Gostisbehere adds three assists as Flyers down Canucks

“(Against Calgary) I thought we had a lot of chances. “I don’t want to put all the pressure on the power play or a few guys because it’s a team and we’ve got to play as a team, but saying that we probably need a little bit more out of the power play.”Miller made a couple of nice stops to keep his team within striking distance late in the third, but Vancouver didn’t really threaten Neuvirth from there as Philadelphia held on for just its second win in the last six (2-4-0).Up 1-0 after the first period thanks to Simmonds’ 25th of the season on the power play, the Flyers caught Vancouver napping early in the second when Gostisbehere fired a puck from behind the Philadelphia net off the boards to create a 2-on-1. The puck popped out front to Hansen, who chipped a fluttering shot past Neuvirth’s glove for his sixth.The Canucks nearly tied things seconds later when Reid Boucher jumped on a terrible turnover by Michael Del Zotto in the Flyers’ end, but Neuvirth was there to make a point-blank glove save.“There was good things in the game, but ultimately we lost and we need to make up some ground so it’s frustrating,” said Miller. “We really needed those.”Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek also scored for Philadelphia (28-24-7), while Michael Neuvirth made 18 stops to get the win.The runner up for rookie of the year last season, Gostisbehere has been a healthy scratch five times in an up-and-down sophomore campaign, but now sits at four goals and 21 assists in 53 games.“He has his confidence and a little bit of swagger,” said Simmonds. Miller stopped Sean Couturier’s initial shot, but Voracek was there to jump on the juicy rebound for his 15th and first in 10 games.The Canucks gave up another power-play goal just 1:27 later when Schenn wheeled into the high slot and ripped his 18th to make it 3-0 past a screened Miller, who made 35 saves against the Flames on Saturday.The Canucks showed some life when Granlund continued the goal barrage at 3:43 on a slick deflection for his 15th past Neuvirth, who allowed all six goals in that loss to Edmonton.The Philadelphia goalie made a nice stop on Brandon Sutter midway through the period, but Hansen got Vancouver to within one at 12:42 after Bo Horvat cut hard to the net. “It’s good to get some points, but I think it was more important to get the two points for our team,” said Gostisbehere. “We tightened up defensively and were able to score a few more goals.”That included connecting twice on the power play after going just 2 for 19 over their six previous outings.“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Schenn, who scored his league-leading 14th goal with the man advantage.Markus Granlund and Jannik Hansen had the goals for Vancouver (26-28-6), which got 25 saves from Ryan Miller.The Canucks couldn’t build on Saturday’s 2-1 overtime win against Calgary following a 2-4-0 road trip and head into their five-day break four points back of the Flames for the West’s second wild-card spot.Trailing 3-2 through 40 minutes, Vancouver’s toothless 28th-ranked power play got a chance early in the third, but failed to even register a shot. Tonight we were back to just scrambling again.”The penalty kill has also surrendered four goals over the last three games.“Our specialty teams let us down,” said Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins. “We showed good spirit but it doesn’t really mean much now.” He can be a catalyst offensively for us.”The Flyers lost the first two games of their three-game swing through western Canada – a 3-1 defeat to Calgary on Wednesday and 6-3 setback in Edmonton on Thursday – but after Sunday sit just two points back of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.“We were playing some pretty good hockey of late, but the pucks weren’t going in,” said Schenn. Shayne Gostisbehere’s career night helped the Philadelphia Flyers to a morale-boosting victory in their push for a playoff spot.The second-year defenceman set up all three of his team’s goals, including Brayden Schenn’s winner in the second period, for his first three-point game in the NHL as the Flyers downed Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Sunday. The Canucks finished the night 0 for 4 are now 0 for 12 over their last four games after recording goals in five straight.“Execution was off, we got shots blocked again, didn’t make the right decisions with the puck,” said Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin, whose team had just six shots in the third period. “He’s a heck of a player and has unbelievable skill.

McIlroy tunes up for comeback through round with Trump: reports

He’s a decent player for a guy in his 70s,” McIlroy was quoted saying of Trump by nolayup.com.The round reportedly took place at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Monday: “As stated yesterday, the president played golf. “He probably shot around 80. He intended to play a few holes and decided to play longer.”Nine days ago, he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe played with South African pro golfer Ernie Els, and Trump previously had a round with Tiger Woods.Northern Irishman McIlroy made it clear during last year’s U.S. presidential campaign that he did not want to be drawn into any public support or otherwise of any of the candidates.McIlroy, 27, has been out of action since early January, nursing a rib stress fracture.He plans to return next week at the WGC Mexico Championship in Mexico City.The four-time major winner needs to win the Masters in April to become just the sixth man to complete the modern Grand Slam, after Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen. President Donald Trump in south Florida on Sunday, it was reported.The Clear Sports & Entertainment company posted a picture on its Twitter feed of Trump with McElroy, former New York Yankees baseball player Paul O’Neill and Clear Sports Chief Executive Garry Singer. World number three Rory McIlroy, eyeing a comeback next week from injury, continued his tune-up with a round with U.S.

