Category: Overtime

April 3, 2016 Jake Johnson

April never comes soon enough for the die hard NHL fans. It means playoff push style hockey that will determine whether or not teams will have a chance to compete for the highly coveted Stanley Cup.

As the season winds down, the league is looking at its first “Canadian-less” Stanley Cup playoff since the 1969-1970 season. All seven of Canada’s team have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Here is what the playoff picture looks like in the Eastern Conference’s Metropolitan and Atlantic Divisions and the Western Conference’s Central and Pacific Divisions.

Six of the eight playoff slots are currently clinched in the Western Conference. A power packed Central Division is locked up tight. Teams that have have clinched a playoff spot are the Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues and defending Stanley Cup champions Chicago Blackhawks.

Over on the West Coast in the Pacific Division, California-based teams dominate the ranks. The Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks all have their respective slots locked in. Only two wildcard playoff spots remain, currently held by the Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild. Chasing the tails of Minnesota are the Colorado Avalanche, who remain 5 points behind the Wild with only four games left in their season.

In the Eastern Conference, only three teams have clinched one of the eight playoff spots: the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Florida Panthers. The Capitals are the President’s Trophy winners for the 2015-16 season – awarded to the team with the best record. Capitals’ goaltender Braden Holtby is the fan favorite to win this year’s Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender. Meanwhile, teammate Alexander Ovechkin’s 44 goals have him well on his way to yet another Rocket Richard Trophy — awarded to the league’s top goal scorer. The Washington Capitals are the only team in the league who has yet to lose back to back games in regulation this season.

The rest of the Eastern Conference playoff slots are up for grabs, and the race is tight with just five games remaining. The New York Rangers sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 95 points. The Tampa Bay Lightening and Detroit Red Wings round out the second and third spots in the Atlantic Division. The New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers occupy the two wild card spots in Metropolitan Division. Behind the Flyers is the Boston Bruins with 91 points. The Detroit Red Wings — who have qualified for the playoffs a record 24 seasons in a row — are in jeopardy of closing the book on that chapter of their history for the first time since the 1989-90 season. The Flyers will play a make up game against the New York Islanders, after the original game was cancelled during New York’s blizzard closures earlier this year, giving them a game in hand against the playoff hopeful Red Wings.

Even though it seems that most of the teams are within grasping distance of a playoff berth, anything can happen in the last two weeks of the season. Big conference games will determine the outcome of crucial points towards seeding in the playoffs. The Washington Capitals have secured home ice advantage throughout the playoffs after winning the President’s Trophy. Only eight teams have won both the President’s Trophy and Stanley Cup in the same year since its beginning. The Capitals know this all too well, having won the honor in the 2009-10 season only to be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

NHL fans rejoice at the coming of the Stanley Cup playoffs a little over two weeks away. A champion will be crowned and a team will hoist the coveted Stanley Cup above their heads. After a long 82 game season of countless road trips, injuries, highs and lows and four rounds of best of seven hockey, only one team will be able to call themselves Stanley Cup Champions. Will it be your favorite team?

March 20, 2016 Nolin Ainsworth

On my living room wall is a small, orange felt banner with “SYRACUSE” proudly displayed across the top. The swatch of felt commemorates the Orangemen’s 2003 run to the Final Four and national championship. It lists every score of every game during their impressive 2002-03 season in which they went 30-5 in the season. The…

January 17, 2016 Nolin Ainsworth

Something really weird happened to me two Saturdays ago: I went ice fishing. What started out as my friend Zach’s invitation to throw some Frisbee discs in the snow turned into a ploy to trick me into thinking sitting idly on a frozen lake for three hours would be a blast… and somehow it worked….

