TORONTO — Back at the start of May, when the Toronto Blue Jays lost two of three at home to the New York Yankees and then twice more during a quickie visit to the Bronx, they could point to an out-of-sync batting order and reasonably think that things will be different next time.
Well, they didn’t deliver the type of dramatic counterpunch they might have envisioned then, but did show an important and fortifying resilience in rallying from five runs down Sunday for a tension-filled 10-9 victory that averted a three-game sweep.
The Blue Jays offence had come around since the clashes last month but was mostly AWOL during a weekend of frustration, managing only three runs on 10 hits in the first two games before busting out in the finale. Yusei Kikuchi left behind a 3-2 deficit, Adam Cimber and Max Castillo, in his big-league debut, let it get to 8-3 and a deflating end loomed.
But Luis Severino, dominant through five, came out of the game after a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. single and Alejandro Kirk walk to open the sixth. The Blue Jays loaded the bases against Miguel Castro and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made it a one-run game with his fifth career grand slam.
After Yimi Garcia put up a zero in the seventh — jawing with Gleyber Torres after getting him swinging to end the frame — Bo Bichette beat out an infield single, and after a Guerrero fielder’s choice and Kirk walk, Teoscar Hernandez timed up a Peralta changeup and sent it out to left-centre field, triggering bedlam among the crowd of 44,395.
“Against the Yankees everything is going to be like that,” Hernandez said of the emotions that had him pounding his chest all the way up the first-base line. “Everybody knows the team that they have and the run that they’re in right now. They’re a pretty good team. That’s why they’re in the first place. And we know if we play good against them and beat them, we’re in a good spot.”
The drama didn’t end there as pinch-hitter Anthony Rizzo homered off Tim Mayza with one out in the eighth, and the next two Yankees reached, too, prompting manager Charlie Montoyo to bring in closer Jordan Romano into the eighth for the first time this season.
Romano promptly got DJ LeMahieu to fly out before blowing away Aaron Judge with a 98 mph fastball atop the zone to end the eighth, and then worked around a walk and a single to shut the door in an anxious ninth.
“The biggest thing for me is in-between innings,” said Romano. “Come in, pretty big spot there, get the two outs and always remind myself, the job’s not finished. Like I was saying to myself, ‘You haven’t done anything yet,’ you know what I mean? The sit-down, mentally is a little bit hard. You’ve got to remind yourself you’re going back out there.”
Romano’s usage underlined the desperate nature of this game for the Blue Jays, who ended a nine-game win streak for the juggernaut Yankees, who at 49-17, are off to the fourth-best start through 66 games in major-league history.
The Blue Jays, who at 38-28 own the third-best record in the American League, improved to 4-8 against the Yankees and that mark is a key reason why they’re just 17-20 against teams .500 or better.
The Yankees, on the other hand, are 20-8 versus teams .500 or better. They’re now 36-3 when leading after six innings, highlighting how unlikely a loss this was.
“They have good pitching and that’s a fact, but then we took care of the bullpen today,” said Montoyo. “You’ve got to give them credit, that’s one of the reasons they’re doing well, because they have a good starting rotation. But we didn’t quit today. We were down and kept fighting back. I’ve seen it so many times that people say, ‘OK. They’re having a good series. Let’s move on.’ We didn’t move on. Credit to everybody.”
That, in part, explains why there was plenty of emotion on display well before Garcia and Torres got into it. In the first, Josh Donaldson whipped his bat into the ground after getting hit by Kikuchi and later flipped his bat on a two-run homer in the third. Hernandez, in turn, wore a ferocious look as he beat his chest as the ball sailed over the wall.
Garcia’s stop in the seventh was pivotal, almost drawing a line in the sand against the Yankees after the Blue Jays had crept within one, which prompted the right-hander’s stare-down of Torres.
