April 19, 2015

Tarasenko shows up and scores a hat trick as the Blues even up their series with the Wild

St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko of Russia sneaks past Minnesota Wild Mikko Kolvu of Finland in the first period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 16, 2015. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko and Mikko Kolvu of Minnesota Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

The Blues leading scorer Vladimir Tarasenko, who did not register a shot on goal in the series opener, scored three times including an empty-netter to give the Blues a 4-1 win and tie up their Stanley Cup Playoff Series at a game apiece with the Minnesota Wild.

Tarasenko scored the Blues first two goals in the first period.  He gave the Blues a 1-0 lead on a tip-in off a shot from Kevin Shattenkirk.  His second came on a power play goal late in the first with an assist again from Shattenkirk.  The defenseman now has four assists in the first two games.

After a scoreless second period, Minnesota scored a goal early in the third, and after holding off a fierce charge by the Wild, Patrik Berglund scored with just under two minutes to go in the game to ice the victory.  Tarasenko added the fourth goal moments later.

Game three of the series will be in St. Paul on Monday night at 7 p.m. CT.

Royals bullpen suffers big blow as Holland lands on the DL. Team recalls Yohan Pino

Greg Holland

Greg Holland

The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have placed closer Greg Holland on the 15-day disabled list with a right pectoral strain.  In a corresponding move, the Royals recalled right-handed pitcher Yohan Pino from Triple-A Omaha.

Pino, 31, tossed 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing one hit with no walks and six strikeouts last Sunday in a 4-0 win at New Orleans, his only outing with the Storm Chasers.  He signed a Major League contract with the Royals on December 15, 2014, after pitching last season in the Minnesota Twins’ organization.

Mizzou sprucing up their spring game for fans as team holds annual Black and Gold game on Saturday

The Mizzou Black and Gold Game will start at 4 p.m.  Admission is free is free with a spring game ticket (downloaded for free HERE) AND one non-perishable food item benefitting the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. Mizzou students also get in free with a valid MU student ID.

The Mizzou Black and Gold Game will start at 4 p.m. Admission is free is free with a spring game ticket (downloaded for free HERE) AND one non-perishable food item benefitting the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. Mizzou students also get in free with a valid MU student ID.

Getting Mizzou football fans to come out in high numbers for the Black and Gold game has always been a struggle for the University of Missouri Athletic Department.  The attendance will never rank up there such as those of former rival Nebraska or current SEC powerhouse Alabama, but Mizzou is putting their best foot forward this weekend.

Personally, I understand it can be difficult for fans to watch a college football practice when the first game is still over four months away…especially here in Missouri, where there is so much more to do, than say in Alabama or South Carolina.  For example, sports fanatics have a choice to check out either baseball team as both the Royals are home hosting the A’s and the Cardinals are taking on the Reds.  Plus, game two of the St. Louis Blues playoff series starts tomorrow afternoon.  In addition, the temperatures are going to be in the mid 70’s.  Here in Missouri, we’ve been waiting for weather like this for at least five months.

However, Mizzou athletics is doing everything they can to draw more excitement by providing more than just a glorified practice for the fans.  They’ve moved the start time back to 4 p.m. to allow fans to make a day of it by tailgating.  The parking lots will be open to all and available beginning Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

Fan Fest will take place from 1-3:45 p.m. between Memorial Stadium and the Hearnes Center and Dr. Zhivegas will play a free concert near the southwest corner of Hearnes. Multiple carnival-style rides will be on hand as well as various inflatable games. In addition, photo stations will be available for fans to take photos with the Mizzou Helmet Car, Truman’s Taxi/Fire Truck, and Mizzou Football trophies including the SEC Eastern Division and Citrus Bowl championship trophies.

Don’t let the weather scare you.  Most of the afternoon,  the chance the rain will be under 30% and the temps will be mild.

If you can’t make the game, I’ll be there.  Follow me on Twitter, plus check out our post scrimmage interviews right here at Missourinet.com

Cardinals to honor Red Schoendienst for 70 years of baseball service prior to tonight’s game

Red Schoendienst (middle) will be honored by the Cardinals for 70 years of baseball service (Bill Greenblatt/UPI files)

Red Schoendienst (middle) will be honored by the Cardinals for 70 years of baseball service (Bill Greenblatt/UPI files)

It was seventy years ago today that Albert “Red” Schoendienst began his remarkable career in Major League Baseball.  The St. Louis Cardinals are marking the milestone by honoring Red with a special pre-game ceremony prior to tonight’s game against the Reds.  In addition, the team is launching a season-long campaign encouraging fans to demonstrate their affection for Red by sharing a video message via social media using the hashtag #LoveRed2.

“We want to mark this amazing milestone by letting Red know how much he means to the entire Cardinals family,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals.  “We encourage fans to join us in showing their affinity, affection and appreciation for number two as he celebrates seventy years and counting in Major League Baseball.”

The team is asking fans to join Cardinals players, broadcasters, and team officials in taping video messages where they say their name while announcing that they love Red too.  Fans are asked to share those videos on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Vine using the hashtag #LoveRed2.  Fans can learn more at cardinals.com/lovered2.

Red, who will be joined by his family, will be honored with a special ceremony at 7PM prior to tonight’s game.  Red and fans will enjoy congratulatory video messages from players throughout the game and the team will wear a commemorative number 2 “70 Years in Uniform and Counting” patch on their sleeve.

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Blues find some offense, but it comes too late as the Minnesota Wild grab game one in opening playoff series

Minnesota Wild Jason Zucker wraps around the goal putting the puck in against the St. Louis Blues during the first period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 16, 2015. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Minnesota Wild Jason Zucker wraps around the goal putting the puck in against the St. Louis Blues during the first period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 16, 2015. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

The St. Louis Blues needed over two periods to begin to figure out how to generate some offense against a very stingy Minnesota Wild defense, but it wasn’t enough as the Blues lost 4-2 in Thursday night’s series opener at Scottrade Center.  The Blues got goals from Jaden Schwartz and Alex Steen in the third.

The Blues were held to just 11 shots through the first two periods, including only four in the second, which included a power play opportunity.  Minnesota did a good job of collapsing all five skates in between the circles taking away shooting lanes.  The Blues also lost many battles along the boards for pucks in the corner and down deep.

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk made 19 saves in his Stanley Cup Playoff debut, and Minnesota got goals from Jason Zucker, Matt Dumba, Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville. Zucker scored on a wrap around after Blues goalie Jake Allen made the initial save, to put Minnesota up 1-0 early in the first.  Dumba added a power play goal from the point to put the Wild up by two.

St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko of Russia sneaks past Minnesota Wild Mikko Kolvu of Finland in the first period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 16, 2015. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko of Russia sneaks past Minnesota Wild Mikko Kolvu of Finland in the first period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 16, 2015. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Just over seven minutes into the third, the Blues started traffic in front of Dubnyk, as Kevin Shattenkirk’s low hard shot was deflected by Schwartz cutting the lead to 2-1.  The Blues registered ten shots on goal in the third, but were down 3-1, when the Wild scored an empty-netter.

Off the ensuing face-off, David Backes was sent off for a penalty and with 58 seconds to play, Alex Steen scored a shorthanded goal to make it 3-2, but Minnesota added a second empty-netter with just over 20 seconds to play to ice the game.

“Killer instinct comes in a number of fashions. One of the fashions is you really have to simplify your game in the playoffs,” said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. “I thought when we didn’t get the shots through at the start, we started to play a very complicated game that made us at times look slow. We were in to make the next play instead of play it off the goalie.”

Allen got the start over Brian Elliott and made 27 saves.  Hitchcock said Allen will start game two on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.