Wednesday, August 31, 2016

{allcanada} Jays smash three homers in win over Orioles


BALTIMORE — Aaron Sanchez is playing a vital role in Toronto's march to the post-season.

Nonetheless, the organization has made the extra effort to keep their young pitcher fresh. Sanchez took full advantage of that strategy with another dominant performance Wednesday night.

Jose Bautista homered on the game's first pitch and Russell Martin went deep four batters later in support of Sanchez, leading the Blue Jays to a 5-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Toronto took two of the three games in the pivotal American League East series. The fading Orioles are four games behind the first-place Blue Jays and are tied with Detroit for the second wild card spot.

"It's never easy when you play these guys," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "This time of year, I mean this is a team we're locked in it with. It's always big to beat them."

Sanchez (13-2) was recalled from Class-A Dunedin to make the start. He spent 10 days in the minors to limit his innings and he took advantage of the extra rest. Sanchez allowed an unearned run and five hits with two strikeouts over six innings and a season-high 112 pitches.

"I felt like my body had been bouncing back pretty well all year," Sanchez said. "I think it was just one of those things where it had to be done. I went down to Florida and I took it very serious. My season is not done and I knew that so it was go down there, get work in, understand what I'm trying to accomplish and come back in a big game."

Michael Saunders hit his 23rd homer, a solo shot in the eighth that made it 5-1.

Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop had three hits, including a two-run homer in the ninth off Roberto Osuna, his 21st.

The game was delayed for about 15 minutes when home plate umpire Jerry Layne was hit in the mask on a pitch by Sanchez. Layne had to leave and was replaced by second base umpire Alan Porter.

After Bautista drilled Yovani Gallardo's first pitch over the wall in centre field, Martin followed with a two-run shot. The Orioles pulled within 3-1 in the fifth when third baseman Josh Donaldson couldn't handle a sharp grounder by Manny Machado.

"I feel like I'm still seeing the ball well," said Martin, who had nine homers and 22 RBIs in August. "Sometimes you get a mistake and you hit it and sometimes the pitcher makes pitches and you get out. For the most part, I just feel like I'm having good at-bats."

After allowing the two homers, Gallardo (4-7) settled down and retired the final 10 batters he faced. He allowed three runs and five hits with three strikeouts over six innings.

"He pitched well I thought for the most part," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He gave us a chance to win. Really, he got better as the game went on."

A double by Devon Travis off Mychal Givens in the seventh increased the lead to 4-1.


Bautista's leadoff homer was his fourth this season and eighth of his career.


Blue Jays: RHP Bo Schultz was optioned to Buffalo to make room for Sanchez.

Orioles: OF Drew Stubbs was claimed off release waivers from Texas. To make room, Baltimore cut Kyle Lobstein just two hours after getting the left-handed pitcher in a trade with Pittsburgh. ... The Orioles acquired another outfielder, Michael Bourn, from the Diamondbacks for minor league outfielder Jason Heinrich.


Blue Jays: INF Darwin Barney was placed on the Family Medical Emergency List. Gibbons did not disclose further details. INF Ryan Goins was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo.

Orioles: RHP Darren O'Day (right shoulder rotator cuff strain) is "progressing well" but there is still no timetable for his return to the bullpen, Showalter said.


Blue Jays: Gibbons has not named a starter for the game Friday in Tampa Bay.

Orioles: Dylan Bundy (7-5. 3.71 ERA) pitches the series opener against the New York Yankees on Friday in another battle of playoff contenders. Bundy has struggled in three appearances against New York this season, going 0-1 with 9.39 ERA over three appearances (8 runs in 7 2/3 innings).

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{allcanada} Sept. 1: Mario Lemieux becomes Penguins owner


1999: The NHL Board of Governors approves Mario Lemieux's application for ownership of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Lemieux's move into ownership comes two years after he announces his retirement as a player in 1997. He is owed more than $32 million in deferred salary and converts much of that money into equity in the team, making him the first player in North American sports history to own the team he used to play for.

Lemieux assumes the posts of president, chairman and CEO of the Penguins, then adds the role of No. 1 center when he returns as a player on Dec. 27, 2000.



1964: Brian Bellows is born in St. Catharines, Ontario. Bellows is described by some as the hottest prospect since Wayne Gretzky during his junior career with Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League, and he's selected by the Minnesota North Stars with the second pick of the 1982 NHL Draft. He scores 30 or more goals eight times in 10 seasons with Minnesota, including a career-high 55 in 1989-90. The North Stars trade him to the Montreal Canadiens in 1992, and he scores 40 goals for Montreal's Stanley Cup-winning team in 1992-93. Bellows plays for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Washington Capitals before retiring in 1999 with 485 goals and 1,022 points in 1,188 NHL games. His son, Kieffer Bellows, becomes the New York Islanders' first-round pick (No. 19) at the 2016 draft.

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{allcanada} Scott Gomez retires after 16 NHL seasons: report

Center Scott Gomez has retired after 16 NHL seasons.

"This has been my life," Gomez, 36, told the Alaska Dispatch News for a report published Wednesday. "It's so weird to think I'm never going to play hockey again. People say, 'You'll find something.' But saying that, there will never be that feeling again, of even playing a preseason NHL game. You're playing at the highest level there is.

"But I'm done. I'm done."

Gomez had one goal and eight assists in 34 games for the St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators last season.

