<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Sports]]>Copyright 2019 https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut https://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-usWed, 23 Jan 2019 06:38:03 -0500Wed, 23 Jan 2019 06:38:03 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Mariano Rivera Headlines 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame Class]]> Tue, 22 Jan 2019 18:47:49 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Mo+rivera.jpg

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera headlined the 2019 baseball Hall of Fame class, which was announced Tuesday. He was voted into Cooperstown with former teammate Mike Mussina, Seattle Mariners DH Edgar Martinez and late Phillies and Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, who died in a plane crash in 2017.

<![CDATA[Hartford Athletic Hosts Open Tryouts]]> Tue, 22 Jan 2019 15:25:05 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/HARTFORD+ATHLETIC+HOSTS+OPEN+TRYOUTS.jpg

Over the weekend, the Hartford Athletic, the new USL expansion franchise in Connecticut, invited anyone to come and try out for their team.

More than 80 people from 20 different states and five countries came to Glastonbury on Saturday to take advantage.

"I think it's just the idea of having a professional team in Hartford,” said Kenniel Martin of Hartford. “It's long overdue and the popularity of soccer in Hartford, it's huge. Just to see hopefully a few local guys play now I think will be excellent for them."

Even a former University of Connecticut player knew this would be a great opportunity to get back into the game.

"Coming from college I know that the fans were like really in love with soccer,” said Sergio Campbell, who played for UConn between 2012-15. “So if you can get a team here, I'm pretty sure the fan base is going to be crazy."

The Athletic plan to hold another open tryout on Friday, January 25 at Sportsworld in East Windsor from 9 a.m. to noon. Register here.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Hartford Yard Goats]]> Tue, 04 Apr 2017 11:25:40 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Yard_Goats_Jingle_1200x675_615127107875.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Make Portraits: How an All-Black Female Surf Club is Re-Shaping the Sport]]> Mon, 21 Jan 2019 15:46:44 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/RDV6+BGS+.00_00_57_09.Still004.jpg

Black Girls Surf founder Ronda Harper hopes to open the doors for more women of color to the watersport.

<![CDATA[Patriots Earn 3rd Straight Superbowl Appearance, Will Face Rams]]> Sun, 20 Jan 2019 22:24:13 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_03_29.Still003.jpg

New England punched their ticket to Superbowl LIII with an overtime victory.

<![CDATA[Patriots Super Bowl Bound, Again]]> Sun, 20 Jan 2019 23:15:06 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/191*120/0DD63AD6-A8D0-44E1-B3A7-B02DDBAE62AB.jpeg

The highest-scoring fourth quarter in AFC Championship Game history wasn’t enough to decide which team gets to face the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII two weeks from Sunday in Atlanta.

After the Patriots and Chiefs combined for 38 points over the final 15 minutes of regulation, Rex Burkhead’s 3-yard touchdown run in overtime was all it took for New England to outlast Kansas City with a 37-31 victory.

Tom Brady, despite throwing two interceptions, was once again at his very best for the Patriots -- especially when it mattered most.

If the drive he engineered to put New England ahead, 31-28, with 39 seconds left in regulation was vintage Brady, the drive he put together to send the Patriots to Atlanta was quintessential Brady. 

"You always feel comfortable with Tom," Rob Gronkowski said at his postgame press conference.

The Chiefs managed to send the game to the extra session on the heels of a Harrison Butker 39-yard field goal, but their luck ran out after Matthew Slater called 'heads' for the overtime coin toss and just like in Super Bowl LI, he nailed it.

Brady took the Patriots 75 yards in 13 plays, converting three third-and-10s to keep the chains moving and taking the air out of Kansas City's sails. Julian Edelman, whose drop led to Brady's second half interception, hauled in passes to grab the first two conversions before Gronkowski -- who had six catches for 79 yards, his most of each since Week 14 -- came down with the third.

Brady threw for 348 yards, completing 30 of his 46 passes. His lone touchdown pass was a 29-yard strike to Phillip Dorsett in the final minute of the first half, the second touchdown connection in as many weeks between the two.

