Utica Comets 3 Chicago Wolves 2, Lead Series

 FINAL: Comets 2 vs Wolves 1 (Series: 2-1 UTICA)

(Utica Comets photo by Lindsay A. Mogle)

In as dramatic fashion as a game could possibly get, the Utica Comets defeated the Chicago Wolves 2-1 Wednesday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at The Utica Memorial Auditorium. In the process, the Comets now have the advantage in the series by taking the 2-1 lead.

Darren Archibald (1-0-1) and Adam Clendening (1-0-1) each scored a goal for the Comets, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 of the Wolves’ 27 shots en route to their second overtime victory of the series. Wolves’ goaltender Jordan Binnington put on a performance to remember but the 50 shots he stopped wasn’t enough to stall the Comets.

The Comets had a 17-3 shot advantage at the 17:27 mark in the first period but that didn’t make a difference as the Wolves found the back of the net first after a turnover at center ice just a minute later. Center Colin Fraser pursued the puck and raced down the right wing only to release a slap shot from the boards snuck past Markstrom for the 1-0 lead.

After a shot-riddled second period where the Comets racked up another 15 shots the next goal wasn’t discovered until the 6:58 mark in the third. Luckily for them, it was Clendening who found the Comets their equalizer on the power play. After receiving a feed just above the slot from Alex Friesen, Clendening let loose a slapper that hit the back bar behind Binnington for the power-play goal. Cal O’Reilly was credited with the secondary assist.

After punishing Binnington with 44 shots on net through three periods, overtime was still a necessity.

At 10:58 in the first and only overtime period, Darren Archibald was on the receiving end of a heads-up play by Travis Ehrhardt. As Archibald sped into the Wolves’ zone, he lifted a shot towards the far side and finally beat Binnington on the 52nd and final shot of the game for the 2-1 game-winning goal.

Two out of the three games played in this series have now gone to overtime with a total of 214:08 minutes played through three games.

Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal between the Comets and Wolves is set for this Friday, May 1st at The Utica Memorial Auditorium. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets for Game 5 will be on sale Thursday but the game will only be played if necessary.

How Managed EDI Tools Offset Supply Chain Risk And Complexity

Once we talk about a World class EDI system and couple it with risk and complexity, aren’t we thinking of a Supply Chain Control Tower? The SCM control tower is the single point of contact to reduce complexity and risk. And guess what?, EDI is the glue that holds all the participants together.
So let’s get “managed EDI” out on the table, define it, and show how and why it is such a powerful tool. The simple definition used throughout the industry is: “Managed services systems outsource the EDI document control to a third-party provider.” Digging a little deeper, isn’t it a specialized area of IT service management (ITSM)?

IT service management (ITSM) refers to the entirety of activities – directed by policies, organized and structured in processes and supporting procedures – that are performed by an organization or part of an organization to plan, deliver, operate and control IT services offered to customers. It is thus concerned with the implementation of quality IT services that meet the needs of customers, and is performed by the IT service provider through an appropriate mix of people, process and information technology.

Differing from more technology-oriented IT management approaches like network management and IT systems management, IT service management is characterized by: adopting a process approach towards management; focusing on IT services rather than IT systems; stressing continual improvement.

It is all about “knowledge”. Air controllers get information on weather, speed, direction, and altitude of aircraft and use that knowledge to keep their air space safe. Companies must know what is happening with their supply chains so they can prevent disasters too. They need to be able to do “what-if” analysis and work their way around events that will cause disruption and risks to the supply chain. Same thing with supply chains. Everybody needs to know what is going on. How? EDI.

Justin Rose completed a 7-under 65 in the rain-delayed third round Sunday morning and closed with a 66 at TPC Louisiana; 7th TOUR title

Whatever derailed Justin Rose’s game appears long gone now.

Sensing he needed to birdie the final two holes to keep the lead, Rose pulled it off with aggressive swings and clutch putts for a one-stroke victory over Cameron Tringale on Sunday in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

“Earlier this year it looked impossible to win,” Rose said, referring to his three missed cuts and failure to finish better than 37th in his first five starts of 2015. “I’m very happy to have turned my game around.”

Justin Rose In Action
Justin Rose In Action

He finished at 22-under 266, a record total on the course southwest of New Orleans that has hosted the city’s PGA TOUR stop 10 times since 2005.

The Englishman has won at least once in six straight seasons, the second-longest streak on the tour behind Dustin Johnson’s eight straight. He moved from 82nd to 15th in the FedExCup standings.

