Saint Mary’s students shared in the native languages of six women from five different countries Monday through “Writing Across the World,” an event sponsored by the Saint Mary’s English Language School. At the event, which also marked the beginning of International Week, the women translated and transcribed students’ names into their native languages. She designed the event to promote dialogue – in English or otherwise – between students, Terra Cowham, assistant director for International Student Scholar Services at the English Language School, said. “During International Week, we want to highlight all the diversity in the international students on our campus,” Cowham said. “We thought it’d be really awesome if they wrote some themes or sayings while sharing their native language with us.” “This event begins a cultural festival,” Ethiopian student Neima Mohammed said. Mohammed’s ability to speak English fluently is a result of five months of language classes from Saint Mary’s, she said. The Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership offers a rigorous program in the English Language School to non-native speakers, and Cowham said the four-week program is open to anyone. “We have a program for anyone, [from] adult women [to] students just out of high school, if they want to come and learn English they come here, live on campus and they take classes that are non-degree but focused on learning the English language,” she said. Cowham said many women come for additional practice or instruction before they enter another college. “I am extremely passionate about making students global citizens and connecting the world every day,” Cowham said. “I want to help all of campus see what wonderful resources we have, all the wonderful students that come here from across the world.” Noemy Siles-Alvarado, a Costa Rican student, said she feels the strong sense of community that Cowham has tried to foster for international students at Saint Mary’s. “The professors are really, really good. All the girls are friendly,” she said. “I have enjoyed it, it feels like family.” Siles-Alvarado said she found her role at the writing event amusing. “It’s interesting for me because I’m from Costa Rica. It’s not that amazing and for most people it’s the same name in English as it is in Spanish,” she said. “For the other girls, I think it’s really cool because they can write in their own language.” Siles-Alvarado said she chose to attend the English Language School to improve her grammar before she begins pursuing a pre-medicine degree at Goshen College. Maha Alshahrani, a student from Saudi Arabia, said she chose Saint Mary’s to study among pupils of her own gender and aspires to receive a Master’s degree from Notre Dame. Mayumi Oda and Misa Inaba are both studying abroad from the same college in Japan, which Inaba said was “kind of a sister school to Saint Mary’s.” This semester they live with two American roommates in Le Mans Hall. Oda said as much as they miss home now, when they leave they will miss Saint Mary’s as well. “It’s beautiful to communicate with another country’s people,” Oda said. Contact Rebecca O’Neil at [email protected]
No. 13 USC (30-11) looks to regain momentum tonight at Dedeaux Field against the Cal State Fullerton Titans after dropping a disappointing Pac-12 series last weekend against Oregon State.The Trojans came out with a punch over the weekend behind a strong start from junior Tyler Gilbert, who threw seven complete innings of four-hit baseball. USC delivered an all-around impressive offensive showing, defeating Oregon State 11-3 during game one of the series.In game two, the Trojans managed a comeback from a 2-0 deficit during the top of the sixth, but a lead off walk in the bottom of the ninth proved deadly for the Trojans, after pinch hitter Billy King singled through the right side to bring in the game-winning run from third.The Trojans once again had trouble with consistency on the mound during game three, allowing Oregon State to win the game 9-6. Despite the threat of a major comeback in the top of the ninth as they attempted to crawl out of a 9-4 deficit, they could only produce two more runs in the loss, falling 2-1 in the series.Tonight, USC looks to shake off last week and start fresh against the visiting Cal State Fullerton Titans. Currently, the Titans hold a 22-20 overall record, an 8-4 record in the Big West Conference and an 8-12 record on the road.Cal State Fullerton is highlighted at the plate by junior outfielders Josh Vargas, David Olmedo-Barrera and Tyler Steib. The Titans, similarly to the Trojans, have recently transitioned from a very young team to one more experienced, boasting a starting roster of almost all juniors. The Titans are led behind the mound by junior Thomas Eshelman with a 2.10 ERA and junior Justin Garza with a 3.56 ERA.The Trojans and Titans last met on Feb. 17 in Fullerton where the Trojans came away with the game 6-4. The then-No. 25 Titans were unable to halt the Trojans’ hot streak during the fourth inning as the team put up four more runs to put the game out of reach. Sophomore Bernardo Flores got the win, entering in relief in the fifth to throw three innings, striking out four batters while allowing two runs on three hits with no walks.Tonight, the Titans will enter the game following a 2-1 series victory at home against UC Irvine.Reviewing the numbers, USC currently maintains a .297 team batting average compared to CSFU’s .259 average. USC has a 3.13 team ERA, and CSFU holds a 3.38 team ERA.Statistics aside, USC head coach Dan Hubbs believes the key to tomorrow night’s game remains the same as all season: overall game consistency.