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WPIAL baseball-softball playoff clinchings

Written by Mike White on .

Section play in WPIAL baseball and softball ends next week.

The top three teams in each section qualify for the playoffs. If there are ties for the last spot in a section, head-to-head competition breaks the deadlock. If two or more tied teams split in head-to-head, they all go.

Here are the teams that have clinched playoff berths heading into Thursday's games:

BASEBALL

CLASS AAAA - (Section 1) Seneca Valley, North Allegheny, Butler. (2) Hempfield, Norwin, Latrobe. (3) Shaler, Fox Chapel, Central Catholic. (4) Plum, Franklin Regional, Allderdice. (5) Mt. Lebanon, Canon-McMillan.

CLASS AAA - (1) Central Valley, Hopewell, Blackhawk. (2) Indiana, Kittanning. (3) West Allegheny, Chartiers Valley, Montour. (4) West Mifflin. (5) Knoch, Mars.

CLASS AA - (1) Quaker Valley. (2) Brownsville, Washington, Waynesburg. (3) Shady Side Academy, Burrell. (4) Keystone Oaks, Seton-LaSalle, Steel Valley. (5) Riverside, Neshannock, Shenango.

CLASS A - (1) California, Bentworth, Carmichaels. (2) Greensburg Central Catholic, Serra, Jeannette. (3) Rochester, Sewickley Academy, Western Beaver. (4) Vincentian, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic. (5) Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. 

SOFTBALL

CLASS AAAA - (Section 1) Hempfield. (2) Fox Chapel, Gateway, Plum. (3) North Allegheny, Shaler, Seneca Valley. (4) Canon-McMillan, Bethel Park, Baldwin. 

CLASS AAA - (1) Beaver, Central Valley, Blackhawk. (2) West Allegheny, Chartiers Valley. (3) Belle Vernon, Trinity, Elizabeth Forward. (4) Yough, Southmoreland, Mount Pleasant. (5) Hampton, Mars.

CLASS AA - (1) Burgettstown, South Side Beaver, Avonworth. (2) McGuffey, Carmichaels. (3) Deer Lakes. (4) Seton-LaSalle. (5) Mohawk, Ellwood City.

CLASS A - (1) Chartiers-Houston, Jefferson-Morgan, West Greene. (2) Frazier, Greensburg Central Catholic, Monessen. (3) Leechburg, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, Riverview. (4) Shenango, Union, Western Beaver. (5) Sewickley Academy, Serra, Bishop Canevin.

 

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Ducks - Flames preview - 04-30-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Ducks vs. Flames

Ducks Leading Postseason Scorer: Right winger Corey Perry (right), 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists).

Flames Leading Postseason Scorer: Center Jiri Hudler (below), 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists).

Ducks Expected Starting Goaltender: Frederik Andersen, 4-0, 2.20 GAA, .924 SV%.

Flames Expected Starting Goaltender: Jonas Hiller, 3-2, 2.20 GAA, .931 SV%.

Ducks Postseason Statistics

Flames Postseason Statistics

Ducks Injuries: Center Nate Thompson ("upper body") is probable. Right winger Chris Wagner ("upper body") is questionable. Goaltender John Gibson ("upper body") and defenseman Korbinian Holzer (concussion) are out. Defenseman Sheldon Souray (right wrist) is on injured reserve.

Flames Injuries: Centers Lance Bouma ("upper body") and Paul Byron ("lower body") are out. Defensemen Mark Giordano (biceps) and Ladislav Smid ("upper body") are on injured reserve.

Ducks with Stanley Cup bling: Defenseman Francois Beauchemin, center Ryan Getzlaf, right winger Corey Perry.

Flames with Stanley Cup bling: Left winger Brandon Bollig.

Something worthwhile about the Ducks: The Ducks have the highest goals for per game average in the postseason with 4.0.

Something worthwhile about the Flames: The Flames have the highest penalty minutes per game in the playoffs with 25.5.

