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Open a three-game road trip

in Hähnchen-Stammtisch 30.11.2018 08:58
von officialsbaseball • 400 Beiträge

Shandor Alphonso never envisioned his hockey career taking him to officiating. He didn’t have to look far to see it was possible.As a young Tampa Bay Lightning Hats Authentic , black player, all Alphonso had to do was watch ”Hockey Night in Canada” or the Stanley Cup Final and he saw fellow minority Jay Sharrers working as a linesman.”To be able to see someone who kind of looked like me working at the biggest stage of his job, it was unreal,” Alphonso said.The 34-year-old Alphonso is the NHL’s only African-American official, and Calgary Flames assistant Paul Jerrard is the league’s only black coach. With the sport’s expansion to some nontraditional markets across the United States, there are almost two dozen black players in the NHL, but Sharrers, Alphonso and Jerrard serve as inspiration for more to follow into positions of authority.”I think it’s an evolutionary process,” said Sharrers, who recently retired. ”It’s definitely moved slowly, but I think when you just look at the amount of black players that are now in the league and the fact that that has increased Custom Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys , it would stand to reason that hopefully the opportunity for officials would present itself.”Sixty years after Willie O’Ree of the Boston Bruins broke the color barrier as the NHL’s first black player, the league is still taking steps to increase its diversity. Alphonso is an ambassador for the ”Hockey is for Everyone” campaign this month, which is Black History Month.Sharrers acknowledged the expense of playing hockey has been a hurdle for minority children for years, but said he is optimistic that more will not only lace up their skates but move into other roles.”It just stands to reason that that would be a natural progression, that there would more officials of color,” Sharrers said. ”The league has been very proactive since they partnered with Willie and created the diversity taskforce almost 20 years ago to expose and to present to people of color that hockey is a great game and it’s a viable opportunity.”Opportunities have existed for minorities to get into coaching and officiating, though the majority have ended up as goaltending coaches like former NHL goalie Fred Brathwaite. Jerrard played five games in the NHL and then went into coaching, where he’s a visible role model – even if that’s not a role he was looking for.”I’m just another coach who’s trying to do a good job in the league and stay in the league,” said Jerrard, 52, who has been an assistant with the Colorado Avalanche www.officialmapleleafsproshop.com , Dallas Stars and Flames along with several American Hockey League teams. ”I guess I am now in a little bit of a position of a role model, but my drive to be a role model isn’t due to the color of my skin. It’s just the way I wanted carry myself as a human being, the way I want to be looked at: doing the right thing and working hard.”Jerrard hopes kids seeing minorities on the ice playing or officiating or behind the bench coaching shows that ”if they’re skilled, driven and passionate, there’s an opportunity for them.”That’s what happened for Alphonso, who knew he wasn’t going to make it to the NHL as a player and wanted to stay in the game. He thought to himself, ”If Jay Sharrers can do it, I could do it” and followed him up the ranks.Now Alphonso is the one kids can look up to, and Sharrers – who became the NHL’s first black referee in 2001 – believes his younger counterpart can have an even bigger impact.”Being that his skin is a lot darker than mine and I’m very light-skinned, it wouldn’t register necessarily with someone unless they knew my background to know that I was a person of color,” Sharrers said. ”I think for him having both parents being black and being much more of a visible minority Toronto Maple Leafs T-Shirts Authentic , if you will, I think that’s definitely a role that he will now assume.”Alphonso welcomes that position and would love to one day meet a fellow official he inspired to go that route.”It’s huge for younger kids to see there are way more things to hockey than just being a hockey player,” Alphonso said. ”That’s hopefully what we can inspire these kids to do and get them more involved with the game down the road.”— WASHINGTON (AP) Alex Ovechkin heard the chants loud and clear.”We want 50! We want 50!”He didn’t need that extra encouragement. Ovechkin scored twice to finish with an NHL-leading 49 goals and played almost the final two minutes of the Washington Capitals‘ 5-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night in each team’s regular-season finale trying to reach 50 for the eighth time in his career.The Russian superstar will have to settle for his seventh Maurice ”Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal-scorer and hopes his recent run continues in the playoffs, where the Metropolitan Division-champion Capitals will open against the Columbus Blue Jackets.”Effort was there, and you can see I’m ready for playoffs in pretty good shape,” Ovechkin said after a playing 6:04 of the final 8:10. ”Still have a pretty good chance at the end. It is what it is. Whatever. The most important thing ahead of us, and second season right now starts in a couple days.”Washington won 12 of its final 15 games, and Ovechkin strengthened his Hart Trophy case with nine goals and six assists over that time. At 32, he’s the oldest player to lead the NHL in goals since Phil Esposito in 1974-75.Ovechkin became the 13th player and first since Mike Gartner in 1990-91 to score exactly 49 goals in a season. His teammates did their best trying to get him to 50, and Ovechkin attempted 18 shots and got eight on net in pursuit of the milestone.”We look for him a little bit more than usually, but I don’t know Toronto Maple Leafs Hoodies Authentic ,” said center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who assisted on Ovechkin’s 48th goal to reach 56 for the season. ”I don’t think he’s sad about he didn’t get 50, but 49 is still a good number.”Losing in regulation sends New Jersey to the Atlantic bracket in the Eastern Conference to face the division champion: either the Boston Bruins or Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s the Bruins if they beat Florida on Sunday night, and the Lightning if they don’t.”We like our matchup against anybody,” Devils center Brian Boyle said. ”I think we match up well against anyone. We believe in what we got going on here. We earned the right to be in. It’s been a good season. The fun starts now.”The Devils didn’t go all-out to try to move up in the standings, resting MVP front-runner Taylor Hall, first-line winger Kyle Palmieri, top-six center Travis Zajac, No. 1 defenseman Sami Vatanen and starting goaltender Keith Kinkaid with an eye toward the playoffs. Trade-deadline pickup Patrick Maroon had a goal and two assists, and rookie Nico Hischier and Miles Wood each scored for New Jersey.”There’s a reason that you got here,” coach John Hynes said. ”You have to have a strong identity Toronto Maple Leafs Hats Authentic , which we do. You have to be able to play to that.”The Capitals’ identity is coming into focus as they go into the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season feeling good about their game. Nicklas Backstrom, Michal Kempny and Andre Burakovsky also scored against New Jersey, and Braden Holtby stopped 23 of the 26 shots in his final chance to show he deserves to be Washington’s Game 1 starting goaltender over Philipp Grubauer.Holtby is 14-2-2 with a 2.62 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in his career against Columbus, which lost to Nashville in its final game while resting stars Artemi Panarin, Seth Jones and Zach Werenski and two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.”They’re a good young team and they have a great goaltender, but for me it doesn’t matter against who you play,” Kuznetsov said. ”It’s just like a fun time. You prepare all year for this moments.”NOTES: The Capitals rested RW T.J. Oshie, who has been dealing with a lower-body injury. C Jay Beagle missed his third consecutive game with an upper-body injury. … With the primary assist on Kempny’s goal, Capitals F Shane Gersich picked up his first NHL point in his third game. … Ovechkin, Capitals D Dmitry Orlov and John Carlson and Hischier played all 82 games this season.UP NEXTDevils: Open at the Bruins or Lightning in their first playoff appearance since 2012.Capitals: Host the Blue Jackets to start the first round.—

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