November 29, 2015 Nolin Ainsworth

The way I see it, there are two types of teams in the NBA: the “bottom ups” and “top downs.” The majority of which belong to the former category. A team that is a bottom up is one that has been built primarily through the draft. A team that is a top-down is one whose roster is a collage of free agent signings and former trades. This is an over-simplification — how all 30 teams derive the 12 names that make up their roster is quite complex and beyond the scope of this article. Rather, I argue that a championship team is best built by drafting wisely, in other words, building from the bottom up. Here are three reasons why:

1) All top down teams require one necessary ingredient: one or more high profile free agent signings. This year, it was the Mavericks’ signing of Wes Matthews and Deron Williams (and almost DeAndre Jordan). Last year, it was Cavaliers’ LeBron James and Kevin Love. Two years before that, it was the Clippers’ Chris Paul. Next year, it may or may not be some lucky team’s Kevin Durant. The point is, as the Dallas Mavericks will tell you, its always a gamble going after a free agent. Not only are other teams vying for the same player, but you also only get one shot to get it right. If you miss out on your guy, it may be several more years before a player of equal or better caliber will be a free agent again. The teams that do nab a top-25 player are then able to revamp the rest of their roster as they see it fit to accommodate their newest talent. Only five of the 16 players that played at least 20 games as a Cavaliers during the 2013-14 season remained the following season after James and Love were brought on.

2) Good teams require chemistry. There are over 150 different combinations of players that a coach can send out on the floor at once. If teammates have not played with each other for very long, good luck believing they have instant chemistry. That’s what makes the team like the San Antonio Spurs so special. Can you fathom how many minutes Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker have played together over the last 13 seasons they have been teammates? Thousands, millions, billions? Okay, maybe just thousands, but still….The longer a team undergoes trials together, the more experience they share, the more chemistry they develop.

3) Finally, the ultimate argument for my case. What kind of teams wins championships? Of all the starting five on the last 15 championship teams, roughly half were drafted by the team they suited up for. The most successful teams over the last two decades, the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers, were both built around their fortunes in the draft by the way of Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan.

January 29, 2015 Nolin Ainsworth

Hi, my name is Nolin Ainsworth, and I am the new assistant sports editor at The Northern Light. As odd as this might sound, if you wish to keep up with the Seawolves, I hope you never have to read what I write. Okay, let me rephrase that: I hope you never have to rely on what I write. That is because none of the stories I write this semester will match the excitement and drama of watching the events live.

If you are taking six or more credits, you are already in possession of a season’s pass for men’s and women’s basketball, hockey and gymnastics. All the ticket office asks is that you present your Wolfcard. So let’s show some support to our student-athletes this season! Here is a quick primer on the four squads in action this spring so you show up to the games informed like a boss.

Sport: Men’s Basketball
Conference: Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Stadium: Alaska Airlines Center
Key matchup: Western Oregon, Feb. 26

Men’s basketball is entering the homestretch of its season. As of press time, the Seawolves have a 5-3 conference record; 9-9 overall record. Despite having lost only three conference games, four teams are ahead of the Seawolves in the conference standings. With seven games in February, including five at home, the standings will almost certainly shake-up by the time the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship rolls around in the beginning of March. Only the top six teams make the tournament cut, so UAA has to be careful not to take the foot off the gas!

Sport: Women’s Basketball
Conference: Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Stadium: Alaska Airlines Center
Key matchup: Simon Fraser, Feb. 19

Women’s basketball is similarly entering the last month of competition like the men. These ‘Wolves have been incredibly strong all year and, as of press time, have only lost one game all season. However, Seattle Pacific University has also been a dominant team, and the two are tied for first in the GNAC. If the Lady Seawolves can move into sole possession of first place in the conference, they will have a favorable seeding in the GNAC tournament in March and have a great shot to bring home some hardware.
Sport: Hockey
Conference: Western Collegiate Hockey Association
Stadium: Sullivan Arena
Key matchup: Michigan Tech, Feb. 13-14
The Seawolves are looking to build on a series sweep of the Nanooks earlier in the month and make a late-season push for the postseason. The top five teams in the WCHA make it to the ‘WCHA Final Five’ postseason. This season, the WCHA is home to several of the top teams in the country and every future “W” the Seawolves will have to fight for. The home series on Feb. 13 and 14 against the Michigan Tech University could make or break the Seawolves hopes of making it to the WCHA Final Five tournament in late March.
Sport: Gymnastics
Conference: Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
Stadium: Alaska Airlines Center
Key matchup: Centenary, Feb. 27-Mar. 1
Unlike hockey and basketball teams, the Seawolf gymnasts still have most of their season ahead of them. Centenary College comes to town at the end of February for two matches against the Seawolves. If you’ve never seen a gymnastics meet before, come check one out!

