Sports briefs for February 25, 2014

By wire service reports on Feb. 25, 2014, at 7:40 p.m.
NBA to consider enlarging courts The NBA is exploring the possibility of expanding the dimensions of the basketball court to accommodate the growing size and increased athleticism of players, ESPN reported on Tuesday. NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn and vice president Kiki VanDeWeghe also acknowledged in an interview …
Finland's goalie Tuukka Rask attempts to tie up Russia's Alexander Ovechkin during the second period of their men's quarter-finals ice hockey game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, on Feb. 19, 2014.

Ovechkin, Backstrom ready to forget Olympic hockey experience

By Steve Ginsburg, Reuters on Feb. 25, 2014, at 6:32 p.m.
ARLINGTON, Va. — Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom returned to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday determined to forget their bitter Olympic experiences and help their National Hockey League club secure a spot in the playoffs. Ovechkin scored just one goal in five games for Russia and never reached the podium …
Russell Currier of Stockholm, Maine during the men's individual biathlon of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center.

Maine Olympian Currier ready to resume World Cup biathlon schedule

By Ernie Clark on Feb. 25, 2014, at 11:23 a.m.
His Olympic debut may be history, but the competitive season continues for Maine biathlete Russell Currier. The 26-year-old Stockholm native, who took part in three events for the U.S. Olympic men’s biathlon team during its two-week stay at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, is expected to remain in …
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach (right) waves the Olympic flag next to Sochi Mayor Anatoliy Pakhomov during the closing ceremony for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on Sunday.

Russia tops medals table as Sochi Games end amid doping scandals

By Mike Collett-White, Reuters on Feb. 23, 2014, at 1:51 p.m.
SOCHI, Russia — The Winter Olympics drew to a close on Sunday with host nation Russia on top of the medals table and Canada winning the men’s ice hockey final, but news that two more athletes tested positive for banned substances dimmed the golden glow. Canada claimed the last, most …
Canada players celebrate after defeating Sweden in the men's ice hockey gold medal game during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Bolshoy Ice Dome on Sunday.

Canada captures men’s hockey gold; Sweden’s Backstrom fails dope test

By Steve Keating, Reuters on Feb. 23, 2014, at 9:48 a.m.
SOCHI, Russia — Canada swept past Sweden 3-0 on Sunday in the Winter Olympics men’s ice hockey final, a game Swedish forward Nicklas Backstrom missed due to a failed a dope test. News of Backstrom’s failed test broke as Canada and Sweden were accepting their medals to wild cheers at …
Russell Currier (USA) competes in the men's 4x7.5km relay during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center on Saturday. Team USA finished in 16th place.

Currier, Team USA 16th in men’s Olympic biathlon relay

By Ernie Clark on Feb. 22, 2014, at 5:19 p.m.
SOCHI, Russia – Stockholm native Russell Currier, earned a 16th-place finish Saturday in the team’s final event of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Team USA, consisting of Currier, Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid, N.Y., Sean Doherty of Center Conway, N.H., and Leif Nordgren of Marine, Minn., posted a …
Team USA's Zach Parise skates away as Finland celebrates their win in their men's ice hockey bronze medal game at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games on Saturday.

Finland men’s hockey team shuts out US to capture bronze in Sochi

By Reuters on Feb. 22, 2014, at 1:54 p.m.
SOCHI, Russia — Finland hammered the United States 5-0 at the Sochi Games on Saturday to win their second consecutive Olympic men’s ice hockey bronze medal. The Finns made a quick start to the second period, getting goals 11 seconds apart from Teemu Selanne and Jussi Jokinen in the first …
France's Jean-Baptiste Grange clears a pole as he competes in the first run of the men's alpine skiing slalom event during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on Saturday.

Despite judging, doping scandals, Russia says Games ‘broke the ice’ of skepticism

By Mike Collett-White, Reuters on Feb. 22, 2014, at 9:11 a.m.
SOCHI, Russia — Norway held their lead at the top of the medals table on Saturday as the Sochi Olympics entered the final weekend, and Russia said its first Winter Games helped “break the ice” of skepticism towards the host nation. Organizers were confident they had achieved what they and …

TV, radio sports schedule for Feb. 22-23, 2014

on Feb. 21, 2014, at 6:29 p.m.
SATURDAY AUTO RACING NASCAR Sprint Cup, Daytona 500 final practice, 10 a.m., FS1-TV NASCAR Nationwide Series, DRIVE4COPD 300, 1:15 p.m., ESPN-TV; WNZS Veazie (1340 AM) radio; WOXO Norway (92.7 & 100.7 FM) radio BASEBALL, COLLEGE MAINE at CLEMSON, 2 p.m., WWNZ Veazie (1400 AM) radio; UMaine Internet (GoBlackBears.com) BASKETBALL, BOYS …
Sweden forward Gustav Nyquist (41), a former University of Maine star, celebrates his team's win over Finland in a men's hockey semifinal at Bolshoy Ice Dome during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. Sweden defeated Finland 2-1 to advance to the gold-medal game.

Canada shuts out US, earns gold-medal men’s hockey final against Sweden

By Steve Keating, Reuters on Feb. 21, 2014, at 2:16 p.m.
SOCHI, Russia — Canada squeezed past archrivals the United States 1-0 on Friday to reach the final of the Sochi Winter Games men’s ice hockey competition as it bids to successfully defend its 2010 Olympic crown. Sweden, 2-1 winners over Finland in the other semifinal, will face off against Canada …
Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. celebrates winning gold in ladies' alpine skiing slalom during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on Friday.

