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Digest: Blast held scoreless in second half in 5-1 loss to Comets

Digest: Blast held scoreless in second half in 5-1 loss to Comets

The Kansas City Comets scored four goals in the second quarter and cruised to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Blast in a Major Arena Soccer League game Sunday.

Odaine Sinclair scored off an assist from John Sosa early in the second quarter, and Kansas City added to its lead with two straight goals with 7:32 to play. Leo Gibson scored his seventh goal of the season off another assist from Sosa and seconds later Stefan Stokic extended the lead to 3-0.

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Jonatas Melo scored his fourth goal of the season off a restart to cut the deficit to two, but the Comets struck again just before halftime with a goal from Guerrero Pino for a 4-1 lead. Kansas City held the Blast scoreless in the second half and added a late goal by Stokic to seal the win.

William Vanzela made six saves for the Blast, who will travel to Dallas to take on the Sidekicks on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Maryland football

Terps land commitments from Gaddy twins, OL Hunt

The Maryland football team's 2017 recruiting class, which is expected to be among the best in school history, received a significant bump Sunday when a pair of defensive tackles, twins Breyon and Brandon Gaddy, orally committed to the Terps. Breyon, a 6-foot-5, 335-pound four-star prospect, and Brandon, a 6-5, 289-pound three-star prospect, committed after taking their official visits to College Park this weekend. The Gaddys, who are from Virginia Beach, Va., were among several high-profile recruits on campus. Chris Beatty was the lead recruiter of the twins, who decommitted from Tennessee last month. Breyon is the No. 19 defensive tackle recruit in the country, while Brandon is rated No. 47 at the position, according to the 247Sports.com rankings. They are the Nos. 15 and 18 prospects in Virginia, according to 247Sports.

Don Markus

More: Three-star offensive lineman Tyran Hunt from Courtland, Va., announced he had committed to the Terps. The 6-foot-7, 280-pound Hunt is rated the No. 84 offensive tackle recruit in the nation by Rivals.com. He's the 25th member of the Terps' Class of 2017 and the fourth lineman of the group, joining guard Marcus Minor, center Johnny Jordan and tackle Jordan McNair (McDonogh).

— Jonas Shaffer

Et cetera

Nats trade Espinosa for two pitching prospects Saturday

The Washington Nationals traded frustrated infielder Danny Espinosa to the Los Angeles Angels for two minor league pitchers Saturday night. The move came after the Nationals acquired outfielder Adam Eaton on Wednesday, a deal that shifted Trea Turner from center field to shortstop and would have relegated Espinosa, Washington's starting shortstop last season, to the bench. In response, Espinosa backed out of attending the club's annual Winterfest at Walter E. Washington Convention Center this past weekend. Washington and Los Angeles struck a similar deal — a starting infielder for two right-handed pitchers — a year earlier; last Dec. 10, the Nationals traded starting infielder Yunel Escobar for right-handers Trevor Gott and Michael Brady. In that trade, Washington was selling high on Escobar's best offensive season. It had less leverage Saturday with Espinosa, who played well at shortstop and was boom-or-bust at the plate, hitting 24 home runs (fourth most among shortstops), but batted .209 with a .684 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and 174 strikeouts last season. The pitchers coming to the Nationals are Austin Adams and Kyle McGowin, both 25-year-old right-handers who weren't considered among the Angels' top prospects. Adams spent nearly all of 2016 pitching for Class AA Arkansas and was added to the Angels' 40-man roster last month. He posted a 3.05 ERA and 13.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 32 appearances out of the bullpen. McGowin, a starter, had a 6.65 ERA in 22 starts at Class AAA Salt Lake after tallying a 4.68 ERA for Arkansas.

Jorge Castillo, The Washington Post

NHL: Alex Ovechkin collected the rebound off goaltender Jacob Markstrom's pads and passed the puck to Evgeny Kuznetsov in the slot. Kuznetsov could have shot it, but he instead found Justin Williams, whose high shot from the left faceoff circle completed the tick-tack-toe play.

That goal lifted the Washington Capitals to a two-goal cushion they maintained for a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday to extend their winning streak to four games. This one was delivered by stellar special teams play and then sealed with a productive night by the Kuznetsov line. On a night the team played well defensively, goaltender Braden Holtby made 20 saves for his second shutout.

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"We seem to be trending in the right direction," Williams said. "We've won four in a row, but we've played better in every game that we've won so far."

Controlling possession most of the night when on the ice, the trio of Kuznetsov, Ovechkin and Williams scored its third goal in as many games, in large part because of the improving play of Kuznetsov. His assist on Williams' third-period goal was his fourth in the past three games and the 100th of his career.

Was Williams surprised Kuznetsov passed up a strong scoring chance?

"The whole arena was surprised," Williams said. "I certainly wasn't expecting that, but all of a sudden you have a gaping net. You have to be ready when Kuzy has the puck because he makes plays you don't necessarily think are coming."

Ovechkin gave Washington a 1-0 lead 13:46 into the game with his 200th career power-play goal, becoming the 18th player to reach that milestone. That gave the Capitals 10 power-play goals in the past 12 games.

But after the power play was the star of the first period, the penalty kill shined in the second. With Washington clinging to a one-goal lead, the Canucks forced Holtby to make just one save on five power plays.

NOTE: The Capitals reassigned defenseman Aaron Ness to their American Hockey League affiliate Hershey Bears.

Isabelle Khurshudyan, The Washington Post

Boxing: Lorenzo Simpson of Baltimore received the Outstanding Youth Boxer Award at the USA Boxing Elite and Youth National Championships and Junior Open in Kansas City, Mo., after winning the 165-pound title Friday, a 3-2 decision over David Kaminsky of Reseda, Calif.

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Women's college basketball: Rider opened the game on a 21-6 run and held off host Towson in the second half for a 79-75 victory. The Tigers (6-4) had four players score in double figures, led by sophomore guard Sianni Martin's 22 points. The Broncs (7-2) went 5-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.

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