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Bright sun, poor ice delay outdoor NHL game at Lake Tahoe – CBC.ca

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The setting was spectacular but the ice conditions were far from it, leading to an extended delay between the first and second period of the outdoor game between the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche at Lake Tahoe.

The NHL decided to halt the game for more than eight hours on Saturday after bright sun and temperatures hovering around freezing led to poor ice conditions that had players and officials repeatedly falling because of holes on the ice.

“We’ve done over 30 outdoor games,” Commissioner Gary Bettman told broadcaster NBC. “This has been the most difficult weather circumstance we’ve had, and it’s a beautiful day. But if you look up at the sun, the cloud cover is everywhere but where the sun is, and it did a number on the ice.”

The game was halted after the first period at 3:55 p.m. ET and Bettman said the plan is to play the final two periods starting at midnight ET.

Bettman said some players wanted to keep playing while others didn’t, but the final decision was made in consultation with the union because of safety.

“We kind of wanted to go back out,” Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said on NBC. “It’s probably a good decision that we moved it tonight, and we’ll be ready to go.”

Crews were working on the ice just before the opening faceoff and issues kept cropping up throughout the period.

“We’ve done over 30 [outdoor] games and we’ve never had a problem quite like this,” Bettman said. “We’ve played in some rain, we’ve played in snow, but sunshine has always been our enemy.”

Spectacular setting

The ice issues took away from the spectacular setting for the game, which is being played on a makeshift rink on the 18th fairway of a golf course on the shore of Lake Tahoe, with snow-covered mountains in the background.

It snowed overnight and into the morning before the sun came out. While the pristine conditions made for perfect views, it proved detrimental to the ice.

But the delay didn’t alter Bettman’s commitment to outdoor games, even in unconventional settings outside of a stadium venue like Lake Tahoe.

“This game was really taking the game out to its roots in terms of the surroundings,” Bettman said. “Obviously we tried to do something different in an unusual time, try and give our fans something special. The players were excited about it. … We’re going to continue to do this, but we always knew and we’ll know going forward that when you play outside and ice is important, the weather conditions can affect whether or not we can play the game. We’ve been lucky to this point and I think we’re all disappointed but the teams have been great. … And we move on. You can’t have success if you don’t risk failure.”

The Avalanche led the game 1-0 on a goal by Samuel Girard.

New start times

The NHL announced that Sunday’s game between Boston and Philadelphia will be moved back by more than five hours to avoid the bright sunshine that is causing issues for the first game this weekend.

The game at Edgewood Tahoe Resort will now start at 7:30 p.m. ET. It had originally been scheduled for a noon local start and then was moved back to 11 a.m. earlier in the week because of the forecast.

The game also was moved from NBC to NBCSN, with the New Jersey Devils-Washington Capitals game previously scheduled for 7 p.m. ET now being changed to 2 p.m. and being broadcast on NBC.

Both teams were unable to practice on the specially built outdoor rink before Saturday’s Vegas-Colorado game because of the ice conditions. They were forced to go to a local indoor rink instead.

“In this game, you have to learn how to adapt,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said.

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Mixed Martial Arts-Door is open for YouTube’s Paul brothers in MMA

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Logan and Jake Paul would make great Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, Bellator president Scott Coker has said as he targets exhibition matches featuring the YouTube personalities such as the former’s boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather.

Logan Paul went the distance, surviving eight rounds against unbeaten (50-0) five-division world boxing champion Mayweather in an exhibition on Sunday at Miami’s Hard Rock stadium.

USA Today reported the fight brought in one million pay per view buys with $50 million generated from sales in the United States.

It was only the second fight of Paul’s career, while his brother Jake has fought in three professional boxing matches, beating former MMA fighter Ben Askren in April.

Critics have labelled the bouts a sideshow due to the lack of sporting credibility of the duo, who made their names as social media personalities and have millions of subscribers on YouTube.

However, Coker told Reuters the brothers have impressive physiques and the door is open for them to move into MMA.

“I met with Logan Paul about two years ago and I’ve spoken to Jake Paul’s manager and Jake on a zoom call recently… The one thing I said was hey, if you want to do MMA we would love to promote you guys,” the 58-year-old said in a Zoom interview.

“These guys are young, athletic, strong and you saw the fight on Sunday night these guys they came and did their work.

“Mayweather couldn’t finish him and I know he tried, I heard he wanted to knock this kid out so bad,” he added.

“When I heard both had high school wrestling backgrounds in Ohio, which is a prominent wrestling state in the U.S., it really made me interested in pursuing them in some super fights in Mixed Martial Arts – and that door is continually open.”

HEADLINE FIGHT

Bellator, owned by Viacom, is gearing up for a busy month of events, starting with Bellator 260 on Friday with the headline fight between reigning welterweight world champion Douglas Lima and the undefeated Yaroslav Amosov.

However, super fights and exhibitions are where Coker is targeting a younger audience.

“My 14-year-old niece, I told her I was going to the Logan Paul fight and she thought that was the greatest thing,” he said.

“She asked me who he was fighting and I said Floyd Mayweather and she said ‘who’s that?’ – I thought wow, she doesn’t know boxing, she doesn’t know MMA, she’s just a 14-year-old girl on the internet doing what they do.”

As the sporting world gears up for the delayed Tokyo Olympics starting in July, Coker believes MMA will feature in future Games.

“When you think about mixed martial arts, what you’re talking about is boxing, wrestling, judo, taekwondo, karate – those are all Olympic sports,” he said.

“Why wouldn’t mixed martial arts eventually get into the Olympics because six out of the seven disciplines MMA is known to use really is already there.

“There’d be a lot of details to work out but to me I think it will happen, it’s just a matter of time.”

 

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge,; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships, the International Skating Union (ISU) said on Wednesday, after the 2020 event Canada was to host was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The championships will return to Montreal from March 18-24, marking the 11th time Canada has staged the event.

“Skate Canada has a proven track record of holding successful ISU events and we are looking forward to bringing the world’s best skaters to the fantastic Canadian city of Montreal,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO of Skate Canada, in a statement.

 

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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Andreescu splits with coach Bruneau after French Open exit

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World number seven Bianca Andreescu on Tuesday announced she has split with longtime coach Sylvain Bruneau, a week after falling in the first round of the French Open.

The pair had worked together for four years as Andreescu made her breakthrough with three titles in 2019, including the U.S. Open.

“It is with a heavy heart that I would like to inform my fans that my long time coach, mentor and friend, Sylvain and I, have mutually decided to end our incredible coaching relationship,” Canadian Andreescu wrote on Twitter

“Our friendship will live forever … I am very grateful for everything we accomplished together and all of our great memories.

“Sylvain was more than a coach… he is family.”

Andreescu, 20, returned to action at this year’s Australian Open, having missed 15 months due to a knee injury.

A positive COVID-19 test subsequently ruled Andreescu out of both Madrid and Rome before an abdominal injury forced her to pull out of Strasbourg at the quarter-final stage.

Her most recent appearance at Roland Garros ended with a 6-7(1) 7-6(2) 9-7 defeat by Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek.

 

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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