Sports & Recreation
WICHITA ROLLS PAST UNDERMANNED MALLARDS 7-1 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Brian Lavelle   
Monday, 20 January 2014 10:48
WICHITA, Kan. (January 17, 2014) –Jessed Dudas scored twice and added two assists while Jon Booras provided two goals and one assist as the host Wichita Thunder defeated the undermanned Quad City Mallards 7-1 Friday night.  The loss left the Mallards (16-9-7, 39 points) winless in their last four games (0-2-2) while the win was Wichita’s (13-17-4, 30 points) second in succession.

The Thunder scored the game’s first four goals and never looked back.  Wichita opened the scoring when Matt Summers converted Dudas’s centering pass at 5:48 of the first period.  Mike Wilson doubled the Wichita advantage by shoveling a rebound home at 11:00 of the first.

Booras scored his first goal from the side of the net just 53 seconds into the second period.  Dudas’s power play blue line blast stretched the gap to 4-0 at 10:31 of the second.  The Mallards got on the scoreboard just 50 seconds later when Gergo Nagy snapped in Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel’s centering pass but the Thunder would reestablish a four goal lead when Booras pounced on a rebound at the 17:07 mark.

Nick Niedert replaced Ty Rimmer in the Mallard goal as the start of the third period.  Niedert was beaten for the first time when Dudas scored his second goal- again on the power play- from the left wing circle midway through the third.  R.G. Flath’s fine solo rush capped off the Thunder win with just under six minutes remaining.

The Mallards dressed just 14 skaters Friday evening because of injury, illness and call-ups.  The latest Mallard to be sidelined was defenseman Matt Duffy, who missed the game after falling ill.

The Mallards return to action next Thursday on the road against the Brampton Beast.  The Mallards next play at home on Friday, January 31 at 7:05 p.m. against the Tulsa Oilers.  January 31 is another $1 Dog/$1 Beer Night presented by 97X.  $1 hot dogs and beers will be available at iWireless Center concession stands during each of the Mallards’ 11 Friday night home games this season.

Tickets for the January 31 game and all Mallards regular season home games can be purchased at the iWireless Center ticket office, Ticketmaster outlets, through ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free at 1-800-745-3000.  The ticket office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period.

The Mallards return to action next Thursday on the road against the Brampton Beast.  The Mallards next play at home on Friday, January 31 at 7:05 p.m. against the Tulsa Oilers.  January 31 is another $1 Dog/$1 Beer Night presented by 97X.  $1 hot dogs and beers will be available at iWireless Center concession stands during each of the Mallards’ 11 Friday night home games this season.

Tickets for the January 31 game and all Mallards regular season home games can be purchased at the iWireless Center ticket office, Ticketmaster outlets, through ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free at 1-800-745-3000.  The ticket office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period.

 
MALLARDS' HEEMSKERK TO AHL'S WORCESTER SHARKS; MALLARDS SIGN FOX, NIEDERT; NIKIFOROV PLACED ON IR PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Brian Lavelle   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 14:40
MOLINE, Ill. (January 16, 2014) – Quad City Mallards goaltender Thomas Heemskerk has joined the American Hockey League’s Worcester Sharks on a professional tryout agreement while the Mallards have signed forward Justin Fox and goaltender Nick Niedert and placed forward Vladimir Nikiforv on seven-day injured reserve, the Mallards announced today.

Heemskerk, 23, ranks second in the Central Hockey League in goals against average (2.45) and save percentage (.920) and is tied for third in shutouts (2).  The 6’ 0”, 210-pound Chilliwack, British Columbia native has suffered just one regulation loss this season, going 9-1-4 in 15 games.  Heemskerk is unbeaten in regulation in his last five games, a stretch during which he has posted a 4-0-1 record, a 1.57 goals against average, a .944 save percentage and two shutouts.  Last week Heemskerk was named CHL Goaltender of the Week.

This is Heemskerk’s third AHL call-up this season.  The third year netminder joined the Iowa Wild for a pair of stints as a back-up earlier in the campaign.  Heemskerk is no stranger to Worcester, having seen action for the Sharks each of the last two seasons.  Over two games last year with the San Jose Sharks’ top affiliate, Heemskerk turned aside 27 of the 29 shots he faced in 67 minutes, turning in a 1.79 goals against average and a .931 save percentage.  In four games with Worcester in 2011-12, he went 0-1-0 with a 2.14 goals against average and a .921 save percentage.

