Hugo Lloris breaks his silence over major blunder in Tottenham’s defeat to Liverpool Hugo Lloris’ blunder cost Spurs a point against Liverpool (Getty Images)Hugo Lloris has admitted that he has questioned himself since Tottenham’s costly 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday after his error led to the winning goal.The Frenchman failed to hold Mohamed Salah’s tame header as the game went into injury time and was only able to parry it onto Toby Alderweireld’s shins with the ball subsequently going in off the Belgian.In the aftermath of that defeat – Spurs’ fourth in a row away from home – there have been calls for Lloris to be dropped from the team and for his understudy Paulo Gazzaniga to be given a chance to prove his credentials.AdvertisementAdvertisementHowever, Lloris has insisted that the game against Liverpool is now in the past and he is fully focused on Spurs’ next game against Crystal Palace at their new stadium on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT Comment Lloris and Alderweireld look on in horror as the ball trickles over the goal-line (Getty Images)‘When you are a goalkeeper, you know the responsibility. It’s like this,’ he told Sky Sports.‘Of course, you question yourself. The good thing is that you know there is another game in three days, so you need to switch off about [Liverpool] and prepare the next game. I think it’s the best way to forget.‘I tried to catch the ball twice but unfortunately, there was no bounce, it bounced straight to the shin of Toby [Alderweireld]. And then what happened happened. The luck was probably on the opponent’s side.‘It’s tough because we made so much effort to come back in the game. We had a few chances to score the second goal, but then on a set-piece we conceded this goal. It’s a bit sad for us.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityA month ago, Spurs were considered outsiders for the Premier League title, however, a run of four losses and one draw in their previous five games has seen them slip alarmingly down the table.Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Newcastle on Monday meant they leapfrogged their north London rivals into third position, while Manchester United are level on points and Chelsea just one behind Mauricio Pochettino’s side in fifth and sixth respectively.The victory for Liverpool, meanwhile, ensured that they went two points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table although Pep Guardiola’s men have a game in hand against Cardiff City on Wednesday.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors Advertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 2 Apr 2019 9:49 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link112Shares
“The government’s stance in the green paper [published in February 2017] was that DB funding was broadly functioning well, with some exceptions,” the ACA said. “Therefore, any measures should be focused on these exceptions, without destabilising a system which is by-and-large working well.” The UK pension fund industry has hit back at government plans to reform funding requirements for defined benefit (DB) schemes, warning that a more prescriptive approach might do “more harm than good”.The Work and Pensions Select Committee – a cross-party group of MPs from the UK’s lower house of parliament – is conducting an inquiry into the proposals detailed in the government’s white paper on DB reform, published in March.Among the government’s ideas was “clearer” funding requirements to be set out by the Pensions Regulator (TPR). In a series of submissions to the committee, consultants, actuaries and unions took aim at this central plank of government thinking, suggesting instead that the current system worked well.The Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) said it recognised that the attempt to reduce the complexity of DB valuations to a single metric was a “noble aim”. However, “the unintended consequences will do more harm than good”, the trade body warned. The keenly anticipated government report was published in MarchIn its submission, Lincoln Pensions said that funding crises in some cases had not been the fault of “an inadequate funding framework”.The covenant risk specialist said: “The solution lies not in creating a ‘minimum funding requirement v2’… but in requiring all pension scheme trustees to fully understand the strength of their employer covenant and to take it into account when determining their investment and funding strategies.