The Edmonton Oilers got off to a two-goal lead thanks to a three goal outburst by its killer power play, but then the Oilers did what they’ve done all year, let up defensively and allow goals against.
An Iranian female competitive climber left South Korea on Tuesday after competing at an event in which she climbed without her nation’s mandatory headscarf covering, authorities said. Farsi-language media outside of Iran warned she may have been forced to leave early by Iranian officials and could face arrest back home, which Tehran quickly denied.
The decision by Elnaz Rekabi to forgo the headscarf, or hijab, came as protests sparked by the Sept. 16 death in custody of a 22-year-old woman have entered a fifth week. Mahsa Amini was detained by the country’s morality police over her clothing.
The demonstrations, drawing school-age children, oil workers and others to the street in over 100 cities, represent the most-serious challenge to Iran’s theocracy since the mass protests surrounding its disputed 2009 presidential election.
A later Instagram post on an account attributed to Rekabi, a multiple medallist in competitions, described her not wearing a hijab as “unintentional,” though it wasn’t immediately clear whether she wrote the post or what condition she was in at the time.
Rekabi left Seoul on a Tuesday morning flight, the Iranian Embassy in South Korea said.
The BBC’s Persian service, which has extensive contacts within Iran despite being banned from operating there, quoted an unnamed “informed source” who described Iranian officials as seizing both Rekabi’s mobile phone and passport.
BBC Persian also said she initially had been scheduled to return on Wednesday, but her flight apparently had been moved up unexpectedly.
IranWire, another website focusing on the country founded by Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari who once was detained by Iran, alleged that Rekabi would be immediately transferred to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison after arriving in the country. Evin prison was the site of a massive fire this weekend that killed at least eight prisoners.
Later Tuesday, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry acknowledged that the Iranian athlete and her team had left the country, without elaborating.
Apology in Instagram post
In a tweet, the Iranian Embassy in Seoul denied “all the fake, false news and disinformation” regarding Rekabi’s departure on Tuesday. But instead of posting a photo of her from the Seoul competition, it posted an image of her wearing a headscarf at a previous competition in Moscow, where she took a bronze medal.
Rekabi didn’t put on a hijab during Sunday’s final at the International Federation of Sport Climbing’s Asia Championship, according to the Seoul-based Korea Alpine Federation, the organizers of the event.
Federation officials said Rekabi wore a hijab during her initial appearances at the one-week climbing event. She wore just a black headband when competing Sunday, her dark hair pulled back in a ponytail; she had a white jersey with Iran’s flag as a logo on it.
The later Instagram post, written in the first person, offered an apology on Rekabi’s behalf. The post blamed a sudden call for her to climb the wall in the competition — although footage of the competition showed Rekabi relaxed as she approached and after she competed. It also sought to describe her travel back to Iran on Tuesday as being “on schedule.”
Rekabi was on Iran’s 11-member delegation, comprised of eight athletes and three coaches, to the event, according to the federation.
Federation officials said they were not initially aware of Rekabi competing without the hijab but looked into the case after receiving inquires about her. They said the event doesn’t have any rules on requiring female athletes wearing or not wearing headscarves. However, Iranian women competing abroad under the Iranian flag always wear the hijab.
“Our understanding is that she is returning to Iran, and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops on her arrival,” the International Federation of Sport Climbing, which oversaw the event, said in a statement. “It is important to stress that athletes’ safety is paramount for us and we support any efforts to keep a valued member of our community safe in this situation.”
The federation said it had been in touch with both Rekabi and Iranian officials, but declined to elaborate on the substance of those calls when reached by The Associated Press. The federation also declined to discuss the Instagram post attributed to Rekabi and the claims in it.
Hundreds killed in protests
Rekabi, 33, has finished on the podium three times in the Asian Championships, taking one silver and two bronze medals for her efforts.
So far, human rights groups estimate that over 200 people have been killed in the protests and the violent security force crackdown that followed. Iran has not offered a death toll in weeks. Demonstrations have been seen in over 100 cities, according to the group Human Rights Activists in Iran. Thousands are believed to have been arrested.
Front Burner27:16The long fight for women’s rights in Iran
Gathering information about the demonstrations remains difficult, however. Internet access has been disrupted for weeks by the Iranian government. Meanwhile, authorities have detained at least 40 journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have repeatedly alleged the country’s foreign enemies are behind the ongoing demonstrations, rather than Iranians angered by Amini’s death and the country’s other woes.
Iranians have seen their life savings evaporate; the country’s currency, the rial, plummet; and Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers has been reduced to tatters.
Player grades: McD and Drai massive again as Edmonton Oilers beat Montreal Canadiens
In total, Edmonton had 13 Grade A shots, with nine 5-alarmers, Montreal ten Grade A shots, four 5-alarmers, which works out to 4.00 expected goals for the Oil, 2.83 for Montreal.
