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NHL to review Suter hit on Downie - 01-13-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins right winger Steve Downie left tonight's home game against the Wild at 4:27 of the second period when he was struck in the face by the right elbow of Wild defenseman Ryan Suter.

Downie laid on the ice for several moments after the hit before he was able to recover to his skates and walk under his own power down the runway leading to his team's dressing room.

The Penguins did not provide an immediate explanation for Downie's departure. Suter was not penalized for the hit.

According to a source with the NHL, the league's Department of Player Safety, which oversees supplemental discipline, will review the hit.

Including tonight, Downie has played in 37 games this season and has 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) as well as 131 penalty minutes.

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UPDATE: Penguins coach Mike Johnston did not have an update on Downie following the game.

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Suter held court with the media after the game and addressed the hit. Here's the transcript:

 

What happened on the play with you and Downie?

“Yeah, that was … I reached for the puck and then I kind poked it. I went to put my hand... he like ran into... I hope he's all right. Obviously, you never … that's never the type of player I am. It was kind of a fluky thing. He kind of brushed my arm, my elbow as he went by.”

Did you even see Downie coming?

“Well I poked for it [the puck] then I went to get my stick. As he... like I said, I just hope he's all right. That's not the type of player I am. I hope … I personally never want to see anyone get hurt whether its out team or any other team. That's not the part the game that makes it exciting.”

You were talking to Sidney Crosby at the end of the first period.Was it about Downie?

“Yeah, I just told him, I said, 'Sid, you know what kind of guy I am.' He was like, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.' So I just asked him to say sorry and hopefully he's all right.”

Do you anticipate the NHL taking a closer look or some sort of action on the hit?

“No. I'm skating backwards. No. It was unintentional.”

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SECOND UPDATE: Suter will have a disciplinary hearing with the NHL today:

 

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Jim Ferry previews return trip to St. Louis

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

Duquesne coach Jim Ferry took a few minutes Tuesday afternoon before he boarded a plane for Missouri to preview the Dukes' (6-8, 1-2 Atlantic 10) matchup tomorrow night against Saint Louis (8-8, 0-3), the back-to-back Atlantic 10 regular-season champs. The Billikens have fallen on hard times early this season after losing all five starters to graduation in the spring.

Well, last time you were in St. Louis you had quite the memorable win, huh?

Ferry: "Yeah it was! We played well, and we won."


What sticks out in your memory about that win and its effect?

"I just thought we played really hard. It was toward the end of the year, and we had started really clicking as a team. We got better toward the end of the year and executed really well. We really beat them on rebounding and 50/50 plays. What people didn't remember is last year we matched up with those guys pretty well. We had a really close game with them at our place, too. I feel like our guys played a great game as a team, went in there and got an upset. It was great."

A difficult loss to swallow against Rhode Island Saturday; what can you take away from it?

"Obviously, we were disappointed we didn't win the basketball game. In the second half of the second half, they hurt us on the glass and with some 50/50 balls. DC had a great shot at the end of the game to win it, and he's done that for us several times. Everybody in the gym thought it was going in, and it didn't. Atlantic 10 play, you've got to pick yourself up and move on to the next game, whether you win them or lose them. We're disappointed. We could be sitting here at 2-1 in league play and getting ready to play Saint Louis, but we're not. We've got to continue to focus on the things that are important, and that's just getting better every day."

Do you think this young team is up to the challenge of going back on the road in the A-10?

"We're going to have to be. That's what league play is. It doesn't matter where we play these games. We could play them in the schoolyard. We still have to play the right way. We've got to focus on what we're doing. We've been getting better defensively every single game since we switched to playing the 2-3 zone. Our pieces started coming together a little better. The older guys are leading a little better, playing a little more. We've got to continue to do that. We've got to keep plugging away and focusing on getting better. Everybody just has to keep focusing on doing what they're responsible for doing and not trying to do other things."

You only played nine guys against Rhode Island; are you finding a smaller corps of players you're more comfortable with?

