Connect with us


Gushue into another Brier final; Dunstone to battle Bottcher in semi-final – TSN



LONDON, Ont. — The final rock thrown and handshakes complete, Brent Laing stood with his hands on his hips and took a slow look around Budweiser Gardens.

He did the same thing five years ago at the Gangneung Curling Centre in South Korea, thinking the Pyeongchang Games would probably be his last Olympics.

When his Ontario side was eliminated Saturday after a 6-3 loss to Brendan Bottcher, Laing took a moment to savour the moment just in case it’s his last Tim Hortons Brier.


“At this stage of my career, I’m a little more appreciative of all the things I used to take for granted,” Laing said. “So make sure you make a memory.”

In the Page 1-2 game, defending champ Brad Gushue stole a point in the 10th end for a 5-4 win over Manitoba’s Matt Dunstone to earn a berth in Sunday’s final.

Dunstone had a tricky nose hit for the win but the stone rolled out.

“I liked how I threw it, (it was) maybe a little bit heavy,” he said. “It just didn’t come up and (I) missed it by an inch.”

Dunstone scored a pair in the third end but Gushue answered with a deuce in the fourth. Dunstone blanked three straight ends before giving up the single for his first loss of the competition.

He will next play Bottcher in Sunday’s semifinal.

Earlier, Bottcher started with hammer and controlled most of the game. A sixth-end deuce put the pressure on skip Mike McEwen and the host Ontario team couldn’t quite deliver the big shot it needed.

Both skips had some early misses but neither team could take advantage. Bottcher missed a runback in the second end but McEwen knocked his own stone out to set up a force.

McEwen made a soft tap for a single against three in the fourth end but ticked a guard in the sixth and missed a double-takeout attempt. A wide runback in the ninth was also costly.

Bottcher, third Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert all shot at least 90 per cent and Wild Card 1 had a slight edge in overall team percentage.

“It was a really well-played game,” Laing said. “At times it felt like we brought a knife to a gunfight. They didn’t really miss much.”

McEwen nearly tied the game in the seventh end with an angle-raise double but his shooter spun out and he settled for a single.

“They put on a hitting clinic,” McEwen said. “It’s not too often you see a team convert that many runs and doubles.”

McEwen’s side barely made it to the provincial playdowns this season. After a disappointing autumn, they managed to get a berth in the Ontario championship via a last-chance qualifier.

The team parted ways with Jonathan Beuk in January and brought in lead Joe Hart and his father, Richard, as coach.

The changes paid immediate dividends. McEwen topped John Epping and Glenn Howard en route to the Ontario crown. A 6-2 round-robin record at the nationals secured a berth in the playoff round.

“If you told me in December this is how it would end, where do I sign?” Laing said.

The loss also ended the season for the team as it didn’t qualify for the remaining Grand Slam events on the calendar.

McEwen is two years younger than Laing and vice Ryan Fry, who are 44. It’s unclear whether they’ll push forward as a unit for the rest of the quadrennial.

They did have some highlight moments over the week, reeling off four straight round-robin wins after a middling start. A thrilling 9-8 final-shot victory over Alberta’s Kevin Koe in a Friday elimination game showed the team can still deliver in big moments.

“We were in the grave before Christmas,” McEwen said. “We pretty much wrote ourselves off and everybody else wrote us off. And here we are in the final four in Canada.

“I’m really proud of how we turned this around.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 11, 2023.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

Adblock test (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading


Maple Leafs clinch playoff berth with Panthers loss to Senators



The Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday.

The Maple Leafs (44-20-9), who clinched when the Florida Panthers lost 5-2 to the Ottawa Senators, are second in the Atlantic Division, 22 points behind the Boston Bruins and seven ahead of the third-place Tampa Bay Lightning.

It’s the seventh straight season Toronto has clinched a playoff berth. It hasn’t won a postseason series since 2004.

The Maple Leafs are led by forwards Mitchell Marner (94 points), William Nylander (81), Auston Matthews (77), and John Tavares (75). Ilya Samsonov is 24-9-3 with a 2.46 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and three shutouts in 36 games (35 starts). Matt Murray is 14-8-2 with a 2.97 GAA, .905 save percentage and one shutout in 25 games.


