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always going to be that way." Wall,

  • 27 Jun
    BUFFALO, N. [b]Ryan Groy Jersey[/b] .Y. - The goalie equipment didnt exactly fit Arturs Irbe. What did were the familiar competitive emotions the 47-year-old once enjoyed during his NHL playing days.Once a goalie, always a goalie, Irbe said with a wide grin.Seven years after Irbe thought he hung up his pads for good, the Buffalo Sabres goalie coach came out of retirement for a few hours on Wednesday night. Irbe signed whats called a tryout contract to serve as Buffalos backup after starter Michal Neuvirth was hurt during the first period of a 4-1 win over San Jose.I said, Ted, I havent donned a uniform in seven years, Irbe said, recalling the conversation he had with Sabres coach Ted Nolan during the first intermission. And he said, It doesnt matter. Now you will.With backup goalie Jhonas Enroth taking over, Irbe scrambled to find equipment that fit his 5-foot-8 frame.Irbe pulled on a pair of Enroths pads because the two, coincidently, are about the same size. The glove and blocker he wore were ones left behind by former Sabres starter Ryan Miller last season. As for the mask, Irbe doesnt know where the equipment staff found it.By the start of the third period, Irbe was standing in the hallway leading to the Sabres bench, psyching up for the slight possibility that he might play.It was the atmosphere, that feeling that youre back there by the bench and the game is going on and youre pulling for your team, Irbe said. I was thinking how I would approach it if I had to go in, visualizing: the best part of the game.The Latvian-born Irbe broke into the NHL with San Jose in 1991-92. He eventually split 13 seasons between four teams, including the last six with the Carolina, where he helped the Hurricanes win the Eastern Conference championship in 2002.He then spent three years playing in Europe before turning his attention to coaching.Irbe was hired by the Sabres last summer, and reunited with Nolan, who also doubles as Latvias national team coach.The Sabres have another Latvian connection in second-year forward Zemgus Girgensons.Oh, that wouldve been awesome, something that I would have never thought about, Girgensons said of the possibility of playing in front of Irbe. Its just funny that he got the (tryout contract).Irbe never imagined hed get this chance, either.Be careful what you wish for, Irbe said, smiling. Obviously, I didnt want Jhonny to get hurt or something bad happen. But if I would go in, I would have had fun. [b]Cameron Tom Jersey[/b] . -- Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer, Colby Rasmus drove in two runs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 9-4 on Saturday. [b]Ulrick John Jersey[/b] . Bobrovsky posted a 2-0-1 record with a 1.58 goals-against average and .950 save percentage to help the Blue Jackets (35-26-6) gain five of a possible six points last week. He capped the week by making 32 saves and stopping 2-of-4 shootout attempts in a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. PHILADELPHIA -- The 76ers fans came to celebrate Allen Iversons No. 3. Trevor Ariza left them talkin about 40. Ariza made eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 40 points to help the Washington Wizards win their sixth straight game, 122-103 over Philadelphia on Saturday night. Ariza made all six 3-point attempts in the first quarter for 24 points and finished 14 of 23 from the floor overall. The 76ers lost their 13th straight game on the night they retired Iversons No. 3. Iverson had his number sent to the rafters, fit between Maurice Cheeks No. 10 and Charles Barkleys No. 34. The Sixers even gave him a boat named, "The Answer." The Sixers enjoyed their first sellout of 20,856 for Iversons triumphant homecoming. The fans, though, saw the same old sorry Sixers. Ariza had his milestone game in front of one of his childhood favourites. "What he brought to the game made me love the game the way I love it," he said. "He was amazing for a lot of years and he definitely changed the culture of the NBA. This was his night and, I guess, thats definitely a thanks for all the things hes done throughout my life and my career. "Just being a fan of his since I was young, its great to be able to perform that way on a big night like that for him." Ariza had plenty of help for a Wizards team making a run in the Eastern Conference. John Wall had 17 points and tied a career high with 16 assists, and Marcin Gortat had 13 points and 14 rebounds. Ariza, averaging 14.3 points, seemed like he would top his career high of 33 in the first 12 minutes. The Sixers were helpless as the 6-foot-8 forward made his 3-point shots with the ease of a pop-a-shot contest. With the building buzzing over Iversons retirement ceremony, Ariza silenced them at stretches with six 3s and 9 of 10 shooting overall, helping the Wizards storm out to a 15-point lead. Wall had the assist on most of those looks and finished the quarter with eight. "What more can you ask than a guy who wants to see you succeed," Ariza said. "I feel like thats what we do here now; we all want to see each other succeed." The fans were mostly distracted by the parade of former greats the Sixers trotted oout for Iversons big night. [b]Taylor Stallworth Jersey[/b]. They went wild for Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and former team president Pat Croce. But they came for the global superstar who popularized "talkin about practice." The Sixers may as well have turned the arena into an AI museum. Four banners greeted fans at the main concourse entrance, and photos of him were plastered all around the arena. The merchandise stands sold Iverson jerseys for $130, and lower level tickets were going for as much for $1,280 on Stubhub about an hour before the 7:30 p.m. tipoff. The fans loved him, and he blew them kisses after the No. 3 was raised to show how much he loved them back. "I am Philly," Iverson said. "Its always going to be that way." Wall, who had his 22nd double-double, returned to the court at halftime to record Iversons ceremony. "He was my role model and I looked up to him," he said. "Being a small guard, thats where I took a lot of my game from. This city embraced him and let him be who he was as a person. He always gave his best effort. "I always wanted to grow braids like Iverson. The only thing I didnt have was the tattoos." Iversons return injected a rare dose of excitement into a franchise playing some of the worst basketball in the league. The Sixers, in full-blown rebuilding mode, lost their 12th straight home game. The Wizards made some history as well, scoring a Wells Fargo Center record 74 points in the first half and led by 12. Perhaps fueled by Iversons ceremony, the Sixers went on a 9-0 run in the third to trim the gap to 12 points. It just wasnt enough and the Sixers allowed 100-plus points for the 13th straight game. Tony Wroten led the Sixers with 19 points and Thaddeus Young had 17. Coach Brett Brown didnt hesitate when asked if he wondered if the Sixers would win another game. "All the time," he said. Notes: Arizas previous career best was at Houston on Oct. 31, 2009. ... Trevor Booker had 14 points and Bradley Beal 11, giving the Wizards five starters in double figures. ... Ariza also had four steals. ... 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