Defenseman Brendan Smith and the UW men\’s hockey team have to find a way to get the \’garbage\’ goals they need.[/media-credit]On Nov. 7 the Wisconsin men’s hockey team outshot Minnesota 47-28. Two weeks later, UW owns a 39-25 shots on goal advantage over St. Cloud State. This weekend at Michigan, the Badgers outshot the Wolverines 41-35.All three of those games were losses.Wisconsin lost 5-2, 4-1 and 3-2 in those three matchups. But that’s been the trend for the Badgers this season: play evenly with — or in some cases, outplay — the opponent and end up with the “L.”UW is 8-0 when scoring at least four goals this season; the team is 0-5-1 when scoring less than four. When they win, the Badgers outscore their opponents by an average of 3.9 goals. When they lose, it’s not by much; of the team’s five losses, three were by one goal.Don’t call head coach Mike Eaves’ team a “boom or bust” squad though.“As a matter of fact, we’ve played pretty well. The challenge has been for us to finish, to score goals,” Eaves said. “If we were to take that whole spectrum of boom or bust, I don’t think that’s an honest perspective of how we’ve played.”Despite the fact UW is eighth in the nation in scoring offense with 3.71 goals per game, Wisconsin can’t seem to score — despite averaging 40.2 shots on goal — in losses. By comparison, UW gets 39.4 SOG in its wins. The Badgers average 5.25 goals in wins and 1.7 goals in losses.So what’s the difference? Eaves simply attributed the discrepancy to the flow of the game.“There’s an offensive rhythm that exists in all athletics, whether you’re a baseball player, whether you’re a hockey player, whether you’re a basketball player,” he said. “You get in that rhythm, and it seems like you can make everything and you get out of that rhythm and it seems like you can’t put the puck in the ocean.”So to make sure those funks don’t affect the team in the standings, Eaves had his players work on “manufacturing goals” in practice. He compared the process to manufacturing runs in baseball — using bunts and sacrifice flies to score.“In hockey, that same analogy can be made for, you know what, you’ve got to get to the net, you’ve got to get to the dirty areas; you’ve got to get tips and rebounds and find a way to score those kind of goals,” Eaves said.“You’ll have your games where we don’t have our bounces, the puck just doesn’t go in the net, the goalie’s hot or whatnot,” defenseman Brendan Smith added. “I guess the one thing we’ve been talking about is when this happens, and we can’t produce goals for some reason … we have to manufacture our goals by putting somebody in front of the net and making tips and going to the hard areas, where instead of making a pretty goal, we get all these garbage goals.”Those are exactly the kind of goals UW hasn’t seemed to be able to get consistently, despite its philosophy of firing pucks on net and getting rebounds.Sometimes it’s been bad luck, other times it’s been a hot opposing goaltender. Sometimes it’s been both, like when St. Cloud’s Mike Lee just barely got the toe of his skate over in time to deflect what UW forward Jordy Murray thought was an empty net.Wisconsin goaltender Scott Gudmandson gets a head-on view of the Wisconsin offense and said he sees a pattern in the Badgers’ wins and losses.“I look at the difference between some of the games where we scored seven goals, and some of the games where we only scored two and lost by a goal — I think the biggest difference was we were shooting a lot more from the outside in those [losses],” he said. “We’ll still be generating a lot of shots, but we’re making it a little bit easier on the goalies.“When we’re scoring six, seven goals a game, we’re going to the net hard, we’re getting bodies in front of the net and generating a lot of scoring chances.”So in practice Tuesday, Eaves had two defensemen and two forwards in the slot while another player fired shots on net. If the forwards couldn’t tip the puck in, the other players were set up around the net to poke in any rebounds.The Badgers hope by manufacturing their own goals, they can turn some of those 2-3 losses into 3-2 wins. UW’s smallest margin of victory this season was two goals, and Smith thinks getting some dirty goals to win those close games could do a lot for the team’s confidence.“I think games where you can pull out a close game and win is huge — it shows that we had that character to push it that much further and win,” he said. “It’s easy to win a game 7-1 where everything’s going your way; it’s hard to win a game where it’s 2-1.“When you win a game 2-1, you feel good, you feel even a little bit more because you put that much effort to win by 2-1.”
