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Stick save: Florida coach turns hockey sticks into oyster hotels

Credit an assistant college hockey coach in southwest Florida with a stick save for the environment.

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Bob Wasno, a marine biologist at Florida Gulf Coast University who helps coach the university’s club hockey team, has turned broken hockey sticks into a design that becomes an oyster hotel, the News-Press of Fort Myers reported.

“Before, the sticks would go from the rink to the Dumpster and from the Dumpster to the landfills,” Wasno told the newspaper. “Now, our hockey players, who didn’t know a lick about oysters other than they’re delicious with cocktail sauce, have also have learned they’re filter feeders.”

Because oysters help purify the water, the hotels -- which are actually reef habitats -- are helping to keep the mollusk population strong. One oyster is capable of filtering 50 gallons of water in a day, the News-Press reported. 

Wasno has already placed 30 of his oyster hotels in southwest Florida and as far south as the Florida Keys, the News-Press reported. Up to 400 oysters can reside in the hotels, the newspaper reported. It takes 12 sticks to make the habitat, which measures 18 inches high.

The idea came from hockey players who told Wasno they had broken sticks that were worthless, Michael Parsons, the facilities manager at the university’s Vester Marine and Environmental Science Research Field Station in Bonita Springs, told the newspaper. 

“Bob was sitting with hockey players and they were lamenting broken sticks not being able to be used for anything,” Pearson said. “Bob recalled using large concrete pilings for artificial reefs. He said, ‘If we can build these large ones, maybe we can build small ones with hockey sticks.’”

Wasno has a master’s degree in environmental sciences and degrees in aquaculture and fisheries science. He is amazed that his idea has attracted national attention.

“It’s snowballed,” Wasno told the News-Press. “It’s a natural repurposing. We’ve taken something that had become useless and was filling up landfills and turned it into something that helped students learn about the oysters’ role in the environment.

“We’re offering Mother Nature assistance.”

Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson arrested on domestic assault charge

Nashville Predators player Austin Watson is facing a domestic assault charge, police said Wednesday.

According to WKRN, the 26-year-old NHL forward was arrested Tuesday at a gas station in Franklin, Tennessee, authorities said.

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Watson, who is free on $4,500 bond, is scheduled to appear in court next Thursday.

Read more here.

Capitals' T.J. Oshie shares Stanley Cup with dad, who has Alzheimer's

T.J. Oshie had a memorable run during the Stanley Cup playoffs with eight goals and 13 assists in 24 games. But the veteran forward’s most treasured memory was sharing the Stanley Cup with his father after the Capitals won pro hockey’s most prestigious trophy Thursday night.

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After the Capitals’ 4-3 victory against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 sealed the first Stanley Cup in the franchise’s 44-year history, Oshie found his father, who has Alzheimer’s disease, and gave him a bearhug, WBAL reported.

Tim Oshie nurtured his son’s love of hockey as a coach in Everett, Washington. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s five years ago and his memory is sometimes cloudy, WBAL reported.

>> Washington Capitals capture first Stanley Cup

"My dad, he doesn't remember a lot of stuff these days," T.J. Oshie, 31, told WBAL. "He remembers enough. But I tell you what, he's here tonight. I don't know where he's at, but this one will stick with him forever. You can guarantee that."

>> DC deputy mayor writes tardy note for joyous Capitals fans

Oshie found his father moments later, and the two savored the biggest win of his career.

DC deputy mayor writes tardy note for joyous Capitals fans

Washington Capitals fans had plenty of reasons to celebrate late Thursday. The team's 4-3 victory in Game 5 gave the franchise its first Stanley Cup in the 44-year history of the team.

>> Read more trending newsFor those fans who celebrated late into the night, D.C. Deputy Mayor Keith Donahue wrote a tongue-in-cheek tardy note for Friday, WRC reported.Donahue tweeted a note signed by the DC Government that fans can fill out and present to their employer, WRC reported. 

>> Washington Capitals capture first Stanley Cup

However, it is not a real note.

The note says that "Due to the #ALLCAPS victory last night, your valued employee was Rocking the Red and being DCProud well past a reasonable hour."The note also puts in a request for a sick day in advance of the victory parade in honor of the Capitals' first NHL crown, WRC reported.

Washington Capitals capture first Stanley Cup

It has been a long wait for Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, but they can finally call themselves Stanley Cup champions.

