Wednesday, November 30, 2016

{allcanada} Drake tops Spotify's 2016 list with 4.7 billion streams


NEW YORK (AP) — Drake owned the year on Spotify: He's the most streamed act on the platform with 4.7 billion streams.

The rapper has the most streamed album and song — "Views" (2.45 billion) and "One Dance" (970 million) — on Spotify this year, it was announced late Wednesday.

Justin Bieber, Rihanna, twenty one pilots and Kanye West round out the top five artists of the year. The top albums following "Views" are Bieber's "Purpose," Rihanna's "Anti," twenty one pilots' "Blurryface" and The Weeknd's "Beauty Behind the Madness."

Mike Posner's "I Took a Pill in Ibiza — Seeb Remix" came in second after Drake's "One Dance" for top songs, followed by The Chainsmokers' "Don't Let Me Down," Rihanna and Drake's "Work" and Sia's "Cheap Thrills."

Zayn, the former One Direction member who released a solo album this year, is Spotify's top breakout artist.

Drake is the most streamed act of all-time on Spotify with 8.7 billion streams.

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{allcanada} OHL: Foegele lifts Frontenacs over 67's in OT


KINGSTON, Ont. — Warren Foegele scored in overtime as the Kingston Frontenacs edged the Ottawa 67's 2-1 on Wednesday in Ontario Hockey League action.

Ryan Cranford forced the extra period for Kingston (11-12-2) when he scored at the 12:50 mark of the third period. Jeremy Helvig made 26 saves for the win.

Kevin Bahl opened the scoring for Ottawa (12-12-3) and Olivier Lafreniere stopped 31 shots in net.

The Frontenacs went 0 for 4 on the power play and the 67's were 0 for 3 with the man advantage.



HAMILTON — Dmitry Sokolov struck twice, including the third-period winner, as Sudbury nipped the Bulldogs.

Macauley Carson also scored for the Wolves (12-14-1).

Will Bitten and Matthew Strome replied for Hamilton (13-10-3).



NORTH BAY, Ont. — Mitchell Vande Sompel had a hat trick, including the eventual winner, as Oshawa marched past the Battalion.

Medric Mercier and Eric Henderson chipped in for the Generals (17-7-2).

Kyle Potts and Steve Harland supplied the offence for North Bay (13-12-2).



SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — Boris Katchouk had a pair of goals as the Greyhounds topped Windsor.

David Miller and Bobby MacIntyre also scored as Sault Ste. Marie (19-7-1) won its eighth straight.

Cole Carter was the lone scorer for the Spitfires (16-5-4).

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{allcanada} WHL: Musil scores winner as Rebels top Blades in OT


RED DEER, Alta. — Adam Musil scored his second goal of the game in overtime as the Red Deer Rebels overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the Saskatoon Blades 4-3 in Western Hockey League action on Wednesday.

Musil opened the scoring on a power play in the first period before Saskatoon replied with three straight goals.

Evan Polei brought the game within one early in the third for the Rebels (13-11-4) and Austin Pratt tied it less than four minutes later.

Wyatt Sloboshan, Jackson Caller and Gage Ramsay scored for the Blades (10-16-2).

Lasse Petersen made 21 saves in the victory. Brock Hamm turned aside 31 shots in the losing effort.



EVERETT, Wash. — Bryce Kindopp scored twice, including a short-handed goal late in the third period, and Carter Hart stopped all 20 shots he faced as the Silvertips blanked Kootenay.

Eetu Tuulola, with a goal and an assist, Bradly Goethais and Patrick Bajkov also scored for Everett (19-3-4), which has won four straight.

Payton Lee made 39 saves for the Ice (5-17-6), who extended their losing streak to four games.



KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Deven Sideroff scored his second of the game 1:03 into overtime to lift the Blazers over Seattle.

Rudolfs Balcers and Spencer Bast also had goals for Kamloops (15-12-1). Sideroff scored his first of the game shorthanded in the second period.

Ethan Bear, Mathew Barzal and Ryan Gropp scored for the Thunderbirds (13-9-3).



LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Giorgio Estephan scored two goals and set up another as the Hurricanes toppled Prince Albert for their fifth straight win.

Ryan Lindgren, Calen Addison and Tyler Wong also scored for Lethbridge (12-11-3).

Sean Montgomery scored shorthanded for the Raiders (5-20-1), who are winless in their last nine games.



SPOKANE, Wash. — Ryan Hughes scored the winning goal on a power play in the first period to lift Portland over the Chiefs.

Cody Glass opened the scoring 3:31 into the game for the Winterhawks (14-12-1), also on a power play.

Keanu Yamamoto found the back of the net for Spokane (10-10-5) late in the third.



