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.

At moguls World Cup, Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury reins supreme

Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury continues to rule the World Cup moguls circuit.The 24-year-old from Deux-Montagnes, Que., captured his second freestyle World Cup gold medal of the weekend on Sunday, edging Benjamin Cavet of France to claim the dual moguls event.Kingsbury won the singles moguls event on Saturday, and now with one World Cup remaining next weekend in Taiwoo, China, and then the world championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain, Kingsbury is poised to complete a thoroughly dominant freestyle season. I won five World Cups in a row so I’m in good position to win both Crystal Globes, and now the main goal is to win both [moguls and dual moguls at the] world championships. “It feels amazing,” Kingsbury said. “I want to manage my body for the next two events. So my focus is on that and try to get some good quality skiing in China then head to Spain with a mission.”Kingsbury is a lock to win the Crystal Globe as the top moguls athlete, but is also in great position to earn the Big Crystal Globe awarded to the best freestyle athlete across all disciplines.His victory Sunday was No. Andi Naude of Penticton, B.C., was sixth, Audrey Robichaud of Quebec City was seventh, Montreal’s Maxime Dufour-Lapointe was eighth, Justine Dufour-Lapointe of Montreal was 12th and Alex-Anne Gagnon of Terrebonne, Que., was 13th.Jaelin Kauf of the United States won gold followed by Yulia Galysheva of Kazakhstan and American team mate Olivia Giaccio. 40 in World Cup competitions.Philippe Marquis of Quebec City placed fifth, Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh of Quebec City was 11th, Marc-Antoine Gagnon of Montreal was 17th, Laurent Dumais of Quebec City was 21st and Calgary’s Luke Ulsifer was 38th.On the women’s side, Chloé Dufour-Lapointe of Montreal was the top Canadian on the women’s side in fourth spot.

Canada’s Sam Edney races to luge World Cup bronze in Pyeongchang

I have always wanted to solidify that result I had in Calgary,” Edney said. That was at his home track at Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park.“This is a big honour for me. “It has been a pretty dismal year and I have been pretty hard on myself after most races. The worlds was a down point for me and I walked away from it with my head pretty low.”

The 15-year national team veteran raced to a time of one minute 37.694 seconds on the track that will be used for next year’s Winter Olympics. Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller won the gold with 1:37.229, while Germany’s Andi Langenhan was second at 1:37.378.Edney’s only other singles podium finish came three years ago when he became the first Canadian male to win a World Cup luge race. “I had some close calls on some tracks, but never quite did it again. Sam Edney raced into the Canadian luge history books on Sunday.The 32-year-old from Calgary, who took last season off to nurse some nagging injuries, announced his return with a bronze medal at a luge World Cup, becoming the first Canadian male to reach the podium on a track outside of Canada.“I needed it today,” Edney said. It is an honour to be here and represent Canada, and etch my name a little more in Canadian luge history.”The only other Canadian male luge athlete to medal in a singles World Cup race was Tyler Seitz, who won a bronze in 2002 in Calgary.Reid Watts, of Whistler, B.C., placed 21st, while Calgary’s Mitch Malyk was 25th. I went into the season with the focus on world championships and this test event in Pyeongchang.

