Thursday, June 30, 2011

{allcanada} Kate Wears Issa for First Night Out in Canada

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Kate Wears Issa for First Night Out in Canada | Kate Middleton, Prince William 
After a day of enthusiastic welcomes and thunderous cheers, Prince William smiled as all went quiet when he entered an informal barbecue Thursday night in Ottawa.

As he and wife Kate entered Rideau Hall, the chattering of 120 young people stopped. "Talk among yourselves," he commented.

The royal couple were ending the first day of their north American tour at a barbecue for young people – that was hastily moved inside Rideau Hall's Tent Room (with its red and white-striped canopy-styled ceiling) because of sudden rain showers.

The prince spoke his aside as he and Kate began meeting five specially-selected young people at the party, which was billed as a party to celebrate the service "of Canadian youth towards a smart and caring nation."

Kate, 29, had changed into a third dress for the day, a more casual dress by Issa, one of her favorite designers. The black and white wrap dress decorated with birds. She paired it with wedge-style sandals.

William was also dressed down in open-necked blue shirt and khaki pants.

After the initial receiving line, they split up and moved around the room. The duchess spoke to a table asking if they all worked together or at different places. One of them asked if they were suffering from the day of traveling. "We are fine, not too bad," she replied.

Before they met the couple, a group of young women were anxiously waiting and one told PEOPLE, "It's certainly a once in a lifetime experience to be here and meet them.". Jessica Bolduc, 25, a volunteer and board member with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples also said, "the work that they do with youth and charities is really close to what everybody here is doing. It's really nice to share experiences."

Natalie Lacroix, 20, from the Canadian Cancer Society, said, "Everyone loves them. They are the peoples' royalty and people want to see them here."

On the evening's menu was a selection of dishes showcasing food from all corners of Canada: Yukon Arctic Char Caviar, Winnipeg smoked Goldeye and Prince Edward Island cheddar parfait, and Banks Island Muskox Prosciutto with Alberta cheese crackling. Niagara Peninsula sun-dried sour cherry and white chocolate cheesecake lollipops and fresh Quebec strawberries finished it off. Find The Right Credit Card For You

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Re: [SurroundSound] New hub member connection problem

probably a password error due to my typing; pm me please

On Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 5:35 AM, polmuaddib <> wrote:
Hi, I've just been accepted to the hub, but I am having problems
I am doing something wrong probably, but don't know what. I downloaded
apexdc, set up connection, my ports are open, checked and everything
seems ok. I enterd login info for hub, but I can't connect. I keep
getting disconnected and getting message by PtokaX - This is for
registered users only.
I'm supposed to be registered... I don't know what else to do.

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{allcanada} Als open title defence with victory

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MONTREAL -- Anthony Calvillo is clearly feeling just fine.

The veteran quarterback showed no effects from off-season thyroid surgery as he delivered three first-half touchdown passes and the Alouettes began their defence of the Grey Cup with a 30-26 victory over the B.C. Lions in the opening game of the CFL season on Thursday night.

Calvillo, who had his thyroid removed after a cancerous lesion was discovered on the gland, completed 22 of 30 passes for 312 yards and said he felt no ill effects.

"I felt great coming into this game," said the 38-year-old whose is chasing a few all-time CFL records in his 18th season. "I was ready to focus and felt comfortable out there.

"We were rolling pretty good, but in the second half we didn't do a god job. We had a couple of mental breakdowns and we were second and long a lot. But the defence held. It was a team victory."

Jamel Richardson caught nine passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns, while S.J. Green had a TD catch among his 88 yards through the air. Former Lion Sean Whyte added three field goals for the two-time defending champion Montreal.

Akeem Foster had a touchdown, Tim Brown returned a punt for a TD and Paul McCallum had four field goals for the Lions, who trailed 27-10 at half time but stormed back in the second half.

The victory was costly for Montreal as veteran defensive back Jerald Brown was carted off the field and taken to hospital with a fractured right ankle.

"He probably has a season-ending injury," said coach Marc Trestman. "He will have surgery (Friday).

"He's been so special to our team and we'll have to do without him. We'll lose a leader, one of the highest quality players in the league, an all-star, a team leader."

Despite two top teams and cool but comfortable summer night, the crowd was announced at 22,317 for the 25,012-seat Percival Molson Stadium -- the first time Montreal has not sold out since June 25, 2002, which was also against B.C. It ended a string of 105 straight sellouts.