KENNEWICK, Wash. — Jordan Borstmayer's goal late in the first period stood as the winner in Kelowna's victory over the Americans.

Nolan Foote, Kole Line and Tomas Soustal also scored for the Rockets (15-11-0).

Vladislav Lukin scored for Tri-City (16-10-2) midway through the third period.



VICTORIA — Zach Russell scored the go-ahead goal 16:32 into the third period to lead Brandon over the Royals.

Reid Duke had a goal and two assists and Tanner Kaspick and Ty Lewis both scored and tacked on a helper for the Wheat Kings (13-9-3).

Matthew Phillips had a hat trick for Victoria (14-12-2), which lost its third straight.

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{allcanada} Dec. 1: NHL debuts in United States


1924: The NHL makes its debut in the United States when the Boston Bruins play their first game, a 2-1 victory against the Montreal Maroons at Boston Arena.

Fred Harris and Carson Cooper score in the second period for Boston after Montreal takes the lead when Chuck Dinsmore beats Hec Fowler midway through the first period.

The opening-night victory is one of the few highlights for the Bruins in their first NHL season; they finish last in the six-team league with a record of 6-24-0. But Boston finishes over .500 in its second season and wins the Stanley Cup in 1929.



1940: "Brotherly love" takes on a whole new meaning when the Chicago Blackhawks defeat the New York Rangers 4-1 at Chicago Stadium. The game features four sets of brothers: New York's Lynn and Muzz Patrick, and Neil and Mac Colville play against Chicago's brother combinations of Max and Doug Bentley, and Bob and Bill Carse.


1960: Gordie Howe has two third-period assists for the Detroit Red Wings in a 3-2 home loss to the Bruins, moving him past the career record of 1,091 points (regular season and playoffs) set by Maurice Richard.


1988: Bernie Nicholls sets team records with six assists and eight points in the Los Angeles Kings' 9-3 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Nicholls' big night overshadows a five-assist performance by Wayne Gretzky and a hat trick by Dave Taylor.


1996: Gretzky becomes the first (and still only) player in NHL history to reach the 3,000-point plateau (including Stanley Cup Playoffs) when he has a goal and an assist in the Rangers' 6-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden. Gretzky finishes his career with 2,857 regular-season points and 260 in the playoffs, a total of 3,117.

Wayne Gretzky of the New York Rangers.


1997: The Montreal Canadiens become the first team in NHL history to play 5,000 games when they step onto the ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Molson Centre (now Bell Centre). The Penguins spoil the festivities by winning 1-0.


2014: Arizona Coyotes' rookie Tobias Rieder scores shorthanded goals 58 seconds apart in the second period of a 5-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place. Rieder becomes the first rookie in NHL history to score two shorthanded goals in less than 60 seconds. He beats Viktor Fasth on a breakaway 36 seconds into the second period, then scores again at 1:34.

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{allcanada} Shea Weber of Canadiens early Norris favorite


There were questions as to how defenseman Shea Weber would fit in with the Montreal Canadiens after they acquired him from the Nashville Predators for defenseman P.K. Subban on June 29. But a quarter of the way through the season, Weber has looked quite good in the Canadiens' red, white and blue.

Weber is tied for second on Montreal in points (18) and third among all defensemen, trailing Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks (21) and Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators (19). Weber also is tops in plus/minus (plus-18), power-play goals (seven) and power-play points (10) and tied for the lead in game-winning goals (three) at the position.

"He's playing excellent hockey," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said recently. "He's scoring big goals, making big plays at the right times. He's acting like a real leader. A leader to me is based on your actions, and he's had a very positive impact on our team."

Weber, 31, is on pace to shatter his career highs in goals (23), assists (33) and points (56) and ranks in the top 10 in both hits and blocks, helping the Canadiens rank tied for second in the League in goals-against per game (2.13). He's also logging more than 25 minutes of ice time per game.

Because of what he has done offensively and defensively, Weber is the favorite to win the Norris Trophy as best defenseman in the NHL, according to a panel of 13 writers for, and it wasn't even close.

Weber had 62 points, including 10 first-place votes, a decisive edge over two-time Norris winner Karlsson, who was second with 27 points (no first-place votes). Last season's Norris winner, Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, was third with 22 points (one first-place vote). Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild and Burns finished fourth and fifth, respectively, and each received one first-place vote.

"You look at the way he plays and he's such a tough player to play against, in front of the net and in the corners. He has a good stick," Therrien said after Weber had the game-winning power-play goal, an assist and four blocks in a 3-2 win against the New York Islanders on Oct. 26. "Yes, the fact that he's able to pick up points like that is impressive, but his defensive play is the most important thing for us."

