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Minor League Hockey

Augusta forward is Player of the Week

Augusta forward Aaron Slattengren , the ECHL leader in goals scored with 17, has been named as the Player of the Week by the league.

Slattengren, a 25-year-old from Duluth, Minn., had four goals and a team-record seven points in the Lynx's 9-1 victory at Pensacola on Nov. 27.

Teammate Bobby Goepfert was the runner-up in Goaltender of the Week voting. Goepfert was 2-0 with a 0.97 goals against average last week.

College Baseball

Pacers have long homestand to start

USC Aiken will open up its 2008 schedule with an 11-game homestand beginning Feb. 1.

The Pacers will play 56 regular-season games. Forty-one of those will be home games at Roberto Hernandez Stadium, where the Pacers went 28-11 last season.

The Pacers' home stadium will also be the site for the Peach Belt Conference Tournament.

Twelve of USC Aiken's games will be against teams that made it to the NCAA Tournament last season.

The Pacers went 39-24 last year and tied for fourth place in the Peach Belt Conference at 15-15, then lost in the conference's tournament championship game. They earned their third consecutive NCAA South Atlantic Regional playoff berth.

Tennis

Strong field is set for Australian Open

The Australian Open will have the strongest field in the event's 103-year history -- with all top-ranked 100 men and 99 of the top 100 women playing in January.

Three-time champion Roger Federer heads the men's draw, while top-ranked Justine Henin -- the 2004 champion -- will be the women's No. 1 seed.

Following Wednesday's release of the first entry lists, the only omission from the top 100 women was Russia's Vera Dushevina, ranked 44th, who was forced to withdraw because of a right-foot injury.

The tournament starts Jan. 14.

Skiing

French champion decides to retire

Olympic downhill champion Antoine Deneriaz of France announced his retirement, a week after withdrawing from an event in Colorado.

"I've lost confidence and I prefer to quit of my own doing rather than finish in hospital," said the 31-year-old Deneriaz, who struggled since a crash in March 2006, a month after winning the downhill at the Turin Olympics.

He withdrew last week from races at Beaver Creek, Colo., after finishing 83rd in downhill training -- more than 7 seconds behind leader Didier Cuche of Switzerland.

Deneriaz was shaken after overall champion Aksel Lund Svindal crashed in Colorado and was hospitalized last week with facial fractures and a deep wound to the buttocks and groin.

Women's College Basketball

USC Aiken drops to 24th in latest poll

USC Aiken dropped four spots, to 24th, in the latest USA Today/ ESPN/WBCA Division II poll.

The Lady Pacers, who suffered their only loss in five starts to Augusta State last week, play host to Converse College at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Colleges

Atlantic 10 boss will resign June 30

The first female commissioner of a major college conference will resign next year after leading the Atlantic 10 since 1994.

Linda Bruno's resignation will take effect June 30. That will leave two other women as commissioners of Division I conferences -- Carolyn Schlie Femovich of the Patriot League and Brenda Weare of the Northeast Conference.

"It wasn't an easy decision, it never is when things are going good, but it is a good time to try something else with the league in pretty good shape," Bruno said Wednesday from the conference office in Philadelphia.


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