Czech Republic eliminates U.S. at world hockey championship

Jaromir Jagr scored a hat trick, leading the defending champion Czech Republic to a 4-0 win over the United States in the quarterfinals of the hockey world championship at Bratislava, Slovakia. The Czechs will meet Sweden in the semifinals Friday. Martin Thornberg had two goals to help the Swedes beat Germany, 5-2.

“It’s disappointing,” U.S. captain Mark Stuart said. “We had a good team and I think if we played our best game we could beat anybody in this tournament.”

Jagr beat goalie Ty Conklin on a breakaway to put the Czechs ahead, 1-0, with 1:15 remaining in the opening period.

The Czechs killed a two-man advantage before Jagr added his second goal in the middle period on a power play with a slap shot from the right circle. Blake Wheeler and James van Riemsdyk were in the penalty box at the time.


U.S. Coach Scott Gordon called the goal “the major turning point.”

“That was a big swing right there,” he said.


Smith says he had cancer

Minnesota basketball Coach Tubby Smith said he is “feeling great” and free of prostate cancer after dealing with the disease for the last year. The university issued a statement from Smith, 59, who had had not previously revealed his condition.

Smith said he had surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., on April 21 to contain and remove the cancer. He said a routine physical and subsequent biopsy last spring showed an early stage of prostate cancer.

The USC football team’s Sept. 3 season opener against Minnesota at the Coliseum will kick off at 12:30 p.m. and will be televised on Channel 7.

Other start times announced this week: Sept. 24 at Arizona State, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN); Oct. 29 against Stanford, 5 p.m. (Channel 7, ESPN or ESPN2); Nov. 12 against Washington, 12:30 p.m. (Channel 7, ESPN, ESPN2 or FS West/Prime); and Nov. 19 at Oregon, 5 p.m. (Channel 7).


Start times and broadcast information for four games are still to be determined.

— Gary Klein

The UCLA men’s basketball game against Texas at the Sports Arena has been moved to Dec. 3 from Dec. 2 so that it does not conflict with the first Pac-12 football championship game, which will be held Dec. 2.



Another title for Barcelona

A soccer title that had appeared inevitable for weeks finally was clinched with two games to spare when Barcelona tied, 1-1, at Levante, winning Spain’s La Liga for the third season in a row.

“We have been very united this year. That has been very hard because we were up against a tough rival in Real Madrid,” Barcelona star Lionel Messi said. “Now, it is time to enjoy it.”

Seydou Keita headed in Xavi Hernandez’s pass to put Barcelona ahead in the 28th minute, but Felipe Caicedo tied the score in the 40th after Gerard Pique flubbed an attempted clearance.


Barcelona (29-2-5) won the league for the 21st time in its 111-year history and fifth time in seven seasons. The Blaugrana took a six-point lead and holds the tiebreaker over Real Madrid (27-4-5), which is assured of its third straight second-place finish. Real has won a record 31 La Liga titles.

Rafael Nadal struggled past 148th-ranked qualifier Paolo Lorenzi, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-0, in his opening match in the Italian Open at Rome, looking far from the form that has helped him dominate on clay for six years. Novak Djokovic stretched his unbeaten start this year to 33 matches with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot. The Serb could take the top ranking in the world if he wins the tournament and Nadal fails to reach the semifinals.

Roger Federer got off to a solid start with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

In women’s action, top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki breezed by Australian qualifier Anastasia Rodionova, 6-2, 6-0. Two-time champion Jelena Jankovic dispatched Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, 6-0, 6-3; third-seeded Victoria Azarenka rolled past Sara Errani of Italy, 6-1, 6-2; and fourth-seeded Li Na of China dispatched Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain, 6-4, 6-2. Three seeded players lost: No. 8 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 12 Andrea Petkovic and No. 13 Ana Ivanovic.


The coroner’s office said it is awaiting toxicology results on jockey Michael Baze, who was found dead in his vehicle at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and had been scheduled to go to court on a cocaine charge. Jim Wesley, a Jefferson County deputy coroner, said preliminary autopsy results found no anatomical cause of death. He said the toxicology reports will take three weeks.

The 24-year-old jockey from Glendora, Calif., was discovered dead in his vehicle in the stable area at the racetrack Tuesday. Court records show he was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday after being charged with first-degree possession of cocaine in November.

Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne will miss his third consecutive NASCAR race this weekend when Kevin Swindell fills in for him at Dover International Speedway in Delaware. Bayne spent a week at the Mayo Clinic undergoing treatment for what doctors have called an inflammatory condition. He was released last Thursday.