Marleau nets winning goal as Sharks top Jets

Patrick Marleau scored the game-winner with 4:33 left in the third period as the San Jose Sharks extended their win streak to six games with a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.Marleau was the hero for the second straight night after he scored four goals in the third period of San Jose’s 5-2 win over Colorado on Monday. Defencemen Dustin Byfuglien and Josh Morrissey each picked up a pair of assists.Pavelec got his fourth straight start in net and stopped 22 shots for the Jets (22-25-4).The teams were tied 2-2 heading into the third period.Little made it 3-2 at 4:00 with his second goal of the game off a fortunate bounce. His shot off a rebound and the puck hit the crossbar, bounced off Dell’s back and trickled across the line.Winnipeg rookie star Patrik Laine, returning to action after missing seven games with a concussion, assisted on the goal for his 38th point of the season.With the Sharks shorthanded because of a tripping penalty, Karlsson was checked from behind by Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba and got a penalty shot. He made it count, sending the puck over Pavelec’s glove to tie it 3-3 at 9:37.The teams were also tied 1-1 after the first period.Burns scored his 21st goal of the season 53 seconds into a two-man advantage at 3:59 of the first, after the Jets were dinged for slashing and then too many men on the ice.Morrissey set up Winnipeg’s tying goal with a long lead pass to Little, who got away from Sharks defenceman Joel Ward and put a low shot by Dell at 8:02.San Jose quickly regained the lead 27 seconds into the second after Couture redirected a pass from Mikkel Boedker for his 16th of the season.Couture has six points in his last four games, including a pair of goals.After the Jets had a goal waved off, Copp scored with a high slap shot at 1:59 left to even the score 2-2.Winnipeg remained ahead 19-15 in shots on goal after the middle period.The loss concluded Winnipeg’s four-game homestand (2-2-0). The team plays in Chicago Thursday and then has its all-star break.San Jose heads to Edmonton for a Thursday game. The veteran forward’s 17th goal of the season came off a pass across the front of the net from Ryan Carpenter, which Marleau shot into an open net by Ondrej Pavelec at 15:27.After a review, Winnipeg had a goal waved off with 17 seconds remaining to a chorus of boos from the MTS Centre crowd.Brent Burns, Logan Couture and Melker Karlsson, on a penalty shot, also scored for the Sharks (31-16-2).Goalie Aaron Dell, playing in his ninth game this season for San Jose, finished with 31 saves.Bryan Little scored twice and Andrew Copp had Winnipeg’s other goal.

Canadian rugby squad looks to learn from disappointment

And he took some of the blame, saying because of his short time with the team he had not focused on set pieces.Retaining or winning the ball at kickoffs – a key skill in sevens where ball possession is all-important – had been a strength last season. In that game, Canada rallied from a 17-0 hole to win on a late Kay try. “I’m really pleased that John’s going to be available.”Injuries have not helped the cause with three players going down during one ill-fated passage of play in a 43-14 loss to Argentina in Cape Town.Phil Berna subsequently required arm surgery while Liam Underwood remains out after aggravating a shoulder injury. Pat Kay hurt his hand but has since recovered.Canada will face Wales, Scotland and Russia in Pool D in Wellington where Isaac Kaay gets his first senior call-up. Nothing’s ever easy but I’m hoping that gives us a fighting chance of maybe grabbing a quarter-final place,” McGrath said of his Wellington pool.In the first two Series stops, Canada dug itself some deep holes and mounted some stirring comebacks.McGrath says the mistakes can be fixed. “I think the thing that’s hit me most of all is that we lack strength in depth. “So I’m confident that if we can get those little things right, it will put us back on an even keel.“We showed against New Zealand and Fiji at different times we can match with the big boys and have success. New Canada coach Damian McGrath promised himself he would take stock of his resources on and off the field over the first two stops of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.What he saw in 13th-place finishes in Dubai and Cape Town, South Africa ran the gamut.“There were lots of really positive things,” the English native said. This season Canada is 1-0 against Russia, 0-1 against Wales and has yet to face Scotland.The Canadian men are 13-30-1 in their history against Wales, 11-16 against Scotland and 16-8 against Russia.“We got a couple of tough draws in the previous two legs. Moonlight, who appeared in his 50th Series event in Cape Town, is on the roster but temporarily steps down as skipper because he missed several weeks training with the team in order to prepare to become a fire fighter.“He’s too important a player to do without,” McGrath said. So it’s a lot to work on. “When we did, we scored some good tries. But the Canadians had their problems right out of the gate.“Our kickoffs were awful for one reason or another … That was our big Achilles’s heel throughout the whole two weeks of competition – our inability to get our hands on the ball for a period of time,” the coach said. That’s got to be our priority in the next 12 months.”Canada went 2-3-1 in Dubai and 2-4-0 in Cape Town.McGrath will get another look at his squad in action this weekend in Wellington, New Zealand and Feb. 4-5 in Sydney.John Moonlight gives way as captain to Harry Jones in New Zealand and Nate Hirayama in Australia. The All Blacks did not help themselves, with some poor ball handling at the close as they seemed destined for a go-ahead score.“Those things give me a lot of hope for the future,” said McGrath, who nevertheless hopes his team won’t make life so difficult on itself in Wellington and Sydney.The Canadian coach also savoured a 26-24 win over Samoa, the team that fired him last year. When we didn’t, we chased around and suffered for it.Against France in Cape Town, McGrath estimated it was 6 1/2 minutes before his team touched the ball. Canada trailed 28-0 going into the half and subsequently lost 42-14.“We never lose, we always learn. “In terms of performance on the field, some things that gave me great hope and other things where the inconsistencies of previous times are obviously still there. And we learned a valuable lesson in several things,” McGrath said of the first two stops. We need that consistency in our play.”Against Olympic champion Fiji in Dubai, Canada reeled off 19 consecutive points after falling behind 19-0, only to lose 26-19 on a last-ditch try by the Pacific Islanders.In Cape Town, Canada rallied from a 14-0 deficit to tie New Zealand 19-19 on a late Justin Douglas try.

