Sports Briefs

Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2004

Kwan wins eighth U.S. title

ATLANTA The rivals come and go, and so do the years. The only constant is Michelle Kwan and her brilliance on the ice.

The ''old lady'' of figure skating taught her latest challengers a thing or two Saturday night, winning her seventh straight national title and eighth overall with a style, grace and determination that no one can match.

And she did it with a pile of perfect 6.0s. Seven of them for artistry as she swept the nine-judge panel. She has 35 perfect marks in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but they still leave her speechless. When the marks flashed on the scoreboard, her mouth dropped open and she buried her face in coach Rafael Arutunian's shoulder as the audience roared.

Only one of the sport's greats, Maribel Vinson, has more U.S. championships, with nine. Kwan's seven-year winning streak ties Dick Button for the longest in the national championships. And she has medaled 11 straight years, breaking the record she shared with Theresa Weld Blanchard.

Kwan also owns five world championship crowns, tying Carol Heiss Jenkins for the most by an American woman.

North Dakota ties Alaska-Anchorage

GRAND FORKS, N.D. Goalie Chris King stopped 42 shots to help Alaska-Anchorage gain a 2-2 tie with top-ranked North Dakota on Saturday.

North Dakota dominated play, with a 44-17 advantage in shots on net, but had trouble getting the puck past King. The Sioux (15-2-2, 9-1-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) failed to convert on five power plays.

Quinn Fylling got the equalizer for North Dakota at the 12:00 mark of the third period, when he batted a centering pass from Matt Jones past King. Fylling also assisted on Rory McMahon's goal in the second period.

Alaska-Anchorage (7-8-3, 4-7-3) took a 1-0 lead in the first period, when Charlie Kronschnable tapped in Justin Bourne's pass while the Seawolves had a two-man advantage.

Ales Parez put the Seawolves up 2-1 in the second period when he beat North Dakota goalie Jake Brandt after taking a feed from Curtis Glencross.

Brandt finished the game with 15 saves. North Dakota ran its unbeaten streak to 11 games.

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