Commentary | Sarasota Rampage hockey team rusty after holiday layoff

January 8, 2013 

After a holiday break, the Sarasota Rampage returned to the ice against Palm Harbor last Friday at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex.

The return wasn't joyful for the Rampage as they fell 10-1, receiving their lone goal from Lakewood Ranch's Andrew Kelly off Sarasota's Max Mullholland and an assist from Lakewood Ranch's Kelly Nicholson.

The loss was pivotal to Sarasota's future as it dropped the Rampage to ninth place in the Lightning Conference standings.

Only the top eight teams advance to the playoffs next month at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

So while Palm Harbor crept up to a gain a share of second place with 26 points, the Rampage slipped to 7-5-3 and stayed at 17 points.

That keeps them one point away from the final postseason berth, which would go to Gaither/Sickles should the standings stay the same for the remainder of the season.

Sarasota has three regular season contests left, which includes back-to-back road games before wrapping the 2013 season up at home on January 25 against Freedom.

The Rampage square off against Wharton (tied for sixth) and East Lake (tied for second) in the next two weeks, which should decide the club's playoff fate.

Pirates job fairs

Baseball isn't too far away from returning, and that means the Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Job Fair will be getting underway this week at Pirate City.

The McKechnie Field Concessions Job Fair for Spring Training is 1-7 p.m. on Wednesday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Jan. 23.

The Pirates are hiring gameday staff for the 2013 spring schedule as well as accepting applications for this year's Bradenton Marauders season.

Interested applicants will be interviewed at both job fairs. Open positions can be viewed and applied online at careers.pirates.com or bradentonmarauders.com. For more information call 747-3031.

Travel tryouts

The Bradenton Beach Dawgs are holding tryouts for the spring baseball season. Tryouts for players

8-12 years old are scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at G.T. Bray park.

The Tuesday/Thursday tryouts will run 6-7:15 p.m., while the tryout on Saturday is 2:30-4:30 p.m.

The Beach Dawgs are scheduling 50-60 games between January and July for the upcoming season. For more information, call 705-5435, email info@beachdawgsbaseball.com or visit their website at www.beachdawgsbaseball.com.

Miss Manatee Softball

Another organization in the area is getting ready for a new season, and that's Miss Manatee Softball.

Registration for the 2013 spring season begins this Saturday at the Miss Manatee Softball fields from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Additional registration takes place the following week (Wednesday, 6-8 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.) for players 5-16 years old. The cost is $45 per player for tee ball and $135 per player for all other age groups. Additional siblings cost $85.

For more information, visit www.missmanateesoftball.org.

Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at jdill@bradenton.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill

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