Toronto FC downplays talk of Chinese offer for Sebastian Giovinco

There is a club option for an additional year. Giovinco did not talk to the media on Wednesday. Toronto FC is downplaying word from Sebastian Giovinco’s agent that the deep-pocketed Chinese Super League is interested in the star striker.General manager Tim Bezbatchenko says there has been no formal transfer offer for the Italian.Coach Greg Vanney called such transfer talk “noise” and says Giovinco is happy in Toronto. But the previous day he said he likes where he is.The elusive Italian won MVP honours in 2015 in his debut season in Major League Soccer and had 39 goals and 31 assists over his first two seasons in North America.Giovinco, who turns 30 on Thursday, is entering the third year of a five-year deal in MLS.

Ottawa Senators hire Tom Anselmi as new president and CEO

The Ottawa Senators named Tom Anselmi as their new president and chief executive officer Wednesday.Anselmi replaces Cyril Leeder, who had held the post since June of 2009.Anselmi is a former executive with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Marlies. He joined the organization in 1996 and in 2012 was named president. He held that post until Tim Leiweke was appointed president and chief executive officer in 2013.Prior to joining MLSE, Anselmi served as vice-president and GM of arena operations for Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment (now Canucks Sports & Entertainment).“Tom’s distinguished career in sports and his previous senior executive roles with two other Canadian NHL clubs will be invaluable as we continue our efforts to build an organization that will prepare us for the future and the exciting opportunities which lie ahead,” Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk said in a statement.

Raonic eliminated at Australian Open with loss to Nadal

“We still had to monitor it and then today I hurt another aspect of it.”He required treatment on the leg in the second set Wednesday.“I hope it’s nothing too serious,” added Raonic, who has struggled with adductor problems in the past.Raonic defeated Nadal in their last meeting, which came at the same tournament in Brisbane where Raonic said he tweaked his adductor.This time, Raonic said, “he played better than I did.”The 30-year-old Nadal saved six set points in the second set, including two in the 13-minute tiebreaker.“There were some opportunities in the second set, other than that, there wasn’t much for me to hold onto,” he said. Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic limped out of the Australian Open on Wednesday, a nagging thigh injury flaring up during a quarter-final loss to Spanish star Rafael Nadal.Raonic, the third-seed from Thornhill, Ont., was trying to repeat his best showing at the Grand Slam tournament by reaching the semifinals for a second straight year. Then dealing with the health aspect and now with this.”Raonic, 26, said he came into Melbourne nursing his thigh muscle after injuring it earlier this month in Brisbane.“I got it to pretty good shape,” he said. 2 Novak Djokovic were upset in earlier rounds.It has been a struggle from the beginning, however, as Raonic came down with a cold early in the tournament and was bed-ridden for a day. He said he didn’t want to ponder the fact that his goals have often been derailed by bad luck.“I don’t want to depress myself thinking about that too much right now,” he said.Nadal returns to the final four at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since winning the 2014 French Open. Many wondered if this was Raonic’s year after top-ranked Murray and No. His return ensures there will be three 30-somethings in the men’s semifinals, equalling the Open era mark set at Roland Garros in 1968.Nadal will play Grigor Dimitrov on Friday, the day after 35-year-old Roger Federer takes on 31-year-old Stan Wawrinka in an all-Swiss semifinal. His timing seemed slightly off against Bautista Agut in the round of 16, when he racked up 55 unforced errors and even uncharacteristically hurled his racket to the court midway through the third set.He appeared to be feeling better by Wednesday, but then had a recurrence an adductor injury in the 6-4, 7-6 (7), 6-4 loss to Nadal.“These last two and half weeks have been quite difficult, just trying to manage everything,” he said. “First, dealing with the physical aspect, then getting myself quite ready, I thought, making the most of that. “I thought he did some things well… He did something a little bit different than he normally does.“I just wasn’t able to push him back behind the baseline like I was a few weeks ago.”Raonic has come close to a Grand Slam title several times only to see it slip away. He lost to Andy Murray in the 2016 semis.