Something useless about the Ducks that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins defenseman J.J. Daigneault recorded the primary assist on the first postseason goal in Ducks/Mighty Ducks history. Daigneault assisted on right winger Teemu Selanne's goal in a 4-2 home win against the Coyotes in Game 1 of a 1997 Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Something useless about the Flames that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins center Dan Quinn holds the Flames' record for fastest two goals in a playoff game. He scored twice in the span of 1:37 in a 6-5 overtime loss against the Blues in Game 6 of a 1986 Campbell Conference final.

Former Penguins on the Ducks: Defenseman Simon Despres, scout Mike Stapleton.

Former Penguins on the Flames: Defensemen Deryk Engelland and Corey Potter.

Who needs to be the difference for the Ducks: Center Ryan Kesler and right winger Jakub Silfverberg. They teamed up to torture the Jets in the first round. They need to do the same against the Ducks.

Who needs to be the difference for the Flames: Hiller. He needs to steal goals and games for the Flames to pull this out.

Best Ducks YouTube Video We Could Find: Ducks right winger Petr Sykora's goal in the fifth overtime of a 4-3 win against the Stars in Game 1 of a 2003 Western Conference semifinal series:

Best Flames YouTube Video We Could Find: Flames center Doug GIlmour's overtime goal against the Kings in Game 1 of a 1989 Smythe Division final series:

EN Prediction: This may be the most entertaining series in the second round with each team possessing a dangerous offense. The Ducks have dominated the Flames at home over the years and that should continue. Ducks 4-3.

(Photos: Harry How/Getty Images)

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Kevin White mock draft roundup

Written by Craig Meyer on .

http://www.post-gazette.com/image/2014/10/18/ca6,0,2210,1449/20141018mfwvusports04-3.jpg

(Matt Freed, Post-Gazette)

I had resisted doing this for a few months, since these mock drafts are as solid and stable as a drunk person trying to ride a surfboard on a 50-foot wave. By their very nature, the order of these things is pliable because developments emerge and perceptions change, so trying to constantly chronicle and update these things is likely to drive someone mad.

But with draft day finally here, the focus of West Virginia fans falls squarely on their prized product, wide receiver Kevin White.

Barely even two years removed from Lackawanna College in Scranton, White was widely viewed as one of the draft's top receivers at the end of the season, but following his freakish showing at the NFL combine in February, he's almost universally regarded as a top-10 pick. Some mocks even have him going as high as No. 3 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A handful of other Mountaineers will hear their names called over the next three days. There's no mistaking, however, that an overwhelming bulk of the interest centers around White and since most websites don't have mock drafts that go beyond the third round, it's a lot more effective focusing on the top prospect of the group.

Mel Kiper, ESPN (Insider): No. 6 New York Jets

ESPN NFL Nation: No. 6 New York Jets

Sports Illustrated: No. 7 Chicago Bears (Don Banks), No. 3 Jacksonville Jaguars (Chris Burke), No. 10 St. Louis Rams (Doug Farrar)

NFL.comNo. 7 Chicago Bears (Daniel Jeremiah), No. 6 New York Jets (Mike Mayock), No. 11 Minnesota Vikings (Charles Davis), No. 12 Cleveland Browns (Charley Casserly), No. 7 Chicago Bears (Lance Zierlein), No. 7 Chicago Bears (Bucky Brooks), No. 4 Oakland Raiders (Brian Baldinger)

CBS Sports: No. 6 New York Jets (Rob Rang), No. 7 Chicago Bears (Dane Brugler), No. 10 St. Louis Rams (Pete Prisco), No. 9 New York Giants (Will Brinson)

Pro Football Talk: No. 6 New York Jets

Fox Sports: No. 13 New Orleans Saints

SB Nation: No. 7 Chicago Bears

Bleacher Report: No. 10 St. Louis Rams

Yahoo! Sports: No. 10 St. Louis Rams

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: No. 6 New York Jets

USA Today: No. 12 Cleveland Browns

Washington Post: No. 7 Chicago Bears

U-T San Diego: No. 9 New York Giants

Walter Football: No. 7 Chicago Bears

 