Sony Michel had his second straight game with more than 100 yards rushing in the postseason, racking up 113. His 1-yard run on the first possession of the game opened up scoring, while his 10-yard run is what gave New England the lead again in the final minute of regulation.

The Patriots held a 14-0 lead at halftime and 17-7 after three quarters.

Patrick Mahomes, who is likely to be named NFL MVP, completed 16 of his 31 passes for 295 yards and three touchdown passes for the Chiefs. He hit Travis Kelce for a 12-yard touchdown on Kansas City's first possession of the second half and later hooked up with Damien Williams on 1 and 23-yard touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.

Williams also scored on a 2-yard rushing touchdown with 2:03 left in the fourth quarter to help the Chiefs to a 28-24 lead.

It was New England's first road playoff win since the 2006 divisional round, when the Patriots defeated the San Diego Chargers, 24-21.

The Patriots last played the Rams in the 2016 regular season, picking up a 26-10 win at Gillette Stadium. Those Rams were coached by Jeff Fisher, however.

New England's first Super Bowl victory came against the Rams, who then played in St. Louis, in a 20-17 win that was decided on Adam Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal as time expired.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Students Help Build Patriots Portrait With Legos]]> Wed, 16 Jan 2019 08:31:33 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Students_Help_Build_Patriots_Portrait_With_Legos.jpg

Thousands of Legos made a mind-boggling portrait of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

<![CDATA[Clemson Equipment Manager Honored With Walter Camp American Hero Award]]> Wed, 16 Jan 2019 00:12:41 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DAVID+SAVILLE.jpg

David Saville has never put on the pads for Clemson, but he is an integral part of the college football powerhouse.

In the same week his Tigers won their second national championship in three years, Saville was in New Haven to accept the Walter Camp Football Foundation American Hero Award.

“When I was growing up, I always had to work twice as hard as my friends, but I never knew the difference. I knew I could do almost anything,” Saville said during his speech Saturday night at the Walter Camp awards dinner at Yale University.

Saville’s week began at the College Football Playoff National Championship in Santa Clara, California where Clemson dominated Alabama 44-16.

“Oh man it was so fun, it was so fun,” said Saville, the team’s longtime equipment manager.

Saville celebrated on the confetti-covered field after the game and told NBC Connecticut seeing Coach Dabo Swinney hoist the trophy was one of his favorite moments.

“David’s always been positive, he never has a bad day,” David’s dad Bob Saville said.

Saville’s unlimited positive is why he may be the most popular member of the Clemson football team.

“The team benefits from David being there just like David benefits from them,” Bob said.

Born with Down syndrome, David Saville is a graduate of ClemsonLIFE, a postsecondary program that provides job training and prepares young men & women with intellectual disabilities to live on their own.

He also just finished his eighth season as the football team’s equipment manager.

“When the coaches were down recruiting at his high school, they found David,” Bob said.

Saville graduated from Norcross High School near Atlanta. In addition to being named Homecoming King in 2008 and participating in Special Olympics, he was twice the “Football Manager of the Year.”

During Walter Camp weekend, Saville met patients at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. It was a special visit for a young man who had heart surgery when he was 11-months old.

“He’s been very healthy all this time and God has blessed him,” Bob said.

Saville is the fifth recipient of the Walter Camp American Hero Award.

“I can tell you Coach Swinney was just ecstatic when he found out David got the honor, and he actually texted him on the way up, told him how proud he was of him,” Bob told NBC Connecticut.

“This is an amazing award,” David said. “It was so special to me.”

To accept the award, Saville had to skip the Clemson championship parade.

“He’ll miss that,” Bob said, but we think this is worth it to be here.”

On Saturday night, Saville was wearing his 2016 national championship ring as he posed for pictures with the other award winners next to Archie Manning.

“I’m so happy to be here with you tonight because football has been a big part of my life,” Saville said when he took the stage.

He stole the show, ending his speech with this message that was met with a standing ovation.

“Remember what Coach Swinney said, the only disability in life is a bad attitude,” Saville said. Go Tigers!”

