The San Francisco Bulls have seen a significant drop in attendance at the Cow Palace since the Sharks returned to work after a lockout that wiped out the first three months of the NHL season.
The Bulls, a first-year East Coast Hockey League team affiliated with the Sharks, are averaging 3,072 fans in six home dates since San Jose began its abbreviated 48-game season Jan. 20. Before that, Bulls had averaged 4,681 fans in 21 home games. That included a Dec. 17 matchup against Stockton at HP Pavilion that drew 12,881.
Some of the Bulls' attendance problems likely are attributable to the team's poor play. They are tied for the second-fewest points in the ECHL at 49.
The Bulls play nine of their final 12 games at the Cow Palace, including Friday against the ECHL-leading Alaska Aces (94 points).
Saint Mary's coach Jedd Soto is taking a temporary leave of absence for medical reasons, athletic director Mark Orr said. Gabe Zappin, a 10th-year associate head coach, will be acting head coach. "Our focus is on Jedd's health and well-being, and we hope he will return to the dugout before the conclusion of the season," Orr said. The Gaels (4-8) host Utah (5-5) on Friday.
Some of the world's top pro teams have entered the eighth Amgen Tour of California, race organizers announced.
BMC Racing of Santa Rosa is planning to bring current world road champion Philippe Gilbert. BMC also features American Tejay van Garderen, who placed fifth at the 2012 Tour de France.
America's other big team, Garmin-Sharp of Denver, plans to defend its three-time overall title. The team will feature Tyler Farrar.
The race will begin in Escondido on May 12 and end eight days later in Santa Rosa. There will be an individual time trial in San Jose on May 17 and a mountaintop finish on Mount Diablo on May 18.
Organizers will also hold a women's time trial in San Jose before the men's Stage 6. The invitation-only women's race will use the same course as the men and offer a $10,000 prize.
Juninho is doubtful for the New York-Earthquakes MLS match Sunday at Buck Shaw Stadium, Red Bulls coach Mike Petke told reporters. The Brazilian midfielder suffered a minor calf strain in a 3-3 draw in Portland last weekend.
Staff writers Mike Lefkow and Elliott Almond and wire services contributed to this report.