The Lions defence held Montreal to three second-half points, but couldn't climb all the way back.

"The first half put us way behind the 8-ball," said Lions coach Wally Buono. "The Alouettes are way too good to give them that kind of lead.

"I don't know that we changed what we did (in the second half). Maybe we just did a little better job. A.C. (Calvillo) is good at what he does and if he gets into a rhythm he'll eat you up. In the first half we let him do that and he was outplaying us, outguessing us."

Calvillo went for the long ball, hitting Green for a 51-yard score 3:21 into the game and adding TD tosses of 40 and 46 yards to Richardson in the second quarter.

He is now only five short of tying Damon Allen's career record of 394 career TD passes. The 18-year veteran began the game only 4,200 yards short of Allen's career passing yards mark and should pass him late in this season if he stays healthy.

Travis Lulay was effective moving the ball upfield for B.C., but many drives stalled in Montreal territory, mainly from overthrown passes. He finished 26 for 45 for 366 yards.

The Lions got the ball to the Montreal two-yard line on their opening drive of the second half, but Jarious Jackson came in at QB and was sacked. Lulay then just missed Nick Moore in the end zone. They settled for a field goal.

Seven minutes later, Brown zig-zagged untouched up the middle to return a punt 97 yards for a TD to cut the Montreal lead to seven points.

The teams traded field goals and the Lions had chances, but managed only one last McCallum placement with just over two minutes to play. Montreal then ran out the clock.

Tailback Brandon Whitaker, replacing Avon Cobourne who signed with Hamilton, rushed for 119 yards on 17 carries in what may have been a statement game aimed at those who doubted his ability to fill the job.

"If they compare me to (Cobourne) I must be doing something good," said Whitaker. "Avon's a great back and I learned a lot from him the last few years.

"I'm glad we got a win. The O-line did some great blocking. I just had to do my job."

It was a big game for B.C. veteran Geroy Simon as well, as he caught five passes for 115 yards. Simon moved past Terry Vaughn into fourth place all-time in receiving yards with 13,852. He has a shot at catching Milt Stegall's career mark of 15,153 this season.

.When Brown was injured, Jeff Hecht, signed as an undrafted free agent in May from St. Mary's, took over that spot.

The Edmonton native took an off-side penalty at one point, but he also delivered an early candidate for hit of the year when he levelled Jon Hameister-Ries during a missed field goal return in the second quarter.

"I just lined it up perfectly and gave it everything I could," said Hecht. "It was a rush (to play) that's for sure.

"My legs were numb the first series and then I settled in. We've got a lot of veteran guys and they helped me a lot. I got in there a lot sooner than I thought."

NOTES: Both teams stayed in their locker room while the Alouettes' 2010 Grey Cup banner was raised in a brief pre-game ceremony. The banner got stuck and never quite made it all the way up it's frame... With Canadian Sean Whyte now kicking for Montreal, a non-import had to sit out and that turned out to be special teams veteran Paul Waldu... The Als (128-71) and Lions (116-82-1) have the league's best records since 2000. Find The Right Credit Card For You

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{allcanada} Jays' defence leaves Cecil out to dry

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TORONTO -- The basic and fundamental act of communicating in the outfield is something that the Toronto Blue Jays have struggled with far too often this season, and it cost them in a big way Thursday night.

A soft popper bound for Jose Bautista's glove was disrupted by a hard-charging Corey Patterson causing the ball to drop in to start the sixth inning, and the miscue set the stage for a three-run explosion that sullied Brett Cecil's return to the majors and led to a 6-2 Pittsburgh Pirates victory.

The mix-up in short left field, coming immediately after the Blue Jays (40-42) had erased a 2-0 deficit with a pair of solo shots, left Lyle Overbay at third base, and things devolved quickly from there.

Light-hitting Ronny Cedeno followed with an RBI double to put the Pirates (41-39) back out in front and Brandon Wood followed with a two-run blast that opened up a 5-2 edge before a disappointed crowd of 14,939.

That messiness essentially sealed a third loss in four games for the Blue Jays, ahead of what should be an emotional and difficult interleague series with former ace Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies.

"The ball was credited a hit, I would have gladly taken an error for him, one of us should have got it, that play should be made 100 out of 100 times," said Bautista, adding he didn't hear Patterson's call for the ball. "That opened up a big inning for them. (Cecil) was pitching great, we've got to make those kind of plays, there's nothing else to it."

