Oilers rally past Islanders 3-2 in OT
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Taylor Hall scored the overtime winner and the Edmonton Oilers rebounded from a listless start to earn a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
The Oilers got the win after trailing 2-0 after the second period.
Sam Gagner stole a puck in the neutral zone and went around defender Brian Strait before sending it on net, where Hall was able to slip it past goalie Evgeni Nabokov 2:29 into overtime.
Ryan Smyth and Philip Larsen also scored for the Oilers, who have won two games in a row and are 7-2-2 in their past 11 games.
Frans Nielsen and Anders Lee scored for the Islanders, who have lost 10 of their past 13 games.
The Islanders have also lost 10 games this season in which they led heading into the third period.
Sabres spoil Stamkos' return with 3-1 win
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Jhonas Enroth made 43 saves to spoil the return of Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Lightning 3-1 on Thursday night.
Stamkos had been sidelined since breaking his right shin Nov. 11 at Boston, causing him to miss 45 games. The center received a partial standing ovation during pregame introductions, when it was announced that he is the new team captain.
Right wing Ryan Callahan, acquired Wednesday from the New York Rangers for former Tampa Bay captain Martin St. Louis, made his Lightning debut.
Tyler Myers, Marcus Foligno and Cody Hodgson scored for the Sabres. Enroth stopped a combined seven shots by Stamkos (three) and Callahan (four) through two periods.
Jeter ends 0-for-10 slide as Yanks beat Phils 4-3
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - Derek Jeter had two hits that ended an 0-for-10 slide at the start of spring training and Masahiro Tanaka gave up a home run to Freddy Galvis in the New York Yankees' 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
Jeter, limited to 17 games last season after breaking an ankle during the 2012 playoffs, grounded out in the first inning, then singled to left in the third and doubled to center in the fifth.
Tanaka, the Japanese star signed to a $155 million, seven-year contract, made his second spring-training appearance and second against the Phillies. Starting for the first time, he allowed two hits and one run in three innings, giving up Galvis' tying homer in the third.
"I felt that I wasn't at the top of my game going onto the mound today," Tanaka said through a translator. "Including the results and everything, I feel like I did OK."
Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick gave up one run and three hits in three-innings, including a home run by Ramon Flores leading off the third.
Tech glitch prevents replay in Yanks-Phils game
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg discovered he didn't have the power to make an instant replay challenge Thursday.
Just not enough juice at Bright House Field, actually.
On the first day Major League Baseball's expanded replay system had a tryout at Philadelphia's spring training home, a power outage got in the way of the only contested call.
John Mayberry Jr. was thrown out at third base in the seventh inning trying to stretch a double. Sandberg wanted to challenge the ruling, but when third-base umpire Vic Carapazza was ready to go to replay, there were no television feeds available because of a momentary power outage at the ballpark.
"The power went out the pitch before," Sandberg said. "(Carapazza) was giving me an inkling that he missed it. He had no hesitation about checking it out. Get over there, and nobody has anything. He showed a little frustration with that."
Mets-Astros rained out
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - The exhibition game between the New York Mets and the Houston Astros scheduled for Thursday has been rained out.
The Mets came over for a B game in the morning in which Scott Feldman started for the Astros and Logan Verrett pitched for New York.
That game was played in a light rain, and the showers picked up enough to cause the regular game to be canceled.
Niese, Colon, Parnell closer to games for Mets
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - Three big pieces of the New York Mets' pitching staff are closer to appearing in spring training games.
Starters Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon and closer Bobby Parnell pitched batting practice with fielders Thursday. Niese (shoulder) and Colon (calf) have been slowed by minor injuries, and Parnell is coming back from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck.
David Wright, David Murphy, Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada took turns at bat. Colon pitched three innings, Niese threw two and Parnell threw one.
Garnett (back) to miss Nets' game in Boston
NEW YORK (AP) - Kevin Garnett will sit out a fourth straight game because of back spasms Friday when the Brooklyn Nets visit Boston, missing his last trip this season back to his old home.
Garnett last played a week ago in Denver. He has since been sidelined for victories over Milwaukee, Chicago and Memphis.
Rookie Mason Plumlee has been starting at center in place of Garnett, who came to Brooklyn from Boston along with Paul Pierce in a draft-night trade. The Celtics played video tributes for both players when the Nets won in Boston in January.
On Thursday, the Nets signed Jorge Gutierrez from Canton of the NBA Development League to a 10-day contract. The Mexican guard played with the Nets in training camp.
NHL modifies Kovalchuk penalty against Devils
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The NHL has reduced its penalty against the New Jersey Devils for their signing of Ilya Kovalchuk in 2010.
