On Sports from United Press International

May 28, 2003 at 12:12 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter

New Jersey takes 1-0 lead in Stanley Cup finals

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., May 28 (UPI) -- Playing for the first time in 11 days, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim looked lethargic in Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals Tuesday night.

The New Jersey Devils got two goals from Jeff Friesen and and 16 saves from Martin Brodeur in a 3-0 blanking of the Mighty Ducks.

Many wondered how the Ducks would respond coming off the longest pre-Stanley Cup Finals layoff in 37 years. The answer was clear as Anaheim managed just eight shots through two periods while yielding a handful of odd-man rushes.

As he did in the opening game of the Western Conference finals, Jean-Sebastien Giguere kept the Ducks even in the first period. But Friesen put New Jersey in front 1:45 into the second and Grant Marshall scored 5:34 into the third to put Anaheim in just its second two-goal hole of the postseason.

Brodeur had little to do to protect the lead, making four saves in each of the first two periods and eight in the third for his fifth playoff shutout, one short of the record set by Dominik Hasek set last year. It was his 18th career postseason shutout, four behind Patrick Roy's mark.

Brodeur had some help. Just 4 1/2 minutes into the game, former Devil Petr Sykora fired a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle off the right goalpost. It turned out to be the Ducks' best scoring chance.

New Jersey had several, finally cashing in on its 10th shot on Giguere, who has carried the Ducks to their first Stanley Cup Finals.

From the left corner, Sergei Brylin - taking the spot of the injured Joe Nieuwendyk on the Devils' second line - moved the puck to Friesen at the left faceoff dot. The hero of Game Seven of the Eastern Conference finals, Friesen wristed a shot over Giguere's right pad and inside the left goalpost for his sixth playoff goal and fourth game-winner.

New Jersey had several odd-man chances, including a breakaway by Jay Pandolfo, before Marshall padded the lead.

Giguere made a chest save on Patrik Elias' point-blank shot from the slot, but the rebound came back to Elias, who drew defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski before sliding the puck into the slot.

Unchecked, Marshall shoved it into a half-empty net for his fifth goal in the last 12 games. He ended a 65-game drought in Game Two of the conference semifinals.

Friesen added an empty-net goal with 22 seconds remaining.

Game Two is Thursday at New Jersey, where the Devils improved to 9-1 in the postseason. They are trying to win their third Stanley Cup in nine years.

Roddick again ousted in first round

PARIS, May 28 (UPI) -- Andy Roddick's stay at the French Open was a short one.

The American suffered a 6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 first-round loss Tuesday to Armenia's Sargis Sargsian as the 20-year-old Roddick strangely collapsed, winning only seven games after taking the first set in a tiebreaker.

"I felt good mentally and physically out there, so I'm not really sure what happened," said Roddick, who also bowed out here last year in the first round. "It's weird going from feeling like you're playing well and feeling like you don't know what you're doing out there."

Two years ago, Roddick upset fellow American Michael Chang, who won here in 1989, to reach the third round of the French Open. Since then, neither player has won a match in the year's second Grand Slam.

Roddick arrived at Roland Garros fresh off winning his first title of the year on Saturday at St. Polten. He also was runner-up on hard courts at Memphis and on clay at Houston.

Chang, who plans to retire following the U.S. Open, experienced an emotional farewell at Roland Garros, falling to Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, 7-5, 6-1, 6-1, in his final appearance at the French Open.

Chang won the title here in dramatic fashion in 1989 when he became the youngest French Open men's singles champion in history at 17 and the first American man to win here since 1955.

There were no other major upsets as 14 of the other 15 men's seed in action advanced to the second round. The only other upset victim was No. 18 Agustin Calleri of Argentina, who fell to fellow Argentine Franco Squillari, 7-5, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.

Top seed Lleyton Hewitt of Australia and his girlfriend Kim Clijsters of Belgium, the No. 2 seed in the woman's draw, enjoyed their first day at the French Open.

Hewitt, who has reached at least the fourth round here the last four years but has never won the title, beat American Brian Vahaly, 6-4, 6-1, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, on Tuesday.

Clijsters advanced with a 6-2, 6-0 rout of American Amy Frazier.

Vahaly made his first appearance at Roland Garros and is still seeking his first match win after making his Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon last year.

Clijsters was off the court in just 45 minutes, hitting 20 winners to five by Frazier, and lost only eight points in the second set.

Clijsters has reached at least the semifinals in all eight of her tournaments this season, winning three of those events. On clay, the 19-year-old lost in the final at Berlin before becoming the first Belgian to win the Italian Open - her second Tier I tournament triumph of the year.

