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Americans need late goal to scrape past Canada at SheBelieves Cup –



A Canada side missing captain Christine Sinclair and other key veterans showed plenty of grit and promise Thursday in a 1-0 loss to the top-ranked Americans at the SheBelieves Cup.

The U.S. dominated play but needed a 79th-minute goal by substitute Rose Lavelle to finally dispatch a Canadian team that bent but didn’t break until then.

While the Americans came on in waves before a crowd limited to 3,104 at Exploria Stadium, they failed to convert until late when Canada couldn’t clear a ball off a free kick into the box and Lavelle, who plays for Manchester City, hammered a low shot through traffic.

The game marked the debut of 34-year-old Bev Priestman as Canada coach. The English native, who worked for Canada Soccer from 2013 to 2018, took over last November after Kenneth Heiner-Moller accepted a coaching job in his native Denmark.

WATCH | Lavelle scores late goal to secure U.S. win over Canada:

The United States defeats Canada 1-0 with Rose Lavelle’s goal in the 79th minute. 1:04

“For an opening game as a new coach coming in, you want players to put everything out on the field and I’m really proud. I thought they did that,” Priestman said. “The mindset was right, first and foremost. They were brave, they worked really really hard. And they took it to the U.S. in moments in that game.”

U.S. coach Zlatko Andonovski, meanwhile, wondered about chances gone missing by his team.

“I agree we could have done a better job in the final third,” said Andonovski, who ran his record at the American helm to 14-0-0. “It was a definitely not for lack of creativity. I would say it was more about lack of execution ΓǪ I’m just glad that after missing all those opportunities that we were able to find away to score a goal.”

The U.S. outshot Canada 29-8 (10-3 in shots on target) and had 13 corners to Canada’s five. The Canadians are tied with Brazil for eighth in the FIFA world rankings.

Canadian women are winless in last 37 meetings against the U.S.

Canada’s record against the U.S. dropped to 3-51-7, with the Canadian women winless in the last 37 meetings (0-31-6). Their last victory over the Americans was almost 20 years ago, a 3-0 decision at the Algarve Cup on March 11, 2001, in Lagos, Portugal.

The U.S., meanwhile, extended its unbeaten streak against all opposition to 35 games and is unbeaten in its last 51 home matches (46-0-5).

Priestman was without Sinclair, Diana Matheson, Erin McLeod, Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence and Jordyn Huitema, who are either injured or back in Europe with their clubs.

The six have 845 caps and 229 international goals between them (uncapped defender Bianca St-Georges also had to leave camp with an injury). The 37-year-old Sinclair leads the soccer world with 186 international goals.

The depth of the American roster was shown by a triple substitution in the 63rd minute with Christen Press, Alex Morgan and Lavelle coming in.

Priestman fielded a starting 11 that went into the game with a combined 636 caps, led by midfielder Desiree Scott’s 156. The hard-nosed defensive midfielder served as skipper in Sinclair’s absence.

Quinn plays well in win

Vanessa Gilles impressed at the heart of the Canadian defence, earning just her third cap filling in for Buchanan alongside Shelina Zadorsky.

“I thought they were outstanding, particularly Vanessa,” Priestman said of the centre-back pairing. “I thought Vanessa had an unbelievable performance.”

Quinn, who goes by one name, also fared well in the Canadian midfield.

And veteran goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe, pressed into action when Kailen Sheridan limped off in the 11th minute, got the job done. It wasn’t always pretty but the Canadian defence resisted one attack after another.

It was the first outing for Canada since March 10, 2020, when it tied Brazil 2-2 at a tournament in France. The Americans were coming off a pair of lopsided victories over No. 26 Colombia in January.

“A great starting spot for our squad ΓǪ I think we can be super-proud of the performance we put out,” said Scott.

Scott suggested the Americans may have underestimated Canada given the holes in the roster.

“I don’t think anyone should take Canada lightly,” she said.

‘It’s always an honour to play for Canada’

The Americans pressed from the get-go, hemming the Canadians in their own end and forcing giveaways. Still Canada managed to hold off the Americans, showed flashes of its attack as the first half wore on.

The Americans had Canada on the ropes as the half ended, coming close as Labbe failed to corral a deflected shot near the goal-line in injury time. But Labbe was saved by fullback Allysha Chapman’s desperate clearance.

Midfielder Sophie Schmidt came on in the 55th minute for her milestone 200th cap, joining Sinclair (296) and Matheson (206) in the Canadian double-century club.

“It’s pretty incredible and it’s always an honour to play for Canada, especially now during these times,” said Schmidt. “It’s definitely a privilege to do what we love. I know there’s so many people who are stuck inside, can’t leave their homes, or can’t see their families, so definitely I will cherish this milestone with my teammates.”

Canada has its chances, although they were far fewer than the U.S.

