The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram » Sports Wed, 26 Oct 2016 19:12:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fledgling Maine group promotes hunting, with eye on bottom line Wed, 26 Oct 2016 19:06:28 +0000 AUGUSTA — When Merline Douglas is ready to launch her recreational guide business, probably sometime next summer, she wants to be connected to potential customers.

That’s why when Douglas, who is based in Mount Vernon, saw that hunters spend $213 million in Maine annually, with a ripple effect of $363 million, she wanted to know more.

On Tuesday, she joined about a half-dozen other businesspeople at a meeting of Hunting Works for Maine at the Homewood Suites to learn about the organization and find out how it might help her.

Douglas, who is a broker at Hoang Realty and manages vacation rentals through her company, Dream Maine, is hoping that by associating herself with the organization and its bright orange logo, she’ll be able to tap into a population of people who come to Maine to hunt and to spend money on restaurants, lodging, clothing, souvenirs, guides and recreation experiences.

Hunting Works for Maine is one of about 14 such self-described nonpolitical and nonpartisan state organizations in the nation. Funded by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the state groups work to bring the economic effect of hunting into policy discussions in each of its states. Hunting Works for Maine launched in July 2015 and expects to reach 100 members in Maine soon.

In Maine, 181,000 people hunt annually; 40,000 of them come from out of state. They spend about $102 million on trip-related expenses, and more than $60 million on equipment. That translates to $120 million in salaries and wages, and it supports 4,000 jobs.

State director Rob Sexton said those numbers, which are considered conservative, date from 2011. They are expected to be updated this year.

“Every five years, the Fish and Wildlife Service adds targeted questions to the census around hunting,” Sexton said. That raw data is used in forecasting and it’s used to measure the economic effect of hunting. The same data is collected every five years, so it provides a standardized look at spending and trends in hunting.

And it’s that information that hunting advocates think is important to get across when policies that affect hunting are being considered.

Rep. Gary Hilliard, R-Belgrade, is co-chairman of the group. He said he’s seen the influence of hunting on Maine business.

“I’m a lucky guy. I have a friend in Kansas that has invited me to go there to hunt, and I bring him to Maine to hunt.” When the friend comes here, Hilliard said, he’ll bring his son or several friends. They’ll fly into Portland, and stay the night. The next day they might to go Kittery Trading Post or L.L. Bean and then head north to hunt.”

“Seven or eight guys will spend thousands of dollars,” he said.

Hilliard has sponsored legislation to lift restrictions on youth hunting, and he said that results in more people hunting in the state.

“It has had great impact on securing hunters before they get hooked on other interests like hockey or whatever they want to do at 13,” Sexton said.

Douglas, who is working to complete her guide certification now, said she believes that joining the organization will give her business exposure to families who are interested in spending time in Maine and giving camping a try. As a real estate professional, she also doesn’t overlook the fact that hunters and their families might be interested in leasing or investing in camps or vacation homes in Maine.

She picked up one of the vinyl window clings, an orange diamond with “Hunting Work$ for Maine,” to take with her.

Sexton said members have posted them in their store windows or reproduced them on menus to signal their membership in the organization.

There’s no risk to Douglas if she joins; because the group is funded by the shooting sports foundation, there is no membership fee.

“If I had thought of this 20 years ago,” she said, “I might be set now.”

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Pitching and 2 home runs lift Indians to 6-0 win in World Series opener Wed, 26 Oct 2016 04:12:25 +0000 CLEVELAND — Corey Kluber got the Cleveland Indians off to a great start and Roberto Perez finished off the Chicago Cubs in their first World Series game since 1945.

Kluber pitched neatly into the seventh inning, Perez hit two home runs and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in the opener Tuesday night. AL Championship Series MVP Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh and got out of trouble in the eighth, preserving a 3-0 lead.

In a matchup between the teams with baseball’s longest championship droughts, the Indians scored twice in the first inning off October ace Jon Lester and were on their way.

Perez drove in four runs – he became the first No. 9 batter to homer twice in a Series game, and the first Indians player to accomplish the feat. He hit a three-run drive to put it away.

Francisco Lindor added three hits, helping Cleveland manager Terry Francona to improve to 9-0 in the Series. Francona’s success includes sweeps by his Boston teams in 2004 and ’07.

The Game 1 winner has taken the title in the last six Series and 17 of 19.

Trevor Bauer, trying to come back from a sliced pinkie, starts Game 2 for the Indians on Wednesday night against Jake Arrieta. Because the forecast called for an increased chance of rain later in the evening, Major League Baseball took the extraordinary step of moving up the first pitch by an hour, to 7:08 p.m.

Kluber struck out eight in the first three innings. He combined with Miller and Cody Allen to fan 15.

With the Indians hoping for their first title since 1948 and the Cubs seeking their first since 1908, Lester stumbled in the opening inning.

Cleveland loaded the bases with two outs, Jose Ramirez had a run-scoring swinging bunt single and Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch.

Lester had been 3-0 in three Series starts with a 0.43 ERA.

Perez, who had three homers in 153 at-bats during the regular season, connected in the fourth for a 3-0 lead. His drive in the eighth was his third homer this postseason.

Teams that combined for 174 seasons of futility, America’s biggest droughts since the Great Plains’ Dust Bowl of the 1930s, captivated even many non-baseball fans.

On a night of civic pride, LeBron James and the NBA’s Cavaliers received their championship rings next door prior to their season opener, and Cleveland hosted a World Series opener for the first time.

The Cubs had not played in the Series since five weeks after Japan signed the Instrument of Surrender ending World War II.

Kluber, whose win in the All-Star Game gave the AL home-field advantage on the Series, improved to 3-1 in the postseason and lowered his ERA to a sparkling 0.74. He is on track to start Games 4 and 7 in the manner of an old-style ace.

He was pitching on six days’ rest this time, and his two-seam fastball was darting through the strike zone. He was helped by plate umpire Larry Vanover, whose generous calls on the low, outside corner contributed to 11 called strikeouts, six against Cubs batters.

Kluber struck out nine in six innings and walked none. He stranded Ben Zobrist after a leadoff double in the second and David Ross following a one-out single in the third.

Kyle Schwarber, making a surprise return in his first big league game since tearing knee ligaments on April 7, doubled off the right-field wall in the fourth – a drive kept in by a stiff wind on a 50-degree night. Kluber then got Baez to fly out.

Zobrist’s leadoff double in the seventh finished Kluber, and Cleveland loaded the bases with no outs against Miller on Schwarber’s walk and Javier Baez’s single. Pinch-hitter Willson Contreras flied to Rajai Davis in short center, and Davis threw home rather than double up Schwarber, who had strayed far off second.

Using his intimidating slider, Miller struck out Addison Russell and David Ross to escape the jam, then fanned Schwarber to strand runners at the corners in the eighth, his 46th pitch. Miller has thrown 20 scoreless innings in postseason play, including 13 2/3 innings with 24 strikeouts this year.

Allen completed Cleveland’s fourth postseason shutout and second in a row.

Ramirez also had three hits each for the Indians, who beat Toronto in the ALCS despite hitting just .168. Zobrist had three hit for the Cubs.

Lester gave up three runs, six hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings, and was rattled by Vanover’s calls, barking at the umpire in the third, then stopping for a discussion at the inning’s end.

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NHL roundup: Crosby returns, scores and Penguins win Wed, 26 Oct 2016 03:46:02 +0000 PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby scored in his season debut as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Crosby, who scored on a power play, missed the team’s first six games with a concussion. Carl Hagelin and Eric Fehr also scored for the Penguins, who extended a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Panthers.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who has started the first seven games of the season for Pittsburgh, stopped 20 shots. Matt Murray, who backstopped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in June, served as the backup to Fleury after missing the first six games with a broken hand.

DEVILS 5, COYOTES 3: Travis Zajac scored twice in the final 2:01 to lead New Jersey over visiting Arizona.

Taylor Hall scored twice and Adam Henrique also had a goal for New Jersey, which is 3-0-0 at home and 0-2-1 on the road.

RED WINGS 4, HURRICANES 2: Dylan Larkin scored two goals to lead host Detroit to its fifth consecutive win.

Andreas Athanasiou had a goal and an assist and Thomas Vanek scored for Detroit (5-2-0).

FLYERS 4, SABRES 3: Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek scored shootout goals to cap a fantastic rally as Philadelphia won at home.

With the Flyers trailing 3-1, Brayden Schenn and Mark Streit scored the power-play goals with 3:05 left in regulation to tie the game.

LIGHTNING 7, MAPLE LEAFS 3: Steven Stamkos matched a career-high with four points – two goals and two assists – and Tampa Bay won at Toronto.

FLAMES 4, BLUES 1: Brian Elliott stopped 23 shots in his return to St. Louis and Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett each had a goal and an assist for Calgary.

STARS 3, JETS 2: Antti Niemi made 28 saves and Dallas won at home.

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NBA roundup: Cavaliers raise banner, then defeat Knicks Wed, 26 Oct 2016 03:27:41 +0000 CLEVELAND — LeBron James had his 43rd career triple-double, Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who raised their championship banner before the game, beat the New York Knicks 117-88 night in the NBA opener Tuesday night.

James scored 19 points, and added 11 rebounds and 14 assists.

James continued his perfect record on ring nights. He was 2-0 when the Miami Heat players were presented with their championship rings.

Irving scored 19 points in the third quarter, when Cleveland used a 20-4 run to take a 74-53 lead. Kevin Love scored 23 for the Cavaliers.

Carmelo Anthony led New York with 19 points. Derrick Rose had 17.

Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert was taken to the locker room late in the third quarter with concussion-like symptoms after colliding with Kristaps Porzingis.

Cleveland’s players, coaching staff and front-office personnel also received their championship rings in the pregame ceremony.

The Knicks, who missed the playoffs the last three seasons, are expecting major improvement after acquiring Rose from Chicago to run the offense and signing center Joakim Noah, who was scoreless in 21 minutes.

New York played its first game under new coach Jeff Hornacek.


CHRIS HANSEN, who is an investor, and the group he leads that’s looking to bring the NBA back to Seattle, have offered to pay for a new arena with private funds.

Hansen’s group acknowledges a changed landscape and is offering to rip up a memorandum of understanding from 2012 that called for up to $200 million in public investment in the arena.

MAGIC: Bismack Biyombo, the center who is the team’s prize free agent signee this summer, was suspended by the NBA without pay for Wednesday night’s opener against Miami because he exceeded the flagrant foul limit during last season’s playoffs with Toronto.

Biyombo was assessed a flagrant foul in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against Cleveland, putting him over the limit with four flagrant foul points for the playoffs.

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Tuesday’s boys’ soccer roundup: Yarmouth advances in Class B South Wed, 26 Oct 2016 03:17:23 +0000 YARMOUTH — Matthew Dostie and Luke Groothoff scored Tuesday night as second-seeded Yarmouth allowed no shots on goal and defeated seventh-ranked Gray-New Gloucester 2-0 in a Class B South boys’ soccer quarterfinal.

The Clippers (12-2-1) will be home Saturday against sixth-seeded Greely (9-7) in the semifinals.

Dostie made it 1-0 with a minute left in the half, rifling a straight-on shot from outside the 20. Groothoff duplicated that shot 27 minutes into the second half after receiving a pass from Eric Loomis.

John Henry Villanueva of Gray-New Gloucester (8-7-1) made eight saves behind a defense that blocked 10 other attempted shots.

GORHAM 5, WESTBROOK 1: Jackson Fotter scored three goals to lead the top-ranked Rams (14-0-1) over the ninth-seeded Blue Blazes (8-7-1) in a Class A South quarterfinal at Gorham.

Gorham will be home Saturday against fourth-seeded Scarborough (12-3) in the semifinals.

Fotter scored two first-half goals, assisted by Ben Nelson and Tyler Richman. Kyle Patterson, Richman and Fotter each added second-half scores.

Alex York stopped five shots for the Rams.

MT. ARARAT 2, MESSALONSKEE 1: Nick Merrill and Max Spelke scored in the second half as third-seeded Mt. Ararat (13-2) erased a 1-0 deficit and defeated sixth-ranked Messalonskee (8-5-2) in a Class A North quarterfinal at Topsham.

The Eagles will meet Brunswick or Bangor, who play Wednesday, in the semifinals Saturday.

James Kouletsis scored for Messalonskee.

Chase Warren made 12 saves for Messalonskee. Gavin Patterson had five for Mt. Ararat.

NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY 1, HALL-DALE 0: Andrew Keith’s goal 14 minutes into the second half was the difference as fifth-seeded North Yarmouth Academy (10-4-1) beat the fourth-ranked Bulldogs (9-3-3) in a Class C South quarterfinal at Farmingdale.

NYA will play Friday at top-ranked Monmouth Academy in the semifinals.

Carlos Pena set up the goal, getting to a free kick that was bouncing around the goal mouth and flicking a cross to Keith for the winning shot.

Connor Clock of NYA and Jonathan Whitcomb of Hall-Dale each had six saves.

MONMOUTH ACADEMY 1, SACOPEE VALLEY 0: Avery Pomerleau scored less than five minutes into the game and the top-ranked Mustangs (12-1-2) held off eighth-seeded Sacopee Valley (7-7-1) in a Class C South quarterfinal at Monmouth.

Monmouth will be home against fifth-ranked North Yarmouth Academy (10-4-1) in the semifinals Friday.

CAMDEN HILLS 1, LEWISTON 0: Josiah Krul slipped home a shot 1:37 into the second half as fifth-seeded Camden Hills (10-4-1) beat the fourth-ranked and defending state champion Blue Devils (11-3-1) in a Class A North quarterfinal at Lewiston.

Krul carried the ball into the box and beat a defender.

Lucas Boetsch made 10 saves for the Windjammers, including one on a penalty kick, to record the first shutout against Lewiston this year. Alex Rivet had two saves.

Camden Hills will be at top-ranked Edward Little (12-2-1) in the semifinals Saturday.

WAYNFLETE 3, WISCASSET 2: Ilyas Abdi scored three goals, including the winner with 1:07 remaining to lift the seventh-seeded Flyers (8-5-2) over the second-ranked Wolverines (9-5-1) in a Class C South quarterfinal at Wiscasset.

Grant Helfer scored two minutes in to put the Wolverines ahead 1-0. The Flyers tied it in the fifth minute on Abdi’s first goal. The Wolverines regained the lead on a goal by Russell Marr just before halftime.

Abdi scored in the 45th minute to tie it from Ian McClure-Chute.

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Major League notebook: Red Sox won’t have a general manager this season Wed, 26 Oct 2016 02:52:10 +0000 BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox plan to operate without a full-time general manager for now.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski announced that intention Tuesday in naming Eddie Romero the team’s new senior vice president and assistant general manager.

It is the latest move to take place inside Boston’s baseball operations department since former general manager Mike Hazen left the team earlier this month to become vice president and general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The team says both Romero and senior vice president and assistant general manager Brian O’Halloran will report directly to Dombrowski and assist in all aspects of baseball operations going forward.

Romero, 37, is being promoted after being previously elevated to vice president of international scouting at the start of the 2016 season.

ANGELS: C.J. Cron is having a medical procedure to relieve pain in his left thumb.

Cron will need 6 to 8 weeks of recovery time, the Angels announced.

AWARDS: The Sporting News named Jose Fernandez, the late Marlins pitcher, as its NL Comeback Player of the Year, one month to the day after he died in a boating accident off Miami Beach.

Major league players voted on the award, with many of the ballots cast before Fernandez’s death. Of the 177 votes by players, 70 went to Fernandez. Washington Nationals pitcher Tanner Roark finished second with 27 votes, followed by Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill (17).

Fernandez was a candidate for such an honor even before his death made him a sentimental choice. In his first full season after May 2014 Tommy John surgery, he had a 2.86 ERA and 1.12 WHIP while making a career-high 29 starts.

AUCTIONS: An auction house says memorabilia of Yankees great Yogi Berra sold for $493,855 during on online auction, including $159,720 for his 1953 World Series championship ring. The catcher died in September 2015.

INDIANS: Manager Terry Francona says he’s considering playing Carlos Santana in left field at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, where Cleveland will not have the designated hitter for Games 3-5 against the Cubs.

Santana took fly balls in left the past few days, and Francona said the first baseman/DH is willing to play the outfield.

The last time the baseball world caught a glimpse of Trevor Bauer’s mangled pinkie finger on his right hand, it was grotesquely dripping blood onto the pitching rubber in Toronto during the ALCS.

Unlike most horror movies, however, Bauer has no plans for a sequel.

Bauer is confident the mound will be blood free when he starts Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night against the Chicago Cubs. Bauer tested the finger – notoriously hurt while he was tinkering with a drone – during a simulated game on Monday. He wore gauze over the finger – a no-no during an actual game – just to see if it could withstand the pressure placed on it when Bauer grips the ball and lets it rip.

When Bauer unwrapped the finger after throwing about 20 pitches, he exhaled.

“We took it off and it was completely white, so it was a non-issue,” Bauer said.

CUBS: The doctors told Kyle Schwarber the day after he tore two ligaments in his left knee on April 7 that his season was over.

Funny how months of relentless rehab and a chance to play in the World Series can speed up the healing process.

Schwarber was the designated hitter for Game 1, 201 days after his frightening collision with teammate Dexter Fowler while chasing down a fly ball against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Even Schwarber is surprised he’s here.

“I took regular visits to the doctor every month or two, and he kept telling me, ‘It’s going to be spring training,’ ” Schwarber said. “Then this past doctor’s visit I had right before we went to LA for the (NLCS) he looked at my knee, he’s like: ‘Man, it’s great. You’re strong. I’m not going to hold you back from doing anything.’ “

]]> 0, 25 Oct 2016 23:01:03 +0000
Short-handed in goal, Bruins come up empty in 5-0 home loss to Wild Wed, 26 Oct 2016 02:26:27 +0000 BOSTON — Devan Dubnyk made 27 saves, Charlie Coyle and Chris Stewart scored 12 seconds apart and the Minnesota Wild used four second-period goals to beat the Boston Bruins 5-0 on Tuesday night.

Ryan Suter and Jason Zucker each had a goal and an assist for Minnesota, and rookie Joel Eriksson Ek got his first three NHL assists.

Jason Pominville scored in the third period, and Dubnyk got his 20th career shutout and the first for Minnesota this season.

Boston goalies Tuukka Rask (lower body) and Anton Khudobin (right arm/wrist) are both injured, and the Wild capitalized after a lackluster first period.

Malcolm Subban started in net but was pulled after allowing three goals on 16 shots in the first 30:36. Zane McIntyre then made his NHL debut and stopped 15 of 17 shots.

The Wild broke the scoreless tie 5:07 into the second when Coyle tapped in his own rebound, then Minnesota struck again when Zucker slipped a pass from behind the net to Stewart, who hit a one-timer past Subban to put the Wild up 2-0.

