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The United States Olympic hockey team used a six-goal second period to blow out Slovakia 7-1 Thursday in Sochi. The second period featured goals from Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, David Backes, Dustin Brown and two from Paul Stastny. Keslers goal at 1:26 of the second turned out to be the game winner. It was Stastnys second goal that put the U.S. ahead 5-1 and resulted in Halaks exit. Peter Budaj came in replacement but wasnt effective, allowing goals by Brown and Kessel. Tomas Tatar had the lone high point for the Slovaks when he scored the first goal of the second period, tying 1-1 just 24 seconds into the second by beating U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick on a snapshot. John Carlson scored the first U.S. goal at 14:27 in the first period. Toronto Maple Leaf teammates James van Riemsdyk and Kessel put on a show, combining for five points. The U.S. finished with 33 shots to the Slovakians 23. Sammy Knight Jersey . Still, Inter moved one point ahead of Parma in the race for fifth place and the final Europa League spot. Udinese remained 14th, 11 points above the relegation zone. Inter was beaten 2-1 by Atalanta at home on Sunday and has won only seven of 16 matches at the San Siro this season, as the squad seems to still be searching for its identity under new owner Erick Thohir and first-year manager Walter Mazzarri. Ted Ginn Jr. Jersey . The Eastern Conference-leading Celtics finished their recent trek at 3-1 on Monday in Salt Lake City when Rajon Rondo made a key jumper with 24.1 seconds remaining, as Boston held off the Utah Jazz, 107-102, at EnergySolutions Arena. http://www.customsaintsjersey.com/custom...1432e.html . The right-hander pitched into the seventh inning and boosted Cincinnatis struggling offence by hitting a double and scoring as the Reds ended a seven-game losing streak by beating the Atlanta Braves 1-0 Saturday night. Josh Hill Jersey . The third-seeded Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., was coming off a semifinal appearance at the French Open. She took the opening set before the unseeded American came back for the 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory. Joe Federspiel Jersey . Subway workers in Rio de Janeiro, meanwhile, were holding an assembly to vote on whether they would strike to demand higher wages, threatening to disrupt transportation. By late Tuesday night there was no announcement of their decision.DUNEDIN, Florida – Blue Jays manager John Gibbons knows theres a lot at stake this season. Coming off a disastrous 2013 year, relative to expectations perhaps the most disappointing in franchise history, the club could be dealing with significant upheaval if theres continued, sustained underperformance. Gibbons sat down with TSN.ca before Thursdays Grapefruit League game against Houston to talk about his team, in which he espouses confidence. To listen to the interview, click here. TSN.ca: John, as we sit here, two weeks from tonight you guys will be flying to Montreal for the final two exhibition games of the spring. GIBBONS: Cant wait. TSN.ca: Old stomping grounds for you, right? An ex-Met, did you have some fun in Montreal in your day? GIBBONS: Yeah, you know I wasnt up with the Mets long but I made a few road trips to Montreal. I loved it. I really did. Its a neat city. Its a little different than what were used to or what Im used to but we always had a good time there. Good people. I enjoyed hopping on that subway, riding it to the stadium there so I have some good memories of that place. TSN.ca: Parlez-vous Francais? GIBBONS: Poquito. Oh thats not French, okay. You learn a lot of Spanish around here. Ill put it that way. TSN.ca: Yeah, theres no question about that in your clubhouse. So were three, three and a half weeks in since all the regulars got here. The tone of camp, at least from my point of view, John, is different from last years and there were a lot of mitigating factors with the WBC and whatnot last season. How do you feel camp has gone so far and where do you see your team at today? GIBBONS: I agree with you. I think theres a lot more focus and thats not just coming from the coaching end of it. I think the players are a lot more focused. Last year there was a lot of distraction. A lot of new faces were brought in and the high expectations, much more media coverage so the players were getting dragged in a lot of different directions. We had some celebrities on here. We brought in Dickey coming off a Cy Young. Of course Reyes and those guys coming in and everybody was tugging at all different angles so there were some distractions that way. Good distractions but nevertheless distractions and then of course some guys went off to the WBC and things like that. Its been a much nicer, simpler camp, a lot more low key and weve been able to get some great work in. TSN.ca: As you head into the regular season I think there are some questions about certain positions around the club. The starting rotation, especially the back end, has been a hot topic of conversation. More broadly speaking, the American League East, I think we both agree is always strong but has gotten better. Do you feel you have the quality of starting pitching that matches the quantity of the depth that youll have at Buffalo and in the lower minor leagues. GIBBONS: I think we do. Not a whole lot of change this year other than Navarro. You know, Alex was working all winter trying to bring in a pitcher or two, difference makers. We werent able to do that. It wasnt for a lack of effort. The money, the years, all sorts of things, their desire to go other places hampered