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In Brief: Knight voted player of year

ZURICH (AP) — Hilary Knight was the runaway leader in voting for the International Ice Hockey Federation’s first female player of the year award on Thursday, some six weeks after the 33-year-old captained the United States to win gold at the women’s world championship.

The IIHF announced Knight received 40.9% of the votes submitted by more than 50 media members, representing 16 countries, and a select group of federation officials. U.S. defender Caroline Harvey was second at 18.2%, followed by Slovakia’s 15-year-old Nela Lopusanova (13.6%).

The IIHF is also introducing a male player of the year award, with the winner announced later this month.

Knight scored a tournament-leading eight goals, with three — including the game-winner — coming in a 6-3 win over Canada in the championship game in April. And she did so as a first-time team captain, filling in for Kendall Coyne Schofield, who missed the tournament because of pregnancy.

In 13 tournament appearances, Knight leads all world championship players with 61 career goals and 101 career points.

Rounding out the top five vote-getters were Finland captain Jenni Hiirikoski (11.3%) and Canada’s Sarah Fillier (9.1%).

The IIHF said the award goes to a player who best exemplifies exceptional skill, determination, team success and sporting character on and off the ice during the preceding season. Players are judged on their combined performances in federation events and domestic leagues.

SUNS HIRE VOGEL AS HEAD COACH

PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns hired former NBA champion coach Frank Vogel on Friday to replace Monty Williams.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the move.

The 49-year-old Vogel has been the coach of the Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers during his career.

Vogel led the Lakers to an NBA title in 2020 when the league finished its season in the Florida bubble. He has a 431-389 career record over 11 seasons and a 49-39 mark in the playoffs.

NADAL SITS OUT FRENCH OPEN

PARIS (AP) — Rafael Nadal had arthroscopic surgery on Friday night for the injured left hip flexor that forced him to sit out the French Open for the first time since he won the first of his record 14 titles there in his 2005 tournament debut.

Nadal’s spokesman, Benito Perez-Barbadillo, said three doctors were involved in the procedure, which was taking place in Barcelona.

Perez-Barbadillo said he expected to be able to pass along information about the operation on Saturday, which is Nadal’s 37th birthday.

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