Minnesota went up 3-0 on a power-play goal by Suter with 9:24 left in the second. Suter one-timed a crossing pass from Matt Dumba just 5 seconds after Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid was called for cross checking.

Fans mocked Subban’s struggles by cheering McIntyre after a routine stop, but there was little else to cheer on the night. Zucker took a pass from Suter with 3:21 left in the second to give the Wild a 4-0 lead after two.

Subban’s only previous NHL experience was a start at St. Louis on Feb. 20, 2015, when he was pulled early in the second period after allowing three goals on six shots.

]]> 0, 26 Oct 2016 08:42:36 +0000
Boys’ soccer: Maranacook solves defense, defeats Freeport in Class B South Wed, 26 Oct 2016 01:57:15 +0000 READFIELD — A bit of recent history helped the top-ranked Maranacook boys’ soccer team get its playoff run started on the right foot Tuesday night.

The Black Bears again cracked a five-back system, getting goals from five players in the second half en route to a 5-0 victory against ninth-seeded Freeport in a Class B South quarterfinal.

Maranacook (14-0-1) will be home in the semifinals Saturday against fourth-ranked York (8-6-1).

Sam Wilkinson, Hayden Elwell, Ryan Roy, Dennis Chiappetta and Connor Stockwell scored against the Falcons (7-8-1), who, like Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference foes Erskine Academy and Leavitt, dropped as many as 10 men into the defensive third of the field.

The Freeport formation did keep Maranacook scoreless in the first half.

“They played just like Erskine,” Elwell said. “They packed it in the back and tried to kick it out, trying to go to (penalty kicks), obviously.”

Wilkinson broke the scoreless tie in the 48th minute, heading home Nathan Delmar’s cross from the left side.

“We had opportunities in the first half but we just didn’t finish,” Maranacook Coach Don Beckwith said. “We knew they’d come again. We just had to break down the wall.”

“We have players all over the field and even on the bench,” Elwell said. “We can sub on a whole 11 and still play perfectly well as a team. We’ve improved (on the attack) as the season’s gone on. We’re playing more as a team, passing more as a team.”

That showed late, when Maranacook put it away with four goals in 11 minutes. Elwell finished off a corner kick from Thomas Dupuy in the 69th minute and Roy scored on a one-time half-volley four minutes later for a 3-0 lead.

Goals from Chiappetta (75th minute) and Stockwell (80th) weren’t even needed, not for a defense that’s allowed two goals all season.

“We’re so used to having pressure back there, but we’ve just got to stay organized and know where everyone is,” center back Jackson McPhedran said. “It was a little sketchy in the first half, but we kind of broke them down in the second half and did what we needed to do.”

The Black Bears conceded just four shots, which goalkeeper Justin Freeman saved.

It was an especially impressive effort given that Maranacook played without an injured Bryan Riley, who had started all 14 previous games this season as the second center back. Duncan Rogers stepped up to fill the void.

“Three shots (on goal) is kind of our average,” Beckwith said of the few chances Maranacook allowed.

“If we continue to do that, we’ll be all right defensively. … Duncan did a really good job, and I thought we did a good job defensively.”

The entire night, in many ways, was an exercise in patience. Particularly after the first half, when Elwell alone had three opportunties that produced nothing, the Black Bears drew on what they learned in previous games against defensively oriented formations.

“It definitely helped us but we won’t see that much now because we’ll be facing better teams,” Beckwith said.

“They’re going to come out after us. That might actually help us.”

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Boys’ soccer: Portland stuns Deering with late goal Wed, 26 Oct 2016 00:38:37 +0000 After 76 scoreless minutes in a Class A South boys’ soccer quarterfinal Tuesday night, Deering found the back of Portland’s net.

Robert Ochan headed in a corner kick that would have given the Rams a 1-0 lead with 3:19 remaining.

But an offside call negated the goal and Alex Frank scored the winner for Portland with 40 seconds remaining for a 1-0 victory at Deering High.

The sixth-seeded Bulldogs (11-3-1) will be at second-ranked Falmouth (12-2-1) in the semifinals Saturday.

“The rivalry goes very deep in this city,” Portland Coach Rocco Frenzilli said. “It was a great game played by two very evenly matched teams. It just so happened that the ball rolled our way.”

Ochan’s goal was the second called for offside for third-seeded Deering (11-2-2). Orey Dutton apparently scored in the first half on a breakaway, when his shot bounced back to him off Portland goalkeeper Rowan Daligan. Dutton put it in before the call.

Deering Coach Joel Costigan said he couldn’t see if the call was correct but felt differently about the second offside.

“The second one, I can’t fathom how that’s offside,” Costigan said. “Coming off of a corner kick, the guy who plays the ball is not offside.”

The winning goal came when Samuel Nkurunziza crossed the ball from the right corner and Frank placed it in the net.

“We worked the ball down the side, which we had been going for all day,” Frank said. “I stepped up, saw the ball on the ground and struck it home.”

The first half was back and forth, with each team taking four shots.

Portland had the edge in the second half, outshooting Deering 7-4.

“I thought, in the second half, we were able to move the ball down the sides and cross,” Frenzilli said, “and that was the play at the end that got us there.”

Louange Turahimbawe of Deering nearly scored two minutes into the second half when his shot bounced off the crossbar.

Three minutes later, a Nkurunziza shot was deflected by a defender before Deering goalkeeper Mustafa Kadhim made the save.

“Their defense is unbelievable,” Frank said. “I know (defender) Jonata (Mbongo) is a great kid who works really hard – I definitely think getting one against him is a tough thing, and – thankfully – we were able to do it.”

Costigan also noted the efforts of Caleb Delano and Iessa Ramadan in the Rams’ defense.

After the Bulldogs and Rams tied 1-1 on Oct. 18, Costigan said he came in with a game plan of using a tandem defense, which involved doubling up on Portland’s outside players and playing with a man-mark in the middle.

“The problem playing with a man-mark system is when we break down, that man is open,” Costigan said. “The man got open once and he scored.”

Kadhim finished with five saves and Daligan had three.

“I’m just pleased with how we were able to fight and not give up,” Frank said. “Both teams had opportunities. It was just a matter of who was able to put one in first.”

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NFL notebook: Giants release kicker Brown Wed, 26 Oct 2016 00:37:30 +0000 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants released place-kicker Josh Brown on Tuesday, six days after police documents revealed Brown admitted to repeatedly abusing his former wife while they were married.

The move came shortly after Brown issued a statement insisting he never hit his wife during a six-year period when he admits spousal abuse.

It wasn’t clear whether Brown will receive the rest of his $1.26 million salary.

Brown was previously suspended for the opening game of the season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy after the NFL investigated his arrest in May 2015 for spousal abuse against his now ex-wife, Molly. Brown was accused of grabbing his wife’s wrist as she tried to reach for a phone, causing a contusion and bruising. He was not charged by local authorities in the case in Washington state.

But documents released by the King County Sheriff’s Office, including journals and emails, detailed a history of abuse far greater than Brown acknowledged when he spoke about being disciplined before the season started.

PATRIOTS: New England acquired linebacker Kyle Van Noy from Detroit. According to ESPN, the Patriots gave up a sixth-round pick next season but will acquire the Lions’ seventh-rounder.

Detroit drafted Van Noy out of Brigham Young in the second round with the 40th overall pick in 2014. Van Noy became a first-time starter this season and had 23 tackles.

Denver traded a 2017 fifth-round pick to New England for tight end A.J. Derby.

Derby, a sixth-round draft pick out of Arkansas last year, played in four games for the Patriots this season after spending his rookie year on injured reserve.

FALCONS: Atlanta added insurance for injured running back Tevin Coleman by signing three running backs, including Stevan Ridley, who began his career with New England and also played for the Jets. Ridley has 2,907 yards rushing in five seasons.

The Falcons also signed Terron Ward from their practice squad. Free-agent Jhurell Pressley was signed to the practice squad.

BRONCOS: Police are investigating a burglary at the home of outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware that Ware reported when he returned home from Monday night’s football game.

Police said they are looking for two men who came through the front door. There was no report on what was taken.

 Authorities said a fan, Jason Coy, 35, died after falling 60 feet at Denver’s stadium after the game Monday night.

Stadium Management Co., which operates Sports Authority Field at Mile High, said the fan fell over a railing while sitting on it.

BILLS: The team promoted receiver Ed Eagan off the practice squad to address an injury-depleted position.

Robert Woods’ status is uncertain because of an injured right foot, and Marquise Goodwin is being evaluated for a possible concussion. Starter Sammy Watkins (left foot) and backup Greg Salas (groin) are on injured reserve.

Jacksonville will be without defensive tackle Roy Miller for the rest of the season because of a torn right Achilles tendon.

PACKERS: Cornerback Damarious Randall, who had been sidelined with a groin injury, underwent surgery and is out this week.

“That’s just the way things go,” cornerback Demetri Goodson said. “If you look at every single team in the league, they’re beat up from top to bottom. So that’s just the way it goes.”

DOLPHINS: Safety Bacarri Rambo signed following safety Reshad Jones’ season-ending shoulder injury.

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Boys’ soccer: Scarborough edges South Portland Wed, 26 Oct 2016 00:29:46 +0000 SCARBOROUGH — Neither Scarborough nor South Portland had allowed a goal all October, so it was no surprise to see their Class A South boys’ soccer quarterfinal scoreless through 76 minutes Tuesday night.

“You got the feeling on either side,” Scarborough Coach Mark Diaz said, ” it would take one of those shots that’s almost unsavable.”

Enter Scarborough senior Noah Stracqualursi, who made a run down the right side of the field until he ran out of real estate within a few feet of the end line. He stopped abruptly, pivoted away from the goal and with his left foot sent a pass across the goal mouth toward a teammate streaking to the far post.

“I was crossing it back post,” Stracqualursi said, “and luck was with me, honestly.”

Indeed, the ball looped over the head of South Portland goalie Riley Hasson and nestled into the upper left corner of the net to give the fourth-seeded Red Storm a 1-0 victory over the No. 5 Red Riots.

Scarborough (12-3) advances to Saturday’s regional semifinal at No. 1 Gorham, a 4-0 winner over No. 9 Westbrook. South Portland, which had won 10 in a row including seven straight shutouts, finishes 12-4.

“That’s a one-in-a-million shot,” South Portland Coach Bryan Hoy said. “There’s no way a keeper gets to it. It’s a beautiful play. That’s a successful season if that’s what it takes to beat us.”

Scarborough held a 12-1 advantage in shots on goal and 6-1 edge in corner kicks but had trouble penetrating South Portland’s back line of Pat Graff, Riley Ellis, Jacob Milton and Brandon Gagne. With five minutes remaining, Scarborough senior Garrett King sideswiped a shot that got past Hasson but Gagne, from the goal line, headed it away from danger.

“They had a great clear,” King said. “But we felt it coming. Once a few people step up and give the energy, it’s inevitable really.”

South Portland’s only shot on Scarborough goalie Chris Franklin came 11 minutes after halftime when junior striker Charlie Cronin dribbled around two defenders and sent a low shot near the right post. Franklin easily scooped it up.

“They played fantastic as a unit,” Diaz said of Scarborough defenders Alex Giles, Matt Blaisdell, Nick Anderson and Spencer Pettingill. “They have some good forwards on that (South Portland) team who are very dangerous and I thought overall we did a good job containing them.”

Hasson finished with 10 saves to Franklin’s one. South Portland midfielders Khalid Suja and Aleks Kaurin had plenty of possession time from about 25 yards away from the Scarborough goal but couldn’t figure out a way to generate a decent scoring chance.

“Their counterattack was two guys,” South Portland’s Hoy said. “That makes it really difficult to score, when they’ve got nine guys in the box.”

Finally, with just 3:09 remaining, Stracqualursi solved the South Portland defense for the first time.

“In practice, we just work on getting it as close to the back post as possible,” Stracqualursi said. “It was just a little bit closer to the goal than to the player I was going to.”

]]> 0, 25 Oct 2016 22:31:20 +0000
Boys’ soccer: Greely upsets Cape Elizabeth Wed, 26 Oct 2016 00:02:21 +0000 CAPE ELIZABETH — First Eric Kinkead picked his spot. Then he picked up his first career varsity goal.

Kinkead, a senior defender at Greely High, rose up and headed in an artfully placed free kick from Dylan Fried to break a scoreless tie with 27:31 left, paving the way for the sixth-seeded Rangers to upset third-ranked Cape Elizabeth 2-1 in a Class B South boys’ soccer quarterfinal Tuesday night.

“Before the play I kind of signaled to Dylan, put a hand above my head in the general vicinity of where the ball should be because we had a little bit of space,” Kinkead said.

“He put it right on the money and I was able to make it happen.”

Greely pushed the lead to 2-0 with 1:51 to play when Owen McIntyre buried a hard shot from 18 yards into the top right corner of the net after a slick pass from German exchange student Lucca Pfruender, who drew three defenders during a counter-attack rush.

That goal proved important when Cape answered on a header from Connor Thoreck off a corner kick just 35 seconds later. It made for a tense ending but Cape’s only bids were two long-range shots handled surely by Greely keeper A.J. Eisenhart (10 saves).

Greely (9-7) lost four games by a goal in the regular season, including two to Cape Elizabeth. Coach Mike Andreasen said six of his team’s seven losses came after being tied or leading at the half.

“I knew we had it in us,” Kinkead said. “We’ve been playing hard all year. Coach has been saying that. We knew that. It’s nice to see our hard work pay off.”

The Rangers advance to Saturday’s regional semifinal at Yarmouth (12-2-1), the two-time defending state champion. Yarmouth also beat Greely twice in the regular season.

“We think that we and Cape are evenly matched,” Andreasen said. “We just figured that if two evenly matched teams play three times, usually you split the results. We’ve had some tough luck with them so far, so it was just good tonight to come out and the kids just played relaxed.”

Cape Elizabeth (11-3-1) held advantages of 11-5 in shots on goal and 4-3 in corner kicks.

Both teams had one strong scoring chance in the first half denied by the goalies. Eisenhart was able to get enough on a bid from Matt Concannon off Thoreck’s flicked header to push the ball just over the crossbar.

Later in the half, Cape keeper Sean Agrondia (three saves) knocked away a Greely header with a quick leap to his left.

The Capers started the second half with a string of good possession, paced by strong play in the midfield from Nicolai Sabbatini and Quinn Hewitt, and alert backline wins from Jon Fiutak.

“I think we played pretty well. I think they played pretty well,” Cape Coach Ben Raymond said. “Their (first) goal comes on a free kick that we give up and the kid hits a great ball, and they get on the other end of it.”

]]> 0 Tue, 25 Oct 2016 22:35:06 +0000
Boys’ soccer: Falmouth blanks Thornton Academy Tue, 25 Oct 2016 23:54:50 +0000 FALMOUTH — With balls delivered with precision to the wings, the Falmouth High boys’ soccer team attacked and attacked Tuesday night.

The Yachtsmen finally wore down Thornton Academy, scoring in each half to beat the Trojans 2-0 in a Class A South quarterfinal.

Second-seeded Falmouth (12-2-1) advanced to the semifinals, and will host No. 6 Portland (11-3-2), a 1-0 upset winner of third-seeded Deering.

No. 7 Thornton finished 9-5-2.

Falmouth got a first-half goal from Devin Russell – on Hayden Farr’s corner kick – and a second-half tally from Farr on a long-range kick.

The Yachtsmen outshot the Trojans 19-2, 12-1 in the first half. Falmouth had 12 corner kicks; Thornton had one.

“They’re a good side and they came out and dominated in the first half,” Trojans Coach Andrew Carlson said. “They’re big. They’re strong. They’re well organized. They’re everything we’re not.

“Our guys were game. They showed up to play. They dug in there and competed.”

Thornton did hold on for over 30 minutes, keeping the game scoreless. Falmouth sent in ball after ball, and the Trojans’ defensive quartet of Brandon Lebel, Noah Goren, Daniel Roch and Noah Edborg cleared them out.

“That’s soccer,” Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan said. “You can never let up for a second.”

The Yachtsmen did not let up, keeping the pressure on. Falmouth dished off to the wings and continued to center balls. Andrew Muscadin, Matthew Polewaczyk, Michael Sanzari and Nate Arrants created chances.

Many of those chances began from the foot of midfielder John Mullin.

“John played huge tonight,” Halligan said. “He was the best player on the field, offensive and defensive. When a play had to be made, he seemed to be there.”

Mullin’s approach is simple: “Just keep working until we get a goal.”

The Yachtsmen got their first with 9:18 left in the half. Farr delivered Falmouth’s 10 corner kicks, sending another into the crowd in front of the net.

“We just ran the same play,” Farr said. “I knew we had the guys who could put it away.”

A couple of players went for a header, but the ball reached the ground and Russell was there for the point-blank score.

“Ten corner kicks. Sooner or later you’re going to have a breakdown,” Carlson said.

The Trojans had been hanging back on defense, trying to get a ball up field for a forward.

“We were just trying to survive,” Carlson said. “Get a counterattack, maybe a dead-ball situation.

“We came out in the second half with a different tone. We strung together a few more passes; a little better combination, instead of single attackers. Then they get that long shot.”

With 24:38 left in the game, Farr looked like he might be passing, but saw his chance.

“I looked up and saw the goalie out of place and I took it,” said Farr, who launched a score into the upper left corner for a 2-0 lead.

Thornton opened up its attack more, led by midfielder Noah Niles, but Falmouth held on.

“We had some opportunities late but it was pretty frantic,” Carlson said.

This is Falmouth’s second straight trip to the semifinals. The Yachtsmen lost to Scarborough in last year’s semis.

]]> 0, 25 Oct 2016 22:33:45 +0000
Commentary: Attention to detail makes Epstein a curse-buster Tue, 25 Oct 2016 22:45:41 +0000 CHICAGO — Theo Epstein is restless in a way most of us are not.

No one is more invested in finding out whether he can repeat in Chicago what he did in Boston a dozen years ago – win a World Series in a town that measures its disappointment in decades.

But it’s not just the short-term goal that commands Epstein’s attention. In the middle of a vacation with family or the middle of an inning surrounded by staff – sometimes even in mid-sentence – Epstein will extricate himself from the group, pull out his mobile phone and laser-focus on the longer-term target: building a dynasty.

That’s why no box has gone unchecked. It’s why Epstein spent days poring over brochures for sectional sofas to furnish the Cubs’ luxurious new clubhouse, but also why he spent five years tracking the ups and downs of a former Red Sox prospect named Anthony Rizzo, then traded for him when the time – and the price – was right.

“We’ve made plenty of mistakes,” Epstein said. “But the ones that we’ve hit on, we’ve gotten lucky with; some impact guys back, some best-case scenarios as far as how the guys have turned out.

“We knew that we didn’t have a chance to rebuild twice in a market like this.”

