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Kapanen goes from zero to hero with overtime winner as Leafs edge Coyotes –



Jack Campbell has put in some extra work since joining the Maple Leafs. The newly-acquired Toronto netminder hasn’t disappointed.

Campbell made 35 saves before Kasperi Kapanen scored on a partial breakaway 3:43 into overtime after Arizona had a goal of its own called back in the extra period as the Leafs downed the Coyotes 3-2 on Tuesday.

Toronto picked up Campbell in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings last week to shore up its shaky crease situation with Frederik Andersen nursing a neck injury.

The 28-year-old is now 2-0-1 in his three starts for the Leafs, with each requiring OT.

“It’s been incredible,” Campbell said of the first week with his new club. “I can’t speak enough about the character of the room. The guys are so welcoming.

“I was pretty nervous going into such a solid team.”

WATCH | Maple Leafs claim full points in OT win:

Kasperi Kapanen scored the game winner and John Tavares had a highlight reel assist in Toronto’s 3-2 win. 1:42

Zach Hyman had both goals in regulation for Toronto (30-19-8), while Alexander Kerfoot added two assists.

Carl Soderberg and Christian Dvorak replied for Arizona (28-23-8), which was playing the second of a back-to-back and its third game in four nights. Adin Hill made 38 saves.

“It sucks. We think we won there for a minute, but that’s the way it goes,” Hill said. “It was a hard-fought game.”

Kapanen, who was made a healthy scratch earlier this month after being late to practice, pulled the puck to his forehand and beat Hill upstairs during the 3-on-3 extra period to score his 11th of the season and snap a 13-game goal drought.

“I think everyone here knows that’s my go-to move,” Kapanen said. “That’s been working for me and I decided to try it and [hope] it’d go in. It did.”

It looked like the Coyotes had won the game earlier in OT when Jakob Chychrun fired between Campbell’s pads just as a Hyman penalty expired, but the goal was overturned after video review showed Derek Stepan interfered with the Toronto goalie.

“I usually don’t get too emotional in the game,” said Campbell, who didn’t leave his crease after the puck went in. “The guy bumped me pretty good.”

‘We need these points’

With the victory, Toronto remained in third place in the Atlantic Division, two points up on Florida. The Panthers, who have a game in hand, beat the New Jersey Devils 5-3 on Tuesday.

“We need these points,” Kapanen said. “Lucky enough, they called [the Arizona OT goal] back and we were able to win.”

Arizona pushed ahead 2-1 late in the middle period, but Hyman scored his second goal of the night and 16th overall 1:33 into the third when he took a no-look, one-knee feed from John Tavares in the slot.

“I’m doing the same thing I’ve been in years past,” said Hyman, who’s just five goals off the career-high he set last season despite missing the first 19 games of 2019-20 with a knee injury. “I’m just being more patient and more confident with the puck.”

Campbell, who didn’t get word he’d be starting in place of Andersen until sometime after Tuesday’s morning skate, made a nice stop on Taylor Hall midway through the third on a Coyotes’ power play before Hill robbed Kerfoot on a short-handed breakaway.

Campbell was called upon again on a 2-on-1 with seven minutes to go — stopping Soderberg’s initial shot and the follow-up with his glove even though he couldn’t find the puck as it bounced in the air.

Toronto Maples Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell makes a save during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Toronto got a late power play when former Leafs winger Phil Kessel went off for tripping, but Hill was there to deny Auston Matthews on a one-timer.

With not much happening at either end through most of an uninspired opening 40 minutes at a sleepy Scotiabank Arena, Soderberg slotted home his 14th with 46.8 seconds left in the middle period off a sloppy scramble from a Toronto perspective in front of Campbell.

Following Monday’s 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens where Antti Raanta made 26 saves, Arizona turned to Hill — the club’s third-stringer — with Darcy Kuemper still out injured as the Coyotes continue their pursuit of a playoff spot out West.

He made a nice stop on another Matthews one-timer on the power play in the second before the centre blasted another shot off the post.

Tavares and Leafs defenceman Justin Holl both played after sitting out Monday’s practice with an illness, while winger William Nylander, who sat out the last two games sick, was back in for the home side. Hyman was also in the lineup despite skipping Monday’s session with what the team called “bumps and bruises.”

Toronto started with a line of Nylander, Matthews and Mitch Marner — an expensive trio that accounts for nearly $29.5 million US in annual average value on the salary cap — but they couldn’t generate much of anything.

Busy week ahead

Tuesday marked the start of a stretch of four games in six nights that will also see Toronto host Dallas on Thursday before visiting Ottawa on Saturday and Buffalo on Sunday. Arizona visits Ottawa on Thursday.

The Coyotes jumped in front 64 seconds into the opening period on the game’s first shot when the puck popped into the slot to Dvorak, who buried his 17th with Campbell out of position and at his mercy.