"Yeah. I think we're starting to stick with the older guys a little more. In the preseason we tried to get as much experience as we could for everybody and tried to figure out which pieces fit together the best. Right now, we feel like we're headed in the right direction. I still think it's something that could chance, depending on who is playing well and who is making plays and who is not. We've got to continue to get better defensively, which we are, and we've got to continue to try to limit the droughts we have scoring-wise. Those are the things that hurt us, those scoring droughts. We'll try to keep guys fresh and keep the right combinations together."

This Saint Louis team is a much different team than what you saw last year, isn't it?

"They're a different team, obviously. When you graduate five seniors that dominated in Atlantic 10 play for the last three years, there's going to be some change. The one thing that's not changing is the philosophy and the consistency of coaching. Jim Crews, the A-10 coach of the year two years in a row, has a great foundation, a great defensive-minded team. They're really big. They're really long. And they really defend you. We have to come out and play the right way. We have to play to our strengths and put some pressure on some of their weaknesses."

How do you, as a team, ensure one loss like the one Saturday doesn't turn into a two- or three-game skid?

"That's maturity. When you lose you have to move on again quickly. We had a tough loss at Dayton and we learned from our mistakes and moved on quickly. We had a good win against Saint Joe's, we looked at the positives and negatives and moved on quickly to Rhode Island. It's the same thing we've got to do here, learn from it and move on to the next game quickly."

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Flip-flopping Pouliot for Chorney a matter of playing time - 01-13-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

 

A day after defenseman Derrick Pouliot (right) was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, the Penguins recalled Taylor Chorney to replace him.

The reason flip-flopping Pouliot, a first-round pick in 2012, with Chorney, a 27-year-old journeyman, was a simple matter of playing time.

“The key thing for Derrick, we want to get him playing,” said head coach Mike Johnston. “If he's not in our lineup, then we need to get him playing for sure. A young defenseman like that, we want in the lineup getting lots of minutes with {Wilkes-Barre/Scranton].

“He did a good job up here but it's a maturing process. Chorney's an older pro. So bringing him up, he's a guy that's been through the ropes before. But we don't want [defensive prospects Scott] Harrington or [Brian] Dumoulin or Pouliot sitting there waiting for their opportunity to play. They're close enough [to Pittsburgh] if we need them, we can make the switch if we decide to. [Chorney] is a guy that can come up [and] practice with us. He's a veteran pro guy. But we just don't want to do that with young guys.”

(Photo: Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)

 

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About the Wild - 01-13-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Wild.

When and where: 7 p.m, EST, Consol Energy Center.

TV: Root Sports (Pittsburgh market) NBC Sports Network (Rest of the United States).

Record: 18-18-5, 41 points. The Wild is in seventh and last place in the Central Division.

Leading Scorer: Right winger Jason Pominville (right), 32 points (9 goals, 23 assists).

Last Game: 4-1 road loss to the Blackhawks Sunday. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom made 32 saves for the Wild.

Last Game against the Penguins: 4-1 home loss Nov. 4. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper 18 saves made for the Wild.

Wild Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Center Mikko Koivu. Just because.

Ex-Penguins on the Wild: Left winger Matt Cooke, goaltender John Curry, executive vice president Chuck Fletcher, assistant coach Darryl Sydor, head coach Mike Yeo.

Ex-Wild on the Penguins: Right winger Pascal Dupuis.

Useless Wild Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: The Wild is the only team the Penguins have never shut out.

The last time the Wild played the Penguins, this happened:

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (21-7-4, 2.16 GAA, .926 SV%) for the Penguins. Niklas Backstrom (5-6-3, 2.83 GAA, .892 SV%) for the Wild.

