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Yahoo Sports AM: Tragedy on the ice - Yahoo Sports

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We hope you enjoy this edition of Yahoo Sports AM, our daily newsletter that keeps you up to date on all things sports.Sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.🚨 HEADLINES🏁 The final four: Kyle Larson (Hendrick Motorsports), Christopher Bell (Joe Gibbs Racing), Ryan Blaney (Team Penske) and William Byron (Hendrick Motorsports) will race in the NASCAR Cup championship next Sunday in Phoenix after advancing through the playoffs.💬 Quote of the weekend: "He's a really talented guy [but] I think he needs to be a little bit fatter." That's two-time MVP Nikola Jokić describing Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren, who is notably skinny (7-foot-1, 208 pounds).🏒 Thornton retires: Joe Thornton announced his retirement from the NHL on Saturday.The former Sharks, Bruins and Panthers forward ranks sixth all-time in games played (1,714), seventh in assists (1,109) and 12th in points (1,539).⚽️ Rivalry games: Jude Bellingham scored twice to give Real Madrid a 2-1 win over Barcelona, and Erling Haaland scored twice to lift Manchester City to a 3-0 win over Manchester United.🏀 Harden joins team: James Harden joined the 76ers on the bench for their home opener on Sunday and is expected to practice this week ahead of a possible season debut on Thursday.💔 TRAGEDY ON THE ICEJohnson with the Penguins during a 2018 preseason game.(Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)American hockey player Adam Johnson died Saturday after an errant skate slashed his neck during a professional game in England.He was 29 years old.Details: The Minnesota native, who appeared in 13 NHL games with the Penguins from 2018-20, was playing for the Nottingham Panthers when a player on the Sheffield Steelers went airborne and accidentally cut Johnson's neck with the bottom of their skate.Johnson immediately began gushing blood and was rushed off the ice with the help of his teammates before being taken to a local hospital, where he passed away.The UK's Elite Hockey League postponed all three games scheduled for Sunday. Distraught Panthers players and fans showed up at the arena to lay flowers and pay their respects.Twice in two years: Johnson's tragic death comes less than two years after 16-year-old Teddy Balkin died from a similar incident while playing for St.Luke's (Connecticut) prep school.No NHL player has died in this manner, but there have been numerous scares, most notably Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk in 1989 and Panthers winger Richard Zednik in 2008.In the case of Malarchuk, he likely would have died if not for the heroic actions of Sabres athletic trainer James Pizzutelli, whose experience as a part-time medic in Vietnam helped prepare him for the crucial seconds after the incident.Tributes pouring in: The NHL held a moment of silence for Johnson at the outdoor Heritage Classic, his former AHL team honored him, and former teammates and acquaintances shared stories about a man they called a "great teammate" and a "gentle, pleasant human.""I can't tell you how loved this guy was," said Johnson’s former Minnesota-Duluth teammate Riley Tufte, who told The Athletic that Johnson got engaged this past summer ($).Johnson played the hero for UMD back in 2017, scoring an overtime game-winner to beat Boston University and send the Bulldogs to the Frozen Four.The neck guard debate: Balkind's death sparked a debate about neck guards, which are mandated for amateurs in Canada and Sweden but not in the U.S.Johnson's death should reignite that same debate at the professional level.