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LaBelle, Mallinger share lead at Frys.com Open

Doug LaBelle II and John Mallinger shot 7-under-par 63s Thursday to share the first-round lead in what promises to be a flurry of birdies at the Frys.com Open in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Richard Johnson, the 2007 Nationwide Tour earnings leader who has struggled in his first PGA Tour season, was one shot back at 64.

Aaron Oberholser was among six players to shoot 65s under ideal conditions — cloudless and temperatures in the mid-80s, on the 7,125-yard Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club in north Scottsdale.

Oberholser, winner of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two years ago, is in his second tournament after recovering from two surgeries on his left wrist in a span of nine months.

Chris Stroud, Mathias Gronberg, J.J. Henry, Marco Dawson and Todd Demsey also opened with 65s.

Defending champion Mike Weir shot 66.

Also: Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen shot a 7-under 64 to hold a one-shot lead after the first round of the Castello Masters in Castellon, Spain.

Argentina’s Angel Cabrera, England’s Richard Finch, Spain’s Ignacio Garrido and Sweden’s Peter Hanson opened with 65s.

Tournament host Sergio Garcia birdied the final three holes for a 66 on his home course. Garcia’s father, Victor, is the pro at Club de Campo del Mediterraneo.


Defenseman Hedican signs deal with Ducks

Veteran defenseman Bret Hedican has signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks.

The 38-year-old Hedican had two goals and 15 assists in 66 games with the Hurricanes last season, his sixth with the team. He began his NHL career with St. Louis in 1991 and has also played for Vancouver and Florida, scoring 54 goals to go with 234 assists in 988 career games.

Hedican appeared in all 25 playoff games for Carolina in 2006, when the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup. He also reached the Stanley Cup Finals with Vancouver in 1994.

Also: Vancouver Canucks center Pavol Demitra is expected to miss three to four weeks with a rib injury.

Demitra, the Canucks’ highest-paid forward after signing a two-year, $8 million free-agent contract this summer, was injured in Sunday’s 4-2 loss in Chicago. An MRI on Wednesday revealed fractured rib cartilage.

The 33-year-old Demitra had three points in six games anchoring the second line and second power-play unit.

Four fans sitting along the boards at the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 4-2 victory at Boston were treated for cuts when a hit by Bruins forward Milan Lucic shattered the glass and sent shards raining down on the seats.

Two fans were treated at the arena for cuts on their faces, then taken to a hospital for further care. Two others had cuts on their hands from touching the broken glass, but they returned to watch the game after treatment, Bruins spokesman Matt Chmura said.

The glass above the boards shattered when Lucic hit Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Van Ryn 20 seconds into the second period.


Doubles teams advance in women’s tennis event

All three of UNLV’s doubles teams and one singles entry advanced on the first day of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Women’s West Regional Championships in San Diego.

Senior Nikol Dimitrova advanced to today’s round of 32 by beating Tova Hausman of UC Santa Barbara, 6-2, 6-2.

In doubles, Kristina Nedeltcheva and Katy Williams had a first-round bye. Also, Alisa Razina and Anna Maskaljun teamed for an 8-2 victory over Cal State Fullerton’s Shaghig Injejikian and Erin Weisener, and Dimitrova and Adrienn Hidvegi won their opener 8-4 over San Diego’s Ellie Faulkner and Milou Teeling.

The singles finalists and doubles champion from the event, which ends Monday, will claim spots in the November 6 to 9 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships at the University of Virginia.

The UNLV volleyball team lost to New Mexico 13-25, 19-25, 18-25 in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Rebels (13-9, 6-3 Mountain West Conference) were swept in the season series by the Lobos (16-4, 6-3) for the first time since 1997. Coming into the season, UNLV owned an eight-match winning streak over New Mexico.

UNLV was led offensively by Erin Greenwood’s 10 kills.


Cruz beats Salido for IBF featherweight title

Cristobal Cruz won the vacant IBF world featherweight championship, outpointing Mexican countryman Orlando Salido in a 12-round split decision in Airway Heights, Wash.

Cruz (37-11-1, 23 knockouts) overcame a fast start by Salido (31-10-2, 20 KOs) to claim the victory. Two judges scored the fight 116-112 in favor of Cruz, and the third had it 115-113 for Salido.

Salido countered effectively in the first three rounds against Cruz, who entered the bout ranked fourth in the IBF. But Salido, who held the IBF title in 2006 and entered ranked No. 3, couldn’t keep up the pace.

Salido had the edge in punches thrown, 1,178-1,017, according to CompuBox. In a decision over Thomas Mashaba in March, Cruz set a CompuBox record with 1,580 punches.

In an earlier bout, U.S. Olympian Demetrius Andrade won his junior middleweight debut, stopping Patrick Cape (4-3) in the second round.

Also: Randy Niemann is becoming the New York Mets’ bullpen coach for the third time, and Razor Shines was hired as third-base coach under manager Jerry Manuel.

Howard Johnson (hitting coach), Dan Warthen (pitching coach), Sandy Alomar Sr. (bench coach) and Sandy Alomar Jr. (catching instructor) will return. The first-base slot remains open.

The Mets said they are reassigning bullpen coach Guy Conti, third-base coach Luis Aguayo and first-base coach Ken Oberkfell.

Niemann is entering his 22nd year with the Mets and was bullpen coach from 1997 to mid-1999 and 2000 to 2002. He spent the past two years as minor league rehabilitation coordinator.

The annual Army-Navy football game will be played a week later starting in 2009. The rivalry will take place each year on the second Saturday in December.

The academies and CBS announced they had extended their TV rights agreement through 2018.

The date change will give the matchup more visibility because it will no longer conflict with conference championship games. It will be the last regular-season college football game each year.

The 109th meeting in the storied rivalry is Dec. 6 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Navy leads the series, 52-49-7.

Point guard Cashmere Wright, a freshman who was expected to play a big role for Cincinnati, tore a knee ligament and is out for the season.

The team said Wright tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during practice this week.

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Today’s local and national sports

Here’s today’s local and national sports schedule, including television and radio listings.

NCAA gives athletes in spring sports extra eligibility

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