Capitals

George Mason beats Old Dominion 71-46

George Mason beats Old Dominion 71-46

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) Patrick Holloway scored 10 of his game-high 15 points in the first half and George Mason got key contributions from several bench players as it pulled away in the second half for a 71-46 win over Old Dominion on Thursday night.

Paris Bennett and Vertrail Vaughns combined to score all the Patriots' points during a 15-4 run midway through the second half that gave George Mason (9-6, 2-1 Colonial Athletic Association) a 49-30 advantage over its in-state rivals.

The win snapped a two-game home losing streak for the Patriots, who had previously won 14 straight at home. The loss was the 13th in 14 games for the Monarchs (2-14, 0-4).

The Patriots' substitutes combined for 58 points on a night when leading-scorer Sherrod Wright had just one point and missed all five of his field goal attempts. George Mason's five starters totaled 13 points on 5-of-17 shooting.

In addition to Holloway's contribution off the bench, Bennett hit all six of his shots and finished with 13 points, Jonathan Arledge had nine, Vaughns finished with seven and Vaughn Gray had six.

Old Dominion set a school record for futility by shooting only 25 percent (12 of 48) from the field, committed 24 turnovers and looked lost on the offensive end of the floor to remain winless on the road this season. Nick Wright had 14 and Keenan Palmore added 13 for the Monarchs.

Both teams struggled in the first half, combining for as many fouls (20) as field goals. George Mason ultimately took a 30-22 lead at the half behind Holloway, who hit 4 of 6 shots in the opening 20 minutes. But the rest of the Patriots connected on only 8 of 22 field goals, and the Monarchs missed eight of their first nine attempts and shot 29 percent for the half.

The 25-point victory margin was the Patriots' second-largest under second-year coach Paul Hewitt.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov accepts IIHF suspension for cocaine while Capitals, NHL lay out next steps

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Evgeny Kuznetsov accepts IIHF suspension for cocaine while Capitals, NHL lay out next steps

After news broke of Evgeny Kuznetsov’s four-year suspension by the IIHF for testing positive for cocaine, the Capitals center released a statement Friday accepting the suspension and expressing his regret for the situation 

Said Kuznetsov:

"Recently, the IIHF notified me that, due to a positive test for a banned substance, I would be suspended from international competition for four years. I have made the decision to accept this penalty. Representing my country has always been so close to my heart and something I take so much pride in. Not being able to put that sweater on for four years is very hard to take. I have disappointed so many people that are important to me, including my family, teammates and friends. From the first day I took the ice in D.C., the Washington Capitals organization and our fans have been nothing but great to me and my family. I feel absolutely terrible for letting you down. I realize that the only way I can win you back is to take ownership of my situation and my actions from this point forward."

The question now is what happens next?

Both the Capitals and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly also released statements on Friday saying that Kuznetsov “has voluntarily sought help through the education and counseling program provided for in the NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement and has agreed to a regular testing protocol relating to his involvement with that program.”

In addition, Kuznetsov will meet with commissioner Gary Bettman “to discuss his situation and review his conduct prior to the start of Training Camp preceding the 2019-20 season.”

While the positive test has resulted in a four-year suspension with the IIHF, it is unclear if any such discipline will be levied on Kuznetsov by the NHL.

Said Daly, “Unlike the IIHF, cocaine is not considered a performance-enhancing drug and is therefore not a Prohibited Substance under the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.  Instead, it is considered a drug of abuse that is tested for and for which intervention, evaluation and mandatory treatment can occur in appropriate cases.”

Daly left the door open for NHL discipline as he concluded, “We intend to reserve further comment on any additional actions that may or may not be taken with respect to today’s announcement (disciplinary or otherwise) pending the completion of the Commissioner’s meeting with Mr. Kuznetsov.”

The Capitals, meanwhile, expressed support for Kuznetsov saying “we are committed to ensuring he has the necessary support required to work through this situation.”

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Evgeny Kuznetsov receives IIHF suspension after testing positive for cocaine

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Evgeny Kuznetsov receives IIHF suspension after testing positive for cocaine

Evgeny Kuznetsov has been suspended for four years by the IIHF after testing positive for cocaine, the organization announced Friday. The test was found in a sample taken on May 26, 2019, at the World Championship.

The suspension will last through June 12, 2023.

A video posted on Twitter in May showed Kuznetsov in a hotel room next to lines of an unidentified white powder. The Capitals center released a statement afterward saying that he has “never taken illegal drugs in my life and career.” He also claimed the video was from 2018 in Vegas after Washington won the Stanley Cup.

After a review, both the NHL and the Capitals accepted Kuznetsov’s explanation of the situation and considered the matter closed.

A team official told NBC Sports Washington on Friday that the team does intend to make an official comment on the news of Kuznetsov’s suspension.

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