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Halifax to ‘go ahead’ with hosting World Juniors, says mayor

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Scandals within Hockey Canada won’t prevent Halifax and Moncton from hosting the world junior hockey championships later this year, says the Halifax Regional Council.

“We’re gonna go ahead and put these games — put this tournament on, we’re gonna do a hell of a job as we always do,” Mayor Mike Savage told a special council meeting late Tuesday, adding a note of caution that “last minute problems are always possible.”

Hockey Canada has been rocked by allegations of sexual assault, which led to its leadership — CEO Scott Smith and the entire board of directors — stepping down Tuesday amid blistering criticism. Savage said last week that meaningful change was needed at Hockey Canada before the tournament could take place.

The national sports organization has been under fire since May, when it was revealed a settlement had been paid to a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight players — including members of Canada’s men’s world junior team in 2018.

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Allegations of gang sexual assault involving the 2003 world junior team emerged in July.

In an interview Wednesday, the Halifax mayor said the world juniors will be the first major tournament since the house cleaning at Hockey Canada.

“I think we’ve seen meaningful change,” said Savage. “We don’t know the whole story yet. We don’t know who’ll be on the board. We don’t know who will be the CEO but I think this is a really important step. And I don’t think there’s any denying that it’s a dramatic change and I think it’s for the best.”

Savage said a “high number” of tickets have been sold for the tournament, which is scheduled to take place in December and January. The remaining tickets, he said remain with Hockey Canada “for things like potential sponsors.”

“I think it’s fair to say that the (International Ice Hockey Federation) does not want to cancel or move the tournament this year,” he said.

“They’ve made a commitment to that. Their preference is to have this tournament. They know that Halifax can do this. They know that Moncton can do that. Can’t foresee the unforeseeable.”

It is the second time that Canada will host the world junior hockey championship within a span of four months.

The elite under-20 tournament will return to Atlantic Canada for the first time in 20 years. Halifax and Sydney, N.S., co-hosted the tournament in 2003.

The International Ice Hockey Federation needed to find a new location for upcoming event after stripping Russia of hosting privileges due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Halifax Coun. Tony Mancini said the games will bring a $50 million economic boost to the two cities with $35 million of it being in Nova Scotia.

The 2023 championship will kick off Dec. 26, just a few months after the 2022 edition, won by Canada, wrapped up in Edmonton. The tournament will run until Jan. 5, 2013.

A number of councillors voiced their support for changes at Hockey Canada but added that there needs to be more scrutiny.

Coun. Lisa Blackburn said Hockey Canada is in need of complete systemic change.

“Through their actions, they’ve taught these boys who are now men that it’s OK to use women any way they want, and they’ll be supported,” she said.

“They’ve taught these boys through their actions … that it’s OK to cover up that wrongdoing and bury it from scrutiny.”

When the organization was given the opportunity for transparency at a parliamentary hearing, Blackburn said Hockey Canada instead chose to present themselves as “arrogant, tone deaf and their testimony reeked of hubris.”

While the City of Halifax had a good relationship with Hockey Canada, Savage said the manner in which the allegations were handled was unacceptable and lacked accountability.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 12, 2022.

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Palestinian flag waved on pitch as Morocco celebrates historic World Cup win

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Several players of Morocco’s national team unfurled a Palestinian flag on the pitch while celebrating their historic World Cup win over Spain in Qatar on Tuesday.

World Cup quarterfinals: Qualifying teams, fixtures and schedule

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Following a dramatic penalty shootout, Morocco became the first Arab side to make it to the World Cup quarterfinals.

This is the second time Moroccan players have raised the Palestinian flag after winning a match. Morocco’s player Jawad El Yamiq raised the Palestinian flag while celebrating his country’s 2-1 victory over Canada last week.

Moroccan football fans were also seen waving a “Free Palestine” banner during the North African country’s 2-0 victory over Belgium in Group E earlier in the tournament.

Morocco's team makes a group photo on the pitch, holding the Palestinian flag after beating Spain.

Regulations from FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, prohibit the use of banners, flags and fliers that are deemed to be political, offensive and/or discriminatory in nature.

