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Canada vs. USA: Live score, updates, highlights from 2020 World Juniors – Sporting News

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Nothing like starting the 2020 IIHF World Juniors off with a bang.

As a tradition, the tournament begins on Boxing Day and Day 1 this year sees two of the top contenders, Canada and the United States, go toe-to-toe in the “Battle of North America.” It should be a no-holds-barred event, as national pride and bragging rights are on the line.

“There’s no putting your foot into the water — you’ve got to go full in,” said American, and Ottawa Senators prospect, Shane Pinto to reporters. “It’s going to be a tough one, but I think we’re ready.”

Canada’s Jacob Bernard-Docker — and fellow Senators prospect — added about the rivalry: “Heated . . . Two countries that don’t like each other playing against each other.”

While everyone expects these teams to go the distance, whether they’ll make it is not set in stone. They are in what’s being dubbed, “The Group of Death” as Group B also includes Russia, potential Cinderella team, Germany, and the host Czech Republic. In the first game of the day, the Czechs upset Russia 4-3.

Coming off a silver medal in 2019, the United States once again is pound-for-pound a favorite and built to dominate from the ground up. Florida Panthers prospect Spencer Knight is getting the start in net and should give the Americans a considerable edge; couple that with the firepower up front and defensive skill on the blue line and Canada will have its work cut out for them.

However, Canada won’t be pulling any punches. In between the pipes may be their weakest link, but the forwards’ corps has some of the biggest snipers in the game with names like Alexis Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield and Raphael Lavoie. They’ll be backed by a veteran group that includes Ty Smith and Jared McIsaac, which is looking for revenge after a disappointing sixth-place finish last year.

Sporting News will have the blow-by-blow for you as the two teams spar in Game 1 of the tournament.

(All times Eastern.)

Canada vs. USA scores, highlights from 2020 World Juniors

Third period

3:15 p.m. — Canada takes a penalty. USA will look to tie this one up.

3:13 p.m. — GOAL. USA makes it a one-goal game with 7:14 left on the clock as Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospect Nick Robertson pulls in the puck and fires the wrister. Canada leads 4-3.

3:10 p.m. — PP GOAL. It’s all about the special teams in this one. Alexis Lafreniere dazzles as he cuts to the middle and feeds Barrett Hayton for the easy goal. Canada leads 4-2.

3:07 p.m. — Spencer Stastney takes a penalty. Canada heads to the power play.

3:00 p.m. — USA with a quality chance as Oliver Wahlstrom gets the rebound but it’s Nico Daws who comes up big with the leg save. Quick reminder, Daws is eligible for the 2020 draft.

2:55 p.m. — Back to even strength

2:55 p.m. — Bobby Brink with a good move around the net and pass in front but can’t connect.

2:53 p.m. — Third period starts. USA on the power play and trail by one.

2:41 p.m. — For your viewing pleasure during intermission:

End of second period: Canada 3, USA 2

2:35 p.m. — Yep. The goal is being reviewed . . . and its waved off! USA still trails 3-2 but will start the third on the power play.

2:34 p.m. — PP GOAL. At the buzzer, the United States ties it up! Puck squirts out in front and Shane Pinto buries it as the Canadians lose track of him and the puck. USA celebrates but definitely looks like the period had ended.

2:33 p.m. — With 16 seconds left in the period, Canada’s Kevin Bahl takes a penalty. USA, who needs a goal to tie, is 2-for-2 on the power play.

2:31 p.m. — Off a save, the puck hits a Canadian defender in front and Nico Daws has to make a quick pad save.

2:25 p.m. — Canada back to the power play for the third time in the game. Not a good play as two of Canada’s three goals have come on the power play.

2:20 p.m. — PP GOAL. The tide has turned in the second period. Canada takes a 3-2 lead as Nolan Foote’s shot beats Spencer Knight top shelf. Canada leads 3-2.

2:19 p.m. — Puck deflects out into the slot and Spencer Knight makes the shoulder stop.

2:16 p.m. — Canadians back on the power play. They’re 1-for-2 thus far.

2:09 p.m. — PP GOAL. The Canadian captain Barrett Hayton with an absolute rifle from the right circle ties the game. Game tied 2-2.

2:07 p.m. — Canada heads back to the power play as Shane Pinto gets sent to the sin bin. The Canadians will look to tie this one up and are 0-for-1 with the man advantage in the game.