He won the Stanley Cup twice with the New Jersey Devils (2000, 2003), who drafted the Anchorage, Alaska, native in the first round (No. 27) of the 1997 NHL Draft. He had 19 goals and 51 assists in 82 games as a rookie in 1999-2000, when he won the Calder Trophy.

Gomez scored 181 goals and had 575 assists in 1,079 career NHL games with the Devils, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers, Blues and Senators.

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{allcanada} Matthew Tkachuk brings winning pedigree to Flames


TORONTO -- Coming off a season in which he scored in overtime to help London of the Ontario Hockey League win the Memorial Cup, it is no wonder forward Matthew Tkachuk's confidence is at an all-time high.

Tkachuk, 19, was selected by the Calgary Flames with the No. 6 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft in June and hopes to follow in his father's footsteps. His dad, Keith Tkachuk, played 18 seasons in the NHL and had 538 goals and 1,065 points in 1,201 games with the Winnipeg Jets, Phoenix Coyotes, St. Louis Blues and Atlanta Thrashers. The younger Tkachuk already knows how to play and perform in important games.

"I am one of the few guys who was on a winning team this past year and I wouldn't say it was a fluke either," Tkachuk said at the NHL Players' Association Rookie Showcase at Mattamy Athletic Centre on Monday. "It was a total team effort and everybody played a huge part. I just think that I have that mindset where I know how to play in those big games and be on a winning team. I think that is a great for me and for everyone who was on our team."

A rookie with London, Tkachuk scored 30 goals and 107 points in the regular season, had 20 goals and 40 points in 18 OHL playoff games and eight points (five goals) in four Memorial Cup games.

Having won 16 straight games, London was the heavy favorite in the Memorial Cup Final, but trailed by a goal to Rouyn-Noranda late in the third period. London's Christian Dvorak tied it at 15:49 and Tkachuk scored at 7:49 of overtime for a 3-2 win.

"I was really, really wanting to somehow tie that game up late and Dvorak did," Tkachuk said. "When that happens, you have all the momentum and we could have scored three or four goals in the last two minutes (of regulation). The momentum carried over into overtime and it was back and forth, run-and-gun. Somebody was going to score and I was just thankful that it was our team that came out on top."

Tkachuk, who said his two favorite players growing up were Sidney Crosby and David Backes (who lived with his family for a year-and-a-half), has spent his summer in Toronto training and after taking part in the Flames prospects camp, shut it down for a few weeks. He was recovering from several injuries and has returned stronger than ever.

Being the son of a former NHL player, Tkachuk said he values his father's advice.

"He always says the same two things: 'Compete and be a good teammate. If you do that, you'll be alright,'" Tkachuk said. "He told me the summer leading up to his first NHL training camp was the hardest he has ever worked, but it put him in a position to make the team and I kind of took that as motivation."

Dvorak believes Tkachuk is headed for a long and successful professional career.

"He's one of those guys you hate to play against, but love to play with," Dvorak said. "It was great to have him on my line with [Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mitchell Marner] and he's a phenomenal player. He's great in front of the net, can make plays and puck the puck in the net."

Will the NHL soon see the second coming of Keith Tkachuk?

"There are definitely a lot of similarities in our games," the younger Tkachuk said. "We're both big, strong guys who like to score goals and play around the net. We ultimately make our teammates better and he was obviously a really tough player, a really physical player and a good shooter and goal scorer. I also have that kind of multi-threat with shooting and passing and play-making."

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{allcanada} P.K. Subban celebrates pledge with music video

{allcanada} Lou Lamoriello more comfortable in second season


When Lou Lamoriello was preparing for his first season as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs a year ago, everything was so different: the city, the players, the prospects, the coaches, the scouts, members of his management staff. Pretty much everything involving his job.

Though such a change wasn't a completely new experience for Lamoriello, it was something he hadn't gone through in quite some time after spending 28 years with the New Jersey Devils.

Even after such a long tenure in New Jersey and all he experienced there, including Stanley Cup championships in 1995, 2000 and 2003, Lamoriello says it didn't take long to change his true colors from the red and black of the Devils to Maple Leafs blue.

"Once you make that decision, you go forward and you're fully invested. If you're not, you shouldn't be here," Lamoriello said. "That's not saying I don't have a tremendous fondness for the years that I was in New Jersey and the respect that I have for the players and the people that I was associated with and the fans. You'll never lose that. That's totally special. That never goes away.

"But I am fully invested, fully committed and I wear blue."

Lamoriello is also far more familiar with everyone within the organization. He had to do a lot of learning on the fly at the start of last season, but now has a good grasp of what the Maple Leafs have and what they need and is comfortable with those he is working with.

"I know the players now," Lamoriello said. "I didn't know the prospects. You know them from seeing them two or three, four times, but when you see them every day and certainly interact with the people you haven't worked with, the coaching staff, office staff. All of that is behind."

Lamoriello credits Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan with putting together a strong management team and coaching staff, headed by Mike Babcock, before he arrived from New Jersey on July 23, 2015. That allowed him to get up to speed quickly.

"The job Brendan did with the people he brought in was just outstanding and they've been that way consistently," Lamoriello said. "It's not an overnight situation with building a foundation and having the young players and I think everybody has stayed on board. I can't say enough about Mike Babcock. He is the best coach in the game. From first-hand seeing him coaching each and every day, he's just tremendous and his staff [is also] with the way they support each other."