Jets’ Trouba suspended two games for elbow to the head of Senators’ Stone

Stone did not return to the game but has travelled with the Senators for their upcoming road trip. Louis on March 3. 28 at home to Minnesota. He will be eligible to return when Winnipeg hosts St. Trouba was assessed a minor penalty for illegal check to the head on the play.A first-time offender, Trouba will forfeit US$33,333.34 in salary.He will miss Winnipeg’s games Tuesday in Toronto and Feb. The NHL has suspended Winnipeg Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba for two games for an illegal check to the head of Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone.The incident occurred at 6:42 of the third period of Winnipeg’s 3-2 win in Ottawa on Sunday. Stone had just made a pass in the Winnipeg zone when Trouba hit him with an open-ice elbow to the head.

Champions League spotlight shifts from former champs to less-lauded contenders

ATLÉTICO MADRIDLeverkusen’s inconsistent season – the team is 20 points behind Bayern Munich after 21 Bundesliga games – has led to persistent speculation on the future of coach Roger Schmidt, now in his third season at the club. But the Montenegrin is unrecognizable from the striker who managed only 11 goals in 44 appearances in England. A return to European action should provide some respite from domestic struggles for Leverkusen, which is mid-table in Germany.Leicester’s plight at home in England is far more perilous. After the Champions League knockout phase was opened by teams with a combined 24 European titles, the spotlight shifts to those with far less of a continental pedigree.Just one of this week’s four Round of 16 matches features former European champions, with FC Porto and Juventus – both two-time winners – meeting in Portugal on Wednesday. Nuno Espirito Santo’s team has won six Portuguese league matches in a row to cut Benfica’s lead to one point, fuelled by January signing Tiquinho’s four goals.BAYER LEVERKUSEN vs. It was the third time in three weeks that players had questioned Allegri’s decisions. To make matters worse for manager Claudio Ranieri, Leicester was humiliated in the FA Cup by third-tier Millwall on Saturday.Sevilla, by contrast, is on a high in Jorge Sampaoli’s first season in charge. “He can dribble past two or three players and he’s unpredictable.”City, in Guardiola’s first season in charge, is equally unpredictable. The team is on course to match its third-place finish in 2009 but is only three points behind leader Real Madrid, which already has two games in hand.Sevilla striker Stevan Jovetic will be a familiar face to some Leicester players, having spent two years at Manchester City between 2013 and 2015. But below the surface, there are cracks in the camp. The team that captivated the sporting world by winning the Premier League last season after starting out as 5,000-to-1 outsiders is sliding toward relegation. Defender Leonardo Bonucci became embroiled in a heated argument over substitutions with coach Massimiliano Allegri after a 4-1 win over Palermo on Friday. Although City has been one of world soccer’s biggest spenders over the past decade, it has yet to progress beyond the semi-final in the Champions League as it seeks European silverware to firmly establish itself in the elite.Here’s a closer look at the games:PORTO vs. Guardiola has won all seven previous Round of 16 matches in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich. “But when there are moments of tension, there’s always a chance that someone will make a mistake.”Porto certainly hasn’t been making many. MONACOCity’s top priority will be to keep attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva quiet. Having established a four-point lead early in the season, it is now eight points behind leader Chelsea. Atlético Madrid, which has the undesired record of being a three-time losing finalist, plays its first leg away at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday evening. Paulo Dybala and Stephan Lichtsteiner also openly displayed their displeasure.“There has always got to be respect and there’s a way to say things that’s part of being polite,” Allegri said. The ailing Premier League champions are only one point above the relegation zone as they resume their first Champions League campaign with a trip to Sevilla, which is flying high in third place in Spain.There’s a first-leg meeting between the Premier League’s second-place team and France’s top team on Tuesday when Manchester City takes on Monaco. City also experienced a setback in the FA Cup on Saturday, when it was held by second-tier Huddersfield, although Guardiola made eight changes for the game as he rested players. LEICESTERIt’s been a miserable two months since Leicester was last in Champions League action. Since signing on loan from Inter Milan last month, Jovetic has netted three goals for Sevilla, including two in two games against Real Madrid. He also set up both goals in a 2-0 victory over Eibar on Saturday.MANCHESTER CITY vs. JUVENTUSThe Serie A standings suggest all is smooth for Juventus, with its seven-point lead. Diminutive in stature, but extremely quick, the skillful Silva also has an eye for goal, a lethally accurate shot from outside the penalty area and makes great runs into the box to score with his head.Silva has already scored against Premier League opposition this season, when Monaco won against Tottenham during the group stage at Wembley Stadium.“He’s our little phenomenon,” Monaco fullback Djibril Sidibe said. Two victories have eased the pressure on Schmidt somewhat, while the emergence of 17-year-old Kai Havertz has also provided a welcome distraction.Leverkusen’s youngest ever player in the Bundesliga, Havertz provided three assists in the past two games and displayed technical ability and maturity.Regardless of Havertz’s presence, Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling sees Atlético, which lost to Real Madrid in last season’s final, as the favourite on Tuesday.“Atlético has strengthened further since our duel two years ago,” Kiessling said, referring to the 2015 shootout loss in the same Round of 16.SEVILLA vs.