“It’s the same as it always is with us; we need to pitch well and hit well every time we enter a game,” Hubbs said. “I think we pitched extremely well last Friday and pretty well on Saturday. On Sunday we pitched really poorly, and we faced the consequences of that. We just need to play well [tonight] and get back in our rhythm. If we can do that we’ll be in the position to win. We just need to play our game.”In terms of pitching, the Trojan team has recently had trouble finishing off batters and putting men on bases because of walks, oftentimes to lead off innings. Hubbs believes that minimizing the number of walks will be key to playing clean defense in tonight’s match.“I think we really need to focus on cutting down on our walks, especially from the guys in the pen but also our starters as well,” Hubbs said. “Some guys will get some work in tomorrow so hopefully that will help straighten them out for the weekend because we can’t keep giving out too many.”Working in USC’s favor is the fact that the team tends to play very well at home. The Trojans currently hold an 18-6 record at home, a factor that Hubbs hopes will positively influence the team in tonight’s game.“We always tend to play really well at home, which will hopefully really work in our favor tonight,” Hubbs said. “That being said, we’re going to need to stop them early in order for that to remain an advantage. We need to get ourselves on the board early in the game and then extend. We’ve done a good job of that when we’re at home and we tend to pitch much better at home. I don’t expect tomorrow to be any different.”The Trojans will host the Titans tonight at 6 p.m. PST at Dedeaux Field. The game will also be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.
Kansas City Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop misses the possible game-winning field goal against the San Diego Chargers during the closing seconds of regulation of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in San Diego. The Chargers eventually won the game 27-24 in overtime. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)Last Sunday evening I watched Kansas City Chiefs kicker, Ryan “the chokester” Succup gag and flinch, kicking the Pittsburgh Steelers out of the postseason.It is not clear whether Succup developed a case of the dreaded malady, “chokitis,” or just deliberately punched the Steelers in the gut while simultaneously punching the San Diego Chargers ticket to play on the “big stage” known as the NFL playoffs. But ya know what boys and girls, the Steelers should not have depended on the competence of a player from another NFL franchise to “pay their toll” so they could continue traveling on the “playoff highway” leading to the Lombardi Trophy.See, in the NFL there is no such thing as an “E-Z Pass lane.”Aubrey BruceLet’s hit “Rew” and do a partial review of the 2013 Steelers season (a complete review may just be a bit too painful for yinz guys and gals to bear).Succup’s botched field goal attempt was not the play that will cause the Steelers to be at home ordering sandwich rings, cases of Bud Light and hot wings while watching the first (wild card) round of the playoffs.In the Steelers opening game they could only score a measly 9 points in a 16-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh drew first blood by scoring a safety on the first play of the game and was only able to muster a “garbage” touchdown with only 1:23 left to play in regulation.You say you don’t agree, okay; was it the following Monday night when the Black and Gold ventured into Paul Brown stadium to face the eventual 2013 AFC North Champion Cincinnati Bengals who had more than an adequate supply of family sized cans of “whoop ass” to send the Steelers packing back to Pittsburgh “smarting” from a 20-10 loss. Although, Steelers reserve tight end David Paulson lost a fumble, “Big” Ben Roethlisberger contributed a fumble and a pick in the losing effort.On the following Sabbath Day “da Chick-a-go” Bears strolled into Heinz Field and promptly smacked the Steelers around by the score of 40-23. Roethlisberger threw 2 picks and fumbled 3 times, losing 2. When you give any offense 5 extra possessions, game, set, match.The next week the Steelers traveled to London and lost to the Minnesota “Vikes” by the score of 34-27. “Big Ben” had this to say about the loss; “We are in unchartered territories and the water is dangerous right now, so we have to stick together and get out of it. Right now, you could say we’re the worst team in the league, that hurts.”They may have entered the review room with glaring questions about a glorious past and a hazy future. However, just as they were stumped by that decades old mystery of a timeless and historical reception by an NFL running back they seemed to be just as perplexed by their own futures.But there was a light at the end of the tunnel or so the Steelers nation hoped. A few folk even began to nitpick and bash. When Steelers rookie running back LeVeon Bell was injured for the initial three games people, even the running back’s own quarterback, sort of expressed doubts about his “toughness” and “heart.”Mike