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Williams has overtime winner as Canada advances to Hlinka Gretzky final

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EDMONTON — Josh Williams scored twice, including the overtime winner, as Canada advanced to the gold-medal game of the Hlinka Gretzky Cup under-18 hockey tournament with a controversial 6-5 victory over the United States on Friday.

Alexis Lafreniere, Jamieson Rees, Xavier Parent and Dylan Cozens also scored for the Canadians, who forced overtime in the semifinal on a goal that likely shouldn’t have counted as time had just barely expired.

Canada was given credit for a goal as time had just expired on a shot by Cozens (Lethbridge, WHL) catching a major break as there was no video review to go to, sending the game to overtime where Williams scored 1:44 in.

Nicholas Robertson had three goals and Aaron Huglen and Luke Toporowski also scored for the U.S.

The Canadians will play Sweden, which they defeated 4-3 in their final round-robin game on Wednesday, in Saturday’s final.

Canada has won gold at the tournament 21 times in the 27-year history of the tournament and medalled 24 times, including winning gold in nine of the past 10 years.

The U.S. will face Russia for bronze.

The Americans started the scoring with a power-play goal 3:20 into the game, although play continued for more than a minute before it was determined that a high shot by Robertson (Peterborough, OHL) had actually gone in to the net before quickly exiting.

Canada responded with a power-play goal of its own just over a minute later as Lafreniere (Rimouski, QMJHL), the early first overall favourite for the 2020 draft, showed some poise in front of the net to beat American goalie Dustin Wolf (Everett, WHL).

Just over a minute after that goal, the U.S. regained the lead on a highlight-reel play as Huglen lifted the puck onto his stick behind the net and backhanded it lacrosse-style over the shoulder of Canadian goaltender Nolan Maier (Saskatoon, WHL).

Canada made it a 2-2 game eight minutes into the first period as Rees (Sarnia, OHL) battled for a puck in front of the American net before chipping it past Wolf.

The U.S. surged in front again with five minutes left in the opening frame when Robertson scored his second of the game on a backhand shot off of a faceoff.

Canada tied it up again midway through the second period as Parent (Halifax, QMJHL) scored on a shot from the high slot on the power play.

The Canadian squad took its first lead 3:31 into the third period when Williams (Medicine Hat, WHL) scored on a screened shot on the power play.

Robertson completed his hat trick with eight minutes to play on a quick wrist shot to make it 4-4.

The U.S. then regained their lead with 6:27 remaining on a goal coming off a scramble out front by Toporowski (Spokane, WHL).

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Full schedule released for 2018-19 Rogers Hometown Hockey tour

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This October, Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour, presented by Scotiabank, returns to the open road to visit 25 communities throughout the 2018-19 season.

Returning for a fifth cross-country adventure, the free family-friendly hockey celebration features two days of live entertainment, NHL alumni, local celebrities and hockey-themed activities for all ages. Running from Saturday through to Sunday evening, the festival culminates with an outdoor viewing party of a national NHL game broadcast hosted live by Ron MacLean and Tara Slone on Sportsnet.

The fifth season of Rogers Hometown Hockey premieres in Kitchener, ON, October 5-7, featuring a festive celebration of the 50th anniversary of Oktoberfest and an Original Six showdown between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks.

“With our 100th episode on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the incredible moments we’ve shared together on the Rogers Hometown Hockey journey,” said MacLean. “From St. John’s to Victoria to Whitehorse, Tara and I have had the privilege of honouring the tradition of hockey in Canada for the past four seasons – and we can’t wait to unearth all the surprises that this season will have in store.”

“In a hockey culture as rich as Canada, we still have so many stories to share this season,” said Slone. “As we hit the road for a season complete with special milestones and visits to new communities like CFB Esquimalt and Enoch Cree Nation, we look forward to uniting all Canadian communities through the sport they love – hockey.”

As seen in past seasons, each community stop along the 2018-19 Tour will be featured on Rogers Hometown Hockey, the weekly Sunday broadcast available on Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE or Sportsnet 360 and available to stream on Sportsnet NOW and Rogers NHL LIVE.

Live on location in each community, MacLean and Slone will host a pre-game, intermission and post-game show from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio, shining the spotlight on local culture, hockey history and unique stories of each hometown.

The NHL matchups and broadcast schedule for the fifth season ofRogers Hometown Hockey are as follows:

Rogers hometown hockey will be available every Sunday on Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE or Sportsnet 360 and available to stream on Sportsnet NOW and Rogers NHL Live.