“That’s part of the game,” Garcia said through interpreter Hector Lebron, adding the two didn’t have any past history. “In those situations, your adrenaline is high so you see emotions. … When you face a team like that, the way the Yankees are playing right now, that’s our mentality, come into the game and trying to stop it, somehow.”
Kirk, meanwhile, was particularly cautious behind the plate with men on base, setting up his glove in one spot but quickly moving it elsewhere in case signs were being relayed. He also did Kikuchi a pair of solids by picking Donaldson off at first to end the first and throwing out Aaron Hicks trying to steal to end the second, while blocking skillfully in the ninth when Giancarlo Stanton reached third on Hicks’ two-out single.
As Matt Chapman eased off the shift and scrambled back toward third to ensure Rizzo didn’t try to drop one down the line, Romano made sure to carefully guard every move.
“Definitely,” he said. “These guys are pretty big at second base. They’re always looking, they’re always trying to pick signs, and credit to them, that’s part of the game. They’re pretty good at it so we’re always coming up with our plans on how to combat that.”
The same applies to the Yankees as a whole after a weekend in which the Blue Jays didn’t claw back any lost ground, but showed the fortitude necessary for a better outcome in August, when the clubs next meet.
2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft complete selection order – NHL.com
NEW YORK — The National Hockey League announced today the order of selection for the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft, July 7-8 at Bell Centre in Montreal.
The host Montreal Canadiens own the first overall selection and a League-high 14 overall; the most picks made by a club in one year since the introduction of the 7-round draft in 2005 is 13 (NY Islanders in 2006 and 2008, Florida in 2010 and Carolina in 2021).
The first round of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft will be broadcast on Thursday, July 7, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN+ in the U.S. and Sportsnet, TVA Sports in Canada. Rounds 2-7 will air on NHL Network, ESPN+ in the U.S. and on Sportsnet, TVA Sports in Canada on Friday, July 8 at 11 a.m. ET.
2. New Jersey
6. Columbus (from CHI)
11. San Jose
13. NY Islanders
16. Buffalo (from VGK)
19. Minnesota (from LAK)
22. Anaheim (from BOS)
23. St. Louis
26. Montreal (from CGY)
27. Arizona (from CAR via MTL)
28. Buffalo (from FLA)
30. Winnipeg (from NYR)
31. Tampa Bay
32. Arizona (from COL)
36. Arizona (from PHI)
37. New Jersey
43. Arizona (from SJS)
45. Arizona (from NYI)
46. Washington (from WPG)
47. Minnesota (from VAN via ARI)
49. Seattle (from NSH)
51. Los Angeles
52. Detroit (from WSH)
53. Anaheim (from PIT)
55. Winnipeg (from STL via NYR)
56. Minnesota *
57. Chicago (from MIN)
58. Seattle (from TOR)
61. Seattle (from FLA via CGY)
62. Montreal (from EDM)
63. NY Rangers
64. Ottawa (from TBL)
65. NY Islanders (from COL)
* Pick 56 – Compensatory pick (MIN did not sign 2018 1st-round pick Filip Johansson)
70. New Jersey
71. Carolina (from CHI)
75. Montreal (from ANA)
76. San Jose
77. Winnipeg (from CBJ)
78. NY Islanders
79. Toronto (from WPG via VAN)
81. Chicago (from VGK)
84. Nashville (from LAK)
86. Los Angeles (from PIT)
87. Ottawa (from BOS)
88. St. Louis
90. Chicago (from TOR via CGY)
91. Boston (from CGY)
92. Montreal (from CAR)
94. Chicago (from EDM)
95. Vegas (from NYR)
96. Columbus (from TBL)
99. Winnipeg (from ARI)
102. New Jersey
103. Tampa Bay (from CHI)
108. San Jose
110. New Jersey (from NYI)
111. NY Rangers (from WPG via VGK)
113. Detroit (from VGK)
116. Los Angeles
117. Seattle (from WSH)
120. St. Louis
122. Columbus (from TOR)
123. Seattle (from CGY)
126. New Jersey (from EDM)
127. Montreal (from NYR via FLA)
128. Montreal (from TBL)
129. Detroit (from COL)
134. Buffalo (from NJD)
135. Vegas (from CHI)
138. San Jose (from BUF via VGK)
