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Penguins, Senators Launch Hockey Rivalry
Wilkes-Barre For years, the Binghamton franchise of the American Hockey League waited for the arrival of a team in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market to start a new rivalry.
By the time the First Union Arena at Casey Plaza was built, the Broome Dusters, Binghamton Whalers and Binghamton Rangers were all in the past.
It was the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton franchise's turn to wait.
The wait ended Friday night when 7,749 fans witnessed an exhibition game between the two teams as the Penguins ruined the debut of the Binghamton Senators, 5-3.
The teams met again at the Broome County Arena Saturday night and played to a 2-2 tie.
Arpad Mihaly, who attended Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, added local flavor to the rivalry, scoring two goals and an assist for the Penguins in Friday's win.
"He was one of the stars of the game," Penguins coach Glenn Patrick said. "He played very well. We've been happy with him through all of training camp."
Mihaly is trying to make the team after spending last season with Wheeling in the East Coast Hockey League.
Austin Miller from Vestal and Kyle Kidney from Ithaca played for Binghamton.
It remains to be seen whether any of the three players makes their local team.
For starters, the rivalry may not mean much to players from Russia, Slovakia or Kamloops, British Columbia.
But, the Binghamton ownership group, which includes Tim Smith and Tom Bolles of Montrose, will appreciate a natural rival along with Syracuse. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans, who have a tough time getting tickets at home where every game sold out last season, may be able to invade the Broome County Arena.
And, excited crowds and eight regular-season meetings tend to bring the kind of familiarity that quickly builds rivalries on the ice.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Elk Lake's Carla Vandenhengel led all Lackawanna League girls' golfers in qualifying for Tuesday's District 2 championships at Wilkes-Barre Golf Club. Vandenhengel shot 86 at Scranton Municipal last Tuesday.
The tournament eliminated half of the league's female golfers before district competition.
Kaitlyn Kuroski of Montrose shot 100 and Stephanie Sterchak of Forest City shot 112 to make the cut.
Montrose football coach Tom Lucenti said the Meteors would continue to concentrate on defense last week.
That concentration apparently paid off.
Montrose's defense, with a little help from the weather, held Old Forge scoreless in a 14-0 victory.
The game was one of only two played among Lackawanna Football Conference schools Friday night because of the rainy conditions.
The Meteors (3-2) scored early and late in the first half.
Joe Cosmello returned the opening kickoff for a score and Jon Rounds found with Matt Remington with a 29-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-down play late in the half. Cosmello added the two-point run after the touchdown pass.
Old Forge fell to 3-2.
Susquehanna was scoreless with Wallenpaupack through one quarter Saturday, but 28 straight points by the Buckhorns in the second quarter led the way to a 41-6 rout. The winless Sabers managed just one first down in the first half.
Quarterback Ryan Dubas scored the team's only touchdown on a three-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Jessica Squier of Elk Lake was the top girls' finisher and her brother, Robert Squier, was second in the boys' race Saturday in the Lackawanna County Commissioners Invitational, which drew more than two dozen cross country teams to McDade Park in Scranton.
Rachel Hall of Blue Ridge was third in the girls' race.
Mountain View continued to roll through the Lackawanna League in boys' soccer.
Mike Belcher scored five goals and assisted on the other two Thursday as the Eagles (8-0) ripped Blue Ridge, 7-0.
Mountain View, which has a two-game lead on Elk Lake for the Division C lead, has outscored its opponents, 52-2.
Belcher is second on the team in scoring behind Jack Scanlon.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Montrose (3-2) is at Mid Valley (2-3) and Susquehanna (0-5) is at Lakeland (4-1) Friday night in Lackawanna Football Conference crossovers.
The news actually could get worse for the Sabers after being outscored, 186-30, in the first half of the season. Those games were against teams with a combined 4-16 record. The remaining opponents have a combined 15-10 record, starting with Lakeland which will be playing for the first time since having its 27-game, regular-season winning streak broken by Valley View.
Last week's predictions were 7-3, leaving my season record at 40-18 (69.0 percent).
