Capitals

Notre Dame QB ends up in jail

753836_617x262.jpg

Notre Dame QB ends up in jail

From Comcast SportsNet
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees was pepper-sprayed and arrested early Thursday after he allegedly ran from away from an off-campus party and knocked the wind out of a police officer who caught up to him. A probable cause affidavit says the 6-2, 210-pound Rees continued to resist even after being knocked down by police Officer Brandon Stec, so Stec used pepper spray and was finally able to subdue him with the help of other officers. Police Capt. Phil Trent said linebacker Carlo Calabrese tried to talk to police, asking them why they don't like Notre Dame. Trent said Calabrese eventually grew angry and twice told officers: "My people will get you." The 19-year-old Rees was charged with one count of battery, two counts of resisting law enforcement and one count of illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor. Police had filed a preliminary charge of felony battery on a police officer, which would have required him to stay in jail until being arraigned before a judge. Trent said Rees registered 0.11 percent on a blood-alcohol test. Rees was released on a 250 cash bond late Thursday afternoon. Prosecutors said they were still reviewing the preliminary misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct against Calabrese and would make a charging decision on Friday. He was released on 150 bond. Rees was among about five people who jumped a backyard fence and ran after officers arrived to break up a party several blocks from campus about 12:30 a.m. following the last day of Notre Dame's spring semester classes, Trent said. The affidavit says Stec chased Rees, continually saying he was a police officer and continually telling him to stop, but Rees refused. When he ran out into the street, a passing taxi driver heard Stec ordering Rees to stop and maneuvered his car to block Rees' path, the affidavit said. When Stec caught up with Rees, the quarterback "used his right knee to hit Officer Stec in the lower chest area, knocking the wind out of him, making it difficult to breath," the affidavit says. Coach Brian Kelly said he was aware of the incident. "I am of course very concerned given the nature of the allegations, but I am still gathering information. I'll withhold judgment until I can collect all the facts and speak with both Carlo and Tommy," he said. Trent said police arrested the 21-year-old Calabrese after he became angry when it became clear Rees was being arrested. Trent said Calabrese asked police, "Why aren't you a Notre Dame supporter," and "Why are you doing this to my teammate," before eventually uttering his warning. "I have no idea what that means but it's obviously some sort of threat," Trent said. Trent said some people in the crowd pulled Calabrese back into the yard away from the officers. Trent said Calabrese repeated the threat several minutes later and started trying to push through the people who were trying to restrain him. That's when he was arrested, Trent said. Calabrese, who is from Verona, N.J., was a backup linebacker who played in every game last season after starting eight games as a sophomore during the 2010 season. Rees, who is from Lake Forest, Ill., started 12 of 13 games as the Irish went 8-5 last season after starting four games as a freshman in the 2010 season. He was among four players competing during Notre Dame's spring practices for the starting quarterback spot this coming season. "The university is aware of this incident and is confident that it will be handled in a prompt and professional manner through the criminal justice system," Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown said in a statement. "Internal discipline is handled privately, in accord with our own policies and federal law." Brown said the university would have no further comment Trent said no one else at the party was arrested or cited and that none of the others who fled from the party was caught.

Quick Links

Burakovsky is back in for Game 6

Burakovsky is back in for Game 6

Coach Barry Trotz indicated that Andre Burakovsky’s benching wouldn’t last long.

And it didn’t.

The 23-year-old winger will return to the lineup on Monday night as the Caps look to stave off elimination in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final.

During the morning skate, Burakovsky skated on the third line with Lars Eller and Brett Connolly—a trio that’s enjoyed some success in the past.

It’s been a difficult postseason for Burakovsky, who has not recorded a point in six games. He missed 10 contests after suffering a hand injury in Game 2 of the first round that required minor surgery.

What he found out upon returning was this: coming back from injury in the regular season is hard...and it’s exponentially tougher in the playoffs.

“It’s definitely tough to jump in in the semifinal,” he said. “When you’re out, you just want to get in and help the team and do what you’re good at—score goals and produce.”

“What I realized is that it’s not that easy,” he added. “I really thought I could jump in and just play like I did before I got injured. 

But obviously it didn’t work out as well I thought it would.”  