Weber was the captain of the Predators for the past six seasons and one of the best defensemen in the League, so the trade to Montreal took him by surprise. It wouldn't have been surprising if it took him time to adjust to his new team, but that clearly hasn't been the case.

"I just wanted to fit in with this group," Weber said earlier this season. "I'm trying just to be myself and fit in with this group of guys, which is a great group, and contribute in any way that I can."

Voting totals (points awarded on a 5-4-3-2-1- basis): Shea Weber, Canadiens, 62; Erik Karlsson, Senators, 27; Drew Doughty, Kings, 22; Ryan Suter, Wild, 20;  Brent Burns, Sharks, 19; Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks, 18; Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning, 10; Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers, 7; Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues, 5; Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets, 4; Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins, 1.

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{allcanada} Flames strike early, beat Maple Leafs 3-0


CALGARY, Alberta (AP) The Calgary Flames left the Toronto Maple Leafs behind in a hurry.

Freddie Hamilton and Kris Versteeg scored in the first minute and Chad Johnson made 39 saves in Calgary's 3-0 victory over Toronto on Wednesday night.

''Six (games) in nine nights and coming back home from New York, we were a tired club. I loved our start,'' Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. ''And then when you get a goaltending performance that Johnny gives us, it gives you a chance.''

Hamilton one-timed a centering pass from Micheal Ferland past Jhonas Enroth high on the glove side for his first of the season 19 seconds in. Thirty seconds later, Versteeg buried his third of the season. Sean Monahan was initially stopped from the slot, but Enroth kicked the rebound to Versteeg.

''A tough start,'' Enroth said. ''Two, a little bit unlucky goals. I felt ready, but they beat me with the two first shots. The first goal, I didn't get to my position and that's on me. Maybe I was a little bit slow on the pass out and the second goal, just a bang-bang play.''

Calgary scored twice in the opening minute for the first time since March 11, 1987 against the Hartford Whalers. The last time any NHL team did it was Philadelphia against the New York Islanders on April 9, 2011.

Johnson has started eight of the last 10 games, going 6-2-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average, a .951 save percentage and a career-best three shutouts.

''Their goalie's been hot lately. He made a lot of really good saves, stood on his head,'' Toronto rookie Auston Matthews. ''I thought the second and third period, we definitely played much better in terms of creating opportunities and taking control of the play more.''

Matt Stajan also scored for Calgary.

Enroth made 26 saves.

NOTES: Toronto has lost 10 of its last 11 games in Calgary. ... Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau (broken finger) joined the team at the morning skate. He has missed nine games.

UP NEXT: At Vancouver on Saturday night.

Flames: Host Minnesota on Friday night.

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{allcanada} Raps overcome turnovers; beat Grizzlies


TORONTO — Kyle Lowry poured in 29 points and the Toronto Raptors overcame 18 turnovers for a 120-105 win over the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

DeMar DeRozan added 24 points and Patrick Patterson had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors (12-6), who rode a season-best 16 three-pointers en route to their fourth straight win.

Memphis (11-8) has lost two straight. Andrew Harrison led the Grizzlies with 21 points and Marc Gasol added 18 points and eight rebounds.

The Grizzlies played their first game without star point guard Mike Conley, who suffered a back injury against the Charlotte Hornets and will miss 6-to-8 weeks. They were also without Chandler Parsons, Brandan Wright, Zach Randolph, James Ennis III and former Raptors great, Vince Carter, who has a hip injury.

Toronto came out with a flat and sloppy first half and let the Grizzlies control the game. DeRozan led the underwhelming charge out of the gate, scoring just three points while turning the ball over five times, playing the entire first quarter.

His teammates followed suit, combining to cough up the ball 10 times in the half. Lowry kept a relatively clean sheet, offering just one of those turnovers and scoring 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field.

Gasol put his undermanned team on his back, scoring 14 in the half. His newfound three-point touch — he's shooting 41 per cent on the season — was on full display, as he made 2-of-3 from deep in the first half, including one that came on a very friendly roll from the Air Canada Centre rim.

Despite the rash of turnovers, the Raptors only trailed by two at the half, 57-55.

Momentum was hard to come by for both teams, but the Raptors managed to generate a little by the end of the third. They took a three-point lead early in the frame on a DeRozan jumper, but their turnover issues continued to burn them.

Toronto lost the ball six more times in the third, but the Grizzlies were even more careless, losing it seven times. DeRozan and the Raptors' bench unit closed out the quarter, building up an 89-82 lead with an unlikely DeRozan three from the elbow highlighting the run.

Memphis hung around into the fourth quarter, with a Gasol tip-in making it a one-point Raptors lead with 9:10 to go. Three-pointers from Patterson and Cory Joseph opened the game up a little and DeMarre Carroll's corner three with 4:07 left gave the Raptors a 12-point lead.