This week's predictions, with winners in CAPS: LAKELAND 44, Susquehanna 0; MID VALLEY 31, Montrose 30; DELAWARE VALLEY 45, Honesdale 26; CARBONDALE 22, Bishop O'Hara 0; DUNMORE 15, Old Forge 3; SCRANTON 55, Wallenpaupack 18; LACKAWANNA TRAIL 29, Western Wayne 18; SCRANTON PREP 48, Riverside 7; WEST SCRANTON 10, North Pocono 0; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 31, Valley View 12.
Natasha Pashchuk from Mountain View is a middle hitter on the Marywood University women's volleyball team.
Marywood started the season 1-3 but won seven out of nine matches to take an 8-5 record into weekend competition.
Pashchuk also plays basketball at Marywood.
TOM J. ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
GORDON Wins Kansas Krash Fest, Kansas City, KS Jeff Gordon dominated the latter half of the Winston Cup Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway and won for the second year in a row.
But the big story also includes Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammate, rookie, Jimmie Johnson.
Johnson, driving the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet took over the points lead by fighting back from a flat tire to finish 10th after Mark Martin, who came into the Kansas race with a 30-point lead, had an engine failure in his No. 6 Viagra Ford and wound up 25th.
Tony Stewart, the eighth-place finisher is now 36 points behind Johnson in the race for the championship. Gordon moved into fourth, 109 points back, and Sterling Marlin, who crashed and wound up 33rd, is in fifth, 121 points back.
Marlin, who had not completely recovered from another hard crash three weeks ago, was tapped from the rear by Jeff Burton on lap 148 of the 267-lap race.
"It probably hit harder than at Richmond," said Marlin. "But I think it pulled some of the soreness out. I'm nowhere near as sore now as I was at the start of the race.
"This really is a big hit (for his title hopes) it really hurts. Today, I really thought with some adjustments on the car we had a good top-five car and we could have gained back a little."
Ryan Newman, another rookie, who won last week, finished second with his teammate, Rusty Wallace third. Both of these drivers edged back into the championship chase. Wallace is now 137 back and Newman is 154 behind with seven races left in the season.
Jeff Gordon had a four-second lead when a caution came out on lap 248 for debris on the track. He, Newman and Wallace stayed on the track, but Stewart, Bill Elliott, Martin and others pitted for at least two fresh tires.
Coming off pit road, Martin's engine stalled. He was able to refire it, but had to coast back around the track, and eventually back to his garage area.
On lap 261, Johnny Benson's No. 10 Pontiac made contact with Jimmy Spencer's No. 41, causing an ensuing pileup of cars. NASCAR, then red-flagged the race.
Gordon got a good restart on lap 264 and held off Newman by 0.618 seconds. It was his third win of the season and the 61st of his career.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Jeff Gordon, 2. Ryan Newman, 3. Rusty Wallace, 4. Joe Nemechek, 5. Bill Elliott, 6. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 7. Matt Kenseth, 8. Tony Stewart, 9. Jeremy Mayfield, 10. Jimmie Johnson.
JOHNSON Is New Points Leader Top-10 points leaders after 29 of 36 races: 1. Johnson-3824, 2. Martin-3813, 3. Stewart-3788, 4. J. Gordon-3715, 5. Marlin-3703, 6. R. Wallace-3687, 7. Newman-3670. 8. Kenseth-3631, 9. Elliott-3623, 10. Rudd-3542.
Should Drivers Report All Injuries, Kansas City, KS Now that all the racing fans know about the concussion that has affected Dale Earnhardt Jr.s. racing this season, he says it's time to forget about it.
"We can now go out there in a no-holds-barred kind of deal and say, 'We're going to do this. We're going for the win,'" said Earnhardt. "There's nothing to be lost, and everything to be gained."
Earnhardt was hurt in a crash at California Speedway, April 28. He hid all information about the injury until last week, when it was brought up in an interview. Afterwards, he found himself being grilled about it.
"I kind of hate that I brought it up," continued Earnhardt.
Head concussions can certainly affect the way a driver handles a car on the track, and it takes away that fine edge needed to compete in traffic.
Mike Skinner, who now drives the No. 4 Kodak Chevrolet for Morgan McClure Motorsports was involved in several wall crashes. After a particularly hard hit at Texas Motor Speedway, he said, "When you hit the wall, you have squirrels running around up there for awhile."
