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HOCKEY—With a 7-3 victory at Buffalo on the final day of the regular season, the Islanders won the NHL regular-season title for the second time in three years, with a total of 110 points. With the winning score in a 5-4 victory at Washington, Islander Mike Bossy finished with 68 goals—eight short of Phil Esposito's 1970-71 single-season record. St. Louis, which tied last-place Winnipeg (5-5) in its final game, finished second with 107 points. Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky had three assists in a 5-2 triumph at Pittsburgh, two more in a 4-4 tie with Colorado and a goal and four assists in a 7-2 win over Winnipeg to bring his assists for the season to 109, surpassing the record of 102 set by Bobby Orr in 1970-71, and his total points to 164, 12 more than Esposito's mark of 1970-71. Gretzky also became the first NHL player to average more than two points a game; previously the highest average had been Bruin Bill Cowley's 1.97 in 1943-44. Winnipeg, Detroit, Colorado and Hartford had earlier been knocked out of playoff contention, but Washington was only one point behind the 16th-place Maple Leafs going into its game with Detroit on Sunday. Toronto had tied Chicago 2-2 and Quebec 5-5 earlier in the week and needed either at least a tie in a return match against the Nordiques or a Capitals' loss to clinch a playoff spot. Washington won 7-2, Dennis Maruk getting a hat trick, but so did Toronto, 4-2.
HORSE RACING—HEAVENLY CAUSE ($5.80), ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., beat Nell's Briquette by a head to win the $223,150 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The 3-year-old filly ran the 1[1/16] miles in 1:43[4/5].
Land Of Eire ($69), Earlie Fires up, defeated Tunerup by 2� lengths to win the $155,750 Widener Handicap at Hialeah. The 6-year-old covered the 1�-mile course in 2:01.
MOTOR SPORTS—RICHARD PETTY, averaging 85.381 mph in a Buick, won a 400-mile Grand National race on the .625-mile oval of the North Wilkesboro ( N.C.) Speedway. He finished three seconds ahead of Bobby Allison, who drove a Pontiac.
SOCCER—NASL: Of the week's nine games, three were decided by shootouts—all of them by scores of 2-1. Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville brought their records to 2-0 with 2-1 victories over Atlanta and New York, respectively, while Seattle edged Portland by the same score on a shootout goal by Defender Jeff Stock, whose father, Wes, is the pitching coach for the baseball Mariners. In a 4-3 Tampa Bay triumph over Toronto, Rowdie Right Steve Wegerle had a goal and two assists.
STEEPLECHASING—ALDANITI, ridden by Bob Champion, defeated Spartan Missile by four lengths to win the Grand National at England's Aintree racecourse. The 11-year-old gelding was one of 12 horses out of 39 starters to finish the 4�-mile race.
SWIMMING—In a FINA-sanctioned time trial in Austin, Texas, ROWDY GAINES and WILLIAM PAUL-US of the U.S. established world records of 49.36 in the 100-meter freestyle and 53.81 in the 100-meter butterfly, respectively. Gaines' mark surpasses the time of 49.44 swum by Jonty Skinner of South Africa in 1976, while Paulus' record in the butterfly outdid the 54.15 attained by Par Arvidsson of Sweden last year.