Perfect shooting by Clare Egan of Cape Elizabeth helped the United States challenge for an unexpected women’s relay medal before settling for a ninth-place finish Saturday at the Biathlon World Championships in Ostersund, Sweden.

The U.S. team, which had never finished higher than 10th in a 4×6-kilometer relay at the world championships, was in the top three for almost the entire race. Egan took over in third place after a strong opening leg by Susan Dunklee and went 10 for 10 on the shooting range, then caught Italy’s Nicole Gontier on her final skiing lap to move into the lead.

Joanne Reid maintained the lead for much of the third leg and eventually handed off to Emily Dreissigacker in second place. Dreissigacker stayed in second through her first shooting stage but missed 5 of 8 shots in the final shooting stage and had to ski two penalty loops, knocking the U.S. out of medal contention.

The Americans finished 2 minutes, 22.3 seconds behind champion Norway.

The world championships end Sunday with mass start races for both women and men.


ECHL: Tyler Barnes had two goals and two assists to lead the Worcester Railers to a 5-3 win over the Maine Mariners at Worcester, Massachusetts.

Ryan Hitchcock added a goal and two assists for Worcester (30-23-5-4). Michael McNicholas had a goal and an assist for Maine (33-26-2-1).


BNP PARIBAS OPEN: Dominic Thiem outlasted Milos Raonic 7-6 (3), 6-7 (3), 6-4 to reach the final at Indian Wells, California, where he’ll meet Roger Federer who advanced after Rafael Nadal withdrew with a knee injury.

A somber Nadal announced his withdrawal a couple hours before he was scheduled to take the court.

The Spaniard’s right knee flared up in the second set of his win over Karen Khachanov in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Nadal said he won’t play again until the Monte-Carlo Masters on clay in mid-April.


WORLD CUP: Mikaela Shiffrin overtook first-run leader Wendy Holdener in sun-bathed Andorra to capture her 40th career World Cup slalom victory, matching Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark’s record for wins in the discipline.

Shiffrin was 0.28 seconds behind Holdener and won by just 0.07 after both racers visibly pushed their limits slicing through the gates.

Earlier on a record-setting day, Alexis Pinturault won the final men’s giant slalom of the season, becoming the most prolific French skier in World Cup history with his 23rd career victory.


XFINITY SERIES: Cole Custer held off Kyle Busch to win at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, preventing Busch from tying Richard Petty’s record with his 200th career victory across NASCAR’s three major series.

The 21-year-old Custer capitalized when a disastrous pit stop dropped Busch to 14th place with 33 laps to go in a race Busch had dominated up to that point.

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