Johnson seeks improvement ahead of St. Cloud series

first_imgAfter last year’s Wisconsin women’s hockey team finished the season with an impressive 33-5-2 record and earned the 2012 WCHA regular season title, this year’s squad has some big skates to fill as they began this season with an 8-4-2 start.Dealing with a handful of injuries and several lineup changes, head coach Mark Johnson has a positive outlook on the rest of the season. Johnson explained you cannot control injuries and never know when they are going to come.He also said the teams that reach the final games of the season have usually been healthy throughout the season.“As we approach this season, obviously a couple things are thrown at you, and you try to work around them,” Johnson said at his weekly press conference Monday. “So you get ready for games, you put lineups together, you put in different positions and you try to move forward.”The Badgers are coming off a competitive weekend split with Ohio State, a series that began with a 4-2 win Friday night. Wisconsin netted its first goal on a penalty shot and strong special teams play allowed them to escape with the win.On Saturday afternoon, the second game was a different story as they fell to the Buckeyes on the road, 3-1.“We weren’t able to capitalize on our opportunities,” Johnson said. “We had quite a few of them, and it seems when we have a setback it usually is we’re not able to get the puck in on a regular basis.”Heading into this week’s practices ahead of St. Cloud State, the team is still making adjustments and looking for areas to improve.Johnson said he is proud of the way the team has competed and his team has been practicing hard, factors he said will give his players a chance to win any game they compete in the rest of the year.“The games that we haven’t been successful in are the games we haven’t been able to score goals in,” he said. “We went three games without scoring a goal [earlier this month].”The competition in the WCHA has continued to improve this season, as Johnson said even four or five years ago some of the conference’s squads were not as deep as they are now and present new problems for every opponent.As their opponents have improved, the UW women’s hockey head coach said his team has done its best to follow suit.“Certainly when you graduate people that have the magnitude of some of the players that we have, those are tough kids to replace,” Johnson said. “As I mentioned the efforts are there, we have good character kids, we’re younger then we’ve been in the past. With that you have some growing pains, but you give me three more goals we probably have three more wins.”Johnson was also asked if LaBahn Arena – the new home arena for the Wisconsin women’s hockey team – feels like home yet for the coach and his players.“Everybody is getting more comfortable. It’s Thanksgiving, and we are certainly thankful for what we have over there. I’m sure [UW men’s hockey coach] Mike [Eaves] can say the same thing. As we continue to practice, as we continue to go there on a daily basis and play more games, it really becomes a place that you are very fortunate to have.”With few injuries and an impressive start to a new season, Johnson said his young team, loaded with eight freshmen, will continue to look at how it can continue to develop chemistry and improve as a unit.Two of the most important ways for the Badgers to do so are taking greater advantage of their power plays and creating more opportunities on the offensive side of the ice to score.“If we are able to do that, whether it’s against St. Cloud State or the following weekend against Minnesota and then North Dakota, that’s when we are going to be successful,” Johnson said. “So look forward to the competition both Friday and Saturday afternoon against St. Cloud.”last_img read more

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Cerro Gordo County public health director urges caution as certain COVID-19 restrictions are lifted

first_imgMASON CITY — The director of the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health says people still need to be cautious with certain restrictions being lifted by Governor Reynolds starting on Friday. Brian Hanft says by opening up certain portions of the community, it increases the chances of being exposed to COVID-19.   “When we come out from social distancing, you’re going to increase your risk. If you go to the gym, if you go to restaurants, if you go to farmers markets and retail stores, you will increase your risk for exposure. Everyone controls your own level of exposure and your own level of risk. Everyone needs to recognize that we control our own behaviors and where we go. If you don’t want to expose yourself and increase your risks, then please continue to observe social distancing and stay home.” Governor Reynolds’ new order allows churches to have worship services, but Hanft stresses caution.  “Consider how the six-foot separation rule will be managed. How will the place of worship be arranged to meet these guidelines? Limit communal offerings. Again passing around a communal plate for offerings is maybe not the best thing to be doing. Consider other methods of communion. Do not provide an offering of peace to congregational members. Don’t hold social gatherings after the service. Stress to those who are in the higher risk categories, people who are over 60 years old, people who have underlying health conditions, pregnant women, please do not attend worship services because again you will increase your risk by going to those locations.”Hanft says with the state starting to slowly and responsibly reopen, it’s important to still practice basic public health infection control measures.  “CG Public Health recommends all residents, especially those over 60 years of age or are immunocompromised to stay home as much as possible. Those guidelines still apply. Leave only for essential errands like groceries or getting medication. When you run these errands, please only just send one person into the store. Avoid groups as much as possible. Stay home even when mildly ill, the kind of illness that normally maybe wouldn’t prevent you from going out for everyday activities, but maybe it’s a good time to stay home.” For more information, you can check out the website cghealth.com. Hanft says if someone sees what they believe is a violation of the restrictions still in place, they can call 2-1-1. Hanft made his comments during the weekly Cerro Gordo County COVID-19 press conference which you can view belowlast_img read more