The league on Thursday announced that the Devils would be allowed to keep a first-round draft pick it was scheduled to forfeit this year. It also reduced the $3 million fine assessed against the team for circumventing the NHL-NHLPA collective bargaining agreement.
The Devils recently applied to the league for reconsideration and relief from a portion of the original penalty, citing primarily changes in circumstances which, in the club's view, changed the appropriateness of the sanctions.
The NHL did not spell out what changed, but Kovalchuk retired after last season and returned to Russia to play there.
Bills re-sign DB Smith, issue tenders to 3 players
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - The Buffalo Bills have re-signed defensive back Brandon Smith and tendered offers to retain the rights to three exclusive rights free agents.
Smith appeared in two games for the Bills last season after being promoted from the team's practice squad in early October. He was an undrafted free agent who broke into the NFL with Carolina in 2011.
The Bills tendered offers to receiver Chris Hogan, offensive lineman Antoine McLain and fullback Frank Summers.
Also on Thursday, free agent linebacker Jasper Brinkley visited the Bills' facility. Brinkley has four seasons of NFL experience and played in Arizona last year before being released by the Cardinals this week. He played his first three seasons with Minnesota after being selected in the fifth round of the 2009 draft.
Erie County names 7 appointees to Bills committee
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has named his seven appointees to a committee exploring the possibility of building a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.
Poloncarz included himself among the appointees, as well as deputy executive Richard Tobe, who represented the county in negotiating a 10-year lease agreement with the Bills in 2012. Other appointees are former Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathleen Hochul, who is now an M&T Bank vice president, and Clover Management president Michael Joseph.
The selections come a month after Gov. Andrew Cuomo named his five appointees.
The Bills will fill out the committee with seven appointees.
The establishment of a committee was required as part of the lease deal in a bid to help ensure the Bills stay in western New York.
US hosts Azerbaijan, Turkey, Nigeria in warmups
CHICAGO (AP) - The United States will prepare for the World Cup with home exhibition games against Azerbaijan, Turkey and Nigeria.
The U.S. Soccer Federation says the 13th-ranked Americans will host No. 93 Azerbaijan at San Francisco's Candlestick Park on May 27, then play No. 42 Turkey at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., on June 1. The U.S. faces No. 47 Nigeria at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., on June 7 before heading to Brazil and the American base camp in Sao Paulo.
Of the three opponents, only Nigeria is headed to the World Cup. The U.S. played Turkey four years ago in its final home game before going to South Africa.
The Americans have the longest first-round travel schedule of the 32 nations. They open against Ghana on June 16 at Recife, face Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal six days later in the Amazon rain forest city of Manaus and close the group stage against Germany on June 26 at Recife. They will return to Sao Paulo between games.
Hundred Acre Wood wins Big A feature
NEW YORK (AP) - Hundred Acre Wood led all the way in a 14-1 upset Thursday in the $59,000 allowance feature at Aqueduct.
Ridden by Emmanuel Esquivel and trained by Gary Sciacca, the 5-year-old posted her fourth win in 19 starts.
Hundred Acre Wood paid $31, $11.40 and $6.40 in the race for New York-bred fillies and mares. Princess Mara was second by a length, paying $3.80 and $2.90 as the 8-5 favorite.
Familyofroses paid $2.90 to show.
The time was 1:45.77 for 1 1/16 miles on the fast track.
Niagara holds off Marist in MAAC opener, 78-76
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Antoine Mason poured in 38 points, helping No. 11 seed hold on to upset sixth-seeded Marist 78-76 in the first round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday night.
The Purple Eagles (7-25) jumped out to an early 16-3 lead, and pushed that to 43-24 at halftime. A Marcus Ware layup gave them a 24-point lead with 13:28 remaining.
Marist (12-19) stormed back with a 30-10 run capped by a Chavaughn Lewis three-point play to pull within two with 1:21 left. Mason and Lewis exchanged layups, and Khallid Hart answered two Marvin Jordan free throws with a layup with 16 seconds left.
After two missed free throws by Mason, Hart couldn't connect on a 3-pointer in the final seconds.
Niagara shot 60 percent from the field, with Ware chipping in 14 points and 11 rebounds. The Purple Eagles will play third-seeded Quinnipiac on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
Rider clips Monmouth 71-60 in MAAC opener
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Daniel Stewart scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds as eighth-seeded Rider turned back ninth-seeded Monmouth 71-60 Thursday in the first game of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament Thursday.
Rider (14-16) closed out the first half with a 12-0 run for a 33-25 lead but Monmouth (11-21) opened the second half with a 21-5 surge, started by Deon Jones' three-point play and ended by his 3-pointer, to go up 38-36. The Broncs responded with 10 straight, highlighted by two Anthony Myles 3's, and stretched that to a 17-2 to pull away.
