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Friday Sports in Brief

June 25, 2022 GMT

NHL

DENVER (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning spoiled Colorado’s party to stay in the hunt for a third straight Stanley Cup title, beating the Avalanche 3-2 on Friday night in Game 5.

Ondrej Palat scored with 6:22 remaining and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 35 shots in front of a raucous crowd hoping to celebrate the Avalanche’s first championship in 21 years. The Cup was all shined up and in the building, too.

It’s heading back to Tampa for Game 6 on Sunday night. The Lightning trail the best-of-seven series 3-2.

Nikita Kucherov and defenseman Jan Rutta also scored for the Lightning. Valeri Nichushkin and Cale Makar had goals for Colorado. Makar’s third-period tally bounced off the skate of Erik Cernak and through the pads of Vasilevskiy to tie it at 2.

It set the stage for Palat, whose shot slipped through the pads of Darcy Kuemper.

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks are nearing a deal with Luke Richardson to become their next coach, turning to the former NHL defenseman to help lead their already painful rebuilding process.

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Richardson and the Blackhawks are working on a contract, according to a person familiar with the talks, and the move could be finalized as soon as next week. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been completed.

Richardson, 53, played for six teams during 21 years in the league, finishing with 35 goals and 166 assists in 1,417 games. He was selected by Toronto with the No. 7 overall pick in the 1987 draft. Richardson retired during the 2008-09 season and joined Ottawa’s coaching staff. He was the head coach for the Senators’ AHL affiliate from 2012 to 2016.

— By AP Sports Writer Jay Cohen.

NBA

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Steve Clifford is heading back to Charlotte.

Clifford has agreed to a multiyear contract to return as head coach of the NBA’s Hornets four years after being fired by team owner Michael Jordan, the team announced Friday night.

Charlotte previously agreed to terms on a four-year contract with Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson to become head coach, but Atkinson later informed the team he was not taking the job citing family reasons.

The 60-year-old Clifford spent five seasons coaching the Hornets from 2013-18, compiling a 196-214 record with a team that included Kemba Walker.

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — Toronto Blue Jays hitting coach Guillermo Martínez was suspended for five games and fined by Major League Baseball on Friday for a confrontation with umpire Doug Eddings.

Martínez was discplined by MLB senior vice president Michael Hill for making contact with Eddings and what MLB termed unsportmanlike conduct during the lineup cards exchange before Wednesday’s game at the Chicago White Sox.

The 37-year-old Martínez began serving the suspension when the Blue Jays played at Milwaukee on Friday night.

GOLF

MUNICH (AP) — The European tour banned golfers who competed in the Saudi-backed breakaway LIV series from three upcoming tournaments, including the Scottish Open, on Friday and fined them $120,000.

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The tour said any players who took part in the inaugural LIV event in England this month would be suspended from the Scottish Open, Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship. All three of those events are co-sanctioned by the European tour and the PGA Tour, which has suspended players who competed in LIV. They were also fined 100,000 pounds ($123,000).

There could be “further sanctions” if the players continue to compete in LIV without authorization, the European tour said. The next of eight LIV events is in Portland, Oregon, on June 30-July 2.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — UAB coach Bill Clark is retiring because of chronic back problems after leading the program back from a shutdown to two Conference USA titles.

Clark announced his decision on Twitter on Friday after informing the team, saying he needed spinal fusion surgery. He turns 54 on Tuesday.

Clark went 49-26 in six seasons, winning two Conference USA titles and three West Division championships. The university shut down the program in December 2014 after his debut season, citing financial reasons.

COLLEGE BASEBALL

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Link Jarrett, who led Notre Dame to the College World Series for the first time in 20 years, is Florida State’s new coach.

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Florida State announced the hiring Friday, three days after the Irish’s season ended in the CWS. Jarrett, voted national coach of the year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, will be introduced at a news conference Monday.

The move was anticipated. Jarrett is a Tallahassee native, FSU graduate and two-time All-America shortstop for the Seminoles (1993-94), and a former assistant (2003).

Florida State fired Mike Martin Jr. on June 10 after the Seminoles failed to advance out of the NCAA regionals for a second straight year. Martin went 77-54 overall in three seasons, and Alford said the program had underachieved.

Jarrett went 86-32 in three seasons at Notre Dame, a .729 winning percentage that was second-best in the country.

OLYMPICS

GENEVA (AP) — Nordic Combined will remain the only Olympic event without women at the 2026 Winter Games.

The International Olympic Committee decided on Friday not to add a women’s event on the skiing program at the Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo Games in four years’ time.

The long-term Olympic future of Nordic Combined was also put in doubt with no commitment to keep the men’s event in 2030 unless the IOC sees a bigger global audience and more countries sending athletes to compete.

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SWIMMING

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Katie Ledecky extended her record haul of medals and Australia set a world record in the mixed 4x100 meters freestyle final at the world swimming championships on Friday.

American star Ledecky won the 800 freestyle final for the fifth time at the worlds to seal her fourth consecutive 400/800/1,500 triple at the event.

She clocked 8 minutes, 8.04 seconds to finish more than 10 seconds ahead of her rivals. It’s Ledecky’s 19th gold at a worlds and her fourth this week including the 4x200 freestyle relay.

Australia’s mixed relay team clocked 3:19.38 in the 4x100 to shave two-hundredths of a second off the record set by the United States at the last worlds in Gwangju, South Korea, in July 2019.

SOCCER

DERBY, England (AP) — Wayne Rooney has resigned as Derby manager after 18 months in charge and on the same day the club appeared to have sorted out its financial difficulties.

The Manchester United and England star joined the team in January 2020 as player-coach and ended that year in temporary charge following Phillip Cocu’s departure.

Rooney retired as a player when named Derby’s permanent boss in January 2021.

County moved into administration at the start of last season and the team has been relegated from the Championship. It came despite the 36-year-old Rooney attempting to prevent the drop following a combined 21-point deduction due to a breach of accounting rules and its administration dramas.

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Rooney informed the club on Friday that he wished to be relieved of his duties as Derby prepare for life in League One.

U.S. FIGURE SKATING

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Ramsey Baker is leaving U.S. Figure Skating at the end of the year, leaving the organization in search of an executive director after a successful Beijing Olympics and as it turns its attention toward the 2026 Winter Games in Milan.

Baker has been with the governing body since 2005 in a variety of roles, including chief marketing officer. He took over as acting executive director in late 2020 before assuming the job on a full-time basis last July.

U.S. Figure Skating, which announced Baker’s decision in a statement Friday, said membership totals have have reached their highest mark in the organization’s 100-year history. Sponsorship and media rights revenues also continue to climb after a dazzling performance highlighted by Nathan Chen’s gold medal in Beijing.

COURTS

CHICAGO (AP) — Bears linebacker Matt Adams was arrested and charged with misdemeanor firearm possession, Chicago police said Friday.

Police said they recovered a weapon during a search of his vehicle in downtown Chicago on Thursday evening. He was also cited for possessing a high-capacity magazine within the city limits and metal-piercing bullets, a municipal code violation. Adams has a court date scheduled for Aug. 24.

The Bears said they were made aware of the arrest Friday morning and are “gathering more information.”

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