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CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Joe Colborne scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Calgary Flames an improbable 4-3 come-from-behind win over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.
 
Colborne took the first attempt in the shootout and beat Jaroslav Halak on a deke for his third goal on four attempts this season in the tiebreaker.
 
Reto Berra turned aside T.J. Oshie, Derek Roy and Magnus Paajarvi in the shootout to earn the win. Mark Giordano forced overtime by dramatically scoring the tying goal with five seconds left in the third period.
 
Patrick Berglund's holding penalty gave Calgary a power play with 1:37 left, and Flames coach Bob Hartley added more pop by pulling Berra for a 6-on-4 skating edge.
 
Jiri Hudler's long diagonal pass was hammered in from the faceoff dot by Giordano, who one-timed a blistering slap shot past Halak to send the sellout crowd into a frenzy.
 
Hudler and Mike Cammalleri also scored for Calgary (14-17-6), which kicked off a five-game homestand. The Flames snapped a three-game losing streak.
 
Kevin Shattenkirk, Jaden Schwartz and Paajarvi scored for the Blues (24-7-5), which took three out of four points in Alberta and are 5-1-2 in their last eight.
 
The Flames have battled injuries all season, and there were more announced on Monday. Left wing Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain) and former Blues defenseman Kris Russell (sprained knee), will be out for an extended period after they were hurt at Pittsburgh on Saturday in the final stop of a five-game trip.
 
St. Louis scored the lone goal of the first period, just eight seconds into its first power play.
 
Off a faceoff win deep in the Flames end, the Blues worked the puck around. Brendan Morrow's nifty cross-ice backhanded pass landed on the stick of Shattenkirk, who broke in from the blue line and scored his fifth goal of the season into the open side.
 
Schwartz scored through a screen as the Blues took a 2-1 lead less than two minutes after Hudler tied it at 12:06.
 
Just 44 seconds later, the Blues increased their lead to two on a goal from their high-energy fourth line.
 
Berra's pass around the boards was intercepted by Adam Cracknell, who zipped a pass to Maxim Lapierre in the slot. Lapierre's shot was stopped, but Paajarvi corralled the rebound and stuffed in his third goal.
 
The Flames cut the deficit to 3-2 at 11:05 of the third when Paul Byron set up Cammalleri from behind the net for his team-leading 12th goal.
 
Berra made 32 saves to improve to 5-8-2. Halak stopped 26 stops and fell to 17-6-3.
 
NOTES: Glencross, who earlier missed 15 games with a knee injury, will be out for eight weeks. Russell will be sidelined 4-to-6 weeks. Taking Russell's spot on the Calgary blue line was Chris Breen. ... With Alex Steen (upper body) out for the Blues, 20-year-old Dmitrij Jaskin, recalled from Chicago (AHL), made his season debut. He played alongside Oshie and David Backes. ... Only Hudler, T.J. Brodie and Chris Butler have played in each of Calgary's 37 games.
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 00:00
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams wore throwback jerseys from their Super Bowl title season, then Robert Quinn outdid one of those former stars.
 
Quinn got three of St. Louis' seven sacks and set a franchise season record in a 23-13 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
 
The Rams won without left tackle Jake Long, who injured his knee on the first series. Coach Jeff Fisher believes Long tore a knee ligament.
 
Quinn leads the NFC with 18 sacks. He broke Kevin Carter's franchise record of 17 sacks in that 1999 Super Bowl title season.
 
Zac Stacy rushed for 104 yards on 33 carries and a touchdown, and two other rookies also had big games for the Rams (7-8), who matched their victory total from last year. Stedman Bailey scored on a 27-yard reverse, and Alec Ogletree forced two fumbles.
 
Ogletree stripped Bobby Rainey early in the second quarter. Bailey scored his first career touchdown on the next snap on the reverse to put the Rams up for good at 14-7.
 
The Buccaneers (4-11) managed just 170 total yards, setting a season low for the second straight week. Vincent Jackson had five catches for 98 yards.
 
Rainey opened the scoring with a 1-yard run in the first quarter and Stacy scored on a 1-yard run early in the second quarter.
 
There were thousands of empty seats for an unattractive matchup with attendance announced at 54,423 — about 12,000 shy of capacity.
 
James Laurinaitis added two sacks and Greg Zuerlein kicked three field goals, including a season-best 54-yarder in the third quarter after Tampa Bay had cut the deficit to a point.
 