Toronto made several moves prior to the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline on March 3, acquiring forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 17, defenseman Jake McCabe and forward Sam Lafferty from the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 27, defenseman Erik Gustafsson from the Washington Capitals on Feb. 28 and defenseman Luke Schenn from the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 28.

O’Reilly is expected back before the playoffs begin April 17. He hasn’t played since getting hit in the hand by Matthews’ shot in the second period of a 4-1 loss at the Vancouver Canucks on March 4 and was projected to be out four weeks.

The Maple Leafs have won the Stanley Cup 11 times, once each as the Toronto Arenas (1917-18) and the Toronto St. Patricks (1921-22). They are without an NHL championship since 1967.


Source link

Continue Reading


Canadian Bianca Andreescu retires from Miami Open match after suffering injury



Canadian Bianca Andreescu suffered an apparent leg injury during the second set of her match against Ekaterina Alexandrova at the Miami Open on Monday.

Andreescu was injured in the third game of the second set of the Round of 16 match while trying to run down a ball in the back court.  She remained down on the court, before receiving medical attention and leaving the court in a wheelchair.

Alexandrova won the first set of the match 7-6, Andreescu was up 2-0 in the second set when she retired from the match due to the injury.

The match was delayed for an hour by rain in the middle of the opening set.


The 22-year-old Canadian was playing well at the Miami tournament, entering play on Monday with victories over Emma Raducanu, No. 7 Maria Sakkari and Sofia Kenin earlier in the competition.


Source link

Continue Reading


Quick Reaction: Wizards 104, Raptors 114



O. Anunoby37 MIN, 29 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 11-21 FG, 4-10 3FG, 3-4 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 18 +/-

From the opening tip OG was a force offensively and continued to flash the self creation signs that everyone wants to see, he had a career high 18 in the first quarter and hit a lot of tough jumpers off the bounce, as well as spaced the floor with catch and shoot triples.

P. Siakam34 MIN, 19 PTS, 11 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 7-17 FG, 1-3 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -3 +/-

Pretty poor game from Pascal by his standards, a lot of shots seemed forced and he couldn’t finish through contact, very well, his playmaking also was muted because he seemed to be hunting his own shot.

J. Poeltl26 MIN, 12 PTS, 12 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 6-9 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 7 +/-

Jakob’s floaters and push shots worked wonderfully tonight and he did a great job not rushing it like he does most games, offensive rebounding was also key as well, Jakob had 6 in this game which led to countless second chance points.

S. Barnes32 MIN, 13 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL, 5-14 FG, 0-2 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-


Solid game in his first game back from injury, hit some tough looks in the paint, passing looked good tonight as well, efficiency was a bit off but we can chalk that up to being rusty.

F. VanVleet36 MIN, 28 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST, 3 STL, 10-21 FG, 5-9 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-

Offensive masterclass from Fred VanVleet, he was zooming all over the floor and he was really burning Washington with his outside shooting, but his playmaking shined really bright tonight as well.

W. Barton04 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Left the game early with an injury.

C. Boucher22 MIN, 6 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-

Boucher was battling on the class yet again and often gave Toronto an extra look tonight, he also was solid as a rim protector as well.

J. Dowtin Jr.19 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 14 +/-

Didn’t add a whole lot offensively but he was harassing guys on ball as a defender, and moving the rock well as well, would like to see Dowtin look for his own a bit more often

C. Koloko15 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 3 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-

Koloko entered the game by recording a steal and then a block on back to back possessions, and then he continued to play solid defense in drop coverage, really strong game for the rook.

M. Flynn07 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -10 +/-

Didn’t take advantage of his looks on the floor tonight.

P. Achiuwa06 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -10 +/-

Another rough night for Precious as he tries to regain his footing, just couldn’t find it defensively, ran the floor in transition just fine during limited time.

Nick Nurse

Although Toronto was healthier, Nurse didn’t force anyone into minutes that were going to damage the team.

Things We Saw

  1. OG Anunoby flashed creation skills once again, in the face up game he burned Washington many times and he even hit a pull up three.
  2. Christian Koloko played some pretty nice defense, his technique in drop was really good tonight.

Source link

Continue Reading