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Defensive Chelsea holds Atletico in scoreless draw

Defensive Chelsea holds Atletico to 0-0 draw in 1st leg of Champions League semifinal
Paul Logothetis, The Associated Press

MADRID - Chelsea's defensive game plan worked perfectly as it held Atletico Madrid to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal on Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho's ultra-defensive tactics succeeded at the Vicente Calderon Stadium despite the exit of goalkeeper Petr Cech to injury in the 18th minute. Mark Schwarzer came on, with Cech's long-term replacement — Thibaut Courtois — playing in the opposite goal, on loan from Chelsea.

New Brunswick to have combat sport commission

New Brunswick introduces legislation to create combat sport commission
The Canadian Press

FREDERICTON - The New Brunswick government has introduced legislation to create a commission to regulate combat sports such as mixed martial arts.

Dorothy Shephard, the province's healthy and inclusive communities minister, says the Combat Sports Act would govern professional and amateur combat sport events.

The legislation would establish a commission that would be responsible for making sure fighters are licensed and officials are qualified.

Kevin Martin thought others would retire too

Kevin Martin thought others would retire from curling as well this year
Scott Edmonds, The Canadian Press

When Kevin Martin decided to retire this year, he thought he'd have plenty of company.

The dean of Canadian curlers — with four national titles, a world championship, both a gold and silver at the Olympics and a record 18 Grand Slams on the World Curling Tour — looked around and saw plenty his age or older holding brooms.

Russian earns 3-2 shootout win over Canada

Pilipenko scores to earn Russia 3-2 shootout win over Canada at under-18 event
The Canadian Press

IMATRA, Finland - Canada lost more than just its final preliminary-round game at the world under-18 hockey tournament Tuesday.

Kirill Pilipenko scored in the shootout to earn Russia a 3-2 win over Canada, the defending champions' first defeat at the event. But the Canadians also lost forward Brayden Point to an upper-body injury in the first period that's expected to sideline him for the reminder of the tournament.

Report: Allen retires after in-game stroke

Report: Jaguars linebacker Allen retires after concussion, stroke in game
The Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Russell Allen, a former linebacker with the Jacksonville Jaguars, will retire after suffering a concussion and a stroke in a game last December.

Allen told MMQB.si.com he has a dead spot — no bigger than a dime — on his cerebellum. The cerebellum controls motor movement and co-ordination.

The Jaguars released Allen last week after his personal physician consulted with Jacksonville's medical staff before a scheduled physical.

Smith's CFL draft stock on the rise

Concordia defensive lineman Smith's CFL draft stock is on the rise
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Quinn Smith's CFL draft stock is on the rise.

The Concordia Stingers defensive lineman was ranked fourth among the CFL scouting bureau's top-15 prospects for next month's draft. Heady stuff, considering Smith wasn't rated on either the fall or winter lists.

But the six-foot-two, 305-pound Toronto native raised eyebrows at last month's CFL combine, excelling on both sides of the ball. And that versatility will enhance his chances of being taken early in the May 13 draft, with the expansion Ottawa Redblacks holding the first pick overall.

Young Bolts lap up playoff experience

Playoff series, however short, a learning experience for Lightning youngsters
Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Alex Killorn likes what he has seen of NHL playoff hockey.

The third-year Tampa Bay forward is getting his first taste of post-season play, and even if it has been difficult for the Lightning, the experience alone has been an eye-opener.

"It's a lot faster," Killorn said Tuesday as the Lightning prepared for Game 4 of their best-of-seven series with the Montreal Canadiens.

Marleau, O'Reilly and St. Louis up for Lady Byng

San Jose's Marleau, Colorado's O'Reilly and Rangers' St. Louis up for Lady Byng
The Canadian Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Forwards Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks, Ryan O'Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche and Martin St. Louis of the New York Rangers are the three finalists for the 2013-14 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

The trophy is awarded to the NHL player who shows "sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."

Armstrong coach Bruyneel banned for 10 years

Armstrong coach Bruyneel banned for 10 years; 2 team staff get 8 years for doping conspiracy
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

Lance Armstrong's longtime coach, Johan Bruyneel, was banned for 10 years on Tuesday for helping to organize massive doping on teams led by the disgraced cyclist.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced the verdicts of an American Arbitration Association panel against Bruyneel and two medical staff, completing its lengthy investigation which saw Armstrong banished from cycling in 2012.

Pierce says ability to make big plays in DNA

Nets star Pierce says ability to come up big when it counts is in his DNA
Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Paul Pierce was in Grade 9 when he made his first clutch shot, a tip-in at the buzzer in a one-point game. The competitive rush was intense, and that sense of late-game excitement has never left him.

"That was the beginning," Pierce said at the Brooklyn Nets' shootaround Tuesday morning. "It lets you get a taste of it, you enjoy those moments. I just grew and it manifested over the years, to where you love those moments."

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