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Coyotes end 19-game losing streak to Bruins with 4-3 win

Source image: https://apnews.com/article/nhl-sports-arizona-coyotes-boston-bruins-lawson-crouse-dc5aa9463edac3d2b3446f27ecd5c07e

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Coyotes’ return to the Mullett turned into one big streak-ending party.

Lawson Crouse scored his second goal with 13.5 seconds left in the third period and the Coyotes returned home to end a 19-game losing streak to the Boston Bruins with a 4-3 victory Friday night.

“They are a really good team, top one or two in the league,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “We went after them and really competed. That was a good win for our team.”

The Coyotes returned from a 14-game trip to play at Mullett Arena for the first time since Nov. 3. They got off to a great start when Josh Brown scored 23 seconds into the game and played well against the NHL-leading Bruins, taking a 3-2 lead on Nick Schmatz’s third-period goal.

Boston tied it on Nick Foligno’s power-play goal with 5 1/2 minutes left, but Coyotes closed it out in the closing seconds after an icing was called off.

Boston goalie Jeremy Swayman let the puck trickle across the line and Arizona rookie Matias Maccelli snatched it between two defenders, feeding Crouse for a one-timer to end the second-longest losing streak against one team in NHL history.

“I was kind of posting up on the blue line thinking it was going to be icing and he made a great pass,” Crouse said. “I just tried to get it up as quick as I could and it went in.”

Karel Vejmelka stopped 43 shots to help the Coyotes end a six-game losing streak.

David Pastrnak and Charlie Coyle each scored, and Swayman had 12 saves for the Bruins, who outshot Arizona 46-16.

“When you have that many shots in a game, the team did a lot of good things, but we wanted finish more, obviously,” Foligno said. “We dominated that team. It’s unfortunate we didn’t come away with the win.”

Arizona left the desert for its elongated trip to give Arizona State time to finish an annex at the 5,000-seat shared Mullett Arena.

The Coyotes got the trip off to a good start with three straight wins, but went 1-7-3 the rest of the way.

They wasted no time feeling comfortable back at their temporary home, scoring 23 seconds in when Brown shot through a passing screen and beat Swayman to the glove side.

Pastrnak tied it on a power play four minutes later, punching in a rebound during a wild scramble in front of Vejmelka.

Jakob Chychrun to have put Arizona up 2-1 on a power play early in the second period, but the officials upheld Boston’s challenge that the Coyotes were offside.

Boston then took the lead and this one counted when Coyle jammed in a rebound past Vejmelka from the edge of the crease.

The lead didn’t last long.

Crouse scored less than three minutes later by redirecting Shayne Gostisbehere’s shot from above the left circle, then Vejmelka stopped consecutive breakaways in less than a minute.

Schmaltz needed 53 seconds of the third period to put Arizona back up, beating Swayman after a pass from Clayton Keller.

Foligno managed to tie it, but a gaffe in their own end cost the Bruins a chance to extend their win streak against Arizona.

“I was shocked. Honestly, I actually couldn’t believe it,” Foligno said. “I was almost dumbfounded. Not not to knock those guys, it’s just a surprising call. One hundred times out of 100 that’s (icing).”

MACCELLI MAGIC

Maccelli has had a big impact in a short time for the Coyotes.

The shifty Finnish left wing had the primary assist on Brown’s opening goal and closed out Arizona’s win with a bit of tenacity to take the puck between two defenders.

A fourth-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft, Maccelli leads all NHL rookies with 17 assists and has scored two goals. He has nine points his last seven games.

“He was elite,” Tourigny said. “Celli keeps improving, he’s competing defensively, he’s good on both sides of the puck and makes the other players better.”

NOTES: The longest winning streak against one opponent in NHL history was Montreal’s 23 straight wins over Washington from 1974-78. … Arizona was without rookie Dylan Guenther, who was loaned to Team Canada for the world junior championships. … Boston is 10-1-1 against Western Conference teams this season. … Chychrun had an assist on Crouse’s goal for his 150th NHL point.

UP NEXT

Bruins: At Las Vegas on Sunday.

Coyotes: Host Philadelphia on Sunday.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Source: https://apnews.com/article/nhl-sports-arizona-coyotes-boston-bruins-lawson-crouse-dc5aa9463edac3d2b3446f27ecd5c07e

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Report: NWSL to expand in Boston, Utah and California

The National Women’s Soccer League is close to expanding by three teams, which will be in Boston, Utah and the San Francisco area, according to a Friday report in the Wall Street Journal.

The women’s pro league previously indicated it would add at least two teams by 2024. The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported that the franchises in northern California and Utah are set to start play next year, with Boston to join at a later date.

The NWSL did not confirm the report in a statement Saturday to The Associated Press, saying: “We remain engaged in our expansion process and are excited about our prospects. When we have news to share, we will do so.”

The NWSL has 12 teams, after Angel City in Los Angeles and the San Diego Wave joined the league last year.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that the Boston and Bay Area groups will pay about $50 million in franchise fees. The Utah team will pay a reduced fee because of a previous agreement struck when the Utah Royals folded in the 2020 season.

Before the NWSL draft earlier this month, league commissioner Jessica Berman said it would be “somewhere between days and months, more like weeks, when we’ll be in a position to share information” about an expansion.

“What I can say is that I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we have in front of us,” she added.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Former MVP Candace Parker to sign with champion Aces

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former two-time MVP Candace Parker announced on social media Saturday that she would sign with the defending champion Las Vegas Aces.