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Juve ‘plot double swoop on Chelsea’

first_imgJuventus have again been linked with Chelsea duo Salomon Kalou and Raul Meireles.The Daily Mirror report that Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici watched them in action against Barcelona and was also at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea’s Champions League quarter-final win over Benfica.Meanwhile, Fulham boss Martin Jol is reportedly keen on Ipswich midfielder Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, while Leeds United have again been linked with a move for Paddy Kenny.Jol apparently wants JET.The Mirror suggest that Ipswich are hoping to cash-in on Emmanuel-Thomas and that Kenny is one of half-a-dozen players former QPR manager Neil Warnock is looking to take to Elland Road.Goalkeeper Kenny, who played under Warnock at Rangers, Sheffield United and Bury, has yet to be approached about an extension to his R’s contract, which expires next year.And The Daily Mail say QPR will hold a team meeting early next week before deciding whether to shake Chelsea skipper John Terry’s hand when the two sides play each other at Stamford Bridge.Terry faces criminal charges over allegations he racially abused defender Anton Ferdinand during a match at Loftus Road in October.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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With Goalkeeping Heroics, Olympiakos Holds Barcelona 0-0

first_imgPIRAEUS, Greece (AP) — Olympiakos held Barcelona to a surprise 0-0 draw in the Champions League on Tuesday, denying the visitors early qualification to the round of 16 from Group D.Lionel Messi was stopped five times by goalkeeper Silvio Proto. The Catalans, dropping their first points in four matches, had two-thirds of the possession and pressed hard for a winning goal to deafening opposition from fans at Karaiskakis Stadium.The Greek champions, playing after three straight defeats in the Champions League, defended with real determination. But the hosts did little with their counterattacks as they settled for a point against a Barcelona side under their former coach Ernesto Valverde.“Our aim was to win tonight and we had plenty of chances. It didn’t happen,” Valverde said. “Olympiakos was excellent defensively and their fans were tireless. I’m happy with my players. What counts is creating chances, if we do that the goals will come.”He thanked Greek fans for their warm reception, but added: “I got used to having the (Olympiakos) fans helping my players. Tonight they were opposing them.”Barcelona leads Group D with 10 points, three more than second-place Juventus, which drew 1-1 at Sporting Lisbon. Sporting has four points.Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen clears the ball before Olympiakos’ Marko Marin can head the ball during the Champions League group D soccer match between Olympiakos and Barcelona at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium at Piraeus port, near Athens, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)Olympiakos captain Alberto Botia, who joined Barcelona as a teenager, was a standout as a sweeper for the hosts, who improved after the break.Proto stopped three shots from Messi in the first half, and kept up his heroics in the second, saving a shot from Luis Suarez in 72nd minute. A lob from Suarez eight minutes later bounced off the crossbar.The Belgian ‘keeper punched away a free kick from Messi two minutes before the end of regular time and again dived to block a powerful effort by the Argentine in injury time.“It was hard work, but a good result, what we have to do now is keep fighting hard,” Olympiakos midfielder Panagiotis Tachtsidis said.Minutes before the final whistle, a young Greek fan ran onto the pitch and hugged Suarez and Messi, pulling out his cellphone to snap a selfie with Messi before being led off by stewards.Olympiakos’ Panagiotis Tachtsidis pays his respects to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, left, during the Champions League group D soccer match between Olympiakos and Barcelona at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium at Piraeus port, near Athens, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)Valverde maintained the pressure throughout, bringing on striker Gerard Deulofeu late in the game.The coach remains a favorite of Olympiakos fans, who chanted his name and held up a giant banner written in Spanish that said “Ernesto Thanks For Everything.”The Spaniard, who won three league titles and two Greek Cups for the Piraeus team, was given an award — a golden wreath — by the Greek club’s chairman before the start of the game.Olympiakos coach Takis Lemonis thanked fans who filled the stadium and cheered as the team bus made its way to the game.“I appreciate that very much, especially after some difficult games in the league … Of course tonight’s result is good against a team like Barcelona,” Lemonis said. “But there was a hope that we could have got something more.”—DEREK GATOPOULOS, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Jahlil Okafor Is “Obsessed” With Netflix, Believes In Mermaids, Loves Documentaries About Bigfoot