Connor McDavid, 9. Scored two goals and two assists. Took a near phantom holding penalty in the first. He set up Drai down low on RNH’s second period power play goal. Buzzed around on Edmonton’s 5-on-3 power play before setting up Draisaitl on the glorious kind of pass-and-shoot sequence that will be forever burned into the minds of Edmonton Oilers fans. He shot when the Montreal goalie Jake Allen was expecting pass, firing in Edmonton’s third goal. Took it to Warp Ten again on his breakway goal, with thrilling finish on Oil’s insurance goal.
Zach Hyman, 7. Another solid and eventful outing. Got an early break in, but failed to drain it, then gave up the puck in the defensive slot leading to a dangerous Habs opportunity. He held his slot position and got off a 5-alarm blast early in the second on the power play. He took a nasty crosscheck to the head early in the second, drawing a five-minute penalty and game misconduct for Joel Edmundson. A great hustle play late in the second to win the puck behind the Montreal net, firing up the Virtuous Cycle leading to Edmonton’s fourth goal.
Jesse Puljujarvi, 7. Maybe his most physical game of his career, with JP winning many battles. He led the team with eight hits.
Mattias Janmark, 6. He charged out fast and furious on Edmonton’s first PK, and allowed a cross-seam pass, allowing Caufiled’s power play shot off the crossbar in the first. Charged in early in the third on a partial breakaway for a 5-alarm shot.
Derek Ryan, 5. He got beat to the outside by Kaiden Guhle for a Grade A shot early in the game. He lost the PK face off, then failed to stop the pass across on a Montreal’s first period power play blast off the post. He made a key defensive play, kicking the puck out of the slot with just under two minutes left, earning a hug from Stuart Skinner. That one play pulled his mark up to a passing grade.
Devin Shore, 5. Flashed down the wing late in the second with Malone almost putting in the rebound. He lost the puck and a battle early in the third but Joel Armia hit the crossbar.
Dylan Holloway, 5. He made a solid check on Mike Matheson to win a battle late in the third.
Brad Malone, 5. A lost battle and a turnover early in the caused the Oilers some defensive grief. He almost jammed home Shore’s rebound shot late in the second.
Tyler Benson, 5. Some decent hustle plays.
Darnell Nurse, 7. He turned the wrong way, allowing time and space for an outside shot, kicking off the Sequence of Pain on Dadonov’s goal. Next, he squandered his own good work on the PK, shooting the puck over the glass to take a penalty. Redeemed himself charging up the ice to snipe in a slot shot with four seconds left in the second. He played a more reasonable 22:31.
Brett Kulak, 7. Quiet game but he did his job well, keeping a clean sheet at even strength, not one major mistake on a Grade A shot against.
Tyson Barrie, 6. He got beat by Dach down the middle on a break-in shot late in the second. But kept a clean sheet at even strength.
Evan Bouchard, 6. He strangely abandoned his defensive post in the second allowing a hard Montreal shot and potential goal off the rebound. But was otherwise solid.
Philip Broberg, 7. Made a few slick defensive stops in the third, blocking a sure goal late in the game with a shot block in the crease. He’s slowly picking up his play, getting better each game. He stepped up in the n-zone early on to win the puck and send McD in on a rush, a solid and confident play.
France advance to World Cup quarterfinals with record-breaking night
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — It all seems so straightforward — laughable, perhaps — for Kylian Mbappé when it comes to the World Cup.
The France forward, who scored four goals when he led his country to the title four years ago as a 19-year-old phenom, put on yet another demonstration of how devastating he can be on the soccer field.
After it was over, Mbappé almost seemed to be chuckling as Robert Lewandowski came over to congratulate him.
Mbappé scored two goals Sunday and set up another for Olivier Giroud to give France a 3-1 victory over Poland and move the 2018 champions within three wins of successfully defending their title. He already has a tournament-best five goals in Qatar as Les Bleus have reached the quarterfinals for the third straight World Cup.
“The only objective for me is to win the World Cup,” Mbappé said. “The only thing I dream is this. I came here to win this World Cup. I didn’t come here to win the Golden Ball or Golden Boot. If I win it of course I’m going to be happy but that’s not why I’m here. I’m here to win and I’m here to help the French national team.”
Lewandowski, a two-time FIFA player of the year, scored from the penalty spot in second-half stoppage time for Poland.
France will play England for a spot in the semifinals. The English team beat Senegal 3-0.
Mbappé scored his first goal in the 74th minute when he was left unmarked to blast in a long-range shot following a counterattack. He added another in stoppage time when Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny could only get a weak glove on another powerful shot from the man in the No. 10 shirt.
“He can change a match in just a moment and he’s always playing with such joy and we all want to share those smiles with him,” France coach Didier Deschamps said. “France needed a great Kylian Mbappé tonight and they got one.”
Having also provided two assists, Mbappé has easily been the most productive player in Qatar.
