Jacob Gaucher’s second goal of the game broke a tie early in the third period and the Reading Royals overcame an early two-goal deficit to beat the Maine Mariners 5-3 in an ECHL game Friday night at Cross Insurance Arena.

Max Newton also scored twice for Reading.

Maine led 2-0 after one period on goals by Reid Stefanson and Alex-Olivier Voyer. Voyer’s goal ended an 0-for-12 power-play drought for the Mariners.

Maine defenseman Jacob Wilson got his first professional goal to tie the game early in the third, after Reading scored three straight goals in the second.

WORLD CUP: Russia’s war in Ukraine has derailed plans to hold a World Cup of Hockey this winter.


The NHL and NHL Players’ Association on Friday abandoned plans to stage a World Cup in February 2024 as they had hoped, saying in a joint statement it “is not feasible” in the current environment.

There is uncertainty about what to do with players from Russia since the country’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year and the ongoing war there. Some countries did not want Russians to participate, even if under a different name and without national team uniforms as was done at recent Olympics as a punishment for state-sponsored doping.

Players want the best in the world to take part – a group that would include a number of Russians – and that created an impasse with time running out to pull a World Cup together.

The league and union said they hope to stage the event in February 2025 and will continue to plan for that. The delay buys the league and players time to figure things out.

NHL: Columbus lost Zach Werenski for the rest of the season with a separated shoulder and torn labrum, and Nick Blankenburg will be out six to eight weeks with a fractured ankle.

Werenski collided awkwardly with the boards attempting a hit on the Flyers’ Travis Konecny late in the first period of Thursday’s game. Blankenburg was injured midway through the third period but played the rest of the game and scored an empty-netter to seal the Blue Jackets’ 5-2 win over Philadelphia.



WNBA: The Indiana Fever earned the first pick in the WNBA draft for the first time in franchise history.

The Fever had a 44% chance to get the No. 1 pick after having the worst combined record the past two seasons. The Minnesota Lynx will pick second with the Atlanta Dream having the third pick and the Washington Mystics the fourth. The Lynx had the lowest chance to get the No. 1 pick, but moved up two spots in the draft lottery.

South Carolina’s star Aliyah Boston is expected to be the top pick in the draft. With seniors still having the option of coming back for a fifth season because of the coronavirus pandemic, there’s no guarantee they will make themselves eligible for April’s draft.

WORLD CUP: USA Basketball still has some work to do before clinching a berth in next year’s World Cup.

Bruno Caboclo scored 24 points, Georghino De Paula added 18 and Brazil greatly improved its chances of making the 32-team World Cup field by beating the U.S. 94-79 in a qualifying game.


The U.S. would have wrapped up a World Cup spot with a win. The Americans now will have to wait until at least Monday, when they play host to Colombia.


PGA TOUR: Tony Finau finished his opening round with a string of birdies and then took the momentum right into, making 10 birdies to match his career low with an 8-under 62 to build a big lead in the Houston Open.

He was at 13-under 127 and four shots clear of Patrick Rodgers (63) among early starters.

Alex Noren, part of the three-way tie for the 18-hole lead, was at 8 under with three holes to play when bad weather in the forecast stopped play for the rest of Friday. Noren was facing a 40-foot eagle putt when play resumes Saturday. Masters champion Scottie Scheffler also was in the late wave and was 5 under through 13 holes.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: PGA Tour Champions points leader Steven Alker shot his second straight bogey-free round at the Charles Schwab Championship in Phoenix, a 7-under 64 that gave him a one-shot lead over Padraig Harrington.


Alker made seven birdies at Phoenix Country Club to reach 13 under through two rounds, keeping him comfortably in front of the only player who can overtake him for the Schwab Cup. Harrington also shot 64 and was 12 under, but needs to win and have Alker finish outside the top five to win the PGA Tour Champions season championship.

Retief Goosen shot 64 and was tied for third at 10 under with Brian Gay, who shot 65.

LPGA: Maria Fassi powered her way across the rain-softened Pelican Golf Club and rode a smooth putting stroke to an 8-under 62, her career low on the LPGA Tour, giving her a two-shot lead in the Pelican Women’s Championship.

Lexi Thompson, Carlota Ciganda and Hyo Joo Kim were among those two shots back.


FORMULA ONE: Kevin Magnussen shocked Formula One in Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying in Sao Paulo by earning pole position for the sprint race at Interlagos.


It was the first pole after 142 races for the Danish driver, who celebrated by making faces at the cameras before the third qualifying session was over. Then he jumped on his car and punched the air in the drizzle. He gave his Haas team boss Guenther Steiner an emotional hug.

World champion Max Verstappen was second by almost two-tenths of a second. Mercedes’ George Russell was third.


BILLIE JEAN KING CUP: The unheralded Czech Republic upset the United States to reach the semifinals in Glasgow, Scotland, for the first time time in four years.

The Czechs will meet Switzerland on Saturday in Glasgow after the Swiss beat Canada 2-1. Fellow group winners Australia and Britain meet in the other semi.

No. 7-ranked Coco Gauff and No. 14 Danielle Collins were expected to roll over the Czechs in their singles but neither could win a set.


Gauff won all three previous matches against Katerina Siniakova but fell 7-6 (1), 6-1. Gauff made 39 unforced errors in her fifth straight singles defeat.

Collins was overwhelmed by Marketa Vondrousova 6-3, 6-3. The latter won eight games in a row from 3-1 down.

NEXT GEN ATP FINALS: Jiří Lehečka earned the biggest win of his season when he beat Dominic Stricker to reach the final in Milan.

The fifth-seeded Lehečka was dominant from the outset as he eased to a 4-1, 4-3 (4), 2-4, 4-1 victory in 82 minutes.

The Czech will face fourth-seeded Brandon Nakashima of the United States beat third-seeded Jack Draper of Britain 4-3 (6), 1-4, 4-2, 4-3 (5).



PREMIER LEAGUE: Jurgen Klopp has been handed a one-match touchline ban after he was sent off in Liverpool’s win against Manchester City last month.

The English Football Association successfully appealed against the decision to only fine Klopp for his outburst at an official in the highly charged Premier League game at Anfield.

Klopp was initially fined 30,000 pounds by an independent regulatory commission over his conduct on Oct. 16.

The FA felt that was too lenient and an independent appeal board suspended Klopp from the touchline with immediate effect.

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