first_imgJahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones at McDonald's All-American Game.Twitter/@BigJah15 Twitter/@BigJah15Twitter/@BigJah15Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor is a 6-foot-10 center with one of the most refined offensive post-games in college basketball, and is almost guaranteed to be the top overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. That we all know. The Wall Street Journal dug a bit deeper into the Blue Devils star, and found out that he’s much more than a talented basketball player… he is also a very unique personality. Specifically, he loves cryptozoology and is adamant about the existence of mermaids.Okafor is obsessed with Netflix. He keeps a teenager’s diet of action movies and soapy television series, but his secret soft spot is for documentaries about odd phenomena—the weirder, the better. Okafor is well-versed in the legend of Bigfoot, for example. He also likes mermaids.“That’s always been my interest,” Okafor said. “Things of the unknown.”…What he likes to do instead—when he’s not playing basketball, of course—is watch television by himself. He has a taste for the mythical. Okafor has tipped multiple people off to a Discovery Channel special that promised new evidence that mermaids are real.“I tried to tell them,” he said. “They wouldn’t listen.”He was doing this in high school, too. Okafor once raved to his coach about a Bigfoot documentary he had just devoured. “He tried to get me to watch that,” said Tyrone Slaughter. “I was like: I’m not watching that.”His college teammates now know who to ask if they ever need a movie recommendation. Okafor even found a kindred spirit in his roommate Tyus Jones, who joined him for a documentary about monster snakes, though he struggled to remember the exact names of Okafor’s favorite films. “A lot of them are just about nature,” Jones said.Jones added: “He’d be a good person to talk to during Shark Week. That’s the kind of stuff he’s really into. And I’m a pretty big fan of Shark Week, too.”Luckily for Duke fans, the Blue Devils’ title hopes are a bit more believable than many of the things that Okafor binge-watches.[WSJ via SB Nation]last_img read more

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Rules needed for candidates withdrawal Elections Nova Scotia report