December 10, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

With the fall semester coming to an end, it’s time to reflect. Join me as I travel back and reminisce about the most memorable and entertaining highlights the Seawolf athletes had over the last four months.

November 21, 2013 Mark Hoffman

Quick trivia question: how many wide receivers have been named NFL Most Valuable Player? Answer: a big, fat zero.
That’s right, not even Jerry Rice, the greatest wideout ever, was able to corral an MVP trophy during his Hall of Fame career. Quarterbacks and running backs have always dominated the award, prompting the follow-up trivia question:

November 12, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

Georges St-Pierre is gearing up to defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship Welterweight Championship belt for the ninth consecutive time Saturday night. He’ll tangle with Johny Hendricks, a grinder who possesses the 2.0 version of Dan Henderson’s “H-Bomb.”

November 5, 2013 Mark Hoffman

The Red Sox clinched the 2013 World Series title last week in Boston, and an entire city collectively rejoiced.

The rest of the country collectively rolled their eyes.

As another classic October unfolded in the baseball universe, I was reminded of something I had known for years: I loathe Red Sox Nation.

October 29, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

Thomas McIntyre and Mark Hoffman are two of the Northern Light’s sports writers — nothing more, nothing less. The duo has been pitted against each other to predict the results of the 2013-14 NBA season.

“For me, this will be exactly like in “Above The Rim” when Shep played heads up with an invisible defender,” said McIntyre.

“I’ve played basketball with God Shammgod,” Hoffman responded.

And they’re off.

October 22, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

Enough football has been played that we can now project the future using real data, trends, patterns, and results. Forget where they were drafted and how much you like them. These are players whose stock is rising and falling. Therefore, these are players you should trade for and away.

October 15, 2013 Mark Hoffman

No, it’s not time for Santa and Yuletide carols. I actually don’t even know what Yuletide means. But one thing I do know is it’s October, and I’m excited! This is the best time of the year to be a sports fan. Although October is traditionally reserved for baseball postseason excitement, the month is also a reason for fans of every sport to get pumped.

October 1, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

Sometimes I try to explain to my friends who are Patriots fans what it’s like to root for the St. Louis Rams. It’s as if I’m speaking to them in Latin. They nod and act like my words are registering, but really, they’re too busy wondering if they could pull off UGGs as well as Tom does.

September 24, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

I don’t claim to be an expert on the NHL. If I were writing this during my run as one of the top five regional NHL Hitz 2002 players, maybe it’d be a different story.

September 17, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

Nadal and Federer represent the thunder and lightning of tennis.

Nadal is a brute. He attacks the ball violently and keeps a crippling pace. His overwhelming style is akin to Jim Brown running with the football.

September 10, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

This week’s Overtime goes out to all my readers who just unloaded half of their wardrobe at Plato’s Closet so they could lay $15 more on the Detroit Lions over/under. Gambling is fun. (Warning: it is also semi-illegal.)

July 25, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

Soccer in the United States is still in development. Talk to anyone who thinks they know about soccer and they’ll snap back about how the highest level of the game is played outside of America.

