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Easy Street: captain back from ACL tear

first_imgSenior Ben Street has returned from an ACL tear and leads the team with 33 shots on goal this year.[/media-credit]Ben Street doesn’t get too upset about things. His coach sees him as a calming presence, and Street even admits he doesn’t tend to be overly emotional. Even season-ending injuries can’t derail him.Street is a fifth-year senior on the Wisconsin men’s hockey team, but only because he suffered a season-ending ACL tear just four games into the 2008-09 season. Characteristically, Street took the injury with calm acceptance.“It was just one of those things where I was pretty sure my season was over,” he said. “The only thing on my mind was how I was going to get myself back and ready to go the next year.”Now that he’s back, the UW tri-captain is doing what he does best — shooting the puck. Street scored a game-clinching goal with just under two minutes left Friday night and leads the team with 33 shots on goal. Although it’s early in the season, the forward is content with how he’s played so far.“Pretty good, I obviously had to get a little rust off to start with. I think in some aspects, I’m still getting my timing back a little bit,” Street said. “But so far I’ve been able to contribute every once in a while and I haven’t been making a lot of mistakes defensively, so at least I’m not hurting the team.”The loss of Street last year meant the Badgers faced a big void in offense. Although players like Tom Gorowsky and John Mitchell picked up the scoring slack, Street’s contribution was sorely missed. Entering his fourth year, he had scored at least 10 goals in each of his first three full seasons.Coming off of the 2007-08 season, he had posted career bests with 13 goals and 17 assists. Street also led the team with four game-winning goals that season.And though his offensive presence was missed, head coach Mike Eaves didn’t understate how Street’s calm demeanor and experience were missed. He even went as far as to compare the senior to a four-time Stanley Cup winner.“It’s interesting, when you talk to older guys in the National Hockey League, when people talk about a captain like (Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas) Lidstrom, they talk about how calm he is,” Eaves said. “And during a storm, [he says] ‘Hey, it’s OK, we’re a good team, things are going to be all right. We’ve got to continue to work hard and stay the course.’“And that’s the kind of personality Ben has anyways, and with his experiences, he brings that.”When Street went down, co-captain Blake Geoffrion and the two assistant captains stepped up to provide on-ice leadership. But Geoffrion said he didn’t feel any additional pressure to lead, as Street was still active with the team.“He was around, getting to know the freshmen, getting to know [guys], closer to guys that weren’t playing as much and being able to talk to him and help them through their adversity,” Geoffrion said. “It was definitely helpful.”And though he wasn’t on the ice with the team, Street made himself available to his teammates to talk. He also watched games as a spectator and said he learned a lot being able to break down the play from above.With Geoffrion and Co. taking care of things in the rink, Street could focus on his rehab and being a mentor.“So I kind of let those guys take the game by game stuff, [and] I tried to just be an outlet, be an away from hockey type of thing,” Street said. “I kind of had a bird’s-eye view of the games, so guys could come and ask me, ‘What’d you think, maybe coach saw it this way, but what do you think?’”Despite accepting his new role on the team and feeling confident about his rehab, even the ever-placid Street admitted the injury was mentally taxing.“I mean, it was — probably frustrating is be best word. It was one of those things where there’s not much you can do about it, I couldn’t play, I kind of accepted that pretty early,” he said. “It was tough, watching your teammates go out there and compete and not being able to help them. That part was frustrating.”Adding to the frustration, the Badgers missed the NCAA tournament by just 0.0002 of a point in the Ratings Percentage Index. The Badgers also lost 10 games last season by one goal — or about one game for each goal Street has averaged per season.But having the forward back for a fifth year can only help on a largely veteran squad.“We kind of have the same fold as he did when it was ’06 and they won the national championship, and that’s kind of what we’ve got now,” Geoffrion said. “He’s been able to help us through and give us different ideas of what their team and their culture was when they won in ’06.”And though Street’s production so far this season has been pedestrian — his three points (two goals, one assist) are tied for 11th on the team — he leads the team in shots on goal and is a respectable plus-2 for the season. His coach calls him “a shooter” and acknowledges how tough it is to return from injury. And after knowing Street for more than four years, Eaves is confident he’ll see a return to form.“It’s always tough to come back after a long layoff. And I know Ben’s somewhat frustrated in his point production, but as we’ve talked about, it’s going to take time,” Eaves said. “He’s getting shots, he’s getting chances — he’s clearly getting chances.“It’s just a matter of time. His best is yet to come, that’s for sure. That’s exciting.”last_img read more