The Leafs woke the crowd out of its slumber at 14:23 when Tyson Barrie’s one-timer hit Hyman in front and went in for his 15th.

“The boys have played great,” Campbell said. “It felt like a playoff game out there. Both teams didn’t give each other much, but Kappy made a great play to seal the deal.”

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CFL to return in August



The Canadian Football League (CFL), which saw its entire 2020 campaign wiped out by the COVID-19 outbreak, said on Monday its board of governors voted unanimously to kick off a shortened 14-game season in August.

The CFL, whose biggest source of revenue comes from ticket sales rather than TV deals like those enjoyed by larger U.S.-based leagues, also said fans will be able to return to the stands in line with provincial guidelines.

“This is an exciting day for Canadian football and for Canada itself,” CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a news release.

“I want to thank our fans, players, coaches, and partners for their incredible support and patience as we’ve worked together towards this day.”

The season will begin Aug. 5 while the Grey Cup championship game will be played Dec. 12 in Hamilton, Ontario.

The full schedule will be released on Tuesday along with each of the league’s nine team’s plan for distributing tickets to season ticket holders and, where government restrictions on stadium capacity allow, ticket sales to the general public.

After first delaying its 2020 season, the CFL decided to scrap it entirely following a last-ditch effort to secure financing from the Canadian government to stage a shortened campaign that would have been held entirely in Manitoba was turned down.

The CFL had previously said it would only move forward with a 2021 season if it could secure the government approvals for its plans to keep players and coaches safe and the green light to allow a “significant” number of fans to attend games.

“We are on track to receive all of the necessary health and safety approvals, thanks to our tireless medical advisers and staff, and the dedicated government officials who have been working with them,” said Ambrosie.

“And while the outlook for fans in the stands varies from province to province, we are confident that process is also on the right track.”


(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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Mixed Martial Arts-Door is open for YouTube’s Paul brothers in MMA



Logan and Jake Paul would make great Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, Bellator president Scott Coker has said as he targets exhibition matches featuring the YouTube personalities such as the former’s boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather.

Logan Paul went the distance, surviving eight rounds against unbeaten (50-0) five-division world boxing champion Mayweather in an exhibition on Sunday at Miami’s Hard Rock stadium.

USA Today reported the fight brought in one million pay per view buys with $50 million generated from sales in the United States.

It was only the second fight of Paul’s career, while his brother Jake has fought in three professional boxing matches, beating former MMA fighter Ben Askren in April.

Critics have labelled the bouts a sideshow due to the lack of sporting credibility of the duo, who made their names as social media personalities and have millions of subscribers on YouTube.

However, Coker told Reuters the brothers have impressive physiques and the door is open for them to move into MMA.

“I met with Logan Paul about two years ago and I’ve spoken to Jake Paul’s manager and Jake on a zoom call recently… The one thing I said was hey, if you want to do MMA we would love to promote you guys,” the 58-year-old said in a Zoom interview.

“These guys are young, athletic, strong and you saw the fight on Sunday night these guys they came and did their work.

“Mayweather couldn’t finish him and I know he tried, I heard he wanted to knock this kid out so bad,” he added.

“When I heard both had high school wrestling backgrounds in Ohio, which is a prominent wrestling state in the U.S., it really made me interested in pursuing them in some super fights in Mixed Martial Arts – and that door is continually open.”


Bellator, owned by Viacom, is gearing up for a busy month of events, starting with Bellator 260 on Friday with the headline fight between reigning welterweight world champion Douglas Lima and the undefeated Yaroslav Amosov.

However, super fights and exhibitions are where Coker is targeting a younger audience.

“My 14-year-old niece, I told her I was going to the Logan Paul fight and she thought that was the greatest thing,” he said.

“She asked me who he was fighting and I said Floyd Mayweather and she said ‘who’s that?’ – I thought wow, she doesn’t know boxing, she doesn’t know MMA, she’s just a 14-year-old girl on the internet doing what they do.”

As the sporting world gears up for the delayed Tokyo Olympics starting in July, Coker believes MMA will feature in future Games.

“When you think about mixed martial arts, what you’re talking about is boxing, wrestling, judo, taekwondo, karate – those are all Olympic sports,” he said.

“Why wouldn’t mixed martial arts eventually get into the Olympics because six out of the seven disciplines MMA is known to use really is already there.

“There’d be a lot of details to work out but to me I think it will happen, it’s just a matter of time.”


(Reporting by Christian Radnedge,; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships



Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships, the International Skating Union (ISU) said on Wednesday, after the 2020 event Canada was to host was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The championships will return to Montreal from March 18-24, marking the 11th time Canada has staged the event.

“Skate Canada has a proven track record of holding successful ISU events and we are looking forward to bringing the world’s best skaters to the fantastic Canadian city of Montreal,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO of Skate Canada, in a statement.


(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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