The Buccaneers are 1-6 on the road, the lone win in overtime at Seattle after an 0-8 start to the season. Tampa Bay finishes at New Orleans next week.
 
Quinn's first sack helped force the Bucs to settle for a 35-yard field goal by Rian Lindell to cut the Rams' lead to 14-10 at the half.
 
Bailey has gotten involved in the offense the last few weeks and stepped up with Tavon Austin, his former teammate at West Virginia, sidelined for a second straight week by a left ankle injury. The reverse was his first career NFL TD and first rushing at least before college, and he had three catches for 44 yards.
 
Bailey was just as prolific as Austin in college, scoring 27 touchdowns as a senior.
 
Sloppy play helped the Bucs keep it close in the first half. Quarterback Kellen Clemens fumbled on a scramble at the Tampa Bay 4 to burn a scoring opportunity, with Gerald McCoy knocking it loose and Keith Tandy recovering. On the Rams' next snap, Dekoda Watson stripped Stacy and Lavonte David recovered at the Bucs 47.
 
Tampa Bay had first and goal at the Rams 9 near the end of the half before sacks by Laurinaitis and Quinn on consecutive plays pushed the Buccaneers back 16 yards.
Sunday, 22 December 2013 15:55
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — When Jabari Brown made a 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds left, No. 23 Missouri celebrated as if it had won its fifth consecutive Braggin' Rights game against Illinois.
 
This time, though, there was a different ending.
 
Johnathan Williams III fouled with 4.6 ticks remaining, and Tracy Abrams made both free throws to give the Illini a 65-64 victory.
 
Missouri's Tony Criswell heaved a last-ditch attempt from half-court, but the shot fell harmlessly into the stands.
 
"We just had to make a play," Jordan Clarkson said. "We had to make a stop at the end of the game. We just didn't finish the game the way we wanted to."
 
Clarkson finished with 25 points, six rebounds and a career-best eight assists. Earnest Ross added 13 for the Tigers (10-1), who entered the game as the lone unbeaten school in the Southeastern Conference.
 
The Tigers scored their fewest points of the season one game after its previous low in a 66-60 win against Western Michigan.
 
Missouri coach Frank Haith said the Illini were the more physical team.
 
"It was a hard-fought game," he said. "It was like two heavyweight fighters going at it, and I think you've got to adjust to the game when it's going to be officiated like that in terms of the physicality of the game. And they did a better job of that than we did."
 
Missouri bungled its final play after Abrams' free throws, as Criswell's inbounds pass was slightly behind a streaking Clarkson. The ball caromed off Clarkson's arm before Criswell ended up with the ball for the final shot.
 
"It was a tough pass to catch," Clarkson said. "I was coming down full speed and the ball went behind me a little bit and slipped out of my hand. Tony just got it and I feel like we got a good shot at the basket. That was the only shot we could get."
 
Abrams finished with a season-best 22 points and Rayvonte Rice added 14 points for Illinois (10-2), which leads the annual series between the schools 21-12. Abrams finished 7 for 10 at the line.
 
The Illini were unranked for the pre-Christmas game for the first time in four years, and perhaps learned from a loss at No. 15 Oregon their last time out.
 
The last four years, the schools entered with a combined 72-7 record. The teams combined for 15 lead changes, setting up the frenzied final seconds.
 
"We just got to do the little things," Brown said. "We missed free throws, we had some turnovers. We don't win or lose the game on that last play. It was an accumulation of things."
 
Among those attending were Hall of Fame baseball manager Whitey Herzog, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and the football coaches from both schools, Missouri's Gary Pinkel and Illinois' Bob Beckman.
 
The schools traded runs in the second half that kept it tight, 10-1 by Missouri to go up by near the midway point and 9-0 by Illinois with a pair of three-point plays by Abrams for a two-point lead with 6:17 to go.
 
Illinois climbed out of an early hole behind 3-point shooting, hitting six of its first 10 — by six players — and led 31-27 at the half. Missouri led 8-0 and had a nine-point cushion at 15-6 after Rice's second foul with 13:47 to go in the half.
 
Illinois answered with a 10-0 run the next 3½ minutes, including 3-pointers from Kendrick Nunn and Abrams, and scored seven in a row late in the half for a six-point lead ended by Clarkson's driving basket with five seconds to go.
 
"That was a really good ballgame, I think," Haith said. "Two good teams, playing hard. It comes down to two free throws to lose the game. I like where our team is at."
Saturday, 21 December 2013 23:50
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Alexander Steen scored twice and Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves against his former team to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
 
St. Louis broke a two-game losing streak and improved to 14-3-2 at home.
 
