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Sports in brief


Russia, Ovechkin next for U.S. in world semifinal

Ben Smith and Charlie Coyle scored 57 seconds apart as the United States rallied for a 3-1 victory over Switzerland in the World Ice Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic. The U.S. will meet Russia -- which beat Sweden, 5-3 -- in the semifinals, and the Washington Capitals say Alex Ovechkin should arrive in Prague in time to play in that game. Smith tied the score for the Americans with a wrist shot 10:17 into the second period and Coyle deflected in a slap shot by defensemen Seth Jones for the go-ahead goal. Tyler Seguin notched a hat trick as Canada cruised past Belarus, 9-0. Canada will meet the Czech Republic in the other semifinal after the host eliminated Finland, 5-3.

GOLFStreb leads, McIlroy is five shots back

Robert Streb shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-shot lead over Patrick Reed and Kevin Chappell after the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina. Stewart Cink topped the six-player group at 67. Top-ranked Rory McIlroy appeared on the verge of making a late run at the leaderboard before making a double bogey on the difficult par-3 17th hole. McIlroy appeared stunned when his tee shot hit the rock wall in front of the green and his ball caromed high and into the water. He finished with a 70. Phil Mickelson opened with three birdies but made a double bogey on the 18th hole. He shot 71, leaving him six shots back . . . Jeff Maggert birdied three of the final four holes for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke lead over Kevin Sutherland after the first round of the Champions Tour Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Alabama . . . France's Joanna Klatten had five birdies in a six-hole stretch and finished with a 6-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the LPGA Tour's Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Virginia. -- AP

Bethpage Red Open qualifier at 17 holes

Only 17 holes were open on Bethpage Red yesterday in the Long Island Qualifier for the U.S. Open, with the par-3 fourth bypassed because of "agronomic issues,'' according to the Metropolitan Golf Association, which conducted the event. Bethpage is among the many Long Island courses affected by harsh winter conditions. The course played to a par 67 with Kevin Ausserlechner, an assistant pro from Westchester, leading the seven qualifiers with a 62. Long Islanders Matt Dobyns, Mark Brown, Matt Sita and Michael Furci also advanced to sectional qualifying.


Djokovic, Nadal gain; Serena withdraws

Novak Djokovic fought back from a set down to pull out a 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 win over Brazilian qualifier Thomaz Bellucci to reach the Italian Open quarterfinals in Rome. Rafael Nadal became the first player to break John Isner's serve in nearly a month, and he did it twice in a 6-4, 6-4 win. American qualifier Christina McHale made the last eight of the women's draw when Serena Williams withdrew because of a right elbow injury. -- AP

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