The Maple Leafs finished in last place in the League last season with 69 points (29-42-11), but Lamoriello believes they took some important and necessary steps to set up their foundation for the future. After trading away some veterans, Toronto was able to give younger players some NHL experience such as forwards William Nylander, Nikita Soshnikov, Zach Hyman, Connor Brown, Josh Leivo, Kasperi Kapanen and Frederik Gauthier, and defensemen Connor Carrick, Viktor Loov and Rinat Valiev.

"We did what we had to do last year," Lamoriello said. "We did end up 30th, by the way, just to remind you of that, so I don't want to get off track from that. But what we were able to do after the season, whether it be the [2016 NHL Draft] or the people that we acquired or the growth of the people that were there and the young people and the core that will still be there, it was a stepping stone."

It was a busy offseason for Lamoriello and the Maple Leafs. They weren't able to convince Steven Stamkos to leave the Tampa Bay Lightning to play at home in Toronto and lost out on the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes to the New York Rangers, but they were the big winners in the NHL Draft Lottery and selected center Auston Matthews with the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft.

Lamoriello said Matthews, 18, has been "extremely impressive" in his interactions with him before and following the draft.

"I had the opportunity to spend some time with his family well before the draft and the opportunity to spend some time with him over in Russia [at the 2016 IIHF World Championship]," Lamoriello said. "I also had an opportunity to spend some time with him on a couple of other occasions and then even on his visit here with his family looking at the area. I think the foundation his family has given to him is going to be a tremendous benefit for the Maple Leafs."

Lamoriello usually is cautious with his expectations for young players, but said, "I don't think it's unrealistic by any means," to expect Matthews to be in the Maple Leafs lineup for their season opener at the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 12.

"But the process is the important thing," Lamoriello said.

In addition to adding a potential franchise player in Matthews, the Maple Leafs acquired Frederik Andersen from the Anaheim Ducks to be their No. 1 goaltender, signed unrestricted free agent left wing Matt Martin from the New York Islanders and defenseman Nikita Zaitsev out of the Kontinental Hockey League. They also took care of their own by signing center Nazem Kadri and defenseman Morgan Rielly each to a six-year contract extension.

With a promising stable of prospects that will challenge for roster spots, including Matthews, 2015 first-round pick Mitchell Marner, Nylander and Soshnikov, Lamoriello believes the Maple Leafs are ready to take another step in the second year of his regime. He is not, however, ready to define what that step will be in terms of the Maple Leafs' proximity to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I couldn't even answer that," he said. "All we have to do is keep doing the things that we're doing and not rushing things. Do them for the building of a foundation and then the end result will take care of itself whatever that might be."

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{allcanada} Field goal as time expires lifts Lions over Argos


TORONTO — Richie Leone gave his critics and the Toronto Argonauts the boot Wednesday.

Leone converted all three field goals he attempted, including a 30-yard kick into a brisk wind as time expired to give the B.C. Lions an exciting 16-13 win over the Toronto Argonauts. That earned Leone the game ball and a measure of redemption as he'd made just 17-of-26 field goals (65.4 per cent) coming in.

"It (game ball) is something I'm going to treasure and remember for a while," Leone said. "Coach (Wally Buono) challenged me this week, the guys challenged me this week because I have missed a couple of kicks.

"But at end of the day it was nice to have a win like this. If we're going to have a couple more, then I'm going to need convert for this team."

An enthusiastic BMO Field gathering of 17,509 — Toronto's second-largest home crowd this season — was treated to a close, seesaw affair as both teams dealt with the steady 17 kilometre-an-hour wind in quarterback Ricky Ray's return to the Argos lineup.

"It was tough," said Leone, who averaged 50.5 yards on his six punts. "I think it died down towards the end of the game but it was definitely something to battle.

"I was just glad the offence got down there close enough so the wind didn't matter."

Lions quarterback Jonathon Jennings tamed the blustery conditions when it mattered most, orchestrating a 61-yards, 10-play march into the wind to set up Leone's deciding kick. Jennings finished 22-of-31 passing for 199 yards and an interception as B.C. (7-3) improved to 5-1 on the road and registered its first-ever sweep of games in Ontario after beating Ottawa 29-23 last week.

"It was a great night in the sense we won a game on the road and Richie answered some of the critics about being consistent," Buono said. "I thought if there was a difference in the game it probably was him.

"This is what we talk about winning football, it's about learning the game is over when there are zeros left on the clock."

B.C.'s defence was also stellar, led by linebacker Solomon Elimimian. The CFL's outstanding player in 2014 had a sack and interception to go with 13 tackles, giving him 34 in his last three games.

Elimimian had just the second interception of Ray this season, both coming off deflected passes. Ray returned to Toronto's lineup after missing three starts with a knee injury and opened with 14 straight completions — including a 21-yard TD strike to Kevin Elliott on the Argos' opening possession — before finishing 24-of-29 passing for 213 yards with a TD and pick.

"Obviously we came out and got off to a great start," Ray said. "But we didn't do enough the rest of the game.

"We felt good in the second half . . . then we got the wind in the fourth and had the advantage there. We just didn't keep the drives going."

Toronto (4-5) suffered its third straight home loss and fell to 1-5 at BMO Field heading into its Labour Day showdown in Hamilton.

"Nobody feels good that we've lost three in a row going into a back-to-back against our arch rivals," Toronto coach Scott Milanovich said. "All you can ask for is to be in charge of our own destiny.

"We're at the halfway point and we're going to have to make some hay and it starts next week . . . the next two games are going to be critical."

After visiting Hamilton on Labour Day, Toronto will host the Ticats at BMO Field on Sept. 11.

