Penalty-prone Eskimos squander 10-point lead, lose to Lions in BC - Canadanewsmedia
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Penalty-prone Eskimos squander 10-point lead, lose to Lions in BC



B.C. Lions' Shawn Lemon (9), Jordan Herdman (53) and Davon Coleman (90) tackle Edmonton Eskimos' C.J. Gable, front, during first half CFL football action in Vancouver on Aug. 9, 2018.


VANCOUVER — The Edmonton Eskimos saw the end of a three-game win streak with a 31-23 loss to the B.C. Lions at BC Place on Thursday.

The 17,745 in attendance saw the Eskimos fall to their first West Division opponent of the season, while dropping to 5-3 on the season as their grip slips on second place.

The Lions, meanwhile, improved to 3-5 as they pulled themselves out of the West basement to draw even with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who are on a bye week.

Trailing by eight points with 89 seconds left on the clock, Edmonton took one last gasp with a 41-yard reception by Derel Walker into Lions territory, only to have former Eskimos defensive back Garry Peters come up with an interception in the end zone, as the Eskimos squandered a 10-point halftime lead in another penalty-filled affair.

Mike Reilly completed 25 of 40 passes for 299 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while his Lions counterpart Travis Lulay completed 16 of 29 passes for 239 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Edmonton scored an opening-possession touchdown for the second time this season, as C.J. Gable ran for carries of 19 and 14 yards, contributing to an eight-play, 71-yard drive that ended in a 10-yard touchdown pass to Nate Behar to lead 7-0.

It was the first Canadian Football League touchdown for the Carleton product, taken in the first round (fifth overall) in the 2017 draft.

B.C.’s opening drive was stifled when defensive tackle Mike Moore sacked Lulay, who had been tackled behind the line of scrimmage just once in his three previous starts this season.

Edmonton Eskimos’ Derel Walker, left, makes a reception in the end zone to score a touchdown as B.C. Lions’ T.J. Lee watches during first half CFL football action in Vancouver on Aug. 9, 2018.



With it, Moore, playing in his first game since injuring his leg in the season opener, contributed to Edmonton’s league-leading 18 sacks on the year, while the Lions hadn’t allowed a sack in their previous two games.

But the Lions got on the board in the final minute of the opening quarter after a 39-yard shovel pass to Emmanuel Arceneaux set up a 25-yard field goal by Ty Long.

Set up for a 46-yard field goal attempt by Sean Whyte at the other end of the field, holder Danny O’Brien moved under centre to complete a 16-yard pass to defensive tackle Almondo Sewell.

The trick kick led to a nine-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Reilly diving in a one-yard QB keeper for his league-leading seventh rushing touchdown to lead 14-3.

But the special-teams gods giveth, and the special-teams gods taketh away, as Chris Rainey returned a Hugh O’Neill punt 79 yards to the end zone for his fourth punt-return touchdown of his career to shrink Edmonton’s lead to four points with 8:40 left in the half.

Odell Willis came up with the 91st sack of his career as he got to former teammate Reilly for the first time since an off-season trade sent him to Vancouver via Ottawa.

While Darius Allen got a sack back for the Eskimos on the ensuing drive, Lulay followed up with a 36-yard pass to Kevin Elliott, setting up what would have been a touchdown reception by Bryan Burnham barring a holding penalty.

Lulay’s next snap went 70 yards the other way on an interception by linebacker Korey Jones, who was tripped up 15 yards shy of the end zone by the Lions quarterback.

Derel Walker covered the rest of the distance with a reception to take a 20-10 lead with 2:18 left in the half, as Whyte’s point-after attempt went wide left.

With cornerback Nick Taylor leaving briefly in the third quarter with an arm injury, his replacement, Jordan Hoover, was picked on during a six-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a nine-yard touchdown catch by Kevin Elliott.

B.C. tied it up 20-20 midway through the third on a  career-long 51-yard field goal by Long, before punting one into the end zone to take a 21-20 lead into the final frame.

After the Eskimos finally earned their first first-down of the second half, Otha Foster recovered a sack-fumble he forced at Edmonton’s eight yard-line.

Former Eskimos running back Travon Van, making his first start in B.C.’s backfield since his off-season release, ran one in the rest of the way for a 27-20 lead.

Following a 40-yard field goal by Whyte, it was Edmonton’s turn to recover a sack fumble, compliments of Kwaku Boateng, to take over at B.C.’s 39 yard-line.

But Reilly’s next pass was tipped by Otha Foster and intercepted by Winston Rose, who returned it 55 yards to set up another Lions field goal.

The Eskimos are home to Johnny Manziel and the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday, Aug. 18 (7 p.m., TSN, ESPN+, 630 CHED).

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge


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Leafs' Morgan Rielly marvels at Kings' Drew Doughty's ability to eat up minutes




Morgan Rielly doesn’t have the Los Angeles Kings’ schedule memorized.

Still, there’s a habit the Maple Leafs defenceman has fallen into each time the Kings play.

“I check his minutes after every one of their games and they are always 25 and north,” Rielly said on Monday.

“You want to be one of those guys who plays those kind of minutes. Not everybody is capable of doing that. He is certainly a guy who works hard and he is a great skater and he is able to get up and down the ice all night. Seems like he never gets tired.”

The player in question, of course, is Kings defenceman Drew Doughty, a player who has drawn the admiration of players across the NHL since his rookie season of 2008-09, just months after he was chosen second overall by the Kings.

If it seems like Doughty doesn’t take a shift off, it’s because he never really has: Through 775 career NHL games before the Kings and Leafs clashed at Scotiabank Arena on Monday night, the London, Ont., native averaged 26 minutes, 16 seconds a game, putting him among the NHL’s leaders in that span.

