Saints defenceman Stefan Virtanen shares in World Junior experience

first_imgIt’s a game that will take prominence in Canadian hockey lore and for Selkirk College Saints defenceman Stefan Virtanen, last week’s Canada-Russia World Junior Championship game had extra special significance.Stefan’s brother Jake Virtanen was a key component of the world champion juniors that triumphed over the Russians 5-4 before a packed house at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto last Monday night. The power forward delivered a couple of big hits and provided grit that helped propel the Canadian squad to the top of the world.“I wish I could have been there, but I watched every game religiously,” says Virtanen, who is four years older than his only sibling. “It was such a big moment for our family. I talked with my parents about it, you don’t think as a parent that one of your kids is going to play for his country in a sport when you sign them up when they are five years old. My brother has worked really hard over the past couple years and he made the most of his opportunity.”The older Virtanen watched the game on television with several of his Selkirk Saints teammates at his house in Castlegar. As he did many times in the tournament, Jake made a statement early in the gold medal final when he levelled Russian forward Vladislav Kamenev at centre ice.“I kind of laughed when that happened… that’s what happens when people try to hit him,” Stefan says of the thundering hit. “This was a big game, I knew he would have two or three big hits and that was one of them.”A Natural from an Early AgeThe Virtanen brothers grew up in the Langley and Abbotsford. Though they played many sports, it was hockey that dominated the scene.Following in his brother’s footsteps, Jake had standout skills from a young age. Making his way through minor hockey, Jake ended up as the first overall pick in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft when he was chosen by the Calgary Hitmen.“You just knew… he has a very natural talent,” Stefan says of his brother’s skills on the ice.At the 2014 NHL Entry Draft at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Jake was chosen sixth overall by the Vancouver Canucks. Stefan and his parents were at the draft to help share in the special moment.“Growing up in the greater Vancouver area, our favourite team was the Canucks,” says Stefan. “We’ve watched hundreds of Canucks games, so it’s a surreal feeling your little brother gets drafted by the team you have watched your whole life growing up.”Big Brother Leads the WayAs a key member of the Selkirk College Saints, Stefan is a hard-nosed defenceman who patrols the blueline with skill and strength.Like his younger brother, Stefan had a great deal of success in minor hockey and was a sought after prospect by junior teams. He started his junior career with the BCHL’s Williams Lake Timberwolves in 2009 and the next season headed east to the SJHL where he played with the Flin Flon Bombers. In the northern Manitoba community, Stefan had the opportunity to taste hockey in a passionate community that turned out such NHL legends as Bobby Clarke and Reggie Leach. “Flin Flon was awesome,” Stefan says. “It was one of the best times I had in junior, it’s a small town but you play in front of 2,000 to 2,500 people packed into your home rink.”After two seasons in the SJHL, Stefan inched west and finished his junior career with the Calgary Mustangs in the AJHL. After his final season, Stefan signed a pro contract with the Brampton Beast of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and attended the team’s rookie camp. He was sent to Mississippi Surge of the SPHL, but soon returned to Canada to consider his options.While looking into post-secondary avenues that would allow him to continue playing hockey, Stefan first considered Simon Fraser University. After making some inquiries he was contacted by former Selkirk Saints head coach Jeff Dubois who painted a pretty attractive picture of life in the West Kootenays.“I didn’t want to commute to SFU every day, I just wanted to live in a small town again because that was basically most of my junior career was,” says Stefan. “More people come to your games, you know more people, it’s a better atmosphere… it seemed like the right place to be.”Stefan enrolled in the Business Administration Program and joined the Saints for the second half of the 2013-2014 season. Paired with Tanner Lenting, the blueline duo was key to the Saints winning their second straight BCIHL Championship last March before a packed house at the Castlegar Recreation Complex.“It was such an amazing feeling to come into a team and being able to help win a championship for the college,” Stefan says.Pride in Family and CountryThough his commitment to his own career path prevented Stefan from joining his family in Toronto for the World Junior Championship, the two brothers were in daily contact throughout the tournament. They Skyped before games, talked after games and used various forms of social media to stay in constant contact.Before the gold medal game against the Russians, Stefan offered simple advice to his little brother.“I just told him to play the role the coach wants him to play and he will get his opportunity to get his ice time,” he says. “Before the gold medal game I just told him to be smart with the puck, do the simple things and try to stay calm.”It worked as Jake made several key plays that helped Canada capture one of its most memorable international victories.A record 7.1 million viewers took in the thrilling gold medal final on television, but few Canadians can claim similar feelings as the big brother sitting in Castlegar.“When your little brother calls you ten minutes after getting off the ice in such a huge game, it’s pretty special that you are one of the first people he thinks of in that moment,” says Stefan.And what did Jake Virtanen tell his big brother?“He told me that he doesn’t think there will be anything else as cool as this,” says Stefan. “To win a game like that in front of the home fans in Canada, he said the feeling when you are standing there with the trophy and the gold medal, there’s 20,000 people singing O Canada… he said you get the chills.”IN THE CREASE: The Selkirk College Saints returned to action this past weekend where they dropped two close games to the league leading Trinity Western University at the Castlegar Recreation Complex… The Saints are back in action this Friday when they travel to Cheney, Washington to take on the Eastern Washington University Eagles… The Saints next home game is on January 24 against those same Eagles… Stefan Virtanen has scored two goals this season… Jake Virtanen is back with the Calgary Hitmen where the left winger has registered 10 goals and 15 assists.last_img read more

