MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Peter Laviolette scored on a slap shot with 5:20 to play Wednesday night, lifting the U.S. national hockey team to a 7-6 victory over the University of Minnesota.

The U.S. team, which will play in the Olympics in February, improved to 15-8-3 with its ninth straight exhibition victory.

The Americans blew a 3-0 lead and trailed 6-5 in the game at Target Center until Todd Marchant scored with 7:23 to go. Marchant was pulled down by defenseman Charlie Wasley and both crashed into goalie Jeff Callinan as the puck slid into the net.

Then, with Callinan screened and the U.S. on a power play, Laviolette's slapper from above the right faceoff circle went over Callinan's glove.

Mark Beaufait and John Lilley scored two goals each for the U.S. team.

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LILLEHAMMER, Norway (AP) - Scott Davis of the United States won the men's technical program as the pre-Olympic Piruetten figure skating meet started Wednesday.

Davis, 21, of Great Falls, Mont., who trains in Colorado Springs, Colo., finished ahead of Elvis Stojko of Canada, last year's runnerup in World Championships.

Philippe Candeloro of France, silver medalist in last year's European Championships, was third in the technical program, worth one-third of the total score.

Nicolas Petorin, another French skater, was fourth with Igor Pashkevitsh of Russia fifth.

Natalya Mishkutenok and Artur Dmitriyev, who turned professional after winning consecutive world titles in 1991 and 1992, won the technical program in the pairs competition.

Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler, defending world champions from Canada, were second with Yelena Bereznaia and Oleg Sclahovs of Latvia third.

Kyoko Ina of Englewood Cliffs, N.J. and Jason Dungjen of Troy, Mich., placed fourth followed by Karen Courtland of Whippany, N.J., and Todd Reynolds of Houston.

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks exchanged defensemen, with veteran Craig Muni going to the Sabres and newcomer Keith Carney to Chicago.

Muni, 31, rejoins Sabres coach and general manager John Muckler.

The Sabres had been searching for toughness on defense and hope the 6-foot- 3, 200-pound Muni will give them that.Muni played nine games with the Blackhawks this season, with four assists.

Carney, Buffalo's fourth-round draft choice in 1988, has played in 53 games with the Sabres the past three seasons. He played in seven of Buffalo's nine games this season, scoring one goal and three assists.

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NEW YORK (AP) - Hockey Hall of Famers Rod Gilbert and Gordie Howe will serve as honorary captains of the Eastern and Western Conferences for the NHL All-Star Game Jan. 22 at Madison Square Garden.

Howe played in a record 23 All-Star games, scoring 10 goals and assisting on nine others. Gilbert played in eight games with three assists.

All-Star balloting by the fans begins next Monday with the NHL planning a week-long schedule of activities to celebrate the 45th game and the first hosted by the New York Rangers since 1973.

Included will be a Heroes of Hockey oldtimers game and skills contest on Friday, Jan. 21, a Hockey Hall of Fame exhibit, including the Stanley Cup, at Grand Central Station, hockey clinics in all five boroughs and a shootout at the Rockefeller Center ice rink.

As part of All-Star festivities, the NHL has commissioned a poster by award-winning illustrator Doug Fraser. Titled East River Titans, it features the classic hockey confrontation of skater against goalie against a New York City landscape.

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) - The Brazilian club Flamengo on Wednesday qualified for the semifinals of the Supercup soccer tournament by downing River Plate of Argentina 6-5 in penalty kicks.

After 90 minutes of regulation play, Flamengo led 1-0 on a goal by Rogerio in the 39th minute. The result gave both teams the same goal average since River Plate beat Flamengo 2-1 in the first game of the home-and-away series last week in Buenos Aires.

Earlier, Sao Paulo qualified for the semifinals by defeating Gremio of Brazil 1-0. Cerezo scored in the 52nd minute.