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Lars Eller scored a goal with 7:37 to play in the third period Thursday and Ovechkin also scored earlier to give Washington a 4-3 victory against the expansion Vegas Knights in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals, ESPN reported. After 44 seasons, the Capitals won their first Stanley Cup, and it was the first NHL crown for Ovechkin, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP. Ovechkin scored 15 goals and added 12 assists during the postseason.

The Capitals won their first Stanley Cup after 3,701 games -- regular and postseason -- and 28 postseason appearances, The Washington Post reported.

It is the first title for the Washington area in the four major sports -- NHL, NBA, NFL or Major League Baseball -- since the Washington Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI in January 1992.

"Obviously, this emotion is just unbelievable," Ovechkin told reporters after the game. “I can't imagine what's happening right now back in Washington. It's gonna be so crazy. I'm so happy for team, for our organization. We've been waiting for so long, and finally we got the result and we got the Cup.”

Washington became the second team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup after trailing in every round of the playoffs, joining the 1990-91 Pittsburgh Penguins, the Post reported. The Capitals also became the fifth team in league history to win 10 road games during the playoffs.

The Capitals debuted in the NHL in 1974-75 and won just eight games that season. Ovechkin, drafted No. 1 in the 2004 NHL draft by Washington, had been frustrated by nine postseason appearances that ended short of the conference final. That ended this season, as the Capitals eliminated Columbus, defending champion Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay to reach the championship round. After losing Game 1 to the expansion Golden Knights, Washington won the next four games to take home Lord Stanley’s Cup.

"At the beginning of the year, we said we weren't going to be second," Ovechkin said.

His prediction came true Thursday night.

Bruins' Brad Marchand licks opponent’s face

Fights are common in hockey, but Boston’s Brad Marchand insists on getting in the last lick.

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The Bruins’ winger rocked Tampa Bay’s Ryan Callahan with a hit along the boards during Game 4 of their second-round NHL playoff game in Boston. When Callahan took offense and shoved Marchand in the face, the Bruins’ player tried to press his face and tongue against the Lightning player’s face, ESPN reported.

“Well, he punched me four times in the face, so -- you know, he just kept getting close," Marchand said after the Lightning’s 4-3 overtime victory gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. “Nothing big.”

"I don't know what's going through Marchand's mind," NBC Sports Network analyst Keith Jones said during the intermission between periods.

"I hope the league looks at it," Callahan said. "I don't know if there is discipline for spitting in someone's face. But for me it's worse, if not the same."

When told that Callahan referred to Marchand as "spitting" at him instead of licking him, Marchand said, "That's cute. Good for him."

It wasn’t the first time Marchand had attempted a licking gesture -- he was caught on camera licking Toronto’s Leo Komarov in the Bruins’ first-round series, ESPN reported. The antics did not sit well with Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper.

"There is absolutely no place in our game for that," Cooper told reporters. ”I don't get it. I don't understand it. I don't. How would you feel if I walked over to you right now and gave you one big lick from the chin up?"

"It's not part of hockey," Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman told reporters. “It's not part of any sports at all."

Hockey fans honor Humboldt crash victims with hockey stick tributes, #PutYourSticksOut

As family members mourn the players killed and injured in a bus crash in Canada, hockey fans around the world are paying tribute to the Humboldt Broncos hockey team.

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It’s a simple display that’s popping up on porches: a hockey stick propped up outside. It was suggested by Brian Munz, a broadcaster with The Sports Network (TSN). He drew inspiration from a high school friend, CNN reported.

Some added a candle to light the way for those players lost in the crash.

Others left sticks ready at a rink in the players’ memory.

And if there wasn’t a stick available, a jersey and a puck took the place.

While at the Hockey Hall of Fame, the sticks had a place of honor next to the Stanley Cup.

Ten players with the Humboldt Broncos died in a crash last week. They were on the way to a playoff game when the team’s bus hit a tractor-trailer in Saskatchewan. Five others with connections to the team -- including two coaches, a volunteer statistician, a broadcaster and the bus driver -- also died, The Washington Post reported.

Fourteen others were hurt, CTV News reported.

Related video: 

Mistaken identity: Body in Humboldt bus crash misidentified, officials say

Authorities mixed up the identities of two players involved in the bus crash involving members of the Humboldt Broncos that killed 15 people, a spokesman for Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Justice told Canadian Press.

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Drew Wilby said Monday that officials at the coroner’s office misidentified the body of Parker Tobin, 18, for that of Xavier Labelle.

Labelle is injured but alive, Wilby said. Tobin is among the 15 who were killed when the bus carrying the junior hockey team to a playoff game in northeastern Saskatchewan collided with a tractor-trailer Friday.