Southland Conference Announces Fall 2018 Commissioner’s Honor Roll

first_imgFall 2018 Commissioner’s Honor Roll | 2018-19 Academic AwardsFRISCO, Texas – A total of 989 Southland Conference student-athletes across 62 teams are on the Fall 2018 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, the league announced Thursday. The men’s sports are cross country and football, and the women’s sports are cross country, soccer and volleyball.The Commissioner’s Honor Roll recognizes student-athletes in the sports of men’s cross country, women’s cross country, football, soccer and volleyball who maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average in the semester of their sport.Of the total student-athletes named, 223 posted perfect 4.0 GPAs during the fall semester.“We are very honored and pleased to see so many Southland Conference student-athletes continue to succeed academically,” league Commissioner Tom Burnett said. “The Southland and its member institutions are focused on the academic and competitive well-being of these individuals as the work toward graduation and lifelong success.”Central Arkansas leads the conference with 122 total honorees, followed by Abilene Christian with 108, and Incarnate Word with 104.Northwestern State has 93 student-athletes on the list, followed by Southeastern Louisiana (81), Houston Baptist (79), McNeese (77), Sam Houston State (71), Stephen F. Austin (66) and Nicholls (61). Lamar (57), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (45) and New Orleans (25) round out the Fall 2018 Honor Roll.Among the league’s 11 football-playing schools, UCA paves the way with 56 student-athletes earning Commissioner’s Honor Roll status. Abilene Christian has the second-most with 51 gridders and Northwestern State ranks third among football teams with 41 student-athletes.Incarnate Word and Central Arkansas tied to lead the men’s cross country student-athletes with 14 runners from each institution making the grade. Northwestern State tallied the third-most with nine men’s harriers. In women’s cross country, the Bears finished up front with 16 runners, while the UIW Cardinals notched 13 student-athletes. In third was Stephen F. Austin and McNeese have 11 runners apiece.Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word account for 26 soccer student-athletes from each institution on the Honor Roll, while Central Arkansas and Nicholls are represented with 23 each.Among volleyball players, ACU finished at the forefront with 18 representatives, while 15 Northwestern State student-athletes made the list. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, New Orleans and Stephen F. Austin each placed 14.last_img read more

B&E accused granted $20,000 bail

first_imgA Lindener was released on ,000 bail after he was taken to the Linden Magistrate’s Court to answer to a breaking and entering and larceny charge.Linden McCurul, 18, appeared before Magistrate Clive Nurse and pleaded not guilty to the charged which stated that he broke and entered the home of Abiola Griffith located at Lot 366 Block 22, Wismar on Friday August 26 and stole $14,000 in cash.The labourer of Lot 349 Block 22, Wismar, Linden will make his next court appearance on September 27.last_img read more

Conte apologises to referee after sending off

first_img0Shares0000Antonio Conte remonstrates with referee Neil Swarbrick before being sent to the standsLONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 30 – Antonio Conte has apologised to referee Neil Swarbrick after being sent to the stands during Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Swansea.Conte was dismissed on the stroke of half-time at Stamford Bridge after protesting furiously in a discussion with Swarbrick over a number of contentious decisions. The Italian felt Swansea were time-wasting when the game was still goalless, but after Chelsea sealed the three points, he expressed his remorse.“After the game, I think it’s normal, it’s right to apologise for what happened during the game,” said Conte.“During the game, in the first half, I saw that Swansea were wasting time. I said this a few times to the fourth official.“At the same time, I didn’t see something change in the first half. I was frustrated for this situation. I tried to tell again, but then the referee took this decision.“I repeat, I apologise for this. I was frustrated. For sure I made a mistake. During the game I suffer. With my players I suffer. It’s a pity.“They are wasting time. I was a bit animated. I said this and I shout this. It was not the first time. I think for this reason the fourth official lost his patience. But I repeat, the fault was mine, not the fourth official’s. I apologise for this. I was frustrated.”Antonio Rudiger’s first goal were sufficient against a struggling Swansea side, with the reigning Premier League champions extending their undefeated streak to six games.Conte added: “We started this season with many problems. Now we are trying to solve these problems. I think now we are improving.“We are trying another system of play. And I had the possibility to alternate these two systems. These are good options for me.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Liverpool and Everton fans react to Sakho v Lukaku

first_imgIt was a titanic battle between two giants of English football.No. Not the Merseyside derby, which ended up being a little on the dull side despite early promise as the game finished 1-1 at Goodison Park.We’re talking about Mamadou Sakho v Romelu Lukaku.As Everton v Liverpool drew to a close, the pair clashed in the penalty area resulting in eye-popping stares, chest beating, and a lot of pointing. But what would have happened had the two come to blows? It’s a frightening prospect.You can see how fans on Twitter reacted to the battle below… 1 Mamadou Sakho and Romelu Lukaku clash last_img read more

