Capitals

Syracuse-St. John's series still on through '14-15

Syracuse-St. John's series still on through '14-15

NEW YORK (AP) Syracuse and St. John's started their basketball rivalry more than a century ago, and it will go for at least two more years even as the original members of the Big East Conference part ways next season.

The schools announced Wednesday that a game will be played at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 15, 2013, and they will meet again at the Carrier Dome at a date to be determined in 2014-15.

``St. John's and Syracuse are two of the storied programs in NCAA history, both with top 10 numbers in overall victories and winning percentage,'' St. John's coach Steve Lavin said. ``The Johnnies and Cuse rivalry is now more than a century old and deserves to continue. We are pleased to extend the series ... at two of the great venues in college basketball.''

No. 6 Syracuse will play in the Atlantic Coast Conference next season. St. John's is one of the seven Catholic schools that have decided to leave the Big East and form their own league.

``The rivalry with St. John's has been one of the strongest for our program,'' said Syracuse Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, who is second on the all-time Division I wins list behind Duke's Mike Krzyzewski. ``We had some great games when I was in school and the series continued to grow with coach (Lou) Carnesecca at St. John's right up to today with coach Lavin. Playing in Madison Square Garden is always a special event for Syracuse and for our fans in New York City. It will be great that our fans in Central New York will have the chance to see St. John's in the Dome the following year.''

Syracuse, which bills itself as ``New York's team,'' referring to the state, is the fifth-winningest program all-time with 1,862 victories. St. John's, which has been known as ``New York's team,'' referring to the city, is seventh with 1,750.

The Feb. 10 meeting at the Carrier Dome will be the 87th in a series that dates to 1912. The Orange hold a 49-37 edge in the series and have won seven straight.

The end of rivalries like this has been a concern of many fans, worried that conference realignment will cut off longtime series because of a lack of space on schedules.

``There are traditional series that are very important to us that go beyond conference affiliations,'' said Syracuse director of athletics Daryl Gross. ``As we continue to aggressively secure rivalries that are dear to us, we are pleased to announce the continuation of this great series between two outstanding universities.''

St. John's director of athletics Chris Monasch echoed the sentiment.

``The St. John's-Syracuse rivalry is one of the classic matchups in college basketball,'' he said. ``Generations of our fans have looked forward to this battle each year and we are thrilled that the two programs will continue to play the next two seasons.''

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Caps Top 20 Goals Countdown - Goal 6 - Ovechkin opens Game 7 vs TB with a bang

Caps Top 20 Goals Countdown - Goal 6 - Ovechkin opens Game 7 vs TB with a bang

Always the emotional leader of the Capitals, Alex Ovechkin knew that when he woke up on May 23, 2018, that he had the chance to alter the course of his personal history and help push the Capitals to its first Stanley Cup Final appearance since 1998.

Before the puck dropped on a win-or-go-home Game 7, the determination was painted on Ovechkin’s face and on his first shift in the game just 1:02 into the contest in Tampa Bay, the Capitals captain found the back of the net with a one-timer from the point to put his stamp on the game.

Number 6 on our countdown of the Top 20 Goals of the Stanley Cup run is Ovechkin’s opener in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final which catapulted the Capitals to a 4-0 win on the road.

After a strong backcheck and hit by Tom Wilson at center dislodged the puck from Chris Kunitz, he and Evgeny Kuznetsov turned the puck back towards the Lightning zone with Ovechkin trailing the play up the left wing. A drop pass from Wilson right after he crossed the blue line left Kuznetsov with the space needed to whip the puck across the zone to Ovechkin who wasted no time in firing past an unsuspecting Andrei Vasilevskiy for the opening goal of the pivotal game.

The site of one of Ovechkin’s iconic celebrations, the infamous “hot stick” celebration when the captain tallied his 50th goal of the season in 2009, Tampa has always treated the Great 8 kindly as the top line winger entered the 2018 postseason with 14 goals in 22 regular season games in the city. After the Caps finally clinched their spot back in the Stanley Cup Final, Tampa likely will always have a special place in the hearts of Capitals fans and Ovechkin alike.

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Bryce Harper on facing the Nationals: 'It's definitely going to be weird'

Bryce Harper on facing the Nationals: 'It's definitely going to be weird'

Bryce Harper's felt the love in Philly from day one, he told reporters on Tuesday.

And when he comes to his old stomping grounds next week to face the Nationals, he knows it's going to be strange.

“The Nationals are a great team, and are gonna be a great team this year and everybody knows that," he said. "For me, I just want to focus on what we can as a team; as a clubhouse and control what we can.”

"It’s definitely going to be weird walking into opposing clubhouse and seeing the other guys from afar," he added of his impending April 2 trip to Washington. "I wish those guys nothing but the best on that side of the baseball."

But that doesn't mean he's missing his old teammates. In fact, he said, everything's been just great with his new teammates from day one.

"From day one, it felt right," he said. "I always talk about family and being a family and one unit. I get that from this team. Every guy has your back and vice versa. So, I'm very excited to go to battle with these guys.”

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