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Sports briefs for Feb. 17, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Bangor, Brewer to vie in Fill the Alfond game Monday night

The Bangor High School hockey team will look to snap a three-game Fill the Alfond Arena series losing streak against arch-rival Brewer at 7 p.m. Monday when the two teams square off for the sixth game in the series in Orono.

Class A Bangor enters the game with a 13-3 record and in second place in the Eastern Maine Class A Heal Points standings behind Lewiston. Bangor has won five of its last six, allowing just four goals in the five wins.

Class B Brewer is 11-5 and in third place in the standings behind Messalonskee of Oakland and John Bapst of Bangor.

Brewer has lost two of its last three.

Spencer Valley’s hat trick led Brewer to a 6-4 win over Bangor in the Fill the Alfond game a year ago. That broke a 2-2 deadlock in the series.

Bangor beat Brewer 6-3 at the Penobscot Ice Arena in Brewer on Dec. 29.

Canadiens’ Gallagher has concussion

Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher suffered a concussion as a result of a hit from Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn during Saturday’s game, the Canadiens’ official website reported,

Schenn did not receive a penalty on the play, but it’s unclear whether the NHL will punish him for the hit.

Montreal coach Michel Therrien said Gallagher felt fine on Sunday, but the team must follow league protocol when returning a player to action following a concussion.

He is not expected to play in Monday’s game.

Gallagher has five goals and three assists in 13 games this season.

Donovan to rejoin Galaxy in late March

Landon Donovan will rejoin the Los Angeles Galaxy in the final week of March, the team announced on its website Sunday.

Donovan, 30, had said last fall he was not sure whether he wanted to keep playing, and when he returns, it will end a break of nearly four months.

The Major League Soccer season begins March 2, and the Galaxy plays its first game March 3. Donovan is expected to miss at least the Galaxy’s first three games.

”After a series of collaborative discussions between Landon, his representative and our key club leaders, we have agreed to allow Landon to remain on an extended leave of absence and return to training with the team during the final week of March,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said in a statement issued on the team website. ”We understand this arrangement is not ideal, but we are confident it will allow Landon the time he needs to be both mentally and physically prepared for the upcoming season,” Arena said.

Nadal caps comeback with Brazil victory

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Rafa Nadal’s comeback from a seven-month injury layoff gathered pace as he brushed aside Argentine David Nalbandian 6-2 6-3 to win the Brazil Open on Sunday, his first title since the 2012 French Open.

The Spanish world number five, playing only his second tournament following his return from injury, broke twice in the first set and recovered from 3-0 down in the second to win in 78 minutes.

The 11-times grand slam champion, who said he still suffers pain in his troublesome knees, has chosen to return to action on the clay courts he favours as he tries to work his way back to match fitness.

“When the knee hurts I can’t move properly. And if I can’t move properly, I can’t hit the ball cleanly. When my knee gets better, the tennis will get better, the head (will get better), everything will get better,” Nadal told reporters.

“Today was the day I felt best on court.”

Teen golf phenom Ko to go pro in two years

Teenage golfing sensation Lydia Ko says she will turn professional in a couple of years after the 15-year-old New Zealander finished third in the women’s Australian Open on Sunday.

“I’ve got a couple of years until I turn pro so I guess within that period hopefully I’ll be able to get a little bit better,” South Korean-born Ko told reporters at the Royal Canberra Golf Club.

Ko hopes to improve her putting and the mental side of the game while still an amateur.

“I always think putting is the biggest part of the game and also the psychology part, so those are the two things I would like to build up,” added Ko, who finished behind British Open champion Shin Ji-yai and world number one Yani Tseng.

Last Sunday, Ko became the youngest winner of a women’s European Tour event when she took victory at the New Zealand Women’s Open in Christchurch.

She had already become the youngest winner of a pro event aged 14 in January 2012 and the youngest LPGA Tour winner in August.

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