COLUMBUS, Ohio - Now that the preliminaries are over, Team USA appears ready for the World Cup of Hockey.
John-Michael Liles scored a goal and Brett Hull added a power-play goal to lead the defending champion Americans to a 2-0 victory over Russia on Friday in their final exhibition.
"I'm pleased with where we are, but we have a lot of room for improvement," U.S. coach Ron Wilson said.
Goaltenders Rick DiPietro and Robert Esche stopped a combined 28 shots. The two have not given up a goal in the Americans' three exhibition games, answering critics who considered goaltending the team's weakest position.
CZECHS 5, SWEDEN 3: Martin Straka and Tomas Kaberle scored to lead the host Czech Republic.
COLLEGES: Bulls open Nov. 20
USF unveiled its 2004-05 men's basketball schedule, including tough games at Michigan, South Carolina and Richmond and a light home schedule of 11 games at the Sun Dome in Tampa. "One of our goals in putting together the nonconference schedule was to try to build confidence," said second-year coach Robert McCullum, who went 7-20 last season. "Building confidence was a priority because if we're going to be more competitive in conference play, confidence is an absolute must." USF opens Nov. 20 against Stephen F. Austin and opens its final season of play in Conference USA on Jan. 5 at East Carolina. The Jan. 27 home game against Cincinnati will be televised on ESPN2.
- GREG AUMAN, Times staff writer
SOCCER: Lakewood High graduate Kate McCain scored the winner in host UCF's 2-1 win over Florida International. ... The USF men had four goals in the second half to beat the visiting St. Pete Kickers 4-0. ... Senior Ashley Kellgren had two assists and the winning goal in Florida's 3-2 victory over visiting Dayton.
VOLLEYBALL: Truman State defeated Tampa 22-30, 24-30, 27-30 at the North Florida Pre-Labor Day Classic.
TENNIS: Dechy, Bovina in final
Nathalie Dechy advanced to the final of the Pilot Pen tournament in New Haven, Conn., beating Lisa Raymond 6-4, 6-0. The eighth-seeded Dechy faces doubles partner and seventh-seeded Elena Bovina in today's championship match. Bovina overpowered Russian countrywoman Elena Dementieva 6-1, 6-1. Also today, Martina Navratilova goes for her 175th doubles title with partner Raymond after defeating Cara Black and Rennae Stubbs . They face Nadia Petrova and Meghann Shaughnessy .
FOREST HILLS CLASSIC: Top-seeded Elena Likhovtseva beat Anabel Medina Garrigues3-6, 6-0, 6-1 to face Iveta Benesovain the final in New York.
TD WATERHOUSE CUP: Two-time defending champion Paradorn Srichaphan rallied for a 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 win over Joachim Johansson, who beat Srichaphan in the Athens Games, to play Luis Horna in the semis in Commack, N.Y. Lleyton Hewitt beat Juan Ignacio Chela 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 6-2 to face Dmitry Tursunov .
NBA: Seattle center Vitaly Potapenko will avoid prosecution in Miami on misdemeanor charges of disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence if he successfully completes a pretrial diversion program. He was arrested July 11 outside a nightclub after arguing with a security guard. ... Washington guard Gilbert Arenas will miss the team's Nov. 3 opener after the NBA suspended him one game for failing to maintain proper registration of a handgun in 2003.