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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Missouri got the big plays it needed at the end of the Cotton Bowl to beat an old rival.
 
Henry Josey ran for 92 yards and three touchdowns, the last a 16-yarder with 3:08 left, and Shane Ray returned a fumbled 73 yards for a touchdown after that as the No. 9 Tigers beat No. 13 Oklahoma State 41-31 late Friday night.
 
The former Big 12 and Big Eight rivals traded scores on six consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter, until Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf was sacked and fumbled with a minute left. Ray picked up the ball and rumbled down the sideline in front of the stunned Cowboys bench to score.
 
"All the drama you don't want as a coach in the fourth quarter," Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel said. "We had a lot of adversity, and our team handled the adversity well and made the plays we needed to win. I wanted that trophy really bad, wanted it bad for them."
 
SEC East champion Missouri (12-2) matched its school record for victories, giving the SEC its 10th win in the last 11 Cotton Bowls, all against the Big 12. The Tigers were the only Big 12 team to win, six years ago in its other 12-win season.
 
"That's something real big - representing the Big 12," Josey said. "That was always in the back of our mind that we had to hold up the rep for the SEC."
 
Josey's go-ahead TD came a play after James Franklin's 27-yard pass to Dorial Green-Beckham to convert third-and-9. Franklin, the Missouri quarterback whose final two seasons were plagued by injuries, had two fumbles earlier in the second half when Oklahoma State (10-3) overcame a 10-point deficit to tie it in just over 3 1/2 minutes.
 
Ray had been dragged into the end zone by Desmond Roland when the Oklahoma State running back bulled through the line for a 2-yard TD run with 5 minutes left to give the Cowboys their only lead of the night. Ray hit him immediately at the line, but couldn't keep Roland from scoring.
 
Franklin was only 15-of-40 passing for 174 yards with an interception, and almost had another returned for a score but it was nullified by a penalty.
 
Chelf threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions, completing 33 of 57 passes. He also ran 10 times for 48 yards, including a 23-yard run to convert a third-and-10 only a few plays before he was sacked by All-SEC defensive end Michael Sam and had the ball knocked loose.
 
That gave Sam 11 1/2 sacks, the most in the SEC and matching a school record.
 
Missouri wrapped up its second SEC season since leaving the Big 12. The Tigers debuted in their new league with a losing season, but made it to the SEC championship game in year two before losing to No. 2 Auburn.
 
"What a great way to finish the season," said Pinkel, whose 102nd victory in his 13th season snapped a tie with Don Faurot for the most in school history.
 
With the game tied, Franklin appeared to throw his second interception with 9 minutes left. But with Tyler Patmon running 40 yards to the end zone for an apparent go-ahead touchdown, a flag was thrown for pass interference and Mizzou kept the ball. The Tigers settled for Andrew Baggett's 46-yard field goal.
 
"I felt as if both guys were competing for the ball," Cowboys linebacker Shaun Lewis said. "It's unfortunate. That play would have turned the game."
 
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said he was told only that Patmon interfered and didn't really get an explanation about the penalty from the referees.
 
"I didn't see it," Gundy said. "I just saw two guys competing for the ball."
 
Oklahoma State then went 75 yards for its only lead, the longest play on the drive being when Tracy Moore was fully extended and lunging forward when he caught a 41-yard pass to the Tigers 28.
 
"It's hard on our team," Gundy said. "That's a very, very disappointed locker room right now."
 
The Cowboys were trying to win 11 games for the third time in four seasons. Before Mike Gundy became the coach in 2005, the Cowboys had never won 11 games.
 
Oklahoma State trailed 17-7 at halftime before getting even after the two fumbles by Franklin.
 
That sequence actually began when Chelf was picked off by Braylon Webb. But Mizzou gave the ball back on the next play when Franklin fumbled on a botched handoff, with James Castleman recovering at the Tigers 33.
 
Chelf threw a 21-yard TD pass to Jhajuan Seales with 2:10 left in the third quarter.
 
Early in the fourth quarter, Franklin's pitch was well behind Josey, and recovered by Daytawion Lowe at the Tigers 11. Oklahoma State had to settle for a tying 32-yard field goal by Ben Grogan, making up for an earlier miss.
 