Photo Credit: Contributed Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Yankees MVP Closer Accused of Child Sex Abuse]]> Tue, 15 Jan 2019 23:12:37 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/john-wetteland-mug-blur.jpg

World Series MVP pitcher John Wetteland is out on bond, accused in North Texas of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14.

Wetteland, 52, who now lives in Trophy Club, was booked into the Denton County Jail Monday and posted a $25,000 bond the same day.

In a probable cause affidavit filed Jan. 15, the victim alleged that while between the ages of 4 and 6, from October 2004 to October 2006, three separate assaults took place. NBC 5 has a policy of protecting the identities of sexual assault victims, so the affidavit and further details about the allegations are not included in this article.

The former major leaguer has not issued a statement and it's not clear if he's obtained an attorney.

Wetteland played 12 seasons in the majors for the Rangers, Yankees, Expos and Dodgers before retiring in 2000. After winning a World Series in New York in 1996, where he was named the series MVP, he landed in Arlington where he spent the final four years of his career setting a team record of 150 saves.

His final game was on Sept. 20, 2000; at age 33, after his Rangers contract expired during the offseason, he retired from baseball. Wetteland was later inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 2005.

According to a biography published by the Seattle Mariners, Wetteland spent three seasons as a roving pitching coordinator for the Texas Rangers beginning in 2002. In 2006 he worked as a bullpen coach for the Washington Nationals before heading to Seattle for two seasons in 2009 and 2010.

Wetteland was hospitalized in 2009 after reportedly considering suicide, though he later said his hospitalization was due to his elevated blood pressure and heart rate and that it had been addressed.

In between MLB coaching gigs, Wetteland, a longtime born-again Christian, coached baseball and taught Bible studies at Liberty Christian School, in Argyle, from 2007 to 2008, according to a report in The Dallas Morning News. A vice president with the school told the paper Wetteland has had no association with the school since his departure.

Before joining the Rangers as a closer, Wetteland spent two seasons with the New York Yankees and three each with the Expos and Dodgers. The All-Star closed out his career with a record of 48-45, 330 saves, 804 strike-outs and a 2.93 ERA from 1989-2000.

Wetteland and his wife divorced in 2015. They have four children.

Photo Credit: Denton County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[John Gilmour to Represent Hartford Wolf Pack as AHL All-Star]]> Mon, 14 Jan 2019 22:00:34 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/John+Gilmour+.jpg

The AHL All-Star weekend is coming up at the end of January and one of Hartford’s top defensemen will be representing for the Wolf Pack.

John Gilmour is a three-year pro and now he'll be a two-time All-Star. But his introduction to hockey was a little slippery.

“I didn't like it because I kept falling,” said Gilmour. “I didn't know how to skate, I mean skating's frustrating if you don't know how to skate right?

Hard work paid off. Gilmour said his dad kept him in power skating classes until he remembers a time when he never wanted to leave the ice.

“All these kids I was in elementary school with were better skaters than me so it wasn't until around grade 5 or 6 where I started to feel like I was better than them at skating,” said Gilmour. “At first it was a struggle.”

Now, years later, Gilmour is a two-time AHL All-Star.

“It's definitely a big honor,” said Gilmour about being chosen for a second year in a row. “It was a lot of fun last year and I'm sure it will be a lot of fun this year."

The 2019 AHL All-Star weekend runs January 27-28 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[UCLA Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi's Perfect-10 Floor Routine Goes Viral]]> Tue, 15 Jan 2019 08:58:52 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/UCLA_Gymnast_1200x675_1425201731522.jpg

UCLA Bruin Katelyn Ohashi put together a show-stopping gymnastics floor routine Saturday in Anaheim, and video of the performance was viewed over 9 million times within 24 hours of being posted, with even Sen. Kamala Harris posting the performance on her Twitter.

"This is fantastic. Congratulations," Harris said to the 20-year-old on the social media platform, with the gymnast responding by telling the California senator, "I got you with tickets too any time!!"

