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Nurse scores in OT as Oilers cap season series vs. Maple Leafs with win –



TORONTO — Darnell Nurse scored 17 seconds into overtime as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Monday in the ninth and final regular-season meeting between the teams.

After Oilers goalie Mike Smith stopped Auston Matthews on a 2-on-1 break right off the faceoff of the extra period, the Oilers broke the other way, with Connor McDavid feeding Nurse to bury his 12th goal of the season, and second in as many games.

Josh Archibald and Kyle Turris scored in regulation for Edmonton (22-13-1), while Smith stopped 29 shots.

Matthews, with his NHL-leading 23rd goal, and Mitch Marner, with a goal and an assist, replied for Toronto (22-10-3), which got 20 saves from Michael Hutchinson. Justin Holl chipped in with two assists as the North Division leaders fell to 6-1-2 against the Oilers in 2020-21.

McDavid, who tops the league with 63 points, extended his point streak to 11 games.

Hutchinson got the start with Jack Campbell (leg) not at 100 per cent and Frederik Andersen out with a lower-body injury. Campbell, who moved to 6-0-0 this season with Toronto’s 4-3 overtime victory against Edmonton on Saturday, got the night off with No. 4 option Veini Vehvilainen serving as the backup.

Hutchinson made 31 saves in a 3-0 shutout of the Oilers on March 1 in Edmonton as part of the Leafs’ emphatic three-game sweep in the Alberta capital, but was pulled after he allowed two goals on three shots against the Ottawa Senators in his last start just over two weeks ago.

The Oilers will now head back to Montreal for a Tuesday contest at the Bell Centre to make up one of the three games postponed last week when two Canadiens were placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. The Leafs, meanwhile, open a four-game road trip through Winnipeg and Calgary on Wednesday.

Down 2-1 through 40 minutes, the Oilers evened things up 1:20 into the third period when Adam Larsson’s point shot went in off Turris, who was on the COVID-19 protocol list from March 9 to 15 and returned to the lineup after sitting out the last eight games, for his second goal of the season.

William Nylander and Alex Galchenyuk came close to putting Toronto back in front midway through the period, but were denied before John Tavares rang a shot off the crossbar.

Edmonton opened the scoring at 6:15 of the first when Josh Archibald blew past Toronto’s defence following a faceoff in the Oilers’ end and beat Hutchinson on a breakaway move to the backhand for his sixth goal of the season.

But Marner replied for the Leafs just 1:44 later when he took a pass from Zach Hyman down low, stepped around Edmonton blueliner Tyson Barrie and outwaited Smith before burying his 13th.

Matthews then gave Toronto its first lead at 11:08 when he collected a loose puck at the side of the net, wheeled out to get a better angle and roofed his 23rd upstairs on Smith’s short side.

Ilya Mikheyev had a chance to put the Leafs up by two five minutes into the second, but Smith was at full stretch to stop the speedy winger off a pass from Alexander Kerfoot.

Toronto’s power play, which entered Monday fourth in the NHL despite riding a 1-for-22 stretch, got the game’s first man advantage with 7:30 left in the period, but the Leafs’ best look was on a Matthews one-timer that whistled wide.

Notes: McDavid’s 11-game point streak includes seven goals and 16 assists. ? Vehvilainen, who has 10 minutes 40 seconds of NHL game experience, was acquired March 12 from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenceman Mikko Lehtonen.

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Canada's Vincent-Lapointe wins silver in C-1 200m – Yahoo Canada Sports



TOKYO — Laurence Vincent-Lapointe’s long, winding road to the Tokyo Olympics has led her to the podium. 

The Canadian canoeist won silver in the final of the women’s C-1 200-metre race at a sweltering Sea Forest Waterway on Wednesday. 

The 29-year-old paddler from Trois-Rivières, Que., finished the sprint in a time of 46.786 seconds. 

“I pushed until the end,” Vincent-Lapointe said. “No matter how many people I thought were catching up to me, I was just like, ‘No, no, no. You cannot drop, you cannot let go. Just push until the end.’

“It’s just crazy. I have 13 world championships, but this silver at the Games is so different.”

Nevin Harrison (45.932) of the United States took the gold, while Ukraine’s Liudmyla Luzan (47.034) claimed bronze in temperatures that felt like a staggering 44 C with the humidity on a windy Tokyo Bay. 

Katie Vincent of Mississauga, Ont., finished 8th with a time of 47.834 seconds. 

“We push each other a lot, especially on the water,” said 25-year-old. “That teamwork goes a long way on a day like today. I’m disappointed I can’t be on the podium.

“But to see a Canadian flag rise today is a huge plus and something I think all Canadians in the paddling community will remember.” 

A dominant canoeing force for more than a decade, Vincent-Lapointe had to wait for the sport’s international federation and the International Olympic Committee to make room for women to race at the Olympics. 

That finally happened in Japan. 

