It is the first time in over five years that an annual State Cup has been held for Touch Football in South Australia. Touch Football South Australia Business Operations Manager, Tim Wyld, believes it is an exciting time for the sport. “The reintroduction of the State Cup is a big boost for Touch Footy locally. It not only gives social participants a chance to represent their competition, but improves the technical components and pathways of the sport in a big way,” Wyld said. The competition will be fierce on the field with an intriguing blend of both metropolitan and country club teams battling it out to be crowned State Champions.The state’s largest Touch Football competition, City Touch, are raging favourites to take out the crown, with a star studded line up featuring many state players, however they will face stiff competition from the ever threatening Adelaide University Touch Club in both the Men’s and Women’s divisions.The battle to determine country champions is even more interesting with perennial powerhouses Mallee slight favourites ahead of an emerging Mount Gambier outfit keen to impress.Players will also been keen to impress throughout the weekend, with state team selections for the 2011 National Touch League occurring at the event.Players to watch include City Touch’s Kelly Rowe who recently was awarded the Most Valuable Player for the South Australian 18’s Girls team at the National Youth Championships, and her state teammate Sally Gazzard from Mount Gambier who was awarded the South Australian 18’s most improved player.In the Men’s Division, national Alliance Squad Member Michael Frost will be dangerous as will Chris Sainsbury who took out the Most Valuable Player award for the CMI Toyota State League Series earlier in the year.Regardless of this weekend’s results, this event is a win for Touch Football locally and hopefully the start of annual tradition.The State Cup commences at 10.00am on Saturday, 30 October at the City Touch fields on Greenhill Road Eastwood, with the Grand Finals occurring from 1.00pm on Sunday, 31 October. As well as the State Cup, Touch Football South Australia will also be holding its Annual Awards Dinner on Saturday, 30 October. The Awards Dinner is the defining evening where Volunteers, Coaches, Referees, Selectors and Players are presented with their awards in front of their peers.This year’s list is exceptional with many of our grass roots volunteers recognised for their outstanding efforts in developing the sport and providing a platform for the sport to launch into the future.The nominees for the 2010 TFSA Awards are:Volunteer of the YearDamien CarlsonMark JonesGerard TreloarAdministrator of the YearGreg FrostGerard TreloarKildare Rieck ScholarshipAnton Van RensburgMark JonesMadelaine McGintySharlean McNamaraTara NaigeFor more information, please visit Touch Football South Australia’s website and the South Australian State Cup website:www.touchsa.com.au www.sastatecup.mytouchfooty.com
Former NRL premiership winning player, Matthew Johns was one of hundreds of parents to brave the conditions on day one of the 2013 New South Wales Junior State Cup in Port Macquarie to cheer on their children. Johns’ son, Cooper is playing for the Manly Sea Eagles at the event in the 14’s Boys division and has played in the younger divisions at Junior State Cup in the past. Cooper’s team had a first-up loss against Parramatta in game one this morning, but Johns was a proud Dad on the sidelines regardless of the result. “They are going good, they played Parramatta first up, they played very well, they didn’t win but they went very well,” Johns said. “He played in the under 12’s at Illawarra a couple of years back, so he’s quite fond of it.”Johns was full of praise for the sport of Touch Football and the skills demonstrated by the players. “(Cooper) loves it. Touch Football is so good for skill, it’s unbelievable. Days gone by, when I played Rugby League, they looked down on Touch Football but you just can’t beat it for skill.”Johns is enjoying the opportunity that the weekend provides to be a spectator and cheer on Cooper’s team. “It’s nice to get away and get up on the coast in Port Macquarie, although the weather, I’ve seen it better!”Related LinksJohns Enjoying JSC
About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Mignolet reveals Liverpool blocked earlier Club Brugge moveby Ansser Sadiqa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet revealed that his path out of the club was blocked by the club in previous transfer windows.The goalkeeper finally got his wish for a move away from the club this summer.But he was denied that request in the 2018 summer transfer window and the 2019 January transfer window.The Belgium international is now at Club Brugge, and he believes they wanted him previously as well.Mignolet lost his place in the Liverpool starting line up to Loris Karius, then went down the pecking order after the signing of Alisson Becker last summer.He told Het Nieuwsblad – via Sport Witness: “That’s possible [Mboyo’s comments], although Bart Verhaeghe [Brugge president] called me last winter.”It was non-negotiable for Liverpool then.”However, with the return of so many Red Devils [Belgium national team players], I think that was set in motion by Kompany.”