Blue Jays’ Stroman finds happiness, comfort on the mound

“I felt like I’ve built that over the years. “I have a pretty good connection with my fans,” he said evenly. For what it’s worth, a picture of both players laughing it up remains on Stroman’s official web page.Clearly Stroman, with more than 300,000 Twitter followers, would prefer to deliver his message – whatever that is – in bursts of 140 characters, or on Instagram, rather than through traditional media.Stroman was asked on Monday about any desire he might have to take his message directly to the fans. Most of them, when they get to the big leagues fast, they don’t fail in the minor leagues so they’re not used to it. The Blue Jays had countered with an offer of $3.1-million.And the matter certainly didn’t create the rancour that erupted over the weekend at New York Yankees camp, where setup reliever Dellin Betances lost his salary arbitration, having to settle for $3-million instead of the $5-million he was seeking.Even in victory, New York Yankees president Randy Levine ripped into Betances for his demand, describing it as “over the top.”“It’s just part of the process,” Stroman said of salary arbitration. “It’s just unfortunate how it’s being handled over there. I had to re-amp my rehab and start it back up and start it in the off-season, so it’s not the ideal process that you want to go through [for an] ACL rehab.“This year, I feel 100 per cent.”The off-season was also kind to Stroman, who just last week won his salary arbitration against the Blue Jays, his pay jumping to $3.4-million (U.S.) from the $515,000 he had been earning. We thought he was going to work it out and he ended up hanging in there and turned the season around at the end there.“But that’s all part of it, especially [for] the young guys. Questions to Stroman had to be baseball related only. Some deal with it and some don’t and they disappear. Stroman, who is listed in the media guide as being 5-foot-8, had his catchphrase officially trademarked in 2015.But Stroman’s sunny demeanour seems to dim when members of the media darken his doorway, and he has done his best to ignore repeated requests for interviews since the start of camp on Wednesday.Up until Monday, that is, when Stroman was finally swayed into providing six or so minutes of his time outside the Blue Jays clubhouse at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium to take a few questions.Even then the ground rules were clearly laid out beforehand by Blue Jays personnel. The good ones like him, they overcome that and they hang in there.”Stroman’s second half in 2016 picked up, although it really didn’t reflect in his record. In other words, there was to be no mention of Stroman’s famous Twitter breakup over the off-season with teammate Aaron Sanchez as the two “unfriended” each other on the social-media platform.Both pitchers have in the past shrugged the matter off, insisting they remain good friends, although they seem to be keeping their distance in Florida. And really your top draft picks, they don’t struggle much as amateurs either so that’s part of the learning process. “I had to stop my rehab to come back and pitch for September and the playoffs. “You’re going to get knocked down, especially the young guys. Marcus Stroman is normally an ebullient type, bounding around the Toronto Blue Jays clubhouse here during spring training like he doesn’t have a care in the world.His flashy new hair style is usually covered up in a blue do-rag and he seems constantly in a hurry to get to somewhere important, be it the weight room, the dining hall or the baseball field. He lost five of his last six starts when the Toronto offence wasn’t exactly covering itself in glory, scoring just eight runs in those outings.And Gibbons called Stroman’s number for the one-game American League wild-card playoff against the Baltimore Orioles at a time when many were guessing he would go instead with veteran Francisco Liriano.And Stroman did not disappoint, turning in a gutsy six-inning outing, holding the Orioles to just two runs off of four hits and departing with the game tied at 2-2.The game was ultimately decided in the bottom of the 11th when the dearly departed Edwin Encarnacion swatted a three-run home run that would end the game and send the Blue Jays on to play the Texas Rangers.Stroman said his surgically repaired knee feels great, but alluded that there were times last season when it would still bother him.“Everyone forgets I came back in five months from a full ACL surgery [in 2015],” he said. I’m pretty good friends with Dellin Betances and you never want to see anyone go through that.“But it’s baseball, arbitration is something you have to go through if there’s no agreement and it’s something you have to deal with.” I’m extremely authentic in everything I do so it’s kind of how I go about my business.”On the mound pitching in Major League Baseball games is where Stroman obviously feels most comfortable, and he has utilized a steely-eyed determination to fend off criticisms that he is too short to be effective.Last season with the Blue Jays, his first full year after knee surgery all but wiped out his 2015 campaign, was a bit of a roller-coaster ride for the 25-year-old.Posting an overall record of 9-10, Stroman was the only Blue Jays starter to log more than 200 innings (204).But he went through a month-long stretch, beginning around mid-May, when nothing went right, posting a gaudy 6.99 earned-run average over an eight-game stretch, and there were rumours circulating that a demotion to the minors might have been in the offing.But he never lost the confidence of John Gibbons, the Toronto manager.“The reality of the game at this level is you’re not going to be good every time,” Gibbons said. He [Stroman] was in that stretch and there were people calling for him to be sent down. A large, presumably gold, chain is often dangling around his neck with his HDMH (Height Doesn’t Measure Heart) pendant attached.

