Sinclair leads Canadian squad with seven teenagers in Europe friendlies

McLeod has not played for Canada since February 2016 due to a knee injury.Canada is 4-12-3 against Swedes but has gone 1-1-2 in their last four meetings.Canada is 1-13-0 against the Germans with the lone win coming in group play at the Rio games. But he says there is a limit to how many players he can “throw into the Tier 1 cauldron” at the same time.Leon, with 38 caps, brings international experience to the table.Veteran goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who plays her club soccer in Sweden for FC Rosengard, has been invited to train for a few days with the national team in Europe games but is not on the roster. But at the end of the day, three years out from our Women’s World Cup, we’ll take these tough games as early as we can to test the depth of that squad and also just keep building that T1 (Tier 1) experience.”Herdman has picked 14 members of the 18-woman Rio Olympic team as well as two of the four alternates. She was part of the recent Algarve Cup squad but did not see game time.The other teenagers are 15-year-old Jordyn Huitema, 18-year-olds Gabrielle Carle, Sarah Stratigakis and Deanne Rose and 19-year-olds Marie Levasseur and Jessie Fleming.The average age of the squad is 22.4, compared to 25.4 for the Olympics.Adriana Leon, whose last game for Canada was at the 2015 World Cup, gets a recall. “The two-day turnaround to Germany, it’s going to be tough. Germany had the last laugh, defeating Canada in the semifinals.With both teams gearing up for the European Championship, Herdman expects Germany and Sweden to be in fine form.“There’ll be players fighting for spots,” he said. Josee Belanger is still in the national team picture but is not currently with a pro team.Marie-Eve Nault has retired while fellow Olympic alternate Kaylyn Kyle was released by her Orlando team in January.With 255 national appearances to her credit, the 33-year-old Sinclair accounts for more than one-quarter of the 974 caps in Herdman’s squad. 6 Sweden on April 6 in Trelleborg and top-ranked Germany on April 9 in Erfurt. 1 (in the rankings).”The Canadians are 3-1-1 since the Olympics but are winless (0-1-1) in their last two outings including a 1-0 loss to a talented Spain side in the Algarve Cup final in March.The Canadians leave Friday for Sweden, with their European-based players joining them later. We need that at this stage, particularly if we’re going to keep pushing on towards No. The European roster averages 44.23 caps per player compared to 71.2 per player for the Rio squad, whose 18 members had 1,295 combined caps.Sinclair, Sophie Schmidt (159 caps), Desiree Scott (122), Kadeisha Buchanan (67) and Ashley Lawrence (50) account for 653 of the European roster’s caps (60.3 per cent).Defender Hannah Taylor, 17, is the lone uncapped player selected. The 24-year-old Boston Breakers forward was invited to an evaluation camp in January but did not go to the Algarve Cup.Leon takes the place of 20-year-old Alex Lamontagne, the lone Algarve Cup team member not on the squad.Lamontagne, who won her first two caps in Portugal, has tremendous raw talent in Herdman’s eyes. Diana Matheson is recovering from knee surgery while Melissa Tancredi and Rhian Wilkinson have retired. “Not very often you get a chance to face silver and gold medallists from the Olympics in consecutive matches,” Herdman said. Captain Christine Sinclair will lead a 22-woman Canadian squad that features seven teenagers to Europe in April for a pair of testing matches against Germany and Sweden.The European trip features a reunion of last summer’s medalists in Rio, where Germany won gold, Sweden silver and Canada bronze.The fifth-ranked Canadian women play No. “It’s going to be tough and that’s what we need.

Patrick Chan third after men’s short program at figure skating worlds

It’s fair.”His response earned applause from the international media, and a grateful pat on the back and smile from Chan.Still, to be in contention for an Olympic medal next year, Chan’s coach Marina Zoueva said they will work this summer on adding a second quad to the short program.The coach, who Chan began working with this past fall, said the difference in skating skills between Fernandez and Chan and the rest of the field was obvious Thursday. So, I think I can say watching Patrick, he only has one quad, everybody knows in this room how good Patrick Chan is skating. The sixth would be the quad Axel, which no one has done.Chan found himself playing catchup. “I have to remind myself: what are my strengths? My whole goal this year was to try and challenge myself just to stay in my own world and know that I belong in this group of men, and not get too discouraged.”Defending champion Javier Fernandez of Spain scored 109.05 to win the short program, while Japan’s Shoma Uno (104.86) was second. “They not just do the spin, they perform the spin. That’s why performance level also high.“Even as younger skaters did difficult tricks, but they need to learn how to perform the way how Patrick and Javier perform.”Quads will be an even bigger factor in Saturday’s long program. “I’m sitting (at the post-skate news conference) with two guys who have two quads in their short program, and I’m the only guy who was doing one.“I found out this entire season that I almost psych myself out by just seeing and acknowledging what they’re doing and then forgetting what I need to do… They not just do the movement, they perform the movement. That’s the only way I can hang with these guys.”Fernandez, who like Chan is an excellent all-around skater, was asked about the quad issue in the post-skate news conference.“I think you just came up with the question of the year,” Fernandez said, prompting laughter. Canada’s Patrick Chan made his one quadruple jump a big one, his feet nearly clearing the top of the boards at Hartwell Arena.The three-time world champion sat third after Thursday’s men’s short program at the world figure skating championships, planting himself in podium contention with the textbook skills and gorgeous execution that once made him the world’s best. Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu has five. Each had a pair of clean quads.Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., landed both of his quads cleanly to finish 12th with a score of 84.44.Skating to the Beatles’ Dear Prudence and Blackbird, Chan opened with his huge textbook quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination followed by a triple Axel to score 102.13, his first time cracking the 100-point barrier.“I was able to hit over 100 with one quad, so clearly it comes from the marks other than the jumps,” Chan said. it doesn’t matter how many quads you do in the program, I think it’s the right thing to do. “That’s the highlight for me today, that I was able to do that at an ISU (International Skating Union) event finally.”A debate has raged for years over the four-revolution jumps and their place in men’s skating, and this year’s emergence of teenage stars such as American Nathan Chen and China’s Jin Boyang — who learn new quad jumps the way kids take to new technology — has taken it to new heights.After his silver medal at the Sochi Olympics, the 26-year-old Chan returned from a one-year hiatus to a completely altered landscape.These are the first world championships that have seen five different quads — Lutz, loop, toe loop, flip, and Salchow. I can say it a thousand times.“And when he gets it, when he gets a reward everyone is happy because it’s what it’s supposed to be. If we lose something that is figure skating, then we’re going to lose everything. Plus just one quad.“I was trying to stick to my plan,” Chan said. “When you see the judges realize what is good skating, or good transitions, or good interpretation, and they value that … She chalked it up to experience and maturity.“That becomes the performance. They not just do jumps, they perform the jump,” she said through her thick Russian accent. Chan has three in his long program, but has never landed all three. Because I am in a whole different situation, a whole different generation of skaters than I was when I won my first world title.“I have to remember and remind myself of the little victories. And if you can create great elements with great skating, then you’re going to be world champion if you skate amazing.“But if you do great jumps, but you don’t have the skating, you should not be there. There’s talk Chen could attempt a whopping six.Jin and Chen received the highest scores for their quads Thursday, but finished back in fourth and sixth respectively, largely due to their lower component (formerly artistic impression) scores. The nine-time Canadian champion hoped his superior skating skills could keep him in contention.“I felt a bit of an underdog ever since my comeback year because of how the sport has changed so quickly in such a short time,” said Chan.