that a little bit. There were a couple of trade opportunities but they wanted everybody and their brother top prospects in the minor leagues. After the trades with Florida and the Mets we gave up a lot of our top prospects so, I mean, theres no way you can deplete your whole minor league system to get guys who maybe arent difference makers. We sat tight there. The main reason behind that is we like what we have here. Theres much more depth, like you just alluded to, that we didnt have last year. If somebody falters or if theres an injury weve got some guys, some fallback plans that we think are pretty good that should make a huge difference. As of right now were still looking for that fifth starter. Weve got some guys that are pitching very good. Theres been some good competition down here. Right now, were probably only looking at one spot. J.A. Happ, now, hes been a little bit banged up with his back so at this point, on this day, hes a little bit of a question mark. Hopefully hes going to throw in the next couple of days in a minor league game. If hes fine that should solve some problems there. You know, theres some guys in here that we think are going to have some good big league careers. Now its just are they going to get that opportunity? They may get it as we break camp as we start the season this year. It may come a month in. It may come in two months. Who knows? Weve got some players here who we think are capable of winning in the American League East. Theres some great competitors and well see where it all ends up. TSN.ca: Do you anticipate Drew Hutchison breaking camp with the team? GIBBONS: Well, Im not going to say hes on the team right now but Ill tell you what, hes pitched as well, if not better, than anybody in camp and another thing he has going for him, you know hes really bounced back from that injury, but hes pitched in Toronto before and was pitching very well before he had the injury. Hes got a little experience under his belt. Hes definitely been a standout. Hes always been thought of highly in the organization. Its just basically a matter of time when hes ready again and it sure seems like, you look at it now, he should be ready to go. TSN.ca: Do you believe in the phrase, "Its early?" Especially after last year maybe you dont but getting out of the gate strong, John, aside from having more wins than losses, just setting the right tone I think would be important for you guys this year.dddddddddddd GIBBONS: It was early three weeks ago. Its not so early anymore, a couple of weeks left. Yeah, no question, a quick, fast start is very important to this ballclub. Easier said than done, of course, you know we play some pretty good teams early. I think what it would do is give us confidence and it may quell some of the naysayers out there because until we go out and prove something on the field that were better than we were last year and we actually do have the team that we think can win here, thats always going to be hanging over our heads. These guys, theyve been working hard, theyre very focused and now the key is to come out of the gates with everything clicking. Weve got to get good pitching. Hopefully those bats are going at the right time at the beginning of the season and something thats a constant, one thing you can always control, is the way you play defense and I think that will be much, much better this year. TSN.ca: I wanted to touch on that with you because when we think of winning, youve got to score more runs than you allow and we typically always think of offense, just hit the ball out of the park or piece together runs. We dont always think of run prevention. Well cross our fingers for you guys that you have pretty good health here, and you have so far through camp and that that will carry through. But with Lawrie at third, Reyes and short and it looks like Ryan Goins at second base, as long as theyre all out there on the field at the same time, weve seen some pretty sweet double plays and some pretty nice plays made here, John. Youre going to be able to prevent more runs than you did, especially in the first half of last year. GIBBONS: We think so and we have to. You left out Melky Cabrera, who wasnt moving well at all last year and so that created a big hole out there in leftfield. With the guys you just mentioned, we think we have one of the better defenses in baseball, in our minds. As much as our starting pitching struggled last year, we didnt bail them out, we didnt help them out one bit, especially early in the season. A lot of those games, a play thats made here or there, might have got us out of an inning, a big inning and kept us in the game and we may have come back and won some of those. You look at it, you can go through any sport, if you dont play defense youre not going to win. Boston was a good defensive team last year and they won the World Series. Football, another sport I know well, the Seahawks last year, great defense, the best defense in the NFL. Theres no secret there. We think we have a good one but the key is weve got to keep the right guys on the field the majority of the season. TSN.ca: The Red Sox, maybe they didnt have the best team on paper in the majors last year but they won the World Series and there was that grind it out aspect. When youve walked around the clubhouse, talked to your players or youve had them in here one on one, do you sense that there is an unquestioned willingness to grind it out this year? Kind of a win at all costs mentality? GIBBONS: Yes, I do. Weve got a lot of proud veterans out in that room. Some guys whove had some great careers, some guys on the upswing that are going to end up having real good major league