Full schedule:

October 2018
• Oct. 5-7 – Kitchener, ON
Broadcast Matchup: Toronto @ Chicago, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• Oct. 13-14 – Parry Sound, ON
Broadcast Matchup: Carolina @ Winnipeg, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet ONE & Sportsnet 360)

• Oct. 20-21 – London, ON
100th Episode Broadcast Matchup: Calgary @ N.Y. Rangers, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet ONE & Sportsnet 360)

• Oct. 27-28 – Burlington, ON
Broadcast Matchup: Ottawa @ Vegas, 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet ONE & Sportsnet 360)

November 2018
• Nov. 3-4 – Nepean, ON
Broadcast Matchup: Tampa Bay @ Ottawa, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• Nov. 10-11 – Glace Bay, NS
Broadcast Matchup: New Jersey @ Winnipeg, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• Nov. 17-18 – Mount Pearl, NL
Broadcast Matchup: Vegas @ Edmonton, 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• Nov. 24-25 – Dieppe, NB
Broadcast Matchup: Calgary @ Arizona, 2:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. PT (Sportsnet)

December 2018
• Dec. 1-2 – Boisbriand, QC
Broadcast Matchup: San Jose @ Montreal, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• Dec. 8-9 – Aurora, ON
Broadcast Matchup Doubleheader
Montreal @ Chicago, 5:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)
Calgary @ Edmonton, 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• Dec. 15-16 – Chatham-Kent, ON
Broadcast Matchup: Tampa @ Winnipeg, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• Dec. 22-23 – Mississauga, ON
Holiday Broadcast Matchup: Detroit @ Toronto, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• Dec. 29-30 – Collingwood, ON
Broadcast Matchup: Vegas @ Arizona, 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

January 2019
• Jan. 5-6 – Strathcona County, AB
Broadcast Matchup: Edmonton @ Anaheim, 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• Jan. 12-13 – Langley, BC
Broadcast Matchup: Florida @ Vancouver, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• Jan.19-20 – West Kelowna, BC
Broadcast Matchup: Arizona @ Toronto, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

February 2019
• Feb. 2-3 – Leduc, AB
Broadcast Matchup: Edmonton @ Montreal, 1:30 p.m. ET / 10:30 a.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• Feb. 9-10 – Whistler, BC
Broadcast Matchup: Toronto @ N.Y. Rangers, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• Feb. 16-17 – CFB Esquimalt, BC
Support Our Troops Broadcast Matchup: Montreal @ Florida, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• Feb. 23-24 – Okotoks, AB
Broadcast Matchup: Calgary @ Ottawa, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

March 2019
• March 2-3 – Winkler, MB
Broadcast Matchup: Winnipeg @ Columbus, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• March 9-10 – Steinbach, MB
Broadcast Matchup: Winnipeg @ Washington, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• March 16-17 – Lethbridge, AB
Broadcast Matchup: Vancouver @ Dallas, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• March 23-24 – Enoch Cree Nation, AB
Broadcast Matchup: Montreal @ Carolina, 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

• March 30-31 – Saskatoon, SK
Broadcast Matchup: Calgary @ San Jose, 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet)

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Hometown Hockey to visit Burlington Oct. 27-28

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Rogers Hometown Hockey is coming to Burlington.

The hockey festival hosted by Ron MacLean and Tara Slone on Sportsnet will be making its stop in the city Oct. 27-28. The free two-day celebration of hockey will feature two days of live entertainment, NHL alumni, local celebrities and hockey-themed activities. The weekend activities wraps up with an outdoor viewing party of the NHL game between the Ottawa Senators and the Vegas Golden Knights.

“We are thrilled to host Rogers Hometown Hockey in Burlington,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “It’s not every day we get to showcase our beautiful city to the rest of Canada.”

Now in its fifth season, Hometown Hockey features the community it visits during its Sunday NHL broadcast on Sportsnet ONE and Sportsnet 360, highlighting local culture, hockey history and unique stories.

Hometown Hockey will visit in the midst of the Gift of Giving Back food drive. The largest food drive in Canada was started by Burlington Eagles hockey teams and has since expanded to include numerous sports, community and school groups in three cities. It has collected more than 575,000 pounds of food in each of the last two years and more than 2.6-million pounds since it began in 2005.

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Hometown Hockey tour to launch from Strathcona County

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Strathcona County will host the first Alberta stop in next year's Hometown Hockey festival that will culminate in an outdoor viewing party of the game between Edmonton Oilers and the Anaheim Ducks.


David Bloom / Postmedia

Strathcona County will host the first Alberta stop in next year’s Hometown Hockey festival that will culminate in an outdoor viewing party of the game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Anaheim Ducks.

Running from Jan. 5 to Jan. 6, the festival will include NHL alumni, local celebrities, entertainment and hockey-themed activities for all ages.

The on-location shoot hosted by Ron MacLean and Tara Sloane will also include a pre-game, intermission and post-game show from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio that will shine a “spotlight on Strathcona County’s unique community, strong hockey history and personal local hockey stories.”

“Hockey is something our entire community can gather around – whether you are player, coach or a die-hard fan,” Mayor Rod Frank said in a statement following Tuesday’s official announcement.

“Hockey is a way of life in Strathcona County. With nearly 40 indoor and outdoor ice surfaces in our community, we have many hockey highlight moments, from first skates all the way up to the NHL.”

Beginning in October, Hometown Hockey will visit 25 communities throughout Canada. The Alberta tour will also visit Leduc from Feb. 2-3, Okotoks from Feb. 23-24, Lethbridge from March 16-17 and Enoch Cree Nation from March 23-24.

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