Third-seeded Venus Williams returned to action Tuesday after missing almost a month with a strained abdominal muscle and moved on with a 6-2, 6-4 win over lucky loser and fellow American Samantha Reeves.

Monday, Serena Williams began her quest for a fifth straight Grand Slam crown with a 6-2, 6-1 rout of Germany's Barbara Rittner.

Although Serena won the family's first major at the 1999 U.S. Open, Venus responded to the challenge by winning consecutive Wimbledon and U.S. Open crowns in 2000 and 2001. But after defeating her younger sister in the championship match in New York two years ago, she has lost to Serena in the final at the last four majors and watched her sibling dominate women's tennis.

On the men's side, Spain's Albert Costa opened defense of his French Open crown in more difficult fashion than expected. Costa needed to rally to beat Argentine lucky loser Sergio Roitman, 6-7 (3-7), 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.

Costa, the ninth seed from Spain, won the title last year to end a run of 65 tournaments without a championship, dating to July 1999. However, he has now gone 22 tournaments since without further success.

Third seed Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero, last year's runner-up here, ousted Switzerland's Michel Kratochvil, 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 on Tuesday. Ferrero has been the season's most dominating

performer on clay and has at least made the semifinals in all three prior appearances here. Ferrero lost to Costa in four setshere in his first career Grand Slam final last year.

The biggest upset victim on the women's side was No. 12 Monica Seles of the United States, who lost to Russia's Nadia Petrova, 6-4, 6-0.

A former world No. 1 who was never the same player following her stabbing incident, Seles admitted after the match that she is contemplating retirement. Seles continues to be bothered by foot problems that has her availability for next month's Wimbledon in doubt.

No. 13 seed Elena Dementieva of Russia also was upset, falling to Spain's Maria Sanchez Lorenzo, 6-3, 6-3.

Yankees Williams undergoes knee surgery

NEW YORK, May 28 (UPI) -- New York Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams underwent surgery Tuesday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee.

Williams was placed on the disabled list last Thursday after an MRI revealed a sprain and tear of the medial meniscus. He had felt pain in the knee for nearly a month.

After surgery was recommended by Yankees team physician Dr. Stuart Hershon, Williams got a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, who agreed with Hershon's assessment and performed the procedure in Birmingham, Ala.

The timetable for Williams' return - originally estimated at four-to-six weeks - remains unchanged, Yankees' Manager Joe Torre said.

"He had surgery, it went well," Torre said. "We're pleased. We're still looking at four-to-six weeks."

A five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner, Williams got off to a strong start this year, batting .384 with six homers and 23 RBI in the first 22 games. But the injury clearly hampered Williams, who was hitless in 21 at-bats prior to going on the disabled list.

With first baseman Nick Johnson also on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his left hand and not expected back until late June, the Yankees have lost five straight games and 12 of their last 15 to fall 2 1/2 games behind Boston.

The losing streak is New York's longest since it dropped seven in a row at the end of the 2000 campaign. The Yankees also have lost eight straight at home.

Cardinals Morris NL Player of Week

NEW YORK, May 28 (UPI) -- St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Matt Morris, who threw back-to-back shutouts, Tuesday was named the National League Player of the Week.

Morris struck out eight Chicago Cubs on May 19 in a four-hitter and also blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

The righthander became the first Cardinals hurler to spin consecutive shutouts since Bob Tewksbury in 1990. Morris was also named the Player of the Week once in 2001.

IBF Cruiserweight Champion arrested

LANSING, Mich., May 28 (UPI) -- Attorney General Mike Cox announced that IBF Cruiserweight champion James Toney was arrested Tuesday at his California home for failure to pay back child support.

Toney, who was born in Grand Rapids and raised in Detroit, has a 10-year-old daughter who lives in the metro-Detroit area.

"James Toney said he was looking for a heavyweight fight, well,now he's got one," said Cox. "No parent should short-change their children, especially not when they are signing multi-million dollar sports deals."

Toney, 34, won the IBF cruiserweight title by a unanimous decision in a bout with Vassili Jirov on April 28, 2003. Late last week, Toney's promoter, Dan Goosen, announced an agreement to fight undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins for $2.5 million.

In Michigan, non-support of a child is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison. Based on a warrant issued by the Michigan Attorney General's office on March 15, Toney wasarrested at his Sherman Oaks, Calif., home earlier Tuesday morning. He is currently being held in the Twin Towers Los Angeles County Jail.