The Raptors host the L.A. Lakers on Friday.

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{allcanada} Toronto FC defeats Impact, will host Sounders in MLS Cup


TORONTO — Substitutes Benoit Cheyrou and Tosaint Ricketts scored two minutes apart in extra time to send Toronto FC to the MLS Cup final with a 5-2 win on the night and a wild 7-5 aggregate victory over the Montreal Impact.

It took extra time and 12 goals to decide a scintillating two-legged Eastern Conference final. Toronto will host the Seattle Sounders on Dec. 10 in the MLS championship game, becoming the first Canadian team to go for the title.

Toronto trailed 3-2 after Game 1 in Montreal and had to come back the hard way after the Impact scored first. And when Toronto responded, Montreal came back in a heavyweight battle on Wednesday night played out in the rain before a BMO Field record crowd of 36,000.

Only once before in MLS playoff history had a club trailed by as many as three goals in a two-leg aggregate series and come back to win the tie. The San Jose Earthquakes were down 4-0 in 2003 before rallying to defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy 5-4.

Tied 5-5 on aggregate, Cheyrou scored on a header in the 98th minute, just one minute after entering the game, when he knocked in a Steven Beitashour cross. Then Jozy Altidore outmuscled a couple of defenders to send in a cross that Ricketts, beating two more defenders to the ball, swept in.

The Toronto FC faithful, who had been rained on most of the night, started chanting "This is our house."

The Toronto bench came flying onto the field after the final whistle to celebrate the historic win as confetti flew from the rafters. The players then went to celebrate in front of the south stand fans before the Eastern Conference cup presentation.

Dominic Oduro opened the scoring in the 24th minute for Montreal, a goal that meant Toronto had to score twice.

Armando Cooper and Altidore did just that before the first half was over, tying the aggregate score at 4-4 with an away goals edge to Toronto.

But Impact danger-man Ignacio Piatti made it 2-2 — and 5-4 on aggregate — in the 53rd minute after substitute Johan Venegas found him behind the defence. The ball bounced off either Piatti or defender Nick Hagglund, leaving Toronto fans to watch in pain as it trickled slowly into the net.

Hagglund restored order with a superb header in the 68th minute to make it 3-2 on the night and 5-5 on aggregate. It came off a short corner with Justin Morrow delivering the cross.

Ricketts had two late chances but tried to pass instead of shooting. Then his shot was blocked after a wonderful buildup by Sebastian Giovinco. Evan Bush then stopped Altidore at close range.

Giovinco limped off the field seven minutes into extra time after injuring his right leg taking a shot. He was replaced by Cheyrou.

The opening leg of the conference final was really two games in one. Montreal led 2-0 after 12 minutes and 3-0 after 53 minutes. But two valuable away goals in the 68th and 73rd minutes gave Toronto reason to hope.

For Montreal, the win felt like a loss. Still it marked only the third time that Toronto had tasted defeat since mid-July (11-3-5).

The lone lineup change Wednesday was Will Johnson in for Jonathan Osorio in the Toronto midfield with Greg Vanney sacrificing Osorio's offensive skills for Johnson's tenacity and bite.

It was Montreal midfielder Marco Donadel to the rescue in the seventh minute after a Clint Irwin goalkick found Altidore and the burly forward flicked the ball towards Giovinco. Donadel came flying in to break up the play with a deft tackle.

Midfielder Hernan Bernadello got the worst of a nasty collision with Altidore as they went for an aerial ball in the 13th minute. Altidore's shoulder caught the Impact player high and Bernadello's head was driven in the turf as he toppled. A dazed Bernadello eventually got up and continued to play after treatment, but was removed at halftime.

The opening Montreal goal came after immediately after a fine scoring chance by Toronto. A sublime Michael Bradley pass found Morrow in the box but the fullback elected to try to find Altidore rather than shoot himself.

The Impact then struck on the counter-attack with Patrice Bernier nicking the ball off Bradley. He sent the ball to Matteo Mancoso, whose pass sliced open the Toronto defence to find Oduro. The former TFC player made no mistake, beating Irwin with a low shot in the 24th minute.

Oduro also opened the scoring in the first leg.

Cooper tied it up in the 37th minute off a Giovinco corner. A header from a flying Hagglund was blocked by Bernadello on the goal-line but the ball bounced straight back to Cooper who banged it past Bush.

Toronto wanted a penalty call on Bush as Cooper attacked the box but there was no joy, possibly because the Panamanian stayed on his feet.

Another Giovinco corner led to a 45th-minute goal with Altidore beating a defender at the front post to flick the ball past Bush. The U.S. international then raced around the corner flag and headed to the Toronto bench to celebrate.

After Piatti's goal, Toronto brought on offence in the form of Ricketts for Johnson in the 62nd minute.