His father, the late Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was ordered by NASCAR to submit to a round of medical tests after he fell asleep during a red flag period at Talladega in 1998.
Something definitely has affected Earnhardt's performance on the track. His last win was at Talladega, October 21. At the time of the crash, he was fifth in the points standings. Now, he is back in 14th. He sat on the pole for Sunday's race and finished 6th.
If he had sought medical advice after the crash, would his problem possibly have cleared up earlier? If so, maybe his racing performance would have been better.
Should all injuries that might impair a driver's ability to race be reported to NASCAR?
Give us your opinions. If we use them in our column, we will send you a photo of Dale Jr.
JEFF BURTON Takes Kansas Busch Race The top ten results of the NASCAR Busch Series Mr. Goodcents 300 run Saturday at Kansas City: 1. Jeff Burton, 2. Kerry Earnhardt, 3. Joe Nemechek, 4. Greg Biffle, 5. Tony Raines, 6. Jimmy Spencer, 7. Jeff Green, 8. Bobby Hamilton Jr., 9. Lyndon Amick, 10. Jamie McMurray.
Top-10 points leaders: 1. Biffle-4018, 2. Keller-3891, 3. Wimmer-3673, 4. Sprague-3611, 5. McLaughlin-3498, 6. Riggs-3493, 7. K. Wallace-3464, 8. McMurray-3412, 9. Hamilton Jr.-3394, 10. LaJoie-3366.
The only major NASCAR show in town this weekend is the Winston Cup at Talladega. The Busch and Craftsman Trucks have the weekend off.
Saturday, October 5, ARCA Re/Max Food World 300 at Talladega, 112 laps/300 miles, 8 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
Sunday, October 6, Winston Cup EA Sports 500, 188 laps/500 miles, 12 noon, TV: NBC.
Racing Trivia Question: Both Jeff and Ward Burton are Winston Cup drivers. Which of these brothers is the oldest?
Answer To Last Week's Question: Dave Blaney drove winged outlaw sprints before moving to Winston Cup.
Gerald Hodges/the Racing Reporter is a syndicated NASCAR columnist. If you have a racing question that you would like answered send it to The Racing Reporter, P.O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL, 36616, or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Freddie Query Is My Hero
Freddie Query of Mooresville, North Carolina is my hero. He's a cat that has lots of money, a pretty wife, wonderful family, and fast race cars. But really what stands out about him is he's living his dream and loving it.
When he first started racing, he was just an average racer, but he loved going fast. Pretty soon, he began racing anything, anyplace, anytime. There's a story about him that says he once raced for half a Popsicle.
By most big league NASCAR standards, Freddie doesn't cut the mustard because he has never won a Winston Cup race. He's never even tried to start one.
This past weekend Freddie and his No. 31 team drove from Mooresville to Mobile, Alabama by way of Pensacola, Florida. He won the late model feature at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, and then finished second in a 150-lap Kia Series race at Mobile International Speedway.
He didn't win a lot of money, around $4,000, I'd guess.
But like I said, Freddie is living his dream. When you're loving what you do, money don't mean everything.
I first met Freddie in 1994 at Nashville Speedway during one of the Bob Harmon promoted All-American 400s. At the time, Freddie told me he was having a problem. It seems like his regular job was getting in the way of his hobby, which was racing.
"I started racing in the mid-70s, kind of a hobby racing on dirt around the house in Kannapolis (NC)," he said. "We raced at Concord Speedway, Metroliner Speedway in Charlotte and a couple tracks in South Carolina.
"I got to winning a bunch of races, but I was teaching school and coaching football at the same time. It got to where I was missing too many races because of my coaching job."
After 14 years he quit coaching, but still kept teaching school until he could kick his racing habit into high gear.
Pretty soon, he said good-bye to the North Carolina School System and headed for the racetracks. It wasn't long before he began winning lots of races and championships.
"I don't regret quitting the school system at all," he said. "Racing has been good at times, and when it's not, I help other people and work as a racing consultant, and whatever it takes to make a living."
In addition to consulting, he was the manager for Hank Parker, Jr.s Busch Series team in 2000.
