April 26, 2007


Rangers routed by ‘real’ Sabres


Associated Press/Don Heupel
Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller knocks New York Rangers left winger Sean Avery (16) off his skates near the crease during the second period of Wednesday’s playoff game at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo. Sabres skated to 5-2 victory.

AP Sports Writer

BUFFALO — The real Buffalo Sabres are back.
It took the NHL’s top-seeded team a round to get going, but the Sabres are starting to play the up-tempo, dominating style that led them to league highs of 53 wins and 308 goals during the regular season.
“That looked a lot like the team that played most of the year,” coach Lindy Ruff said.
Thomas Vanek scored twice and Ales Kotalik once during a decisive three-goal second period in a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Wednesday night.
The Sabres added two more goals — including Drew Stafford’s empty-netter — in the third and looked nothing like the team that endured uncharacteristic lapses in struggling to dispatch the New York Islanders in five games during the first round.
“We said, ‘Let’s keep attacking.”’ Ruff said. “We learned from it. We dealt with it. We moved on.”
And it’s suddenly the Rangers’ turn to respond to their first loss this postseason after a first-round sweep of Southeast Division champion Atlanta. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Friday at Buffalo.
“Mentally, we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be, and not as sharp as we’ll be in our next game,” Rangers forward Brendan Shanahan said. “I don’t know if they outplayed us, but they outperformed us.”
In the only other game Wednesday night, Anaheim beat Vancouver 5-1 in the opener of that Western Conference semifinal series.
New Jersey hosts Ottawa tonight in the other series in the East, and Detroit will welcome San Jose for Game 1 out West later in the night.
Jason Pominville also scored in pacing an ultra-balanced Sabres attack that got production from all four lines and the power-play unit. Buffalo took control when Vanek opened the scoring 14:19 into the second period, deflecting in Dmitri Kalinin’s point shot on the power play.
The Sabres scored twice more on their next three shots, building a 3-0 lead in a 4:05 span.
The five goals were the most Buffalo’s scored this postseason, and one shy of the number the Rangers allowed the Thrashers in the opening round.
Buffalo also provided an answer to anyone questioning whether they are the elite team in the NHL.
“I think we showed everybody we were ready,” Kotalik said. “A lot of things were said before the game, and we made sure we showed to respond not in the paper but on the ice.”
Kotalik was referring to Rangers coach Tom Renney’s comments suggesting the top-seeded Sabres weren’t the league’s “cream of the crop.”
The Rangers went 1-for-5 in power-play chances, but failed to score during a 2-minute, two-man advantage early in the third period.
“We haven’t played in a while and it really showed,” Renney said after the Rangers’ first game in a week.
Henrik Lundqvist kept the Rangers in the game, stopping the first 23 shots he faced.
Buffalo’s Ryan Miller made 32 saves, his shutout bid spoiled when Marcel Hossa scored midway through the third period. Shanahan also scored for the Rangers.
Ducks 5, Canucks 1: At Anaheim, Calif., Andy McDonald had his first career playoff hat trick and assisted on another goal as the host Ducks opened their first series against Vancouver with a victory.
After Jeff Cowan gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead at 7:07 of the first period, the Ducks responded by scoring three times — twice by McDonald — on their first nine shots against goalie Roberto Luongo.
Teemu Selanne had a goal and assist during the outburst, and Chris Kunitz assisted on all three goals. Jean-Sebastien Giguere finished with 26 saves for the Ducks.
Ryan Getzlaf gave Anaheim a three-goal pad midway through the final period, and McDonald capped the scoring on a shot from just left of the crease when the Ducks had a two-man advantage with 52 seconds remaining.



Red Dragons grab crucial win at Geneseo

GENESEO — With first place in the conference standings up for grabs, SUNY Cortland sophomore Joey Morgan and junior Billy Fuchs came up big during crunch time on this rainy Wednesday.
Midfielder Morgan and attackman Fuchs scored 17 seconds apart with less than four minutes remaining to break a 7-7 tie as the nationally 13th-ranked Red Dragons defeated Geneseo 9-7 in Wednesday’s men’s lacrosse clash.
This seventh straight victory puts the surging Red Dragons alone in first place in the SUNY Athletic Conference standings with a 5-0 record, Coach Steve Beville’s stickers standing 10-4 overall.
Geneseo had a four-game winning streak snapped and is now 5-4 overall and 3-1 in the league.
Cortland will host Potsdam Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and can clinch the SUNYAC regular-season title with a victory over the Bears. Potsdam is 4-1 in the conference and stayed in the hunt for the league title with a 9-8 win over Oswego on Wednesday.
Cortland sophomore goalie Michael Robinson made a career-high 14 saves, including a few from point-blank range. He recorded 10 saves in the first half to help the Red Dragons take a 3-2 lead. Morgan, Fuchs and junior midfielder Adam Hyde each finished with two goals and junior Ryan Heath added a goal and an assist.
Mike Pizzuto led Geneseo with three goals. Andrew Hanover scored a pair of goals and had an assist, while Owahn Bazydlo tallied two goals.
Former Homer Central midfielder Tim McDermott took all of the faceoffs for Geneseo, winning 14-of-19. Knights goalie Tim Garback made seven of his 10 saves in the second half.




Three Wilson wins in Trojans setback

DeWITT — Despite Heather Wilson winning three events, the Homer Central girls’ track team lost to host Jamesville-DeWitt 104-37 Wednesday afternoon.
The J-D boys were also victorious over Homer, 108-32. Both Trojan squads are now 0-2 in the OHSL Freedom Division.
Wilson won the 1,500-meters in 5:23.5, the 400-meters in 1:04.9 and the 800-meters in 2:38.7.
The only other winner for the Trojans was Laura Neiderhofer, who won the 400m hurdles in 1:20.3. She also tied for second in the high jump at 4-2. The bar was raised four inches while she was running the 400m hurdles, preventing her from making any attempts at 4-4.
Jessica Bramhall was second in the 3,000m meters in a personal-best time of 11:58.8. Other personal bets were turned in by Ashley Cavallier in the 1,500m (6:14.8), Holly Neiderhofer in the 200m (36.2), Melissa Devaney in the shot put (26-30 and Phoebe Hull in the discus (48-11).
l For Homer boys, the 3,200m relay team of Jackson Randolph, Andrew Cortese, Forrest Young and Andrew Gregg won in a season-best 9:00.6. Randolph also won the 1,600m in 5:04.0, Young the 400m in 57.8 and Gregg the 800m in 2:16.5. In addition, Jon Allen won the 110m high hurdles in 18.0.
James McKenna turned in a pair of personal-best times, taking third in the 3,200 in 11:54.7 and fourth in the 1,600 in 5:20.0. Eli Kabat was third in the shot put at 34-5, a personal best by two feet, while Bo Eccleston’s 29-9 in the same event was his best ever by three feet. Zach Steger was third in the discus at 82-2½. Kabat was also second in the 200 in 26.9.
Both Homer squads will compete in the Phoenix Relays Friday.