But there was offence at the other end as a diving Irwin just stopped a low Venegas shot.

Both legs of the conference final featured record attendances.

The Nov. 22 opener at Olympic Stadium drew 61,004, tying the Impact record. Wednesday's paid attendance of 36,000 was also a record for BMO Field, which was filled with 33,421 for Sunday's Grey Cup. The soccer configuration for the stadium allows more seating.

Toronto's record crowd is 47,658 for the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final against David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy in March 2012 at Rogers Centre.

The MLS record for playoff attendance is 61,316 at the 2002 MLS Cup final at Gillette Stadium.

The two Canadian rivals were well acquainted coming into Wednesday's showdown. They had played each other seven times including pre-season, regular season, Amway Canadian Championship and post-season. Each team had two wins and there were three ties.

Toronto (14-9-11 during the regular season) advanced by dispatching the Philadelphia Union and New York City FC. Montreal (11-11-12) beat D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls.

Seattle (14-14-6) knocked off Sporting Kansas City, FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids.

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{allcanada} Rangers top list of most valuable franchises: Forbes


(Reuters) - The New York Rangers, valued at $1.25 billion, were ranked as the National Hockey League's most valuable franchise for the second consecutive year, according to Forbes' list released on Wednesday.

The Montreal Canadiens, worth $1.12 billion, took second spot for the second straight year and the Toronto Maple Leafs, rated the most valuable franchise from 2005-14, were third with a value of $1.1 billion, Forbes said.

The Chicago Blackhawks ($925,000) and Boston Bruins ($800,000) rounded out the top five.

The average team among the league's 30 franchises was worth $517 million, a 3 percent increase from 2015, which also produced a 3 percent rise.

The primary reasons for the overall profitability are that the 2014-15 season was the first with the league's lower (relative to revenue) salary cap and a 12-year media deal worth nearly $4 billion signed with Rogers Communications.

NHL profits were concentrated in a handful of teams with the Rangers, Canadiens and Maple Leafs having operating income of $219 million combined during the 2015-16 season, or half of the league's total operating income, the report said.

For the complete list visit: (

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{allcanada} GSP, other fighters launch athletes association


TORONTO — Former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre and other star fighters have launched the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association to protect UFC fighters and help get them their fair share of the sport's revenue.

"These athletes are risking more for less than any professional athletes on the face of the earth," said former Bellator CEO and chairman Bjorn Rebney, who is an adviser to the group.

The fighter-run association is not a union, with Rebney saying its power will come from the star quality of its members.

To a man the five fighters talked about not reaping the rewards of their blood and sweat in the UFC Octagon.

"I'm one of the rare fighters who came out (of the sport) who's healthy and wealthy these days," St-Pierre said on a conference call. "I can't say that about most of the guys."

He recalled he earned US$6,000, including a $3,000 win bonus for his first fight in the UFC.

Wednesday's announcement was billed as an "industry re-defining mixed martial arts announcement."

"We're going to change the face of an entire industry and sport today," said middleweight Tim Kennedy.

Those involved included St-Pierre and two other former UFC champions in heavyweight Cain Velasquez and bantamweight T.J. Dillashaw plus Kennedy, welterweight Donald (Cowboy) Cerrone and Rebney. The five fighters are all on the initial association board.

Dillashaw is currently the UFC's No. 1 contender at 135 pounds while Velasquez is No. 2 among heavyweight contenders. Cerrone is the fifth-ranked welterweight and Kennedy the 10th-ranked middleweight contender.

Rebney, who left the Bellator promotion in June 2014, said the association wants a settlement for past injustices plus an agreement that shares revenues between ownership and athletes the way other major league sports do.

They are targeting the UFC, the largest promotion in the sport with some 500 fighters. Rebney noted the UFC had been sold for more than US$4 billion to WME-IMG, dwarfing the value of the likes of Manchester United and the New York Yankees.

Rebney said they had not talked to the UFC, focusing instead on their own strategies.

Given he is employed by the UFC, Cerrone said there is trepidation about speaking out, "but it needs to be done."

Kennedy, a former Ranger-qualified Special Forces sniper, talked about the "extraordinary profit" generated by the sport and the lack of a safety net for its fighters.

The fighters said most sports split revenue 50/50 with their athletes, but in the UFC it's around eight per cent.

Velasquez said he had gone through seven surgeries since his first UFC fight in 2008, with another surgery already scheduled after his next fight.

Said Dillashaw: "It would be nice to have a plan after I'm done fighting."

The 35-year-old St-Pierre has been on hiatus since successfully defending his UFC welterweight title against Johny Hendricks in November 2013.

The issue of fair compensation for MMA fighters has been front and centre of late, with the Professional Fighters Association launched earlier this year.

