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Bruce almighty? Rejuvenated Canucks 2-for-2 under Boudreau – Sportsnet.ca

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VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks have suddenly won four times in five games with two coaches and one goalie.

Yes, there was a smidge of a distraction in the middle of this run when the National Hockey League team fired head coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning. The last two wins, including Wednesday’s 2-1 shootout victory over the Boston Bruins, have an entirely different feeling than the final two wins of the previous regime.

Brock Boeser, who failed to score in his final 13 games under Green, has two goals in two games for new coach Bruce Boudreau and scored Wednesday on a power-play redirect.

Boudreau has also pushed the right buttons on struggling star Elias Pettersson, who looks more engaged by the game, and top defenceman Quinn Hughes. And goalie Thatcher Demko has simply continued being the Canucks’ most valuable player, allowing one goal in 69 shots since Sunday’s coaching change.

The new boss’s first three days could scarcely have gone better.

“When you’re trying to sell something and if it doesn’t go right, that message goes out the window pretty quickly,” Boudreau said about the value of starting 2-0. “And who knows, we’ve had a really tough schedule. But every game (you win) and you feel a little bit better yourself.”

The Canucks looked ebullient — just like their re-energized fans — when Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller beat Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman in the shootout to give the home team both points after Boston tied the game on a five-on-three power play in the third period amid a cluster of three Vancouver penalties.

“That was fun out there to get the win, and you can see the excitement after Bo scored there,” Hughes said. “It just feels good. Everyone’s really happy and excited about that, and I think there’s a sense of belief that we’re just going to keep going here.”

Boeser added: “Our group has really come together these last few games, and I think it’s big for our group, and I think it’s big for hockey teams to win hockey games and be close. I think tonight was another great step for us, and we’ve got to continue to play hard and play together.”

Despite yielding the tying goal to Patrice Bergeron at 4:51 of the third period, the Canucks’ historically-bad penalty killing survived three other disadvantages. And Vancouver won despite playing without No. 2 defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who is out with what Boudreau hopes is a day-to-day injury, and losing second-pairing blue-liner Travis Hamonic in the second period when he was hit away from the puck by Brad Marchand.

When Bergeron’s tying goal left Boston on the power play for another 1:51, and Tanner Pearson took a delay-of-game penalty at 7:22, it felt like Vancouver might blow another game to the Bruins in the third period — just like they did 10 days earlier in Boston when the Canucks surrendered two late power-play goals to lose 3-2.

But in their brave new world, the Canucks did not crumble.

“You get the five-on-three goal and they get a little bit of momentum,” Boudreau said. “(But) you stand tall. Just perseverance. You lose the defenceman and we’re basically down to three lines after a while, and we have three penalties in the third period. Just determination and the will to win, I think, is a great attribute. And hopefully they’re starting to get it.”

Boudreau said he couldn’t commend enough his five-man defence, which included four righties and saw Tyler Myers log a season-high 28:08 of ice time. But he was still second to Hughes, whose 28:32 of TOI included 1:21 of short-handed time.

Just like Pettersson, Hughes has asked the new coach for an audition on the penalty kill.

“For him to put me out on the PK. . . it means a lot,” Hughes said after a game when five-on-five scoring chances were 14-7 for the Canucks when he was on the ice. “I feel like I’m trying to round out my game. I’m tired of hearing that I’m just an offensive defenceman or whatever. The knock has always been that I’m not very good defensively. And yeah, I’m not going to be as good as some guys defensively — that’s the reality. (But) I think that it’s something I can build into my game.

“I’ve got to earn my ice time on the penalty kill, and if I do a good job, I’m sure they’ll keep putting me out there. It’s up to me, but I think I did a good job out there. And it means a lot to me, for sure.”

Given more responsibility, Hughes probably feels like a different player than he was last week. It looks like he’s playing for a different team, too.

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Soccer-USMNT embrace the cold as World Cup qualifying heats up

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Bone chilling conditions are forecast for the next three U.S. men’s national team World Cup qualifying matches and the players on Wednesday said they were excited to battle the elements and their opponents.