Toronto Blue Jays focused on health with spring training underway

His play picked up in the playoffs, however, when he batted .417 (15 for 36) through nine games.Ball clubs are becoming more attuned to helping players pace themselves over a long season.Toronto shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has endured a number of physical setbacks since he was traded to the Blue Jays in July, 2015.Last season he landed on the disabled list in late May and missed 20 games with a quad injury. On July 31, playing against Baltimore, he suffered a minor fracture to his right thumb when he was hit by a pitch and had to sit for three more games.Tulowitzki said he would be amenable to a bit more time off if it meant his on-field production remained high.“It’s something me and Gibby [Gibbons] will sit down and talk about, schedule-wise, what makes me the best player day in and day out,” Tulowitzki said. His durability is surprising given how hard he plays, having answered the bell in 629 of 648 regular-season games over four years, the first two with the Oakland A’s and the past two in Toronto.But this season hasn’t even started and the star third baseman, the American League’s most valuable player in 2015, is already on the limp.He is nursing a strained right calf muscle, which has delayed his participation at the Blue Jays spring training camp. People are getting smarter and trying to find ways to make players healthier through the course of a season. He hurt himself on Friday doing sprinting drills.It is the same injury, only to a different leg, that gave the 31-year-old some grief at the beginning of last season. “And if that’s taking days off here and there then that’s the smart thing to do.“I think you look at all professional sports, it’s being run a little bit differently, from the NBA to the NFL. That’s part of it.“But if it gets to the point where he [Donaldson] needs it, a mental break because he’s banged up, I’ll give him a day off.”Donaldson would not be a fan of that.“My goal is to go out there every day and play,” he said. No major-league player has logged more games at third base over the past four years than Josh Donaldson.The Toronto Blue Jays star plays the game with a reckless abandon, willingly hurtling his body into the grandstands if he has a chance to make a catch on a pop foul, and making daring headlong slides into home plate to try to beat the throw. His batting average dipped from .304 in the first half of the season to .257 over the second half. Louis Cardinals.But Martin was beaten down physically by the end of last year, with a sore left knee that eventually required off-season surgery, nagging him constantly.Martin still managed to play 137 games, hitting .231 with 20 home runs, a testament to his toughness.The Toronto native said that determining playing time, especially for a catcher, is difficult.“There’s not a magical number,” said Martin, adding that the most important factor is to keep the club up to date on how he is feeling.“I feel like my job is to communicate with the coaches and be honest with them and tell them, ‘Okay, I’m starting to get a little tired, I can probably use a day.’ It would probably be better for me and for the team.” And over the final month, when his hip was giving him problems, his average sunk to .222 with just three home runs. Other guys, if they need it [a break] they’ll get it.”Gibbons said that, like it or not, players always have played through nagging injuries.“It’s part of the game,” he said. His 1,306 game starts at catcher over 11 seasons is the second highest in the majors, trailing only the 1,370 games logged by Yadier Molina of the St. So for me, whatever we put together, I’m going to stick to that schedule.”As a catcher, the most demanding position in baseball, Martin has been a workhorse over his career. It was a year in which he also dealt with a jammed thumb and a hip injury that affected his mobility.The Blue Jays and Donaldson say this injury is not considered to be serious, although you would be hard pressed to believe otherwise after witnessing the difficulty with which the player was walking Sunday.Donaldson was using crutches in the clubhouse.“It’s just a little bump in the road right now and whenever the time comes I’ll be ready,” said Donaldson, who hopes to be good to go in about two weeks.A healthy Donaldson, playing at his best, will be key to the Blue Jays hopes of advancing to the playoffs for a third successive year.Clubs walk a fine line over a gruelling 162-game regular season, wedged into 180 days, trying to ensure a star’s health against what’s best for the team.Other than perhaps Russell Martin, the Blue Jays have no plans to curtail anyone’s playing time over a long season.“Going in that’s not necessarily the plan,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. If my body can let me play I want to play every day.“Another good part of being in the American League is I can DH a few days here and there to kind of take some stress off my legs. “You know with Russ, we’re going to try and make sure that Russ [will get some added rest], because he’s a catcher. “You look back in the history of the game, your top players they play all the time. But…whenever I come back I don’t plan on there being any kind of breaks in my schedule or anything like that as far as days off are concerned.”Donaldson’s 629 regular-season games over the past four years rank him third among third baseman in the majors behind Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays (642) and Kyle Seager of the Seattle Mariners (638).But when you factor in Donaldson’s 26 playoff games in that span he rises to the top of the list among third basemen in games played to 655. He’s in second spot overall among all players over the past four years, behind only Alcides Escobar, the shortstop for the Kansas City Royals, who has played in 661 games.Toward the end of last season, Donaldson’s production slowed down. They play when they’re banged up, they play when they’re hung over, they play when they’re sick. “That’s my goal.