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{allcanada} Jones tops Rocque in Canada Cup opener - - - Wal-Mart - GameStop - - Work From Home

BRANDON, Man. — Jennifer Jones and her Winnipeg team is off to a quick start at the Canada Cup after posting a pair of wins on the curling tournament's opening day.

The defending Olympic champion took the early lead atop the women's standings Wednesday after opening with a 9-4 win over Edmonton's Kelsey Rocque and following with a 6-4 victory over Tracy Fleury of Sudbury, Ont.

Jones is no stranger to Brandon's Keystone Centre, making the first of her 12 Scotties Tournament of Hearts appearances at the arena in 2002.

"It is incredibly special. It was surreal walking in," said Jones. "I remember walking to the arena and thinking this is the biggest rink I've ever been in and I couldn't believe we got to play in it. It's pretty cool to be back in Brandon where it all began in front of a hometown crowd.

"We're really happy. Obviously to come out with two wins is pretty big. It's a short round robin against really tough teams. I thought we played well, I thought we could play better."

Jones — supported by third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer, lead Dawn McEwen, and coach Wendy Morgan — jumped out to a 4-0 lead over Rocque after a pair of deuces. Rocque halved the lead in the third end but the veteran skip answered with two more points in the fourth and was never threatened the rest of the way.

In the afternoon draw, Jones started with a single in the first and a steal of two in the second en route to the win over Fleury.

In other women's action, defending champion Rachel Homan of Ottawa downed reigning Canadian champion Chelsea Carey of Calgary 6-4 in the first game for both teams.

Earlier, Winnipeg's Kerri Einarson held off Edmonton's Val Sweeting 8-5 in the morning draw.

In men's action, defending Olympic champion Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., fell to 1-1 after losing 8-3 to Brad Gushue's rink from St. John's, N.L.

Mark Nichols is calling the shots for the St. John's rink, with Gushue back home rehabbing his hip and groin injury.

"We got a couple of breaks in the first end," said Nichols. "We knew they were going to come after us, and after getting the hammer we played a good end. He missed his last one and then I made a good shot for four. So that was kind of it, it wasn't like we were playing great we just capitalized on a couple of mistakes."

Jacobs had opened the day with a 5-4 win over Winnipeg's Mike McEwen.

Defending champion Kevin Koe of Calgary needed to negotiate a tough takeout with his final rock to down Toronto's John Epping 8-5, while Saskatoon's Steve Laycock opened with a 6-5 victory over McEwen. Epping and McEwen fell to 0-2.

Winners will lock up spots in the Olympic Trials next year in Ottawa.

Jones, Koe and Homan are the only skips who have secured berths in the December 2017 event, which will determine Canada's representatives for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

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{allcanada} Johnny Gaudreau progressing, no timetable for return


CALGARY -- Johnny Gaudreau is recovering well from a fractured finger but has no updated timetable for when he will return to the lineup for the Calgary Flames. 

The forward was injured against the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 15 after taking a stick to his hand from Wild forward Eric Staal. Gaudreau had surgery the next day and was expected to be out of the lineup for about six weeks.

"I'm excited," said Gaudreau, who along with injured forward Lance Bouma (upper body) joined teammates in an optional morning skate in advance of the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET; SN, NHL.TV).

"Excited to come to the rink every day and just try to get this finger better every single day," he said. "I think we've done a great job here with that. I feel like every single day coming here it gets better and better than the last day. I think I've got to keep progressing here and keep doing the things we've been doing and hopefully be out there in no time. ... I want to be out there as quick as possible, obviously. But it's all about progression, and as each day goes on, try to get my finger better and better and hopefully were playing soon."

The Flames are 4-3-1 in Gaudreau's absence. He has five goals and six assists in 17 games this season.

"We don't necessarily have any update in terms of timelines and when he's back, but obviously he's progressing well," Calgary general manager Brad Treliving said. "He's back on the ice and we'll just take it sort of day by day and see how he progresses. That's sort of the next step. He's been out there on his own here for the last three or four days, but anytime you can get him up and moving around and shooting a little bit is a good sign.

"Everybody heals a little differently. We're still in the wait-and-see mode. We'll continue to progress him and hopefully sooner rather than later [he will be in the lineup]. But again, not putting any timeframes on it yet."

Treliving added that he's encouraged by Gaudreau's progress.

"The procedure that was done on him…it's really stable," he said. "He's got some hardware in there that it's pretty stable. Probably more stable than the other nine fingers right now. So that gives added protection, and you can do some protective alterations around it. Youv'e got to go through a healing process, but it's nothing but encouraging thus far."

Gaudreau, 23, led the Flames with 30 goals and 48 assists last season and finished tied for sixth in the NHL with 78 points. In 177 NHL games, he has 60 goals and 154 points.

