Racism held back overseas-born players in Australia – Khawaja

first_imgAUSTRALIA’S Usman Khawaja says being racially abused as young players has stopped many overseas-born cricketers from playing for the country.The 30-year-old, who was born in Pakistan, said such abuse culminated in his not supporting Australia teams.“Getting sledged by opposition players and their parents was the norm,” said Khawaja on the Players Voice website.“Some of them said it just quietly enough for only me to hear. It still hurt, but I would never show it.”Khawaja became the first Muslim to play Test cricket for Australia when he made his debut against England in 2011. He has scored 1 728 runs in 24 Tests, including five centuries.“I was brought up to be respectful, humble and polite. But when I watched the Aussie team, I saw men who were hard-nosed, confident, almost brutish,” he continued.“The same type of men who would sledge me about my heritage growing up.“It is for this reason why so many of my friends, most of whom were born outside Australia, didn’t support Australia in sporting contests. I didn’t either.”He added: “My point is this: it’s no surprise it has taken Australia cricket so long for coloured players to come through the system.”Khawaja, who was the only Asian at first-class level in Australia when he began playing for New South Wales, added that the situation has improved because “youngsters are given a bit more support to nurture and grow as players”.He said this is “paving the way for all cricketers from all ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds”.His article ended: “Australian cricket is slowly changing and will finally have a chance to reflect what Australia really is – an international team truly representative of its richly diverse population.”last_img read more

Update on the latest in sports:

first_imgUpdate on the latest in sports: Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-BASEBALL SALARIESAP Exclusive: Trout, Cole top 65 to earn $100,000 per gameNEW YORK (AP) — Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole aren’t the only major leaguers with a big financial incentive to get back on the field. The president of the governing body of world swimming, FINA, issued a statement today, saying, “At a time of unprecedented uncertainty, FINA hopes the announcement of these dates will allow for some clarity in planning for all concerned.”The Tokyo Olympics open on July 23, 2021. They are followed by the Paralympic Games opening on Aug. 24.YOUTH FOOTBALL APPUSA Football launches free app to help parents and coachesUNDATED (AP) — USA Football is launching an app that can help coaches and parents on all youth levels of the sport. Associated Press UNDATED (AP) — New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky and U.S. women’s soccer star Carli Lloyd are among the athletes who are participating in a project which will recognize and celebrate health care workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.“The Real Heroes Project” is a collaborative initiative among 15 leagues, including Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer.Participating athletes will share a personal thank you message on social media utilizing #TheRealHeroes from today. Athletes will cover their name on their jerseys or uniforms and replace it with the name of the health care worker they are honoring.Public service announcements will debut on Wednesday across league and team platforms. Other leagues also are participating.SEMINOLE MATCH While they head a starry quartet that would take in more than $200,000 per game, 65 players would earn at least $100,000 each time their team wins or loses.That’s according to an Associated Press analysis of their contracts.Most rookies and those making the minimum would get nearly $3,500 each from a major league payroll of about $24 million per game. Clubs would benefit, too, with huge revenue streams flowing from regional sports networks and national broadcast contracts.VIRUS OUTBREAK-REAL HEROES PROJECTSports greats celebrate health care workers European Gymnastics says the men’s European championships will remain in host nation Azerbaijan on rescheduled dates later this year, and the rhythmic gymnastics championships will stay in Ukraine.VIRUS OUTBREAK-ENGLISH SOCCEREnglish soccer doesn’t expect crowds to return right awayUNDATED (AP) — The head of English soccer says he does not expect crowds to be allowed back into matches “any time soon.”The Premier League and other soccer competitions in England have been suspended two months during the coronavirus pandemic. It comes at a key time with so many youngsters across the nation unable to gather for any games or practices.The free app is called Coach Planner by USA Football and was built by the governing body of the sport as part of the Football Development Model that aligns with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s American Development Model.The FDM is designed to aid in the progression of the whole athlete based on a child’s age and stage of development.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6center_img May 4, 2020 McIlroy, Johnson headline charity match for COVID-19 reliefUNDATED (AP) — Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson headline a $3 million charity match on May 17 that marks the return of televised golf.They will be partners against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in a Skins match called, “TaylorMade Driving Relief.”All the money goes to COVID-19 relief. McIlroy and Johnson will be playing for the American Nurses Foundation, while the Oklahoma State alumni team will be playing for the CDC Foundation.The match will be played at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida. It will be the club’s first event to be shown on TV. The English Football Association, which owns Wembley Stadium and runs the national teams, is cutting its annual budget by 75 million pounds ($93 million) as it tries to offset a potential “worst-case scenario” deficit of 300 million pounds over the next four years.FA chairman Greg Clarke says “with social distancing in place for some time to come we do face substantial changes to the whole football ecosystem.”In a letter to the FA Council, Clarke says “it’s hard to foresee crowds of fans – who are the lifeblood of the game – returning to matches any time soon.”The English Football League, which operates the three professional divisions below the Premier League, has told clubs games might be played without fans until 2021.SPANISH LEAGUE-TRAINING Spain’s professional soccer preps for return to trainingMADRID (AP) — Professional soccer players in Spain will be tested this week so they can start training again for the first time in nearly two months.Basic training has been allowed to resume in Spain today after the government eased some of the lockdown measures that had been in place since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.Spanish league players are expected to get back on the field later in the week after they are tested for COVID-19 and after the clubs’ training facilities are properly prepared and disinfected. The facilities will have to be inspected to make sure they comply to the cleaning protocols established by local authorities.All players, coaches and club employees who are going to be involved in the initial training phase will have to be tested two days before the individual practices can begin. WORLDS-NEW DATENew dates set for world swim championshipsTOKYO (AP) — The postponed-World Swimming Championships will be held in Fukuoka, Japan, on May 13-29, 2022.The date was moved back after the Tokyo Olympics were postponed from 2020 until 2021.The swimming championships had been scheduled for July 16-Aug. 1, 2021, which clashed with the new Olympics dates. GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIP-HOSTEuropean Gymnastics searches for new host countryUNDATED (AP) — The search is on for a new host for the women’s European gymnastics championships.European Gymnastics, the continental governing body, says that France isn’t able to host the championships if they’re rescheduled to the fall of 2020, so the “call for a new host is open.”The championships were meant to take place in Paris from April 29 through May 3 as a tune-up ahead of the Olympics but were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. European Gymnastics is still hoping to stage them on a new date.last_img read more