first_imgHALIFAX – An Elections Nova Scotia report is recommending the government move to clear up voter confusion around the withdrawal of candidates after nominations close.During last spring’s provincial election campaign that happened in the case of three candidates — one from each party.“The Elections Act currently doesn’t offer solutions to these circumstances, leaving local electors uninformed of the status of the affected candidate,” chief electoral officer Richard Temporale said in a news release.The report outlines what occurred when the Liberal party withdrew its support for candidate Matthew MacKnight in the Pictou East riding, who formally withdrew from the race on May 9.Although MacKnight’s name was removed from the printed on demand and election day ballots and replaced by that of new candidate John Fraser, there was no adjustment to the write-in ballot which only includes the names of the registered parties and a space to write in the name of an independent candidate.The report says on election day — May 30 — the 16 write-in ballots cast for the Liberals were included in the overall vote totals for Fraser.In the case of NDP candidate Bill McEwen, who withdrew May 15 in Dartmouth East, his name remained on the ballot and all of the seven write-in ballots and the 957 ballots cast for him on election day were credited to the party, which had said it didn’t want to benefit from any provincial funding arising from the votes.“There are no provisions in the Act for Elections Nova Scotia to withhold funding based on votes received and therefore the provincial funding tied to the votes for Mr. McEwen remain earmarked for the NDP party,” the report states.In the third case, the report notes that candidate Jad Crnogorac was dumped by the Progressive Conservatives in Dartmouth South and subsequently ran as an Independent.Despite that, all 12 write in votes and all votes cast for Crnogorac were counted as votes for a Tory candidate and the subsequent funding was earmarked for the party.“In the Dartmouth East case, most of the 957 votes for Mr. McEwan were cast in the 15 days remaining in the election after he withdrew,” the report says.“If his name and party affiliation was removed from the ballot, some of these voters may have chosen another candidate. Likewise, in the case of Dartmouth South, if the PC Party affiliation for Ms. Crnogorac had been removed some of the voters may have voted for another candidate.”Temporale recommends that a legislated process be put in place to address the situation.He recommends steps including a process to allow a party to withdraw support through to the end of the Saturday immediately before election day.And if a party does that, Temporale says it should allow the removal of the per vote subsidy. He says Elections Nova Scotia should also update ballots to reflect that a party has withdrawn its endorsement.The report also recommends the introduction of e-voting for out-of-province military members and flexibility to allow people to opt out of reporting their sex when registering to vote.The report says the province has made changes in how gender identity is recorded in government documents such as driver’s licences, and as a result the idea that sex be recorded for voter’s lists should be changed from mandatory to optional.last_img read more

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Qatars evolution a work in progress as 2022 World Cup nears

first_imgDOHA, Qatar — Nasser Al-Khater glances out his window across Doha Bay. The view is far different than it was eight years ago, when al-Khater served as part of the team that helped Qatar pull off a staggering upset to land the 2022 FIFA World Cup.In the distance the bare bones of Ras Abu Aboud Stadium are being laid, perhaps the most audacious and innovative of the eight venues that will play host to the biggest tournament on the planet.Four years out, everything appears to be running on schedule, from stadium construction — including at Ras Abu Aboud, which will incorporate 1,000 shipping containers while offering a sweeping view of Doha’s downtown skyline — to finding the right grass that can both meet FIFA’s exacting standards while also providing a long-term benefit to the Arabian Peninsula.Yet logistics are only a portion of Qatar’s story.The small country of 2.7 million — only 300,000 of them actual Qatari citizens — has spent the better part of a decade grappling with the white-hot spotlight landing the World Cup provides.The construction boom that accompanied the winning bid has been built on the backs of migrant labourers from India, Pakistan, Nepal and other Asian nations, much like it has in other oil-rich sheikhdoms in the region. As oil prices crashed below $30 a barrel in 2016, construction firms in Qatar and elsewhere in the region suffered. Some stopped paying staffers on time, if at all. Others seized workers’ passports or otherwise abused Qatar’s “kafala” system that ties expatriate workers to a single employer.In recent months, Qatar ended a requirement for some workers to seek their employers’ permission before leaving the country. It also required contractors who bring in workers from other nations to reimburse employees for any recruitment fee they paid to an outside agency to facilitate their placement.Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other activists say more needs to be done. There have been two reported deaths at Qatar’s World Cup projects.While al-Khater, deputy-secretary general of the World Cup organizing committee, understands “this is an area we’re going to have to do a lot of work,” he points to the headway made since 2010 as proof the World Cup has already made a lasting impact.“I think we should be very proud of ourselves,” al-Khater told The Associated Press from his office in the 33rd floor of the shimmering glass-ensconced Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy building in Doha’s West Bay. “And I think people should take a look at everything that’s happened here in the past eight years when it comes to worker’s welfare. Look at the progress and I think it’s a case study. I believe right now in the Middle East we are basically ahead of everyone else when it comes to this.”The questions about worker’s rights are one of many Qataris have grown accustomed to addressing. They stress they are taking great pains to answer them one by one. Do that and Qataris believe the conversation will turn away from “should Qatar be hosting the World Cup?” to “can Qatar pull it off?”On that front, the answers are far less nebulous. Qatar is intent on putting on a show, but doing it creatively and financially responsibly.In an era of bloat where budgets for big ticket events like the World Cup and the Olympics are calculated and then blown up, Qatar is determined to prove it can dazzle without saddling itself with hulking stadiums left unoccupied once the party ends. The majority of the venues used in the World Cup will have their capacity diminished from 40,000 to 20,000 after tournament, with the sections taken out then put up for sale. What’s left will serve as the home pitches for the local professional teams.Ras Abu Aboud won’t exist at all. After a champion is crowned, it will be meticulously taken apart and dismantled to make way for a mixed-use area that will feature housing and shops.Other innovations could lead to more far-reaching changes.Yasser Al-Mulla oversees a turf farm a few miles west of the city centre, where he’s tested 36 different kinds of grass, exposing them to various amounts of shade, sunlight and other forms of treatment to see what works. The turf isn’t designed simply for the games but for the open recreational areas that will surround the venues after the World Cup is gone. The strain of grass it believes it will use for the World Cup could possibly signal an opportunity for other arid countries to introduce their own public green spaces.Qatar is taking these steps despite being under an economic boycott by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates since June 2017 over a political dispute. That has seen its air routes affected and other regional airlines cut their flights. What should be a flight under an hour from Dubai now lasts far longer and requires a layover.Regardless Qatar continues to forge ahead, intent on making sure that its promise to “Deliver Amazing” is not broken. What once felt like a far-off goal is becoming more tangible — and Qataris believe — more attainable by the day.“I actually think it’s going to be something that really proves that … the World Cup can go beyond football and beyond sports and beyond what it means for the athlete,” al-Khater said. “But it goes toward real social and economic change and human change and I think that’s the beauty of the World Cup.”___Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates contributed to this report.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsWill Graves, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Encana CEO says Canadian oilfield would produce more if regulated in the

