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Canada claims dominant win over U.S. at women's hockey worlds –



Given the opportunity, Canada’s Jamie Lee Rattray made the most of it with two goals in Thursday’s 5-1 win over the United States in the women’s world hockey championship.

Rattray was Canada’s spare forward for a couple of games in the preliminary round.

With captain Marie-Philip Poulin out of the lineup recovering from a hard shot to the chest, Rattray’s role expanded.

The 28-year-old from Kanata, Ont., filled the void with back-to-back goals in the second period.

“Any time I get out there I want to make an impact, whether that’s one shift or 10 shifts,” Rattray said.

“You can’t really fill Pou’s shoes. She’s obviously a leader on this team and she has been for a long time, but I think we did a really good job. Everyone stepped up and did the roles that they needed to.”

Melodie Daoust had a goal and an assist for the host country, which scored its five goals in the first half of the game.

WATCH | Canada rolls past U.S. to remain perfect at women’s hockey worlds:

Canada stays perfect at women’s hockey worlds with dominating win over U.S.

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Jamie Lee Rattray scores twice as Canada defeats the United States 5-1 at the women’s world hockey championship and finishes first in Pool A with a 4-0 record. 1:02

Canada topped Pool A at 4-0 ahead of defending champion U.S. at 3-1.

Both countries awaited the outcome of a later Pool B game between Germany and Japan to know their Saturday quarter-final opponents.

Daoust leads Canada in tournament points with three goals and four assists in four games.

Sarah Nurse scored shorthanded and Renata Fast also scored in Canada’s largest margin of victory against the Americans since a 5-1 win Oct. 25, 2017 in Boston.

“I think it’s huge for us,” Rattray said. “Every time we play anybody, but especially them we always want to beat them with the rivalry over the years.

“It was pretty fun to be a part of that win, that’s for sure.”

Goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens stopped 22-of-23 shots for the win. Brianne Jenner, who wore the ‘C’ in Poulin’s absence, had two assists.

Lee Stecklein replied for the Americans in their first meeting with Canada since the conclusion of their five-game Rivalry Series on Feb. 8, 2020 in Anaheim, Calif.

The U.S. won 4-3 in overtime to take the series 4-1.

Desbiens, left, celebrates with Ashton Bell following the final whistle. (The Canadian Press)

American goaltender Alex Cavallini was pulled for Nicole Hensley after giving up four goals on 20 shots before the midway point of Thursday’s game. Hensley turned away six shots in relief.

“We got away from our game. In fact, we never played our game,” U.S. forward Kendall Coyne Schofield said. “You take this game and you don’t repeat any of it except Lee’s goal for Team USA.

“You have to give credit where credit is due. Canada played a phenomenal game today and we didn’t.”

The U.S. didn’t give up a goal in its first three games of the world championship in Calgary.

Finland (2-2) finished third in Pool A following a 6-0 win over Switzerland. The Finns face the Czech Republic, the Pool B winner at 4-0, in a quarter-final Saturday

ROC (1-3) and Switzerland (0-4) were fourth and fifth in Pool A respectively and will meet in another quarter-final.

The semifinals are Monday followed by Tuesday’s medal games.

Poulin’s status

Poulin was scratched after taking a shot to the upper chest in Tuesday’s 5-0 win over Switzerland. A decision has yet to be made on her return to the lineup.

“Our medical team and our management team will continue to evaluate the situation,” Canadian head coach Troy Ryan said.

The Canadians stymied the U.S. with a ferocious forecheck and outshot the Americans 15-4 in the opening period to lead 2-0.

The U.S. pushed back in the third with an 11-4 edge in shots, but generated one goal. Stecklein threaded a shot from the blue-line through traffic at 2:44.

Nurse scored shorthanded on a 2-on-1 with Jenner at 10:36 of the second. Play continued after Nurse’s shot went off the post and in until it was reviewed and ruled a goal.

Rattray scored twice in the period on a wraparound at 7:16 and on a rebound at 4:18.

“Rattray has filled that 13th forward a couple times and we’re comfortable taking her right from the 13th forward spot right into the top line and playing some power-play minutes,” Ryan said.

“Part of the reason why it was easy for us to select her was her versatility.”

Cavallini couldn’t corral the loose puck in front of her and Fast chipped it over the prone goaltender at 13:50 of the first period. The goal was initially waived off, but ruled valid upon review.

Canada produced a first-period goal for the first time in the tournament when the puck sprang off the backboards out to Daoust, who scored from her knees at 7:13.

Natalie Spooner earned her 100th career point with the national team with an assist.

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Blue Jays' stadium capacity to rise to 30,000 as Ontario increases limits for sporting and event spaces –



The Toronto Blue Jays will get a home-field advantage boost when they return to Rogers Centre next week.

Seating capacity at the downtown stadium will be doubled to 30,000 starting with Tuesday night’s series opener against the New York Yankees.

The Blue Jays received approval from the Ontario government for the increase on Friday.

Ontario announced Friday it is easing capacity limits in certain sports and event venues that require proof of vaccination.

Starting Saturday, capacity limits at outdoor events where people stand will increase to up to 75 per cent capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less.

For outdoor events where people are seated, capacity limits will be increased to up to 75 per cent capacity or 30,000 people. Proof of vaccination will now be required in outdoor settings where the normal capacity is 20,000 people or more.

The Rogers Centre will be treated as an outdoor venue even with the roof closed, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said, citing the building’s ventilation system.

Noting almost 80 per cent of eligible Ontarians are fully vaccinated, Moore said “we are able to recommend cautiously easing capacity limits in certain settings.”

The Blue Jays announced Thursday that they would make additional tickets available for their final home stand next week. They were hopeful that government regulations would be loosened for those six games and any post-season home games should the team qualify.