Men’s hockey: Granato era begins with a 1-1 split against Northern Michigan

first_imgTony Granato celebrated his first win as head coach over the weekend as the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team split a two-game series against Northern Michigan in Green Bay. The Badgers (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) opened their season Friday night with a close 3-2 loss to the Wildcats (1-1, 0-0) before rebounding Saturday night with a win in an 11 goal thriller, 6-5. Granato’s first game behind the bench for Wisconsin did not immediately go as planned as the Badgers fell behind just 19 seconds into the game and went on to lose 3-2. Wisconsin continued on their slow start and allowed all three goals in the first 26 minutes of the game before settling in and eventually falling short. Badger forward Will Johnson was able to equalize the game at 1-1, not long after the Wildcats notched their first. UW defenseman Corbin McGuire did all he could to help, scoring late in the third period and posting the final score of the game. Northern Michigan was able to clamp down on the backend and secure their first win on the year.But the Badgers bounced back Saturday night with a come-from-behind 6-5 win, their first of the season. Penalties heavily influenced the outcome of the game as seven of the 11 goals came on a power-play in an aggressive back-and-forth battle. Granato noted the momentum shift that a penalty can provide in college hockey, which he said he hadn’t dealt with as a coach in the NHL. “The penalties and momentum in games in college hockey shift a lot more than in the NHL,” Granato said. “Two, three, four penalties in a row, a five-on-three … a lot of things happen.” This momentum proved to swing in the direction of the Badgers, as four of their six goals were scored on power-plays, including the game-winner. Sophomore goalie Matt Jurusik ignited Wisconsin with three clutch saves during a 5-on-3 penalty kill and inspired the eventual exciting finish for the Badgers. “That was the biggest part of the game, that kill on the 5-on-3,” Granato said. “Matty Jurusik made three big saves in that 5-on-3, and I thought our guys did a really good job.” After the crucial penalty kill, Wisconsin converted on their fourth power-play of the game as freshman Trent Frederic slotted home the winning goal, his first ever as a Badger. The Badgers held on to secure their first win of the season and their first under Granato.“It’s the second game of the year, so we’re not in midseason form,” Granato said.The win is the Badger’s first over Northern Michigan since 2011 and is a good sign for a program trying to rebound after a few disappointing seasons.The Badgers hope to continuing improving under Granato as they take on Boston College at the Kohl Center for the home-opener Friday at 7 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday.last_img read more

