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Tatar, Danault each score two goals as Canadiens rout Jets – TSN

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Tatar, Danault each score two goals as Canadiens rout Jets – TSN


WINNIPEG — Brendan Gallagher and the Montreal Canadiens are feeling the holiday cheer ahead of time.

Tomas Tatar and Phillip Danault each scored a pair of goals as the Canadiens won their third of four straight games on the road with a 6-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.

Montreal (18-13-6) also won for the sixth time in eight games.

“It’s kind of nice to go into this (Christmas break) feeling good about ourselves,” said Gallagher, who picked up a pair of assists.

“I’ve had the opposite. You know, you lose a few games and it eats at you. You’re able to enjoy Christmas a little more this way, and then when you come back you’ve got another three very, very critical games.”

Max Domi and Artturi Lehkonen both contributed a goal and assist for the Canadiens, who head out for three more road games after the break, starting against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Carey Price stopped 27 shots for the Canadiens, who also won their fourth straight game at Bell MTS Place. They last lost in Winnipeg on March 5, 2016.

The crowd at Bell MTS Place included plenty of fans wearing Canadiens jerseys and cheering when the visitors scored.

“Over this road trip, we’ve had a lot of that,” said Montreal rookie forward Nick Suzuki, who had a pair of assists. “People from all over Canada are big Habs fans so it’s awesome to have their support on the road.”

Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine scored for the Jets (21-14-2), who have lost their past three home games at Bell MTS Place. Mark Scheifele assisted on both goals.

Laurent Brossoit made 42 saves for Winnipeg, which is 2-4-0 in its past six games.

“I’m not saying we’re dominating, but their guy made some saves and it’s a real good hockey game,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said of the first period.

“A tough break at 3-1 and then a couple of mistakes and now you’re reeling a little bit. It snowballed on us a little bit there in the second.”

Winnipeg scored the game’s first goal, but Montreal ignited for four goals in a row and led 5-2 after the second period.

Laine had a goal erased after an offside coach’s challenge nine minutes into the first period, but Connor scored his 15th goal of the season at 11:30 on the power play.

Tatar notched his 14th goal at 15:06 with the man advantage and then banged in his second of the game at even strength at 16:38 to make it 2-1.

Montreal outshot Winnipeg 17-16 in the first period, and then 17-6 in the second.

“It’s a bummer. Those definitely go against us,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said of the disallowed goal. “We’ve got to put an emphasis on staying onside I guess.

“It’s too bad. It was a heck of a goal. Real pretty, great play by those guys. That one hurts to come back. Game changed in the second period.”

Danault’s first goal at 4:37 of the second came after Brossoit mishandled the puck. It went to Gallagher, who whirled around and shot it, and Danault batted in the rebound for a 3-1 score.

Danault’s 10th goal of the season came seconds after a face-off to stretch the lead at 8:56 of the second.

“(Price) was big for us,” Danault said. “He made some big saves, and by doing those big saves it gave us a chance to win the game. And obviously, we capitalized on a couple chances we had.”

Laine fired a wrist shot past Price to squeeze the gap 4-2 at 16:14, but a Winnipeg turnover led to Domi’s goal off a rebound with 40 seconds left in the middle frame.

Domi has three goals and three assists during a four-game point streak.

Laine has five goals in his past five games. Scheifele has racked up eight goals and seven assists in his past 10 outings.

A Winnipeg defensive turnover led to Lehkonen’s goal at 11:08 of the third. He has a goal and four assists in a three-game run.

Winnipeg hosts the defending Stanley Cup-champion St. Louis Blues on Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 23, 2019.

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Berrettini ends Murray’s comeback at Queen’s

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Berrettini ends Murray’s comeback at Queen’s

Andy Murray‘s grasscourt return was cut short in brutal fashion at Queen’s Club as Italian top seed Matteo Berrettini dished out a 6-3 6-3 defeat to the former world number one on Thursday.

The 34-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion, playing in his first singles tournament on grass for three years, could not handle the ferocious pace of Berrettini as he slid to defeat.

Murray eased past Benoit Paire in his opening match on Tuesday but world number nine Berrettini was too big a step up.

Berrettini’s huge first serve and forehand did most of the damage but the Italian also showed plenty of silky touch on the slick lawns to register his first career win over Murray.

Berrettini, 25, finished the match off with a powerful hold of serve, banging down four massive first serves before sealing victory with a clubbing forehand winner.

He faces British number one Dan Evans in the quarter-final after Evans beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

Murray, a five-time winner of the traditional warm-up event but now ranked 124 after long battles with hip injuries including resurfacing surgery in 2019, has been handed a wildcard for the Wimbledon championships.

Apart from a slight groin niggle, Murray said he was reasonably happy with his condition, considering this was only his third Tour-level tournament of the year.

“I think obviously I need to improve,” Murray told reporters. “I actually felt my movement was actually quite good for both of the matches. My tennis today was not very good today. That’s the thing that I’ll need to improve the most.