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 28: A moment of silence is observed in honor of Philip “Flip” Saunders’ passing before the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on October 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Update: Phil Jackson is in the building. In attendance tonight – One of the greatest coaches of all time…alongside Phil Jackson #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/QfvIDzSYea— OSU BASKETBALL (@OhioStateHoops) February 26, 2015New York Knicks President Phil Jackson is at the Schottenstein Center to watch the Buckeyes and D’Angelo Russell. pic.twitter.com/CnhSXGTvhr— Lantern TV (@LanternTV) February 26, 2015Earlier: The New York Knicks have the worst record (10-46) in the NBA and are one of several franchises in tank mode as they attempt to secure the best possible odds for the 2015 NBA Draft lottery. If the Knicks do end up with the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft, the common opinion is that they will select Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor, but there are other possible candidates. One prospect who might be worthy of the top pick is Ohio State playmaking freshman guard D’Angelo Russell. The 6-foot-5 Russell is having a monster season in Columbus, and Knicks team president Phil Jackson is reportedly going to watch him play tonight against Nebraska. Word from the Schott that some dude named Phil Jackson will be in the house…Gee…wonder who he’s scouting?— Matt McCoy (@MattMcCoyWTVN) February 26, 2015 Jackson has to cover all of his bases. The Knicks need a lot of help, and can’t afford to bungle their lottery selection, no matter where they will pick. Either Russell or Okafor would be a win for a franchise in dire need of them.
For NHL fans of a certain age,1Full disclosure: I am of this demographic, albeit one of the younger members. the definitive Los Angeles Kings team is Wayne Gretzky’s Los Angeles Kings team. The franchise existed for 21 seasons before Gretzky arrived in Los Angeles in 1988, but the banality that he single-handedly made hockey relevant in LA is largely true. Kings attendance soared with No. 99 in the fold,2Increasing 27 percent in Gretzky’s first season with LA and another 11 percent in his second, per Rodney Fort’s data. the team’s value increased sharply during his tenure there,3The Kings ranked as the NHL’s third-most valuable team in 1994, according to contemporary estimates by Financial World magazine. In 1995, the team sold for a price ($113 million) nearly three times its value in 1988, when Bruce McNall bought 51 percent of the team for $20 million. and Gretzky instantly transformed the on-ice product into a legitimate contender by powering one of the best offenses in the game. Behind a 40-point postseason by Gretzky, the Kings reached their apex in 1993 — losing in five games but earning what was, at the time, the franchise’s lone Stanley Cup Final berth. For years, the Gretzky era easily represented the high-water mark of hockey’s four-decade experiment in Southern California.Not anymore. The Kings now are back in the finals for the second time in three years, and are looking for another Stanley Cup victory to follow the one they won in 2012. But this team isn’t Gretzky’s. It’s constructed differently and it plays a different game. And it might be better for it.If you’re looking for an NHL “Moneyball,” the modern Kings may be as close as any team to embodying the ethos of hockey’s sabermetric revolution. As FiveThirtyEight contributor Eric Tulsky has noted before, the current Kings pursue a strategy of constant control of the puck. With a host of possession superstars, the Kings have led the NHL in close-score4To filter out the influence of score effects. Fenwick percentage — a proxy for time of possession that measures a team’s share of all unblocked shots directed at either net during its games — for two years running, and the year before that they dominated the metric down the stretch after swapping defenseman Jack Johnson5A particularly poor Fenwick player, it should be noted. for center Jeff Carter at the trade deadline.No opposing team can score (or even shoot) when it doesn’t have the puck. During the regular season, LA allowed the league’s third-lowest rate of unblocked shots per minute of 5-on-5 play, and its second-lowest rate of total shots allowed per game. Along with decent goaltending from Jonathan Quick, that’s how the Kings helped clinch the William Jennings Trophy, given to the goaltenders on the team that allows the fewest goals all season. Maximizing possession is a hockey hack that helps at both ends of the rink.But all that possession hasn’t guaranteed the modern-day Kings a bushel of