Boeser scores in NHL debut, Canucks top slumping Wild

And they were booed off the ice after the second period by their home crowd.“That was embarrassing,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said of his team’s performance. Eric Staal beat Bachman after jumping on a funny bounce off the end boards with 1:15 to play, but the comeback ended there.Boudreau said he’s running out of options to pull his team out of their month-long funk. “But, you know, I had to regroup there and focus on this game. His North Dakota team lost to Boston University in double overtime on Friday in the NCAA Tournament in Fargo. The puck fell at his feet and Boeser jammed it home.Less than two minutes later, Jack Skille beat a screened Kuemper with a wrist shot from left circle.In the game’s final three minutes, Ryan Suter threaded a wrist shot through traffic to end Bachman’s shutout bid. Because talking to them and being nice isn’t the way right now.”NOTES: Boeser played two seasons at North Dakota. The Burnsville, Minn., native joined the Canucks in St. Video replay confirmed that the puck hit the camera inside the net.“I had no idea,” Boucher said. Skille injured his ankle late in the second period and did not return.UP NEXTCanucks: At Winnipeg on Sunday.Wild: At Detroit on Sunday. Scoring in his NHL debut the next day in front of his family and friends wasn’t a bad consolation prize.Boeser scored in his first NHL game a day after signing with Vancouver, Reid Boucher added two in a four-goal second period and the Canucks defeated the slumping Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Saturday. “It’s a great story for him playing at home, and to get [a goal], it was good.”The mood in the other locker room wasn’t as upbeat. … Bo Horvat broke in alone on Kuemper, who stopped a backhander but couldn’t control the rebound. I saw it go out the other side, that’s about it.”Boeser’s goal made it 3-0. Boeser was Vancouver’s first-round pick in the 2015 draft. Despite a hectic late-season schedule, he said his next move is to put them through harder practices, to “see how bad they want to get out of it. We’re hanging our goalies out to dry. “It sounded like it hit the post. Wild D Christian Folin returned after missing 10 with an upper-body injury. Then he went out and scored Vancouver’s third goal of the second period, scoring off a rebound on a 2-on-2 rush.“It’s good for him,” Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. … … I don’t think we’re prepared enough to start some periods and they score quick and we’re not being resilient enough to come back.”Darcy Kuemper made 17 saves in his first start since March 12. “We’re leaving guys open. … I definitely think adrenaline kicked in here.”The Canucks surprised Boeser by bringing his parents into the locker room before the game. The Wild tied a franchise record for most goals allowed in a period with Vancouver’s four-goal second. We aren’t winning battles. Paul in time for Saturday’s matinee.“It’s been crazy – obviously a heartbreak loss there with my North Dakota team,” Boeser said. To me, if I were the fans, I would be booing even more because they pay good money for this, and to see an effort like that …”The Wild were shut out for almost 57 minutes by Richard Bachman, Vancouver’s third-string goalie, and they were no match for a Canucks team that was 1-5-2 in its previous eight games.“It wasn’t good enough,” Wild forward Jason Zucker said. Minnesota had not allowed a power-play goal at home in 12 games before Boucher’s tally. “Things snowballed in the whole building, and we couldn’t get to the intermission fast enough.”Boucher put Vancouver up 2-0 with a wrist shot that appeared to hit the crossbar and ricochet off into the corner. He gave up Boucher’s power-play goal 19 seconds into the second period, then allowed three goals in an 8-minute span as the Canucks put the game away.“We had stretches where we were good, and then we just had some breakdowns and they were capitalizing on their chances,” Kuemper said. “I’m embarrassed. The Wild have lost seven of their last eight and are now 3-10-0 in March. Brock Boeser’s college career ended in crushing fashion on Friday night.

