Three-star linebacker Bryce Brand committed to Maryland, he announced on Twitter on Saturday. "Proud to officially announce that I'm furthering my education and football career at THE University of Maryland," he wrote. Brand, from Clayton Valley in Detroit, is the nation's No. 82 outside linebacker and the No. 109 player in Michigan, according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings. He committed to Arizona in June but visited College Park in December. Brand's brother, Ryan, a former Air Force commit at quarterback, will also join the team as a walk-on.
'War Cry', 'Locust Point' and 'Runway' win at Laurel
Isabelle de Tomaso's New Jersey homebred Irish War Cry put away rival Undulated early and held off a determined stretch bid from O Dionysus to capture the $100,000 Marylander by a nose at Laurel Park. Making just his second career start and first in a stakes following an impressive 41/2-length debut victory Nov. 11 at Laurel, Irish War Cry ($2.60) ran the distance in 1 minute, 22.71 seconds over a fast main track. O Dionysus lost a head bob at the wire but was a clear second, 10 lengths ahead of Undulated.
In other stakes races:
— Making her stakes and Maryland debut, Jim Reichenberg and Bruno De Julio's Ms Locust Point broke running and was never threatened to win the $100,000 Gin Talking by 41/4-lengths. Ridden by Jorge Vargas Jr. for trainer John Servis, Parx-based Ms Locust Point ($4.20) sprang to the lead from Post 4 and took a tightly bunched field through a quarter-mile in 22.67 seconds and a half in 45.62, chased by 30-1 long shot Bubbly and Squan's Kingdom. Multiple stakes-placed Star Super, racing first time for trainer Cal Lynch, moved into contention on the far outside approaching the stretch but was no match for the winner, who extended her lead late and hit the wire in 1:22.43.
— A year after being beaten as the favorite, Heaven's Runway made a triumphant return to Maryland by wearing down top choice Chief Lion through the stretch and edging past for a half-length victory in the $100,000 Dave's Friend for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs. As he did in his previous start, rallying for a neck victory over Stallwalkin' Dude in the Fall Highweight (G3) Nov. 24 at Aqueduct, Heaven's Runway gained ground down the stretch to win in 1:09.74 for six furlongs over a fast main track.
— High Ridge Road, beaten by a nose in the Go For Wand (G3) at Aqueduct in her previous start, collared fellow New York shipper By the Moon in mid-stretch and surged late to upset the 3-5 favorite by a half-length in the $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go. High Ridge Road ($6) ran one mile in 1:35.58 for her fourth career win and third in as many starts in Maryland.
— Back at home after having his four-race win streak ended in South Florida, Matt Schera's John Jones led from start to finish and cruised to a five-length victory in the $75,000 Jennings. Favored at 1-2 in a field of six, John Jones ($3) won for the fifth time at Laurel and third in a stakes since being claimed for $25,000 in mid-July by trainer Lacey Gaudet. With regular rider Luis Garcia aboard, the 4-year-old gelding ran a mile in 1:36.34.
More Laurel: Laurel opens its 56-day winter meet today and will offer a nine-race card Monday. First race post time both days is 12:30 p.m.
NHL: T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin scored 33 seconds apart in the second period Saturday to power the visiting Washington Capitals to a 6-2 victory and a split of a home-and-home series with the New Jersey Devils.
New Jersey stunned host Washington with a 2-1 shootout victory Thursday.
Brett Connolly, Jay Beagle, Justin Williams and Marcus Johansson also scored as Washington ended a two-game losing streak.
Backup goalie Philipp Grubauer, playing for the first time in six games, made 21 saves, improving his record to 6-1-1.
Kyle Palmieri and Beau Bennett scored for the Devils, who have only two wins in their past 12 games (2-9-1). Keith Kinkaid stopped 20 shots, and New Jersey wasted nine power plays.
Note: Devils defenseman John Moore was removed from the ice left on a stretcher after a hit by Capitals forward Tom Wilson. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation, and coach John Hynes said after the game that he would be released.
Men's college basketball: Elijah Long scored 12 points, and his two free throws with 28 seconds remaining lifted host Mount Saint Mary's past Wagner, 57-56. Down 55-50, Wagner's Blake Francis made two 3s to give the Seahawks a 56-55 lead with 44 seconds to go. Michael Carey fouled Long, who sank the free throws. Mike Aaman missed a short shot for Wagner with nine seconds left, and Mount Saint Mary's (4-11, 2-0 Northeast Conference) held on. Miles Wilson led the Mountaineers with 13 points and Junior Robinson finished with 10. Corey Henson finished with 13 points to lead Wagner (5-7, 1-1).