Here’s a Robbie Knievel recipe for a happy – but not necessarily healthy – New Year’s Eve: a ramp, a volcano and a clearing on the Las Vegas Strip.
The son of the late Evel Knievel rung in 2009 by launching the height of a manmade volcano perched in front of The Mirage hotel-casino on a motorcycle for a television special.
Afterward, Knievel said his dad, who was from Butte, Mont., would have been proud and said his New Year’s resolution was to be like a famous Rolling Stones guitarist.
“Like Keith Richards, I’m going to keep smoking, drinking and jumping in my fourth decade,” the 46-year-old stuntman said.
The 200-foot high jump made Knievel appear to jump over the volcano on television, though he actually jumped next to it as it spewed a fireball under him for live spectators. Fireworks shot into the air as Knievel landed on the Strip in an area cleared of revelers earlier by police.
Minutes after Knievel’s jump, Australian stuntman Robbie Maddison drew excited gasps as he hopped 120 feet up and came down on top of a 96-foot high scale version of the Arc de Triomphe at Paris Las Vegas – a follow up to his record-breaking jump of more than 322 feet last year.
Moments earlier, 36-year-old stunt driver Rhys Millen backflipped an offroad truck but rolled the truck on the landing. The vehicle landed on its right wheels first, and ended up on its side.
Bruins extend streak to 10 games
Manny Fernandez made 30 saves to remain perfect at home and the Boston Bruins extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fernandez improved to 9-0-0 at home. Boston has only two regulation losses since Oct. 30 and its winning streak is its longest since March 9-28, 1973.
With the home-and-home sweep over the Penguins, the Bruins also moved into the top spot in the NHL with 62 points, one more than idle San Jose.
•Pominville, Roy lead Sabres: Linemates Jason Pominville and Derek Roy each scored two goals to help the Buffalo Sabres beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 in Toronto.
Roy also added an assist, and Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford each had two assists.
Ryan Miller stopped Niklas Hagman on a penalty shot late in the first period, and finished with 27 saves for the Sabres.
•Capitals light up Lightning: Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two assists and the Washington Capitals beat Tampa Bay 7-4 for their fifth straight victory and seventh in a row over the Lightning.
Matt Bradley, Boyd Gordon and Mike Green had a goal and an assist each, Sean Collins scored his first NHL goal, and David Steckel and Chris Clark added goals to help Washington improve to 16-1-1 at home.
Marquette stuns Villanova to open Big East play
Jerel McNeal scored 24 points and Marquette opened Big East play with an upset, beating No. 15 Villanova 79-72 in Milwaukee.
McNeal’s 3-pointer with 3:55 remaining capped a 7-0 run by Marquette (12-2), giving the Golden Eagles an eight-point lead that Villanova (12-2, 0-1) couldn’t chip away in the closing minutes.
Murray, Davydenko advance
Andy Murray defeated James Blake 6-2, 6-2 to set up a semifinal meeting with Roger Federer at the inaugural Capitala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
In the other first-round match, Nikolay Davydenko ousted Andy Roddick 6-4, 6-4 and will face Rafael Nadal in today’s other semifinal.
Bowden returns to football at North Alabama
Terry Bowden has taken over a limping Auburn program hammered by NCAA sanctions and down-and-out teams at Salem College and Samford. All three times, he engineered turnarounds.
Now, the longtime broadcaster returns to the sideline at Division II power North Alabama with designs on his first championship and no delusions that he’s stepping into a low-pressure environment.
The Lions have four consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins and are coming off a national semifinal appearance. Mark Hudspeth left to become an assistant under new Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen.
Quigley, Aliyu earn Midnight Run victories
Sean Quigley of Philadelphia won the men’s title and Aziza Aliyu of Ethiopia took the women’s in the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run through a frigid Central Park in New York.
Quigley, a former All-American at La Salle, covered the four-mile course in 18 minutes, 45 seconds.
The temperature was 18 degrees when the race started at midnight.
Aliyu outkicked Emily Brown of Minneapolis by 1 second to finish in 21:21. Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia was third in 22:05
•Northug, Follis win sprint: Petter Northug of Norway won the men’s sprint and Arianna Follis of Italy won the women’s race in the fifth leg of the World Cup’s annual Tour de Ski series in Nove Mesto Na Morave, Czech Republic.
Loitzl wins at Garmisch-Partenkichen
Wolfgang Loitzl of Austria earned his first World Cup victory, winning the second leg of the Four Hills ski jumping tournament.
Loitzl had jumps of 134.5 and 136.5 meters in the annual New Year’s Day meet for a total of 276.3 points.
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