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Monday, February 9, 2009

* LIVE * UNC - Duke women!

Posted By on Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 7:16 PM

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UNC-Duke women tonight: the live blog

Posted By on Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 4:13 PM

The UNC women, now 20-3 overall, 5-2 in the conference, appear to have found their form after three consecutive defeats last month. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils women have had a more consistent ride en route to their 19-2 record, 7-1 in conference play. Tonight at the Dean Dome, the Associated Press No. 8 team hosts No. 4. It's Duke and UNC. It's on ESPN2 and tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. We'll be at courtside, and just for fun, we're going to try to live-blog the game. Drop by with your comments and corrections. Either way, both the winners and losers...

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Big week in soccer opens ...

Posted By on Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 11:11 AM

  ... and we're not even talking about the USA-Mexico friendly qualifier set for Wed. Feb. 11 (which conveniently starts and finishes before the Other Big Game that night). Nope, today is opening day for the Carolina RailHawks preseason training camp. As I type, the team has been going at it on a gorgeous, precociously verdant morning at the WakeMed soccer complex. We're told that in addition to the players that have popped up on this blog in recent weeks, such "recent college graduates like UNC’s Michael Callahan, Garry Lewis and Brian Shriver, and NC State’s El Hadj Cisse’" will...

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Duke holds on to beat Miami in OT thriller

Posted By on Sun, Feb 8, 2009 at 10:52 AM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 – After losing by 27 to Clemson, Duke looked like it was headed for another loss Saturday against Miami. But after relentless three-point shooting (Duke attempted an astonishing 38 treys in regulation--many of them unassisted shots--and made just 12), and forcing a few key turnovers, Duke was up by three with 31 seconds to play. It was Miami's Jack McClinton (34 points), however, who hit the most clutch three-pointer of the game, stepping back against Kyle Singler to fire a long distance shot from the shoulder, and tie the game at...

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Samsonov, Ruutu lead 'Canes out of the desert

Posted By on Sun, Feb 8, 2009 at 2:13 AM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> --> After a tight first period, Carolina took over en route to a 7-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, their best offensive performance on the season. It’s been a long since Carolina’s offense, defense and goaltending were humming together at such an effective pace, but the team was not dumbfounded by its new found success. The ‘Canes chased one goaltender and abused another, vaulting themselves over Florida and into the final playoff spot again. Jussi Jokinen received an assist in his first game with his new club, Sergei Samsonov had four points...

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Heels Ready to Rumble

Posted By on Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Nothing stands between UNC and Duke after the Heels finished off Virginia 76-71 Saturday. Duke survived overtime to top Miami earlier in Durham. The Cavaliers did a decent job slowing down the Tar Heel offense early by playing an aggressive zone defense that collapsed on Tyler Hansbrough and Deon Thompson. Carolina responded to the zone pressure by shooting a fury of 3-pointers. The Tar Heels attempted 25 3-pointers for the second game in a row, and shot 36 percent from beyond the arc, down from 64 percent against the Terrapins. With the trip to Durham looming, Roy Williams has to...

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Bye bye, Brookbank. Hauska tavata, Jokinen!

Posted By on Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> The ‘Canes made a minor move today, picking up Jussi Jokinen (no, not that one who played for Florida and schooled Carolina repeatedly so many moons ago…) in exchange for tough guy Wade Brookbank, AHL D-man Josef Melichar and a fourth-round pick in 2009. This isn’t the blockbuster trade some ‘Canes fans have been calling for because none of the three players have seen extensive ice time this season, but in the early stages, it seems the Hurricanes may have made a steal with this one. Jokinen, 25, (5’11”, 190 lbs.) has...

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Audio: Paul Maurice discusses Eric Staal's injury...

Posted By on Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 4:42 PM

... and Saturday's game against the Phoenix Coyotes, a team he says is more physical than one might expect from a team coached by the Great One. maurice-020609...

