Outside the Western gates
By Aron Yeomanson
Gazette File Photo
BUCKET? THAT’S OLD SCHOOL HOCKEY. Jarome Iginla’s
rough and tough hockey play has helped lead the Flames to
the Stanley Cup Finals.
Since most of our beloved readers are too engaged in either their
summer studies or debauchery to keep up on the latest in the wonderful
world of sports, The Gazette thought it would be a swell idea to
keep everyone informed. Here are the highlights of the past week:
The 2004 Stanley Cup Final is ready and set to go, and pits the
Tampa Bay Lightning against the Calgary Flames. Who’d have
thunk it? The Flames earned their spot with a six game victory
over San Jose, while it took the Lightning seven games to knock
off Philadelphia in the Eastern final.
Calgary’s appearance marks the first time a Canadian squad
has earned a spot in the final since Vancouver lost to New York
in 1994. Unlike past seasons, this year’s battle for hockey’s
Holy Grail promises to be fast and furious as both teams employ
the same run-and-gun brand of take-no-prisoners hockey. The best-of-seven
series got underway in Tampa on Tuesday night. Go Flames go!
As predictable as ever, the National Basketball Association’s
version of the final four is underway with the number-one seeded
Minnesota Timberwolves taking on the number-two seeded Los Angeles
Lakers in the Western Conference Final. The Eastern Conference
Final features the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons, ranked
number one and two respectively.
In junior hockey, the hosting Kelowna Rockets were crowned as
the Mastercard Memorial Cup Champions on Sunday after defeating
the Gatineau Olympiques by a score of 2-1 in the exciting Canadian
Hockey League final. Rockets’ goaltender and Ottawa Senators’ draft
pick Kelly Guard was named the tournament MVP. The John Labatt
Centre and the London Knights will host next year’s tournament.
In tennis, the French Open got underway this week in Paris. On
Monday, Andre Agassi lost his first round match to French qualifier
Jerome Haehnel who is ranked number 271 in the world and was playing
in his first tour event. The last time Agassi was upset in the
first round of a Grand Slam was at the 1999 French Open, when he
was defeated by Marat Safin. At the time, Safin was also playing
as a qualifier.
In Major League Baseball news, the Toronto Blue Jays are still
horrible. Through Sunday they were a dismal 17-27. Elsewhere, Tom
Glavine of the New York Mets came within four outs of a no-hitter
on Sunday versus the Colorado Rockies, just days after the Arizona
Diamondbacks’ Randy Johnson became the oldest pitcher in
MLB history to toss a perfect game at the ripe old age of 40.