She had won a combined six world titles in C-1 and C-2 500 metres by the time women’s canoe was added to the Olympics in 2017 ahead of the Tokyo Games, and went on to win five more by the end of 2018. 

But then her life and career descended into controversy. 

Vincent-Lapointe had an “adverse analytical finding” in July 2019 during an out-of-competition drug test. She was suspended and missed the 2019 world championship, but battled for reinstatement. 

The International Canoe Federation cleared her to compete in January 2020, accepting that Vincent-Lapointe was the victim of third-party contamination of a banned substance. 

The ICU believed her assertion that a trace amount of ligandrol was transferred to her via her ex-boyfriend’s body fluids. 

“I had the feeling I would make (the Olympics),” Vincent-Lapointe said. “In my head … I was like probably, ‘Fake it ’til you make it.’ In my head I was trying to convince myself, ‘You’re going to be at the Games, you’re going to be at the Games.’

“Even the darkest moments I just clung to it, to that feeling. It was so relieving when I finally got my spot in. It was just like, ‘All right, I had the right to believe in myself that I would make it to the Games.’ But once I came here I was like, ‘All right, you made it to the Games, now do your best.'” 

And while COVID-19 was a devastating gut-punch to sports and society around the world, it gave Vincent-Lapointe an opportunity to get back in the groove. 

Missing the 2019 worlds, however, meant she still had to qualify for Tokyo, and the global pandemic didn’t allow her to travel to North American qualifying events. 

Vincent-Lapointe also lost to Vincent in the women’s C-1 200 metres at March’s national trials in Burnaby, B.C. 

Canoe Kayak Canada declined to send paddlers to international World Cups this spring because of the pandemic, but ultimately awarded Vincent-Lapointe an Olympic quota spot following a performance review. 

Next up for Vincent-Lapointe and Vincent is the women’s C-2, where they are medal contenders, on Friday and Saturday. 

In other races involving Canadians on Thursday, kayakers Brian Malfesi of Maple Ridge, B.C., and Vincent Jourdenais Ste-Basile-le-Grand, Que., were sixth in the ‘B’ final of the men’s K-2 1,000 metres, while Toronto’s Nicholas Matveev was sixth in the ‘B’ final of the men’s K-1 200 metres. 

But the day — clearly — belonged to Vincent-Lapointe.

“Going through all I had to go through the last two years, if you’d ask me if I’d do it again, even knowing a silver medal comes at the end of this, I’m not sure I would say yes,” she said in French. “It was extremely difficult. 

“Everybody told me this week that with all I went through, I must be mentally the strongest here.”

Now she has a silver medal to prove it.

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Canada’s Damian Warner sets Olympic record, claims decathlon gold in Tokyo –



Damian Warner became the first Canadian to ever win gold in the decathlon in Tokyo on Thursday, setting an Olympic record in the process as the only athlete to eclipse the 9,000-point plateau at the Games.

The 31-year-old capped off the arduous 10-discipline event with a fifth-place finish in the 1,500-metre race, cementing his place in history with a total of 9,018 points. No other Canadian, and only three other athletes ever, have broken the 9,000-point barrier in a decathlon.

The previous Olympic record was 8,893 points, shared between Ashton Eaton of the United States (2016) and Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic (2004). Kevin Mayer, who won silver in this year’s Games, holds the world record of 9,126 points.

“It’s been a long two days,” Warner said after the race. “When you go through the whole battle of the decathlon and finally finish and you get the result you were looking for, there is no greater feeling. This is a dream come true.”

Canada had two men in the decathlon. Pierce LePage of Whitby, Ont., competing in his first-ever Olympics, finished fifth after 10 events with a personal-best score of 8,604.

Warner, who won bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, was a force to be reckoned with at Tokyo. He set Olympic decathlon records in the long jump and 110-metre hurdles, and tied his decathlon world mark in the 100 metres. He also set a personal best in the pole vault.

Warner crossed the finish line of the 1,500 metres in four minutes 31.08 seconds. The time and fifth-place finish gave him 738 points in the final event, enough for the Olympic record.

“When I came around 1,200, I think I was 3 seconds off the pace and I was just like ‘if I’m gonna get those 9000 points I have to go now,'” Warner said after the race. “I just gave it everything I had. It wasn’t pretty, but we got the job done.”

In the track and field community, Olympic decathlon winners are considered the “world’s greatest athlete” and, draped in the Canadian flag with a broad smile on his face, Warner was met by his peers with congratulations befitting that description.

“By definition, he’s Canada’s greatest ‘Athlete,'” Adam van Koeverden, an Olympic gold medalist in sprint kayaking who is now an MP, tweeted. “Extraordinary achievement!”

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Damian Warner extends decathlon lead by running to an Olympic best in the 110m hurdles –



Damian Warner of London, Ont., won the 110m hurdles portion of the decathlon by running to an Olympic best time of 13.46 seconds. After six events Warner sits in first place, with fellow Canadian Pierce LePage of Whitby, Ont., in third place.

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