Sunshine politics

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! YEARS go by, decades really, and the city of Los Angeles still seems incapable of developing a rational policy on trash that doesn’t involve trashing the San Fernando Valley. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who, like his predecessor, campaigned on a promise to end the city’s dumping at Sunshine Canyon in Granada Hills, has disappeared on the issue, preferring to spend the city’s wealth on the hopeless homeless rather than the hapless homeowners. And after three City Council committees lacked the courage to take a stand on the issue, the full council on Friday voted to defer consideration until just four days before the Feb. 28 deadline for a decision. Instead, the city will send a delegation hat in hand to beg officials of Browning Ferris Industries to give them a good deal, even as the city starts shipping some of its trash out of town. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant So don’t be surprised when all is said and done, that BFI tells the city to take a hike and the council decides it has no choice but to continuing dumping at Sunshine – much to the dismay of the surrounding community. Then the mayor and the council can all stand on the steps of City Hall, throw up their hands and say, “We did the best we could, but now we have to subsidize billionaires’ developments and a subway to the sea. And, by the way, we need higher taxes so city workers can have a big raise.”last_img read more

Surgeons blaze path in regrowing organs

first_img At the time of her surgery five years ago, her kidneys were close to failing as a result of her weak bladder. Now, they are working again, and she no longer wears a diaper. Instead, she was waiting for alterations on a low-cut champagne-color dress for her junior prom. “Now that I’ve had the transplant, my body actually does what I want it to do,” she said in an interview last week at her uncle’s house in Haddam, Conn. “Now I can go have fun and not worry about having an accident.” Scientists, marveling at how such animals as salamanders regenerate lost limbs, have long toyed with the futuristic possibilities of regrowing worn-out or injured human parts. Over the past decade, researchers began fashioning better scaffold-like platforms that hold growing cells and dissolve inside the body. The study of stem cells, which can mature into all the body’s other tissues, has also supercharged progress in regenerative medicine. The researchers at Children’s Hospital in Boston used a more mature cell type known as a progenitor. They first operated on the patients to remove bad tissue that made up more than half of their bladders. They fished out muscle and bladder wall cells, seeded them on cup-like bladder-shape scaffolds of collagen, then let the cells reproduce in the lab for seven weeks. Starting with tens of thousands, they ended up with about 1.5 billion cells. The cell-bearing molds were then surgically sewn back to the remnants of the patients’ original and partly working bladders, where the lab-nurtured cells kept maturing. The team, which began its work in 1999, followed the last patient for almost two years. In undergoing the experimental procedure, the patients skirted the typical side effects of grafts that would otherwise have been made with their own intestinal tissue. “It gives everyone in the field … the evidence and encouragement they’ve needed to say this can be done,” said Dr. Stephen Badylak, a University of Pittsburgh expert in tissue engineering. Atala, the research leader who has since moved to Wake Forest University, has already begun commercializing his transplant techniques through Tengion, a company he helped found in King of Prussia, Pa. It has licensing rights to patents on his work, and some of his research collaborators have acted as consultants. Some researchers were more cautious about the promise shown with the new procedure, saying the study lacks any direct comparison group of patients getting the traditional graft. Dr. Joseph Zwischenberger, who edits the journal of the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs, questioned how well the new bladders worked in the first few patients and raised a “red flag” about two patients who left the study for personal reasons and were ultimately omitted from the results. He also said Atala’s attempts to commercialize the technique should add some skepticism toward the findings, which he nonetheless called “very interesting preliminary data.” The patients in the study must still cope with the ravages of spina bifida, the birth defect that caused their bladder problems. Leaving the spine incompletely closed, spina bifida can turn off nerve signals that keep the bladder healthy. The stiff, leathery bladder leaks frequently, forcing the person to wear pads or diapers. What’s worse, the weakened bladders can flush urine back into the kidneys and damage them too. The rebuilt bladders, though, were up to three times more elastic and better at holding urine, the researchers report. In all seven patients, kidney function was preserved, the study said. The patients must still empty their bladders regularly with a tube but can avoid leaking in between. For Kaitlyne McNamara, the urinary infections, leaking and daily diapers are now just embarrassing memories. “It kind of boosted my self-esteem,” she says. “I don’t have to worry.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BOSTON – The once-fanciful dream of regrowing the heart and other failing organs has suddenly edged closer to reality: The first complex organ, the bladder, has been rebuilt in seven patients from living tissue cultivated in the lab. “It’s really science fiction at its best,” marvels Tracy McNamara whose daughter got one of the first transplants and is living a more normal life because of it. The breakthrough was reported online Tuesday in The Lancet medical journal, with doctors explaining how they mostly replaced diseased bladders from seven youngsters with tissue grown from the patients’ own cells. Though simpler tissues such as skin and bone have been regrown and transplanted, this is the first time it has been accomplished with a more complex organ. “It’s startling and exciting,” declared Dr. Eli A. Friedman, a transplant surgeon at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center in New York who was briefed on the findings. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event “This suggests that tissue engineering may one day be a solution to the shortage of donor organs in this country for those needing transplants,” said Dr. Anthony Atala, the lead researcher. Growing other organs will likely hold unforeseen challenges, however, since organs are so specialized in their functions, scientists stress. Even for people with bladder disease – and there are an estimated 35 million in the United States alone – Atala’s technique requires testing on more patients and for longer times, researchers say. Replacing an entire bladder would pose many more problems, including reconnecting urine tubes, blood supply, and nerve signaling, according to Dr. Steve Y. Chung, an Illinois urologist who wrote a commentary for Lancet. Still, he called the work “a tremendous, tremendous advance.” For the children and teenagers in the study, the transplants reduced leaking from their bladders – a potentially big gain in quality of life. For 16-year-old Kaitlyne McNamara, of Middletown, Conn., the transplant has meant a new social life. last_img read more