“This could be codified in new legislation… rather than simply in regulatory guidance.”Consultancy giant Mercer asked why the government wanted to revisit what was “prudent” and “appropriate”, two key measures that would be taken into account when deciding whether the regulator should step in.“The white paper itself concludes that the scheme funding framework works well on the whole and provides a balance between affordability and employer growth on the one side and funding needs on the other,” Mercer said.“We agree with this conclusion and do not believe that it would be in the interests of schemes in general, or their members, to review the scheme funding regime in order to deal with shortcomings that only affect a minority.”Several unions also criticised the proposals to introduce a statutory regime. The Trades Union Congress (TUC), which serves as the UK’s umbrella union organisation, said any statutory funding code risked strengthening “the funding orthodoxy that has led to so many DB schemes closing to new members or even accrual”.“We would like to see an approach to funding that allows greater investment in return-seeking assets,” the TUC said.Unite, the UK’s largest union with more than 1.4m members, also expressed reservations.“A statutory funding code risks enshrining in legislation what is currently just TPR preference – requiring schemes and sponsors to de-risk and plan for buyout (or perhaps consolidation), which will increase the costs for sponsors and will unnecessarily shorten the life of sustainable DB schemes for members,” the union said.The moves by industry and the unions to nix any potential statutory funding requirement exposed a growing gap in thinking with government and the regulator.In its submission, TPR said that the current funding regime allowed trustees and sponsoring employers to serve the needs of both the scheme and employer.However, the regulator added: “[The] lack of clarity in legislation as to what constitutes a ‘prudent’ assessment of liabilities and an ‘appropriate’ recovery plan makes it difficult for TPR to set clear expectations in this complex area, and to take regulatory action where we consider that the flexibility in the funding regime is being abused.“The onus should be on schemes and sponsoring employers to demonstrate to us how their approach is prudent and appropriate.”The UK’s biggest pension fund, the £60bn Universities Superannuation Scheme, has been at the centre of a valuation row for nearly a year, after its latest actuarial assessment revealed a significant funding gap. This led to proposals to close the DB section of the scheme, triggering strike action from university staff across the UK.Other valuation calculations produced such a range of outcomes that the scheme’s employers and union formed a joint committee of independent experts to debate the results.
Suarez’s four-month ban from all football-related activity means he cannot play for a club until the end of October – but it would not prevent him having a medical for any possible transfer to Barcelona. Claudio Sulser, the head of FIFA’s disciplinary committee, said that an all-encompassing ban was the “risk” the player took. Press Association Asked why the committee imposed a ban that damaged Liverpool, Sulser told Press Association Sport: “That’s your opinion. It’s a sanction against the player. That is the risk if you are a player and you are sanctioned at the World Cup. “I agree with you it’s a problem for Liverpool, but the sanction is in the disciplinary regulations.” Uruguay striker Suarez has appealed against the four-month ban imposed for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini. Liverpool remain in talks with Barcelona over the transfer of Suarez, and Sulser had earlier told a news conference that the player would be allowed to have a medical ahead of a transfer under the terms of his ban, which relates to all football-related activities including from stadiums. Sulser said: “The player cannot have any activity related to football, but a medical examination for a transfer, yes – the sanction is not linked to transfer rights.” FIFA’s disciplinary chief has defended the decision to impose a ban on Luis Suarez that also affects Liverpool for the biting offence committed at the World Cup.
