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Spain hands Germany 6-0 Nations defeat – TSN

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SEVILLE, Spain — Spain handed Germany its worst defeat in a competitive match on Wednesday, winning 6-0 to advance to the Final Four of UEFA’s Nations League.

Ferran Torres scored a hat trick to lead Spain to the historic victory in the decisive match in Group 4.

Germany’s only five-goal loss in a competitive game had been West Germany’s 8-3 defeat to Hungary at the 1954 World Cup group stage. West Germany went on to beat Hungary in the final. In non-competitive matches, Germany had also lost 6-0 to Austria in a friendly in 1931.

The victory ended a three-match winless streak for Spain, which hasn’t gone four games without a win since the late 1980s.

“It’s important to get back to winning with a great performance like this,” Spain coach Luis Enrique said. “We have to enjoy this great result.”

Last year, Spain failed to advance to the Final Four after conceding late in a match against Croatia.

The Germans would have advanced with a draw, but Spain dominated early and took control with three goals in each half. The visitors had only two total attempts, none on target.

“This is definitely one of the worst defeats of my career,” Germany and Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos said. “It hurts.”

Spain got the convincing win despite playing most of the match without captain Sergio Ramos, who missed two penalty kicks in the 1-1 draw at Switzerland. Ramos had to be replaced by Èric García just before the break with an apparent muscle injury in his right leg.

“Historic night that will help us grow as a team,” Ramos said on Twitter after the match.

Spain constantly threatened up front, forcing Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to make a few good saves to keep the visitors from going into a bigger hole. Spain squandered several counterattack chances throughout the match in an empty La Cartuja Stadium in Seville.

“To put this type of pressure on a team like Germany, you need great collective work by everyone, in attack and defence,” Luis Enrique said. “We made them suffer and kept them from threatening.”

Álvaro Morata opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a header into the top of the net off a corner kick taken by Fabián Ruiz, who came off the bench after an early injury to Sergio Canales.

Torres added to the lead in the 33rd with a shot from close range after Dani Olmo’s header ricocheted off the crossbar, and five minutes later it was Rodri’s header off a corner that gave the hosts a 3-0 halftime lead.

Torres added to the rout in the 55th and 71st minutes after other fast counterattacks by the hosts, and Mikel Oyarzabal closed the scoring in the 89th.

Morata had a goal disallowed for offside in the 23rd.

“We saw a great version of Spain,” said Rodri, who scored his first goal with the national team. “We could have scored even more. It was 6-0 but it could have been more.”

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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NHL considering mid-January start, 56-game season: reports – CBC.ca

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The NHL is now considering a mid-January start date for an abbreviated 56-game regular season, multiple outlets reported Friday.

The league and NHL Players’ Association discussed multiple options for the upcoming campaign Thursday night.

The Jan. 1 start date both sides had been shooting for is no longer realistic given the time needed for training camp and other preparations. TSN reported that Jan. 15 or 16 is a more likely target, with the NHL looking to wrap up the Stanley Cup Final by early July.

A 52-game season was discussed, but sources told The Athletic, which CBC Sports has not independently verified, that both sides would prefer 56 games for obvious revenue reasons.

Training camps for all 31 teams would begin around Jan. 2.

There are still several financial issues that need to be worked out. Surges in COVID-19 numbers could also force further delays to the calendar.

The 2019-20 NHL season was interrupted in March by the pandemic. The hockey season eventually was completed over the summer in two bubble locations: Edmonton and Toronto.

The Stanley Cup Finals concluded Sept. 28 with the Tampa Bay Lightning defeating the Dallas Stars in six games.

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Devils’ Jack Hughes won’t be released to Team USA for world juniors – Sportsnet.ca

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The New Jersey Devils will not release Jack Hughes to Team USA for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton, saying they want Hughes to focus on the upcoming NHL season instead.

“We need Jack to concentrate on the Devils,” Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald told NHL.com. “The silver lining for Jack [and all of our young players] during this pandemic was a lengthy opportunity to gain strength and weight to compete in the NHL when we start.”

The first-overall pick from the 2019 NHL Draft scored 21 points in 61 games as a rookie last season. Hughes played for the U.S. at the 2019 world juniors where he had four points in four games.