The Argos appeared poised to take the lead late against B.C. when Diontae Spencer's 32-yard punt return put them at the Lions' 30-yard line. But it was wiped out by a holding penalty.

Toronto ultimate punted, giving B.C. possession at its 26-yard line following Chris Rainey's 18-yard punt return, setting up Jennings' game-winning march with 3:32 remaining.

After winning the toss and deferring, B.C. surprisingly took the ball to open the second half. The move appeared to pay off huge when receiver Manny Arcenaux took a Jennings lateral but overthrew a wide-open Marco Ianuzzi in Argos territory.

Leone's 47-yard field goal at 4:55 tied the scored 10-10 tie. B.C. had another glorious scoring chance when Eliminian's interception and a Toronto facemask penalty put it at the Argos' 14-yard line but the Lions settled for Leone's 22-yard field goal at 10:22 for the 13-10 lead.

Toronto opened the fourth at the B.C. 12 but could only manage Lirim Hajrullahu's 20-yard field goal 53 seconds in to make it 13-13. Hajrullahu finished with a convert and two field goals.

Anthony Allen scored B.C.'s touchdown. Leone added a single with his three field goals.

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{allcanada} ‘Shut In’ Trailer: Naomi Watts, Jacob Tremblay, A Storm & Lots Of Questions

{allcanada} Canada returns to site of humiliating 8-1 defeat in World Cupo qualifier


SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — Nearly four years on from a spectacular humiliation, Canada's men's soccer team returns to Honduras with its World Cup qualifying hopes once again hanging in the balance.

Canada needed just a tie with Honduras at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano on Oct. 16, 2012 to advance to the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. Instead they capitulated in spectacular fashion, losing 8-1 in a historic setback for the Canadian men's program.

Once again, Canada is in position to qualify for final round, known as the hex. The Canadians take on Honduras on Friday before returning home to host El Salvador at BC Place in Vancouver to conclude the penultimate round.

"It's probably the biggest game since the last time we said this four years ago against Honduras so it's massive and it's just about getting the three points," defender/midfielder David Edgar said from Orlando, where the team is conducting its training camp.

"It's going to be quite similar to the last time we played them because that second spot's still up for grabs for both teams. It's going to be a vicious atmosphere but we're used to it in places like Panama and Honduras. It's just about getting our heads down and getting on with it."

Head coach Benito Floro took the reins full time in 2013 after Stephen Hart's resignation following the 8-1 debacle. He's focused extensively on developing the team's tactics.

With Honduras expected to be buoyed by the home field advantage, this will be the ultimate test for three years of work.

"It's a special game because it is an official game and it is very important for both teams towards the qualification," Floro said in a conference call on Wednesday. "But this is a game of soccer. There are two teams, a ball, a referee and a tactical plan. The matter is to understand perfectly what to do."

Everything about playing in Honduras is intimidating. It's hot, and when it rains it can come in buckets. Organizers have scheduled the game for the middle of the afternoon to maximize the blistering Central American sun.

The stadium has been open since 1997 but looks about 50 years older and is in poor repair. And yet, with Friday being an unofficial national holiday for the game, upwards of 40,000 fans could pack the stadium hours before kickoff, making a lot of noise and breathing down the Canadians' backs as they take the field.

But where there's hostility, Edgar sees possibility.

"They're a very good crowd but they also had a lot to cheer about last time," he said. "If we score away or in any part of the game they can get on the home team's back just as easily as they can get behind them so we know we can use that to our advantage."

Through four games, Canada is tied with Honduras on four points, with Honduras holding a superior goal difference. But while Canada hosts last-place El Salvador in its final game, Honduras has to face regional juggernaut Mexico on the road. So Honduras is under more pressure to get a win on Friday.

Adding to the pressure for the hosts is the near blanket coverage in Honduras, with plenty of television networks covering its training sessions and its head coach holding a press conference carried live on Tuesday night.

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{allcanada} Canada battles Honduras on Road to World Cup


Canada have a chance to take a step closer to the "Hex" with a positive result this Friday night on the Road to Russia when they face rivals Honduras on Match Day 5 of the CONCACAF semi-final stage of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifiers.

Canada will face Honduras away on Friday, September 2 and then El Salvador at home on Tuesday, September 6. Both matches will be broadcast on TSN and RDS2, with the Friday match kicking off at 5pm et and the Tuesday match kicking off at 10pm et.

Canada and Honduras are even on four points after four matches, so the Friday match is massively important for both sides. Between Canada, Honduras, and El Salvador (two points after four matches), only one of those nations will finish second in the group and join Mexico in the "Hex."

"Our players know perfectly that the battle will be on the pitch," said Benito Floro, Head Coach of Canada Soccer's Men's National Team. "We can say that this will be a battle between 22 players and that the team that keeps their shape and tactical plan will have the best chance to win the match."

Canada and Honduras have long been rivals in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Their last meeting in this semi-final round was a 1-0 win for Canada at Vancouver in front of a memorable crowd at BC Place in November 2015. With both nations tied on points, the 2 September match in San Pedro Sula will play a big part in the final group standings.

"If we get three points, it puts us in the driver's seat," said David Edgar. "It's in our hands and that's the best way to look at it."

Since both nations' last matches in March, Canada played a pair of international matches during the June window, posting a draw and a win in preparation for these September matches. Players have since competed with their clubs before rejoining Canada at the end of August for this opportunity to win a spot in the "Hex".