The two most successful clubs in English football will face off in this weekend’s standout Premier League fixture at Anfield on Sunday afternoon as pacesetters, Liverpool face fading force, Manchester United in the North-West derbyThe Reds remain unbeaten in the top flight after 16 matches and head into this high-profile match sitting top of the division, whereas 20-time champions United are down in sixth place.Not since March 1990 have Liverpool had a bigger points margin heading into a top-flight match against their arch-rivals, with the gap currently standing at 16 points as a result of the sides’ contrasting starts to the season. Liverpool have dropped points in just three games this term and are now the last unbeaten side standing following defeats for past two champions Chelsea and Manchester City over the past three weeks.With Man City falling to a 2-0 at Stamford Bridge last weekend, the Reds stand a point clear at the summit. The task for Jurgen Klopp’s men is to now live with the pressure that comes with being the best in the country, with another five months to see out.This is not exactly new territory for the Merseyside outfit, having mounted a few notable title challenges in the recent past, but the group of players put together by Klopp certainly seems to be made of far sterner stuff – from summer signing Alisson Becker in goal through to arguably the division’s most talented player in Mohammed Salah up top.Strengthening at the back with the addition of Alisson during the off-season, six months after bringing in club-record signing Virgil van Dijk from Southampton has more than paid off for Liverpool. Just six Premier League goals have been shipped all season, leaving them on course to break the record set by Chelsea in 2004-05.In fact, the Reds have not conceded more than one goal in a game in any of their last 19 league outings – their best run of defensive form since the late 1970s and they continue to score goals at an impressive rate at the other end of the pitch.Salah has made a mockery of those who suggested that his 2017-18 goalscoring return would be a one-off, racking up 10 goals already this time around to joint-lead the scoring charts. The Egyptian has opened the scoring in seven matches, meanwhile, and scored the winner six times – both league-high tallies.However, Liverpool’s famed front three of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane – which has been broken apart at times this season with Klopp using a 4-2-3-1, depending on the opponents – have failed to score or assist a goal in a Premier League game against United in nearly 1,000 combined minutes on the field.All three men played in a part in last weekend’s 4-0 demolition of Bournemouth, which was arguably the first time that Klopp’s men have truly swept aside a team since cruising to a 3-0 win over Southampton at the end of September.That was followed up by a tense 1-0 win over Napoli in the Champions League in midweek, keeping the Reds on course for silverware on multiple fronts as they embark on a tough run of games that sees them face United, Arsenal and Man City in the next three weeks.Come through that run unscathed and supporters really can begin to believe that this will finally be their year.While Liverpool fans have plenty to be excited about, it is a different matter entirely for those of a Manchester United persuasion. One win from their last five league matches shows just how far the mighty have fallen.The Red Devils did at least manage to end their four-game winless run last weekend with a 4-1 triumph over Fulham, though it was a case of one step forward and two steps back due to their performance against Valencia in midweek.A 2-1 loss at the Mestalla would prove costly for United as it denied them top spot in their group, meaning a difficult last-16 tie in the Champions League when European action resumes two months from now.Even accounting for the win against Fulham, Jose Mourinho’s underperforming side have taken only six points from the last 15 on offer. A defeat to neighbours Man City was followed up by successive draws with Crystal Palace, Southampton and then Arsenal.Momentum just seems impossible to come by at the moment for the country’s most successful side, last winning back-to-back matches at the beginning of November.United’s scoring stats are down on last season, their defensive stats are down on last season and, as a result, their points tally is substantially down on last season. This time 12 months ago, the Red Devils had nine points more and were only kept off the top spot by the blistering form of runaway champions Man City.Mourinho may have repeatedly claimed that his side overperformed in finishing second last time out, but there can be no excuses about their constant below-par showings this term, most recently in the defeat to Valencia when simply failing to turn up.Their 26 goals against in the Premier League is just two fewer than the total they conceded throughout the whole of 2017-18, with just two clean sheets being kept – incredibly, only five other sides have a worse defensive record.Mourinho can at least fall back on a decent record at Anfield, winning on half of his eight visits there in the Premier League to give him the best win percentage among managers with 5 plus such games in the competition.It was 1990 the last time United were this far behind Liverpool at Christmas. Victory on Sunday will close the margin slightly, but even then there will be lingering doubts over whether Mourinho is the man to bring the glory days back to Old Trafford.United’s last two trips to Anfield have resulted in goalless draws after Mourinho adopted an ultra-cautious approach, yet the Portuguese said his side are capable of fighting for victory despite their injuries.“We know that we are going to play against the leaders, against a team on a high, but we have our qualities, we have our potential,” he said.