Professional Sports

Aho forces Pens to shout ‘Oh no’

By Dan Scifo The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — Sebastian Aho and the Hurricanes helped Cam Ward have a fairly comfortable night in goal against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Aho scored twice, Ward stopped 21 shots and Carolina beat the struggling ...

Picks looking to beat playoff spread

Pro Picks heads into the postseason with an incredible record straight up, 70 games over .500. A coach would have a lifetime contract for such an impressive showing. The key to picking NFL games, of course, is winning against the point spread. In that area, well, we need a rally, three games ...

In NFC, it’s Falcons plus five newcomers

In the topsy-turvy NFC playoffs, only the Falcons return from last year, and they sneaked in as the sixth and final team. They narrowly avoided the same fate as the Cowboys, Seahawks, Packers, Giants and Lions — all sitting this one out. The top five seeds are newcomers, led by the Eagles. ...

Offensive line thriving under Munchak

PITTSBURGH — Mike Munchak doesn’t live in a bubble. If anything, he makes it a point to avoid it. So do the players he mentors as the offensive line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. So when the Hall of Famer’s name popped up as a candidate for the open head coaching job in Arizona ...

Reaves sparks Pens over Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA — Ryan Reaves can be quick to drop his gloves and start a timely fight to spark his team. With his gloves on, Reaves instead found another way to lift Pittsburgh with an opportune goal. Reaves had a rare goal and an assist, and the Penguins scored four times in the second ...

Brown’s calf rehab ‘going well’

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver Antonio Brown is inching toward a return from a left calf injury. Brown hasn’t played since injuring the calf in the first half of a loss to New England on Dec. 17. He posted video of himself working out on a treadmill on Monday. ...

Steelers enter playoffs with better depth

PITTSBURGH — JuJu Smith-Schuster didn’t catch a snap of the 2017 AFC championship game. Life out in Los Angeles was just a little too hectic as the wide receiver prepared for the NFL draft. Martavis Bryant skipped out on it too, in part because of the pain of missing out while serving a ...

Penguins end 2017 on a downer

DETROIT — When Gustav Nyquist scored a career-low 12 goals for the Red Wings last season, coach Jeff Blashill downplayed his concern, insisting that Nyquist was a playmaker who’d been miscast early in his career as a potent goal scorer. This season, Nyquist is casting doubt on his ...

Eagles have plenty to fix during bye

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles have plenty to fix during their bye week. A slumping offense missing NFL MVP candidate Carson Wentz scored only 13 points in the last five quarters with Nick Foles and the starters playing. That won’t cut it when the Eagles (13-3) host the Saints ...

Steelers’ subs beat Browns

PITTSBURGH — The Cleveland Browns joined the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in NFL history to go 0-16 when they failed to find a way to beat the backup-laden Pittsburgh Steelers in a 28-24 loss on Sunday. Cleveland had a chance late in the fourth quarter, but quarterback DeShone ...

Steelers avoid major injuries

PITTSBURGH — If you could overlook the icicles forming on your eyebrows, this was just like NFL preseason football. The stars were on the sideline and the subs had the field. That’s the way it worked for Sunday afternoon’s regular season finale between the Cleveland Browns and ...

Year of the championship

More than perhaps any other year in recent memory, the calendar year 2017 brought something special for just about every sports fan in the Altoona Mirrorás readership area. Name the sport, and there was a corresponding honor or accolade for an athletic team or individual. Penn State ...

Steelers weigh options against winless Browns

PITTSBURGH — When the Pittsburgh Steelers escaped Cleveland with a 21-18 victory in the 2017 season opener on Sept. 10, they stressed there was no need to panic despite a largely “meh” performance. The Steelers were confident they’d get it together and besides, the team they’d just ...

Test your knowledge of the year past

PITTSBURGH — It’s that time again: the last week in the last month. Time to vacuum the pine needles, hunt for 75 percent discounts on picked-over Christmas merchandise and — oh yes, thank you, Lord — send the kids back to school. But before any of that happens, it’s time to tackle ...

2017 in review

JANUARY n The Penn State football team loses a heartbreaker in the Rose Bowl, 52-49, to USC on a last-second 46-yard field goal. n Penn State’s Chris Godwin and Garrett Sickels announce they will leave early for the NFL Draft. Teammate Marcus Allen announces he will return for his senior ...

Red-hot Hurricanes too much for Pens

RALEIGH, N.C. — A coaches’ challenge wiped away the Carolina Hurricanes’ first go-ahead goal. There was no doubting the second one. Sebastian Aho’s goal with 1:55 left in the second period helped the Hurricanes earn their season-best fourth straight win, a 2-1 victory over the ...

Steeler reserves ready to fill in

PITTSBURGH — Stevan Ridley figured he’d have to wait until 2018 to get a shot at reviving his career. The running back spent most of the fall working out, trying to watch his weight and hoping a job offer would pop up. As the weeks passed, Ridley started to wonder if one ever ...

Defense eyeing record

PITTSBURGH — Improved coverage in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ secondary has allowed the defense an opportunity to make team history. The Steelers have 50 sacks, which is five from the franchise record entering Sunday’s regular-season finale against Cleveland. “If you can get them to ...

Tomlin may opt to keep Bell off the field

PITTSBURGH — Le’Veon Bell could potentially make some Pittsburgh Steelers history Sunday. But will he even get the chance? For all the Steelers have accomplished, a regular-season league rushing champion has been elusive. Despite two Hall of Fame running backs and four first-team ...

Penguins wear out Jackets

PITTSBURGH — Penguins coach Mike Sullivan called it the biggest character win of the season for his struggling team. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored in the shootout, and Pittsburgh rallied past the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 on Wednesday night. “With all the challenges we faced, ...