16 Sep

Power play powerful again

first_imgIn the last three games Wisconsin has scored five power-play goals, converting at just over 41 percent clip.[/media-credit]What was once a weakness could be turning into a strength. And at just the right time.For a large majority of the 2012-2013 campaign, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team (17-9-2, 13-9-2 WCHA) has struggled to score on their power plays, with a conversion rate of a mere 17.5 percent – a mark landing the Badgers fifth in the WCHA.UW’s power play pales in comparison to last season’s special teams unit that converted 22.8 percent of their power plays – good for third in the WCHA and only 2.2 percent behind first in the 2011-2012 season.Unsatisfied with his special teams’ performance this year, head coach Mark Johnson decided to shake up the lines and create a more fluid power play attack by moving senior forward Brianna Decker to the other side of the ice and making sure both Decker and freshman defenseman Courtney Burke were on the ice together.Johnson said the biggest factor in the change was to get the puck in the stick of two of the better offensive playmakers on the team in Decker, who leads the team with 23 goals, and Burke, who is second on the team with 15 assists.“One thing on a power play is you want certain people to be touching the puck and making decisions with the puck,” Johnson said. “[Burke and Decker] have shown that they can make good decisions with [the puck] and make good reads. Usually, if those two kids have the puck, generally good things are going to be happening with it.”Since the early season struggles and change in scheme, Burke says the coaches have been stressing the team’s power play a lot more in practice, and the players are doing all they can on and off the ice to improve.“We practice [our power play] so much in practice, normally a few days before our games,” Burke said. “We always talk in between periods. If we see something, the five of us will talk about it and we’ll see we what it is we can do to get through whatever their penalty kill is.”Since the halfway mark of the season, around when Johnson shook up the power play attack, the Badgers have 12 power-play goals in 14 games. The power play unit did continue to struggle for sometime but seemed to break through on Jan. 27 with a power-play goal against Minnesota who has the best penalty kill in the WCHA conference.Since the power-play goal against the Golden Gophers, Wisconsin has gone on to score five goals with the man-advantage in three games and have earned a conversion rate of just over 41 percent.In their series last weekend against St. Cloud State, the Badgers put up four power-play goals on the Huskies, including a Saturday game where UW posted three goals with the man-advantage.Burke says Wisconsin is more comfortable with their new power play scheme, which is translating into the success the team saw last weekend.“I think we are starting to get the movement down, and people know that they can move in different spots and it’s not just stationary,” Burke said. “It’s a lot of movement, and I think we just realized that this weekend.”Although UW’s four power play goals last weekend did come against the team with the second worst penalty kill in the WCHA, it is still a promising sign that may point to more success down the road in the special teams aspect of the game.Decker hopes Wisconsin’s success with the power play against St. Cloud State will carry over into UW’s final four games of the regular season.“Special teams come in huge, whether it is penalty kill or power play,” Decker said. “So if we can create confidence from last weekend and bring it into this weekend and the postseason, it’s going to be huge for us.”Wisconsin will look for continued success from their power play unit with Minnesota Duluth and Bemidji State – whose penalty kill units rank sixth and eight in the WCHA – rounding out the end of the Badgers’ regular season schedule.Johnson knows it is extremely important for his team’s continued success in the power play attack with the postseason fast approaching.“You get a power play, it’s a perfect time to get yourself right back in the game,” Johnson said. “When you score, all of a sudden, it creates that energy and gets everybody excited. At this time of the year, at the end of the night you look at who killed penalties, who scored on the power plays. If you are good in those areas, all of a sudden the chances of winning go up quite a bit.”last_img read more

13 Aug

Struggling Espanyol sack coach Abelardo Fernandez

first_imgEspanyol coach Abelardo Fernandez during the press conference.Kampala, Uganda | XINHUA |  La Liga’s bottom club RCDE Espanyol on Saturday confirmed that Abelardo Fernando has been relieved of his duties as first team coach after just 13 games in charge.Abelardo is the third coach sacked by the Barcelona based outfit this season after David Gallego and Pablo Machin, and he leaves after leading Espanyol to 14 points from his 13 games at the helm.However, that slight improvement was not enough to lift Espanyol out of last place and a 1-0 defeat away to Betis (who had only won once in their previous 11 matches) on Thursday night was Abelardo’s last game in charge.The defeat in which Wu Lei missed a late chance to equalize, leaves Espanyol with just 24 points from 31 games, 8 points behind fourth from bottom Eibar, and with an uphill battle to avoid relegation.“The club has taken the decision as the result of the sporting performances of the first team and with the clear aim of saving the ‘blue and whites’ from relegation,” informed the official communique of the sacking on the Espanyol website. The timing of the sacking is slightly surprising given that Espanyol entertain league leaders Real Madrid on Sunday night and the club’s Director of Sport, Francisco Joaquin Perez ‘Rufete’ will take charge for that game and the rest of the season. Enditem****XINHUAShare on: WhatsApplast_img read more

5 Aug

Ind vs SA 1st Test Day 3 Review: South Africa glance by the ghosts…

first_imgImage Courtesy: Live HindustanAdvertisement 5yt80NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs8ab4kWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Eahbxci( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) banqWould you ever consider trying this?😱aeq71Can your students do this? 🌚a5h8Roller skating! Powered by Firework South Africa managed to better their batting performance from the 2015 tour by battling it out against the spin twins on a pitch that has started to deteriorate. Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock notched up centuries to give the Proteas a fighting chance in the match.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Live HindustanResuming the day at a precarious spot, South Africa needed partnerships to exert their command over the game. Despite losing Temba Bavuma early in the first session, Faf Du Plessis joined hands with Dean Elgar to see out the session.The skipper brought up his fifty and fell to Ashwin soon after. What followed was a mammoth 164-run stand between Elgar and wicket-keeper batsman De Kock. De Kock showed exemplary play through the off-side to bring up his fifth hundred.Advertisement De Kock was dismissed by the end of the day’s play after a smart variation from the off-spinner which left the batsman stunned. Vernon Philander became Ashwin’s fifth victim and the Kings XI skipper brought up his 29th test five-wicket haul and his first since August 2017.The Proteas are currently placed at 385-8 with Muthuswamy and Maharaj at the crease.Advertisement Read Also:West Indian great Michael Holding calls for change in Jasprit Bumrah’s actionSania Mirza advocates for WAGs to be present at matches for support to the Men in Blue Advertisementlast_img read more