Eichel scores twice in Sabres 5-2 win over Maple Leafs

… He was set up in the left circle by Kulikov and snapped a shot in over McElhinney’s right shoulder.Kulikov then put Buffalo up 4-2 four minutes later by firing a 30-footer through a crowd and beating McElhinney inside the left post.Eichel capped the second-period run by scoring on a snapshot from the right circle with 6:48 left.McElhinney allowed three goals on 22 in the loss. The puck dribbled into the slot, where Kane outmuscled defender Alexey Marchenko, and wrapped a shot inside the left post.It was Kane’s 26th goal of the season, all of which have come in his past 51 games.NOTES: Sabres RW Kyle Okposo had two assists in returning after missing 10 games with a rib injury, while Kulikov played his 500th game in returning after missing nine with an upper-body injury. The Maple Leafs’ hold on third-place in the Atlantic Division dwindled in having a three-game winning streak end and losing in regulation for just the second time in their past 10 (7-2-1). Matthews matched the mark in the same arena the Maple Leafs selected the player from Scottsdale, Arizona, with the No. Buffalo recalled D Brady Austin from AHL Rochester, and demoted RW Hudson Fasching.UP NEXTMaple Leafs: Host Florida Panthers on Tuesday.Sabres: Host Florida Panthers on Monday. Jack Eichel scored twice and set up another goal in the Buffalo Sabres’ 5-2 win that slowed the youth-laden Toronto Maple Leafs’ late-season surge to clinch a playoff berth.Ryan O’Reilly and Dmitry Kulikov each had a goal and assist, and Evander Kane also scored in a game the Sabres took control of by scoring three straight times in the second period. And this group was additionally charged up and in a celebratory mood given Toronto’s surge that has put the team in a position to clinch just its second playoff berth in 12 seasons.During the pregame skate, several fans unfurled a large banner reading “MITCH!!!” in honour of Maple Leafs rookie Mitchell Marner behind the Sabres bench.The Maple Leafs-fan-generated buzz began to subside during a first period that featured a flurry of goals scored over a short stretch.After O’Reilly opened the scoring 7:05 in by redirecting Tyler Ennis’ pass through the crease and in off Andersen’s skate, the teams traded goals in a 15-second span some 2 1/2 minutes later.Brown was left alone in front to tie it by converting a rebound, after Lehner stopped Leo Komarov’s initial shot on the rush.The large number of Maple Leafs fans in the stands were still celebrating when Kane scored the go-ahead goal. 1 pick in the draft last June.Connor Brown also scored for Toronto.Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen allowed two goals on 16 shots in the opening period and did not return for the second after sustaining an upper-body injury. He appeared to be hurt during a collision with Buffalo forward William Carrier.Curtis McElhinney took over and promptly gave up two power-play goals on the first eight shots he faced.After Matthews scored 2:22 into the period to tie it at two by converting a rebound off Matt Hunwick’s point shot, Eichel scored 26 seconds later. The Leafs avoided a scare five minutes into the third period when McElhinney was upended by Sabres forward Marcus Foligno, who lost his balance and slid into the net.McElhinney got up immediately. With Andersen not on the bench, it was unclear who would have had to play in net if Toronto required a third goalie.As in the past, there was a very large “Go, Leafs, Go!” chanting Maple Leafs contingent which made the trip across the Niagara River. Robin Lehner stopped 32 shots, and the Sabres continued their home dominance over their cross-border rivals by improving to 18-2-1 against Toronto in their last 21 games at Buffalo. Zach Bogosian’s shot from the right point was stopped by Andersen, but he couldn’t control the rebound. … With 85 points, Toronto has a one-point edge over Boston after the Bruins beat the New York Islanders.Auston Matthews scored his 34th to tie Toronto’s single-season rookie record set by Wendel Clark in 1985-86. Maple Leafs C William Nylander assisted on Matthews’ goal to extend his rookie franchise-record streak to 11 games in which he has four goals and nine assists.

Monahan’s OT winner lifts Flames past Blues 3-2

It was his third goal in his last four games.Schwartz gave the Blues a 2-1 lead at the 7:16 mark of the third period. It snapped an 0-for-12 scoreless streak with the man advantage for Calgary.Elliott stopped all 13 shots in the opening frame, including two quality chances by Schwartz and Alex Pietrangelo on a Blues power play.Barbashev tied it at the 8:08 mark of the second period. Monahan’s winning goal deflected off of Blues forward Kyle Brodziak. … Sean Monahan scored with 3 seconds left in overtime, lifting the Calgary Flames past the St. Colton Parayko’s pass drew Elliott out of position and Barbashev, on his second try after his first was blocked by a Calgary defender, put the puck in the empty net.Allen stopped all 10 Flames shots he faced in the second, including Michael Frolik chance on a 3-on-2 rush and TJ Brodie’s power-play shot late in the period.Barbashev almost scored his second, but Flames defenceman Deryk Engelland made a sliding save to keep the puck out of an open net.NOTES: Blues F Magnus Paajarvi played in his 300th career game. Louis Blues 3-2 on Saturday night.Troy Brouwer and Matt Bartkowski also scored for the Flames, who improved to 13-4 in overtime this season. Blues C Paul Stastny (lower body), F Dmitrij Jaskin (upper body), C Jori Lehtera (upper body) and F Robby Fabbri (knee) were out, while Flames D Ladislav Smid (neck) also sat.UP NEXTFlames: Host Colorado on Monday night.Blues: Host Arizona on Monday night. The puck went off of Schwartz’s skate and the goal was upheld after a review.Bartkowski tied it at 10:53. It was the first goal in 17 games this season for the Flames’ defenceman.Brouwer’s power-play goal gave the Flames a 1-0 lead with 2:49 left in the first period. … Matthew Tkachuk, the son of former Blues star Keith Tkachuk, returned from a two-game suspension for elbowing LA’s Drew Doughty. Brian Elliott made 29 saves.Ivan Barbashev and Jaden Schwartz scored for the Blues and Jake Allen made 28 saves.