Rose said his drastic improvement two weeks earlier at the Masters, where he tied for second, helped him in the Big Easy.

“I took my Masters performance with a huge amount of confidence,” Rose said, recalling in particular the sense of calm he was able to maintain down the stretch at Augusta National.

Playing aggressively on the soggy TPC Louisiana, Rose made six birdies in the final round and played the last 66 holes without a bogey.

Rose’s final two putts from 10 and 13 1/2 feet allowed him to hold off Tringale, who birdied the 18th for a 65.

“I’m pleased,” said Tringale, who was looking to become the eighth first-time winner in the last 11 years in New Orleans. “To finish one back is still a pretty good week.”

Boo Weekley, who led after the first round, finished third at 20 under, and Jim Herman and Jason Day, ranked sixth in the world, tied for fourth at 19 under.

With the top of the leaderboard tightly packed as Rose stepped to the par-3 17th, he showed no interest in playing it safe, even though the pin was placed to the left side of the green, near a bulkhead dropping down into a water hazard from which alligators looked on. Rose took out his 5-iron and belted a 210-yarder straight toward the pin, landing about 10 feet behind the hole, setting up his clutch birdie putt.

“It would have been easy to hit it 20, 30 feet right of that pin, but I kind of knew that — because I was three or four holes ahead of some of the other guys in contention — I knew they had birdie opportunities.”

On the par-5 18th, with water to the right, Rose unloaded a 295-yard drive down the middle, then smacked a 3-wood 243 yards just left of the green and chipped over a sand trap to set up what would be his winning putt.

Rose played bogey-free golf over his last 66 holes — including 30 on Sunday — en route to a final round 66 and a course-record 266 (22-under), good for his seventh victory on the PGA TOUR.

After climbing to 15th in the FedExCup, he heads to next week’s World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco and THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on May 7-10 with momentum and feeling good about his game.

“This is a great shot in the arm of confidence and I just got to keep it going,” said Rose, currently the ninth-ranked player in the world. “It obviously gets me up there in everything I want to be up there in; a boost in the (Official Golf) World Ranking, a boost in the FedExCup, a huge boost in confidence.

“Now I can target the major championships all the way through the summer without having to chase anything in between. It’s going to be great.”

Norfolk Southern Railroad Steam Excursions

KCJones

Class J 611 homecoming to kick off Norfolk Southern 21st Century Steam excursions

Roanoke, Va. – Apr 16, 2015  The 611 is going home again, coming back from its second restoration to headline Norfolk Southern’s 21st Century Steam excursions in 2015.Sixty-five years after the Class J 611 was built at Norfolk & Western Railway’s shops in Roanoke and placed into service for the first time May 29, 1950, the locomotive is scheduled to return under steam May 30, fulfilling the dreams of its Virginia Museum of Transportation owners and rail enthusiasts worldwide.Chairman and CEO Wick Moorman, who launched plans for 21st Century Steam in 2010, and President Jim Squires will be aboard a J-powered train from Spencer, N.C., where the 611 has been undergoing restoration at the North Carolina Transportation Museum since June 2014.Neither progress of rail industry dieselization nor ravages of time spent lying dormant on display for decades…

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NY City Mayor de Blasio Revives Plan for a Utica Avenue Subway Line

Among the far-reaching ambitions of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s OneNYC plan, one proposal stood out in the transportation world on Wednesday: the study of a new subway line along Utica Avenue in Brooklyn.

The concept is hardly new; it has been debated for at least a century, with no discernible results.

A 1910 article in The New York Times, under the headline “Transit Outlook Bright in Brooklyn,” said “a strong movement” was afoot to construct it. Another effort was made in 1928. More recently, an attempt in the 1970s failed after a City Council member from Brooklyn complained that the area did not have a large enough population to support the line.

Nonetheless, the de Blasio administration placed the concept back in the spotlight, suggesting that the area was a prime spot for expansion because it is one of the most crowded parts of the city without direct access to the subway.

The mayor’s request for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to examine bringing No. 3 and 4 train service down from the Eastern Parkway branch, through East Flatbush, came as a surprise to many.

Utica Ave Map
Utica Ave Map

“No one expected this,” said Mitchell Moss, the director of the Rudin Center for Transportation at New York University. “It’s refreshing to see a proposal to extend mass transit into areas of Brooklyn that are transit-deprived. It’s obviously an idea that will take more than a decade to be carried out, but you have to start with an idea.”

Transit advocates quickly pointed out that Mr. de Blasio had not offered a financing plan for an extension, and that the authority already had a $15 billion gap for its five-year capital plan for improvements to the aging system.

