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Undermanned Canada rebounds from embarrassing loss to Russia, beats Germany at world juniors – CBC.ca

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Joel Hofer made 18 saves to win his first international start at any level as Canada beat Germany 4-1 at the world junior hockey championship on Monday in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Nolan Foote, Liam Foudy and Ty Dellandrea each had a goal and an assist, while Calen Addison also scored for the Canadians, who were coming off a stunning 6-0 loss to Russia on Saturday. Jared McIsaac added two assists.

“I was pretty nervous,” Hofer said. “There was a lot of pressure after last game. It was pretty embarrassing for us, but as a group we bounced back.”

Yannik Valenti broke Hofer’s shutout bid with 67 seconds left in regulation on a 5-on-3 power play for Germany. Hendrik Hane made 22 stops to take the loss.

Canada now sits with two wins and a loss through three games at the under-20 event, and can guarantee top spot in Group B by beating host Czech Republic on New Year’s Eve in the round-robin finale for both teams.

The medal round starts Thursday.

The Canadians were minus two-thirds of their top line against Germany after Alexis Lafreniere, the projected No. 1 pick at the 2020 NHL draft, suffered a knee injury in that demolition at the hands of Russia — the country’s most lopsided defeat in the tournament’s 44-year history.

Early scoring chances

Joe Veleno, meanwhile, served a one-game suspension for a head-butting incident the same night to leave his team with just 11 forwards.

The good news for Canada is Lafreniere, the reigning CHL player of the year, hasn’t been ruled out of the tournament after an MRI revealed no structural damaged. He watched Monday’s game from the stands with Veleno and third-string goalie Olivier Rodrigue.

After beating the United States 6-4 on Boxing Day and then getting their doors blown off by Russia — the program’s toughest two-game stretch to open the world juniors since 1980 — the Canadians had a number of chances early before Foote finally broke through.

The son of two-time Stanley Cup champion and 2002 Olympic gold medallist Adam Foote roofed his second of the world juniors at 11:50 from the slot after Kevin Bahl’s initial blast from the point was blocked. The opener allowed Canada to breathe a little easier and came a couple of minutes after Bowen Byram pinged a shot off the crossbar on a power play.

Nolan Foote opened the scoring for Canada in the first period of Monday’s 4-1 victory over Germany. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Foote was a first-round pick by Tampa Bay at last June’s draft. His older brother Cal won gold for Canada at the 2018 event in Buffalo.

Germany, which fell 6-3 to the U.S. in its opener before stunning the Czechs 4-3 on Saturday for its first victory at the tournament since December 2013, got a power play later in the period, but Hofer was there to deny a unit that was a tournament-best 5 for 11 coming into Monday.

Other than that, the Germans didn’t offer much as Canada pinned them deep in their zone for long stretches with relentless forechecking and griding cycles.

Hofer, who got the start following a 20-stop performance against the Russians after Nico Daws was pulled with the score 4-0, made a good save on Valenti during another German man advantage in the second before denying Dominik Bokk and then robbing John-Jason Peterka with his glove on a breakaway.

“He stood tall for us,” Canadian head coach Dale Hunter said. “That was a crucial part of the game.”

Foudy doubled his team’s lead moments later when the seas parted in the offensive zone, and he fired shortisde on Hane at 12:24. A 2018 first-round pick by Columbus, Foudy is the son of France Gareau, who won silver for Canada at the 1984 Olympics in the women’s 4×100-metre relay.

Lights out in WHL

Addison, a Pittsburgh prospect, then fired a slapshot home on a 5-on-3 power play just 1:37 later to make it 3-0.

Selected in the fourth round by St. Louis in 2018, Hofer has been lights out in the Western Hockey League this season, with a 20-4-2 record to go along with a 1.81 goals-against average and .937 save percentage.

The 19-year-old from Winnipeg was never really on Hockey Canada’s radar until the fall, but made his case to stay in the world junior crease despite Valenti’s late one-timer on a two-man advantage.

Dellandrea iced it into an empty net with 9.2 seconds left on the clock.

Head coach Dale Hunter mixed up his lines — out of necessity with Lafreniere and Veleno out, but also to get a spark after the performance against Russia, with the biggest move being Connor McMichael sliding into the top-six forward group alongside Foote and Barrett Hayton.

Canada is now 14-0 at the world juniors against Germany since the latter’s reunification in 1990.

The Germans don’t have a deep talent pool, but possess high-end skill in Moritz Seider (the No. 6 pick by Detroit in 2019) and Bokk (Carolina), as well as Peterka, Tim Stutzle and Lukas Reichel, who are all eligible for the 2020 draft.

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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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