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AROUND & ABOUT

Fredonia State hockey team reaches Division III final

The Fredonia hockey team will be playing for the NCAA Division III national title today in Middlebury, Vt.

The Blue Devils beat Wisconsin-Superior, 4-3, Friday in the semifinals to advance to the championship at 7:30 p.m. against the of winner of the Middlebury and Wisconsin-River Falls game.

Fredonia (23-4-4) led, 4-1, entering the third period and held on for the win. Trailing, 1-0, in the first period, freshman Francois Albert tied it for Fredonia. The Blue Devils added their second goal 18 seconds later from Craig Conley on a power play. Sophomore Eric Preston and freshman Ron Czech each scored in the second period for a 4-1 lead.

Senior Telly Forcucci (Orchard Park) had two assists for Fredonia. Goalie Jason Sirota had 32 saves for the Blue Devils.

Elsewhere, sophomore Mark Clarke had an RBI single in the second inning for Fredonia (4-7) in a 3-1 baseball loss to Hartwick College in Ft. Myers, Fla.

Gordon team sweeps top three pole positions

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Those awaiting the return to reality of Jeff Gordon and the Hendrick Chevrolets saw the most amazing feat of all Friday when he took the pole for the TranSouth 400 to lead a 1-2-3 sweep for his garage.

"This is unbelievable," the 23-year-old Gordon said after a record-shattering lap of 170.833 mph. "Rick Hendrick is really having an awesome year."

The sweep marked the first time three cars from the same garage have taken the top positions. Terry Labonte, whose qualifying speed at the always-troublesome Darlington International Speedway was 169.854 mph, was second. Ken Schrader wound up third at 169.766 mph.

Rison says joining Browns was dream since childhood

Andre Rison said that he made up his mind to sign with the Browns two weeks ago, but really it happened long before that.

Rison's emotional ties to the Browns go back to another era, 15 years ago, when the Kardiac Kids held the heart of the city in their magical hands.

In the end, that's what clinched Rison's $17-million "marriage," as he called it, to the team he had followed since he was 13 years old.

"If there's one person who's the happiest right now," Rison said in his long-awaited press conference at Browns headquarters in Berea, "it's my grandfather. He was a die-hard Cleveland fan, and he put it in all his children and grandchildren."

In six seasons with the Colts and Falcons, Rison scored 60 touchdowns. Only two players, Jerry Rice (82 touchdowns) and Sterling Sharpe (64), scored more over that period.

Elsewhere, the New England Patriots announced the signing of unrestricted free agent kicker Matt Bahr. Next year will be Bahr's 17th in the NFL and third with the Patriots. He scored a career-high 117 points in 1994.

Stars & Stripes rallies for big win in Cup semifinals

SAN DIEGO -- In desperate need of a win, Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes passed Mighty Mary with less than one mile to go for a spectacular finish in their America's Cup semifinal race.

Stars & Stripes crossed the finish line eight seconds ahead, or less than two boat lengths' separation after 18.55 miles of sailing.

Stars & Stripes, which trailed for most of the race, won for the first time in three semifinal matches.

Mangione rolls 300; Baker has 802 series

Lefthander Vince Mangione of North Tonawanda had a 300 game to highlight a 725 series in the Friday Majors at Mil-Sher.

Cheryl Baker rolled her season high of 278 with games of 258 and 266 in a career first 800, an 802 in the Classic Mixed Trio at the Tonawanda Center. She is averaging a composite 204 for four leagues.

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