careers but everybody was a little embarrassed, the way things went last year. One thing Ill say about this group last year, through all the different changes, all the guys coming and going, there never was a lack of effort. Thats rare when some seasons go south but our guys showed up to play everyday and I tip my hat to them and thats admirable and thats the way it should be but thats not always the way it ends up. They all know they have something to prove, that were a better team than the way we played last year and I sense that. They talk about that. To get to this level as an athlete, to get to the top at anything, youve got to have some pride. We have a lot of that in that room and I think, I dont want to say necessarily that were going to surprise some people because we think we have a good team on the field, we think we had a good team on the field last year it just didnt pan out, but if we play up to our capabilities we think weve got a chance to win this thing. TSN.ca: Its an everyday game so youre always at the field and youre always thinking about, okay, what do I have to do to win today? But when you get away from the ballpark, do you think give any thought to your future and the fact that if it doesnt go well again this year, John, fairly or unfairly, itll be a hard sell to the fan base to continue with you as manager and the coaching staff? There could be changes here if it doesnt work out. GIBBONS: Oh yeah. Thats to be expected in the professional sports world. I can guarantee you one thing, I wont be here forever. Thats a fact. When that day comes, sooner or later, who knows? I dont give that much thought because I approach my job everyday to do the best job I can. I have a great responsibility to the organization whos given me an opportunity here and theres a lot that goes into that. Thats the reality of baseball. I have some fans out there but I also have a lot of detractors. When the dark clouds show up you start hearing more of those voices. If you get caught up in that kind of stuff itll paralyze you, you cant do your job so I take it all in stride everyday because I know I can do this job, I know I can run a baseball team, Ive got zero doubt in my mind about that. Things dont always work out but I think this year it will. TSN.ca: We appreciate the time, John, and all the best this season. GIBBONS: Thank you, Scott. ' ' 'nchise record by losing their 16th consecutive road game. They remain without leading scorer Arron Afflalo, who missed his second game with a sprained right ankle. "We scored," Vucevic said. "We just couldnt get stops, and you cant do that on the road." In case there was any thought that Nenes injury would give the Wizards a convenient excuse to miss the post-season for the sixth straight year, owner Ted Leonsis began the day with a wakeup call via his blog, posting "Our goals have not changed in any way" and the team must overcome injuries and "whatever else comes our way." Leonsis has made it clear that another year in the NBA lottery would not be acceptable. The Wizards sit in fifth place in the weak Eastern Conference, and coach Randy Wittman and team president Ernie Grunfeld are both in the last season of their contracts. The Wizards are 60-61 when Nene plays and 9-34 when he doesnt since he was acquired in a trade two years ago. Washington also played Tuesdays game without forward Kevin Seraphin, who has a sore right knee. For the players, Leonsis message was hardly necessary. Theyre also tired of having the season end in mid-April. "If youre an All-Star and those type of players, youve got to step up and take on a bigger role," said Wall, who played in his first All-Star game this month. "And thats a situation Im willing to accept and do. ... Just having that energy that I have when play good against those other good point guards, to do it on a consistent basis, thats something I really have to step up to another level with Nene being out." The only starter in single digits was Nenes fill-in, Trevor Booker, who had three points and seven rebounds. The team planned to sign Drew Gooden to a 10-day contract in time for the next game, Thursday against the Toronto Raptors. The Wizards led for nearly the entire game, but it was never a blowout. Washington had a 17-point lead in the second and third quarters, but Oladipo and Vucevic led an 11-0 run to cut the deficit to six late in the third. The Magic got as close as eight in the final period, but Ariza got a fortuitous bounce on a 3-pointer to restore a comfortable lead. "I guess Ive been living right, doing the right things," Ariza said. "The shot clock was running down. It hit the front of the rim, I think it hit the backboard and went in, so its all good." NOTES: Orlando had no fast-break points. ... The Magic also lost 16 road games in a row in a single season in early 2006. The franchise record over more than one season is 17 -- the final 12 road games of last season and the first five of this season. ... The Magic had two new faces on the bench. C Dewayne Dedmon and swingman Adonis Thomas signed 10-day deals earlier in the day. Jay Hilgenberg Jersey . -- Craig Anderson has quite a record against his former team, the Florida Panthers. Aaron Lynch Jersey .com) - Delon Wright scored 17 points and No. http://www.custombearsjersey.com/custom-...1616t.html . Gomes drove in all three runs, including a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning, and Cleveland rallied for a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. Zeke Bratkowski Jersey . Hes the same player he always was, only now his efforts are being rewarded. The rookie manager has made a habit of heaping praise on others when things are going well, and accepting criticism when they arent.  