When Epstein came on board with the Cubs in 2011, his task was to turn around an aircraft carrier-sized organization. He put back together his sabermetric-styled band from earlier stints in San Diego and Boston – front-office execs Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod – and rolled up his sleeves.

During the first phase, he set out to shed what was essentially a roster of bad contracts and spare parts, then went searching for difference-makers largely through the draft. Cub fans, meanwhile, struggled to see what difference all that attention to data and detail made.

The team lost 101 games in Epstein’s first season on the job, then 96 and 89. But in 2015 with Manager Joe Maddon and a roster stocked with promising young talent and a few savvy veterans, it became clear the rebuild had paid off.

Rizzo was a budding star at first base. Across the diamond was draft choice and soon-to-be Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant. Up the middle, Addison Russell locked down the starting shortstop job at 21 and Javier Baez began realizing his offensive promise. Behind them in center was Dexter Fowler, who hit for more power than ever.

Despite his reputation as a numbers guru, one factor in many of Epstein’s trade and draft decisions was actually a hunch. He prioritized hitters with power instead of pitching, betting that one little-examined consequence of baseball’s toughened-up drug policy would be a dearth of power and a surplus of pitching. This season made him look like a genius.

It didn’t hurt, of course, that pitching coach Chris Bosio turned Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arrieta from afterthoughts into tough-as-nails, front-of-the-rotation starters. Or that Epstein was given a Monopoly-money checkbook to add expensive complementary parts like veteran pitchers Jon Lester and John Lackey, and switch-hitting, infielder-outfielder Ben Zobrist, whom Maddon uses like a Swiss Army knife.

None of this comes as a surprise to Cleveland Manager Terry Francona, who had the same job in Boston when Epstein, only 31 and still regarded as a wunderkind, rebuilt the franchise and reversed his first “curse.” He’d seen him at work before. He knew how much the infighting in the wake of all that success in Boston had stung Epstein.

“I saw him in spring training when we played them. He made a point of coming down actually during the game. And we text every so often,” Francona said on the eve of the Series. “Something comes up or something happens that he thinks is funny, or jogs a memory. We’ve texted back and forth during the last couple playoff series. We were together eight years.

“Eight years in Boston is, I would almost say miraculous. There’s a lot of fond memories and we got through some tough times together and came out in the end. I knew when things got tough, where I could go.”

That kind of loyalty and toughness impressed Maddon when he interviewed for the Red Sox job Francona, who had much more experience at the time, wound up getting. What he’s learned about Epstein since made him even a bigger admirer.

When he scans the clubhouse and sees the team his boss assembled, Maddon marvels that there’s not a prima donna in sight.

“I think sometimes it gets to the point where it’s just about acquiring a number,” Maddon said. “I’m a big believer in that, but I also like the balance between the person and what the back of his baseball card says. Our guys do a wonderful job of balancing the math with the actual person.”

]]> 0, 25 Oct 2016 20:20:13 +0000
Sports Digest: Jack Dawson to be honored by National Football Foundation Tue, 25 Oct 2016 18:44:23 +0000 FOOTBALL

Dawson will be honored by national football group

Jack Dawson of Portland will be honored Dec. 6 as one of the five individuals receiving the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Chapter Leadership Award.

The award annually recognizes one person from each region of the country for commitment, generosity and leadership at the local level in fulfilling the organization’s mission of “Building Leaders Through Football.” The award ceremony will take place at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

Dawson was a head football coach at Cheverus and Westbrook high schools for 20 years, and later served as an ECAC official. He has been the chair and master of ceremonies for the Fitzpatrick Trophy dinner for 45 years. He was a founding member of the Maine chapter of the National Football Foundation in 1988. A graduate of Cheverus and Boston College, Dawson competed in football, track and baseball at both schools.

Previously the director of admissions at Cheverus, Dawson is now special assistant to the president at Cheverus. He was a 10-year member of the Portland City Council, serving as mayor in 1995-96.


WOMEN’S OPEN: The United States Golf Association is continuing its plan to hold the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open at a New Jersey course owned by Donald Trump.

The USGA had no comment on a letter sent to it by three Democratic U.S. senators asked that the event be moved away from Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey.


MLS: Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson and defender Liam Ridgewell face charges of driving under the influence after an accident in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Police said Gleeson rear-ended another vehicle Monday and called Ridgewell, who arrived later to help. Neither Gleeson nor the driver of the vehicle he hit was injured.

BRAZIL CAPTAIN DIES: Carlos Alberto Torres, the captain of Brazil’s World Cup-winning team in 1970 and scorer of one of the sport’s most memorable goals, died at 72 of a heart attack at his home in Rio de Janeiro.


SWISS INDOORS: On a tough day for seeded players in the first round, Stan Wawrinka rallied to beat 119th-ranked fellow Swiss Marco Chiudinelli 6-7 (1), 6-1, 6-4 at Basel.

The top-seeded Wawrinka advanced after second-seeded Milos Raonic and sixth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov let one-set leads slip and exited early.

ERSTE BANK OPEN: Two-time former champion Jurgen Melzer upset fourth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 7-5 in the first round at Vienna.


DEBUT PLANNED: Claressa Shields, the two-time Olympic boxing gold medalist, plans to make her professional debut Nov. 19 in Las Vegas.

Shields will fight on the undercard of fellow Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward’s high-profile showdown with Sergey Kovalev. Shields is being represented by Roc Nation Sports, the company founded by music mogul Jay Z.


DERBY WINNER DIES: Monarchos, whose Kentucky Derby-winning time in 2001 was second only to Secretariat, died at 18 after emergency surgery to repair a ruptured intestine.

His time of 1:59.97 was just behind Secretariat’s record 1:59.40.

– Staff and news report

]]> 1 Tue, 25 Oct 2016 20:45:16 +0000
NFL power rankings: Patriots on top as Broncos muscle into 2nd Tue, 25 Oct 2016 17:26:04 +0000 National NFL writer Mark Maske provides this week’s ranking of the league’s 32 teams. The Bills, Falcons, Redskins, Steelers and Cardinals fall from the top 10, giving way to a new rotation in the upper tier.

Tom Brady passes during the first half of Sunday's game against the Steelers. Jared Wickerham

Tom Brady passes during the first half of Sunday’s game against the Steelers. The Patriots, which never trailed in its 27-16 victory in Pittsburgh, is the only team in the NFL not to throw an interception this season and has a league-best 115.9 passer rating. Associated Press/Jared Wickerham

1. New England Patriots (6-1) | Last Week’s Rank: 1

Tom Brady’s passing production in his three games since returning from his suspension would translate to these numbers over a full 16-game season: 5,355 yards, 43 TDs, no interceptions. So yes, he’s playing well.

2. Denver Broncos (5-2) | Last Week’s Rank: 7

The Broncos got a running game going Monday night, which opened up some things in the passing game for QB Trevor Siemian. And the defense simply dominated the Texans’ Brock Osweiler, who made no one in Denver wish that he’d stayed.

3. Dallas Cowboys (5-1) | Last Week’s Rank: 4

The bye week is over and Dak Prescott remains the Cowboys’ QB. Going back to Tony Romo is not an option yet. And, really, it shouldn’t be a realistic option as long as Prescott keeps playing like this. The Prescott-led offense could have WR Dez Bryant back Sunday night against the Eagles.

4. Seattle Seahawks (4-1-1) | Last Week’s Rank: 3

How in the world did the Seahawks not lose that game Sunday night in Arizona? Then how in the world did they not win it? In the end, the tie probably hurts the Cardinals more than it hurts the Seahawks. But the bigger issue for Seattle could be QB Russell Wilson. Anyone who applauded the decision for Wilson to play through his ankle and knee injuries might need to reassess. He didn’t take time to heal and now his mobility clearly remains affected.

5. Minnesota Vikings (5-1) | Last Week’s Rank: 2

The focus was on QB Sam Bradford for his three-turnover performance in the loss at Philadelphia. But the bigger worry going forward is the state of Bradford’s patchwork offensive line.

6. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) | Last Week’s Rank: 11

The Chiefs have things moving in a positive direction again and now play four straight games against teams (Colts, Jaguars, Panthers, Buccaneers) currently at or below .500.

7. Green Bay Packers (4-2) | Last Week’s Rank: 13

Aaron Rodgers’s performance Thursday night against the Bears eased the concerns about his play, at least temporarily. Now the Packers play an interesting game Sunday in Atlanta, with the winner being able to consider itself a real NFC contender.

8. Oakland Raiders (5-2) | Last Week’s Rank: 14

Suddenly, it’s a good time to be the Raiders, with Las Vegas trying to become the new home of what appears at this point to be a very good team.

9. Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) | Last Week’s Rank: 15

The Eagles are establishing themselves as a dominant team at home. They’re 3-0 this season at Lincoln Financial Field and have outscored the Steelers and Vikings, 55-13, in their last two games there. But now they must take that level of play on the road, with their next two games at Dallas and at the Meadowlands against the Giants.

10. Detroit Lions (4-3) | Last Week’s Rank: 17

Matthew Stafford, MVP candidate? Get used to it. He’s having a terrific season. And if the Lions keep winning, he’ll be at least in the conversation. Somehow, he has gotten better in the season after Calvin Johnson’s retirement. Stafford was at his best with the game on the line against the Redskins, calmly directing the game-winning drive to push the Lions over .500.

11. Arizona Cardinals (3-3-1) | Last Week’s Rank: 10

Yes, it’s easy to blame the tie against the Seahawks on kicker Chandler Catanzaro. And yes, those are kicks that must be made, particularly the one in OT. But the offense simply has to be better in a game of that importance at home.

12. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) | Last Week’s Rank: 8

The Steelers remained about as competitive as they could have hoped to have been against the Patriots with Landry Jones at QB. Now it’s all about the healing process for Ben Roethlisberger’s surgically repaired knee. Can he be back following the bye for the Steelers’ Nov. 6 game at Baltimore?

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3) | Last Week’s Rank: 21

So the Buccaneers just might fulfill their pledge to be a playoff contender after all. They’ve climbed back to .500 with two straight wins following their 1-3 start. Up next is a three-game home stand, but the competition is difficult at the outset with first the Raiders and then the Falcons coming to town.

14. Houston Texans (4-3) | Last Week’s Rank: 12

It took the $72 million QB, Brock Osweiler, until the fourth quarter to reach 72 passing yards Monday night in his return to Denver.

15. Buffalo Bills (4-3) | Last Week’s Rank: 5

Isn’t it just like the Bills to lose in Miami right when things were going so well? Now they must try to regroup Sunday by hosting the Patriots and they very well could be without RB LeSean McCoy because of his hamstring injury.

16. Atlanta Falcons (4-3) | Last Week’s Rank: 6

It’s up to Coach Dan Quinn to hold things together now with the Falcons on a two-game losing streak following a 4-1 start, calling to mind last season’s 3-8 finish after a 5-0 beginning.

17. Washington Redskins (4-3) | Last Week’s Rank: 9

The defense actually had been pretty reliable in game-on-the-line situations this season. But Sunday in Detroit, not so much. Now it’s off to London and the ever-lengthening list of injuries to key players is a major concern.

18. New York Giants (4-3) | Last Week’s Rank: 18

The off-field issues involving kicker Josh Brown clearly are significant. But the Giants have managed to improve their situation on the field with two straight victories on the heels of a three-game losing streak.

19. Miami Dolphins (3-4) | Last Week’s Rank: 24

Arian Foster announced his retirement Monday. But the Dolphins don’t seem to have any issues these days at RB, with Jay Ajayi coming off back-to-back 200-yard rushing performances.

20. San Diego Chargers (3-4) | Last Week’s Rank: 25

The Chargers spent the early stages of this season perfecting the come-from-ahead loss. But they managed to come back from a 17-point deficit to win in overtime Sunday in Atlanta. Their season once more has possibilities.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) | Last Week’s Rank: 26

Even with everything that has gone wrong so far, the Bengals find themselves only one game off the division lead. If they can regroup, they still can be a major factor in the AFC playoff chase.

22. Indianapolis Colts (3-4) | Last Week’s Rank: 27

The Colts’ three victories have come against the Chargers, Bears and Titans. There’s no way to take them seriously until they beat a team of consequence. They have their chance Sunday against the Chiefs.

23. Tennessee Titans (3-4) | Last Week’s Rank: 16

Cue the “hide your eyes” jokes with Titans-Jaguars on tap for Thursday Night Football this week. But, really, there will be some very good young talent on the field.

24. Los Angeles Rams (3-4) | Last Week’s Rank: 19

Seriously, Jeff Fisher can’t actually be planning on sticking with Case Keenum at QB, can he? The move to rookie Jared Goff is blatantly obvious at this point.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4) | Last Week’s Rank: 20

Coach Gus Bradley was right when he said that having DE Malik Jackson and CB Jalen Ramsey ejected against the Raiders is a reflection on him and the discipline of his team. Those kinds of things can’t happen. It’s a trying week for Bradley, who also is being asked about the possibility of benching mistake-prone QB Blake Bortles. He says he’s not doing so.

26. New York Jets (2-5) | Last Week’s Rank: 30

Ryan Fitzpatrick fully deserved his demotion and he’s delusional if he truly doesn’t realize that. The QB job is his again, thanks to Geno Smith’s torn anterior cruciate ligament. But the Jets would be wise to go to a young QB, either Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg, relatively soon.

27. New Orleans Saints (2-4) | Last Week’s Rank: 22

Drew Brees is piling up the passing yards. But it really doesn’t matter since the New Orleans defense simply cannot slow anyone down.

28. Baltimore Ravens (3-4) | Last Week’s Rank: 23

There are some serious problems here with the Ravens on a four-game losing streak. This isn’t like last season, when the brutal early schedule and then the mounting injuries could be blamed. This is a team that simply isn’t good enough right now, from the coach to the QB to other areas of the roster. The Ravens are fortunate they haven’t been left way behind in the AFC North race.

29. Carolina Panthers (1-5) | Last Week’s Rank: 28

The Panthers return from their bye to host the Cardinals on Sunday in a rematch of last season’s NFC title game. Who would’ve guessed it would mean so little?

30. Chicago Bears (1-6) | Last Week’s Rank: 29

Jay Cutler returns from his thumb injury to reclaim the QB job. Is that a good thing?

31. San Francisco 49ers (1-6) | Last Week’s Rank: 31

The Niners are on a road to nowhere. Colin Kaepernick does not appear to be an upgrade at QB over Blaine Gabbert. They could be sellers at next week’s trade deadline, with multiple reports that they’d be willing to part with WR Torrey Smith.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-7) | Last Week’s Rank: 32

With another season (and perhaps another decade) lost, it might make sense for the Browns to listen to trade offers for their superb left tackle, Joe Thomas. But if Coach Hue Jackson is to be believed on the subject, the Browns aren’t parting with him.

]]> 0, 25 Oct 2016 18:19:56 +0000
Tuesday’s Maine college roundup: UMaine men’s basketball to play game in Portland Tue, 25 Oct 2016 15:01:40 +0000 The University of Maine men’s basketball team has scheduled a home game at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland for the first time in 11 years.

The Black Bears will host Quinnipiac at Cross Insurance Arena on Dec. 18 at 1 p.m.

Maine played a home game at the Portland Expo each of the past two seasons. The Maine Red Claws have a game scheduled that day at the Expo at 5 p.m. against Erie.

The last time the Black Bears played at CIA – then known as the Cumberland County Civic Center – was on Dec. 13, 2005 against Dartmouth.

Maine opens its regular season at Virginia Tech on Nov. 11.

Tickets for the game in Portland will be available through


UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 0, WENTWORTH 0: The Nor’easters (9-5-2, 5-2-2) and the Leopards (12-3-3, 7-0-2) played to a double-overtime draw in a Commonwealth Coast Conference matchup in Biddeford.

Nor’easters goalie Brielle Robinson recorded 17 saves. Micaela Robinson stopped five shots for the Leopards.

SOUTHERN MAINE 3, PINE MANOR 0: Hana McNally, Analies Ross Dyjak and Alexa Cicolini each scored to lead the Huskies (6-11) over the Gators (5-7) in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

Huskies goalie Taylor Canastra recorded three saves in the shutout.

TUFTS 1, BOWDOIN 0: Jess Capone scored on a pass from Jenna Troccoli in the 73rd minute to life the Jumbos (7-5-3, 5-4-1) over the Polar Bears (9-5-1, 5-4-1) in a NESCAC matchup in Brunswick.

Tufts goalie Emily Bowers recorded two saves. Rachel Stout stopped six shots for Bowdoin.

BATES 2, COLBY 1: Hannah Graves scored in double overtime to lead the Bobcats (5-9-1, 1-8-1) over the White Mules (6-9, 1-9) for their first NESCAC victory of the season in Waterville.

Colby goalie Samantha Rizzo recorded five saves. Sarah McCarthy stopped seven shots for the Bobcats.


SALEM STATE 3, SOUTHERN MAINE 0: Nathan Russell finished a cross from Ryan Smith six minutes into the second half to spark Salem State (4-8-3) to a win over the Huskies (1-12-3) during a nonconference match in Gorham.

Goalkeeper Gus Savage made four saves to earn the shutout for the Vikings. USM’s Simon Hulbert had four saves.

BOWDOIN 2, TUFTS 1: Ely Spencer scored twice as the Polar Bears (8-3-4, 4-3-3) ended Tufts’ nine-game unbeaten streak with a NESCAC victory in Brunswick.

Spencer opened the scoring 1:08 before the half and gave Bowdoin a cushion with five minutes left in the match.

Noah Safian stopped 10 shots for Bowdoin.

WENTWORTH 2, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 0: Noah Martins scored in the 85th minute to lift the Leopards (11-3-4, 7-1-1) over the Nor’easters (3-11-4, 1-7-1) in a Commonwealth Coast Conference matchup in Biddeford.


BABSON 2, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 1: Ashley Tango hammered a shot from the top of the circle into the left side of the cage 2:31 into the second overtime to lift Babson (16-2) over the Nor’easters (15-3) in Biddeford.

Kelsi McDougle’s penalty corner set up the winning stroke.

Vonde Saunders’ goal from Nicole Matarozzo three minutes into the game pushed UNE into an early lead. However, Julie Mortimer countered with a penalty stroke 7:18 into the second half to tie the match.

Deirdre Barry finished with two saves for the Beavers, and Holly Smith 12 for UNE.

]]> 1 Tue, 25 Oct 2016 22:40:33 +0000
NFL roundup: Denver routs Osweiler, Houston Tue, 25 Oct 2016 04:01:37 +0000 DENVER — The Denver Broncos ruined Brock Osweiler’s homecoming Monday night, incessantly hurrying, hitting and harassing their former teammate in a 27-9 win over his Houston Texans.

Coach Gary Kubiak returned to the sideline following his second health scare in three years, and he had to like what he saw as the Broncos (5-2) snapped a two-game skid in sending the overwhelmed Texans home at 4-3.