“I felt like today that that sort of showed my lack of matches.”

Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez, who won the singles title in 2019 and the doubles alongside Murray, was beaten 6-2 6-3 by Canada‘s Denis Shapovalov.

(Reporting by Martyn HermanEditing by Toby Davis and Pritha Sarkar)

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Be Like the King of the North Division and Develop Skills

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North Division

It’s been a year unlike no other for Canadian hockey teams, with COVID-19 travel restrictions forcing the creation of a new NHL division made up entirely of Canadian teams. The previous generation of NHL hockey was known as the “Dead Puck Era” because referees tolerated slowing down the game with clutching and grabbing.

The leading scorers today score in jaw-dropping fashion and routinely pull off stickhandling dangles that were unimaginable until only recently. The Canadian team that will win the North Division will be the one with the most skill.

Here are the training aids that will help you develop your skills all year long.

Passers

Innovators like HockeyShot Canada make “passers” so that players can develop pinpoint accuracy and the soft hands necessary to cradle and control a pass when it lands on your stick. The high-quality rubber bands return the puck with the same force which passed it, so you can give yourself one-timers or work on accuracy.

Whether you’re on a two-on-one, sending a breakout pass from the defensive zone, or holding down the blue line on the power play, every positional player needs to pass accurately.

Shooting

A player is lucky to get a few shots on net each game, and they can’t let them go to waste. Until recently, players needed to rent ice in the off-season to practice their shots in realistic game-like conditions.

Now, players can use shooting pads at their home that let pucks glide as they do on real ice. Shooting is perhaps the one skill that requires the most repetition because one inch can be the difference between going bar-down and clanking one wide off the post.

Practice your quick release and accuracy and develop an arsenal of shots, including wrist shots, slapshots, one-timers, and more. The more tools in your tool kit, the deadlier a sniper you’ll be.

Stick Handling

Having the puck on your stick is a responsibility, and you don’t want to cough it up to the other team and waste a scoring chance or lose possession. The ability to stickhandle helps you bide time until a teammate is open, so you can pass them the puck and continue attacking.

If you’re on a breakaway, you may want to deke the goalie rather than shoot if your hands are silky enough. Develop stickhandling skills, and you’ll keep goalies and opponents guessing – being unpredictable helps make a sniper’s job easier.

Of course, you also need to handle the puck in your own zone without causing a turnover. Stickhandling is a crucial skill in all areas of the ice.

When the coach sends you over the board, you need to be prepared for whatever comes your way. Maybe you’ll get the puck in the slot or somewhere else, but when it’s playoffs, you always need to be ready. The Kings of the North Division have all of the above skills and more, and you can too if you practice all year.

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Australia swim trials calendar shift to reap Tokyo rewards

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Australia swim trials calendar shift to reap Tokyo rewards

Australia broke with tradition to hold its swimming trials just six weeks before the start of the 2020 Olympics and former world champion Giaan Rooney said the move could reap rich rewards in Tokyo after disappointments at London and Rio.

Australia has typically held its trials up to six months before an Olympics but that gap has been drastically cut this year with swimmers vying for Tokyo spots this week in Adelaide.

Rooney, who won individual world titles at Fukuoka and Montreal and a relay gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, said Australia is gearing up for a much improved Games after its swimmers flopped at Rio and London.

“I think we needed to make it work,” she told Reuters. “The shift started about a year ago to bring the trials into line with the rest of the world and qualify five or six weeks before.

“In sport and swimming, six months is a long time,” Rooney added. “From a coaching perspective, it’s much better to know you have chosen the team in form.”

After winning five gold medals at Sydney 2000 and seven in Athens, the Australian team was rocked by accusations of disruptive behaviour by some of its top sprinters at the 2012 Olympics.

Australia won just one gold medal in the London pool and three in Rio five years ago.

Australia knew something had to be done if it was to close the gap on the powerful Americans and moving the trials is part of the strategy.

“I think it’s to make your swimmers more resilient to change,” Rooney said.

“In the USA they get to race every week regardless of illness or breakups and under all circumstances. Nothing rattles them.

“Australia doesn’t have that racing continuity. This is about making sure you are prepared for anything. I think our swimmers are more resilient than they have been in the past decade, COVID is part of this.”

Rooney said there might even be an “upside” for Australia with the Olympics postponed by a year due to the global health crisis, with the emergence of swimmers like teenager Kaylee McKeown, who broke the women’s 100m backstroke world record on Sunday.

“We are now talking about athletes who are not only going to make the Olympics but are medal chances,” Rooney said.

“We wouldn’t have been talking about her this time last year. She might not have been ready for a position on the team. She is now a legitimate gold medal chance in Tokyo once she gets there.”

For all her confidence about Australia’s performance in Tokyo, Rooney was wary of making predictions about a gold rush for her compatriots.

“I think this will be a more successful Olympics for us than Rio in the pool but individual goal medals will still be difficult to come by,” said the 38-year-old.

“The biggest challenge is to make the jump from minor medals to gold.”

 

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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