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Connor scores twice, Ehlers nets winner as Jets edge Canadiens – Sportsnet.ca

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WINNIPEG — Nikolaj Ehlers knows he had a lot of help in securing an overtime win for the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.

Just under a minute into overtime, Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck made a giant save on Montreal Canadiens defenceman Jeff Petry.

Winnipeg came away with the puck and Ehlers streaked down the ice, firing a shot from the top of the hash marks through the legs of Habs netminder Carey Price to seal a 4-3 OT victory for the Jets.

“I already said thank you to (Hellebuyck). He saved me a little there,” said Ehlers, who also had an assist in regulation.

“But that’s 3-on-3 right there. You get a big chance one way and it either ends up in the net or it’s going the other way for a big chance. Luckily, it went the right way for us tonight.”

Winnipeg (18-9-2) struck early on Wednesday with Blake Wheeler burying the first shot of the game 50 seconds into the first period.

The early goal gave the Jets the jump they needed, Ehlers said.

“You wish you could start every single game like that,” he said. “A start like that just shows that our leader, our captain, was ready to go. That got us going right off the start and I think that we kept that going throughout the game.”

Kyle Connor added a pair of goals and Pierre-Luc Dubois contributed three assists for the Jets, who were coming off a 4-2 loss to the Canadiens on Monday.

Winnipeg has yet to lose two games in a row in regulation this season.

The stat is a testament to the character in the Jets locker room, Connor said.

““You get a little bitter, you get a little sour taste if we lose a game and you know the next night that we’re coming out hard,” he said.

Winnipeg had a 3-1 advantage heading into the final frame Wednesday. Brendan Gallagher cut the lead in half 5:58 into the third and Tyler Toffoli forced overtime with 85 seconds left on the clock.

Jets coach Paul Maurice said his team has traditionally been strong in third this season, but didn’t move the puck well in the closing period on Wednesday.

“We’ll take the two points. We found a way to win,” he said. “You don’t like to give up the two goals the way we did. But you find that desperation in all these games.”

Toffoli’s late goal came after Montreal pulled Price in favour of an extra attacker.

Toffoli snuck behind the Jets net, accepted a pass from Corey Perry and slammed it in behind Hellebuyck before anyone in a Winnipeg jersey registered his presence.

Phillip Danault added a goal and an assist for Montreal (13-8-8) and Price stopped 26-of-30 shots.

Teams aren’t always going to play their best, but the Canadiens need to find ways to claw out wins, Gallagher said.

“The games where you’re struggling a little bit, we’ve just got to play smarter,” said the right-winger who also notched an assist on Wednesday. “We probably just made some mistakes and if we just simplified our game, gave ourselves some time to get into it, maybe we don’t have to come back from two goals.”

The Canadiens have not won in overtime or a shootout this season.

Coach Dominque Ducharme said his squad looked poised to change that on Wednesday before Ehlers put away the game-winning goal.

“We were just on the verge to build something even stronger there with the change and fresh guys and attacking guys that are tired. I thought we attacked at the right time,” he said.

Despite the final results, Ducharme said pushing for overtime shows that his group is in every game they play.

“Obviously we want to win every game. And we want to take those situations,” he said.

“You want to take those chances and get the extra point, for sure. And I think our guys realize where we panic at times and where we get impatient and where we open the door to the other team instead of keeping control.”

The Jets open a seven-game road trip Thursday in Edmonton. The Canadiens are heading back to Montreal where they’ll host the Canucks on Friday.

NOTES: Both teams were 0 for 2 on the power play. ? Wednesday marked the final outing in a six-game road trip for the Canadiens. ? Montreal centre Nick Suzuki played his 100th NHL game.

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Mixed Martial Arts-Door is open for YouTube’s Paul brothers in MMA

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Logan and Jake Paul would make great Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, Bellator president Scott Coker has said as he targets exhibition matches featuring the YouTube personalities such as the former’s boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather.