LA Clippers roar back to beat Thunder 103-98

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Chris Paul concurred.“No question,” he said. “That energy and intensity they brought into the game, I think they got the crowd back into it. We picked it up from there. We started going downhill, as Doc would say. And just finding guys.“Wes (Wesley Johnson) made some big shots. And then our defense. We got some runout layups and that’s what got us back in the game.”Paul led the Clippers with 21 points and 13 assists. DeAndre Jordan scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, Redick scored 16, Jamal Crawford 12 and Johnson 11.Johnson started 1 of 11. But he hit two big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. The first came with 4:59 to play and brought the Clippers within 95-84. At the 4:27 mark, Johnson sank a 28-foot bomb to cut the deficit to eight (95-87).Johnson said he was encouraged by his teammates.“I mean, every time I came to the bench, they kept saying, ‘Keep shooting,’ ” Johnson said. “So I couldn’t be bashful.”Paul loved the mettle his team displayed.“We showed a lot of fight,” he said.Paul mentioned the defense. The Thunder scored only five points over the last 7:26. The Clippers outscored OKC 35-13 in the fourth quarter, during which the Thunder were forced into six of their 17 turnovers.Austin Rivers scored six points off the bench in his first game back after missing a month with a fractured left hand. His father praised the defense his 6-foot-4 son played on Durant when he was on him.Durant finished with 30 points, but shot just 12 of 27. Russell Westbrook scored 24 and Serge Ibaka scored 11 points and tied Durant for team-high rebounding honors with 11.“I just tried to get under (Durant),” Austin Rivers said. “You cannot stop a player like Kevin. You just try to make it as difficult as possible, and I feel like we were kind of getting punked a little bit in the first half. The whole team, honestly.”The Thunder outrebounded the Clippers 63-45.OKC coach Billy Donovan seemed peeved at his team, rather than complimentary of the Clippers.“I don’t think L.A. did anything drastically different,” he said. “It was turnovers, it was maybe not great shot selection, it was not getting back in transition, it was giving up 3s — everything that we were doing at such a high level in the first half.”Clippers starting forward Luc Mbah a Moute missed the game because of a left eyelid laceration. Jeff Green started in his place.The Clippers play at OKC two more times this month and they also play at Golden State and San Antonio. There are games at Dallas and Memphis and Houston and home games against Atlanta, Cleveland, Boston and the surprising Portland Trail Blazers. Tough, indeed.Doc Rivers shrugged it off.“I don’t have a lot of thoughts,” he said before tipoff. “(Clippers voice) Ralph (Lawler) keeps reminding me of it during our interviews. But, obviously, I don’t think much about schedules.“I look at rest and stuff like that. I don’t look at the opponent much. We have to be ready to play every night and I don’t mind that it’s a tough schedule. I think in some ways that could be good for us.”Then there is Griffin. He has not played since Dec. 25 because of a partially torn quad tendon and, more recently, a fractured right hand.Austin Rivers told reporters that the way Griffin looked at the morning shootaround, he appears ready.“He looked like he was normal out there,” the younger Rivers said. “He was shooting it like Blake shoots it, from that mid-range. He was rolling to the basket, jumping high. He looks pretty good.”Knowing his son had, in his words, “spilled the beans,” Doc Rivers said that Griffin is indeed just about there.“Blake’s close and he’s looking good,” the elder Rivers said. “I mean, honestly, watching him today I was like, in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Well, we can use some of that tonight.’ ”Once Griffin has been given the green light by doctors, he must serve his four-game suspension for fracturing his hand on team equipment staffer Matias Testi. March could be the most important month of the regular season for the L.A. Clippers. They play 16 games — six against elite teams with better records than the Clippers — and several more against playoff-bound teams.The Clippers will get Blake Griffin back, which will be a big deal moving toward the postseason.The first test came Wednesday, and the Clippers passed with flying colors. Down by 17 points after three quarters, they roared back to take a 103-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder before a delirious sellout crowd of 19,304 at Staples Center.The Clippers went ahead for good on a three-point play by DeAndre Jordan for a 99-97 lead with 1:12 to play. Jamal Crawford then made a short bank shot with 38.6 seconds left for a 101-97 advantage.center_img After OKC’s Kevin Durant made one of two free throws, J.J. Redick made two free throws with 5.8 seconds left to seal the Thunder’s fate.The victory moved the fourth-place Clippers (40-20) to within 1 1/2 games of third-place Oklahoma City (42-19) in the Western Conference standings. The Clippers were down 85-68 entering the fourth quarter.The comeback, which was the Clippers’ biggest of the season, began with the second unit on the floor to start the fourth quarter.“The bench,” coach Doc Rivers said. “That was the key. … I just thought Oklahoma played harder, more aggressive, downhill, for 2 1/2 quarters; really, three quarters. And then the bench came in and then they started doing it back at them.”last_img read more

Parfaite Harmonie begins ‘Blazin’ with GTT

first_imgIn an effort to continue to ‘do more’ for its customers, telecommunications giant GTT has spent two days in Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara (WBD) conducting registration and installation of its most recent superfast Internet service powered by fibre-optic cable – GTT Blaze.Staff of GTT at Parfaite Harmonie on SaturdayThis was the second phase of the on-the-spot registration and installation exercise that began on Saturday, June 30 and ended on July 1. The first phase was conducted two weeks prior.Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI) was the Support Officer, Sherissa Critchlow, who said that this was an effort of GTT to provide more services to the area, since the residents only previously accessed the mobile service.“The aim is that these areas here are grassroots areas in our view, because we haven’t done anything here apart from mobile, so we want to come down here, give customers that change to have really awesome service,” she explained.“We don’t want them to wait; we want when they come to get signed up, in just a few hours, the technicians will call them and we’re at the home installing Blaze.”When asked about the response of the residents, the Support Officer said that they had accomplished over 200 sales the day prior and from those sales, half of the installations have been completed.“The response has been great, as anticipated; everyone is excited about the superfast Internet services. As much as there’s rain, our technicians are still out there getting those installations done. So, we anticipate that all of those customers that we would’ve signed up during the course of this weekend will get installed.”Currently, the Blaze service is in approximately 20 areas and is still expanding. Critchlow made it known that the company has put in immense efforts towards sensitising the public on the service and encouraging them to sign up.Teams are present on the roads, making calls, and customers have even been receiving blast texts on when the service would be available in their areas. Persons are also encouraged to visit retail stores to get signed up. As the service is made available in respective areas, after signing up, persons can get installed in 45-50 days.Critchlow is encouraging potential customers to consider the benefits of the service: “Think of what you can do with up to 50mbps of service. You can stream your videos better, gaming, no longer are you buffering. Students who want to do online programmes and so forth, now with Blaze you can do so much more, whether it’s for studies, play, or work.”Persons are encouraged to get signed up as soon as possible.The service incurs a $12,000 installation fee that does not have to be paid up front, but when customers receive their first bill. Customers purchasing this service will receive three things from each package: landline service, Internet service and a backup battery which gives power for 4-6 hours.last_img read more