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June 5, 2007

 

Ducks keep finding ways to win

Move a win away from capturing Cup

Ducks

Associated Press/Chris Carlson
Anaheim Ducks right wing Dustin Penner scores the game-winning goal past Ottawa Senators goalie Ray Emery during the third period in Game 4 of the NHL Stanley Cup game in Ottawa Monday. The Ducks won 3-2.

By JOHN WAWROW
AP Sports Writer

OTTAWA — Perhaps, defenseman Chris Pronger can work his way back in the Ducks’ lineup with Anaheim one win from claiming its first Stanley Cup championship.
“I hope so,” Pronger said with a sheepish smile after watching Anaheim pull out a 3-2 win over Ottawa on Monday while the Norris Trophy finalist served a one-game suspension. “I know you don’t want to change a winning lineup.”
The resilient and resourceful Ducks continue to find ways to win this postseason.
They improved to 15-5 overall, matched an NHL playoff record by producing their 12th one-goal victory and have yet to lose consecutive games. They’re also 2-0 when Pronger’s out of the lineup after the defenseman was suspended for a game against Detroit in the Western Conference finals.
The Ducks are now up 3-1 over Ottawa, with a chance to win the Cup at home when the best-of-seven series shifts to Anaheim on Wednesday.
And if Pronger has learned anything, he’d rather be on the ice contributing than helplessly watching the game on TV in the coach’s room.
“I didn’t really watch a whole lot. I had my back to the TV,” said Pronger, who was out for his elbow that knocked out Dean McAmmond in the Ducks’ 5-3 loss on Saturday. “When you don’t have a say in what’s going on out there, it’s very tough to watch, and nerve-racking.”
Anaheim bounced back from a terrible first period and clinched the victory when Dustin Penner capped a 2-on-1 rush by converting Teemu Selanne’s pass to break a 2-2 tie 4:07 into the third period.
Andy McDonald scored twice and added an assist, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere kept the Ducks in the game by stopping 21 shots, including 12 of the 13 he faced in the first period.
The Senators got goals from Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley, but failed to build on the momentum they generated from winning Game 3, or a stellar first-period on Monday, in which they outshot the Ducks 13-2.
“Right now it’s pretty tough,” Alfredsson said. “I’m sure we will leave tomorrow, go forward. I mean, it’s not over and we definitely are not going to give up. It’s tough to lose this one tonight.”
The Senators, attempting to become the first Canadian team to win the Cup since Montreal in 1993, have history heavily weighing against them.
Of the 28 teams that have trailed a Cup finals series 3-1, only one has rallied to win. And that was the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, who actually overcame a 3-0 deficit.
Meanwhile, the Ducks have been tough to beat at home. They’re 7-0 all-time when having a chance to clinch a series at Anaheim, including 3-0 this year.
“Sunk in?” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We know we have a 3-1 lead, but the reality of it is the next one is going to be the toughest one to win.”
Monday’s game was far from easy.
Trailing 1-0 after Alfredsson scored with 0.3 seconds left in the first period, the Ducks finally found their legs to start the second. Anaheim outshot Ottawa 10-1 in the first 11 minutes of the frame to build a 2-1 lead before Heatley tied it with 2 minutes left in the period.
The Ducks then found new life, thanks to Alfredsson’s foolish decision just as the period ended, when he inexplicably drove a slap shot toward the right corner which struck Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer as he stood in front of the blue line.
Niedermayer and the Ducks accused Alfredsson of deliberately attempting to hit Niedermayer with the shot.
Not so, said Alfredsson.
“It got caught up in my feet, so I just wanted to get rid of it. I didn’t mean to hit him,” he said.
Niedermayer attempted to slap away linesman Scott Driscoll’s hold as he separated Niedermayer from Alfredsson while the two team captains exchanged words after the buzzer sounded.
“You can probably figure out what I thought,” Niedermayer said. “I wasn’t happy. No need to get hit with a puck at that point. I’m not going to say anything more.”
Penner’s goal came on a line change, when he joined Selanne on the rush, drove to the net and was in perfect position to score his third goal of the playoffs, and second winner.
Selanne said the Ducks were still fired up over Alfredsson’s shot.
“I couldn’t believe what I saw,” Selanne said. “I really hope that he didn’t mean to hurt him because I know Alfie pretty well. I was shocked it happened. You knew he had a couple of seconds left and a whole ice available, and to try to shoot at Scotty, that’s dangerous.”
The Ducks were happy to deliver a win for Pronger, too.
“Chris is a big part of our team,” Giguere said. “I’m sure in a way he feels bad he couldn’t help us. But_we know he’s going to make it up in two days.”
The Senators are determined to force Game 6, which would be played at Ottawa on Saturday.
“We’ve won three games in a row against great teams this year tons of times,” goalie Ray Emery said. “So, certainly.”
Notes: Anaheim in 2003 and Montreal in 1993 won 12 one-goal playoff decisions. ... McAmmond sat out with a concussion. ... The Ducks are 8-7-3 without Pronger, including 2-0 in the playoffs after suspensions. ... The Ducks were again without LW Chris Kunitz (abdominal injury).

