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Saskatchewan Roughriders rebound with 29-24 victory over Calgary Stampeders

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders recovered their offence in a 29-24 win over the host Calgary Stampeders on Saturday.

After getting shut out 31-0 by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in their previous game, the Roughriders kept Calgary’s defence on the field and generated points from long drives.

“They’re the most solid, top to bottom, over the last 10, 12 years so it’s good to be able to come here and get the win in their place,” Saskatchewan head coach Chris Jones said.

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“We asserted ourselves from the word ‘go.”

Saskatchewan (11-6) has a playoff berth locked down, but whether it will be at home or away has yet to be determined. The Roughriders have one game remaining in the regular season Saturday against the B.C. Lions.

The Stampeders (12-4) have lost two in a row at home. Calgary can still clinch first in the West Division with a win in one of its two remaining games, or with a Roughrider loss Saturday.

“It’s just important to get back on the winning track,” Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson said. “I want to win the west with a win. I know it’s going to be tough as well. Now we’re on the road again.

“Our team is building. We’re not where we need to be. We’ll never win it unless we get better.”

Calgary concludes the regular season on the road Friday in Winnipeg and Nov. 3 in Vancouver against the Lions.

Winnipeg and B.C. (9-7) are tied for third in the division ahead of the Edmonton Eskimos (8-9). A West Division team will cross over and claim a playoff spot in the East this season.

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The Roughriders won the season series against Calgary 2-1 and could conceivably overtake the Stampeders atop the division. But Saskatchewan needs to win its last game and for the Stamps to lose out.

“If we were worried about that, we should have took care of that the first part of the season,” Jones said. “All we can worry about is what we control, try to come out next week and beat a very good B.C. team.”

Saskatchewan quarterback Zach Collaros completed 24 of 35 pass attempts for 352 yards. He had been pulled in the third quarter against Winnipeg.

“He’s from Steubenville, Ohio, and they don’t make soft people from Steubenville, Ohio,” Jones said. “He would always bounce back.

“Zach made good reads and good throws and I thought our receivers made some fantastic catches.”

Tre Mason and Nick Marshall scored rushing touchdown for the Roughriders. Brett Lauther kicked field goals from 50, 49, 31, 27 and 20 yards.

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Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell went 18-for-25 for 221 yards, which put him over 5,000 in a season for the second time in his career. He threw a pair of touchdown passes and was intercepted once.

Calgary’s Romar Morris returned a punt for a touchdown. Lemar Durant and Markeith Ambles each had touchdown catches for the Stampeders.

Don Jackson added a two-point convert and Rene Paredes kicked a 25-yard field goal in front of an announced 30,868 at McMahon Stadium.

Saskatchewan’s time of possession was 34 minutes 40 seconds compared to Calgary’s 25:20.

“Unfortunately the defence, that’s been holding us in all year, we just couldn’t get off the field,” Dickenson said. “They made all the plays.”

The Roughriders were minus CFL sack leader Charleston Hughes, who was pulled from Saturday’s game by the team after he was charged with impaired driving and failure to provide a sample for breath analysis.

Mitchell was not sacked in the game.

A two-point convert that would have pulled Calgary within a field goal was challenged and overturned late in the fourth quarter when it was ruled Ambles didn’t cross the goal-line.

Ambles had just caught a 13-yard pass from Mitchell for a touchdown.

Trailing 22-18 late in the third quarter, Calgary turned the ball over when Roughrider safety Mike Edem intercepted Mitchell throwing to Eric Rogers in the end zone.

“If they score right there, I mean, it’s a different football game,” Jones said.

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Pospisil, Shapovalov engineer Canada historic win over U.S. at Davis Cup

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Canada is heading to the quarter-finals at the inaugural Davis Cup Finals after sweeping a pair of singles matches against the United States on Tuesday.

Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., clinched the victory in the best-of-three tie, beating Taylor Fritz 7-6 (6), 6-3.

Shapovalov, ranked a career-high 15th in the world, finished off No. 32 Fritz with an ace.

Earlier, Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil recorded his second major upset in as many days when the world No. 150 beat No. 36 Reilly Opelka 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7).

Later, Americans Sam Querrey and Jack Sock took the doubles match against Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime in a walkover.

Canada (2-0) has now clinched Group F after winning all four of its singles matches against the Americans and Italy.

Seven of the nine sets in singles matches went to tiebreaks, with Canada winning six of them.

It was Canada’s first win against the U.S., in 16 Davis Cup ties. Canada had a match record of 3-70 against the Americans entering Tuesday.

Vasek Pospisil celebrates his upset victory over Reilly Opelka of the U.S. on Tuesday at the Davis Cup Finals in Spain. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The 29-year-old Pospisil, from Vancouver, beat world No. 12 Fabio Fognini on Monday en route to Canada’s 2-1 win over Italy. Pospisil was a late replacement for Felix Auger-Aliassime (recovering from an ankle injury) against Italy.

The six-foot-11 Opelka, known for his big serve, fought off one match point against Pospisil in the second set to tie it at 6-6. But Pospisil rebounded to end it in two sets.

