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In Sports from United Press International

May 7, 2002 at 12:29 AM   |   Comments

Ottawa takes 2-1 playoff lead over Leafs

OTTAWA, May 7 (UPI) -- Magnus Arvedson scored the first two playoff goals of his career and Daniel Alfredsson netted the game-winner as the Ottawa Senators withstood a late rally to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-2 Monday night.

The win gave the Senators a two games to one lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Patrick Lalime came within 3:16 of becoming the first goaltender in playoff history to record five shutouts in one postseason. But he barely hung on as the Maple Leafs scored twice in a 2:42 span to draw within a goal.

Playing in his 30th postseason game, Arvedson snapped a scoreless tie at 6:49 of the second period with his first career playoff tally. With Ottawa ahead, 2-0, Alfredsson scored with 3:35 remaining in the third for a seemingly safe 3-0 lead before Toronto's rally that almost caught the Senators.


Dallas evens NBA playoff with Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 7 (UPI) -- Steve Nash poured in a playoff career-high 30 points and made several huge plays late as the Dallas Mavericks evened their Western Conference semifinal series with the Sacramento Kings at a game apiece with a 110-102 victory Monday night.

The two highest scoring teams in the NBA lived up to their billing as Sacramento claimed a 60-59 halftime edge. The pace slowed in the second half but Nash, who added eight assists, had plenty of speed left.

The score was tied at 93-93 when Nash made perhaps the game's flashiest play. He used superb ballhandling to lose Bobby Jackson on the perimeter and rifled a pass behind his back to Raef LaFrentz, who dunked for a 95-93 lead with 3:48 to go. The Mavs built that to an eight-point cushion as time ran out.


Paralyzed football player dies

SEATTLE, May 6 (UPI) -- Former University of Washington safety Curtis Williams, paralyzed from the neck down after a helmet-to-helmet hit in a game against Stanford in October 2000, died Monday. He was 24.

Williams died at his brother's home in Fresno, Calif., according to Washington media relations director Jim Daves. Cause of death was not announced.

"We are all devastated to hear that Curtis passed away today. This is a complete shock," said Washington Athletic Director Barbara Hedges. "Our condolences go out to the members of Curtis' family and we will continue to support them in any way that we can."

Williams suffered a severe spinal cord injury which left him paralyzed from the neck down after a helmet-to-helmet hit with Stanford running back Kerry Carter in the third quarter of an Oct. 28, 2000 game at Stanford Stadium.

"Although he was confined to his wheelchair, Curtis taught all of us associated with Husky football the true meaning of the word courage,"Coach Rick Neuheisel said.


Hewitt, Agassi, Safin advance in Rome

ROME, May 7 (UPI) -- First round results offered few surprises Monday in the $2.33 million Tennis Masters Series claycourt event in Rome.

Top seed Lleyton Hewitt of Australia cruised into the second round with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden.

Hewitt, who reached the quarterfinals here two years ago, lost in the first round in Monte Carlo but advanced to the semifinals at Barcelona on clay last month. He has not lost to Bjorkman in four career meetings.

The sixth seed, Marat Safin of Russia, cruised past Spain's Alberto Martin, 6-2, 6-2. and ninth-seeded Andre Agassi, who has two tournament victories on the year, defeated Germany's Nicolas Kiefer, 6-3, 6-2, for the fifth time in as many meetings.


German Open under way

BERLIN, May 7 (UPI) -- With the top seeds not in action yet, round one of the $1.22 million German Open tennis tournament got under way Monday.

In the most noteworth matches, No. 12 Elena Dementieva of Russia lost 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 to German qualifer Angelika Roesch and No. 14 Iroda Tulyagonova of Uzbekistan won 6-4, 6-0 victory over Spain's Gala Leon Garcia.

The top two seeds are American Jennifer Capriati and Belgium's Kim Clijsters, while American Serena Williams is the fourth seed. Third seed Martina Hingis of Switzerland withdrew from the tournament on Sunday due to a pulled ligament in her left foot.


Indy 'safe walls' put to early test

INDIANAPOLIS, May 6 (UPI) -- The new "safe walls" installed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a few days ago apparently passed their first test.

Robby McGehee, the 1999 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, became the first driver to hit the new SAFER (Steel And Foam Energy Reduction) barrier when he crashed Sunday during a trial run. He suffered small frasctjures in his upper spine and lower left leg and that probably will keep him from practicing for the May 26 Indianapolis 500. But, it could have been a lot worse.

Wearing a soft cast on his left leg, McGehee was released Monday from Methodist Hospital and will undergo further evaluation in the next few days.

"I'm sore as hell, but I'll be fine," he said. "It (the car) hit backward and then flipped on its right side. They say I was in the air, but I can't remember that because it all happened so fast. The fact that I hit the wall that hard, and I don't have a head injury is a testament that the SAFER wall worked."


Chargers give return specialist another chance

SAN DIEGO, May 7 (UPI) -- The San Diego Chargers Monday added a talented but troubled return specialist to their arsenal when they signed veteran wide receiver Tamarick Vanover to a one-year contract. It is believed he signed for the one-year minimum of $525,000.

The 28-year-old Vanover played four seasons for the Kansas City after being chosen in the third round in the 1995 NFL draft. In his last season with the Chiefs in 1999, he ranked third in the NFL with a 12.3-yard punt return average and scored two touchdowns, and also averaged 20.1 yards on kickoff returns.

Vanover's NFL career was cut short when he was sentenced to four months in jail for his part in separate drug and car-theft rings. In February 2000, he pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the sale of a stolen sport utility vehicle that crossed state lines and later acknowledged supplying friends with money for a drug buy


PGA Tour adds new stop

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 7 (UPI) -- The PGA Tour will return to Charlotte, N.C., and Quail Hollow Country Club next May for the first time in 24 years.

The Wachovia Championship, under the four-year sponsorship of the fourth-largest financial services company in the United States, will be held May 5-11, 2003.

"The PGA Tour is excited to partner with Wachovia to bring a prominent tournament to Charlotte," said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem at a news conference Monday morning. "As a leader in financial services, and a company known for its support of communities, education and employees, Wachovia reflects the same values as the PGA Tour and is an ideal sponsor for this new key stop on the Tour schedule."

Quail Hollow last hosted a Tour event in the 1979 Kemper Open.


Four Irish players reported expelled

SOUTH BEND, Ind., May 7 (UPI) -- Four football players recently accused of rape by a campus coed have been expelled from Notre Dame for misconduct, according to a report in the South Bend Tribune.

The expulsions, coming in the wake of a disciplinary hearing held on April 25, affect Donald Dykes, 22, a senior from Hammond, La., who had been scheduled to graduate in two weeks; Lorenzo Crawford, 19, a sophomore from Prospect Park, N.J.; Abram Elam, 20, a sophomore from Riviera Beach, Fla.; and Justin Smith, 22, a fifth-year student from St. Petersburg, Fla., who already has graduated and was taking graduate courses. His eligibility expired at the end of last season.

Smith had been a backup safety last year, and the other three were expected to play prominent roles next fall for new Coach Tyrone Willingham. Dykes and Elam were safeties, and Crawford was a wide receiver.

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