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Adam Lowry scores twice as Winnipeg Jets down Vancouver Canucks –



VANCOUVER — Collecting his first shutout of the season Monday meant something big to Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck.

“It means you’ve finally perfected a game,” he said after the Jets topped the Vancouver Canucks 4-0.

“I’m never going to say my game is perfect, but for one game, with the guys in front of me, we played a perfect game,” he said. “Granted, there’s some luck in there and maybe you can find some mistakes, but at the end of the day, we’re looking back at this like we played our A-plus game. And this is what we want to try and continue moving forward with.”

Hellebuyck, last year’s winner of the Vezina trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender, stopped all 22 shots he faced Monday.

It marked his 21st career shutout. The last came on March 6, 2020 when the Jets downed the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0.

Hellebuyck’s toughest test on Monday came midway through the second frame as Zack MacEwen was sprung from the penalty box after serving time for a holding call.

The big Canucks forward picked up the puck in the neutral zone and darted into Winnipeg territory, waited out a diving Neal Pionk in tight and got a solid shot off, only to see Hellebuyck make the stop.

It was an important win for Winnipeg (19-11-2), which came into Vancouver on a bit of a skid, having dropped a pair of decisions in Edmonton — the Jets’ first back-to-back losses in regulation this season.

The squad had been playing well but simply hadn’t earned the results they wanted, Hellebuyck said.

“We’ve got a lot of character in that locker room,” he said. “We needed this one to show that we are playing the right way and to not stray away from it. Everyone was playing their hearts out tonight and it really showed.”

The games in Edmonton were tough on Hellebuyck because he gave up goals on a lower volume of shots than he’s used to, said Jets coach Paul Maurice.

“It’s like a goal scorer — that confidence is critical,” he said. “A zero on the board for a goaltender, you get to carry that with you for a little while. And he earned it.”

Maurice felt at morning skate Monday that his team had the right mood and mindframe to collect a win.

“They had a really good understanding of the weight of the game after losing two, that we wanted to be right,” he said.

Winnipeg refused to relent after Blake Wheeler opened the scoring midway through the first period on Monday.

The Jets captain picked the puck off Canucks defenceman Alex Edler and streaked down the ice on a 2-on-1 breakaway with Paul Stastny.

Vancouver’s Nate Schmidt dropped to the ice in front of the crease in an attempt to stop a pass but Wheeler kept the puck and slipped a shot through the legs of Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko.

Adam Lowry added a pair of goals in the third and Stastny closed out the game, scoring with three minutes left on the clock.

Demko stopped 25-of-29 shots for Vancouver (16-17-3).

“I thought it was tight-checking game,” the goalie said. “Going into the third down one, I felt we we’re in a pretty good spot to make a push and tie it up and not a lot anyone could do on a couple of those plays.”

Vancouver was without a key piece for much of the third. Captain Bo Horvat hobbled to the dressing room in pain after taking a slap shoot to the foot midway through the period and did not return to the game.

Seeing the Canucks centre in obvious distress, Lowry and Andrew Copp reached out their sticks from the Jets bench and gave Horvat a push up the ice.

“You see a guy go down and he’s struggling to get to the bench and you hope that someone would do that for you if you were in that position,” Lowry said of the move.

“He’s such a good player for them, an honest player and plays hard. You see a guy go down like that and you kind of just want to get him off the ice. You know how painful it is.”

Canucks coach Travis Green did not have an update on Horvat’s condition post-game, but the injury could be difficult to weather for an already-depleted forward corps.

Vancouver’s three other starting centres (Elias Pettersson, Brandon Sutter and Jay Beagle) were all out with various undisclosed ailments on Monday.

The team simply needs guys to “step up to the plate,” said J.T. Miller, who has shifted from wing to centre in Pettersson’s absence.

“This is the hard part of the season. We just need to literally challenge ourselves to be the best version of ourselves right now,” he said. “The guys that are gonna fill in these roles are going to get more ice time and we have to play very desperate hockey right now.”

The Jets and Canucks will meet again in Vancouver on Wednesday.

NOTES: Both teams were 0 for 1 on the power play. ? Sutter missed the game with an undisclosed injury. He was replaced in the lineup by Tyler Graovac. ? Earlier on Monday, Vancouver claimed centre Travis Boyd off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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UEFA threaten to ban breakaway clubs from all competitions



By Simon Evans

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – European soccer‘s governing body UEFA has warned clubs linked to a breakaway Super League that they face being banned from domestic and international competitions if they set up a rival to the Champions League.

