Football players suiting up and balling on the hardwood isn't exactly a new thing. Philadelphia fans are well aware of Donovan McNabb playing for Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orangemen, but did you know that current Eagle's linebacker Connor Barwin was a pretty decent baller for the Cincinnati Bearcats?
With Cincy facing off against Harvard today in the NCAA tournament (No. 5 seed Cincy trails No. 12 seed Havahd 36-29 at the half as of this posting) Barwin tweeted the above photo of his days as a walk-on basketball player at his alma matter.
While I knew he was teammates in college with Brent Celek on the gridiron, I somehow overlooked his prowess on the court. From his Wiki page:
In early January , after injuries had decimated the University of Cincinnati basketball team, [Barwin] joined the team, playing in 18 games as a backup forward and averaging 9.9 minutes per game. That season, he tallied highs of 9 rebounds vs. the University of South Carolina and 6 points vs. the University of Pittsburgh.
He was pretty good as a high schooler in Detroit as well, earning All-League and All-Catholic honors as a junior and senior respectively.
Barwin appeared in 41 games over two seasons with the Bearcats, averaging about 10 minutes per game and just about a point and two boards per contest. Not exactly filling it up, but he was known for his tenacity on defense. And still is.
The first of many for the kid.
Travis Konecny on Tuesday night scored goal No. 1 of what should be an exciting and promising career in orange and black.
Not only was it the 19-year-old's first NHL marker, but it ignited a third-period comeback from three goals down as the Flyers stunned the Sabres at the Wells Fargo Center with a 4-3 shootout win when they looked dead in the water at second intermission.
"Obviously, it makes it 3-1," Brayden Schenn said of Konecny's special moment. "It gets the crowd going a bit. It gets us going. Any time a guy scores a first goal, like I said, it gets a little more excitement through the building and through our team."
The goal wasn't of the flashy variety, but it epitomized the youngster's complete game. Teammates have routinely praised Konecny for his willingness to score ugly by finding the greasy areas — as we so love to call them — and doing work, despite his a not-so-intimidating frame.
So skillfully, Konecny deflected a power-play point drive by the other 19-year-old Ivan Provorov. Like a little kid — then again, he is a teenager — Konecny leapt into the boards in celebration, smiling ear to ear. In came Provorov for a big hug. Watching those two have fun is fun.
Flyers fans, frame this screenshot and hang it somewhere (and don't you dare cut out Matt Read). Meanwhile, for Konecny's goal and the celebration, watch the video above.
A very tired Flyers squad came back with a vengeance against the well-rested Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night to win, 4-3, in a shootout at the Wells Fargo Center.
Claude Giroux got the shootout winner.
It was an ugly affair for 40 minutes, starting with goalie Michal Neuvirth, who allowed three goals on 17 shots before being lifted in the second period for the second time in two weeks. The Flyers trailed 3-0 going into the third period.
Whatever energy the Flyers had coming back from Montreal on Monday was saved for the third period when they got three power-play goals from Travis Konecny, Brayden Schenn and Mark Streit to make it 3-3.
The Sabres had not played a game in five days while the Flyers are in the midst of six games in nine days and it showed.
The rookie Konecny scored his first NHL goal in the third period, tipping home Ivan Provorov’s point drive during a power play.
Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas returned after serving a six-game suspension to begin the season.
In an effort to get Schenn going — scoreless in three games coming in — coach Dave Hakstol dropped him to the third line with Nick Cousins and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Matt Read, the club’s top goal scorer, moved into Schenn’s spot on the top line with Giroux and Wayne Simmonds.
Boyd Gordon played his 700th NHL game.
Konecny’s first NHL marker.
There was probably not much Neuvirth could do on the Sabres' first goal. Zemgus Girgensons shot from a hard angle in the corner to the net and the puck jumped, hitting Tyler Ennis for a 1-0 lead in the second period. That said, he wasn’t very good on the next two goals. Neuvirth has been pulled twice in just three starts.
The Flyers' power play awakened. Konecny's goal, plus Schenn's and Streit's. That marked a season high, too.
Chris VandeVelde overskated the puck during a shorthanded two-on-one for what would have been a goal in the first period. Gordon lost a draw to Ryan O’Reilly and Matt Moulson jumped on it, went to the net with purpose for a quick backhander to make it 2-0 3:56 into the second period. Moulson had two power-play goals. The Flyers' PK units were poor.
Simmonds avoided a hearing and possible suspension for his cross check from behind to Montreal’s Andrei Markov on Monday night that jolted the Canadiens defenseman into the boards face-first. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety reviewed the hit and saw no cause for action.
Dale Weise (suspended), Scott Laughton (knee), Michael Del Zotto (knee), Michael Raffl (abdominal pull) and Nick Schultz (healthy).
The Flyers will be off on Wednesday. They are in the midst of six games in nine days and will host Arizona on Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center.