Toronto Argonauts re-sign all-star running back Brandon Whitaker

The Baylor product originally signed with the Argonauts on June 21, 2015, after spending six seasons with the Montreal Alouettes. The Toronto Argonauts have re-signed star running back Brandon Whitaker.Whitaker was named an East Division all-star last season after racking up 1,009 yards and three touchdowns on 189 carries, becoming the 41st player in CFL history to rush for 5,000 career yards in the process.Whitaker also set a career-high in 2016 with 81 receptions, which he translated into 549 yards and four touchdowns.

With boycott averted, U.S. women’s hockey team gets back to business

We were willing to risk that opportunity in order to do what was right for women in our sport.”The U.S dispute caused many to ask how the Canadian women’s team is financed. “It means putting my pension and benefits on hold. Putting an exact dollar amount on their compensation package is problematic, because funding comes from many streams and varies from player to player.Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program, the so-called “carding” system, provides eligible athletes with an annual stipend of up to $18,000 (Canadian) a year, depending upon their experience levels – and could increase by up to $270 a month between now and next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. “These elite athletes indeed deserve fairness and respect, and we hope you will be a leader on this issue as women continue to push for equality in athletics.”The four-year deal was struck Tuesday night. 30 and covers costs associated with insurance, travel, ice time, coaching and other expenses associated with the players’ training. women to ask for a similar committee.At the moment, the two sides are also putting the finishing touches on a nine-month addendum to the agreement to cover player costs associated with centralizing the Canadian team in Calgary. “In this day and age, with social media and the ability to reach out and be visible, it was a huge help to us.”Firm messages also came from the unions that represented players in the NHL, NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball.“It is important that the best American women players be on the ice for the championship,” the NHLPA said in a statement. “You always have to find another little thing to make ends meet.”Canadian player Meghan Agosta, a three-time Olympic champion, is a great illustration of someone who juggles hockey and a career. players said USA Hockey was paying them $1,000 (U.S.) a month during the six-month residency period before an Olympics and then “virtually nothing” during the other 3 1/2 years. Three days before puck drop, the two sides averted the boycott by striking a significant deal to address the inequitable treatment of girls’ and women’s programs. women’s team and USA Hockey over the past two weeks attracted widespread attention as the players threatened to sit out if their demands for equity weren’t met. They chose solidarity over a temporary spotlight, and tweeted out their decisions.There was a barrage of other support for the women on social media, too, from little girls posing in their hockey jerseys using the hashtag #BeBoldForChange, to American NHL players and women from the U.S. She was on the job at 5 a.m Tuesday as a strength and conditioning coach in North Dakota, while she also juggled the conference calls about the negotiations.“I had my bags packed for a week, and like every other woman on this team, we kept skating and preparing individually when we held out through training camp,” said Lamoureux-Morando by phone during a layover on her way to Michigan. USA Hockey maintained its athletes shouldn’t be employees. A year of discussions hadn’t accomplished much.When the players threatened on March 15 that they would boycott, USA Hockey vowed it would still ice a team for the world championship. There’s always electricity when Canada and the United States face off at the women’s world hockey championship, but Friday night’s matchup in Plymouth, Mich., is expected to generate a special buzz.The high-profile dispute between the U.S. The event would lose lustre without the Americans, the No. It means having to buy back my pension when I get back. Agosta has high praise for both Hockey Canada and the Vancouver Police Department for helping her with the work-life balancing act, but acknowledges it comes at a cost.“That means leaving without pay,” Agosta said. soccer team, who also shared experiences from their own equity battles.“There were tweets and messages we received that brought tears to my eyes,” said Duggan, a two time Olympic silver medalist and six-time world champion. captain Meghan Duggan said by phone, talking over the noise of her elated teammates as they finally united in Michigan. She uses her annual vacations to compete in international competitions, such as the worlds.If she is selected for the 2018 Olympic team, Agosta will be obliged to take a one-year leave of absence in May from her job in order to move to Calgary in the fall, where the team will be centralized. After she helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, she relocated to Vancouver, where she works full-time as a police officer. “We hope females in the U.S. In 2014, according to a report from The Canadian Press, compensation from the Olympic addendum was worth $2,500 a month to the players.“Every little bit helps – and that’s the reality of being a women’s hockey player,” said former national team star Cassie Campbell-Pascall. and other countries can recognize that they can stand up for the things they deserve.“I think we’re going to use this movement to electrify our team. It’s totally worth it.” Via countless calls and e-mails to college hockey programs, the National Women’s Hockey League, junior teams and women’s leagues, the national team achieved solidarity with the women’s hockey community. 1 team in the IIHF world rankings, winners of seven of the past 10 world championships and half of the headline rivalry at any women’s world hockey event: Canada versus the United States.The U.S. 1 to Sept. That agreement will run from July 1 until March, 2018, and provides players with a training allowance, which covers rent, plus a food allowance, relocation expenses, and child-care allowances where applicable. Highlights reportedly included a hike in annual compensation to roughly $70,000 a player, performance bonuses for medals, the same level of travel arrangements, per diem and insurance coverage as the men, the formation of a women’s committee to make recommendations on promotions and scheduling for the women, and a foundation to improve fundraising and girls’ hockey-development programs.“We’ll now move forward together knowing we’ll look back on this day as one of the most positive in the history of USA Hockey,” said USA Hockey president Jim Smith.Monique Lamoureux-Morando, a two-time Olympic silver medalist with the United States and five-time world champion, was at her full-time job much of the week, as were many female hockey players trying to make ends meet. So Canada and the United States will meet on opening night after all, and the women hope that the support they experienced translates into a spectacular atmosphere. This is what inspired the U.S. Team USA happy to have wage dispute over (The Associated Press)