2:02 p.m. — GOAL. Great play by the Canadians as they push out of their own. In the US end, Akil Thomas off the chip feeds Connor McMichael who buries it. USA leads 2-1.

1:59 p.m. — Joe Veleno gets a Grade A chance but Spencer Knight makes the stop.

1:56 p.m. — Second period underway.

End of first period: USA 2, Canada 0

1:40 p.m. — After 1, it’s USA 2, Canada 0. Canada has to stay out of the box in this one as the Americans netted two power-play goals on two opportunities.

1:37 p.m. — PP GOAL. Trevor Zegras controls the puck in the circle and feeds Kings prospect Arthur Kaliyev for the one-timer into the open net as Nico Daws can’t get across. USA leads 2-0.

1:35 p.m. — Jared McIsaac called for hooking; not a smart play by the world juniors veteran. USA heads back to the power play and is already 1-for-1 on the night.

1:32 p.m. — Canada now leads 7-6 in shots, but USA has blocked a ton of shots too. Corsi For tilting Canada’s way at this point in the contest.

1:23 p.m. — Canada starting to throw the body around. Alexis Lafreniere crushes Mattias Samuelsson hard into the glass. 

1:19 p.m. — Canada gets its first shot on net, six minutes and 10 seconds into the game.

1:19 p.m. — Alexis Lafreniere showing off the skills that should make him the No. 1 pick in June.

1:18 p.m. — USA’s Jordan Harris called for high-sticking. Canada heads to the power play.

1:18 p.m. — More than five minutes into the game and Canada still doesn’t have a shot on net.

1:13 p.m. — PP GOAL. Shane Pinto sitting in the high slot with the big deflection off the Zac Jones shot from the point. USA leads 1-0.

1:12 p.m. — Canada’s Barrett Hayton called for tripping. USA heads to the power play.

1:09 p.m. — Game on! Spencer Knight (Panthers) vs. Nico Daws in between the pipes.

Pregame

12:37 p.m. — Canada hitting the ice for warmups in the red threads.

12:21 p.m. — USA wearing the white threads the 1960 Olympic team wore when they captured the United States’ first-ever gold medal.

12:20 p.m. — Canada’s lineup.

12:00 p.m. — USA announces its lineup.

Relevant links

Tournament

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Auston Matthews makes early exit from Toronto Maple Leafs practice – TSN

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TORONTO — Auston Matthews made a brief appearance at Maple Leafs practice on Thursday but unexpectedly exited the session before it began, leaving his availability for Friday’s game against Edmonton up in the air.

“He just wasn’t feeling that great today coming off [Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the Oilers],” head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters on a Zoom call following Thursday’s practice. “So he’s going to take the rest of the day here today and we’ll see how he is tomorrow and [provide] an update in the morning.”

Matthews was the Leafs’ best player in Wednesday’s defeat, recording the team’s only goal and pacing all skaters with six shots in 24:14 of ice time. Other than speaking with trainer Paul Ayotte on the bench prior to Thursday’s practice, Matthews showed no outward signs of injury before his departure.

The news of Matthews’ potential absence comes on the heels of Toronto already having lost veteran forward Joe Thornton for an undetermined period. Thornton was crunched into the boards by Josh Archibald early in the third frame on Wednesday, and hurried off while cradling his left wrist.

Keefe reiterated on Thursday that Thornton’s issue is not a “day-to-day thing,” and he’s “definitely going to miss some time,” but that they’ll get more information from planned tests later in the week.

The Leafs are also without forward Nick Robertson for the next month or so, as he rehabs a leg injury suffered on Jan. 16.

To account for the missing bodies, Keefe shuffled the Leafs lines at practice in a tune-up for Friday’s rematch with Edmonton. Jimmy Vesey was elevated into Thornton’s spot on Toronto’s top line with Mitch Marner and Adam Brooks (who filled in for Matthews), Zach Hyman slid onto the wing with John Tavares and William Nylander, and Wayne Simmonds slotted onto the third line with Alex Kerfoot and Ilya Mikheyev. Winger Pierre Engvall looks to be stepping into the lineup for the first time this season with Jason Spezza and Alex Barabanov on the fourth line. 