Chiari, featured columnist from Bleacher Report in an article published on September 25, quoted Roethlisberger saying this about Bel; “Honestly, I have no idea with him. You can’t get a read on him. One day, he’s practicing, one day, he’s not; one day, he’s going hard, the next day, he’s not. I wish I could. If he was a guy like Heath Miller that you knew was busting his butt every day to get back there … Le’Veon is a rookie, I don’t know him quite well enough yet. But if he can come back and help us, we’ll take him.”Spoken like a true general manager or head coach, don’t you agree? Steelers tight end has been and remains one of the most consistent Steelers but who is “a guy like Heath Miller?”Injuries affect individual players, differently. Remember the Steelers/Ravens match up on November 29, 2009 in Baltimore? The Steelers lost to the Ravens after Roethlisberger took all of the reps during that weeks practice and informed the team the day before the game Saturday that “concussion symptoms” had returned, thus thrusting Steelers rookie quarterback Dennis Dixon to start placed in an almost impossible situation.At the time that Roethlisberger was forced to issue the Steelers a “rain check” in regards to him competing against Baltimore, Steelers wide receiver and future hall of famer Hines Ward had this to say. “‘Ben practiced all week. Then to find out that he’s still having some headaches and not playing and it came down to the doctors didn’t feel that they were going to clear him or not. It’s hard to say. I’ve lied to a couple of doctors saying I’m straight, I feel good when I know that I’m not really straight. I don’t think guys really worry about the future while they’re playing currently in the NFL.”Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin did not even reveal to the team that Roethlisberger was not starting this important game against the hated Ravens.“At the time, I was more concerned about getting Dennis ready to play,” Tomlin said, “and I proceeded with the assumption that our men understood what kind of competitor (Roethlisberger) is. If they don’t, I will tell them.”Ben Roethlisberger is by no means finished as the Steelers starting QB but the team might be better served to at least drafting, signing or grooming a replacement. The late songstress Billie Holiday once sang; “God bless the child that has his own.” Never depend on anyone to do your work for you.Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: [email protected] or 412.583.6741
Website: www.northwestinfrared.com Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Brent Foster, owner of Northwest Infrared Services in Olympia, recently received the Level III Infrared Thermography Certification, the highest level of certification available. As one of only a handful of thermographers certified at this level in the State of Washington, Foster is now qualified to train Level I and Level II thermographers, as well as provide advanced consulting for corporations. Foster can be reached at 360-786-6850 or [email protected]
Image Courtesy: GettyAdvertisement 5jkvNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsuwwWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Eyk46z( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) w6wzrWould you ever consider trying this?😱2kh3wCan your students do this? 🌚z8jcRoller skating! Powered by Firework Over the years, a number of footballers have got themselves into many controversies, and some of them even faced jail time. However, its now a Slovenian referee named Slavko Vinčić, who has been arrested for being involved in prostitution and drugs ring in Bosnia and Herzegovina.Advertisement Image Courtesy: GettyFollowing a police probe in the country’s underworld, the UEFA Champions League referee has been found to be guilty of being linked to drugs and illegal firearms, and is also charged for his involvement in a prostitution ring.Vinčić was arrested with the possession of drugs and illegal firearms, along with Tijana Maksimovic, a Serbian model who is believed to be the head of the prostitution ring.Advertisement The ref was caught red handed by the police at the city of Bijeljina. According to official statement from the police, cocaine, illegal weapons and cash were also seized. Maksimovic was trying to cross the border into Croatia with three women. A total of 26 men and 9 women were arrested in the probe.Tijana Maksimovic (Image Courtesy: Instagram)“During the search of the house and vehicles used by the suspects, 14 packages of cocaine, ten pistols, three suits of body armour, over 10,000 euros in various currencies, phones and laptops were found and seized,” the statement from Bijeljina police read.Advertisement However, the referee himself has negated his involvement in the ring.“After a meeting with some business partners, there was an invitation to a party at a ranch to which we responded. After the police raid we were invited to an informative interview, where I explained that I did not know these people at all,” Vinčić spoke to the national media.Vinčić has been an international referee for FIFA since 2010, and was a team member for the legendary Damir Skomina at the UEFA Euro 2012.The 40 year old has also been the referee of a number of UEFA Champions League matches, most notably the Reds’ 4-1 group stage away victory over Genk back in October 2019, and City’s 1-1 home draw with Shakhtar Donetsk in November.If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com Also follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.comAlso read-‘Stone Cold Singh’ – John Cena’s nickname for Ranveer SinghFind out the only Indian who makes it into Forbes top 100 highest paid athletes! Advertisement
