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Canada's Paralympians are piling up medals – CBC Sports



This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports’ daily email newsletter. Stay up to speed on what’s happening in sports by subscribing here.

Canada is off to a great start at the Winter Paralympic Games

Through three days of competition in Beijing, Canadians have already won 12 medals. That puts Canada second in total medals, behind host China (25) and ahead of Ukraine, Germany and the United States (8 each). 

Today, Canada doubled its count by racking up six medals, including three gold. The highlight was 42-year-old visually impaired cross-country skier Brian McKeever capturing the 14th Paralympic title (and 18th medal) of his incredible career. Also, Tyler Turner became Canada’s first-ever Paralympic snowboard gold medallist, and 21-year-old cross-country skier Natalie Wilkie won the second Paralympic gold (and fourth medal) of her young career. Alpine skier Alana Ramsay became Canada’s first multi-medallist of these Games, adding a super-combined bronze to the one she picked up in the super-G a day earlier.

Canadians will contend for individual podiums again on Day 4, while the country’s Para hockey and wheelchair curling teams both continue their push for the semifinals. Here’s what to watch on Monday night and Tuesday morning:

Mark Arendz looks to start a new streak. After winning a Canadian-record six medals in six events at the 2018 Winter Paralympics, Arendz extended his podium streak to seven by taking bronze in the men’s biathlon standing sprint on Saturday in Beijing. The run ended last night when he finished fourth in his cross-country long-distance event. Arendz has a good shot to get back on the podium, and win his 10th Paralympic medal, as he switches back to biathlon for the men’s standing middle-distance race at 11:30 p.m. ET. He took bronze in this event in 2018.

Brittany Hudak will also ski for her second medal of the Games. After taking bronze in the women’s cross-country long-distance event won by Wilkie last night, Hudak moves over to biathlon for the women’s standing middle-distance race at 11 p.m. ET. She won a long-distance bronze in biathlon in 2018, so we already know Hudak is capable of reaching the Paralympic podium in both forms of Nordic skiing. Competing alongside her tonight is Emily Young, who won two cross-country medals at the 2018 Games and placed fifth in last night’s race where Wilkie and Hudak shared the podium.

Canada’s Para hockey team plays for a spot in the semifinals. Despite their humbling 5-0 loss to the defending-champion United States in the tournament opener on Saturday, the Canadians can lock up a berth in the final four when they face South Korea at 12:05 a.m. ET. This is the second round-robin game for both teams, but it’s also the last one because of the expulsion of Russia, which was supposed to play in this group. South Korea lost 9-1 to the U.S., which has clinched first place in the group and a spot in the semifinals. The winner of the Canada-South Korea game joins the Americans in the semis, while the loser will have to play its way in by beating whoever finishes third in the other group.

Canada’s wheelchair curling team will try to stay on top. Skip Mark Ideson, Canadian flag-bearer Ina Forrest and their teammates suffered their first loss of the tournament this morning when they were beaten by Sweden. But Canada (4-1) remains in first place, just ahead of the Swedes (3-1). China and Latvia are tied for third at 3-2. The top four teams after the 11-team round robin advance to the semifinals. The Canadians will attempt to hold onto the top spot as they face South Korea (1-3) at 8:35 p.m. ET and Slovakia (2-2) at 6:35 a.m ET.

More on the Paralympics

Catch up on everything you may have missed from Day 3 here. Read about what the 42-year-old McKeever hopes to accomplish in his final Games here. Read about how impairment classifications and timing adjustments work to level the playing field here.

How to watch live events

They’re being streamed on CBC Sports’ Beijing 2022 website, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem. See the full streaming schedule here, including links to watch events when they go live. You can also catch Paralympic action daily on the CBC TV network. See the full TV schedule here. Read more about CBC Sports’ Paralympic coverage plans here.

