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U.S. claims gold in under-17 hockey tourney

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NORTH SYDNEY, N.S. -- Luke Kirwan scored two goals to lead the United States to gold with a 4-0 victory over Pacific at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Colin White had a goal and an assist for the U.S., and Christian Fischer also scored. Jeremy Bracco recorded three assists.

Canada's Zach Sawchenko was constantly tested in net, stopping 48 of 52 shots in the losing effort.

American goaltender Michael Lackey, meanwhile, made just 12 saves for the win.

Pacific defeated Russia 7-3 on Friday to earn a berth in the gold medal game. The U.S. crushed Quebec 9-1 in Friday's other semifinal.

Earlier, Russia used five third-period goals to defeat Quebec 6-2 for bronze.

Dmitry Zhukenov scored a goal and added two assists, and Artur Tyanulin, Mikhail Byakin, Aleksandr Zhebelev, Ivan Kashtanov, and Ivan Emets also scored for Russia.

Matthew Boucher scored both goals for Quebec.

Nikita Kolesnikov stopped 35 shots for the victory, while Quebec's Oliver Tremblay made 25 saves in the losing effort.

2015 world junior hot ticket

MALMO, Sweden -- Ticket packages have nearly sold out in Toronto and are more than 50 per cent sold in Montreal for the 2015 world junior hockey championship.

The tickets went on sale Dec. 30 and are selling fast, said Pat McEleney, executive director of the 2015 and 2017 world juniors, which will both be held in Montreal and Toronto.

"We're excited about where we are," said McEleney.

Hockey Canada is looking to set attendance records and reap record profits by holding the event in Canada's two largest cities.

In 2015, Canada will play its round-robin games as well as a quarter-final at the 21,273-seat Bell Centre before moving to the 18,819-seat Air Canada Centre in Toronto for the medal round. Toronto will also host the five-team round-robin group Canada is not in.

Canada will start the 2017 event in Toronto, with the other group and the medal round in Montreal. They hope to fill the rinks for games Canada is not involved in as well. Ticket package holders who don't want to use some games can re-sell or donate the tickets back to organizers for resale or distribution to minor hockey teams.

Twins prospect fails test

EDDIE ROSARIO, one of the Minnesota Twins' top prospects, was suspended for the first 50 games of the 2014 season after failing a drug test for the second time, Major League Baseball announced Saturday.

Rosario, an outfielder and second baseman, failed a test for a "drug of abuse," the commissioner's office said, mandating a 50-game penalty under the sport's Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. News of Rosario's potential suspension leaked in November but was not confirmed by MLB at the time.

The native of Puerto Rico, a fourth-round draft pick in 2010, batted .329 in 52 games with Class A Fort Myers last season before being promoted to Class AA New Britain, where he hit .284 with seven home runs in 70 games. The Twins thought so much of Rosario's potential they included him among the seven prospects they sent in October to the Arizona Fall League, where he batted .238 in 20 games against advanced competition.

Rosario will come to spring training in March as scheduled, but once the season begins he likely will remain behind in Fort Myers, Ryan said.

Vonn iffy for Sochi

BORMIO, Italy -- Lindsey Vonn has not skied for two weeks and will "most likely" skip next weekend's World Cup speed races in Austria, her head coach said on Saturday, leaving her status for the Sochi Olympics up in the air.

Vonn remains in the United States after aggravating her surgically repaired right knee at a downhill race in Val d'Isere, France, on Dec. 21.

"She's recovering and preparing and everything is (up) in the air," U.S. Ski Team women's head coach Alex Hoedlmoser told The Associated Press on Saturday, adding that Vonn will "most likely not" race in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, next weekend.

The next speed races after Altenmarkt are on one of Vonn's favourite courses over Jan. 18-19 in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, where she has won seven times.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 5, 2014 B12

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