“Even with the problems we have and the doubts in terms of team choice, of tactics, approach, philosophy, we have doubts about everything. We are going to arrive with the players we have available and going to have a team capable of going there and fight for the victory.”Liverpool are looking to pick up a sixth successive victory in the league. However, Klopp has yet to get the better of Mourinho’s United having not beaten them since the Portuguese took charge in 2016, drawing three and losing once.The fixture is never short of drama and Mourinho usually enjoys the big occasion as an underdog, as he showed in last month’s impressive 2-1 victory over Juventus in Turin.Meanwhile, Manchester City will try to get back to their winnings ways after their first loss of the season last weekend to Chelsea as they host Everton in today’s early kick-off at the Etihad Stadium.The Citizens were seemingly in cruise control and flying at the top of the table until last week’s defeat to Chelsea. Seven back to back victories since their goalless draw with Liverpool back in October demonstrates City’s dominance in the league.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Junior forward Mike Bruesewitz takes liftoff Wednesday night versus UW-Green Bay, in a game where he scored four points and nabbed a team-high eight rebounds.[/media-credit]After snapping its two-game losing skid Wednesday night, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team faces one of the two nonconference teams that handed the Badgers a loss last year.Fresh off a 70-42 rout of in-state rival UW-Green Bay Wednesday night, Wisconsin (7-2) will host the Nevada-Las Vegas Runnin’ Rebels (9-1) Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center. Last year, UNLV rode a hot-shooting performance to a 68-65 win over UW out in Las Vegas. That game revealed the Rebels’ offensive prowess, as UNLV shot 49 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range.“I think they’re playing better as a unit, overall,” UW assistant coach Lamont Paris said. “They seem to be playing as a more cohesive unit. … They were good last year and very potent offensively, and it’s the same thing this year.”This season, thanks in large part to the addition of sophomore forward Mike Moser, UNLV averages 83.0 points per game, No. 12 in the nation. Moser, a 6-foot-8, 195-pound transfer from California-Los Angeles, leads UNLV with 15.8 points per game and the nation with 12.5 rebounds per game. When the Rebels upset then-No. 1 North Carolina 90-80 Nov. 26 in the Las Vegas International championship game, Moser pulled down a game-high 18 rebounds and added 16 points and six assists.North Carolina’s next game came against, of all teams, Wisconsin. In a back-and-forth affair that saw eight lead changes, the Tar Heels eked out a 60-57 win over the Badgers. Three days later, Wisconsin lost to another in-state rival, Marquette, 61-54 at the Kohl Center, snapping the Badgers’ 23-game home winning streak.“We played two quality opponents,” junior forward Mike Bruesewitz said. “Some stuff didn’t go our way, we didn’t take care of some stuff defensively and offensively, we kind of left some points on the board. A couple more shots go down here or there, we do some stuff differently and a little bit smarter, all of a sudden we’re sitting there and we just beat two quality opponents. It’s a learning process.”UNLV’s win, however, catapulted the Rebels from unranked status to a team ranked No. 18 in the AP Top 25 and No. 20 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. But eight days later, the Rebels were bounced from the top 25 in an upset loss at Wichita State.“They’re better, they’re a year older,” Bruesewitz said. “They didn’t lose anybody; they added [Moser], who’s averaging a double-double and is the leading rebounder in the country. So they’re not any different, they’re just better.”The Rebels are also led by senior guard/forward Chace Stanback, who averages 15.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, both second on the team. Against the Badgers last year, Stanback led all scorers with 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-7 from three-point territory.Wisconsin, meanwhile, is looking to gather some momentum down the stretch of nonconference play. Against Green Bay Wednesday night, the Badgers shot just 12-for-33 in the first half (36.4 percent) and led 33-21 at halftime. However, a much-needed second-half surge that saw UW shoot 15-for-26 (57.7 percent) overpowered the Phoenix.Senior point guard Jordan Taylor scored 15 points and dished out a career-high 10 assists for his second career double-double and first of the season. Junior forward Ryan Evans finished with 14 points and six rebounds, while junior forward/center Jared Berggren scored 13 and added three rebounds and four steals.“If you’re not shooting well, there’s so many other things in the game of basketball that you can do to help a team,” sophomore guard Ben Brust said. “That’s what this team has to do when we’re struggling to shoot the ball, just make sure we keep getting good shots, keep doing the right things and just play defense and rebound.”As the Badgers continue to develop their rotation after losing three key starters from last year’s team, the offense continues to be scrutinized. Wisconsin finished the game Wednesday night shooting 45.8 percent from the field, but just 17.6 percent (3 for 17) from behind the arc. However, 10 different players scored and Wisconsin’s bench outscored Green Bay’s 21-16. An improved effort in the paint also yielded a 36-26 advantage.“I think every team’s going to go through … just as a unit, trying to develop your identity and establish how you’re going to play,” Paris said. “A couple of times, it’s been just poor shooting effort. … I don’t know that I would attribute it just on the offensive end; I think as a team in general, you’re going to have some growing pains.”