goals. The Kings spent most of the 2013-14 regular season struggling to light the lamp, despite firing the league’s second-highest rate of unblocked shots at the opposing net.6Per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 play. Their 5-on-5 shooting percentage with the score close, which had been average in 2012-13, slumped to third worst in the NHL this season. Still, LA kept emphasizing possession and putting the puck on net, seeming to trust that shooting percentages tend to regress heavily to the mean.And the Kings rediscovered their scoring touch at just the right time. During the playoffs, they’ve scored on a substantially higher proportion of shots than they did during the regular season. It doesn’t hurt that they also acquired right wing Marian Gaborik — whose career shooting percentage ranks among the best of any active player’s — at the trade deadline. But the biggest reason for the Kings’ offensive resurgence is that they rode out their poor shooting luck and continued to focus on dominating the puck, the way statheads have been calling for teams to do for years.The Kings squad that Gretzky tearfully joined on Aug. 9, 1988, played a very different kind of hockey.We don’t know for sure because play-by-play records from that era are not available, but it’s unlikely that Gretzky’s Kings dominated possession of the puck. According to estimates of close-score Fenwick percentage for older seasons, Los Angeles ranked among the top half of teams in possession rate just once (1990-91) in the eight seasons the Great One wore silver and black. Most of the time, they were actually somewhat bad at keeping control of the puck, ranking 18th out of 26 teams in estimated close-score Fenwick percentage during Gretzky’s tenure.Instead, they lived off a suspiciously high shooting percentage that modern analysts might decry as luck. During Gretzky’s first three seasons as a King, LA finished no worse than second in goals per shot. But Gretzky’s playmaking wizardry was probably a very real effect. Over that span, he paced the league in assists by a wide margin,7He notched 107 more helpers than No. 2 Adam Oates. You could have finished 70th in assists over the same period with the leftovers Gretzky didn’t need to pass Oates. and his teammates shot 9.1 percent better in those seasons than they would over the rest of their careers.The defense couldn’t measure up to the offense, though. Those Kings allowed the league’s second-highest number of shots8Only the miserable San Jose Sharks, in their second year of existence, played softer D. and its fourth-highest number of goals.Gretzky’s squad didn’t have a deep roster, either. According to Tom Awad’s catch-all summary stat Goals Versus Threshold (like Value Over Replacement Player for hockey), the 1992-93 Kings were a notably top-heavy team. They were led by stars such as Luc Robitaille and Jari Kurri. (Not to mention Gretzky, who recovered from an injury in time to post 65 points in 45 games.) But they also lost 17.8 goals because sub-replacement-level talent was on the ice, one of the largest totals in recent memory by a team that won more than half its games.The current iteration of the Kings has superior depth, and nary a Gretzky type to be found. Since LA’s top scorer Anže Kopitar debuted with the club in 2006-07, his best offensive season was 86 adjusted points. Gretzky’s worst full-season mark as a King by far was 83 adjusted points9Adjusted points are, well, adjusted — meaning they remove the influence of scoring environment — so Gretzky doesn’t get an unfair advantage for playing in a more high-flying era. in 1994-95 — and he cracked the century mark in five of his six full seasons in Los Angeles. Today’s Kings rely less on a single superstar to carry the bulk of the offensive workload.Superior depth and puck possession don’t automatically equal a better hockey team, though they often do. The proof is in the results for the current Kings, who over the last three seasons are already twice as close to a quantifiable dynasty as the franchise was during Gretzky’s entire stay in Southern California.10200.0 dynasty points compared to 97.6. If advancing deep into the postseason is the standard for success, today’s Kings beat No. 99’s in a landslide.Gretzky himself has said that the present-day Kings are impressive. Of the Cup-winning 2012 team, the Great One said, “They’re a much better team than we were in ’93.”He’s right. Gretzky’s team was an exciting offensive squad, and one of the last successful relics of the high-octane playing style that had ruled the game in the 1980s. But today’s Los Angeles Kings are exemplars of the modern game. They know that if you always have the puck on your stick, you can’t lose.
