CHESTNUT HILL – Filip Hans Lindberg was born on January 31, 1999 in Espoo, Finland. He is now the starting goalkeeper for the University of Massachusetts Minutemen and he had what the school touted as “a career night” on Friday when he stopped 41 of 42 Boston College shots while lowering his goals against average to an impressive 1.81. The saves were a career high, as you might have deduced from the fact we’re leading with his story in this column.
Lindberg’s No. 10 UMass team upset No. 4 BC on the road (at nearby Conte Forum), stoning the Eagles’ previously earned 10-game win streak as BC outshot the Minutemen 42-24 in an exciting first half of the back-to-backs this weekend. (Note: The game score was 2-1 with the third goal being an empty-netter).
In case you hadn’t heard of the upstart goalie, Lindberg was one of three goaltenders on Team Finland’s roster for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship and took home a gold medal. In addition, he anchored the UMass team in 16 games, including four NCAA tournament games when they were runner-up to the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs in last year’s Frozen Four.
In other words, the dude can play. His back-story was nicely packaged in this Daily Hampshire Gazette feature published last April during the Frozen Four.
Here Now, The Notes: This week’s CES2020 in Las Vegas brought out all the heavyweights in the Sports Business, Sports Tech and analytics world. One of the cool news releases was Thuuz announcing their “best and most exciting” sports games/moments/events of the decade of 2010-2019. … In case you didn’t guess, the “28-3” New England Patriots Super Bowl comeback over the Atlanta Falcons won as the most exciting game of the 2010-2019 decade, according to the sports analytics firm. … Bloomberg reported earlier this week that the NBA Player’s Association is entering the crowded space of Sports Accelerators and is establishing a mechanism for all NBA and WNBA players to invest in start-ups. Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick wrote, “NBA superstars LeBron James and Kevin Durant have become serial investors, lending their names, ideas and money to a number of business ventures and startups. Their union wants to help all of its members with similar off-court aspirations follow suit. To that end, the National Basketball Players Association is creating an accelerator program that’s open to current and former members.”
FanHub, a free to play sports-focused digital game builder/provider, announced a new multi-sport collaboration with Buffalo Wild Wings that will expand upon their initial relationship. Picks & Props, the existing game co-branded for BWW with partner BetMGM, will now make offerings for college football fans for this Monday’s CFB National title game between LSU and Clemson. Looks for more offerings to come in 2020. … The NBA, Twitter and Turner Sports announced a multiyear partnership extension that will bring more live NBA game and on-demand content to Twitter than ever before. The NBA, counter to many of the other sports, has been incredibly active via social media platforms around the world. … The next step for the league, aside from business deals such as this will be to better monetize the social media sharing of highlights which is currently not being done, nor protected/enforced. … Companies such as SnapScreen (Vienna, Austria) who are presenting later this month at Stadia Ventures accelerator program in St. Louis, might be the answer. (Digital Sports Desk biz partner Pivottv.Media will be attending and is assisting SnapScreen in their North American expansion).
News out of New York’s sports world this week includes: “A star-studded lineup will be honored at the 40th Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City on Tuesday night, February 4, 2020 to benefit AHRC New York City Foundation, which assists children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” … These are the honorees: New York Yankees standout second baseman Gleyber Torres; Thurman’s teammate and World Series Champion player and manager Lou Piniella; New York Mets hard-hitting infielder J.D. Davis; former Mets captain and ace relief pitcher John Franco; and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman. … For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner visit online at https://www.ahrcnycfoundation.org/munson/. … Torres, Davis and Lieberman will be recipients of the Thurman Munson Award; Piniella will receive the Thurman “Champion” Award, and Franco will be presented with the Munson “Captain” Award. … The PGA Tour is in its second week of the 2020 season and the 2020 LPGA Tour will soon tee-it-up with the Second annual Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions Presented by Insurance Office of America, Jan. 16-19, at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando. Winners from the last two LPGA seasons will gather in Central Florida to compete for a $1.2 million purse. They’ll be joined by a roster of sports and entertainment stars competing for their own $500,000 purse. Celebrities include defending champion John Smoltz, Marcus Allen, Brian Urlacher, Justin Verlander, Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson and former Boston Celtics champion Ray Allen.
A Sign of the Apocalypse (As retired SI columnist Jack McCallum would write):
Odds to win XFL championship @CaesarsEnt sportsbook:
Tampa Bay +350
St. Louis +800
Digital Sports Desk posts a once-a-week Sunday Notes column, entitled: “While We’re Young Ideas.” It’s a throwback of sorts to the days when sportswriting and the baseball beat were the best jobs in the entire sports industry, maybe the entire world. One of those sportswriters was named Dick Young and he wrote “Young Ideas” with a “Diamond Dust” section for notes and quotes. … We welcome feedback and suggestions (psst, they call ’em pitches) for mentions within “While We’re Young Ideas” or Digital Sports Desk. Please follow and encourage (at least) another person or two to plug into (@DigSportsDesk) (@WhileYoungIdeas) and (@terrylyons).