Grogan had a 34-yard field goal attempt ricochet off the top of the right upright early in the second quarter.
 
Missouri backup quarterback Maty Mauk, who filled in for Franklin when he was hurt earlier this season, then trotted on the field with the Tigers offense for the first time. The freshman accounted for 105 yards on the drive, including runs of 35 and 34 yards before a 24-yard TD pass to Marcus Lucas.
Saturday, 04 January 2014 01:41
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Friday, 03 January 2014 09:06
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- In the final year of the BCS, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops won the one major bowl that had eluded him, and proved a point about parity in the process.

After taking the past month to cultivate a young quarterback who was still coming into his own, Stoops brought a confident and motivated Sooners squad to the Sugar Bowl, where they stunned 16-point favorite Alabama 45-31 on Thursday night.

Freshman Trevor Knight completed a Sugar Bowl-record 32 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns for 11th-ranked Oklahoma, outshining Heisman Trophy runner-up AJ McCarron, who saw his otherwise charmed college career come to a sour end with No. 3 Alabama.

The convincing victory also gave Stoops an I-told-you-so moment, backing up his comment last offseason that the gap between the Southeastern Conference and other top leagues like the Big 12 is not as great as some "propaganda" makes it out to be.

"I have the utmost respect for Alabama, and I think this shows that obviously we can play with anybody," Stoops said. "So, enough of that. And I just watched them go through their entire conference and play pretty well. I'm not pointing any fingers. But I think sometimes the comparisons aren't necessarily very true."

Stoops became the first coach to win all four BCS bowl games, having already won the Orange, Rose and Fiesta bowls.

Before the game Stoops had provided an element of mystery by declining to say whether he would start Knight or junior Blake Bell, or how much he'd play either one.

Alabama led 7-0 - having scored on the opening drive - before Stoops made his decision know by sending Knight out with the offense for Oklahoma's first series. Knight had played behind Bell much of the season. His completion percentage entering the game was 52.2. He had completed 47 passes all season - before a breakout performance in which two of his TDs went for more than 40 yards.

"It's huge for our program, to get a win like this after no one gave us a chance all year," Knight said. "We've got to ride this into next year. We can't settle with this. ... We want the big one."

Oklahoma (11-2) needed him to play that well in the 80th Sugar Bowl, the first in which quarterbacks for both teams threw for more than 300 yards.

His Big 12 team vanquished an Alabama (11-2) squad that had been ranked No. 1 much of the past three seasons, winning the previous two national titles before its shot at a third straight was derailed by Auburn on the last play of the Iron Bowl in late November.

Coach Nick Saban didn't find his team, favored by 16 points, was too deflated from its loss to Auburn to play up to its standard.

"I actually thought that the players responded in practice pretty well for this game," Saban said. "We put over 500 yards of offense up. Somebody had to do something right. I don't think that we played as well on defense as we're capable of or should have."

McCarron passed for 387 yards and two TDs, but his two interceptions set up Oklahoma TDs. He was also sacked seven times, fumbling on the last one, and Geneo Grissom returned his second recovery of the game 8 yards for a score, sealing Alabama's first two-game skid since its Sugar Bowl loss to Utah in January 2009.

"Put it all on me. I had two turnovers, (Oklahoma) ended up scoring 14 points, and we lost by 14," said McCarron, who won 36 of his first 38 games before losing his last two. "I wish it wouldn't have happened, but I'll definitely take the loss and definitely take the blame, because a lot of it is probably my fault."

Freshman Derrick Henry's 43-yard run in the third quarter pulled Alabama to 31-24. But Alabama was unable to add another score before Knight found his groove again.

He lofted a perfect pass to Lacoltan Bester for a 34-yard gain to the Alabama 9. Shortly after, Knight rolled left all the way to the sideline before rifling a touchdown strike to Sterling Shepard, making it a two-touchdown game again with 10:44 left.

Henry pulled Alabama within a score once more when he turned his first career reception into a tackle-shedding 61-yard TD with 6:22 to go, but Oklahoma didn't fold.

Early on, Alabama looked sharp, leading 7-0 when T.J. Yeldon scored from the 1.

Soon after, Landon Collins intercepted Knight's tipped pass, but Oklahoma got it right back on Gabe Lynn's interception on the next play. One play later, Knight found Bester for a 45-yard score.