Bolt loses 2008 Olympic relay gold in teammate’s doping case

Usain Bolt has lost one of his nine Olympic gold medals after Jamaica team mate Nesta Carter was found guilty of doping at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.Carter was found to have taken the prohibited substance methylhexaneamine, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday.The Jamaica team must return their medals. Trinidad and Tobago will be promoted to gold, Japan move up to silver and fourth-placed Brazil will be awarded bronze, subject to any further results from the IOC anti-doping retesting programme.

Spurs hand Raptors season-high fourth-straight loss

“You too?“You didn’t know who the hell he was,” he continued, revelling in the ribbing before turning his steely gaze to the rest of the media horde to pronounce: “He had no idea who Kawhi Leonard was.”Later, when asked to comment on the continued progress of the Raptors from year to year under head coach Dwane Casey, Popovich was dismissive, saying he has too much on his plate just worrying about his own squad.“How the hell do you have time to worry about Toronto and Milwaukee and Houston and Orlando and everybody else?” he said. 5, is regarded by many as the most cerebral coach in professional sports.But Popovich, on pace for a 16th consecutive season of winning at least 60 per cent of his games, has to be included in the discussion.“Pop is the best in sports,” Casey said. Get over it. And that’s what we’re all trying to build in our programs. “He’s trying to set us up.“That’s very flattering, but obviously untrue. And if you forgot, I got to coach Tim Duncan. “They did a good job, they figured it out, they get credit for it.“It’s got nothing to do with, ‘Oh, that’s unfair.’ Life’s unfair. If you want to beat them, do your best to beat them. “I know coach Belichick has a reputation of being the best coach, but I’ve looked up to coach Pop for a long time.”Casey described Popovich as being “the head of the snake” for the way he runs the operation in San Antonio.“He does it some with humour, some with the hammer,” Casey said. They know their jobs, they know their roles. Either you do or you don’t. So what he says on the social issues in the U.S. They’re not going to listen to Dwane Casey. “They’re in a different league than the rest of us.”While many bemoaned the fact that the rich only got richer when the already powerful Warriors added star free agent Kevin Durant to their lineup for the 2016-17 campaign, it only figured that Popovich had an alternative view.“What team wouldn’t try to put together as good a group as they can?” he said. “I love what he’s doing – the social issues in the States. No reason to denigrate them in any way, shape or form. President he labelled a bully over the weekend.“He speaks out,” said Casey, a long-time admirer of his coaching compatriot, who turns 68 on Saturday. Go play them. “Everybody?” pounced Popovich. That’s what we’re trying to build here with the Raptors.”Popovich tried his best to deflect the praise.“Coach Casey, he’s hyperbolic,” Popovich said. “Do your own thing.”In that regard, Popovich has held fast, never letting the court of public opinion dictate the way he lives his life – whether it is his iron-fisted approach to running a basketball team or his scathing commentary denouncing Donald Trump, the new U.S. is right on time, on target.”Popovich’s Spurs were also on the mark, as usual, against the Raptors on Tuesday, gutting out a 108-106 victory at Air Canada Centre to improve their record to 36-9 on the season.The loss for the Raptors (28-17), playing without the services of injured leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, was their fourth in a row, a slide they have not endured since March, 2015.Popovich has little left to prove in the basketball world, with five NBA titles to his credit over the 21 years he has directed the Spurs.Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots, who will be looking for his fifth NFL championship ring in the Super Bowl on Feb. They’re beautiful.” But I’ve been around a long time and I’ve won some games. But they will listen to Gregg Popovich. That’s very important, what he’s saying.“He’s got a platform, he’s the guy. Gregg Popovich was being, well, Gregg Popovich when the San Antonio Spurs coach was holding court like only he can heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors.First it started with a gentle reprimand to a local media sort who started off a question about Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio’s leading light at forward, by stating that everybody always regarded him as a good defensive player. “But the players understand and know what they’re supposed to do. That made me look pretty good.”Once again, the Spurs are among the NBA’s elite and are headed toward another 60-win season, which would be the sixth for Popovich as coach.While he is quick to remark he has little time to take notice of what others around the league are doing, he will admit to peeking from time to time at how the Golden State Warriors are doing.“I watch a game once in a while because Golden State’s really fun to watch – you’ve got to admit that,” he said.

