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Canada opens world juniors with 16-2 rout of Germany – CBC.ca

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Canada began shedding game rust with a 16-2 win over beleaguered Germany at the world junior men’s hockey championship on Saturday in Edmonton.

Dylan Cozens of Whitehorse had a hat trick and three assists for the host country against an opponent ravaged by the COVID-19 virus.

Dawson Mercer, Philip Tomasino, Alex Newhook and Peyton Krebs each scored twice for Canada.

Kaiden Guhle, Ryan Suzuki, Jakob Pelletier, Thomas Harley and Connor McMichael also scored for the defending champions.

WATCH | Cozens leads the way for Canada:

Dylan Cozens had three goals and three assists to lead Canada’s scoring in their 16-2 victory over a short-handed Germany squad. 0:29

John Peterka and Florian Elias countered for the Germans in Rogers Place devoid of spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nine German players were isolating in hotel rooms Saturday because of positive tests for the virus upon arrival in Edmonton.

Germany played 14 skaters — nine forwards and five defencemen — for a second game in as many days after falling 5-3 to Finland on Christmas Day.

The Germans couldn’t run anything resembling a real practice until the day before their first game.

Canada exploited Germany’s defensive and goaltending mistakes borne of mental and physical fatigue.

“We weren’t too focused on the score,” Cozens said. “We were just focused on playing the right way.

“It’s our first game of the tournament. We’ve got to establish our good habits

“It’s a tough spot they’re in. They’re down a lot of numbers and just coming out of quarantine. It does suck for them for sure.”

Canada’s 16 goals in a single game was two off the record of 18 set in both 1985 and 1986.

Canada faces Slovakia (1-0) in Pool A on Sunday.

Jonas Gahr replaced German starter Arno Tiefensee after one period and allowed 12 goals on 33 shots.

Tiefensee gave up four goals on 11 shots following a 45-save outing versus Finland the previous day.

Canada’s Devon Levi stopped eight of nine shots over two periods for the win. Dylan Garand played the third turning away five of six.

WATCH | Canada’s Braden Schneider gets game misconduct for check to head:

Canadian Braden Schneider was given a game misconduct for this hit to the head of Germany forward Jan-Luca Schumacher. 0:54

Canada’s Braden Schneider was ejected before the game was nine minutes old.

The defenceman’s shoulder check caught Jan-Luca Schumacher’s head for a major penalty and game misconduct.

US hammers Austria 

Matthew Boldy scored a hat-trick, while Trevor Zegras added a pair of goals as the United States defeated Austria 11-0. Alex Turcotte also had three assists in the win.

Drew Helleson, John Farinacci, Brendan Brisson, Brett Berard and Sam Colangelo also scored in the victory. United States goalie Dustin Wolf made 10 saves in the win.

The Americans will next play Tuesday against the Czech Republic while the Austrians will play Sweden Monday.

WATCH | USA records 11-0 win over Austria:

Trevor Zegras had four points and Matthew Boldy tacked on a hat trick in USA’s 11-0 win over Austria at the world juniors. 0:26

Sweden thumps Czechs

Sweden opened Pool B with a 7-1 thumping of the  on Saturday.

The top four teams in each pool advance to the Jan. 2 quarter-finals, followed by semifinals Jan. 4 and the medal games Jan. 5.

Canada’s tournament prep was interrupted by a 14-day quarantine midway through selection camp because a pair of players tested positive for COVID-19.

WATCH | Sweden tops Czech Republic:

Elmer Soberblom showed off his hands in tight as he went between-the-legs to extend Sweden’s lead against the Czech Republic. 0:29

Before Saturday’s opener, the majority of the Canadian players hadn’t played a meaningful game in months because of the pandemic.

Up 4-1 by the end of the first period, it became clear the game would serve as a rust-shedder for Canada and an ordeal for the Germans.

Canada’s goal celebrations became more muted as the score became lopsided, but head coach Andre Tourigny said his team couldn’t afford to step off the gas.

“We’re not a team who played 15 games together or 30 games before the camp,” Tourigny said.

“Most of those guys have four intrasquad games and one pre-competition and one competition game. We need to get better every day.

“It could have been two hundred to one. It’s not about that. It was about us playing and preparing our team and our play to move forward in the tournament.”

“We have no time to waste.”

Canada overwhelmed the tiring Germans scoring seven times on Gahr in the second period.

“This happens when you are not mentally and physically ready and able to play on this kind of level with this intensity and speed,” German head coach Tobias Abstreiter said.

“We had no tools, no battle-level, nothing to compete against Canada’s strong game. We gave up in a way and this is what I cannot accept.”

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Berrettini ends Murray’s comeback at Queen’s

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Andy Murray‘s grasscourt return was cut short in brutal fashion at Queen’s Club as Italian top seed Matteo Berrettini dished out a 6-3 6-3 defeat to the former world number one on Thursday.

The 34-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion, playing in his first singles tournament on grass for three years, could not handle the ferocious pace of Berrettini as he slid to defeat.

Murray eased past Benoit Paire in his opening match on Tuesday but world number nine Berrettini was too big a step up.

Berrettini’s huge first serve and forehand did most of the damage but the Italian also showed plenty of silky touch on the slick lawns to register his first career win over Murray.

Berrettini, 25, finished the match off with a powerful hold of serve, banging down four massive first serves before sealing victory with a clubbing forehand winner.

