Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2004

Johnnie takes IHRA Ironman Trophy

Soldotna's Charlie Johnnie won an International Hot Rod Association Ironman Trophy in racing at the Alaska Raceway Park in Palmer that finished up on Aug. 29.

The Ironman Trophy is normally only given out at big events in the Lower 48, but the IHRA allowed the Alaska Raceway Park to host one of the events locally. The IHRA Ironman Race of Champions allowed the top 10 racers in each different class to compete for the Ironman Trophy.

This was the first time in the history of the IHRA that a Sportsman Track, or not one of the big race tracks, had been allowed to host an Ironman event.

The final round of the event came down to two racers Mike Mihalka of Anchorage in the Zero Down Time rear engine dragster and Johnnie in his 1967 Chevy "Casa Nova" Top ET car. Johnnie took the win by seven one-thousandths of a second at over 130 mph.

Canada shuts out Slovakia

TORONTO Jarome Iginla had two goals and an assist to lead Canada into the World Cup of Hockey semifinals with a 5-0 victory over Slovakia on Wednesday night.

Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Smyth and Joe Sakic also scored for Canada, which will play the Czech Republic in Toronto on Saturday night in one semifinal.

The United States plays Finland on Friday night in St. Paul, Minn., in the other semifinal.

Canada has dominated the tournament, going 4-0 while outscoring its opponents 15-3.

''This was our first real test in a do-or-die game and I think we responded real well,'' goaltender Martin Brodeur said.

Mutombo coming to Houston

HOUSTON Hoping to find the rugged low post presence they've been sorely lacking, the Houston Rockets acquired veteran center Dikembe Mutombo in a trade with the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.

The Rockets sent reserve guards Adrian Griffin, Eric Piatkowski and Mike Wilks to the Bulls.

''With the addition of Dikembe, we have bolstered our interior defense and rebounding,'' Rockets general manager Carroll Dawson said. ''Dikembe has had a long distinguished career, but can still contribute on a nightly basis.''

An eight-time All-Star and four-time defensive player of the year, Mutombo has averaged 11.7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.22 blocked shots in 13 seasons with New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Denver. He is fourth in NBA history with 2,996 blocks, trailing only Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Mark Eaton.

U.S. soccer ties Panama

PANAMA CITY, Panama Cobi Jones scored two minutes into second-half injury time, and the United States escaped with a 1-1 tie against Panama in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday night. Roberto Brown's goal in the 69th minute had put 106th-ranked Panama on track for a huge upset against the 10th-ranked Americans.

After three minutes of injury time had been signaled, Eddie Lewis lofted the ball and it bounced off a Panamanian player who had challenged Brian McBride. On the soggy turf, Landon Donovan turned and mishit the ball, which sliced to Jones.

Jones, who may have been in an offside position, then beat goalkeeper Donaldo Gonzalez.

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