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World Juniors assistant coach Andre Tourigny turns to Canada's penalty kill after The Catch – TSN

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Team Canada’s save of the game on Boxing Day didn’t come from goaltender Nico Daws, but from assistant coach Andre Tourigny on the bench.

With less than two minutes to play in a one-goal game, Tourigny reached up and snagged a clearing attempt from Ty Dellandrea that appeared to be heading out of play, saving Team Canada a penalty against a Team USA that was already 3-for-5 on the power play.

Hockey already has ‘The Goal’ from Bobby Orr, but this was hockey’s version of ‘The Catch.’

“He looked like Odell Beckham Jr., there,” defenceman Kevin Bahl said.

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Tourigny even had the showmanship to match the moment. 

Since the IIHF rulebook doesn’t account for the trajectory of the puck, only where it ended up, Tourigny held up the puck to show the officials – who were huddled to debate the call – indicating that it never left the rink.

He then handed it to a fan.

“He should’ve been the MVP,” Bahl said.

He may not have another chance to make a big save, but Tourigny could remain in the spotlight as Team Canada’s assistant coach in charge of the penalty kill. Giving up multiple power-play goals again against a desperate Russian team on Saturday (12 p.m. ET on TSN 1/4/5) will be a recipe for disaster.

“We need to do a lot better,” Bahl said. “If our PK is bad, we don’t have a shot.”

Team Canada fell into an early, two-goal hole to start the tournament by allowing two goals on the kill in the first period.

They spent nearly a half hour working on both special teams in Friday’s practice. There was a lot less urgency for the power play, which went 3-for-5 against Team USA, already matching last year’s production over five games.

“We lost a few battles and that made the difference,” Tourigny said of the penalty kill. “I think our PK has been really, really good [in the pretournament games] against the U Sports, the Swedes, and the Swiss, so no worry about our PK. I think we just had bad luck and a bad day at the office, so I’m not worried about that.”

Pinto opens the scoring for USA with pretty deflection on the power play

With the Americans on the power play, Zac Jones fires one from the point and Shane Pinto gets enough of it on the deflection to beat Nico Daws, giving the USA an early 1-0 lead.

Centre Joe Veleno was on the ice for all three power-play goals against, while Bahl, Jacob Bernard-Docker and Aidan Dudas were all the ice for two of them.

Tourigny said Thursday’s miscues against the Americans were not a matter of structure, but lost battles. The focus on Friday was on the details.

“There is tons of room for improvement. All of the little things, urgency, awareness, taking care of the middle guy [in the high slot],” Bahl explained. “We can’t let tips go in from the hash mark, top of the circle. [It’s] playing your two-on-ones, taking away the most dangerous guy and giving them the least probably scoring chance.”

Of course, the easiest solution for Team Canada’s penalty kill would be to limit the number of penalties taken.

Tourigny said discipline has been stressed by head coach Dale Hunter – who finished his playing career second all-time in NHL history with 3,565 PIM – since this team first began to come together at the Summer Showcase.

“He’s huge on puck management and discipline,” Tourigny said. “For a guy who was a fan of the Nordiques, that doesn’t sound right.”

Team Canada was penalized five times – once each for tripping, hooking, high-sticking, roughing and interference – on Boxing Day.

Pinto’s second of game ties it for USA

Late in the third, Team USA is on the power play, Nick Robertson feeds Shane Pinto cross-crease for the tap in to tie the game at four.

“That’s not good enough, that’s for sure,” Tourigny said. “The players know that. I think we have to use our sticks in a better way. I think we had way too many stick penalties. We need to be smarter in our battles.

“In the long run, we will pay for it if we give too much opportunity to the best players in the world to go play a five-on-four. We have to be smarter.”

Some teams tend to struggle in the early going of the World Juniors in adapting to the different officiating standards employed at IIHF-sanctioned tournaments.

“It’s a lot different than back home,” Dellandrea said. “Everything is a bit different, cross-checks, hooks, even riding guys [into the boards].”

