In Sports from United Pres International

In Sports from United Press International

Teen fan dies after hit by puck


COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 19 (UPI) -- A teenage girl hit in the head by a puck at an NHL game on Saturday has died.

Brittanie Cecil, 13, was struck during a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames at Nationwide Arena. She was taken to Children's Hospital in Columbus and died Monday.

At the request of her parents, no further information is being released. In a statement, the hospital said the girl's organs would be donated "in the hope that others will be blessed as much as they were by her life."

It is believed she was the first fan to die after being hit by a puck.

Blue Jackets General Manager Doug MacLean said the team and those associated with the arena "are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred during Saturday's game. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Brittanie's family and friends during this time of anguish."


Raiders reach agreement with Shaw

ALAMEDA, Calif., March 19 (UPI) -- Defensive back Terrence Shaw will join his fourth team in as many years, agreeing to a two-year contract with the Oakland Raiders.

Shaw, 28, played primarily at nickel back with the New England Patriots last season and started two games. In New England's Super Bowl XXXVI upset of the St. Louis Rams in February, Shaw was on the field for 80 percent of the snaps as Patriots coach Bill Belichick employed six- and seven-man secondaries nearly the entire game.

In Oakland, Shaw will likely move into the role of nickel back if Tory James replaces Eric Allen at right cornerback.

The Raiders were also interested in free agent cornerback Duane Starks, who signed with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday.

A first-round pick of the San Diego Chargers in 1995, Shaw started 67 games in five seasons with them before signing with the Miami Dolphins in 2000. After one year with the Dolphins as a nickel back, Shaw signed with the Patriots.

Bucs re-sign cornerback

TAMPA, Fla., March 19 (UPI) -- Brian Kelly earned a starting cornerback spot with the Tampa Bayh Buccaneers this past season and was rewarded Tuesday with a six-year contract.


Along with re-signing Kelly, the Bucs also signed free agent tight end Marco Battaglia, who spent most of his six NFL seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kelly reportedly received $15 million.

Kelly, 26, took the starting left cornerback job away from Donnie Abraham six games into the 2001 season and recorded 54 tackles, 1 ½ sacks and eight passes defensed.

The Bucs waived Abraham last Thursday, a strong indication they planned to re-sign Kelly, a second-round pick out of Southern California in 1998. He started nine games in his first three seasons whenhe was used primarily as a nickel back.

Kings winger to miss 10-14 days

LOS ANGELES, March 19 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Kings announced Tuesday that left wing Craig Johnson will miss the next 10-14 days following successful eye surgery to repair a torn retina in his right eye.

Johnson suffered the injury during the first period of Monday's contest against San Jose.

In 67 games with the Kings this season, the 30-year-old has 12 goals and 13 assists.

South Alabama coach resigns

MOBILE, Ala., March 19 (UPI) -- After enduring the worst season in school history, Bob Weltlich has resigned as basketball coach at South Alabama.


The Jaguars finished 7-21 in 2001-02 after winning back-to-back Sun Belt Conference titles and was placed on two years' probation in December after two assistants violated NCAA rules.

Weltlich had three years left on his contract and will receive termination compensation since the resignation was mutually agreed upon.

Weltlich led South Alabama to three regular season conference titles in five years and compiled an 81-65 record. He took over before the 1997-98 season when Bill Musselman abruptly left to become an assistant with the Portland Trail Blazers.

His first team won the regular season and tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. He also coached Mississippi and Florida International to the NCAA Tournament and was an assistant under Bob Knight at Indiana.

FSU reportedly set to hire Hamilton

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 19 (UPI) -- After resurrecting the basketball program at Miami, Leonard Hamilton reportedly will attempt to do the same at Florida State.

WTEM Radio in Washington reported Tuesday that Hamilton, who lasted just one year in the NBA with the Washington Wizards, will return to the college game and replace Steve Robinson at Florida State.

Hamilton, 53, coached at Miami for 10 years, turning the Hurricanes from perennial losers into a winning Big East program. Under Hamilton, Miami made three straight NCAA Tournament appearances and reached the "Sweet 16" in 1999-2000.


After that season, Hamilton was lured by Michael Jordan to the NBA with a five-year contract worth $10 million. It was a decision Hamilton regretted as the Wizards finished with the worst mark in franchise history at 19-63, and he was fired.

Islanders swing couple of deals

UNIONDALE, N.Y., March 19 (UPI) -- The New York Islanders swung a couple of deals before Tuesday's deadline, obtaining defenseman Darren Van Impe from the Florida Panthers and re-acquiring left wing Dave Roche from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Van Impe came over for a 2003 fifth-round draft pick and will be reunited with Coach Peter Laviolette, who was an assistant with Boston when the 31-year-old played there last season.

The 6-1, 205-pound Van Impe started this season with the New York Rangers but was claimed off waivers by the Panthers in December. In 53 games, he has two goals, six assists and a plus-6 rating.

Going to Anaheim are right wing Ben Guite and 20-year-old Swedish prospect Bjorn Melin.

Capitals claim veteran winger

WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) -- Already one of the NHL's oldest teams, the Washington Capitals claimed veteran left wing Benoit Hogue off waivers from the Boston Bruins before Tuesday's NHL trade deadline.


Hogue, 35, joins his seventh team in a 15-year career and third in as many months.

He started the season with the Dallas Stars and had three goals and three assists in 32 games before the Bruins acquired him on Jan. 12 for future considerations. The Quebec native had four goals and four assists in 17 games for Boston.

Bruins get pair in trade

BOSTON, March 19 (UPI) -- The Boston Bruins, fighting for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, acquired defenseman Sean Brown and center Darryl Laplante in a pair of minor deals at Tuesday's trade deadline.

Brown came over from the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Bobby Allen and Laplante was obtained from the Minnesota Wild for left wing Greg Crozier.

The 25-year-old Brown returns to the Bruins, who selected him in the first round of the 1995 draft. He never played a game for Boston and was dealt to the Oilers in January 1996 with right wing Mariusz Czerkawski and a first-round pick for goaltender Bill Ranford.

Brown had six goals, four assists and 127 penalty minutes in 61 games for Edmonton with a plus-8 rating.

Laplante, who turns 25 on March 28, has spent the entire season ith Houston of the AHL and has 11 goals and six assists in 31 games.


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