Red Bank restaurant begins rebuilding By Michele J. Kuhn RED BANK – After a bit of hell and a lot of high water, Kelly Ryan expects Boondocks to be back in operation in May.Ryan is determined to reopen her popular seasonal riverside restaurant on May 14 and she – and others – are working to ensure that happens.A fundraiser is in the works for Thursday, April 11, at the Oyster Point Hotel, the only other Red Bank business to have to close for a period of time from damage inflicted by Super Storm Sandy’s devastating tidal surge. The event will celebrate the hotel’s recent reopening and raise the funds – $30,000 – Ryan needs to renovate, refurbish and totally re-equip her business.Her rebuilding process is just beginning.Kelly Ryan, the owner of Boondocks Fishery, is looking to reopen her storm-ravaged restaurant in May,“They finally got into my building [on Monday, Feb. 18] and they ripped down all the walls and floors. Now the whole building is gutted. We are getting heaters in there to dry out and in a couple of weeks, we’ll go back in there and put the walls up, the tile up, put everything back up, get new equipment. I’m shooting for May 14 to reopen, no matter what,” she said.Boondocks was already closed for the season when Sandy smashed into New Jersey on Oct. 29 and sent a 5-foot wall of water into the dockside restaurant, rendering all its contents unsalvageable.Prior to the storm, Ryan moved refrigeration equipment to the top of the hill behind the restaurant and stored the rest – fryers, stove, grill and the like – in a garage at Irwin Marine, which is her landlord. She felt she was safe storing the equipment there because during the 1992 storm “they only got an inch of water in the garage.” The walk-in storage box was left at the restaurant “because who would have ever expected 5 feet of water there? It was just crazy,” she said.The day after the storm, Ryan, a Highlands resident, first walked to Sea Bright to check on Donavan’s Reef because she knew that borough had taken a severe hit from the storm. Donavan’s was destroyed.“When I saw the devastation there, I knew we had to get to Boondocks,” she said. Ryan then went to Red Bank to check on her waterfront restaurant.“When I got to the top of the hill, I was, like, the building’s there! Everything is fine,” she said. “Then I couldn’t get into the building because it had separated from the dock and I couldn’t get in the doors.“Then I realized there was all this water shooting out of one of the windows. The hot water heater and all the piping under the building had broken and all this water was just everywhere,” she said.Ryan’s boyfriend was able to climb into a window and shut off the water.“Then we saw what happened. We went into the garages and everything there was tossed around like little buoys. Things were everywhere. There was gasoline, oil, grease and mud … There were boats in there too,” she said. “It was disgusting.“At the time, you just go into overdrive. You don’t know what to do,” she said with emotion.The next day the people at Irwin Marine had a Dumpster available. Helpful friends and staff members threw everything that had been part of the Boondocks operation into the trash.Ryan then turned her attention to the devastation at Sea Bright where she pitched in with the Sea Bright Rising effort.After helping others in Sea Bright for a while, Ilene Winters of Sea Bright Rising told Ryan she needed to begin thinking about herself. Winters helped her get an effort to restore Boondocks off the ground on a website called Indiegogo. Her fundraising webpage can be found at www.indiegogo.com/boondocks. So far, the page has generated about $6,800 in donations, she said.When members of the Navesink Business Group learned of her plight and fundraising efforts, they decided they could assist and the April 11 event, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Oyster Point Hotel, was created.Tickets for the event will be $50 and organizers are hoping to get 350 to 400 people to attend. There will be a cash bar and food supplied by members of Red Bank Flavour, an alliance of Red Bank restaurants. Donations will be accepted at the event, said Robert Lowe, founder of Navesink Business Group.Ryan “has always donated her services to others and she has done a lot for Sea Bright Rising,” Lowe said. “We felt we needed to help her.”Though she is grateful for the help, Ryan said she was having a little trouble getting used to accepting an assist from others.“It’s overwhelming,” she said. “I guess because I’m the one always trying to do everything for everybody, now I’m awkward because people are trying to do things for me and I don’t know how to react to it.”Ryan expects Boondocks to remain much the same for its upcoming fifth season as it was pre-storm except she hopes to be able to put more of an emphasis on her lunch business and maybe offer delivery to area offices and homes.Meanwhile, Ryan appeared Monday, Feb. 18, on WCBS TV. She made lobster mac and cheese during a 4 ½-minute segment on CBS 2 This Morning’s “2 In The Kitchen” featured at 6:45 a.m. and had a “really fun time.”