Giovinco’s agent says China has made ‘important offer’ for Toronto FC striker

But the Italian star reiterated he is content playing in North America.“I like (it) here and I’m happy,” he said.Giovinco, who turns 30 on Thursday, has torn through MLS defences in his first two seasons in MLS.He won league MVP honours in 2015 when he scored 22 goals and added 16 assists. “We received an important offer from China and we’ll talk to Toronto to decide, along with Sebastian, what to do.”Asked about the agent’s claim, a Toronto FC spokesman said: “Nobody has contacted us.”There was no mention of the Chinese offer when Giovinco met reporters at Toronto’s training camp Tuesday. His agent says he needs to talk to the MLS club about a “important offer” from China.“The Chinese club seems to be very interested, but I don’t think it’ll be easy to take him away from Toronto,” agent Andrea D’Amico told Sky Sport Italia, according to the Football Italia website. Star striker Sebastian Giovinco says he’s happy at Toronto FC. Last season, he had 17 goals and 15 assists despite missing six games through injury.Giovinco earned US$7,115,555 last season, second only to Orlando City’s Brazilian star Kaka (US$7,167,500) in MLS.Chinese clubs have been opening the vault of late to acquire foreign talent.Argentine striker Carlos Tevez signed last month with Shanghai Shenhua, agreeing to a contract that a source said was worth US$40 million over two years.Other players to sign in China include Brazilians Oscar, Hulk, Ramires and Paulinho, Colombian striker Jackson Martinez and Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Too early in Toronto Maple Leafs’ rebuild to think about trading for big-time defenceman

Normally he would have been in the press box, not the game.Things improved against the Flames, with the defence responsible for only two of five power plays. But no one should lose sight of the fact this is still early in the team’s rebuilding plan (they were 30th in the standings last season).Jumping into the trade or free-agent market would be foolish. 31, when the Leafs end the all-star break in Dallas against the Stars, all will be right with the centre of the hockey universe.But it will not erase the fact the Leafs simply are not ready to make the final jump to serious contender. While the Toronto Maple Leafs left on a high for their two-game road trip Tuesday, there is still a small cloud hanging over the team.It is the knowledge that even though a shutout win over the Calgary Flames on Monday night ensured the Leafs ended their four-game homestand with a 2-1-1 record, they still don’t have the depth to be a serious NHL contender. The worst were consecutive minors to rookie Frank Corrado, who was playing in his second game of the season. We can’t keep going to the box.”The reason the penalty killers are so successful is the play of goaltender Frederik Andersen and the forwards. Leave the big spending for at least a year or two. He hasn’t been in the lineup since.Three of the power plays in the shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators were caused by defencemen. 28 deadline – despite all the talk about St. Better, they should abstain and even try to get some assets for veteran defencemen Roman Polak or Matt Hunwick should anyone come calling. So even if the Leafs win Wednesday in Detroit against the Red Wings and beat the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday to keep the heady feelings going into the all-star break, there is little chance general manager Lou Lamoriello is going to dive into the trade market before the Feb. They even scored two shorthanded goals – both coming from demon checker Zach Hyman.But Babcock says the same thing each time the penalty killers are brought up. In the three games since Rielly was injured on Jan. But Babcock’s unhappiness with the penalties shows he believes the Leafs are living on borrowed time.Then again, if Rielly gets back in the lineup on Jan. “[It was a] lack of discipline with our sticks again. 17, the Leafs allowed just one power-play goal in 13 opposition opportunities. “The first thing is the red light should be flashing if you’re shorthanded that much,” he said after Tuesday’s practice. That’s why only teams that are one or two players away from making serious noise in the playoffs should participate in those markets.Even a rental player such as Shattenkirk, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, will cost draft picks and/or prospects the Leafs should not be surrendering at this point.The Rielly injury set off a domino effect through the Leafs’ defence corps, taking players out of their comfort zones and forcing head coach Mike Babcock to shuffle his defencemen.Proof can be found even in the part of the Leafs’ game that was being praised this week: penalty killing. The defence is showing the stress of too many defencemen forced to play outside their normal roles – they are the ones taking too many penalties.In the 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers, all four power plays were the result of penalties to Leafs defencemen. NHL general managers like to say there are two occasions when teams overpay for players: at the trade deadline and on free-agent day. Louis Blues defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk.The leg injury to Morgan Rielly, who missed his third game on Monday and is not expected to play until after the break, made it clear the Leafs are not ready to make the jump their fans would love to see.Yes, they are 11 points ahead of last season at this point and on pace to make the playoffs. Worst of all, the tying goal that allowed the Sens to get to overtime and eventually steal a win was given up late in the game on a penalty to Martin Marincin.

