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Davies shines in Bayern’s Champions League beatdown of Barcelona – Sportsnet.ca

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LISBON, Portugal — Canadian teenager Alphonso Davies had a night to remember Friday as Bayern Munich put Barcelona to the sword in a lopsided 8-2 Champions League quarterfinal win.

In a week when forward Jonathan David’s move to France’s Lille erased Davies’ Canadian-record transfer fee to Bayern, Davies reminded the soccer world of his star quality on a big stage.

The 19-year-old fullback set up Bayern’s fifth goal in the 63rd minute with a sensational run down the left flank. Davies beat three Barca players, befuddling Portuguese international Nelson Semedo before racing past several more defenders into the penalty box and sending a perfect pass to Joshua Kimmich to slot in from close range.

“Best left back in the world!” tweeted Canadian international Ashley Lawrence.

“Proud to see a Canadian shine in ?ChampionsLeague ?AlphonsoDavies,” tweeted Dwayne De Rosario, the Canadian men’s all-time leading scorer.

The wide-open game gave the young Canadian an up-close and personal look at Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi with the Argentine star spending most of his time on Davies’ side of the pitch.

Prior to the match, Davies said he had had a laugh with his parents on the phone — saying they couldn’t believe he was going to play against one of his idols growing up.

The 33-year-old Messi took Davies down in the 11th minute, rewarding the young Canadian with a pat on the head after helping him back to his feet.

Davies whipped in a fine cross a minute later that the Barcelona defence had to clear.

The Bayern fullback got a taste of Messi’s skills on the ball in the 20th minute when he was one of three players Messi dribbled through before firing a shot on goal.

Up 4-1 after 31 minutes, Bayern had another chance soon after but no one spotted an unmarked Davies on the left.

Davies, the Bundesliga rookie of the year, has excelled in Champions League play, turning heads with a fine performance in late February in Bayern’s 3-0 win at Chelsea in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie.

The Canadian was booked in the 52nd minute Friday for a robust challenge on Chilean Arturo Vidal. And he went down in the 66th minute after a clash of heads going for the ball.

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NFL hands more than $1 million US in fines against 3 teams, coaches who didn't wear masks during games – CBC.ca

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NFL coaches thumbed their collective, and exposed, noses at the NFL’s mask mandate in Week 2.

The league responded with hefty fines of $100,000 US per coach and $250,000 per club. The first three to get fined were Denver’s Vic Fangio, San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan and Seattle’s Pete Carroll, according to a person with knowledge of the punishment who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the coaches were not identified.

The punishment was meted out a week after the NFL reminded team personnel on the sidelines about the rules for wearing face coverings during the coronavirus pandemic, lest they put the fledgling season at risk.

More coaches and clubs can expect similar punishments as the memo last week from Troy Vincent, who oversees the league’s football operations, was largely ignored throughout the weekend.

Among other offenders: Patriots coach Bill Belichick and his offensive co-ordinator Josh McDaniels, Chiefs defensive co-ordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Colts coach Frank Reich and Rams coach Sean McVay.

Capping a weekend of deliberate defiance and/or desultory disobedience, Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who said last week he felt Vincent’s memo was directed at him, and Saints coach Sean Payton were shown on a split screen Monday night, both of them breaking the rules.

Gruden wore his mask like a chin strap, and Payton sported his gaiter like a turtleneck.

Players exempt from face covering rules

Following the Raiders’ 34-24 win over the Saints, Gruden revealed he’d had COVID-19 and apologized for violating the rules.

“I’m doing my best,” Gruden said. “I’ve had the virus. I’m doing my best. I’m very sensitive about it. I’m calling the plays. I apologize. If I get fined, I will have to pay the fine.”

The scenes were similar Sunday with head coaches and assistants apparently finding it too hard to keep their faces covered as required under the league’s COVID-19 protocols with either a mask, gaiter or face shield. Players, who, like the coaches, are subject to daily COVID-19 tests, are exempt from the face covering requirements.

Some coaches such as Belichick, McDaniels and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wore their masks or gaiters over their mouths but not noses. Others such as Carroll, Spagnuolo and Fangio wore their face coverings around their chins or necks, exposing both their mouths and noses.

In his strongly worded memo, Vincent said teams “must remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place by not only the league, union and clubs, but also by state and local governments.”

Vincent added: “Becoming careless or ignoring face covering and physical distancing requirements will put the 2020 season at risk.”

