Farjestad sweeps into final
Farjestad came back from a two-goal deficit to complete a sweep of its semifinal series with Sodertalje in the Swedish Elite League in Stockholm, Sweden on Friday, advancing to the finals for the fifth year in a row. Farjestad won 4-3 on home ice in Karlstad, despite going down 2-0 in the first six minutes. Florida Panthers forward Jonas Hoglund scored a goal and added an assist to lead the comeback for Farjestad, and Oscar Steen, the league's Rookie of the Year, made it 4-2 on a power play 2:31 into the third period. Farjestad, which swept the series 4-0, became the first team ever to make it to the Elite League finals five straight years. Last year, it lost to HV71 in the finals. Djurgarden defeated Frolunda 4-3 to stay alive in the other semifinal series, after dropping the first three games.
Fight ends in controversy
Demetrius Hopkins, the nephew of undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, earned a wildly unpopular, unanimous decision over Norberto "Nito" Bravo in Sahuarita, Arizona on Friday to remain unbeaten. On March 1, Bravo became the first fighter from southern Arizona to join the stable of Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. Bernard Hopkins is De La Hoya's partner and top fighter. Both stars sat at ringside and signed autographs throughout a fight card at the Desert Diamond Casino. Bravo (20-9-2) was aggressive throughout the welterweight fight and threw more combinations, including several that had Hopkins (18-0-1) hanging on in the ninth round. But Bravo's 11-bout unbeaten streak ended when judges Gonzalo Valenzuela and Gerald Maltz had Hopkins ahead 97-93. Judge Chris Wilson saw the gap even wider, 98-92. The decision brought roars of protest from the crowd, and shouting reached near-riot level in the concourse of the Tohono O'Odham tribal arena.
Asashoryu takes the Cup
Grand champion Asashoryu upended ozeki Kaio on the second last day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka, Japan, yesterday, to win his 11th Emperor's Cup. With French President Jacques Chirac looking on, Mongolian Asashoryu used a textbook arm throw in the final bout at Osaka Municipal Gymnasium to send Kaio sprawling to the dirt surface. Chirac, who is on a three-day visit to Japan, is an avid sumo fan. Asashoryu improved to 13-1 while Kaio fell to 10-4. "I've faced him many times in the past and just tried to keep him from gaining control of the belt," said Asashoryu. "It's too bad I couldn't go undefeated but I'm happy with the result."
Tuen Mulder wins kierin
Tuen Mulder of the Netherlands rode away from pack and claimed an easy men's kierin title in Carson, California on Friday at the Track Cycling World Championships. Mulder jumped to the front of the six-rider pack with about 1 1/2 laps left and was never seriously challenged. Theo Bos, also of the Netherlands, claimed the men's kilometer time trial in 1 minute, 1.165 seconds at an average speed of 58.85kph. Great Britain's Jason Quelly and Chris Hoy finished second and third in 1:01.230 and 1:02.262.
Six years after claiming his first world title, Robert Bartko of Germany surged in the final kilometer and rode to an easy title over Sergi Roure Escobar of Spain in the men's pursuit.
England recognizes sport
Darts has long been associated with smoky pubs and beer-swilling participants, but that didn't stop Sport England from officially recognizing it as a legitimate sport. The decision, announced Thursday, means darts could possibly get government funding and tax incentives. "The presentation of darts as a pub game has helped popularize its cult appeal, but the reality is that it is a sport played by many thousands of people across the country in locations ranging from schools to village halls, social clubs and sports centers," Sport England chief executive Roger Draper said.