Jalen Saunders first TD reception from 8 yards out gave Oklahoma a 14-10 lead, but McCarron's 67-yard TD to DeAndrew White gave the Tide the lead right back.

With the game tied at 17, Alabama appeared on the verge of another go-ahead score when Yeldon fumbled on the 8. Instead, Oklahoma took the lead for good when Knight hit Saunders in stride down the right sideline for a 43-yard score.

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Friday, 03 January 2014 06:31
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- T.J. Oshie scored twice and Brian Elliott made 30 saves to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
 
St. Louis has won four in a row and six of seven.
 
Los Angeles lost a season-high fifth successive game. The Kings' previous five-game losing streak came Dec. 3-13, 2011.
 
Oshie scored twice in a 91-second span in the second period to push the lead to 3-0. After his second tally, the standing-room only crowd of 19,839 broke into chants of, "USA, USA," in honor of Oshie's selection to the United States Olympic team Wednesday.
 
It was the first two-goal game of the season for Oshie.
 
Elliott, who improved to 11-1-2, picked up his third shutout of the season and 24th of his career. He stopped 13 shots in the opening period, including a pad save on Jarret Stoll.
 
Brenden Morrow, Vladimir Tarasenko and Barret Jackman also scored for St. Louis.
 
Morrow scored just 4:42 into the game to give the Blues to a 1-0 lead. Kevin Shattenkirk, another Olympic team selection, missed on a long shot, but Morrow pounced on the rebound at the side of the net and banked it in off goalie Martin Jones.
 
Oshie scored on the power play at 11:41 of the second off the rebound of a shot by Jaden Schwartz. Less than two minutes later, Oshie whipped a shot behind replacement Ben Scrivens.
 
Jones, who fell to 8-3, gave up two goals on 14 shots and was pulled after Oshie's first tally.
 
The Kings had won 15 of the previous 18 games between the teams including postseason play.
 
Los Angeles won four successive games after falling behind 2-0 in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs last season and also swept the Blues in four games in the 2012 conference semifinals.
 
Notes: St. Louis RW Ryan Reaves returned to the lineup after missing 17 games with a broken hand. ... The Kings have outscored their opponents by 15 goals in the first period this season. ... St. Louis G Jaroslav Halak missed the game due to the flu. He is listed day to day. Jake Allen was recalled from the Chicago Wolves of the AHL to serve as backup. ... St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock recorded his 100th regular-season win with the Blues. ... Jones lost his third in a row after a franchise-record 8-0 start to his career. ... St. Louis RW David Backes, the third St. Louis player chosen to the Olympic team, missed his third successive game with an upper-body injury.
Thursday, 02 January 2014 22:57
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PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- A Texas-sized cloud of uncertainty looms over college football's biggest game of the season.

As No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Auburn prepare in southern California to meet Monday in the last BCS championship game, the University of Texas is still looking for a new football coach. And until the Longhorns make a hire, just about every successful coach can be considered a candidate - including Florida State's Jimbo Fisher and Auburn's Gus Malzahn.

"I've been amazed about how quiet this thing has been," ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said earlier this week. "Because of that it leads me to speculate and believe that somebody still involved in coaching, whether it's the NFL or college, must be one of their primary candidates."

"I think the longer this goes on I think it's very, very clear that it's somebody who's still coaching. Who that might be, I have no idea."

A few small leaks have sprung in the last couple of days, though it's impossible to know how seriously to take them.

Published reports out of Texas stated the Longhorns are interested in Fisher, Baylor's Art Briles, Vanderbilt's James Franklin and Louisville's Charlie Strong. Michigan State's Mark Dantonio has also been mentioned as a coach Texas Athletic Director Steve Patterson is looking at. Patterson said he wants the search complete by Jan. 15.

"Texas, they're going to be calling on everybody they possibly can because they're going to try to get the best coach they possibly can," Florida State AD Stan Wilcox said. "Meanwhile, everybody's trying to keep their coaches because they all feel that the people that Texas is looking at are the best coaches out there."

Florida State hopes it has put all the speculation about Fisher's future to rest. The fourth-year head coach and Nick Saban disciple finally got around on Tuesday to signing a new contract that runs through the 2018 season and pays him about $4.1 million annually.