Despite career accolades, Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin still wants more

If the play’s there, he’ll rip it. As if to make a point, he did it by scoring 35 seconds into a match against Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins in a game the Capitals won decisively, 5-2.It was a week in which he also passed the legendary Maurice (Rocket) Richard on the goal-scoring list, with 547 and counting.“It means I’m still in good shape, still here,” he told ESPN.com after passing Richard’s total. But, he added, the “No. “I guess it’s easy.”Earlier this month, at the Huntley Curling Club in Carp, just outside of Ottawa, Ovechkin went curling, his team losing by a close measure to Calgary-born Jay Beagle’s team. We’re talking competitive – extreme competitiveness.“Just as he is on the [hockey] ice, he’s that way with the game of curling,” says Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz.The “natural athlete” is an accepted reality, but little understood. And Ovechkin himself has been on the move, coming into the match with an eight-game scoring streak (four goals and nine assists). He has also consistently scored.Last week, Ovechkin hit the 1,000-point level, only the 84th player to reach that mark. His mother, Tatyana Ovechkina, led the Soviet Union team to gold in Montreal in 1976 and in Moscow four years later. “One of the things I saw when I first arrived in Washington is that he can pass the puck. Of his 22 goals this season, six have been game winners.When he signed that incredible 13-year, $124-million (U.S.) deal eight years ago, the Capitals were said to have lost their senses. He’s got real good vision. Ovechkin said the loss ranked as one of the worst of his career. The massive forward – 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds – has proved remarkably durable over his 12-year career, never missing more than 10 games in a season. She never lost a game in international competition and was chosen as the century’s best point guard by readers of Russia’s biggest sports publication. Ten years ago, at a golf course in suburban Virginia, Alexander Ovechkin tried golf. According to her son, she keeps her medals in the garage.Her son so desperately wants his own gold medal that he has been saying for years now that he will play next year for Russia in the Pyeongchang Winter Games no matter what the dithering NHL and NHLPA decide.So despondent was he said to be after Russia’s failure in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics that his NHL goal total fell to 32 from previous years of 50, 56 and 65.Now 31, the 2004 No. He’s got exceptional hands.“There’s different parts to his game. If not, he’ll pass. John Bale, who has written academic treatises on athleticism and sport, says that “on the evolutionary scale of Social Darwinism, the natural athlete could be associated with the initial stage of ‘savagery’ – close to ‘raw animal existence.’”As for Ovechkin’s personal evolutionary scale, he is the son of a former professional soccer player, Mikhail Ovechkin, and a two-time Olympic gold medalist in basketball. 1 goal for me, for the team” is to win the Stanley Cup.That seems as much a possibility this year as it was back in 2009, when a tremendous Capitals team met a rising Penguins team in the Eastern Conference semi-final. All that is missing, as he knows only too well, is that Stanley Cup ring and, to match his mother, an Olympic medal.As for his curling, that’s still a work in progress.“He’s getting better,” Trotz says with a laugh. It stands as one of the greatest series ever played, with Crosby finishing the series with 13 points and Ovechkin with 14, but the Capitals lost in seven games.Led by Ovechkin, slick centre Nicklas Backstrom and goaltender Braden Holtby, the Capitals were 12-0-2 when the puck dropped against Ottawa.“They’re the toughest opponent now in the league,” Senators head coach Guy Boucher said before the game. The Senators themselves have been hot as well, taking seven of eight points in four recent games against top opposition.Washington coach Trotz, who has watched and coached Ovechkin for years, says people still don’t realize what an all-round player he has become.“Everybody thinks of him as a pure shooter,” Trotz says. “Next year he might actually have his own team.” Today, it looks almost sensible. I think he goes through stretches where he gets real hot and then he’s one of the top guys in all of hockey.”And right now he’s hot and right back where he has been for so long. 1 draft pick began this season essentially out of the conversation for best player in hockey.That torch belonged, beyond argument, to two-time Stanley Cup winner, golden-goal-scoring Olympic champion Sidney Crosby, with a teenager named Connor McDavid reaching for it and other kids moving quickly up the ranks of the very best the game has to offer.But this month has seen Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals take over top place in the NHL, heading into Tuesday’s match with the Ottawa Senators with 70 points in 48 games. He is an underrated passer. After several whiffs and a few scuffs, he scored a hole-in-one while just fooling around.“This was my first time playing golf,” he told the late Dave Fay of The Washington Times.