Northern Ontario’s McCarville aims for a less stressful Scotties Tournament of Hearts

“Everyone is really focused on the Olympics. Of course, we would love to get a trials spot and our way to get a trials spot is to win the Scotties.“We’re not so much points hungry as other teams. McCarville, third Kendra Lilly, second Ashley Sippala and lead Sarah Potts out of the Fort William Curling Club fell 8-7 to Chelsea Carey in the final in Grande Prairie, Alta.McCarville prefers they not white knuckle their way to wins in St. Catharines and claim it this time. Scoring without a hammer is a skill, but one with low odds of success.“We are a resilient team,” Lilly said. We want to be sharp from the beginning.”They’ve been mostly true to their word to start the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.They did steal a total of seven points, winning two of their first three, but those were scored earlier in the game. Krista McCarville vows her Northern Ontario team is done with larceny, although it has been profitable for them.Her Thunder Bay foursome led last year’s Canadian women’s curling championship in stolen points with 31, but it was the playoff round where they took thieving to spectacular heights.Trailing in both games, McCarville stole three points over the ninth and 10th ends of a playoff win over Manitoba and did the same in a semi-final victory over defending champion Jennifer Jones. People on our team are full-time employees and they have children. Catharines, Ont., this year.“Just before we came here we talked about that and why that happened,” McCarville said.“We tried to figure out, ‘why did we play that much better after the fifth end?’ I think when our backs are against the wall, that’s just what we do. But if we can [make it] a little less stressful out there, it would be good for us and I’m sure for our fans.”McCarville (2-1) was to face Michelle Englot of Manitoba in Monday evening’s draw. Seven of nine women’s berths in December’s trials in Ottawa are still on the table.The winner in St. We pick up our game and play a little bit more sharp.“We’re coming here this year to not start that way. We have lives outside [of curling] and it works for us.”Lilly was new to the team last year. We’re a little bit different than other teams, but it works for us. Our team, the Scotties is it for us. Coming so close to the crown in Grande Prairie made McCarville and company hungry to get back to the final in St. We’re more focused on what’s the best events for us to go in. We practice really hard. Catharines gets one of those spots.“We definitely play a lot less than most teams,” Potts said. The afternoon draw was full of heists with 14 stolen ends totalling 26 points.Ontario’s Rachel Homan and Englot stayed unbeaten and out front at 4-0.Homan stole single points in ends six through eight in a 6-4 win over Alberta’s Shannon Kleibrink.In a 10-5 victory over Stacie Curtis of Newfoundland and Labrador, Englot recovered from giving up a steal of three in the fifth end by scoring seven points over the final five.Kerry Galusha of Northwest Territories, who won a pre-tournament qualifying round to get into the 12-team main draw, was 3-1 after a 12-9 victory over B.C.’s Marla Mallett.Quebec’s Ève Bélisle got to 2-2 with an 8-7 win over Prince Edward Island’s Robyn MacPhee.Kleibrink and Curtis fell to 2-2, while MacPhee and Mallett were both winless in four games.McCarville’s team doesn’t travel as much as some teams chasing points and money on the World Curling Tour.She and her teammates strive to strike a more equal balance between their sport and their jobs and families.But they do want a shot at representing Canada at next year’s Winter Olympics. “We kind of wanted to zone in [on] why we play much better in the second half and apply that in the first half.“Maybe don’t have those tight of games and coming-from-behind wins and stuff, which were kind of fun to be a part of.

Montreal Impact get Oyongo back after Africa Cup of Nations win

Egypt climbed 12 places to No. The championship means an invitation to this summer’s Confederations Cup in Russia.While he savoured the tournament win, Oyongo said Cameroon must now return its focus on World Cup qualifying. Oyongo and the other players also received medals from the president. It’s been a whirlwind two weeks for Montreal Impact fullback Ambroise Oyongo since helping Cameroon beat Egypt to win the Africa Cup of Nations.After the comeback win Feb. On Monday, he skipped training to get some treatment, but still met the media.Oyongo, a streak of gold adorning his hair, said the tournament win was good for his country, allowing the people to forget their problems.Nobody expected the young Cameroon team to win, Oyongo said.“Ghana, Egypt and Senegal were better teams on paper, but that’s football,” he said in French.Cameroon last won the African title in 2002. “We’re very proud of him and we’re excited to get him back on the field.” The Indomitable Lions (0-0-2) currently are second to Nigeria in a tough qualifying group that also features Algeria and Zambia.The next round of qualifying matches are set for August.Substitute Vincent Aboubakar, on a beautiful individual effort, scored the winning goal in the 89th minute to give Cameroon a dramatic 2-1 win over Egypt in Libreville, Gabon.The tournament win vaulted Cameroon 29 places in the world rankings to No. 23.Oyongo said the Cameroon players have to keep their heads firmly on their shoulders and continue to work hard, noting in soccer you can be a champion one day and a zero the next.He said the tournament had been good preparation for the MLS campaign. The 25-year-old rejoined the Impact camp in Florida on Saturday. 5 in Gabon, the celebrations back home involved a state reception by Cameroon president Paul Biya and a tour of the capital Yaounde to show off the trophy. Montreal kicks off the regular season March 4, at San Jose.Impact assistant coach Jason Di Tullio said the team was happy to have Oyongo back.“He lives his life with a positiveness in his surroundings so we’re happy to have him back,” Di Tullio said. 33.

Leafs place Mitch Marner on injured reserve; Gauthier recalled

Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said Marner was day-to-day when asked about his timeline for return. “That’s why they have these doctors and these trainers is because the coach and the player would be playing today. The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t have Mitch Marner for at least one more game, but when exactly the 19-year-old rookie returns is unclear.Marner was placed on injured reserve Tuesday morning, meaning the earliest he can come back from a suspected right shoulder injury is Thursday night against the New York Rangers. But they don’t let us get involved in the equation and we save ourselves from ourselves.“He’s now not available today.”A 10-day timeline would mean a potential Saturday return for Marner with the Montreal Canadiens in town. Second on the Leafs with 48 points entering Tuesday’s game against the Jets, Marner has missed the last two outings – one loss and one win for Toronto.Marner fell awkwardly into the sideboards in a 5-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets last Wednesday.Connor Brown, his replacement alongside veterans Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk, had two goals in a Sunday night victory against the Carolina Hurricanes.The Leafs also recalled Frederik Gauthier from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. Ten days,” Babcock said ahead of a meeting with the Winnipeg Jets, the third straight game Marner will sit out. “So what does that usually mean? Gauthier is expected to centre the fourth line in place of veteran Ben Smith against the Jets.