Among this group of players in club action this season, several have returned "home" to clubs in Canada, including Edgar with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Marcel de Jong with Whitecaps FC (after a stint with Ottawa Fury FC), Nik Ledgerwood with FC Edmonton, Tosaint Ricketts with Toronto FC, and Jamar Dixon with Ottawa Fury FC.

Also since the spring, Atiba Hutchinson has won a Turkish Süper Lig with Beşiktaş JK to qualify for 2016-17 UEFA Champions League while Scott Arfield has won the England Championship with Burnley FC to earn promotion to the Premier League.

"Our players have demonstrated an excellent commitment along the way," said Benito Floro, Canada Soccer's Men's National Team Head Coach. "The players trust in their capacity to achieve a place in the Hex."

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{allcanada} Raonic ousted by Harrison in US Open second round

NEW YORK — Milos Raonic's face was red, his body was the very picture of weariness. His left wrist was bothering him. So was his left thigh.

A Wimbledon finalist just last month, and seeded No. 5 at the U.S. Open, Raonic double-faulted 15 times and was stunned in the second round at Flushing Meadows 6-7 (4), 7-5, 7-5, 6-1 on Wednesday by Ryan Harrison, a qualifier from the United States ranked only 120th.

For Harrison, a 24-year-old born in Louisiana and now based in Texas once seen as possibly the "next big thing" in American men's tennis, this is his first trip to the third round at a Grand Slam tournament. He had been 0-6 in second-round matches.

Until Monday, Harrison hadn't even won a single main-draw match at any major since the 2013 French Open.

Last week, Harrison and his younger sibling Christian, 22, became the first pair of brothers to both qualify for the U.S. Open.

"I'm excited to keep moving forward," Harrison said during an on-court interview at the tournament's new Grandstand stadium, telling the partisan crowd: "Anything's possible when I have your support."

The fans pulled for their guy loudly with all sorts of chants, including, "Here we go, Ryan! Here we go!"

And while he was certainly helped by his opponent's myriad problems -- Raonic received repeated visits from a trainer, who worked first on the Canadian's wrist, then massaged his leg -- Harrison played cleanly after recovering from a double-fault that ceded the opening set.

He wound up with 33 unforced errors, making merely one in the final set of the 3 1/2-hour match. Raonic's total was 62, including a whopping 21 in the third set alone.

After Harrison hit a cross-court forehand passing winner to break for a 5-1 lead in the fourth set, Raonic looked exhausted as can be, resting both arms on his knees behind the baseline and leaning on his racket for extra support.

Raonic was a semifinalist at Wimbledon in 2014 and the Australian Open this January. Then he beat Roger Federer in the semifinals at the All England Club in July to reach his first Grand Slam final, before losing to Andy Murray.

Now he's the highest-seeded player to exit the U.S. Open so far. And Harrison finally has the sort of breakthrough victory that was predicted long ago for him. He entered Wednesday with a 1-26 record for his career against top-10 opponents, including 0-8 at majors.

In the third round, Harrison will face 44th-ranked Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, the 2006 Australian Open runner-up. Baghdatis eliminated 32nd-seeded Benoit Paire of France 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 on Wednesday.

Raonic was not the only player to struggle physically on a day the temperature was in the mid-80s. Johanna Konta, the tournament's 13th-seeded woman, collapsed and received medical treatment right out there on Court 13 late in the second set of her 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 victory over Tsvetana Pironkova. Konta said her heart was racing and she had trouble breathing.

In other action, two-time U.S. Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki beat a top-10 opponent for the first time in nearly a year, turning things around after dropping the first four games and eliminating 2004 U.S. Open champion champ Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-4.

A former No. 1, Wozniacki is currently ranked 74th after dealing with an ankle injury and a series of losses.

"I always believe in myself," said Wozniacki, unseeded in New York for the first time since her 2007 tournament debut, "and I always think that in my head I belong at the top of the game."

She lost in the finals at Flushing Meadows in 2009 and 2014.

The woman who surprised Serena Williams in the semifinals on the way to a runner-up finish in 2015, Roberta Vinci, moved into the third round for the sixth consecutive year, defeating Christina McHale of the U.S. 6-1, 6-3.

The defending men's champion, Novak Djokovic, did not need to play a point Wednesday to reach the third round: His opponent, 49th-ranked Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic, withdrew a couple of hours before their match, citing inflammation in his left forearm.

Vesely, who beat Djokovic on clay in Monte Carlo in April, said the muscles were starting to pinch a nerve, causing numbness.

"Playing Novak," Vesely said, "you have to be 100 per cent ready."

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{allcanada} James Hinchcliffe taking a risk on 'Dancing' stage


James Hinchcliffe is one of the most personable — and marketable — drivers in the IndyCar Series. He's been a natural fit for the star-strapped series in every promotional opportunity presented, yet he is far from a household name.

The popular Canadian will now step on the biggest stage yet in an effort to show if he can dance. Hinchcliffe will participate in the upcoming season of "Dancing With the Stars" even though this is not something that is exactly in his wheelhouse.

"If there's something below amateur," Hinchcliffe said of his dancing skills, "it would be that."

Hinchcliffe will be the second IndyCar driver to dance on the ABC hit. Helio Castroneves won the show in 2007, but did not receive enough fan votes to advance deep into a 2015 all-star edition.

On a show that relies on popularity as much as it does dancing skills, moving through the first few weeks could be challenging.