Heemskerk spent the bulk of his first two seasons in the ECHL.  Last year he went 14-17-3 with a 3.10 goals against average and a .906 save percentage in 38 games with the San Francisco Bulls.  Heemskerk began his professional career in 2011-12 with the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder, for whom he posted a record of 13-12-0 along with a 3.27 goals against average and a .893 save percentage in 25 games.

Heemskerk turned pro after four years in the major junior Western Hockey League. In his final WHL campaign, he finished second in the league in minutes (3,841), third in saves (2041) and fifth in wins (36) while recording a 2.94 goals against average, a .908 save percentage and a pair of shutouts in 65 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors.

The 2010-11 season was the second straight campaign during which Heemskerk landed among the league leaders. In 2009-10, while tending goal for the Everett Silvertips, he topped the Western League in save percentage (.927), finished third in goals against average (2.34) and was tied for seventh in shutouts (4) while going 24-12-4 in 42 games. Heemskerk’s efforts helped the Silvertips earn a share of the United States Division title. Heemskerk joined Everett midway through the 2008-09 season after spending his first year and a half in the WHL with the Kootenay Ice.

Fox joins the Mallards from the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Huntsville Havoc.  The 26-year old Whitby, Ontario, native leads the SPHL in points (40), is tied for the league lead in assists (24) and is tied for fourth in goals (16).  Tuesday Fox was named SPHL Player of the Week after piling up three goals and three assists in two games last weekend.

The 6’ 0”, 190-pound Fox split last season between Huntsville and the CHL’s Tulsa Oilers.  Fox scored twice and totaled 11 points in 23 games with Tulsa.  He recorded ten goals and 21 points in 24 SPHL regular season games and produced three goals and four assists in eight playoff games while helping the Havoc to the SPHL finals.  As a rookie in 2011-12, Fox notched 22 goals and totaled 46 points in 52 games for Huntsville.

Before arriving in Huntsville, Fox played four seasons of college hockey- two for Salem State College and, after transferring, two for the State University of New York-Oswego.  He registered 58 goals and 153 points in 104 career collegiate games.  In 2009-10 and 2010-11 he helped propel Oswego to both the State University of New York Athletic Conference title and a berth in the NCAA Division III Frozen Four.

Niedert rejoins the Mallards from the Danville Dashers of the Federal Hockey League.  The 31-year old served as backup goaltender in three games for the Mallards last month before returning to Danville.  The 5’ 8”, 185-pound product of Hudson, Iowa, has gone 3-9-1 with a 5.05 goals against average and a .874 save percentage in 13 games with the Dashers this season and also tended goal in one ECHL game for the Utah Grizzlies.

Niedert played for five teams in four leagues last season- the Gwinnett Gladiators and Reading Royals of the ECHL, the Bloomington Blaze of the CHL, the August RiverHawks of the Southern Professional Hockey League and the Danbury Whalers of the FHL.  Over the course of his nine-year career, Niedert has played for 22 teams in nine different leagues after competing for five teams over three seasons of junior hockey.  He first wore the Mallards’ colors during the club’s 2011 training camp.

Nikiforov, who has scored six goals and totaled 20 points in 31 games, has been sidelined by an upper body injury.

The Mallards return to action tomorrow night against the Thunder in Wichita.  The Mallards next play at home on Friday, January 31 at 7:05 p.m. against the Tulsa Oilers.  January 31 is another $1 Dog/$1 Beer Night presented by 97X.  $1 hot dogs and beers will be available at iWireless Center concession stands during each of the Mallards’ 11 Friday night home games this season.

Tickets for the January 31 game and all Mallards regular season home games can be purchased at the iWireless Center ticket office, Ticketmaster outlets, through ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free at 1-800-745-3000.  The ticket office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period.

 
CHAMPIONSHIP STAFF RETURNING TO RIVER BANDITS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 10:01
Omar Lopez set for second year as manager; Borkowski, Chimelis and Coleman return from 2013 field staff

DAVENPORT, Iowa (JAN. 15, 2014) Manager Omar Lopez and three coaches from the Quad Cities River Bandits' run to the 2013 Midwest League Championship are returning to the team for the 2014 season. The River Bandits and Houston Astros, entering their second season of a new affiliation, announced the Class-A club's field staff on Monday.