Pie-eating Sutton goalkeeper quits club in tears over gambling stunt

“We felt we had to take very strong actions. The chairman spoke to him this afternoon and Wayne offered his resignation.”“I’m devastated, the chairman is devastated. “It was meat and potato.”Shaw denied he had placed a bet himself, but as his pie-eating antics made headlines in Britain and beyond it became clear the stunt had gone badly wrong.On Tuesday morning the Gambling Commission, the regulatory body that oversees British gambling, announced its inquiry.“Integrity in sport is not a joke,” said Richard Watson, enforcement and intelligence director at the Gambling Commission.“We’ll be looking into any irregularity in the betting market and establishing whether the operator has met its licence requirement to conduct its business with integrity.”Later on Tuesday the FA announced its own investigation into the behaviour of Shaw, Sutton’s reserve goalkeeper. Sutton manager Paul Doswell announced Shaw’s fate on live television: “This decision was taken at board level,” he said. It is a very sad situation.”The news capped a surreal few hours in the history of the world’s oldest cup competition.Shaw, 46, who weighs 20 stone, was caught on camera tucking into the pie minutes from the end of Monday’s fifth round game against Arsenal, with Sutton trailing 2-0 having used their regulation three substitutes.The keeper had featured on promotion materials during the non-league club’s surprise FA Cup run after revealing that he played in the same youth team as former England striker Alan Shearer.Shaw admitted knowing about the wager offered by Sun Bets, the online betting branch of The Sun newspaper whose logo also appeared on Sutton’s shirts.“I thought I would give them a bit of banter,” he said. The Sutton United goalkeeper filmed eating a pie while on the substitutes bench during his side’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat by Arsenal quit the club in tears on Tuesday after admitting a “costly error of judgment”, Sutton’s manager said.Wayne Shaw resigned within hours of the Gambling Commission and the FA announcing investigations into his actions after it emerged that a betting company had offered odds against any Sutton player tucking into a pie during the televised game. I have spoken to Wayne and the guy is in tears, crying down the phone.

Chelsea Carey improves to 4-1 by beating Kerry Galusha at Scotties

Round-robin play continues through Friday morning and the medal games are set for Sunday. Nedohin filled in for skip Shannon Kleibrink, who sat out due to a sore back.Two more draws are scheduled for later today at the Meridian Centre. Team Canada’s Chelsea Carey defeated Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories 7-4 to move into sole possession of third place at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.Carey improved to 4-1 with the win while Galusha fell to 3-2.Ontario’s Rachel Homan and Manitoba’s Michelle Englot lead the round-robin standings at 5-0. In other early games, Prince Edward Island’s Robyn MacPhee beat Nova Scotia’s Mary Mattatall 9-4 and Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville doubled Stacie Curtis of Newfoundland and Labrador 6-3.Alberta’s Heather Nedohin stole three in the extra end for a 10-7 win over Saskatchewan’s Penny Barker.

Manitoba skip Michelle Englot changes teams for Tournament of Hearts

Quebec’s Eve Belisle picked up a first win, downing Alberta’s Shannon Kleibrink 9-5.Kleibrink, Galusha, Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville, Nova Scotia’s Mary Mattatall and defending champion Chelsea Carey were all 1-1 with games to play at night.Belisle was 1-2. Barker and MacPhee were knotted at 0-2 and Mallett was winless in three games.Despite the Saskatchewan-Manitoba rivalry manifested mostly in the CFL, Englot said she didn’t experience much backlash on social media for her switch.“The buffalo is heavy,” is a saying when it comes to expectations of Manitoba curlers. Three wins into the Canadian women’s curling championship, Michelle Englot still felt weird about the buffalo on her back.“I don’t think it’s going to wear off, really,” the Manitoba skip said Sunday.After running Saskatchewan’s house seven times at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts during her career, the 53-year-old from Regina is as surprised as anyone she’s wearing the crest of her neighbour province. “It’s exciting to play with these girls and they’re so committed and talented.“I feel like a rookie. That’s where she saw raised eyebrows.“I was asked what I was thinking, going to the deepest province in women’s curling,” Englot said.Her team beat reigning Olympic champion and seven-time Manitoba champion Jennifer Jones in a playoff game en route to a provincial title.Curling Canada ruled in 2015 that teams could carry “one non-resident outside of the Member Association they choose to represent, but the other three players will be subject to stricter proof-of-residency rules.”Englot skipping Manitoba this year is a dramatic byproduct of that ruling, but Jones no longer lives in Manitoba. It is like a rejuvenation.”Manitoba and Ontario’s Rachel Homan were out front quickly to 3-0 records by Sunday.Englot downed Kerry Galusha of Northwest Territories 9-4 after beating Saskatchewan’s Penny Barker 8-5 in the morning.The weirdness factor was particularly high for Englot facing a team in the colours she’d worn so many times at the Hearts.“I’m glad we got it over with early in the week actually because then that story is done and we can just move on,” she said.Homan cruised to 8-3 and 9-3 wins over Prince Edward Island’s Robyn MacPhee and B.C.’s Marla Mallett, respectively.In the afternoon draw, Stacie Curtis of Newfoundland and Labrador defeated Mallett 10-5 to get to 2-0. Gaining an Olympic trials berth was top of mind for third Kate Cameron, second Leslie Wilson and lead Raunora Westcott when they sought a replacement for Kristy McDonald.They were a strong team that lost last year’s Manitoba final to Kerri Einarson, but McDonald wanted a break.With her 43-34 career Hearts record and almost 30 years of competitive curling, Englot was the woman they called.“She had a couple of things we wanted, which was someone with experience and someone who has done what we want to do,” Cameron said.“We wanted someone relatively close. She resides in Ontario. We knew Manitoba didn’t have the skip we needed that was available.”Englot’s Regina team was going in different directions because of work and family commitments. Englot says she was encouraged to exchange green for yellow.“They said I’d be crazy not to take the chance to play with an established team like this,” she said.