Canada’s men’s rugby coach Mark Anscombe faces challenges on, off the pitch

29 Chile on Feb. And that, in a nutshell, is your big difference.“The U.S.A. 36 Brazil.Anscombe’s squad includes nine uncapped players: Beukeboom, Barton, Cole Keith, Conor Keys, Rory McDonell, Ollie Nott, Reegan O’Gorman, Carl Pocock and Robbie Povey. It’s just too big of a gap to go from club rugby to playing international rugby. But given much of the Canadian player pool is amateur, so are work and school.“It’s very frustrating,” Anscombe said of the selection headaches. “We’re close and thereabouts all the time, but don’t finish on the right side of the ledger.”He pointed to a competitive 60 minutes against Ireland, before the bottom fell out.“The November window, we had 18 domestic players in our squad. 4 against a second-tier Argentina ‘A’ side at Westhills Stadium in Langford, B.C., a game that does not have test status.The next four games for the Canadians are all test matches: against No. Now 18 domestic players playing international rugby takes its toll,” he said. 3 to March 3, contains just six of his starting 15 against Samoa in November as well as six of the reserves from that day.Injuries are another stumbling block. And we need more of our guys in environments that can challenge them and they can work on it daily because that’s what the rest of the world is in the market we’re playing.“An amateur can have the odd good day, but he’s not going to be consistently performing in it, no matter what sport anywhere. In selecting his squad for the Americas Rugby Championship, the New Zealand native has essentially elected not to summon players from top European leagues to avoid disrupting their club careers.“We haven’t brought them all back. 12 Georgia and No. The loser of that tie gets another chance to qualify. The challenges of coaching Canada’s men’s rugby team are myriad, on and off the field.While Tier 1 countries such as England have a structure in place that allows them to assemble their top talent for February test matches during the international window, Canadian coach Mark Anscombe is forced to do a delicate dance in choosing his overseas players. It’s a balancing act of making sure we’re competitive but looking where players are coming from,” Anscombe said.He has been able to bring back prop Djustice Sears-Duru of the Glasgow Warriors, backs Taylor Paris and Conor Trainor from their French second-division clubs and Matt Tierney, Matt Beukeboom and George Barton from their French club academy sides.Anscombe’s 29-man squad for the ARC, which runs Feb. is exactly the same. “It’s the reality of amateur rugby.“Where I come from [in New Zealand], if you’re considering someone for an international, he’s a professional rugby player so there’s no question he’s available and he’s going to jump at the opportunity.“But here the guys are amateur. 21 Uruguay and March 4 against No. 16 Romania (21-16) and No. 25 against No. 1 priority.”That is one of the reasons Anscombe has selected an extended 29-man ARC squad, which will be trimmed for the final two road games.Canada, ranked 18th in the world, opens Feb. 18 in Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C., and road matches Feb. … Our challenge is to get our guys playing more competitively at better levels of rugby that’s going to give them preparation to handle international rugby better.”Until that happens, Anscombe believes both North American teams will be hard-pressed to take the next step against world competition.Canada’s top domestic players are centralized in Langford. on Feb. To take five weeks off to go and do something in a lot of cases is not their No. 15 Samoa (25-23).“It’s the old story,” Anscombe said. “Each game you’re playing, you’re playing against a full squad of professional players that train and prepare every day. 16 Romania in June with a home-and-away World Cup qualifying series against the 17th-ranked United States. But the lack of a pro league leaves only amateur competition.The Canadian men are due to host No. They play club rugby and they go to school and they work. 11 in Langford, the 17th-ranked U.S. The 20 other players, who include veterans Ray Barkwill, Nick Blevins, Phil Mack and Pat Parfrey, have a combined 268 test caps.Canada is coming off a bumpy November tour that saw a best available roster lose to fourth-ranked Ireland (52-21), No.

Toronto FC opens training camp, motivated by painful MLS Cup loss

“We start a new process and a new journey this year. 10 penalty shootout defeat every day.“Anyone that I talked to that I didn’t talk to the day before brought it up,” he said. McCrary was taken 10th over all by the New England Revolution in the 2016 draft after a distinguished four-year career at the University of North Carolina. But coach Greg Vanney is not lingering on the past.His message to the team is simple.“Last year is over,” he said. Our mindset and goal needs to be just to get better every single day. “And the league is going to be out for us. Reserve midfielders Daniel Lovitz and Chris Mannella as well as third-string goalkeeper Quillan Roberts have also moved on.Toronto has made no secret of the fact it is looking for an attacking midfielder to add some offence. This club has high aspirations and high goals,” he said. Vanney says he only expects one or two additions.There are currently 34 players in camp including veteran French midfielder Benoît Cheyrou, whose new contract is nearing completion.Star striker Sebastian Giovinco was front and centre Tuesday, cheerfully holding court with reporters in English for the first time.“I think we’re a good team,” said the Italian, who has 39 goals and 31 assists in 61 regular season games with Toronto. There was no escaping Toronto FC’s painful MLS Cup final loss to Seattle for fullback Steven Beitashour.He was reminded of the Dec. But it’s the nature of the beast. “So it was often.“Being home, seeing family and friends and relatives, every person brought it up. “We’ve changed a little bit, but we are almost the same as last year.”Giovinco also reiterated that he is content in MLS, saying he had told friends back home: “I like it here and I’m happy.”But asked whether he had watched the MLS Cup final again, Giovinco looked at the questioner as if he had just been offered the chance to taste road kill. For me, our starting point this year should be better than it has been the last couple of years.”Fullback Justin Morrow says he, for one, has got over his miss in the penalty shootout.“I’m passed that. national team, which plays against Serbia on Sunday and against Jamaica Feb 3. Brunell was scouted on video and at a predraft combine.USL team players in the mix include highly touted striker Ben Spencer, who is back to full health.After a day of medicals Monday, the players went through fitness and other tests Tuesday morning with a second session in the afternoon.The team will train in Toronto this week before leaving Saturday for the warmer climes of Los Angeles. You just talk about it and you know that you gave it your all, which we did – every single player. The squad will also spend time in Florida during the preseason.Toronto finished third in the East last year with a 14-9-11 record before dispatching Philadelphia, New York City FC and the Montreal Impact in the playoffs.TFC opens the regular season March 4 at Real Salt Lake, one of three away games before the home opener March 31 against Sporting Kansas City.Players such as Morrow do not expect an easy ride given the success of 2016.“It’s going to be a difficult year, for sure. But it was unfortunate that day.”

