Sports Briefs

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Hockey clinic sign-up starts today

Sign-up for GCI's second annual "Bill Clement's Kids" Hockey Clinic will be today and Thursday at the Dimond Center, 5th Avenue Mall and 2800 C Street. All of those locations are in Anchorage. Sign-up on both days begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.

The free clinic for children ages 4 to 15 will be June 28 and 29 at Bonnie Cusack Ice Arena.

Clement is a two-time Stanley Cup champion and an ESPN analyst.

Twins split with Fairbanks

The visiting American Legion Post 20 Peninsula Twins split a doubleheader with the Fairbanks 49ers Tuesday, losing the first game 6-5 in 13 innings before rebounding for a 3-2 victory in the second contest. Complete results will be in Thursday's Clarion.

Hewitt gets tricky opener

WIMBLEDON, England -- Lleyton Hewitt's title chances at Wimbledon will be tested early.

The top-seeded Australian was drawn Tuesday to face veteran Jonas Bjorkman in a potentially tricky opening-round match at the grasscourt Grand Slam, which starts Monday.

In the women's draw, sisters Venus and Serena Williams are seeded 1-2 and could meet in a Grand Slam final for the third time in 10 months.

Bjorkman, who was ranked as high as No. 4 in 1997, is a solid grasscourt player who has twice reached the fourth round at Wimbledon. But the 30-year-old Swede has slipped to No. 60 in the rankings, making him one of the most dangerous floaters in the draw.

Woods' victory is most viewed U.S. Open in history

NEW YORK -- A record 55 million viewers watched NBC's weekend coverage of Tiger Woods' victory at the U.S. Open, and Sunday's final round was the most watched golf telecast this year.

NBC's coverage of Woods' victory produced an 8.9 national rating with a 22 share, tying ABC's coverage in 1981 as the highest-rated Sunday telecast for the U.S. Open since 1973 and the fourth best in Open history since 1960, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The rating represents a 24 percent increase over last year's 7.2 rating and 19 share for Retief Goosen's Open victory, and was 10 percent more than the 8.1 and 21 recorded for Wood's Open championship in 2000

Sunday's final round attracted 38 million viewers, making it the most viewed golf telecast this year. From 7 p.m. to 8:45 EDT, Sunday's rating averaged a 12.2 with a 25 share.

Hurricanes extend contract of coach Maurice

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes wasted little time in rewarding coach Paul Maurice and general manager Jim Rutherford for the team's surprising run to the Stanley Cup finals.

Maurice, 35, was nearly fired in December but went on to lead the Hurricanes to the Southeast Division title for the second time in four years and the team's first finals appearance ever.

Terms of Maurice's contract weren't disclosed, but it was expected to be a five-year deal worth about $750,000 a year. His previous contract, that paid him $450,000 a year, expires July 1.

Man charged with carjacking vehicle from players

INDIANAPOLIS -- A man was jailed Tuesday in a carjacking in which two Indianapolis Colts players chased a stolen sport utility vehicle belonging to one of them and were fired upon.

Brian Varnado, 20, of Indianapolis, was treated at a hospital for unspecified injuries and then jailed Tuesday on preliminary charges of carjacking and criminal recklessness, police Sgt. Eric Hench said. Varnado, who was arrested Monday night, was held without bond pending a court hearing Wednesday.

Defensive backs Nick Harper and Idrees Bashir said they were talking in the parking lot at Lafayette Square Mall on the city's west side about 9 p.m. Monday when a man approached them with a semiautomatic rifle.

The man demanded Bashir's GMC Yukon Denali sport-utility vehicle.

Denver to get arena team owned by Elway

DENVER -- John Elway is returning to professional football.

A new Arena Football League team owned by the former quarterback will be announced at a news conference on Wednesday. Elway will split ownership with Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and Kroenke Sports, which also owns the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and NBA's Denver Nuggets.

Elway wanted to get back into football after retiring in 1999 and figured bringing an Arena League team to Denver would be his best avenue.

''I didn't lose my competitive juices when I retired,'' said Elway, who played 16 seasons and retired after leading the Broncos to consecutive Super Bowl victories. ''I wanted to get close to the game again and this is how I can do it.''

The team will begin play in February 2003. The new team will share the Pepsi Center, which is owned by Kroenke Sports, with the Avalanche and Nuggets.

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