140. San Jose
141. New Jersey (from CBJ)
142. NY Islanders
143. Ottawa (from WPG)
148. Los Angeles
151. Ottawa (from BOS)
152. St. Louis
154. Anaheim (from TOR)
159. NY Rangers
160. Tampa Bay
166. New Jersey
169. Tampa Bay (from DET)
171. Carolina (from ANA)
172. San Jose
173. Chicago (from CBJ)
174. NY Islanders
178. Anaheim (from NSH)
180. Los Angeles
184. St. Louis
186. Florida (from TOR via CBJ)
187. Buffalo (from CGY via FLA)
191. NY Rangers
192. Tampa Bay
195. San Jose (from ARI)
198. New Jersey
200. Boston (from OTT)
203. Columbus (from ANA)
204. San Jose
205. Carolina (from CBJ)
206. Ottawa (from NYI)
211. Buffalo (from DAL)
212. Detroit (from LAK)
216. Montreal (from STL via PHI and ARI)
217. San Jose (from MIN)
223. Tampa Bay (from NYR)
224. Tampa Bay
Tim Hortons, Esso withdraw for world juniors in another blow for Hockey Canada – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, June 29, 2022 6:58PM EDT
TORONTO – Tim Hortons and Imperial Oil have joined a growing list of corporations to pull sponsorship dollars in the wake of Hockey Canada’s handling of an alleged sexual assault and out-of-court settlement.
Tim Hortons said Wednesday it is “suspending support” for the upcoming men’s world junior hockey championship this summer in Edmonton as the restaurant chain awaits details on how the national federation intends to take “strong and definitive action” following the “deeply concerning allegations.”
“Hockey Canada has communicated that it is committed to changing the culture of hockey to make it safer and more inclusive for all, on and off the ice,” Tim Hortons said in the statement. “We have expressed strongly that we believe Canadians are urgently seeking concrete details from Hockey Canada about how it intends to do so.
“We will re-evaluate our sponsorship agreement once we have all the information we need to consider our options.”
Imperial Oil, which is the head sponsor of the Canadian national women’s under-18 hockey club championship under its Esso brand, also said it is withdrawing support from the world junior championship while continuing to sponsor youth and women’s programs.
The energy company took a more definitive step Wednesday, a day after releasing a statement saying it was “concerned by the recent allegations.”
“Imperial will not be supporting the upcoming 2022 men’s world junior championship with the Esso brand,” the company said Wednesday. “This matter is deeply concerning, and we have communicated our expectations to Hockey Canada that concrete steps must be taken to address safety issues and ensure swift culture change.”
The moves come after Scotiabank, Canadian Tire and Telus all paused Hockey Canada sponsorships Tuesday until the companies are confident the right steps are being taken to improve the sport’s culture.
The federal government froze Hockey Canada’s public funding last week.
Hockey Canada quietly settled a lawsuit last month after a woman, now 24, claimed she was assaulted by members of the country’s 2018 gold-medal winning world junior hockey team at a gala and golf function four years ago in London, Ont.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Hockey Canada executives were grilled by legislators on Parliament Hill last week during a Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage meeting looking into the matter.
Scotiabank president and CEO Brian J. Porter said in an open letter Tuesday that marketing and events at the world juniors will be cancelled.
He said the investments would be redirected into other programs, including one that aims to help eliminate financial barriers for young people in the game, and the women’s world championship.
Canadian Tire said in its statement the company is “deeply disappointed in Hockey Canada’s lack of transparency and accountability around the assault allegations.” In addition to withdrawing support from the world juniors, Canadian Tire said it is “re-evaluating its relationship with Hockey Canada.”