Senators lose Hoffman, Wingels and Stone to injury in loss to Jets

Stone took a pass from Karlsson and fired a quick shot from the slot over the left shoulder of Hellebuyck. To get a 2-0 lead on the road is a great way to start a game,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said.The Senators had some chances in the period but none better than a 2-on-1 that ended with Wingels missing an open net on a pass from Curtis Lazar.Stone’s power-play goal at 5:10 was the only marker of the second period and it cut the Jets’ lead to 2-1. Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine each had two assists while Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves.Zack Smith pulled the Senators to within a goal when a redirected pass hit his skate and went in at 5:05 of the third. Hoffman left in the first period with an undisclosed injury while Stone took an elbow to the head from Jacob Trouba seven minutes into the third period and didn’t return. Six of Ottawa’s shots came in the final four minutes of the period.Byfuglien opened the scoring just 69 seconds into the game with a shot that beat Condon from the face-off circle to his left.Perreault gave the Jets a 2-0 lead with a swing-around backhand from the top of the crease that beat Condon at 12:28 of the first.“It was great to get off to a good start and get that goal right away. Ottawa thought it had tied the game in the dying seconds but a no-goal call stood as there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the ruling.“From what we saw it went in. The guys that were there at the net said it did, but it was inconclusive so there’s not much you can do,” Smith said.“It would have been nice to push that one to overtime because I like the way we were going towards the end.”Stone had the other goal for the Senators (31-20-6), who also got two assists from Erik Karlsson and 17 saves from Condon.The Jets were outshot 10-7 in the first period despite carrying most of the play. “I thought we deserved a much, much better fate.“It doesn’t look good. Ottawa coach Guy Boucher labelled his team’s injury situation as a disaster.The Senators failed to close in on Montreal for first place in the Atlantic Division after falling 3-2 to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.Ottawa, which is already without forward Bobby Ryan because of an injured finger, also lost three more key forwards — Mike Hoffman, Tommy Wingels and Mark Stone — against Winnipeg. We have to wait until tomorrow to be clear and precise but right now we could be losing quite a few guys.”Josh Morrissey scored the eventual winner early in the third period for Winnipeg.Morrissey’s goal came at 2:33 when his wrist shot from the blue line eluded Mike Condon in the Ottawa goal to make it 3-1.Dustin Byfuglien and Mathieu Perreault also scored for the Jets (28-29-5), who won their second straight game. Wingels also left in the third.“At some point it felt like there was nobody on the bench, but a lot of character on our bench and our guys played to the end,” said Boucher, who couldn’t offer an update on any of the injuries.

Dustin Johnson wins world No. 1 ranking at the Genesis Open

1 on Earth with a world-class performance at Riviera.Johnson birdied his last three holes of the third round Sunday morning for a five-shot lead, stretched it to nine shots and coasted home to an even-par 71 and a five-shot victory in the Genesis Open.Johnson became the 20th player to reach No. 6-ranked Jang regained her composure after opening with a bogey in the last round and finished three shots ahead of Nanna Madsen of Denmark, who finished with an even-par 73 for a 7-under total of 285. Palmer and Nicklaus both won their first 17 seasons, while Woods notched 14 straight seasons with a win.Graham DeLaet (68) of Weyburn, Sask., finished in 17th at 7-under while Adam Hadwin (69) of Abbotsford, B.C., was 34th at 4-under. 1 since the world ranking began in 1986, and he ended Jason Day’s 47-week stay at the top. Open champion also got that elusive victory at one of his favourite courses. Open champion joins Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in winning every year for at least a decade after starting on the tour. Dustin Johnson has gone to No. He had chances to win four of the past five years, and this one was never in doubt.Johnson went 49 straight holes without a bogey until a sloppy finish that didn’t matter. He has won at least once every year since joining the Tour in 2008, the longest active streak.The reigning U.S. Alena Sharp of Hamilton, Ont., finished three shots back and in a tie for 16th, while Brooke Henderson of Smith Falls, Ont., finished four shots off the pace in a group tied for 21st.The Associated Press, Reuters The 57-year-old Couples shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 to finish at 16-under 200 on the Talon Course, three strokes ahead of second-round leader Jimenez.Jang conquers AustraliaHa Na Jang had an eagle and three birdies over her last six holes in a superb finish Sunday that set up a three-shot victory in the Women’s Australian Open.The South Korean closed with a 4-under 69 to finish at 10-under at Royal Adelaide.No. Jang claimed her fourth LPGA title and her first of the year.Haru Nomura, the 2016 champion, closed with a 73 to finish in a four-way tie for third place at 6-under with No. Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor (73) was 55th at 1-under.Couples ralliesFred Couples won the Chubb Classic on Sunday for his 12th PGA Tour Champions title and first since 2014, rallying to beat Miguel Angel Jimenez at Twin Eagles. The U.S. 2-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and Australians Minjee Lee and Sarah Jane Smith.Lizette Salas started Sunday with a two-stroke lead but struggled in the last round and closed with a 5-over 78 to fade into a share of seventh place at 5-under with six others, including Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrook, Que., and Americans Beth Allen and Marina Alex in the LPGA event.