US teen Mikaela Shiffrin youngest-ever winner of slalom gold

By Alan Baldwin, Reuters on Feb. 21, 2014, at 1:49 p.m.
ROSA KHUTOR, Russia — U.S. teenager Mikaela Shiffrin won slalom gold on Friday with a heart-stopping second run on the ragged edge that sent her into the Olympic record books as the youngest champion in the discipline. Shiffrin, 18 years and 345 days old but already a world champion last …

TV, radio schedule for February 21, 2014

on Feb. 20, 2014, at 10:31 p.m.
AUTO RACING, NASCAR Nationwide Series: DRIVE4COPD 300, Qualifying, 1 p.m., ESPN2-TV Sprint Cup: Daytona 500, Practice, 2:30 p.m., FS1-TV Camping World Truck Series: Daytona, Qualifying, 4 p.m., 7:30 p.m., FS1-TV Nextera 250, 7 p.m., WOXO Norway (92.7 & 100.7 FM) radio BASKETBALL, BOYS LEE ACADEMY vs. CALAIS, 2 p.m., MPBN-TV …
Adelina Sotnikova of Russia reacts after placing first in the wonen's free skate program during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Iceberg Skating Palace on Thursday.

Russian Sotnikova wins skating gold; judging under scrutiny

By Reuters on Feb. 20, 2014, at 5:51 p.m.
SOCHI, Russia — Adelina Sotnikova smashed her career best to become the first Russian to win the Olympic women’s figure skating title on Thursday, leaving defending champion Kim Yuna sobbing with silver and some neutrals questioning the scoring. South Korea’s Kim had been favorite to join Norway’s Sonja Henie and …
USA forward Amanda Kessel (right) goes down to the ice as she battles after the puck against Canada defenseman Meaghan Mikkelson in the third period of the women's hockey gold medal game during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on Thursday. Canada defeated the USA in overtime, 3-2.

Canada women’s hockey team stuns US with golden comeback in overtime

By Frank Pingue, Reuters on Feb. 20, 2014, at 5:25 p.m.
SOCHI, Russia — Canada fought back from the brink of defeat to stun their fiercest rivals the United States and capture a fourth consecutive Olympic women’s ice hockey gold medal with a wild 3-2 overtime win at the Sochi Games on Thursday. Trailing by two goals with under four minutes …
Olympic swimmer Jenny Thompson, who now lives in Kennebunk, visited Sea Road School there Friday.

12-time Olympic medalist surprises Kennebunk students at school assembly

By Jennifer Feals, York County Coast Star on Feb. 20, 2014, at 4:58 p.m.
A week of activities held in honor of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics ended with a truly Olympic surprise at Sea Road School Friday. The students filled the school’s gymnasium for their Olympic Week’s “Closing Ceremony,” entering by groups proudly carrying their handmade flags of varying countries. …
Maddie Bowman of the U.S. competes during the women's freestyle skiing halfpipe qualification round at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor on Thursday. Bowman won gold in the event.

US skier Maddie Bowman wins first women’s freestyle halfpipe gold

By Philip O'Connor, Reuters on Feb. 20, 2014, at 2:15 p.m.
ROSA KHUTOR, Russia — Maddie Bowman called on a lifetime of experience on skis to quell her jitters and dominate the inaugural women’s freestyle halfpipe event at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on Thursday. The American, who first strapped on a pair of skis at the age of two, continued …
Blind skier Lindsay Ball of Benton follows her guide, Diane Barras, during a 2013 race. Ball and Barras will compete in the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, next month.

Benton skier preparing for Paralympics in Sochi

By John Holyoke on Feb. 20, 2014, at 10:18 a.m.
Lindsay Ball of Benton says her parents first introduced her to skiing when she was six. Visually impaired since birth, Benton said her parents were eager to have her live an active lifestyle, but she didn’t have as many options as other children. “This kid can’t go play soccer on …
USA's Ted Ligety wins gold medal in the men's giant slalom during the Winter Olympic Games in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia, on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014.

Ted Ligety wins historic 2nd US alpine gold

By Frank Fitzpatrick, The Philadelphia Inquirer on Feb. 19, 2014, at 6:36 p.m.
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — He hoisted the white skis that just carried him to victory high over his head, then spread his arms wide. The celebratory “V” he inadvertently formed nicely encapsulated Ted Ligety’s historic day. The 29-year-old American, taking advantage of the perfect conditions these 2014 Winter Games had …
Czech Republic forward Martin Hanzal (11) tries to get a shot off against USA goalie Jonathan Quick (32), as USA defenseman John Carlson (4) and USA forward Paul Stastny (26) assist on defense, during the second period of a Winter Olympics quarterfinal game at Shayba Arena in Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014.

Olympic ice hockey: Finns break Russian hearts as US, Canada advance

By Steve Keating and Frank Pingue, Reuters on Feb. 19, 2014, at 6:35 p.m.
SOCHI, Russia — Finland broke Russian hearts in the Olympic men’s ice hockey competition on Wednesday, robbing the hosts of a shot at arguably the most coveted gold medal of the Games with a 3-1 victory. The United States and Sweden strolled into the semi-finals, but Olympic champions Canada had …

TV, radio sports schedule for Feb. 20, 2014

on Feb. 19, 2014, at 5:46 p.m.
AUTO RACING Nationwide Series, DRIVE4COPED practice, noon, FS1-TV NASCAR Truck Series, Daytona practice, 1:30 p.m., FS1-TV NASCAR Sprint Cup, Duels at Daytona, 7 p.m., FS1-TV; WOXO Norway (92.7 & 100.7 FM) radio BASKETBALL, BOYS HODGDON vs. EASTON, 2:05 p.m., MPBN-TV; WHOU Houlton (100.1 FM) radio; WHOU Internet video (whoufm.com); WZON …