Telus, meanwhile, said it’s redirecting sponsorship money to Canadian organizations that support women affected by sexual violence. The telecommunications giant added it would continue to support women’s events and youth programs.
Business development and partnerships have previously made up 43 per cent of Hockey Canada’s coffers, according to the organization’s most recent numbers, ahead of funding agencies (14 per cent), insurance premiums (13 per cent), interest revenue (10 per cent) and the taxpayer funds (six per cent).
Hockey Canada said last week it needs to “do more” to build a safer culture following a tumultuous few days that included president Scott Smith and outgoing CEO Tom Renney getting called to the floor by parliamentarians.
“Unfortunately, we did not receive many answers,” Pascale St-Onge, the federal government’s minister of sport, told reporters in Ottawa last Wednesday.
She said at the time Hockey Canada would only have its public money restored once officials produced an incomplete report from a third-party law firm hired to investigate the 2018 incident that allegedly involved eight players.
St-Onge added Hockey Canada must also become a signatory to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner, a new government agency with the power to independently investigate abuse complaints and levy sanctions.
The woman who made the assault allegation was seeking $3.55 million in damages from Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League and the unnamed players.
Details of the settlement have not been publicized, but Smith testified to the committee Hockey Canada came up with the funds and paid the entire sum, adding no government money was used.
St-Onge has ordered an audit to make sure that’s the case.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is set to meet July 26 and 27 to hear from more witnesses. It has also requested a redacted copy of the non-disclosure agreement related to the financial settlement along with a long list of Hockey Canada communications.
St-Onge has said she only learned of the situation on call with Renney days before TSN broke the story last month. Hockey Canada said it informed Sport Canada of the situation in June 2018.
The House of Commons, meanwhile, has unanimously approved a Bloc Quebecois motion to pursue an independent investigation that will look into how Hockey Canada dealt with the allegations.
The organization hired Toronto law firm Henein Hutchison LLP to conduct its investigation, but Smith and Renney told MPs that while players present at the London event were “strongly encouraged” to participate, it was not mandated.
Smith said 12 or 13 of the 19 players from the world junior team at the gala were interviewed by investigators.
Hockey Canada has said repeatedly the woman declined to speak with both police and its third-party law firm.
Smith and Renney reiterated to the committee the woman also chose not to name the players. They added Hockey Canada still does not know the identities of the eight players in question.
The independent investigation ended in September 2020, but Renney testified the report is incomplete and shouldn’t be released despite the fact in contained recommendations.
Smith testified last week on Parliament Hill that Hockey Canada has reported three sexual assault complaints in recent years, including the London incident, but declined to discuss the other two in front of the committee.
The NHL, which has said it also only recently learned of the allegations, is conducting its own investigation because some of the players in question are now in the league.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2022.
Sea Dogs win Memorial Cup, defeating Bulldogs in the Final – Sportsnet.ca
SAINT JOHN, N.B. — The Saint John Sea Dogs turned a devastating playoff loss into a Memorial Cup championship, thanks to renewed focus, 40 days of sweat and a university coach who pushed all the right buttons.
Considered a long shot at the beginning of the Canadian Hockey League championship due to a first-round loss in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs, the Memorial Cup host Sea Dogs downed the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3 in Wednesday’s final.
Saint John scored twice in the first six minutes of both the first and second periods and rode the emotion of a sellout crowd to win the championship for the second time in its 17-year history.
It was another national title for Gardiner MacDougall, a seven-time University Cup champion with the University of New Brunswick, who replaced Gordie Dwyer as head coach on May 22 and was credited for the revamped enthusiasm within the team that went 47-17-1-3 in the regular season before a stunning playoff loss to the Rimouski Oceanic in May.
“It was just a complete team effort,” said MacDougall. “The players are most important. They really bought in and they were all so receptive. This is as hard as I have ever worked a team.”