C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker energized Denver’s sputtering ground game, both running for a touchdown. Anderson gained 107 yards on 16 carries and Booker had 83 on 17 carries.

But the big story was Trevor Siemian, Peyton Manning’s surprise successor, outplaying Osweiler, who was groomed to be Denver’s next QB but instead bolted to Houston in free agency.

Osweiler left for bigger numbers in Texas – both in his bank account and his stat sheet – but he spent this night quickly getting rid of the ball, constantly overthrowing DeAndre Hopkins in double coverage and otherwise running for his life from Von Miller & Co.

Although he avoided sacks, Osweiler was just 22 for 41 for 131 yards with no TDs and no interceptions. Siemian was 14 of 25 for 157 yards, a TD and no interceptions.

Osweiler’s fumble at his 25-yard line was scooped up by Chris Harris Jr. on the first play of the fourth quarter. That led to Brandon McManus’ chip-shot field goal that made it 24-9 and snuffed out Houston’s hopes of a comeback.

Anderson scored on a 7-yard run and Siemian hit Demaryius Thomas from 4 yards out as the Broncos took a 14-6 halftime lead.

Osweiler took a couple of big shots from safeties Darian Stewart and T.J. Ward in the first quarter but the Texans led 6-0 on a pair of 43-yard field goals by Nick Novak.

Novak’s 29-yarder made it 14-9, but Stewart punched the ball from running back Alfred Blue’s grasp and linebacker Todd Davis plucked it out of the air. That led to Booker’s 1-yard TD run.

Kubiak missed Denver’s last game when doctors ordered him to take a week off after he was transported via ambulance to the hospital following Denver’s last home game, on Oct. 9, with a complex migraine condition, which can mimic a stroke. Kubiak had a mini-stroke in 2013 while coaching the Texans.

DOLPHINS: Four-time Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster announced his retirement midway through an injury-plagued season with Miami.

Foster, 30, tried to come back from a torn Achilles tendon, but was slowed this season by groin and hamstring injuries. He disclosed his decision Monday on the website Uninterrupted, and the Dolphins confirmed it.

The retirement is effective immediately.

Foster signed a $1.5 million, one-year contract with the Dolphins in July after seven years with the Houston Texans. He holds the Texans’ franchise record with 6,472 yards rushing.

This season he rushed for 55 yards in 22 carries.

GIANTS: Eli Manning said he wasn’t using Donald Trump’s name in order to signal an audible during New York’s victory over the Los Angeles Rams in London on Sunday.

The Giants’ quarterback was caught by microphones yelling out something that sounded a lot like “Trump” ahead of a snap in second quarter of the 17-10 win. The play was a run up the middle that gained a yard.

BILLS: Coach Rex Ryan challenged the NFL to consider ejecting players for blindside hits to the head such as the one by Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry that leveled Buffalo safety Aaron Williams.

Ryan called Landry’s hit “dirty” and “deliberate,” while saying on-field officials made the right call in flagging the player for unnecessary roughness. Ryan then went further in questioning why the league doesn’t adopt college football’s policy and have such hits reviewed to determine whether they merit an ejection.

BEARS: Quarterback Jay Cutler will return from a thumb injury to play against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 31.

CARDINALS: Wide receiver Jaron Brown tore an ACL in Sunday’s 6-6 tie with Seattle and is out for the remainder of the season.

PACKERS: Green Bay signed receiver Geronimo Allison and safety Jermaine Whitehead from the practice squad.

]]> 0, 25 Oct 2016 00:43:13 +0000
NHL roundup: Injuries create shortage of goaltenders for Bruins Tue, 25 Oct 2016 03:57:27 +0000 BOSTON — Anton Khudobin became the latest Boston Bruins goaltender to get injured Monday.

Khudobin skated over to the Bruins’ bench at Warrior Ice Arena just before practice and had his right arm or wrist attended to by the training staff. The goaltender then left the ice and didn’t return.

The Bruins were already without Tuukka Rask, who has been out since Oct. 20 against the New Jersey Devils because of an undisclosed injury.

Heading into their home game against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, the Bruins (3-2-0) don’t know who will be their starting goaltender.

“This is hockey,” said Coach Claude Julien. “If we have to make some adjustments and we have to have different personnel, we’ll deal with it when we have more of an update. But right now I have nothing.”

Julien had no immediate update on Khudobin and the coach said Rask is still day to day.

Malcolm Subban, the Bruins’ first-round pick (24th overall) in 2012, was recalled from Providence of the American Hockey League on Monday to fill in for Rask.

Subban, the younger brother of Nashville Predators All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban, then became the lone goaltender for the one-hour practice.

Rask started the Bruins’ season opener Oct. 13. He then missed the next game two nights later because of injury, but he was able to dress as Khudobin’s backup. Rask returned to play the next two games, but hasn’t skated since he beat the Devils 2-1. Rask is 3-0-0 with a .947 save percentage and 1.67 goals-against average.

Khudobin is 0-2-0 with a .849 save percentage and 4.10 GAA.

Subban’s emergency call-up couldn’t have come at a worse time for the 22-year-old. In four games for Providence, he has a .846 save percentage and 4.50 GAA and he has been pulled twice. He allowed four goals on 34 shots in an overtime loss to Albany on Sunday.

Subban’s only previous NHL experience was a start to forget on Feb. 20, 2015, on the road against the St. Louis Blues.

He was pulled one minute into the second period after allowing three goals on six shots.

With the Bruins needing to bounce back from their 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, Subban might get another chance.

“If I get the call, I’ll be ready to go,” Subban said.

CANADIENS 3, FLYERS 1: Brendan Gallagher scored midway through the third period as host Montreal extend its winning streak to four games.

First-place Montreal (5-0-1) remains the only team unbeaten in regulation.

Shea Weber and Alexander Radulov, into the empty net, also scored for Montreal. Carey Price made 31 saves for his third consecutive win to start the season.

Jakub Voracek scored the lone goal for the Flyers (2-3-1). Steve Mason stopped 30 of 32 shots.

FLAMES 3, BLACKHAWKS 2: Kris Versteeg scored in a shootout and Brian Elliott had 31 saves in a win at Chicago.

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Girls’ soccer: Windham tops Thornton Academy again Tue, 25 Oct 2016 03:33:27 +0000 WINDHAM — The Windham and Thornton Academy girls’ soccer teams are not strangers. In addition to facing each other in the regular season, they’ve met in the playoffs in two of the three previous seasons.

The Eagles beat the Trojans in the playoffs again, winning 4-1 in a Class A South preliminary game Monday behind two goals by Hannah Kaplan.

Windham beat Thornton Academy in the regional final in 2013 and the regional semifinals in 2014.

Windham also beat Thornton Academy in the regular season this year, 2-0 on Sept. 16.

The sixth-seeded Eagles (10-2-3) advance to play No. 3 Cheverus in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

No. 11 Thornton Academy ends the season 8-7.

Windham, which won Class A state titles in 2013 and 2014, was in the rare spot of having to win a prelim game. Advancing to the quarterfinals was motivation for the Eagles.

“(This year) was the first time we haven’t had a bye in years, so the kids were not ready to go home tonight,” said Windham Coach Deb Lebel.

“It made me super proud that they said, ‘No, we’re going to fight for this.’ ”

The game was tight for the majority of the first half, with each team controlling large chunks of time in windy conditions.

Windham, however, took control on goals by Kaplan and Lindsay Arsenault two minutes apart with 2:53 left before intermission.

“Scoring those two goals was extremely important,” said Kaplan. “It set the tone for the whole game for us.”

Thornton Academy had chances in the first half, including two open shots from about 25 yards out by Elizabeth Bell, but couldn’t finish.

“(The two first-half goals) was a little bit of a back breaker because I thought we were playing very well in the first 20 minutes (of the first half). We were in their end most of the time,” said Thornton Academy Coach Chris Kohl. “That’s been the story of our season, not being able to convert.”

Windham pushed its lead to 3-0 with just under 12 left in the game when Kaplan scored for the second time.

Kaplan buried a rebound of a free kick by Emily Kent, which was saved by Thornton Academy goalie Abigail Cook, who finished with 19 saves.

Hannah Niles pulled the Trojans within 3-1 three minutes later when she took advantage of a rare misplay by the Eagles’ defense and volleyed a shot past goalie Kaitlyn Roberts (three saves).

Maggie Symonds made it 4-1 for the Eagles with 5:12 left.

The Eagles advance to face Cheverus, a team they rallied to tie 3-3 on Sept. 21.

“We are ready for Cheverus. We didn’t play well the first time we played them,” Lebel said. “We are happy with our draw.”

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Sports Digest: Clemson football player wanted retaliation after ‘dirty’ hit Tue, 25 Oct 2016 03:03:42 +0000 COLLEGES

Clemson running back Wayne Gallman said Monday that the hit by North Carolina State defensive back Dravious Wright that knocked him out of the game on Oct. 15 was “dirty” and he wanted a teammate to retaliate.

Gallman said after he watched a replay of the hit that he had hoped his teammates would have hurt Wright. Gallman went through concussion protocol during the team’s bye week and expects to play Saturday when the third-ranked Tigers take on No. 12 Florida State.

“I wanted somebody to hurt him that was in the game if they could,” Gallman said. “I wasn’t able to be in it.”

Gallman said Clemson sent video of the hit to the ACC offices and the school was told the hit was legal.

A message for Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney about Gallman’s call for retaliation was not immediately returned.

 Northwestern cornerback Matthew Harris, who hasn’t played since Sept. 10, announced his retirement from football. Harris was injured against Illinois State, with video showing him getting hit in the head while making a tackle.

Several media outlets reported that Harris was giving up the game because of concussions.

 Linebacker Jack Cichy, the leading tackler for No. 11 Wisconsin, will miss the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. The Badgers (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) are ranked second in the country in scoring defense (14.3 points per game) and third in total defense (300.6 yards).


ERSTE BANK OPEN: Tomas Berdych’s chances of qualifying for the ATP Finals were dealt a blow as Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia defeated the 10th-ranked Czech 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-5 in the first round at Vienna.

In an earlier match, Ivo Karlovic hit 16 aces to beat last year’s runner-up Steve Johnson 7-6 (5), 6-3.

SWISS INDOORS: Kei Nishikori made a winning return after missing three weeks with an injury, beating Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-1 in the first round at Basel, Switzerland.

The tournament is missing seven-time champion Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who ended their seasons with injuries.

WTA FINALS: A physically spent Svetlana Kuznetsova claimed a draining 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 win over defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska in nearly three hours at Singapore.


NON-TITLE BOUT: Up until last week, Manny Pacquiao, 37, was concentrating on his job as a freshman senator in his native Philippines.

Now he’s focusing on his return to the ring for a Nov. 5 fight with Jesse Vargas.

Pacquiao won’t have to juggle two jobs for at least a few weeks, with the Senate now out of session. He arrived in Los Angeles over the weekend to finish final preparations for yet another fight in a pro career that has stretched 21 years.

HEAVYWEIGHT: Anthony Joshua’s proposed world heavyweight title fight with Wladimir Klitschko in December will not go ahead, as promoter Eddie Hearn said Klitschko has a “minor injury.”

Hearn said earlier this month that terms had been “virtually” agreed for a fight between Joshua and Klitschko.

Klitschko lost the WBA belt to Tyson Fury last November, along with the IBF title. The IBF insisted on a rematch, leading Fury to vacate that belt which was won by Joshua against Charles Martin in April.

]]> 0 Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:48:57 +0000
Auto racing: Playing-it-safe strategy has very few fans Tue, 25 Oct 2016 02:54:49 +0000 TALLADEGA, Ala. — When Sweden beat the U.S. women’s soccer team during the Olympics by using a conservative strategy, goalie Hope Solo was lambasted for calling the winners “a bunch of cowards.”

NASCAR fans seemed to have adopted Solo’s attitude in response to Joe Gibbs Racing’s strategy Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. The team has four drivers and three were guaranteed a spot in the third round of the playoffs if they simply stayed out of trouble at Talladega.

So they lollygagged at the back of the pack.

All day.

Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth raced with a purpose, but it wasn’t to win the race. Their goal was to finish the race and move on to see another day in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

A vocal faction of fans seems outraged at the JGR strategy, even though it worked to perfection. Not only did Busch, Edwards and Kenseth advance in the Chase, but so did Denny Hamlin, who was forced to race as a one-man team because of the organizational plan.

Hamlin just about needed a miracle to avoid elimination, and with his teammates offering no assistance in his bid to win the race, he had to find rival drivers to work with on Sunday. Hamlin wound up third, beating Kurt Busch for the position and the one point it was worth, by 0.006 seconds. That result tied him in the standings with Austin Dillon, and Hamlin got the last berth in the playoffs on a tiebreaker.

There are eight cars left in the Chase field. Four of them come from JGR. For that, the team should be commended.

Instead, fans are griping that they prefer to see drivers race and not ride around the back of the pack.

To that, Kyle Busch had a simple answer on Monday.

“Don’t hate the player… Hate the game,” Busch posted on Twitter.

Kenseth finished 28th on Sunday, Edwards 29th and Busch was 30th. All were satisfied with the result, although they didn’t really love executing the plan. Busch found the strategy to be dull and not very motivating, but it accomplished what he needed.

Two years ago, Busch went to Talladega in decent shape to advance in the Chase. He was involved in a wreck and eliminated from the playoffs.

“There’s no reward to go race and get wrecked,” Busch said. “You’ve got to try to survive and do what you can.”

Kenseth seemed to acknowledge the potential for disappointed fans, but rationalized it by pointing out what was at stake. Kenseth was eliminated from the Chase at Talladega last year.

“It goes against everything you ever want to do as a race car driver,” Kenseth said. “You can’t afford to go up there and get wrecked and not have a chance to race for a championship. I don’t think any of us had any fun and none of us enjoyed it, but it was just what we had to do.”

Those upset with the way JGR raced likely fall into two camps. There are the people who just don’t like the team, whether it’s because Gibbs uses Toyotas or because the organization has 11 wins this year. And there are the fans of the individual drivers who dawdled at the back of the pack at Talladega, and they wanted to see their favorites compete for the win.

The first group is common in sports. People don’t like the Yankees, or the Red Sox, or the Patriots, or the Cowboys. They’ll find fault in anything those teams do. In the case of Gibbs, the domination over the last two years has rubbed people wrong and there are some who just don’t like that they drive for a Japanese automaker.

But you can’t fault the team for figuring out how to work as a team and accomplish big-picture tasks. Remember, JGR worked flawlessly together along with Martin Truex Jr. at the Daytona 500, where Hamlin won and Toyota drivers took four of the top five spots.

Some have argued that JGR at Talladega violated the NASCAR rule that all drivers give 100 percent during a race. False. JGR gave 100 percent in determination, patience and strategy in racing for the bigger picture.

That’s why fans of the individual drivers should also take a step back and appreciate what the organization accomplished. Sure, they wanted to see their drivers mixing it up at the front and trying to win the race. But with that came a risk of accident, or overheated engine, and that would have ruined the rest of the season.

JGR was brilliant at Talladega, where they took the system at its face, worked within the rules and claimed 50 percent of the playoff positions. That’s a good day.

]]> 1, 24 Oct 2016 22:57:21 +0000
Monday’s high school roundup: York field hockey shuts out Leavitt to reach regional final Tue, 25 Oct 2016 02:37:00 +0000 YORK — Lily Posternak scored three goals and Izzy Bretz had two assists as the York field hockey team beat Leavitt 4-0 in a Class B South semifinal on Monday.

York, the No. 1 seed, improves to 16-0 and will face No. 3 Yarmouth in the regional final on Wednesday. No. 4 Leavitt ends the season 11-5.

Sydney Bouchard opened the scoring off a rebound 6:19 into the game and Posternak scored from Bretz just over one minute later.

Posternak added two more goals in the second half to help the Wildcats pull away.

YARMOUTH 2, KENNEBUNK 1: Eliza Lunt scored the go-ahead goal off an assist from Abby McDowell with 4:07 left in the first half and the third-seeded Clippers (12-4) held on to edge the second-seeded Rams (12-4) in a Class B South semifinal at Kennebunk.

Yarmouth took the lead 14:15 into the game when Sophie McGrath scored on a corner from Gracie Griffin.

The Rams came back to tie the game seven minutes later on a goal by Christine Jarowicz.


GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 10, MOUNTAIN VALLEY 1: Emma Woods scored three goals to lead the ninth-seeded Patriots (7-8) as they cruised past the eight-seeded Falcons (7-8) in a Class B South prelim at Rumford.

Bri Jordan and Laurel Thomas added two goals and one assist apiece for the Patriots, who advance to face top-seeded Yarmouth on Wednesday.

Gray-New Gloucester also got one goal and one assist apiece from Abby Michaud and Alexa Thayer.

FRYEBURG ACADEMY 2, OAK HILL 1: Fryeburg Academy (7-8-0) scored on an own goal in the second half to beat Oak Hill (9-4-2) in a Class B South prelim in Wales.

Oak Hill took the lead when Haley Lair scored off of an assist from Riley Swan in the 31st minute. Fryeburg evened the game later in the half on a breakaway goal from Sophie Trephol, and Madison McIntyre was credited with the goal when a ball deflected off of an Oak Hill player and into the net with five minutes to go.


SACOPEE VALLEY 3, MT. ABRAM 0: Macaleb Reinhard and Camden Bibro each had a goal and an assist for the eighth-seeded Hawks (7-6-2) in a win over the ninth-seeded Roadrunners (5-8-2) in a Class C South prelim at Hiram.

The Hawks led 1-0 at halftime behind a goal from Reinhard, who opened the scoring for the Hawks on an assist from Michael Murphy with 19:13 left in the first half.

Brad Spencer added to Sacopee Valley’s lead 8:36 into the second half on an assist from Bibro, who closed out the scoring with an assist from Reinhard with 17:55 remaining.

Cam Cyr made four saves to record the shutout for the Hawks.

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Bad news for Geno Smith, Jets’ QB has torn ACL Tue, 25 Oct 2016 02:22:02 +0000 NEW YORK — Geno Smith’s second chance at starting appears to be over. His playing days with the New York Jets could be, too.

An MRI on Monday revealed that the maligned quarterback has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, and Smith is seeking a second opinion on an injury that would end his season. That means Ryan Fitzpatrick is back from the bench and will start Sunday for the Jets at Cleveland.

“When you hear that, that’s tough luck for the kid,” Coach Todd Bowles said.

Smith, a second-round pick in 2013 who is scheduled to be a free agent after the season, injured his knee in his first start since 2014 while taking a sack from Baltimore’s Matt Judon in the second quarter of the Jets’ 24-16 win Sunday.

It’s a stunning turn of events for Smith, who didn’t initially believe the injury was serious.