Lopez will begin his second season with Quad Cities and seventh as a manager in the Astros organization when the River Bandits host Kane County on Opening Day at Modern Woodmen Park April 3. In 2013, the River Bandits won 81 regular season games – the third-most in franchise history – and Lopez, 37, reached his first playoffs as a minor league manager. Quad Cities went 7-1 in three postseason rounds to claim its second Midwest League Championship in three seasons and sixth title since the franchise joined the league in 1960. Lopez is the 34th manager for the Quad Cities Midwest League franchise and fifth to manage an Astros affiliate in the Quad Cities. He is the third Quad Cities manager to win a championship in his first season, joining Jim Napier of the 1979 Quad City Cubs and Don Long of the 1990 Quad City Angels. Prior to Lopez, only Fred Koenig, with the 1969 Quad City Angels, and Napier, with the 1980 Quad City Cubs, returned to the Midwest League club the season after leading the team to a championship.

Lopez has a career regular season record of 217-237 (.478) in his first six managerial seasons in the Astros organization. He managed the rookie-level Greeneville Astros in the Appalachian League in 2011 and 2012, the Gulf Coast League Astros in 2009 and 2010, and the Venezuelan Summer League Astros in 2008. Prior to managing, Lopez served as a hitting and infield instructor in the Astros Venezuelan program and as a scout for the organization from 1999 to 2007. He was the Astros International Man of the Year in 2005 and Player Development Man of the Year in 2010. A native of Valencia, Venezuela, Lopez was an infielder for three seasons in the minor league systems of the Chicago White Sox (1996-97) and Arizona Diamondbacks (1998). He played two seasons for the rookie-level Bristol White Sox and his final season with the South Bend Silver Hawks of the Midwest League.

Former major league pitcher Dave Borkowski returns for his second season as the River Bandits pitching coach and fifth as a coach in the Astros organization following 15 seasons (1995-2009) as a professional pitcher. Borkowski's first Quad Cities staff issued the fewest walks (394) in the league and posted a 3.62 team ERA that was fourth-best among 16 teams. Borkowski, 36, appeared in 181 Major League games (21 starts) and was 13-20 with one save and a 5.87 ERA in seven combined seasons with Detroit (1999-2001), Baltimore (2004), and Houston (2006-08). His first professional season was in 1995 after being selected in the 11th round of the June 1995 draft by Detroit, and he pitched in the Midwest League for the 1997 West Michigan Whitecaps. Borkowski coached the pitching staff of Class-A Lexington in the South Atlantic League in 2011 and 2012, and he was the pitching coach of rookie-level Greeneville in 2010.

Joel Chimelis returns for his second season as the Quad Cities hitting coach and ninth consecutive season as a hitting coach in the Astros organization. In 2013, Quad Cities was fourth in the league with 636 runs and third with a .338 team on-base percentage. The 2014 season will be the 11th overall as a minor league coach for Chimelis, 46, following a 14-season professional career. He has also coached in the Astros organization with short-season Class-A Tri-City (2006-10), Class-A Lexington (2011) and Double-A Corpus Christi (2012). Chimelis was on a championship-winning staff with Tri-City in 2010. He spent 2004 and 2005 with the Savannah Sand Gnats of the Washington Nationals (Montreal Expos in 2004) organization. As a player, Chimelis was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 11th round of the 1988 Major League draft. He was a minor league infielder in the Athletics (1988-1991), San Francisco Giants (1991-1995) and New York Mets (1996) organizations. He was called up to the Giants major league roster in 1995 but did not appear in a game. Chimelis also played in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Korea.

Former major league All-Star Vince Coleman is entering his second season with the River Bandits and Astros organization as a development specialist focused on outfield and baserunning. He will again be with the club for homestands and also be a scout and roving instructor within the Astros organization. Quad Cities led all Midwest League Western Division teams with 151 stolen bases as a team in 2013. Coleman, 52, played 13 seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals (1985-90), New York Mets (1991-93), Kansas City Royals (1994-95), Seattle Mariners (1995), Cincinnati Reds (1996) and Detroit Tigers (1997). He was the National League Rookie of the Year when he set a major league rookie record with 110 stolen bases in 1985 – the first of a major league-record three straight 100-steal seasons to start a career. In his first six seasons, he was a two-time All-Star, and led the National League in stolen bases every year from 1985 to 1990. In 1989, Coleman set the major league record when he stole 50 consecutive bases without being caught. His 752 career stolen bases rank sixth in Major League history.

