The Reading Royals broke a 2-2 tie with second-period goals by Evan Barratt and Max Newton and held on for a 5-3 win over the Maine Mariners to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round ECHL playoff series Saturday night in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Maine fell behind twice in the first period but answered each time, getting goals from Jacob Wilson and Alex-Olivier Voyer.

After Reading regained the lead in the second period, Mitch Fossier cut the Mariners’ deficit to 4-3 with 8:11 remaining. But Zayde Wisdom scored an empty-net goal for Reading with 2:24 left.

The best-of-seven series shifts to Portland for games on Monday, Tuesday and, if necessary, Wednesday at Cross Insurance Arena.



ENGLAND: Wrexham secured promotion to the fourth tier of English soccer, achieving the first part of the dream of celebrity owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

The Hollywood actors were among a crowd of more than 10,000 at the Racecourse Ground in north Wales to see Wrexham clinch the National League title with a 3-1 win over Boreham Wood.

Wrexham is four points clear of second-placed Notts County with one round of games left, so is guaranteed the sole automatic promotion spot to League Two and will return to the English Football League for the first time in 15 years.

Reynolds and McElhenney bought the Welsh club for $2.5 million in 2021. An offshoot of the takeover was the making of a fly-on-the-wall documentary – entitled “Welcome to Wrexham” – that has charted the journey of a historic but down-on-its-luck soccer team run by two actors learning the ropes of sports club ownership.

A hat trick from Algerian forward Riyad Mahrez sent Manchester City to the FA Cup final, thanks to a 3-0 win against Sheffield United on Saturday advanced City to the FA Cup final.

City will play for the title in June against Manchester United or Brighton.


Douglas Luiz grabbed a late equalizer as Aston Villa snatched a 1-1 draw at Brentford in the Premier League to keep its aim of European qualification on track.

Villa stayed in sixth place, two points behind fifth-place Tottenham and one ahead of seventh-place Liverpool.

• Liverpool twice relinquished a lead before scoring a winner through Mohamed Salah in a 3-2 victory at home against relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest.

GERMANY: Bayern Munich lost and Borussia Dortmund seized its chance as the Bundesliga got a new leader.

Donyell Malen scored twice in Dortmund’s 4-0 rout of Eintracht Frankfurt as the “black and yellows” capitalized on Bayern’s 3-1 loss at Mainz to move one point above the 10-time defending champions with five rounds remaining.

WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: An early goal by Caroline Graham Hansen lifted Barcelona to a 1-0 win at Chelsea in the first leg of their semifinal.


The other semifinal starts Sunday: Arsenal at Wolfsburg.


LPGA: Americans Allisen Corpuz and Angel Yin shared the lead at the Chevron Championship at 10-under 206 after the third round in The Woodlands, Texas.

Corpuz and Yin, both looking for their first LPGA Tour title, each shot 5-under 67 in the major tournament that moved from the California desert to suburban Houston this year.

Amy Yang, Albane Valenzuela and Megan Khang were tied for third, a stroke behind.

PGA: Wyndham Clark and Beau Hossler shot a 10-under 62 in better-ball play to maintain a one-shot lead through three rounds at the Zurich Classic in Avondale, Louisiana.


They birdied 10 holes in the third round to put them at 26 under – a stroke ahead of Sungjae Im and Keith Mitchell.


NASCAR: Denny Hamlin won the first superspeedway pole of his career in qualifying for Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

Hamlin, a three-time Daytona 500 winner and two-time winner at Talladega, turned a lap at 180.642 mph to put his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the top starting spot.

JGR put all four of its drivers in the top seven. Ty Gibbs qualified third, Christopher Bell was sixth and Martin Truex Jr. was seventh.

XFINITY: Jeb Burton got his second career Xfinity Series victory in a crash-fest at Talladega Superspeedway that had two red-flag stoppages and took more than three hours to complete.


Burton won in double overtime driving for Jordan Anderson Racing. Fittingly for this race, multiple cars crashed behind Burton as he took the checkered flag.

Burton, the son of 2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton, scored his only other Xfinity victory in 2021 at this same track.

Sheldon Creed finished second and Parker Kligerman was third as Chevrolet swept the podium.


PORSCHE GRAND PRIX: Defending champion Iga Swiatek will again play Aryna Sabalenka in the final after they came through their semifinals in Stuttgart, Germany.

Swiatek advanced when Ons Jabeur retired because of a left calf injury. Swiatek was leading 3-0.


Sabalenka eased into the final for the third straight year with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Anastasia Potapova.

MADRID OPEN: Top-ranked Novak Djokovic will miss next week’s tournament, apparently due to a fitness issue.

Rafael Nadal, who shares the record of 22 Grand Slam titles with Djokovic, also withdrew from tournament because of a nagging hip injury that has sidelined him since the Australian Open in January.

BMW OPEN: Botic van de Zandschulp set up a finals rematch with defending champion Holger Rune, as both players won their semifinals in Munich.

Van de Zandschulp defeated the No. 2 seed, Taylor Fritz, 6-4, 7-6 (2). Rune, 19, beat Australia’s Christopher O’Connell, 6-3, 6-2.

SRPSKA OPEN: Second-seeded Andrey Rublev reached his second final in two weeks, beating Alex Molcan of Slovakia 6-2, 6-4 in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Rublev will play for the title Sunday against Dusan Lajovic, who defeated fourth-seeded Miomir Kecmanovic, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

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