Costa RicaCONCACAF0.09-0.300.02 HondurasCONCACAF-0.61-0.61 SpainUEFA2.012.102.01 There aren’t too many surprises at the top; out of the five biggest European leagues, four are in the top five, with La Liga in Spain and the Bundesliga in Germany pretty far ahead of the pack. The Premier League in England, despite being the most valuable league in the world, has struggled to compete in the Champions League recently, and their match-based rating lags far behind their market value rating. Another league whose recent performance according to our ratings has lagged behind their market value is Major League Soccer in the U.S., whose last CONCACAF Champions League title was in 2000. MLS shows up in 28th place, between the Danish and Croatian leagues and a long way behind their regional rivals Liga MX in Mexico.To generate these league strength ratings, we’ve set up a system where we first assume that all leagues are of equal strength and determine how far above or below expectation each league has performed over the past five years. In order, we:Run through all domestic matches in history and calculate domestic team SPI ratings throughout time.Look at each inter-league match from the past five years and calculate the expected score of the match based purely on each team’s domestic rating at the time.Take the difference between our expected score of the match and the actual score and run these results through Massey’s Method to find a rating for each league, expressed in how many goals better or worse than average that league is.Regress these calculated ratings toward market-value based ratings, weighted by how many inter-league matches we have for each league.Run through all matches in history again, incorporating league strengths into the predictions for any inter-league matches to improve the final team ratings.Our league strengths can be interpreted as a bonus (in goals) given to each team in an inter-league match. So, for example, if Real Madrid (league strength of 2.01) were playing PSG (league strength of 1.48) and Real Madrid were a 0.2 goal favorite based only on their domestic SPI ratings, our model would give Real Madrid an extra 0.53 goal bonus because of the difference in the two teams’ league strengths.A nice feature of these league strength ratings is that they let us generate global SPI ratings for any club team in the world. These global SPI ratings are a combination of each team’s domestic SPI rating and the strength of the league they play in. To generate them, we set up a mock match on neutral ground against a team with a domestic offensive and defensive SPI rating of 1.35 that plays in a league with strength of 1.25. (These values are just arbitrary ratings that we use for a baseline team against which we can compare any other team.) We calculate the number of goals we expect each team to score in the match as well as the chances of each team winning. So each team’s global SPI ratings can be interpreted as follows:Offensive SPI: the number of goals the team is expected to score in such a matchDefensive SPI: the number of goals the team is expected to concede in such a matchOverall SPI: the percentage of points the team is expected to take in such a matchWe’ll be adding a list of all SPI-rated teams to our club soccer predictions soon. For now, you can find forecasts from 24 leagues. They’re available in three languages (English, Spanish and Portuguese) and will be updated after every match. Czech RepublicUEFA0.710.440.69 PortugalUEFA220.127.116.11 COUNTRY▲▼CONFEDERATION▲▼INTER-LEAGUE MATCHES▲▼MARKET VALUES▲▼OVERALL STRENGTH▲▼ HungaryUEFA-0.360.11-0.29 GermanyUEFA1.891.881.89 GreeceUEFA0.810.620.80 ItalyUEFA1.481.891.50 SwedenUEFA0.730.290.70 Not all leagues have market values on Transfermarkt.Sources: ESPN, Transfermarkt MaltaUEFA-1.65-0.63-1.44 COUNTRY▲▼CONFEDERATION▲▼INTER-LEAGUE MATCHES▲▼MARKET VALUES▲▼OVERALL STRENGTH▲▼ GuatemalaCONCACAF-0.64-0.64 IsraelUEFA0.220.230.22 NetherlandsUEFA0.711.050.73 IcelandUEFA-0.31-0.69-0.36 UruguayCONMEBOL0.600.150.58 BulgariaUEFA-0.150.27-0.10 BelgiumUEFA0.971.000.97 AustriaUEFA0.860.590.84 DenmarkUEFA0.590.380.57 MacedoniaUEFA-0.74-0.88-0.76 BoliviaCONMEBOL0.530.53 LuxembourgUEFA-1.41-0.84-1.29 WalesUEFA-1.60-0.88-1.46 PeruCONMEBOL-0.06-0.03-0.06 BrazilCONMEBOL1.481.641.49 ArgentinaCONMEBOL1.480.711.45 Faroe IslandsUEFA-1.70-0.88-1.54 STRENGTH BASED ON … CroatiaUEFA0.550.490.55 Relative strength of club soccer leagues from Europe, North America and South America, by countryBased on matches played in the past five years and the current market value of each league FranceUEFA1.511.011.49 ParaguayCONMEBOL0.900.90 ChileCONMEBOL0.740.180.71 KazakhstanUEFA0.400.270.39 EstoniaUEFA-1.67-0.52-1.47 ScotlandUEFA0.140.440.17 ArmeniaUEFA-1.05-0.42-0.92 RussiaUEFA1.491.271.48 