🏈 SUNDAY FUNDAY: FULL SLATE OF GAMES(Justin Tafoya/Getty Images)Due to a scheduling quirk not seen in 12 years, there were no NFL teams on a bye this week.That meant a full slate of 14 games on Sunday.Scoreboard:Broncos 24, Chiefs 9: Denver snapped the NFL's longest active losing streak against one team (16 straight losses to the Chiefs) and celebrated with Taylor Swift music.Bengals 31, 49ers 17: That's three straight losses for the Niners, who were considered Super Bowl favorites for much of the season.Are there any good NFL teams this year?!Cowboys 43, Rams 20: Scorigami! This was the 1,079th unique final score in NFL history.Vikings 24, Packers 10: Minnesota won its third straight game but likely lost Kirk Cousins (torn Achilles) for the season in the process.Jets 13, Giants 10 (OT): This game was gross.The Giants finished with negative-9 (!!!) net passing yards and there were 24 punts, the most in a game since 1988.Seahawks 24, Browns 20: With San Francisco reeling, 5-2 Seattle has taken over first place in the NFC West.Eagles 38, Commanders 31: Washington gave Philly all it could handle for the second time this season but fell short once again (they lost 34-31 in OT in Week 2).Titans 28, Falcons 23: Rookie Will Levis threw twice as many TDs in his debut (4) as Ryan Tannehill has thrown all season (2).Safe to say he'll be the starter moving forward.Jaguars 20, Steelers 10: Jacksonville has won five straight games to improve to 6-2.That's twice as many wins as every other team in the AFC South.Dolphins 31, Patriots 17: Tyreek Hill is the fourth player in NFL history (and first in the Super Bowl era) with 1,000 receiving yards through eight games.Saints 38, Colts 27: Rashid Shaheed made the most of his three catches, racking up 153 yards (51 yards per reception) and a TD.Panthers 15, Texans 13: No.1 pick Bryce Young outdueled No. 2 pick C.J.Stroud as Carolina got its first win of the season.Ravens 31, Cardinals 24: For the fourth time in five seasons, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are off to a 6-2 start.Chargers 30, Bears 13: After winning two of three games, the Bears are back to being bad again.Quick read: Sunday's winners and losers🥊 FRANCIS SHOCKS THE WORLD(Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury beat former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou by split decision on Saturday in Saudi Arabia — but it was Ngannou who was the real winner.Controversial decision: Ngannou dropped Fury in the third round and many thought he should have won the fight, which would have been one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.Ngannou, 37, was making his boxing debut and Fury, 35, is widely considered one of the best heavyweight boxers to ever live.Most experts had predicted an easy win for Fury, with one promoter telling Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole that the bout "was a disgrace."Ngannou entered the fight as a massive underdog (+750).When the final round began, he was the favorite (-125).Scorecards: One judge scored the bout 95-94 for Ngannou but the other two had it 95-94 and 96-93 in favor of "The Gypsy King."What he's saying: "I won that fight, there's no question about it," Ngannou told ESPN."Even before getting here, I knew if this fight gets to a decision, I'm not winning … because I'm the new guy in the house.There's a structure of business out there and you need to do a lot to destroy it."Silver lining: He may have been robbed of a victory, but Ngannou's $10+ million payday should help lessen the blow. Can you imagine what that amount of money feels like to a man who grew up working in the mines and wading through trash for food?⚾️ A THRILLER AND A BLOWOUTGeraldo Perdomo slides in a run during Arizona's 9-1 rout on Saturday.(Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)The World Series heads to Arizona tonight tied at one game apiece after Friday's thriller and Saturday's blowout, Jeff writes.Rangers 6, Diamondbacks 5: Arizona was two outs from victory when Corey Seager demolished a game-tying two-run homer to send it to extras, where ALCS MVP Adolis García finished the job with a walk-off blast in the 11th.Diamondbacks 9, Rangers 1: The Snakes mashed 16 hits and turned a close game into a laugher with seven runs in the final three frames.Merrill Kelly tossed another gem (7 IP, 9 K, 3 H, 1 ER) to lower his postseason ERA to 2.25.Series notes:Marte makes history: Diamondbacks 2B Ketel Marte extended his playoff hitting streak to 18 with knocks in Games 1 and 2, breaking a tie with Derek Jeter, Manny Ramírez and Hank Bauer for the longest in postseason history.RBI machine: García's walk-off homer was his 22nd RBI of these playoffs, breaking a tie