“The issue is: Where’s the check?” Gene Russianoff, a staff lawyer for the Straphangers Campaign, an advocacy group, said of the Utica Avenue idea. “It’s only credible if the city is willing to help finance it.”

A spokesman for the authority, Adam Lisberg, declined to comment specifically on the Utica Avenue study. Instead, he released a statement drawing attention to measures in the capital plan that would expand and improve service, including modernizing the subway signal system and proposals for improved bus service.

Crown Heights station
Crown Heights station

“The M.T.A. and the City of New York are aligned on the importance of mass transit to keep the city thriving,” Mr. Lisberg said.

The authority has several other major projects in the works: The first phase of the Second Avenue subway is scheduled to open at the end of next year, and the East Side Access project, which would bring the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal, is supposed to be completed in 2022. And in January, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed an AirTrain to La Guardia Airport.

Jumaane D. Williams, a City Council member whose district includes Utica Avenue, said the area needed better transit options and the subway extension sounded good in theory. He also noted that the Second Avenue subway sounded good — in theory.

“I’d like to talk about it more when the Second Avenue train is completed,” he said with a tone of skepticism. “But I’m happy the mayor is talking about transportation issues in South Brooklyn, because too often it’s left out of the discussion.”

Mr. Russianoff agreed, saying that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had instead prioritized extending the No. 7 line to the Far West Side of Manhattan — a project that has been delayed but may finally open this summer. (Mr. Bloomberg directed the city to pay for the $2.4 billion project, the first subway extension paid for by the city in more than 60 years.)

“Utica Avenue is much more in de Blasio’s theme of providing service more equitably and keeping in mind the ordinary New Yorker,” Mr. Russianoff said.

The dream of a Utica Avenue line has had plenty of false starts.

Its plight was outlined in the 2013 book “The Routes Not Taken: A Trip Through New York City’s Unbuilt Subway System,” by Joseph B. Raskin, a former New York City Transit employee. Past proposals would have connected it to the No. 3 and 4 lines, the A and C lines, or even to Lower Manhattan. “It’s always been to me one of the lines that should have been built all along,” Mr. Raskin said. “The question was always what line is it going to plug into — and the cost.”

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Utica Comets Drop Playoff Game 2 to Chicago Wolves 1 to 2

The Chicago Wolves evened up the best-of-five series (1-1) with a two-goal second period that took down the Utica Comets 2-1 Friday night in Game 2 of the Calder Cup Western Conference Quarterfinals at the Allstate Arena.

 Hunter Shinkaruk (1-0-1) scored the Comets lone goal of the night, and his second of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Alexandre Grenier (0-1-1) lent a hand as he tallied his third assist of the playoffs. Jacob Markstrom stopped 20 of the Wolves 22 shots on goal in the loss.

“I thought we were OK tonight,” said Comets’ Head Coach Travis Green. “We played really well defensively and limited their chances. You won’t win many hockey games scoring one goal.”

Travis Green
Travis Green

Even with a shot advantage like the Comets had in the first period (11-3) the Wolves were the first ones to find the back of the net on just their fourth shot of the game at the start of the second. The Comets started the period a man down after taking a tripping penalty in the closing seconds of the first, which gave Brent Regner the opportunity to bury a shot from the point to put the Wolves up 1-0 at 1:10. Magnus Paajarvi and Pat Cannone each recorded their third points of the series with assists on the power-play tally.

A 2-on-1 finally got the Comets back in the game at 10:10 with a feed across the slot to Shinkaruk from Grenier. With the puck on the tape of his stick, Shinkaruk buried the biscuit into the open side of the net for the 1-1 equalizer. Bobby Sanguinetti took credit for the secondary assist and his second point in as many games.

Less than two minutes later the Wolves took back their one-goal lead, this time for good, after a shot from Jani Hakanpaa was re-directed past Markstrom by former Comet Jeremy Welsh.

The Comets power-play, now in the midst of an 0-for-12 rut, went 0-for-6 tonight.

“We need to find a way to score on the power play,” said Green. “We were in their zone a lot but at the end of the day you have to set-up, create chances and find a way to score.”

In what started as a best-of-five series has now turned into a best-of-three series once the Comets return to The Utica Memorial Auditorium this coming Wednesday April 29th for Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

“We are really excited for the whiteout and to play in front of our fans,” said forward Brandon DeFazio. “We’ve seen what they’ve done for two years now and we can’t wait to see them on Wednesday.”