The above tweet reveals bet365’s plans for this weekend’s PUBG action. Given the exclusive data deal that Sportradar hold with ESL, and the fact that IEM Oakland is part of the Intel Extreme Masters and thus ESL, one would assume that data and the feed is being fed through them.The Intel Extreme Masters Oakland is set to provide the world with a second glimpse at PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds in fully fledged esports action. There’s a large dedicated observer team, to combat the game’s inherent spectator barrier. It remains to be seen exactly how the stage will be set up and whether the 80 strong field of players will actually be visible to what’s sure to be a busy crowd.The increased excitement around PUBG is evident when you have a glance at the list of esports organisations involved. Giants of the esports world such as FaZe, Team Liquid, TSM, Cloud9, Evil Geniuses, Method and Ninjas in Pyjamas have all picked up four man rosters set to compete in a title that still sits in early access.The game is believed to be released in its 1.0 version come December, potentially with the launch of a second, desert terrain map and also the new vaulting mechanics which have been teased on the public test server this week. The game’s performance has also notably been improved, and there’s other quality of life changes to vehicles and scopes too.Esports Insider says: Great stuff from bet365. They’re continuing to push the boundaries with their betting offering and this is mighty impressive. We’re looking forward to seeing how the in-play goes for this one as the game is carnage in its very essence. We wrote earlier this week about how bet365 were again leading the way in the esports gambling world. In our ESI Gambling Report we praised the depth of markets available on the operators site, as well as lamenting a somewhat lazy approach from others in the space. Now the operator has taken it up another notch, by offering IEM Oakland in-play markets and live streaming on its site this weekend.
Veteran coach Herbert Addo is set rejoin Inter Allies nearly a year after leaving the Tema side for Hearts of Oak.The former Aduana and Kotoko coach is expected to seal the contract in the coming days after Paa Kwesi Fabin parted ways with the club to concentrate on Black Starlets duties.Addo will be returning to familiar surroundings after he guided Inter Allies to sixth place two seasons ago – after taking over the club midway through that season when they were rock bottom.Herbert further guided Inter Allies to the final of the MTN FA Cup where they lost narrowly to Asante Kotoko in extra time.These exploits landed Herbert Addo the head role coach of Hearts of Oak. However, he failed to reciprocate such form which made him lose the Hearts job in the second round of last season.Herbert will have another chance with Inter Allies and the Tema side are expected to be a force to reckon with next season under his guidance. –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports
Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs “It’s against the rules,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said, “But that’s just me. I’ve only been in the league 31 years.”Last week, Gentry said Davis wouldn’t be traded “for anyone inside or outside the league, including Beyonce.” Last year, when Davis-to-Boston rumors emerged, Gentry said the Pelicans would only consider it if they got “the New England Patriots and the two planes they just bought.”Davis belongs to the Pelicans this year and next. He has an option to leave before the 2020-21 season. But next summer he can sign a five-year, $230 million extension with New Orleans because he made All-NBA in two of three seasons and has remained with the Pelicans throughout. No other team can match it.Of course, Lakers fans have postulated