Report: Laich probably out for season opener Saturday
Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich missed the first formal practice under coach Adam Oates on Sunday, and it's likely he will miss the start of the start of the season as well, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. Laich has been nursing an apparent groin injury, which he is believed to have suffered while playing in Switzerland during the lockout. Neither Laich nor general manager George McPhee would say whether he passed his physical. "He's not quite ready to go," McPhee said. "There are some injuries that you can play through if it's not going to make it worse. But if it's an injury that's going to get worse by playing with it then we've got to be careful." Laich, 29, didn't divulge many details about his injury or the recovery process except to say that he had a "road map." He said he skated Sunday morning before the full group practice, as he has several times this week.
Poti to AHL: The Capitals have loaned veteran defenseman Tom Poti, who passed his physical, to the American Hockey League's Hershey Bears for a conditioning stint. Poti's conditioning loan to Hershey cannot last more than 14 consecutive days, which would run until Jan. 26. Poti, 35, will play for the Bears on Saturday night when they host the Connecticut Whale in Hershey, Pa. He is trying to return to the NHL after missing the past two years with lingering groin problems and a fractured pelvis. It's been a long recovery process, but Poti said he's been pain-free for more than a week and was confident he was ready to take part in training camp. The Capitals also recalled goaltender Braden Holtby and defenseman Cameron Schilling from the Bears and forward Tom Wilson from the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League.
Schedule released: The Capitals will open the shortened 48-game season on the road in Tampa Bay on Saturday, and their first home game at Verizon Center is Jan. 22 against the Winnipeg Jets. All teams will play an unbalanced division schedule, and the Capitals will face Winnipeg and the Carolina Hurricanes each five times, while they will see Tampa Bay and the Florida Panthers four times each. Washington will play three games against each of the other 10 teams in the Eastern Conference. The Capitals will host the Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Islanders at Verizon Center twice in the season series, while they will play two of three games on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers.
—Katie Carrera, The Washington Post
More Capitals, PG6
Buchanan, Rabil help NLL's Wings to victory in debuts
A pair of local players led the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League to a season-opening victory in their debuts with the team Saturday. Attackman Kevin Buchanan (Calvert Hall) finished with three goals and three assists, while midfielder Paul Rabil (Johns Hopkins) had a pair of assists in a 13-8 win over the visiting Buffalo Bandits. Rabil also turned the ball over a game-high eight times. Buchanan and Rabil were acquired in offseason trades. Kyle Hartzell (Salisbury) added a goal for the Wings, and Drew Westervelt (UMBC) contributed an assist.
College women: In the first Division I game in the nation, Syracuse defeated host Jacksonville, 21-8, on Sunday. The Orange, which opened the season on the road for the first time since 2007, has now won its season opener in six consecutive seasons. "It was a great team effort from top to bottom," said coach Gary Gait, a former Maryland assistant. "Offensively, we had a number of players score. We executed well and we'll build on this performance. I was happy with our defense. We saw a couple of our young defenders do well and we'll continue to solidify our defense." Freshman Kayla Treanor led a balanced Orange offense, scoring a game-high five goals and finishing with six points. She equaled the school mark for the most goals by a freshman in her debut. ... Towson seniors Alexa Demski (Loch Raven) and Sarah Hogan, along with redshirt junior Ashleigh Rohrback, were selected as captains.
Varsity girls basketball
Aberdeen's Jones might have torn ACL
Aberdeen senior center Brionna Jones, on her way to becoming the first Harford County female player to reach 2,000 career points, might be lost for the rest of the season because of a right knee injury suffered Jan. 3 in a home game against North Harford. Jones, who has signed to play at Maryland, was hurt going up for a layup, according to her father, Mike Jones, an Aberdeen assistant coach. As she attempted to stop while a defender slid by, Jones' right knee buckled under her, according to her father. An X-ray revealed nothing, but the reigning All-Metro Player of the Year had a follow-up MRI and is scheduled to see Dr. Sean Curtin in Bel Air. The results of the MRI will be known Wednesday, but the fear is an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament. A tear would require surgery and end Jones' high school career. She has 1,812 career points.
McDade gets 1st career win in Arenacross at 1st Mariner
After starting the season off with consistent efforts, Michael McDade of Edinburg, Pa., emerged with his first career overall win in the Arenacross Class on the second night of Amsoil Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael's Road to Supercross, from 1st Mariner Arena on Saturday. However, it took the Head-to-Head Bracket Races to crown him a winner. In the Arenacross Lites Class, Michael Willard of Newark, Ohio, secured his first victory of the season.
Minor league basketball: The Bay Area Shuckers ralled from multiple deficits of more than 20 points to cut the lead to one in the waning minutes before losing, 128-116, to the Rockville Victors (7-1) in an American Professional Basketball League game Saturday. Rocky Coleman (Walbrook, Towson University) led the Shuckers with 34 points, while Gus Chase added 31. In his Shuckers debut, Jabril Bailey had 18 points and 13 rebounds off the bench. Despite the loss, the Shuckers (4-3) held on to the Colonial Division lead.
—From Sun staff and news services