Markov scores twice, sets up Weber as Canadiens top Senators 3-1

Andrei Markov scored two goals and set up another as the Montreal Canadiens downed the Ottawa Senators 3-1 on Saturday night to retain first place in the NHL Atlantic Division.Shea Weber also scored for Montreal (42-24-9), which leads Ottawa by three points although the Senators hold one game in hand. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for Ottawa (41-25-8), who ended a two-game winning run.Montreal swept three games in an eight-day span from the Senators and were 3-1-1 against their closest rival geographically this season.Shots were 32-24 in Ottawa’s favour.The Senators controlled most of the play and outshot Montreal 11-6 in the first period but the Canadiens emerged with the lead when Weber blasted in his 17th of the season from the left point during a power play at 9:28 after Erik Karlsson was sent off for holding.Montreal turned the tables in the second and Markov walked in from the left point and drilled a shot past Craig Anderson at 1:13.Karlsson’s pass into the middle of Ottawa’s zone was picked off by Markov for a blast from the slot on a power play at 5:55. 7-1-1 in last nine.With Marc Methot (finger) and Viktor Stralberg (upper body) out, Fredrik Claesson moved in as Karlsson’s defence partner. 11, 2014.Mike Hoffman made a clever move at the Montreal blue-line and fed Pageau for an off-speed shot that fooled Carey Price at 12:11. It was Pageau’s seventh goal in 15 career games against the Canadiens.Anderson played his 500th regular season game (235-181-55). It was the 38-year-old Markov’s first two-goal game since Jan. Mark Stone returned after seven games with a lower body injury.Nathan Beaulieu and Dwight King returned to the Montreal lineup replacing Brandon Davidson and Andreas Martinsen.

Ibaka, DeRozan lead Raptors past Mavericks 94-86

I can only guess that he’s going to be drinking through a straw for a long, long time.”UP NEXTRaptors: Host Orlando on Monday. “Just let him rehab, let him do his thing and trust our medical people.” Lowry has missed the last 16 games. “I know he’s doing a lot of conditioning, a lot of work to keep his body in shape,” Casey said. We sent flowers to his family, condolences. Their last sub-.500 season was 1999-00, when they finished 40-42 and Mark Cuban became owner of the team in January 2000.San Antonio has the longest streak of .500 or better seasons with 20, including this season.ABOUT THURSDAY NIGHTCuban couldn’t resist giving his opinion on Barea’s ejection from the Mavericks’ victory over the Clippers on Thursday night. DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka scored 18 points apiece and the Toronto Raptors won their fifth straight game, 94-86 over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.The Raptors, who came back from 15-point deficits to win each of their last two games, made it a little easier on themselves Saturday. P.J. The Magic have beaten the Raptors in two of three meetings this season.Mavericks: Host Oklahoma City on Monday to end a four-game homestand. Barnes scored Dallas’ last 11 points of the half to help cut into the lead, but Toronto led 54-44 at the break.J.J. Toronto was also without starting forward DeMarre Carroll due to a sore lower back. Nerlens Noel started his second game in a row at centre for the Mavericks, who have gone to a big lineup. “It’s hard to come back from a knockout like that. Tucker started in his place.Mavericks: Seth Curry with 11 points and Yogi Ferrell with 10 were the only other Mavs in double figures. Barea’s long 3 at the third-quarter buzzer again brought Dallas within 10 at 74-64.TIP-INSRaptors: Coach Dwane Casey said he was hopeful that guard Kyle Lowry would return from wrist surgery before the end of the regular season. They’ve moved Dirk Nowitzki to power forward, Barnes to small forward and Curry to point guard.STREAK IN JEOPARDYThe Mavericks took their 41st loss of the season. Harrison Barnes scored 23 points for Dallas, which missed 18 of its first 22 3-pointers and finished just 7 of 28 from behind the arc.Patrick Patterson added 14 points for Toronto, including a perfect 4 for 4 on 3-pointers.The Mavericks fell four games behind Denver for the final playoff spot in the West.Toronto led by as many as 16 points in the first half and by 15 early in the fourth quarter before a 10-0 Dallas run made things more interesting.Dorian Finney-Smith’s free throws with 7:57 to go brought the Mavs within 79-74, the closest they had been since 7-2 early in the game. Their next loss will end the NBA’s second-longest streak of .500 or better seasons — currently at 16 seasons. Toronto scored the game’s first seven points and never trailed in dealing the Mavericks’ playoff hopes a damaging blow. But Ibaka made consecutive jumpers to restore a nine-point lead, and Dallas got no closer than six after that.The Raptors had their biggest lead at 42-26 in the first half. Barea was called for a flagrant 2 foul for pushing Blake Griffin, a player with a 10-inch height advantage over Barea.“I just feel bad for Blake,” Cuban said. Dallas plays seven of its final nine on the road.