Janine Beckie had a gilt-edged chance in the 38th minute after a Deanne Rose shot deflected her way off a defender. But the Manchester City striker stubbed the shot and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher turned the ball away.

The U.S. outshot Canada 14-5 (6-2 in shots on target) in the first half, held an 8-3 edge in corners and had 59 percent of possession.

Priestman looked on in dismay in the 74th minute when a clear handball in the U.S penalty box went unnoticed. A Zadorsky header flashed wide in the dying seconds.

“We should have put our chances away but by the time the Olympics come, I think we will,” said Priestman. “That’s when it really counts

“But overall I’m really really excited, really happy. Now we have to go into the next game and put out the same performance and win convincingly. That’s the challenge.”

Canada faces No. 31 Argentina on Sunday after the U.S. takes on Brazil. The Brazilians downed Argentina 4-1 earlier Thursday. Prior to the game four Argentine players were ruled out due to COVID-19 protocols.

The U.S. lineup included Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd, who came into the game with 466 caps between them.

Sheridan, earning her 10th cap, was helped off the pitch favouring her leg after the Sky Blue FC ‘keeper went down in pain after a seemingly innocuous pass to a teammate.

There was no immediate update on her condition.

Forward Evelyne Viens, a prolific scorer at the University of South Florida currently on loan to Paris FC from Sky Blue FC, also came on early in the second half for her first cap.

The Americans have won the tournament three of the five previous editions, including 2020. It’s a first trip to the competition for Canada.

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Full transcript: Wayne Gretzky eulogizes his late father Walter – CTV News



Wayne Gretzky paid tribute to his late father Walter on Saturday in a heartfelt eulogy during the Gretzky patriarch’s funeral in Brantford, Ont. Below is a complete transcript of the eulogy, as transcribed by, edited for length and clarity.

Wayne Gretzky: Obviously, with the pandemic that we’ve had, it’s been horrible for everyone throughout the world, Canada, North America. I really want to tell everyone that my dad and my sister and our family were so conscious of it and that COVID had nothing to do with the passing of my father. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, he sustained a bad hip injury and, as I said earlier, we thought weeks ago that the end was here. He has a tremendous amount of faith. Faith like I’ve never seen, but he had a love for life and he didn’t want to leave. And we were 21 days sitting with him, and just enjoying life and we got a chance, an opportunity to tell stories.

Our grandchildren have… seen my dad after his brain aneurysm, and we were telling them all you’re thankful that you didn’t know him before his brain aneurysm because he was a lot tougher. So it’s been a tough time. I want to thank everyone in the community who dropped off food, who dropped off sandwiches, they knew we were all there for 21 days. My sister was a champ, she was beside him, each and every minute of the day. The grandkids were wonderful. My dad and mom, I know are so proud. So I thought I would tell a couple stories.

I spent the last four nights talking with my wife Janet, thinking what I was going to say and, like I usually do, I try to just kind of wing it and speak from my heart. So years ago, as everyone knows, my dad was such a huge sports fan and hockey guy, and we were playing in a hockey tournament outside of Toronto, and my dad was so proud of the fact we’re going to play against better teams than little towns in this area. On a Friday night, we were going to the tournament and my mom said, ‘No. Walter, we’re going to have this baby this weekend.’ And he said, ‘That’s OK, you can wait till we get back.’

So, Brent was born on the Saturday. We went to this tournament in Whitby, Ontario. We played against good teams like Burlington, Oshawa, Hamilton, Toronto Marlies, Nationals. We won the tournament, we got in the car and we weren’t sure if the car to get us back from Oshawa to Brantford. So we finally got back, and the next day, mom came home with Brent, people were coming by — families, friends, sisters — congratulations on the baby, and every single person would say to my dad, ‘Walter, I can’t believe you missed the birth of your son.’ So our next door neighbour Mary Rosetto came over and she was the last person to come over. She said, ‘Walter, I can’t believe you missed the birth of Brent,’ and when she walked out the door he was so mad, he stood up and grabbed the trophy and he goes, ‘Yes, but we got the trophy.’

So, as time goes on, he was so nice to all the grandchildren. Every grandchild loved him, close to each and every one of them. They understood how important he was not only to our family but to the culture of Canada. He came here, his family as an immigrant. They came here because he wanted a better life. I don’t think I’ve ever met a prouder Canadian than my dad. And all my five children are American, born in United States, and I always tell them you should be as proud of the United States as your grandfather is of Canada, because that’s how much he loves the country.

I always tell my kids there’s nothing better in life than family. My dad would come every year to our summer house. My sons Ty, Trevor, Tristan they had a hockey school and dad would come out, he’d go to the rink, sign autographs like he always does. We were playing golf one day, and he’s picking up golf balls. And I’m like, ‘We have all these golf balls, what are these golf balls for?’