Injuries: For the Penguins, right wingers Pascal Dupuis (blood clot), Patric Hornqvist ("lower body") defensemen Olli Maatta (shoulder), center Scott Wilson (leg) and left winger Blake Comeau (wrist) are on injured reserve. For the Wild, defenseman Marco Scandella ("upper body") is out. Defensman Keith Ballard (head), center Mikael Granlund (fractured left wrist) and goaltender Darcy Kuemper ("lower body") are on injured reserve.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins lines and pairings at today's morning skate were:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 39 David Perron
13 Nick Spaling - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 19 Beau Bennett
36 Bryan Rust - 16 Brandon Sutter - 23 Steve Downie
38 Zach Sill - 57 Marcel Goc - 27 Craig Adams

10 Christian Ehrhoff - 58 Kris Letang
7 Paul Martin - 41  Robert Bortuzzo
4 Rob Scuderi - 47 Simon Despres

-The Wild lines and defensive pairings at today's morning skate were:

 

11 Zach Parise - 9 Mikko Koivu - 29 Jason Pominville
16 Jason Zucker - 3 Charlie Coyle - 22 Nino Niederreiter
26 Thomas Vanek - 56 Erik Haula - 14 Justin Fontaine
24 Matt Cooke - 21 Kyle Brodziak - 18 Ryan Carter

20 Suter - 46 Spurgeon
25 Jonas Brodin - 5 Christian Folin
44 Justin Falk - 39 Nate Prosser

 

Notes:

-Left winger Chris Kunitz has 496 career points.

-Defenseman Taylor Chorney was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-The Wild is the only team Fleury has never defeated.

-The referees are (No. 33) Kevin Pollock and (No. 20) Tim Peel. The linesmen are (No. 84 ) Tony Sericolo and (No. 63) Trent Knorr.

-We will not have a live post tonight but will have a post-game post.

(Photo: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

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Vestal comments on move to Seneca Valley ...... New state basketball rankings

Written by Mike White on .

From the blue and gold of Hopewell, to the blue and black of Seneca Valley. For a little while, Dave Vestal might feel blue about his change in color.

Vestal was hired Monday night as the new football coach at Seneca Valley. He coached the blue and gold of Hopewell for 14 seasons Dave Vestaland made it to three WPIAL title games, winning one (photo is of Vestal getting the "Gatorade shower" after winning a WPIAL title in 2001). He won a PIAA title, coached an NFL player in Paul Posluszny and the all-time leading rusher in Pennsylvania history in Rushel Shell. Vestal also was the defensive coordinator for a few years becoming the head coach.

"Our kids at Hopewell are great and that is something I will truly miss," said Vestal. "They have a chance to be a pretty good team next year. There is a big senior class - 28 of them. They have a chance to do some good things.

"It's hard to leave. It has been a great 14 years. It's difficult to move on. I just think the Hopewell kids, community and administration have been so supportive. It will be tough to walk out onto a different field. I will always root for Hopewell But this is a new beginning for me."

Despite his fondness for Hopewell, there is a sense of excitement in Vestal's voice about his new job. He was coaching at the fourth-smallest school in Class AAA. Now he will take over the football program at a school that is the largest in the entire WPIAL, at least in terms of boys enrollment.

"I think it's just a great opportunity for me and my family," said Vestal, who is married and has a 9-year-old daughter. "This is a good destination. I always wanted to be a Quad-A coach and this is a great chance for me.

"When I drove up there the day after Thanksgiving, it just felt right. I was energized by the area, the community and how nice the facilities area."

In 14 seasons at Hopewell, Vestal had a 92-59 record with nine WPIAL playoff appearances. The past two years were difficult as he went 0-9 and 1-8. But he thought the Vikings had a chance to be much improved next sason.

During Vestal's time, his teams were always heavy on the run. It was that way before Rushel Shell's years, during Rushel Shell's years and after Rushel Shell's years. It will be interesting to see if his Seneca Valley teams have the same style.

Vestal, 46, will continue to be a physics and astronomy teacher at Hopewell, but is hopeful that if a teaching job opens at Seneca Valley, he has a chance to be hired. He lives in Robinson, but said his family might move to the Cranberry area.