first_imgSuttles made the comments during a panel discussion at a PwC-sponsored energy forum in downtown Calgary that examined what Canada’s energy sector can do to compete more effectively.PwC national energy leader Reynold Tetzlaff says it’s vital that the country get pipelines built to take products to market, starting with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that could be approved by the federal government next month.He says Canadian politicians also need to co-operate to establish a credible national energy policy.Suttles said the “complexity and uncertainty in the regulatory process is orders of magnitude higher” in Canada, where Encana produces about one-third of its oil and gas, compared with the U.S.“The Montney now is the biggest area of growth in Canada, it’s where we’re focusing our attention, and if it sat in the United States it would probably be producing two, three, four times what it is producing today,” he said. CALGARY, A.B. – The CEO of Encana Corp. says Western Canada’s Montney oil and gas region would be two to four times more productive if it was in the United States with its more efficient regulatory systems.Doug Suttles says the enormous hydrocarbon-bearing formation that underlies the Alberta-B.C. border can compete with premier Texas shale oilfields but it’s being held back by a “cumbersome” regulatory system, along with the inability of smaller Canadian producers to access development capital.He says Encana has built some of the most energy-efficient facilities in the region with its partner to process the gas it produces, but it’s “ridiculous” that the years it takes to get permits is longer than the time required to actually build the plants.last_img read more

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Special category status to pervade Arunachal and other NE states Rahul

first_imgItanagar: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said Tuesday his party will restore the special category status to Arunachal Pradesh and other states in the northeast if elected to power. There are some states in the country which require special status because of their “unique problems and difficulties” such as connectivity, terrain, infrastructure, Gandhi said at an election rally here. During the Congress rule at the Centre, he said, Arunachal Pradesh and other NE states used to enjoy special category status. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Arunachal Pradesh has a special place in the heart of the Congress party and “we would like to have a ‘dil ka rishta’ with the people of the state”, he said. Gandhi said the Congress will not allow the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to be passed in Rajya Sabha because the bill is “detrimental” to the people of the northeast. “We will not allow the suppression of the people of northeast,” Gandhi said. The Congress party will never attack the language, culture, customs and tradition of Arunachal Pradesh and other NE states, he said. Election to the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly and two Lok Sabha seats will be held on April 11.last_img read more

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