Canadian Stroll doesn’t finish at Australian Grand Prix

Some guys braked quite early in front of me and I managed to gain some places.“Then we managed to have a surprisingly good race. “I had a good start, which was risky although I didn’t plan on it being quite so risky! It was my first race, and first weekend, so there are a few positives to take out of it.”Stroll graduated from development driver to a seat in F1 this season for Williams, which lost Valtteri Bottas to Mercedes.The son of billionaire investor Lawrence Stroll is mentored by former Ferrari sporting director Luca Baldisserri and won the Formula 3 European championship in 2016.His first taste of the top level was one he put down to experience, having started at the back of the grid after getting a penalty for needing an unscheduled gearbox change following his crash in practice on Saturday.“Unfortunately, that incident yesterday cost us a lot of positions in qualifying,” said Stroll, whose top speed was among the fastest in the race, “but today I enjoyed myself and so a big thank you to the team.”His Williams teammate, 35-year-old Brazilian veteran Felipe Massa, finished sixth to earn some points from the opening weekend.Stroll avoided a collision with two other drivers on the opening lap and, after an early pit stop for tires, was running as high as 13th before a problem with his front left break ended his race.“It’s a shame for Lance, who put in a good first drive with some overtakes in his first race in Formula One, so it is a shame that he then had to retire with a brake failure,” Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe said. “My objective was to gain more experience and collect mileage in the car. I want to thank the Sauber F1 Team and Scuderia Ferrari again for this opportunity. who have built a great car to launch our 2017 campaign.”Meanwhile, Sauber rookie Antonio Giovinazzi placed 12th on his F1 debut after coming in as a late replacement on Saturday when Pascal Wehrlein withdrew because of fitness problems.“It was a good race, and I am happy with my performance,” Giovinazzi said. It was an amazing race weekend for me.”Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said it was an impressive performance from the young Italian driver in his first F1 race.“He showed his potential as well as what the car is capable of,” Kaltenborn said. “We were running a decent race and the pace was pretty good,” Stroll said. “The lap times were quite satisfying.” All that was missing was the finish.The 18-year-old Canadian didn’t make it to the finish in his debut for Williams at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, retiring after an eventful 40 laps around the Albert Park circuit. Lance Stroll almost got to experience the full package on his first weekend in Formula One, hitting speeds exceeding 320 kph (199 mph), clipping a wall, being handed a grid penalty and skidding through the gravel. “Clearly that’s an issue we need to get on top for the races to come and make sure we don’t have a repeat.“But, overall, congratulations to the team …

Canada’s Homan wins women’s world curling gold with undefeated run

2-10 in Ottawa, where she will battle the country’s top skips to earn the right to represent Canada in Pyeongchang.“No matter who represents us trials are going to be tough,” Homan said. “It’s a pity we didn’t play well today … Homan had two previous attempts to break Canada’s drought but settled for bronze in 2013 in Riga, Latvia, and silver the next year in Saint John, N.B.“We’ve come up short and it never feels good to come up short when you’re representing Canada,” Homan said. I’m really proud of my team.”Homan’s undefeated run in Beijing — Canada won all 13 of its matches — came on the heels of her 12-2 run to the Canadian women’s title last month in St. Catharines, Ont.“We’ve had an incredible second half of the season, and to top it off this way feels amazing,” Weagle said.“It feels amazing for Canada. A short raise takeout from Courtney put the Russians in chase mode, and when Sidorova’s last-gasp attempt to bury a stone at the back of the four-foot ring rubbed off a Canadian stone, Homan made the delicate tap to score three.“The ice changed a bit during the game and we really couldn’t manage the difference,” Sidorova said. Homan and her teammates — vice-skip Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney and lead Lisa Weagle — responded with a textbook 8-3 win over Russia’s Anna Sidorova in Sunday’s final, giving Canada its first women’s world championship in nine years and adding more steam to Homan’s momentum heading into this year’s Olympic trials.Scotland’s Eve Muirhead captured the bronze medal, beating Sweden 6-4 earlier Sunday.After an open first end, Canada put the pressure on Russia with two points in the second end and a steal of one in the third before cruising to a comfortable victory.“We made sure to keep together and obviously there’s a lot more pressure in that final,” Homan said. It’s been a bit of a drought and we wanted to make a statement going into the Olympic year.”Sidorova has now lead Russia to four straight medals, though this was the country’s first appearance in the final. “It’s easier for Canada when they’re two up because they have to hit more, and we have to manage the ice more because we need to play more draws.“We didn’t do it this time, it doesn’t mean we won’t do it next time.”With two major titles under its belt, Homan’s team can now turn its attention to the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. “We really wanted to bring back gold for Canada this time. “We’re hoping to be there and be that team at the end of the podium at the end of trails but if not we want to make sure that Team Canada is best represented.” Homan will have home ice advantage at the Roar of the Rings Olympic qualifying tournament, Dec. The fact that Homan advanced to the final without dropping a match only heightened expectations. Canada’s Rachel Homan knew there would be pressure heading into the final of the 2017 world women’s curling championship.Not only was Homan trying to erase past personal disappointments in her third appearance at the championship, but her Ottawa rink was being counted on to erase Canada’s lengthy title drought. but it was a great experience for us, especially heading into the Olympic Games.”Russia had trouble playing catch-up on Sunday and didn’t get a point until laying a single in the fifth end.Canada responded with a knockout punch in the sixth. Russia finished third in the previous three tournaments.“It’s always tough when you lose, especially when it’s the final but you know what, it’s history for my country,” Sidorova said. “We’ve lost that one and its tough, and we wanted to make sure we were doing exactly what we were going all week, because we knew that would lead us to the win.“Some tough breaks by their team cost them a few points but other than that we had a strong game. We haven’t won it in quite a while so we’re very proud of ourselves and we’re so grateful for the support we’ve received.“For sure there were butterflies but we get excited when we get nerves like that.”Canada’s last championship came in 2008, when Jennifer Jones was victorious in Vernon, B.C.

