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THE INSIDE TRACK | NEWSWIRE

Makeshift U.S. Hockey Team Pulls Off 3-0 Upset of Russia

May 02, 2000|From Staff and Wire Reports

Minor league goalie Bob Esche led the United States to a stunning 3-0 victory over Russia Monday night at the World Hockey Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The game ended with angry Russian fans pelting the ice with cans and plastic bottles.

Before a sellout crowd of 12,350 in the new Ice Palace, Jason Blake, Phil Housley and Dave Legwand scored for the Americans, who had only three practices before the tournament.

Only 13 NHL players accepted invitations to play for the U.S. team. The others are minor leaguers, collegians and European-based players.

Esche, who played for the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League, stopped 44 shots against Russia. Blake, a King forward, made it 1-0 early in the second period when he knocked in a rebound. Blake had missed two point-blank chances after solo breakaways earlier in the game.

Ottawa Senator holdout Alexei Yashin, cleared to play for Russia in this tournament by an arbitrator Sunday, skated but had no impact. Pavel Bure of the Florida Panthers, who scored two goals Saturday in Russia's 8-1 victory over France, also was not a factor.

"We knew we had to win and that was pressure on our minds," Yashin said. "The U.S. team used that very well. Their win was well-deserved."

In another upset, Norway beat Canada, 4-3, for its first victory over Canada in the history of the world championships. The Czech Republic defeated Japan, 6-3, and France beat Switzerland, 4-2.

Pro Football

Bobby Grier, vice president of player personnel for the New England Patriots, was fired by new Coach Bill Belichick. . . . Seth Joyner and Keith Byars both "re-signed" with the Philadelphia Eagles before retiring so they would forever be known as Eagles. Joyner played eight of his 13 NFL seasons with the Eagles and Byars seven of his 13 seasons. . . . Joe Montana selected Eddie DeBartolo Jr., former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, as his presenter for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame July 29. Pittsburgh Steeler owner Dan Rooney chose Joe Greene, Ronnie Lott picked his father, and Howie Long and Dave Wilcox picked their position coaches.

Wide receiver Laveranues Coles, the New York Jets' third-round draft pick last month, signed with the team. Coles was involved in a department store scam with Florida State teammate Peter Warrick in early October and was suspended for the rest of the season. . . . Charlie Williams, who started eight games at cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys last season, re-signed with the team. . . . Dallas defensive end Dimitrius Underwood, who has battled personal problems since being drafted by Minnesota in 1998, was fined $350 and had his driver's license suspended for one year for driving 95 mph in Fincastle, Va.

Tennis

Top-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia beat Italy's Davide Sanguinetti, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1, and second-seeded Marcelo Rios of Chile edged Spain's Juan Balcells, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3), in the opening round of the $500,000 Mallorca Open at Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands. Jeff Tarango beat Frenchman Nicolas Coutelot, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1. . . . Fifth-seeded Corina Morariu of Boca Raton, Fla., opened the defense of her $170,000 Croatian Bol Ladies Open title by defeating Petra Mandula of Hungary, 6-3, 6-4.

Jurisprudence

Three previous assault charges against linebacker Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens cannot be admitted as evidence in his Atlanta murder trial, Judge Alice Bonner ruled. The assault charges, all of them dropped, were filed by three women--two in Miami and one in Atlanta. Lewis and two co-defendants are expected to stand trial May 15 on charges they murdered two young men after a Super Bowl party Jan. 30.

Lawyers for former Charlotte Panther wide receiver Rae Carruth and three co-defendants sought more evidence, while prosecutors in the murder case in Charlotte, N.C., accused the defense team of delaying. Included in the evidence sought by defense lawyers was the autopsy report on Cherica Adams, Carruth's former girlfriend and the mother of his infant son. Judge Jerry Braswell ordered lawyers and prosecutors to return to court May 30 to discuss progress in the case.

Olympics

Prodded by then-President Richard Nixon, the U.S. government discussed getting the 1976 Summer Olympics for Los Angeles with a variety of ploys so those Games would not be awarded to Moscow, the Washington Post has reported.

According to the Post, citing recently declassified papers of Nixon's National Security Council, Nixon ordered Henry Kissinger, his national-security advisor, and the State Department to join in an "all-out" effort to get the Games for the nation's bicentennial observation.

As it turned out, Montreal got the '76 Games when Los Angeles supporters switched on the second ballot. Moscow later was awarded the 1980 Games, Los Angeles the '84 Olympics.

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