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In Sports from United Press International

  |   June 18, 2002 at 11:57 PM
Oilers obtain Dopita from Flyers

EDMONTON, Alberta, June 19 (UPI) -- The Edmonton Oilers acquired center Jiri Dopita from the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday for a 2003 third-round draft pick and a conditional fifth-rounder in 2004.

Dopita, 33, struggled with the Flyers in his first NHL season. Bothered by neck and knee injuries, he had 11 goals and 16 assists in 52 games.

One of the greatest players in Czech history, Dopita was selected by the Boston Bruins in the sixth round of the 1992 draft and again by the New York Islanders in the fifth round in 1998. He was traded in June 1999 to the Florida Panthers, who sent him on to the Flyers two years later.

Dopita became expendable in Philadelphia after the Flyers obtained center Michal Handzus from the Phoenix Coyotes last week in a deal involving goaltender Brian Boucher.

While success has eluded Dopita in the NHL, he was voted the top player from the Czech Republic during the 2000-01 season, outpolling superstar Jaromir Jagr. Dopita has won six titles in the Czech Extraleague, three World Championships and a gold medal at the 1998 Olympics.

Last February, he had two goals and two assists in four games at the Salt Lake City Olympics.


South Korea ousts Italy from World Cup

SEOUL, June 19 (UPI) -- For the first time in World Cup history, South Korea has advanced to the quarterfinals. For the second time in World Cup history, Italy has to go home having lost to a team from the Korean peninsula.

When Italy lost to North Korea in 1966, Italian fans were waiting at the airport to pelt the players with rotten tomatoes in one of the most famous incidents in the history of the sport. This time, the Italian fans will likely be raging at a referee from Ecuador who had to make a difficult decision in overtime Tuesday night and appeared to make the incorrect one.

The end result Tuesday was a 2-1 South Korean victory over Italy in a tremendous match that took 116 minutes to decide--ending when Jung Hwan Ahn, who had missed a penalty kick early in the game, blasted a shot past Gianlugi Buffon.

South Korea, therefore, was able to achieve what its co-hosting country could not. Earlier in the day, Japan fell to Turkey, 1-0.

Those outcomes brought an end to 19 consecutive days of soccer that saw the original field of 32 trimmed to eight.

After a two-day break, the World Cup will resume Friday with the first two quarterfinal matches--the United States taking on Germany and England playing Brazil. On Saturday, Turkey will face Senegal and Spain will meet South Korea.


Navratilova makes triumphant return

EASTBOURNE, England, June 19 (UPI) -- Martina Navratilova, playing in her first singles match in nearly eight years, beat Tatiana Panova of Russia, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 Tuesday at the Britannic Asset Management Championships.

The winner of 167 singles and 166 doubles titles, the 45-year-old Navratilova asked for a wild card into this grasscourt event in which she is an 11-time champion.

"Eastbourne has always been good to me and it was again for me today," said Navratilova, whose last singles match was a loss to Gabriela Sabatini in the first round of the WTA Championships in 1994.

The 25-year-old Panova appeared nervous facing the legendary Navratilova. After Navratilova double-faulted twice to lose serve in the opening game, she won the next six games using her trademark net-rushing tactics as Panova committed a series of errors. Panova settled down and made Navratilova pay for rushing the net in the second set, breaking serve to lead 2-0 with a winning pass. She closed out the set when Navratilova hit an easy backhand into the net.

Navratilova changed her strategy a bit in the third set, patiently playing the baseline and broke Panova's serve in the fifth game. When she broke again for a 5-2 lead, Panova appeared deflated and Navratilova served out the match.

Navratilova came out of retirement in 2000 to play doubles and last month won the doubles title with Natasha Zvereva at the Madrid Open. The nine-time Wimbledon champion took a late singles wild card into this event on a dare by her trainer, Giselle Girado.


Brandy Reed suspended indefinitely

PHOENIX, June 19 (UPI) -- Troubled forward Brandy Reed of the Phoenix Mercury was suspended indefinitely Tuesday for conduct detrimental to the team.

It marks the second straight year Reed has been handed an indefinite suspension.

"There has not been enough effort to meet the requirements we set with her at the beginning of camp," Mercury general manager Seth Sulka said after the latest suspension. "She's continuing to move away from that set of standards and that's not what we want to see two weeks into the season. That won't be tolerated by anyone."

A WNBA All-Star in 2000, Reed averaged 7.6 points and 0.8 rebounds in five games, including four starts, this season but her play has been erratic. She scored 20 and 14 points in two victories, but scored no points in eight minutes in two other games.

Last year, Reed complained about her playing time in the season opener and missed a team bus before the next game, leading to an indefinite suspension that lasted the rest of the campaign.

