Monday, June 25, 2007

A PAST LIFE

There once was a guy who used to write recaps. But that was a long, long time ago. Thank goodness for the internet. I have been able to find some recaps from games I wrote back in 2000. Here is a taste as to what I used to do for the fledgling company.

This was a recap which I found on CNNSI.com about a month ago. It was a recap after Gonzaga beat St. John's to advance to the Sweet 16. What I remember about that was normally on a given night, you were given two recaps (sometimes three) and one of the games you wouldn't really watch, relying on a reporter who was paid fairly little to help describe the contest. On this day, I was told to do nothing but watch this game. You be the judge

TUCSON, Arizona (Ticker) -- The victory will go down as an upset. But for Gonzaga, this is nothing new.

Matt Santangelo scored eight of Gonzaga's final 13 points as the 10th-seeded Bulldogs advanced to the "Sweet 16" for the second consecutive season with an 82-76 victory over No. 2 St. John's in a West Region contest.

"We had success against their zone and made them go man," Santangelo said. "That opened up the perimeter. I just stepped up and knocked down some shots." Gonzaga led by five with 1:46 to go before Santangelo buried a 3-pointer from the right corner to give the Bulldogs (25-8) their biggest advantage of the contest at 76-68 with 41 seconds remaining.

Erick Barkley drained a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to pull the Red Storm (25-8) within 79-76, but Santangelo hit 1-of-2 free throws and Casey Calvary converted two attempts at the line to account for the final margin.

"I'm just so happy for these kids," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "They've worked so hard throughout their entire basketball careers. I couldn't be more proud of a group of kids."

Barkley finished with 21 points for St. John's, which joined top-seeded Arizona and No. 3 Oklahoma as upset victims in the West Region today.

Last season, the Bulldogs -- also as a 10th seed in the West Region -- bounced second-seeded Stanford to reach to the "Sweet 16" before falling to eventual national champion Connecticut in the regional final.

Gonzaga will battle sixth-seeded Purdue in Thursday's regional semifinal in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Bulldogs trailed 36-33 to start the second half and went on a 7-2 burst to take their first lead of the contest at 40-39 with 17:50 remaining after a 3-pointer by Ryan Floyd.

The lead changed hands six times and was tied on three occasions before Mark Spink started a 9-2 run as Gonzaga took the lead for good. Calvary capped the burst adding a pair of free throws to give the Bulldogs a 63-56 advantage with 6:02 to go.

Before Santangelo's devastating 3-pointer, the Red Storm narrowed the deficit to 67-64 on an emphatic dunk from Lavor Postell with 3:25 left.

St. John's controlled the action in the first half, mostly because of second-chance shots. The Red Storm scored 10 points on offensive putbacks but allowed the Bulldogs back into the game by sending them to the free throw line 12 times in the opening half and by going 1-of-8 from behind the arc.

A key for Gonzaga all season has been its ability to drain the 3-point shot. Tonight was no different as the Bulldogs drained 9-of-22 from beyond the arc, with Santangelo hitting on six of his 10.

Axel Dench added 17 points for Gonzaga, which shot 57 percent from the field in the second half and held a 38-34 rebounding edge.

Anthony Glover scored 18 points and Postell recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Red Storm, who shot 47 percent from the field, but were only 12-of-21 from the free throw line.

This marks the first time since 1992 that the two top seeds in one region did not make at least the regional semifinals. Kansas and Southern California were bounced in the second round of the Midwest Region that year.

St. John's won the Big East Conference championship for the first time since 1986, but just like that year, was bounced from the NCAA Tournament in the second round.

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The next one I found was in response to one of the darkest moments in NHL history. What was crazy was because the game wasn't close, I had the entire first-run of the story ready to go. All I needed was the game to end and I was good to go. Then McSorley "took over". Take a look at this video and then read my take on the incident:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEZEDZiAkzo


VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- Marty McSorley made Dale Hunter look like a saint.
Todd Bertuzzi scored twice and Andrew Cassels added three assists as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Boston Bruins, 5-2, in a game marred by one of the most vicious incidents in recent history.

With three seconds left and the outcome already decided, Bruins defenseman Marty McSorley slashed Canucks enforcer Donald Brashear in the side of the head as retaliation for an injury to former All-Star goaltender Byron Dafoe.

Brashear immediately fell backward to the ice and slammed his head, knocking himself unconscious for 30 seconds. Canucks captain Mark Messier immediately jumped on the ice with the team's trainer to tend to Brashear.

"It was a dangerous play," said Messier, a former teammate of McSorley's. "Donald's hurt, we can't allow that to happen in the league. I don't know what else to say. That really deflates everything that happened tonight and everything else that's gone on in the last little while.

