NHL players will begin voting Sunday on whether they will grant the NHLPA executive board the authority to dissolve the union because of the inability to reach a collective bargaining agreement with the league.
Two-thirds of the membership must vote in favor of allowing the executive board to file a "disclaimer of interest," a source told the Canadian Press on Saturday.
The votes will be cast electronically over a five-day period that ends Thursday. If the measure passes, the 30-member NHL Players' Association executive board would have until Jan. 2 to file a the disclaimer, a critical step to breaking up the union.
Despite the focus of the lockout shifting from the board room to the courtroom, there is nothing preventing the sides from continuing to try to negotiate with each another. They met separately over two days with a U.S. federal mediator this week in New Jersey but failed to make any progress. No talks are currently scheduled.
Players have already missed five paychecks during the lockout that will enter its 14th week Sunday. More than 500 regular-season games through Dec. 30 have been wiped off the schedule.
SOCCER: Abby Wambach scored twice to help the U.S. women's team close out the season with a 4-1 exhibition victory over China in Boca Raton, Fla. Wambach, 32, has 152 international goals, six behind Mia Hamm for the U.S record.
Megan Rapinoe and Sydney Leroux also scored for the Olympic champions in their third consecutive match against China in the finale of a 10-game Fan Tribute Tour. The United States ran its unbeaten streak to 23 games.
SOFTBALL: Widener seniors Shelby Mackintosh (Rancocas Valley), Jen Nance (Archbishop Prendergast), and Jody Salvatore (Williamstown) have been named all-American scholar-athletes by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). All three softball players are two-time members of the Middle Atlantic Conference Academic Honor Roll.
Nine Rowan softball players received the honor: junior Nicole Escudero (Cherokee), senior Ashlie Gaynor (Eastern), junior Stephanie Labas (Millville), junior Samantha Liedtka (Steinert), senior Jamie Minix (Kingsway), junior Lindsey Sampolski (Triton), junior Katie Trotter (Williamstown), sophomore Kristi Twardziak (Triton), and senior Nicolina Veneziano (Bloomfield).
VOLLEYBALL: Texas' Bailey Webster had 14 kills and Haley Eckerman added 12 as the third-seeded Longhorns swept Oregon, 25-11, 26-24, 25-19, to win the NCAA women's volleyball crown.
Webster, a first-team AVCA all-American, helped the Longhorns (29-4) on defense as well with four blocks. She was the tournament's most outstanding player.
Liz Brenner and Katherine Fischer each had 13 kills for the fifth-seeded Ducks (30-5), who were making their first title-game appearance. A crowd of 16,448 fans attended the game in Louisville, Ky., the second-largest for an NCAA tournament final.
BOXING: In Los Angeles, Leo Santa Cruz defended his IBF bantamweight title with a unanimous decision over Alberto Guevara. Santa Cruz (23-0-1, 13 KOs) won his third defense of his 118-pound belt in just over three months. Guevara (16-1) performed well despite taking the fight on three weeks' notice.
BOBSLED: Canadians Lyndon Rush and brakeman Jesse Lumsden took their first World Cup two-man bobsled victory of the season, and American Katie Uhlaender won the women's skeleton race in La Plagne, France.
Rush and Lumsden, a former Canadian Football League running back, had a two-run time of 2 minutes, 1.18 seconds. Switzerland's Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann finished second in 2:01.45, and Americans Steven Holcomb and Steven Langton followed in 2:01.48.