AlbaniaUEFA-0.77-0.30-0.70 CyprusUEFA0.04-0.300.02 USACONCACAF0.540.660.56 AzerbaijanUEFA0.01-0.040.01 SwitzerlandUEFA1.070.751.06 Northern IrelandUEFA-1.63-0.88-1.48 BelarusUEFA0.150.020.14 TurkeyUEFA18.104.22.168 GeorgiaUEFA-0.79-0.30-0.71 MexicoCONCACAF1.120.931.09 ColombiaCONMEBOL1.020.460.99 All our significant changes are in how we assess the relative strength of domestic leagues. The goal was to improve our forecasts for the Champions League and Europa League and to better compare clubs in different countries — say, Juventus in Italy to Ajax in the Netherlands. We’re using recent matches played between teams from different leagues, supplemented with league market values (from Transfermarkt), to assign a strength rating to every league that we’re forecasting. Our new league ratings also give us the ability to a calculate a global Soccer Power Index (SPI) rating for each team — a number from 0 to 100 that represents the overall strength of each team.We’ll get into more detail about that methodology below, but to start, here are our league strengths for most of the top-tier domestic leagues in Europe, North America and South America: FinlandUEFA-0.45-0.38-0.44 This methodology article is for an old version of our club soccer forecasts. See how our latest club soccer predictions work.We’ve launched a big expansion of our soccer predictions here at FiveThirtyEight. We’re now forecasting 24 club soccer leagues, with two more — Champions League and Europa League — to come in a few weeks. We’ve added leagues from South America (Brasileirão and the Argentine Superliga), along with 14 new European leagues, including five second-tier leagues, such as the English Championship.For the most part, the methodology behind our forecasts is the same as last year’s. We’re still using four metrics from each match — goals scored, adjusted goals, shot-based expected goals and non-shot expected goals — to evaluate team performances. Those evaluations are expressed as offensive and defensive ratings for each team. And those ratings, in turn, let us calculate win/loss/draw probabilities for future matches and simulate the season thousands of times to estimate each team’s chances of winning the title. RomaniaUEFA0.750.240.71 SerbiaUEFA-0.110.12-0.09 EnglandUEFA1.582.281.60 El SalvadorCONCACAF-0.46-0.46 PanamaCONCACAF0.070.07 UkraineUEFA1.100.881.09 MontenegroUEFA-0.99-0.43-0.87 AndorraUEFA-2.79-0.88-2.25 VenezuelaCONMEBOL-0.09-0.11-0.09 LatviaUEFA-1.46-0.35-1.27 STRENGTH BASED ON … IrelandUEFA-0.28-1.07-0.40 BosniaUEFA-0.61-0.03-0.51 EcuadorCONMEBOL0.770.460.75 LithuaniaUEFA-2.08-0.43-1.69 SlovakiaUEFA0.19-0.160.15 PolandUEFA0.630.210.60 MoldovaUEFA-0.63-0.88-0.67 SloveniaUEFA-0.160.01-0.14 NorwayUEFA0.500.190.48
OSU hockey coach Steve Rohlik (back) talks to his team during a game against Michigan March 2 at Nationwide Arena. OSU lost, 4-3.Credit: Ben Jackson / For The LanternFor being such long endeavors, it’s odd that sports seasons are supposedly defined by their end results. It makes more sense to take a more holistic approach and look at the big picture — at the sum of all those little moments that go unnoticed.An event that was noticed was the 2014 Big Ten Hockey Tournament Championship in St. Paul, Minn. The first season of Big Ten hockey came down to one final game between Ohio State and Wisconsin, where the Buckeyes led 4-2 with less than seven minutes left March 22.The man behind OSU’s bench was Steve Rohlik. An associate head coach for three years with the Buckeyes, the 2013-14 season was Rohlik’s first in the top job. He had led his team through an 0-3 start and a goaltending reshuffle to bring the team within striking distance of its first NCAA Tournament appearance in five years.His seemingly calm demeanor didn’t reveal the tension of the encounter, nor his own personal details that made the situation more compelling — this was not only a game in his hometown, but it was also against his alma mater. The script almost writes itself.But, without warning, that script disappeared. The line between success and failure — one the Buckeyes had toed all season long in their 18-14-5 campaign — became clear. The Badgers scored twice in 28 seconds during the third period to tie the game, and less than eight minutes into the overtime period, Wisconsin was the Big Ten champion.