Reigning Stanley Cup champions the Chicago Blackhawks begin training camp in the Compton Family Ice Arena on Thursday and will host public practices Saturday and Sunday, with a special student event Friday. Tom Nevala, general manager of the Compton Family Ice Arena, said Blackhawks’ General Manager Stan Bowman, a 1995 Notre Dame alumnus, wanted to bring the team to his alma mater to build community. “[Bowman] just happened to be in the area last February … and suggested that they might want to come to campus for training camp if we could work that out,” Nevala said. “They liked the idea of getting their guys all together to do a little team unity exercise instead of operating from their individual homes in Chicago and just coming to the United Center. They thought to spend a few days on campus with a facility like we have here would be a great way to start their next year.” Nevala said the Blackhawks would take advantage of Compton’s many amenities during training camp. “They’re bringing 60 players here so you have to have the locker space for 60 guys, and I think we were able to provide that compared to what they might be used to [at the United Center],” he said. “I think the opportunity to use both rinks [will be helpful] … Maybe they’re going to run practice on one side and the scrimmages that they’ve been advertising in the main arena.” During training camp, the Blackhawks will split up into three different teams and play two scrimmages a day, he said. The Blackhawks are also looking forward to experiencing Notre Dame’s campus for a few days, Nevala said. “I think they just like being in the campus environment, with Eddy Street [Commons] available,” he said. “They’re staying at the Morris Inn. I’m sure they’ll probably go play golf one day and we’re going to try to get them to football practice.” Blackhawks players will also attend a team dinner with the Notre Dame hockey squad Friday, Nevala said. Nevala said it was the Blackhawks’ idea to sell public tickets to Saturday and Sunday’s practices, which are currently sold out. However, Notre Dame was adamant about doing something special for its students, he said. “All along we were hoping we could do something unique for our students while [the Blackhawks] were here,” he said. “We said, ‘Well, how about we do a day with the students when you aren’t selling tickets,’ and it’ll be a unique opportunity for Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students to get in and see them scrimmage if they have time during their lunch break or something. We don’t want anybody skipping class, now.” Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students can attend the Blackhawks’ practice for free Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. in the Compton Family Ice Arena with a valid student ID. Nevala said he hopes the Blackhawks cap off their visit to Notre Dame by bringing the Stanley Cup to campus. “We’re hopeful that the Stanley Cup might be on campus at some point during this visit,” he said. “I literally don’t know how long it would be here if it’s going to be here. We’re hopeful it makes its second visit because Stan did bring it here in 2010. After they won the Stanley Cup that year, he used his day with the cup to bring it to campus for the Notre Dame vs. Stanford football game. We’re hopeful it comes again.” Nevala said he hopes the Blackhawks decide to return again next year. “We hope [the Blackhawks] enjoy their time in South Bend and on campus, and maybe they’ll decide this is a good way to start their year again in the future,” he said.
TAYLOR, B.C. – The Taylor Curling Club is getting ready to host the 9th Annual 2 X 2 Bonspiel.Each team must consist of two students with a student playing skip or third.Entry fee is $80.00 per team.- Advertisement -The Bonspiel will include supper, prizes, and medals.The 2 X 2 Bonspiel is taking place March 8 and 9, 2019, at the Taylor Curling Club.To register for this event, you can call Wendy Kimmie at 250-789-9089.Advertisement
MOMBASA, Kenya – With one slain crew mate in the ship’s freezer and Somali pirates threatening to kill his son, Capt. Xinshen Ling could think of only one thing to do: Threaten to throw himself into the shark-infested waters, calculating the pirates wouldn’t want to lose the captain. He was right. Four pirates immediately rushed to keep him from jumping off the Taiwanese fishing vessel. “It was a test. I wanted to see how much the pirates valued me … They know if the captain dies, they will get less ransom,” the 47-year-old told The Associated Press, safe in Kenya on Wednesday after the U.S. Navy stepped in to win the release of the Ching Fong Hwa 168 and its surviving crew, including Ling’s son. Ling’s tale of seven months of captivity is frighteningly common off the lawless coast of war-ravaged Somalia, where piracy is on the increase. After releasing the ship and its crew on Nov. 5, the pirates got away with an unspecified ransom paid by the ship’s owner. Somali pirates are often fighters linked to the clans that have carved the country into armed fiefdoms. They have heavy weapons and satellite navigation equipment, and have seized merchant ships, aid vessels and even a cruise ship. Ling’s ordeal began one sunny afternoon in April, when about 15 pirates stormed aboard his vessel armed with automatic rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. His crew was unarmed and one member was shot in the back. He survived, but when negotiations with the ship’s Taiwanese owners were going badly, the pirates killed another crew member, 32-year-old Chen Tao from China. “He was very unlucky because they just took him at random,” recalled Ling, who had worked with Tao for two years. He remembers the sailor being grabbed out of a lineup, then six shots that rang out on the other side of the boat. “We were in shock,” said Ling, raising a dragon-tattooed arm to smooth a sprinkling of white hair. “Just for money they took a life. … They are not human.” “After they shot that guy, I was really afraid,” said Linshangyi Ling, refilling his father’s sake glass. Four crew members were ordered to drag the man’s body into the ship’s freezers, where Ling insisted it stay. The pirates wanted to throw it to the sharks. Over the next months, the crew battled scurvy when their vegetables ran out, endured frequent mock executions and occasional beatings from guards when the Chinese, Taiwanese and Filipino sailors didn’t understand orders in Somali and broken English. The pirates also forced crew members to call home, in hopes their families would pressure the ship’s owners to pay the ransom. Ling listened to his wife weep for her son and husband. Eventually, Ling explained through a translator, the ship’s owners delivered a ransom in October – the pirates had demanded $1.5 million, but Ling refused to say how much was paid. The relieved crew thought they were going home, but the pirates held out for more money. That’s when the Americans got involved. The Navy said its personnel spoke to the pirates by radio, pressing them to leave the ship. They did on Nov. 5, aboard skiffs that took them to shore. Then a Navy vessel escorted Ling’s ship out of Somali waters and gave its crew food and medical assistance. Ling, who speaks no English, was unclear who helped, saying he believed U.N. forces as well as the U.S. military were in the area. U.S. officials would not say what was done to persuade the pirates to leave. But earlier, a U.S. naval vessel had fired on pirate skiffs tied to a Japanese-owned ship. At one point recently, at least seven ships were being held. Now, following U.S. intervention, only two remain in pirate hands. “We continue to talk with the pirates regularly, encouraging them to leave ships,” said Cmdr. Lydia Robertson, a U.S. Navy spokeswoman. “It’s not so much a change in focus as a change in activity. There is a spike in the number of pirated vessels. Since we were there when the ships were pirated it was an opportunity for us to stay there and help free the ships.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre But Ling’s story has a twist. When the pirates demanded even more ransom, the Navy intervened, a development that will continue in response to the spike in piracy, a Navy spokeswoman said. “The worst time for me was the times they took my son … They used this boy,” said Ling, gesturing at 22-year-old Linshangyi Ling, sitting across from him at a Chinese restaurant in the port of Mombasa. “They threatened me, said if I didn’t call Taiwan they would shoot my son.” There have been 26 ships seized by pirates off Somalia this year, up from eight during the same period last year, according to the International Maritime Bureau. But deaths are rare, said Andrew Mwangura, head of the East Africa Seafarers’ Assistance Program. “Most of the time the pirates want money, not to kill people,” he said. Ransoms can reach millions of dollars. Somalia is deeply impoverished and flooded with weapons. Its government has little authority on land, let alone the means to police its long coast, especially now that it’s battling an Islamic insurgency.