SERVICE STATION RE-OPENS AFTER FUEL MISHAP

first_imgA well-known garage forecourt is back in business after a fuel mishap.The Lagg Service Station in Milford took a fuel delivery yesterday.But 25,000 litres of diesel and petrol was put into the WRONG tanks. When two lorries arrived last night to remove the fuel, local people feared the garage – which is in administration after going bust – was going to close for good.However new loads of fuel were delivered today to the garage. SERVICE STATION RE-OPENS AFTER FUEL MISHAP was last modified: June 26th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Nogales 15, Arroyo 10

first_img The game-winning series was capped by Rubio’s 1-yard touchdown. “We believed in ourselves tonight,” Nobles coach Tim Silvett said. “We made several big plays at the right time.” The Nobles defense also chipped in, limiting the Knights duo of Salmon and receiver Sergio Leon to 60 yards on five completions. “Tonight’s win showed our kids that hard work pays off,” Silvett said. “Tonight’s victory was our reward.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 With the victory, Nogales ended Arroyo’s 20-game regular season winning streak. Arroyo had an opportunity at a comeback victory, but it ended when Nobles defensive back Tony Martinez intercepted Knights quarterback Dominic Salmon deep in Nobles’ territory with two minutes remaining. The Nobles got a huge performance from Ross. The junior finished with 144 yards on 18 carries. “I felt good tonight, I worked hard all week and it paid off,” Ross said. The Nobles also got a solid performance out of Rubio. The junior had several big plays, including a 26-yard run on a key fourth down and two pass completions on other fourth downs. center_img LA PUENTE — Nogales High School’s duo of running back Eddie Ross and quarterback Chris Rubio led the Nobles to a 15-10 upset of visiting Arroyo High School in a nonleague game on Thursday night. Nogales (3-2) was trailing, 10-9, late in the fourth quarter when the Nobles’ duo of Ross and Rubio led an impressive 11-play, 78-yard drive. last_img read more

Mathias Kigonya nominated for ‘best shot stopper’ gong in Kenya Premier League

first_imgKigonya scored four league goals last seasonNAIROBI – Former Bright Stars custodian Matthias Kigonya has been nominated for the best goalkeeper of the year award in the annual Kenya Premier League awards.The free agent who has decided to leave Sofapaka FC is the only Ugandan player nominated among the 12 categories that were shortlisted this week.Last season, Kigonya scored four goals for his side (all penalties) and kept 10 clean sheets as Sofapaka finished fifth in the league.Kigonya was part of the KPL All-Stars team that traveled to Spain for exhibition matches against Cordoba and Sevilla Atlético in 2017.Kigonya will face stiff competition from Patrick Matasi who featured for Tusker last season, Farouk Shikalo of Bandari, Kevin Omondi (SoNy Sugar) and AFC Leopards’ Ezekiel Owade.The winner of this specific award will walk away with Ksh. 500,000 while the runner up will scoop Ksh. 300,000.A total of 6.7M will go to respective winners. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) will bag Ksh. 1M.Comments Tags: Mathais KigonyaSofapaka FClast_img read more