“We’ll see how it all comes together. There’s a lot of things happening,” said Keefe. “The health and well-being of our players is one thing, [then] salary cap and all those things affect the decision. So, we’ll see how it settles for tomorrow. But the expectation is that [Matthews and Marner] will drive their line, and we need a support player with them [in Vesey]. It allows us to use our depth throughout the lineup. Hyman can bring an extra boost to JT and Will.”

Toronto made a point of trying to bolster its depth in the off-season with a number of acquisitions, including Simmonds and Vesey. Now, barely a week into this pandemic-shortened regular season, the Leafs can assess just how successful they were in adding versatile pieces to the lineup.  

“This year more than any year I think that your depth is going to be tested and, fortunately for us, we have a ton of guys who can move up and down the lineup and be filling holes,” said Hyman. “So I think that it’s a big opportunity for guys to seize the moment and play like they’re capable of playing. In a season like this, you need everybody.”

Some losses will be more difficult than others to weather, though. Thornton has been a big part of the Leafs offence early on, averaging 15:26 of ice time per game between his spot with Matthews and Marner and appearing on the team’s No. 1 power-play unit. 

The trickle-down effect is that other veterans, like Simmonds, will be thrust into larger roles, but there are some intangibles that only Thornton can truly provide. 

“He’s amazing. His personality is infectious,” said Kerfoot. “He comes to the rink every day with a smile on his face and when you’re around him, you want to be there, you want to work hard. Just one of those guys that brings guys to him. [That said], it’s going to be great [playing with Simmonds].He’s a big body and we can use that to get open around him, use our speed to open things up a little bit. He’s easy to read off makes good little plays with the puck. It’s going to be fun tomorrow.”

However the final lineup plays out for Friday’s game, the Leafs acknowledged they’ll have to find more middle ground between good offence and sound defence if they expect to get a win. 

After Wednesday’s disappointing end, Matthews accused his team of playing “too safe” and focusing more on containing Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl than executing a game plan. Holding those Oilers superstars to a goal and assist between them was a fine enough accomplishment, except it didn’t deliver the final result the Leafs needed.

Fortunately, they don’t have to wait long to try to correct their mistakes. 

“I think we need to find the balance,” Hyman said. “I think just because we’re defending well doesn’t mean that we can be attacking and playing well in the o-zone and taking pucks to the net and doing things we are capable of doing. We can have them both, you don’t have to have one without the other and really have to find that balance.”

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Keefe: Matthews 'wasn't feeling great' – TSN

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Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews skated briefly before the team’s practice on Thursday, but departed the ice before the team session began.

Head coach Sheldon Keefe said after practice that Matthews’ status would be updated on Friday morning ahead of their rematch against the Edmonton Oilers.

“No real update other than he just wasn’t feeling great today coming off the game yesterday so just take the rest of the day here today and see how he is for tomorrow,” Keefe said. “I’ll have an update in the morning.”

Matthews logged 24:14 of ice time in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the Oilers, scoring the team’s lone goal. He has two goals and five points in five games this season.

The Maple Leafs are also awaiting an update on forward Joe Thornton, who will undergo an MRI on Thursday after leaving the game early.

“He’s definitely going to miss some time,” Keefe said Thursday. “It’s not a day-to-day thing.”

The Maple Leafs used the following forward lines with Matthews and Thornton both absent on Thursday:

Vesey-Brooks*-Marner
Nylander-Tavares-Hyman
Mikheyev-Kerfoot-Simmonds
Barabanov-Engvall-Spezza

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Champion rower Kathleen Heddle was one of Canada's greatest Olympians – The Globe and Mail

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Canada’s Marnie McBean, left, and Kathleen Heddle celebrate a gold-medal win at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

TED GRANT/COC / The Canadian Press

The rowers Kathleen Heddle and Marnie McBean were known as the Dynamic Duo and the Odd Couple. After they became the first Canadians ever to win three Summer Olympic championships, they were called the Golden Girls.

Ms. Heddle, who has died at 55, six years after receiving a cancer diagnosis, was one of Canada’s greatest Olympians, a determined athlete who quietly inspired a generation of girls to take up a demanding, exhausting sport.

The two won gold medals in pairs and with the crew of eight at the 1992 Olympic regatta on the Lake of Banyoles, about 95 kilometres northeast of Barcelona, Spain. They became nationally famous four years later by winning a thrilling double sculls race on Lake Lanier outside Atlanta. That victory gave Canada its first gold medal of the Centennial Olympics and came only hours after a terrorist bomb at a downtown park killed a woman, casting a pall on the Games.