Cam MacDonald had a goal and an assist for the champions, while Josh Lawrence, Peter Reynolds and William Dufour — the tournament’s most valuable player — had one of each. Captain Vincent Sevigny rounded out the scoring for Saint John.
“It makes it more special because everyone thought we were the underdogs, not the Sea Dogs,” said Scott McCain, who’s owned the team since 2005. “You know what? We proved we deserved to be here. We were the best team in the round robin and we won this game decisively today.”
Anaheim Ducks prospect Mason McTavish, with two goals, and Jan Mysak answered for the Bulldogs, who advanced to the final with a 4-3 overtime over Shawinigan in Monday’s semifinal.
Saint John goaltender Nikolas Hurtubise, acquired by the Sea Dogs at the QMJHL trade deadline, posted his third victory of the tournament with 25 saves.
“We have worked so hard and I am so, so proud,” said Hurtubise. “We knew that we worked too hard in the past month to not win it. We earned it.”
Hamilton’s Marco Costantini stopped 21 of 26 shots in the loss.
The Sea Dogs also won the Memorial Cup in 2011. Their win on Wednesday marks the sixth time a QMJHL team has won the Memorial Cup in the last 10 tournaments.
The 2020 and 2021 Memorial Cup events were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hamilton was making its second Memorial Cup appearance after advancing to the 2018 semifinals where they fell to the Regina Pats.
The Sea Dogs defeated the Bulldogs 5-3 in the opening game of the tournament and used the same script Wednesday, scoring early.
Sevigny accepted a feed from Toronto Maple Leafs prospect William Villeneuve and his blast hit the stick of Hamilton’s Arber Xhekaj and whipped past Costantini 2:35 into the game.
“It is amazing,” Sevigny said. “It was a lot of hard work and the work paid off. To have this is the best day of our lives.”
Just over three minutes later, Villeneuve made another slick move on the right side boards and hit MacDonald in the slot. He made no mistake when he wristed a quick shot to beat Costantini at the 5:47 mark.
McTavish picked up his fifth of the tournament when he redirected a Nathan Staios shot past Hurtubise at 7:45 to calm the crowd and give Hamilton a much needed injection of offence.
Bezeau — a forward from Rothesay, N.B., who started attending Sea Dogs games at age five — patiently held the puck on a rush down the right side before connecting on a wrist shot 4:41 into the second.
Dufour, who led the tournament with seven goals, ripped a feed from Ryan Francis 5:15 into the period to give the Sea Dogs a 4-1 lead.
Hamilton allowed several other golden chances but came within two goals when Mysak had a Gavin White shot glance off him and past Hurtubise with nine seconds left in the period.
Lawrence put the Sea Dogs on the brink of the title with a sharp shot to the top corner on a feed from Dufour on a power play 6:32 into the third.
McTavish added his second of the night with 4:57 left on the game clock.
Reynolds fired a puck into an empty to seal the win at 18:43.
“The message to the boys was they’re a champion of champions,” said Hamilton coach Jay McKee. “What made the difference is (Saint John) capitalized on their big chances.”
Saint John earned the bye to the final with two wins and an overtime loss to the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings in preliminary action.
The Bulldogs won the Ontario Hockey League championship to advance to the Memorial Cup but dropped their first two games of the preliminary round to set up a series of do-or-die contests, starting with a 4-2 victory against the Oil Kings.
In a thrilling semifinal on Monday, Mysak scored 10:08 into overtime to lift Hamilton past the Shawinigan Cataractes 4-3.
Despite Wednesday’s loss, the Bulldogs earned their OHL championship and are proud of the run at the Memorial Cup, said Staios, the CHL’s defenceman of the year.
“It took two months of war to get to it,” he said. “We beat every championship team here. We beat the WHL, we beat the QMJHL, so (it) stings but you know, we’re proud of ourselves. We’re going to keep our heads high.”
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