Montreal has lost four of six.
 
Steen, who signed a three-year, $17.4 million extension earlier in the day, has 24 goals, tying his career high set in 2009-2010.
 
Halak improved to 4-0 against the Canadiens, who traded him to St. Louis on June 17, 2010. He is 17-6-2 this season.
 
Chris Stewart, Jaden Schwartz and Maxim Lapierre also scored for St. Louis. T.J. Oshie added two assists.
 
Brendan Gallagher scored for Montreal, which began a season-high six-game road trip. It was his first goal in 12 games.
 
Steen started a three-goal outburst in the first period for the Blues with a short-handed goal at 4:20.
 
He scored again at 7:55 to make it 2-0 with his 24th goal. Steen is second in the league in goals behind Washington's Alex Ovechkin, who has 28.
 
Stewart capped the early blitz with his 10th goal of the season at 13:33. It was his fifth in as many games. The Blues had been outscored in 6-1 in the first period in their three previous games.
 
Montreal goalie Carey Price gave up three goals on the first eight shots and fell to 16-11-2.
 
Notes: Montreal C Daniel Briere was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. ... Schwartz returned to the lineup after missing two games with an upper-body injury. ... The Blues beat Montreal 4-1 in the teams' previous meeting in St. Louis on March 10, 2011. ... The Blues will play 12 of their next 13 games against Western Conference opponents. ... St. Louis LW Brenden Morrow picked up his 300th career assist on Stewart's first-period goal. ... Montreal D Alexei Emelin was on the ice for all three of the Blues' first-period goals. ... The Canadiens' previous win over St. Louis came on Jan. 4, 2007.
 
Thursday, 19 December 2013 23:10
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This is it, the final go-round for the BCS.

The much-maligned system for determining college football's national champion will be mothballed after this season, replaced by a four-team playoff next season.

As finales go, it's hard to argue too much about the final title-game participants. Florida State was the only major-conference team to finish undefeated and Auburn had the best resume of the one-loss teams.

That's the big one, but of course there are 34 other bowls, starting with four on Saturday, that will feature plenty of other good teams, star players and interesting match-ups.

To get you ready, we've got a rundown of what to look for:

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TOP GAMES

BCS National Championship, Florida State vs. Auburn, Jan. 6, Pasadena, Calif. Duh.

Sugar Bowl, Alabama vs. Oklahoma, Jan. 2, New Orleans. Two storied programs that fell short of their national-title aspirations are still pretty good.

Orange Bowl, Ohio State vs. Clemson, Jan. 3, Miami. Teams that are a combined 45-5 since the start of last season and among the highest-scoring in college football.

Rose Bowl, Stanford vs. Michigan State, Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif. If you like smash-mouth, defensive-minded football, this is your game.

AdvoCare V100 Bowl, Arizona vs. Boston College, Dec. 31, Shreveport, La. So what's so exciting about two 7-5 teams? Two All-American running backs going at each other: Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey and BC's Andre Williams.

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TOP PLAYERS

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State. Won the Heisman Trophy, playing for a national championship. Not a bad freshman season.

AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama. There will be no three-peat as national champion, but he's been as good a college quarterback as we've seen in a while.

C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama. Collects tackles like baseball cards.

Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona. Second nationally in yards per game, runs like he's trying to punish defenders for daring to tackle him.

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M. Last year's Heisman winner could be making his last hurrah in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against Duke.

Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State. Arguably the most disruptive interior lineman in the country.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State. All-American can turn the simplest of routes into a score.

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SPONSORS

Food is king among bowl sponsors for the third straight season.

The 2013-14 bowl season includes seven bowls with food affiliations, from potatoes to pizza to wild wings.

Second on the list are financial companies with six and auto-related companies are third with five.

This year's bowl lineup also includes a helicopter company, a university, a defense contractor, a department store and a cause (Fight Hunger).

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ODDS

The folks at Glantz-Culver have made Florida State a decided favorite over Auburn in the national championship game at 8 1-2 points.

In the other bowls, the biggest spread is the Fiesta Bowl, where Baylor is a 16 1-2-point favorite over Central Florida. Right behind is the Pinstripe Bowl, with Notre Dame giving away 15 1-2 points to Rutgers. Alabama also is a 15-point favorite over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.