WATCH | What you missed on Day 3 of the Paralympics:

While You Were Sleeping: 6 Canadian medals including 2 historic Para snowboarding wins

12 hours ago

Duration 3:40

Lisa DeJong and Tyler Turner make Canadian Para snowboarding history, Natalie Wilkie and Brittany Hudak share a Para cross-country podium, Brian McKeever wins his 18th Paralympic medal. Catch up on what you missed overnight with CBC Sports’ Jacqueline Doorey. 3:40


A prominent NFL receiver was suspended for at least one full season for betting on games. According to the league, Atlanta Falcons wideout Calvin Ridley wagered on NFL games during a five-day period last November when he was away from the team. At the time, his absence was said to be related to mental-health issues. The NFL says its investigation found no evidence that Ridley used inside information or “that any game was compromised in any way.” Ridley, 27, was one of the most productive receivers in the league in 2020, when he caught 90 passes for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns. Last year, he played in only five games and had 31 catches.

Leylah Fernandez won the Monterrey Open again. The 19-year-old Canadian tennis player repeated as champion of the low-end WTA event in Mexico yesterday by beating Colombia’s Camila Osorio in the final. Last year, Fernandez won Monterrey as an unseeded player and went on to make a stunning run to the final of the U.S. Open, where she was also unseeded. Now ranked 21st in the world, Fernandez was seeded No. 2 in Monterrey. Osorio was No. 5. Read more about Fernandez’s second career WTA title and watch highlights here

Moh Ahmed lowered his Canadian 10,000m record. The Olympic 5,000m silver medallist sliced more than 25 seconds off his national 10,000m record by running 26:34.14 to finish second to American Grant Fisher yesterday at a track meet in California. Ahmed set the old record at the 2019 world championships in Qatar, where he placed sixth in the 10,000 (the same result he posted in that distance at the Tokyo Olympics last summer). The time he posted yesterday makes Ahmed the ninth-fastest 10,000m runner of all time. Read more about the run here.

And also…

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. To mark it, CBC Sports is streaming a panel discussion hosted by Andi Petrillo that will both celebrate the progress made in women’s sports over the last year and address the work that still needs to be done. Watch it live Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. ET on CBC Sports’ Facebook page. At 1:30 p.m. ET, head over to the CBC Olympics Twitter page for a discussion on women in sports and mental health. Hosted by Shireen Ahmed and Signa Butler, the guests are sports psychologist Clare Fewster and Olympians Cynthia Appiah, Anastasia Bucsis and Kirsten Moore-Towers.

You’re up to speed. Talk to you tomorrow.

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Rocket advance with win in 3OT thriller | – American Hockey League



The Laval Rocket are off to the Eastern Conference Finals after a wild 6-5 triple-overtime victory over the Rochester Americans on Wednesday night.

The Rocket completed a three-game sweep of the Amerks and will face either Charlotte or Springfield in the next round.

Working on a power play following a delay of game penalty against Rochester, former Amerk Jean-Sébastien Dea wristed a shot that beat Aaron Dell at 1:51 of the third OT period to give the Rocket the victory. It was the second goal of the night for Dea, and came on Laval’s 60th shot of the evening.

Rochester nearly escaped with a Game 3 victory, scoring three times in the third period to take a 5-4 lead before Jesse Ylönen netted the equalizer for the Rocket with 1:07 remaining in regulation.

Back home in front of an energetic crowd of 10,662 fans at Blue Cross Arena, the Amerks struck quickly when Mark Jankowski pounced on a loose puck and scored his sixth goal of the playoffs just 1:04 into the contest.

JJ Peterka made it 2-0 in favor of Rochester with a power-play goal at 8:05, and that lead held until late in the second period, when Laval scored four goals in a span of 3:56 to swing the game in their favor.

Brandon Gignac started the comeback with 6:08 to go in the second period with a nifty deflection of a Corey Schueneman shot from the point. Danick Martel tied things up 55 seconds later, taking Gabriel Bourque’s pass from behind the net and snapping home his fifth goal of the series.

Just 76 seconds after that, the Rocket took their first lead of the night as Xavier Ouellet floated a shot from the left point through traffic that found the top corner over the glove of Aaron Dell.

