Brazilian soccer fan declared brain dead

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Brazilian soccer fan declared brain dead

From Comcast SportsNet
SAO PAULO (AP) -- A Palmeiras fan was declared brain dead on Tuesday, the second casualty from a confrontation involving nearly 500 people from rival groups last weekend. The Sao Camilo hospital said the 19-year-old fan remains on a ventilator but will not recover after receiving head injuries in the fighting on Sunday. His name was not immediately released by the hospital. On Sunday, 21-year-old Palmeiras supporter Andre Alves died after being shot in the head in the confrontation. Two other fans remain hospitalized, a 17-year-old with head injuries and a 23-year-old who was shot in the hip and needed surgery. The announcement that the fan was brain dead came as authorities decided to close the headquarters of the rival fan groups involved in the fighting -- Palmeiras' Mancha Verde and Corinthians' Gavioes da Fiel. The Sao Paulo state football federation indefinitely banned them on Monday from entering stadiums. Authorities seized computers and other material that could bring more information about those involved in the fight, and detained several members suspected of participating in the confrontation. Iron bars and other possible weapons used in the brawl were also seized. Police said one of Alves' brother, a vice president at the Mancha Verde, was shot in the leg during another fight last year. The confrontation on Sunday raised concerns about escalating fan violence in Brazil, and authorities said they will have to take action to keep the fighting from spreading with the country staging the 2014 World Cup. Corinthians' stadium will host the World Cup opener in 2014. "We are against this type of violence because everybody loses," said former Palmeiras player and current club director Cesar Sampaio, who attended Alves' funeral on Monday. "We have to take a stance to try to put an end to this right now." There hadn't been a death linked to fan violence in Brazil since early last year, when a Corinthians supporter was killed after reportedly being ambushed by Palmeiras fans. Police believe Sunday's fight came in retaliation for that death, and Palmeiras supporters are already using social media networks to say they will avenge this weekend's killing. Police were investigating reports that Sunday's fight was set up on the Internet. The Mancha Verde released a note saying the group was ambushed by the Corinthians supporters, but the Gavioes da Fiel denied the allegations. The fans used iron bars, pieces of wood and rocks in the confrontation which lasted several minutes until riot police arrived to intervene. It happened several hours before the match between Corinthians and Palmeiras, several kilometers from the stadium. There had been few incidents involving fan groups in the past few years, but several have been reported in recent months, including some between Corinthians and Palmeiras fans. About a week ago, a 28-year-old fan of small club Guarani died from head injuries after fighting with Ponte Preta supporters in the city of Campinas, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Sao Paulo. The death prompted authorities to ban the teams' fan groups from stadiums. The same measure was taken by authorities in the northeastern city of Salvador because of recent incidents involving Bahia fans. There were also fights in Goias state and in Rio de Janeiro recently. Other South American nations have had to deal with fan violence. One man was killed and dozens were injured in two separate incidents in Colombia earlier this month.

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The Blackhawks were finally getting healthy and now may be missing a key player once again. That depends on how Niklas Hjalmarsson feels after suffering an upper-body injury against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.

It was certainly the toughest part of the Blackhawks' victory, a 6-3 triumph that has the Blackhawks closing in on the Wild. We'll see what the Hjalmarsson update is over the weekend. Until then, let's look at the notables from this one.

What Worked: The offense. We'll give an honorable mention to the penalty kill, which snuffed out all of the Coyotes' chances including a double minor that overlapped the second and third periods. But the offense was just buzzing again. Here's another shocker: the top line is still working just fine. The trio got things started with Nick Schmaltz's goal just 37 seconds into the game (Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik assisted). And much like in their meeting with the Coyotes earlier this month, the Blackhawks needed just about every bit of that offense. While we're on this topic...

What Didn't Work: The first-period defense. The Blackhawks looked like they were in good shape up 3-1 but then they gave up two goals within a minute late in the period. Michal Rozsival had a rough start in his first game since Jan. 15, but overall, the Blackhawks' defense through that first period looked discombobulated. Obviously, it didn't help that the Blackhawks lost Hjalmarsson during the first, either.

[RELATED: Patrick Kane nets hat trick as Blackhawks cruise past Coyotes]

Star of the game: Patrick Kane. One game after Jonathan Toews recorded a hat trick Kane did the same, scoring his 21st, 22nd and 23rd goals of the season. On a night in which the Blackhawks dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen, Kane got a little extra playing time. His first goal came on a first-period shift with Ryan Hartman and Tanner Kero, the second off a long pass from Brent Seabrook and the third with his usual line mates.

He Said It: "I didn't play much before I got hurt, then I missed four weeks with my injury. It wasn't easy but definitely the way the team's playing now, it made it easier for me. It felt like the first game of the season for me but glad we got the victory and glad I was back playing. I enjoyed it." — Michal Rozsival on returning to the Blackhawks' lineup. 

By the Numbers: 

6 – Number of times, in their last eight games, the Blackhawks have scored five or more goals.

342 – Assists for Jonathan Toews, who tied Dennis Hull for 12th all-time in franchise history in that category.

35 – Combined points for the Blackhawks' top liners Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik in their nine games together. The breakdown in those nine games: Toews has 16 points, Panik 10 and Schmaltz nine.

1997 – The last time the Blackhawks had hat tricks in back-to-back regular-season games. Alexei Zhamnov and Eric Daze had them on April 11 and April 13, 1997, respectively.