with Cardinals 3B David Freese (2011) for the most in a single postseason.No other player has more than 15 in these playoffs.Great teammate: On Saturday, Arizona's Tommy Pham had a chance to become the first player in World Series history to have a 5-for-5 game.Instead, Pham asked his manager if Jace Peterson could pinch hit for him so he could get his first World Series at-bat.Hits leader can’t hit: Rangers 2B Marcus Semien led the AL with 185 hits during the regular season, but he can't buy a hit this postseason (.194 batting average, including 2-10 with four strikeouts and no walks so far in the World Series).Looking ahead: The Rangers are 8-0 on the road during these playoffs. With a win tonight in Phoenix, they'll break a tie with the 1996 Yankees for the longest road winning streak to begin a postseason.🌎 THE WORLD IN PHOTOS(David Ramos/World Rugby via Getty Images)Paris — South Africa beat New Zealand in a 12-11 thriller on Saturday to win their second straight Rugby World Cup and fourth overall, breaking a tie with New Zealand for the most ever.Jubilant Jayhawks fans tore down the goalpost and threw it in the lake after their upset victory.(Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)Lawrence, Kansas — Kansas stunned previously unbeaten Oklahoma, 38-33, on Saturday to snap an 18-game losing streak against their Big 12 foe.The Jayhawks rejoined the rankings at No.22 as a result, while the Sooners fell to No.10.(Derek Leung/Getty Images)Edmonton, Canada — The Oilers beat the Flames, 5-2, on Sunday in the Halloween-themed NHL Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium, the largest-open air stadium in Canada.📆 OCT. 30, 1974: RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE(Bettman Archives/Getty Images)49 years ago today, Muhammad Ali knocked out George Foreman* in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), to win the heavyweight title in a fight watched by an estimated 1 billion people, Jeff writes.A strategic victory: Ali backed himself into a corner against the younger Foreman in an attempt to tire him out.The "rope-a-dope" tactic paid off by the fifth round, at which point Ali began unleashing his own barrage before landing the knockout blow in the eighth.More on this day:🏀 1954: The shot clock made its NBA debut, increasing the league-wide scoring average from 79.5 points per game to 93.1.⚽️ 1997: Diego Maradona announced his retirement on his 37th birthday, just five days after playing his final match.*Oscar winner: The fight was immortalized in the 1996 documentary, "When We Were Kings," which won the Oscar for best documentary feature.📺 WATCHLIST: GAME 3Chase Field during Game 3 of the NLCS.(Chris Coduto/MLB Photos via Getty Images)Game 3 is tonight in Phoenix (8:03pm ET, Fox), the first World Series game in Arizona in 22 years*.Flashback: The Diamondbacks walked off the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series at Bank One Ballpark, now called Chase Field.More to watch:🏈 NFL: Raiders (+7.5) at Lions (8:15pm, ESPN/ABC)⚽️ MLS Playoffs: Orlando vs.Nashville (7pm, Apple/FS1); Seattle vs.Dallas (9pm, Apple/FS1)🏀 NBA: Warriors at Pelicans (8pm, NBA)🏒 NHL: Nine games (7-10pm, ESPN+)⚽️ Soccer: Ballon d’Or ceremony (2:30pm, Paramount+) … Live from Paris.*How long ago was 2001? 10 days after Arizona's Game 7 win, the first Harry Potter film hit the theaters.🏀 NBA TRIVIA(Thearon W.Henderson/Getty Images)Kevin Durant passed Hakeem Olajuwon for 12th on the NBA's all-time scoring list on Thursday and has a chance to crack the top 10 this season by passing two more former Rockets.Question: Who are those two players?Hint: Teammates in the 1980s.Answer at the bottom.🍿 BAKER'S DOZEN: HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEKENDA.J.Brown had himself a DAY on Sunday.(Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images)This weekend's top 13 plays are headlined by Nikola Jokić, A.J.Brown, Victor Wembanyama, Adolis García and Tage Thompson.Watch the highlights.___Trivia answer: Moses Malone and Elvin HayesWe hope you enjoyed this edition of Yahoo Sports AM, our daily newsletter that keeps you up to date on all things sports. 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