The Broncs play top-seeded Iona (20-9) in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Myles had 13 points and Jimmie Taylor 12 for Rider, which hit 24 of 31 free throws and scored 30 points off 21 Hawks turnovers.
Jones, who only had two points at halftime, finished with 18 for Monmouth, which was 13 of 17 from the foul line.
Iona gives Cluess extension
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (AP) - Tim Cluess has been given a contract extension by Iona through 2018-19 after leading the Gaels to two NCAA tournaments in his first four seasons,
The school announced the deal Thursday, two days before the Gaels (20-9) open play as the No. 1 seed in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament. Iona finished 17-3 in the conference this season, a school record for MAAC wins.
Cluess is 90-43 at Iona and the fifth-winningest coach in school history. He is the first Gaels coach to win at least 20 games in each of his first four seasons.
He led Iona to the NCAA tournament in 2012 and 2013. The Gaels won the MAAC regular season in 2012 and 2014 and won the conference tournament in 2013.
Albany coach guides team to streak before tourney
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson has the Albany women's basketball team on quite a roll.
Albany won 38 America East Conference games in a row before losing the season finale at home to Stony Brook. The 66-56 setback last Saturday ended what had been the longest conference winning streak in Division I and the longest in America East history.
The Great Danes (26-4) hadn't lost since Hartford beat them 62-55 on Jan. 28, 2012. Their chance for a second straight 16-0 conference record was thwarted by the Seawolves.
The top seed in the America East tournament, the Great Danes begin chasing their third straight NCAA tournament bid when they meet No. 8 Binghamton (5-23) in the quarterfinals Friday night.
Syracuse women beat Clemson 63-53 in ACC
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Brittney Sykes scored 10 points to help Syracuse beat Clemson 63-53 in Thursday's second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Sykes scored two straight baskets to cap an 8-0 second-half burst for the fifth-seeded Orange (22-8), pushing Syracuse to a 52-41 lead with 6:47 left. Clemson got no closer than nine again.
The Orange advanced to Friday's quarterfinals to play No. 14 North Carolina State, the fourth seed.
Rachel Coffey, Brianna Butler and La'Shay Taft each scored nine points for Syracuse, which shot 40 percent with seven 3-pointers.
Nikki Dixon and Nyilah Jamison-Myers each scored 15 points for the 13th-seeded Tigers (13-19), who beat Virginia Tech in Wednesday's first round.
Clemson shot 43 percent but went 2-for-12 from 3-point range.
Syracuse was playing in its first ACC tournament game and has won at least one game in five straight league tournaments, the past four coming in the Big East.
T25-ACC TOURNAMENT-WEATHER DELAY
Friday's Syracuse-NC State ACC game delayed 1 hour
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Icy weather conditions in Greensboro have forced a one-hour delay for the start of Friday's quarterfinal game between No. 14 North Carolina State and Syracuse in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
The game was supposed to tip off at 11 a.m. It will start at noon.
A winter storm warning was in effect for the region overnight Thursday, with rain and dropping temperatures expected to lead to freezing rain, icy roads and possibly snow Friday morning.
In all, four quarterfinal games are scheduled at the Greensboro Coliseum, with No. 2 Notre Dame facing Florida State, No. 10 Duke facing Georgia Tech, and No. 8 Maryland facing No. 13 North Carolina.
Popular W. Mass. teacher mourned
EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) - A private school in western Massachusetts is in mourning after the unexpected death of a popular young teacher and coach.
Bob Hill, head of the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, said on the school's Facebook page that Brian Crockett died Tuesday at the hospital of "medical complications." He was 22.
Crockett had checked into the hospital Sunday after not feeling well.
Hill said even though he had joined the school staff last fall after his graduation from Colgate University, Crockett "quickly became a beloved colleague, teacher, coach, and friend."
A Passaic, N.J., native Crockett played offensive line at Colgate and was named to the Patriot League All-Conference team in 2012.
He taught history and global studies at the school and was an assistant football, wrestling and track coach.
Lundquist to receive Scully achievement award
NEW YORK (AP) - Verne Lundquist will receive the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting.
The longtime CBS Sports broadcaster for college football and NCAA basketball will be honored on May 8 in New York. Lundquist also provides commentary for the Masters and PGA Championship.
Lundquist first joined CBS Sports in 1982, and was inducted into the National Sportscaster and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 2007.
The Scully award is named for the longtime Dodgers broadcaster. Scully helped form Fordham's radio station WFUV, the award's sponsor.
In addition, Mavis Staples will be honored as artist of the year and Scott Simon will receive the Charles Osgood lifetime achievement in broadcast journalism award. Katherine Oliver will pick up the community service award.
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