Of those mocks listed, here are the final tallies:

No. 7, Chicago Bears: 8

No. 6, New York Jets: 6

No. 10, St. Louis Rams: 4

No. 9 New York Giants: 2

No. 12, Cleveland Browns: 2

No. 3, Jacksonville Jaguars: 1

No. 4, Oakland Raiders: 1

No. 11, Minnesota Vikings: 1

No. 13, New Orleans Saints: 1

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

 

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Rangers - Capitals preview - 04-30-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Rangers vs. Capitals

Rangers Postseason Scorer: Center Derick Brassard (right), 4 points (3 goals, 1 assists).

Capitals Postseason Scorer: Center Nicklas Backstrom (below), 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists).

Rangers Expected Starting Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist, 4-1, 1.53 GAA, .939 SV%.

Capitals Expected Starting Goaltender: Braden Holtby, 3-3, 1.63 GAA, .943 SV%

Rangers Postseason Statistics

Capitals Postseason Statistics

Rangers Injuries: Defenseman Kevin Klein (forearm) is in. Left winger Mats Zuccarello (head) is out.

Capitals Injuries: Defenseman Brooks Orpik ("lower body") is probable. Right winger Eric Fehr ("upper body") is questionable. Defensemen John Erksine (neck) and Dmitry Orlov (wrist) are on injured reserve.

Rangers with Stanley Cup bling: Defenseman Dan Boyle, right winger Martin St. Louis.

Capitals with Stanley Cup bling: Orpik.

Something worthwhile about the Rangers: The Rangers' postseason goals against average is 1.60, lowest in the nHL.

Something worthwhile about the Capitals: The Capitals' penalty kill is 14 for 14 (100.0%) in the postseason.

Something useless about the Rangers that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The only players to record hat tricks in the same postseason game against the Rangers are former Penguins right winger Jaromir Jagr and center Mario Lemieux. They each scored three goals in a 7-3 home win in Game 5 of a 1996 Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Something useless about the Capitals that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins center Petr Nedved holds the record for fastest two goals in a postseason game against the Capitals. Nedved scored twice in the span of 11 seconds in a 6-4 home win in Game 1 of a 1996 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Former Penguins on the Rangers: Left winger Tanner Glass, professional scout Rick Kehoe, center Dominic Moore, assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson.

Former Penguins on the Capitals: Defensemen Matt Niskanen, Orpik and assistant coach Todd Reirden.

Who needs to be the difference for the Rangers: Brassard, left winger Rick Nash, center Derek Stepan, etc. The Rangers' somewhat stagnant offense must find a way to break through the Capitals' smothering defense and Holtby.

Who needs to be the difference for the Capitals: Backstrom, left winger Alex Ovechkin, center Evgeny Kuznetsov, etc. Ditto. This won't be a very offensive series. Which ever team can find offense will win.

Best Rangers YouTube Video We Could Find: Rangers center Brad Richard's game-tying and defenseman Marc Staal's game-winning goals in a 3-2 overtime win against the Capitals in Game 5 of a 2012 Eastern Conference semifinal series:

Best Capitals YouTube Video We Could Find: Capitals right winger John Druce's series-clinching overtime goal in Game 5 of the 1990 Patrick Division final:

EN Prediction: This won't be a pretty series to watch. Lots of interference. Lots of blocked shots. Lots of saves. The Capitals have just enough offense to get by. Capitals 4-3.

(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

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Preview of Sunday's story on Keukenhof Park, 7 million bulbs

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog framed tulipsbDid you know all the bulbs grown at Keukenhof go back to the growers after the show? Photos by Doug Oster

This Sunday there will be a story in the Home and Garden section about my trip to the Netherlands and to see the amazing display of bulbs at Keukenhof.

Here's a segment from Pittsburgh Today Live promoting the upcoming story.

blog fringe tightbI love fringe tulips, don't they look good with grape hyacinths?

blog selfie nybThis might be my favorite picture from Keukenhof. Michelle Nawaz of New York City takes the perfect selfie.

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