Friday, 29 August 2014, 3:12 am

GMs drop gloves over shootouts

Gary Bettman. SUBMITTED PHOTOBy CHRIS PERRELLI
Columnist
With the latest National Hockey League
general managers’ meetings coming to a close, the issue of too many games going to shootouts has come to the forefront.
As of March 11, 14 per cent of games have ended in a shootout (195 of 963) according to NHL.com. While the shootout was implemented to ensure games ended with a winner and to appease the fans, managers, coaches and players are tired of seeing important games be decided by a “skills competition.” Although the shootout is “gimmicky,” fans love it and it’s here to stay. So the next option is to find a way to reduce the importance of a shootout.
A three-point system would be the easiest and most efficient change that the league could make.
This issue gained some traction in the initial GM meetings in Toronto that took place in November when it was brought to debate by...

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College celebrates Knights season

Major award winners from left to right (front) are: Athletes of the Year Alexandria Botelho and Daniel Groenveld; (back) Tess Brown, top scholastic player and  female tournament player of the year, Matthew Scott, top scholastic player, Bailey Cochrane and Alyssa McCabe, rookie of the year, Zachary Bankuti, male tournament player of the year, William Janetos and Miranda Ross, outstanding leadership award, at the annual Athletc Awards banquet.  PHOTO BY CHRIS PERRELLIBy CHRIS PERRELLI
Staff Writer
Niagara College’s Department of Athletics and Recreation closed the book on the 2013-2014 season by honouring athletes with the annual Niagara College Athletics Award Banquet at the Riverstone Event Centre in Welland. Taking top honours were two volleyball players Daniel Groenveld and Alexandria Botelho, who were named athletes of the year.
“We are very proud of our student athletes’ accomplishments in the classroom and in their respective sports. They have proven to be fantastic ambassadors for the college and have demonstrated a commitment to excellence that is the core of the Knights Family culture,” said Niagara College Director of Athletics and Recreation Matthew Davies. “We look forward to watching each and every one of them continue to grow as leaders and professionals in their respective fields.”
The event, held on April 4, honoured the players, coaches and many volunteers who are an integral part of the Niagara Knights’...

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Men's volleyball team leave with unfinished business

By DAVID CHERNISH
Staff Writer
A 14-4 record and a fifth overall finish to end the
season are great accomplishments for Niagara College’s men’s volleyball team.
After the team’s great year and sizzling start put them No. 2 in Ontario,
expectations were high.
“We had a couple injuries to key starters that put the team in a bit of a funk in the beginning of the second half, but overall it was a successful season,” head coach Nathan Groenveld said.
Going into the off-season, conditioning for the young team will be a focus.
“We will be working with a strength and conditioning specialist in the off-season to get our programming closer to what we want it to be. It’s a process,” Groenveld said. “There isn’t a lot to do in the off-season as a team for the volleyball program, so getting in the gym and lift is what we want players to do.”
First-year players come...

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Hockey parents doubt ‘Respect’ program

By CHRIS PERRELLI
Staff Writer
Parents are pessimistic about Hockey Canada and its Respect in Sport program.
Hockey Canada has made it mandatory for parents of any child playing competitive hockey to complete a seminar based on respect in the game, but many parents fear that it’s a long shot.
Parents across Canada will now be forced to complete the online seminar before their children can be registered for a team. According to the Hockey Canada website, one parent from each household must complete the one-hour program before Aug. 31, 2014. The program, produced by Respect Group Inc. , is provided to parents as an “education tool that will further [their] commitment to fostering a safe and fun hockey environment for all participants.”
Although parents appreciate Hockey Canada’s efforts to improve the environment for their children at the rink, they are skeptical of the results the program might produce.
Jen Erskine is the team manager...

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Is this Toronto FC’s year?

By DAVID CHERNISH
Columnist
It’s never too early to make bold predictions if you are a fan of a
Toronto sports team, correct?
Toronto FC is off to a hot start in its first four games, and supporters hope it continues. Jermain Defoe has been a machine since his arrival and as good as advertised, scoring three of the team’s five goals.
“On a personal level, I’d like to score as many goals as possible for the club and go to the World Cup,” Defoe said to FIFA.com. “If I can get that experience of playing in a second World Cup, I can come back to Toronto on a high and help the team.”
It would be no surprise to see Defoe score 20 plus goals this year as long as he doesn’t get selected for the World Cup.
Supporters want to see Defoe play for England in the World Cup this
summer but...

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Women's basketball coach looks to improve from first season

By DAVID CHERNISH
Staff Writer
The Niagara Knights women’s basketball team finished the season with an 11-7 record, good enough to give the team a playoff berth. Ultimately, the team fell to St. Lawrence College in the first round of the playoffs with a final score of 73-63. “Putting everything into perspective, we certainly didn’t under achieve,” head coach Mike Beccaria said.
Beccaria had a solid first season. For three years, he served as head coach of the men’s basketball program here.
“It was a good start. Each situation brings its own challenges, but I enjoyed my first year as head coach,” he said.
The team had a solid home record (7-2) but struggled on the road, posting a 4-5 record, a game below .500.
“We had a lot of first-year players not used to the challenges on the road, and it was difficult for them being on someone else’s court,” Beccaria said. “There were...

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Groenveld receives award from CCAA

Niagara Knights leading attacker Daniel Groenveld jumps up for a spike against the Mohawk Mountaineers. SUBMITTED PHOTOBy JAMES HERBERT
Staff Writer
“He set the culture of excellence we wanted in our gym this year,” says Nathan Groenveld, the Niagara Knights men’s volleyball team’s head coach about leading attacker Daniel Groenveld, his younger brother.
“Daniel is an extremely hard working and professional player.”
Daniel has been awarded the Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA) All-Canadian Honours for 2014. He is one of three players in the CCAA to earn the honour this year.
“He is an incredibly skilled all-around player who can influence the game passing, defending, serving and offensively,” says Nathan. “As a person he is always willing to give back and help teammates and the community.”
For Daniel, competition is taken seriously.
“Ever since I started playing the game I’ve had a passion for it,” he says. “I’m a competitive person in general and have never been satisfied no matter what level I’ve gotten to. I want to keep improving.”
Hailing from Welland,...

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