In a joint statement–statement-by-uefa-english-fa-rfef-figc-premier-league-laliga-le with Spanish, English and Italian leagues and federations, UEFA said it will consider “all measures”, including the courts and bans from domestic leagues, in opposition to plans for a breakaway competition.

UEFA said it had learnt that clubs from those countries “may be planning to announce their creation of a closed, so-called Super League”.

“If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we….(and) also FIFA and all our member associations – will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever,” UEFA said.

“We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening. Football is based on open competitions and sporting merit; it cannot be any other way,” the statement added.

In January, FIFA had said that a breakaway league would not be recognised and that “any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by FIFA or their respective confederation” – meaning players would be banned from the World Cup.

Sunday’s UEFA statement said: “The clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level, and their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.

“We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this. We call on all lovers of football, supporters and politicians, to join us in fighting against such a project if it were to be announced. This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long. Enough is enough.”


(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond and Christian Radnedge)

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Netherlands and Poland seal narrow Billie Jean King Cup playoff wins



(Reuters) – The Netherlands and Poland both needed deciding doubles wins to battle through their Billie Jean King Cup playoffs on Saturday but Britain, Italy and Canada all enjoyed easier passages.

In Den Bosch, the Dutch were without world number 11 Kiki Bertens for the second day because of injury and found themselves trailing China 2-1 after Wang Xiyu beat Lesley Kerkhove in Saturday’s opening singles.

But Aranxta Rus beat Wang Xinyu to level the tie and then teamed up with Demi Schuurs to defeat Zhang Shuai and Zu Yifan to send the hosts through.

It was equally tight in Poland where the hosts were pushed to the brink by Brazil.

Brazil’s Carolina Meligeni Alves took the tie into a deciding doubles with a win over Katarzyna Kawa but the Poles prevailed 3-2 as Kawa and Magdalena Frech came back from a set down to beat Meligeni Alves and Luisa Stefani.

Kazakhstan also won a deciding rubber to see off Argentina.

Britain led 2-0 overnight against Mexico in London but Marcela Zacarias beat Heather Watson to keep alive the tie.

Katie Boulter proved too strong for Giuliana Olmos though to clinch the tie for the hosts.

Italy beat Romania 3-1 while Canada‘s teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez sealed her country’s path as she gave her side an unassailable 3-0 lead over Serbia thanks to a three-set win over Nina Stojanovic.

Ukraine eased past Japan 4-0 while Anastasija Sevastova secured Latvia’s 3-1 victory over India.

The eight winners move forward to next year’s qualifying round where they will hope to reach the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

The old Fed Cup was re-branded last year and named after the American great and 12-times Grand Slam singles champion who won the inaugural tournament nearly 60 years ago.

This year’s 12-team Finals were postponed because of the pandemic and a new date has yet to be finalised.


(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon)

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Motor racing-Canadian Grand Prix cancelled for second year



(Reuters) -The Canadian Grand Prix scheduled for June 13 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal has been cancelled for the second year in a row, CBC Radio reported on Thursday although Formula One said discussions remained ongoing.

With the spread of new COVID-19 variants and Canada battling to contain a third wave of the virus, Montreal public health authorities concluded that even if run behind closed doors without spectators the risks were too high, reported the CBC.

F1 officials, according to the CBC, wanted to bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine for the hundreds of staff, crew members and drivers and rely on private medical staff and have the entire operation run in a bubble.

The race is scheduled to follow on immediately from Azerbaijan, whose grand prix is scheduled for June 6 in Baku and is due to go ahead after also being cancelled last year.

“We are continuing our discussions with the promoter in Canada and have no further comment,” an F1 spokesperson told Reuters.

The Autosport website quoted a spokesperson for the Canadian promoter as saying the radio report referred to “a document of recommendations from public health.

“We as an organisation have not had confirmation from our public health officials and won’t comment until we get an official confirmation.”

Canada, with some of the world’s toughest travel rules, obliges its citizens and residents arriving from abroad to self-isolate for 14 days.

International arrivals are required to quarantine for up to three days in a hotel.

One of Canada‘s biggest sporting events, it would mark the second consecutive year the grand prix has been removed from the F1 schedule due to the spread of COVID-19.

Media reports have suggested Turkey is on standby to be slotted in as Canada‘s replacement.

The Istanbul circuit is logistically convenient for freight coming from Baku and was brought in last year also at short notice to bolster a calendar ravaged by the pandemic.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto/Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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