By JOHN WAWROW AP Hockey Writer Hilary Knight put aside the jet lag and fresh memories of helping the United States win its latest world hockey championship to begin looking ahead to next season. Yes, the star forward intends on playing professionally in October. The only question Knight can’t answer is where. “Yeah, exactly,” she told The Associated Press by phone this week, shortly after returning home to Idaho after a 2-1 shootout victory over host Finland in the gold-medal game Sunday. Knight is suddenly one of some 100 players without a place to play after the six-team Canadian Women’s Hockey League last month abruptly announced it was ceasing operations as of May 1. Knight had just completed her first full season playing for the CWHL franchise in Montreal after spending two seasons with Boston of the U.S.-based National Women’s Hockey League. Knight is in no hurry to rush back to the NWHL, acknowledging she left the league in part by how the league operated, including cutting players’ salaries in half a month into the 2016-17 season. With the CWHL’s collapse due to financial reasons, the 29-year-old said she prefers taking a contemplative step back before determining what’s best for her and the sport. “I don’t think either model has it figured out, to be honest,” Knight said, referring to the CWHL, which operated as a nonprofit, and the private investor-backed NWHL. “We want to be confident in something we’re endorsing, and that’s one of the reasons I moved to the CWHL,” she added. “And now, there’s a lot of different open doors, and we just have to figure out which makes sense for the future.” The five-team NWHL swiftly announced its intention to expand to Toronto and Montreal next season, but players on both sides of the border are using the CWHL’s demise as a starting point for a big-picture discussion on the game’s future, and demanding they have a say in it. “I think it’s kind of opened our eyes to something that we always knew was there, and to seize the opportunity to really ask for more for our sport,” said goalie Liz Knox, the CWHL Players’ Association co-chair. “I see more often, women, especially female athletes, being told to be grateful for opportunity. And certainly we are,” she added. “But at some point that line of being grateful has to be broken to ask for more or to demand for more. … There’s got to be better out there for us.” Without going into detail, the 30-year-old Knox said there have already been “a handful” of proposals kicked around in the three weeks since the CWHL announcement.
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT — Yoan Moncada hit a mammoth home run in the first inning, and the Chicago White Sox eventually broke the game open with five runs in the seventh on the way to a 7-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
Carlos Rodon (3-2) allowed a run and three hits in six innings for Chicago, which was without manager Rick Renteria and shortstop Tim Anderson. Those two were serving suspensions for their actions during Wednesday’s bench-clearing fracas against Kansas City.
Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t make it to the end of the game either. He was ejected in the fifth inning for having words with plate umpire Todd Tichenor after Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann (0-3) walked in a run to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead.
Josh Harrison, Grayson Greiner and Niko Goodrum homered for Detroit’s three runs, but it was Moncada’s drive in the first that stood out. His home run , which may have had some help from the wind on a blustery night at Comerica Park, carried beyond the two rows of bushes above the wall in center field. It went 458 feet, according to Statcast.
Zimmermann came into the game averaging the fewest walks per nine innings (1.91) of any active pitcher with at least 1,000 innings. He wasn’t sharp enough on this night, though. He walked four, one shy of his career high, and allowed five runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Moncada drew a walk with the bases loaded in the fifth, and although Zimmermann looked frustrated and Gardenhire was thrown out of the game, a replay showed that ball four indeed appeared to miss the plate.
In the seventh, Zimmermann was pulled after allowing a two-run single to Leury Garcia. Jose Abreu added a two-run double off reliever Daniel Stumpf to make it 6-1, and Yonder Alonso followed with an RBI single.
Greiner’s homer in the bottom of the seventh was the first of his career.
Bench coaches Joe McEwing and Steve Liddle took over the managerial duties for Renteria and Gardenhire.