Snow, frigid wind and sub-zero temperatures will likely greet the USMNT when they host El Salvador in Columbus, Ohio on Jan. 27, take on Canada in Ontario three days later, and close out the window against Honduras in Saint Paul, Minnesota on Feb. 2.

Defender Walker Zimmerman said the prospect of cold weather brought back memories of the USMNT’s 1-0 win over Costa Rica in March 2013’s Snow Clasico in Colorado.

“I’m really excited,” Zimmerman told reporters on a call.

“I was talking to my wife over the break and I was saying, I want it to be freezing, I want it to be cold, I want it to snow. I want to be part of something so iconic, something like that game that I really remember seeing when I was growing up.

“And I think the guys are ready to embrace it.”

Forward Paul Arriola said he and his team mates have played in cold weather before and trust in their support staff to help them get ready.

“The staff on the national team do a tremendous job, and we have full confidence in them to prepare us,” he said.

“And we have our own duties as professional players and players on the national team to be ready for every possible condition.

“We’ll embrace the cold, and it will be a really good environment for the fans as well.”

The U.S. are second in the standings for the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers with 15 points, a point behind Canada and one ahead of rivals Mexico.

The top three in the eight-team group qualify automatically for Qatar 2022 with the fourth-placed finisher going into an intercontinental playoff for another spot.

The team are eager to put behind them the humiliating loss they suffered at the hands of Trinidad and Tobago in 2017, which prevented them reaching the World Cup in Russia and led to a complete rebuild.

 

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Toby Davis)

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Sportsnet announces revised schedule for postponed NHL games – Sportsnet.ca

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Sportsnet and the NHL have announced changes to the broadcast schedule for the 2021-22 NHL season. The changes account for a large number of games that were postponed in recent weeks due to a surge of COVID-19 cases across the league.

As a result, the following updates have been made to Sportsnet’s national and regional broadcast schedules. Please note that all times are Eastern.

For the most up-to-date broadcast schedule, please visit our TV Listings page.

For a complete list of every game rescheduled by the NHL on Wednesday, click here.

National

January

Monday, Jan. 31
New Jersey at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., Sportsnet

February

Monday, Feb. 7
Carolina at Toronto, 7 p.m., Sportsnet (Rogers Hometown Hockey)
New Jersey at Ottawa, 7 p.m., Sportsnet ONE (Rogers Hometown Hockey)

Wednesday, Feb. 9
Chicago at Edmonton, 8 p.m., Sportsnet (Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey)
Vegas at Calgary, 9:30 p.m., Sportsnet ONE

Saturday, Feb. 12
Columbus at Montreal, 12:30 p.m., Sportsnet (Hometown Hockey)
Boston at Ottawa, 12:30 p.m., Sportsnet ONE (Hometown Hockey)
Toronto at Vancouver, 7 p.m. (Hockey Night in Canada and Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi)
Winnipeg at Nashville, 7 p.m. (Hockey Night in Canada)
NY Islanders at Calgary, 10 p.m. (Hockey Night in Canada)

Sunday, Feb. 13
Buffalo at Montreal, 12:30 p.m., Sportsnet (Hometown Hockey)
Ottawa at Washington, 12:30 p.m., Sportsnet ONE (Hometown Hockey)

Monday, Feb. 14
Toronto at Seattle, 9 p.m., Sportsnet
Chicago at Winnipeg, 9 p.m., Sportsnet West
Edmonton at San Jose, 10:30 p.m., Sportsnet ONE

Tuesday, Feb. 15
Edmonton at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 16
Minnesota at Winnipeg, 7 p.m., Sportsnet (Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey)
Anaheim at Calgary, 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 17
Anaheim at Edmonton, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 19
St. Louis at Toronto, 7 p.m., Sportsnet and CityTV (Hockey Night in Canada and Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi)
Boston at Ottawa, 7 p.m., Sportsnet ONE (Hockey Night in Canada)
Seattle at Calgary, 10 p.m. (Hockey Night in Canada)
Anaheim at Vancouver, 10 p.m. (Hockey Night in Canada)

Sunday, Feb. 20
Minnesota at Edmonton, 8 p.m., Sportsnet ONE

Monday, Feb. 21
Toronto at Montreal, 7 p.m., Sportsnet
Seattle at Vancouver, 10 p.m., Sportsnet

