Women’s national team, USA Hockey reach deal

USA Hockey and the women’s national team reached a wage agreement Tuesday night to avoid a boycott of the world championships.

Players and USA Hockey announced the deal in a joint statement just three days before the tournament begins in Plymouth, Michigan. It’s a four-year agreement that pays players outside of the six-month Olympic period.

Star forward Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said by phone Tuesday night that getting a deal done “feels like a weight off our shoulders.” Captain Meghan Duggan said players “stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened.”

USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean said by phone that he’s “relieved” to get a deal done.

After more than a year of negotiations over wages and equitable support, players announced March 15 that they’d boycott the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship on home ice if significant progress wasn’t made toward an agreement. The sides met for 10-plus hours in person last week and continued conversations before striking a deal Tuesday.


COLLEGE MEN: Xavier point guard Edmond Sumner announced that he’s entering the NBA draft even though he’s still recovering from an ACL tear sustained Jan. 29. Sumner was Xavier’s second-leading scorer, averaging 15 points.

Duke forward Harry Giles, who arrived at Duke as one the nation’s top recruits, is entering the NBA draft after a freshman season that was slowed by knee surgery.


WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: Argentina’s Lionel Messi was banned for four matches for “having directed insulting words at an assistant referee” during a home qualifier against Chile on Thursday, FIFA announced.

Playing without Messi on Tuesday night, Argentina lost 2-0 to Bolivia.


MIAMI OPEN: Top-seeded Stan Wawrinka got bounced on his 32nd birthday, falling 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 to teenager Alexander Zverev at Key Biscayne, Florida.

Fourth-seeded Roger Federer outlasted No. 14 Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), fifth-seeded Rafael Nadal got past Nicolas Marut 6-4, 7-6 (4), and Kei Nishikori – a finalist at Key Biscayne a year ago – rallied from a break down in the final set to beat Federico Delbonis 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

 Karolina Pliskova got into the women’s semifinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over 26th-seeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. It’s the first time Pliskova has made the semifinals at Key Biscayne.

DAVIS CUP: Andy Murray will miss Britain’s quarterfinal series against France next month with an elbow injury.

– Staff and news service report

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