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

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

Concessions needed for NHL players to go to Olympics: Bettman

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

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

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

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

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