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Sports briefs for Feb. 20, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

MPBN, Time Warner are televising tourney basketball games

Time Warner Cable and the Maine Public Broadcasting Network are televising the high school girls and boys basketball tourney games.

The games are being shown on TWC TV (Channel 9) and MPBN (Channels 10 or 13, depending on viewer’s location) and on MPBN’s digital channels 170, 172, 180, 181, 510 or 712, depending on viewer’s location.

The complete schedule of times is available at

Time Warner Cable and MPBN will air more than 40 semifinal and final games from the Bangor Auditorium, Augusta Civic Center and Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland on Feb. 20-23 and conclude with the state finals on March 1-2.

Sabres fire head coach Ruff after 16 years in job

Lindy Ruff’s long run as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres came to an end on Wednesday when the National Hockey League team fired him after 16 years at the helm.

Ron Rolston, coach of the Rochester Americans, Buffalo’s American Hockey League affiliate, will serve as interim coach of the NHL team for the rest of the season starting with Thursday’s game against Toronto, general manager Darcy Regier said.

Regier said allowing Rolston to coach the rest of the season “will provide us and him the opportunity to get to know each other, and if things go well, he’ll have the opportunity to become the head coach.”

The moves followed a loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday that left the Sabres with a 6-10-1 mark and at the bottom of the Northeast Division with 13 points.

Ruff, who also played most of his NHL career in Buffalo, began coaching the Sabres in 1997-98 and was the longest-tenured coach in the league.

“The hockey world knows how I and the entire Buffalo Sabres organization feel about Lindy Ruff not only as a coach but also as a person,” Sabres owner Terry Pegula said in a statement.

“His long tenure with the Sabres has ended. His qualities have made this decision very difficult.

“I personally want Lindy to know that he can consider me a friend always.”

Ruff, whose career ties to Buffalo spanned 25 years, had a regular-season record of 571-432-84 along with 78 ties and led the team to the 1999 Stanley Cup finals.

Snow stops play for day at Dove Mountain

MARANA, Ariz. — Dove Mountain looked more like a winter wonderland than a high desert golf course on Wednesday after a blanket of snow forced play to be abandoned in the opening round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Just over three-and-a-half hours of golf was possible on a bitterly cold and breezy morning before driving rain, sleet and then snow led to matches being suspended at the elite World Golf Championships (WGC) event.

Ice formed on the greens and, with further snow showers forecast for the rest of the day in Arizona’s high desert, officials had no option but to call off play for the day after waiting a couple of hours to re-evaluate conditions.

Almost two inches of snow covered the entire course, the driving range and the practice putting green at Dove Mountain’s Ritz-Carlton Golf Club after 23 of the 32 matches had started with none finishing.

“Once we got two inches of snow, even if it melted in the next hour or so, it would still take another hour-and-a-half … to let the golf course drain where we could play,” Mark Russell, the PGA Tour’s vice president of rules and competition, said.

Yankees pitcher Hughes gets hurt

While the New York Yankees were dealing with their first on-field crisis of the spring, the front office acknowledged the possibility of a big potential deal.

Right-hander Phil Hughes will miss one to two weeks due to a bulging disk in his upper back.

Meanwhile, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner acknowledged that the team has talked with Scott Boras, Robinson Cano’s agent, about a lucrative long-term contract extension for the second baseman, reported Wednesday.

Hughes was hurt Monday while participating in pitchers’ fielding practice.

He will treat his back with anti-inflammatory medication and rest, then move on to pool work. Hughes, expected to be the Yankees’ No. 4 starter this season, said he hopes to pick up a ball within a week.

“I threw a bunch of bullpens before I got here,” Hughes said. “Thankfully it’s early enough in spring where, it’s a setback, but we still have a lot of time to get it right and not push it and make sure I’m 100 percent healthy. When I do pick up a ball in seven days, I won’t be too far behind in my throwing.”

WR Allen passes on combine workouts

A potential first-round pick will skip the NFL Scouting Combine, while a woman is attempting to earn the scouts’ attention.

Wide receiver Keenan Allen will pass on workouts this week in Indianapolis, according to reports. Meanwhile, Lauren Silberman of New York will become the first woman to participate in an NFL regional scouting combine when she tees it up in New Jersey as a kicker early next month.

Allen, projected by as the No. 1 receiver in the NFL Draft and a potential first-round pick in April, is reported to have experienced swelling in his left knee during his training for the combine, his agent, J.T. Johnson, confirmed to on Wednesday. The former Cal standout injured the posterior cruciate ligament last season and missed three games.

After the swelling occurred, Allen visited noted orthopedist James Andrews, who diagnosed Allen’s injury as a Grade 2 strain but said it should not require surgery, reported. A follow-up exam with Andrews is set for March 11.

Allen will attend the combine to participate in medical exams but will not work out, reported. Johnson said Allen plans to run routes only at Cal’s pro day on March 14 and then hold his own workout for scouts the first week of April to run the 40-yard dash and participate in other physical tests.

Allen is Cal’s career receptions leader with 205 catches. In three seasons, he racked up 2,570 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns.

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