Patrick Chan held off podium, finishes 4th at Four Continents

After his first jump, he added a quad flip, quad toe, quad toe-double toe and a quad Salchow.“I tried five quads today and I landed three of the five solidly,” Chen said. Canada’s Patrick Chan was held off the podium by a trio of big jumpers at the ISU Four Continents figure skating championships Sunday.The three-time world champion from Toronto opened his free program with a huge quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination, and followed it up with a triple Axel, but he struggled the rest of the way to finish fourth with 267.98. “The other two were a little shaky, so that’s something I need to improve on for the worlds.”Hanyu, third after the short program, was second overall with 303.71 points. It’s really showing up now that we’re senior skaters.”Chen opened his routine with a quadruple Lutz-triple toe loop combination at the Gangneung Ice Arena and followed with four more quads in a free skate that received 204.34 points. “I need to work on my snap off the ice and being more efficient,” said Chan. “I felt the threat posed by Nathan, but he will push me beyond my limit, no doubt about that.”The Four Continents were a test event for next year’s Winter Olympics, and a final tuneup before the world championships next month in Helsinki.Canada won four medals at the event. Those are also things that I can work on both on and off the ice.”American teen Nathan Chen won the gold, becoming the first man to land five quadruple jumps in a single performance. “I’m looking forward to going back home and working on that. Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., was 12th.Chen’s victory was his first in an international competition. “We were all struggling to get all our triples and do triple-triples and he was out there doing four quads in a long (program). Hanyu had four quadruple jumps to top the free skate with 206.67 points.“This is my third silver medal at the Four Continents and I enjoyed this one the most,” Hanyu said. I think that really motivated all of us junior skaters to start working on these quads and putting them into the programs. He credited China’s Jin Boyang for pushing the younger crop of skaters to expand the envelope on four-rotation jumps.“Boyang really started that huge quad craze when we were younger,” Chen said. He set international-best scores across the board, finishing with 307.46 points while holding off a challenge by Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, who was first in Sunday’s free skate.Nam Nguyen of Toronto produced a strong free skate to jump from 13th after the short program to eighth overall. Shoma Uno, also of Japan, was third with 288.85. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir took gold in ice dancing, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford were second in pairs, while and Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch were third, and Gabrielle Daleman added a silver in women’s singles.With files from The Associated Press

Canada’s Kripps, Lumsden race to world championship silver in two-man bobsled

The start, the drive – it is all about consistency. “You don’t feel pressure but when you aren’t performing you start to question yourself as athletes, and if you have done the work needed to be the best. My first world championship medal at my favourite track.”

Kripps, from Summerland, B.C., and Lumsden, from Burlington, Ont., have been struggling all season, but the Canadians laid down the second fastest run in the first of four heats and never looked back, finishing in a combined time of three minutes 17.91 seconds.“It’s a big day,” said Lumsden while sipping a celebratory beer. “Consistency is king. “It is awesome for us to have this result at the right time. I’m just in a pub by myself having a beer soaking it all in and I couldn’t be happier.”Germany’s Francesco Friedrich was fastest in both runs to extend his lead and beat Kripps and Lumsden for his fourth straight world title.Friedrich and brakeman Thorsten Margis held a 0.52-lead from Saturday’s opening heats, then clocked 49.17 seconds and 48.94 for a combined time of three minutes 16.71 seconds after four runs.Germany’s Johannes Lochner was 1.25 back in third with Joshua Bluhm, ahead of Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis of Latvia.Nick Poloniato of Hamilton and Edmonton’s Neville Wright were fifth.Aside from a silver medal in Lake Placid prior to the Christmas break, the Canadian duo has struggled to meet expectations since the return of Lumsden into the top Canadian sled. I think the recent rule changes by the IBSF (International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation) exposed a few teams that were doing things they shouldn’t have been and that has made a difference in levelling the playing field.”The IBSF made a change with regards to a sandpaper protocol that is done by officials on each of the sled runners prior to the race. The former CFL running back took the last two years off from sport to rest his body, and gain experience working in the corporate world.“It is a bit of a relief,” Lumsden said. Canada’s Justin Kripps and Jesse Lumsden delivered when it counted, racing to a silver medal in two-man bobsled at the world championships on Sunday.“It is a huge, huge day for Jesse and I,” said the 30-year-old Kripps. It feels great.

