Sports Digest: Laberge scores twice to lift Mariners past Icemen

Sports Digest: Laberge scores twice to lift Mariners past Icemen

HOCKEY

Pascal Laberge had two goals to lead the Maine Mariners to a 3-1 win over the Jacksonville Icemen in a Tuesday morning ECHL game in Jacksonville, Florida.

After Kyle McKenzie scored for the Icemen midway through the first period, Laberge tied it about six minutes later, then got his sixth of the season with five minutes left in the second. Brendan Robbins added an empty-netter with 1:42 left in the third.

Jeremy Brodeur stopped 22 shots for the Mariners, who will continue their four-game Florida trip Wednesday and Friday in Jacksonville and finish on Saturday against the Orlando Solar Bears.

AUTO RACING

NASCAR: The addition of Brad Keselowski as part of the ownership group at Roush Fenway Racing means a rebranding of the team, which will be known as RFK Racing going forward.

Keselowski bought into the ownership group this summer and the team unveiled its new name and logos Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a day before Keselowski will drive his No. 6 Ford as part of a NASCAR test of the Next Gen car. The official team name will be Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing.

RFK Racing will field two Cup teams in 2022 with Keselowski in the No. 6 Ford Mustang and and Chris Buescher in the No. 17 Ford. Matt McCall, crew chief for Kurt Busch the last several seasons, will move to RFK to run Keselowski’s car.

Scott Graves will lead the No. 17 team and Buescher. The duo won the 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship together and Graves took over Buescher’s Cup program with five races remaining this season.

FORMULA ONE: Zhou Guanyu will become the first Formula One driver from China after signing with Alfa Romeo on Tuesday.

Zhou steps up from Formula Two, where he is second in the standings, and will partner Valtteri Bottas when the 10-time race winner moves from Mercedes for next season. All of the 20 places on the grid for the 2022 season have now been filled.

Zhou has previously been a test driver for the Alpine team and drove for them in a practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix in July.

TENNIS

ATP FINALS: Defending champion Daniil Medvedev clinched his place in the ATP Finals semifinals after beating 2018 champ Alexander Zverev on Tuesday to make it two wins out of two in Turin, Italy.

Medvedev, who won the U.S. Open in September for his first Grand Slam title, took just over 2 1/2 hours to beat Zverev 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6) and move level with the German on a tour-leading 56 wins after a tense tiebreaker in the decisive set.

“Definitely one of the matches to remember,” Medvedev said. “When you win 8-6 in the tiebreak in the third, it was 4-2 for him so I was like OK, he serves a few aces it’s done. I made it 6-4 and I was like OK, that’s my moment now. It’s back to 6-6 … Just an amazing feeling. Not actually much to say about the match, just amazing.”

Medvedev leads Red Group and was assured of his place in the final four after local favorite Matteo Berrettini pulled out of the tournament.

Berrettini retired against Zverev on Sunday with an abdominal injury and although he trained Tuesday he could not recover in time and was replaced by first alternate Jannik Sinner, another Italian.

WTA FINALS: Garbiñe Muguruza dominated Paula Badosa in a 6-3, 6-3 victory in Guadalajara, Mexico and will play for the WTA Finals title for the first time in her career.

The sixth-seeded Muguruza, who lost in the semifinals in 2015, is the first Spaniard to reach the singles final since 1993, when Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario was runner-up to Steffi Graff.

Mugurza awaits the winner of eighth-seeded Anett Kontaveit and fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari who play the other semifinal match later at the Centro Panamericano de Tenis in Zapopan, a suburb of Guadalajara.

SKIING

OLYMPIAN INJURED: Three-time Olympian Adrien Théaux underwent surgery after he crashed in training in the United States and will miss the Olympic season, the French ski federation said.

Théaux fractured his left elbow and his right tibia and ankle in a super-G practice run at Copper Mountain, Colorado. The 37-year-old racer had surgery in Vail on Monday evening and will soon return to France, the team said.

Théaux is a three-time race winner on the World Cup circuit who took bronze in super-G at the 2015 world championships held at Vail-Beaver Creek. He competed at each Winter Games from 2010 to 2018 with a best result of 11th in super-G at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The French men’s Alpine speed team already lost Brice Roger for the Beijing Olympics because of a knee injury last month.

SOCCER

NWSL: OL Reign midfielder Jessica Fishlock has been named the National Women’s Soccer League Most Valuable Player for this season.

Fishlock, who has been with the Reign since the league’s launch in 2013, had five goals and four assists in 21 starts this season, with 76.4% passing accuracy.

The Reign finished second in the NWSL standings, despite the upheaval of switching head coaches midway through the season.

Reign Coach Laura Harvey won NWSL Coach of the Year after taking over the team in July following the dismissal of Farid Benstiti. It is Harvey’s second stint as coach of the Reign, which she led from 2013-17.

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: The Netherlands will be back at the World Cup after an eight-year gap, forcing Norway star Erling Haaland to wait until at least 2026 to make his debut on the biggest stage.

The Dutch did just enough with late goals in a 2-0 win in Rotterdam that eliminated the Norwegians who were missing Haaland, their injured 21-year-old forward.

Turkey overtook Norway into second place in Group G, winning 2-1 in Montenegro to enter the European playoffs in March.

• Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria and Tunisia took their last chances and qualified for the World Cup playoffs in Africa , but Ivory Coast didn’t seize the day and is the continent’s biggest team so far to miss out on next year’s tournament in Qatar.

African champion Algeria and Nigeria scraped through to the 10-team playoffs in March after both were held to home draws but clinched the point they needed to progress on the final day of the group stage.

Tunisia was more convincing, beating Zambia 3-1 to take the top spot and the playoff place in Group B, snuffing out Zambia’s hopes.

Cameroon ended Ivory Coast’s campaign with a 1-0 win in their much-hyped West African showdown in Cameroon. Karl Toko Ekambi’s first-half goal settled the tense Group D decider as Ivory Coast lost the game and the lead of the group right at the end.

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