Auburn agreed to a new deal with Malzahn the day before the Southeastern Conference championship game last month. The six-year contract is worth $3.85 million annually to the first-year Tigers coach.

Briles got a 10-year deal in November from Baylor. Michigan State is working on a new deal for Dantonio that could double his $1.9 million salary.

And, of course, Saban, the object of so many Longhorns desires, agreed to a new multiyear deal with Alabama that will pay him $7 million a year after months of stories and speculation connecting the four-time national championship winning coach and Texas.

But what do those extensions really mean? Are Fisher, Malzahn, Briles and even Saban truly off the market?

"A contract is written to be broken," said Kansas State athletic director John Currie, who doesn't have to worry about his football coach, 74-year-old Bill Snyder, going anywhere.

The trend in college sports, especially college football, is for schools to quickly lock up successful coaches and hand out raises.

Mississippi extended Hugh Freeze's contract after a 7-5 regular season and bumped his pay to $3 million per year. Washington State's Mike Leach got the Cougars back into a bowl by winning six games in his second season at Pullman. He got a two-year extension for his work.

Texas A&M made the boldest move of all this season with coach Kevin Sumlin, who was drawing interest from NFL teams last year. The Aggies made Sumlin (20-6 in two seasons in College Station) a $5 million-per-year coach with a new six-year deal.

Arizona AD Greg Byrne said the contract numbers that make headlines can often be deceiving.

"When you get down into the details the interesting numbers are what's guaranteed, both sides. If the coach were to leave, what's the buyout? And then if you were to dismiss your coach without cause what percent of the contract is guaranteed?" Byrne said. "Sometime you'll see someone with an eight-year contract, but half the contract is guaranteed, so in some ways it's a four-year contract instead."

Currie said the NFL has played a major role in changing the salary structure for college coaches, but ultimately a school needs to decide what works best for it.

"Everybody else is doing it is not a reason to make a bad decision for your institution," he said.

But market pressures can be strong and big openings - such as the one at Texas - can drive up that market.

"I'm sure there's been a time where a school's reacted too slowly, but I think there have been times where a school has jumped ahead a little more in hindsight to where they want to be," Byrne said. "It's a challenging situation. I think the market place has gotten to such that there will be agents out there that will try to parlay one school against another. And I think that's driven up some of the numbers we're seeing today."

Florida State and Auburn have made their moves to protect their interests, and can spend this week focusing on what it takes to win a national championship. But until the Longhorns introduce a new coach, fans of the Seminoles and Tigers - and Bears and Cardinals, etc. - have reason to be at least a little distracted by what's going on in Austin.

---

Follow Ralph D. Russo at WWW.TWITTER.COM/RALPHDRUSSOAP

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Thursday, 02 January 2014 11:17
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- A decade after a winless season, Central Florida earned its first trip to a BCS bowl.

Once the Knights got there, they were given no chance at winning. Not against Baylor, the nation's best offensive team.

They refused to listen to all the negativity and turned the Fiesta Bowl into a rousing BCS debut.

Blake Bortles accounted for 394 yards and four touchdowns, Storm Johnson ran for two early tone-setting scores and No. 15 Central Florida outlasted Baylor 52-42 on Wednesday night in the highest-scoring game in Fiesta Bowl history.

"We did prove a lot of people wrong," Johnson said.

Central Florida (12-1) wasn't given much of a chance, entering the game as a 17-point underdog.

The Knights didn't care about the spread and certainly didn't back down from the big, bad Bears, racing past Baylor with an array of big plays.

They took an early 14-point lead and kept rolling, piling up 556 total yards in the second-highest scoring BCS bowl ever.

Bortles, the junior who could be weighing a jump to the NFL, was the catalyst, throwing for three touchdowns on 20-of-31 passing and running for 93 yards and another score.

Rannell Hall accounted for some of the biggest plays, catching four passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson kept Baylor from ganging up on UCF's passing game, grinding out 124 yards on 20 carries.

So much about having no shot.

"There's not many outside of us who believe we had a chance, but we did and I think we showed what UCF football is all about," Bortles said.

Known for its offense prowess, Baylor (11-2) had a hard time keeping up with the Knights.