Michael Rendon enters his first season as the River Bandits athletic trainer and fourth season overall with the Astros organization. Rendon worked with rookie-level Greeneville in 2011, and he was with short-season Class-A Tri-City in 2012 and 2013, when the ValleyCats won the New York-Penn League Championship. A 2010 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Rendon completed two internships with the athletic training staff for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals in the St. Louis organization and worked for the Southern Illinois University Clinical Experiences, assisting with the rehabilitation and treatment of injured student athletes.

James McNichol enters his first season as the River Bandits strength coach and second with the Astros organization. McNichol was with the Gulf Coast League affiliate in 2013. Prior to joining the Astros, McNichol worked at the National Basketball Academy in Orlando, Fla. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Central Florida, where he majored in applied exercise physiology.

In 2013, the Houston Astros had a franchise-record six minor league playoff clubs, becoming the first organization to have six domestic affiliates qualify for the playoffs in the same season since Pittsburgh in 2003. Each of the highest six affiliates - Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast League), Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas League), Class-A Advanced Lancaster (California League), Quad Cities, short-season Class-A Tri-City (New York-Penn League), and rookie-level Greeneville (Appalachian League) - made the postseason. Quad Cities and Tri-City each won their respective league championships. The combined regular season winning percentage of all affiliates (.569, 476-360) ranked second out of 30 MLB organizations.

UP NEXT: Season-ticket holders can still guarantee their same seats for the upcoming season, but time is running short! Ticket-plan holders must renew their plans with a $50 deposit per seat by Jan. 31, in order to keep the same seats as last season. Contact your account representative or call 563-324-3000 today to renew your ticket plan. To order ticket plans - with new lower prices - for next season, call the River Bandits box office at 563-324-3000 or visit www.riverbandits.com to download the season ticket order form. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $40. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.

ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having just been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership is making one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 112 feet over the playing field, is opening this spring, along with a carousel, a new ride called a "Drop and Twist," an expanded zip line, and many other new games and attractions. In 2013, the team unveiled a new 220-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. The team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, just saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The River Bandits were one of three affiliates to reach the championship round and one of two to win their league championship.

*****

 
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Tips PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Larry Whiteley   
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 16:12

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.—Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Tips presents free, seasonal how-to tips from professional fishing and hunting experts.  Each weekly tip offers practical advice to improve your skills.

Tips offered for February include:

• Going shed hunting now will pay off when planning your strategy for next hunting season. Get expert advice from RedHead© Pro Hunting team member, Bob Foulkrod.
• Larry Whiteley, host of the award-winning Outdoor World Radio show, offers the benefits of adding kayak fishing to your list of outdoor adventures. 
• The pros and cons of fishing near rocks and stumps are explained by Jerry Martin, member of the RedHead© Pro Hunting team.
• The challenge of bass fishing in the winter months can be made easier with bait tips from Jimmy Houston, host of Jimmy Houston Outdoors.
• Early spring bass fishing jig and bait selection and techniques are offered by Edwin Evers, member of the Bass Pro Shops National Fishing Team.

For all of this month’s tips, visit http://www.basspro.com and click on New & Tips.

 
Mediacom Sweepstakes to Send Winning Fan to The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Alexandra Swanson   
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 09:05

DES MOINES, IA – January 14, 2014 – Mediacom will send one of its Facebook friends to Indianapolis, Indiana in March to attend the Big Ten Men’s Basketball tournament. The unique sweepstakes, sponsored in partnership with Big Ten Network, gives men’s college basketball fans a chance to be a part of the action and watch their favorite Big Ten teams compete for the championship title live.

Mediacom’s BTN2Go Championship Sweepstakes is open to anyone who visits the company’s Facebook page and submits an entry form between January 13 and February 17. Contestants must “like” the Facebook page and also click on the contest entry link. The winner will receive airfare for two, a three-night hotel stay, car rental, two tickets to all eleven games in the tournament, and $500 in spending money. Contest information can be found at www.facebook.com/mediacomcable.

 

The Big Ten has four teams ranked in the top-15 of this week’s AP Poll, including two in the top five. BTN will air more than 65 Big Ten Conference games, as well as four men’s basketball tournament games. The tournament is March 13 – 16, 2014.

About Mediacom:

Mediacom Communications is the nation's eighth largest cable television company and one of the leading cable operators focused on serving the smaller cities in the United States, with a significant concentration in the Midwestern and Southeastern regions. Mediacom Communications offers a wide array of broadband products and services, including traditional and advanced video services such as digital television, video-on-demand, digital video recorders, high-definition television, as well as high-speed Internet access and phone service. Through Mediacom Business, the Company offers affordable broadband communications solutions that can be tailored to any size business.

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