently riding a two-game point streak. The defenseman has one goal and two assists from Dec. 10-11 ... Thomas Di Pauli (Woodridge, Ill.) recently had his three-game point streak snapped Sunday (Dec. 11). The forward tallied one goal and added two assists from Dec. 3-10. Di Pauli leads the U.S. National Under-18 Team with six points (2-4) in eight USHL games ... Quentin Shore notched his third game-winning goal, a team best, on Dec. 11 against the Sioux City Musketeers ... Goaltender Collin Olson recorded his first shutout of the season with a 26 save performance against Sioux Falls on Saturday (Dec. 10). It was his fourth career shutout with the NTDP ... Matthew Lane (Rochester, N.Y.) has recorded one point (1-1) in each of the last two contests (Dec. 10-11).

NTDP ALUMNI UPDATE: The National Hockey League has chosen to highlight Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y./2004-06) in its inaugural episode of NHL 36. The Blackhawks forward will be the first of ten players to star in the new series on Versus ... Phil Kessel (Madison, Wis./2003-05) continues to light the lamp, scoring 18 goals in 30 games, which is tied for second in the NHL. The Maple Leafs forward is also tied for second in points with 36 (18-18) ... Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard (Ogdensburg, N.Y./2001-02) is leading the league in wins (18) and has posted a 1.82 goals-against-average, tied for second best in the NHL ... Canucks forward Ryan Kesler (Livonia, Mich./2000-02) scored two goals, including the game-winning tally, and added an assist in a 4-1 win against the Senators on Dec. 10. Kesler has seven points (2-5) in his last five games ... Matt Carle (Anchorage, Alaska/2000-02) had his ninth assist of the season on the Flyers' game-winning goal against the Penguins on Dec. 8 ... Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich./2005-07) potted one goal and earned an assist against the Ducks on Dec. 8 to help lead the Blues to a 4-2 victory ... Kevin Shattenkirk (New Rochelle, N.Y./2005-07) scored the only goal of the game on Dec. 10 as the Blues edged the Sharks, 1-0.

For the complete weekly update, click here.

ABOUT THE NTDP: In 1996, USA Hockey launched a revolutionary new initiative called the National Team Development Program, based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Celebrating its 15th season of play in 2011-12, the goal of this full-time development program is to prepare student-athletes under the age of 18 for participation on U.S. National Teams and success in their future hockey careers. Its efforts focus not only on high-caliber participation on the ice, but creating well-rounded individuals off the ice.

THE USHL AND FASTHOCKEY: Catch all of Team USA's USHL action on FASTHockey.com, the premier online destination for ice hockey fanatics from around the world. Visitors can choose from an incredible array of games from national governing bodies, conferences, leagues, teams, tournaments, and other events.

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Today is Cat Herders Day.

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Jyles already penciled in as top pivot for Esks.

Ray anxious for new beginning with Argos.

Bombers add naming rights to new Stadium.

Kent Austin out of the picture, Riders still looking.

Visit the leagues' official website, http://www.cfl.ca/.

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Golden Globe nominations will be announced today. Winners earlier this year were The Social Network (drama), The Kids Are All Right (musical/comedy), Boardwalk Empire (drama) and Glee (musical/comedy).

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The 2011 NFL season is underway. Here's the week fourteen results:

Week 14

All Times Eastern

Thursday, December 8th

At Pittsburgh 14, Cleveland 3

Sunday, December 11th

At NY Jets 37, Kansas City 10
At Jacksonville 41, Tampa Bay 14
New England 34 at Washington 27
Atlanta 31 at Carolina 23
At Baltimore 24, Indianapolis 10
Philadelphia 26 at Miami 10
At Detroit 34, Minnesota 28
New Orleans 22 at Tennessee 17
Houston 20 at Cincinnati 19
At Denver 13, Chicago 10 (OT)
At Arizona 21, San Francisco 19
At San Diego 37, Buffalo 10
At Green Bay 46, Oakland 16
NY Giants 37 at Dallas 34