‘Crunch time’ for Ottawa Senators begins with loss against Winnipeg Jets

A Jets win would bring them within real striking distance of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference playoffs.“It’s crunch time for everybody,” Ottawa head coach Guy Boucher said.An interesting choice of words, as “crunch” is essentially what happened to Boucher’s Senators as the evening went on.It was not just that they lost 3-2, or even that they failed to get that important single overtime point when officials ruled a seeming last-second goal by Jean-Gabriel Pageau “inconclusive.”It was that less than 24 hours after losing forward Bobby Ryan to a hand injury for the next three to six weeks, they lost, in quick order: sniper Mike Hoffman to a mysterious first-period problem; shot-block-specialist Mark Borowiecki when he blocked a hard Patrik Laine drive with his right leg and had to be helped off the ice; top scorer Mark Stone to a possible concussion when he took a shoulder to the head from Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba; and new forward Tommy Wingels to another potential concussion when he got … crunched by big Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien.“Right now, it’s looking like a disaster,” a shocked Boucher said when the mayhem settled. For Smith, it was his 14th of the year.Even missing three key forwards, the Senators pressed hard in the dying minutes and believed they had forced overtime on Pageau’s effort, but it was not to be.“That was guaranteed out,” argued Jets goaltender Hellebuyck, who said he had his glove and pad on the puck.“I pushed the puck and it felt like his pad was in the net,” Pageau contended.No matter, when video replay could not provide a sighting of the puck, the officials had no choice but to deny Ottawa.For the Jets, who have struggled at times this season – especially in goal – this victory coming with only 20 games remaining was most welcome, lifting them into a serious race for the wild-card spot against several western teams, including the Calgary Flames.“It’s huge,” a relieved Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler said. “We’ve got to string together as many [wins] as we can.” This Sunday evening in Canada’s capital, two surprising Canadian teams met – the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets – with real stakes involved for both. He is still two months away from being able to celebrate in Ontario with a beer – or in Manitoba, for that matter, where the drinking age is also 19.Five minutes into the second period, Ottawa brought the game back to within a goal when Stone ripped a high wrist shot past Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. For Ottawa, it was a rare power-play goal. A Senators win would tie them with the Montreal Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic Division. “To have all this happen in a matter of hours is very tough, I’m not going to lie to you.”Boucher’s Senators went into the match having won four of their previous five, the most recent two, against New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs, won with the players’ fathers along as a cheering section.Perhaps they should have extended the “Dads Trip” to Ottawa, for faster than the Winterlude ice sculptures melted Sunday the Senators fell behind almost instantly.It came at the 1 minute 9 second mark of the first when Mark Scheifele, the Jets’ leading scorer, found Byfuglien moving in from the right point, fed him the puck and Byfuglien blasted a hard slap shot over the glove of Ottawa goaltender Mike Condon.As the goal came on the very first shot of the game, it stunned the sellout crowd of 19,288 who had come expecting their surging Senators to continue the upward climb against the Canadiens, who were beaten 3-1 only the day before by the Jets.Not even a new coach in Claude Julien seemed to spark the now-stumbling and rather-listless Canadiens.The Jets moved ahead 2-0 when Scheifele again got the puck in to little Mathieu Perreault, who used a backhand to wrap the puck around Condon and into the open net.Also assisting on both opening goals was rookie sensation Laine, who has taken over the rookie scoring race with 28 goals and now 24 assists. For Stone, Ottawa’s best forward this winter, it was his team-leading 22nd marker of the season.The Jets moved ahead 3-1 on a long floating wrist shot from defenceman Josh Morrissey that eluded Condon.Another five minutes into a period, the third, the Senators again brought the game to within a goal when Derick Brassard tipped an Erik Karlsson shot from the point and the puck ticked in off Zack Smith’s skate. What a difference a year makes … in sports, as well as that other thing everyone is talking about.One year ago, during the hockey apocalypse, no Canadian team was able even to make the playoffs for the trophy Lord Stanley said should go to the championship team of the Dominion.Today, there is even a possibility that the postseason could feature one-anthem games north of the border.