Raonic pulls out of Miami Open with hamstring injury

It got progressively worse after my first round. Third-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada withdrew from the Miami Open on Sunday with a hamstring injury.Raonic had been scheduled to play American qualifier Jared Donaldson in a third-round match.“It’s related to the previous injury I sustained almost four weeks ago… in Delray Beach,” he told reporters. It seemed like it was not possible for me to compete today without putting myself at significant risk.”Raonic said he would not return until he felt 100 per cent fit again.“That could be in two weeks; that could be a little bit longer.” “It’s the same muscle in the hamstring up high.

Canada stays perfect to advance to world women’s curling final

Homan won world bronze in 2013 in Riga and silver the following year in Saint John, N.B.On Friday, Homan was heavy with a draw for a deuce in the second end and settled for a single. Homan followed with singles in the next three ends for the victory.“I think we made a lot of key shots that game,” said Miskew. Sidorova will play the winner of the Page playoff 3-4 game earlier in the day between Scotland’s Eve Muirhead and Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg.Sidorova shot just 69 per cent on the day while Homan was at 90 per cent.“I think the team felt too nervous,” Sidorova said. We still have a chance.”The 3-4 loser and semifinal loser will play for bronze Sunday.Only two teams have posted unbeaten round-robin records at this event. Sidorova struck back with two in the third but Homan answered with an open draw for two.Homan extended her lead to 4-2 with a single in the fifth then forced Sidorova to draw for one in the sixth against three Canadian counters. They could also become the first team in event history to go unbeaten through the competition.“It feels unreal,” Homan said. “The ice was a little different than it has been all week and that always happens in the playoffs when there’s only one game out there.“But I thought we did a nice job of making the right shots when we needed to.”Russia will get a second shot at reaching the final in Saturday night’s semifinal. “Nothing to lose now. Canada’s Rachel Homan has every reason to feel confident as she prepares for the title game at the world women’s curling championship.The Ottawa skip has yet to lose at the Capital Gymnasium. You never know what’s going to happen but we’re going to battle hard for gold for Canada. Canada’s Colleen Jones did it in 2003 in Winnipeg and Sweden’s Anette Norberg did it in 2005 in Paisley, Scotland.Jones settled for silver while Norberg took the gold after dropping the Page 1-2 game.“We’re really happy that we put ourselves in a position where we know we’re getting a medal now,” Miskew said. “The good thing about qualifying in first or second place is you have two chances to go to the final. We can just go out and play our game.”Switzerland entered the tournament as the three-time defending champion but skip Alina Paetz did not make the playoffs after posting a 5-6 round-robin record.In 2014, Homan ran the table at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. One more victory will give Homan, third Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney and lead Lisa Weagle their first world women’s title. Homan’s latest victory — a 7-3 win over Russia’s Anna Sidorova in the Page playoff 1-2 game — gave her a berth in Sunday’s final. The only other skip to win the national women’s title with an unbeaten record was Linda Moore in 1985. We’ll be trying our hardest, that’s for sure and it would mean the world to us (to win).“We’re really excited that we’ve made it so far.”Canada hasn’t won world women’s gold since Jennifer Jones’s triumph in 2008 at Vernon, B.C. “We’re excited to be in the final for Canada.

Concessions needed for NHL players to go to Olympics: Bettman

We are shut out by the Olympics.”NHL Players Association Executive Director Don Fehr said players want to participate. Fasel said it may be “difficult” for the league to count on going to China in 2022 if it skips South Korea.“If that’s the IOC’s and IIHF’s position, that’s their position,” Bettman said. They’re entitled to take whatever position they want.”The league could also be in for a showdown with players if an Olympic break is not scheduled next season. “If nobody says anything to us that will change the thinking of the teams, then nothing will happen.” But unless concessions are made, he expects the world’s best players to suit up for the teams that sign their checks — not their countries.“If somebody has something they want to tell us, we’ll listen until there’s a deadline,” Bettman said. “We’ve been to five of them. The reluctance is not new, but the NHL has participated in every Winter Olympics since 1998. The International Olympic Committee and hockey’s governing body will have to make concessions before the NHL sends the world’s best players to the Winter Games in South Korea next year, commissioner Gary Bettman said on Friday.“As things stand today, you should assume we’re not going,” he said.Bettman made it clear at a breakfast with Chicago business leaders that league owners don’t want to stop their season for three weeks again and put their stars at risk of injury without what they consider a tangible return. To disappear for almost three weeks in February when there’s no football, no baseball, there’s only basketball and us. “I’m not going to get into a public debate with them. “If somebody proposes something that’s pragmatic, that’s radically different, that gets the attention of the clubs where they say, ‘You know what, we don’t like going, but on balance it’s worth it because of this,’ we’ll have to look at it again.”He said the league has no timetable to resolve the dispute. Washington Capitals and Russian superstar Alex Ovechkin has vowed to go, and he might not be the only one.“We’ll deal with that at the appropriate time if it comes to that,” Bettman said.For now, he’s not slamming the door on the Olympics. The problem is the clubs are anti-disruption to the season. To do it where there’s no programming for the NHL Network, for, for all of our social media platforms — we just disappear.”He added: “I can’t tell you that there’s been any tangible benefit, particularly here in North America, of doing it. It’s something I would have to go back to the clubs on because the clubs are overwhelmingly negative on the subject.”Besides the three-week layoff and the possible injuries stemming from a condensed schedule, Bettman mentioned the expense of sending players to the Olympics. “If nothing changes, I don’t see anybody participating,” Bettman said. The head of the International Ice Hockey Federation, Rene Fasel, said Thursday he needs to know by the end of April.Asked exactly what the league would need, Bettman said: “I don’t know. He sees a chance for the NHL to build its fan base in Asia, where the next two Winter Olympics will be held.While the league isn’t particularly interested in marketing in South Korea, it does have its eyes on China and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, where Bettman is scheduled to be next week. The IIHF came up with the $10 million necessary after the IOC indicated it would not cover the cost as it did in the past, including $14 million for the 2014 Winter Games.“The league isn’t anti-Olympics,” Bettman said.