“I couldn’t have asked much more from our guys. They laid it on the line,” Rohlik said last week. “Ultimately I think we were 6:52 short of doing something pretty darn special for this university, for the alumni here, and for this program.”That wasn’t the whole story, though. Instead, it was simply the end of the journey for a team and a coach that stressed the small things, and few could’ve imagined the Buckeyes would finish where they did after the upheaval of the previous spring.Before Rohlik stepped into his new role, Mark Osiecki was fired just over three weeks after the end of the 2012-13 season because of what athletic director Gene Smith called in a press release “a difference of opinion over the management of the program that could not be resolved.”It was Osiecki, Rohlik’s teammate at the University of Wisconsin, who brought him to Columbus as an associate head coach. Rohlik was named coach on an interim basis the day after Osiecki was let go, and then about a week later, was confirmed as the ninth head coach in program history.“I’m truly honored, humbled and very blessed,” Rohlik said at his introductory press conference April 24, 2013. “When I sat down with the administration, and they told me the support they had moving into the Big Ten, I knew this was the place I wanted to be.”Despite being an assistant coach for 16 years, Rohlik displayed leadership qualities at a young age. Captain at both Hill-Murray High School in St. Paul, Minn., and the University of Wisconsin, he had loads of experience in leading hockey players.“From a young age, I was a captain of every team I’ve ever been on. In high school, in every sport I was a captain, my buddies called me ‘the captain.’” Rohlik said. “It was just in my blood. I love to put my neck out there, I love to try to do things the right way, and I love to give it 110 percent and do whatever it takes to help the team win.”Just like leadership, hockey was also in Rohlik’s blood. Growing up in the “land of 10,000 lakes,” he said there was always a pond to skate on, and Rohlik described the sport as “a way of life.”The dream for most kids was to play in the Minnesota state championship game. Rohlik played in two.From there, he crossed the state line and attended the University of Wisconsin, captaining the Badgers in his junior and senior seasons, with his final campaign culminating in the 1990 NCAA Championship.“I might’ve been the guy with the ‘C’ on his sweater, but we had so many great leaders, and all the hard work kind of accumulated to our senior year,” Rohlik said. “To win the (Western Collegiate Hockey Association), to win the WCHA playoffs, and then to win the NCAA Tournament … you can’t write a book any better than that year.”Rohlik had a short stint as a professional before returning to his alma mater, Hill-Murray, as coach at the age of 23. Growing up, Rohlik’s father served the school in administrative position, so he said his dream was to play at Hill-Murray, making his appointment as coach even more meaningful.Five seasons in St. Paul were followed by Division I assistant coaching jobs at Nebraska-Omaha and Minnesota-Duluth. Then in 2010, Rohlik got the call from Osiecki, and in just three years he’d become the coach.“I think I’ve tried to take everything over my experiences as a player for so many years and as a coach for so many years. I just try to compile all those experiences,” Rohlik said. “Throughout all those years, you continue to ask yourself, ‘what would you do in that situation?’ I try to put myself in that spot, and ultimately when you get called upon (to be head coach), you try to surround yourself with good people.”One of those people is associate head coach Brett Larson, a man Rohlik got to know at Minnesota-Duluth, and who Rohlik brought to OSU upon his appointment last year. Larson said Rohlik’s passion coupled his with genuine nature makes him a natural fit for a coach.“The players can see how much he cares, how passionate he is. He wants to push everything to the next level,” Larson said. “It’s a great part of our culture, and you always say that the head coach leads the culture of a program. Being so passionate and so genuine are two things that make the players really want to play hard for him.”The switch in coaching might have been tricky, but junior forward Tanner Fritz — who played under Rohlik as an assistant for two years — said the familiarity was actually beneficial.“When he was the assistant coach, he was always the guy in the room after practice talking to the guys. He still does that — he’s a great player coach,” Fritz said. “He’s very involved in the team. I think he’s tight with every one of us. It’s good to have a coach that’s approachable and can talk to you outside of hockey.”Besides his management skills and personability, Rohlik wants to instill in his players that passion Larson and so many others see clearly in him. Judging by what players like Fritz have to say about it, he seems to have succeeded.