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‘Canes bite back, defeat Sharks in shootout

Posted By on Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 2:39 AM

The Carolina Hurricanes took down an opponent that, on paper, they didn’t stand a chance against – the Western Conference-leading San Jose Sharks. Carolina limped into the hostile confines of the HP Pavilion down a captain, a grinder veteran, and two starting defensemen, but held up against a team that has gone 23-2-3 at home so far this season. However, with this win came some horrifying news: Eric Staal went to the locker room for the second intermission and didn’t return. He has been smacked with another horribly vague “lower body” label and is questionable for Saturday at Phoenix. The...

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Marcelo Romero: Uruguay to Spain to Cary

Posted By on Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 2:27 AM

  CARY—Probably the best sign that this year's RailHawks are getting serious was on the brow of today's signing, Marcelo Romero. Visible through his closely shaved hair was a Y-shaped scar—surely evidence of his hard-nosed career in the top divisions of Spain. No doubt goalkeeper Chris McClellan—or another—will find reassurance there. RailHawks management proudly displayed the 32-year-old holding midfielder to the media Thursday afternoon. Romero indicated that he was on a two-year contract, with only the first guaranteed. When asked what the biggest change would be in playing in America, Romero modestly made the obvious point: In Spain...

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

UNC-VA Tech: Signs Paying off?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 11:05 PM

UNC's Jessica Breland admits to dreaming about rebounding, literally. I'd feel myself moving in my sleep to rebound, she said Thursday after snagging 11 rebounds and posting 20 points in a 93-77 win against ACC bottom-dweller Virginia Tech. Maybe that's because coach Sylvia Hatchell sneaked into her players' dorm rooms before curfew to post signs that read "rebounding" above their beds and beside their mirrors. It worked in the first half -- Carolina outrebounded the Hokies by 13 and didn't allow a single offensive board. The Tar Heels led 48-32 at the half despite 16 turnovers, including six by starting...

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What's up with UNC's defense?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 7:42 PM

On the surface, it may sound odd for any concern to be directed at UNC. After all, the Tar Heels didn't get destroyed by anyone (cough, cough, Duke and Wake) on Wednesday night. In fact, the Heels scored more points (108) versus Maryland on Tuesday than the Devils and Deacons did combined in their humbling defeats — to Clemson and Miami respectively — the following day. Junior guard Wayne Ellington's slump is a relic of the January past, and his 34 points against the Terrapins represented a season high. Meanwhile, Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and Danny Green also continue to...

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Marcelo Romero: La Liga days

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 7:03 PM

We'll have a fuller report on today's introduction of Marcelo Romero, veteran of La Liga in Spain, who will now anchor the RailHawks midfield. But for now, enjoy the video. (And, on the screen capture above, doesn't that Real Madrid player on the right look just like Zinedine Zidane?) [Ed. note: This video came courtesy of the RailHawks, but is posted on my YouTube account.]...

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Introducing Durham Idol

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Every year, thousands of people across the nation audition for a shot of stardom with the hopes of a major record contract that will launch their glorious career and win them title of American Idol, or so the show says. You could be the next Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard or Carrie Underwood. But if that doesn't work out for you, be sure to check out the Durham Bulls who are holding auditions for national anthem singers in 2009. The auditions will be held Feb. 28 from 10 to 12 p.m. at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. For more information contact...

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Brindy sent home early, Petruzalek called up

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 12:38 AM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> Hurricanes captain Rod Brind’Amour was sent home early from the team’s three-game road swing after he re-aggravating a lower body injury against Vancouver. ‘Canes coach Paul Maurice said he would “get some treatment over the next four or five days.” The official press release may be found here. Brind’Amour was not visibly injured after any play during last night’s game against the Canucks, and actually exceeded his average ice time for the past several weeks, playing just over 16 minutes. However, the ‘Canes staff ruled him out for the Phoenix game and...