Logan Paul went the distance, surviving eight rounds against unbeaten (50-0) five-division world boxing champion Mayweather in an exhibition on Sunday at Miami’s Hard Rock stadium.

USA Today reported the fight brought in one million pay per view buys with $50 million generated from sales in the United States.

It was only the second fight of Paul’s career, while his brother Jake has fought in three professional boxing matches, beating former MMA fighter Ben Askren in April.

Critics have labelled the bouts a sideshow due to the lack of sporting credibility of the duo, who made their names as social media personalities and have millions of subscribers on YouTube.

However, Coker told Reuters the brothers have impressive physiques and the door is open for them to move into MMA.

“I met with Logan Paul about two years ago and I’ve spoken to Jake Paul’s manager and Jake on a zoom call recently… The one thing I said was hey, if you want to do MMA we would love to promote you guys,” the 58-year-old said in a Zoom interview.

“These guys are young, athletic, strong and you saw the fight on Sunday night these guys they came and did their work.

“Mayweather couldn’t finish him and I know he tried, I heard he wanted to knock this kid out so bad,” he added.

“When I heard both had high school wrestling backgrounds in Ohio, which is a prominent wrestling state in the U.S., it really made me interested in pursuing them in some super fights in Mixed Martial Arts – and that door is continually open.”

HEADLINE FIGHT

Bellator, owned by Viacom, is gearing up for a busy month of events, starting with Bellator 260 on Friday with the headline fight between reigning welterweight world champion Douglas Lima and the undefeated Yaroslav Amosov.

However, super fights and exhibitions are where Coker is targeting a younger audience.

“My 14-year-old niece, I told her I was going to the Logan Paul fight and she thought that was the greatest thing,” he said.

“She asked me who he was fighting and I said Floyd Mayweather and she said ‘who’s that?’ – I thought wow, she doesn’t know boxing, she doesn’t know MMA, she’s just a 14-year-old girl on the internet doing what they do.”

As the sporting world gears up for the delayed Tokyo Olympics starting in July, Coker believes MMA will feature in future Games.

“When you think about mixed martial arts, what you’re talking about is boxing, wrestling, judo, taekwondo, karate – those are all Olympic sports,” he said.

“Why wouldn’t mixed martial arts eventually get into the Olympics because six out of the seven disciplines MMA is known to use really is already there.

“There’d be a lot of details to work out but to me I think it will happen, it’s just a matter of time.”

 

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge,; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships, the International Skating Union (ISU) said on Wednesday, after the 2020 event Canada was to host was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The championships will return to Montreal from March 18-24, marking the 11th time Canada has staged the event.

“Skate Canada has a proven track record of holding successful ISU events and we are looking forward to bringing the world’s best skaters to the fantastic Canadian city of Montreal,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO of Skate Canada, in a statement.

 

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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Andreescu splits with coach Bruneau after French Open exit

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World number seven Bianca Andreescu on Tuesday announced she has split with longtime coach Sylvain Bruneau, a week after falling in the first round of the French Open.

The pair had worked together for four years as Andreescu made her breakthrough with three titles in 2019, including the U.S. Open.

“It is with a heavy heart that I would like to inform my fans that my long time coach, mentor and friend, Sylvain and I, have mutually decided to end our incredible coaching relationship,” Canadian Andreescu wrote on Twitter

“Our friendship will live forever … I am very grateful for everything we accomplished together and all of our great memories.

“Sylvain was more than a coach… he is family.”

Andreescu, 20, returned to action at this year’s Australian Open, having missed 15 months due to a knee injury.

A positive COVID-19 test subsequently ruled Andreescu out of both Madrid and Rome before an abdominal injury forced her to pull out of Strasbourg at the quarter-final stage.

Her most recent appearance at Roland Garros ended with a 6-7(1) 7-6(2) 9-7 defeat by Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek.

 

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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