“His passion for the game is — bar none — one of the best I’ve ever seen. The guy loves the game, he loves being at the rink,” Fritz said. “(The players) feed off that energy. We’re hard-working and we play with a lot of passion, and that comes from the coaching staff.”That might not have come through at first, however. Three consecutive losses to start the season, an injury to freshman goalie Matt Tomkins and another goalie, then-sophomore Collin Olson, leaving the program in November threatened to derail the entire season.But things changed with the addition of freshman goalie Christian Frey in net and the competitiveness of the Big Ten conference. Each game seemed to bring out the best in the Buckeyes as they finished fourth, behind three top-20 squads.Freshman forward Nick Schilkey, who was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, said the coaching philosophy of Rohlik and his staff was a big factor in righting the ship.“He focuses on a lot of details. We focused all year on sticking together and sticking to the gameplan the coaches had set in place,” Schilkey said. “Over time, we grew into that gameplan and it showed during the second half of the year.”Those details came together in many instances, including the upset of then-No. 1 Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal. Even if the season could be considered a success though, Rohlik knows there’s more to come from this team and this program.“Were we satisfied at the end? Absolutely not. Were we satisfied with where we were at in the league? Absolutely not,” Rohlik said. “There’s certainly always room for improvement, and we know we’ve got a long way to go.”And though he’s building a program, Rohlik sees his job as much more than that.He cites the examples of junior forward Ryan Dzingel and senior forward Alex Lippincott as proof of what the sport’s biggest impact can be. Dzingel just signed a professional contract with the Ottawa Senators of the NHL, while Lippincott recently got his first job as graduation approaches.“You see the power of what Ohio State can (do), be it moving on with the hockey or moving on because of the academic side of things,” Rohlik said. “I think that makes it pretty special for us to be involved with.”Now, with one season under his belt, Rohlik is aiming to make things even more special around the OSU hockey program.If he continues to get some of those little details right, it’d be hard to overestimate how far he can take it.
Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong signs a guestbook next to Malaysia’s prime minister Mahathir Mohamad prior to their private meeting at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya, Malaysia on 19 May. Photo: ReutersMalaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said Monday he was scrapping a project to build a high-speed railway to Singapore, in an ominous sign for the neighbours’ famously fractious relationship.Mahathir, who won a surprise election victory this month against Najib Razak’s long-ruling coalition, is seeking to repair the country’s finances which he says deteriorated dramatically after the former government became embroiled in a huge financial scandal.The leader said it was a “final decision” to scrap plans for the bullet-train line between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which had been agreed on several years ago and was expected to cut travel times to 90 minutes from five hours by road today.”It’s not beneficial. It’s going to cost us a huge sum of money, we’ll make no money at all from this operation,” the 92-year-old said.Mahathir said he was not sure how long his decision would take to implement, adding: “Of course we have to talk to Singapore, we have an agreement with them.”Asked if Singapore had been informed of his decision, he said: “I don’t know.”Malaysia, he said, may have to pay as much as 500 million ringgit ($125.7 million) in compensation.Singapore’s transport ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.The development will alarm the Singapore government, which is watching to see whether the return of Mahathir — whose relationship with the city-state was famously prickly during his first stint as premier from 1981-2003 — might cause ties to worsen.The neighbours have had a difficult relationship since Singapore was expelled from the Malaysian Federation in 1965 over ethnic issues, and relations in subsequent decades were punctuated by occasional bickering.When Mahathir was first prime minister, rows blew up frequently over everything from water — Singapore gets its water supply from Malaysia — to the Malaysian leader’s plan to build a bridge connecting the neighbours to replace the current causeway. The project never took off.But under Najib, who was accused of overseeing the plunder of state coffers, relations had been warm. ‘Avoid bankruptcy’Malaysia and Singapore signed a deal in 2016 to build the railway.Companies had started submitting bids for the 350-kilometre (217-mile) line, which was scheduled to be completed by 2026.Currently, most people take a flight of around an hour