Ohashi, the 2018 NCAA floor champion, earned a perfect score from the judges for her energetic and crowd-energizing routine. The Bruin danced, jumped, tumbled and split to sounds heavily influenced by Michael Jackson, but the soundtrack of the routine was probably best described as the constant cheers from the crowd on hand.

Ohashi appeared to be having fun, and her teammates, coaches and crowd celebrated her perfect 10 score.

With video of the floor routine having been viewed more than 9 million times in the first 24 hours since UCLA gymnastics posted the performance to its Twitter account, one would imagine millions of people agree with the judges' scoring.

<![CDATA[New York Baseball Legend Mel Stottlemyre Dead at 77]]> Mon, 14 Jan 2019 15:10:14 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_180552343711.jpg

New York baseball legend Mel Stottlemyre has died.

The former Yankees pitching ace who went on to become a five-time MLB All-Star and five-time World Series champion passed away Sunday in Seattle following a battle with bone marrow cancer, the Daily News reported.

He was 77 years old.

Stottlemyre played his entire career in pinstripes, pitching for the Yankees in the late 1960s through the mid-1970s. He turned to coaching in the 1980s -- and won five World Series with both New York teams over the next two decades.

The Yankees tweeted a statement from principal owner Hal Steinbrenner mourning Stottlemyre's death. 

"Mel’s popularity transcended generations, all of whom thought of him as their own. His plaque in Monument Park will forever serve to celebrate the significance of his legacy. We extend our deepest condolences to Mel’s wife Jean & the entire Stottlemyre family," it said.

Stottlemyre's first coaching stop, though, was the Mets, where he coached until 1993 and won one of his five MLB championships as a coach (1986). After a brief stint with the Houston Astros, Stottlemyre returned to New York in 1996, where he was a coach with the Joe Torres-led Yankees for nearly a decade, until 2005. He won four world championships with the Bronx Bombers during their glory era -- in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Born in Missouri and raised in Washington state, Stottlemyre and his wife Jean had three sons together. Two of them followed in their father's footsteps, becoming Major League Baseball pitchers. His other son, Jason, died young of leukemia. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hartford Athletic Head Coach Builds New Roster]]> Mon, 14 Jan 2019 05:33:35 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hartford+athletic+head+coach.JPG

Dillon Stadium is under construction and so is the team that will play there.

"It's a puzzle,” said Hartford Athletic head coach, Jimmy Nielsen. “You know, we have a style of play, i have an idea how we want to play and how those players fit in together."

Just as contractors have their tools, Nielsen has his. He said he’s spent the better part of the last five months watching player highlights on YouTube or calling prospects up on the phone.

But Nielsen is calm for such a big task, if only for one reason: he’s done this before. In 2014, he helped establish the Oklahoma City Energy Football Club. With that experience, he knows recruiting players is about more than their experience on the field.

"We want the people in Hartford, Connecticut to be proud of the team on the field, but we also want them to be proud of the group off the field and being a new team here we'll need a lot of help from the players out in the community,” said Nielsen.

After all, like all of Hartford professional teams of past and present, they’ll be wearing the colors of The Whale, green and blue. Colors that spark passion in the city, which Nielson said couldn’t be more fitting for a soccer team

"You know if you go to my home city, everything's red and white,” said Nielsen. “If I go to the past team in England, everything is blue and now we come here, green and blue and a great passion for the game."

The Athletic open their season in March, but will play their first eight games on the road. They plan to open Dillon Stadium on May 4th.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Lights Out: Patriots Stomp Chargers]]> Sun, 13 Jan 2019 21:06:59 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-1093659434.jpg

This was supposed to be the year the Patriots didn't land on Free Parking in the game of Monopoly that is the AFC Divisional Playoffs.

About that.

Phil Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers wanted absolutely no part of the sub-freezing temperatures at Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots rolled the Chargers, 41-28, to advance to the AFC Championship Game for the eighth consecutive season. They’ll be facing the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium at 6:40 p.m. next Sunday.