That was no deterrent to Hinchcliffe, who returned for his sixth season in IndyCar this year after a near-fatal accident 15 months ago. Hinchcliffe was practicing for the Indianapolis 500 when his thigh was pierced by a broken piece of car during a wreck. He nearly bled to death as he was hustled into life-saving surgery. Hinchcliffe needed most of last year to recover, and the experience taught him to enjoy the present moment.

"One of those lessons is to take opportunities, not shy away from things, don't be afraid," he said. "You've got to kind of live your life. This is one of those things that might not have ever come around again, and it is outside my comfort zone, so it was certainly not a decision I took lightly, but I think ultimately we made the right choice to be a part of it, and I'm looking forward to getting started."

With two races left in his comeback season, Hinchcliffe is eighth in the IndyCar standings. He nearly won last Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway but was passed on the last lap.

The end of the season gives Hinchcliffe a chance to learn how to dance. He practiced Tuesday and Wednesday in Indianapolis with "DWTS" partner Sharna Burgess, but he's off to upstate New York for this weekend's race at Watkins Glen.

He also has the season finale in Sonoma, California, on Sept. 18. Once the season is over, he will relocate to Los Angeles if he advances on the show.

Hinchcliffe is hoping for a lengthy run, not just for his own brand, but for the potential growth of IndyCar.

"This kind of thing, sure, it benefits me personally, but it also benefits the sport," he said. "I've always said from day one that anything that I can do outside of a race car to help grow the sport of IndyCar racing is something you can sign me up for because I've got such a passion for this sport."



Richard Petty Motorsports has released vice president of operations Sammy Johns in an organizational restructuring to jumpstart a struggling team.

RPM heads into the 25th race of the Sprint Cup Season without a driver in the top 20 in points. Aric Almirola is 25th in the standings, while Brian Scott is 33rd and neither has a top-10 finish this season.

Philippe Lopez and Scott McDougall will temporarily oversee all competition duties previously held by Johns.

"The past several years, we have made significant investments in our organization with the goal of winning races and to compete at a high level on a weekly basis," said Brian Moffitt, chief executive officer. "Unfortunately, we have not seen the on-track results that we expected this season."



Speedway Motorsports Inc. will offer reduced-priced tickets to Sprint Cup Series next season at its eight tracks.

NASCAR has already said kids 12 and under can attend Truck Series and Xfinity Series races free in 2017.

Now, SMI will allow the purchase of up to two $10 tickets for children ages 12 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket. The offer is good at all SMI-owned tracks: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway, Kentucky Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

"Coming to the races should be about fun, not finances," SMI CEO Marcus Smith said in a statement. "Now a parent can get his or her child through the gates for an entire weekend of NASCAR events - including pole night, a Camping World Truck or Xfinity Series race and a Cup Series race - for just $10.

"This is one of the best, if not the best, family values in all professional sports."



Richard Childress Racing will be trying to win its third consecutive Xfinity Series race with a third different driver on Saturday at Darlington Raceway.

Joe Gibbs Racing pulled off the feat in 2008 when Kyle Busch won at Mexico City, Tony Stewart won at Talladega and Denny Hamlin won at Richmond.

RCR went to victory lane two weeks ago at Bristol with Austin Dillon, and Michael McDowell won last weekend at Road America.

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{allcanada} Pinty’s Series Stat Advance: CTMP


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The with just three races remaining in the 2016 NASCAR Pinty's Series season, all eyes will be on the top five drivers in the points standings. The series returns to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario for the second time this season and the world-class facility has hosted the NPS more than any other track (13). Below is a statistical look at the performance of the series and selected drivers at the track:

Can-Am 200 Race Setup:
• Andrew Ranger will look to add to his record 22 series wins this weekend and regain the lead in the points standings he lost to Cayden Lapcevich after the series' most recent race at Riverside.
• D.J. Kennington's average finish of fourth is the best among all active drivers at the road course.
• A total of 10 Josten's Rookie of the Year competitors are slated to compete in the race this Sunday.

At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park:

• Opened in 1961 as Mosport Park. The name Mosport was a contraction of motor sport.
• Has played host to the American Le Mans Series, CASCAR Super Series, Can-Am, Formula 1, IndyCar, Tudor United SportsCar and USAC Champ Car, among others, through the years.
• Welcomed the NASCAR Pinty's Series for the first time on June 17, 2007 in an event won by Andrew Ranger.
• Was renamed from Mosport International Raceway to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in February 2012.
• Held its inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event on Sept. 1, 2013, won by Chase Elliott.

• CTMP has welcomed the NPSS 13 times previously, the most events any track has held since the series began competition in 2007.
• This is the fourth season in a row that CTMP will hold two NPS road course events after single races there from 2007-12.
• Three drivers (Jason Hathaway, D.J. Kennington and Kerry Micks) have participated in all 13 previous events, and three are expected to extend the streak this weekend.
• The 13 previous races have produced six different winners, led by J.R. Fitzpatrick's five.
• There have been six different pole winners in the 13 contests, led by Andrew Ranger's six.
• There has yet to be a wire-to-wire victory at CTMP, but two of Ranger's wins were earned from the pole, as was Gary Klutt's last in 2015.
• Fitzpatrick was the youngest CTMP race winner at 20 years, 1 month and 6 days in 2008.
• L.P. Dumoulin was the oldest CTMP victor at 34 years, 6 months and 11 days in 2013.