Connor Brown and Auston Matthews power Maple Leafs past Hurricanes

Connor Brown scored twice, Auston Matthews had a highlight-reel goal on a backhander as he was twirling down to the ice, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0 on Sunday night.Jake Gardiner added a goal and two assists, James van Riemsdyk had two assists and Curtis McElhinney made 37 saves for the Maple Leafs to earn his first shutout since Jan. Toronto snapped a two-game skid and jumped into the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with the win.Matthews’ 28th goal came as he was being hooked on a charge to the net in the second period. 2014. But he manoeuvred his stick across his body in midair as he was falling and poked in the puck with his backhand just before hitting the ice.Cam Ward made 20 saves for Carolina before being pulled with 10:58 remaining in the third period.Eddie Lack made seven saves in relief for the Hurricanes, who are winless in their last four games (0-3-1).Brown opened the scoring 1:07 into the second period when he redirected a bouncing pass from van Riemsdyk over Ward’s shoulder into the upper corner of the net, the first of two times they would connect in that fashion.Matthews doubled Toronto’s lead later in the period in jaw-dropping fashion. As Matthews’ body turned away from the net as he began to spiral down, he flung his stick toward the net in midair and slid the loose puck between Ward’s pads just before he hit the ice.Gardiner and Brown finished the scoring with goals 1:59 apart in the third period.McElhinney earned his first shutout with the Maple Leafs, and the fifth of his career. The 19-year-old wunderkind carried the puck in from the left side of the blue line toward the crease when Phil Di Giueseppe hooked him, even losing his stick in the process. He improved to 3-3 with Toronto since being claimed off waivers from Columbus last month.

Anthony Davis scores record 52 points in NBA All-Star Game as West tops East

“My teammates did a great job of looking for me.”Durant had a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. They passed each other the ball and slapped hands in the pregame layup line, and not long after Westbrook checked into the game the former Oklahoma City teammates provided one of the game’s top highlights — a give-and-go, capped by Durant lobbing the ball to set Westbrook up for a dunk.“OH MY GOD! He was open so I threw him the lob. LeBron James scored 23 points to become the first All-Star to eclipse 300 in a career, Kyrie Irving had 22 points and 14 assists, and Isaiah Thomas scored 20 for the East.Davis became the story that overshadowed The Story coming into this game, that being the Durant-Westbrook whatever.And if there is any animus remaining between Durant and Westbrook, it was hidden. WHAT JUST HAPPENED?” Curry shouted on the West bench, which moments later broke into celebration. West centre DeAndre Jordan heard them, rising from his seat on the West bench to yell “No, no, no” back in their direction.If those fans were serious, they were disappointed.Westbrook scored 12 points — all on 3s — in a 63-second span late in the third quarter, coming off the bench and firing over and over and over again. I barely got over the rim, but it was a nice give-and-go.”Added Durant: “It was a great basketball play. He can jump really high so yeah, good play.”Some fans were shouting “De-Fense!” in the fourth quarter. “Good give-and-go. Players jumped and threw hands skyward, Curry tossing a cupful of water onto a smiling Durant amid it all.Draymond Green called the play “cute,” and Westbrook and Durant seemed happy with it as well.“It was a nice give-and-go, man,” Westbrook said. He even outdid Westbrook, who had 41 points in just 20 minutes — which ordinarily would have been enough to merit him what would have been a third straight MVP award.Not this time. Davis made 26 shots and took 39, both of those also All-Star records. It was Davis hoisting the trophy, to the delight of his New Orleans fans.“It was a lot of fun,” Davis said. Stephen Curry added 21 points for the West — where a subplot emerged as DeMarcus Cousins played only two minutes, prompting some speculation that a trade sending him out of Sacramento might be looming.Antetokounmpo had 30 points for the East, with 12 dunks in his night. Made a good pass. And then he opened the fourth quarter with another 3, giving him 34 points in just under 14 minutes played to that point.It looked like he was a cinch for MVP honours, until Davis scored 20 points in the fourth. Anthony Davis had an All-Star Game for the record books.And on a night when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant provided a glimpse of the past, Giannis Antetokounmpo showed he’s clearly part of the future and a midcourt lob attempt from James Harden even went in, Davis absolutely stole the show.He scored 52 points, 10 more than Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star record that had stood for 55 years, and the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 192-182 on Sunday night — the highest-scoring game in league history.