And with 2:12 to go before intermission, Dea put Laval in front by two, hitting an open cage with Dell out of position following a collision with a teammate in front.

Rochester regrouped during the break and needed just 1:32 to tie things back up. Brett Murray scored 13 seconds into the third period to pull the Amerks to within 4-3, and Peterka got his second of the night 1:19 later off a slick feed from Peyton Krebs.

Murray then scored his second of the period at 8:35, getting a piece of Ethan Prow’s shot from the point and deflecting it home to put Rochester back in front.

Laval outshot Rochester 24-12 during sudden death and killed off two Amerks power plays before converting on their own for the winner.

Cayden Primeau (6-1) made 34 saves and earned his fourth consecutive victory in net for the Rocket. Dell (5-5) stopped a career-high 54 shots for Rochester.

North Division Finals (best-of-5)
N3-Laval Rocket vs. N5-Rochester Americans
Game 1 – Sun., May 22 – LAVAL 6, Rochester 1
Game 2 – Mon., May 23 – LAVAL 3, Rochester 1
Game 3 – Wed., May 25 – Laval 6, ROCHESTER 5 (3OT)

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Bozak scores OT winner, Blues rally vs. Avs to stave off elimination –



DENVER (AP) — Tyler Bozak and the St. Louis Blues experienced just about every emotion imaginable over the course of a win-or-season-ends game in which they fell behind by three goals.

Ultimately, they landed on this improbable one — elation.

Bozak scored 3:38 into overtime and the Blues fended off elimination in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, overcoming a pair of deficits in a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Bozak, a fourth-line center, unleashed a shot from near the blueline that got past Darcy Kuemper, capping a remarkable comeback for St. Louis.

“It was an amazing hockey game,” Bozak said. “I’m sure everyone that was watching thought the same thing.”

Robert Thomas had two goals, including the tying tally with 56 seconds left in regulation, for a resilient Blues team. It’s the latest game-tying goal for the Blues when facing elimination, according to NHL Stats. Vladimir Tarasenko and Justin Faulk also scored, Nick Leddy had four assists and Pavel Buchnevich had two.

They never doubted — even down 3-0 late in the second period and 4-3 late in the third.

“You’ve got nothing to lose, you might as well throw it all out there,” Thomas said. “That was our mentality.”

The comeback offset a hat trick from Nathan MacKinnon, who looked like he might have just turned in a signature moment with goal No. 3. He went end-to-end, working his way around Blues defenseman Leddy with nifty stick work and lifting a shot over goaltender Ville Husso for a 4-3 lead. It was his second career postseason hat trick.

Hats hit the ice.

“Doesn’t matter,” MacKinnon said of his feat. “Looking to get a win.”

Thomas tied it up with Husso on the bench for an extra skater, setting the stage for Bozak, who played college hockey down the road at the University of Denver.

To think, he didn’t play much down the stretch of the third period, with the Blues rolling out just three lines. When he got his chance in OT, he made the most of it.

“There’s definitely no such thing as a bad shot,” Bozak said. “So just tried to get it through the traffic and it went in. So that’s awesome.”

Game 6 is Friday in St. Louis.

The Blues have rallied from a 3-1 deficit to take a playoff series twice in their history _ 1999 against Phoenix and 1991 versus Detroit.

They’re looking to write another chapter.

“This team’s come from behind quite a bit this year in games so they don’t give up,” Blues coach Craig Berube said.

Captain Gabriel Landeskog also scored and Bowen Byram had two assists for the Avalanche, who were on the verge of advancing to the Western Conference final for the first time since 2002.

Instead, they have to wait — and wonder. The second-round has proven to be a big hurdle for the Avalanche. They’ve been eliminated at this stage in each of the last three postseasons.

“You sulk for three minutes and you move on. Simple as that,” Landeskog said. “It’s playoff hockey. It’s not supposed to be easy.”

Husso made 30 saves for St. Louis. He took over in Game 3 when Jordan Binnington was injured following a collision between Nazem Kadri and Blues defenseman Calle Rosen that caused Kadri to crash into Binnington.

