WHA: As a last regular-season lesson for the youngsters, 48-year-old Gordie Howe scored the tic-breaking goal on a power play in Houston's 8-5 defeat of Phoenix. Thirty-seven-year-old Bobby Hull scored three goals to give him a season total of 53—the ninth time in his career he reached the 50-goal plateau—as Winnipeg beat Calgary 5-3 in the Jets' final game. In a best-of-five preliminary, the Roadrunners overcame San Diego 3-2 on Del Hall's 20-foot backhander 31 seconds into overtime, but then lost to the Mariners 4-2, tying the series 1-1. The other preliminary was won by New England, which racked up Cleveland 5-3, 6-1 and 3-2. In the two best-of-seven quarterfinals under way, Calgary beat Quebec 3-1 and 8-4 to lead that series 2-0 and Winnipeg won its first two games against Edmonton 7-3 and 5-4 in overtime.
MOTOR SPORTS—DAVID PEARSON drove his Mercury to a five-length victory over Buddy Baker in the Rebel 500 at Darlington, S.C.
SKIING—Swedish World Cup champion INGEMAR STENMARK won his first giant slalom title in the National Alpine championships at Are, Sweden, beating runner-up Torsten Jakobsson by almost five seconds.
TENNIS—Mexico's Raul Ramirez twisted his ankle and defaulted to JOHN NEWCOMBE in the sixth game of the fifth set of the WCT Avis Challenge Cup match in Keauhou-Kona, Hawaii. Newcombe won the $10,000 winner-take-all round-robin match 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 5-7, 3-2 retired.
New Zealand's ONNY PARUN upset Cliff Drysdale 7-6, 6-3 to win the WCT tournament in Johannesburg.
Harold Solomon upended defending champion Ken Rosewall 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 to win the River Oaks WCT tournament in Houston.
TRACK & FIELD—The UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE 880-yard relay team of Lamar Preyor, Ronnie Harris, Jerome Morgan and Reggie Jones equaled the world record of 1:21.7 at the Dogwood Relays in Knoxville.
MILEPOSTS—ATTAINED: By JAMES E. TARJAN, 24, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., the title of international grandmaster, chess' highest permanently conferred ranking. Of slightly over 100 grandmasters in the world, Tarjan is the 12th American.
HIRED: As basketball coach at Tulane, ROY DANFORTH, 40, after 12 years at Syracuse, eight of them as head coach, in which he compiled a 148-71 record.
HIRED: DON DeVOE, 34, as basketball coach at the University of Wyoming, after five years at Virginia Tech, where his Gobblers were 88-45.