“I don’t feel like it hurts a ton,” Smith said after the game. “Honestly, I was begging to go back out there, but I understand they’re doing their jobs, so we’ll see how it goes (Monday) and move on from there.”

NFL Network first reported the severity of Smith’s injury.

It’s the latest bout with bad luck for Smith, who lost his starting job to Fitzpatrick last summer when his jaw was broken by a punch from then-teammate IK Enemkpali.

Until Sunday, Smith had appeared in just two mop-up roles since his last start in the 2014 season finale.

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Major league notebook: Lester, Kluber will square off in Game 1 Tue, 25 Oct 2016 01:41:42 +0000 CLEVELAND —World Series ace Jon Lester is all set to start Game 1 for the Chicago Cubs.

Lester will be fully rested when he pitches Tuesday night at Cleveland. Corey Kluber will start for the Indians.

The 32-year-old lefty is 2-0 in three starts during this postseason, with wins over the Giants and Dodgers in the NL playoffs. He was 19-5 during the regular season.

Lester is 3-0 in three starts in the World Series with a sparkling 0.43 ERA. He helped the Boston Red Sox win championships in 2007 and 2013.

Cubs Manager Joe Maddon says Lester is “really, really in the moment” right now.

Fans hoping to see the Cubs play in the World Series for the first time since 1945 are finding a seat could cost them more than what their grandparents paid for their houses.

The euphoria from Saturday night’s victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers gave way Monday to the realization that history doesn’t come cheap.

Box seats on ticket-selling sites such as StubHub were $50,000 and up, with one seller asking $100,000 for a seat and another asking for just under $1 million.

But there are lots of box seat tickets in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. Tickets to just get into the park and stand behind those with actual seats were going for more than $2,200 each. List prices for World Series tickets at Wrigley range from $85 to $565, according to Major League Baseball figures.

World Series tickets cost a lot more in Cleveland, too – well above the $83 to $750 list price range that MLB provided for Progressive Field – but are not as expensive as those in Chicago. And there are indications that Cubs fans, getting a look at what they’d pay at Wrigley versus Progressive, are buying two tickets: one for a plane and one for a game.

Indians manager Terry Francona said right-hander Danny Salazar will be on the World Series roster.

Salazar has not pitched since Sept. 9 because of forearm tightness.

An 11-game winner, Salazar cleared his final hurdle by pitching three simulated innings on Sunday night with Francona, pitching coach Mickey Callaway and Cleveland’s front office watching.

A sprained left ankle could keep Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis out of Game 1.

Kipnis injured his ankle last week while celebrating following the final out of the AL Championship Series in Toronto. He said his ankle has improved, but says it “isn’t exactly a mild sprain. I got it pretty good.”

Kipnis said Cleveland’s training staff has done a good job of reducing the swelling and he’ll just have to handle pain. Kipnis said the key will be making sure he has range of motion.

He got hurt when he jumped and shortstop Francisco Lindor accidentally stepped on his foot.

Two of Cleveland’s stars from the 1990s, Kenny Lofton and Carlos Baerga, will throw out ceremonial first pitches at the World Series.

Lofton, the fleet-footed center fielder, will have the honor before Game 1. Baerga, a three-time All-Star second baseman, will handle the duties before Game 2.

Indians fans had pushed on social media to have actor Charlie Sheen, who played Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, a hard-throwing pitcher in the iconic movie “Major League,” throw out the first pitch.

However, the Indians had already decided on Lofton and Baerga, who played together on Cleveland’s 1995 World Series team.’s Jon Morosi reported that Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, who tore two ligaments in his knee on April 7, could be in Chicago’s lineup on Tuesday.

Schwarber went 1 for 3 with a double and a run score in his second Arizona Fall League game Monday. Morosi reported that Schwarber was expected to be added to the Cubs’ playoff roster, but the team would not announce it until 10 a.m. Tuesday.

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Patriots look to avenge their only loss Tue, 25 Oct 2016 01:32:03 +0000 FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — As excited as Buffalo Bills Coach Rex Ryan was about his team’s 16-0 win over the Patriots earlier this month – his first in Foxborough in eight tries – he was quick to acknowledge it came with an asterisk.

“It’s satisfying. But let’s face it: They had a player out,” Ryan said at the time.

That player, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, is back for Round 2 as New England (6-1) looks to get even for the lone blemish on its record this season.

The Patriots enter the week playing well three weeks after Coach Bill Belichick described a performance against the Bills in which he said the team failed in all three phases of the game.

The offense is thriving with Brady back, outscoring opponents 95-46 over the past three games. New England is also the only team in the NFL not to throw an interception this season and has a league-best 115.9 passer rating.

The defense is healthy as it’s been in weeks as well. In addition, it will have defensive end Rob Ninkovich on the field after he missed the first meeting with Buffalo while serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Ninkovich’s presence should be helpful as the Patriots look to contain Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor better than they did at home.

Taylor made plays with both his arm and feet in the first win, finishing with 246 yards passing and a touchdown.

Reducing his effectiveness is a priority.

“He’s very explosive,” Ninkovich said.

“He can still get a ball 60 yards down the field as he’s running out of the pocket, so you really have to do a good job keeping him in the pocket.”

Probably the only negative development since Brady’s return has been on special teams with Stephen Gostkowski.

The Patriots’ kicker, who entered the season having not missed an extra point since his rookie year in 2006, has missed two in the past two games.

He’s also just 9 for 12 (75 percent) on field goals, which is below the career-low 77 percent he kicked in both 2010 and 2006.

Though Gostkowski was especially hard on himself after his performance against the Steelers, Belichick lauded the work his kicker puts in weekly, adding “we’ll work through it.”

He also dismissed the idea that Goskowski’s recent woes could be related to the different types of techniques he’s being asked to employ on kickoffs this year. Belichick likened it to the multiple kinds of shots a golfer has to have in their repertoire.

“You’ve got to be able to hit a sand wedge, you’ve got to be able to hit a 5-iron, you’ve got to be able to drive, you’ve got to be able to putt,” Belichick said. “That’s what kickers and punters do.”

Special teams captain Matt Slater said Gostkowski has nothing but support among his teammates.

“We continue to believe in his ability to perform, and we wouldn’t trade him for anyone,” Slater said.

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NBA notebook: Celtics waive guard R.J. Hunter Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:42:02 +0000 The Boston Celtics waived guard R.J. Hunter on Monday to cut their roster down to 15, according to a Boston Globe report.

Hunter was a first-round pick in the 2015 draft, 28th overall. The guard played 36 games with the Celtics last season and played in eight games for the Maine Red Claws, where he averaged 13.8 points per game.

The move means that guard James Young, a 2014 first-round pick, will remain with the Celtics. Young played 29 games with Boston last season and 16 games with the Red Claws over two seasons.

PELICANS: New Orleans waived veteran forward Alonzo Gee, a move that keeps recently acquired guard Lance Stephenson on the opening-night roster.

Stephenson has struggled to find a long-term fit since leaving Indiana in 2014, playing with Charlotte, the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis during the past two seasons. Deserved or not, he became saddled with a reputation of being selfish and unreliable. He said he intends to show everyone that he is “not the person that you heard about.”

PACERS: Just hours after signing rookie Ben Bentil, Indiana waived the 6-foot-9 forward.

Bentil was one of Boston’s second-round draft picks in June but was cut before the start of the season. The former Providence star wasn’t expected to get much playing time and could be assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA D-League.

THUNDER: Oklahoma City finally cut ties with troubled forward Mitch McGary.

The team announced that it waived McGary, a first-round pick in 2014, along with guard Ronnie Price, forward Chris Wright and center Kaleb Tarczewski.

McGary faces two drug suspensions for a combined minimum of 15 games. Thunder GM Sam Presti said last month that he was disappointed in McGary’s decisions.

LAKERS: Los Angeles waived Yi Jianlian at the Chinese forward’s request.

The Lakers also waived forward Anthony Brown and apparently kept Metta World Peace on their opening-night roster.

GRIZZLIES: Memphis has given up on its first-round draft pick from 2014, waiving guard Jordan Adams in moves to trim its roster for the regular season.

]]> 0 Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:22:03 +0000
Commentary: For fans of notorious losing teams, waiting makes it better Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:17:39 +0000 Curses and commitment go together. You can’t feel damned until you first become devoted.

In the past 15 years, the World Series often has felt like an exorcism for haunted teams. But it also has cast a flattering light on the fidelity of fans in those towns and their defiant bond to “get through this together,” even if the travail is as preposterous as an 88-year wait between world titles for the Chicago White Sox (2005) or 86 years for the Boston Red Sox (2004).

In 2010, the San Francisco Giants won for the first time since 1954, when they still played in the Polo Grounds. The 2009 Phillies’ title was just their second since their inception in 1883. The Angels, despite a 41-year wait, never got their first title until after doting owner Gene Autry had died at 91, still waiting for a ring. Last year’s champion Royals almost seemed like pikers for mentioning they hadn’t even been in the playoffs for 30 years until 2014. Yet the joyous parades in those towns made clear the wait was worthwhile.

Nothing speaks better for the long-suffering fan than his or her very long-suffering-ness. So many disappointments and pains in life cannot be avoided. Yet for 108 years on the north side of Chicago and for 68 years in Cleveland, sensible people have stood directly in the path of an experience that, repeatedly, has left them frustrated, angry or even in tears.

All sports have this phenomenon, and at times entire cities too, such as Cleveland until the Cavaliers won the NBA crown five months ago. But baseball is the sport most suited to Biblical plagues of defeat with its big-league history dating from 1871, plus the poor manners of the Yankees to win more than a third of all the World Series from 1923 to 2001.

But of all the seasons in all of America’s sports, this World Series already takes the prize for total perseverance. You can’t find any two teams and towns that waited so long for the same prize quite like these two.

This fan phenomenon – sometimes spanning more than an entire lifetime, still unrequited – seems remarkably stalwart, downright dignified and all the more worthy in light of its undeniable frivolousness. What a weird wonderful virtue we’ve invented, woven out of pure smoke. Millions of people across generations refuse to swear off their loyalty to sports teams to which they are bound by absolutely nothing that is financial, legal or even tangible.

They stick. They persevere. They may cite motives rooted in some personal link to family, friends or even locale. But here’s what’s seldom said: No matter whether great-grandma adored Hack Wilson or grandpa rooted for Ernie Banks, or some uncle still thinks “Leon Durham” is a curse word, every one of them simply could let go of this passion for a uniform and whoever may happen to be wearing it this season. They could find some other place to invest their time and money, seek camaraderie and fun, rather than a familiar ballpark or stadium. No one keeps us from renouncing them. But who leaves a symphony hall, teeth clenched, muttering, “We’ll get that damn New York Philharmonic next year.”

On Saturday night walking up Waveland Avenue beyond the Wrigley Field bleachers, I was surrounded by people in blue who were no longer blue. They spotted the Los Angeles Dodgers team buses rolling out and began singing, “Nah-nah-nah-nah, hey-hey-hey, GOOD-BYE.” They were especially glad to see the last of Clayton Curse-shaw.

The Cubs’ Ben Zobrist was a Royal last October, but because he was born in Eureka, Illinois, he knows the emotional gap between 30 years and 108.

“It’s hard to put this into words, there has been so much emotion over the years from this fan base,” Zobrist said. “It’s not just Chicago. It’s not just Illinois. It’s all over the country.”

Of course, that same goal is in front of the Indians, too. And they have a unique advantage. When your town hasn’t won a World Series since ’48, how can you not be the sentimental favorite? Yet Cleveland isn’t. For decades, the lovable loser Cubs got the love and celebrity fans while the Indians, who actually went to the ’97 and ’95 World Series, have movies made about their ineptitude, followed by sequels. The Cubs are darlings with a national fan base. The Indians, in economically strapped Cleveland, draw less than 20,000 per game, third-worst in the sport. The Tribe, their starting pitching rotation decimated, are serious Vegas underdogs while also resenting that their town’s misfortunes take only second place.

With all this against Cleveland, you might think they have little chance. But before the Tribe despairs, they should look back at their own team in ’95 which had a 100-44 record – a far better .694 winning percentage than the current Cubs (.640). Yet the ’95 Tribe lost in just six games, largely because their foe (Atlanta) capitalized on its one clear advantage: home field. The Braves won Games 1 and 2, each by one run, ensuring that they would return to their own park again. Then, when they got back home again, the mighty Indian lineup was tied in anxious knots by pressure and Braves pitching.

How could a Cleveland lineup with Jim Thome (.314), Albert Belle (.317), Manny Ramirez (.308), Eddie Murray (.323), Kenny Lofton (.310), Carlos Baerga (.314) and Sandy Alomar (.300) – a lineup the current Cubs can’t touch – possibly lose? But they did, 1-0 in Game 6. The Cubs may romp this week. But like the ’95 Tribe, they’ve had just a couple of pressure games all season while this year’s Cleveland club has been Team Adversity and believes, as such teams do, that it has silly magic powers.

Here, perhaps, is what actually carries most weight, because it speaks so well of so many people. Whichever team wins, that city will have its parade. But the fans of the losers will, in the way of their breed, find a different kind of victory. Much as they would have preferred to be drunk on joy, they’ll share their frustration, rewind memories of their fine season, commiserate, support each other and, in yet another season without a title, show much of what is most resilient, most loyal and most generous in themselves. And they’ll show it to each other.

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Class A field hockey: Massabesic knocks off top-seeded Falmouth Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:07:21 +0000 FALMOUTH — They didn’t manage a shot on goal in the second half. They reached overtime only because one of their defenders saved a shot that got past their goaltender. And yet, the girls of Massabesic controlled nearly all of the extra five minutes and 15 seconds they played on a blustery Monday night before Jackie Bearse ended matters by knocking home a rebound to give the fifth-seeded Mustangs a 2-1 victory over top-seeded Falmouth in a Class A South field hockey semifinal.

“A little bit of magic, who knows?” Massabesic Coach Michele Martin-Moore said of the turnaround. “That’s a very good team over there, with a lot of seniors, and you could see they wanted it so bad, diving after the ball. But we maintained our composure, played our game and we just outlasted them.”

The Mustangs (12-3-1) advance to Wednesday’s regional finals against No. 2 Marshwood, a 2-0 winner over No. 3 Scarborough earlier Monday.

Falmouth, which outshot Massabesic in regulation by a margin of 13-4 and held a 5-1 advantage in second-half penalty corners, finishes with a 13-3 record.

Regulation ended with Falmouth attempting an eighth and final penalty corner, but Sydney Bell’s hard line drive caught Massabesic defender Josie Ring in the face and the score remained tied at 1-1.

Massabesic won the coin toss and took possession in the seven-on-seven overtime, staying on attack for more than three minutes before Falmouth could counter. The Mustangs had two penalty corners and put two shots on goal before Bearse converted. Logan Champlin took the initial shot after a pass from Emma Rutledge and the carom came directly to Bearse.

“We’ve been in overtime situations, so we certainly had experience,” Falmouth Coach Robin Haley said. “They just put a nice sequence of passing together and were able to finish it off.”

Rutledge had given Massabesic a 1-0 lead in the game’s 23rd minute by intercepting a pass near the end line and navigating through traffic before poking the ball into the Falmouth net. “The corner shot was open,” she said.

Falmouth senior Devon Sarazin tied it from the left side with 12:33 remaining in regulation after carrying the ball in from the left side. Two minutes later, she nearly had another but Massabesic defender Lydia Wasina – a lacrosse goalie – stopped her shot from behind Mustangs goalie Maddy Pomerleau, inches from the goal line.

“When it passed Maddy I’m like, ‘Oh, I’ve got to get it out of here.’ ” Wasina said. “I didn’t really think much. I just swept it out and away.”

Pomerleau finished with 11 saves, a few of them spectacular, including a kick save near the post on a Sarazin shot early in the second half.

“That’s the game of her life right there,” Martin-Moore said. “She knew we needed her in a big game and she did a great job.”

Massabesic returns to the Class A regional finals for the second time, having lost to Scarborough in 2013. The Mustangs beat Marshwood 2-1 on Sept. 13.

“That was a good month ago,” Martin-Moore said. “All bets are off now. It’s a new season.”

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Giants discussing Brown’s future with team Mon, 24 Oct 2016 23:49:23 +0000 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants have started discussions about place-kicker Josh Brown and his future with the team a day after returning from a game in London.

Coach Ben McAdoo said Monday that the team’s front office met to talk about Brown, and that he would probably join those talks either later in the evening or on Tuesday morning.

The NFL placed Brown on paid leave Friday after the kicker disclosed in journals and emails released by authorities in the state of Washington that he abused his then-wife.

The Giants did not allow Brown to leave with them Thursday for London for Sunday’s 17-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

McAdoo said Brown was not there Monday, a day the players had off. He also said he does not expect the 37-year-old to be at the facility Tuesday, when the players meet for the final time before a bye-week vacation.

The first-year coach would not say whether he wanted Brown’s status with the team determined before the players return from their break next Monday.

Brown’s future has overshadowed everything to do with the team following Wednesday’s release of police records that contained the player’s written admissions that he physically abused his wife, Molly, over a protracted period.

She told police in the documents released by the King County Sheriff’s Office that the abuse and other threatening behavior stretched from 2009, when she was pregnant with their daughter, to the Pro Bowl in January 2016.

Brown, who told the media in August that his arrest in 2015 was a one-time issue, was re-signed by the Giants to a two-year, $4 million contract in April despite the team’s knowledge of his arrest and the Pro Bowl incident.

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Boys’ soccer: Gorham looks to break quarterfinal losing streak Mon, 24 Oct 2016 23:37:28 +0000 GORHAM — Gorham High forward Jackson Fotter knows – once the playoffs arrive – the better soccer team doesn’t necessarily win.

“It’s more mentality than skill sometimes,” Fotter said. “It’s not about if we’re the better team. It’s about how we play on that day.”

Fotter and his teammates learned this lesson the hard way after suffering upset losses in the quarterfinals each of the past two seasons. This fall, the Rams have earned a bye in the prelims for the third straight year. As the No. 1 seed in Class A South, they’re determined to not make the same mistakes.

“I suppose it’s probably creeping in the back of everyone’s minds,” said Gorham Coach Tim King. “Maybe that adds a little bit of pressure. But this has been a fairly resilient group.”

The Rams are undefeated entering their quarterfinal against No. 9 Westbrook at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Gorham (13-0-1) shut out Westbrook 7-0 on Sept. 27, but Fotter and fellow senior captains – Ryan Firmin, Tyler Richman and Alex York – said they know better than to overlook the Blue Blazes (8-6-1).

“We know we’re going to get everyone’s best game because they’re going to expect us to be good,” Fotter said. “But I think the target has been on our back all season, and we’ve dealt with it well so far.”

The Rams averaged five goals a game in the regular season, led by Fotter, who scored 31. York, the Rams’ goalkeeper, recorded 10 shutouts.