Currently, he works for Marty Lindley who runs the Hooter's North ProCup Series. In addition to driving for other teams, he has his own cars that he races on a regular basis throughout the southeast.
When asked what advice he would give to a young driver trying to move up, he replied; "The problem with racing these days is it's more marketing than it is racing. You've got to have the skills, but you've also got to have the right opportunities and breaks.
"But more than that, you've got to have the right people behind you, and you've got to figure out a way to have enough money to do it. So I would advise a kid to get all the education he can, learn as much as he can about working with people, and find some money."
Freddie is an example of someone who set his mind to do something and did it.
He's a doer.
In addition to doing what he loves, he has taken care of his wife, Elaine, and from the looks of them, he has done a pretty fair job of raising two daughters and one son.
Freddie Query is one of the people you meet who has saved the best of his life for last. Listening to him talk about his ideas, racing and outlook towards life is one of the most pleasant memories I have of anyone.
I still get goose bumps thinking about a man quitting his secure job to chase racing. But who knows what would have happened if he had quit teaching earlier?
Freddie is middle aged now and his health is still good. He still has a pretty wife, fine children, wonderful grandchildren, and a fast race car.
Now do you see why he is my hero?
Following are Susquehanna Junior Sabers football results from Sunday, September 29.
C - Team: Final score Sabers 6, Montrose 19
Stats: Rushing # 8 Caleb Scepaniak 1 car. 0 yds., #11 Cole Mallery 3 car. 6 yds., #12 8 car. 39 yds., #71 Austin Cowperthwait 2 car. 2 yds. #85 James Norton 8 car. 35 yds. Tackles #12 Kevin Cavanaugh 4, #21 Randy Stone 4, #55 Steven Lee 2, #85 James Norton 2, #88 Brandon Saddlemire 2, #11 Cole Mallery, Taylor Cundy, #71 Austin Cowperthwait, #75 Jarret Coleman each had one. Assist #85 James Norton 3, #21 Randy Stone 2, #55 Steven Lee 2, #11 Cole Mallery 1, #74 Justin Johnson 1. Fumble recovery by #55 Steven Lee.
Dallas, PA Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers (WCOs) in Susquehanna County have a brand new deer decoy in their arsenal in the fight against road hunters and deer poachers.
Ed Grasavage, Second Vice President of Susquehanna Quality Deer Management Association, and Dave Wilcox of the Wilson F. Moore Chapter of the Pennsylvania State Chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation presented a deer decoy to WCOs, Thursday evening at the State Game Lands 135 headquarters building, Hallstead.
Accepting the deer decoy from local sportsmen organizations (l-r) are: Susquehanna County Wildlife Conservation Officers Charles Arcovitch, James McCarthy, and Donald Burchell; National Wild Turkey Federation Representative Dave Wilcox; and Quality Deer Management Association 2nd Vice President Ed Grasavage.
"We know what a difficult job our WCOs have in their efforts to catch and prosecute those who break the game law," stated Grasavage. "As law-abiding hunters, we wanted to do our part to help out in some way. We heard how successful these decoys were in nabbing poachers and road hunters, so we decided to gather our resources together and purchase one for our local officers."
The head and tail of the $1,100, life-size deer decoy can be made to move by remote control. The body is made of Styrofoam and covered by a real deer hide, which makes the animal life-like. At a distance, its very difficult to tell that its a decoy.
Rick Larnerd, the Game Commissions Northeast Region Law Enforcement Supervisor, said that the agency has been using decoys for several years and believes that their use has dramatically cut down on the number of road hunting incidents across the state.
"Once the word gets out that were using the decoy in an area, the numbers of road hunting complaints drop dramatically," stated Larnerd. "And thats the effect were looking for."
Preventing or deterring a crime from happening is much easier than catching someone in the act.
"The Northeast Region is extremely thankful to the members of the Susquehanna Quality Deer Management Association and the Wilson F. Moore Chapter of the Pennsylvania State Chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation for providing our Officers with this invaluable law enforcement tool," stated Larnerd. "Its great to see the dedication of sportsmen and women rally behind our officers and provide this kind of support for our hunting and trapping heritage."
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