Sports Desk

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HURRICANES REWARD LAVIOLETTE WITH FIVE-YEAR EXTENSION Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette agreed to a five-year contract with the team yesterday, less than a week after leading the franchise to its first Stanley Cup.

“Peter’s coaching helped bring our team together to win hockey’s ultimate prize last season,” Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement. “His aggressive, up-tempo style of play allows for success under the league’s new rules, and his leadership has yielded great results for his teams throughout his career.”

Terms of the contract weren’t available. Under Laviolette, the Hurricanes finished the season 52-22-8, setting franchise records for wins (52), home wins (31), and points (112). They beat the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 last Monday to win the championship. Laviolette coached the United States at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, and previously coached the New York Islanders for two seasons.


CURTIS ROUTING FIELD AT SUSPENDED BOOZ ALLEN Ben Curtis will have to wait at least one more day to get his first victory since the 2003 British Open. Curtis was routing the field yesterday at the Booz Allen Classic in Potomac, Md., leading by eight strokes over Padraig Harrington with seven holes to go when play was suspended for the day because of an approaching thunderstorms. Curtis was on the 12th hole with a score of 23 under, poised to break the tournament record of 21 under. Play was scheduled to resume today at 8 a.m.

Curtis started the day with a five-shot lead over Brett Quigley, but Quigley’s opening tee shot landed against a tree and forced him to play his second shot left-handed. He bogeyed the hole to put Curtis ahead by six, and the lead grew to seven when Curtis sank an 8-foot putt to birdie no. 2. Curtis cruised from there. No one got closer than six shots the rest of the day.


ORIOLES SIGN EX-BRAVE ORTIZ The Baltimore Orioles signed right-hander Russ Ortiz on yesterday, hoping that a reunion with pitching coach Leo Mazzone rekindles the success that made Ortiz a 20-game winner with Atlanta.

Ortiz was designated for assignment by Arizona on June 13 following 1 1/2 frustrating seasons. After earning a four-year, $33 million free agent deal following a 21-7 season with Atlanta in 2003, Ortiz was 5-16 with a 7.00 ERA in 28 starts with Arizona. The Diamondbacks cut Ortiz loose despite owing him almost $22 million. He represents a low-cost gamble by the Orioles, who are responsible for only a prorated portion of the major league minimum salary of $327,000.

– Associated Press

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