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In Brief

hockey

Foul play not suspected
in Boogaard’s death

It might be weeks before authorities know exactly how and why New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard died, though foul play was not immediately suspected.

The 28-year-old player was found dead Friday in his Minneapolis apartment. Few details were available, but the news rippled across the NHL, where the 6-foot-7-inch Boogaard was a fan favorite and one of the game’s most feared fighters. He missed most of this season because of a concussion and shoulder injury from a fight.

“I don’t think we have any answers as to what happened or why it happened,” Ron Salcer, Boogaard’s agent, said Saturday.

Authorities do not suspect foul play at this point, but the police department’s homicide unit and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating.

An autopsy was being conducted Saturday, but results probably won’t be released for at least two weeks.

Also: Nicklas Lidstrom said he will decide before July 1 whether to return to the Detroit Red Wings for a 20th season or retire at age 41.

Lidstrom is a Norris Trophy finalist for the 11th time in 13 seasons. If he wins his seventh award as the NHL’s top defenseman, he will match Doug Harvey’s total and trail Bobby Orr’s record by one.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock said he thinks Lidstrom will come back.

ESPN hockey analyst and former NHL player Matthew Barnaby pleaded not guilty to five charges stemming from an argument with his estranged wife at an upstate New York home.

Barnaby, 38, was arrested Friday and spent the night in jail after being picked up at a home in Getzville, a hamlet in Amherst where his wife and two children live, police said.

tennis

Nadal, Djokovic to meet
for title in Italian Open

No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Novak Djokovic will resume their rivalry in the Italian Open final today in Rome.

Nadal, who has won the tournament five of the past six years, overcame a tough first set against Richard Gasquet before rolling to a 7-5, 6-1 semifinal victory. Djokovic was pushed to the limit in extending his unbeaten streak to 38 matches, defeating fourth-ranked Andy Murray, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (2).

Djokovic beat Nadal in title matches in Indian Wells (Calif.), Miami and Madrid this year. Last weekend’s victory in Madrid was his first over Nadal on clay.

In the women’s final, Maria Sharapova will meet Sam Stosur, last year’s French Open runner-up. Sharapova outslugged top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 6-3, and Stosur downed fourth-seeded Li Na, 7-6 (6), 6-0.

pro football

Ochocinco rides bull 1.5 seconds, wins $10,000

NFL receiver Chad Ochocinco backed up his promise to ride a 1,500-pound bull on the Professional Bull Riders circuit, earning $10,000 for making it out of the chute atop Deja Blu at the Lucas Oil Invitational in Duluth, Ga.

The ride lasted 1.5 seconds before Ochocinco was bucked off with no apparent injury.

Ochocinco, who wore a helmet but no additional protective gear or clothing, fell 6.5 seconds short of the time needed to win a new Ford truck and to earn the right to rename the bull after Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.

The challenge that began with a tweet this month ended with Ochocinco proving to PBR president Sean Gleason that he was serious. But the six-time Pro Bowl receiver said he would never ride a bull again. “One and done,” he said.

Also: Running back Reggie Bush is backing away from recent Twitter posts that indicated he might not see the New Orleans Saints in his future.

“I would love to retire here if possible,” Bush said. “I would love to play for the Saints for however long my career, God-willing, allows me to play. First and foremost, I want to be a Saint.”

Bush spoke during his annual youth football camp at Tulane, on the same fields where he has been absent while teammates have been taking part in workouts organized by quarterback Drew Brees during the NFL lockout.

miscellaneous

Manchester United sets
record with 19th crown

Wayne Rooney secured Manchester United’s record 19th English Premier League title, scoring on a penalty kick to salvage a 1-1 draw at Blackburn, England, and overshadow rival Manchester City’s first major trophy in 35 years.

Yaya Toure scored at Wembley to give Manchester City a 1-0 victory over Stoke in the FA Cup final, but the victory couldn’t eclipse United’s accomplishment.

Rooney drove home the spot kick in the 73rd minute after Javier Hernandez was fouled, ensuring that United overtook Liverpool as the most successful team in English league history.

United can end the season with the Premier League trophy and European Cup if it can overcome Barcelona at Wembley Stadium on May 28.

Also: Abby Wambach scored and assisted on Amy Rodriguez’s goal in the first half to lead the United States to a 2-0 victory over No. 4 Japan in a soccer exhibition at Columbus, Ohio.

Japan played its first match since devastating earthquakes and a tsunami hit the northeastern part of the country March 11.

Andre Ward overwhelmed Germany’s Arthur Abraham with power and speed in almost every round to earn a unanimous decision in Carson Calif., retaining his WBA super middleweight title and advancing to the Super Six tournament final.

Ward (24-0, 13 knockouts) is one victory from the tournament title that should establish him as the 168-pound division’s top fighter. Abraham fell to 32-3.

England’s Carl Froch will meet Glen Johnson in the other Super Six semifinal bout, in Atlantic City on June 4.

Chris Wood shot 1-under-par 69 to extend his Iberdrola Open lead to four strokes after the third round in Son Servera, Spain. He is at 9-under 201.

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