“We’re No. 1, but we’ll approach every game like we’ve got to prove ourselves,” King said. “The guys have made their own way this year and done a great job of it, and we’re hoping that continues. But time will tell.”

One thing is certain: the Rams are ready to move on from the quarterfinals.

On the topic of Gorham’s season-ending loss last year, Fotter shifted his weight onto his heels and looked up. “Bitter” was the word that came to his mind.

As the No. 2 seed, Gorham lost in the 2015 quarterfinals to No. 7 Cheverus 2-1 – a team they also had beaten in the regular season. The game was tied 0-0 at the half, and King said the Rams were just “never able to pick it up.”

“Things were going great, and then it’s all over – it just happened so quickly,” King said. “It was certainly disappointing for us. We had high hopes and high expectations, and it really fizzled out there.”

The Rams also lost in the 2014 quarterfinals as the third seed to No. 6 South Portland, 1-0.

“For some of us, it was the second season in a row where the same thing happened,” Fotter said. “So we were determined this season to prove something. We knew nothing was going to be given to us.”

King said his players have a lot of experience and skill and that they were driven to improve in the offseason, organizing times to lift weights and practice outside of their summer leagues. Fotter, Firmin and Richman also played on the Seacoast United U-17 premier team that won a national title in July.

“This group loves soccer, and they love each other,” King said. “They want to win, they expect to win, and they try to prepare to win.”

Fotter, Firmin, Richman and York said the Rams’ strategy entering the postseason is simple: Take it one game at a time.

“In the past, we’ve focused on what’s going to happen after this game,” said Firman, a midfielder. “This time, we’re going to go, ‘OK, this could be the state final. Here it is. Doesn’t matter who it is. Doesn’t matter who’s after.’ ”

The Rams graduated 10 players last season. This year’s starting lineup includes six seniors, four juniors and a freshman.

“I think we all saw how awful the seniors felt last year and the year before that,” said Richman, a midfielder. “In the back of our heads, we know that we don’t want to end it like that.”

“No one wants to disappoint each other by playing bad,” York said. “We always give it everything we have. Whatever comes our way, we’re going to be ready. We’re not going to take anything lightly.”

King said the difference between this team from last year’s is its tenacity.

“I think we’re tougher mentally and able to fight through more difficult situations and keep more of a level head,” King said. “We’re not running from last year, but this is this year’s team. We’re pretty confident in our ability to make something happen.”


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Field hockey: Marshwood advances to regional final Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:07:58 +0000 SOUTH BERWICK — With the ball bouncing around the front of the field hockey cage and bodies diving all around her, Mallory Nadeau didn’t have time to think, just react.

So she stuck her stick out and knocked the ball into the cage for the goal that sparked Marshwood High to a 2-0 victory over Scarborough in the Class A South field hockey semifinals Monday afternoon.

Nadeau scored off a penalty corner 68 seconds into the second half as the second-ranked Hawks moved to a regional championship game for the third time in six years. Marshwood (14-2) will play fifth-ranked Massabesic on Wednesday at Massabesic High, the time to be determined Tuesday. The Mustangs defeated Marshwood 2-1 on Sept. 13.

“We have worked so hard,” said Elaine Bachelder, a senior midfielder for Marshwood. “I’ve dreamed about this since my freshman year.”

The Hawks, who beat Scarborough 4-1 in the season opener, had gone 0 for 10 on penalty corners in the first half, which ended in a scoreless tie. But they weren’t concerned. Instead, Coach Lisa Truesdale designed a corner play at the half. And the Hawks scored off both penalty corners they had in the second half.

On the first one, Celine Lawrence inserted the ball from the left of the goal to Hannah Costin at the top of the circle. She returned the ball to Lawrence, whose shot was stopped by Scarborough goalie Sam Carriero. But the ball bounced around, eventually ending up on the opposite side, when Nadeau poked it in with 28:52 remaining.

“Everyone was diving around,” said Nadeau, a senior forward. “I just don’t think about it, I just go for it. I just dove in. It’s all instinct.”

Marshwood’s defense – which has given up just five goals all season – allowed three shots on goalie Shannon Giblin, with Bachelder and Costin dominating the midfield.

“That’s a great team, they deserved it,” said Scarborough Coach Kerry Mariello. “Between Elaine and Costin, they’re outstanding. They balance the field very well because they’re playing opposite sides of each other. So you try to go up one end and there’s one of them and you try to go up the other end and there’s the other. Then they collapse in the middle whenever we try to go up the middle.

“They’re the ringleaders of this whole dynamic. And naturally the other girls around them are going to be better because of them and playing up to their standards.”

Costin scored with 2:49 remaining off another penalty corner, assisted by Bachelder, to make it 2-0.

“One goal, no matter how ugly you’re playing, is just one goal,” Mariello said. “And if we could have just broke through the momentum could have shifted. That second goal takes the air out of you.”

Truesdale said the victory was a credit to her team’s leadership and perseverance.

“Scarborough is a team that’s in the playoffs constantly,” she said. “So when they get into the postseason, they know how to react. For us to come in, and there was a lot of pressure on us because we’ve never been the higher seed, I was impressed with this group.”

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Tom Caron: World Series features familiar faces to Red Sox fans Mon, 24 Oct 2016 18:10:03 +0000 The World Series begins Tuesday night in Cleveland when Manager Terry Francona’s Indians host GM Theo Epstein’s Chicago Cubs. And there are a lot of story lines familiar to Boston Red Sox fans.

The Cubs begin the series as the nation’s darlings. They haven’t played in a World Series since 1945, a 71-year wait that has people talking about billy goats, Steve Bartman and curses.

How long has it been since the Cubs were in the World Series? In 1945 there were only 16 major league baseball teams and 10 NFL teams. The NHL was still in its Original Six infancy. The NBA was four years away from being created.

Watching Chicago celebrate the National League pennant Saturday night brought back a lot of memories for baseball fans in Boston. It felt much like October 2004, when the Red Sox rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

Like the Sox in 2004, the Cubs haven’t reversed any curses just yet. It will be interesting to see if Chicago carries the same momentum into the World Series that the Sox carried with them in 2004.

“To be honest, after we beat the Yankees we knew we were going to beat (the Cardinals),” David Ortiz once told me. Indeed, Boston swept St. Louis.

The Cubs had the best record in baseball this season, but Cleveland will have home-field advantage thanks to the “this time it counts” concept of the MLB All-Star Game.

It was a dumb idea back in 2003 – created in the wake of an All-Star tie in Milwaukee a year earlier – and it remains dumb now. There is simply no reason the Indians should hold home-field advantage in this series.

Of course, the Indians’ biggest advantage in this series is Andrew Miller, who pitched for part of four seasons for the Red Sox. Francona has used him as the ultimate break-glass-in-case-of-emergency reliever in the playoffs. Miller won the MVP Award in the AL Championship Series, a remarkable feat for a middle reliever.

Yet Miller is much more than that. He threw 72/3 scoreless innings in the five-game series against Toronto. Francona brought him in at various stages of the series to snuff out rallies. Miller’s playoff run began with a season-high 40-pitch performance against, ironically, the Red Sox. He hasn’t given up a run in 112/3 innings this postseason, and has struck out 21.

His work could revolutionize the way managers use relievers in the future. You need a closer – and the Indians have a good one in Cody Allen. But a secondary arm like Miller gives you the ability to put out an uprising whenever it occurs. The Indians swept the Red Sox in three games despite the fact that two of their three starting pitchers didn’t make it to the sixth inning.

There are plenty of other familiar faces in this series. The Cubs have Jon Lester and John Lackey in their rotation. In 2013 those two combined for seven of Boston’s 11 playoff wins on the way to a championship – and David Ross behind the plate. Anthony Rizzo was drafted and developed by the Sox. Epstein has Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod in his front office, as he did in Boston.

The Indians feature Mike Napoli and Coco Crisp along with Miller. Brad Mills stands next to Francona in the dugout, just like he did at Fenway.

Of all those old friends, Miller is the one worth watching the closest. What he does in the upcoming games could very well dictate how teams build their bullpens next season.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.

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Seahawks, Cardinals battle to a 6-6 draw Mon, 24 Oct 2016 04:36:12 +0000 GLENDALE, Ariz. — Seattle’s Stephen Hauschka and Arizona’s Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka’s 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro’s 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The last tie in the NFL came in 2014, when Carolina and Cincinnati tied 37-37.

The Cardinals (3-3-1) dominated the game statistically and looked to be in shape to win it after Carson Palmer’s 40-yard pass to J.J. Nelson set up Catanzaro’s short kick.

The Seahawks (4-1-1), stuffed throughout regulation by the Arizona defense, drove down the field as Russell Wilson completed passes of 31 yards to Jermaine Kearse and 27 yards to Doug Baldwin to give Houschka his short attempt.

Both kickers made field goals on their teams’ first possession of overtime.

Catanzaro had a 39-yard field goal blocked in the first half by a stunning play by Bobby Wagner, who leaped over the center.

After Catanzaro’s 45-yarder in overtime gave Arizona a 6-3 lead, Hauschka answered with a 36-yarder.

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NFL roundup: Giants pick off a win in London Mon, 24 Oct 2016 03:23:48 +0000 LONDON — The New York Giants capitalized on four interceptions of Case Keenum to defeat the Los Angeles Rams 17-10 Sunday in the first NFL game played at London’s home of English rugby, a sold-out and raucous Twickenham Stadium.

Keenum, coming off the best start of his career, had the Rams at the Giants 15 with 50 seconds left when he lobbed a pass to the left corner of the end zone that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie easily picked off. Keenum’s intended target, Brian Quick, failed to get the quarterback’s audible and cut off his route early.

Keenum, who was 32 of 53 for 291 yards and one touchdown, has thrown an interception on the Rams’ final offensive play in three straight games. That likely will fuel debate on a potential quarterback change to overall No. 1 draft pick Jared Goff.

The win kept the Giants (4-3) in good shape in the NFC East, where no one has a losing record. The Rams (3-4) lost their third straight.

CHARGERS 33, FALCONS 30: Josh Lambo’s 42-yard field goal in overtime gave San Diego (3-4) its first road win of the year as the Chargers rallied from a 17-point deficit.

San Diego, which trailed 27-10 in the second quarter, had lost 11 of its previous 12 road games.

Linebacker Denzel Perryman’s interception of Matt Ryan’s pass for Julio Jones set up Lambo’s tying 33-yard field goal with 18 seconds remaining in regulation.

Perryman’s fourth-and-1 stop on running back Devonta Freeman gave San Diego the ball at Atlanta’s 43, setting up the winning field goal.

CHIEFS 27, SAINTS 21: Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes in another efficient outing, and Daniel Sorensen returned an interception of Drew Brees for another touchdown as Kansas City (4-2) won its ninth straight at home.

Brees got the Saints (2-4) within 24-21 with his touchdown pass to Brandon Coleman with 2:33 left, but the onside kick went out of bounds. Brees finished with 367 yards and three TD passes.

RAIDERS 33, JAGUARS 16: Latavius Murray scored twice in his return from turf toe, and Oakland (5-2) gave Coach Jack Del Rio a road victory against his former team.

The Jaguars (2-4) dropped their third straight home game and added more speculation about the future of Coach Gus Bradley. Jacksonville is 14-40 during Bradley’s four seasons.

LIONS 20, WASHINGTON 17: Matthew Stafford threw a go-ahead, 18-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin with 16 seconds left, and Detroit (4-3) extended its winning streak to three games.

Visiting Washington (4-3) had won four straight.

Kirk Cousins scored a go-ahead TD on a 19-yard run with 1:05 left.

BENGALS 31, BROWNS 17: A.J. Green’s one-handed 48-yard touchdown catch in the middle of an end zone scrum at the end of the first half highlighted a day full of big plays for Cincinnati (3-4).

Jeremy Hill had a 74-yard touchdown run as part of his 168-yard effort, the best by a Bengals back in seven years.

The visiting Browns (0-7) extended their worst start since 1999, when they were a first-year expansion team.

COLTS 34, TITANS 26: Andrew Luck threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jack Doyle with 1:55 left to put visiting Indianapolis (3-4) ahead to stay, and the Colts rallied for their 10th straight win against their AFC South rival.

Luck finished with 353 yards passing and three TDs, the last after Tennessee (3-4) went up 23-20.

JETS 24, RAVENS 16: Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced an injured Geno Smith and led the Jets (2-5) on three scoring drives, and a rejuvenated defense came up with two interceptions against visiting Baltimore (3-4).

Fitzpatrick entered in the second quarter and directed a go-ahead drive capped by Matt Forte’s 13-yard touchdown catch. Fitzpatrick finished 9 of 14 for 120 yards as the Jets snapped a four-game losing streak.

Joe Flacco started for Baltimore (3-4), loser of four in a row, after being questionable because of a sore shoulder.

BUCCANEERS 34, 49ERS 17: Jameis Winston threw three touchdown passes and Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 154 yards as visiting Tampa Bay (3-3) dealt San Francisco (1-6) its sixth straight loss.

Colin Kaepernick struggled in his second start of the season for the 49ers, going 16 of 34 for 143 yards and turning the ball over twice.

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NHL roundup: Oilers top Jets in outdoor game Mon, 24 Oct 2016 03:08:26 +0000 WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Cam Talbot made 31 saves and Mark Letestu scored the first of three second-period goals, lifting the Edmonton Oilers over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday in an outdoor game delayed almost two hours by sunlight melting the ice.

The Heritage Classic victory extended Edmonton’s winning streak to three in front of 33,240 at Investors Group Field. Fans wore both Jets and Oilers jerseys to the league’s 19th outdoor game.

ISLANDERS 6, WILD 3: John Tavares had two goals and an assist, Johnny Boychuk scored for the second straight game and New York won at home.

Calvin de Haan, Alan Quine and Thomas Hickey also scored to help New York get its highest scoring total of the year and win for the third time in four home games after opening with two road losses. Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for his first win in two starts this season.

RANGERS 3, COYOTES 2: Dan Girardi scored 1:55 into the third period and New York beat Arizona in New York.

Josh Jooris and J.T. Miller also scored for New York, which has won consecutive games to improve to 4-2-0. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 stops.

DUCKS 4, CANUCKS 2: Nick Ritchie scored the tiebreaking goal on a rebound with 8:36 to play, captain Ryan Getzlaf had three assists and Anaheim finally opened its home schedule with a victory over Vancouver.

Andrew Cogliano, Cam Fowler and Corey Perry also scored for the Ducks, who have won two straight after a four-game winless start.

John Gibson made 17 saves in the Western Conference’s final home opener, thanks to a schedule that forced Anaheim to play in five teams’ home debuts this month.

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Indians remain confident in role as underdogs Mon, 24 Oct 2016 02:05:54 +0000 CLEVELAND — Any other year, against any other team, the Cleveland Indians would be the sentimental choice in this year’s World Series.

You know, because of that long championship drought and all.

But not against the Chicago Cubs.

The lovable Cubbies, who captured the nation’s heart by exorcising curses and winning their first NL pennant since 1945 on Saturday night and are aiming for their first Series title since 1908, are a popular pick.

The odds makers in Las Vegas have pegged the Cubs as heavy favorites going into Game 1 on Tuesday night.

Heck, even First Fan Barack Obama, a die-hard White Sox supporter, said he was happy to see the North Side of Chicago rocking.

Well, all the love toward the NL champions has left the Indians as underdogs – a role they’ve embraced this October.

“We believe in each other,” first baseman Mike Napoli said Sunday before the Indians held a workout and simulated game at Progressive Field. “We believe that if we go out there and play the game the right way, play as a team like we’ve done, we can win a game on any night. We’ve shown in the past two series we can’t be taken lightly. We play as a team.

“We’re a confident group.”

And that assuredness has only grown. Cleveland wasn’t supposed to beat Boston, but the Indians swept Big Papi into retirement and the Red Sox into their offseason sooner than expected. Cleveland’s pitching staff followed that by whittling Toronto’s big bats down to toothpicks in the AL Championship Series.

Now on deck are the Cubs, who won 103 games during the regular season, have three aces at the top of the rotation, a flame-throwing closer and seem to have a date with destiny.

The Indians, though, know they can match up with anyone.

“They’re a good team from top to bottom,” said supreme setup man Andrew Miller, who has spent the postseason toying with hitters. “They have three guys that might be Cy Young (winners). We’re going to be going against a good team, that’s not a surprise. If you want to count us out, that works for us.”

Many of the Indians watched Chicago’s historic win, which was followed by a street party outside Wrigley Field that nearly lasted until dawn.

As it unfolded, Napoli found himself pulling for former Red Sox teammates Jon Lester, John Lackey and the Cubs. The more he thought about a Cleveland-Chicago series the more he liked it.

“I was rooting for them,” Napoli said. “I thought it would be one of the coolest World Series to be a part of.”

The Indians are looking to end their own 68-year title drought, and they spent the past few days resting while the Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers finished their series. The down time has allowed Cleveland to get healthier, but Manager Terry Francona revealed a new injury for his team, which has spent much of the 2016 season dealing with sprains, strains and even a few stitches.

Second baseman Jason Kipnis hurt his left ankle following Game 5 in Toronto.

“Some of the guys had a tough time getting through the celebration,” said Francona. “He went over to embrace (shortstop) Frankie (Lindor) and he rolled his foot on Frankie’s foot. So he’s got a low ankle sprain. The good part is it’s not a high ankle sprain. You hear that all the time and I never know what it means, but it doesn’t sound good. He’s going to be OK.”

Kipnis took grounders as head athletic trainer James Quinlan watched. Later, Kipnis didn’t appear to favor his ankle while hitting against several Cleveland pitchers during the simulated game, which included crowd noise being pumped into the ballpark.

Nothing could replicate Tuesday’s anticipated ambience when fans in both cities will hang on every pitch, knowing that each win moves their club closer to a coveted championship.

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Vikings suffer first loss Mon, 24 Oct 2016 02:02:53 +0000 PHILADELPHIA — Josh Huff returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, Carson Wentz outplayed Sam Bradford and the Philadelphia Eagles beat Minnesota 21-10 on Sunday, handing the Vikings their first loss of the season.

The Eagles (4-2) snapped a two-game losing streak, while the rested Vikings (5-1) hardly looked like an unbeaten team after having a bye.

“I thought we played embarrassing in two phases,” Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer said. “I’m very disappointed in the performance.

Bradford returned to Philadelphia for the first time since his trade to Minnesota eight days before the season opener paved the way for Wentz to start. He was 7-7 in his only season with the Eagles and won his first four starts for the Vikings.

But the Eagles pressured and harassed their former quarterback all game, sacked him six times and forced his first three turnovers this season.

“I thought he missed some throws that he normally makes, but he got hit a lot,” Zimmer said. “It’s probably hard to evaluate his performance when (the line) looks like a sieve.”

Wentz threw two interceptions but led the Eagles on a couple scoring drives, including a 5-yard TD pass to Dorial Green-Beckham in the third quarter for an 18-3 lead.