The Big 12 champions finished with 550 total yards, but were uncharacteristically undisciplined, getting 17 penalties for 135 yards.

Bryce Petty tried to keep the Bears in it, running for three touchdowns while throwing for 356 yards and two more scores. Lache Seastrunk had some big runs in the first half and finished with 117 yards.

None of it was enough the way UCF ran through Baylor's defense.

"We caught a football team that was hot," Baylor coach Art Briles said. "They played extremely well early, got into us. We tried to play catch-up the whole game, never could turn it around when it needed turning."

The Fiesta Bowl was the BCS coming-out party for Baylor and Central Florida before college football's switch to a playoff system next season.

The Bears had been building toward this since Briles became coach in 2009, winding up his high-octane offense to lead the nation in scoring and churn out the second-most yards in FBS history.

Central Florida had a slower rise under George O'Leary.

The coach who was fired by Notre Dame five days after being hired for lying on his resume has built his reputation back up in Orlando, taking a program that went winless in 2004 to the inaugural American Athletic Conference title and automatic BCS berth this year.

The matchup was projected to be like the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, when mighty Oklahoma rolled over Connecticut 48-20.

The Knights weren't listening.

They opened with a 76-yard scoring drive capped by Johnson's tackle-breaking 11-yard touchdown run. Johnson scored again on UCF's next possession, this one on a 2-yard run.

The early 14-0 lead was expected. The team leading wasn't.

Baylor finally revved up its offense late in the first quarter, scoring on a 1-yard TD sneak by Petty and Central Florida looked as if it was ready to fall apart with turnovers on three consecutive plays.

Baylor only turned one of those into points: a 30-yard pass from Petty to Levi Norwood. Petty followed Johnson's fumble with an interception in the end zone, just his third of the season.

"Unfortunately, that was the turning point in the game," Petty said. "We needed that to save momentum up for us, especially after a turnover. Turnovers in the red zone kill an offense."

Then came the spectacular plays, seemingly one after another.

Hall darted and dashed through Baylor's defense for a 50-yard touchdown on a screen pass, with help from Josh Reese's downfield block.

Petty hurtled himself into the end zone, flipping over UCF's Brandon Alexander to cap a 13-yard run. That gave Baylor 659 points, breaking the NCAA record for a 13-game season set by Texas (652) in 2005.

The momentum was gone shortly after, when Hall turned a swing pass into a 34-yard touchdown - assisted again by Reese - to put the Knights up 28-20 at halftime.

Petty scored his third touchdown on 1-yard run in the third quarter and dashed in for the 2-point conversion to tie the game, but Central Florida still wouldn't back down.

Bortles hit Breshad Perriman on a 10-yard touchdown pass and opened the fourth quarter by scoring on a 15-yard run to put the Knights up 42-28.

Even after Baylor moved quickly for a 9-yard touchdown run by Glasco Martin, UCF had an answer, going up 49-35 on Johnson's 40-yard run through the heart of the Bears' defense.

The Knights held on from there, heading home with a giant trophy and a lot more national respect.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

Thursday, 02 January 2014 11:16
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ANN ARBOR – USA Hockey announced today their roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  Among those chosen were Blues forwards David Backes and T.J. Oshie along with defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.
      Backes, 29, will be representing the United States for the fifth time in his career.  Previously, the Minneapolis, Minnesota native appeared in the 2007, 2008 and 2009 World Championships as well as the 2010 Winter Olympics, where he earned the silver medal.  This season, the 6’3, 221-pound forward shares third on the Blues with 30 points (16 goals, 14 assists) and ranks second with 70 penalty minutes, while league-wide, he is the only player with at least 120 hits and 16 goals.  
     Oshie, 27, will be representing the U.S. for the fifth time in his career and the first at the Olympics.  The Everett, Washington native appeared at the 2006 World Juniors as well as the 2009, 2010 and 2013 World Championships.  This season, the 5’11, 189-pound forward ranks second on the Blues with 33 points including 27 assists, which shares ninth among all skaters.
     Shattenkirk, 24, will be representing the U.S for the fourth time in his career and first at the Olympics.  The New Rochelle, New York native appeared at the 2007 U-18 World Juniors, 2009 World Juniors and 2011 World Championships, while he also spent four seasons in the U.S. National Development program (2005-2007).  This season, the 5’11, 207-pound defenseman leads the Blues’ defense and shares fifth among all defensemen with 28 points (six goals, 22 assists) while his 15 power play points is tied for second overall.
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 17:33
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Jaden Schwartz scored for the sixth straight game and the St. Louis Blues hung on to beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Tuesday night.
 