 

 

 

Opening sessions for Senior Games

Under cloudy skies, the Empire State Senior Games got underway this morning with the tennis competition on SUNY Cortland courts and a round of golf at the Elm Tree Golf Course.
The annual event will be making its sixth consecutive appearance in Cortland and will run through the weekend.
The Empire State Senior Games draws almost 2,000 medal contenders, age 50-and-over, from across the state who participate in more than 20 competitive sports and recreational events.
While most of the events are held at SUNY Cortland, golfers will hit the links at the Elm Tree, bowlers will be in action at Cort-Lanes, Beaudry Park will host softball games and cyclists will be pedaling around Greek Peak in Virgil.
The Tri-County Horseshoe Club in Groton is also a new locale for the Empire State Senior Games. The indoor facility, located at 359 Locke Road in Groton, will begin the horseshoe competition starting tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.
The Tri-County Horseshoe Club has eight indoor pits and comfortable lounge area, and has extensive experience in hosting tournaments. Club members will be there to make sure that everything runs smoothly as well as serve up some good food.
With many of these hard working members being over 50 themselves, they certainly prove the motto of the Empire State Senior Games: “You don’t stop playing when you grow old; you grow old when you stop play.”
The official Torch Lightning ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night at the PER Center Alumni Ice Arena as part of a barbeque being held from 6-10 p.m. D.J. Brian Oddo will provide entertainment for that evening.
Other social events including a 6 p.m. dance Friday at the PER Center with the Maria DeSantis Band performing, while on Saturday a dinner at the Corey Union Function Room from 6-10 p.m. will included the Andrea Miceli Moss Band.

 

 

 

Tourney aids YWCA, Memorial Foundation

The YMCA of Cortland and the Cortland Memorial Foundation will both benefit from ticket sales for the upcoming PGA Tour event being held at the Oneida Indian Nation Sept. 17-23.
Thanks to a new collaboration with the Upstate New York Empowerment Fund, both organizations will be selling tickets for this world-class professional tournament.
The Fall Series for the PGA will kick off with the Turning Stone Championship at the Atunyote Course. This inaugural event will carry a hefty six million dollar purse and is expected to draw many of the tour’s best players and spotlight Upstate New York.
As a result of this special ticket program, the Oneidas are foregoing a major share of ticket sale proceeds, by allowing the YWCA and the Cortland Memorial Foundation to keep 100 percent the revenue from the tickets it sells.
The Cortland YWCA will use the revenue to support and supplement existing programs and services. The YWCA of Cortland is delighted to be a part of this unique fundraising opportunity and thanks the Oneida Indian Nation and the Upstate New York Empowerment Fund for their generosity.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, please contact the YWCA of Cortland at (607) 753-9651 or via email at kathy@cortlandywca.org.
Tickets are available for purchase at the Cortland Memorial Foundation office at Cortland Regional Medical Center through Aug. 1.
The proceeds from these ticket sales will assist the Foundation in support of Cortland Regional Medical Center’s efforts to continue to expand services, develop new programs and bring leading edge medical technology and treatments.
For more information on purchasing tickets and to receive a Ticket Order Form, please contact the Cortland Memorial Foundation office at (607) 756-3757 or visit www.cortlandregional.org.