CZECHS BOUNCE ALL-STARS: No matter what team he is on, Dominik Hasek is still winning games.

The Buffalo Sabres goaltender, who has captured MVP and top goaltender honors in the NHL in each of the last two seasons, led the Czech Republic - in a Prague, Czech Republic, exhibition game he organized - to a 10-7 victory Thursday night over a team made up of selected NHL stars.

Using the same players that won the Olympic gold medal in Nagano, the Czech Republic defeated a team that included Viacheslav Fetisov of the Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals Peter Bondra and Esa Tikkanen.

Robert Reichel of the New York Islanders scored twice in the first period as the Czech Republic jumped out to a 4-0 first-period lead in front of a sellout crowd of 14,000.

The game made approximately $10,000, which will go to various charities.

LAFONTAINE TO RETIRE: Pat LaFontaine of the New York Rangers will retire next week due to numerous concussions, according to a published report.

The New York Post cited an interview Friday, with agent Don Meehan, that said LaFontaine made the decision to retire after neurological specialist Dr. Jim Kelly told him that continuing his career would put him "beyond minimal risk."

LaFontaine, 33, has one year left on his contract. New York is responsible for $1.6 million and the NHL's insurance company the other $4.8 million, should he not play.

ARNOTT EYES OFFER: New Jersey Devils center Jason Arnott likely will sign a one-year, $1.8 million contract with the team early next week, his agent said.

Arnott had five goals and 10 assists in 35 games after joining the Devils in a January trade with the Edmonton Oilers. He is a restricted free agent, allowing the Devils the chance to match offers that he might receive from other teams.

CAPS REAQUIRE GOALIE: The Washington Capitals reacquired goaltender Rick Tabaracci from the Calgary Flames on Friday for an undisclosed draft pick and future considerations. Tabaracci, 29, played with the Capitals before being traded to Calgary in 1995.


FIREBIRDS PLACE SECOND: The Salt Lake City Firebirds (women's under 18 soccer team) placed second in last weekend's Surf Cup Soccer Tournament in San Diego.

The Firebirds defeated the British Columbia Provincials, 2-0; tied the San Diego Surf, 1-1; and topped Iowa United, 3-0. They then defeated the California Irvine Strikers, 2-0 in the semifinals before losing to Leahi, Hawaii, 2-0 in the championship match.

DRUG RUMORS ANGERS ITALIAN: Alessandro Del Piero, a star forward on Italy's World Cup team, is angry with a rival coach for suggesting the player used banned drugs to become more muscular.

AS Roma coach Zdenek Zeman, in interviews with Italian newspapers and the Rome weekly magazine Espresso, said he was surprised by the muscular growth of such players as Del Piero and Gianluca Vialli.

Vialli is now a player-coach with Chelsea in England's Premier League.

"I know that many doctors-pharmacologists have moved from cycling to soccer," Zeman told Espresso. "One must avoid that the league turns out like the Tour de France."

"Zeman's remarks are very serious and hurt the entire soccer world," said Claudio Pasqualin, Del Piero's agent. "Personal sacrifice is the base of Del Piero's success in soccer."

Vialli, in Sicily for an exhibition game, told the Italian television network RAI that Zeman should be suspended for at least a year.

"He's a terrorist trying to destabilize the soccer world," Vialli said.

SIMOES MAY STAY: Rene Simoes, the popular Brazilian who took Jamaica's "Reggae Boyz" to soccer's World Cup, has given his clearest indication yet that he will remain with the national team after his current contract expires.

Speaking on Radio Jamaica Friday, Simoes said he had spoken to Prime Minister P.J Patterson and outlined his conditions for remaining in Jamaica. He expected a favorable response.

Simoes came to Jamaica in 1994 to take up a position as Technical Director for the country's soccer program, with his main focus being on reaching the World Cup finals.

This unprecedented achievement came in France '98 and his adopted countrymen have hailed Simoes as a national hero.

Auto racing

BUD AT THE GLEN: Coming off two straight Winston Cup victories, Jeff Gordon kept up an amazing string of qualifying successes Friday by taking the pole position for Sunday's Bud at the Glen race at Watkins Glen, N.Y.

This one never was in doubt. On a warm overcast afternoon, Gordon, the ninth of 45 drivers to go, turned in a lap of 120.331 mph. The 2.45-mile, 11-turn track at Watkins Glen International is one of only two road courses on the Winston Cup schedule.

MILLER LITE 200: Bryan Herta, driving on his home track, broke his own track record in Friday's first day of qualifying for Sunday's Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

Herta, last year's polesitter in the race, drove his Team Rahal Reynard-Ford Cosworth to a fast lap of 122.977 mph on the 2.25-mile, 13-turn road course in the hills of north-central Ohio.

If Herta remains the fastest driver when qualifying ends Saturday, it would be his third pole of the year and sixth of his career. He also had the best qualifying lap at Long Beach and Portland earlier this year. He still is looking for his first victory.


KIPKETER RETURNS: Slowed by malaria since January, Wilson Kipketer makes his season debut in Monaco with hopes of salvaging his year.

The Kenyan-born Dane will be competing in the 800 meters Saturday in the Herculis track and field meet, part of the lucrative Golden League series. He will be running on the Monte Carlo track where he has won the past three years.

Kipketer had a superb 1997. He set two world records in the 800, winning his second world title and capturing the Grand Prix overall title.

This year has been a washout, however. He contracted malaria and has been far behind in training.

The 800 is not one of the 12 events eligible for the $1 million bonus that will be shared among athletes who remain unbeaten in their specialties plus the Grand Prix final in Moscow in September. The field is down to eight athletes after the first two meets, in Oslo, Norway, and Rome.

Marion Jones and former BYU sprinter Frankie Fredericks of Namibia are seeking their third victories in the Golden League 100s.

Fredericks has a tough task to remain eligible. Olympic champion and world record-holder Donovan Bailey is back in form, having beaten a top field in Paris July 29.