Caribbean Countries Warned Rainfall “Deficit” Still Possible Despite Wet Season

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Barbados-based Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF) says rainfall deficits is still possible despite the increasing rainfall and that concerns exist for parts of the eastern Caribbean and Belize.In its August newsletter released here on Monday, CariCOF said rainfall will continue to increase across the region augmenting water resources.“It is likely that parts of Belize, particularly in the northwest, can still have concerns over short term drought that can impact agricultural production and small rivers, streams and ponds. With rainfall deficits still possible despite the increasing rainfall, concerns exist for parts of the eastern Caribbean and Belize over long term drought that can impact rivers and reservoirs by the end of the wet season at the end of November,” CariCOF said, adding “this raises some initial concerns over water availability entering the 2019/2020 dry season”.CariCOF said that last month, apart from St. Vincent that was moderately wet, rainfall in the islands of the eastern Caribbean was normal to below normal.It said Trinidad, St. Lucia and Dominica were normal to moderately dry; Tobago and St. Croix moderately dry; Grenada and Guadeloupe normal, while Barbados, Antigua and St. Kitts slight to moderately dry.“Jamaica ranged from exceptionally dry in the northwest to normal in the extreme west and to slightly dry in the northeast; but Grand Cayman was normal. In Cuba, conditions ranged from severely dry in the extreme west and east to moderately wet in central areas, while the northern Bahamas was normal to moderately wet. Belize ranged from normal in the south to severely dry in the north,” CariCOF said.It said that short term drought, which runs until the end of October, is evolving in northwestern Belize and might possibly develop in eastern Belize, Martinique and St. Kitts.But it said that long term drought, which runs until November this year, is evolving in northern Belize, Dominica, French Guiana, Martinique, St. Barths, and St. Martin and that it might also be possible in Antigua, Barbados, Southeast Belize, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Suriname and the United States Virgin Islands.last_img read more

Paintsil issues rallying call ahead Cape Verde game

first_imgJohn Paintsil is pleased with the Ghana’s progression from the group stage of the Africa Cup of Nations but says going beyond the quarter-finals needs the best efforts of the entire team.The Black Stars will come up against Cape Verde, debutants at Africa’s flagship competition in the last eight on Saturday at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium with a last four place up for grabs.Paintsil, who has been part of all the Black Stars squads that has made it beyond the quarters in three consecutive finals since 2008 wants every member of the team to stand up and be counted.“We know what the task ahead of us is, the quarter-final,” Paintsil, one of Ghana’s most experienced players said on the eve of the match. “If you know [the task] then you should know where you find yourself.”“We are more determined and with confidence. So we will keep our discipline and also stick the coach’s plan so that thing will go well for us.”The competition has already bid goodbyes to the likes of defending champions, Zambia, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria who all crushed out in the group stages But Cape Verde, making their first appearance at the tournament, have defied pre-tournament expectation to sail into the quarter-finals.Their run of form does not surprise Paintsil, who is expecting a tough game for the Black Stars despite overcoming the Blue Sharks, 1-0 in a friendly last year.“We’ve watched three games involving Cape Verde and also we played them during our preparation for the Afcon in Portugal,” Paintsil said.“I think they have a strong side and got strong strikers who are very good in the air.“But the Afcon is a different ballgame so we are not expecting what we faced in the friendly game. We are targeting everything, every corner and every angle.”last_img read more