But Tourigny said that shouldn’t be an excuse because Team Canada has attempted to apply that same standard for the last three weeks in the run up to the main event.

“It’s not like we were not prepared,” Tourigny said.

Tourigny said Team Canada will be ready for Russia on Saturday, too, already keying in on their power play, which has a different look and is run largely below the hash marks and behind the net.

“We haven’t been together a long time,” Bahl said. “But you know what? We could have had more urgency taking guys away. We will be better.”

Contact Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli​

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Jake Muzzin strikes nerve with Matthew Tkachuk, earns retribution for Maple Leafs – Yahoo Sports

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Matthew Tkachuk lost his cool. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

For 60 complete minutes there was, perhaps predictably, little-to-no response from the Toronto Maple Leafs in their return clash with the Calgary Flames following Matthew Tkachuk’s contact with now-injured backup netminder Jack Campbell in their previous engagement two days ago. With no code enforced, the Flames forward wasn’t pressured into a fight with Wayne Simmonds or Zach Bogosian, and was instead provided the opportunity to simply play his game.

But just as the Leafs secured their third and fourth points from the two-game road set in Calgary, there was a perfectly subtle, savvy and veteran effort to acknowledge both Tkachuk’s presence and wrongdoings.

It appeared totally innocuous, but Leafs defender Jake Muzzin clearly connected with a nerve when he flipped a perfectly-weighted puck at a kneeled Tkachuk, which landed softly in his lap just as the buzzer finished sounding to end the game.

Failing to appreciate how easy he was let off in the game in that moment, or perhaps just incensed with the result, Tkachuk lost his mind in response to the perceived disrespect, trying desperately to confront Muzzin.

But after failing to accomplish anything with his initial contact with the howling Leafs defender, all he managed to do was make a mess of the game, coming up short in his attempts to work back through the mess of uninterested parties.

Tkachuk then took out his frustration at the Flames bench while his teammates patiently waited for the outburst to conclude.

For Muzzin and the Leafs, it couldn’t have worked out better. Tkachuk was largely a non-factor in the game and wasn’t given the chance to earn respect by fighting a bigger and stronger opponent to atone for his role in the Campbell incident, like he has several times previously in his career.

Instead he’ll have to stew on the incident, the outburst and the jokes online for nearly another month before the two teams finally meet again.

Then we’ll see if he’s the one looking for payback.

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Jake Muzzin strikes nerve with Matthew Tkachuk, earns retribution for Maple Leafs – Yahoo Canada Sports

