Wed, Feb 26, 2014 - Page 19 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

SOCCER

Villarreal beat Espanyol 2-1

Goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo saved a stoppage-time penalty to preserve Villarreal’s 2-1 victory at RCD Espanyol in the Spanish league on Monday. Asenjo dove correctly to his right to deny Sergio Garcia’s spot-kick after Villarreal defender Gabriel Armando handled inside the area. Villarreal led 2-0 by the 50th minute at Cornella El-Prat Stadium near Barcelona, starting with teenage midfielder Matias Nahuel picking out Moises Gomez’s run into the area, before Jeremy Perbet doubled the advantage by scoring from a through-ball into the area. Espanyol cut the advantage in half in the 77th after Jhon Cordoba powered home a low shot, but Asenjo’s late heroics ensured Villarreal kept pace with fourth-place Athletic Bilbao for the league’s last Champions League qualifying place. Villarreal trail Athletic by four points. Espanyol stayed 10th.

ICE HOCKEY

Milan Hejduk retires

Former Colorado Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk is retiring from the NHL. Hejduk, 38, played 14 seasons in the NHL, all with the Avalanche. The three-time Olympian from the Czech Republic scored 375 goals in 1,020 NHL games and won a Stanley Cup in 2001. Only two Czech-born players have registered more points in NHL history: Jaromir Jagr and Patrik Elias. In a statement, Avalanche executive vice president Joe Sakic said Hejduk’s “release along with his hockey sense and vision made him one of the premier goal-scorers in the NHL during his prime.” Hejduk did not play this season after a trying 2012-2013 in which he missed time with shoulder and torso injuries and scored a career-low 11 points in just 29 games.

ICE HOCKEY

Czech coach resigns

Czech Republic ice hockey coach Alois Hadamczik quit on Monday after failing to lead his team further than the Sochi Olympics quarter-finals, the Czech Ice Hockey Association (CSLH) said. “Alois Hadamczik resigned from his post today, he announced his decision to the CSLH head,” the association said on its Web site. The Czech Republic, including NHL stars Jaromir Jagr and Patrik Elias, were beaten 5-2 by the US in the quarter-finals. Hadamczik himself told a Czech radio station he did not “feel like going on” after being subjected to heavy criticism by the media following the defeat. Hadamczik, 61, has led the Czechs — who won the Olympic title in 1998 — to two world championships bronze medals since he took charge in 2010. In his previous stint as national team coach, he won Olympic bronze in Turin in 2006 and silver at the 2006 world championships. He will most likely be replaced by Vladimir Ruzicka, a former Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators center, who coached the Czechs to world championship titles in 2005 and 2010.

RUGBY UNION

England No. 8 Vunipola out

England No. 8 Billy Vunipola will miss the rest of the Six Nations after scans on Monday revealed ligament damage to the right ankle he hurt in the 13-10 win over Ireland on Saturday. Vunipola limped off just before halftime at Twickenham, and was replaced by Ben Morgan. Vunipola has been an England starter since the autumn internationals, and will miss the last Six Nations matches against Wales and Italy. “It’s a blow, as Billy has had a good Six Nations, but he is young and will be back,” England coach Stuart Lancaster said. “The encouraging thing is that we have Ben Morgan and other back-rows, such as Matt Kvesic and Tom Johnson, who are all competing hard for places.”

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