NLDS: Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals set to battle in Game 3 tonight

first_imgST. LOUIS — Hyun-Jin Ryu will oppose John Lackey when the Dodgers visit the Cardinals in Game 3 of the National League Division Series tonight.Busch Stadium will host the next two games of the best-of-five series, which is tied 1-1 after two games at Dodger Stadium.Dodgers right-hander Dan Haren will be prepared to pitch in long relief of Ryu, who’s thrown only one inning in a game over the past month because of a shoulder injury.The game will begin at 6 p.m. First pitch was moved up a half-hour by virtue of the Kansas City Royals’ three-game sweep of the Angels in their American League Division Series. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error FOX Sports 1 holds the exclusive television broadcast rights for the game. FS1 can be found on channel 652 (AT&T U-Verse), 400 (Time Warner Cable), 219 (DirecTV) or 150 (Dish Network) in most of Southern California.Vin Scully will call innings 1-3 and 7-9 of all Dodger radio broadcasts on KLAC (570-AM). Rick Monday and Charley Steiner will call innings 4-6.Jaime Jarrín, Pepe Yñiguez and Fernando Valenzuela have the Spanish-language broadcast on KTNQ (1020-AM). The game also can be heard in Korean on Radio Korea (1540-AM).last_img read more

Enes Kanter gets rare playing time, responds by kissing Knicks logo during game

first_imgEnes Kanter had not appeared in the Knicks’ previous four games prior to Wednesday, with coach David Fizdale opting to play young big man Mitchell Robinson instead. Then came the chants at Madison Square Garden calling for his introduction with New York trailing the Mavericks in the third quarter.When Fizdale sent Kanter to the scorer’s table to check in, Kanter savored the spectacle. He celebrated his entrance by lowering himself to the hardwood before kissing the Knicks logo at midcourt. What a scene :joy: pic.twitter.com/BxX74v1uF0— Sporting News NBA (@SN Studio_nba) January 31, 2019Kanter, who was acquired by the Knicks in 2017, has spoken out against Fizdale’s decision to reduce his role, feeling he deserves more time on the floor.”I’m a player. We are competitors, so [we want to] play big minutes,” Kanter told reporters last week. “If you look at the whole year, first 41 games, I did not miss a game. And they put me in fourth [in the] rotation, it definitely hurts. It hurts a lot.”Kanter is averaging 14.4 points and 10.8 rebounds in 42 games this season.last_img read more

The Warriors are one game away from elimination, and their dynasty is one step closer to extinction

