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Ex-WCHA coach accused of striking player; player downplays incident

Posted by: Chris Miller Updated: May 15, 2013 - 5:36 PM

Former Alaska-Anchorage hockey coach Dave Shyiak has been accused of violently striking a player with his stick during a 2011 practice.

According to the Alaska Daily News, ex-Seawolves winger Mickey Spencer sent a letter to the University of Alaska president, Patrick Gamble, and detailed the incident. The university has launched an investigation.

Spencer said Shyiak took a baseball-style swing at Nick Haddad and struck Haddad across the thigh.

"He tomahawked, lumber-jacked -- whatever you want to call it -- him across the thigh on his (hockey) pants,'' Spencer said. "We knew this wasn't a small deal, it's kind of a big deal. I've seen a coach break a stick over a goalpost or the glass because he's [mad] about something, but I've never seen one take out his anger on a player.''

But Haddad downplayed the incident today, according to this Associated Press story:

Haddad says in a Wednesday email to The Associated Press that the university investigation into the incident is "ridiculous" and should end immediately. In his email, Haddad says Shyiak did strike him with a hockey stick, but it sounded worse than it was. They exchanged words, and Haddad was sent off the ice. He says they spoke the next day and resolved all differences, and that he hasn't thought about the incident since.

Shyiak was fired in March after eight losing seasons.

His lawyer, Kevin Fitzgerald, said: "He confirms he did strike Nick's knee pads with his stick. It wasn't an assault. It was, in essence, an attempt to get Nick's attention. It wasn't designed to injure Nick. It didn't cause any injury. Nick didn't report to the trainer, didn't suffer an injury, didn't go to the hospital.''

Spencer also alleged Shyiak told the team not to discuss the incident.



More Manti Te'o? More Manti Te'o

Posted by: Chris Miller Updated: April 25, 2013 - 4:05 PM

You've got some time before the draft to read a bit more about Manti Te'o, right?

Vanity Fair has this profile on the Notre Dame linebacker, who is said to be in the sights of the Vikings in tonight's first round. And, surprise surprise, there's a lot about the fictional girlfriend.

The day after: Gophers top No. 1 Indiana

Posted by: Brian Stensaas Updated: February 27, 2013 - 12:42 PM




Reaction to No. 1 Indiana falling at Minnesota on Tuesday night was what you might expect in the Hoosier State.

Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star had a nice little roundup today from media types in Louisville and Michigan in addition to takes from CBS Sports and NBC Sports. They're worth a read if kneejerk reactions interest you at all. It seems a team falling from a projected No. 1 seed to a No. 2 in the NCAA Tournament is the end of the world.

So what happened through the view of red-colored lenses?

Star writer Terry Hutchens pointed out in his postgame video report that Indiana's big men plain "just didn't show up" at Williams Arena.

Indiana fans saw what Gophers fans (and everybody else for that matter) saw: Cody Zeller was not Cody Zeller. Particularly after Zeller's early-game slam dunk attempt was monster-blocked by Trevor Mbakwe (described as Mbakwe being "possessed" on ESPN) . Of course, the play sent IU fans into a tizzy, because in their minds Mbakwe "fouled Zeller into the third row" and he was given "the Shaq treatment" all game long.


Denard Span doesn't like fish falling from the sky - or anything else in nature

Posted by: Brian Stensaas Updated: February 14, 2013 - 6:48 PM



Denard Span did many things during his time in Minnesota. He played all three outfield positions. He collected a lot of total bases. He developed a large following on Twitter and won a Diamond Award for community service.

Apparently one thing he did not do was enjoy fishing on any of these 10,000ish lakes we've got around here. Now that he's with Washington the guess here is you won't find Span on the Potomac River with a rod and reel anytime soon either.

During a workout in Viera, Fla., on Thursday, Span and others Nationals players were soon joined by a bird overhead. In its grasp was lunch - a fish of some sort - that dropped into the field near the players.

As you can see here, Span didn't exactly take the matter calmly. He told the Washington Post he started "screaming and making noises" to discourage the bird from coming back for its snack.

Watch for yourself, but Span said on a scale of 1-10 he's at about "a half" when it comes to his comfort level with nature ("the only thing I'm not scared of is an ant.") He also said he's been fishing maybe twice in his life.

Liriano - finally - signs to pitch with Pittsburgh

Posted by: Brian Stensaas Updated: February 8, 2013 - 11:58 PM



Another pitcher is (officially) off the Major League Baseball market. This one ending a month or so of uncertainty.

Francisco Liriano signed a one-year contract with Pittsburgh on Friday night according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, which reports the deal is for $1 million in 2013 but could bloat to $3.75 million. The team also has a vesting option for 2014.

Hang on .... the pre-holiday clouds are starting to part.

But ... didn't Liriano already have a deal with the Bucs? Well, yes and no.

The former Twins' lefty agreed to terms with the Pirates in late December. However, he then broke his right arm in a bathroom fall according to a newspaper in the Dominican Republic. That forced the Pirates to re-work the contract, and Liriano finally passed his physical on Friday - 48 days after the first agreement.



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