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NFL notebook: Vinatieri breaks record for consecutive field goals Mon, 24 Oct 2016 01:34:53 +0000 NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Indianaplis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri set an NFL record for consecutive field goals made as he kicked a pair of field goals Sunday to extend his streak to 43.

Vinatieri’s 33-yard field goal in the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans broke the record set by former Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt, who made 42 straight between 2002 and 2004.

Vinatieri, the NFL’s oldest player at age 43, hasn’t missed a field goal since Sept. 21, 2015, against the Jets.

BROWNS: Cody Kessler suffered a concussion during the second quarter of a 31-17 loss to Cincinnati, forcing Cleveland to use its sixth quarterback in seven games this season.

Kessler was replaced by Kevin Hogan, an undrafted rookie from Stanford.

“The luck’s just not swinging our way,” Coach Hue Jackson said. “We’re not getting those breaks right now.”

GIANTS: Annie Apple, the mother of rookie cornerback Eli Apple, took the team and its co-owner to task in an article for on Sunday over their handling of domestic abuser Josh Brown.

In the post titled “Why I cannot stay silent after John Mara’s callous comments about domestic violence,” Apple detailed an abusive relationship with Eli Apple’s biological father, which ended before Eli was born.

“The comments made by John Mara, owner of the New York Giants, were insensitive, dismissive and callous,” Apple wrote. “How are you a so-called champion of domestic violence but lack basic compassion for a victim? Yes, this man signs my son’s checks as I’ve been reminded on Twitter. Mr. Mara owns the New York Giants. He doesn’t own Annie Apple. Wrong is wrong. And Mr. Mara’s comments were unapologetically wrong and hit at a raw place.”

She was referring in particular to Mara’s statement in a radio interview Thursday after newly released documents showed that Brown admitted to abusing his wife, Molly, over a period of years. In the interview, Mara said the Giants were aware that Brown was abusive before re-signing the kicker in the offseason.

“He admitted to us he’d abused his wife in the past,” Mara said. “What’s a little unclear is the extent of that.”

The article, coupled with a Twitter rant against Mara and the Giants earlier in the week, could make things awkward for the Giants’ first-round pick. Annie Apple has a large social media following and is a contributor to both Sports Illustrated and ESPN, so there was always a danger of her commenting on something regarding the Giants or her son. Eli Apple seemed prepared for that.

“I know she’s very vocal about that type of situation and that topic is very important to her, so I can understand where she’s coming from,” Eli Apple said after the Giants’ 17-10 win over the Rams.

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Dolphins stop Bills’ streak Mon, 24 Oct 2016 01:34:53 +0000 MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — As the NFL’s newest rushing star, Jay Ajayi is carrying the Miami Dolphins toward respectability.

Ajayi tied a league record by surpassing 200 yards rushing for the second game in a row, helping Miami rally past the Buffalo Bills 28-25 Sunday.

Ajayi rushed for 214 yards on 29 carries after totaling 204 yards a week earlier in a win over Pittsburgh. He scored on a 4-yard run and busted a 53-yarder when the Dolphins were pinned at their 3 and trailing in the fourth quarter.

The Dolphins (3-4) used an extra lineman much of the time to clear big holes for Ajayi, who tied the record for consecutive 200-yard games held by O.J. Simpson, Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams.

“It’s surreal to me,” Ajayi said. “The backs I’m in company with – that’s huge. Those are Hall of Fame guys, guys I look up to.”

Two weeks ago the Dolphins appeared strong contenders for the No. 1 draft pick in 2017, but the discovery of a ground game has revived their season under first-year coach Adam Gase.

“I know this – every time No. 23 kept getting the ball, he was popping a run,” Gase said. “I was leaning on him.”

Miami overcame an 11-point deficit with 16 minutes left to end a four-game winning streak by the Bills (4-3) and beat them for only the second time in their last seven meetings.

“We got outplayed, we got outcoached, we got outeverythinged,” Buffalo Coach Rex Ryan said. “They were the more physical team today, there’s no doubt about that. They controlled the game.”

With Ajayi briefly sidelined by cramps, Damien Williams carried half the Bills’ weary defense into the end zone on a 12-yard run that put the Dolphins ahead with 3:56 to go. On their next possession, Ryan Tannehill hit Kenny Stills for a 66-yard score that made it 28-17.

Tyrod Taylor threw long to Marquise Goodwin for a 67-yard touchdown that put the Bills up 17-6 midway through the third quarter. The Dolphins responded with a 75-yard drive for their first touchdown.

Ajayi, a second-year pro from Boise State, is the only NFL rusher with a 200-yard game this year. He ran for 187 yards as a rookie and totaled 117 in Miami’s first five games this year before his breakout.

“The kid made some good runs, ran through some tackles,” Ryan said. “He did a great job bouncing and cutting it back.”

While Miami’s ground game clicked, Bills running back LeSean McCoy left in the third quarter after he aggravated a left hamstring injury.

McCoy, ranked second in the NFL in rushing, was questionable after hurting himself in practice Wednesday.

]]> 0 Sun, 23 Oct 2016 21:34:53 +0000
Newcomer hopes to help Celtics take next step Mon, 24 Oct 2016 00:39:27 +0000 BOSTON — From afar, Al Horford has always had respect for the history of the Boston Celtics.

He made his first visit to the Garden as a rookie in 2007 and found himself drawn to the championship banners that hung above the court.

That was the same season that Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined Paul Pierce to form the Big 3 and went on to win Boston’s 17th NBA championship.

As the Celtics biggest free agent signing since then, Horford – with his four-year, $113 million contract – is now the centerpiece of the franchise as it chases banner No. 18.

He enters the 2016-17 campaign no longer the wide-eyed rookie that arrived in Atlanta nine years ago. He’s now a veteran four-time All-Star that team president Danny Ainge believes can provide leadership to a young core led by Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder. The immediate goal is to help Boston advance past the first round of the playoffs for first time since 2012.

“I know that I’m gonna help our team be better,” Horford said. “I’m gonna try to come in and try to gel as fast as I can and just make sure that we’re playing at a high level, and that we’re working every day. And we’ll see what happens.”

There’s no denying that Horford joins a team that has been on the upswing under Coach Brad Stevens. Boston won just 25 games his first season in 2013-14 but have improved to 40 and 48 wins the past two, which have included back-to-back playoff berths.

But each of those postseason appearances ended in first-round exits, including a 4-2 loss to Horford’s Hawks last season.

That loss was marred by a hamstring injury to Bradley in Game 1, as well as nagging injuries which dogged Crowder and center Kelly Olynyk.

With all of that behind them, Thomas is anxious to see what this group can accomplish when healthy and with some extra star power.

Aside from providing some help defending the rim and rebounding, Horford’s shooting ability also should open up the floor more for a scoring point guard like Thomas, and improved shooter like Bradley.

The expectation is that Crowder will also be freer to operate with Horford drawing attention in the paint.

There is also No. 3 overall draft pick Jaylen Brown, whose athleticism should fit right in with a group that loves to run the floor.

MAKING ADJUSTMENTS: Probably the Celtics’ biggest loss this offseason was the departure of swingman Evan Turner to Portland in free agency. Aside from being a productive sixth man, he also at times triggered their half-court sets when he was in the game. “That’s a big loss,” Stevens said. “A big loss because of the way he handled the ball, the big shots that he made late in the game, his positional versatility defensively, his everyday workman-like attitude in the gym.”

MINUTES FOR ROZIER: The Celtics were dealt a small blow to their second unit when Marcus Smart suffered a left ankle sprain in their preseason finale. The silver lining is that while he’s out, it will almost certainly mean increased playing time for second-year point guard Terry Rozier. Rozier had his best moments as a rookie on the defensive end, but showed a lot of improvement in his shooting during the preseason.”

INJURY WATCH: Olynyk sat out the entire preseason recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in May. After not being cleared for contact in time to appear in any preseason games, it’s possible he could miss a good chunk of games early in the season. It will mean one less body to relieve Horford, but will give the Celtics opportunities to play smaller at times.

]]> 0, 23 Oct 2016 21:13:38 +0000
Blount, Brady pull away from Steelers Sun, 23 Oct 2016 23:53:57 +0000 PITTSBURGH — Tom Brady and LeGarrette Blount were too much for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger or no Ben Roethlisberger.

Blount ran for 127 yards and two scores while Brady completed 19 of 26 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns as the Patriots pulled away for a 27-16 win on Sunday.

Steelers quarterback Landry Jones played capably while filling in for Roethlisberger, who watched from the sideline after undergoing left knee surgery last week.

Making just his third career start, Jones threw for 281 yards with a touchdown and an interception but undermanned Pittsburgh (4-3) lost its second straight when its defense failed to keep Brady under wraps.

New England (6-1) remained perfect since Brady returned from his four-game “Deflategate” suspension, emphatically responding to a push by the Steelers with a pair of second-half touchdowns. Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski for a 36-yard touchdown in the third quarter then used another 37-yard catch and run by Gronkowski to set up Blount’s second touchdown run that put New England up 11 with just under 12 minutes to go.

Brady improved to 9-2 against the Steelers, throwing for 26 touchdowns and three interceptions. Most of those came against far more intimidating versions of a Steelers defense than the one he faced Sunday.

Pittsburgh came in hurting with Roethlisberger and defensive end Cam Heyward both out. The Steelers pushed the Patriots at times behind Jones, running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown. Bell finished with 149 yards of total offense and Brown caught seven passes for 106 yards, but too often Pittsburgh settled for field goals (or field goal attempts) when touchdowns were required.

Mistakes that could hardly be blamed on Jones didn’t help. A second-quarter touchdown pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey was called back because of a holding call, one of 10 flags against the Steelers. Pittsburgh fell to 11-10 in games not started by Roethlisberger since 2004.

Blount, facing Pittsburgh for the first time since the Steelers cut him when he walked off the field with the clock still running in November 2014, hurt the Steelers after halftime. He ran for 74 yards following the break, including consecutive runs of 11 and 25 yards that set up Gronkowski’s eighth touchdown in five games against the Steelers.


The 39-year-old quarterback who once ran the 40-yard dash at the combine in a not-so fleet 5.28 seconds can still run away from the bad guys. Brady ran for three first downs in the first half, mashing his way on a quarterback sneak and twice escaping pressure and outrunning defenders a decade or more younger for the necessary yardage.


New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed a regular season extra point during his rookie year in 2006 and then didn’t miss another one until last week against Cincinnati, an NFL record streak of 479 attempts between misfires (though there was that costly missed kick in last year’s AFC championship game). Gostkowski didn’t have to wait nearly as long until watching a second one go astray. Gostkowski misfired on a third-quarter extra point that kept the Steelers within seven.

Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell had his issues. He sent a 42-yarder in the second quarter wide right and missed a 54-yarder with the Steelers down two scores in the fourth quarter.


Patriots: visit Buffalo next Sunday. The Bills beat the Brady-less Patriots 16-0 in New England on Oct. 2.

Steelers: off next week then visit AFC North rival Baltimore on Nov. 6.

]]> 1, 23 Oct 2016 19:54:34 +0000
Sprint Cup: Two favorites eliminated as Chase field whittled to 8 Sun, 23 Oct 2016 23:49:52 +0000 TALLADEGA, Ala. — When an engine failure Sunday knocked title favorite Martin Truex Jr. from NASCAR’s playoffs, the rest of the top contenders got a little bit of breathing room.

Then Brad Keselowski suffered the same cruel elimination when his engine failed at Talladega Superspeedway.

There was suddenly a wide-open competition to earn the final spots into the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, and Denny Hamlin and Austin Dillon raced a tense final two laps in overtime to fill the bracket. With each pushing for every last point, it was Hamlin who advanced into the round of eight on a tiebreaker.

Joey Logano won the race and Hamlin edged Kurt Busch by .006 seconds for third place and the one point he needed to tie Dillon in the standings.

Dillon was ninth, but lost the right to move into the next round based on average finish over the last three races.

Hamlin told his Joe Gibbs Racing team not to give him points updates, and that lack of knowledge forced him to scramble through the final turn as he was undecided on how aggressive he needed to be.

“I wasn’t sure whether I needed to finish third,” he said. “I told them I didn’t want points updates. But that’s almost when I probably should have got one to figure out what I was going to do. (Dillon) is in the middle of the pack. He’s fighting and getting positions. He could change two positions in the last hundred yards.

“So you can’t really predict it. I knew I just had to try to finish as good as I could.”

With Truex and Keselowski out of the playoffs before the checkered flag, the suspense came down to final finishing order. Logano was not in a must-win situation, but the victory sure didn’t hurt.

Dillon, on a frantic dash over two overtime laps to gain as many spots as possible, called the outcome “heartbreaking.”

“It sure stinks to lose it on a tiebreaker,” Dillon said.

Chase Elliott was also eliminated, while Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Logano and Hamlin advanced. There are four Toyotas remaining in the field, all from Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart-Haas Racing has Kurt Busch and Harvick – but the two had a heated exchange after the race over alleged contact on the last lap – while Hendrick Motorsports has Johnson for three Chevrolets in the field. Logano is the only Ford driver.

“Feels good to win on a clutch moment like that with the pressure on,” Logano said. “I think we ran like a champ.”

]]> 0, 23 Oct 2016 22:54:35 +0000
Dueling droughts: Cubs, Indians set to meet in World Series Sun, 23 Oct 2016 17:21:21 +0000 At long, long last, it’s true: Either the Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians will win the World Series.

The matchup between teams that forever waited till next year – next century, really – is finally here.

A classic Fall Classic, for sure.

Do-it-all Javier Baez, flashy Francisco Lindor, MVP caliber Kris Bryant and a bevy of young stars. Lights-out relievers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman, and wily skippers Joe Maddon and Terry Francona.

Plus, intrigue if injured All-Star starter Danny Salazar and slugger Kyle Schwarber can play.

Oh, and did someone mention something about a drought?

Game 1 is at Progressive Field on Tuesday night, with the Cubs opening as a heavy favorite to win their first crown since 1908.

In the Cubs’ last visit to Cleveland, back in August 2015, they posted a 17-0 rout for the most-lopsided shutout ever in interleague play. It got so out of hand that two Indians outfielders wound up pitching.

But that’s ancient history.

For the Cubbies, this is their first World Series trip since 1945. They clinched their spot Saturday night at rollicking Wrigley Field as big league ERA leader Kyle Hendricks outpitched Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw for a 5-0 win in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

Favorites since opening day, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and past October aces Jon Lester and John Lackey helped the Cubs cruise to a major league-leading 103 victories.

Now, they’re ready to sweep aside the Curse of the Billy Goat and the specter of Steve Bartman. And make up for the near-misses by Cubs greats such as Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and Billy Williams.

“Obviously we know that it’s something that’s going to be talked about with the history of the organization,” pitcher Jake Arrieta said. “But it’s really not something we focus on at all. So we just kind of disregard it and go out and play.”

The Indians also have a past full of failure and frustration. Their title drought dates to Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, Larry Doby and 1948, trailing only the Cubs for the longest wait in the majors.

In 1997, Cleveland was three outs from winning the championship when closer Jose Mesa blew a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 at Florida. An error by sure-handed second baseman Tony Fernandez doomed them in the 11th.

Earlier this year, LeBron James and the Cavaliers turned Cleveland into Believeland by rallying to win the NBA title. James has been loudly cheering for the Indians to bring another championship to the city.

Steady Jason Kipnis, jolly Mike Napoli and likely Game 1 starter Corey Kluber starred as the surprising Indians won the AL Central, then breezed by Boston and Toronto in the playoffs.

The Indians did it despite a thinning rotation. Salazar hasn’t pitched since early September because of a forearm problem, Carlos Carrasco’s hand was broken by a line drive and Trevor Bauer cut his pinkie playing with a drone.

Like the Cubs with Bartman, the spectator who infamously deflected a foul ball at Wrigley during the 2003 NL playoffs, the Indians also have a prominent fan. It’s John Adams, the man who has been beating a drum at most every home game for more than four decades.

Even though the clubs hold spring training about 30 miles apart in Arizona, they don’t overlap a lot.

They’ve never played in the postseason and are just 9-9 against each other in interleague action.

Miller and Chapman, however, were teammates this season in the New York Yankees’ bullpen before they both got traded in late July.

Francona and current Cubs architect Theo Epstein spent even more time together. In 2004, they teamed up as the Red Sox ended a World Series championship drought dating to 1918 – when Boston beat the Cubs, by the way.

Soon, another city will be celebrating. Maybe next week, maybe next month, with Game 7 scheduled for Nov. 2.

A pair of big cities, one on Lake Michigan, the other on Lake Erie, waiting … and hoping to end the wait.

On deck: Great Lakes, great stakes.

]]> 0, 23 Oct 2016 22:23:21 +0000
Hunting: Trail cameras show moose herd appears to be thriving Sun, 23 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0000 After opening the trail camera and switching on its tiny viewing screen, my companion scrolled through picture after picture. The images were of deer, but not the kind most hunters find on their cameras. These were big deer – very, very big deer. In fact, they were among the biggest in North America.

The location was the North Maine Woods where I was moose hunting and sightings of the largest member of the deer family were frustratingly scarce. I had expected it, but the pictures told a different story.

My expectations were based partly on anecdotal information from others who had visited the north country but also on more empirical intel. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) has cut moose hunting permits roughly in half in the last two years. One reason cited is increased mortality related to winter ticks.

It’s the other that’s more troubling to me. According to a Press Herald article, the department indicated part of the reason for scaling back permits was “… to meet public demand for greater opportunities to see moose.”

Say what? I’m a little surprised they consider that a valid reason but I’m stunned they actually came out and stated it. It’s not unlike telling fisherman they’re going to cut back on trout and salmon stocking so they can supply more fish to restaurants.

Furthermore, moose hunting and winter ticks are not the principal reason for a decline in moose visibility. No, that is far more a result of mandatory changes in cutting practices than of a lack of moose, as the cameras showed.

The fellow I hunted with last week had placed several trail cameras in the woods a week prior to our hunt and the results were eye-opening. As someone with a great deal of experience using game cameras for deer, I was very surprised with how many different moose the cameras captured – far more than I would have expected.

It turns out that under cover of darkness and in dense woods beyond the roads, there are many moose. You just can’t see them from the road because former large, open cuts have been replaced with strip cuts and other less “visually offensive” thinning practices.

In addition to reducing moose visibility, those cutting practices have reduced and degraded the preferred habitat for some migrant songbirds. When you make big cuts you also leave larger uncut areas. Recent practices create more edge habitat and less forest interior, favoring far more common and less imperiled species that prefer edge. Hunters may not care, but birdwatchers will have far fewer sightings of a dozen or so different warbler species along their entire migration route.

I’ve also noticed the prohibition on larger cuts has reduced favorable habitat for snowshoe hare, the preferred prey of lynx. You can probably guess the trickle-down effect on these relatively scarce predators.