SOCU chargesActing Chief Justice Roxane George, SC heard further arguments from attorneys representing former Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh and former Head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington, as the challenge to their misconduct in public office charges continued at the High Court on Monday.Attorneys Anil Nandlall and Ronald Burch-Smith appeared on behalf of the defendants, who were released on $6 million each.During Monday’s proceedings, Nandlall disputed the application of the British common law principle to Guyana’s laws, having cited conflicts with this country’s Constitution with the definition of a public officer. With several legal citations, the former Attorney General noted that the particulars of the offence for which the duo is charged has “no reference” that Singh and Brassington are public officers.“This is a fundamental defect, as the offence is misconduct in public office. They have made no allegation that the two men were public officers, so an important ingredient is missing in the charge, on the face of it,” Nandall outlined to JusticeDr Ashni Singh and Winston BrassingtonGeorge.He held to his position that the charge only has two elements; namely, ‘misconduct’ and ‘public office’. He outlined further that for misconduct to be occasioned, evidence would be needed to show high degree of recklessness or great dishonesty.“There must be an element of culpability,” the lawyer stressed.He stated that his legal team intends to exhibit an advertisement for the lands under question, to which the Judge responded that it should have already been done. Nevertheless, Nandall told the acting Chief Justice that it would be a worrying development for citizens to face charges for having accepted a lower valuation ($6 million against $12 million) where the lower valuation was calculated by Government’s own Chief Valuation Officer.“Our criminal law can never be so subjective, so unpredictable, so dysfunctional…If there’s another Executive Government that starts to review this Government’s Executive Policies and starts to pursue charges, where will it end?” Nandlall questioned.His colleague Burch-Smith observed that the former NICIL Head, Brassington, “never signed” the agreement.He referred the Queens Atlantic deal, where “a midpoint was chosen”, though reiterating that his client never signed the document. Burch-Smith stressed that the entire South Georgetown (including East, West, North and South Ruimveldt) and areas beyond Sherriff Street, Georgetown were all developed by Government. On these grounds, the lawyer stated, he could not understand how these actions with reference to the current case could be deemed misconduct.Justice George, however, reminded both attorneys to stick to evidence presented at the bar table.Singh, 45, of Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara, and Brassington, 50, of Florida, USA, are accused of selling various properties at prices the State contends were grossly undervalued. These charges have to do with the sale of several plots of land on the East Coast of Demerara to National Hardware Guyana Ltd for over $598 million; the sale of land to Scady Business Corporation at a cost of $150 million, and to Multi-cinemas Guyana Inc. at a cost of $185 million. Bruch-Smith on Monday that he has not seen the documents relating to Scady Business Corporation.These charges were filed by Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) at the Magistrates’ Court following advice obtained from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DDP), but the two former Government officials denied the allegations. Their lawyers subsequently secured stays of execution to halt the lower court proceedings while they challenge the misconduct charges in the High Court.But then another set of charges were filed against Singh and Brassington, this time over the sale of the former Sanata Textiles Complex to Queens Atlantic Investment Inc (QAII). This, like other charges, was also challenged in the High Court, and back in July, acting Chief Justice Roxane George consolidated the four ‘misconduct in public office’ charges into one substantive challenge.It was alleged that between October 26 and December 20, 2010, the duo acted recklessly when they agreed to the sale of the Sanata Textiles Complex to QAII. According to the charge, the 18.976-acre property was sold for $697.8 million, but it was valued at $1.04 billion. However, according to privatisation documents published by NICIL, the property was valued at $245 million by the Government’s Chief Valuation Officer, but QAII paid $809.5 million for the property – more than three times the Government valuation as Guyana Times had reported. The case continues on October 23.
1 Manchester City have had a £38m bid for Juventus star Leonardo Bonucci rejected, according to reports in Italy.The centre-back is being tracked by several of Europe’s top clubs this summer and it has rumoured he may be on the move.Chelsea are keen on the Italian, while Pep Guardiola is hopeful that he can bring the defender to the Etihad.However, according to Tuttosport, Manchester City have had a £38m bid for Bonucci turned down.Juventus have told the Premier League side that they have absolutely no plans to sell the 29-year-old and they should look elsewhere.As well as a £38m bid, City were ready to pay Bonucci a whopping £115,000-a-week – but that has still not been enough to get the wheels in motion. Leonardo Bonucci in action for Italy at Euro 2016