Forced to play south of the border last season and part of this season due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, the Blue Jays received clearance to return home in mid-July.

The team played its 2021 Rogers Centre opener on July 30 after receiving a national interest travel exemption from the federal government. The Blue Jays were approved to treat the stadium as an outdoor venue at just less than one-third of the stadium’s regular 49,000-seat capacity.

Other professional teams in the province, including NHL, MLS and CFL clubs, returned to play earlier this year with limited attendance due to government restrictions.

Attendance for Maple Leaf and Raptors games at Scotiabank Arena will be capped at 50 per cent capacity starting Saturday.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, could certainly use the extra boost from a raucous home crowd as Canada’s lone Major League Baseball club makes a push for the post-season.

Toronto, currently wrapping up a road trip with a weekend series in Minnesota, will entertain the Yankees in a critical three-game set before closing out the regular season against the Baltimore Orioles next weekend.

The Blue Jays will open the stadium’s top deck — the 500 level — for the first time this season and additional seats were made available in the 100 and 200 levels. The team would have issued refunds to ticket purchasers if capacity was not expanded.

Team president Mark Shapiro has said the stadium’s retractable roof would be open as long as the weather allows, and additional measures had been taken to ensure proper ventilation.

The Blue Jays require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for all fans aged 12 and older upon entering Rogers Centre. A negative COVID-19 test is no longer accepted except for individuals with a doctor’s note indicating they can’t receive the vaccine due to medical exemptions.

The Blue Jays played last year’s condensed schedule at the home field of their triple-A affiliate in Buffalo. The team started the 2021 campaign at its spring training home in Dunedin, Fla., before moving back to Buffalo and then finally to Toronto.

Entering play Friday, Toronto was one game behind New York in the race for the second American League wild-card spot. The Yankees were two games behind the Boston Red Sox, who held the first spot.

The AL wild-card game is scheduled for Oct. 5. The winner advances to a best-of-five AL Division Series starting Oct. 7.

The Blue Jays reached the playoffs last season but were swept by the Tampa Bay Rays in a best-of-three wild-card series. It was Toronto’s first post-season appearance since 2016.

Toronto’s last World Series title came in 1993.

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Rory McIlroy is sitting a Ryder Cup session for the first time in his career – Golf Channel



SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – For the first time in a storied Ryder Cup career, Rory McIlroy will play the role of cheerleader on Saturday at Whistling Straits.

McIlroy was not in European captain Padraig Harrington’s foursomes lineup after going 0-2, including a 5-and-3 loss to Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele in the morning foursomes session, on Day 1 at Whistling Straits. Paired with Shane Lowry in the afternoon fourball session McIlroy lost, 4 and 3.

“He’s already a leader. You saw him out there after a tough day, he was out following those matches and supporting his team,” Harrington said. “He is very much a leader amongst his peers and I couldn’t have asked more from him during the year, I couldn’t have asked more from him today.”

Match scoring for the 43rd Ryder Cup

McIlroy had played 26 consecutive matches (including his singles starts) before Saturday. Because of weather delays in Wales in 2010 that forced officials to combine the second and third sessions he only played four times.

McIlroy’s overall record in the Ryder Cup is now 11-11-4.

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Wiggins denied COVID-19 vaccination exemption by NBA – CTV News



The NBA has denied Andrew Wiggins’ request for a vaccination exemption, leaving the Golden State Warriors swingman ineligible to play home games until he meets San Francisco’s vaccination requirement.

The ruling was announced Friday hours after the New York Knicks said their entire roster is vaccinated, making all their players eligible to play in their home games.

Because of local coronavirus regulations in New York and San Francisco, the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Warriors are required to be vaccinated to play in their home arenas unless exemptions for medical or religious reasons apply.

Wiggins sought an exemption from the league for religious reasons.

“The NBA has reviewed and denied Andrew Wiggins’ request for religious exemption from the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all participants age 12 and older at large indoor events,” the league said in a statement. “Wiggins will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfills the city’s vaccination requirements.”

Unvaccinated players are allowed to play this season, though the NBA has said that they will have to be tested daily on practice and travel days and at least once — possibly more — on game days, while fully vaccinated players will not be subject to daily testing.

However, the Knicks, Nets and Warriors face stricter rules because of their local regulations, which the NBA has told teams do not apply to clubs visiting them.

The Knicks are the first of those teams to say they have met the mandate.

“I’m proud to say that our organization — players, coaches and staff — are 100 percent vaccinated,” general manager Scott Perry said Friday. “And I think it’s a credit to our players, too, in particular that they took this thing very seriously and took the responsibility to get that done.”

Nets general manager Sean Marks said earlier this week that a couple players wouldn’t yet be eligible, but he was confident everyone would be able to participate by the time the regular season began on Oct. 19.

Wiggins still has time, as San Francisco’s mandate doesn’t take effect until the middle of next month. Training camps open Tuesday.

The NBA has struck agreements this offseason to have virtually all parties involved in games — referees, coaches, stat-crew workers and anyone else who will be in close proximity to players on or off the court in NBA arenas — vaccinated in order to participate.

The one exception: The players themselves, with the National Basketball Players Association rebuking all efforts from the NBA to mandate that they be vaccinated. About 85% of players were vaccinated at the end of last season. The leaguewide figure is believed to have increased since.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau credited the Knicks’ medical staff for keeping the organization educated and aware about virus protocols. Perry praised the players for acting on the information they were given, saying their decision to get vaccinated was unrelated to any rules.

“As an organization we’re obviously following laws and mandates for the league and state government, but a lot of this was internal, internally driven,” Perry said.


AP basketball writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.

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