Toronto FC lands Spanish attacking midfielder Victor Vazquez

Toronto FC has landed a marquee attacking midfielder in Spain’s Victor Vazquez.The 30-year-old was part of Barcelona’s youth system and won Footballer of the Year honours in Belgium with Club Brugge in 2014-15.He spent last year with Mexico’s Cruz Azul.Toronto used targeted allocation money to fit Vazquez under its salary cap. The Spaniard has arrived in Toronto’s Florida pre-season camp.

AP Source: Pelicans acquiring Cousins in multi-player deal

New Orleans will also have to hope Cousins can dial back some of his after-the-whistle intensity and antics. Galloway has been a solid reserve, providing scoring punch from the perimeter.The 6-9 Casspi has been playing about 19 minutes per game for the Kings this season, averaging 5.9 points and 4.1 rebounds. He leads the NBA in technical fouls with 17, putting him one away from another one-game suspension.While Davis said after the All-Star Game that he wasn’t aware of an impending trade, he said he admired Cousins as a player.“He’s a great player, dominant in this league, of course, with all the numbers he puts up,” Davis said. 5 pick in the 2010 draft.The Kings get a player with a lot of potential in the 6-4 Hield, although he has been inconsistent during his rookie season out of Oklahoma, where as a senior he was one of the best players in the nation.Hield is averaging 8.6 points but has been explosive at times, with a season high of 21 points. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade is not official and has not been announced by either team.The deal pairs the 6-foot-11 Cousins, a frontcourt All-Star from nearby Mobile, Alabama, with the 6-11 Davis, who on Sunday night was the All-Star Game MVP after scoring 52 points, breaking Wilt Chamberlain’s 1962 record of 42.The move also sends a message that the Pelicans are more concerned with making a 25-game push for the playoffs this spring then where they’ll be drafting next off-season.The deal was still in the works when Cousins spoke with reporters after the All-Star Game, when he played just two minutes as trade rumours swirled.He said he was happy with the Kings, but would also be happy playing closer to home and alongside Davis.“If I’m blessed enough to have a job here, absolutely,” Cousins said. DeMarcus Cousins is on his way out of Sacramento — and right into an All-Star frontcourt pairing with Anthony Davis.The New Orleans Pelicans agreed to acquire Cousins from the Kings on Sunday, the same night the centre was playing in the All-Star Game in their arena.The Kings dealt one of the most talented but temperamental big men in the game along with Omri Casspi to New Orleans in exchange for Tyreke Evans, 2016 first-round draft pick Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and first- and second-round draft picks this summer, a person familiar with the situation said. “Of course, DeMarcus is an elite player in this league.”But the Kings decided to move on without him, having not made the playoffs since taking Cousins with the No. “If that’s what happens.”New Orleans (23-34) went into the All-Star break 2 1/2 games behind Denver for the eighth and final playoff seeding in the Western Conference.Cousins, like Davis a former collegiate star at Kentucky, is averaging 27.8 points and 10.6 rebounds this season. The 6-6 Evans, who can play point guard, shooting guard or small forward, will be entering a second stint in Sacramento, where he was drafted in 2009 and went on to be Rookie of the Year. But he is due to become a free agent in 2018 unless the Pelicans can sign him to an All-Star calibre extension.