National Sports Briefs
Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 17, 2011
CHARLOTTE ó Greg Zipadelli had outstanding job security at Joe Gibbs Racing and no real reason to leave the organization.
Until Tony Stewart came calling.
Zipadelli reunited with Stewart on Friday as competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing, a position that’s been open since early summer as Stewart appeared to be waiting all along for his former crew chief.
Zipadelli said he had the opportunity to work at JGR for the rest of his life but chose to leave for “the only person in the sport I would go to work for at this time of my career.”
“I trust and believe in him as much as I do anybody on this earth,” Zipadelli said.
Zipadelli will oversee the race teams of Stewart and Ryan Newman, as well as build the team for which Danica Patrick will drive full time in 2013. And he’ll get to continue for a bit as crew chief ó running Patrick’s team to prepare for her Daytona 500 debut in February.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. ó Temple came out swinging against Wyoming, jumping to a 21-0 lead in the first half and won the New Mexico Bowl 37-15 Saturday.
BOISE, Idaho ó Tyler Tettleton scored on a 1-yard keeper with 13 seconds left to give Ohio its first bowl victory, 24-23 over Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
FLORENCE, Ala. ó Zac Dickey launched a 53-yard pass to Andrew Castaneda to set up the clinching touchdown in Pittsburg State 35-21 victory over Wayne State for the Division II championship.
FARGO, N.D. ó North Dakota State quarterback Brock Jensen accounted for 231 total yards to help the Bison defeat Georgia Southern 35-7 in a Football Championship Subdivision semifinal.
ROME, Ga. ó St. Xavier won its first NAIA title with a 24-20 victory over defending champion Carroll.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. ó Penn State’s Matt McGloin was released from the hospital Saturday after university police said they called to the locker room about a report of a fight between the starting quarterback and backup receiver Curtis Drake.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates ó American teenager Lexi Thompson has made history as the youngest winner on both the LPGA and Ladies European Tours.
The 16-year-old Thompson shot a 5-under 67 Saturday to win the Dubai Ladies Masters, becoming the youngest professional winner on that side of the Atlantic.
PHILADELPHIA ó The Boston Bruins scored four first-period goals and snapped the Philadelphia Flyers’ seven-game winning streak with a 6-0 victory on Saturday.
RANGERS 3, COYOTES 2
GLENDALE, Ariz. ó Brad Richards scored the winning goal with 0.1 seconds left as the New York Rangers shocked Phoenix.
PENGUINS 8, SABRES 3
PITTSBURGH ó Evgeni Malkin had his seventh career hat trick and two assists, and injury-depleted Pittsburgh peppered two Buffalo goalies in a rout.
RED WINGS 8, KINGS 2
DETROIT ó Cory Emmerton had two goals and an assist, and Drew Miller scored twice in Detroit’s win over Los Angeles.
DEVILS 5, CANADIENS 3
MONTREAL ó Patrik Elias scored twice, including his team-record 348th goal, and New Jersey spoiled Randy Cunneyworth’s NHL coaching debut by beating Montreal.
JETS 5, DUCKS 3
WINNIPEG, Manitoba ó Defenseman Zach Bogosian had a goal and two assists, and the Jets were victorious in Teemu Selanne’s anticipated return to Winnipeg.
LIGHTNING 3, BLUE JACKETS 2
COLUMBUS, Ohio ó Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist, and Mathieu Garon stopped 26 shots to lead Tampa Bay past Columbus. Stamkos’ second-period goal gave him the NHL lead with 20.
Blair Jones and Eric Brewer also added rare goals for the Lightning, who won for the third time in 10 games.
Garon, who spent two seasons with the Blue Jackets, returned to Columbus for the first time since signing with the Lightning as a free agent last summer.
R.J. Umberger and Rick Nash scored for Columbus, which also got two assists from Vinny Prospal.
ISLANDERS 2, WILD 1, SO
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) ó Frans Nielsen scored the only goal in the shootout, and Al Montoya had his glove in good form, giving the New York Islanders their first extra-time victory of the season.
Andy McDonald scored in his first game back from injury for the Islanders, but Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck tied it midway through the second period. Niklas Backstrom stood strong in the Wild net, making 35 saves.
Backstrom kicked aside a shot by John Tavares in the first round of the shootout but let Nielsen’s sail over his head into the top of the net. Backstrom has given up 10 shootout goals on 20 shots this season. The Wild lost their second straight decision by shootout and are 0-1-2 since a seven-game winning streak.
Montoya stopped Matt Cullen’s backhander, then got his glove on shots by Marek Zidlicky and Dany Heatley to seal the victory, the first by the Islanders in five games.
The Islanders, last in the Eastern Conference, have beaten the Wild twice and held them to 21 shots each time ó New York’s lowest totals this season.
PREDATORS 2, BLUES 1, SO
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) ó David Legwand scored the only shootout goal, Pekka Rinne finished with 39 saves, and Nashville beat St. Louis for its fifth consecutive victory.
Legwand drifted to his right before lifting a backhander over the outstretched glove of St. Louis goaltender Jaroslav Halak, snapping the Blues’ four-game winning streak.
Martin Erat scored in regulation for Nashville, and T.J. Oshie had the St. Louis goal.
Both goals came in the third period, and the Predators struck first.
CANUCKS 5, MAPLE LEAFS 3
TORONTO (AP) ó Roberto Luongo made 26 saves, and Vancouver wrapped up a long road trip with a victory over Toronto.
Alexandre Burrows and Chris Higgins each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who went 3-1-1 on their 12-day trip. Jannik Hansen, Mason Raymond and Daniel Sedin also scored.
Phil Kessel scored his 19th goal to get Toronto within one, but the Leafs couldn’t find the equalizer before Hansen iced it.
Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak also scored for the Maple Leafs.