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Flames beat Canadiens in Sutter's first game back as head coach – TSN

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CALGARY — Darryl Sutter dedicated his first win in his second stint with the Calgary Flames to his mother and the team’s late president.

Josh Leivo scored twice for the Flames in a 2-1 win Thursday over the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

Sutter coached the Flames to victory in his first game behind Calgary’s bench after Geoff Ward was fired a week earlier.

He’d spent eight years in the Flames organization as coach and eventually GM between 2002 and 2010.

His mother Grace celebrated her birthday Thursday, which was also the one-year anniversary of the death of longtime Flames president and Sutter’s friend Ken King.

“This win is twofold here,” Sutter said. “One is for the late Ken King who we lost a year ago and the other is for my mother. It’s her 85th birthday today. This win is for those two.

Montreal’s record since Dominique Ducharme replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 24 is 3-2-3.

Derek Ryan and Sam Bennett assisted on both Leivo goals for Calgary (12-12-3). Jacob Markstrom stopped 17-of-18 shots for the win.

Corey Perry scored for Montreal (12-7-7) and Jake Allen made 27 saves in the loss. Calgary hosts the Canadiens again Saturday.

The Flames were the more rested team having not played since Sunday. The Canadiens played their third road games in four nights, and were coming off a win less than 24 hours earlier in Vancouver.

“No question a little bit of tired legs, but every team is going through it right now and points are crucial,” Allen said.

“They came out and played a heavy, hard game. We knew they were going to do that obviously with a new coaching change. We just couldn’t find our groove tonight.

“We’ve played some really good hockey as of late and we’ve got to get to it again Saturday.”

Calgary moved to four points back of Montreal for the final playoff spot in the all-Canadian North Division.

The Flames allowed a season-low 18 shots on net.

“We played a patient game and pretty much a mistake-free game,” Sutter said. “There’s probably six or seven turnovers that we’re going to have to get out of our system.

“But you’re playing against a team that doesn’t give up much. To be able to come away with a win, we needed it. We’ll play a much better team on Saturday than we did tonight.”

Perry tipped Shea Weber‘s bobbling shot from the point between Markstrom’s legs at 10:15 of the third period to pull the visitors within one goal.

A Paul Byron slashing minor at 17:24 hampered Montreal’s comeback, however, as the Canadiens weren’t able to pull Allen for an extra attacker until just over half a minute remaining in the game.

Flames forward Milan Lucic and Habs winger Josh Anderson fought midway through the third period.

Weber’s pass from behind his own goal-line bounced off a teammate’s skate and into the open for Leivo to snare for his second goal of the game and third of the season.

The Innisfil, Ont., forward whipped the puck over Allen’s right shoulder at 13:55 of the second period for a 2-0 Flames lead.

Leivo scored his first at 1:52 finishing a tic-tac-toe passing play with Ryan and Bennett.

“It feels great. I don’t think I get those goals without the linemates and the way they played,” Leivo said.

“They worked hard, created some turnovers. I was just standing in the right spot. When you’re ready for it, sometimes the puck does in.”

Sutter had last coached the Flames on April 17, 2006 in a playoff game.

The 62-year-old from Viking, Alta., also returned to the NHL’s head-coaching ranks after an absence of almost four years.

Notes: Montreal forward Tomas Tatar played his 600th career NHL game . . . The Flames beat the Canadiens at the Saddledome for the first time since March 9, 2017.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 11, 2021.

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Olympics-U.S. women to face Australia in women’s football at Tokyo Games

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(Reuters) – The U.S. women’s national team will face Australia, Sweden and New Zealand at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, while in the men’s competition 2016 winners Brazil will take on Germany following the group stage draw on Wednesday.

The American women’s team are the reigning world champions and four-time winners of the Olympic tournament and will start as favourites in Tokyo, with Rio 2016 winners Germany failing to qualify.

Team GB women have drawn 2016 bronze medallists Canada, Chile and hosts Japan. Making only their second Olympic tournament appearance, Team GB will be led by England’s interim coach Hege Riise.

On the men’s side, Brazil will take on Germany, Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia.

Mexico, the 2012 gold medallists, were pitted against hosts Japan, South Africa and France.

The men’s team are usually restricted to selecting players under the age of 23, with just three overage players allowed.

However, the age bracket has been raised for the Tokyo Games in line with the one-year postponement of the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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Rafael Nadal rallies from set down to advance in Barcelona

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Top seed Rafael Nadal rallied from a set back to beat Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday in the second round at the Barcelona Open in Spain.

Nadal lost serve in the opening game of the match and wasn’t able to break Ivashka’s serve throughout the first set. He won just 70.6 percent of points on his first serve, was broken twice and had two double faults in an uncharacteristically poor showing on service in the opening set.

By the second set, he had righted his serve, winning 86.7 percent of points on his first serve in the second set and 83.3 percent in the third. He didn’t face a break point in either set.

In other action, No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, No. 3 Andrey Rublev of Russia, No. 4 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, No. 6 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain and No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada were among those advancing.

No. 9 Fabio Fognini of Italy defaulted for verbal abuse. He was losing 6-0, 4-4 to Zapata Miralles of Spain when the line judge reported him for swearing after a foot fault. He had been warned earlier in the match

Serbia Open

Top seed and home-country favorite Novak Djokovic needed just 68 minutes to top South Korean Soon-woo Kwon 6-1, 6-3 and advance to the quarterfinals in Belgrade, Serbia.

Djokovic capitalized on five of his eight service break opportunities in the win. In the next round, he’ll meet fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic, the eighth seed, who needed three sets to oust Arthur Rinderknech of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Also advancing was the No. 2 seed, Matteo Berrettini, who defeated fellow Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 6-3. Fifth seed Filip Krajinovic beat Nikola Milojevic 6-1, 6-1 in an all-Serb match.

 

(Field Level Media)

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Ice hockey-Women’s world championships cancelled due to COVID-19

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(Reuters) -The women’s ice hockey world championships set to be played in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia have been cancelled because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Canada, Hockey Canada said on Wednesday.

The announcement came one day before the 10 teams were to arrive to begin their quarantine ahead of the May 6-16 tournament.

“This is very disappointing news to receive with just a few weeks until the tournament was to begin,” said International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel in a statement.

“We strongly believe that we had the adequate safety measures in place. In the end, we must accept the decision of the government.”

The IIHF and Hockey Canada were informed by the Nova Scotia provincial government on Wednesday that the 10-country tournament could not go ahead due to safety concerns associated with COVID-19.

Still the news came as a shock after Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer had 24 hours earlier given the event the thumbs- up.

“At five o’clock this morning we were full go and at 7:30 am we were not,” explained Hockey Canada chief executive officer Tom Renney. “That is the way the world is right now and there is only so much we can control.

“At the end of the day there is a bigger game than the one we play here and quite honestly it is about the safety of the general public.”

The cancellation was another blow for the women’s game that has endured a number of recent setbacks, including the folding of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

It was also the second consecutive year the Nova Scotia world championships have been stopped by COVID-19.

“Definitely, a little bit of disbelief, a little shock, a lot of emotion,” said Canadian coach Gina Kingsbury, who pulled some players off the ice to deliver the bad news. “This is a group that has been through a lot this past year and two years so they are definitely familiar with disappointing news.”

Both the IIHF and Hockey Canada indicated they plan to play the world championships this year, possibly this summer, in Canada.

“Our intention, and that of the IIHF, is to reconnect with this event as a world championship in 2021 in Canada,” said Renney. “That’s our number one objective. We have every desire to hold this event in Canada.”

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Ed Osmond)

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