But in the case of Hurtado, its what the coach is NOT saying that may be the secret to a superb run of form. Isaiah Irving Jersey . -- Mississippis Andrew Ritter said his game-winning, 41-yard field goal felt good off his foot.Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - As the regular season comes to a close, the Kentucky Wildcats will battle it out with the 24th-ranked Louisville Cardinals Saturday in an instate rivalry game at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium. Nothing would put a stamp on coach Mark Stoops second season in Lexington quite like defeating No. 24 Louisville in the regular-season finale to become bowl eligible. Kentucky has lost five straight games though, including a 50-16 crushing at the hands of Tennessee two weeks ago. The teams bye week hopefully helped it prepare for the Cardinals. Louisville is already headed back to a bowl game, sitting on an 8-3 record. The team has won two in a row, and took down Notre Dame last weekend, 31-28. The team is ending its season with two consecutive non-conference events. The two in-state rivals have met 26 times on the football field in their storied histories, and Kentucky holds a very slim 14-12 all-time lead. The Wildcats even own a 6-4 advantage in Louisville. The Wildcats began the season with an impressive 5-1 record, but have since fallen five straight times to drop below .500. The team is still averaging 28.2 ppg largely thanks to quarterback Patrick Towles, who has thrown for 2,542 yards and 14 touchdowns in 11 starts. Towles averages 231.1 passing ypg for the Wildcats, who gain just shy of 390 offensive ypg as a unit. Although Kentucky does average 153.4 rushing ypg, the team doesnt have a real threat to break out on the ground. Stanley Williams leads the team averaging 40.2 ypg, and has gained the most yards on the ground (362) than any other UK rusher. Towles leads the team with six rushing scores on the year, adding a team-high 132 totes. Through the air, the team has had ups and downs. Ryan Timmons leads the Wildcats this season with 45 catches for 536 yards, and averages 48.7 receiving ypg. Javess Blue, on the other hand, owns team highs in receiving yards per game (51.6) and touchdown grabs (five). Defensively, the Wildcats have seen better days, especially when it pertains to their last five outings. Kentucky is surrendering 30.1 ppg to opponents, who are also gaining an average of 401 offensive ypg through 11 contests. In just the last two weeks alone, the Wildcats have given up a combined 113 points to Georgia and Tennessee, and have only held an opponent to fewer than 41 points once in the teams last five losses. Only two SEC teams have scored fewer than 36 points against Kentucky. Justin Forrest has been a strong leader for the defense, registering a team- best 102 tackles on the season with eight tackles for loss, two interceptions and two quarterback hurries. One thing the Willdcats have struggled with is stopping an opponent for a loss.dddddddddddd Alvin Dupree is the only Kentucky player to record double-digit tackles for loss through 11 games, coming into the Louisville matchup with 10.5 and 6.5 sacks. Louisville has been dominant all season long, even when the team has dropped contests. The Cardinals havent lost a game by double-digit points yet, and entering senior day, coach Bobby Petrino says the team will be ready to go against their in-state rivals. We are doing just like everybody else in the country, and there is a lot at stake for both universities, Petrino said. So it should be very exciting for our fans, very exciting for their fans. Louisvilles offense averages 31.5 ppg this season, and was still on point last weekend as freshman quarterback Reggie Bonnafon got the start. In eight games this season, Bonnafon has thrown for 842 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. Hes replaced Will Gardner, who is out for the season with a knee injury. On the ground, the Cardinals are getting the most out of redshirt sophomore Brandon Radcliff, who has 581 yards and nine touchdowns. He and Michael Dyer each average over 50 ypg on the ground, while Bonnafon can contribute to the ground game with his legs as well. Bonnafon has the luxury of throwing to one of the nations premier wideouts in DeVante Parker. The extremely talented Cardinal missed the first half of the season with a foot injury but has made up for lost time, with 29 receptions for 555 yards (19.1 ypc) with two TDs. Defensively the Cardinals have been stellar in 11 contests, allowing just 18.7 ppg and only 290.2 offensive ypg to opponents. They are especially good against the run, limiting teams to 88.5 rushing ypg having given up just seven ground scores all season long. With seven scores on the ground and 13 through the air, Louisville has only allowed 20 offensive touchdowns this season. Safety James Sample leads the Cardinals this season with 69 tackles, adding in three interceptions and five pass breakups to his resume. Linebacker Keith Kelsey is right behind Samples tackle total, registering 68 stops with six tackles for loss and five sacks on the year. But Gerod Holliman is definitely the teams defensive MVP, having racked up 13 interceptions and 32 tackles this season. (The seniors) have done an unbelievable job for the program, it is amazing how many wins they have had, the big bowl games that they went to, Petrino said. I have been so impressed with them when we first came in, and you are thinking that these are going to be some guys that will be reluctant or resistant and they were great. ' ' '
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