“The biggest thing we wanted was a change in the mindset and the culture within USA Hockey and we believe we achieved that,” U.S. But it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make on any given day to be able to represent my country. “It wore on us for two weeks that it was a very real possibility that we would miss the world championships. “The notion of seeking replacement players will only serve to make relationships, now and in the future, much worse.”More than a dozen U.S senators collaborated on a letter to USA Hockey.“We urge you to resolve this dispute quickly to ensure that the USA Women’s National Hockey Team receives equitable resources,” wrote the senators. One after another, players approached by USA Hockey to be replacements said no. Many of those players had dreamed for years about pulling on a USA jersey, and knew they would never get such an invitation again. On a needs-base, athletes are also eligible for a $500-a-month top-up to their funding through Sport Canada’s Excellence Fund.The Canadian Olympic Committee offers bonuses that are performance related – $20,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver, $10,000 for a bronze – and given that Canada has been first or second in each of the previous five Olympics, that money is close to guaranteed.Hockey Canada’s annual agreement, negotiated with its players through the Women’s High Performance Advisory Committee, runs from Oct. I can’t wait to see how it impacts us and the fans who come to show their support for women’s hockey.”It was a prime opportunity for the women’s team to take a stand, with USA Hockey as host of the world’s best female hockey teams in Michigan, a popular hockey state, at USA Hockey Arena.

John Doyle: This is the no-alibi, no-excuses season for Toronto FC

In the strange, mercurial chemistry of MLS teams, such a player can be more important than a dazzlingly talented striker.TFC has that dazzle in Giovinco. You would never imagine that I am talking about TFC by using those words. The momentum is there to build upon.It took so very long to get to this point of realistic optimism. Perhaps the most intriguing signing is Victor Vazquez, a 30-year-old deeply experienced midfielder. Everyone has seen what this team can do. I truly hope that this core can mesh any new players.”There’s hard truth in that. The casual fan was ceaselessly disappointed. For Toronto FC, the point at which the arc of this season might go awry is July. And if the team doesn’t get close to the MLS Cup final this year it has no alibi, no wishy-washy excuses. That’s when the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament unfolds in the United States and as many as 10 TFC players might be called up for international duty for their countries, disappearing for weeks. And through it all, Toronto’s FC’s grip on the imagination and loyalty of the city’s soccer fans slipped away. But here I am,” he says.“The team we have right now has a core of players that cannot be replaced. That big-ticket signing from Europe is a bust.Last season changed everything: a stunning run through the MLS playoffs to the final at BMO Field. From manager to players, we have a core group that cannot be replaced. The team played too many away games before the home opener. But that’s three players on a team of 11. Boris Roberto Aguilar, the former president of the Red Patch Boys, TFC’s biggest supporter club, witnessed the tumultuous early years and even he’s bewildered now.“After last year’s crushing and heartbreaking defeat at the MLS Cup, I go into this year hopeful and optimistic. He’s not a flashy player but he’s in his prime and he’s got guile. The idea of professional soccer being played again in December in Toronto doesn’t seem as ludicrous as it once was.Promises were made last year, and kept. Last season, Altidore and Giovinco combined for 27 goals and then in the playoffs had a combined nine goals. On those cold, wet nights at BMO Field, when the team was all effort and desperation, it was a few moments of magic from Giovinco that made everyone in the stadium believe that anything as possible. Bradley as a controlling midfielder, with Giovinco and Altidore in front of him as strikers, amounts to a lethal combination. But not only are they the keys to the puzzle, I’d have to say that our biggest strength going into this year is consistency. No one is privy to the dynamics of a dressing room. The compact, ingenious Italian gave the team new life, single-handedly. They were still playing professional soccer in Toronto in December! All enthusiasm and height, Ricketts lacks sublime skill but makes up for it in eagerness. He may prove to be indispensable and an alternative to utter reliance on Bradley as a playmaking midfielder.And then there is the lanky Canadian attacker Tosaint Ricketts, acquired last season and sometimes a significant presence during that playoff run. [Michael] Bradley, [Sebastian] Giovinco and [Jozy] Altidore are key pieces to where we are right now. Among them would be Altidore, Bradley, Ricketts, Jonathan Osorio and Armando Cooper, all vital if TFC is battling for a strong end to summer and a playoff spot is beckoning. Sometimes, it’s been outrage.In the 10 years since TFC played its first home game as an expansion team, those fans have seen everything. All of that evaporates, mind you, when the wins and the points mount up and the playoffs are on the horizon.The MLS season is long, there is constant travel and the sheer grind can outpace the best players. The heady moments from last season are still fresh in the mind, diminishing skepticism. Even for those hard-core supporters heavily invested in the team, Toronto FC has long been an incubator for frustration and bitter disappointment. “It’s a Bloody Big Deal” the ads screamed. Vazquez, who is Spanish, started his career with Barcelona, spent several years with Club Brugge in Belgium and most recently played for Cruz Azul in Mexico. And allowing for injuries and absences for international play, it is simply impossible for Altidore and Giovinco to play together week after week through an entire season.Still, coach Greg Vanney has been relatively subdued in his off-season tinkering. And the upshot is this, at the start of the 2017 season – this is the no-alibi, no-excuses year for Toronto FC. The three-game trip that preceded Friday’s home opener against Sporting Kansas City yielded two ties and one win. The bizarre hiring of Aron Winter and the absurd fantasy that the Dutchman would instantly bring the Dutch system of smooth passing and the possession game to a bunch of hopelessly mediocre players.There was the installation of Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans as lynchpin players from Europe. Those are lethal scoring stats in the MLS. Not bad, but not brilliant. The new players are still trying to fit in. The insultingly loud promotion of the arrival of Jermain Defoe from the English Premier League. And that even here at TFC, the game could be beautiful.But all the chatter about how the entirety of TFC comes together as a team is idle speculation until the players toil together week in and week out. The team that soared last year is largely intact. The team needs to be in a strong position by Canada Day, or it will be desperation all over again.Right now, there’s a confidence surrounding the team and infecting the supporters, bewildered though some might be. Then the abrupt dismissal of Johnston. So many promises made and never kept.Even the old-time, hard-core supporters find it hard to believe what is happening now. All those goals, all that verve. The triumph that supporters will savour forever is the 7-5 aggregate victory over the Montreal Impact in two epic semi-final matches. The evidence is there. There have been few acquisitions, a sign that TFC’s existing team is considered to have mettle. Over-the-hill, the pair of them. No trophy was won at the end of a miserably fractious final game played by a strangely timorous TFC. The seething frustration with manager Mo Johnston, who seemed happy with dull, defensive soccer that went nowhere. The mass giddiness of the first goal scored. It was a bloody big disaster, in the end. Usually with Toronto FC, even at the start of the Major League Soccer season, there’s an attempted alibi or a fishy story. A fan favourite for his keenness, he’s the sort of player who stirs the supporters into one last blast of roaring appreciation in the dying moments of a key game. Rumours abound that the team is sometimes a grumpy bunch, off-field, with team unity impaired by an insider hierarchy in which the highly paid decline to socialize much with the less-paid journeymen.