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Data
Race #:  10 of 12 overall, 2 of 2 at CTMP
Track Layout:  2.459-mile, 10-turn road course
Race Length:  51 laps (125.4 miles, 201.8 kilometers)
Telecast: TSN - Sun., Sept. 11, 2 p.m.; RDS2 - Tues., Oct. 4, 7 p.m. ET

Qualifying/Race Data
2015 Race Winner:  Jason Hathaway, Dodge, 76.108 mph, 1 hr. 38 mins. 52 secs.
2015 Pole Winner:  Andrew Ranger, Dodge, 106.904 mph, 82.807 secs.
Qualifying Record:  Andrew Ranger, Dodge, 106.904 mph, 82.807 secs., 8/30/15

Active Category Leaders at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park:

1. Andrew Ranger … 3
2. L.P. Dumoulin … 2
3. D.J. Kennington … 1
    Gary Klutt … 1

1. Andrew Ranger … 6
2. Gary Klutt … 1
    Alex Labbe … 1

Top Fives
1. D.J. Kennington … 12
2. L.P. Dumoulin … 6
    Andrew Ranger … 6

Top 10s
1. D.J. Kennington … 13
2. Andrew Ranger … 9
3. Robin Buck … 8

Laps Led
1. Andrew Ranger … 89
2. L.P. Dumoulin … 53
3. Jason Hathaway … 37

Laps Completed
1. D.J. Kennington … 659 (all)
2. Kerry Micks … 641
3. Andrew Ranger … 543

Select Driver Highlights:
L.P. Dumoulin (No. 47 WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare Dodge)

• The 2014 NPS Champion and 2011 Rookie of the Year has four wins, a pole, 28 top fives and 43 top 10s in 68 career starts.
• This will be his ninth appearance at CTMP with two wins, six top-five and seven top-10s.
• Finished fourth in last year's final season standings.
• This will be his 10th appearance at CTMP.

Jason Hathaway (No. 3 Raybestos/Fast Eddie/Choko/HGC Chevrolet)
• Has eight wins and 71 top 10s in 118 career starts. Is one of two drivers that have participated in every race in NPS history.
• Finished a career-best second in last year's final season standings.
• This will be his 14th appearance at CTMP with one win, two top-five and seven top-10 finishes.

D.J. Kennington (No. 17 Castrol Edge Dodge)
• The 2010 and 2012 NPS champion. Maintains series records for top fives (75) and top 10s (98), and is one of two drivers to start each of the 118 all-time events.
• Ranks second in series history in wins (19), laps led (2,820) and ranks fifth in poles (11).
• Sits seventh in points after nine races with eight top 10s and a best finish of third at CTMP.
• Finished seventh in last year's final season standings.
• Has one win, a series best 11 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in his previous 13 appearances at CTMP. He's never finished below seventh at the road course.

Gary Klutt (No. 59 Pioneer Tools/CLT Financing Corp. Dodge)
• Has a win, a pole and 16 top 10s in 25 career NPS starts. Both the pole and win came in last year's season-opener at CTMP.
• Finished fifth in last year's final season standings winning Josten's Rookie of the Year honors.
• The NASCAR Next driver has scored four top-10s in six previous starts at CTMP.

Alex Labbe (No. 36 Cam-Am/Kappa/Cyclops Gear/Lou's BBQ Ford)
• Has one win (Chaudiere – 2016) five poles, nine top fives and 14 top 10s in 24 career starts.
• Has top-10 finishes in three of his five appearances this year.
• Has nine top 10s with an average finish of 11th in 13 career road course starts.
• This will be his third start at CTMP. Labbe won the pole for the Victoria Day weekend race at CTMP in May and finishes fifth for his lone top-five finish so far at the facility.

Kevin Lacroix (No. 74 Bumper To Bumper/Total/Go Fast Dodge)
• Has two poles, three wins, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 15 career starts.
• Recorded two wins in seven starts during his debut season in 2015. Won road races at Circuit ICAR and Circuit de Trois-Rivieres. Won from the pole at Trois-Rivieres for the second year in a row in August.
• Is the first driver in series history to record two victories in rookie season.
• Became the first driver in the history of the series to win a caution-free race last season at ICAR.
• This will be his fourth appearance at CTMP.

Cayden Lapcevich (No. 76 Fastline Motorsports Dodge)
• Has made 14 career starts in the NASCAR Pinty's Series and recorded his first career win at Wyant Group Raceway in July. He picked up his second win two weeks ago in Riverside.
• Enters this race leading the NPS points standings for the first time in his young career by 12 points over Andrew Ranger (373-361).
• Recorded his first top-five finish at CTMP in May and has two top-10 finishes in three previous starts at the Bowmanville course.

Kerry Micks (No. 02 Johnsonville/Leland/BDI Ford)
• Has three wins, four poles, 31 top fives and 55 top 10s in 91 career starts.
• Has made five previous starts this year. Best finish was fifth in the return to the road course in Toronto.
• Has two wins, a pole, 21 top 10s and an average finish of 10.5 in 37 career road course starts.
• Has participated in all 12 CTMP races and has an average finish of 12th with a best run of second (2008).

Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Mopar/Pennzoil Dodge)
• The 2007 and 2009 champion is the series' all-time leader in wins at 22 and holds the record for the poles with 19. Has 53 top fives and 77 top 10s in 92 career starts.
• Finished third in last year's final season standings.
• Has three wins, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes with a series best six pole awards in 11 previous starts at CTMP.