Wednesday, Feb. 23
Buffalo at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

March

Monday, March 7
Toronto at Columbus, 7 p.m., Sportsnet
Edmonton at Calgary, 9:30 p.m., Sportsnet

April

Monday, April 4
Toronto at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m., Sportsnet

Monday, April 18
Calgary at Chicago, 8 p.m., Sportsnet (Hometown Hockey)
Dallas at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m., Sportsnet (Hometown Hockey)

Wednesday, April 27
Montreal at NY Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey)

Regional

February

Tuesday, Feb. 8
Vegas at Edmonton, 9 p.m., Sportsnet West (Oilers region)
Arizona at Vancouver, 10 p.m., Sportsnet Pacific (Canucks region)

Wednesday, Feb. 9
NY Islanders at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m., Sportsnet Pacific (Canucks region)

Thursday, Feb. 10
Toronto at Calgary, 9 p.m., Sportsnet West (Flames region)

Friday, Feb. 11
NY Islanders at Edmonton, 9 p.m., Sportsnet West (Oilers region)

Tuesday, Feb. 15
Columbus at Calgary, 9 p.m., Sportsnet West (Flames region)

Thursday, Feb. 17
Pittsburgh at Toronto, 7 p.m., Sportsnet Ontario (Maple Leafs region)
Vancouver at San Jose, 10:30 p.m., Sportsnet Pacific (Canucks region)

Saturday, Feb. 19
Edmonton at Winnipeg, 4 p.m., Sportsnet West (Oilers region)

Monday, Feb. 21
Winnipeg at Calgary, 4 p.m., Sportsnet West (Flames region)

Tuesday, Feb. 22
Toronto at Columbus, 7 p.m., Sportsnet Ontario (Maple Leafs region)

April

Tuesday, April 19
Calgary at Nashville, 8 p.m., Sportsnet West (Flames region)
Ottawa at Vancouver, 10 p.m., Sportsnet Pacific (Canucks region)

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'Strongest team in all of snowboarding': Canadian squad named for Beijing Olympics – CBC Sports

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Canadian snowboarders brought home four medals at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

The team looking to build on that number was announced by Canada Snowboard on Wednesday, including all four previous medallists — Sébastien Toutant (the lone gold medallist), Max Parrot, Mark McMorris and Laurie Blouin.

Joining them in slopestyle and big air are Darcy Sharpe, Brooke Voigt and Jasmine Baird. Meanwhile, the halfpipe team features Derek Livingston, Brooke D’Hondt and Elizabeth Hosking.

Missing from that list is Liam Brearley, the emerging 18-year-old who won a medal in all three disciplines at the 2020 Youth Olympics. Brearley, of Gravenhurst, Ont., was victim of a roster crunch, as Canada earned the maximum four quota spots in slopestyle and big air.

Megan Farrell and Arnaud Gaudet will compete in parallel giant slalom, while the snowboard cross squad includes Zoe Bergermann, Tess Critchlow, Meryeta O’Dine, Audrey McManiman, Eliot Grondin, Kevin Hill and Liam Moffatt.

CBC snowboard analyst Craig McMorris, the older brother of Mark McMorris, said the Canadians should be a force.

“I think it is the strongest team in all of snowboarding, especially in male slopestyle and big air with Max Parrot, Sebastien Toutant and Mark McMorris all returning for their third Games. The skill is there. And the veteran wisdom and experience is there as well,” he said.

Notable omission

The omission of Brearley reveals the overwhelming strength of the men’s slopestyle and big air squad. Toutant and McMorris both sit in the top five of World Snowboard’s slopestyle ranking, while Parrot is ranked first and McMorris fifth in big air.

Parrot pre-qualified for the Olympic team before the season began in October, with the stipulation that he remain in the top-30 of rankings. He has since not competed in World Cup races, freezing his ranking in place.

The final decision may have come down to Sharpe vs. Brearley, with each similarly ranked in the two disciplines. 

“[Sharpe] was out for a long time and his points freeze, then he comes back and his points unfreeze but then he gets COVID so he can’t compete, and that was crucial in deciding the team. So I feel like it was an extremely, extremely tough job,” McMorris said.