After his latest exploits, Mbappé explained why he hadn’t addressed the media in Qatar before Sunday.
“I needed to focus on the tournament and my soccer,” he said through a translator, adding that he had volunteered to pay a French federation fine for his silence. “When I want to concentrate on something that’s the way I function. And that’s why I didn’t want to come speak to you before now.
“I’ve been preparing for this tournament throughout the season, physically and mentally,” he added. “I wanted to be ready for this tournament and I am.”
Mbappé celebrated his second goal by waving his arms for the crowd to cheer louder. Then he hoisted himself up onto the crossbar shortly after the final whistle in front of France’s celebrating fans.
Mbappé already has nine career World Cup goals and if he stays healthy, he could probably play in another three editions of soccer’s biggest event — meaning he might approach the tournament’s career scoring record held by Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored 16 goals over four World Cups.
“He hurt us today but I am cheering for him because he is a real star,” Poland coach Czesław Michniewicz said through a translator. “I’m talking about (Lionel) Messi, (Cristiano) Ronaldo, Lewandowski. If someone is going to take over, I think Mbappé will be the player to be the best one (for) many years.”
No country has repeated as World Cup champions in six decades — since Brazil achieved the feat by claiming consecutive trophies in 1958 and 1962. Italy is the only other nation to have won two straight, in 1934 and 1938.
While Lewandowski is a prolific scorer himself, he’s never come close to winning a major title with a Poland team that struggles to get him the ball.
Mbappé, by contrast, is supported by a large array of talented players — even though half a dozen top France players are out injured.
The French team took the lead when Mbappé threaded a pass to Giroud and the AC Milan striker quickly slotted the ball into the far corner. It was Giroud’s 52nd career international goal — breaking a tie with Thierry Henry on France’s all-time scoring list.
After Mbappé leaped into Giroud’s arms to celebrate, pumping his fists, Giroud held up seven fingers to the cameras — five on one hand and two on the other for “52.”
It’s all the more sweet for Giroud because he wasn’t even supposed to be a starter on this year’s squad until Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema was ruled out because of injury. Giroud also scored two goals in France’s opening 4-1 win over Australia.
On a record-setting night for France, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris matched the national team mark of 142 appearances held by Lilian Thuram.
With two European teams playing, there weren’t all that many supporters of either country inside Al Thumama Stadium except for small pockets of France fans beating drums behind one goal and red-and-white clad spectators chanting “Polska” behind the opposite goal. There were also plenty of empty seats.
Play was paused briefly in the first half when France defender Jules Kounde was told by a match official to remove two gold chains he was wearing.
France coach Didier Deschamps was asked if Kounde kept the chains on because they displayed a rainbow symbol.
“I don’t know what was on his necklace,” Deschamps said. “Jules is superstitious and he usually wears that necklace even in training.”
Ice Chips Brock Boeser Vancouver Canucks healthy scratch
Keep updated on all the injury news and roster updates from around the NHL with daily Ice Chips.
Forward Brock Boeser will be a healthy scratch Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes, according to TSN’s Farhan Lalji. Boeser has spent much of the past three games on the third line.
“Sometimes tough love is tough love. I know he’s capable of being much better,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau. “We want to win and we need him over the long haul to win. We need to be better. It could have been one of a few guys.”
Boeser has three goals and 11 assists in 18 games this season. He will be replaced by Jake Studnicka in the lineup.
Canucks lines at practice:
Extras: Boeser, Dermott, Burroughs
Spencer Martin will start.
Jake Allen will get the start in net against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, while forward Brendan Gallagher will miss his second straight game due to a lower-body injury, Montreal Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis confirmed.
Allen, 32, has gone 7-8-0 in 15 starts and has a 3.40 goals-against average and .898 save percentage so far this season.
Gallagher is suffering from a lower-body injury and will miss his second game in a row. The 30-year-old has three goals and five assists in 22 games in 2022-23.
Stuart Skinner will make his 12 start of the season for the Edmonton Oilers against the Canadiens.
Skinner, 24, has a record of 6-5 along with a 2.91 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.
Projected lineup as per Tony Brar:
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said that centre Anthony Cirelli will make his season debut against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Cirelli had 17 goals and 26 assists in 76 games last season.
Lines at morning skate ahead of matchup with Leafs, as per TSN’s Mark Masters:
Hagel – Point – Kucherov
Stamkos – Paul – Killorn
Namestnikov – Cirelli – Colton
Maroon – Bellemare – Perry
Hedman – Sergachev
Cole – Cernak
Bogosian – Perbix
Projected lineup vs. Washington Capitals:
Toronto Maple Leafs
Projected lineup vs. Lightning on Saturday, as per TSN’s Mark Masters:
Bunting – Matthews – Nylander
Robertson – Tavares – Marner
Kerfoot – Kampf – Engvall
Aston-Reese – Holmberg – Simmonds
Giordano – Holl
Sandin – Liljegren
Mete – Hollowell
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