"Honestly, I don't really care about that right now," Bill Belichick said when asked about what it's taken to make it to eight straight final fours in the NFL. "I'm worried about this team and what this team has done. This team has worked hard all year to put itself in position to compete for the AFC Championship, obviously, against a great team in Kansas City. That's really what we're focused on. Whatever happened last year or some other year, whatever it is, it is. It's all in the books. This team has a lot in front of it and that's really what we're going to focus on is what this team can do."

What this team can do, apparently, is score. And score often.

New England came away with touchdowns on each of its first four possessions, giving Ryan Allen a well-deserved breather to begin the game. And even when the artists formerly known as the San Diego Chargers finally forced the Patriots to punt, Desmond King muffed the return. After initially being ruled out of bounds upon recovery, replay confirmed that Albert McClellan fell on the ball in bounds, giving New England the ball right back.

Four plays later, rookie Sony Michel completed his hat trick of first half rushing touchdowns to stretch the Patriot lead to 35-7 prior to the break, giving New England the most points it had scored in the first half all season long.

Michel broke open the scoring for the Patriots as well, capping off a 14-play, 83-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.

Looking back, it’s easy to forget that the Chargers responded with a touchdown of their own after Stephon Gilmore bit on a fake by Keenan Allen for a 43-yard score to help tie the game at 7-all.

That felt like so long ago, the Chargers might as well have still been playing at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. This was an evisceration, far and away the best New England has looked in basically every aspect of the game this season.

Michel scored again to give the Patriots the lead for good on a 14-yard run, followed by the first postseason touchdown of Phillip Dorsett’s career.

Dorsett became the 28th player to catch a touchdown pass from Brady, who threw for 343 yards on the game. Out of 38 career postseason games, the figure is the eighth-most of Brady's career.

"Everybody thinks we suck and can't win any games," Brady told CBS reporter Tracy Wolfson after the game on the telecast.

Rex Burkhead got in the act with a 6-yard touchdown run to increase New England’s lead to 28-7 prior to Michel’s final score, which came just after he surpassed 100 yards on the ground for the game.

Michel, in his postseason debut, racked up 129 yards on the ground.

That vaunted Chargers pass rush of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa? Zero sacks. 

"Credit to the coaches and credit to us for attention to detail this week," left tackle Trent Brown said. "[We] played with technique for 60 minutes."

"Those two guys are great rushers, it was fun chasing them up and down the field the whole game," right tackle Marcus Cannon said. "Hats off to them, they brought it and it wasn't easy."

What was the biggest message from legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia during the week leading up to the game?

"You'll have to ask him," Cannon said.


James White established a new career high -- regular or postseason -- with 15 catches, one more than he hauled in vs. the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Julian Edelman also matched a career best with 151 yards receiving on nine catches -- again, between the regular or postseason.

Edelman climbed to seventh on the career postseason receiving yards list during the game (1,175) and is now second all-time in postseason receptions, with 98. Only Jerry Rice (151) remains ahead of him in that category.

"He's such a great player and just a great teammate, competitor and had a great game today," Brady said of Edelman. "He came up big. We needed it and we'll need it next week, too."

Since the start of the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI vs. the Atlanta Falcons -- at which point, the Patriots trailed 28-9 -- here are Brady's numbers in the postseason: 141 for 211 (66.8 completion percentage), 1,721 yards, 10 touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 107.5

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pats Honor Daughter of Chargers’ Brandon Mebane]]> Mon, 14 Jan 2019 00:16:25 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_02_13.Still003.jpg

The New England Patriots honored the daughter of Los Angeles Chargers player Brandon Mebane before Sunday’s game. Makenna Mebane died on Jan. 3 at the age of 7 weeks.

<![CDATA[Dolphins Legend, Super Bowl Champion Bob Kuechenberg Dies]]> Sun, 13 Jan 2019 12:42:10 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_071216035015.jpg

The Miami Dolphins on Sunday said that former player Bob Kuechenberg has died.

Kuechenberg, a six-time Pro Bowl player, was drafted in 1969 by the Philadelphia Eagles but would quit, play semi-pro football briefly and then spend the rest of his career with the Dolphins – where he helped the team win two Super Bowl NFL championships under head coach Don Shula.