WATCH | Mark McMorris discusses difficulties of qualifying in pandemic:

Mark McMorris on realities of trying to qualify for an Olympics in a pandemic

14 days ago

Duration 6:34

The Canadian snowboarder is back for this third Olympics and talks to CBC Sports about taking fans behind the scenes in a documentary, competing in a pandemic and what he expects from Beijing 2022. 6:34

Parrot, the Bromont, Que., native who won slopestyle silver in 2018, is a recent cancer survivor. 

The 27-year-old was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma about 10 months after the Olympics but returned to competition less than a year later, winning X Games big air gold in the process.

Mark McMorris, the 28-year-old from Regina, enters his third Games looking to upgrade on the bronze he won each of the past two times — this time free of a near-fatal crash directly in his rearview mirror.

Toutant, 29, of L’Assomption, Que., experienced an eventful Pyeongchang Olympics as he recovered from a last-place finish in slopestyle to become the big air champion.

WATCH | CBC Sports’ Returning Champions series features Sébastien Toutant:

Returning Champions: Sébastien Toutant

15 days ago

Duration 3:33

Canadian snowboarder Sébastien Toutant reflects on winning Olympic gold in Big Air at PyeongChang 2018, his disappointing performances in Slopestyle, and his hopes for Beijing 2022. 3:33

Blouin back for more

On the women’s side, Blouin, 25, overcame some adversity in Pyeongchang herself after a crash in training left her participation in the Games at all in question.

But the Quebec City native bounced back in a big way en route to earning slopestyle silver.

“I’m really happy, it seems like 2018 was yesterday and now it’s crazy that we’re already looking ahead to the next Olympics,” Blouin said.

Along with McMorris and Sharpe, Blouin is set to compete at the winter X Games beginning Friday in Aspen, Colo., as part of her Olympic tuneup. 

WATCH | Blouin takes slopestyle bronze at Calgary World Cup:

Laurie Blouin earns bronze in World Cup snowboard slopestyle

18 days ago

Duration 3:18

Stoneham, Que.’s Laurie Blouin finished 3rd in the women’s snowboard slopestyle competition during the FIS Snowboard World Cup in Calgary. 3:18

D’Hondt, 16, is projected to be the youngest Canadian athlete in Beijing.

“It doesn’t feel real yet. I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and couldn’t be more excited to represent my country in Beijing,” D’Hondt said.

Meanwhile, Craig McMorris suggested that Baird, the 22-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., could be an emerging star for Canada.

“I don’t think she has the tricks to be on the podium yet, but she’s still super young. So I think after these Games, if she still keeps going and training at the rate she is and learning, I think she’ll definitely be a threat in 2026,” he said.

Full team

Women

  • Brooke D’Hondt — Calgary (halfpipe)
  • Elizabeth Hosking — Longueuil, Que. (halfpipe)
  • Megan Farrell — Richmond Hill, Ont. (parallel giant slalom) 
  • Jasmine Baird — Georgetown, Ont. (slopestyle/big air)
  • Laurie Blouin— Québec City (slopestyle/big air)
  • Brooke Voigt — Fort McMurray, Alta. (slopestyle/big air)
  • Zoe Bergermann — Erin, Ont. (snowboard cross)
  • Tess Critchlow — Big White, B.C. (snowboard cross)
  • Meryeta O’Dine — Prince George, B.C. (snowboard cross)
  • Audrey McManiman — St-Ambroise-de-Kildare, Que. (snowboard cross)

Men

  • Derek Livingston — Aurora, Ont. (halfpipe)
  • Arnaud Gaudet — Montcalm, Que. (parallel giant slalom)
  • Mark McMorris — Regina (slopestyle/big air)
  • Max Parrot — Bromont, Que. (slopestyle/big air)
  • Darcy Sharpe — Comox, B.C. (slopestyle/big air)
  • Sébastien Toutant — L’Assomption, Que. (slopestyle/big air)
  • Eliot Grondin — Sainte-Marie, Que. (snowboard cross)
  • Kevin Hill — Vernon, B.C. (snowboard cross)
  • Liam Moffatt — Truro, N.S. (snowboard cross)

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