that every great player on every other team was destined to become a Laker eventually: Hakeem Olajuwon, Ralph Sampson, Tim Duncan, Dominique Wilkins, etc.The NBA fined Lakers president Magic Johnson $500,000 for coveting Paul George and $50,000 more for merely praising Antetokounmpo. But James has personally recruited Chris Bosh and Kevin Love to join him, and several Warriors reached out to Kevin Durant before the dotted line was signed, and those actions and many others went unsanctioned.The Pelicans feel this is clearly different because Rich Paul, James’ agent, has added Davis to his cast.Gentry was objecting to the fact he was having to talk about this in the first place, and that it might become a distraction to Davis and his team. But NBA players understand the business and generally know when rumor becomes fact.The problem is so many people have been conditioned to think the NBA season starts in mid-June and ends whenever the most glamorous free agent makes his decision. Randle and his young Laker mates were trying to figure out themselves, figure out the league, and get inured to the inevitable losing over the past three years. But LeBron’s intercontinental shadow hovered over each game. Is he coming? If he does, who’s going?“I wouldn’t say it was tiresome,” Randle said. “The biggest thing I learned is that I couldn’t control narratives. I could only go out and get better.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“I knew what it was,” Randle said at the Pelicans’ Friday morning shootaround. “New guys come in and they want to put their imprint on things. I totally understood it. I just didn’t know how things would play out.”Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Randle signed for two years and $18 million, but the second year is up to him. He can opt out and again become a free agent next summer. He will be a popular item in that bazaar. He is averaging 19.3 points and 9.5 rebounds in just under 28 minutes per game. That’s 5.1 points above his average in his three full years with the Lakers.The only 20-point, 10-rebound guys in the league right now are Giannis Antetokounmpo, Russell Westbrook, Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis, Randle’s teammate and the subject of league-wide desire.What about Davis on the Lakers? “That would be amazing, duh,” James said the other day. “That would be incredible.”That would also be tampering, according to the Pelicans. LOS ANGELES — Triage has been kind to Julius Randle.When LeBron James came to the Lakers, somebody had to go. NBA players, no matter how young, see such things coming.Randle, the Lakers’ prized lottery pick in 2014, became a reliable horse down low, a fervent rebounder and a magnet for the defense, which in turn helped the guys outside.Amid the local jubilation over James’ commitment to the Lakers in late June, Randle knew he would be calling the movers. He landed in New Orleans, which came to Staples Center on Friday night. How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I was playing for my teammates. I wasn’t playing for the front office or for other teams. I love you guys (media), but I wasn’t playing for you either. The only thing you can focus on is you. I’m just trying to be a better and more complete player, on both ends.”Randle smiled and shook his head when asked if he’d been visited by nostalgia when he walked into Staples Center.“I do remember the energy, the juice,” he said. “I’m looking forward to that. I see the young guys on the Lakers getting better. They’re very versatile on the offensive end. Guys like (Kyle) Kuzma, JHart (Jason Hart), BI (Brandon Ingram), they’re all maturing. I can see the growth from week to week.”He can see it in the mirror, too. As the weeks become months, and if the rules remain lax, someone might be tampering with Julius Randle.