first_imgOAKLAND, Calif. — Oracle Arena started to empty earlier than usual.As a surprising number of Raptors fans stuck around to celebrate their team being one win away from the franchise’s first championship, the Warriors faithful left the building with the knowledge that this could have been Golden State’s final game in its home of 48 years. Considering the ramifications, it was telling. MORE: Takeaways from Raptors’ Game 4 win over WarriorsThe Warriors’ Game 3 loss brought about defiance. Draymond Green talked about winning three games in a row as if it was business as usual. (He said there were “fun times ahead.”) The thought of losing two consecutive playoff games at Oracle was laughable. After Friday night’s 105-92 loss to the Raptors, though, laughter had no chance of entering the fray.The postgame comments came as expected. Taking it “one game at a time” was mentioned more than once. But there was a somberness that was palpable, and as the Warriors head back to Toronto down 3-1, you can’t help but think this dynasty is coming to an end.Game 4 had all the makings of a Golden State victory. At home in a soon-to-be vacant arena, key players returning, a history of overcoming 2-1 deficits — it made too much sense. But even the greatest of champions can’t overcome so many obstacles.Without the services of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney in Game 3, Golden State really didn’t stand a chance. Even with a superhuman effort from Stephen Curry, the Warriors simply didn’t have enough bodies to compete with the Raptors.The returns of Thompson and Looney for Game 4 meant the Warriors would get back on track, right? No, their heroic returns — Thompson scored a team-high 28 points in 42 minutes, and Looney added 10 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench — couldn’t erase the physical, mental and emotional fatigue caused by five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.”Klay was amazing,” Steve Kerr said after Game 4. “With a tweaked hamstring to do what he did. Looney as well, coming in and playing 20 minutes given his injury status. So, both these guys — they’re warriors. No pun intended. They just compete, compete, compete. And I’m really proud of both of them. Both played really well.”But again, it just wasn’t enough in terms of our teams’ effort.”The Warriors looked dead tired. Curry’s 43-minute, 47-point performance in Game 3 took its toll. He scored 27 points Friday but shot just 9-of-22 from the field and 2-of-9 from beyond the arc, hitting front rim on multiple deep attempts and missing his usual burst to the rim on drives. The intensity and defensive prowess from Draymond Green was seen but mainly in the first half.”Oh, Draymond played so hard out there tonight,” Kerr said when asked to compare Green’s play in the first half to the final 24 minutes. “The first half, the intensity was incredible. Just to see the athleticism and the defensive energy by both teams. It was amazing. Draymond is always at the center of all that. One of the best defender’s I’ve ever seen. He’s flying around and doing his thing and covering everybody.”And so, Draymond always makes a huge impact on the game. And I thought he did again tonight, but again, it was a group effort. And we didn’t have enough as a group to win the game.”MORE: How will the NBA Finals impact Kevin Durant’s free agency?Kerr and the Warriors have taken a few haymakers from the Raptors, and they don’t seem to have a counter. It’s hard to blame them.Without Durant, with Thompson and Looney hurt, with DeMarcus Cousins playing at half speed, the Warriors don’t have what it takes to beat a hungry and talented Raptors team. Depth will always be sacrificed when you amass the level of talent that Golden State possesses. You just don’t expect the injuries to happen all at once.Most great teams reach this point, and it often arrives without warning.The 1980s Celtics and Lakers were stopped by the “Bad Boys” Pistons, and those Pistons then fell to Michael Jordan’s Bulls. The early 2000s Lakers couldn’t handle a toxic mix of personalities, and the 2004 Pistons outworked them. The Heat’s “Big Three” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh wilted because they didn’t have enough juice to run it back for the fourth time, and the 2014 Spurs blew right past them with Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who is on his way to the award once again with the Raptors.This year’s Finals series isn’t over yet. Golden State has been here before. Toronto has not. But the end is in sight.”It’s not a good feeling right now, obviously, but like you said, we have been on both sides of it,” Curry said. “And for us, it’s an opportunity for us to just flip this whole series on its head. It sounds cliche, and for us that’s literally the only way we’re going to get back in this series, is give everything we got for 48 minutes, everybody that sets foot on that floor in Game 5. “In our locker room, we’re talking about believing. Everybody out there believes that we can get this done. We got to. We can draw on those experiences that we had back in the day and see what happens.”Players and coaches will always say the right things after a tough loss. It’s what they’ve been taught to do. Still, Friday night had a different feeling to it. The typical swagger of these Warriors was gone. The five-year run seemed to finally be wearing them down.Oracle Arena may have just witnessed its final performance. That crowd walked out knowing Golden State’s dynasty is on its last legs.last_img read more

Wellington Area Chamber is holding button design contest for Kansas Wheat Festival

first_imgSubmitted to Sumner Newscow — The “official” Kansas Wheat Festival needs a button design for its 2013 button and they are calling on creative Kansans to submit designs.  The button sells for $2 during the five-day festival, July 10-14, 2013 and is primarily used for button drawings and event participation.The rules include that the  original copy design must include the following information: Kansas Wheat Festival, July 10-14, 2013, Wellington, as well as the Premier Sponsor’s logo. The design will be used on the buttons as well as the official Wheat Festival t-shirt and any other festival merchandise. Artwork may be of any size and medium use. Designs can be hand drawn or computer generated.  Please keep in mind that complex shadings, fine screens or other design elements, which are difficult to print, will not be considered.  No more than 3 color designs are accepted. If providing digital art, please present it in .jpg format.All designs must be original in concept and all submitted designs become the property of the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB.The deadline to submit entries is March 7, 2013.The winner will be announced at the Chamber coffee on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 10 a.m. at the Daylight Donut Shop in downtown Wellington.  The winner will receive $100 in Wellington Bucks, 2 Kansas Wheat Festival buttons and a free Kansas Wheat Festival t-shirt.Complete the entry  form on the Chamber’s website  and attach it securely to the back of your entry.  You may enter as often as you wish, but a separate entry form is required for each entry.  No name should appear on the drawing, front or back.All entries become the property of the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce.  Winning artist guarantees and agrees that neither the artist nor any other person or entity will  reproduce, publish, or permit to be reproduced or published the original artwork without the express written consent of the Wheat Festival Committee.Designs should be submitted to the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB, 207 South Washington, Wellington, KS  67152 or via e-mail to wellingtoncofc@sutv.com by Thursday, March 7, 2013.Information and application forms are available  at the Chamber’s  website www.wellingtonks.org or you can call the Chamber at (620) 326-7466. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