Doughty, who won the Norris Trophy in 2016, was atop the NHL at 27 minutes, 22 seconds prior to Monday, and in his previous 10 NHL seasons, has finished in the top 10 six times.

Does the 28-year-old Doughty spend much time pondering how it is that he is able to play with the kind of stamina that eludes the majority of NHL defencemen?

“I think I’m just lucky to have a good brain for the game,” Doughty said. “A lot of guys exude a lot of energy when they are on the ice. I’m able to be well-positioned, therefore I don’t need to give out as much energy as other guys. I think that’s the key.”

Fine, but how critical is rest?

“I don’t want to rest,” Doughty said. “I want to go out there, I want to play 30 minutes every night. I get tired, I do. But if I get my rest in between games on days off, they keep me off the ice and just throw me in the gym and stuff like that, I recover pretty quick.

“Rest is important, but resting mentally is more important than anything.”

Rielly was averaging 21 minutes, 15 seconds a game through the Leafs’ first six games; his career high for a season came in 2015-16, when he came in at 23 minutes, 14 seconds.

As Rielly makes the necessary steps to becoming a complete defenceman, he marvels at what Doughty consistently has done.

“For sure,” Rielly said. “And the difference between 23 minutes and 26 minutes might just be three minutes, but really, that’s a lot. It’s really impressive. (Doughty) is probably one of my favourite players in the league and a guy I really look up to.”

For Rielly and fellow Leafs defenceman Travis Dermott, what’s important now is staying committed to growth and development each day, while keeping in mind the broader view. Dermott is a few years behind Rielly, but Dermott is on the way to becoming a sharp top-four defenceman, one capable of getting tough minutes when he gets that tap from coach Mike Babcock.

“A big part of it is being strong mentally and really understanding that there is a bigger picture,” Rielly said. “You want to do everything right now. I do, and I’m sure (Dermott) does, but it’s tough.”

The end result, in a perfect world, would be attaining the kind of status that Doughty has with the Kings, even if the minutes played aren’t equalled.

“The goal is that when you get into your prime years, you want to be able to play in all situations,” Rielly said. “You want to have the trust of the coaching staff, you want to be able to play huge minutes and be a big part of a winning team.”

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Kenya's Only Hockey Team Comes To Canada To Play First-Ever Game




Being part of an ice hockey team in Africa poses some challenges, as one can probably imagine.

Outdoor rinks are out of the picture, thanks to the weather. Indoor rinks are very hard to come by — there’s only one in all of East and Central Africa. Finding hockey skates and sticks is likely a hassle, if not impossible.

But for Kenya’s only hockey team, the problem was less so logistic, and more so very basic: they didn’t have anyone to play against.

Tim Hortons

A member of the Kenya Ice Lions walks through the streets of Nairobi with a hockey stick.

Despite holding twice-weekly practices at a 1,400-square-metre rink at the Panari Sky Center Hotel in Nairobi, the Kenya Ice Lions had never played a proper game. Instead, it was inter-team drills and shinny.

That is, until Tim Hortons came along.

The Canadian coffee chain heard about the Ice Lions and decided to bring 12 team members to Canada to play their first real hockey game.

Tim Hortons

The Ice Lions all decked out in their new gear and personalized jerseys.

The team was outfitted with new skates, sticks, protective equipment, and personalized jerseys.

Before they took to the ice, however, they were surprised with a double-double addition to the roster. To help stack the team a bit, Tim Hortons added Nova Scotia hockey phenoms Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon. (Crosby is the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins and MacKinnon is an alternate captain for the Colorado Avalanche, for those not up-to-speed on NHL superstars.)

In the video, one of the Kenyan players can be seen stroking Crosby’s face. “Is it you?” he asks, in disbelief.

“It is a dream to not only have the chance to play in Canada, but to play—for the first time—in full gear alongside two of the greatest players of the game,” said Benard Azegere, captain of the Kenya Ice Lions, in a statement.

“When we first started playing in Kenya, we didn’t even have full equipment, but now not only do we have that, we can say we’ve played a real game with some All-Star teammates.”

Watch the full video of the Ice Lions’ trip to Canada. Be sure to grab a few tissues, though, as it’s a tearjerker!

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Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon skate with players from Kenya in new Tim Hortons ad




HALIFAX—Cole Harbour’s hockey stardom double-double are back in another Tim Hortons promotional video that will get the heart strings brewing.

The lengthy online ad posted Monday by the famous coffee company introduces the world to what is called Kenya’s only hockey team, players who are eventually brought to Toronto where they are introduced to Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche.

Sitting inside a dressing room, the players are soon greeted by Crosby and MacKinnon — both hockey stars from Cole Harbour, N.S. — who are in full uniform like the players from Kenya.

“Sidney … seeing him come through the dressing room door in full gear — I feel like I’m in heaven,” says one of the players in the ad.

“Is this true?” asks another player as he rubs Crosby’s face.

“It’s me, it’s me,” No. 87 bashfully replies.

From there, the players take the ice for a scrimmage game — with MacKinnon and Crosby serving as teammates.

“That’s the best part about the game — how it reaches so many people, places like Kenya where you wouldn’t even think there was any ice,” Crosby later says in the three minute and 20-second ad.

“To meet people from different places and to share the game that we love to play, I think I had just as much fun as any of those guys did today.”

Since early Monday, a Twitter post showcasing the ad has been retweeted more than 700 times and liked more than 1,300 times.

This is the latest work by Crosby and MacKinnon for Tim Hortons. Their work for the coffee brand is best remembered for the time they took over drive-thru duties at a Halifax location back in 2015.

Philip Croucher is a reporter and StarMetro bureau chief based in Halifax. Follow him on Twitter: @philip_croucher

Philip Croucher is a reporter and StarMetro bureau chief based in Halifax. Follow him on Twitter: @philip_croucher

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