The play was the latest miscommunication involving Patterson -- on Sunday he and Juan Rivera both pulled up on a catchable ball in St. Louis that went for an Andrew Brown double, while on June 17 at Cincinnati, he and Bautista both stopped short on a ball in the outfield that led to a Drew Stubbs inside the park homer.

Manager John Farrell said the Blue Jays have been "pointed" in telling Patterson to be more aggressive chasing down balls, and the previous incidents were on his mind as the outfielder went after Overbay's blooper.

"I assumed it would be a tough play for Jose … but talking to a couple of teammates, he was camped under the ball. I didn't know," said Patterson. "I didn't want to take the chance of looking at him and him looking at me. I've done that one or two times in the outfield and the ball dropped in the gap. That's the last thing I wanted to happen."

Farrell said the coaching staff has been teaching the players how to direct traffic on such plays since spring training and would continue to work with them in the wake of the latest slipup.

Asked whose ball it should have been, he said Patterson.

"When you have outfielders and infielders converging, the outfielder coming into the play always has priority," he said. "I know (Patterson) called for it, obviously in this case he didn't hear him loud enough to clear out of the way and give him the right of way.

"There was not the clarity of communication that there needs to be."

Cecil (1-3), making his first start in the majors since getting thumped by the New York Yankees on April 20, proceeded to escape the sixth without further damage but came out of the game after a one-out double by Andrew McCutchen in the seventh.

McCutchen came around on a Matt Diaz single off Octavio Dotel, leaving the young left-hander with a pitching line of six runs in 6.1 innings which wasn't indicative of how he threw the ball.

"I felt like I pitched a lot better than the line showed," said Cecil. "It was just a mistake behind third and the floodgates open.

"I'm looking for a shut-down inning so the guys can get back in there and get after the bats pretty quickly. I thought I was off to a good start but mistakes happen, I make them, everybody makes them and I'm still the one making the pitches after that. It was tough luck."

Regularly hitting 93 on the radar gun, Cecil looked much stronger than he did earlier in the season, regularly overpowering the Pirates.

Still, they bled him for a run in the first when Alex Presley tripled and scored on McCutchen's groundout, and another in the fifth when Josh Harrison's blooper was played into a double by Rajai Davis in centre field, Michael McKenry sacrificed him over and Presley's fly ball brought him in.

The Blue Jays replied in the fifth against Jeff Karstens (6-4) on solo shots by J.P. Arencibia and Yunel Escobar, but the lead was short-lived. Karstens lives both dangerously and fortunately, having now allowed 16 home runs this season, 15 of them with no one aboard.

He kept that run going by allowing just five hits and a walk in seven innings, with the Blue Jays threatening a big inning only once, in the first when they put runners on the corners with none out. But Yunel Escobar was thrown out at home trying to score on Bautista's grounder to first and Adam Lind followed by hitting into a double play.

Poor outfield defence also bit the Blue Jays in a series-opening loss to the Pirates on Tuesday when a blooper bounced over Eric Thames in right field and past Patterson, who was backing up the play but in poor position do so.


SNIDER RETURNS: Outfielder Travis Snider received clearance to return from his concussion Thursday and was back in the lineup at DH for triple-A Las Vegas as the 51s hosted Colorado Springs.

Snider was injured when he was hit on the ball of the helmet by a pitch nearly two weeks ago. He will play centre field at Vegas and could be called up to the majors once he has his timing back.


INJURY NOTES: Reliever Casey Janssen, working his way back from forearm tightness, is scheduled to pitch in a game for single-A Dunedin this weekend. … Right-hander Dustin McGowan will start a rehabilitation assignment Saturday with Dunedin and will pitch two innings. He will progress to three innings after two starts, pitching every five days. Find The Right Credit Card For You

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[SurroundSound] New hub member connection problem

Hi, I've just been accepted to the hub, but I am having problems
I am doing something wrong probably, but don't know what. I downloaded
apexdc, set up connection, my ports are open, checked and everything
seems ok. I enterd login info for hub, but I can't connect. I keep
getting disconnected and getting message by PtokaX - This is for
registered users only.
I'm supposed to be registered... I don't know what else to do.

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[SurroundSound] Re: Some homemade DTS for enjoyment

I've cleaned 2 most affected tracks (front left and surround left)
from this electric hum in RX 2:
(only cleaned the first ~40 seconds, where hum was most noticeable;
saved in a FLAC format).