"It's really tough. Everybody knows it's a dangerous game and we all know injuries can happen. But, something like that takes the air out of the game. What else can you say?"

Following the game, McSorley was cleary shaken and nearly driven to tears when he issued this statement to a local radio station: "I want to apologize to the city of Vancouver, to Donald Brashear," McSorley said. "I don't know what was going through my mind at that time. It was a stupid mistake."

At the other end of the ice, goalie Garth Snow went after McSorley, setting off a brawl. Fans littered the ice hoping to hit anybody on Boston. Other fans were being handcuffed by police after starting fights in the stands with people who had on Bruins jerseys. Once things were settled, referee Brad Watson ended the game without playing the final three seconds.

"I just saw Brash down," Snow said. "Seeing him down like that, I knew it was a cheap shot because no one could do that straight up with him. I haven't seen anything like that since the Ted Green incident, it's just bad."

Brashear was motionless before being placed in a neck brace and carted off while surrounded by teammates, who each tapped his equipmemt wishing him well. Brashear apparently came to on his way to the hospital.

"The doctors are looking at him," Canucks coach Mark Crawford said. "Obviously, he is suffering, but he is in the hands of the best medical care. It makes me sick to my stomach, that's exactly how I feel. It's sickening to me, it's sickening to anybody to see this kind of thing. There's no other words to describe it. There is absolutely no room for this, no place in hockey. It was a dispicable act."

McSorley, who began the night third to Dave "Tiger" Williams and Hunter with 3,352 career penalty minutes, was given a match penalty for deliberate injury. The penalty comes with an automatic review for suspension.

Brashear and McSorley battled early in the contest, drawing fighting majors 2:09 into the first period.

"It started very poorly," Bruins coach Pat Burns said. "They were all over us, it was a nightmare. We have enough players that went down in this game. All I recall is Donald coming over flexing his muscles at our bench and it probably irked something or someone on our bench."

McSorley's ban could rival that of Hunter, who received a 21-game suspension -- the longest for an on-ice incident in NHL history -- at the beginning of the 1993-94 season after delivering a callous blow to Pierre Turgeon of the New York Islanders in the 1993 playoffs.

McSorley's action may have stemmed from an incident in the first period when Brashear charged to the net and fell on Dafoe's right leg. Dafoe left the ice on a stretcher and was not optimistic about the injury.

"I just got kind of tangled with (defenseman Kyle) McLaren and Brashear," Dafoe said. "My knee went a funny way. My cartilage might have been flapping and it flipped up and locked up on me. I felt it right away. When it locks, it feels like it's going to tear if you move it either way."

The terrible incidents mirror the Bruins struggles. They are winless in five straight (0-3-2), 2-6-3 in their last 11 games and five points behind Buffalo for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Canucks have won three straight games for the first time since the start of the season. They are unbeaten in five games against Boston since a 2-0 loss on October 17, 1997.

Matt Cooke scored the eventual game-winner 4:48 into the first and Bertuzzi capped the four-goal period with his first of the game as the Canucks built a 4-0 lead.

"When you get your chances, you have got to capitalize on it. Tonight, I was fortunate enough to capitalize on them," Bertuzzi said. "Everybody is playing well, we are on a roll right now and we've got to keep it going."

Garth Snow stopped 21 shots for the Canucks, who won for just the third time in their last seven games at GM Place.

After defenseman Greg Hawgood tallied to make the score 2-0 just 2:29 into the contest, coach Pat Burns pulled Dafoe after stopping two shots. Burns then yanked backup John Grahame after he allowed the goals to Cooke and Bertuzzi.

Sergei Samsonov tallied early into the second period to make it 4-1, but Bertuzzi added his second goal of the night when he roofed a shot over the glove of Grahame, giving the Canucks a 5-1 lead with 9:15 remaining in the period.

Future Hall-of-Famer Ray Bourque scored the only goal of the third period with 3:26 to go, but his tally was far from his mind.

"It's the first time I've witnessed something like that," Bourque said. "It's not fun, they battled all night. You have to ask Marty if he had a reason. I don't want to be a part of that. It's tough to watch. You can't justify an act like that, it's not a good night if you're a hockey player tonight."

Vancouver also received a double shot of bad news. In addition to Brashear's head injury,
Bertuzzi left the game with a dislocated thumb. His status is day-to-day.

Those are just some that I was able to find. I'll keep you all alert on any new ones I find on this thing called the information superhighway

1 comment:

Geneseo98 said...

Nice work.. you Thespian you.

Handled McSorly well, but I would have been more liberal with the term "goon" - I love that word... GOON.

On a side note, can you pick me and Allison up at the airport next Tuesday night?