July 10, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

For sports fans, the summer is made up of extreme peaks and valleys. One day it’s the NBA Draft, the next day it’s a San Diego Padres doubleheader. These are my thoughts on ten of the stories that are holding us over until the X Games start. 1. If you’re not watching baseball, I don’t…

June 25, 2013 Mark Hoffman

Game Seven — all that a sports fan can ask for. Even more so than the mighty Super Bowl or a World Cup soccer championship match, Game Seven is the pinnacle of sports excitement. Reaching the championship of a tournament and playing for it all is always going to be a thrilling experience. But Game Seven…

June 11, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

TNT may know drama, but the UAA athletic department is becoming very friendly with it.

Seawolf backers have had their heads spinning over the last few months as the hockey program has been in flux.

May 1, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

The Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year award is given to the UAA student-athlete who simply plays his or her sport at a different level. Excellent, great and dumb nasty are all descriptors the MacKay winner should represent. This year’s field of nominees includes competitors from the full array of Seawolf sports.
The final nine are: Micah Chelimo (men’s cross country and indoor/outdoor track & field), Susan Tanui (women’s cross country and indoor/outdoor track & field), Marine Dusser (women’s skiing), Lukas Ebner (men’s skiing), Alysa Horn (women’s basketball), Kyle Fossman (men’s basketball), Kimya Jafroudi (volleyball), Emily Peterson (gymnastics) and Blake Tatchell (hockey).
I have no say in who winds up with the trophy, but that won’t silence me. If the world were just and my opinion was taken into account, this is the ballot I would have turned in:
Third place: Blake Tatchell
Tatchell’s season statistics are amplified when you consider he was a true freshman. The left-handed forward was the first rookie in the last ten years to lead the Seawolves in scoring. His 25 points included a team-high 16 assists and nine goals.
Honestly, the MacKay award shouldn’t go to Tatchell. Sometimes sportswriters like to throw a name on their ballot that doesn’t have a real shot, but deserves some recognition — that’s what I’m doing here.
Dave Shyiak said before the season that there were freshman on the team who would play right away and have instant impacts. Tatchell did just that: he played every game and was named the team’s Rookie of the Year and MVP.
Runner-up: Kyle Fossman
Fossman was the lead dog in a scary UAA backcourt. His deep stroke helped spread the floor and make the offense run. Behind the sharp-eyed shooting of the Alaska native, the Seawolves finished third in a stacked GNAC.
Fossman averaged 14.8 points over the course of the season, but it’s the way he got his points that made him such a threat. He not only led the team in made three-pointers, he also led them in three-point shooting percentage. His 45 percent clip from beyond the arc is a ridiculous feat.
The efficient play didn’t go unnoticed, as Fossman was a First Team All-GNAC selection. He picked up the team’s MVP award as well.
And no, my view on Fossman wasn’t swayed by the fact that he wears the same number as Jerry Stackhouse (42).
Winner: Micah Chelimo
Chelimo’s case for the MacKay award is comparable to Adrian Peterson’s case for the 2012 NFL MVP. You start talking yourself into other athletes deserving the trophy over him, and then you come back to his body of work and realize this isn’t a contest.
The senior distance runner from Kenya has won three straight NCAA Division II National titles. The champ collected his titles in both outdoor and indoor track & field, and cross country. It doesn’t matter the surface or environment, Chelimo is going to finish first.
There isn’t enough page space to break down all of Chelimo’s accomplishments. Aside from his individual records and trophies, he also played a vital role in leading the men’s cross country team to its highest finish ever at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships. The pack took home a third place podium spot.
For whatever it’s worth — which should be much more — Micah Chelimo is my 2013 Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year.
The actual winner of the award was announced April 26 at the athlete-of-the-year banquet at Lucy Cuddy Hall. Not surpisingly, Micah Chelimo received the hardware. I’d like to send out a big congratulations to him.

April 3, 2013 Mark Hoffman

As the madness of March basketball subsides, Opening Day signals the start of a long, monotonous baseball season. And I could not be more excited. In just seven short months, teams will be battling it out in the Fall Classic.