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed goaltender Ben Scrivens to a one-year, two-way contract on Thursday.

Scrivens, a restricted free agent, will earn $600,000 in the NHL and $85,000 in the minors. 

A native of Spruce Grove, Alta., Scrivens began the 2010-11 season with Reading of the ECHL before moving up to the AHL's Marlies.

In 13 games with Reading, Scrivens posted a 10-3-0 record with a .938 save percentage and 2.23 goals-against average.

With the Marlies, he went 13-12-5 with .924 SV% and 2.33 GAA.

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VANCOUVER -- After a busy week there won't be much relaxation over the weekend for the Vancouver Canucks.

The Stanley Cup finalist Canucks head into Friday's first day of NHL free agency still talking to some of their own players while keeping a close eye on the talent that comes available.

As of Thursday, Vancouver had not reached a deal with veteran defenceman Sami Salo, who is poised to become a free agent. Salo earned US$3.5 million last year but indicated he was willing to take less money to remain with the Canucks.

Other Canucks scheduled to become free agents are forwards Chris Higgins, who earned US$1.6 million last season; Raffi Torres (US$1 million); Tanner Glass (US$625,000) and Jeff Tambellini (US$500,000).

Salo, who turns 37 in September, battled back from a career-threatening Achilles tendon tear last season. In 27 regular-season games he had three goals and four assists.

He appeared in 21 playoff games, scoring three goals and adding two assists.

The Canucks spent the week getting several of their ducks in order.

They signed defencemen Kevin Bieksa and Andrew Alberts to deals before they became free agents. Centre Maxim Lapierre, who was scheduled to become a restricted free agent, also came to terms.

Vancouver traded the rights of defenceman Christian Ehrhoff, due to become a free agent, when his asking price became too high. The Buffalo Sabres signed Ehrhoff to a reported US$40 million, 10-year contract.

Bieksa agreed to a five-year, US$23-million contract. Lapierre signed a US$2-million, two-year deal while Alberts signed a US$2.45-million, two-year contract.

Vancouver has 16 players under contract for US$52.5 million, leaving around US$11.7 million in cap room.

The Canucks, who lost to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Cup final, want more depth at forward. They also may be in the market for another defenceman.

A serious back injury suffered against Boston could keep speedy winger Mason Raymond out of the lineup until November. The Bruins also pushed the Canucks around, and Vancouver might be looking for more size on the second and third lines.

Ehrhoff was a mobile defenceman who scored 14 goals last season, six of them on the power play.

The free-agent forwards available include Simon Gagne, Tomas Fleischmann, Ville Leino and Michael Ryder.

Among defenceman are James Wisniewski, Matt Gilroy and Ian White.

Vancouver's management team have indicated they are in no hurry to make any deals. They could even go the trade route to acquire a player they want.

Backup goaltender Cory Schneider will be paid $900,000 this season before becoming a restricted free agent next summer. After posting a 16-4-2 record last year with a 2.23 goals-against average, he might draw some interest on the trade market.

General manager Mike Gillis has said he'd like to keep Schneider, even though he has Roberto Luongo locked up through the 2021-22 season with a 12-year, US$64-million deal.

Another player the Canucks might offer in trade is centre Cody Hodgson. The former first-round draft pick will be paid US$1.6 million in each of the next two years, but has had trouble working his way into the Vancouver lineup.

The Canucks also have to decide what they are going to do with defenceman Keith Ballard. Despite earning US$4.2 million, Ballard appeared in just 10 of Vancouver's 25 playoff games and dressed for one game in the final, a 4-0 loss in Game 4.

While Ballard carries a big price tag, he could be packaged in a deal. He also may be attractive to teams looking to reach the US$48.3 million salary cap floor.

The Canucks were active during last year's first day of free agency. Vancouver signed former Nashville Predator defenceman Dan Hamhuis to a six-year, US$27-million deal. Former San Jose Shark centre Manny Malhotra agreed to a three-year, US$7.5-million deal.

Hamhuis underwent sports hernia surgery last week. He was injured while hip checking Boston Bruins winger Milan Lucic in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final. He is expected to be ready for training camp.

An eye injury sidelined Malhotra for the last part of the regular season but he did return to play in the final.

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{allcanada} Levy to receive Order of Canada

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Governor General David Johnston announced 50 new appointments to the Order of Canada on Thursday.