"It's feeling better," Gaudreau said of his finger. "I think we did a good job here rehabbing the past week, week-and-a-half. I'm feeling good. I'm excited to be back out there with the guys. It's great to be out there with the guys. It's not as much fun skating by yourself. It's a lot harder, too. Its great getting passes from the guys and going through some drills with them. It was nice."

Gaudreau has been exploring ways to speed up his return and find measures to prevent any further injury to his hands by testing out ways to wrap the finger and add increased protection to his gloves.

"We did a few adjustments for the vibration when you shoot the puck," Gaudreau said. "Put a little extra tape on it…medical tape. We worked around with the gloves a little bit. I'm just trying to get used to everything. It was a little tough trying to work out the new gloves with all the protection on them, but that's something I've got to get used to.

"We're trying out a few different things. I'm not really sure what I'm going to go with. We're experimenting right now and just trying to see what's the best fit, what [offers] the most protection for me and what I feel most comfortable with."

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My job:

Always travel with:

My number one pet peeve is:

If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be:

The TV show I can't miss is:

I'm embarrassed [blank] is on my playlist:

*Friendly reminder: 'I's before 'e's, even for Biebs.

Before a game I always:

If I could go anywhere with anyone it would be:


My favourite sport to watch (other than hockey) is:

And I root for:

The best part about being an NHL player is:

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{allcanada} Hinchcliffe builds closure from near-fatal crash with dancing performance

James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess

Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict. – William Ellery Channing

The journey for James Hinchcliffe since May 18, 2015, has been one that exemplifies the strength of the human spirit.

A day that started off as any other – practicing for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but took a near tragic turn after a suspension part failed on his No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda, sending him into the Turn 3 SAFER Barrier and, moments after, into emergency surgery at IU Health Methodist Hospital.

However, each roadblock standing between the affable Canadian and a reunion with his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team was met with the overachieving and unbreakable will of the "Mayor of Hinchtown."

The Oakville, Canada, native returned to the cockpit just more than four months after the crash in a test at Road America and resumed his full-time role once the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season kicked off in St. Petersburg.

The monumental comeback came full circle on May 22, 2016, when Hinchcliffe returned to the scene of the accident and catapulted to the top of qualifying – winning the Verizon P1 Award and pole position for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil with a sizzling four-lap pace of 230.946 mph.

The remarkable comeback story entranced millions of viewers throughout Hinchcliffe's participation in Season 23 of "Dancing with the Stars" that concluded with his runner-up finish a week ago. Now, with the help of professional dance partner Sharna Burgess, Hinchcliffe said he has finally found a sense of closure for his brush with death.

"In the immediate aftermath of that accident, the chance of survival was very low," Hinchcliffe said. "A lot of people wouldn't have made it through. (Dr. Tim Pohlman, the hospital surgeon) firmly believes that it was because of some sort of fight inside me that helped him do his job and ultimately get me through that.

"Sharna started asking me questions about that. I obviously have no memory of that. That's not something that you do consciously, it's a subconscious thing. So from somewhere in the time from when I lose my memory (when the crash occurred) to when I wake up (following surgery), that happened: that decision to fight happened."

Hinchcliffe added that the 31-year-old Australian helped him complete the story throughout the ABC dance competition show, in the form of artistic and expressive performances. The 2015 crash served as inspiration for several of Hinchcliffe's dances, none more meaningful to the 29-year-old racer than his final performance – a freestyle on the climactic night Nov. 22 that depicted Hinchcliffe being pulled toward death until his guardian angel (Burgess) guides him back to life. Hinchcliffe voiced over portions of the emotional dance that earned perfect 10 scores from all four judges.

"It's not something I had really thought about, what that moment would have looked like or what that moment really meant," Hinchcliffe said. "I'm not sure if I was purposely not thinking about it because it is a scary thought or something that had never crossed my mind.

"She saw that was a very important moment. That's what she wanted to create. For me, there was kind of a gap in the story because I had not really thought about that, whether it was a subconscious or conscious decision. She so beautifully built that part of the story for me.

"Now I have a visual reference to what I think happened (in the moments when he was fighting for his life) and how that went down inside me. It was a very cool process to be a part of."

Part of what made everything easier for the Verizon IndyCar Series veteran was being paired with someone who handles every aspect of her life the same way – with humor.

"The thing for me was just she and I operated in a way that we used humor to get through most situations," Hinchcliffe said.

"I'd be lying if I said there weren't days that were stressful to the point where you wanted to walk out of the studio, have a go at each other kind of thing. Not even at each other, but just the situation. We always managed to use humor to get through it."