“The promotion or announcement of political or religious messages or any other political or religious actions, inside or in the immediate vicinity of the stadium, by any means, is strictly prohibited before, during and after matches,” FIFA regulations state.

Israeli journalists experience chilly reception at Qatar World Cup

 

Football authorities have occasionally issued fines for displays of the Palestinian flag inside grounds.

The flag bearing move was hailed by Arabs on social media, as users from Libya, Morroco, Egypt and Saudi Arabia celebrated the Moroccan win.

Videos on social media also show Palestinians celebrating Morocco’s win in the streets of several cities in the West Bank and in Gaza.

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With CBT 'not an obstacle,' Blue Jays can avoid Judge drama with Guerrero and Bichette – Sportsnet.ca

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Matt Murray Mitch Marner Toronto Maple Leafs Dallas Stars

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DALLAS (AP) — Matt Murray made a season-high 44 saves and Mitch Marner extended his Toronto-record point streak to 20 games with an early assist as the Maple Leafs beat the Dallas Stars 4-0 on Tuesday night.

John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Rasmus Sandin and Alexander Kerfoot scored for the surging Maple Leafs, who are 9-0-3 in their last 12 games. They pulled within three points of first-place Boston in the Atlantic Division.

Dallas went 0 for 7 on the power play despite 17 shots on goal, including a four-minute double minor and a 5-on-3 for 1:38.

Toronto blocked 27 shots in its first shutout this season, and the Stars missed the net on 22 attempts.

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“Big thanks to the guys in front who did a heck of a job defensively tonight against a really dangerous team,” said Murray, who was acquired from Ottawa last summer and shares time in net with fellow newcomer Ilya Samsonov.

Murray is 6-0-2 since missing 15 games with an adductor injury following his initial start of the season.

“He was perfect,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Came up with huge saves in big moments. Obviously, the number of penalties we took today could have been a big problem.”

The Stars were shut out for the first time this season and are tied with Winnipeg atop the Central Division with 33 points. The Jets have two games in hand.

Jake Oettinger stopped 25 shots.

It was the NHL’s first game featuring two players with point streaks of at least 18 games.

The Stars’ Jason Robertson saw his run end at 18, a Dallas record. Robertson leads the NHL with 23 goals.

Marner got an assist when his wrist shot was stopped but Tavares tapped in the rebound 4:51 in for the first of two first-period Toronto goals.

“Like I’ve been saying, it’s not a one-man effort,” Marner said. “Just trying to go out there and buzz.”

Matthews took possession after his wrist shot was stopped and circled back into the slot to score at 17:36.

Sandin collected a loose puck just outside the crease and scored at 12:19 of the second period for a 3-0 lead.

Kerfoot added an empty-net goal with 3:53 remaining, rolling the puck in from center ice. It was his first goal since a 3-2 overtime win at home over the Stars on Oct. 20.

Toronto played most of the game with only five defensemen. Victor Mete left with a lower-body injury after playing just 3:04 of the first period. Mete is expected to miss at least a few games.

During part of Dallas’ 5-on-3 late in the second, the Maple Leafs were further handcuffed when Marner had to give up a broken stick. He still managed to block a shot.

Maple Leafs forward Semyon Der-Arguchintsev made his NHL debut, playing 7:16.

FAMILY AFFAIR

It was the second and final scheduled meeting this season matching Robertson against his younger brother, Maple Leafs forward Nick Robertson.

Their mother, Mercedes, traveled from Michigan to attend the game. She followed her custom in these brotherly matchups by wearing the home team’s sweater and the visitors’ cap.

Nick Robertson scored his only two goals of the season to date in the teams’ previous meeting — including the overtime winner.

“He wasn’t too happy about that,” Nick said of his brother when they visited after that game.

POWER OUTAGE

Dallas is 0 for 11 on the power play in its past two games after ranking second in the NHL at 30% going into Sunday’s game, a 6-5 shootout loss to Minnesota.

“We had some great looks,” captain Jamie Benn said of Tuesday’s effort. “We’ve got to find a way.”

UP NEXT

Maple Leafs: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

Stars: Host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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