Monday, December 12th

At Seattle 30, St. Louis 13

Week 15

All Times Eastern

Thursday, December 15th

Jacksonville at Atlanta 8:20 PM

Saturday, December 17th

Dallas at Tampa Bay 8:20 PM

Sunday, December 18th

Carolina at Houston 1:00 PM
Washington at NY Giants 1:00 PM
Miami at Buffalo 1:00 PM
Seattle at Chicago 1:00 PM
New Orleans at Minnesota 1:00 PM
Cincinnati at St. Louis 1:00 PM
Tennessee at Indianapolis 1:00 PM
Green Bay at Kansas City 1:00 PM
Detroit at Oakland 4:05 PM
New England at Denver 4:15 PM
NY Jets at Philadelphia 4:15 PM
Cleveland at Arizona 4:15 PM
Baltimore at San Diego 8:20 PM

Monday, December 19th

Pittsburgh at San Francisco 8:30 PM

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This weekend is your last full weekend for Christmas shopping. [I better stock up on pepper spray over the lunch hour.]

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I'm a Tampa Bay kid.

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Wanna know what's on the minds of Americans? Look at what they're searching for on Google. This holiday, Google says it's seeing a big jump in searches for "fake snow" or "faux snow" -- up 25 percent in a year. Not surprising since, so far, it's been a mild winter.

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Today in Elvis History:

1962 - Elvis Presley's single "Return To Sender" hit #1 in the U.K.

1965 - The Elvis Presley movie "Harum Scarum" opened in the U.S.

1970 - "Elvis - That's The Way It Is" was released in the U.K.

1994 - "Elvis - The Tribute" aired on ABC-TV.

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Demi Moore has more important things to worry about than changing her name on Twitter. The actress, who is @MrsKutcher on the social networking site, announced her intention to divorce husband Ashton Kutcher in November. She wrote Wednesday: "Changing my twitter name isn't a top priority right now. Sorry it bothers so many of u. should I not tweet until I do? does it really matter?" Moore has approximately 4.3 million followers on Twitter.

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Today in Beatles History:

1969 - John Lennon gave his last live performance in England. It was a UNICEF benefit in London.

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Providing proof that live event programming and football are important draws for broadcast television, the National Football League on Wednesday announced it has agreed to nine-year extensions of its relationship with CBS, Fox and NBC. The NFL's current agreement was set to expire in 2013. This now keeps the games on broadcast TV through 2022.

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Today in Sports History:

1917 - The NHL's first exhibition game was played four days before the start of the regular season. The Montreal Canadiens and the Montreal Wanderers played a benefit game for victims of the Halifax Explosion, which had occurred 10 days earlier.

1925 - The third Madison Square Garden was opened with a game between the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Americans.

1966 - The New Orleans Saints became the 16th NFL franchise.

1974 - The Miami Dolphins won at the Orange Bowl for the 31st consecutive time.

1982 - Paul "Bear" Bryant announced his retirement as head football coach at the University of Alabama.

1992 - Arthur Ashe was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.

1996 - Troy Aikman surpassed Roger Staubach's Dallas Cowboy record of 22,700 passing yards.

1996 - John Elway (Denver Broncos) won his 126th game to set an NFL record.

1997 - The San Francisco 49ers retired Joe Montana's number 16 during halftime of a game against the Denver Broncos.

2002 - Edgardo Alfonzo and the San Francisco Giants agreed on a four year contract worth $26 million.

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A meteorological office established in Tuscany began recording daily temperature readings on this date in 1654.

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Coming up:

Tonight --

NHL Hockey -- Tampa Bay Lightning vs Calgary Flames 7:30pm EST

Friday --

Empire South and EJHL South Hockey -- Tampa Bay Juniors at Palm Beach Showcase

Saturday --

Empire South and EJHL South Hockey -- Tampa Bay Juniors at Palm Beach Showcase

NHL Hockey -- Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets 7:00pm EST

NFL Football -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Dallas Cowboys 8:20pm EST

Sunday --

Empire South and EJHL South Hockey -- Tampa Bay Juniors at Palm Beach Showcase

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That's it for today. Thanks for stopping by, I hope that you'll do so again tomorrow. Thanks again!

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My CRC Connections

Jimmy's Eighth Birthday!

Countdown to Beaver Football

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