T.J. Oshie also had a goal for St. Louis, which is 5-0-2 in its past seven road games. The Blues are 8-1-2 in their last 11 games overall.
 
Ryan Suter scored in the closing seconds for the Wild, who have lost a franchise-record six straight games in regulation and are 5-12-1 in their past 18. They have gone 10 straight games without a win in regulation, leading to speculation regarding coach Mike Yeo's job status.
 
St. Louis, 13-0-1 against the Central Division, hadn't allowed a goal to the Wild for 212 minutes, 52 seconds until Suter scored with 8.3 seconds left in the game.
 
Brian Elliott (10-1-2), who made 24 saves, went 6-0-1 with a 1.67 goals-against average in December. The Blues are 5-0-2 in their last seven games against Minnesota, outscoring the Wild 22-8.
 
Minnesota had allowed 24 goals in its previous five games - 11 in its last two - and much of Monday's practice surrounded defensive-zone coverage.
 
Yeo switched up the defensive pairings with Suter and Jared Spurgeon playing together, and Jonas Brodin pairing with Marco Scandella. Suter and Brodin have been the team's top defensive pair for most of the season.
 
The switch seemed to work early as Minnesota limited the Blues to seven first-period shots, none that were difficult for goalie Josh Harding to handle.
 
Oshie gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 6:49 of the second period.
 
Mikael Granlund turned the puck over as he tried to come out of the Minnesota end, and Schwartz snapped a quick backhanded pass to Oshie, who was behind two Wild defenders. Oshie, a Minnesota native, deked Harding and tucked the puck into the net.
 
Schwartz made it 2-0 a little more than nine minutes later when his wrist shot from low in the right circle was partially stopped by Harding, but the puck trickled across the line. Schwartz has 11 points in eight games.
 
Minnesota, which entered averaging the second-fewest goals per game in the NHL (2.22) and the fewest in the Western Conference, was on the power play for most of the period's final two minutes. The Wild failed to generate a shot and were loudly booed off the ice when the period expired.
 
The Wild had another power play early in the third, but Schwartz had the best scoring chance when he got behind two defenders and was stopped by Harding.
 
NOTES: St. Louis RW Chris Stewart was hit in the face by Jason Pominville's shot in the first period and didn't return. ... St. Louis played without two of its top scorers, Alexander Steen (upper body) and David Backes (upper body). ... This is the eighth consecutive year and 10th time in team history the Wild played at home on New Year's Eve.
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:37
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CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Joe Colborne scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Calgary Flames an improbable 4-3 come-from-behind win over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.
 
Colborne took the first attempt in the shootout and beat Jaroslav Halak on a deke for his third goal on four attempts this season in the tiebreaker.
 
Reto Berra turned aside T.J. Oshie, Derek Roy and Magnus Paajarvi in the shootout to earn the win. Mark Giordano forced overtime by dramatically scoring the tying goal with five seconds left in the third period.
 
Patrick Berglund's holding penalty gave Calgary a power play with 1:37 left, and Flames coach Bob Hartley added more pop by pulling Berra for a 6-on-4 skating edge.
 
Jiri Hudler's long diagonal pass was hammered in from the faceoff dot by Giordano, who one-timed a blistering slap shot past Halak to send the sellout crowd into a frenzy.
 
Hudler and Mike Cammalleri also scored for Calgary (14-17-6), which kicked off a five-game homestand. The Flames snapped a three-game losing streak.
 
Kevin Shattenkirk, Jaden Schwartz and Paajarvi scored for the Blues (24-7-5), which took three out of four points in Alberta and are 5-1-2 in their last eight.
 
The Flames have battled injuries all season, and there were more announced on Monday. Left wing Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain) and former Blues defenseman Kris Russell (sprained knee), will be out for an extended period after they were hurt at Pittsburgh on Saturday in the final stop of a five-game trip.
 