By John BurtonMIDDLETOWN – Recent terrorist attacks in France have stunned and outraged everyone, with members of the local Islamic community joining the condemnation of such acts.The Islamic extremists’ attacks on the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 11 dead and 11 others wounded Jan. 7 and other violent attacks in France in its aftermath have been condemned by Reda Shata, the imam, or religious leader, of the Islamic Society of Monmouth County.“This is 100 percent against the Muslim faith,” Shata, an Egyptian, said through an interpreter in an interview with The Two River Times on Tuesday.Shata joined some members of the mosque at 496 Red Hill Road to talk a little about their faith, current events and where they and their religion stand on the acts of violence, following their regular Tuesday night prayer service.Shata regularly visits other mosques to conduct services and discussions. Following the events in France earlier this month, Shata, in a mosque in New York expressed his objections to the violent acts and the faith’s overall aversion to violence, said Ayman El-Sawa, a Highlands resident and member of the Middletown mosque who served as Shata’s interpreter.And Shata would offer his condemnation when he held regular prayer services at this site on Friday, Jan. 23, and invited The Two River Times to attend, according to El-Sawa.“Islam is the most against killing of any religion,” the imam maintained. But the media and many others concentrate on the actions of less than 1 percent of Muslims who embrace an extreme radicalism, he said. “What makes it sad is that the media and everyone else listens to the 1 percent,” Shata continued.The Quran states the only justification for killing is a punishment under rule of law for killing or other extreme violent acts, explained Mohammed Wasim Khan, Old Bridge, a mosque member and Quran scholar. Khan quoted a Quran passage which states “whoever kills a soul…it is as if he’s slain mankind entirely.” Conversely, the passage continues, “And whoever saves one – it is as if he has saved mankind entirely,” Khan noted.“On the other hand,” Shata noted, “we believe insulting the Prophet, no one agrees with,” referring to the magazine’s pejorative illustration of the Prophet Mohammad, believed to have instigated the violence.“Any disrespect to him is painful to us,” Shata added.But Shata still believed the response shouldn’t have been violence. At a recent service Shata told worshippers: “Whoever wanted to defend Mohammad should do it with Mohammad values,” meaning peacefully.The correct response should have been with discussions, peaceful demonstrations and writing letters to publications. “There are hundreds of ways,” said Tarek Sharaf, Piscataway.“Human life is more sacred than the Kaaba,” Sharaf said, quoting the Quran, referring to Islam’s most sacred mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.“People should get to know each other,” as a way of hopefully preventing additional bloodshed, Sharaf continued.“We don’t want people to judge us by the 1 percent,” of their faith who embrace violent extremism, Shata added.The Islamic Society of Monmouth County has been at its Red Hill Road location for about 25 years. It has roughly 1,500 members, mostly from Monmouth County, but also coming from northern New Jersey and from New York to attend prayer services and community activities, according to Shata, who has been with the mosque for 10 years.New Jersey has “no less than 1 million” Muslims, said Shata, noting only New York, Michigan and Illinois having larger populations.
Leigh Ramsden lives in Vancouver and is an avid Canucks fan, having been a partial season ticket holder for over 10 years. He’s old enough to have witnessed all three Stanley Cup losses, as such, his prime goal is to remove those scars by seeing a Cup brought to Vancouver. Leigh is Fighting For Stanley’s (www.fightingforstanley.ca/vancouver) west coast correspondent, and will also blog after all Canuck games for The Nelson Daily. After the events of last Saturday night, the Vancouver Canucks found out they drew the plucky Los Angeles Kings in the first round of this year’s Stanley Cup tournament. Vancouver won 8 of its last 9 games to finish first in the tight Western Conference. On the other hand, the Kings limped into the postseason, losing three of their last four in either overtime or a shootout, including two in a row to end the season against the San Jose Sharks. Those losses relegated the Kings to eighth spot and their solidified their date with the Presidents’ Trophy winners.We know the Canucks have been a high-scoring, high-flying team in recent years, but took a bit of a right turn in 2012 and started to play much more sound defensive hockey, at the expense of some of their offense. The Kings, on the other hand, have played most of the year in a defensive shell, netminder Jonathan Quick recording an impressive 10 shutouts. L.A. has had trouble scoring all year as well, and made a coaching change back in December when they fired Terry Murray and brought Calgary Flames destructor Daryl Sutter (and his horrible, 70’s-inspired suits) aboard. The Kings continued on the same trajectory after Sutter was hired, however, after the trade-deadline acquisition of sniper Jeff Carter, the Kings