- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 15, 2020

HOCKEY

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - The Calgary Flames removed the “interim” tag from Geoff Ward’s job and made him the NHL club’s head coach.

Ward was promoted from associate coach Nov. 29. Bill Peters resigned amid allegations of racism when he coached in the minor leagues. A .500 team at that time, the Flames rallied to go 25-15-3 under Ward.

Calgary was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in six games by the Dallas Stars. The Flames downed the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 in the best-of-five qualifying round to advance.

BASEBALL



NEW YORK (AP) - Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen has agreed to buy the New York Mets from the Wilpon and Katz families.

The team announced the agreement. The deal is subject to the approval of Major League Baseball owners.

Sportico reported Cohen will own 95% of the team, with the rest staying with the Wilpon and Katz families. The deal reportedly values the franchise at about $2.4 billion.

Former major league star Alex Rodriguez and fiancee Jennifer Lopez also attempted to buy the team, but they dropped out of the bidding last month.

Cohen also entered negotiations to buy the Mets last year, but the deal fell apart in February. He bought an 8% limited partnership stake in 2012 for $40 million.

The current Mets ownership group is headed by Fred Wilpon, brother-in-law Saul Katz and Wilpon’s son Jeff, the team’s chief operating officer.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The Air Force Falcons will play two football games this season against fellow service academies Army and Navy.

The Falcons’ abbreviated schedule includes hosting Navy on Oct. 3 and a trip to West Point, New York, to face Army on Nov. 7. The military academies compete annually for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, which goes to the academy with the best record in the round-robin competition.

The school announced that only Air Force Academy cadets would be permitted to attend the game at Falcon Stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will social distance and wear masks. The base remains closed to the public.

Navy currently has possession of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy after beating both schools last season.

Air Force had been in a holding pattern after its conference, the Mountain West, decided in August to postpone fall sports due to COVID-19 concerns. The team has been practicing since Aug. 24 in compliance with protocols.

The conference announced Monday that it is planning an eight-game football season this spring. Schedules should be announced soon.

No. 22 Army is off to a 2-0 start after beating Middle Tennessee State and Louisiana-Monroe. Navy lost 55-3 to BYU on Sept. 7. The Midshipmen have 11 games listed, including Army on Dec. 12.

GOLF

MAMARONECK, N.Y. (AP) - Sam Horsfield became the second player in two days to test positive for the coronavirus without any symptoms, knocking him out of the U.S. Open after he had traveled from England.

Horsfield, who won twice during the European Tour’s “U.K. Swing” to earn one of 10 spots in the U.S. Open, tested negative in a pre-arrival test taken last week. Upon arrival in New York, his nasal swab test was asymptomatic positive.

Scottie Scheffler, the leading candidate as PGA Tour rookie of the year who tied for fourth in the PGA Championship last month, withdrew Sunday after a positive test.

Horsfield said he was asymptomatic and feeling well, but based on CDC guidelines he will notify those with whom he has had close contact and self-isolate until he returns a negative test.

TENNIS

ROME (AP) - Benoit Paire’s anger at being strictly confined at the U.S. Open after contracting the coronavirus boiled over at the Italian Open during a farcical first-round match.

The 24th-ranked Paire threw his racket high into the air twice during one game and showed little effort against Italian teenager Jannik Sinner in a 6-2, 6-1 loss.

Paire was forced to stay in isolation in New York until he tested negative - preventing him from training. The Frenchman criticized Rome organizers for making him play on the opening day of the tournament.

Twice during the second set, Paire launched his racket high into the air in frustration — the second time coming dangerously close to hitting the chair umpire.

Paire, who put on a face mask during some of the changeovers, had numerous verbal exchanges with the chair umpire but received only one warning for his behavior.

HORSE RACING

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) - Opening day of Santa Anita’s fall season will be pushed back a week until Sept. 25 because of poor air quality caused by a wildfire burning near the Southern California racetrack.

The meet had been set to open Saturday.

The city of Arcadia, home to Santa Anita, ordered the residents of one neighborhood to evacuate as the fire that began Sept. 6 in the mountains north of the track continued to grow. The fire has cast a shroud of smoke that has given Los Angeles some of its worst air quality in decades. The Red Cross is using Santa Anita as an evacuation zone for residents.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Courtney Vandersloot got a little help to record her 220th assist of the season, making her the first player in WNBA history to average 10 assists per game.

The player who boosted Vandersloot’s assist total? Her wife and teammate, Allie Quigley.

Vandersloot, the Chicago Sky point guard, finished the 22-game regular season with 219 assists, meaning she averaged 9.95 per game. The Elias Sports Bureau, which is the league’s official statistician, was going to round it up to 10.0 assists. But Elias said Vandersloot wouldn’t have been recognized as reaching the double-digit mark.

The team went through game video to see whether any assists that should have gone to Vandersloot were mistakenly credited to someone else. The Sky found one on Aug. 4 that was given to Quigley.

Chicago sent the video to the league to review and the WNBA agreed, giving the assist to Vandersloot.

Vandersloot led the league in assists the past four seasons and owned the previous record of 9.1 per game, set last year.

CYCLING

SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO, Italy (AP) - Simon Yates held off a final-stage challenge from Geraint Thomas to win the eight-day Tirreno-Adriatico race and set himself up as one of the favorites for the Giro d’Italia.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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