Patrick Roy reported to be retiring

BOULDER, Colo., May 28 (UPI) -- It appears the NHL's winningest goaltender has stolen the thunder from the start of the Stanley Cup Finals.

A report Tuesday in the Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera said goaltender Patrick Roy of the Avalanche, a four-time Stanley Cup winner, has decided to retire after 18 seasons in the NHL.

An official announcement is expected on Wednesday.

The Avalanche squandered a three games to one lead and lost to Minnesota in the Western Conference quarterfinals. Afterwards, Roy hinted at retirement, but said he would not announce his future plans until after the postseason.

Anaheim and New Jersey begin the Stanley Cup Finals on Tuesday night. Ironically, the most intoxicating matchup of the Finals features French-Canadian goaltenders Jean-Sebastien Giguere of Anaheim and Martin Brodeur of New Jersey.

In this case, the spotlight falls on the speculation swirling around Roy, arguably the greatest goaltender in league history, Roy, 37, has 551 career victories, and has won three Vezina Trophies and three Conn Smythe Trophies, awarded to the MVP of the playoffs.

Roy, the youngest player ever to win the Conn Smythe at age 20 when he led the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup title in 1985-86, won another championship with the Canadiens in 1992-93.

The Avalanche made the best trade in club history when they acquired Roy in December 1995, along with Mike Keane, from Montreal for goaltender Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinsky, and Andrei Kovalenko.

That season, Roy led the Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup title, and earned his fourth in 2000-01, beating Brodeur and the Devils in seven games.

Orioles ink former top pick Loewen

BALTIMORE, May 28 (UPI) -- The Baltimore Orioles have come to terms with Adam Loewen, their top choice in the 2002 Player Draft.

In a statement, the team said the signing was contingent upon his passing a physical examination. He is expected to come to Baltimore later this week for his physical exam before reporting to the Orioles' minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla.

Reportedly, he got a five-year contract.

Jim Beattie, the Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations, and Mike Flanagan, Vice President for Baseball Operations, basically confirmed a report by the Baltimore Sun that an agreement was reached Monday night shortly before midnight, the deadline for signing players selected in last year's draft.

The Sun report said the Orioles beat the deadline by five minutes.

"It feels very good to get a young, talented kid in the organization," Beattie told the paper. "It was an interesting process, that's for sure."

The paper also said that, when the Orioles lost centerfielder Gary Matthews Jr., to the San Diego Padres on waivers last week, they saved about $645,000 so they could use that money toward signing Loewen. Matthews' departure also opened up a spot on the 40-man roster.

Loewen, 19, a 6-6, 230-pounder, is a native of Surrey, British Columbia, was the fourth overall pick in last year's draft after graduating from Fraser Valley Christian High School. This past year, he attended Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., where he went 6-1 with a 2.37 ERA in 12 games.

Loewen was a member of the Canadian Junior National Team, was team MVP in 2000, was named MVP of the Canadian National Games in 2002, and is the highest draft pick in Canadian history.

Brewers send Sanchez to Tigers

MILWAUKEE, May 28 (UPI) -- The Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday dealt veteran outfielder Alex Sanchex to Detroit for minor leaguers Chad Petty and Gary Varner.

Sanchez did give the Brewers some chances with his speed and hitting prowess, but the team tired of his undisciplined play and mental mistakes.

General Manager Doug Melvin, in speaking with MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, gave the indication that the Brewers feel they are better off with a player who was projected as a prospect of the future.

"Scott Podsednik's performance over the last several weeks gave us this opportunity to trade Alex Sanchez," Melvin said. "We were able to get two young players to add to our minor league system, and we believe that Alex, with his talent, will get a better opportunity with Detroit. We wish him well."

Sanchez, who also fell into the doghouse with Tampa Bay, was hitting .282 with 15 runs scored and 14 RBI in 43 games this season. He earned a spot on the bench of Manager Ned Yost on May 13.

Brewers coaches wanted Sanchez to work pitchers deeper into counts, bunt more, and work harder on his outfield defense, but he failed to comply.

Sanchez, a native of Cuba, displayed his potential when he stole 92 bases in 131 games in 1997, and swiped 66 more while hitting .330 for Single-A St. Petersburg in the Florida State League in 1998, good for Tampa Bay's Minor League Player of the Year honors.

He played in the Major League Futures game in 1999.

Petty, 21, began this season with Single-A Lakeland, where he went 3-4 with a 4.40 ERA in 10 starts. Last year, he tied for the lead in the Midwest League with 15 wins and 28 games started.

Varner, 22, began this season with Double A Erie, hitting .303 in 44 games with three home runs and 30 RBI.

