Stars breaking up with embattled Avery



Whenever Sean Avery is ready to return to the NHL, it won't be with the Dallas Stars. The combative forward was eligible to return from a six-game suspension yesterday, but the Stars instead announced that Avery will not rejoin the team - ever. "You have to do what's right for both parties, and that's what we're really trying to do," co-general manager Brett Hull said. Avery was only 23 games into a four-year, $15.5 million deal when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman suspended him for a crude remark about ex-girlfriends dating other hockey players. Simmering tension between Avery and his teammates and his coach boiled over in the aftermath, with the dressing room united in its stance against him ever wearing a Stars sweater again. Details of Avery's departure still must be worked out. The team won't try voiding his contract on grounds he has violated the conduct clause. He's at an undisclosed location seeking treatment through a program set up by the NHL players association. When he was suspended, Avery told the Stars he needed help dealing with anger issues.

ET CETERA:: The Stars acquired center Brian Sutherby from the Anaheim Ducks for center David McIntyre and a conditional sixth-round draft pick in 2010. ... Center Jeremy Roenick will likely be out for three weeks for the NHL-leading San Jose Sharks after he injured a shoulder in Thursday's win over Anaheim. Tests revealed torn cartilage, Roenick said.


Inspired Kenyans excel at Honolulu Marathon


Barack Obama's sister gave the Kenyans extra motivation for the Honolulu Marathon, and the president-elect's ancestral homeland responded with a top-five sweep. "It encouraged us a lot," said Patrick Ivuti, who finished in 2 hours, 14 minutes, 35 seconds for his first victory since the 2007 Chicago Marathon. Japan also had its share of star power, with Kiyoko Shimahara and Kaori Yoshida finishing 1-2 in the women's race, and Boston Red Sox pitcher Hideki Okajima barely cracking the top 7,000, finishing in 6:08:35. The Kenyans, who have won the race 18 times since 1985, had extra encouragement with Obama's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, cheering them on; Obama's father, Barack Obama Sr., who died in 1982, was a member of the Luo tribe of Kenya.

Sorenstam ends career with birdie at Dubai


It ended with a birdie, a standing ovation and a seventh-place finish for Annika Sorenstam, leaving the Hall of Fame golfer with no regrets after the final stroke of her career. The Swede shot a 1-under-par 71 at the Dubai Ladies Masters in the United Arab Emirates, finishing six shots behind winner Anja Monke of Germany after an 8-foot birdie at No. 18 drew a standing ovation from the packed gallery. "I felt at peace. I really felt very content," she said. Sorenstam, who is retiring to focus on family and business interests, led the tournament after the second round, but shot a 75 on Saturday to torpedo her hopes for a third straight title at the season-ending tournament on the Ladies European Tour. Monke shot a 68 to protect her overnight lead, finishing at 13-under 275.

Reports: Ball St.'s Hoke to coach at San Diego St.

et cetera


Brady Hoke, who has coached Ball State to a 12-1 record this season, will take over the coaching vacancy at San Diego State, according to multiple media reports. Hoke, who was also a candidate for the Auburn job, will replace Chuck Long, who was fired after three seasons and the Aztecs' first 10-loss season. and The Star Press of Muncie, Ind., did not say whether Hoke will coach the Cardinals next month in the GMAC Bowl against Tulsa.

Horse racing: : Peppers Pride extended her North American thoroughbred record for consecutive wins with her 19th victory in as many starts in the $125,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park. Racing as the 4-5 favorite, Peppers Pride won by more than five lengths in the six-furlong stakes race for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares. Under jockey Carlos Madeira, the victor finished in 1 minute, 9.54 seconds and earned $75,000 to push her earnings to $1,066,085.

NHL: : Cristobal Huet made 31 saves, and Martin Havlat scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period to lead the host Chicago Blackhawks to their fourth straight victory, 3-1 over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Swimming: : Six more world records were set at the European short-course swimming championships in Rijeka, Croatia, bringing the total to 16 at the four-day event. Amaury Leveaux set his fourth world record in Rijeka and fifth in nine days by winning a heat of the men's 50-meter butterfly in 22.18 seconds. Leveaux was also part of the French team that set a record in the 200 freestyle relay, first in 1:22.38 in a heat, and later in 1:20.77 in the final. His teammates were Frederick Bousquet, Alain Bernard and Fabien Gilot. Stanislav Donets of Russia set a world record in men's 100 backstroke Sunday in 49.32, Mireira Belmonte Garcia of Spain did the same in the women's 400 individual medley in 4:25.06, and Federica Pellegrini of Italy in the women's 200 freestyle in 1:51.85.

Gymnastics: : Cheng Fei won her second gold medal at the World Cup final in Madrid, Spain, capping a spectacular year for China's gymnasts. Cheng, already a winner on vault, took the floor exercise title yesterday, giving China five of the 10 gold medals at the two-day event. Feng Zhe, who wasn't even part of China's men's team that won gold at the Beijing Olympics, tied France's Yann Cucherat for the parallel bars title.

Skiing: : Germany's Maria Riesch won the World Cup slalom event in La Molina, Spain, in a combined 1:52.98 over two runs, beating American Vonn by 1.48 seconds. But Vonn reclaimed the lead in the overall standings.


Speedskating: : American Shani Davis won the 1,000-meter event at a World Cup meet in Nagano, Japan. Davis raced in 1:08.92 to finish 0.24 of a second ahead of South Korea's Lee Kyou-hyuk.

Bobsled: : Alexsandr Zubkov of Russia won a four-man race in Igls, Austria, edging American Steven Holcomb for his first World Cup victory of the season. Zubkov and teammates Roman Oreshnikov, Dmitry Trunenkov and Dmitry Stepushkin posted the fastest time in both heats and won in an aggregate time of 1:42.34. Holcomb and teammates Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curtis Tomasevicz were 0.14 of a second behind.

Soccer: : Yasuhito Endo scored the lone goal to lead Gamba Osaka to a 1-0 win over Adelaide United in Toyota, Japan, earning a semifinal showdown with Manchester United at the Club World Cup.

Boxing: : Kendall Holt retained his World Boxing Organization welterweight title with a split decision over Demetrius Hopkins on Saturday night in Atlantic City, N.J. With the win, Holt (25-2, 13 KOs) set the stage for a unification fight early next year against World Boxing Council champ Timothy Bradley. Hopkins fell to 28-1-1.

From Sun news services