Wilby said the coroner’s office followed standard procedure to identify the victim, but the mixup occurred because the players had all dyed their hair blond, were around the same age and had the same athletic build, Canadian Press reported.

>> 15 killed in crash that involved Canadian junior hockey team

Over the weekend, Tobin’s family had tweeted that the goalie was alive .

“This is one of the hardest posts I have ever had to make,” Rhonda Clarke Tobin wrote Saturday. “Parker is stable at the moment and being airlifted to Saskatoon hospital. Thank you all for your kind words and messages. Please continue to pray for his Humboldt family.”

Labelle's family had confirmed his death over the weekend before the mistake was revealed.

Wilby said dental records are the best way to make an identification, but would take days to track down because the players lived in different areas of western Canada, Canadian Press reported.

Wilby said the mistake was “unprecedented,” adding that the families affected have been very understanding.

Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench called it “an unfortunate mistake.”

“It’s hard to comprehend that,” he told The Associated Press.

Broncos club President Kevin Garinger said he was contacted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police early Monday.

“At this point, I just want to reach out and support the families,” Garinger told the AP. “It’s not about understanding anything.”

Fourteen people also were injured in the collision.

>> Humboldt junior hockey team: 5 things to know

A vigil for those killed was held at the team’s home arena and was attended by thousands, Canadian Press reported.

Among those attending was Nick Shumlanski, the first player released from hospital.

On Sunday night, he tweeted out a statement saying the support he's received has been helpful.

"Although reality hasn't really set in yet, it is truly devastating to have lost so many close friends, brothers and amazing coaches. Times are tough right now but the support you all have shown is so amazing," he wrote.

Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team: 5 things to know

The Humboldt Broncos were heading to Nipawin, Saskatchewan, when the bus the players and coaches were riding on was T-boned by a tractor-trailer. Here are a few things to know about this junior team that plays in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

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Home base: Humboldt is a city in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. It is located 70 miles west of Saskatoon.

Trailing series: Humboldt was facing a 3-1 series deficit in the semifinals of their SJHL series. The Broncos lost in triple overtime to Napawin on Wednesday night in Humboldt. Game 5 was postponed by the junior-A league Friday night. Game 6 was scheduled for Sunday in Humboldt. The Estevan Bruins had already advanced to the championship final.

>> 14 killed in crash that involved Canadian youth hockey team

Great record: The Broncos are the most successful team in SJHL history, winning 10 league championships. Humboldt has won the RBC Cup, which is Canada’s junior A championship, two times since 1996.

Broncos in the NHL: Humboldt has produced six players who have played in the NHL since the Broncos were founded in 1970: Sheldon Brookbank, Curt Giles, Neil Hawryliw, Grant Jennings, Bill McDougall and Terry Ruskowski played for Humboldt. Jennings won a pair of Stanley Cup titles with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992.

From all over: Humboldt team president Kevin Garinger said the Broncos roster includes players from Edmonton, Slave Lake and Airdrie in Alberta and from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Accountant puts up positive numbers in NHL debut at goalie

A 36-year-old accountant went from crunching figures to putting up big numbers in his first NHL game in goal Thursday.

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Scott Foster, pressed into action when Chicago lost goalies Anton Forsberg and Collin Delia, stopped all seven shots he faced in the third period to help preserve the Blackhawks 6-2 victory against the Winnipeg Jets .

"This is something that no one can ever take away from me," Foster said. "It's something that I can go home and tell my kids and they can tell their friends. ... Just a ton of fun."

Delia got the start in goal after Forsberg was a late scratch, the Chicago Tribune reported. Down to just one goalie, the Blackhawks signed Foster to an amateur tryout contract. Foster played at Western Michigan University from 2002 to 2006, ESPN reported.

“It was opening day for baseball but we had to go to the bullpen a couple of times today,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told the Tribune.

Foster is part of a crew of recreational goaltenders who staff Chicago's home games in case of emergencies for either team. But Thursday night was different for the married father of two..

"The initial shock happened when I had to dress. I think you just kind of black out after that," Foster said.

Carolina Hurricanes equipment manager Jorge Alves became the first emergency goalie to play in a game in the modern era last season, ESPN reported. He closed out the final 7.6 seconds of a 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay.

For Foster, it was a night to remember.

"A few hours ago I was sitting on the computer typing on a 10-key, and now I'm standing in front of you guys having just finished 14½ minutes of NHL hockey," he told reporters.

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