By Minnesota-Duluth (above), the NCAA Division I hockey championship, with a 3--2 victory over Michigan last Saturday in St. Paul. Kyle Schmidt, a senior forward who was born and raised in Duluth, scored the winning goal 3:22 into overtime by tapping in Travis Oleksuk's feed from behind the net. (Oleksuk and Max Tardy had scored in the second period to give UMD a 2--1 lead before a goal by the Wolverines' Jeff Rohrkemper.) The title marked the end of a long dry spell for the Bulldogs (26-10-6), who have produced four Hobey Baker award winners and in 1984 reached the final against Bowling Green before losing in quadruple overtime. In beating Michigan (29-11-4), they upset a team that had lost only once when it had scored first, and a coach, Red Berenson, who was undefeated in two previous finals appearances.
Between Blackhawks backup goalie Marty Turco and a Canadiens fan who was sitting near Chicago's bench, a series of $5 bets on a Chicago-Montreal game on April 5. The fan, who introduced himself as a Canadiens season-ticket holder when he shared the story with a Montreal radio station, claimed to have bet Turco $5 that the Hawks wouldn't score after falling behind 1--0 in the second period. Turco won that wager and collected a $5 bill through the glass. According to the caller, the betting continued until Turco eventually lost a final 5-to-1 wager that his Hawks would win (Montreal won 2--1 in overtime), at which point Turco forked over a stack of cash. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly later told the Chicago Tribune that there would be no investigation or action taken against Turco.
April 17, 2011
At age 58 of leiomyosarcoma, a type of cancer that attacks involuntary muscles, E.J. McGuire, the director of the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau. A hockey veteran of nearly four decades who worked as a scout or assistant coach for the Flyers, Blackhawks and Senators before moving to the league's scouting office in 2002, McGuire transformed that department into a state-of-the-art service that fused cutting-edge technology with traditional methods. But McGuire's lasting mark will be his fierce loyalty, friendly nature and open-ended generosity, traits exemplified in the five-minute-long voice-mail greetings he would leave new entry-level employees to make them feel welcome. "The guy treated everybody with such grace and such equality," says NHL senior VP of hockey operations Mike Murphy, "that you pinch yourself when you're around him and you're not treating people as well as he treated them."
By the Yuma (Ariz.) Scorpions of the independent North American Baseball League, twins Jose and Ozzie Canseco. The league announced on Monday that Jose will manage the team and Ozzie will serve as a bench and hitting coach, and that both 46-year-olds intend to play. Ozzie, a .200 hitter in 65 major league at bats, hasn't cracked an MLB roster since 1993. Jose, the '88 AL MVP, who hit 462 home runs in 17 seasons, has maintained an off-and-on independent league career since his last major league game, in 2001. (He was sued by the Golden Baseball League's Long Beach Armada after bolting halfway through the '06 season.) The hiring pairs the controversial twins with a team accustomed to negative press: The Scorpions' former president, Ricky Smith, was alleged last year to have withheld payments to players and local businesses before leaving midseason.
With early-stage prostate cancer, Steve Lavin, who returned to coaching college basketball last April after a seven-year absence and guided St. John's to its first NCAA tournament appearance in nine seasons. Lavin (above) says the disease was diagnosed last fall but that he held off on treatments until after the season concluded so that it wouldn't distract his players. During that time the 46-year-old turned a Red Storm program that had two winning records in the last seven years into a 21--12 team that finished tied for third in the Big East. Lavin has yet to say what treatment methods he will use, but St. John's athletic director, Chris Monasch, says that the coach's duties would go uninterrupted.
While dancing at a relative's wedding, putting at risk her chances of playing in the French Open, No. 2--ranked Kim Clijsters. The 27-year-old Belgian—who last July battled Serena Williams in an exhibition match just days after Williams cut her own foot by stepping on a piece of glass in a German restaurant—gave new zest to the phrase foot fault when she strained and tore ligaments in her right ankle while cutting a rug at a cousin's nuptials last Saturday night in Brussels. According to early reports, Clijsters could be out for up to six weeks, which would prevent her from competing at Roland Garros, where play begins on May 17. At a time when clear-cut champions are hard to come by in the women's game—the current No. 1, Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, has never taken a major tournament—the loss of Clijsters, winner of the last two Grand Slam singles titles, is considered especially devastating. She also missed last year's French Open on account of an ankle injury.
Consecutive games played by the Wizards without three straight wins before they beat the Cavs, Bobcats and, on April 5, the Pistons. That broke the record of 243, set by the 76ers between 1971 and '74.
MLB-record consecutive innings played by the Rays to start 2011 without holding a lead before they went up 9--7 on the White Sox in the ninth inning of their first win, last Friday.
Facebook friends of Barcelona striker Lionel Messi by midday April 6, the day he started an account.
Total minutes played at Duke—the most ever for a Blue Devil—by senior forward Kyle Singler, who is projected to go late in the first round of the June 23 NBA draft.
Total minutes played at Duke by freshman guard Kyrie Irving, who declared as an early entrant last week and who is expected to be a top three pick.
New York lottery winnings collected by 21-year-old outfielder Joel Torres, who was cut by the Double A Akron Aeros in March. Torres says the windfall will allow him to pursue his dream of playing in the majors.
THEY SAID IT
Former NBA guard, to police, after his Lamborghini was pulled over for a traffic violation in Atlanta last week:
"Take the vehicle. I have 10 more."