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk leads new push for organ donors

“By having the conversation years in advance,” the project says, “it helps normalize organ donation and make it a natural part of the dying process.”The ultimate goal is the complete elimination of the waiting list, the project says. Melnyk founded the Organ Project (, its mission “to save lives by ending the organ transplant waiting list.”On Friday, on the eve of Organ Donation Awareness Month, the inaugural Gala will take place at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York. About 200 were tested, a number reduced to 20 as suitable. And it worked.The Ottawa Senators called a press conference and made the plea, upsetting some who saw it as a rich person jumping the queue – exactly as Mr. If not, he would die.This made no sense to the patient. He had recently been to see an internal specialist and she had ordered up some tests but the results had not come in before the doctor’s planned trip to Europe.Now there was this annoying call from the door – was he awake? There was no time to spare.“I tell you,” says the 57-year-old owner of the Ottawa Senators hockey club, “that was a wake-up call.”He had a quick shower and hurried to Toronto General Hospital, where a room was being prepared for him. Melnyk: “As a caring and compassionate society, we can and must do better.” Humar would say later, “I wasn’t sure he would survive until the next morning.”Family and friends pushed for a public plea but Mr. If a matching organ was found and, if he had risen to the top of the list, he would get one. “This isn’t like finding a cure for a disease. His name would be put on the list for potential transplant. Fisher was named captain of the Predators.“If I can ever do anything for you,” Ms. Fisher was traded to the Nashville Predators for a young prospect and a draft pick – the deal struck with Nashville so that he could play where his wife was then living. The knock came at 3 o’clock in the morning.Eugene Melnyk, made rich by pharmaceuticals, made famous by hockey, was in a foul mood. Last September, Mr. Practical policies and engaging awareness campaigns can and will save lives.”Adds Mr. Had the anonymous donor not stepped up, he knows he would not be here today.“Being in hospital is like being in jail,” he says. One was selected and an 11-hour medical procedure proved successful.“I was that close,” says Mr. Underwood told Mr. Atul Humar, director of the University Health Network’s multiorgan transplant program, informed the patient that his liver was shot.“I told them just to give me some pills,” Mr. A wealthy man used to getting what he wants and when he wants it, the notion of waiting in line seemed preposterous. Melnyk remembers. A large number of corporate sponsors – including the National Hockey League, Rogers, Molson Coors, Canadian Tire, various law firms and The Globe and Mail – have joined the project.The highlight of the evening will be a performance by seven-time Grammy Award winner Carrie Underwood, the wife of former Ottawa Senator Mike Fisher. Melnyk had feared.About 2,000 Canadians responded. In early 2011, when the Senators set out to rebuild their team, Mr. “I figured ‘that spells trouble,’” he recalls, but he was either too tired or too confused to know exactly how deep the trouble was that he was in.Dr. It was the spring of 2015 and there had been some concern about his health. As well, polls have found that while 90 per cent of Canadians says they support organ donation, less than 20 per cent have actually done something about it.The Organ Project will launch campaigns to raise awareness through various social media as well as traditional advertising and intends to work with various sports and entertainment entities and personalities to reach a wider audience.Above all else, the hope is to start conversations among family members, who have the ultimate decision when it comes to organ donations. who is the prime minister? turn your hands up and down – and nothing happened: “Day after day they told me ‘It’s not your day.’”“Every time I went home,” Dr. With single tickets going at $1,500 and tables of 10 for $15,000, the event is already sold out and may raise as much as $2-million for the charity. Each morning they checked him for alertness – what day is it? The specialist had called from Vienna, where she had received the results of the medical tests. Melnyk at the time.Six years later, he called in that promise – the country star agreeing to headline the gala for free.There will also be a preview of three television commercials intended to raise public awareness and initiate action in support of organ donation.The project intends to work with the various levels of government as well as organ transplantation agencies to make registering more efficient and accessible.At the time of the project’s founding, more than 4,500 Canadians were awaiting organ transplants. Living donors can give a portion of their healthy liver, as the organ is capable of regenerating itself.When no relative was deemed suitable, he was then told he would have to hope an organ compatible with his blood type came along. Melnyk refused – until his daughters, Anna, then 16, and Olivia, then 12, came and told them they knew they were going to lose him if something wasn’t done. “You have time to think.”And what he thought was that something serious has to be done in this country to raise the public awareness of organ transplants. He was at his Toronto residence and hadn’t slept well the night before and just wanted a good night’s sleep before flying to back to Barbados, where he lives most of the year. “You want to go to the theatre and the tickets are sold out,” he says, “what do you do? Melnyk. You go find a scalper and you get your ticket.”Days passed with no news. “If you get the transplant,” they told him, “you’ll live.”“They sent the nukes in,” he says. He was told his blood type was relatively rare but a suitable match might be found. “I had to go to Barbados.”He was told he wouldn’t be going anywhere but the hospital bed that was being prepared. – and an employee was telling him they had to go, immediately, to the hospital. The small backlash against the public appeal had, ironically, created a healthy discussion on how, exactly, someone gets a transplant and how, in this case, one could volunteer to help.Last July, Mr.