Selkirk College Saints Take Aim at Fourth Straight BCIHL Title

first_imgThe Selkirk College Saints have laid the perfect foundation for a fourth straight British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) championship run and starting Friday night will build towards the ultimate ending.The Saints put an exclamation mark on their regular season title on Saturday night at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre with a 4-1 win over the Eastern Washington University Eagles.The accomplishment of first overall cements home ice advantage for the entire BCIHL post-season that begins with a best-of-three series against the University of Victoria Vikes this weekend.“The hard work comes in the next couple of weeks and we are looking forward to getting that going,” says Saints captain Tanner Lenting.“We have the group in here to do it, it’s just going to be up to us to make it happen.”The Saints hold a 5-1 record against the Vikes this season, but the visitors come into Castlegar as the hottest team in the league having won five games in a row.UVIC’s line-up features senior Shawn Mueller who finished third in league scoring and Heritage City resident and former Nelson Leafs Carsen Willans who ended up eighth spot in the regular season point totals.Also on the Vikes roster from the Leafs are forwards Linden Horswill, Matt MacDonald and defenceman Austin Seaman.The best-of-three starts on Friday night the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex at 7 p.m. and continues Saturday night at the same time. If necessary, the third game will take place on Sunday with the puck dropping at 6 p.m.“The playoffs are a battle and we are going to have to be at our best,” says Saints third-year goaltender James Prigione.“Victoria is a very good team and they put lots of pucks to the net, but our upper hand is our hard work. Our team has a lot of depth and when everybody plays their role, we are successful.” Eastern Washington Provides Solid TestIn Saturday’s regular season finale, the visitors came into the game in last place and knowing they would not be playing in the post-season. That didn’t stop Eastern Washington from playing for pride and they came out flying, outshooting the Saints 11-8 in the first 20 minutes that remained scoreless.Though the Eagles continued to control play in the second period, Saints starting goaltender Steven Glass was solid between the pipes. With seven minutes left in the second period, Saints’ rookie sensation Dallas Calvin scored the first goal of the game on the powerplay.Four minutes into the final period, Selkirk forward Troy Maclise made it 2-0 and Calvin added his second goal of the game five minutes later. The Eagles got on the board with just over six minutes left in the game when Josh Rolfe made it 3-1, but Ryan Edwards scored into the empty net to make the final 4-1.“It’s nice to get in there,” says Glass, who notched his first win of the season and was named the game’s second star.“Eastern Washington had something to prove and they played a good game. For me, our team has great intensity in practice and it’s not too difficult to step into games like that.”Saints Out to Solidify Place in League HistoryPlayer turnover at the college level is one of the primary challenges for team management, but Selkirk College has managed to build a program based on sustained winning.Now poised to chase a fourth straight championship, the players credit the atmosphere that surrounds the team as a key ingredient in success.“The culture here is important,” says forward Steven Pantazopoulos, who arrived to the Saints from Thompson Rivers University in the 2014-2015 season and is gunning for his third championship.“In my first year, right away I realized that everybody is here to work hard. If you work hard then you get rewarded and if you instill that into the next group of guys it becomes a snowball effect.”The community has embraced the Saints over the last four seasons and the players feed off the large crowds that assemble for all the home games.“There is nothing better than playing at home, especially in this rink and with our fans,” says third-year defenceman Arie Postmus. “If we work hard and do what we are capable of, we should come out on top.”If the Saints win the semi-final series, they will also host the league final which will feature the winner of the Simon Fraser University/Trinity Western University series.The league final series is set for the March 18-20 weekend.last_img read more