Pittsburgh defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) during warmup before an NCAA football game between Pittsburgh and Miami on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)HOUSTON (AP) — Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald picked up another award Wednesday night, winning the Rotary Lombardi Award.Donald beat out Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam and UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr for the award given annually to the nation’s top college lineman.It’s already been a big week for Donald, a senior defensive tackle who won the Bronko Nagurski award given to the nation’s top college defensive player Monday.“It’s a true blessing and a true honor for people to notice me and notice the hard work I put into this game,” Donald said.The 6-foot, 285-pound Donald leads the nation with 26½ tackles for losses and his 28½ career sacks are tops among active players in the Football Bowl Subdivision and fourth in school history.Donald has 10 sacks, 54 tackles and has forced four fumbles this season.Though Pittsburgh is headed to the play Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26, Donald was disappointed that his 6-6 team didn’t do better.“The record doesn’t show what we wanted as a team,” Donald said. “I just went out there and tried to do my job, and that’s play football fast and physical and try to make plays to help my team win.”Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald poses for a portrait with the Rotary Lombardi Award prior to the awards ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Houston. Donald won the award on Wednesday night. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, James Nielsen)
By Bruce Fuhr,The Nelson Daily SportsGo figure.For most of the season it’s like the Nelson Leafs believe game time is an hour later than posted on the schedule.Why else would the team fail to show up for the first period of a 7 p.m. game and end up on the wrong side of the score after 20 minutes?New Flash Saturday night:The Leafs reverse the trend, get a great start against the Grand Forks Border Bruins to lead 2-0 after one period and 4-0 after two.However, instead of finishing the game strong Nelson lets its foot off the gas peddle, allowing the Border Bruins to cut into the comfortable margin and send shivers up the spine of the coaching staff.This story still has a happy ending as Gavin Currie notched his second of the game to lead the Leafs to a 5-2 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory at the NDCC Arena.“We played really well in the first, the second was good but (in the third) we thought we’d won the game already but we were able to get that late goal to finish off the game,” said Leaf rookie winger, Patrick Martens.An unlikely hero, 16-year-old Linden Horswill gave Nelson the early lead as the local minor hockey grad, playing at the Okanagan Hockey Academy, scored his first junior goal.Marcus Dahl make it 2-0 before the period ended, combining Tyler Parfeniuk and Colton Schell for a power play marker.Currie, as he picked off a clearing pass at the Grand Forks blueline, beat Garrett Muir high over the glove with an unassisted goal. Dallon Stoddart then jammed the puck past Muir to give Nelson the commanding lead.However, in the third Joey Cormano and Artsiom Kalashnikov scored 46 seconds apart to cut the lead in half and put fear into the heads of the Leafs.“I don’t think it was any more difficult that we thought,” said Leaf coach Chris Shaw. “Grand Forks has put a pretty good team together now. They’ve acquired some pretty good players from Revelstoke and we knew they’re going to be pretty tough to play against.”Nelson finished the game ahead on the shot counter with a 27-20 advantage. Darren Hogg played well to register the win in goal. Friday, it was back to the usual trend for Nelson.Beaver Valley, or should we say, Dallas Calvin, jumped into a 3-0 lead, building the margin to 5-1 en route to a 7-4 victory in Fruitvale.It’s the third straight loss for the Leafs against the Hawks. Fact is Nelson has yet to beat the two front-runners in the Murdoch Division — Castlegar and Beaver Valley — this season.“Slowly but surely, I think the next time we get Castlegar we’re really going to give them a good go,” explained Martens, eager to see how the new-look Leafs respond after making a few changes to the roster during the past few weeks.“I think at the start of the year it was,” Martens said when asked if the Hawks and Rebels have the Leafs’ number. “But now that we’re more mature as a team, and have been able to come together as a team, I think we can pull it off and get a “W” over there.”The weekend split pulled the Leafs even at 11-11 on the season. The fourth-place Leafs trail Spokane by six points in a race for third and are 12 behind division leading Castlegar.Nelson travels to Grand Forks Thursday to play a return match against the Bruins.Saturday the Leafs host Kamloops before concluding the three-games-in-four-days weekend with an afternoon contest against Columbia Valley.BLUELINES: Linden Horswill was joined by OKA teammate John Sanders for both weekend games. . . .Nelson was missing Connor McLaughlin, who joined Trail Smokies of the BCHL for a road trip to Prince George and Quesnel. McLaughlin scored twice in Friday’s 5-3 win. . . .Also missing from the lineup due to injury was Walker Sidoni, Adrian Moyls, Raymond Reimer and Cameron Dobransky. email@example.com