The 71-year-old former NFL guard attended the University of Notre Dame. He played nearly 200 games in the NFL.

The Dolphins confirmed Kuechenberg died Saturday morning. A cause of death has not yet been released.

Kuechenberg started in every game in the 1972 undefeated season for the Dolphins.

Shula released a statement on Sunday in which he called on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's selection committee to immortalize Kuechenberg in Canton.

"I was sorry to learn of the passing of Bob Kuechenberg, who was not only one of the best players I ever coached, but one of the toughest as well. He was one of the key performers on our championship teams, leading by example every time he stepped on the field," Shula wrote. "That was especially true in Super Bowl VIII, when he dominated Alan Page the entire game despite playing with a broken arm, a performance that was one of the keys to our victory over the Vikings."

Shula said that Kuechenberg was only called for holding 15 times over his 14-year career.

"You could count on Kooch to play well and to play hard," Shula added. "He gave you everything he had every single snap, and that dependability extended throughout his career, missing only a few games during that time."

"I've coached a lot of Hall of Fame players, including a number of offensive linemen, and Kooch was as good as any of them," Shula wrote. "I hope one day he gets that ultimate recognition by being enshrined in Canton – it's an honor long overdue and one he certainly deserves."

Miami Dolphins columnist Andy Cohen wrote that Kuechenberg was "a combination of toughness and resolve, smarts and tenacity, passion and grit."

"There’s a reason he was one of Don Shula’s all-time favorites. They just didn’t make them any tougher than Robert John Kuechenberg," Cohen wrote.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Quinnipiac Men's Hockey Close Out 2018 With Big Milestone]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2019 14:39:05 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/QU+BIG+WIN.jpg

On December 29, head coach Rand Pecknold earned his 500th career win, but it's how he shared the victory that tells you most about his legacy with the Bobcats.

Pecknold never set out for a number.

"I knew we were going to get it...for me a lot of it was let's just get it out of the way, I didn't want it to be an issue, a distraction for our team,” Pecknold said of the looming milestone.

"I didn't focus a lot on winning 500 that night or even so much now."

So when the goals kept coming Saturday night before the new year on the road at Colgate, players couldn’t have predicted his reaction. His team surprised him with their "player of the game" hard hat.

“For 499 I'd never gotten picked,” said Pecknold of their team honor. “So I was a little shocked."

He went 499 games without the hard hat, and he would go one more, quickly passing it off to the goaltender who closed down the game - third stringer Josh Mayanja.

"He's just an awesome kid, he's an awesome teammate, he works his tail off in practice,” said Pecknold. “He doesn't get to play, it was a great moment to get him in there."

"I come here, work hard every day,” Mayanja said. “I haven't been in the net that much but just to have him recognize that I come here and work hard every day means a lot."

It's not hard for Pecknold to know what it means to show up every day. He took over the Bobcats at 27. In 1994, it was then a Division II program without a locker room and midnight practice time.

"By the time we got to January, February of that season, we played a couple games with like 10 skaters."

By year five, the Bobcats, now with a full roster, made the transition to Division I.

"We played Maine,” said Pecknold of his first true Division I contest. “We were actually up 4-3 in the third… going into the third and they were way better than us. And then they just turned it on the third. They switched goalies, turned it on in the third… we ended up losing 7-4."

Pecknold won't soon forget that first loss, after all, that’s what has led him to 500 wins.

"Quinnipiac's not my job, it's a passion,” said Pecknold. “I know a lot of people can't say that about life and I feel very lucky to be able to do that."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman Breaks Elbow in Fall on Stairs]]> Thu, 10 Jan 2019 12:07:25 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/aly-raisman.jpg

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman says she is recovering from a broken elbow suffered in a fall on the stairs.

Raisman in a Twitter post says "I survived two Olympic Games and 19 years of gymnastics without ever breaking a bone ... the stairs got me ... I fell and broke my elbow."

She also posted a picture of herself on a couch, her right arm in a cast, snuggling with a dog. Raisman is native of the Boston suburb of Needham.