have been scoring at higher rate.How do these teams stack up against each other? Let’s take a deeper look. SEASON RECORD AND SEASON SERIESThe Canucks secured the league-wide title with a record 51-22-9, while the Kings finished 16 points in arrears with a record of 40-27-15. When looking into the quality of each team’s record, the Canucks record was 36-22 (.621 winning percentage) in regulation time, 7-2 (.778) in games decided in overtime, and 8-7 (.533) in the less relevant games decided in a shootout. On the other hand, the Kings were 31-27 (.534) in regulation, 3-6 in overtime (.333), and 6-9 (.400) in the shootout. If you ignore the games decided in the skills competition, the Canucks were 19 games above .500 at 43-24 (.642), while the Kings were much more pedestrian, finishing only one game above .500 at 34-33 (.507). Give the Canucks the edge in this area.Part of the difference here will be the fact that the Kings play in much tougher division than do the Canucks – none of the other Northwest Division teams finished above the playoff bar, whereas the Pacific Division delivered not only the Kings, but also the Coyotes and Sharks. The Canucks beat up on their divisional foes finishing with a record of 18-5-1, whereas the Kings were a much more pedestrian 8-8-4 against their Pacific Division rivals. It was this difference that separated the two teams in the standings. Consider this: the Canucks record outside the Northwest and Pacific divisions was 22-12-4, and the Kings were 19-15-4. From looking at the non-divisional records, it appears the two teams are relatively equal, but give the Canucks a slight edge due to their marginally better record.The Canucks won the season series 2-1-1, with one of the wins coming by way of a shootout. Overall, the four games were played relatively evenly and the Kings looked the better team through large stretches of all of them. That said, the Canucks were good enough to win two games in regulation (each one a one-goal game) and lose another in shootout. The only game that they lost in regulation was 4-1 Kings, in a game where the Canucks didn’t put their best effort on the ice. These games were a microcosm of each team’s season – the Kings played things close to the vest and couldn’t outscore their opponents while not allowing much, while on the other hand, the Canucks struggled to score, but did “just” enough to win, nothing more, and nothing less. Based on the team’s head to head record, you’d have to again give the edge to Vancouver. GOALTENDINGLos Angeles boasts one of the league’s best netminders in Quick, who is sure to receive a Vezina trophy nomination for his stellar body of work this year. Quick is the biggest reason the Kings were able to scrape into the playoffs. Quick played in 69 games for the Kings, fourth in the NHL behind Pekka Rinne, Jonas Hiller, and Miikka Kiprusoff. He finished second in the NHL with a 1.95 GAA, and was fifth in the NHL with a save percentage of .929. His 10 shutouts led the NHL. Clearly, Quick was L.A.’s most valuable player.The Canucks on the other hand boast not one, but two of the league’s best goaltenders. Number one goalie Roberto Luongo played in 55 games, recording a GAA of 2.41 (15th in the league) and a save percentage of .919, good for 12th in the league. Backup Cory Schneider played 33 games, and had an excellent GAA of 1.96 with a save percentage of .937, third and second in the league respectively. This season wasn’t Luongo’s best statistically, but he has played a number of tremendous games for the Canucks this season. Together, the two goalies combined for 8 shutouts this year.Quick is inexperienced, having only 12 career playoff games, compared to Luongo who has 59 career contests. Of course, Luongo has run into problems in each of the Canucks’ last three playoff years, struggling at times against Chicago and in last year’s finals against Boston. However, in Schneider, the Canucks have a legitimate go-to number 1(b), as he’s shown his ability to step in and play in big games, all season long. Quick’s had an incredible season, there’s no doubt, and although fatigue may be a factor given his workload this year, if he was pitted against only Luongo you’d have to give the Kings the edge. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, the Canucks have a fail safe in Schneider, and for that reason give the nod to the Canucks between the pipes. DEFENSEThe Kings finished with 170 goals against, good for second in the NHL. The Canucks were fourth at 191 goals allowed.The Kings’ defensive corps boasts one of the league’s best young defensemen, Drew Doughty. He is typically paired with Cup-winning veteran, Rob Scuderi. The Kings’ other two pairings are typically ex-Canuck Willie Mitchell alongside young Russian Slava Voynov, and Matt Green playing with Rafael Diaz. With the exception of Doughty, none of these blueliners are spectacular, however, together they form a very solid and efficient six-man unit. Scuderi and Greene provide the most physicality.The Canucks look to start the series with the pairings of Bieksa-Edler, Hamhuis-Tanev, and Salo-Rome. The defense has been playing very well of late and while none of these guys boast the kind of offensive flair of a Doughty, four of the six are legitimate threats offensively. In addition, this