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Sports Log

It ranks as a great week for Hockey East

October 14, 2008
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College hockey
Hockey East teams were the talk of college hockey Saturday, and defending national champ Boston College didn't even take the ice. As a result of this weekend's results, the Eagles remained No. 1 and Boston University (up four spots to No. 5) and New Hampshire (up one to No. 6) improved in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Division 1 men's poll. Hockey East teams were 6-1 Saturday and finished the weekend 5-0 against teams from the perennially powerful WCHA. The Eagles won their opener Friday, freshman Cam Atkinson scoring the deciding goal in a 5-4 season-opening win over Wisconsin. On Saturday, Massachusetts edged North Dakota, BU tipped Michigan State, and New Hampshire routed Wisconsin.

NHL
Kings' Johnson might miss 3 months
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jack Johnson, the third overall pick in the 2005 NHL draft, will miss up to three months because of a shoulder injury suffered in Sunday's 1-0 loss to San Jose. Johnson was hit hard late in the first period and took a single shift in the second period before leaving the game. There were expectations that Johnson would emerge as the Kings' top defenseman this season. The Kings claimed 23-year-old Kyle Quincey off waivers from Detroit to help bolster the defense while Johnson is out. Former BC standout Peter Harrold is expected to take Johnson's place in the lineup tonight against the Ducks . . . The NHL is "still in growth mode" despite the economic downturn, commissioner Gary Bettman said, noting that ticket sales have increased this season. Season-ticket sales are 4 percent higher than a year ago, and single-game tickets were up nearly 13 percent as of a week ago, Bettman noted, calling that data "remarkable - if not startling - numbers, in light of what we hear is going on."

Baseball
Pujols could be back in swing in spring
Albert Pujols had elbow surgery and the St. Louis Cardinals are optimistic the slugger will be ready for spring training. The 2005 NL MVP underwent a 25-minute procedure to relieve nerve irritation in his right elbow, which had led to numbness, tingling in his ring finger and pinkie, weakness in his grip, and pain along the inside of the forearm. The surgery Pujols had was not the reconstructive procedure that has long been discussed. Such an operation might have sidelined Pujols, whose .357 average ranked second in the major leagues last year, for the first half of next season. Now it is hoped the 28-year-old slugger won't require that procedure . . . Cleveland Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner will undergo arthroscopic surgery today on the strained right shoulder that kept him on the disabled list for more than three months. Noted orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery . . . Former Toronto manager John Gibbons returned to the majors when he was hired by the Kansas City Royals to be their bench coach. The Royals also hired Kevin Seitzer, who was an All-Star third baseman with Kansas City and is still popular in the area, as hitting coach. He was fired last July as Arizona's hitting coach.

Miscellany
NBA cutting US staff by 9 percent
The NBA is eliminating about 80 jobs in the United States, the first major American sports league to announce layoffs because of the worldwide economic turmoil. Commissioner David Stern said the figure would be about 9 percent of the American work force . . . The Houston Dynamo banned a fan indefinitely for directing racist language at D.C. United goalkeeper Louis Crayton Sunday . . . English soccer authorities vetoed Madrid as a venue for a proposed exhibition game against Spain because of the racist abuse the team faced the last time it played in the city, in 2004 . . . In his first match since he got married two weeks ago, Mardy Fish hit 13 aces to beat Steve Darcis, 6-1, 6-4, in the first round of the Madrid Masters . . . Cyclist Lance Armstrong agreed to ride in next year's Giro d'Italia. In an apparent swipe at Tour de France organizers, with whom he has feuded over drug-testing issues, Armstrong said: "I look forward to starting a race that respects not only the riders but also maintains the highest integrity in sport." . . . Bernhard Kohl, who finished third in this year's Tour de France, tested positive for a banned blood booster when his race samples were checked for CERA, an advanced version of EPO. Kohl could face a two-year suspension and lose his podium spot.

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