---- — Lady Rams shut down Centralia
Mt. Vernon’s girls soccer team edged Centralia 1-0 Thursday.
Whitney Warner scored the only goal of the game. It came about midway through the second half of action.
Mt. Vernon improved to 11-7-1 and opens postseason play at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Marion against Carbondale.
Spartans fall to Gallatin County
Waltonville’s baseball team lost 1-0 to Gallatin County on Thursday.
Jacob Vanwey threw five inning on the mound for the Spartans and yielded the only run of the game.
D.J. Nelson had two hits and Vanwey added a hit.
Kings on brink of beating Blues
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Robyn Regehr broke his nose and got a puck in his ear, while captain Dustin Brown merely has a jagged cut on the bridge of his unbroken nose. Other Los Angeles Kings bear their own souvenirs, and several St. Louis Blues are similarly marked up.
After five bruising games of this first-round playoff series, the Kings and Blues are pretty certain they’re hitting each other harder and more often than most NHL clubs. Dustin Penner’s friends around the league can tell it’s a brutal matchup just by watching on television.
“I have to think it’s the most physical (series) I’ve played in so far,” said the Kings forward, a two-time Stanley Cup winner who is missing a front tooth.
With three straight victories heading into Game 6 on Friday night, the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings are on the brink of a remarkable comeback to win this punishing series. They know they’ll still have to knock over the Blues to get that last victory.
While NHL statistics on hits are highly subjective, the players realize the physical peril of this matchup. The Kings won the Cup last season with a roughneck brand of play, and the Blues’ roster is populated with big players who excel at hard-hitting hockey.
Put them together, and it’s a controlled brawl punctuated by bursts of offense — the slight majority from the Kings, who won Game 5 on Slava Voynov’s overtime goal.
“Both teams have some pretty physical guys, and part of what makes both teams successful is hard puck battles,” Brown said Thursday after the Kings returned from St. Louis. “When you have two teams that are like that, there’s going to be more physical play, I think. There hasn’t been a lot of open ice in the series. All the goals that have been scored are on odd-man rushes. All the other times, the ice is so hard to gain an advantage on with guys running into each other.”
Although the Kings have won three straight with the same relentless push they made to the Cup last season, the series has been awfully close in every aspect — no surprise from two tough Western Conference teams with similar makeups and attitudes. Every game has been decided by one goal, and neither team has held a large lead for any significant amount of time.
The Blues have won just one playoff series since 2002, but they’ve played right with the NHL champions through all five games. St. Louis isn’t intimidated — but it desperately needs to get a few more timely goals past Jonathan Quick.
“We’re still positive,” St. Louis defenseman Barret Jackman said. “We still feel we have a very good team that can skate with L.A. We’ve got to continue to wear them down, go into L.A. and continue to do the little things that we did (in Game 5).”