between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, on what is the world’s busiest international air route.Chinese companies were seen as having a high chance of landing a chunk of the project as ties had warmed with Malaysia under Najib.Others were also keen — in February a powerful European consortium that included Alstom and Siemens announced it had partnered with a Malaysian firm to bid for the project. There was also expected to be interest from Japan.No official assessment of the railway’s cost has been made public but analyst estimates in 2016 were as high as $15 billion.Mahathir has said that Malaysia’s debt had ballooned to more than one trillion ringgit ($251 billion)under Najib, and he would review projects agreed under his predecessor.In a weekend interview he said his government was renegotiating the terms of a Chinese-funded $14 billion rail link traversing peninsular Malaysia.Najib was elected from power by voters disgusted at corruption allegations surrounding sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.The ex-leader, his family and cronies are accused of stealing billions of dollars from the fund and using it to buy everything from high-end real estate to artworks.Najib, who has been banned from leaving the country and questioned over the graft allegations since losing power, and 1MDB deny any wrongdoing.
Popular on Variety Smart speaker maker Sonos has hired former Tribune exec Eddie Lazarus as its new chief legal officer. Lazarus will be in charge of all legal, regulatory, compliance and SEC reporting issues, among other things.Prior to joining Sonos, Lazarus worked as general counsel and chief strategy officer for Tribune Media. Before that, he was chief of staff to then-FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.“As we continue to grow as a public company, Eddie adds an important strategic voice to our leadership team at Sonos,” said CEO Patrick Spence in a statement. “His broad experience in legal and government affairs combined with deep expertise in business strategy will be essential as we continue to expand into new markets and categories, and reach more listeners throughout the world.”“Over the years, Sonos has built an impressive culture of innovation that is positioned for great success over the long-term,” added Lazarus. “I’m excited to join the Sonos team as it continues to invent terrific products and build a business that inspires the world to listen better.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Lazarus joins Sonos at an interesting time. The company went public earlier this year, and finished off a better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter in November. However, like much of the consumer electronics industry, Sonos is also threatened by the Trump administration’s continued trade dispute with China. Having someone with government experience could help the company as it aims to push against tariffs on its China-made speakers.What’s more, Sonos has long used its extensive patent portfolio as a bargaining chip as it aims to compete with much bigger players like Amazon, Apple and Google. The company won a lawsuit against Denon earlier this year, and executives have said in the past that its patents have helped to get companies like Google and Amazon to agree to port their assistants to speakers made by the company. “It helps level the playing field,” said Sonos CEO Patrick Spence about the company’s patent portfolio in an interview with Variety earlier this year.Lazarus will officially be joining Sonos at the beginning of 2019. He will be based in Santa Barbara, Calif., and report directly to Spence.
Recently, NASA released colorful, dreamy illustrations depicting an imagined future in which human beings have made it to other worlds. A curly-haired astronaut floats inside a lunar space station, with the crater-pocked moon behind her. A lunar explorer steadies a camera on a tripod to photograph Earth in the distance. And an astronaut stands on the dunes of Mars with her hands in the pockets of her spacesuit, a dog at her side. But dogs have been to space. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Soviet Union strapped dogs into capsules and launched them into the sky. The canines were not trusty space sidekicks, but research subjects, strays collected from city streets to test launch systems before humans themselves did. (The United States conducted similar tests, with several species of monkeys.) Read the whole story: The Atlantic Wait, a dog? To be clear, NASA’s ambitious plans for missions to the moon and Mars do not include dogs. (At least, none that the public knows about. If you’re a member of a top-secret program to groom doggonauts, please contact me.) The agency does want to send humans there, sometime in the 2030s.