Major Storm Doesn’t Make This Snow Day Fun for Teams

From Staff and Wire Reports

A major snowstorm that hit the Northeast Saturday forced the postponement of a number of basketball and hockey games and wiped out horse racing at five tracks.

The record snowstorm--the region’s first major one in five years--left more than a foot of snow, grounding hundreds of flights at major airports and slowing motorists to a creep.

Among those games postponed was the San Francisco-St. John’s basketball game in New York, which was rescheduled for today. Seton Hall’s home game against Central Connecticut State was postponed until today, as was the Army-Marist game in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

In Providence, R.I., the Brown-Holy Cross basketball game was postponed until this afternoon. Brown’s hockey game at Massachusetts was also called off but a makeup wasn’t immediately scheduled.


After beating Dartmouth, the Virginia men’s basketball team had to remain an extra night in New Hampshire. The Cavaliers were to fly home in the afternoon but the chartered plane that was to pick them up could not reach Lebanon Airport.

Horse racing at Aqueduct in New York, Suffolk Downs in Boston and Philadelphia Park was called off for the weekend. The Meadowlands and Monmouth Park in New Jersey were shut Saturday.


The state governor suspended the second leg of the Joao Havelange Cup final between Vasco da Gama and Sao Caetano in Brazil after a perimeter fence at Rio de Janeiro’s Sao Januario stadium collapsed, injuring dozens of fans and leaving the championship undecided.


The crush happened 23 minutes into the match with the score 0-0. Two minutes after Vasco da Gama’s star striker Romario suffered a leg strain and was substituted by Viola, there was a sudden movement in the upper rows on one side of the stand.

Fans began to press forward, sending those in lower rows sprawling and pressing supporters in the bottom rows against the metal fence, which bent under the weight and collapsed. Some fans were caught, others scrambled onto the field.

There were no immediate reports of deaths but 90 injured fans were taken to Souza Aguiar hospital, where holiday medical staff was reinforced. Three fans were reported seriously injured.

Three Iranian soccer players were charged by police in connection with riots at the end of a game between the country’s two most popular teams in Tehran, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.


The unidentified players were charged with disturbing public order at Friday’s Pirouzi-Esteqlal game, according to Brigadier Gen. Mohammad Royanian, head of the control center for Tehran Law Enforcement.

Fights started among players after the referee dismissed Esteqlal’s goalkeeper in the 90th minute for punching a Pirouzi player in the face. The game ended, 2-2.

Afterward, some of the more than 100,000 fans destroyed about 250 buses along the three-mile route from the stadium to the capital.

Winter Sports


Sonja Nef won her third giant slalom of the season, leading Switzerland to a 1-2 finish in the World Cup event at Semmering, Austria.

She was timed in 2 minutes 23.16 seconds on a track that confused many racers with its varied conditions, occasional bumps and changing light.

Swiss teammate Corinne Rey Bellet was second in 2:23.79. Sarah Schleper, of Vail, Colo., was third in 2:24.40, her best performance in the discipline this season.

Defending champions Jennifer Rodriguez and Derek Parra won races to maintain their overall leads in the U.S. Allround Speedskating Championships at Butte, Mont.


Rodriguez, of Miami, won the 3,000 meters in 4:22.48, 11 seconds faster than Catherine Raney of Elm Grove, Wis. Parra, of San Bernardino, won the men’s 5,000 in 6:58.11, edging KC Boutiette of Tacoma, Wash., by 0.33 seconds.

Bjarte Engen Vik of Norway won the last Nordic combined event of the calendar year, soundly beating defending overall champion Samppa Lajunen of Finland by 28.6 seconds after a strong cross-country ski race at Lillehammer, Norway.


Early contract discussions initiated by the Colorado Rockies with first baseman Todd Helton have raised the possibility of a 10-year extension.


Helton, 27, has two years left on a four-year contract that pays $4.95 million next season and $5 million in 2002.

A 10-year extension could amount to a lifetime contract.

“It could go that far with options,” Colorado General Manager Dan O’Dowd said. “But we have Todd for three more years--two under contract and another year of arbitration--so there’s no real sense of urgency on our part. We’re working on it, but I’m not going to add pressure to the situation by putting a deadline on it.”



Lionel Hebert, the 1957 PGA Championship winner, died at his home in Lafayette, La. He was 72.

A lifelong resident of Lafayette, Hebert won six PGA Tour titles during a career in which he and his late brother, Jay, became the most successful brother duo on the tour.

Hebert beat Dow Finsterwald, 2 and 1, in final of the 1957 PGA at Miami Valley in Dayton, Ohio, the last time the tournament was contested at match play.