Whiteout conditions are expected April 29th as the Utica Comets are encouraging all fans to wear white to the game in order to rally behind the white sweaters on the ice. Fans who come to the games wearing white will also earn a chance to win authentic game-worn white jerseys from the Comets inaugural season. In addition, white #BuiltForThis pom-poms will be distributed to all fans in attendance.

The Best NY City Subways to get a Seat on The Morning Commute

Park Slope, Bay Ridge, the Upper West Side and Forest Hills are the best neighborhoods to move to if you want to get a subway seat during the a.m. rush hour, transit data show.

As long as you’re willing to ride the local.

New York’s subway system has been breaking ridership records in the last year, with 6 million people cramming onto trains on each of 29 different days in 2014. But riders looking to escape sardine-can trains can take the R line into Manhattan from Brooklyn neighborhoods including Park Slope, Bay Ridge and Sunset Park.

That line operates at only 57 percent capacity.

MTA officials say this is because R train riders typically transfer in Brooklyn to either the express N train at 59th Street or the D train at 36th Street in order to shave a few minutes off their commutes — even though those lines are more crowded.

Bruni Perez, 38, of Bay Ridge said the R is a long trip for her but worth it to read in peace.

“I usually do get a seat,” she said. “You have to get on towards the back. It’s a slow train, you slog through Brooklyn, but having a seat and being able to read my Kindle makes it bearable.”

Others said that though they might not always get a seat on the R train, it’s still a lot less crowded.

“It’s not super crowded, but I’m usually standing,” said Justin Felder, 25, who lives off the Union Street stop.

Subway7Extension1

Upper West Siders also have good odds of getting a seat, as long as they don’t mind taking the local.

The B and C lines above 60th Street only run at 58 percent capacity.

“Oh no! My secret is out,” said Cindy Martinez, 48. “I avoid the 2 and 3 in Manhattan. Crazy crowded. You take the B or the C to the Upper West Side, and you almost always get a seat. Plus it’s quiet. It’s like Upper Manhattan’s secret.”

Unlike the Upper East Side, where the Second Avenue Subway line is being built, the Upper West Side has two major subway routes — one on Broadway and the other on Central Park West.

The next-best lines are the M and R trains from Queens to Manhattan.

LTrain

The lines, which are 59 percent full, run through neighborhoods including Jackson Heights, Forest Hills and Rego Park.

The G train, which runs from Queens to Brooklyn, as well as the 2 and 3 line from Brooklyn to Manhattan, are other lines that aren’t packed to the gills.

The MTA says they are at 61 and 63 percent capacity, respectively, during rush hour.

Read more about this story and other subway news

 

Calder Cup Playoffs! Utica Comets 3, Chicago Wolves 2 in Overtime

It’s been 22 years since the Mohawk Valley has witnessed professional playoff hockey and on Wednesday night that drought ended as the Utica Comets (1-0) defeated the Chicago Wolves (0-1) 2-1 in double overtime of Game 1 in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs at the Allstate Arena.

Hunter Shinkaruk (1-1-2), Nicklas Jensen (1-0-1), and Bobby Sanguinetti (1-0-1) all scored goals for the Comets, while Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves through the four-plus periods of hockey. Alexandre Grenier (0-2-2) also enjoyed a multi-point night in the victory.

“It’s always important to win the first game of a series,” said Comets Head Coach Travis Green. “It’s even more so in a shorter series like this.”

Starting the playoffs on the road isn’t an easy task, but that didn’t stop Shinkaruk from finding the first goal of the game on the first shot of the game. Alexandre Grenier and Cal O’Reilly set the play up in front as Shinkaruk came rolling in towards the slot. With the puck on his backhand, Shinkaruk lifted it up past the glove hand of goaltender Jordan Binnington for the Comets first goal of the play-offs to make it 1-0.

The Comets found another way to get through Binnington on just their third shot of the game at 10:28. Kent Huskins and Darren Archibald helped out as a give and go pushed Jensen up the ice and into the offensive zone on the left wing. As Jensen reached the left circle, he sniped it in to the far side which gave the Comets the 2-0 lead.

After the second period saw a combined total of 22 saves, the third period brought more than the Comets expected as the Wolves finally answered back with their first goal of the night just past the one-minute mark. The goal resulted from a shot on net from Brendan Bell, which then rebounded into the possession of Pat Cannone. With Magnus Paajarvi on the left side and a wide open net at his disposal, Cannone fed it across the slot and Paajarvi banged it home to get the Wolves within one.