St. Louis scored the lone goal of the first period, just eight seconds into its first power play.
 
Off a faceoff win deep in the Flames end, the Blues worked the puck around. Brendan Morrow's nifty cross-ice backhanded pass landed on the stick of Shattenkirk, who broke in from the blue line and scored his fifth goal of the season into the open side.
 
Schwartz scored through a screen as the Blues took a 2-1 lead less than two minutes after Hudler tied it at 12:06.
 
Just 44 seconds later, the Blues increased their lead to two on a goal from their high-energy fourth line.
 
Berra's pass around the boards was intercepted by Adam Cracknell, who zipped a pass to Maxim Lapierre in the slot. Lapierre's shot was stopped, but Paajarvi corralled the rebound and stuffed in his third goal.
 
The Flames cut the deficit to 3-2 at 11:05 of the third when Paul Byron set up Cammalleri from behind the net for his team-leading 12th goal.
 
Berra made 32 saves to improve to 5-8-2. Halak stopped 26 stops and fell to 17-6-3.
 
NOTES: Glencross, who earlier missed 15 games with a knee injury, will be out for eight weeks. Russell will be sidelined 4-to-6 weeks. Taking Russell's spot on the Calgary blue line was Chris Breen. ... With Alex Steen (upper body) out for the Blues, 20-year-old Dmitrij Jaskin, recalled from Chicago (AHL), made his season debut. He played alongside Oshie and David Backes. ... Only Hudler, T.J. Brodie and Chris Butler have played in each of Calgary's 37 games.
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 00:00
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams wore throwback jerseys from their Super Bowl title season, then Robert Quinn outdid one of those former stars.
 
Quinn got three of St. Louis' seven sacks and set a franchise season record in a 23-13 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
 
The Rams won without left tackle Jake Long, who injured his knee on the first series. Coach Jeff Fisher believes Long tore a knee ligament.
 
Quinn leads the NFC with 18 sacks. He broke Kevin Carter's franchise record of 17 sacks in that 1999 Super Bowl title season.
 
Zac Stacy rushed for 104 yards on 33 carries and a touchdown, and two other rookies also had big games for the Rams (7-8), who matched their victory total from last year. Stedman Bailey scored on a 27-yard reverse, and Alec Ogletree forced two fumbles.
 
Ogletree stripped Bobby Rainey early in the second quarter. Bailey scored his first career touchdown on the next snap on the reverse to put the Rams up for good at 14-7.
 
The Buccaneers (4-11) managed just 170 total yards, setting a season low for the second straight week. Vincent Jackson had five catches for 98 yards.
 
Rainey opened the scoring with a 1-yard run in the first quarter and Stacy scored on a 1-yard run early in the second quarter.
 
There were thousands of empty seats for an unattractive matchup with attendance announced at 54,423 — about 12,000 shy of capacity.
 
James Laurinaitis added two sacks and Greg Zuerlein kicked three field goals, including a season-best 54-yarder in the third quarter after Tampa Bay had cut the deficit to a point.
 
The Buccaneers are 1-6 on the road, the lone win in overtime at Seattle after an 0-8 start to the season. Tampa Bay finishes at New Orleans next week.
 
Quinn's first sack helped force the Bucs to settle for a 35-yard field goal by Rian Lindell to cut the Rams' lead to 14-10 at the half.
 
Bailey has gotten involved in the offense the last few weeks and stepped up with Tavon Austin, his former teammate at West Virginia, sidelined for a second straight week by a left ankle injury. The reverse was his first career NFL TD and first rushing at least before college, and he had three catches for 44 yards.
 
Bailey was just as prolific as Austin in college, scoring 27 touchdowns as a senior.
 
Sloppy play helped the Bucs keep it close in the first half. Quarterback Kellen Clemens fumbled on a scramble at the Tampa Bay 4 to burn a scoring opportunity, with Gerald McCoy knocking it loose and Keith Tandy recovering. On the Rams' next snap, Dekoda Watson stripped Stacy and Lavonte David recovered at the Bucs 47.
 
Tampa Bay had first and goal at the Rams 9 near the end of the half before sacks by Laurinaitis and Quinn on consecutive plays pushed the Buccaneers back 16 yards.
Sunday, 22 December 2013 15:55
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