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The pair became as famous as hockey players, stopped on the street by strangers seeking autographs, wooed by sponsors and advertisers. Almost as suddenly, they returned to ordinary lives, a deliberate decision by Ms. Heddle.

“We turned down cereal boxes and a running-shoe sponsorship,” Ms. McBean said recently. “We turned down the cover of a national magazine. Kathleen said she wasn’t in it for that reason. I was: ‘We’re not?!’”

The gregarious Ms. McBean was the strategic plotter in the bow of the double sculls, while Ms. Heddle was the reserved powerhouse at stroke. Many mistook Ms. Heddle’s quiet demeanour as an expression of shyness, though her teammates insist she was merely a calm person in no need of the spotlight.

“When she chose to share what she was thinking,” Ms. McBean said, “she was sage.”

Her great success as a rower was all the more unexpected coming as it did only after she was introduced to the sport two months before her 20th birthday.

Kathleen Joan Heddle was born on Nov. 27, 1965, in the smelter city of Trail in British Columbia’s West Kootenays region. She was the fourth and youngest child born to the former Marilyn Helson Buchanan, a university-educated dietitian from Moose Jaw, and Duncan Walker Heddle, a geology engineer originally from Nelson, B.C., who did mineral exploration for Cominco Ltd. (now Teck Resources). The couple, who met on a blind date, moved the family 600 kilometres west to Vancouver before the girl’s second birthday.

At Kitsilano Secondary, Kathy, as she was known then, was active in band, travelled with her Grade 12 history class to Egypt, and played volleyball, basketball and softball.

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She enrolled at the University of British Columbia, her father’s alma mater, where she played volleyball on the junior varsity team for two seasons while also serving as team manager. She was crestfallen when told she was not good enough to make the varsity squad.

She was registering for third-year courses inside War Memorial Gymnasium on campus when a rowing coach spotted her in a lineup. Drew Harrison prowled the gym like a stable owner checking horseflesh before a claim race, seeking broad shoulders and sturdy hindquarters. The Heddles trace their lineage to the windswept Orkney archipelago off the northeastern tip of Scotland, and in Kathleen’s wide, round face and blonde hair her own mother saw “a little bit of Viking blood.” At 5-foot-11 (180 centimetres), Ms. Heddle’s V-shaped torso offered the classic physique for a rower.

She was placed with the university’s novice squad, which practised in rows of two on a barge outfitted with sliding rowing seats, riggers and oars. The coach patrolled a runway in the middle of the barge, like the commander of a slave ship. The rookies needed training before taking to the water aboard a shell large enough to hold eight rowers and a coxswain.

“Maybe after two or three weeks of that [barge training],” Ms. Heddle said in 1996, “they actually put you in an eight. It’s really tippy, and you’re getting hit in the back by the oar behind you because no one has their timing right.”

She knew she had found her calling when she could feel the shell respond as her strokes pushed through the still waters of Burnaby Lake.

“I had this feeling I could be good at it,” she said. “I guess you have an instinct that this is it, you’ve actually found the sport that’s meant for [you].”

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Her strength, flexibility, determination and aerobic capacity soon caught the attention of Canada’s national team. In her second season, she was paired with Kirsten Barnes of West Vancouver and they won the women’s coxless pair at the World University Games in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. Two months later, they represented Canada at the Pan-American Games in Indianapolis even though they were the country’s B-team, as the top squad was resting for an upcoming world championship. An early sprint by the Canadians helped them claim gold ahead of their American rivals, one of whom briefly blacked out from dehydration during the race.

Ms. McBean and Ms. Heddle racing during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

John Schults/REUTERS

After failing to make the 1988 Olympic team, Ms. Heddle completed her psychology degree while continuing to train and compete. In time, she mastered the technical aspects of the sport, combining finesse with brute strength and a focused mind to become a formidable competitor.

In the preparations before the 1992 Olympics, the national coaching staff paired her with Ms. McBean, “like an arranged marriage,” the latter said, and it was a relationship not without its difficulties. Over time, each went separately to coach Al Morrow to insist on a new partner. Instead, he convinced each in turn to stick with the plan, as he felt the strengths of each compensated for the weaknesses of the other. Besides, Ms. McBean acknowledged recently, “Kathleen was never going to get louder, and I was never going to get quiet.”