Virtue and Moir once again thrive in coach-share environment

We had a great rivalry and looking back with hindsight and seeing how much we pushed each other.“Even though we did not come up the ranks with Gabby and Guillaume, it’s very similar.”During the 2010-2014 Olympic cycle, Virtue and Moir tossed major titles back and forth with Davis and White until the Americans embarked on a 22-month winning streak which culminated with the Sochi triumph.That competition drew a line under the rivalry as Davis and White called time on their skating career, while Virtue and Moir realised they were not done with the sport.That hunger has carried them to six straight titles since they made their comeback at the start of the season and they credited the training set up with Papadakis and Cizeron for the success.“It’s motivating to watch younger teams excel,” added Moir, who will be targeting a third successive Olympic medal in Pyeongchang next February.“They’re extremely talented. It also feels fresh and invigorating and a lot of that has to do with our new team and new training location in Montreal.” We watch figure skating with a much more positive spin on it.”Virtue, who won the last of her two world titles in 2012, added: “We feel like we’re right back in our element and it feels like this is where we should be.“The competitive spirit never left. While it may come as no surprise that they chose to cut ties with Russian-born coach Marina Zoueva, who had guided Virtue and Moir to the 2010 Olympic title before repeating the feat four years later with Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White, what is surprising is the camp they defected to.Back after a two-season hiatus, they are now coached by former Canadian ice dancers Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, who also happen to be the guiding force behind current world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.Having accused Zoueva of “not being in our corner” during the run-up to the Sochi Games, where Virtue and Moir ended up with silver, should they not have known better than entering another crowded coaching school bursting with star pupils?Moir said the passage of time has shown him that the pros of training with their number one rivals far outweigh the cons.“We are very lucky we train beside Gabby and Guillaume but it is a different situation,” Moir said as he prepared to return to a world championships arena for the first time since 2013.“There are times in the rink when we really miss training with Meryl and Charlie. It does push you. You are always trying to figure out little things. The last time Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue turned up at a major global competition, they poured their hearts out about how being in a coach-share situation with their main ice dance rivals left them feeling rather neglected.So the Canadians would never enter into such an agreement again, right?Wrong.

Byron scores twice, Canadiens beat Panthers to clinch playoff spot

Montreal Expos Hall of Famer Tim Raines dropped the ceremonial first puck. It’s the first four-point game of Gallagher’s career.Down 3-0, the visitors had a golden opportunity to get back in the game when Pacioretty and Shea Weber took back-to-back penalties but the Panthers failed to convert on the 5-on-3 that lasted 1:22.Florida finished 0 for 3 with the extra skater.Smith scored for Florida at 10:41 of the second, beating Price five-hole with a low wrister from the face-off circle. Carey Price made 29 saves for his 36th victory of the season. Matheson added another for the Panthers at 8:35 of the third.Danault added Montreal’s sixth at 16:49.Notes: Goalie Charlie Lindgren, 23, was recalled from the St. Florida’s Jason Demers played his 500th NHL game. Byron got his second of the game, deflecting a sharp pass by Nathan Beaulieu past Berra.In the third, a lucky bounce led to a 2-on-1 for Alexander Radulov and Pacioretty, who scored his team-leading 35th goal at 3:52.Gallagher made it 5-2 when he deflected Brandon Davidson’s shot from the point at 12:55 of the third. John’s IceCaps on Wednesday and was Price’s backup. Paul Byron had two goals and Brendan Gallagher scored and added three assists as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the visiting Florida Panthers 6-2 on Thursday to clinch a playoff spot with five games remaining in their regular season.Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty and Phillip Danault also scored for Montreal (44-24-9). Reto Berra, replacing injured goalies James Reimer (upper body) and Roberto Luongo (lower body), stopped 26-of-32 shots in defeat.The Canadiens had a resounding first period and that’s all they would need to beat the Panthers.Plekanec’s line with Byron and Gallagher scored three times in a 5:55 span in the first as the Canadiens quickly jumped to an insurmountable 3-0 lead.Byron got the first at 7:24, capitalizing on a failed clearance by Florida to net his 21st goal of the season.Plekanec doubled Montreal’s lead at 10:04, beating Berra from the slot on a centring pass from Gallagher.The home side made it 3-0 just three minutes after that. Montreal Canadiens clinch playoff spot (The Canadian Press)

The Canadiens will play in the post-season for the fourth time in the past five years, and for the eighth time in the last decade.Reilly Smith and Michael Matheson scored for the Panthers (33-33-11).

