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Catholic Memorial, Xaverian boys battle to 1-1 tie

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Catholic Memorial, Xaverian boys battle to 1-1 tie

CANTON — By now, every hockey player, coach, parent and Zamboni driver in Massachusetts is well aware of the fact there will not be a Super Eight tournament this season.

So, as a way to recreate a similar atmosphere, the Catholic Conference and its member schools decided to get a little creative, and host a “Showcase,” with three games taking place back-to-back in the same facility.

Based on how things shook out at the Canton Ice House Sunday, it looks like they made the right choice. In the opening showdown of the afternoon, which also featured some late-game controversy, Catholic Memorial ended up skating to a heart-stopping 1-1 draw with rival Xaverian.

“(It was) really fun,” said Xaverian coach David Spinale. “Lot of energy in the building. Chris Kuchar from Malden, it was his idea. We all supported it, and we just said: ‘Let’s find a location, where we could do kind of a game to game to game (structure),’ like this.”

Despite the frigid temperatures, hundreds of fans made their way to Norfolk County to take part in the events, and they were treated to a defensive stalemate in the first game.

Both Catholic Memorial (6-1-1) and Xaverian (7-1-1) struggled to get anything going offensively for the entirety of the opening period, with quality chances coming few and far between.

This held true until the latter stages of the second stanza, when Finn Burke found himself in possession of the puck behind the Xaverian net. As he scanned the ice for a teammate, the defenseman spotted Connor Fryberger skating alone in the slot, and fed a pass his way.

Fryberger proceeded to slap a shot into the lower corner of the cage, giving Catholic Memorial a 1-0 edge with 5:38 to play in the period.

Desperately needing an equalizer later on in the third, Xaverian drew even behind the efforts of junior right winger Joe DiMartino, who registered his fourth goal of the season with 8:43 remaining in regulation.

Although Catholic Memorial was whistled for a critical tripping penalty with 2:49 left, Xaverian was unable to capitalize on the man-advantage as the Knights forced overtime.

Neither program managed to strike in the extra session, at least, not until there were about 6.5 seconds remaining, when Nick D’Olympio started one final 2-on-1 rush. The Rockland native fired a shot off the pad of Xaverian goaltender Brendan Flanagan. The puck then bounced over to Fryberger, who tipped it home for what appeared to be a game-winning goal. However, the referees waved the play off, saying it came after time had expired.

“It hit off (the goaltender’s) pad, and I batted it out of the air,” said Fryberger. “It could’ve been a buzzer-beater, but it was too late… I thought I had it in time, adrenaline pumping. I don’t know.”

Braden O’Hara and Max Lockwood were credited with assists for Xaverian.

“I couldn’t really tell,” Spinale said when asked about the final sequence. “I thought I heard the buzzer, then it went in. But again, I’m biased.”

On a day where the Knights were missing multiple key players, Tyler Hamilton stood out for Catholic Memorial, as he notched an assist.

“We showed up today with guys that play hockey and we played hockey,” Catholic Memorial coach Larry Rooney said. “We played a good game of hockey, and I’m proud of the guys.”

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Orioles reach two-year agreement with left-hander John Means to avoid arbitration

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Orioles reach two-year agreement with left-hander John Means to avoid arbitration

The Orioles agreed Saturday to a two-year, $5.925 million contract with left-hander John Means to avoid arbitration, an industry source with direct knowledge of the agreement confirmed.

Means, 29, was in his first year of arbitration eligibility and was due to go to a hearing with the Orioles to determine his 2022 salary, deciding between the team’s $2.7 million figure and his suggested $3.1 million. The per-year average of Means’ deal, first reported by The Athletic, is slightly above the midpoint of those values.

Means was the Orioles’ opening day starter this season but made only two starts before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery. He is expected to return sometime in 2023. He will have one year of arbitration eligibility remaining after this contract.