Benoît Cheyrou adds value to Toronto FC — and not only on game day

And he can deposit a pass on a dime 50 yards down the field.Cheyrou’s value is not only felt on game days, however. Benoît said he wanted to be like him and regularly relied on his brother’s counsel.“He has always been the best adviser. He had offers in France and elsewhere in Europe “but I wanted something different.”Toronto FC, with its plentiful resources and heartfelt quest for a title, fit the bill. His son was born there, his daughter grew up there and his parents moved there upon retirement.He has favourite haunts like Chez Jo, a restaurant owned by a good friend.Football players are always in the spotlight there. Cheyrou still gets goose bumps recalling the victory parade through the city.The city has become Cheyrou’s French home. With Cheyrou, Auxerre won the French Cup in 2005, Roux’s 44th and last year at Auxerre’s helm.‘Marseille is a special place for players’Cheyrou moved to Marseille in 2007 in a €5-million ($7-million Canadian) deal that sent a player the other way.Founded in 1899, Olympique Marseille has history. A year later, the club qualified for the Champions League.“It was a very quick learning,” he said. But it’s not my job.”These days the Frenchman is elegant cover for Toronto captain Michael Bradley, with the intelligence to break up plays and the vision to launch attacks. “So intense.”Cheyrou left for Auxerre when Lille coach Claude Puel, now in charge of England’s Southampton, told him he was no longer needed.A month later he got a call from Guy Roux, the legendary coach of Auxerre, saying he had an opening due to injury.He spent “three amazing years” at Auxerre, confirming he belonged at the highest level. For anyone needing a reminder, check out his montage of Olympique Marseille goals on YouTube. As the ball came to him, he took a touch and shifted his body weight to get the ‘keeper leaning before beating him with a left-footed flick to the back post.“The goalkeeper has no idea what’s going on,” marvelled Toronto coach Greg Vanney.Cheyrou moves with grace, his feet like feathers. Now think of swerving free kicks, long-range rockets and deft touches that leave defenders gasping for air before the goalkeeper picks the ball out of the net.Sebastian Giovinco, right?Try veteran French midfielder Benoît Cheyrou, whose gilt-edged resume sometimes gets forgotten on this side of the Atlantic. He earned a call-up to the senior side in 2010 but didn’t earn a cap.He has no regrets, saying he can only do his best on the pitch and accept the manager’s decision.‘He knows so much tactically and technically’After seven seasons in Marseille, Benoît Cheyrou was told in 2014 by new coach Marcelo Bielsa that he was no longer needed.He spent three months without a club, admitting that while he enjoyed time with his family he was getting restless as the weeks wore on. Beitashour uses some fancy footwork to create space from his defender and send a perfect left-footed cross that a diving Cheyrou – with a defender draped all over him – heads into the net.“One of my greatest moments, for sure,” Cheyrou said.He turned heads again with fewer watching recently in a 6-1 pre-season win over Miami. He was more talented, more gifted than me.”Bruno was a great example, however. He’s also a good friend off the field. He reads the game beautifully. Several generations of Cheyrous played soccer for the venerable Racing Club de Paris, and Benoît, growing up 500 metres from its stadium, was no different.He learned his football there, as well as a dislike for rival PSG.He was with the club from six to 16 before moving to Lille’s academy.He graduated to the senior side at 18, spending five years in the north of France.Cheyrou has fond memories of Lille. But he can still produce a goal when his team needs it.He did it in style in the 96th minute of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final against Montreal, just two minutes after coming on for a cramping Giovinco with the series tied 5-5 on aggregate.It’s a goal worth revisiting. And the fans who come to the 67,000-capacity Orange Velodrome have high expectations.“Marseille is a special place for players,” Cheyrou said.“You can grow up fast [there]. “Sometimes the team needs it, I try to help. Vanney credits the Frenchman for driving and organizing the so-called scout team at practice as it drills the starting 11, forcing Bradley and company to excel.‘It was a very quick learning’Cheyrou comes from Colombes, a northwest suburb of Paris. There is the beauty against Bordeaux when Cheyrou chests down a ball at the edge of the six-yard box, angles his body back to make room and then lashes the ball home with a left foot as he falls to the ground. Think of a European player at Toronto FC. Cheyrou played 46 regular and post-season games in his first two MLS seasons and has served as a mentor to many of its young players.“He knows so much tactically and technically,” said 25-year-old Toronto defender Clément Simonin, a fellow Frenchman.“It’s always good to learn from such a great player like him. I want to be judged on what I’m doing on the pitch. Unlike many other teams at the time, OM games were always available on TV. It was his start as a pro and he helped the club win promotion to the French top flight. He goes one better against Paris Saint-Germain, taking a header just inside the penalty box, using his left foot to nutmeg a defender before beating the goalkeeper with his right.Watching the video, the 35-year-old Cheyrou jokes that most of his highlights came before YouTube – in the era of black-and-white TV.“It’s not my job actually to score,” Cheyrou said. It did not go that well.“I was confident because I knew my quality and what I was able to do,” said Benoît Cheyrou.“For me it was a success because I’m not a guy who speaks a lot in the media. Toronto has said it hopes to keep him in the fold once he calls it quits.But he is not ready to retire yet.“Obviously I have less seasons in front of me than behind me, so I want to enjoy it,” Cheyrou said of his playing days. While he did not live up to that gaudy praise, he did enjoy a long club career and won three caps for France.Benoît said the two were not that competitive growing up. And it was a perfect place for that.”There was Champions League football and the team won the French title in 2009-10, ending an 18-year drought. Playing defensive midfielder, he saw a crease in the opposition ranks and surged forward. All [the] steps I did, he did it before,” said Benoit. Bradley finds Jozy Altidore who, closed down by a Montreal player, contorts his brawny body to send the ball out to Steven Beitashour on the right flank. “Every time I wanted to ask him something, he was able to have the answer.”Bruno is now a TV commentator for beIN Sports France.Benoît represented France at the under-19, U-20, and U-21 levels, winning the UEFA U-19 championship in 2000. “Not really. “I feel great on the pitch.”Added Vanney: “He still has more to add and give to this team as we pursue another season.”Cheyrou has no regrets about a storied resume that includes more than 400 Ligue 1 appearances in France and has a chapter or two still to be authored in North America.“I’m proud of my career … when I was six at Racing Club de Paris, I wouldn’t expect that career.” But Cheyrou said he was treated well and understood it was not a big sacrifice to make a fan happy by posing for a photo.‘He was able to have the answer’Bruno Cheyrou, three years older than Benoit, was dubbed “the new Zidane” by Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier. There is no hiding wearing the blue-and-white Marseille jersey.His older brother Bruno spent 2004-05 there on loan from Liverpool. But you can be destroyed by the environment there – [There’s] a lot of pressure.”Players are under the microscope. We have a more-than-soccer relationship.”The club considers the classy Cheyrou a homerun of an acquisition.Signed to a new playing contract prior to this season, Cheyrou has also started taking his coaching licence – an endeavour that has and will take him back to France for short periods.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic elevates Manchester United over Blackburn