Hockey Canada contemplates ‘B team’ to replace NHL stars at 2018 Olympics

“But when that event starts, it is still the Olympics. So that really resonated for me.“It’s been an interesting assignment – to get to know the Canadian players from around the world who aren’t in the NHL but are still pretty good hockey players.”One thing Burke is sure of: No matter who might be playing on the men’s Olympic hockey team in 2018, the country will rally around them.“A year out, sure, people may say they want the NHL players there,” Burke said. So there’s a bit of me saying: ‘whatever happens, we’ll be ready to go – and we will be.’”Complicating matters for Canada is the number of different recruiting scenarios that could present themselves if the NHL stays home.Right now, Burke’s scouting mission focused mostly on Canadians playing professionally in Europe, most of them in either Russia or Switzerland.But both he and Renney wonder, might the Olympic team have access to AHL players, those NHL prospects on the cusp of playing in the league? You’re representing not only your own sport but you’re representing your country alongside other athletes in other sports, too. They’d say, ‘if Canada’s in the gold-medal game in the Olympics, I want to watch it.’ It won’t matter who is playing.”———-2018 Olympic hockey tournament: A tale of two CanadasPLAN A2018 team (with NHL players) Goaltenders:Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks; Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild; Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals; Carey Price, Montreal CanadiensDefencemen:Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks; Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers; Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames; Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks; Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins; Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues; P.K. How about top juniors? The team could be a work in progress until the 11th hour.An Olympics without NHL players will shift the favourite’s role to Russia, as was the case when Renney and Dave King were icing teams of “amateurs” against the powerful Soviet Union teams of a previous generation.The NHL’s Russian content has dropped precipitously since the high point – 2000-01 – when 89 played here. “Those were special teams and special times. “We’ve seen [Wayne] Gretzky, [Mario] Lemieux and [Sidney] Crosby in that Canadian jersey and remember the events they’ve played in. Paul Kariya and Peter Forsberg competed in a heart-stopping shootout duel. It takes on a totally different meaning.“How many people would say, ‘I’m not watching the Olympic hockey tournament because it’s not the NHL guys.’ My guess is, hardly anybody. Would any Canadians playing college hockey be available? But at the Deutschland Cup, which we don’t even go to every year, I saw how important it was, not just for the players, but also for their families and their parents – to see their kids wear that Canada jersey. Goliath battle that characterized King’s three terms as Olympic coach – and Burke’s time as a player in the national program, where he is the career leader in games played (35) and wins (21) at the IIHF world championships.Burke was also part of the managerial teams that won back-to-back men’s hockey world championship gold medals in 2015 and 2016 and would be the logical candidate to act as Canada’s 2018 Olympic general manager if the NHL bowed out.In his current role with Hockey Canada, Burke said he was reminded once again of how important it is to players to play for their country.“We take it for granted sometimes,” Burke said. This year, it’s down to 39.According to figures supplied by the Elias Sports Bureau, among the 934 players to have played at least one NHL game through Wednesday, Russia ranks fourth by nationality behind Canada (435), the United States (246) and Sweden (82) and just ahead of Finland (35) and the Czech Republic (34).In effect, the Russians will lose access to far fewer players at the top end of its player pool – and would have available the likes of Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk, Slava Voynov and others playing in the KHL.Canada, by contrast, would lose a far greater number of its most accomplished players and thus would have to plumb deeper into the mid-echelon of its talent pool.Ultimately, it could evolve into the sort of David vs. It was 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway, an event that produced a memorable gold-medal final. Now, a generation later, Renney is the president of Hockey Canada and may be facing a familiar yesteryear scenario.Increasingly, it is looking as though the stalemate among the International Olympic Committee, the International Ice Hockey Federation and the National Hockey League over the latter’s Olympic participation will drag on – and eventually oblige all national federations to fill out their men’s Olympic hockey rosters with non-NHL players.If that happens, Hockey Canada is getting ready – just in case.Back in the fall, Hockey Canada hatched a tentative Plan B, hiring former NHL goalie and two-time Olympian Sean Burke to oversee its participation in two European hockey tournaments – the Deutschland Cup and the Spengler Cup – with a view to evaluating Canadian hockey talent playing abroad.Renney says he remains in favour of best-on-best competition at the Olympics, but isn’t shrinking from the challenge if it goes the other way.“We were good in 1980 [without NHL players] and, ultimately, we got ourselves to the point where we were winning silver and within millimetres and milliseconds of gold medals in 1992 and 1994,” Renney said. Subban, Nashville Predators; Marc-Édouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks; Shea Weber, Montreal CanadiensForwards: Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars; Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings; Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks; Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche; Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks; Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins; Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers; Nathan McKinnon, Colorado Avalanche; Ryan O’Reilly, Buffalo Sabres; Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks; Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets; Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars; Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers; Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning; John Tavares, New York Islanders; Jonathan Toews, Chicago BlackhawksPLAN B2018 team (without NHL players) Goaltenders:Zach Fucale, Brampton (ECHL); Drew MacIntyre, Medvescak Zagreb (KHL); Ben Scrivens, HC Dinamo Minsk (KHL); Danny Taylor, HC Sibir Novosibirsk (KHL)Defencemen:Chay Genoway, Jokerit Helsinki (KHL); Geoff Kinrade, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (KHL); Chris Lee, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL); Patrick McNeill, Ingolstadt ERC (Germany); Shaone Morrisonn, Medvescak Zagreb (KHL); Maxim Noreau, SC Bern (Switzerland); Blake Parlett, Medvescak Zagreb (KHL); Mat Robinson; HC Dynamo Moscow (KHL); Jonathan Sigalet, Frolunda HC (Sweden); Daniel Vukovic, Genève-Servette (Switzerland)Forwards:Chris Didomenico, SCL Tigers (Switzerland); Andrew Ebbett, SC Bern (Switzerland); Matt Ellison, HC Dinamo Minsk (KHL); Cory Emmerton, HC Ambri-Piotta (Switzerland); Andrew Gordon, Linkoping HC (Sweden); Dustin Jeffrey, Lausanne HC (Switzerland); Brandon Kozun, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL); Jonathan Matsumoto, Red Bull Munchen (Germany); Jacob Micflikier, EHC Biel-Bienne (Switzerland); David McIntyre, EV Zug (Switzerland); Marc-Antoine Pouliot, EHL Biel-Bienne (Switzerland); Mason Raymond, Geneve-Servette (Switzerland); Derek Roy, Omsk Avangard (KHL); Greg Scott, CSKA Moscow (KHL); James Sheppard, EHC Kloten (Switzerland); Nick Spaling, Genève-Servette (Switzerland); Paul Szczechura, Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL); Maxime Talbot, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL)Eric Duhatschek Corey Hirsch was heroic in goal for Canada. Tom Renney was the last man to coach a Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team before NHL players took the reins. It is still the greatest sporting event in the world. If Nolan Patrick didn’t make it directly to the NHL as the projected No. When Sweden ultimately won the gold medal, the championship was so well-received it was commemorated on a Swedish postage stamp. 1 pick of the 2017 NHL entry draft, would he be interested in following in the footsteps of his uncle James Patrick, a member of Canada’s 1984 Olympic team?All good questions, said Renney, for which there are no ready answers.Unlike 1994 and the four men’s Olympic teams before Lillehammer, Canada will not centralize a men’s team in Calgary, with a six-month lead time to get ready, said Renney, because the costs would be too prohibitive.Instead, Canada is tentatively planning to hold a summer evaluation camp, and then bring those players together for multiple international competitions before the 2018 Olympics in the hope of developing the necessary chemistry.