Among the recipients are actor Eugene Levy, hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, and authors Malcolm Gladwell and Nino Ricci.

The Order recognizes "a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation," says a news release from the GG.

Wickenheiser, a three-time Olympic gold medallist and two-time tournament MVP, will become an officer of the order. Gladwell and Ricci will become members of the order, as will Levy, who is being recognized for "his contributions as a comic actor and writer, and for his dedication to charitable causes.

Other notable recipients include businessman and philanthropist W. Brett Wilson and former federal cabinet minister Pat Carney.

A ceremony for the recipients will be held at a later date.

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{allcanada} Prince William & Kate 'So Delighted' with Canada - Student Cards- 728 x 90 

Prince William & Kate 'So Delighted' with Canada | Kate Middleton, Prince William 
Flitting between French and English, Prince William gave his first official remarks since arriving in Canada.

"It will improve as we go on," the newlywed prince joked of his French, and noted how much he and Kate wanted to learn about the country that's providing them their first royal tour.

"Catherine and I are so delighted to be here in Canada. Instilled in us by our parents and grandparents, who love this country, we have been looking forward to this moment for a very long time – and before we were married, we had a longing to come here together," he said.

"The geography of Canada is unsurpassed and is famous for being matched only by the hospitality of its people. We are so very excited about having this opportunity to experience both – and learn much more about this amazing country."

William, 29, was speaking at the official welcome event at the residence of the governor general of Canada, Ottawa's Rideau Hall.

Minutes earlier, the couple had received a reception from a crowd several thousand-strong near to the national war memorial where they had laid a wreath. People stretched forward, handing Kate bouquets and gifts.

The crowd shouted for both members of the royal couple, but seemed to favor one, with shouts of "We want Kate!"

"Thank you so much. We are so delighted to be here," she said. Occasionally she looked over to her husband on the other side of the crowd to make sure she was moving at an appropriate pace.

Jennifer Baldwin, 19, drove for 21 hours from her home in Bloomington, Ill., and stood out on the street starting at 5:30 a.m. for a glimpse of the couple.

"I talked to William and congratulated him on the wedding and he said 'thank you very much', he's so polite!" she told reporters. "It was completely worth the journey just for that five seconds. I mean, I shook his hand!"

At the war memorial, the William laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior that remembers more than 116,000 Canadians, especially those without graves.

Prince William & Kate 'So Delighted' with Canada| The Royals, Kate Middleton, Prince William

Kate pate placed a small posey at the memorial and warmly greeted the woman who had handed it to her, Mabel Girouard, whose son Bobby was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan in 2006.

As she waited for her husband to finish his walkabout, Kate chatted with the Prime Minister and his wife saying, "That was so amazing, there were so many people there … How many do you think? We have been on the go since 7:30 this morning so it's been a long day."

As the couple got into their official car, Kate was seen leaning on William's shoulder and grinning broadly.

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BOCHUM, Germany -- Christine Sinclair tugged off her face mask and stood still on the pitch, staring skyward in disbelief.

The Canadian captain's broken nose had taken another beating, but this time the pain was the gut-wrenching emotional kind that comes when a World Cup campaign has ended too soon.

Canada's run came to a premature end Thursday, with a shocking 4-0 loss to seventh-ranked France. In an instant, all the high hopes that Canada had carried into this tournament, and the long months of preparation and sacrifice had disappeared.

And nobody seemed to know why.

"I can't even put it into words right now," said veteran Canadian goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, who watched the misery unfold from the bench.

"We knew this was a tough group but I don't think we really thought that we'd be in this position right now," she added. "So we're all disappointed, heartbroken, and -- I don't know. It's heartbreaking because we've given up so much. We prepared for so long, we had goals in mind and when you fall short you just feel gutted."

Gaetane Thiney scored twice, while Camille Abily and Elodie Thomis added one apiece for a French team ranked one spot lower than No. 7 Canada.

Combined with their 2-1 loss to Germany in the tournament -- the game that left Sinclair with a broken nose -- Canada has no hope of advancing out of the group stage for the second consecutive World Cup. Germany made sure of that with a 1-0 win over Nigeria in Thursday's late game.

Canada was the first team mathematically eliminated from the 16-team competition, and the loss was the biggest blowout of the event so far.

There was nothing but silence in the post-game dressing room, said goalkeeper Erin McLeod, as the players tried to make sense of the night.