Burakovsky also said that he’s planning to work with a sports psychologist this summer in an effort to maintain an even keel when things aren’t going as well as he would like. It’s a problem that he said he’s struggled with since his childhood.

Asked what he hopes to see from Burakovsky in Game 6, Coach Barry Trotz kept it simple: offense.

The Caps have scored just two goals in each of the last three games, with Evgeny Kuznetsov contributing 50-percent of that total.

“He’s a guy that’s given us some good offense all through his time here,” Trotz said of Burakovsky. “We think that he can add some of that.”

MORE CAPITALS STORIES:

Quick Links

5 keys for the Caps to win Game 6 and force a decisive Game 7 against the Lightning

5 keys for the Caps to win Game 6 and force a decisive Game 7 against the Lightning

The more you look at Monday's Game 6 between the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning, the more you realize this game is the most important game of Alex Ovechkin's career.

This is the first time Ovechkin and Co. have made it to the conference finals and it is the first time this postseason in which the Caps face elimination.

Here are the keys for the Caps to staving off elimination and forcing a Game 7:

1. Get off to a better start

It took Tampa Bay just 19 seconds to score in Game 5 and the score was 3-0 nothing before the Capitals really began to show any signs of life. They cannot allow the Lightning to jump all over them in the same way and take the crowd out of the game early.

With the game being in Washington, the Caps will have the crowd on their side. Use it.

The Caps have been at their best this series playing the trap, holding their own blue line and countering against Tampa Bay's aggressive defensemen leading to odd-man breaks. That's a hard gameplan to run if you're playing from behind. Scoring first would go a long way for Washington.

2. Stay out of the penalty box

Washington has given up six power play goals to Tampa Bay on just 15 opportunities in this series. That means the Lightning's power play is producing at a blistering rate of 40-percent. That's an insanely good power play rate and that may be putting it mildly.

So far, the penalty kill has had no answer for how to shut down a Tampa Bay unit that features Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov setting up for one-timers and being quarterbacked by Victor Hedman. That's a formidable cast.

If you can't beat it, then there's only one solution: Stay out of the box.

Despite everything that went wrong in Game 5, the one thing the Caps did right was not give up many penalties. They took only one on the night and even that one was avoidable as Brett Connolly got caught holding Brayden Point trying to get around him to get the puck.

3. Win the top line matchup

The Lightning have found success matching their fourth line against Ovechkin. Of his six points this series, only two of them (one goal, one assist) have come at 5-on-5. That's not good enough.

It's gut check time. The Caps need their best players to be at their best and that means Ovechkin has to win the matchup against Chris Kunitz, Cedric Paquette and Ryan Callahan. In Game 5, Tampa Bay's fourth line actually outscored Ovechkin's line in 5-on-5 play 2-0.

Washington will not win this game if the fourth line outscores Ovechkin's line. It's just that simple.

4. Take advantage of the power play opportunities

The Caps scored at least one power play goal in Game 1 and Game 2, both wins. They have not scored any since and have lost all three games since. They scored on three of seven opportunities in the first two games and zero of seven opportunities in the last three.

Not a coincidence.

Granted, they did not draw any penalties in Game 5, but it seems unlikely the Lightning will stay out of the box for another sixty minutes. At some point, they will take a penalty and when they do, Washington must take advantage.

5. Win the goalie matchup

Not much attention has been paid to Braden Holtby in this series. The Caps are not facing elimination because they have been getting bad goaltending, but when the Lightning needed Andrei Vasilevskiy to steal them a win and up his game to get them back into the series, he responded.

Vasilevskiy has been brilliant the last three games as he has turned aside 100 of the 106 shots he has faced for a .943 save percentage. For the series, Holtby has a save percentage of only .883.

Again, Washington is not down 3-2 in the series because of goaltending. Holtby has faced far fewer shots than Vasilevskiy and has been just about the only thing that has worked against Tampa Bay's lethal power play.

But as one of the team's top players, the Caps need Holtby to step up the way Vasilevskiy has. Game 6 will be about winning by any means necessary. If that means they need a hat trick from Ovechkin so be it. If that means they need Holtby to steal it for them, so be it.

Holtby has to be just as good as Vasilevskiy in Game 6, if not better, for Washington to come out on top.

MORE CAPITALS STORIES: