Happy New Year, Monsters pull out win to end 2009, Blue Jackets lose again, Rose Bowl Preview

Happy New Year Sports Fans!

I hope my readers had a fun evening last night as the whole world celebrated the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. 2009 to some people was a year that was marked with negative events but hopefully we as a country and society are past the bad. 2010 is a great opportunity to start fresh, put bad things in the past and start over with a positive outlook.

The Lake Erie Monsters were in action last night against the Rochester Americans and ended the decade with a 5-1 in Quicken Loans Arena. Monsters right winger Darren Haydar, who was also named to the AHL Team Canada All-Star team, got the scoring started with a goal at 7:44 of the first period. Almost four minutes later, teammate Brian Willsie found the back of the net to give the Monsters a 2-0 lead. Rochester would answer with a goal by Michael Repik towards the end of the first period to make it a 2-1 hockey game.

In the second and third periods, the Monsters maintained the momentum as Marty Sertich found the back of the net with help from Brian Willsie to make it a 3-1 Monsters lead. Moving to the third period, goals by Cedric McNicholl and Ryan Stoa sealed the deal for the Monsters as they would go on to win 5-1.

The Monsters record has improved and the team has performed better on the ice. The team is dishing out blowouts instead of being on the receiving end of them and the better performance has improved the attitude and atmosphere inside Quicken Loans Arena. The fans are not as pessimistic as they were earlier this season and are starting to believe the team can win instead of they can’t win. The Monsters have collectively started to play better as a team and it is showing out on the ice.

Moving to the NHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets struggles against the Nashville Predators continued as the Jackets lost 2-1 in overtime. The Jackets have struggled against Nashville this season and last night was no exception.

The Blue Jackets managed to get on the board first with a goal by Raffi Torres at 6:02 of the first period. Columbus held onto the lead until the third period when Andreas Thuresson put one into the back of the net to make it a 1-1 hockey game. Just 28 seconds into overtime, the Predators delivered the knockout goal as David Legwand put it past Jackets goaltender Mathieu Garon for the 2-1 victory.

The Nashville Predators are still a tough team in the NHL and do not stay down for long. Even though the Jackets had a 1-0 lead going into the third period, no lead is safe with the Predators and the Jackets mishap on defense ended up costing them the game. The Jackets need to find a way to preserve leads in games or their on ice struggles will continue.

Taking a look now at the Rose Bowl, the Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the Oregon Ducks today at 4:30pm in Pasadena, California. Both teams have had their ups and downs this season but this should be a good matchup and worth while to watch.

Compared to some of the teams Ohio State has had to play in Bowl Games in years past, Oregon does not have the depth that Florida and USC has. The Buckeyes struggled against teams with more depth and could not beat USC in the regular season or Florida in the BCS Championship game. The Buckeyes should match up well against Oregon and can make this one close.

On both sides of the football, the Buckeyes will have to be ready for Oregon’s speed. The Ducks are very quick on their feet and quarterback Jeremiah Masoli will not be afraid to go deep early on if he can find a mismatch. TB LeMichael James can go the distance if needed and the Buckeyes will have to be ready to stop a big play early on in the ball game. Oregon knows that speed will work to their advantage and will want to challenge the Buckeyes early on. Ohio State tends to start off slow and Oregon can take an early lead easily if the Buckeyes are not careful.

On offense, Terrelle Pryor will have to limit his mistakes and be able to complete passes down the field. If Pryor throws interceptions early on, Oregon will most likely take advantage of the turnover and make the Buckeyes play catch up. Pryor will need to be accurate and with Brandon Saine in the backfield, the Buckeyes can be a powerful on offense. The Buckeyes will need to challenge Oregon early on and cannot be too conservative if they want to stay close in this ball game. Oregon is favored and Ohio State will have to play consistent and mistake free in order to keep this one close.

Happy New Year!

Jeff

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~ by jeffrsabo on January 1, 2010.

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