Pospisil, who reached a career-high No. 25 in the rankings in 2014, tumbled down the list after missing the first half of 2019 following back surgery.

But he has shown signs of progress in recent months, upsetting then-No. 9 Karen Khachanov at the U.S. Open before advancing to the round of 16 at the Shanghai Masters.

Playing a level down in Challengers earlier this fall, Pospisil captured two tournament titles in the U.S.

WATCH | Canada upsets Italy at Davis Cup: 

Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil notched a pair of upsets to lead Canada to a win over Italy on the opening day of the inaugural Davis Cup Finals. 1:52

Pospisil is now 19-18 in Davis Cup play.

Shapovalov, 20, also has been on a roll. He captured his first career ATP Tour title at the Stockholm Open last month before reaching the final of the Paris Masters.

The winners of each of the six groups and the next two best teams advance to the quarterfinals. Canada will face either Belgium or Australia in the next round.

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Don Cherry comes back with a new show

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They may have knocked Don Cherry to the ice with a hit he didn’t see coming.

Now watch him get back up.

You people out there who want the 85-year-old Cherry back, here’s the news you have been hoping for.  You people who wanted him to fade away are out of luck as the former NHL coach of the year is going to be able to exercise his free speech, after all.

Don Cherry’s Grapevine is back once again. This time as a podcast.

Coach’s Corner may be “no more” as his one-time Hockey Night in Canada sidekick Ron MacLean announced on Saturday. Cherry was fired by Rogers and Sportsnet for his “you people” who “come here” comment that was misunderstood and later spun as discriminatory.

Cherry wanted his opportunity to properly explain it. Now he is going to get that chance.

You read it right: Don Cherry and his no-holds-barred views are coming back on the air.

The Toronto Sun has learned you won’t have to wait long for the first installment of the new Grapevine. It will drop Tuesday morning and be available on Spotify and other streaming services every Monday during the hockey season.

And yes, the very first one will address Cherry’s firing from Sportsnet.

“But that’s not all we talked about,” Cherry told me Monday. “We are talking hockey, of course. It’s going to be terrific. In this one I am talking about The Rocket (Maurice Richard), one of the all-time greats.”

One thing for sure about the new show is MacLean will not be in his foxhole.

So who will be?

You may have noticed the word “we” in Don’s comments and since so many scrutinize every word he says and what he means by it, I asked.

Turns out Grapes has a new co-host. And perhaps hosts.

“My son, Tim, is going to do it with me and my grandson Del,” said Grapes. 

At least he knows they won’t turn on him when the waters get rough as MacLean did.

“They did great,” Don said of Tim and Del. ”I think people are really going to enjoy this one and the ones we do down the road.”

Tim Cherry tells me the plan is to tape and post it every Monday.

“That way we cover off what happened on the weekend in hockey,” said Tim. “It’s going to be fun.”

For Don’s fans, who are already missing him and unlikely to tune into whatever Sportsnet comes up with to replace the 38-year-old segment, this will give them the opportunity to hear what he has to say. For Don himself, it will connect him with the hockey fans and players he loves while getting back on horse quickly.

It will be in audio broadcast to start with but Tim says it could grow into a TV-style show with cameras and sponsors.

If The Grapevine title sounds familiar it’s because Don’s television show, which Tim produced, was on the air from 1982-93 — filmed in Hamilton.

The new project will feature Don talking about the NHL and hockey and whatever he wants without any censorship.

If he wants to talk about poppies, he can do it without being fired. If he wants to talk about the troops or cops or firefighters or honour the fallen, no one can tell him to keep his nose out of it.

Mostly the plan is to talk hockey. And he won’t have just seven minutes to get it all out.

“The first podcast is about half an hour,” said Tim.

But if they ever find themselves in a position to need more time, or less, the beauty of podcasts is there are no constricting rules.

It also keeps Grapes in game shape while he considers other potential TV offers and opportunities.

Mostly it’s just the perfect outlet for Don Cherry to do what he does best: Be Don Cherry.

Yes Coach’s Corner is over: The new Grapevine has just been planted. Just call this the coach’s comeback! 

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Injuries sideline Habs Drouin, Byron indefinitely

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Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron will be out of the lineup indefinitely as the result of injuries they suffered in Friday night’s win over the Capitals in Washington.

Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron will be out of the lineup indefinitely as the result of injuries they suffered in Friday night’s win over the Capitals in Washington.

Drouin underwent wrist surgery on Monday, and Byron is scheduled to undergo knee surgery on Tuesday.

“We’ll a better idea of a timeline after the surgery,” coach Claude Julien said after the Canadiens practised in preparation for Tuesday’s road game against the Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio).

The Canadiens recalled Charles Hudon from Laval. He played Saturday against New Jersey and was sent back to the minors after the game.

Julien said Carey Price will start in goal, and he will wait to decide on a goaltender for Wednesday’s home game against the Ottawa Senators.

phickey@postmedia.com

twitter.com/zababes1

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