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Canucks confirm Lack as Game 1 starter

Vancouver Canucks confirm Eddie Lack as Game 1 starter against Calgary Flames
The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - Eddie Lack will get the start in goal for the Vancouver Canucks tonight in Game 1 of their first-round series with the Calgary Flames.

The 27-year-old Swede has carried the load for the Canucks down the stretch, but with Ryan Miller back from injury there was a chance the veteran netminder could get the call.

Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins played his goalie choice close to the vest this week before confirming Wednesday that Lack will get the nod.

Flames sign goaltender Gillies to contract

Calgary Flames sign college standout goalie Jon Gillies to contract
The Canadian Press

CALGARY - The Calgary Flames have signed goaltender Jon Gillies to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Calgary drafted Gillies 75th overall in the third round of the 2012 NHL entry draft.

Gillies, 21, made 49 saves for Providence in a 4-3 win over Boston University on Saturday to cap his college career with an NCAA championship.

The six-foot-six, 225-pound goalie from South Portland, Maine, was named the most valuable player of the Frozen Four tournament.

Crowder's long fall-away lifts Celtics over Raptors, 95-93

Jae Crowder nails long shot to lift Boston over Toronto 95-93
Ken Powtak, The Associated Press

BOSTON - The Boston Celtics knew they were in the playoffs. Now they can start thinking about a matchup with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Jae Crowder hit an off-balance fall-away shot from deep on the right wing with .8 seconds left, lifting Boston to a 95-93 win over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday that secured the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference for the Celtics.

Habs star Pacioretty to miss playoff opener

Canadiens scoring leader Pacioretty to miss series opener with upper body injury
The Canadian Press

BROSSARD, Que. - The Montreal Canadiens will be without team scoring leader Max Pacioretty to start the playoffs.

Coach Michel Therrien said Pacioretty will sit out the opening game of their first round NHL playoff series against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre.

He said it is possible Pacioretty, who has an upper body injury, will be return for Game 2 on Friday night.

Out of playoffs, Bruins fire GM Chiarelli

Boston Bruins fire general manager Peter Chiarelli after missing playoffs
The Canadian Press

BOSTON - The Boston Bruins have fired general manager Peter Chiarelli after the team missed the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

Coach Claude Julien, his staff and Chiarelli's assistants "will remain in place at this time," the club said in a statement.

The Bruins made the playoffs every year after Chiarelli's first, 2006-07, won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and reached the final in 2013.

Chiarelli, who was part of the management team for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, over the weekend called the Bruins' season a "failure," just before they were eliminated.

Deep Blues must overcome playoff demons

Deep Blues see lessons in early exits, must overcome playoff demons make Cup run
Stephen Whyno, The Canadian Press

The past few years have taught the St. Louis Blues what not to do in playoff hockey. Don't lose a bunch of games in a row to end the regular season and don't let up with a two-game series lead.

"It's tough to win," defenceman Alex Pietrangelo said. "We learned that."

Ex-NFL player Aaron Hernandez convicted of 1st-degree murder

Former New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez found guilty of 1st-degree murder
Michelle R. Smith, The Associated Press

FALL RIVER, Mass. - Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the downfall of an athlete who once had a $40 million contract and a standout career ahead of him.

Brazilian teams on alert because of dengue fever outbreak

Brazilian teams on alert because of dengue fever outbreak; Peruvian striker still in hospital
Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press

SAO PAULO - Brazilian soccer teams are on alert because of a dengue fever outbreak that has already affected some of the country's top clubs.

Three players were diagnosed with the mosquito-borne disease this week, including Corinthians striker Paolo Guerrero.

Players have been forced to use insect repellent during practice sessions and clubs have asked health officials to check their training centres for mosquito breeding sites.

Only horse ever flagged in NCAA game dies at 42

Only horse to ever draw an NCAA penalty, Rutgers' Lord Nelson, dies at 42
The Associated Press

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - The only horse ever to be penalized in a college football game has died.

Rutgers University says Lord Nelson was 42, or the human equivalent of 126 years.

One of Lord Nelson's duties during his 37-year Rutgers career was carrying the school's Scarlet Knight mascot during football games. It was against Army in 1994 that Lord Nelson was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after he broke free and raced down the sideline at Giants Stadium.

7th day of deliberations underway in Aaron Hernandez trial

Jurors deliberate for 7th day in murder trial of ex-New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez
The Associated Press

FALL RIVER, Mass. - The jury deciding whether to convict former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez of murder has resumed deliberations for a seventh day.

The jurors have deliberated for around 35 hours since last week. They appeared briefly in court Wednesday morning before leaving to continue their work.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

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