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Triangle Recruiting: National Signing Day

Posted By on Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 9:47 PM

Today is the day that coaches win or lose championships... Or so recruiting outlets such as Rivals, Scout and ESPN love to tell us. The truth is that recruiting is not an absolute science. When the college season starts, how many stars you were given by some old guy sitting behind a computer is meaningless to the 280 pound defensive tackle coming to eat your soul. Yet, here we are all the same. Today, recruits all across the nation inked their names and faxed mini heart attacks for coaches who missed out or Twinkies in the eyes of winning coaches...

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Pitkanen's big oops costs Hurricanes valuable two points

Posted By on Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 2:03 AM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> It was a breathtaking goal for the rest of the NHL, but the chins of those seated on the Hurricanes’ bench hit the ground for an entirely different reason. Joni Pitkanen gambled his team’s win away and pinched in too far on the point with the man advantage, allowing Alexandre Burrows to spring loose after the ‘Canes coughed up the puck. Burrows moved in slow motion, the two points balancing precariously on his stick, but fans knew what was about to happen. He faked out Cam Ward and tucked the puck behind...

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ginyard, Graves Done for Season

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 10:52 PM

The Tar Heels dropped 16 3s on Maryland but the real bombs were dropped on the press after the game. Roy Williams announced that Will Graves is suspended for the rest of the season, and that Marcus Ginyard will seek a medical redshirt for a fifth year of eligibility. That certainly will be huge for next season, considering the Heels stand to lose Danny Green, Tyler Hansbrough, Bobby Frasor and Mike Copeland to graduation. Not to mention the slew of juniors expected to declare for the draft -- Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington. As for this season, the Tar Heels' rotation is...

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RailHawks sign two-time USL-2 defender of year Mark Schulte

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 6:32 PM

  The RailHawks continue to introduce new faces to the squad. Today, the focus moved to the back line as the club announced the signing of Mark Schulte, two-time USL-2 defender of the year. What's more, the signing will reunite Schulte with his coach of the last two years at Cleveland, Martin Rennie, under whose tutelage he took two consecutive defender-of-the-year honors. Schulte was the MVP of the 2008 USL-2 title game. He has also played in Uruguay and Iceland, and in 2005 he saw action in 19 games for the Columbus Crew of the MLS. Complete press release...

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Watson: I trained in San Jose last October

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 4:26 PM

  The mystery of Matt Watson's San Jose training excursion appears to be solved. Yesterday's very welcome news of the second team All-USL-1 midfielder's return to Cary for the 2009 season was also puzzling in light of last week's report that he was training with the MLS Earthquakes. We reached Watson via email and he answered most of our questions: "I went to San Jose at the end of last season around October and trained for one week... met the team and coaches and had a really good time. I was interested in going to play with them. [...]...

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Monday, February 2, 2009

RailHawks’ Matt Watson to return to Cary

Posted By on Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 5:21 PM

  After a week in which three new midfielders with MLS experience were signed, we learn that one anxiously anticipated familiar face is returning to Cary.  Matt Watson, the dazzling attacking midfielder who was last season's team MVP, has agreed to terms with the RailHawks, the team announced today. Although his numbers for last season's low-scoring side were modest, with one league goal and four assists, the Englishman’s form on the field helped the team maintain possession and create opportunities.  Watson is finishing his season with the Baltimore Blast of the National Indoor Soccer League and ’Hawks management hopes...

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

No defense for the Wolfpack

Posted By on Sun, Feb 1, 2009 at 1:24 PM

When you lose a game by 17, it's not just one thing, of course, it's a lot of things. Against UNC yesterday, the Wolfpack's "bigs" missed shot after shot in the lane -- a dozen scoops, half-hooks and double-pumps by State's Ben McCauley and Tracy Smith either rimmed out, rolled off or otherwise failed to go in from short range. Make half of them, and State loses by 5. Maybe. Meanwhile, Tyler Hansbrough had 31 for UNC on 12-17 shooting from the floor. So when it was over, Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe told the assembled media: "Their bigs out-played us,...

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