State boys basketball rankings

Here are this week's state boys basketball rankings from PennLive.com:

 

CLASS AAAA

 

No.  School                                            Rec    Pvs

1.     Roman Catholic (12)                    12-0        1

2.     LaSalle College (12)                     11-2        2

3.     Martin Luther King (12)                8-4        3                           

4.     North Allegheny (7)                     13-0        4

5.     George Washington (12)             11-2        6                                   

6.     Pennsbury (1)                              10-3        7

7.     St. Joseph’s Prep (12)                  12-1        8

8.     Plymouth-Whitemarsh (1)          11-1        5

9.     Parkland (11)                               11-1        9

10.   Upper St. Clair (7)                        10-2    OW

Others to watch: Abington (1) 9-3, Academy Park (1) 11-2, Allderdice (8) 10-1, Archbishop Wood (12) 10-1, Bethel Park (7) 8-4, Bethlehem Liberty (11) 9-2, Carlisle (3) 9-4, CD East (3) 9-2, Cedar Cliff (3) 12-2, Cedar Crest (3) 13-0, Central Tech (10) 10-2, Central York (3) 8-4, Chartiers Valley (7) 9-2, Chester (1) 8-3, Conestoga (1) 10-2, Downingtown West (1) 13-2, Harrisburg (3) 9-4, Hempfield (3) 9-4, Hempfield (7) 12-1, Latrobe (7) 10-2, McCaskey (3) 9-4, McDowell (10) 9-3, Methacton (1) 12-2, Mount Lebanon (7) 9-4, Northeastern (3) 11-0, Penn Wood (1) 9-3, Phoenixville (1) 11-3, Pine-Richland (7) 9-4, Reading (3) 9-4, Ridley (1) 9-3, Seneca Valley (7) 10-3, York (3) 11-3.

CLASS AAA

 

No.  School                                             Rec     Pvs

1.     Neumann-Goretti (12)                  11-1         1

2.     Archbishop Carroll (12)                  8-4         2

3.     Indiana (7)                                      11-0         3

4.     Uniontown (7)                                 11-1         4

5.     Susquehanna Twp. (3)                   11-3         5

6.     Imhotep Charter (12)                       7-5         6

7.     Mars (7)                                           13-1         7

8.     Pottsville (11)                                  12-0         8

9.     Hampton (7)                                    12-0         9

10.   Scranton Prep (2)                              9-2      10

Others to watch: Allentown Central Catholic (11) 9-4, Ambridge (7) 8-4, Beaver Falls (7) 10-2, Bishop McDevitt (3) 9-2, Boiling Springs (3) 11-1, Cathedral Prep (10) 10-0, Clearfield (9) 10-0, Crestwood (2) 9-3, Del-Val Charter (12) 10-3, GAR Memorial (2) 10-2, Greater Johnstown (6) 9-3, Hollidaysburg (6) 6-4, Lewisburg (4) 9-1, Lower Moreland (1) 12-1, Manheim Central (3) 13-1, Milton (4) 8-2, New Castle (7) 10-2, Octorara (1) 12-1, Philly Electrical (12) 6-8, Pottsgrove (1) 13-2, Salisbury (11) 11-1, Saucon Valley (11) 9-3, Shamokin (4) 10-3, Somerset (5) 5-2, South Fayette (7) 8-1, Steelton-Highspire (3) 11-1, Strong Vincent (10) 8-4, West Mifflin (7) 9-2.

CLASS AA

 