group does a tremendous job of moving the puck out of the zone with efficiency, getting the puck to the forwards.Generally, I get nervous come playoff time when the Canucks have to face a Norris-calibre defenseman. Doughty was nominated for the award in his breakout 2009-2010 campaign, but has failed to live up to the hype since then, reporting late to camp last fall after a contract dispute. In addition, in the games against the Canucks this season, they have been able to get Doughty off his game mentally, causing him to take a number of unnecessary penalties.The Canucks also boast much better depth. I’m not sure who the Kings have in reserve, but trading Jack Johnson away at the deadline hurt their depth badly. The Canucks have at least three NHL-calibre defensemen in reserve (Keith Ballard, Andrew Alberts, Marc-Andre Gragnani), each of whom can slot into the sixth spot and give the team a much different look.For defense – give the edge to the Canucks, as their offensive abilities and depth should be enough to overcome Doughty’s top-end talent. FORWARDSThe Kings’ top-six is extremely good on paper, boasting Anze Koptiar, Justin Williams, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Dustin Brown. The team has been scoring well of late, averaging three goals per game over their last 18 games, which roughly coincides with the acquisition of Carter at the trade deadline. Kopitar can be one of the league’s most dynamic players, however, in my mind he continues to fail to take that “next step” to elite superstar status. Justin Williams has had a bit of a down year, but he was the Kings’ best forward in their 4-1 victory over the Canucks back in December. Mike Richards has had a garish campaign (I should know as I have him in my fantasy league), and after returning from a concussion in late December, he hasn’t appeared to be the same player he was before. Carter is returning from a recent bone bruise injury and may not be as effective as he normally would be.The Kings’ bottom-six begins to thin out, and includes players such as Jarret Stoll, Dustin Penner, Brad Richardson (out after an emergency appendectomy), Kyle Clifford, Matt Lewis, ex-Blackhawk Colin Fraser, and a collection of 12th/13th forwards to round out the lineup.While the Kings’ top end talent can compare to Vancouver’s, their depth up front is suspect and coach Alain Vigneault should be able to exploit favourable matchups. Given his line’s great two-way performance, Sammy Pahlsson will likely see a lot of ice against Kopitar, and if his line can neutralize the Kings’ first unit (possibly chipping in with the odd goal), things should look good for the Canucks. The addition of Pahlsson has been huge for this team, and has impacted it much more greatly than I expected when it was consummated at the deadline. It’s the single biggest reason the Canucks have been able to clamp down effectively on their opposition. When the Pahlsson line takes these tough minutes, it will enable AV to get the Kesler line out against the Kings’ third or fourth lines and that should result in some goals for the team in blue and green.The big question mark for the Canucks remains over Daniel Sedin’s status. If he is able to play it opens up a lot of possibilities for Vigneault as he can move Max Lapierre and Mason Raymond around the lineup as required. Although there was some drama around this situation today, expect the Canucks to have Sedin in the lineup as quickly as possible, currently looking like game 2 or 3 of the series assuming there are no setbacks.In another close competition, give the Canucks the edge here with two caveats: the Kings have enough talent to put the puck in the net and if their forwards raise their game they can compete; and if Daniel Sedin doesn’t play in the series, the scale may tip to the Kings in this area. COACHING/INTANGIBLESAll Canucks fans have seen Sutter’s act before and we should all know what to expect. Sutter will employ a physical, borderline dirty approach with his troops in order to try to get the Canucks off their game. The Kings have the horses to play this way, with Fraser, Clifford, Richardson (when healthy) and Greene all able to mix it up and agitate. This approach is one that’s used consistently against Vancouver and it has had success in the past. For this reason, the Canucks’ power play will have to produce to discourage the Kings from taking too many liberties, and if it doesn’t, expect a dirty series with many scrums, yapping, and confrontations.The Canucks’ team toughness has been questioned throughout the year but I believe they’ve answered the bell when required. They have some big, tough players at their disposal (Byron Bitz, Zack Kassian, Dale Weise, Alberts) and I believe at least one of these guys will be in the lineup at all times to keep the Kings honest. There are a number of other players on the team that won’t back down from anything as well, including Bieksa, Lapierre, and Ballard if he’s in the lineup.Vigneault is one of the league’s best coaches and his ability to tinker with his lineup to find combinations that are effective is constantly impressive. He’s also handled the goaltending situation extremely well throughout the year and has set himself up to have both netminders at his disposal without the team missing