March 27, 2013 Mark Hoffman

New Overtimeby Mark Hoffman, contributor

Each generation puts a spin on their version of the ever-evolving high school popularity contest. Currently, the phenomenon has manifested itself in the form of Facebook “likes” and Twitter “followers.”

Stu Woo of the Wall Street Journal recently took the time to tally the votes in the “cool kids” contest and ranked all 122 teams in North America’s four major sports based on the number of Twitter followers for each.

The teams at the top of the standings for each sport probably won’t surprise you:

NBA: LA Lakers (2.98 million followers)

MLB:  NY Yankees (822,000)

NFL: New England Patriots (556,900)

NHL: Montreal Canadiens (369,000)

I don’t think it’s a shock to anyone that the Yankees are the most popular baseball team, or that the recent success of the Patriots has them topping the NFL count.

Where the totals prove interesting, however, is in the overall popularity of each of the leagues in the Twitter-verse.

The Lakers have nearly 3 million followers. That’s more than three times as many as the second-most popular non-NBA sports team, the Yankees. On the whole, the NBA averages 381,372 followers per team compared to the NFL’s average of 245,580.

Why the discrepancy?

The NFL trumps the NBA in ratings and merchandise sales annually. Major League Baseball has a season that seems to last twice as long as any of the other sports (probably because it does).

It’s logical to think the NHL would have an added international boost, but even they are dwarfed in the NBA’s shadow.

I think it’s safe to say this is another example of the NBA’s impact on popular culture.

Over the past three decades, no sport has dictated the style of its fan base quite like the NBA. From the popularity of the name-brand sneakers to the immense Twitter following, the NBA has never struggled to be hip.

In fact, when it comes to technology, the NBA is regularly ahead of the curve. A prime example is NBA’s willingness to embrace the ultimate media outlet, YouTube.

While MLB and the NFL resist allowing their licensed material to be put onto the website, the NBA has always welcomed fans to enjoy their content for free. That in itself has created more interest for the NBA online, and has surely helped bump up their number of League Pass members — a subscription-based account that allows full access to all NBA games.

As every sport grows increasingly reliant on blogs and social media for the up-to-date information, individual NBA players are beginning to phase out the media middleman.

With Twitter as an outlet, most players have taken to breaking their own big stories before any reporter has time to ask for, much less receive, a comment.

Surely the NBA is happy to expand their horizons to the web as they continue to grow their product on the global level. Despite the popularity in North America, even the NBA can’t hang with the numbers international soccer puts up — Futbol Club Barcelona and Real Madrid are followed by more than 7 million Twitter users each.

But the NBA’s global takeover is quietly taking shape.

After amassing more than 1.5 million followers in just two months on Twitter, Kobe Bryant recently announced his intentions to join China’s version of the social media site, Weibo.

Without uttering — er, typing — a word, Bryant has already totaled more than 100,000 followers.

The NBA world domination is a legacy to be continued…

March 18, 2013 Mark Hoffman

Each generation puts a spin on their version of the ever-evolving high school popularity contest. Currently, the phenomenon has manifested itself in the form of Facebook “likes” and Twitter “followers.”

March 5, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

New Overtime“Never.”

This was UFC President Dana White’s response when asked in Jan. of 2011 when we’d see women fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

He was wrong. Just over two years from that comment, White found himself sitting cage side watching a pair of females headline a UFC pay-per-view event.

February 23, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

Barring a miracle shot from Sacramen- to’s mayor and ex- NBA hooper, Kevin Johnson, the Kings will migrate to Seattle and transform into the Sonics come October.

I know the talk of counter-offers and whale investors is fun and exciting, but I’m here to discuss basketball.

February 12, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

Predicting the All-Star Weekend winners is my number one skill. It’s not like playing the stock market or something where anyone can make guesses that result in huge paydays. It’s an art. Think Antonio Stradivari. He was a master violinmaker the way I am a master All-Star Weekend oracle.