No.  School                                                  Rec    Pvs

1.     Aliquippa (7)                                       11-0       1

2.     Lincoln Park (7)                                  11-1       2

3.     Seton-La Salle (7)                                11-1       3

4.     Conwell-Egan (12)                                 8-4       4

5.     Loyalsock (4)                                        11-1       5

6.     Greensburg Central Catholic (7)        10-1       7

7.     West Middlesex (10)                           10-2       6

8.     Quaker Valley (7)                                10-2    OW

9.     Fairview (10)                                       10-1       9

10.   Blairsville (6)                                         9-2    OW                                       

Others to watch: Antietam (3) 11-2, Apollo-Ridge (7) 8-4, Camp Hill (3) 8-3, Church Farm (1) 8-4, Dunmore (2) 7-4, Hanover (3) 11-1, Holy Cross (2) 8-2, Lancaster Mennonite (3) 10-3, Mahanoy Area (11) 9-2, Mid Valley (2) 10-1, Minersville (11) 9-2, Mount Union (6) 9-1, North East (10) 10-2, Our Lady of Sacred Heart (7) 8-4, Penns Valley (6) 8-2, Redbank Valley (9) 10-2, Shady Side Academy (7) 9-3, Southern Columbia (4) 8-3, Towanda (4) 9-2, Trinity (3) 7-5, Tyrone (6) 9-1, Wellsboro (4) 8-2, West Branch (6) 10-1.

CLASS A

 

No.  School                                                   Rec    Pvs

1.     Constitution (12)                                   7-3        1

2.     Math, Civics & Sciences (12)                7-7        2

3.     Farrell (10)                                            9-3        3

4.     Vincentian (7)                                        8-5        4

5.     Kennedy Catholic (10)                          8-2      10

6.     Mansfield (4)                                       10-1         5

7.     Elk County Catholic (9)                       10-1         6

8.     Ridgway (9)                                         11-1         7

9.     Bishop Carroll (6)                               11-1         8

10.   Monessen (7)                                        7-5         9                                  

Others to watch: Bishop Guilfoyle (6) 5-3, Cameron County (9) 10-1, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (7) 6-6, Clarion-Limestone (9) 9-2, Cochranton (10) 8-4, Coudersport (9) 8-1, Cowanesque Valley (4) 9-3, DuBois Central Catholic (9) 10-2, Erie First Christian (10) 6-3, Homer-Center (6) 9-1, Jeannette (7) 6-6, Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg (11) 12-2, Phil-Mont Christian (1) 10-3, Plumstead Christian (1) 9-2, Portage (6) 7-2, Sewickley Academy (7) 11-0, Shanksville-Stonycreek (5) 8-0, Southern Fulton (5) 10-1, St. John Neumann (4) 10-0, Williamson (4) 9-3.

 

State girls basketball rankings

 

Here are this week's state girls basketball rankings from PennLive.com

CLASS AAAA

 

1. Cumberland Valley (3) 10-1 — previously: 1

2. Central Bucks West (1) 11-1 — previously: 2

3. Penn-Trafford (7) 12-1 — previously: 3

4. Cardinal O’Hara (12) 11-0 — previously: 4

5. North Allegheny (7) 10-2 — previously: 5

6. Central Dauphin East (3) 12-0 — previously: 6

7. Boyertown (1) 12-0 — previously: 8

8. Abington (1) 10-3 — previously: 7

9. Mt. Lebanon (7) 9-3 — previously: 9

10. Palmyra (3) 13-0 — previously: HM

HONORABLE MENTION

Archbishop Carroll (12) 7-4, Bayard Rustin (1) 8-4, Bethel Park (7) 8-4, Bishop Shanahan (1) 11-1, Canon-McMillan (7) 8-4, Dallastown (3) 9-4, Downingtown East (1) 8-3, Garnet Valley (1) 11-1, General McLane (10) 6-5, Hempfield Area (7) 8-5, Hollidaysburg (6) 5-3, Mechanicsburg (3) 12-1, McDowell (10) 7-4, Mount St. Joseph (1) 12-1, Nazareth (11) 10-2, Norwin (7) 10-1, New Oxford (3) 10-2, North Penn (1) 9-3, Parkland (11) 9-2, Pottsville (11) 11-1, Red Lion (3) 11-2, Shaler (7) 12-1, Spring-Ford (1) 9-5, Pine-Richland (7) 11-2, State College (6) 8-4, Upper Dublin (1) 9-2, Upper St. Clair (7) 7-4, Wallenpaupack (2) 6-5, Warren (10) 11-0.


