Backstrom seeing specialist for neck injury
Nicklas Backstrom is visiting a specialist in Michigan after suffering a neck injury while playing in the Kontinental Hockey League during the lockout, a Washington Capitals spokesman confirmed. Backstrom has not played since suffering the injury Dec.26 in a game with Dynamo Moscow. The Swedish center returned to North America on Sunday and was at the Capitals' training facility in Arlington, Va., on Monday, but has since traveled to Michigan. On Tuesday, general manager George McPhee said he couldn't discuss Backstrom's health until the new collective bargaining agreement is ratified and the center is examined by team medical personnel. If Backstrom does not pass his training camp physical, the Capitals will not have to pay him because he was injured during the lockout. Backstrom missed 40 games last season with a concussion.
—Katie Carrera, The Washington Post
Under Armour announced Wednesday that the eighth annual Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic will be held July 6 at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium. Eighty-eight of the nation's top male and female high school seniors will earn one of the sport's most prestigious honors. Under Armour All-Americans are selected by a panel of experts at Inside Lacrosse magazine. The yearlong process includes input from college and high school coaches from across the country as well as nominations from the public. All-America nominations for the Class of 2013 can be submitted to insidelacrosse.com/underarmour. The Under Armour All-America games will be held at Towson in conjunction with the Under Armour Underclassmen Elite Stars tournament July 5-7. The tryouts and tournament, widely recognized as the premier recruiting event of the summer, will again feature competing male and female regional teams from Baltimore, Long Island, the Midwest, New England, New Jersey, Philadelphia, the South, upstate New York, Washington and the West. Registration for Underclass Elite Stars tryouts is now open. Tryout dates, locations and coaches for each region will be posted at underarmourlacrosse.com.
Md. boys lacrosse team wins title at Calif. Adrenaline Challenge
The Crabs Atlantic Stars of Maryland, the only East Coast team at the 12th annual Adrenaline Challenge last weekend in Del Mar, Calif., went undefeated to win their age bracket, capped by a last-minute comeback in the final. In the STX Middle School Abracket championship against the three-time defending champion L.A. Lazers, the Crabs trailed by a goal with 1:27 to go. Luke Shilling tied the game on an inside roll with 29 seconds left. The Crabs won the ensuing faceoff, and coach Andy Shilling called a timeout. On the restart, Anthony Orsini drove to the cage hard and drew a double team, but found Luke Shilling on the backside for the game-winner. "It feels pretty special being the only East Coast team," Andy Shilling said after his squad started the tournament 3-0 on Saturday. "This tournament is really great — back east there aren't tournaments that can host so many teams in one location, and the weather is just awesome." Each game consisted of 20-minute halves. The Crabs Atlantic Stars featured players from the Baltimore Crabs, the Virginia Lacrosse Club, Breakers LC and Greene Turtle LC.
College men: Towson has added perennial powerhouse Duke to its schedule. The Tigers will travel to Durham, N.C., to face the Blue Devils on March 16 at 1 p.m. The game will replace the home contest against Stony Brook previously scheduled that day.
Recruiting: Division I High Point announced the addition of sophomore transfer Dylan Bozel (Loyola) for the 2013 season. The midfielder played in one game for Rutgers last season, recording one shot. Bozel was an Under Armour All-American with the Dons and also earned All-State honors; he played football and basketball as well.
FIL: The Federation of International Lacrosse announced a new website, filacrosse.com, for the worldwide governing body of lacrosse. "There is a significant section of the website dedicated to raising awareness in regard to anti-doping," FIL president Stan Cockerton said. "We want to send a strong message to the world that we are serious about being an Olympic-caliber sport."
D.C. United: The team announced the acquisition of Rafael, a 20-year-old forward on loan from a Brazilian club who coach Ben Olsen believes has "the potential to be a big-time forward in this league." Rafael scored 10 goals in 36 appearances for Bahia in the Brazilian league, United officials said, and comes to United as a "young designated player," meaning he will receive one of the highest salaries on the club but count only $200,000 against the salary cap. Also, United's 34-game regular-season schedule is set, beginning and ending against the Houston Dynamo, the defending Major League Soccer Eastern Conference champion. The schedule, which runs March 2 to Oct. 27, includes 16 of 17 home matches on weekends. United will appear on national TV 12 times, including twice on NBC's main channel: March 16 at New York and Oct. 27 in the finale against the Dynamo. Six are set for NBC Sports Network, three are on Spanish-language Telefutura and one on ESPN2. Local broadcasts, typically on Comcast SportsNet, have not been finalized.
—Steven Goff, The Washington Post
College football: Former Navy assistant Gene McKeehan retired from his offensive line coaching post at Army, according to the Times-Herald Record of Middletown, N.Y. McKeehan, who also served as the Black Knights' associate head coach, finished his 41st season of coaching. He also coached at Wake Forest, Virginia and Cal Poly.
College baseball: Johns Hopkins senior first baseman Jeff Lynch and shortstop Kyle Neverman have been named NCAA Division III Players to Watch by Collegiate Baseball. The Blue Jays begin their season by hosting Alvernia on Feb.25 at 3 p.m.
—From Sun staff and news services