Tightest odds? San Diego State and Buffalo are a pick `em in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and three other bowls - Cotton, New Orleans and Capital One - all have 1-point spreads.

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DISTANCES

Florida State and Auburn will have to make quite a road trip to play for the final BCS championship despite being about 200 miles apart.

The Seminoles will cover about 2,200 miles to get to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and the Tigers have a trip of roughly 2,100 miles to get there.

That's still not the longest road trip to a bowl. That distinction belongs to Boise State, which will travel about 2,800 miles to play Oregon State in the Hawaii Bowl. Central Florida also has a long trip ahead of it before the Fiesta Bowl, needing to go over 2,100 miles to get from Orlando to Glendale, Ariz.

Tulane has the shortest trip, staying in New Orleans for its bowl, but its opponent, Louisiana-Lafayette, doesn't exactly have to go far, traveling about 130 miles for the New Orleans Bowl. Rutgers has a short trip over about 45 minutes across the Hudson River - depending on traffic - for the Pinstripe Bowl against Notre Dame and Maryland should be able to get to the Military Bowl in Annapolis in about a half hour. North Texas has a similar drive to play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

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NUMBERS

2-Female officials (Sarah Thomas and Maia Chaka) working the Fight Hunger Bowl, a first for an FBS game.

13-Years since UNLV played in a bowl game. The Rebels will face North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

56-Years since Rice had won an outright conference title before taking the Conference USA championship this season.

624.5-Yards of offense per game by Baylor, most in the nation this season by over 50 yards and second-most all-time to the 624.9 by Houston in 1989.

4,866-Passing yards by Fresno State's Derek Carr, which led the nation.

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

Thursday, 19 December 2013 07:29
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NEW YORK (AP) -- While the New York Yankees set another salary record, the Houston Astros had the lowest average in the major leagues in 14 years and the attention of the players' union.

The overall big league average rose 5.4 percent this season to a record $3.39 million, according to the annual report released Wednesday by the Major League Baseball Players Association. The increase was the steepest since 2006.

In the economy at large, civilian compensation is increasing at an annual rate of 1.9 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average U.S. wage in 2012 was $42,498, according to the Social Security Administration.

The Yankees had the highest average for the 15th consecutive season at $8.17 million, breaking the mark of $7.66 million when they won the World Series in 2009. The Los Angeles Dodgers were second at $7.82 million.

Houston's average of $549,603 was the smallest since the 1999 Kansas City Royals at $534,460. The Miami Marlins were 29th at $830,069, down from $3.77 million in 2012, when they ranked 10th.

Baseball's collective bargaining agreement requires a team to use revenue-sharing money it receives "in an effort to improve its performance on the field." The Marlins had been required to raise player payroll annually from 2010-12 under an agreement between MLB and the union.

However, the issue is being dealt with under a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that gradually eliminates the 15 teams in the largest markets from receiving revenue sharing, and the Astros are 15th. Under that provision, those clubs forfeited 25 percent of the money this year, half in 2014, 75 percent the following year and all in 2016.

"We are watching both clubs closely, but were already aware what their 2013 spending would be and that there wasn't enough there to move beyond acknowledging as much," new union head Tony Clark said in an email to The Associated Press. "With Houston a big factor is their impending `market disqualification.' For Miami, they actually have a long-range plan that suggests they will make the considerations necessary to be compliant.

"That said, both clubs are being monitored, and MLB recognizes that there is a potential for a dispute if the clubs do not move in the right direction."

World Series champion Boston was fourth at $5.46 million, just behind Detroit at $5.53 million. St. Louis, which won the NL pennant, was 10th at $3.75 million.

Tampa Bay had the lowest ranking among the 10 playoff teams and was 24th at $2.13 million.

Among regulars at positions, designated hitters took over from first basemen for the highest average at $10.5 million. First basemen were next at $6.5 million, followed by starting pitchers at $6.3 million, second basemen at $5.8 million, outfielders at $5.6 million, third basemen at $5.2 million, shortstops at $4.5 million, catchers at $4.4 million and relief pitchers at $2.2 million,

Figures are based on Aug. 31 rosters and disabled lists, with 940 players averaging $3,386,212. Major League Baseball, which uses slightly different methods, calculated its average at $3,320,089, an increase of 6.9 percent.

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about ourPRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

Thursday, 19 December 2013 07:27
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Joe Pavelski scored the first of three straight goals by San Jose, and Antti Niemi stopped 20 shots to lead the Sharks to a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.
 