CLASS AAA

1. Blackhawk (7) 10-3 — previously: 1

2. Archbishop Wood (12) 10-2 — previously: 2

3. Bethlehem Catholic (11) 11-1 — previously: 3

4. Scranton Prep (2) 11-1 — previously: 4

5. Villa Maria (10) 8-4 — previously: 5

6. Hickory (10) 11-0 — previously: 6

7. Allentown Central Catholic (11) 12-1 — previously: 7

8. West Perry (3) 13-1 — previously: 8

9. Mercyhurst Prep (10) 10-2 — previously: 9

10. Bonner-Prendergast (12) 7-4 — previously: 10

HONORABLE MENTION

Ambridge (7) 12-2, Athens (4) 8-2, Beaver Area (7) 8-3, Berks Catholic (3) 11-2, Danville (4) 8-3, Elizabeth Forward (7) 10-3, Fleetwood (3) 8-3, Ford City (7) 10-1, Girard (10) 9-1, Greencastle-Antrim (3) 11-1, Gwynedd Mercy (1) 9-2, Hampton (7) 9-3, Honesdale (2) 10-1, Indiana (7) 10-1, Juniata (6) 11-0, Lancaster Catholic (3) 9-2, Mars (7) 9-2, McGuffey (7) 9-3, Mifflinburg (4) 11-0, Mount Pleasant (7) 8-4, North Pocono (2) 12-0, Pope John Paul II (1) 7-5, Saucon Valley (11) 9-2, Trinity (7) 9-1, West York (3) 11-0.

CLASS AA

1. Neumann-Goretti (12) 11-0 — previously: 1

2. Burrell (7) 11-1 — previously: 2

3. Holy Redeemer (2) 10-2 — previously: 3

4. Seton-La Salle (7) 8-5 — previously: 4

5. Neshannock (7) 9-1 — previously: 5

6. Greensburg Central Catholic (7) 10-2 — previously: 6

7. Dunmore (2) 8-2 — previously: 7

8. Mt. Carmel (4) 12-0 — previously: 10

9. Delone Catholic (3) 11-2 — previously: 8

10. York Catholic (3) 10-2 — previously: 9

HONORABLE MENTION

Bellwood-Antis (6) 8-1, Bishop Canevin (7) 8-3, Camp Hill (3) 8-3, Carlynton (7) 8-3, Harbor Creek (10) 9-3, Holy Cross (2) 7-4, Karns City (9) 8-2, Marian Catholic (11) 8-2, Minersville (11) 10-1, Mohawk (7) 10-2, Montoursville (4) 11-1, North Schuylkill (11) 8-2, Our Lady of Sacred Heart (7) 10-2, Riverside (7) 9-2, Salisbury (11) 11-2, Sharon (10) 7-4, St. Basil Academy (1) 10-4, Westmont Hilltop (6) 7-3.

CLASS A

1. Vincentian Academy (7) 8-1 — previously: 1

2. Bishop Guilfoyle (6) 8-1 — previously: 2

3. Kennedy Catholic (10) 7-0 — previously: 4

4. Blairsville (6) 11-1 — previously: 7

5. Phil-Mont Christian (1) 10-1 — previously: 3

6. Pittsburgh Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (7) 8-2 — previously: 6

7. Port Allegany (9) 10-1 — previously: 5

8. Tussey Mountain (5) 10-0 — previously: 8

9. Elk County Catholic (9) 11-0 — previously: 9

10. California (7) 13-1 — previously: HM

HONORABLE MENTION

Bishop Carroll (6) 9-1, Christian School of York (3) 10-2, Clarion (9) 6-3, Cochranton (10) 8-3, Coudersport (9) 7-4, Harrisburg Christian (3) 10-2, Halifax (3) 9-4, Jefferson-Morgan (7) 10-1, Jenkintown (1) 8-4, Keystone (9) 8-3, Millville (4) 9-3, Portage (6) 10-1, Quigley Catholic (7) 9-2, Shade (5) 9-0, Shenandoah Valley (11) 10-1.

 

 

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