He faces British number one Dan Evans in the quarter-final after Evans beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

Murray, a five-time winner of the traditional warm-up event but now ranked 124 after long battles with hip injuries including resurfacing surgery in 2019, has been handed a wildcard for the Wimbledon championships.

Apart from a slight groin niggle, Murray said he was reasonably happy with his condition, considering this was only his third Tour-level tournament of the year.

“I think obviously I need to improve,” Murray told reporters. “I actually felt my movement was actually quite good for both of the matches. My tennis today was not very good today. That’s the thing that I’ll need to improve the most.

“I felt like today that that sort of showed my lack of matches.”

Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez, who won the singles title in 2019 and the doubles alongside Murray, was beaten 6-2 6-3 by Canada‘s Denis Shapovalov.

(Reporting by Martyn HermanEditing by Toby Davis and Pritha Sarkar)

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Be Like the King of the North Division and Develop Skills

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North Division

It’s been a year unlike no other for Canadian hockey teams, with COVID-19 travel restrictions forcing the creation of a new NHL division made up entirely of Canadian teams. The previous generation of NHL hockey was known as the “Dead Puck Era” because referees tolerated slowing down the game with clutching and grabbing.

The leading scorers today score in jaw-dropping fashion and routinely pull off stickhandling dangles that were unimaginable until only recently. The Canadian team that will win the North Division will be the one with the most skill.

Here are the training aids that will help you develop your skills all year long.

Passers

Innovators like HockeyShot Canada make “passers” so that players can develop pinpoint accuracy and the soft hands necessary to cradle and control a pass when it lands on your stick. The high-quality rubber bands return the puck with the same force which passed it, so you can give yourself one-timers or work on accuracy.

Whether you’re on a two-on-one, sending a breakout pass from the defensive zone, or holding down the blue line on the power play, every positional player needs to pass accurately.

Shooting

A player is lucky to get a few shots on net each game, and they can’t let them go to waste. Until recently, players needed to rent ice in the off-season to practice their shots in realistic game-like conditions.

Now, players can use shooting pads at their home that let pucks glide as they do on real ice. Shooting is perhaps the one skill that requires the most repetition because one inch can be the difference between going bar-down and clanking one wide off the post.

Practice your quick release and accuracy and develop an arsenal of shots, including wrist shots, slapshots, one-timers, and more. The more tools in your tool kit, the deadlier a sniper you’ll be.

Stick Handling

Having the puck on your stick is a responsibility, and you don’t want to cough it up to the other team and waste a scoring chance or lose possession. The ability to stickhandle helps you bide time until a teammate is open, so you can pass them the puck and continue attacking.

If you’re on a breakaway, you may want to deke the goalie rather than shoot if your hands are silky enough. Develop stickhandling skills, and you’ll keep goalies and opponents guessing – being unpredictable helps make a sniper’s job easier.

Of course, you also need to handle the puck in your own zone without causing a turnover. Stickhandling is a crucial skill in all areas of the ice.

When the coach sends you over the board, you need to be prepared for whatever comes your way. Maybe you’ll get the puck in the slot or somewhere else, but when it’s playoffs, you always need to be ready. The Kings of the North Division have all of the above skills and more, and you can too if you practice all year.

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Australia swim trials calendar shift to reap Tokyo rewards

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Australia broke with tradition to hold its swimming trials just six weeks before the start of the 2020 Olympics and former world champion Giaan Rooney said the move could reap rich rewards in Tokyo after disappointments at London and Rio.

Australia has typically held its trials up to six months before an Olympics but that gap has been drastically cut this year with swimmers vying for Tokyo spots this week in Adelaide.

Rooney, who won individual world titles at Fukuoka and Montreal and a relay gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, said Australia is gearing up for a much improved Games after its swimmers flopped at Rio and London.

“I think we needed to make it work,” she told Reuters. “The shift started about a year ago to bring the trials into line with the rest of the world and qualify five or six weeks before.

“In sport and swimming, six months is a long time,” Rooney added. “From a coaching perspective, it’s much better to know you have chosen the team in form.”

After winning five gold medals at Sydney 2000 and seven in Athens, the Australian team was rocked by accusations of disruptive behaviour by some of its top sprinters at the 2012 Olympics.

Australia won just one gold medal in the London pool and three in Rio five years ago.

Australia knew something had to be done if it was to close the gap on the powerful Americans and moving the trials is part of the strategy.

“I think it’s to make your swimmers more resilient to change,” Rooney said.

“In the USA they get to race every week regardless of illness or breakups and under all circumstances. Nothing rattles them.

“Australia doesn’t have that racing continuity. This is about making sure you are prepared for anything. I think our swimmers are more resilient than they have been in the past decade, COVID is part of this.”

Rooney said there might even be an “upside” for Australia with the Olympics postponed by a year due to the global health crisis, with the emergence of swimmers like teenager Kaylee McKeown, who broke the women’s 100m backstroke world record on Sunday.

“We are now talking about athletes who are not only going to make the Olympics but are medal chances,” Rooney said.

“We wouldn’t have been talking about her this time last year. She might not have been ready for a position on the team. She is now a legitimate gold medal chance in Tokyo once she gets there.”

For all her confidence about Australia’s performance in Tokyo, Rooney was wary of making predictions about a gold rush for her compatriots.

“I think this will be a more successful Olympics for us than Rio in the pool but individual goal medals will still be difficult to come by,” said the 38-year-old.

“The biggest challenge is to make the jump from minor medals to gold.”

 

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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