In Sports from United Press International

Oct. 17, 2002 at 1:17 AM
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Lemieux keeps Penguins hot

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Hall of Fame center Mario Lemieux assisted on all of his team's goals Wednesday night in carrying the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 victory over the winless Atlanta Thrashers.

Pittsburgh has won all 13 meetings between the clubs since Atlanta joined the NHL four years ago.

Lemieux's three points vaulted him to an early league lead in that category while the Penguins extended their winning streak to three following an embarrassing 6-0 season-opening loss to Toronto.

Linemates Aleksey Morozov and Alexei Kovalev scored Pittsburgh's first two goals off direct feeds from Lemieux in the first period. The top line has accounted for 10 of Pittsburgh's 13 goals through the first four games.

Morozov departed late in the first period after being cut on the left ear by an errant puck. He received several stitches but did not return.

Randy Robitaille capped the Penguins' scoring with a power-play goal at 13:20 of the third period.

The only other NHL games Wednesday night saw Boston rout Vancouver, 6-3; and Los Angeles down Anaheim, 4-2.

Agassi wins opener in Madrid

MADRID, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Andre Agassi found one way to avoid the ongoing rash of upsets Wednesday at the Tennis Masters Series - Madrid. Local favorite Albert Costa found another.

Agassi was one of the few big names to advance at the hardcourt tournament, cruising to a 6-4, 6-4 second-round victory over fellow American Jan-Michael Gambill.

Top-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany was not as fortunate, retiring with a blister on his right hand just two games away from elimination. Fourth-seeded Tim Henman of Britain, ninth-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia and 10th-seeded Andy Roddick of the United States also were eliminated.

They were joined on the sidelines by Costa, the sixth seed who had to withdraw with a back injury. He was replaced by fellow Spaniard Jose Acasuso, who was a 6-3, 6-2 loser to Nicolas Lapennti of Ecuador.

Wednesday's series of upsets came one day after third-seeded Marat Safin of Russia and former world No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil were eliminated in their opening matches.

This was Agassi's first match since his loss to Pete Sampras in the final of last month's U.S. Open. He improved to 47-8 this season - including 33-5 on hard courts - and 10-2 all-time against Gambill.

McDyess officially out for the year

NEW YORK, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- New York Knicks power forward Antonio McDyess underwent successful surgery Wednesday to repair a broken left kneecap and will miss the entire season, the team announced.

The two-hour procedure was performed by Knicks team physician Dr. Norman Scott. McDyess will have the knee in a cast for four to six weeks before beginning rehabilitation.

"Although we expect the full rehabilitation process to keep him out the entire season, this is not a career-threatening injury," Scott said. "He will be able to walk on crutches and put full weight on it later this week."

McDyess suffered the injury late in Saturday's preseason loss to the Phoenix Suns, one year to the day he underwent reconstructive surgery on the joint.

Woods back in action

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods will be part of the field beginning Thursday at the Disney Golf Classic.

Getting Woods to appear is no easy task for tournament organizers, but the lure of a short commute helped lure the sport's best player.

Woods, who lives in Orlando, is playing just his 17th PGA Tour event this season, having finished no worse than fourth in his last four, including wins at the Buick Open and American Express Championship. This will be his first appearance since competing in the Ryder Cup last month and Woods has reveled in the time off.

"I haven't done anything. It's been great, chilling out and doing nothing. It's fun to have a chance to do just that," Woods said. "We travel so much, play all around the world, we don't get a chance to do that enough."

Since turning pro in 1996, Woods has five wins in 12 tour events in his adopted hometown of Orlando, including this tournament in 1996 and 1999.

The champion of the Masters and the U.S. Open has a tour-best five wins this season, increasing his 6 1/2-year total to 34.

Woods is first on the PGA Tour in 12 different statistical categories, including greens in regulation and scoring average.

Another winner of a major competing this week is Rich Beem, the victor of the PGA Championship. Beem is fourth on the money list with over $2.84 million and is 23rd in the World Golf rankings. Other players in the field include David Duval and Charles Howell III.

Bodine placed on probation

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- NASCAR officials announced Wednesday that Todd Bodine had been placed on probation for the rest of the year, putting him one incident from an indefinite suspension from the Winston Cup circuit.

Crew chiefs Tommy Baldwin and Mike Ford also were fined by NASCAR in further fallout from the events last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Bodine was involved in a multi-car accident on lap 231 of Sunday's UAW-GM Quality 500. He was penalized for "actions detrimental to stock car racing" and "careless driving." According to NASCAR Winston Cup Series director John Darby, it was not the first time Bodine had driven recklessly.

If there is another action by Bodine that NASCAR officials consider detrimental or disruptive to the orderly conduct of the event, Bodine would be suspended indefinitely.

Nicol, Martino named top MLS rookie, coach

NEW YORK, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Steve Nicol, who has guided the New England Revolution into the MLS Cup final for the first time, was named Coach of the Year Wednesday.

Named interim coach on May 23 after the Revolution got off to a 2-4-1 start, Nicol led the team to a 10-10-1 finish and the second seed in the playoffs. The voting was completed before the end of the MLS Cup quarterfinals, and New England will face the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Cup final on Sunday.

Columbus Crew midfielder Kyle Martino was named MLS Rookie of the Year and Kevin Terry was named Referee of the Year in the other two awards announced Wednesday.

Martino had two goals and five assists in 22 games, including 15 starts. The 21-year-old Connecticut native is a member of the U.S. Under-23 National Team, which is seeking to qualify for the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

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