The rules don’t apply to players, but all other individuals with bench area access, including coaches and members of the club medical staff, are required to wear face coverings at all times.

Failure to do so, Vincent warned in his memo, “will result in accountability measures being imposed against offending individuals and/or clubs. The face covering must be worn as designed so that it securely fits across the wearer’s nose and mouth to prevent the transmission of the virus.”

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Hamlin, Michael Jordan partner on NASCAR team for Bubba Wallace – Sportsnet.ca

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Denny Hamlin has joined Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan to form a NASCAR team with Bubba Wallace as the driver, a high-profile pairing of a Black majority team owner and the only Black driver at NASCAR’s top level.

The partnership was announced Monday night in co-ordinated social media posts by Jordan and Hamlin, with Wallace adding his own comment. The posts showed a picture of Jordan alongside a firesuit-clad Hamlin in a motorhome at a race track.

“Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity and there have been few Black owners,” Jordan said in his statement. “The timing seemed perfect as NASCAR is evolving and embracing social change more and more.”

Jordan becomes the first Black principal owner of a full-time Cup team since Hall of Famer Wendell Scott drove his own race car in 495 races from 1961 to 1973. Scott’s 1964 victory at the Jacksonville 200 is the only win by a Black driver in Cup history.

The NBA great, who earlier this year pledged $100 million over 10 years for initiatives combating systemic racism, said the move into NASCAR is another step toward racial equality.

“I see this as a chance to educate a new audience and open more opportunities for Black people in racing,” Jordan said.

Jordan joins former NBA player Brad Daugherty, a partner at JTG Daugherty Racing, as the only Black owners at NASCAR’s elite Cup level.

“Michael and Bubba can be a powerful voice together, not only in our sport, but also well beyond it,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin, a three-time Daytona 500 winner and a top contender for this year’s Cup title, will be the minority owner of a single-car Toyota entry aligned with Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin has raced his entire career for Gibbs, a Hall of Fame NFL coach.

“Eleven years ago I met Michael Jordan at a then-Charlotte Bobcats game and we became fast friends,” Hamlin wrote. “Not long after, I joined Jordan Brand as their first NASCAR athlete. Our friendship has grown over the years and now we are ready to take it to the next level.

“Deciding on the driver was easy — it had to be Bubba Wallace.”

Wallace is the only Black driver in the Cup Series and this season used his platform to push for racial equality. The 27-year-old successfully urged NASCAR to ban the display of the Confederate flag at its events.

Wallace is winless in 105 Cup starts over four seasons, but he has six career victories in the Truck Series. He’s been handcuffed by mid-level equipment driving the No. 43 for Hall of Famer Richard Petty and, until this summer, the team struggled to land sponsorship.

“Bubba has shown tremendous improvement since joining the Cup Series and we believe he’s ready to take his career to a higher level,” Hamlin said. “He deserves the opportunity to compete for race wins and our team will make sure he has the resources to do just that.

“Off the track, Bubba has been a loud voice for change in our sport and our country. MJ and I support him fully in those efforts and stand beside him.”

There’s been speculation for months that Hamlin was organizing some sort of ownership group as he expects NASCAR’s business model to become more favourable for team owners when the “Next Gen” car is released in 2022. NASCAR rules prohibit a current driver from owning a team and driving for another, but Hamlin works around the policy with Jordan as the principal owner.

“Starting a race team has been something that Michael and I have talked about while playing golf together over the years, but the timing or circumstances were never really right,” Hamlin said. “It just makes sense now to lay the foundation for my racing career after I’m done driving and also help an up-and-coming driver like Bubba take his career to a higher level.”

Jordan became a partial owner of the Bobcats in 2006 and bought the team outright in 2010, restoring the franchise to its original Hornets name. Hamlin has been a longtime season-ticket holder with courtside seats along the visitors’ bench.

Jordan dabbled in racing before with Michael Jordan Motorsports. He owned an AMA Superbike team and had one win in 10 years. Jordan has twice travelled to the NASCAR season finale to watch Hamlin race for the championship. Hamlin, who’s 39, is still seeking his first title.

“Growing up in North Carolina, my parents would take my brothers, sisters and me to races, and I’ve been a NASCAR fan my whole life,” Jordan said. “The opportunity to own my own race team in partnership with my friend, Denny Hamlin, and to have Bubba Wallace driving for us, is very exciting for me.”

Wallace, who has cobbled together about $18 million in sponsorship deals since he made social equality his platform, already said he’d leave Richard Petty Motorsports at the end of the season.