The Devils were one of seven teams that did not return to play this summer and the team has not played a game since a March 10 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

USA Hockey announced its preliminary roster for the 2021 world juniors Monday, which includes top prospects Jake Sanderson, Cole Caufield and Nick Robertson, among others. The team will hold its selection camp at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich., from Dec. 6-13.

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Insider Trading: Could there be a number of outdoor games with fans? – TSN

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Why have Alexis Lafreniere and Jack Hughes been denied the chance to play in the World Juniors by their respective clubs? Could there be a number of outdoor games with fans when the season starts? TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun and Frank Seravalli discuss this and more.


Will first overall pick and defending MVP at the World Juniors Alexis Lafrenière be freed up to play for Canada this Christmas?

Darren Dreger: The New York Rangers made the decision that they will not be releasing Alexis Lafrenière, the first overall pick in the 2020 Draft, to Team Canada and the World Junior Championship. They want him to continue to train in the New York area as we reported on Tuesday. He’s been doing that, staying with family members since the beginning of November. They want him entirely focused on his first NHL camp. Similar thinking by Tom Fitzgerald, the general manager of the New Jersey Devils, with Jack Hughes. USA Hockey has inquired. With the delays between the NHL and NHLPA, Team USA wondering if Jack Hughes can take another run at the World Junior Championship, but Fitzgerald wants Jack Hughes absolutely dialed in on his second NHL camp. A bit more of loose scenario with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Nick Robertson. So Team USA could get a boost from Nick Robertson, but it’s all dependent on what’s happening with the National Hockey League. If the NHL is up and running, Robertson stays in Toronto. If it’s not, then he will go to Edmonton by the middle of this month.

A full season without any fans in the stands would be crushing to league revenues. But, some fans are trying to be creative on how to bring in fans safely?

Pierre LeBrun: Creative is a good way to put it, Gino. Believe it or not, but I’m just passing this along. The Pittsburgh Penguins for example have informed the league that they would be ready to start the opening month of the regular season in outdoor games. The Boston Bruins looking to play multiple games at Fenway Park if it’s feasible and if local health authorities are OK with it. We also have the Carolina Hurricanes who might want to have a game or two by their own refrigeration system. The LA Kings have the MLS stadium in California later in the season if health authorities allow it, but would like to play a whole bunch of games, and there’s other teams as well that have told the league we’d like to play outdoor games. Why? Because with the fans physically distanced, obviously you can get some gate revenue. That’s what this is all about. The NHL has not officially responded. I think right now they see the pros and the cons to it. By the way, none of the seven Canadian teams at this point, I believe, think it’s feasible or of interest to them. So we’ll see where this goes.

Frank Seravalli: The key to having these games being played safely, will be testing. And the big difference between next season and finishing off last year in the hubs, is that teams are responsible for securing their own testing for players and staff members. Let’s just say there’s been a lot of shopping going on for NHL teams when it comes to testing because it’s both expensive and they’re trying to find the most efficient way to get their test results. In talking to a number of teams today, I’m told the average price that teams are paying for COVID-19 tests are somewhere between $125 to $150 USD per test. That adds up, for a 50-member travelling party, that’s $6,000 to $7,000 a day. If you’re multiplying that by seven days a week, you can see $45,000 a week is a lot of money. In addition to that not every team is as lucky as the Carolina Hurricanes have been with their testing site getting their results just an hour up the road. Some teams, especially Western Canadian teams, have had to fly their test results across the country to Canada in order to get those in 24 hours. No one wants to skimp on the testing. They all recognize how important this is in the process, but still something teams are keeping an eye on.

We still don’t know when the NHL season will start or when camps will open up, but are players starting to gather in their team cities to be ready just in case?

Dreger: Yes. I would say more or less, but it depends on what team we’re talking about here. An interesting group of players gathered in Arizona. Auston Matthews, of course, put together a skate there. Connor McDavid participated. Other NHLers said to include the likes of Anthony Duclair and Matt Dumba. At times there were 10, maybe 15 players of NHL calibre, AHL calibre on the ice at one time. Connor McDavid has since returned to Canada this week, but players are doing whatever they can do to stay in shape when the dates come in from the NHL.    

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