San Jose completed a season sweep of the Blues, winning all three games by a combined 16-7. St. Louis has lost two in a row after winning eight of 11.
 
Matt Irwin, Brent Burns and Marty Havlat added goals for the Sharks, who led 3-0 after 22 minutes. Niemi improved to 18-6-6.
 
Kevin Shattenkirk and Jay Bouwmeester scored second-period goals for the Blues.
 
The Sharks jumped to a 2-0 first-period lead on goals by Pavelski and Irwin in a span of 2:56. Both came from close range on rebounds of missed shots that caromed off the end boards.
 
Pavelski scored his 13th after a miss by Havlat, and Irwin jumped on a misfire from Justin Braun for his first of the season.
 
St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak gave up three goals on the first 12 shots he faced and fell to 16-6-2.
 
The Blues climbed to 3-2 on Bouwmeester's goal with 24.2 seconds left in the second period. Havlat pounced on a rebound with 11:41 left in the game to make it 4-2.
 
San Jose won the earlier meetings 6-2 and 6-3.
 
NOTES: San Jose has outscored its opponents 44-15 in the first period this season. .... Blues coach Ken Hitchcock celebrated his 62nd birthday. ... St. Louis C David Backes missed his first game since Jan. 25, 2010, a string of 274 successive regular-season appearances. He sustained an upper-body injury in a collision with Ottawa C Colin Greening on Monday. Backes, who has 16 goals and 14 assists in 32 games, is expected to be out at least a week. ... The Blues were also without LWs Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Sobotka, who missed the game with upper-body injuries. Backes, Schwartz and Sobotka have combined for 29 goals and 38 assists. ... The Sharks are 0 for 16 on the power play over their last seven road games.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 22:40
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Mizzou landed another prize for the football team's 2014 recruiting class.
 
Saint Louis University High School standout Raymond Wingo will be a Tiger next year. Wingo was a two-way player in high school, getting playing time at Cornerback, Running Back, and Wide Receiver. Wingo just won the state title in the 100 meter dash.
 
His older brother Ronnie Wingo is currently a member of the Buffalo Bills.
 
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 16:29
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OTTAWA (AP) -- Cody Ceci scored his first NHL goal in overtime and the Ottawa Senators beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on Monday.
 
Ceci recovered a clearing attempt by the Blues and sent a wrist shot toward the St. Louis goal that beat Brian Elliott at 3:59 of the extra period.
 
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Bobby Ryan scored in regulation for the Senators, who picked up points for the fifth time in their past six games.
 
Chris Stewart had both goals for the Blues and both came late in the second period and both were set up by Derek Roy.
 
Roy also took a hooking penalty in overtime, but the Senators were unable to take advantage.
 
Ryan scored a highlight-reel goal on a pass from Kyle Turris, who put the puck on Ryan's tape from 40 feet away to right in front of the St. Louis goal.
 
Ryan cut in front, went to his backhand and beat Elliott to tie the game 2-2. It was also the only goal of the third period and sent the game to overtime.
 
Goaltending played a key role throughout the game as Elliott dueled with Ottawa's Robin Lehner. Each made some big saves, especially through the first two periods.
 
Pageau beat Elliott early in the game as he found the back of the net over the Blues goalie's glove. Ryan set up the play from behind the net, finding Pageau in the slot.
 
That goal at 3:57 of the first stood up as the only goal until just 3:10 remained in the second when Stewart scored his first of two goals.
 
Roy made a long breakout pass to Stewart, who slid a backhand along the ice and through the legs of Lehner at the end of a breakaway.
 
With just 13 seconds remaining in the second, Brendan Morrow's miscue led to Stewart's go-ahead goal.
 
While behind the net, Morrow fanned on a pass attempt out front but the puck went directly to Roy at the side of the goal. Roy's no-look backhand pass was met with no hesitation as Stewart delivered a one-timer to the far side past Lehner for a 2-1 St. Louis lead.
 
Notes: Coming into Monday's game the Senators were 1-9-2 against the Western Conference while the Blues were 11-2-0 against the Eastern Conference. ... Scratches for the Senators were defensemen Marc Methot and Eric Gryba along with forward Matt Kassian. The Blues sat forwards Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Sobotka plus defenseman Ian Cole. ... Senators coach Paul MacLean was drafted by the Blues in 1978. He was traded to Winnipeg before returning to St. Louis to play his final two seasons. MacLean played 115 games for the Blues and had 40 goals and 44 assists.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 00:05
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