The bitter loss serves as motivation for Toronto players as they opened training camp after an off-season of little more than six weeks. … We need to be ready for that challenge.” I’ve moved forward,” he said.There has been subtraction, but not much addition in the off-season other than the MLS SuperDraft, which netted Notre Dame centre back Brandon Aubrey and four other youngsters, and the signing of homegrown midfielder Sergio Camargo.All 11 starters from the MLS Cup final are back.Veteran midfielder Will Johnson (Orlando City) and reserve defenders Josh Williams (Columbus Crew) and Mark Bloom (Atlanta United) have left the fold. Midfielder Armando Cooper is expected back this week from Panama duty.Trialists in camp Tuesday included Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Akim Andrews, right wingback Jordan McCrary and tall Finnish centre back Johan Brunell.Andrews spent some time training with TFC last season before an injury sidelined him. “No, no,” he said before tempering the possibility of a future viewing to “maybe.”Quizzed about his improved English, Giovinco said: “I learn on the street.”Captain Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore are still with the U.S.

Ty Pozzobon: head injuries derailed promising bull riding career

Young Pozzobon competed in several events, winning bull riding on both days. He offered a $3,000 reward for the return of the gear, which, happily, was soon after found in a bush.Mr. News of his sudden death brought an outpouring of tributes at home and in the world of bull riding.“We lost someone who, although young, had already left such a positive mark on our industry and we are all saddened we will never get to see what else Ty would have accomplished,” said Jay Daugherty, president of American Bucking Bull Inc., a Colorado-based company that registers the pedigree of livestock.Recently, Merritt City Council had been deliberating adding the words “Home of Ty Pozzobon” to signs at the entrances to the city.A funeral service was held Jan. The 25-year-old’s body was found Jan. They have also spoken out in the hope of raising awareness of the dangers of concussions and the damage they can cause. (The bull carried as its name a Biblical verse often cited for the phrase “with God all things are possible.”) That same year, Smokey White Devil pummelled the rider, at one point falling atop him, though Mr. Pozzobon walked away from the wreck.He also suffered a sports hernia, knee injuries and several broken bones over the years.“Not too many times you’re getting up on a bull and feeling 100 per cent,” he told the specialty television program Hell on Hooves. Pozzobon leaves his wife, Jayd; parents, Leanne and Luke; and sister, Amy.The family requested donations be made to the Rider Relief Fund, which offers financial aid to those injured while bull riding. Pozzobon’s family issued a statement indicating they believe their son’s mental health suffered because of injuries suffered in competition.“It’s important that people know about the implications of head injuries as the result of concussion,” his mother, Leanne Pozzobon, said in the statement.The young rancher endured many blows to the head in professional competition, including several notorious wrecks (rodeo lingo for falls). Pozzobon qualified for the world finals four times. Later that summer, he finished 14th against Canadian, American and Australian competitors at the National High School Rodeo Finals at Springfield, Ill. 9 near his home outside Merritt, B.C., after he took his own life. Pozzobon earned rookie of the year honours on the Canadian pro bull-riding circuit.The young cowboy was popular with crowds at rodeos in his home province, including at Cloverdale outside Vancouver and at Williams Lake. 14 at the Merritt Civic Centre.Mr. Comfortable in front of the camera and possessed of a gee-shucks grin, he came across as an amiable and honest athlete with a genuine fondness for a sport that traces its roots to the Wild West. In Saskatoon in 2014, he completed a ride atop a bull named Boot Strap Bill only to be stomped in the back of the head by the animal’s left hind leg. As a high-school student, he played goaltender for a travelling midget hockey team in Merritt. Ty Pozzobon, the son of a bull rider, showed strength and a surprising suppleness in staying atop bucking, kicking, spinning bulls.Raised on a ranch in the Nicola Valley in British Columbia’s south-central Interior, Mr. He was the reigning Canadian champion and, in November, finished fourth at the world finals in Las Vegas, earning $97,500 (U.S.).Pozzy, as he was known, was a popular figure on the Professional Bull Riding circuit, both among fans and fellow riders. They donated samples of his brain to scientists for further study. He also competed at the Calgary Stampede, where, in 2014, he tore an anterior cruciate ligament and a lateral collateral ligament when his spur caught in a bull rope as he dismounted after a successful ride.As a rising star in the sport, he held an invitational tournament in his own name in Merritt from 2013 to 2015.He completed his seventh and most successful season in 2016, though the season was marked by injury and a theft. A bag containing his gear was stolen from his parents’ truck in Calgary during the Stampede. Louis, his helmeted head striking the ground.In 2013, his head hit the shoulders of Carolina Kicker and Mr. That’s when you’ve got to be a cowboy and fight through that.”Despite the many mishaps, he was perhaps Canada’s best bull rider and a rising star on the international circuit. The cause of his death has not been released by the RCMP or the regional coroner. The boy’s uncle also was a bull rider.As a teen, he practised aboard a homemade contraption he constructed, a whirling metal seesaw with springs. He was most upset about losing boot ties, which his father had used before him. Pozzobon was born to a sport in which eight seconds determines success or failure, and devastating injury is possible at any moment. Pozzobon was knocked out before he landed on the dirt.In 2012, a bull named Mark 10:27 hooked the rider with its horns twice and flipped him three times, all the damage committed in four seconds. The blow shattered his helmet and the dazed, unprotected athlete was kicked in the head at least once more by the spinning animal.Earlier in the year, he’d been straddled after an awkward dismount by a bull named Rock River Red in a competition in St. His father competed in the same international tournament in 1982, when it was held at Douglas, Wyo. That same year, the younger Mr. He wore small cloth Canadian flags on his shoulders like epaulets.Tyrell Luke Pozzobon was born on Nov. “There’s always something. In 2007, the British Columbia High School Rodeo was held in Merritt. Mr. A partner could manipulate the machine to imitate the violent, herky-jerky movements of an angry bull.In 2010, father and son launched the Pozzobon Cattle Co., providing bucking bulls for other riders. 9, 1991, to Leanne and Luke Pozzobon. At the annual Bella Coola Valley rodeo later that summer, he was the only bull rider to complete an eight-second ride. He often wore a black cowboy hat when not atop a bull, but in competition was known for wearing a hockey-style helmet and chaps branded with the logo of Jack Daniels whisky.