And finally the next day, Ty, Trevor, and Tristan, my friend Mike and Tom, they’re in the fairway, they’re in the rough, they’re grabbing all these balls. And I finally grab them, I said, ‘You guys got to stop grabbing golf balls.’ And they’re like, ‘What do you mean? Your dad wants them for the kids.’ I said, I know he wants them for the kids, but I got to sign them for the kids.’ So I take my dad to the airport at 5 a.m., sure enough we get to the airport and there’s two big bags, and my brother Glen he runs out of the car, he’s going to get a cup of coffee, and my dad goes, ‘You’ll sign these for the kids, right?’ I’m like, ‘Oh my god.’ So there I was signing for hours, but that’s how he was.

He was a remarkable man who loved life, love family. We’d be a way better world if there was so many more people like my dad. Very special. We’re all hurting, this is a tough time. I’m so proud of the fact that so many people have reached out and given him such great tributes because he deserves it. He has a heart of gold and just wonderful. Thank you.

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Ace, bunker hole-out, massive putts all part of Jordan Spieth's third round – Golf Channel



ORLANDO, Fla. – Jordan Spieth got off to a hot start Saturday at Bay Hill.

After sinking a 20-footer for birdie at the par-4 opening hole, Spieth dunked his tee shot from 223 yards at the par-3 second hole. The hole-in-one was Spieth’s third career ace on Tour, following aces at the 2013 Puerto Rico Open and 2015 BMW Championship at Conway Farms.

“I hit a 5-iron, it was 205 front, 220 hole, and the wind wasn’t blowing very hard, so I was trying to peel it left to right to hold the wind and land it a little right of the hole. I hit it a little thin but it was right on the line I wanted and knowing that the grass was wet, you get some skid, I thought in the air it was going to be pretty good. Certainly not as good as it was,” Spieth said.

Spieth’s birdie-ace start moved him to 8 under, a shot off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

He then hit his next shot, a tee ball at the par-4 third, into the water, but he rallied to save par by holing a 32-footer.

The fireworks continued on the next par 3, the 201-yard seventh. No ace this time, but a birdie courtesy a 71-foot bunker hole-out.

Spieth then grabbed sole possession of the lead with this 36-foot birdie putt at the par-4 10th.

Spieth would two-putt for birdie at the par-5 12th but that was the end of his scoring. He missed a 6-footer for par at the 14th and an 8-footer for par at the 17th to drop two shots coming in. He finished with a 4-under 68 and, at 9 under par, was two back of leader Lee Westwood.

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Tom Wilson Offered In-Person Hearing For 'Boarding' Brandon Carlo – Boston Hockey Now



The NHL Department of Player Safety announced Saturday morning that Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has been offered an in-person hearing for ‘boarding’ Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo in the waning minutes of the Bruins’ 5-1 win over the Caps Friday night.

By offering an in-person hearing, the league now reserves the right to suspend Tom Wilson give games or more. Wilson’s last suspension came after the preseason finale for the Capitals and St. Louis Blues in September 2018 for a high hit on Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist. The league came down heavy on Tom Wilson then, nailing him with a 20-game suspension, but after he served 16 games, it was reduced to 14 games and he was able to recoup wages lost for two games. At the time that was Wilson’s fourth suspension in 105 games so he was considered a repeat offender but he has since shed that label as he’s gone 166 games without a significant incident.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, and specifically winger Mark Jankowski, may disagree with that after a Wilson late hit on him on Feb. 25.

The hit on Carlo was not called on the ice and as TSN Insider Frank Seravalli pointed out, the fact that it is being termed ‘boarding’ by the Department of Player Safety means this will not be a hearing to determine if Rule 48 (illegal hit to the head) was broken. Tom Wilson will likely become the first player suspended for ‘boarding’.

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Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy described the hit as predatory.

“Well listen, it’s a fast game; they play hard, we play hard,” Cassidy said after the game Friday night. “But I mean you can see it, he clearly hit him in the head. Brandon’s in an ambulance; goes to a hospital obviously from that hit. It clearly looked like to me he got him right in the head. It’s a defenseless player and predatory hit from a player that’s done that before.”

Cassidy, like many who watched the hit, could not understand why there was no penalty on the ice.

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“So, I don’t understand why there wasn’t a penalty called on the ice,” a flabbergasted Cassidy said. “They huddled up but I did not get an explanation why but it’s out of our hands after that, we just gotta play hockey after that and try and stick together as a team and play the right way. Sometimes when that stuff happens and there’s no call, the players kind of settle it on the ice in their own way. We felt that we pushed back and did what we could do and won the hockey game and tried to let that particular player know that that was unnecessary. That’s how we handled it and like I said, I assume it will get looked at by the National Hockey League and they’ll make their decision.”

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