“This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career,” Wallace wrote. “I am grateful and humbled that they believe in me and I’m super pumped to begin this adventure with them.”

Jordan and Hamlin purchased a charter for their team from Germain Racing that guarantees Wallace a spot in the 40-car field every week.

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Lightning strike twice on PP, beat Stars to even Stanley Cup final – TSN

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EDMONTON — The Tampa Bay Lightning rediscovered the zap in their power play, using it to burn the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Monday and even up the Stanley Cup final.

Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat had goals on the man advantage as the Lightning scored three times in the first 16 minutes of the game then hung on for the victory.

It ties the best-of-seven series at one game apiece, with Game 3 set for Wednesday at Rogers Place.

Tampa’s power play was ranked fifth in the NHL in the regular season at 23.1 per cent but in the playoffs, heading into Monday’s game, had been spluttering along at 16.9 per cent and mired in an 0 for 14 slump.

Point said the success was not a huge relief because they hadn’t been dwelling on the previous power-play power outages.

“We’re staying positive with (it),” said Point.

“Tonight I thought we stuck with it. We were crisp on our passes and we had (Nikita Kucherov) making some great plays.”

Kucherov, the leading point getter in the playoffs, and defenceman Victor Hedman had the assists on both power-play goals.

Midway through the first period, Kucherov was the middle man in a tic-tac-toe passing play, taking a pass from Hedman and redirecting the puck into the slot area to Point, who then wristed it through traffic and high glove side past Dallas goalie Anton Khudobin.

Three minutes later, on a second power play, Kucherov, at the right face-off circle, faked a one-timer shot off a Hedman pass, freezing Khudobin, and instead slap-passed it cross-seam to Palat, who had a wide open net and didn’t miss.

Less than a minute after that, Tampa defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk scored on a blue-line wrist shot through traffic that proved to be the game-winner.

It was a different story from Game 1, when Tampa got six minutes of power play time in the third period, blasted 22 shots on net but couldn’t score and lost 4-1.

Kucherov said they didn’t tinker with the power-play plan prior to Game 2.

“We had some good looks during the first game. We just couldn’t score,” said Kucherov.

“We just stuck to what we had to do: keep it simple, shoot the puck at the net and get those rebounds.”

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27-of-29 shots for his 15th victory of the playoffs, including the seeding round.

Joe Pavelski and Mattias Janmark, with his first of the playoffs, replied for Dallas. Khudobin turned aside 28 shots in the loss. His post-season record drops to 13-7.

Janmark said the penalties and the power-play goals proved to be a bridge too far.

“That’s where we lost the game today,” said Janmark.

“Most of the first period we didn’t come out like we wanted. I think they were better, so I would say they earned (the power plays).

“At the same time, we gotta be better. We were a little bit undisciplined. We were turning pucks over and they were coming at us.”

Tampa Bay outshot Dallas 14-6 in the first period but was outshot 18-5 in the second frame as the Stars found renewed life.

The Stars hit the scoreboard late in the period when a fluttering John Klingberg point shot was redirected in by Pavelski while he battled with defender Ryan McDonagh in front of Vasilevskiy.

Pavelski, signed as a free agent a year ago after 13 seasons with San Jose, has a team-leading 10 playoff goals.

Less than six minutes into the third, the Stars made it 3-2 on a tic-tac-toe play of their own — Alexander Radulov to Klingberg to Janmark, who tapped the puck in despite Shattenkirk being draped all over him.

It was a rough game with big hits and numerous post-whistle scrums and takedowns.

Late in the second period, the Stars’ Corey Perry had Lightning forward Cedric Paquette in a post-whistle head lock. He released him at the direction of the refs only to see Paquette turn on him, throw him to the ice and start raining down punches.

Stars forward Blake Comeau was levelled by McDonagh on an open-ice hit in the second period and didn’t return.

Kucherov now has six goals and 22 assists for 28 points in the playoffs. Hedman has nine goals and eight assists.

Tampa has 15 wins and six losses in the post-season and has yet to lose two games in a row.

The Lightning are seeking the second Stanley Cup in franchise history, the last one coming in 2004. The Stars’ only Cup came in 1999.

All games are being held in a so-called isolation bubble at Rogers Place, with the players sequestered from the public to prevent contracting COVID-19.

The NHL reported that in eight weeks of testing there have been no positive COVID-19 cases.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2020.

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