A day after three Premier League teams endured difficulties against lower-league opposition, Tottenham was taking no risks at Fulham. Pogba sent the ball over the top of the Blackburn defence for the 35-year-old Ibrahimovic, who netted his 24th goal of his first season at United.“The team did well before the changes too but in the second half, me and Paul came in to boost that up a bit,” Ibrahimovic said. “It was a great opportunity to show we are alive, to change the feeling after two defeats … and this was a big boost of confidence.”Especially for Kane. “He gave a great ball and I scored a goal.”With Chelsea eight points out in front in the Premier League and not in Europe, Antonio Conte’s side can focus resources on facing United in the FA Cup, according to Mourinho.“I have to fight for a top-four position in the Premier League,” said Mourinho, whose side plays Saint-Étienne in the Europa League and Southampton in the League Cup final over the next week. “I have so many things to think about.”Fulham 0, Tottenham 3While the FA Cup is now regularly used by top-flight teams to rest leading players, Kane’s appearance at Craven Cottage was a sign of Tottenham’s lack of options up front and the desire to avoid a third consecutive loss.Defeats in the Premier League and Europa League prompted manager Mauricio Pochettino to gather his players for meetings to dissect the difficulties.“The reaction was fantastic,” Pochettino said. Manchester United turned to Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to come to the FA Cup holders’ rescue and eliminate second-tier Blackburn in the FA Cup on Sunday.The duo came off the bench with around 30 minutes remaining at Ewood Park and combined to complete United’s comeback. Christian Eriksen met Kieran Trippier’s long throw-in and delivered a cross to Kane, who slid in to nudge the ball over the line.After being wasteful for the rest of the first half, Kane was quick off the mark six minutes after the break, meeting another cross from Eriksen and putting the ball between goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli’s legs.Dele Alli set up Kane’s third with a through-ball in the 73rd minute that the England striker fired past Bettinelli.Tottenham will next play Millwall, the third-tier side that reached the last eight by ousting three Premier League teams: Bournemouth, Watford and Leicester.The quarter-final lineup will be complete after Manchester City plays a replay against second-tier high-flier Huddersfield to determine who plays Middlesbrough. Next month, the winner will play Lincoln, which became the first non-league side in 103 years to reach the quarter-final on Saturday by beating Premier League side Burnley.Here’s a closer look at Sunday’s games:Blackburn 1, Manchester United 2United, the record 20-time English league champions, trailed for 10 minutes in the first half at the home of the 1995 Premier League champions, who have been out of the top-flight since 2012.On a rare start for Jose Mourinho’s side, Marcus Rashford cancelled out Danny Graham’s opener. Since scoring three times against West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League last month, Kane had only scored once in five games before facing an inviting Fulham defence.Fulham, which was relegated from the Premier League in 2014, was caught out by Tottenham’s speedy move down the right flank for the 16th-minute opener. Ibrahimovic ran onto Pogba’s long, high pass to clinch the 2-1 victory and set up a quarter-final reunion for manager Jose Mourinho with Chelsea. The striker was played through by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and he ghosted past goalkeeper Jason Steele before slotting into an unguarded net in the 27th minute.It took until the 75th minute for United to find a winner. The north London club started Harry Kane and its top-scorer delivered, netting a hat trick as Fulham was swept aside 3-0.The fifth-round weekend will be completed on Monday when Arsenal plays away at fifth-tier side Sutton United.