Rory McIlroy says rib injury will keep him out until March

“That’s my timetable for return. I could probably get back before that. I have a week off after that.“All signs pointed towards Mexico being the one I could come back to and be 100 percent comfortable at. For example, if I were to play Honda (the Honda Classic in late February) and then go straight to Mexico, I would be playing two weeks in a row.“I’d like to ease my way back in gently. Now the Northern Irishman aims to come back at the WGC Mexico Championship on March 2, more than six weeks after he fractured his rib on Jan. Mexico is the perfect time to return because it’s four rounds, there’s no cut. Hopefully it will work out that way and that’s when I’m back.” Injured Rory McIlroy has ruled himself out of action for a further month, targeting a return in Mexico on March 2, he told Fox Sports on Tuesday.The world number two has been struggling with a rib injury he sustained at the South Africa Open this month.He has already missed the Abu Dhabi Championship and on Monday pulled out of next week’s Dubai Desert Classic. 13.“I’m trying to get back for Mexico,” said McIlroy. I can see how everything feels.

Senators acquire Tommy Wingels from Sharks for two AHL players, pick

The Ottawa Senators have acquired centre Tommy Wingels from the San Jose Sharks.The Senators are sending forward Buddy Robinson, forward Zack Stortini and a 2017 seventh-round pick to the Sharks and say San Jose will retain 30 per cent of Wingels’ 2016-17 salary.Wingels, 28, has five goals and three assists in 37 games with the Sharks this season. He has 14 goals and 27 assists over 257 career NHL games with Edmonton and Nashville. He was held scoreless over four games with Ottawa after being recalled to the club in early December.Stortini, 31, has scored two goals and registered three points while recording 20 penalty minutes in 22 games with Binghamton this season. His top season was in 2013-14 when he had a career-high 38 points and seven game-winning goals.The six-foot, 200-pound native of Evanston, Ill., has 51 goals and 71 assists over 337 NHL games with the Sharks.Wingels, the Sharks’ sixth-round choice in the 2008 NHL draft, has also played in 45 career playoff games, including 22 during San Jose’s run to the Stanley Cup final last season.He is expected to travel to Ottawa to join the team on Wednesday.Robinson, 25, has scored seven goals and registered 12 points in 33 American Hockey League games with Binghamton this season.