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empo. Ran the bases tremendously and just put a lot of pressure on the other team." Aft

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empo. Ran the bases tremendously and just put a lot of pressure on the other team." Aft

The 28th season of indoor pro lacrosse begins Dec. 28 with a Vancouver entry for the first time in 10 years and a novel new collective bargaining agreement. Players have accepted a two-year pay freeze even though schedules have increased from 16 games to 18, and lineups have decreased from 20 to 18. So, how did the new seven-year CBA come to pass? "We were concerned with the financial stability of the league," said Edmonton Rush captain Chris Corbeil, who took part in every bargaining session. "We realize a lot of teams are struggling to stay in business and as players we want to see the league survive so were able to play lacrosse for years to come." Steve Govett, the Colorado Mammoth president who chairs the NLL board of governors, lauds the players co-operation in ensuring the leagues stability. "We feel like the NLL has turned a corner," Govett said. "Our focus (in CBA talks) had to be on creating positive momentum for all of our teams and to show the viability of our league to potential new partners for expansion, for television and for sponsorships. We had to reduce costs without damaging the product." The Rochester Knighthawks, Toronto Rock, Philadelphia Wings, Buffalo Bandits and Minnesota Swarm, who move over from the West, make up the new East division, while the Edmonton Rush, Calgary Roughnecks, Vancouver (formerly Washington) Stealth and Colorado Mammoth represent the West. Six teams, instead of last years eight, will advance to playoffs. Gone are the single-game eliminations of previous years as playoffs will now be two-game sets beginning in the arenas of lower-seeded teams. Division leaders will get first-round byes and await the survivors of playoffs between the second- and third-place teams. If two-game sets are split, mini-games of 10 minutes will decide winners. Reducing active rosters to 18 -- 16 runners and two goalies -- will force in-game adjustments. "That was, for me, one of the toughest pills to swallow," Corbeil said. "Last season we had 10 defencemen -- two five-man units -- and eight forwards for games. Now well be mixing and matching. Guys are going to be double-shifting and sucking wind. Conditioning and stamina are going to play an even bigger role." Salaries range from a $9,207 max for rookies to a $27,217 max for veterans, with an exception for one or two "franchise" players per team wholl get an additional $5,000 for the season. A cost of living raise of 3.5 per cent a year kicks in in 2016. The heightened competition for jobs caused by reduced roster size has combined with the introduction of a salary cap of $400,000 per team to squeeze out some well-known players. A prime example was the release by Colorado of former captain Gavin Prout, 35. "For years, Gavin Prout was synonymous with the Colorado Mammoth," said Govett. "Unfortunately, he is a casualty of the reduced roster size and newly-implemented salary cap of the CBA. "Elements of the agreement made for some incredibly difficult decisions. This was the toughest. With just 16 runners dressing each game, theres a significant emphasis on speed and athleticism. Younger and faster players are the new NLL." Rochester will be seeking a third straight NLL title and that is entirely possible given the return of all significant players, the patient coaching of Mike Hasen, the consistent goaltending of Matt Vinc, a staunch defence led by captain Sid Smith, and the scoring exploits of Cody Jamieson, Dan Dawson, et al. Veteran forward Mike Accursi has retired and accepted an executive role. Others packing it in are Jimmy Quinlan, who passes the Edmonton captains "C" to Chris Corbeil, Torontos Blaine Manning and Cam Woods, Buffalos Mike Hominuck and Jon Harasym, and Colorados Rich Morgan. Casey Powell, the NLLs all-time leading American point-getter, has told the Mammoth hes sitting out for now, and transition speedster Paul Rabil is likewise unavailable to the Wings as some of the best U.S. players appear to be passing on the NLL season to avoid the risk of injury before the world field lacrosse championship in Denver this summer. Some of the most significant personnel changes involve the Bandits. After firing head coach Darris Kilgour, they replaced him with Troy Cordingley, who was let go by Toronto even though he was named coach of the year for helping the Rock to a league-best 10-6 season. Buffalo GM Steve Dietrich traded away future draft picks to get 34-goal shooter Ryan Benesch from Minnesota and tough defenceman Rory Smith from Colorado. One constant in Buffalo, however, is all-time NLL scoring leader John Tavares, 45, who will play his 23rd season in Bandits black and orange. The leagues other golden oldie, 39-year-old John Grant Jr., signed a new four-year contract with Colorado. Grant scored 43 goals last season. In all, there will be only seven players over the age of 35 on green NLL carpets in January as the youth-oriented league gathers momentum into the new season. John Lovell, an assistant under Cordingley, takes over as head coach in Toronto, and Blane Harrison is the new head coach in Philadelphia after GM Johnny Mouradian relinquished that job and promoted Harrison. The youngest and fastest team in the league will undoubtedly be Minnesota, which is blending five 2013 draft picks including No. 1 Logan Schuss and No. 2 Jason Noble into a lineup that already has four 2012 first-rounders. The Dec. 28 openers begin with Philadelphia at Buffalo, Minnesota at Rochester and Edmonton at Colorado. Calgary opens in Toronto on Jan. 3 and Vancouver opens in Colorado on Jan. 4. The NLL could be one lucrative league-wide TV deal away from flourishing and, with more and more all-sports channels starting up, it could happen sooner rather than later. If not, the leagues devoted fans will continue to enjoy some of the lowest ticket prices of any pro sport. "This was an extremely collaborative process, one that we hope will set the stage for the long-term stability and growth of the NLL," Govett said. "By allowing us to focus on fixing our