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CBC

Back to school: Brad Gushue pursuing master’s degree amid chaotic curling season

World Junior champion. World champion. Olympic champion. Three-time Brier champion. The list of accomplishments for Newfoundland and Labrador skip Brad Gushue is lengthy. There isn’t anything left in curling for him to win. He’s done it all. Now in the winter of his career, the 40-year-old, who’s preparing to head to Calgary next month for upwards of eight weeks to compete in a number of bonspiels, is heading back to class. Gushue is the early days of working towards his Masters of Business at Queen’s University. “I’m a sucker for punishment I think. It just felt like the right time,” Gushue said. “I don’t think I would have done this if the pandemic wasn’t here and didn’t have the curling season we’ve had.” Sitting around and thinking about things isn’t something Gushue particularly enjoys. He’s a perfectionist on the ice — early in his career he’d throw more than 100 rocks a day. That changed when curling great Kevin Martin told him to tone it down. So when there was some down time this past summer in the midst of an incessant pandemic, Gushue started to think about life after curling in a way he hasn’t before, and decided on going back to class. “I was kind of thinking post-curling career, whether that’s in a year in a half, five and a half years or nine and a half years, what do I want to transfer into?” he told CBC Sports from his home in St. John’s, N.L. “As a business owner right now, there were a lot of positives to doing this. I guess the downside is that for this next year I’m going to be pretty busy and have to get back to studying, which I haven’t done in 17 years. Gushue is co-owner with teammate Mark Nichols of Orange Theory Fitness studio in St. John’s. Out of his comfort zone All those years ago Gushue got his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Memorial University. It’s been a long time since he’s been in this type of setting. He’s certainly out of his comfort zone — in the rings and in the hack — and now fully immersed in the books. The only thing he’s finding some sort of resemblance to curling is the team aspect of the program. Gushue says about 50 per cent of the course is team-based learning. During their first meeting Gushue says some of his team members recognized him. Others didn’t, but quickly googled who he was. “Then the questions came,” he said, laughing. “It’s been interesting.” Gushue says his six other team members, many who are fresh off their first degree, have been a massive support system so far. The skip is used to calling the shots, confident in his every move. That’s not the case on this school-studying team. “I feel like I’m the weak link. I’d be fifth if this was a curling team. No disrespect to fifths,” he said. “I wouldn’t be throwing the last rock. Let’s just say that.” WATCH | Breaking down Calgary curling bubble: Brier schedule Gushue, like he does before any major competition, has mapped out what his Brier schedule and school schedule are, and how much time he’ll be able to put into his studies while trying to win a fourth national championship. In the beginning of the event he says he’ll probably put about two hours a day into his studies between or after games to end the day. The ideal plan for Gushue is to win the Brier, play in the mixed doubles national championship, play in the men’s world championship and then stay a little longer to compete in the two Grand Slam events — he then has to quarantine for two weeks when he returns to St. John’s. It’ll be a long haul but Gushue takes comfort in knowing he’s using that time effectively by working towards a master’s degree. “When I went into this I spoke to the director and I talked to him about my priorities in trying to get back to the Olympics,” Gushue said. “It shouldn’t conflict with any classes.” His classes are every second Sunday and Monday. Curling championships are played on Sundays. Gushue won’t say what championship event and classes could collide, not wanting to jinx it, but he insists they’ve talked about a plan should it come to that. “That’s a problem I’m willing to entertain.”

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BBWAA rejects Schilling's removal request – TSN

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Curt Schilling’s request to be removed from Baseball Hall of Fame consideration appears to be heading for rejection.

A day after the three-time World Series champion asked to have his name taken off the ballot for 2022 following his failure to reach Cooperstown for a ninth time, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America released a statement saying that such an accommodation cannot be made and is a violation of the rules set forth by the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors.

 The BBWAA secretary Jack O’Connell cited one rule in particular that would prevent Schilling’s wish from being granted:

“The duty of the Screening Committee shall be to prepare a ballot listing in alphabetical order eligible candidates who (1) received a vote on a minimum of five percent (5%) of the ballots cast in the preceding election or (2) are eligible for the first time and are nominated by any two of the six members of the BBWAA Screening Committee.” 

Schilling appeared on 71.1 per cent of ballots, falling 16 votes shy of the 75 per-cent threshold. The BBWAA urges the board to leave the six-time All-Star on the ballot for his final year of eligibility in 2022.

The Hall of Fame assigned the BBWAA to be the electorate in 1936,” O’Connell said. “This association has abided by the rules for 85 years and shall continue to do so. The BBWAA urges the board to reject Mr. Schilling’s request.”

Schilling’s candidacy has been a controversial one because of the views espoused by the 54-year-old right-hander in retirement.

A staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, Schilling voiced support for the Capitol riots of Jan. 6, causing a number of Hall of Fame voters to ask if their votes for Schilling could be rescinded.

Along with Schilling, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will also appear on the ballot for the final time in 2022.

Schilling is not the first person to ask to have his name removed from the ballot.

In 2009, after falling a single vote short of Cooperstown, former MLBPA executive director Marvin Miller asked to be taken off the 2010 ballot.

“Many years ago, those who control the Hall of Fame decided to re-write history instead of recording it,” Miller said at the time. “The aim was to eradicate the tremendous impact the players union on the progress and the development of the game as a competitive sport, as entertainment and as an industry.”

Miller would finally be elected to Cooperstown in 2019, seven years after his death in 2012.

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