Ex-Penn State president convicted of covering up Sandusky sex-abuse allegations

At least four victims at Sandusky’s trial said they were molested after 2001.“Evil in the form of Jerry Sandusky was allowed to run wild,” prosecutor Patrick Schulte told the jury.The scandal sent shockwaves through Penn State. He died of cancer in 2012 at age 85.Another prosecutor, Laura Ditka, said Spanier was “convicted for all the children who came to Penn State after what Mike McQueary saw that night.”Two of Spanier’s former lieutenants, athletic director Tim Curley and vice-president Gary Schultz, pleaded guilty to misdemeanour child endangerment charges a week ago and testified against Spanier. He called the plan “humane and a reasonable way to proceed.”Spanier’s attorney, Sam Silver, said the case involved judgment calls by the administrators. The three officials told Sandusky he could not bring children onto the campus anymore but did not report the matter to police or child welfare authorities.Sandusky was not arrested until 2011, after an anonymous tip led prosecutors to investigate the shower incident. Instead, Spanier approved putting that on hold, and the agency was never contacted. His lawyer said he will appeal.The trial centred on how Spanier and two other university administrators handled a complaint by graduate coaching assistant Mike McQueary, who said he reported seeing Sandusky sexually molesting a boy in a team shower in 2001. They were playing with kids.”A report commissioned by the university and conducted by former FBI Director Louis Freeh concluded that Paterno and the three others hushed up the allegations against Sandusky for fear of bad publicity. Former Penn State President Graham Spanier was convicted Friday of hushing up child sexual abuse allegations in 2001 against Jerry Sandusky, whose arrest a decade later blew up into a major scandal for the university and led to the firing of beloved football coach Joe Paterno.The jury found Spanier guilty of one misdemeanour count of child endangerment over his handling of a complaint against the retired assistant football coach but acquitted him of conspiracy and a second child endangerment count. “And while we cannot undo the past, we have re-dedicated ourselves and our university to act always with the highest integrity, in affirming the shared values of our community.”The prosecution’s key evidence included notes and email exchanges in which the three debated what to do after McQueary’s report.Spanier approved a plan to tell the retired coach to stop bringing children to athletic facilities and to inform The Second Mile, a charity for at-risk youth that Sandusky founded.At one point, the administrators planned to inform the state Department of Public Welfare. That decision formed the heart of the case against him.“The only downside for us is if the message isn’t ‘heard’ and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it,” Spanier told Curley and Schultz in 2001 in the email exchange. “They weren’t playing with dice. He said there was no evidence of a crime by Spanier.Ditka said during closing arguments that the three university leaders wanted to protect the university’s reputation at the expense of children.“They took a gamble,” she told the jury. It led to the ouster of both Spanier and Paterno and resulted in the school paying out more than $90 million to settle claims by over 30 Sandusky accusers. In addition, the NCAA fined Penn State $48 million and briefly erased more than 100 of Paterno’s football victories from the record books.The Hall of Fame coach was never charged with a crime. But all three denied they were told the encounter in the shower was sexual in nature.“The verdict, their words and pleas indicate a profound failure of leadership,” Penn State said in a statement. He could get up to five years in prison. Spanier, 68, showed no emotion when the verdict was read after 13 hours of deliberations. He was convicted the next year of sexually abusing 10 boys and is serving 10 to 30 years behind bars.