Alex Tagliani (No. 18 EpiPen/Riobel/Complexe JCP/Juste du Chevrolet)
• Has five wins, six poles and 16 top fives, 26 top 10s in 42 career NPS starts.
• Three of his five wins at have come on the ovals (Sunset Speedway 2015-16, Edmonton).
• In three previous starts at CTMP, he has one top five and two top-10 finishes.

Up To Speed:
• The 2016 season is the first for new series sponsor Pinty's and the 10th overall for the Canadian-based NASCAR division.
• The 2016 schedule features 12 races at 11 different tracks across five provinces and a return to the road course in Toronto as part of the IndyCar weekend in July.
• Quebec native Andrew Ranger took the lead on the penultimate lap of the season opening race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park to score the win.
• Alex Tagliani made Quebec drivers two-for-two this season after he won the Leland Industries 300 at Sunset Speedway for his third career series victory.
• Alex Labbe won from the pole last weekend in an exciting finish with rookie Cayden Lapcevich. It was Labbe's first career win.
• Andrew Ranger retook the points lead and also became the first multi-race winner of the season with his third win at ICAR two weeks ago.
• Alex Tagliani was able to hold off Andrew Ranger in a green-white-checkered finish in the series return to the road course in Toronto for his second win of the season.
• Alex Tagliani took the lead on Lap 88 and remained out front the rest of the way to score his second consecutive win and third of the season at Edmonton. Tagliani will try and become the first driver since Scott Steckly in 2013 to win three NPS races in a row.
• After finishing second twice earlier this season, Josten's Rookie of the Year contender Cayden Lapcevich scored his first series win at Wyant Group Raceway. He also became the youngest winner in the history of the series.
• Kevin Lacroix set a new track record in qualifying and went on to lead every lap at Trois-Rivieres to pick up his second straight win at the historic road course and third win of his career.
• Rookie Cayden Lapcevich took the lead from Jason Hathaway with 10 lapss remaining to score his second win of the season and overtake the points lead in the process.

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{allcanada} CFL's Mitchell, Paredes, Toliver own August


TORONTO — Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and kicker Rene Paredes of the league-leading Calgary Stampeders and receiver Terrence Toliver of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have been named the CFL's top performers of the month.

Mitchell and Paredes were the key cogs in a Stampeder offence that helped the club post a 4-0 record in August.

Mitchell completed 98-of-143 pass attempts (68.5 per cent) for 1,274 yards, four touchdown passes and only one interception during the four games. He also surpassed the 300-yard mark three times, bringing his 2016 season total to seven games.

When Mitchell couldn't get the Stampeders into the end zone, Paderes was there to finish drives with his accurate kicking.

The Concordia Stingers product was a perfect 17-for-17 on field goal attempts in August.

Paredes also hit six of seven conversion attempts six for seven, bringing his total points to 57 for the month.

Toliver compiled 500 receiving yards and four touchdowns in four games for the Ticats, benefiting from the return of star quarterback Zach Collaros.

He capped his successful month with 183 yards on nine receptions and two touchdowns in a 30-24 loss to Calgary last week.

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{allcanada} Riders sign DL Mitchell to practice roster


Khalif Mitchell appears to be making a comeback.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders signed the veteran defensive lineman to their practice roster on Wednesday. Mitchell last played with the B.C. Lions in 2014.

A two-time All-Star, Mitchell registered just one sack in 11 games two years ago.

Mitchell recorded five sacks with the Toronto Argonauts in 2013.

The 31-year-old spent training camp with the Montreal Alouettes, but was released shortly after creating a firestorm for the team and league with offensive tweets. 

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{allcanada} Canada’s Pospisil ousted from U.S. Open in second round

NEW YORK — Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil was eliminated form the U.S. Open on Wednesday after a 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4 loss to 23rd-seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa.

Pospisil started the match with a break in the first game, but Anderson recovered with a break in the next game and won a back-and-forth first set in a tiebreaker.

Anderson won the next two sets comfortably to advance to the third round.

Pospisil struggled in singles play at Grand Slam events this year, with his only victory at a major coming Monday when he defeated Jozef Kovalik 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in the first round.

Later Wednesday, Canadian fifth seed Milos Raonic faced American Ryan Harrison.

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{allcanada} Howe's ashes to be interred in Saskatoon statue


SASKATOON — Hockey legend Gordie Howe is coming home.

A Saskatoon official says the city has received permission from the province to inter the cremated remains of Howe and his wife, Colleen, at the base of a statue that honours him.

The family made the request earlier this month, but the city needed to apply to the province to have the statue at SaskTel Centre and a small portion of adjacent area declared a cemetery.

Howe was born in Floral, Sask., but his family moved nine days later to Saskatoon, where he grew up before embarking on a record-setting hockey career in the United States.

He died on June 10 at the age of 88.

Howe's son, Marty, has said some of his father's ashes will be spread in Michigan's Bear Lake, where a similar service was held for Colleen after her death in 2009.

Howe spent the bulk of his stellar career with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings.

"His favourite spots are going to have my mom and dad, and Saskatoon was one of them," Marty Howe said.

Saskatoon spokeswoman Catherine Gryba explained at the time of the request that the city would take appropriate steps to safeguard and respect the ashes. They are to be encased in a special concrete vessel with a commemorative plaque on top to protect them.

Numerous facilities and a street in Saskatoon have been named in Howe's honour and a proposal following his death to name one of the city's bridges after him is also going ahead.

Howe spent 26 seasons in the National Hockey League and six in the World Hockey Association. He is still No. 2 on the NHL's all-time goals list behind Wayne Gretzky.

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