Federer makes semis, Wozniacki reaches final at Miami Open

Down 6-4 in a third-set tiebreaker to Tomas Berdych, the situation was officially dire.Yet even in that moment, Federer still felt some hope.“I had belief I could turn it around, even then,” he said.Somehow, he was right, and his stellar start to 2017 continued. “Having a place here, training here in the off-season, playing kind of on home advantage, it’s special to be in my first finals here. It’s always been a tournament where I wouldn’t say I struggle, but I’ve just not had the results I wanted.”Federer improved to 17-1 this year and will face No. Very simple, very straightforward,” Berdych said. She won 12 of the last 14 games.“I got a good start to the second set and that kind of got me fired up,” Wozniacki said.This will be the second consecutive time two double-digit seeds make the women’s final at Key Biscayne, after No. The fourth-seeded Federer fought off those two match points and beat the 10th-seeded Berdych 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (6) in the quarterfinals on Thursday – avenging a third-set tiebreak loss to Berdych at Key Biscayne seven years ago in a match he still thinks he should have won. He needed 92 – and after coming up with big shot after big shot in the final two sets, he wound up going out on a double-fault.“I just lost by one point. I’m extremely excited.” He was serving for the match at 5-3 in the third and got broken, had a match point in the next game and couldn’t convert, then was down 6-4 in the breaker before winning the final four points.Berdych actually won 91 points to Federer’s 89. 12 Nick Kyrgios in the semifinals on Friday.Kyrgios defeated 16th-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-7 (9), 6-3 in the last of the men’s quarters, a match that lasted 2 1/2 hours. Kyrgios had 16 aces, no double faults and never faced a break point, though his 19-year-old opponent saved five match points before falling.Zverev fought off three match points in the second-set tiebreaker, and won the set when Kyrgios – who pulled off two between-the-legs shots on the same point in the first set – tried another that didn’t work.“I don’t know what I was thinking,” Kyrgios said.He recovered and gets to face Federer, whom he called “the greatest of all time … I had two, didn’t make it. The 12th-seeded Wozniacki, a part-time South Florida resident, made the women’s final for the first time in 10 tries by topping second-seeded Karolina Pliskova 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.“This is one of the few tournaments where I’ve never made a finals,” Wozniacki said. I had a match point, didn’t make it. Roger Federer’s run at the Miami Open was one point from ending. 10 Johanna Konta were to play for the other spot in the women’s final later Thursday night.“It’s extremely special,” Wozniacki said. 11 Venus Williams and No. 15 Svetlana Kuznetsova a year ago.No. Felt like maybe this one I should have lost.”Federer feels right at home at Key Biscayne, and so does Caroline Wozniacki – with good reason, since she sometimes practices at the facility. 13 Victoria Azarenka beat No. my favourite tennis player.” Federer-Kyrgios is a rematch – sort of – from this year’s quarterfinals at Indian Wells, a match where Kyrgios withdrew beforehand with an illness.Rafael Nadal and Fabio Fognini are the other men’s semifinalists, meaning there’s still a chance for Federer-Nadal on Sunday for the men’s crown.“I would love it,” Federer said.Federer is now 4-0 in tiebreakers this year at Key Biscayne, none of the first three as pressure-packed as the one he needed in the quarters. So what else to say?”Like Federer, Wozniacki rallied, albeit with far less drama. “Could have gone either way. “He was the one serving out the match, didn’t make it. “I think my best result here was semifinals five years ago. “I got incredibly lucky,” Federer said. That’s what happened.

Matthews scores again, red-hot Maple Leafs beat Predators

Yet they couldn’t beat Andersen, who had a nice stop on a backhander by Kevin Fiala just before the third penalty on the Maple Leafs nearly midway through the period.The Maple Leafs got their second man advantage when Nashville captain Mike Fisher slashed Tyler Bozak, and Toronto scored again. Nashville came in three points shy of its third straight playoff berth under coach Peter Laviolette.It was the 1,000th game behind the bench for Laviolette, making him the 28th coach overall and just the second born in the United States to reach that mark in the NHL.A quiet first period ended when Austin Watson took exception to a clean hit on teammate Mattias Ekholm and roughed Maple Leafs forward Matt Martin. … That put the NHL’s second-best power play on the man advantage, and Toronto needed only 13 seconds to convert as van Riemsdyk redirected a shot by Nikita Zaitsev past goalie Pekka Rinne at 18:42 for a 1-0 lead.The Predators had three power plays in the second — a period in which they have outscored opponents by the biggest margin in the NHL (95-63). James van Riemsdyk and Auston Matthews each scored a power-play goal, and Frederik Andersen made 29 saves to help the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Nashville Predators 3-1 on Thursday night.Connor Brown added an empty-net goal with 58.4 seconds left as the Maple Leafs started a three-game road trip by sweeping the season series with Nashville. Filip Forsberg scored his 30th of the season for Nashville. They also won their second straight and fifth in six games to remain in third place in the Atlantic Division. Louis into third place in the Central Division. The Maple Leafs had just six such games last season. Fisher returned after missing four games with an injury.UP NEXTMaple Leafs: At the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.Predators: Host the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. It was the 10th time this season Toronto scored multiple power-play goals. … This time, Matthews added to his Toronto rookie record with his 36th goal of the season off a wrister as he skated up the slot just inside the left circle with 1:17 left in the second.Andersen off one last penalty when Roman Polak went in the box for holding — Andersen needed Morgan Rielly’s help after the puck went off his arm and trickled near the goal line.NOTES: Predators forward James Neal went to the locker room midway through the third period after taking a puck to the face in the neutral zone. The Predators have lost two straight after a four-game winning streak.Toronto is trying to hold off Boston, while the Predators needed a win to leapfrog St. Predators forward Craig Smith was scratched with an upper-body injury. Among the top 30 in games coached, Laviolette came into his 1,000th game ranked seventh in points percentage at 57.8 per cent and one of 17 to win the Stanley Cup. …

Wild crush Senators to snap four-game losing streak

Paul native had spent six months in the minors.Stalock allowed a goal on Ottawa’s seventh shot, but Neiderreiter tied it less than a minute later. … He put the Senators up 1-0 on a sharp one-timer past Stalock at 16:20 of the first.Niederreiter got his 21st goal 47 seconds later when he poked in a rebound off Chris Stewart’s shot. … Dumba added a power-play goal at 15:14 of the third, and Pominville scored his 13th of the season with eight minutes left.NOTES: Senators C Zack Smith got an upper-body injury in the first period and did not return. The Sharks beat the Wild 4-3 in overtime. Searching for a spark with Devan Dubnyk and backup Darcy Kuemper struggling, Minnesota recalled Stalock on Wednesday for his first start since last February with San Jose. The St. Joel Eriksson Ek, Matt Dumba and Jason Pominville also scored for Minnesota. Niederreiter had his fifth two-goal game of the season.UP NEXT:Senators: At Winnipeg on Saturday.Wild: At Nashville on Saturday. Stalock stopped everything after that, and Niederreiter added another goal in the second to put the Wild ahead for good.Eriksson Ek scored his third goal of the season about 10 minutes later, and Minnesota – which had dropped nine of its past 10 games, including two in overtime – headed to the dressing room to cheers for the first time in a while.Craig Anderson had 21 saves for Ottawa. … Alex Stalock won his first NHL start in over a year, Nino Niederreiter had two goals and the Minnesota Wild beat the Ottawa Senators 5-1 on Thursday night to end a four-game skid.Stalock stopped 18 shots in his first start for the Wild, who remained second in the Western Conference. 22 at 7:08 of the second on a backhander. Stalock – who went 20-16-7 in 45 games with Iowa of the AHL – last played in Minnesota in 2015 with San Jose. He picked up No. Pominville played in his 900th career game. Mike Hoffman scored his 23rd goal of the season for the Senators, who’re still trying to lock up a playoff spot but have lost three straight. Then, at 17:32, Charlie Coyle made a pretty drop to a streaking Eriksson Ek in front of the net for a two-goal lead.