"Shock," said McLeod, easily Canada's top player on the night. "I don't think anyone said anything. Sixth in the world. We expect to do well now. So it hurts even more when we don't."

The loss was even more difficult to bear coming on the heels of a training camp in Rome. Instead of signing with pro club teams, the majority of the Canadians spent the better part of four months fine-tuning the playing style of Italian coach Carolina Morace.

"I've been home 10 days since January," McLeod said. "I've given up everything this year. So it's disappointing. And obviously we have to do something different to compete on the world stage."

Since her hiring in 2009, Morace has preached a fluid, passing and moving possession-style game, and it had appeared to be working for the Canadians, who arrived in Germany boasting their highest world ranking and a first CONCACAF title.

But it was Les Bleus who played the way Morace had envisioned. They passed, ran and maintained their poise against a Canadian side that seemed frantic and disorganized virtually from the outset. They tripped over the ball, stepped on the ball, and launched it up into the stands.

"It was strange, the ball kind of tripped us," said midfielder Sophie Schmidt. "Little things that you normally wouldn't make a mistake on in practice. . . the pressure maybe got to us a little bit."

Sinclair's status was in doubt up until almost game time, but in the end it didn't really matter.

The 28-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., looked out of sorts at times, at one point uncharacteristically chipping the ball out of bounds. She had her first shot of the game in the 40th minute, from about 25 yards out, but fired it well wide of the net.

Sinclair, who scored Canada's lone goal versus Germany, played wearing a protective face mask that's part Catwoman, part Gladiator. She briefly came out of the game in the 80th minute after taking a ball directly in the face, a dribble of blood coming down her nose.

Sinclair was sent to doping control after the game and wasn't available to reporters.

Canada was outshot 19-7 and didn't managed a single shot on target. France put nine shots on goal.

Canada's only decent chances came in the 15th minute, when Diana Matheson lost possession of the ball during a break on net after a nice passing play, and in the 39th when a shot by Matheson soared just wide of the net.

"It's a hard pill to swallow when you work so hard for so long, and you have a tough loss," said Brittany Timko. "France is a great team, they were the better team on the day, we're just going to have to re-evaluate and prepare for the next game."

That's Nigeria on Tuesday in Dresden.

Said Morace: "It can happen, it's soccer. Of course, it would be better if this happened at the tournament in Cyprus and not here, but. . . "

Canada has rarely fared well at the World Cup, winning all of four games in five tournaments. The Canadian women finished fourth at the 2003 World Cup, the only time they've advanced out of the group stage, and were booted out of the tournament four years ago in China when they tied Australia in a game they needed to win.

But all that had seemed like ancient history with a Canadian team that seemed to have everything going its way.

Morace agreed to stay with the team through the 2012 London Olympics after threatening to quit. It was a battle the players fought hard for -- they threatened to boycott games -- and won. They signed a new financial agreement with the Canadian Soccer Association, and Canada was awarded the 2015 Women's World Cup.

Timko was at a loss to explain what went wrong in front of 16,591 fans at Ruhrstadion -- a few hundred of them Canadian, judging by the dozens of Maple Leafs waving in the crowd.

"To be perfectly honest, everything is going a million miles an hour in my head right now," Timko said. "We're going to have to sit down and look at it afterwards."

Added McLeod: "We have done a lot of preparation. There are so many things we could do differently. We trust our coaching staff. We've got to go back to the drawing board and make sure we get out of our group next time."

The Canadians had been concerned with their World Cup group, since it's the only one of the four with three teams ranked seventh or better.

"From the day the groups got drawn, people said we were in the 'Group of Death,"' Schmidt said. "But that was also that way because we're a strong team too."

But tough group or not, the Canadians couldn't give the French -- who defeated 27th-ranked Nigeria 1-0 in their opener -- a game Thursday. They looked flustered from the outset, and paid the price in the 24th minute when Schmidt was unable to clear the ball, leaving Elise Bussaglia to take a shot that deflected off Emily Zurrer and Candace Chapman and popped up in the air. Thiney headed it past McLeod from the edge of the six-yard box.

Thiney doubled France's lead in the 59th, her shot banging off the post and into the net after a bad clearance by Zurrer.

Abily's goal came off a corner kick in the 65th minute. Abily, one of 10 members of the France team who play for Champions League winner Olympique Lyon, got away from Desiree Scott to connect on a long header.

Thomis scored in 81st minute, slipping through Canada's backline to chip an easy shot past McLeod.

