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Kirby Dach Montreal Canadiens beat Vancouver Canucks

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MONTREAL — Kirby Dach is starting to click with his Montreal Canadiens’ teammates on and off the ice.

Dach scored twice as Montreal downed the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Wednesday night for his first two-goal game with the Canadiens. The 21-year-old Dach was traded from the Chicago Blackhawks to Montreal last summer at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and he said that he’s finding chemistry with Cole Caulfield and captain Nick Suzuki on the Habs’ top line.

“It’s been a ton of fun,” said Dach about playing with Suzuki and Caufield. “We hang out a lot off the ice and at the rink, we’re always talking and letting each other know what each one sees on the ice and maybe different plays we can run.

“The chemistry’s been great, it’s been there right away.”

Veteran forward Brendan Gallagher is impressed with Dach just 14 games into the season.

“You can see the talent that he has, he works at it,” said Gallagher. “He has a big body, he enjoys being a part of a competitive atmosphere, he enjoys everything the city’s bringing to him and he’s having fun.

“He’s playing his game and that’s what you want. It’s exciting to see him, Cole and (Suzuki) work together.”

Suzuki, Arber Xhekaj and Dach gave Montreal (7-6-1) a three-goal lead in the first period. Mike Hoffman also scored, for his third goal in two nights before Dach added an insurance goal. Samuel Montembeault made 30 saves for the win.

“I really liked our first period, I think it was one of our best periods from start to finish,” said Habs coach Martin St. Louis. “It’s never easy to play a third period up by four goals because the most dangerous person is the one that has nothing to lose, so they take a lot more chances.

“They were dangerous in the third.”

Luke Schenn and Nils Hoglander replied for Vancouver (4-7-3) in the final period. Thatcher Demko had a difficult night in the Canucks’ net, stopping 22 shots.

“Obviously, we know the start wasn’t good enough for us tonight,” said Bo Horvat. “There’s no excuse for the way we started tonight.

“I thought there were parts of our game that I really liked but obviously it wasn’t good enough for us tonight all-around.”

The Canadiens scored on the power play just 55 seconds into the game. Suzuki took a shot from the point and instantly made the Canucks, who have the league-worst penalty killing efficiency, pay for Tanner Pearson’s hooking penalty.

Montreal doubled their lead with another shot from the point as Xhekaj scored his second of the season when his wrister deflected off Pearson and into the net.

Dach added a third Canadiens goal when he stole the puck away from J.T. Miller in Vancouver’s zone and beat Demko, giving Montreal a comfortable 3-0 lead by the first intermission.

“They were coming off a back-to-back and we were coming off a back-to-back so the start was crucial,” Dach said. “I feel like through 40 minutes we dedicated the play and we had a good team game going.

“We lifted our foot off the gas in the third a little bit and they capitalized and it was good maturity for our group to lock it down and finish the game up.”

Hoffman gave the Canadiens a four-goal lead in the second period. He outpaced Jack Rathbone and gave himself enough space to beat Demko with a wrister. Hoffman also had a pair of goals in Montreal’s 3-2 shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.

Vancouver finally got on the scoreboard at 4:46 of the third. Schenn’s slap shot from the point whizzed through traffic and beat Montembeault.

Hoglander cut the Canucks’ deficit to two goals by hopping on Montembeault’s rebound and putting away his first goal of the season.

Dach iced the game when Suzuki found him all alone with a cross-ice pass. The 21-year-old took home his second of the night with a wrist shot.

HORVAT STREAK ENDS

Bo Horvat’s hot streak came to an end in Montreal. Horvat recorded at least one point in his last five games and six goals in his last four. In total, the centre picked up eight goals and two assists during that streak.

SUZUKI ON A ROLL

Nick Suzuki scored his sixth goal since Oct. 29, trailing only Buffalo Sabres centre Tage Thompson with seven in that span. Suzuki has now tied Brendan Gallagher for second most in Canadiens’ history with a third opening-minute goal. Only Max Pacioretty (five) has more in franchise history.

UP NEXT

The Canadiens will continue their three-game home stand by taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. The Canucks will travel to Toronto to visit the Maple Leafs on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 9, 2022.

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LeBron Saves Team USA in Thrilling Exhibition Against South Sudan at O2 Arena

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LONDON — In what could have been one of the most monumental upsets in international basketball history, Team USA narrowly escaped with a 101-100 victory over a spirited South Sudan team at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night. This exhibition match, serving as a tune-up for the 2024 Olympics, showcased the rapid rise of South Sudanese basketball and the indomitable spirit of the American team led by LeBron James.

The atmosphere at the O2 Arena was electric, with fans witnessing a game that turned out to be far more competitive than expected. South Sudan, a team composed largely of refugees and players from the diaspora, pushed the heavily favored Americans to their limits.

First Half Highlights:

  • South Sudan came out firing on all cylinders, building a surprising 16-point lead in the second quarter.
  • Team USA struggled with their three-point shooting, missing 12 of their first 13 attempts from beyond the arc.