a beat. Sutter is an old-school coach with limited understanding of the intricacies of the current-day game, but, his best success in the NHL was as coach of the Calgary Flames, leading them to an improbable Stanley Cup appearance, so he knows what it takes from that perspective.The Canucks are fresh off their Stanley Cup appearance last season and return virtually the same group, so one would think they hold a distinct advantage here. Bear in mind that two of the Kings’ leaders, Richards and Carter, both went to the Cup final two seasons ago when they were with Philadelphia. Mostly because of Vigneault’s ability to adapt, give the edge again to the Canucks. SUMMARY AND PREDICTIONIn my opinion, the Canucks hold a slight edge in all the categories mentioned above. That said, the difference between the two clubs is very small and Vancouver will not be able to roll over the Kings. The Kings’ top-notch goaltending can win them a series on its own and given the fact they have been scoring more of late, they will present a formidable opponent.The key to the series may boil down to special teams. I expect the Kings to employ the typical Canuck-killer strategy, which is after-whistle shenanigans, dirty hits, running the goaltender, and other marginal plays. I expect they will cross the line and the Canucks will be given their chances on the PP. If it can convert, expect a similar series to last year’s Sharks series with the Canucks winning in 5.If the Canucks can’t convert on the PP, it will bolster the Kings’ approach and this is where it can get dicey for Vancouver. They will have to control their emotions and stay out of the penalty box, and if they have to withdraw into lock-down mode, they will do so.Luckily, the Canucks have shown that they can employ this style of game effectively, perhaps the most relevant example being their 1-0 shutout of this Kings team 7 games before the end of the regular season on March 26. If this route is taken, the series will stretch longer.At the end of the day, the Canucks are marginally better than the Kings all over the ice, and this will result in a number of close games, but games where they should be able to get over the top.Canucks in seven.
Mallard’s Source for Sports is eager to add to the celebration with Team of the Week honours.The team includes, back row, L-R, Ruth Sutherland, Karen Duffy, Kelly Peloso, Lisa Ranta, Wendy Horan, Tracey Kooznetsoff, Melissa Keyserlingk and Heather Dyck. Front, Kelly Newhouse, Jennifer Dunn Moynes The Dirty Dozen and the Lily Whites battled through the duration of the Bridge Ladies Rec Indoor Soccer Season.The Lily Whites managed to win the regular season title, but it was Dirty Dozen having the last laugh in the playoff final, knocking off the champs 5-2 in the final to capture the championship.
The company also revealed that it is in negotiations with potential South African lenders for a refinancing of up to US$20-million (about R148-million) of its own inter-company funding of the Newcastle plant. The loan facility was secured from the Sterling Trust Limited, a UK-based private investment company, and is repayable within 90 days of drawdown. According to Ipsa, the loan will be repaid out of the revenues received at the Newcastle plant. “The last year was a period of continued difficulty in the South African power industry as Eskom struggled to re-arrange its finances and to meet its obligation to sign contracts with independent power producers for the provision of privately generated electricity,” said Ipsa chairman Richard Linnell. According to the company, the plant is expected to generate electricity for nine days toward the end of the month, subject to obtaining the necessary approvals for the loan. In the meantime, the plant has continued to incur both direct costs of employing staff as well as rent, rates, rates and gas supply liabilities of a normal, fully constructed power plant. “I am pleased that our Newcastle plant can be brought into operation so quickly in order to make a small contribution towards relieving the strain on the South African electricity system at this critical time,” Ipsa CEO Peter Earle said in a statement last week. The company’s Newcastle plant is the first Independent Power Producer (IPP) plant to be built in South Africa, but has been lying idle as Eskom had yet to finalise power purchase agreements with any independent producers. Local refinancing Ipsa, which is listed on London’s AIM and the JSE’s AltX markets, also announced the arrangement of a short-term loan facility of £300 000 (about R3.3-million) to restart generation at its gas-fired power plant in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal. Integrated energy policy SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material “Now at last we seem to be sensing the first signs of an integrated energy policy for South Africa which includes IPPs at its heart.” In addition, the Sterling Trust will also receive warrants to subscribe for 300 000 new ordinary shares at a price of 15 pence per share, exercisable within 24 months. London-listed power producer Ipsa has concluded a short-term agreement to sell electricity – generated at its plant in KwaZulu-Natal – to South African state company Eskom for the remainder of the month of June. 21 June 2010