CIF state football: De La Salle no match for Mater Dei

SACRAMENTO — The De La Salle blueprint for victory did not call for this. It did not call for Mater Dei to cruise for an early touchdown, or a fumble that led to another touchdown, or a botched snap on a punt that led to one more touchdown.

It did not call for a 21-point deficit before the first quarter ended.

De La Salle faced near impossible odds Saturday night, needing to play a perfect game to just have a chance against the Southern California juggernaut from Santa Ana.

Far from perfect, De La Salle was beaten soundly in the Open Division championship game for the second year in a row, this time 52-21 against national No. 1 Mater Dei, a rich-talented team that completed an all-time great season.

Mater Dei quarterback JT Daniels, a USC-bound junior, completed 20 of 30 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for two touchdowns before departing to cheers midway through the fourth quarter.

Amon-Ra St. Brown was Daniels’ top target, catching eight passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns.

One year after St. John Bosco pounded De La Salle 56-33 in this game, the Spartans hoped to flip the script, hoped that a schedule that included Bishop Gorman-Las Vegas and St. John’s-Washington, D.C, would get them ready for whichever powerhouse came out of the South.

Coach Justin Alumbaugh acknowledged that the margin for error against Mater Dei was razor thin. But he believed the blueprint that has brought seven state championships to the De La Salle campus over the past dozen years would keep his team in this game, if executed properly. The six turnovers De La Salle committed obviously were not part of the plan.

De La Salle wanted to get to the fourth quarter with a manageable score, a score that would test Mater Dei’s nerve, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

Pekka Rinne with 32 saves, Predators blank Flames

CALGARY — Pekka Rinne stopped all 32 shots he faced to backstop the Nashville Predators to a 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

It’s Rinne’s third shutout of the season and the 46th of his NHL career. It was also the second straight shutout for the Predators, who got a 46-save performance from Juuse Saros in a 4-0 win two nights earlier in Edmonton against the Oilers.

Ryan Johansen and Kevin Fiala scored for the Predators (21-7-4). They have recorded points in seven straight games (6-0-1).

Mike Smith finished with 26 saves for the Flames (16-14-3), who have lost two in a row.

The Flames outshot the Predators 12-6 in the first period, while defencemen Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie both rang shots off the crossbar.

Calgary’s best chance to score in the first was by Micheal Ferland, who re-directed a point shot by Dougie Hamilton on net, but was denied when Rinne kicked out his right pad to make the save.

Just past the 10-minute mark of the second period, Calgary’s Garnet Hathaway was levelled by a blindside hit by Nashville’s Austin Watson, who subsequently dropped the gloves to fight Troy Brouwer. While Watson was assessed a game misconduct and a five-minute major for interference, Brouwer took an instigator penalty for starting the fight.

During the ensuing 4-on-4 situation, Johansen swatted his own rebound past Smith to give the Predators a 1-0 lead at 11:17.

The Flames then had an extended 5-on-3 man advantage for 1:48, but all they were able to generate was three shots from the outside by Giordano.

Rinne made another great save …read more


Stralman, Lightning overcome Landeskog’s hat trick for Avalanche

DENVER — Anton Stralman scored twice to help Tampa Bay overcame a hat trick by Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog and the Lightning beat the Avalanche 6-5 Saturday night for their seventh straight win.

Mikhal Sergachev, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and Yanni Gourde also scored for the Lightning, who have two wins against the Avalanche during the streak.

Trailing 5-2, the Avalanche pulled within two on Landeskog’s third goal of the night, a power-play score at 6:27 of the third in which he used his stick to change the direction of Tyson Barrie’s slap shot past goalie Peter Budaj and into the net. Landeskog’s third goal snapped Colorado’s 0-for-20 streak on the power play, a drought that had spanned six games.

Colorado pulled to 5-4 when Nathan MacKinnon scored on a wrist shot at 9:22 of the third but Tampa Bay answered with a goal by Sergachev at 11:32, putting his stick on the puck amid heavy traffic in front of the goal and knocking it through Landeskog’s legs and into the net.

MacKinnon scored again to pull the Avalanche within one again with 5:46 remaining. Colorado pulled the goalie for an extra skater for the last 90 seconds but couldn’t tie it.

The teams battled through a scoreless first period before Tampa Bay scored four in the second period, including the first two 19 seconds apart.

Kucherov started the flurry at 9:11, gathering in a lead pass from Hedman and skating between the circles before lifting a shot over goalie Jonathan Bernier’s stick-side and into the net.

At 9:30, Stralman corraled a loose puck in front of the net by going airborne over the fallen Bernier and tapping the puck …read more


Winnipeg Jets forward Shawn Matthias being made available for a trade

Winnipeg Jets forward Shawn Matthias has had a rough go of it lately and the team has made it known the 29-year-old is available for a trade, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Matthias has just two assists in 18 games this season but has only gotten into the lineup twice since Nov. 14.

The Mississauga, Ont., native was a second-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings back in 2006. His rights were traded to Florida before he made his NHL debut so he has split his 542-game NHL career between the Panthers, Canucks, Maple Leafs, Avalanche and Jets.

Matthias is a pending unrestricted free agent with a $2.125-million salary cap hit.

[relatedlinks] …read more


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