A third-round pick of Phoenix in 1998, Reed was selected first overall by Minnesota in the expansion draft but did not play in seven games in 1999 for disciplinary reasons. The Mercury reacquired Reed in February 2000 and she was the league's third-leading scorer, averaging 19 points per game.


Georgia Tech, Notre Dame knocked out of Series

OMAHA, Neb., June 19 (UPI) -- Four days after being embarrassed by Georgia Tech, South Carolina knocked the Yellow Jackets out of the College World Series Tuesday.

Freshman Aaron Rawl went the distance despite allowing 14 hits and Drew Meyer and Justin Harris each had two hits and two RBI to lead South Carolina to a 9-5 victory in an elimination game.

The Gamecocks will play intrastate rival Clemson on Wednesday night.

Sam Fuld homered and Dan Rich pitched 3 1/3 innings of outstanding relief Tuesday night as Stanford eliminated Notre Dame with a 5-3 victory in the College World Series.

Stanford (47-17) will have a day off before facing Texas on Thursday. Notre Dame completed its winningest season in school history at 50-18. The Fighting Irish won an elimination game Monday, beating Rice, 5-3, with three runs in the bottom of the ninth.


Sixers McKie had shoulder surgery

PHILADELPHIA, June 19 (UPI) -- Philadelphia 76ers guard Aaron McKie, the 2001 Sixth Man of the Year, had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder Tuesday.

Dr. Gerry Williams performed the procedure at Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia.

McKie averaged 12.2 points and 3.7 assists per contest in 48 games this past season as Philadelphia (43-39) finished sixth in the Eastern Conference, and lost in five games in the first round of the playoffs to the Boston Celtics. He missed the first four games of the season after undergoing left ankle surgery, and later missed 23 games because of a sprained ankle.

The 29-year-old McKie averaged 11.6 points and 5.0 assists in 76 games in 2000-01, when the Sixers reached the NBA Finals, losing in five games to the Los Angeles Lakers.

McKie is the third Sixer to undergo surgery this offseason.

Forward Derrick Coleman had surgery on his left knee last week, and guard Speedy Claxton had his left shoulder operated on in May.


Stars get goalie Tugnutt from Columbus

DALLAS, June 19 (UPI) -- The Dallas Stars, opting not to re-sign two-time Vezina Trophy winner Ed Belfour, Tuesday acquired veteran goaltender Ron Tugnutt from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Stars also received a second-round pick, the 32nd overall selection, and sent the Blue Jackets a first-round pick, the 20th overall selection, in Saturday's NHL Draft.

Tugnutt, 34, appeared in 44 games with Columbus last season. He was 12-27-3 with a 2.85 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage with two shutouts. In 2000-01, he set an NHL record for the most wins by a goaltender on an expansion team with 22.

The 37-year-old Belfour has been the Stars' starting goaltender for the last five seasons, and helped them win the Stanley Cup in 1999. His age and asking price, in the neighborhood of $6 million annually, persuaded Dallas General Manager Doug Armstrong to let him seek a deal elsewhere.

Armstrong has also acquired Tugnutt to compete with Marty Turco, a backup the last two seasons with Dallas, for the starting job.

Tugnutt, a 14-year veteran, has appeared in 495 NHL games, posting a 168-222-57 record with a 3.10 goals-against-average, an .894 save percentage, and 21 shutouts. Prior to joining the Blue Jackets, he finished the 1999-00 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins and appeared in 11 playoff games, including a 70-save performance in a 2-1, five-overtime loss to Philadelphia in the second round, and ranked second with a 1.77 goals-against average.

The 5-11, 165-pound Tugnutt has also played with Quebec (1987-92), Edmonton (1992-93), Anaheim (1993-94), Montreal (1994-95) and Ottawa (1996-2000).

The deal gives the Blue Jackets two first-round picks: the third and 20th overall selections.


Carolina gives Maurice long-term deal

RALEIGH, N.C., June 19 (UPI) -- After their surprising run to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals this year, the Carolina Hurricanes rewarded Coach Paul Maurice and his top assistants, Kevin McCarthy and Randy Ladouceur, to multi-year contracts.

"Paul has done an outstanding job and is very deserving of this new contract," said Hurricanes Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Jim Rutherford. "His records over the last four seasons and in this season's playoffs prove that he is capable of leading our team for years to come. Randy and Kevin are important parts of that success as well and we feel confident that they will continue to help this team in reaching its ultimate goal."

The Hurricanes ranked 15th in points among the 16 playoff teams this season, but advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in the 23-year history of the franchise. They stunned the defending Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils in the first round, beat the Montreal Canadiens in the conference semifinals, and then dumped the Toronto Maple Leafs in the conference finals, winning each series in six games.

But after beating the Detroit Red Wings in the opener of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Hurricanes lost the next four games.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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