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Sports digest

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 1, 2001


U.S. hockey team sets up quarterfinal vs. Canada

The United States defeated Sweden 3-1 on Sunday to set up a quarterfinal against Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Moscow.

Marc Cavosie, Andy Hilbert and Jon DiSalvatore scored for the United States. Goalie Rick DiPietro made 16 saves for the American team, which has 14 NHL draftees.

The United States improved to 3-1-0 for six points in Group A. Canada, which defeated Switzerland 8-4 to finish third in Group B behind Finland and Russia, plays the United States on Tuesday.

"There's a big Canada-U.S. rivalry," said Canada's Jason Spezza, who scored twice against the Swiss. "They play a similar style as us, and we have to go out there and start banging and crashing and playing our game."

Also, Pavel Brendl scored and had two assists as the Czech Republic downed Slovakia 5-0 to finish atop Group A. The defending champion was the only one of the tournament's 10 teams to win all four preliminary games.

TENNIS: Martina Hingis led top seed Switzerland 3-0 over Thailand in the opening match of the Hopman Cup mixed-team event at Perth, Australia. She routed Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-1, 6-1, then teamed with Roger Federer to beat Tanasugarn and Paradorn Srichaphan in doubles. Federer beat Srichaphan in the men's match. The American team of Monica Seles and Jan-Michael Gambill faces Slovakia today. ... Jana Kandarr beat No. 7 seed Henrieta Nagyova 6-2, 7-5 in the first round of the Australian women's hardcourt tournament at Gold Coast. Alexandra Stevenson withdrew because of neck pain during her qualifying match against Lina Krasnoroutskaya.

SOCCER: Brazilian club Vasco da Gama was criticized for the stadium mayhem in which a fence collapsed in Rio De Janeiro during the Joao Havelange Cup against Sao Caetano. Of the 104 people hospitalized, three were seriously injured. Josias Quintal, Rio's secretary for public security, said Vasco manager Eurico Miranda should be sued for selling too many tickets to the 35,000-seat stadium.

BASEBALL: Despite reports that PNC Park construction has fallen several weeks behind schedule, the Pittsburgh Pirates said they still plan to open their 38,000-seat park April 9 against Cincinnati. The park has been under a tight construction schedule since its April 1999 groundbreaking.

AUTO RACING: Allan McNish, who injured his back a few days earlier, recovered enough to capture the American Le Mans Series championship. He teamed with Rinaldo Capello to win the Race of a Thousand Years at Adelaide, Australia. Their Audi R8 finished 21 laps ahead of Franz Konrad, Charlie Slater and Alan Heath in the six-hour race.

RUNNING: Paul Tergat won the St. Silvester road race at Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the fifth time, pulling away toward the end. Tergat ran the 9.3-mile event in 43 minutes, 57 seconds, one second ahead of Tesfaye Tola and two ahead of Tesfaye Jifar.

SAILING: Five giant catamarans set off from Barcelona, Spain, to start the Millennium Race, which aims to break the world record for circumnavigation. The mark is 71 days, set by Olivier de Kersauson in 1997.

BOXING: Evander Holyfield and Johnny Ruiz will fight March3 at Las Vegas in a mandatory rematch for the WBA title. Holyfield beat Ruiz by unanimous decision Aug.12 to win the vacant championship.

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