Despite the odds, South Sudan’s players, many of whom have overcome significant personal and professional challenges, played with remarkable cohesion and determination. Their performance was a testament to the rapid progress the team has made under the guidance of former NBA star Luol Deng.

With the game hanging in the balance, LeBron James demonstrated why he remains one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Benched at the start of the third quarter, James returned to the floor with a determination that was palpable.

Key Moments:

  • Third Quarter: Anthony Davis’ defensive prowess helped shrink the deficit. LeBron’s return brought stability and focus back to Team USA.
  • Final Minute: With just 20 seconds left, JT Thor of South Sudan scored over LeBron, giving his team a one-point lead.
  • Game-Winning Shot: LeBron drove to the basket, scoring the decisive layup with eight seconds remaining.

South Sudan’s journey to this point has been nothing short of inspirational. The country gained independence from Sudan in 2011, and the basketball program, still in its infancy, has quickly become a source of national pride.

Notable Contributions:

  • Carlik Jones: Delivered a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
  • Wenyen Gabriel: LeBron’s former teammate with the Lakers, contributed 11 points.
  • Marial Shayok: Led South Sudan with 24 points.

The team’s formation and rise have been spearheaded by Luol Deng, who played a pivotal role in recruiting and funding the program. His efforts have culminated in South Sudan qualifying for the Olympics, marking a historic achievement for the young nation.

Stephen Curry: “Wild game. They played really intense. It was nice to see how we responded. LeBron with a great finish down the stretch.”

Steve Kerr: “The whole team was embarrassed at halftime. We were challenged today, and it was good for us to feel that now. This was a reminder that we need to bring our best every game.”

Luol Deng: Expressed immense pride in his team’s performance, emphasizing the significance of their journey and the obstacles they have overcome.

This exhibition game was more than just a pre-Olympic warm-up. It highlighted the potential for underdog stories in sports and underscored the global reach and impact of basketball. Team USA, despite the narrow escape, was reminded of the importance of every game and the challenges that lie ahead.

South Sudan, on the other hand, has cemented its place on the international stage, showcasing that with determination and the right support, even the newest teams can compete with the best in the world.

As both teams prepare for the Olympics, this game at the O2 Arena will be remembered not only for its thrilling finish but also for the remarkable stories of resilience and ambition that played out on the court.

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UFC Vegas 94: Amanda Lemos vs. Virna Jandiroba – Main Event Recap

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In a thrilling main event at UFC Vegas 94, strawweights Amanda Lemos and Virna Jandiroba faced off on Saturday night. After an evenly matched first round, Jandiroba secured a dramatic submission victory in the second round, just moments before the bell.

Fight Summary:

  • First Round: The opening round was highly competitive, with both fighters showcasing their skills and maintaining a close contest.
  • Second Round: In the final seconds of the second round, Jandiroba managed to secure a submission, forcing Lemos to tap out. The win marks an impressive fourth consecutive victory for Jandiroba.

Post-Fight Remarks:

  • In her post-fight interview inside the Octagon, Jandiroba confidently called out UFC President Dana White, declaring, “Dana, I’m the next one. Dana, I’m your next champion.”

Future Implications:

  • With this victory, Jandiroba has positioned herself as a strong contender for the strawweight title. Tatiana Suarez, who was the rightful next contender for Weili Zhang, has been sidelined due to an injury. Jandiroba’s current four-fight win streak and her dominant performance at UFC Vegas 94 make a compelling case for her title shot.

Stay tuned for more updates as the UFC strawweight division continues to evolve, and see if Virna Jandiroba will indeed become the next challenger for the championship belt.

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Jake Paul vs. Mike Perry: Fight Night Updates

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Jake Paul is back in the ring, and he’s promising fireworks as he takes on former UFC star Mike Perry at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The fight will be broadcast live on DAZN. Originally, Paul was set to fight Mike Tyson, but Perry stepped in after Tyson suffered an injury.

Fight Details:

Jake Paul (9-1, 6 KOs)

  • Paul is coming off a first-round TKO of Ryan Bourland in March.
  • He has promised that Perry won’t survive the second round.
  • Paul is more experienced in boxing but still relatively new to the sport.

Mike Perry (0-1)

  • Perry, known as “Platinum,” brings over a decade of fighting experience, mainly in MMA and bare-knuckle fighting.
  • He believes Paul is still green in the fight business and intends to use his experience to pull off an upset.

Main Event:
Jake Paul vs. Mike Perry

Live Updates: Follow DAZN for all the live updates, results, and highlights from the Paul vs. Perry pay-per-view main card.

Main Card Results:

Amanda Serrano def. Stevie Morgan via TKO

  • Round 2, 0:38
    • Watch the finish

Lucas Bahdi def. H20 Sylve via knockout

  • Round 6, 2:27
    • Watch the finish

Corey Marksman def. Tony Aguilar via majority decision

  • Scores: 76-76, 77-75, 78-74

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. def. Uriah Hall via unanimous decision

  • Scores: 59-55, 59-55, 58-56
    • Recap

Stay tuned for the main event updates and see if Jake Paul can deliver on his promise of another highlight reel knockout or if Mike Perry will teach him a lesson and pull off a major upset.

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