After the second period saw a combined total of 22 saves, the third period brought more than the Comets expected as the Wolves finally answered back with their first goal of the night just past the one-minute mark. The goal resulted from a shot on net from Brendan Bell, which then rebounded into the possession of Pat Cannone. With Magnus Paajarvi on the left side and a wide open net at his disposal, Cannone fed it across the slot and Paajarvi banged it home to get the Wolves within one.

UticaCometsJacobMarkstrom

And just as the Comets thought they had wrapped up game one, Murphy’s Law decided to kick in as the Wolves netted the equalizer from another Paajarvi snapshot with one second left in the third period. After tying it up 2-2, the Comets and the Wolves were the first to enter overtime in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs.

It took one-full overtime period and just about three minutes into the second overtime, but the Comets finally got the job done after Sanguinetti fired home a shot past Binnington after the puck squirted to the slot from behind the net. Grenier and Shinkaruk both tallied their second points of the night on the Comets overtime winner.

“I saw a lot of open ice (in the slot) and Grenier battling with their defenseman,” recalled Sanguinetti. “So I slid down and the puck popped out to me. It worked out well for us. After letting one in late, that was a real nice win to get. A big win.”

With the second best penalty-killing percentages (87.1%) on the road during the regular-season, the Comets continued their special-teams success by killing off all five of the penalties they took during Game 1 of the series.

The Comets will return to the Allstate Arena this Friday April 24th for game two of the best-of-five series against the Chicago Wolves before returning home to the long-awaited return of playoff hockey to The AUD.

Why Outsource The Onboarding Process

The onboarding process is not your “core competence” Mr or Ms Retailer. You need to be putting your efforts into sourcing stock and improving your marketing presence and dozens of other projects. Think about outsourcing to experts where ever possible.
We are not necessarily talking about outsourcing your whole e-commerce operation. Yes, in some cases you might consider, but we are concentrating today on adding (onboarding) new companies with new products. This idea works for both small businesses selling online or big retailers streamlining their processes.

Some of the benefits to look forward to are saving time and saving money.

You and your staff do not have the time to add e-commerce connections. There are dozens of  new projects already in your competency requiring your resources. Fulfillment is one of your biggest overhead expenses. Look for less costly ways, look for outsourcing the onboarding processes. There are benefits, “economies of scale”, in any operation. Look for a professional and efficient fulfillment company to give you the best solution to add new e-commerce hookups. It is yet another opportunity to expand your business without adding staff.

When a retailer uses e-commerce outsourcing for their “onboarding” process, it means the work required to make suppliers compliant with the retailer’s systems and requirements (such as EDI and connectivity) are outsourced to a third party. It is a great idea for retailers that do not have the the internal manpower or processes. The decision must be based on the amount of effort needed versus any benefit achieved by developing onboarding as an in-house competency. Yes, if the volume is low, responsibility can be assigned to existing personnel, but sudden “spikes” in implementations or a merger may alter your decision.

Jim Furyk Wins In Playoff At Hilton Head In RBC Heritage

Jim Furyk celebrates after defeating Kevin Kisner on the second playoff hole at Harbour Town Golf Links.

Through more than four years and a lot of heartaches, Jim Furyk said he never gave up hope of winning again on the PGA TOUR.

Turns out, all he needed was a return to a golf course – Harbour Town Golf Links – that perfectly fit his short-but-precise game, and the return of a putting touch that was hot and cold during the four days of the RBC Heritage but all but perfect when it mattered most.

Furyk chalked up his 17th career PGA TOUR victory on Sunday, shooting a day’s-best 8-under par 63 and then holding off South Carolina native Kevin Kisner in a two-hole playoff with a combination of deadly accurate approach shots and clutch birdie putts.

Final from @RBC_Heritage:
1. Furyk, -18
2. Kisner, -18
3. Merritt, -16
4. Todd, -15

Jim Furyk putts

KISNER BATTLES TO THE END: Kevin Kisner came as close on Sunday as any South Carolina native ever has in 47 years to winning the RBC Heritage, his home state’s annual PGA TOUR event.

At the end of a two-hole playoff, though, that wasn’t close enough. Going up against past RBC Heritage champion Jim Furyk, in sudden death, Kisner sort of knew that might be the case.

“I knew the scores (Sunday) were going to be low, and … I managed to shoot low,” he said of his closing 7-under par 64. “But every time I looked up on the back nine, Jim was making another birdie.”

Still, Kisner, who came as close to a win on the PGA TOUR as he ever has in 90 starts, made Furyk work for his second RBC Heritage tartan blazer.