For several months, Hinchcliffe was forced to confront the horrifying incident day after day, hoping for the opportunity to finally turn the page and begin a new chapter.

"For me, and we talked about it a lot last May, I just wanted to change the story. I wanted to change the narrative and give everybody a new story to talk about.

"When we had the opportunity, especially in the freestyle (dance) at the end there, to kind of like I said on the show, fill that gap in the story, almost give it a bit of closure, it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."

Hinchcliffe's journey to return to the cockpit of an Indy car was also chronicled on "Arrow presents Courage in Sports" that aired Nov. 6 on CBS. Watch the entire segment here:

{allcanada} Raonic parts ways with coach Moya


Milos Raonic is parting ways with coach Carlos Moya.

Raonic announced the move in an Instagram post Wednesday.

Thank you to Carlos Moya for helping me tremendously this year, alongside my team, to get the best out of me. Under Carlos' direction and tutelage I have played my best yet to date. We will no longer be continuing our coaching relationship but remain close friends. I wish him all the best.

Raonic thanked Moya for his help and said that while he will no longer be his coach, the two will remain friends.

The 25-year-old Canadian is currently third in the ATP world rankings, the highest ranking of his career.

Raonic had a successful 2016 that saw him reach the finals at Wimbledon and semifinals at the ATP World Tour, losing both to No. 1 ranked Andy Murray.

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{allcanada} MAPLE LEAFS (10-8-4) at FLAMES (10-13-2)


MAPLE LEAFS (10-8-4) at FLAMES (10-13-2)

8:30 p.m. ET; SN, NHL.TV

Maple Leafs team scope

The Toronto Maple Leafs are seeking their second road win in as many nights after winning 4-2 at the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Tuesday. Toronto is 2-5-4 away from Air Canada Centre this season. "I think we stuck to the game plan, the whole 60 minutes and we didn't get away from it too much," forward Auston Matthews said following the win. "We got pucks in deep and kind of just played heavy down there, grinding them down low. They're a very good rush team so we wanted to eliminate that from them, so I think we did a pretty good job of that tonight." Goalie Jhonas Enroth could start after Frederik Andersen made 28 saves against Edmonton. Matthews, the No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft, has four goals and five points in his past three games after having three assists in his previous 13 games, and forward Nazem Kadri has three goals and four points in his past four games. "I love playing against the best players," Kadri said. "I think it really brings out the best in me. I think collectively as a team, we did a great job on the road and that's what we need."

Flames team scope

The Calgary Flames are returning from a season-long six-game road trip with the hope of bringing momentum home. The Flames finished 3-2-1 in the nine-day trip, but return to a 3-7-0 record at Scotiabank Saddledome. "We need to get our home record kick-started here," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "It's no secret. If you're going to play like, that [you're] going to struggle. We're 7-6 on the road, which is adequate. We need to bring that home here in our building and make sure in our building that we establish ourselves." Calgary has earned an NHL-low six points on home ice this season. "I think every team wants to be good at home," goaltender Chad Johnson said. "You want to play well for your fans. You want to make it hard for teams to come into your arena." Johnson is expected to start in goal for the eighth time in the past 10 games. He is 5-2-0 in his past seven starts, and has allowed two goals or fewer in five of those seven games. "When you get results, everyone's happy," Johnson said. "When you don't, everyone tries to find little things here and there. It's always good when you get good results, so people pay attention to that."


Maple Leafs projected lineup

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- Connor Brown

Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri -- Nikita Soshnikov

Matt Martin -- William Nylander -- Ben Smith

Morgan Rielly -- Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner -- Connor Carrick

Matt Hunwick -- Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen

Jhonas Enroth

Scratched: Peter Holland, Frank Corrado, Martin Marincin

Injured: Josh Leivo (lower body), Joffrey Lupul (sports hernia)

Flames projected lineup

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Kris Versteeg -- Sean Monahan -- Troy Brouwer

Sam Bennett -- Matt Stajan -- Alex Chiasson

Micheal Ferland -- Freddie Hamilton -- Garnet Hathaway

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Dennis Wideman

Jyrki Jokipakka -- Deryk Engelland

Chad Johnson

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Hunter Shinkaruk, Mark Jankowski, Brett Kulak

Injured: Johnny Gaudreau (finger), Lance Bouma (upper body), Ladislav Smid (neck)


Status report

The Maple Leafs did not skate, and the Flames held an optional skate. …Hathaway will return to the lineup after he was a scratch on Monday. ... Gaudreau skated with teammates for the first time since sustaining a fractured finger on Nov. 15, but there is no updated timetable on his return.

Who's hot

Matthews has goals in three straight games, and van Riemsdyk has goals in back-to-back games. ... Marner has three assists in his past two games. Hyman has four points in his past three games. …Bennett has three points in his past three games.

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