COLLEGE

UMaine hockey team to play at frozen Fenway

The University of Maine men’s hockey team will return to Fenway Park next winter for the first time since 2014.

Maine will face Hockey East foe UConn on Jan. 14 as part of a doubleheader that includes New Hampshire playing Northeastern.

In two previous appearances at Fenway, Maine beat Boston University, 7-3 in 2014, and UNH, 5-4 in overtime, in 2012. Ticket availability has yet to be announced.

FOOTBALL: The NCAA has cleared up its bowl-selection process, assuring that no eligible teams with .500 records are passed over for postseason play in favor of more well-known schools with fewer than six wins.

The new rule, which was implemented by the NCAA’s Division I Council on Wednesday in Indianapolis, will be put in place for the upcoming season and declares bowl- eligible teams with 6-6 records must be selected for bowl games before any 5-7 teams are considered.

The NCAA’s football oversight committee first made the recommendation for the new rule to the council, following a season that saw only 77 teams eligible for the 80 bowl slots. The three remaining slots were filled by 5-7 teams – Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State.

GOLF

ICONIC COURSE CLOSED: It could be a month or two until the Old White TPC golf course at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, reopens after deadly, damaging floods, but its maimed championship golf course may not be ready for play much before the PGA Tour rolls through next July, resort owner Jim Justice said.

The floods that swept through West Virginia last week and killed at least 23 people statewide carved a path of destruction unseen in generations at the historic Greenbrier.

The Old White had been manicured to host some of golf’s biggest names at a tournament starting July 7. The event was going to be free for the first time, and about 300,000 fans were expected. But then the rains began, and the water rose and kept rising.

BASEBALL

EMPIRE LEAGUE: Shaun Cooper went 3 for 4, including a pair of doubles, and scored twice to pace the offense as the host Old Orchard Beach Surge cruised by the Sullivan Explorers 9-1.

Benny Collesano started for Old Orchard Beach (15-11), going seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits, fanning two and walking one.

Nate Coranado had a pair of hits for Sullivan (13-13).

Cody Frank and Eric Kline each threw a hitless inning of relief for the Surge.

NECBL: The Newport Gulls jumped to a fast start, scoring three runs in each of the first two innings and rolled past the Sanford Mainers 8-1 at Cardines Field in Newport, Rhode Island.

Troy Dixon led the way for Newport (8-10), going 4 for 5 and scoring twice, and Jake Brodt went 3 for 5, including a two-run homer.

John Cresto had a pair of hits for Sanford, now 8-10.

SOCCER

ARGENTINA: Soccer great Diego Maradona urges fellow countrymen to leave Lionel Messi alone over the current star’s decision to retire from Argentina’s national team following its loss to Chile in the Copa America title match.

In a radio interview, Maradona also ridiculed people who have criticized Messi for missing his shot as Chile won a penalty shootout, questioning those who find fault with a soccer star’s play “without ever having touched a ball.”