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Canucks fire coach Tortorella after just 1 season

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The Vancouver Canucks fired John Tortorella one year into the fiery coach’s long-term deal.

Tortorella, who signed a five-year contract last summer after being dismissed by the New York Rangers, failed to reach the playoffs behind the Vancouver bench. Assistant coach Mike Sullivan was also fired yesterday.

The Canucks finished 25th in the 30-team NHL. It was Vancouver’s worst finish in 14 years and came just three seasons after former coach Alain Vigneault led the Canucks to Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. Vigneault replaced Tortorella as coach of the Rangers and advanced to the second round of the playoffs on Wednesday with a Game 7 win over Philadelphia.


Crosby, Getzlaf, Giroux finalists for Hart Trophy

NEW YORK – Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf and Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux are finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy.

The NHL announced the finalists yesterday for the trophy, which essentially serves as the league’s MVP award. The winner will be announced June 24.

Crosby scored 36 goals and led the league in assists (68) and points (104), guiding the Penguins to their second consecutive division title.

Getzlaf scored a career-high 31 goals and ranked second in the league with 87 points, leading the Ducks to the top record in the Western Conference for the first time in franchise history.

Giroux matched a career high with 28 goals and finished third in the NHL scoring race (86 points), helping the Flyers rally from a 3-9-0 start.


Owners meet, hope to move quickly on Sterling

NEW YORK – The NBA owners’ advisory/finance committee held its first meeting about Donald Sterling and is committed to ending his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers “as expeditiously as possible.”

The 10-member committee held a conference call yesterday to discuss “the process for termination of Donald T. Sterling’s ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers,” the league said in a statement.

Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million Tuesday for making racist comments. Silver said he also would urge owners to force Sterling to sell.

The committee plans to meet again next week.


Browns sign QB Young

BEREA, Ohio – The Cleveland Browns signed free agent quarterback Vince Young, who hasn’t played in an NFL regular-season game since 2011.

Young was given a tryout this week at Browns’ three-day minicamp and showed enough to earn a deal. The team also signed quarterback Tyler Thigpen.

The 30-year-old Young made two Pro Bowls during his five seasons with Tennessee, which drafted him with the No. 3 overall pick in 2006.

Young last played for Philadelphia and is 31-19 as an NFL starter. He spent parts of the past two preseasons with Buffalo and Green Bay. The 6-foot-5, 229-pounder will move into a backup role behind Brian Hoyer, who is expected to begin next season as Cleveland’s starter.


Reds put lefty starter Cingrani on DL

CINCINNATI – The Reds put left-handed starter Tony Cingrani on the 15-day disabled list because of soreness in his pitching shoulder.

They called up right-handed reliever Curtis Partch yesterday for the start of a four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Cingrani is 2-2 with a 3.34 ERA in six starts. He gave up three runs in four innings of a 9-4 loss to the Cubs on Wednesday night, with his velocity dropping.


Mickelson off to a strong start at Quail Hollow

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Phil Mickelson kept it entertaining to the very end yesterday and finished one shot behind Angel Cabrera in the Wells Fargo Championship.

Cabrera played in the morning and thrived on the new Bermuda greens at Quail Hollow. He made seven birdies in a round of 6-under 66. It’s his lowest score of the year and only the fourth time he shot in the 60s.

The wind was strong and swirling in the afternoon. That didn’t stop Mickelson. He made birdies off the pine straw, made a long par save on one hole and three-putted another. Mickelson finished with a 6-iron from a tough stance in the bunker that led to par and a 67.

Martin Flores also shot 67.


Pettersen returns, takes lead at North Texas LPGA

IRVING, Texas – Suzann Pettersen shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to take the first-round lead yesterday at the North Texas LPGA Shootout.

Pettersen, who returned to the LPGA Tour last week after missing a month with back issues, had a one-stroke lead over playing partner Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie, Caroline Masson, Christina Kim, Cydney Clanton and Dori Carter.

Top-ranked Inbee Park, the defending champion, and Texas native Stacy Lewis, the highest-ranked American at No. 3, both shot 71 at Las Colinas Country Club.


Berdych, Raonic advance at Portugal Open

OEIRAS, Portugal – Top seeds Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic strolled into the quarterfinals of the Portugal Open with straight-sets victories yesterday.

The seventh-ranked Berdych opened his title bid with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Somdev Devvarman of India, while ninth-ranked Raonic, of Canada, reached his fourth successive quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-2 win against Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.

Berdych goes on to play Leonardo Mayer, while Raonic faces Carlos Berlocq after the pair of Argentines were both winners, like Gastao Elias of Portugal and Victor Hanescu of Romania.


Two charged in death of N.C. A&T football player

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Two men were arrested in the shooting death of a North Carolina A&T football player.

The police said 22-year-old Jermane Darnell Clark of Winston-Salem was shot at about 11 p.m. Tuesday. He played in six of A&T’s 11 games last year.

A statement from the Greensboro police said 22-year-old Kendrick Louis Robinson and 20-year-old Lemiah Wyatt Sanders Jr. were arrested yesterday morning.

Robinson and Sanders are charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Their status wasn’t immediately known.

Capt. Mike Richey said it appeared Clark was approached by one or more people and an argument started and he was shot in front of his home in Greensboro. The police don’t know what sparked the argument and have not determined a motive.


Hopportunity out of Kentucky Derby with sore foot

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Hopportunity, the second favorite for the Kentucky Derby, is out of the race.

Trainer Bob Baffert said the colt has a sore left front foot. Hopportunity was the 6-1 choice for tomorrow’s race. He was to be ridden by Mike Smith.

The scratch yesterday means Pablo Del Monte can run in the Derby. However, the 50-1 shot would have to start from the No. 20 post position.

Hopportunity had drawn the No. 11 post. It wasn’t immediately known if Pablo Del Monte’s owners want to start under that condition.

Baffert said Hopportunity’s foot problem was discovered Wednesday. He said the colt’s foot seems to improve once he’s warmed up. But since he’s not 100 percent, Baffert did not want to run the horse.


Sharpshooter Walsh dies at 106

ARLINGTON, Va. – Walter R. Walsh, the world’s oldest living Olympian, died. He was 106.

USA Shooting said Walsh died Tuesday – six days before his 107th birthday – at his home in Arlington, Va.

Walsh finished 12th in the men’s 50-meter free pistol event at the 1948 London Olympics. He had already demonstrated his marksmanship working for the FBI and the Marine Corps.

During the Depression, Walsh was instrumental in the capture and killing of several gangsters, including discovering the body of Baby Face Nelson and catching Arthur (Doc) Barker.

Walsh spent more than 20 years as a shooting instructor before his retirement in 1970.

He later served as the team leader for USA Shooting in several competitions, including the 1972 Munich Olympics.

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