Fortunately the picture isn’t as bleak as it appears to some. Lynx may be uncommon in Maine but they always have been and always will be, because they’re a fringe species. Step over the border into Canada and they’re a commonly trapped furbearer.

As for the moose, our camera surveys and IFW officials suggest the moose herd is actually healthier than it has been in several years. And if you’re willing to go a little deeper into the North Maine Woods you can still find open cuts big enough to offer more moose sightings. We did, but that’s another story for another day.

Bob Humphrey is a freelance writer and registered Maine guide who lives in Pownal. He can be reached at:

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It’s Worth the Trip: Cathance River Preserve provides the perfect getaway Sun, 23 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0000 In his forthcoming book “The Stranger in the Woods,” Michael Finkel tells the story of Christopher Knight, the hermit who lived undetected in the woods near North Pond for nearly three decades. Reading the book, I was struck most by how Knight managed to disappear so completely while living only yards from the cabins that ring the pond. He was so close to others, Finkel writes, that he couldn’t even sneeze for fear of drawing attention.

The book reminded me how easy it is to separate yourself from the hustle and bustle of other people in Maine, where thick wilderness is often only yards from well-traveled roads and populated areas. I got the same reminder this week while hiking in the Cathance River Nature Preserve in Topsham. The 230-acre preserve, tucked between Interstate 295 and a retirement community, is a wonderful escape in a fairly developed stretch of the Midcoast.

Access is possible via two trailheads on Topsham’s Evergreen Circle, as well as a connector trail on the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Cathance River Trail. To reach the main trailhead, enter the Highland Green development (marked by a large sign and white fencing) from Route 196 in Topsham. Follow the main road through the development for a mile and a half, passing the suburban retirement homes of the community, as well as a few holes on the nine-hole Highland Green Golf Club. Just beyond Junco Drive, you’ll see a wooden staircase and signs marking the entrance to the Cathance River Nature Preserve. Beside it are nine angled parking spaces for hikers.

The trails cover nearly six miles, winding through mixed hardwood forest alongside the Cathance River. Two longer main trails – the riverfront Cathance River Trail and upland Highland Trail – run in rough parallel for much of the length of the preserve, with a number of shorter yellow-blazed trails connecting the two. These short spurs mean that hikers can go from less than a mile to nearly six.

From the staircase alongside Evergreen Circle, it’s a short hike along a well-trod road to reach the Cathance River Education Alliance Ecology Center, the center of the preserve. Completed a decade ago, the center is described by the alliance as a “building that teaches,” with over a dozen green, sustainable features. It’s open every Sunday from noon to 2 p.m.

Turning left at the building, the development of Highland Green quickly fades away. After passing a large vernal pool just south of the ecology center, the Highland Trail slopes gently downward toward the northwest corner of the preserve. Here it meets the head of the Cathance River Trail. A sharp right puts hikers beside the Cathance River, which churns east toward the Androscoggin.

During spring runoff, there are challenging rapids for kayakers wishing to run the Cathance (and you can see these adventurers from the trail). But in this relatively dry fall, the river is but a picturesque trickle.

The trail runs alongside the river for about a mile, gently rising to scenic rock outcrops before falling back toward the riverbed. On the right, the Barnes Leap, Beaver and Rapids trails spurs connect back to the Highland Trail, giving weary hikers a chance to cut short their loop and head back toward the ecology center. Beyond the turn to the Rapids Trail, the Cathance River Trail leaves the riverside and reconnects with the Highland Trail.

From the trail junction, a right brings hikers back toward the trailhead, completing a loop. Following the white blazes to the left connects to the half-mile Ravine Trail. At the Clay Brook Bridge, the Preserve ends, though hikers can continue along a Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust trail, ending after two miles at a trailhead on Cathance Road.

In addition to this large network of trails, the Heath Trail (also part of the Cathance River Nature Preserve) circles the 30-acre Heath Sanctuary within Highland Green. The trailhead is on Evergreen Circle, opposite the hiker parking spaces.

Foliage is passing peak but vibrant colors still line the sides of the trail. Many of these colorful leaves have started to fall from the trees, so keep your eyes open for the many trail blazes – a carpet of fallen foliage can make spotting the rutted trails a challenge.

Don’t let the development at the Topsham Mall and Highland Green deceive you – there’s great fall hiking to be found nearby. With just a little effort, you can disappear into the calm and beauty of the Maine woods.

Josh Christie is a freelance writer living in Portland. Along with his brother, Jake, he writes about great Maine destinations for outdoors enthusiasts. Josh can be reached at:

]]> 0 Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:59:39 +0000
Masters of invention: Maine’s history of firearm production Sun, 23 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0000 AUGUSTA — The gunsmith exhibit at the Maine State Museum drew curious children and amazed adults during Earth Day at the museum Tuesday. The collection of antique rifles and pistols designed by Maine artisans in the 1800s highlighted the kind of creativity and innovation that was widespread among gunsmiths 200 years ago, said curator Laurie LaBar.

While firearm season for deer in Maine kicks off this weekend with Youth Deer Day on Saturday, the state museum is telling another part of Maine’s hunting history.

“Maine being a rural place, guns have always been a part of the culture. What this exhibit is trying to explain is not only what remarkable gunmakers there were, but what inventors. Maine really was on the forefront of invention based on the production taking place here in the 1800s,” LaBar said. “A lot of gunsmiths in Maine had two jobs. They did this because they loved it.”

The gunsmith exhibit that runs until April is a precursor to another important Maine outdoor story that the museum’s curators plan to tell – the heyday of the sporting camps when sportsmen from New York, Philadelphia and Boston traveled to Maine to hunt and fish, some 200 years ago.

Museum Director Bernard Fishman is working on a photo story using historic 3-D photos, which were the style of the 1800s. Curators also plan to gather oral histories from owners of Maine sporting camps. That exhibit, once fundraising for the oral histories is raised, is expected to open next spring.

“This is original research,” Fishman said. “We want to record the remaining people who knew those from the earliest camps. These original outpost camps are a part of Maine tradition. So many people in Maine have little lake houses, which are the descendants of these first camps. And we have access to rarely published photographs.”

Jennifer Dube, development director with the Friends of the Maine State Museum, said the museum has a responsibility to tell Maine’s sporting camp story to the 14,000 school children who visit the museum and the more than 100,000 visitors who view its exhibits online or in person.

A stuffed bobcat sits in storage in an office at the Maine State Museum. Next year, the bobcat, along with other taxidermied animals, pelts and artifacts, will be part of a new exhibit on Maine's sporting camps.

A stuffed bobcat sits in storage in an office at the Maine State Museum. Next year, the bobcat, along with other taxidermied animals, pelts and artifacts, will be part of a new exhibit on Maine’s sporting camps.

“We are losing the ability to speak to the people who pioneered sporting camps and this culture of conservation. They were the first practicing wildlife management when the first hunting laws were in place,” Dube said. “We’re determined to tell this story.”

For now, the first-of-its-kind exhibit, “Inventors and Sportsmen: Maine Gunsmiths in the 1800s,” shows how ingenious Maine’s first gunsmiths were. In the 1800s, they held more than 30 patents.

A two-shot pistol is displayed under glass at the Maine State Museum's gunsmithing exhibit. The museum is also working on a new exhibit to tell the history and culture of Maine's sporting camps.

A two-shot pistol is displayed under glass at the Maine State Museum’s gunsmithing exhibit. The museum is also working on a new exhibit to tell the history and culture of Maine’s sporting camps.

A hands-on workbench in the exhibit showed children last week how challenging it is to build a primitive wooden rifle. An 8-foot-high state map stopped adults in their tracks as it illustrated how widespread gunmaking was in the 19th century – when Maine was home to more than 280 gunsmiths in 110 towns.

“Guns back then didn’t look like guns today. They were simpler. Today they’re more high-tech,” said Emma White, 9, who visited with Freeport’s Mast Landing School. “I know because my dad hunts. I think they have become more high-tech because hunting is more popular today. There are many different types of hunts for moose, deer, ducks.”

“Inventors and Sportsmen: Maine Gunsmiths of the 1800s” will be open at the Maine State Museum in Augusta until April. The manufacture of guns was an important part of rural life in the 19th century, and Maine was home to more than 280 gunsmiths in 110 towns. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

“Inventors and Sportsmen: Maine Gunsmiths of the 1800s” will be open at the Maine State Museum in Augusta until April. The manufacture of guns was an important part of rural life in the 19th century, and Maine was home to more than 280 gunsmiths in 110 towns. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

The exhibit tells the stories of inventors like John Hall, a woodworker by trade who in 1811 invented the breech-loading rifle, which loaded the ammunition in the rear of the barrel. Hall also was the first to develop mass-produced guns using interchangeable parts.

“Eli Whitney gets the credit for interchangeable parts in guns. But he was really just better at PR,” LaBar said. “John Hall from Portland figured out if you mass produce each part, you could have semi-skilled workers mass produce the guns rather than building each individually.”

Then there were gunsmiths who had unrelated inventions, such as Hiram Leonard of Bangor, who was the first to design a six-part bamboo fly rod.

Jake Skakal of Augusta takes a close look at the antique rifles on display at the Maine State Museum’s gunsmith exhibit. Skakal was impressed by Maine’s historic role in the production of firearms. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Jake Skakal of Augusta takes a close look at the antique rifles on display at the Maine State Museum’s gunsmith exhibit. Skakal was impressed by Maine’s historic role in the production of firearms.
Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

The center of the exhibit room displays the rifles like works of art with no informational panels – just 12 antique guns made by 12 Maine gunmakers. Some are crafted from tiger maple, while others have German silver carved into the barrel.

Following a group of children through the exhibit, Jake Skakal of Augusta and Bob Krol of Boston looked in awe at the sheer number of Maine firearm inventors in the 1800s.

Krol, a member of the Maine Conservation Corps, was impressed these early muzzle-loading guns could be mass-produced on a commercial level.

“I learned a lot about firearms in the U.S. Navy,” Skakal said. “But I didn’t know there were so many guns produced in Maine, let alone so many Maine inventors of (different kinds) of guns.”

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In Eastport, nothing overruns like whitetail deer Sun, 23 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0000 EASTPORT — Dale Maddocks loves to tend his large vegetable garden. But these days garlic is the only thing he can grow in Eastport because of the deer.

“They jump the electrical fence,” he said. “They’re like Olympians. I’ve thrown fireworks at them and chased them. They keep coming back.”

Another resident, Bob Bean, was taken aback recently when a curious doe stuck its head in his car window to get a better look at Bean’s cockerpoodle.

Eastport, an island community of 1,300 residents in Down East Maine, has become inundated with whitetail deer – roaming the streets, grazing in backyards.

The problem has become so acute that Eastport has asked the state for a special hunt to try to cull the herd – a solution some residents are skeptical about. There has been no hunting for does here since 2005, when the state redrew hunting district lines and eliminated any-deer permits in Eastport.

“Our island is just 3 square miles and we laugh and say there are more deer in town than people,” said City Manager Elaine Abbott. “There is nothing normal and wild about the deer here.”

Residents surround their gardens with wire, rope or soap to keep the deer away.

“They’re not afraid of people,” said Caitlyn Stellrecht. “They’re not afraid of cars. They are almost pets.”

It’s become more than a nuisance. In 2015, Eastport police reported 20 vehicle accidents involving deer that – all told – cost roughly $40,000 in damage.

“It’s amazing the number of close calls for deer strikes,” said Dean Pike, owner of Moose Island Marina. “To me that is the big issue, these near misses with vehicles. They just jump out and who knows what could happen? It’s getting bad.”


Eastport is a two-hour drive from Bangor, past blueberry fields and forests. The island has a busy working waterfront, with brick buildings that house restaurants, pubs and art shops that draw tourists each summer. The famous lobsterman statue in the center of town towers over the main drag, appropriately called Water Street, with its views to Cobscook Bay.

Listening to deer stories from many in Eastport makes the whitetails’ behavior sound exaggerated. But if you drive around this island, from the forested state park at the west end to the densely settled neighborhoods of small capes and large Victorian homes, you will find signs of deer everywhere. Flattened hostas and the munched-on wildflowers are evident in a small community garden within a shout of the working docks.

Eventually – as happens to everyone here – you will come upon a small herd. Get out of the car, cross the street, and you can walk right toward it.

Even when you approach within 20 to 30 feet, the deer may not bother to look up. Only once you get as close as 3 to 5 feet will they start to move. Even then, there is no quick turn and leap away, like a typical wild Maine whitetail. The deer here just walk calmly away.

Tom Schaeffer, a regional wildlife biologist for the state, estimates that there are no fewer than 20 deer per square mile on the island – and there could be as many as 50-60 per square mile.

The explosion in the herd can be traced back to 2005, when state hunting district lines were redrawn, eliminating any-deer permits in Eastport. Since then, the city has had a bucks-only hunt during the state’s deer hunting season in the fall.

“In most cases a bucks-only hunt sets you up for a maximum population increase when you have no removal of does,” Schaeffer said. “I think that is the crux of much of their problem.”

The island’s habitat and moderate coastal climate are conducive to a thriving herd. Undeveloped fields and woods on the west side border the residential community, where high shrubs and tree-lined sidewalks create a haven for whitetails.

“They live right on the edge, then they wander through the residential areas,” Schaeffer said. “They have easy access to food and cover and shelter. And that whole dynamic presents a problem when it comes to controlling deer by recreational hunting. It’s tough to conduct a recreational hunt in that kind of residential area.”

So far, Lyme disease has not been an issue in Eastport, compared to southern Maine. Washington County had fewer than 15 reported cases of the tick-borne disease each year from 2012 to 2014, according to federal data. York County, by comparison, had more than 200 cases each of those years.


Special hunts are allowed by the state to help island communities cope with burgeoning deer populations, such as the one conducted in Islesboro earlier this decade.

Last fall, three-quarters of Eastport voters supported seeking permission for a special hunt from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

In August, the city’s newly formed deer committee proposed a special “antlerless” – or doe-only – archery hunt using 22 residents (or acquaintances of residents) and eight nonresidents. The hunt would take place for two weeks each year over three consecutive Decembers. Each hunter would be able to take one deer.

Eastport presented its plan to DIF&W’s Advisory Council earlier this month. The plan is open for public comment until Nov. 18, and the Advisory Council will vote on the proposal in late November or December.

Because Eastport has a firearm ordinance, a bow hunt is the only option. In addition, some of the island’s open fields and larger house lots are posted.

Chris Bartlett, who chairs the city’s deer committee, said the bucks-only archery hunt that takes place in the fall now has led to a mistrust of bow hunters who come from outside Eastport. The hope is the special hunt using mostly residents will change that.

“There have been a few hunters who have been discourteous in the way they hunt in Eastport, shooting at and killing and wounding deer in the congested residential areas,” said Bartlett, a hunter. “It’s not any place the average hunter would hunt. These are postage-sized lawns.

“That behavior is not widespread. But it only takes a few instances to turn a lot of folks off to hunting.”


The mistrust of hunters is not hard to find here.

At Dastardly Dick’s coffee shop, a few older patrons nodded in agreement as Peter Frewen, who runs the cafe, raised concern over the special hunt. Frewen isn’t convinced it will work, although he agrees the herd needs to be thinned.

“The whole thing seems nuts,” he said. “But if there is a hunt I want some assurance that it will be safe, be humane, and be effective. I’d like to see professional hunters.”

Bartlett said Eastport considered a paid sharpshooter, which many island communities have used, but at an estimated cost of $600 per deer it was not affordable.

If the DIF&W Advisory Council doesn’t approve Eastport’s proposal until December, it will have just days to organize the hunt.

“(The town) is staying optimistic,” Bartlett said. “We will pull it off if we’re given the green light.

“We have to hit the ground running. Our primary goal is to reduce deer numbers. Our secondary goal is to increase public understanding of how to manage deer hunting in Eastport.”

In the meantime, just about every day deer stories are shared in Eastport.

Abbott said her 3-year-old great-niece enjoys sitting in her yard under the Japanese knotweed bushes where does bed down, edging within 10 feet of the whitetail. She said everyone in town loves the deer; most just want far fewer of them.

Genevieve Wade grew up on nearby Dog Island eight decades ago and has lived in Eastport since. As she strolled around downtown on a sunny October day, she couldn’t recall ever before seeing so many deer.

“They are everywhere. They just wander through backyards in town and walk very slowly. Everyone watches them. They stop traffic, then go on their merry way. I think they’re super,” Wade said. “When I was growing up, there always were some, but nothing like this.”


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Outdoor calendar Sun, 23 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0000 UPCOMING

Birds on Tap, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 1, Portland

Freeport Wild Bird Supply is offering its “Birds on Tap” lecture series that features experts on ornithology and conservation. This series is held at Rising Tide Brewing Company and allows patrons to sample beers while learning about bird research in Maine. A portion of the proceeds are donated to further the work of the featured speaker. On Nov. 1, Lindsay Tudor, a wildlife biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, will talk about Maine’s shorebirds. Non-alcoholic beverages and light snacks will be available. For every beer purchased, Rising Tide will donate $1 to support IF&W’s Maine Endangered and Nongame Wildlife Fund. To learn more, call 865-6000.

Native Plant Workshop, 9:30 a.m. Nov. 12, Falmouth

Join Maine Audubon at Gilsland Farm for a two-hour seminar on fall native plants and seed sowing. Most native plants propagate naturally outdoors over winter. This workshop will focus on do-it-yourself seed propagation of trees, shrubs, wildflowers and ferns. Participants will leave with several seeded pots. The cost is $30. Call 781-2330, ext. 237.

Women Fly Fishers, 6 p.m. Nov. 17, Yarmouth

Join the Maine Women Flyfishers for a slide show on fly fishing in Iceland by Christi Holmes. Holmes recently spent seven days in Iceland fishing for wild Atlantic salmon, sea trout and char. Meet in the back dining room at the Muddy Rudder, located on Route 1.

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Cubs advance to World Series Sun, 23 Oct 2016 02:51:33 +0000 CHICAGO — Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton Kershaw, Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early Saturday night, and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first championship since 1908, Manager Joe Maddon’s team opens the World Series Tuesday night at Cleveland. The Indians haven’t won it all since 1948 – Cleveland and the Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

“This city deserves it so much,” Rizzo said. “We’ve got four more big ones to go, but we’re going to enjoy this. We’re going to the World Series. I can’t even believe that.”

Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal “wait till next year” is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure – the future is now.

“We’re too young. We don’t care about it,” slugger Kris Bryant said. “We don’t look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We’re enjoying it and our work’s just getting started.”

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

“Chicago!” shouted backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn’t allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when a fan, Steve Bartman, deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth.

Kershaw, dominant in a Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven’t been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days’ rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant’s single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

Left fielder Andrew Toles then dropped Rizzo’s fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.

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