Parker spent the past two seasons playing for her hometown Sky, leading Chicago to the WNBA championship in 2021. She also won the 2016 title playing for the Los Angeles Sparks.

She posted on Instagram that Chicago would always be her home, but “my family’s home is on the west coast.

“To play for a championship close to home is the perfect situation for us. I’m looking forward to continuing the journey this summer in Las Vegas.”

The free-agent signing period begins Wednesday, and the Aces can’t comment until then.

Parker, a 6-foot-4 forward/center, adds to an already loaded lineup that includes reigning MVP A’ja Wilson, who also won the league’s top award in 2020. Wilson also was last season’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Chelsea Gray was MVP of the WNBA Finals and Kelsey Plum MVP of the All-Star Game. Wilson, Plum and Jackie Young were All-Star starters.

Parker and Gray were teammates on Los Angeles’ 2016 title team.

The Aces traded one of their key pieces, two-time Sixth Woman of the Year Dearica Hamby, to the Sparks on Jan. 21, creating speculation Las Vegas was creating salary cap room to sign a big-name player.

Parker, the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year and the 2016 Finals MVP, certainly fits that bill. Even at 36 last season, she averaged 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists for the Sky.

“Candace has done so much for our franchise in her time here,” Chicago coach and general manager James Wade said in a statement. “I understand her reasons for wanting to be closer with her immediate family. We wish her nothing but the best. She will always be a part of the Sky family. We will celebrate her time here as she deserves.”

Losing her is a big blow to the Sky, who made the semifinals in last season’s playoffs before losing in five games to the Connecticut Sun. Kahleah Copper is the only starter under contract for next season, so the Sky could head into a rebuild.

“I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to win a championship in my hometown and parade down the same streets I watched the Bulls parade down as a young girl first falling in love with the game of basketball,” Parker posted.

Parker joins the Aces at a time the Women’s National Basketball Players Association said it wanted that organization investigated regarding allegations that Hamby made after being traded. She posted on Instagram she was “lied to, bullied, manipulated, and discriminated against” because she is pregnant with her second child.

The Aces still have not commented on Hamby’s allegations.

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AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Estrada, Hofstra end No. 18 Charleston’s 20-game win streak

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — This season, Hofstra has been a one-man show. This time, Aaron Estrada had some help as the Pride ended the nation’s longest winning streak.

Estrada scored 25 points, but just two in the second half, while Darlinestone Dubar added 18 as Hofstra had four players in double figures to knock off No. 18 College of Charleston 85-81 on Saturday — ending the Cougars’ 20-game win streak.

“That’s a really big for our program,” Hofstra coach Speedy Claxton said. “To beat a nationally ranked team on their home court when they’ve got it rolling like they do speaks volumes about our kids.”

Claxton saw a team effort to take down the hottest team in the country.

“It wasn’t just Aaron,” Claxton said. “He had a great first half, but we had other guys step up and make baskets or get rebounds when we really needed them.”

The loss ended Charleston’s spotless run that began after losing to then-top-ranked North Carolina on Nov. 11.

Hofstra, the CAA’s leader in field-goal shooting, used that to move past Charleston in the second half as it made 18 of 32 attempts. The Pride led 76-69 with 6:10 to play before the Cougars cut it to two points on Ryan Larson’s foul shots with 2:02 to play.

But Charleston managed just two free throws after that and missed all four 3-pointers they tried.

This is the second straight season the Pride have beaten a Top 25 team. A year ago, Hofstra defeated then No. 24 Arkansas 89-81. The Pride’s only other victory against a Top 25 team came against Southern Illinois in 1976.

Hofstra (15-8, 8-2 Colonial Athletic Association) beat the Cougars (21-2, 9-1) at their own game — 3-point shooting. The Pride were 11 of 22 from 3-point range and overall shot 56 percent from the floor in the second half.

Estrada, who had 23 points in the opening half, shredded the Cougars defense at will. Estrada was 5 of 9 from 3-point range.

“Estrada is a great player, hit a bunch of tough shots, especially in the first half,” Charleston coach Pat Kelsey said. “Hofstra is a very, very talented team. It’s not just Estrada. They were better than us tonight.”

Then Estrada took over. The CAA’s leading scorer at 21.1 points a game scored 16 of the next 24 points for the Pride, including four 3-pointers.

Ante Brzovic’s dunk at the buzzer gave the Cougars a 46-44 advantage at halftime.

Tyler Thomas had 17 points and eight rebounds for Hofstra.

Brzovic finished with 18 points to lead the Cougars.

BIG PICTURE

Hofstra: The Pride are on a roll in 2023. winning seven of their past eight games, including three in a row.

College of Charleston: The Cougars chances of receiving an NCAA Tournament at-large bid took a major blow with the loss to the Pride. Despite having the nation’s longest win streak for three months, Charleston will most likely have to win the CAA Tournament in March to advance to the NCAAs.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

The Cougars’ 20-game win streak wasn’t the only streak to end on Saturday. College of Charleston played 14 of its first 23 games at TD Arena to start the season and were a perfect 13-0 at home before facing the Pride. Charleston’s 13-game home win streak included three wins in the Charleston Classic. The Cougars became the first mid-major program to win the ESPN event, beating Virginia Tech 77-75 in the championship game. Charleston will finish the season playing four of their final eight games on the road.

POLL POSITION

Charleston’s first loss in nearly three months might drop the Cougars from the national rankings. They have been part of the last four rankings, entering at No. 23 before reaching No. 18 this past week.

UP NEXT

Hofstra returns home to play Towson on Thursday night.

College of Charleston starts a two-game road trip at Drexel on Thursday night.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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