In addition to calling up top prospect Adley Rutschman, the Orioles on Saturday also reinstated first baseman Ryan Mountcastle from the 10-day injured list, recalled right-hander Mike Baumann and optioned right-hander Logan Gillaspie and left-hander Nick Vespi to Triple-A. Gillaspie and Vespi did not allow a run across their collective first three major league appearances.

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Giants WR Kadarius Toney underwent minor knee procedure, will be ready for camp: sources

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Giants WR Kadarius Toney underwent minor knee procedure, will be ready for camp: sources

Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney had a minor arthroscopic knee procedure, sources say, which is why he’s been in a red jersey on the side at spring OTA practices.

But he is expected to be fine and ready for training camp.

Toney, 23, was on his feet on the sidelines at Thursday’s open practice. He caught some balls off the JUGS machine before practice with fellow rehabbing wideout Sterling Shepard (Achilles).

Veteran receiver Kenny Golladay also wore red and didn’t practice. Head coach Brian Daboll wouldn’t disclose why but suggested that everyone other than O-linemen Nick Gates (leg fracture) and Matt Peart (ACL) is on track for the start of camp.

“I think everybody is moving in the right direction,” Daboll said. “They’ve done a good job. The training staff has really done a good job… I’d say [Gates] and Matt Peart, they’re rehabbing every single day, getting better each day. So we’ll see where they’re at.”

Wide receivers coach Mike Groh said Thursday that Toney is “not running around full speed right now” but assured “he’ll be ready to go” for real football.

Toney missed a lot of time during his rookie offseason last year due to a contract holdout, COVID and foot and hamstring injuries. Then he dealt with a laundry list of injuries in season: a second COVID positive, the hamstring, and an ankle, thumb, quad, oblique and shoulder.

He had encouraging production against the Saints and Cowboys, but he got thrown out of the Dallas loss for throwing a punch and struggled to stay healthy.

The Giants made calls looking to trade Toney in April — and drafted undersized gadget receiver Wan’Dale Robinson in the second round — but the former first-round pick remains on the team.

Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka said Thursday he has enjoyed working with Toney and views him as a playmaker in the Giants’ offense.

“He’s a dynamic player,” Kafka said. “He has play-making ability on the perimeter, inside, downfield, in short area. He’s one of those guys that you look for to make plays for us.”

The team’s offseason program started on April 4. The Daily News reported the team was exploring a trade on April 22. Several outlets confirmed Toney was available. Toney flew into the New York/New Jersey area that weekend and first reported to the facility on April 25.

GM Joe Schoen then said during the NFL Draft that the Giants were not shopping Toney. Now he’s dealing with a minor issue that is not expected to jeopardize his start of camp.

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MN Legislature’s proposed deal eliminates taxes on Social Security

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MN Legislature’s proposed deal eliminates taxes on Social Security

The Minnesota Legislature appears ready to eliminate all taxes on Social Security benefits while boosting credits for renters and slightly lowering the first tax tier rate.

Those are all included in a tentative proposal posted online by the bipartisan conference committee of House and Senate members working to finalize how to divide $4 billion in tax breaks. The deal would stretch over the next three years and tap the state’s budget surplus to pay for the loss in revenue.

Under the tentative plan, the first tier tax rate would fall to 5.1 percent from 5.35 percent. It would impact the first $28,080 in earnings for single filers and $41,050 for couples.

Lowering the rate would reduce revenues by an estimated $272 million next year and about $200 million annually.

The plan also eliminates state income taxes on Social Security. Doing so reduces revenue by about $510 million next year and roughly $550 a year going forward.

Renters would also benefit from increased tax credits worth about $373 million annually.

The tax conference committee met briefly Saturday morning to discuss policy provisions and is expected to reconvene this afternoon to talk about tax breaks.

Lawmakers have until midnight Sunday to finalize $4 billion in tax cuts and $4 billion in supplemental spending. With fewer than two days left, deals appear to be coming together, but so far, none have been completed.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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