Afterward, Kadri received racist death threats on social media, which led to increased security to protect him. He responded in Game 4 with a hat trick. On Wednesday, fans along the boards held up signs that read “Stand with Naz.”

Kuemper stopped 25 shots.

MacKinnon came out flying in the first period, taking five shots and scoring twice to give the Colorado an early 2-0 lead. Those were the first two goals of the series for MacKinnon, who has seven in the postseason.

The speedy MacKinnon also had an assist to give him 82 career playoff points. He became the fourth player in franchise history with 80 or more postseason points, joining the company of Sakic (188), Peter Forsberg (159) and Peter Stastny (81).

After Landeskog made it 3-0 just over 4 minutes into the second period, Tarasenko knocked in his first goal of the series 10 1/2 minutes later to jumpstart the Blues.

“We got on our heels a little bit,” said MacKinnon, whose team is 4-0 on the road in these playoffs. “We wanted it so bad, I guess. … Win the third, go to the conference finals, whatever. It’s one period. Got to keep our game going, stay aggressive. That’s what we’ll do.”

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Canada Soccer cancels men’s national team friendly vs. Iran in Vancouver –



TORONTO — Canada Soccer has cancelled a planned friendly with Iran in the face of growing criticism.

In a one-paragraph statement, the governing body gave no reason for the cancellation of the scheduled June 5 game at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver.

But the idea of hosting the Iranian team, ranked 21st in the world, has drawn fire since it was first announced.

At issue is whether Canada should be hosting Iran given the Canadians who died on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 when it was shot down on Jan. 8, 2020, minutes after taking off from Tehran, by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. The Canadian government says 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents were among the 176 people killed.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week the game “wasn’t a very good idea,” pointing the finger at Canada Soccer. The Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims called for Canada Soccer “to cancel the game immediately.”

Association spokesman Hamed Esmaeilion, whose wife Parisa and young daughter Reera were among those who died on Flight 752, said in an interview last week. “What kind of friendship do we have with the Islamic Republic of Iran?

“We want the (Canadian) government to take them to international court. And instead of that, we get humiliated by them … I feel like I’ve been stabbed in the back — (as well as) the other family members. After 28 months we don’t see any sign of seeking justice here. We don’t see sign of taking Iran to any international forum. And instead of that they invite the (Iran) soccer team here.”

Conservative MPs added their voice to the protest on Wednesday. And the PM said this week that it will be up to the Canada Border Services Agency whether the Iran team is allowed into the country.

The Iran game was to be the first of a two-game Vancouver homestand. The Canadian men open CONCACAF Nations League A play there against Curacao on June 9 before closing out the FIFA international window with another CONCACAF Nations League game against Honduras in San Pedro Sula on June 13.

Canada, ranked 38th in the world, and Iran are both preparing for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar this November.

For Canada Soccer, the Iran contest was a rare chance to test the Canadian men against a team outside of their CONCACAF confederation, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

The Canadians have played just two teams from outside their region since John Herdman took over as coach in January 2018: a 1-0 loss to Iceland in January 2020 and a 1-0 win over New Zealand in March 2018.

The FIFA International window opens Monday, with players arriving from their clubs from around the world. Now they will get extended training time rather than a match ahead of the CONCACAF Nations League fixtures.

Canada has not played on home soil since qualifying for the World Cup in a 4-0 win over Jamaica at Toronto’s BMO Field on March 27. The Canadian men last played at B.C. Place in March 2019 when they beat French Guiana 4-1 in CONCACAF Nations League qualifying.

The Canadians topped the final round of CONCACAF qualifying with an 8-2-4 record. Their last game was a 1-0 loss in Panama on March 30.

Canada has a 1-2-0 all-time record against Iran, winning the most recent encounter 1-0 in April 2001 in Cairo. Iran posted 1-0 wins in 1997 and 1999 games in Toronto and Edmonton, respectively.

Canada opens World Cup play Nov. 23 against No. 2 Belgium before facing No. 16 Croatia on Nov. 27 and No. 24 Morocco on Dec. 1.

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