Sports Briefs

Posted: Friday, March 03, 2000

KPHA Squirt B's strike it rich in Las Vegas

The Squirt B Ice Hawks of the Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association hit the jackpot at a tournament in Las Vegas recently, going undefeated in four games to take the tournament title.

The Ice Hawks opened up the tournament on Feb. 19 with a 5-3 win over the San Jose, Calif., Blades. The Ice Hawks followed that up with a 7-3 victory over the Ogden, Utah, Blues and then hung on for a 4-3 win over Hyland Hills, Calif.

The Ice Hawks advanced to the championship game to defeat the Dallas Penguins 4-1.

Rusty Blades set for weekend tournament

The Rusty Blades Spring Challenge will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Sid Redden, the tournament organizer, said the tournament will feature men ages 25 to 45, although there may be a few women playing.

The Rusty Blades All-Stars will take on teams from Kenny Lake, Anchorage and Homer at the round-robin tournament.

The games will be after 9:15 p.m. Friday, from 8:15 to 11:45 a.m. Saturday, from 3:15 to 9:15 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is free.

Four-way tie for lead at Doral

MIAMI -- The Blue Monster is no longer the beast it was.

Toned down from a controversial redesign that kept top players from coming back, the Doral-Ryder Open had a familiar look to it Thursday -- low scores on a day of virtually no wind, and some familiar faces at the top of the leaderboard.

Bruce Lietzke, playing his last tournament before his annual seven-week hiatus, had eight birdies in a round of 7-under 65 that left him tied after the first round with Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk and Harrison Frazar.

Phil Mickelson, Nick Price and Bernhard Langer were among the six players another stroke back, while three-time champion Greg Norman showed signs of life with a 4-under 68.

Moodie takes lead with Webb on her heels

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii -- Janice Moodie's opening 67 put her a stroke up on the field in the opening round of the Takefuji Classic on Thursday, but look who's a shot behind: Karrie Webb.

Not only is Moodie trying to fend off the LPGA Tour's player of the year, but Annika Sorenstam, the winner of two majors, shares second with Webb, 1997 LPGA Championship winner Chris Johnson and Jill McGill.

For good measure, Laura Davies, who has four majors to her credit, is in a group at 3-under-par 69.

Moodie put together six birdies and a bogey, for which she scolded herself.

Hockey signee is first out-of-stater since 1987

MINNEAPOLIS -- A North Dakota native has accepted a scholarship from the University of Minnesota and will be the first non-Minnesotan since 1987 to play for the Golden Gophers.

Grant Potulny, a Grand Forks, N.D., native who plays for the Lincoln Stars of the U.S. Hockey League, on Wednesday made a verbal commitment to play for the Gophers next season.

The signing marks a departure from a controversial practice under former coach Doug Woog, who for nearly 15 years recruited only Minnesotans. Woog did so to maximize opportunities for Minnesotans, but he was pressured to look elsewhere to find talent for the Gophers, who last won an NCAA title in 1979.

Minnesota coach Don Lucia can't comment on Potulny's commitment until he signs a national letter of intent. When he took over for Woog last April, he said he would begin recruiting outside Minnesota.

Potulny understands his arrival at Minnesota will be controversial, but he said he hopes to win the fans' respect with his tenacious play.

''Someone told me when I found the school that was right, I would know right away,'' said Potulny, who turns 20 Saturday. ''That's how I felt when I was at Minnesota. I knew it was the right place.''

The last non-Minnesotans to play for the Gophers were forward Steve MacSwain of Alaska (1984-87) and goaltender John Blue of California (1985-87).

Woog had instituted the all-Minnesota roster policy in 1985. But he said the growth of college hockey -- and increased competition for top recruits -- made change necessary.

''I wish we could have kept (the policy), but I understand why they need to change it,'' said Woog, who now works for the Gophers athletic department. ''People expect you to win.''

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