Canadians Osmond and Daleman among leaders after world skating short program

It’s the first time Canada has had two women in the top three of the world short program.“I was just loving every minute of it and completely in the moment,” Osmond said. At last month’s Four Continents, Daleman was first and Osmond second after the short program, but Osmond fell three times in the long program to plummet to fifth.“I’m still learning how to do everything all at the same time,” said Osmond, who had both her parents in the crowd. “That’s something you can’t plan for as a coach, or even for her. “I think she was questioning whether she could come back and whether she wanted to come back, and I think she was afraid.”On Wednesday, before a raucous crowd at Hartwell Arena that included several dozen Canadian flags, she was fierce and fearless in her first world appearance since 2014.Skating to Edith Piaf’s “Sous le ciel de Paris” and “Milord,” and dressed in a glamorous black dress and black gloves, a black scarf tied jauntily at her throat, Osmond reeled off a triple flip and triple toe loop combination to open. Russian Anna Pogorilaya is fourth with 71.52.When Rochette won world silver in ‘09, it was Canada’s first women’s medal since Elizabeth Manley claimed silver in 1988.When Osmond burst onto the scene in 2012, hopes were high that she would follow in Rochette’s footsteps before she was derailed by injury.Walia and Osmond started over and rebuilt all her jumps, and while she showed great improvement in practice last season, she was unable to produce the same performance in the competitive spotlight. She didn’t qualify for last year’s world team.“I think mentally she wasn’t quite ready, because in the competitions it wasn’t showing up,” the coach said. “I worked really hard on my stamina, my consistency, all year. With the crowd clapping along to her music, she went on to land a triple Lutz and double Axel en route in a clean program worth 75.98 points.“It feels incredible,” she said through a wide smile. The gruesome X-rays shows the bones bent sideways like broken toothpicks. He’d only learned last week that he’d have the time off work to attend the event, and landed in Helsinki on Wednesday morning.“Literally the last second I was there, it was ‘Oh my God, I see my dad!’,” she said. Just knowing that I’m up in second now, it just feels incredible.“This program, I just feel so comfortable and confident doing it,” she added. Or if she even wanted to.Now, the 21-year-old from Marystown, N.L., sits a mere three points behind defending champion Evgenia Medvedeva, and appears poised to capture Canada’s first medal in women’s singles at the world figure skating championships since Joannie Rochette won silver in 2009. Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch were the top Canadians in sixth place with 73.14 points. Standing at the board, animated coach Brian Orser virtually skated every step with her, jumping high in the air when she landed her triple Lutz.“Especially after Four Continents I just gained a lot of confidence and I just knew what I’m able to do and I just enjoyed the moment,” Daleman said.Daleman said the most touching moment was when she was sitting in the “kiss and cry” and spotted her dad Michael in the crowd. “I know how to deal a little bit more with the excitement, and hopefully I can just stay that way for the long (program).”It wasn’t as good a day for Canada’s pairs skaters, with two-time world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford struggling to a surprise seventh after the short program.Osmond missed a season and a half after snapping her fibula in her right leg in two places when she swerved to avoid someone in practice in September 2014. “I was just happy to skate the way I did. Radford skated while fighting an injury to his right hip.Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China were first with 81.23 points were first after the short program at 81.23 points. And at the end of the season, it really was obvious that it was taking longer than we had hoped.”Her next hurdle is Friday’s long program, which has been her albatross this season. Canadian women among leaders at figure skating worlds (The Canadian Press)

And if not Osmond? And hopefully it’ll show this time when I do it.”Daleman, who was second at the Four Continents for her first major international medal, opened with a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination before executing a triple Lutz and double Axel. “I didn’t know where he was or were my mom (Rhonda) was in the crowd.”In the pairs competition, two-time world champions Duhamel and Radford earned 72.67 points for their routine set to “Killer” by pop star Seal. I find the crowd reacts really well to it, which gives me a lot of energy while I’m skating.”Medvedeva, the latest in a long line of Russia stars, scored 79.01 points, edging Osmond on both the technical score and all five of the component (formerly artistic impression) marks.Daleman, a 19-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., scored 72.19 for third. There were times over the past two seasons when Kaetlyn Osmond didn’t know if she would ever be able to skate again. That gives me confidence on the ice. Fellow Canadian Gabrielle Daleman is right behind her.Osmond roared to a second-place finish in the short program Wednesday, while Daleman finished third, superb results for Canadian women who have long skated in the shadow of the country’s male stars. She underwent two surgeries, and then embarked on a comeback that was both arduous and rattling to her confidence.“I think she was at a very low point with her confidence,” said her longtime coach Ravi Walia. “It’s an amazing character, confident character.