Raisman, captain for both the gold medal-winning 2012 and 2016 U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics teams, is also a best-selling author and a survivor of sexual abuse. She's been an outspoken advocate for women who were abused or victimized, and a harsh critic of USA Gymnastics, the sport's governing body.

Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
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<![CDATA[Josh McDaniels Planning to Return to Patriots for 2019 Season, No More Head Coaching Interviews Planned]]> Tue, 08 Jan 2019 13:08:23 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/josh_mcdaniels.jpg

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will be returning to the team's coaching staff for the upcoming 2019 season, McDaniels told reporters Tuesday.

McDaniels confirmed on a conference call that he had interviewed for the Green Bay Packers head coaching position, which he did not get, and now plans no further interviews, NBC Sports Boston reports.  He told NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry, "I'll be here moving forward."

McDaniels has been with the Patriots since 2011 and the team's offensive coordinator since 2012.

The Green Bay Packers head coaching job reportedly Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports - Boston
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<![CDATA[Olympians Host Hockey Clinic for Girls in Connecticut]]> Tue, 08 Jan 2019 14:41:00 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/thumbnail+%2827%29.png

Girls hockey is growing in Connecticut. More youth programs and hockey co-ops are popping up as girls want to get involved.

On Monday three Olympians, two from Connecticut, hosted a girls youth hockey clinic, ready to pass the torch to the next generation.

Gretchen Ulion-Silverman is watching girls hockey change right in front of her.

“When I was young, I only had boys hockey that I could play,” Ulion-Silverman said.

In fact, she turned a spot on the boys team to an Olympic gold medal for the first-ever U.S. Women’s Hockey Team in 1998.

Now, 20 years later, she says it’s an exciting time to be a girls hockey player in the state of Connecticut.

For ever puck on the ice Monday at the Taft school, there was a ponytail to go with it.

“I definitely hope she can teach me how to be stronger on the puck,” Katie Cicchetti said.

Girls like Cicchetti won’t just be learning from Ulion, but also from her teammate Sue Merz and 2018 Team USA Captain Meghan Duggan.

“It’s so amazing that our young girls have role models that are realistic models for them to look up to,” Ulion-Silverman said.

Duggan also had role models in the women she now works with.

“Meeting Gretchen and the journey I’ve been on in my hockey career – it’s been the biggest part of my life. I mean it dictated my life,” she said.

From one generation…

“You know when I was 11 I watched the ’98 team win gold, I can still remember where I was, what it felt like,” Duggan explained.

To the next.

"I stayed up like at 2 in the morning to watch the game," Cicchetti said.

Even as the sport changes, there are some things that stay the same.

"Having the opportunity to be that person for a young girl, there’s nothing better in the world,” Duggan said.

Girls high school hockey still isn’t a part of the CIAC, but interest is growing and co-op teams are part of individual conferences.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Soccer Star Wayne Rooney Arrested for Public Intoxication at DC Airport]]> Sun, 06 Jan 2019 14:40:55 -0500 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Wayne+Rooney+mugshot+Untitled-1.jpg

D.C. United player and soccer superstar Wayne Rooney was arrested last month at Dulles International Airport on charges of public intoxication and swearing.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says airport police at Dulles International Airport arrested Rooney Dec. 16 at an international arrivals gate. 

The statement says he was intoxicated and had triggered a door alarm.

Deputies took him to jail in Loudoun County and then released him on his own recognizance, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

Court documents say Rooney, 33, was charged with public swearing and intoxication. He paid a $25 fine on Friday.

Rooney was charged a $25 fine and ordered to pay a total of $91 to the courts, documents show.

"We are aware of news reports indicating that Wayne Rooney was arrested in December," D.C. United said in a statement. "We understand the media's interest in this matter but believe this is a private matter for Wayne that D.C. United will handle internally. We have no further comment on the situation."

Rooney played for Manchester United in England for more than a decade, where he was lauded for being the club's all-time top scorer.

He then signed a three-and-a-half year contract worth about $13 million with D.C. United, News4 partner NBC Sports Washington reported. He played his first game with the team over the summer.

Photo Credit: Loudoun Co. Police]]>