Sprinter Andre De Grasse to race at Harry Jerome track meet

De Grasse, who trains in Phoenix, had been unaware of his popularity, he said, until a couple of appearances in Canada last summer, including the Harry Jerome meet.“I have to admit I was a little bit surprised, overwhelmed,” he said on a conference call. Usain Bolt made for some of the most memorable moments of Rio, and the two will make headlines again in London, where the Jamaican superstar might be racing for the final time.“It’s in another Olympic stadium again in London, so it’s going to be packed, it’s going to be loud, the atmosphere is going to be great,” De Grasse said. I’m kind of adjusted to it, it’s still fun for me and it’s good to see the kids and their faces light up and how excited they are to see me. They thrust paper and pens in his direction, and pleaded for selfies.The Canadian star sprinter announced Thursday he will compete at the Harry Jerome on June 28 — and this year he’ll be ready for the onslaught. We’ll see.”De Grasse plans to open his season at next weekend’s Florida Relays, where he’ll help Canada’s 4×100 relay team try to qualify for the IAAF World Relays, April 22-23 in the Bahamas.He’ll run his first individual race at the Mt. He won bronze in the 100 and the 4×100 relay at the 2015 world championships in Beijing.De Grasse vs. Andre De Grasse was caught off-guard when he was swarmed by excited children at last year’s Harry Jerome International Track Classic. SAC Relays, April 13-15 in California. “Now I kind of know. I enjoy the moment.”The 22-year-old from Markham, Ont., will gladly do what he can to help grow the sport at home.“It’s very important to me,” De Grasse said. “I don’t get the chance to compete a lot in Canada, and Canada has a lot of my fan support base, so I always want to come out and represent the country, and get a chance for the fans to meet me and take pictures and sign autographs with them because I just enjoy their appreciation of the sport.“Every time I get the opportunity to compete in Canada, that’s what I want to do.De Grasse won the 100 and 200 metres at last year’s Harry Jerome meet while preparing for the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he won a silver medal in the 200 metres and bronze in both the 100 and 4×100 relays.The Harry Jerome has been relocated to Perry Percy Stadium in Coquitlam, B.C., from Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C., where the meet had been held for several decades, but the track is in need of repair.De Grasse will use the meet as a warm-up for the world track and field championships this August in London. “It’s (Bolt’s) last world championships so I’m looking forward to that moment, and hopefully things will go my way.

Leafs defenceman Polak suspended two games for hit on Bjorkstrand

The Maple Leafs went on to defeat the Blue Jackets 5-2.Polak has eight points (four goals, four assists) and 61 penalty minutes in 67 games this season. Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Roman Polak was suspended for two games Thursday for his hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand.Polak hit Bjorkstrand from behind early in the third period of Wednesday night’s game at the Nationwide Arena.Polak, who was given a major boarding penalty and game misconduct after the play, will forfeit US$25,000 in salary. Bjorkstrand was helped off the ice and did not return to the game.

Verdict set for June in former ski coach Charest’s sex-assault trial

A judge will hand down his verdict in June in the case of a former national ski coach charged with dozens of sex-related offences against girls and young women.Bertrand Charest’s trial on 57 charges, including sexual assault and breach of trust, ended this week.The 12 complainants were between the ages of 12 and 19 at the time of the alleged abuse in the 1990s. Quebec court Judge Sylvain Lepine has asked the Crown and defence lawyers to submit their final arguments in writing by May 15, with the verdict set for June 22.Several of the alleged victims testified they had sexual relationships with Charest, who they described as manipulative and controlling.Charest, who is now 51, did not take the stand during the three-week trial but other defence witnesses said they hadn’t seen him act inappropriately toward his students.The alleged events took place both before and during Charest’s stint with Alpine Canada’s women’s development team between 1996 and ‘98.