France has been on the rise up the FIFA rankings the past couple of seasons, and had occupied a spot above Canada until March, when the Canadians were slotted at their all-time high of sixth.

France came in with the best record of the four Group A teams over the last 18 months, losing just once to the Netherlands.

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Steven Jyles has been placed on the 9-game injury list by Toronto.

Jyles, expected to be the Argos starting quarterback this season, was acquired in the off-season via trade from Winnipeg for Toronto's 2011 first-round draft pick and a conditional 2012 pick.

The import quarterback started 11 games for the Blue Bombers last season, appearing in 16 games total. He completed 196 passes for 2,804 yards, good for a 61.6 completion percentage. He would add 452 rushing yards.

Jyles has played over parts of five CFL seasons with Edmonton, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, racking up a total of 3,889 passing yards and throwing 24 touchdown passes over that span.

He originally signed with Edmonton after the 2006 season after going undrafted.

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{allcanada} Raonic out of Davis Cup tie - Student Cards- 728 x 90 

TORONTO -- Rising star Milos Raonic will not play for Canada in its upcoming Davis Cup tie against Ecuador due to a hip injury sustained during his second-round match at Wimbledon.

Raonic was named to the Canadian team last Tuesday despite pulling out of the Grand Slam event last week after falling awkwardly during a match against Luxembourg's Gilles Muller.

At the time, Raonic said he strained ligaments around his hip. He is still undergoing medical examinations to determine the severity of the injury, Tennis Canada said in a release Thursday.

Peter Polansky, who is also from Thornhill, Ont., will replace Raonic on the four-man roster. Philip Bester of Vancouver, Toronto's Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil of Vernon, B.C., round out the team.

"There was always a five-player contingency travelling to Ecuador," said Canada captain Martin Laurendeau. "Now with Milos out, Bester, Nestor, Polansky and Pospisil will represent our country.

"Just like any other tie in South America that we've played, we know this will be challenge but the guys are all ready to do their best to help us win."

Canada will play Ecuador on outdoor clay courts at the Guayaquil Tennis Club from July 8-10 in the Americas Zone Group I second-round tie. The winner will play for a spot in the World Group in September in a playoff tie.

Raonic was the catalyst in Canada's victory over Mexico in March, winning both of his singles matches and his doubles match. He has rocketed from No. 156 to No. 25 in the ATP world rankings in just six months.

Pospisil, meanwhile, holds the No. 212 position in the latest rankings, 32 positions ahead of Bester.

Nestor, who made his Davis Cup debut in 1992, is ranked fourth in the world in doubles. He teamed with Max Mirnyi of Belarus to win the French Open doubles title earlier this year.

Ecuador holds a 5-1 all-time record against Canada and won 3-2 in their last meeting in 2009 in Toronto.

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{allcanada} LEAFS NEED RICHARDS BUT RANGERS EQUALLY SMITTEN - Student Cards- 728 x 90 

As much as Brad Richards wants to put a life-changing decision behind him, he's not about to choose his new home hastily and will, at the very least, take much of the day and night digesting and analyzing the multiple offers expected to roll in.

The Toronto Maple Leafs need Richards, a number one centre capable of feeding Phil Kessel the puck and perhaps, turning Kessel into the 50 goal scorer Brian Burke thinks he can be.
The New York Rangers are equally smitten and as long as Toronto or another team doesn't table a mega-deal at $ 8 million or more per season, the Rangers appear to be the primary target.

Richards, like many NHL players, loves New York. He has a strong working relationship with John Tortorella who's direct, no nonsense approach coaxed a Conn Smythe performance out of Richards en route to the 2004 Stanley Cup championship. The possibility of playing for Tortorella again very likely appeals to Richards, as does the development of a team - with strong goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist - could quickly become a contender.

Much of free agent frenzy will be spent dissecting the many possibilities Brad Richards may face.
Meanwhile, here's another name worth considering, Tomas Fleischman.

Fleischman is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent and for the most part has flown under the radar because of poor health. However, source say the talented forward, whose season was ended in Colorado with a blood clot, has been given a clean bill of health from doctors.

Fleischman is on medication now that prevents the clotting from happening again and has been assured the problem won't return as long as he remains on the meds.

Fleischman earned $2.6 million last year and could be a solid offensive add for a team willing to invest the time into researching his status in the hours leading up to the opening of the free agent market.

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