business model, the nine teams will remain dedicated to the cause while attracting new franchise owners to the mix, ultimately replacing jobs that have been lost over time and growing the pie for everyone. "The existing players chose to understand that the sacrifices they are making today, along with owners that have been sacrificing for some time to bring this great game to the public, need to be in unison if the league is to make it to that ever-elusive next level." Custom St. Louis Cardinals Jerseys. Dancevic won his singles match on Friday, defeating Go Soeda 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-1, to even the best-of-five series at a game apiece. World No. 18 Kei Nishikori defeated Peter Polansky in the opening match, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Albert Pujols Jersey. Jonathan Crompton led the team to a 40-9 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Crompton threw three touchdown passes - two to Duron Carter and one to Brandon London - and Sean Whyte connected on four field goals to power the Alouettes to the win. http://www.baseballcardinalsauthority.com/Trevor-Rosenthal-Jersey/. Certainly not Monday night. George Hill took care of the early work, scoring a season-high 26 points, and Paul George closed it out by scoring 11 of his 26 points during a decisive second-half stretch that finally allowed Indiana to pull away from Minnesota 98-84 for yet another win. Chris Carpenter Jersey. Not to be outdone, Atletico Madrid bettered its title rivals by demolishing 10-man Getafe 7-0 with Diego Costa returning from injury to score with a brilliant bicycle kick. "It was an almost perfect night," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. Adam Wainwright Jersey. The injury will keep the Finnish forward out of the Olympics. The 29-year-old has 20 goals and 41 points in 56 games this season, his first with Tampa Bay.HOUSTON -- To Houston manager Bo Porter, theres no one playing better in the majors right now than Jose Altuve. The Astros second baseman shied away from agreeing with his skipper. Instead, he kept up his impressive show. Altuve got three more hits and stole two bases Sunday as the Astros defeated the Detroit Tigers 6-4. Altuve finished the three-game series 9 for 14 and leads big leagues with 116 hits. Hes already stolen a career-high 36 bases -- he swiped second in the first inning, and set a franchise record with a steal in six straight games. "Ive seen some players locked in in all my years of playing," Porter said. "But the impact with which Jose Altuve is having on the baseball game, I would have to really sit down and think about or have some numbers put in front of me that would make me think that there is someone whos had more of an impact on a baseball game the way hes having an impact right now." Altuve took the compliment in stride, saying, "Hes my manager, he has to say that." "I have to be ready every game to get on base," he said. "I know the guys that I have behind me, if I get on base, something good is going to happen." Altuve became the third player since 1904 with four straight games with multiple steals, joining Ray Chapman in 1917 and Bill Dahlen in 1904, according information from the Elias Sports Bureau provided by the Astros. "Im going to try to keep getting on base, and if I have a chance to take the next base, I am going to do it," Altuve said. Scott Feldman (4-5) allowed two runs in six innings to earn his first win since May 26. Feldman, who snapped a personal three-game losing streak, has allowed three runs or less in each of his last three starts. "They have a great lineup," Feldman said. "I just tried to make some pitches. Luckily, a lot of the balls they hit hard were hit to centre field, where there is a lot of room out there." Matt Dominguez and Carlos Corporan had three hits apiece and L.J. Hoes and Jon Singleton each had two RBIs for the Astros, who have won three of their last four. Tony Sipp got the last four outs for his first save. Nick Castellanos had two hits for the Tigers, including a two-run triple in the eighth that cut the Astros lead to 5-4.dddddddddddd J.D. Martinez also had two hits, and Alex Avila hit a solo home run in the fifth. Tigers star Miguel Cabrera was 0 for 13 in the series, while Victor Martinez went 1 for 12. "Those are the guys we lean on," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "They are going to have struggles. Its going to happen. They scuffled a little bit swinging the bat." The Astros scored three times in the first against Drew Smyly (4-7). Altuve singled, stole second and scored on George Springers double. Two batters later, Jesus Guzman hit an RBI single and scored on Hoes sacrifice fly. "I felt like that was very important," Porter said. "Losing the game the way we lost the game last night (4-3 in the ninth) I thought that our guys did a great job coming out setting the tempo. Ran the bases tremendously and just put a lot of pressure on the other team." After Torii Hunters RBI double cut the lead to 3-1 in the third, Hoes hit an RBI double in the bottom half. Singletons bases-loaded walk in the sixth scored Alex Presley to extend Houstons lead to 5-2, and he upped the lead to 6-4 in the eighth with an RBI single. Smyly, who was ill Saturday and sent back to the team hotel, was pulled after 2 1-3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with three strikeouts. The outing was Smylys shortest as a starter this year and the most runs hes allowed since getting tagged for six on May 26 at Oakland. Smyly would not use being ill Saturday as an excuse for the poor outing. "Not a good day," Smyly said. "They came out swinging. I didnt bring it. They did." NOTES: Houston CF Dexter Fowler missed a third straight game with tightness in the back. ... Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler did not start Sunday getting a day off from Ausmus, but he pinch hit in the eighth and struck out to end his seven-game hitting streak. ... Detroit LHP Ian Krol, on the 15-day disabled list since June 21 with left shoulder inflammation, threw a bullpen session Saturday and felt good, Ausmus said. ... Houston Rockets star guard James Harden threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game. 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