Bay sidelined with broken wrist

SAN DIEGO, May 28 (UPI) -- The struggling San Diego Padres have learned that they will be without rookie outfielder Jason Bay for an extended period because of a broken wrist.

In a weekend series at Arizona Saturday, Bay was hit by a pitch from Elmer Dessens in the second inning. X-rays taken at Bank One Ballpark revealed the injury to be a fracture to the ulnar styloid bone, which is on the outside edge of the wrist.

Padres trainer Todd Hutcheson described the break as fairly clean with no other complications.

After getting plunked, Bay took his base and played the bottom half of the inning in the outfield, but was unable to answer the call for defensive duties in the third and was replaced by the recently-signed Gary Matthews Jr.

"I ran the bases and then I went out to the outfield and played catch and it didn't really feel all that great," Bay said. "It just started getting tighter as the inning went on, and thank God a ball didn't get hit my way. I went in and after that it just sort of locked up. I've never had a broken bone before, but I knew there was something wrong."

MLB.com, the Web site of Major League Baseball, reported that the injury normally requires a minimum of six weeks to heal, but in this case, that process may be quicker.

"It depends," Hutcheson said. "Doc (Jan) Fronek said 4-6 (weeks), but we'll have to reevaluate it as we go. Obviously, he'll be in a splint for a couple of weeks. We'll re-X-ray it to make sure the fracture hasn't moved positions. It's a non-displaced fracture so there is nothing else we have to do. Just immobilize it and let it heal."

Bay, 24, who in his major league debut on Friday homered off Arizona's hard-throwing closer, Matt Mantei, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, where he joins the man he replaced, centerfielder Mark Kotsay, as well as closer Trevor Hoffman and left fielder Phil Nevin.

To fill his roster spot, the Padres have recalled Jermaine Clark from Triple-A Portland of the Pacific Coast League.

Clark, who was claimed off waivers on April 30, began the season with the Texas Rangers, but was demoted to Triple-A Oklahoma after batting just .188 in 10 games with the Rangers.

The Padres ended a dreadful 1-6 road trip Monday with an 8-4 loss to the Diamondbacks, and are last in the National League West at 14-37 overall, 7-21 away from home.

Dolphins send Rodgers to Saints

MIAMI, May 28 (UPI) -- The Miami Dolphins have traded weakside linebacker Derrick Rodgers to the Miami Dolphins for a seventh-round draft pick.

The recent acquisition of Junior Seau made Rodgers expendable, and the bargain price was a seventh-round pick in 2004.

The Dolphins were willing to settle for anything in return since the 6-1, 230-pounder from Arizona State likely would have been cut in June for salary cap purposes. Miami signed Seau, a perennial Pro Bowl linebacker, earlier this month to a four-year, $14 million contract.

The Green Bay Packers also expressed interest in Rodgers, but held off on a possible trade after selecting Oregon State linebacker Nick Barnett in the first round of the April draft.

Rodgers, 31, started 89 of 93 games at weakside linebacker for the Dolphins since being drafted in the third round in 1997. He has 378 career tackles, nine sacks, four forced fumbles, and three interceptions.

"Rodgers is the kind of player we have targeted for the defense

since last season ended," said New Orleans Coach Jim Haslett. "He can fly to the ball and close gaps. We have gotten deeper, more experienced, and faster with this trade."

The Saints, who ranked 27th in defense last season, were planning on starting James Allen, a third-round pick in 2002, at weakside linebacker before acquiring Rodgers, who attended St. Augustine High School in New Orleans.

Instead of football, he played the trumpet as a member of the school's nationally renowned marching band. He left ASU after his junior season.

Rodgers graduated from high school in 1989, and then served four years as a medical technician in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed for more than two years in Okinawa, Japan, before enrolling at Riverside (Calif.) Community College in 1994.

Glaus, Mora co-AL Player Week

NEW YORK, May 28 (UPI) -- Anaheim Angels third baseman Troy Glaus and Baltimore Orioles utilityman Melvin Mora on Tuesday were named co-American League Players of the Week.

In six games, Glaus paced the American League with 27 total bases and tied for the league high with four doubles, four home runs and three stolen bases.

Last year's World Series Most Valuable Player, Glaus batted .550 (11-for-20) with eight RBI to earn his third career Player of the Week award.

Mora, who was honored for the first time, paced the major leagues in slugging percentage (1.350), on-base percentage (.640), hits (15) and runs scored (nine).

Mora batted .536 with a homer and eight RBI. He capped the week by going 5-for-5 in Sunday's 13-10 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories