Wednesday’s Sports In Brief
DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche extended their home-winning streak to 17 in a row on Wednesday night.
Gabriel Landeskog tied the game with 36.5 seconds left in regulation and Cale Makar scored a power-play goal 3:01 into overtime to rally the Avs over the Boston Bruins 4-3.
Colorado, which overcame the loss of star Nathan MacKinnon to a bloody injury in the first period, broke a tie with the 1975-76 Bruins for the fifth-longest home winning streak in NHL history. The record is 23, set by Detroit during the 2011-12 season.
The Avalanche last lost at home on Nov. 3 to Columbus 5-4 in overtime.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have hired Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as their general manager, taking an innovative turn with a Ivy League-educated data expert from Cleveland’s front office who once worked on Wall Street.
Adofo-Mensah, the vice president of football operations for the Browns for the past two years, was one of two finalists the Vikings identified from an initial pool of eight candidates. His contract was finalized on Wednesday night.
The 40-year-old has an economics degrees from both Princeton, where he was a junior varsity basketball player, and Stanford. He is a native of New Jersey, just like Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf.
Adofo-Mensah was a commodities trader and portfolio manager before entering the NFL in 2013 with San Francisco as a research and development specialist. General manager John Lynch said the 49ers were “crushed” when he left after seven seasons to work for Berry with the Browns.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Chris Mack is out as Louisville men’s basketball coach.
Mack and the school agreed to part ways and assistant Mike Pegues has been named interim coach for the remainder of the Cardinals’ season.
The moves were announced Wednesday following a special joint meeting of the school’s Board of Trustees and the University of Louisville Athletic Association board. Interim athletic director Josh Heird said that Mack will be paid $4.8 million between this fiscal year and the next three fiscal years.
Mack leaves after going 6-8 since returning Dec. 1 from a six-game suspension by the school for failing to follow university guidelines in his handling of an extortion attempt by fired Cardinals assistant coach Dino Gaudio last spring.
Pegues guided the Cardinals to a 5-1 start while Mack was sidelined and now will try to lift the team out of a slump that includes five losses in its last six games.
Even before he hit his first ball at this year’s Australian Open, Rafael Nadal knew he had an open door to set the men’s record for most career Grand Slam singles titles.
So far he hasn’t let it close.
Nadal plays Matteo Berrettini in one semifinal on Friday at Melbourne Park, knowing he’s potentially two match wins from a 21st major title. He’s tied for the record of 20 with Roger Federer, who is recovering from right knee surgery, and Novak Djokovic, who was deported from Australia on the eve of the tournament following an 11-day visa saga over his decision not to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
In the other semifinal, Daniil Medvedev plays Stefanos Tsitsipas in a rematch of their 2021 Australian Open semifinal. Medvedev won last year’s semifinal, then lost to Djokovic in the final.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Christian Pulisic has been on a roller coaster. America’s top player won the Champions League, then was sidelined for nearly two months. He battled for inclusion in Chelsea’s lineup and been shifted from his usual wide midfield role to center forward and even wingback.
“It’s been up and down this year, for sure,” he said ahead of the United States’ frosty World Cup qualifier against El Salvador on Thursday night. “Not exactly where I want to be and how I want things to be right now. But, yeah, I’m just going to keep going.”
U.S. players practiced Wednesday in 10 degree weather (minus-12 Celsius), a contrast to the 72 degrees (22) in San Salvador for the opening 0-0 draw on Sept. 2.
They face three games in an eight-day span, two of them at home, and with two wins would move into commanding position to clinch a berth during the final three qualifiers in March. Canada leads North and Central America and the Caribbean with 16 points, one ahead of the U.S., with Mexico and Panama at 14 points. El Salvador is seventh with six.
OSLO (AP) — Two members of Norway’s women’s cross-country ski team have tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of next month’s Beijing Olympics, the team said Wednesday, as other countries also face tense waits to see whether their own infected athletes can recover in time.
Swiss hockey players, Russian bobsledders and German skeleton sliders are among other would-be Olympians facing a nervous wait. Also on that list: U.S. bobsledder Josh Williamson, who revealed a positive test Wednesday and will not accompany his teammates on their Thursday flight to China — though he remains hopeful of getting to the Games in plenty of time to compete.
Norway is the leading nation in cross-country skiing, with its women’s team winning three of the six events on the program at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
The entire men’s team is also in isolation in Seiser Alm after head coach Arild Monsen tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to Norway on Monday.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawyers for an associate athletic director who filed a $50 million federal racketeering lawsuit against Louisiana State University say athletic director Scott Woodward fired her in retaliation and asked the court Wednesday to add that claim to her suit.
Sharon Lewis claimed in state and federal lawsuits filed in 2021 that she was denied pay raises and was verbally abused after reporting that former football coach Les Miles had sexually harassed female student workers and made racist remarks.
“The wrongful termination of Sharon Lewis by LSU is a continuation of the retaliation she has endured for reporting violations” of the federal sex discrimination law known as Title IX and of state law, Lewis’ attorneys said in a statement released to reporters Tuesday.
LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said he cannot comment about specific personnel actions, but the athletic department has had 40 “reassignments and departures” within the last month. Several high-profile employees connected to the football program have recently lost their jobs as new coach Brian Kelly assembles his staff.
Lewis, a former LSU track and field star, handled football recruiting and alumni relations for more than a decade.