Bizarre Cristiano Ronaldo statue unveiled at Portuguese airport

“I still haven’t had the chance to personally talk to (Ronaldo), but I’ll try to reach out to him to know his feedback.”Ronaldo’s full-body statue outside his museum in Funchal also does not do a very good depiction of the Real Madrid star, although it better resembles the player. It was part of an official ceremony to rename the local airport as Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo.Ronaldo also attended the ceremony, but did not show any signs of being bothered by the odd look of his newly unveiled bust.The bust’s sculptor, Madeira native Emanuel Santos, said it took him 15 days to create the statue. He said he presented the project to local officials when it was about half done and received the go-ahead to continue with his work.“It’s always a great honour to work on project like that,” Santos told local television channel RTP. The face is also unusually chubby, in contrast to Ronaldo’s chiseled looks.Dozens of guests and hundreds of fans were at the unveiling of the bust in Ronaldo’s native Madeira Islands. Cristiano Ronaldo has an airport named after him, but it was his odd-looking statue that attracted attention in Wednesday’s ceremony honouring the Portugal star in his hometown.The player’s bronze bust, which was unveiled to much fanfare by Portugal’s president and prime minister on the island of Madeira, hardly does the handsome footballer justice. It squashes his eyes close together, and the cheeky raised-eyebrow smile more resembles a leer.

Leafs’ Frederik Andersen expects to return Thursday in Nashville

Andersen claimed to feel “a little bit off” after the collision but remained in the game for the ensuing 17-plus minutes before he was finally replaced for the second period by backup Curtis McElhinney.He was declared day-to-day with a mysterious upper-body ailment, the details of which the Leafs never revealed.McElhinney started in relief against Florida on Tuesday and, while wobbly and perhaps fortunate at times, made 25 saves to secure a 3-2 win over the Panthers. Toronto all but confirmed it by sending third-stringer Garret Sparks to the Toronto Marlies shortly after practice wrapped up.“You can’t play the guy when he’s not ready so we had to wait for him to be ready and he’s ready now,” Babcock said. The victory kept the Leafs one point up on the Boston Bruins for third in the Atlantic division and four ahead of the rising Tampa Bay Lightning with seven games to go.Andersen’s return is a big boost to the Leafs’ push, his relative stability between the pipes helping the club jump from 30th place last season into the playoff fold this year.The Danish netminder boasts a very respectable .918 save percentage in a career-high 61 starts. “We didn’t think it was a big deal, but obviously when he’s not playing it’s a big deal.” 1 would in fact return. “We’ll see on the plane, but I’m looking pretty positive and I feel ready to go,” Andersen said shortly before the two-hour flight to Nashville.The 27-year-old was injured in the opening minutes of the Leafs Saturday visit to Buffalo after he was bumped in the head by Sabres forward William Carrier. The Toronto Maple Leafs are expecting to have their No. 1 netminder back in the crease Thursday night in Nashville.Frederik Andersen took part in an optional practice in Toronto on Wednesday afternoon and sounded optimistic about starting against the Predators, ending a few days worth of uncertainty about his status for the Leafs’ playoff push. He’s been especially effective in March, posting a 6-1-2 record with a .936 save percentage.Andersen looked upbeat as he tooks shots from teammates on Wednesday afternoon, and even an attempt that rung off his mask failed to dull his spirits.“We worked hard on the ice and made sure that I got up to speed again,” Andersen said.Leafs coach Mike Babcock planned to discuss Andersen and the goaltending plans for Thursday with goalie coach Steve Briere on the ride to Nashville, but seemed confident his No.

Inclusion in women’s world hockey championship emotional for Canada’s rookies

I’m not a crier, but I was speechless.”The four women will make their world championship debut when they play the defending champion United States on Friday in Plymouth, Mich.The world championship is the biggest international women’s tournament this calendar year and a significant one with the 2018 Winter Olympics less than a year away. That even happens with our veterans,” Schuler said.“It speaks to just how, even with our veterans, just how important it is and how special it is to be able to play for your country.”Ambrose said she was most emotional when she called her family.“My mom kind of lost it,” she said.Fast said she was “blown away” and that the call “brought tears to my eyes,” while Stacey’s body did the talking for her.“I had shivers when I got the phone call,” Stacey said. The medal games are April 7 at USA Hockey Arena.Canada has not won world championship gold since 2012 in Burlington, Vt. “I didn’t have any tears. Players on the championship roster are usually also candidates to try out for Canada’s Olympic team.The “centralization roster” of players who will move to Calgary this summer and train full time for Pyeongchang, South Korea, will be announced following the world championship.Potomak from Aldergrove, B.C., is the youngest player on the world championship team at 19. The Americans have won six of the last seven, though their participation at the tournament was in jeopardy until recently. to play in a world championship since goaltender Danielle Dube in 1997.She is tenacious and gifted with the puck, scoring six game-winning goals as a sophomore for the University of Minnesota this season.The other three are 22-year-olds from Ontario coming off their inaugural seasons in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.Stacey, the great-granddaughter of Hockey Hall of Famer King Clancy, is from Kleinberg and played for the Brampton Thunder. We’re going to do whatever we can to accomplish those goals.” If she’s caught up ice, the blue-liner can still get back in time to defend.Ambrose is a smart, savvy defender with a lot of experience for a newbie, having played for Canada in both November’s Four Nations Cup and the two-game December series versus the U.S.Ambrose had an assist in that December series, which Canada won by scores of 3-1 and 5-3.“With all those players, we hope they’ll provide secondary scoring,” Schuler said.Russia, last year’s bronze medallist, and Finland are also in Canada’s pool in Plymouth. She’s also the first from B.C. Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Germany round out the field. When Sarah Potomak, Laura Stacey, Erin Ambrose and Renata Fast were told they would represent Canada at the women’s world hockey championship for the first time, their emotions ran the gamut, from shivers and tears to speechlessness.“Before the call I was so nervous,” Potomak said. USA Hockey and the American women reached an agreement Tuesday after the players threatened to boycott the tournament if they didn’t get more equitable treatment, financial and otherwise, from their federation.Alex Carpenter scored the overtime winner last year in Kamloops, B.C., for a 1-0 victory over the host country.Ambrose, Fast, Stacey and Potomak know this year’s world championship is a statement tournament for Canada with the Winter Olympics on the horizon.“After the December series, I think we’re riding on some momentum,” Ambrose said.“We know what our sights are set on in April. She has a big shot and uses her five-foot-10 frame to create space at the net.Fast from Burlington and Ambrose from Keswick are Toronto Furies teammates and a year removed from winning an NCAA championship together with Clarkson University.Fast lives up to her surname. “When she phoned, I literally started crying.”

Head coach Laura Schuler says delivering good news and hearing a gush of emotion is a fun part of her job.“You know what?