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Sports briefs for March 8, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Maine Majestix finish 4th at national indoor field hockey tourney

RICHMOND, Va. — The Maine Majestix Under-19 indoor field hockey team finished in fourth place with a record of 3-2-2 at the National Indoor Field Hockey Championships last weekend.

As the New England regional champion, the team competed in the top pool with all of the other regional champions at the 112-team tournament. In seven games the team scored 25 goals and allowed 18.

The highlight of the tournament was a 3-3 tie with the No. 1 ranked club team in the country, the WC Eagles from Pennsylvania, who went undefeated in capturing the gold medal.

Competing for Majestix were Maddie Cummings and Julia Ward of Belfast, Kristy Bernatchez and Lynnae Luettich of Messalonskee, Sarah Finnemore of Skowhegan, Elise Tilton of John Bapst and Brooke Haskell and Bethany Winkin of Winslow.

Spanish federation chief caught drink driving

MADRID — The president of Spain’s automobile federation, Carlos Gracia, said on Friday “we all make mistakes” after it emerged he was stripped of his licence after being caught driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Local media reported Gracia had been pulled over in Zaragoza in October and after failing an alcohol test was banned from driving until June this year.

“I made a mistake one day,” Gracia told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope.

“I went out to celebrate my sister’s birthday and had one drink too many,” he added.

“The police stopped me. I hadn’t had an accident but I was over the limit and they took away my licence.”

Alabama QB McCarron shrugged off rib injury last season

Quarterback AJ McCarron gutted out Alabama’s final six games last season playing with injured ribs.

McCarron said he was in constant pain after he was injured on a sack during the Tide’s Oct. 27 game against Mississippi State.

Despite the sore ribs that limited his practice time, McCarron finished the season with 30 touchdown passes and three interceptions on the way to the BCS national championshp.

“I had three ribs come out of place,” McCarron told ESPN.com. “They kept popping in and out of place, the one at the top, and it was just a nagging pain the whole time. I couldn’t throw much during the week for a long time, really almost up to the bowl game. I was hurting really bad through the week, and it just took a long time for those ribs to heal.”

McCarron didn’t miss any games because of the injury. The break between the end of the regular season and the championship game allowed the ribs some time to heal, he said.

HGH testing could be coming soon to NBA

The NBA is nearing an agreement with the National Basketball Players Association on testing for human growth hormone, ESPN reported Friday.

Testing for HGH requires collecting blood samples from the players, which could begin as early as next season.

The NBA’s interest in HGH screening comes after Major League Baseball’s agreement with its players’ union to start testing for HGH and other banned substances. The NBA was hesitant in the past to make a decision because it believed the tests were invasive and unreliable, according to ESPN.

Calls for the NBA and other professional sports leagues to begin HGH testing have come from the World Anti-Doping Agency and the U.S. Congress.

Doctors clear Rose to play, but he’s not ready yet

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose has received medical clearance to return to the lineup, but he remains hesitant to do so until he feels he’s completely ready.

Rose, 24, indicated that he doesn’t plan to play in a game until he can dunk off his left leg at full speed, ESPN.com reported Friday. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on May 12 during the NBA playoffs and underwent surgery.

As the former league MVP’s recovery accelerated in recent weeks, he resumed practicing and scrimmaging at full speed with the team and is now sitting on the bench during games. The Bulls are still hoping for a mid-March return.

Rose’s doctor has told the Bulls, according to ESPN, that Rose is ready physically to play and there is no greater risk of reinjury that what a player normally faces.

During an interview in February, Rose didn’t sound confident about the possibility of even playing at all this season.

Ducks get Getzlaf under contract for eight more years

The Anaheim Ducks signed center Ryan Getzlaf to a contract extension on Friday.

The reported eight-year, $66 million deal is the maximum allowed under the NHL’s new collective bargaining agreement. Getzlaf would have become an unrestricted free agent after this season along with right winger Corey Perry.

The Ducks are hoping to re-sign Perry before the April 3 trade deadline, If they can’t reach an agreement with Perry, they might consider dealing him.

Getzlaf, 28, leads the Ducks in scoring with nine goals and 18 assists in 22 games this season. Perry, 27, ranks second on the team with seven goals and 14 assists.

Blackhawks’ Sharp suffers separated shoulder

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp could be out for an extended period with a shoulder injury, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Sharp was injured Wednesday night in the Blackhawks’ 3-2 overtime victory over Colorado in the United Center when he was hit into the boards by the Avalanche’s Ryan O’Byrne. According to the Tribune, the severity of the injury is still to be determined by the team. But TSN reported that Sharp has an AC shoulder joint separation.

The loss of Sharp is a significant one for the Blackhawks (21-0-3), who are riding a streak of 24 consecutive games to start the lockout-shortened season with at least one point.

Sharp has played in every game this season and has five goals and 13 assists.

The Blackhawks called up Brandon Bollig from the AHL to take Sharp’s roster spot.

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