Ms. Heddle was once asked whether she considered her teammate to be a co-worker, a friend or a sister.

“We’re foremost business,” she said. “At a regatta, that’s the first thing on the list. We get along well, and we’re friends, too. That comes out more in the offseason or when we haven’t seen each other in a while. And sisters because we don’t always get along.”

At the Rotsee Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, in July, 1991, the two were surprised to find themselves leading a race against the reigning world champions from Germany. Since it was only a semi-final and they would be wise to conserve energy for the final, Ms. McBean called for a slowing of the stroke rate. Ms. Heddle could not bring herself to do so and continued rowing at a furious pace. They would go on to win the event.

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“That race at Lucerne has always been a bit of a joke between the two of us,” Ms. Heddle once told Wendy Long of the Vancouver Sun.

A month later, on a flood-relief channel called the New Danube in Vienna, the Canadians led from the start to defeat the German pair by a boat length to became world champions. The next day, they helped the eights also win a world championship. Ms. Heddle would retire with three gold medals and two silvers at world championships.

A year later, they won their first two Olympic gold medals at a regatta in which their triumphs were overshadowed by Silken Laumann’s dramatic bronze-medal win less than three months after she suffered a devastating leg injury in a training collision on the water.

Ms. Heddle retired after the 1992 Olympics to work as a technical assistant at Vancouver Community College. She was lured back into the water by Ms. McBean. After competing as sweepers, with both hands on one oar, the two were now going to compete as scullers, each using two oars – a change in discipline.

As they crossed the finish line on Lake Lanier in 1996, a third Olympic gold medal now theirs, the two were so exhausted they were unable to exchange words. Heddle leaned back with her open right hand, which McBean grasped, as they both gasped for air.

Ms. McBean hugs Ms. Heddle after they won the gold medal in the women’s double sculls Olympic competition at Lake Lanier, Ga., on July 27, 1996.

David J. Phillip/The Associated Press

They raced again the next day in quadruple sculls with Diane O’Grady and Laryssa Biesenthal, finishing in third place to earn a bronze medal.

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At the closing ceremonies of the Atlanta Olympics, Ms. Heddle and Ms. McBean were the Canadian flag-bearers.

Ms. Heddle retired from the sport once again, while her partner continued until a back injury ended her competitive career. (Seven months ago, Ms. McBean was named Canada’s chef de mission for the pending Olympic Games in Tokyo.)

Ms. Heddle worked in sports administration and started a family. “I don’t picture myself as glamorous,” she told sports historian Fred Hume. “I want [my] accomplishments to be foremost.” While training for the Atlanta Olympics, she stored her possessions with her mother. Her haul of medals, including Olympic golds, were kept in a jumble inside an ordinary shoe box in a closet.

Ms. Heddle died on Jan. 11 at the family home in the leafy Vancouver neighbourhood of Kerrisdale. She had been diagnosed with breast and lymph node cancer followed by melanoma and brain cancer.

She leaves Mike Bryden, her husband of 20 years and a former member of Canada’s national rowing team. She also leaves their children, Lyndsey and Mac. Her death came two years less a day after her mother’s passing at age 91. Her father died in 1990. She also leaves a brother and two sisters.

Ms. Heddle was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1994, followed three years later by induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. She has also been named to the UBC Sports Hall of Fame (2002) and the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame (2003), which had earlier inducted her as a member of the 1992 Olympics coxed-eights crew. In 2016, she was named to the Rowing Canada Hall of Fame, which had been established the previous year.

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Ms. Heddle was named to the Order of British Columbia in 1997. Two years later, she was awarded the prestigious Thomas Keller Medal by the International Rowing Federation for her achievements and her sportsmanship. Only two other Canadians – Ms. McBean and Ms. Laumann – have ever won the sport’s highest honour.

In October, 2019, she joined former Olympic teammates including Ms. Barnes and Ms. McBean in the women’s senior eights for rowers over the age of 50 at the Head of the Charles Regatta. The Old Gold crew from the Victoria City Rowing Club defeated 38 other crews in completing the 4.8-kilometre course on the Charles River outside Boston in 18:14.139, more than seven seconds faster than the runner-up crew. It was Ms. Heddle’s final race. She bowed out a champion.

Ms. Heddle, left, and Ms. McBean carry the Canadian flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Olympics.

Nick Didlick/REUTERS

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