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‘Worst experience of my life’: Canadian soccer captain on Olympic final penalties – Global News

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Being on the sidelines while a massive game is being decided by penalty kicks is not something Christine Sinclair has experienced often during her storied international career.

That was the very situation the talismanic Canadian captain found herself in on Friday, as her team traded penalties with Sweden in the final of the women’s soccer tournament at the Tokyo Games.

Read more:
Canada defeats Sweden, brings home gold in women’s Olympic soccer

While Sinclair was ecstatic about the end result — Canada outscored Sweden 3-2 in the extra session to capture its first women’s soccer gold medal — she was less enamoured with the process.

“The PKs throughout the entire tournament are like the worst things ever,” Sinclair said in a video conference Tuesday. “Unless you win.”

Sinclair was substituted in the second half of the gold-medal match, meaning she had to watch kick after nerve-rattling kick from the bench.

“I think it’s the first shootout I’ve not physically been a part of, and it was the worst experience of my life,” she said. “I wish people had a camera on Desiree Scott and I throughout that shootout, because we were absolutely going insane and having heart attacks.”


Click to play video: 'Golden goals: Families celebrate Canada’s first Olympic gold in women’s soccer'



2:06
Golden goals: Families celebrate Canada’s first Olympic gold in women’s soccer


Golden goals: Families celebrate Canada’s first Olympic gold in women’s soccer

The penalties were an emotional roller-coaster, with Jessie Fleming putting the Canadians ahead early, only to see the team’s next three shooters miss the mark as Sweden took a 2-1 lead.

Swedish captain Caroline Seger had a chance to win it but her attempt went over the crossbar, and Deanne Rose, needing to score to extend the shootout, came through with a strong effort into the top corner.

Read more:
Olympic success could be a boost to women’s, girls’ soccer across Canada

Tied after five kicks, the penalties went to sudden death. Canadian goaltender Stephanie Labbe came up with a big save on Sweden’s Jonna Andersson, then Canada’s Julia Grosso buried the winner.

“Every single practice we worked on our PKs knowing that a lot of tournaments come down to them,” Sinclair said. “We worked on them, we had extreme trust in ourselves, then we had Steph Labbe in goal who was like a brick wall.”


Click to play video: 'B.C. soccer player Julia Grosso arrives home after Tokyo Olympics gold-medal team win'



1:49
B.C. soccer player Julia Grosso arrives home after Tokyo Olympics gold-medal team win


B.C. soccer player Julia Grosso arrives home after Tokyo Olympics gold-medal team win

The gold-medal victory was the second game of the tournament Canada won in penalty kicks. The Canadians beat Brazil 4-3 on PKs in the round of 16, with Labbe stopping Brazil’s final two shooters for another dramatic win.

The gold medal is the latest highlight for Sinclair, who leads all soccer players in international goals with 187. She also led Canada to bronze medals at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

While an Olympic championship would be the perfect cap to her international career, the 38-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., said she’s not ready to make any decisions about her future.

“Right now, I’m like: ‘I want to keep going forever!’ and then the next day I’m like: ‘Or you can just be done at the top.’ So who knows what will happen.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Former Danish cyclist Chris Anker Sorensen dies in road accident – The Globe and Mail

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Former Danish professional cyclist died after being struck by a driver while riding in Belgium and later died.

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

Former Danish professional cyclist Chris Anker Sorensen has died after being hit by a vehicle during a ride in Belgium, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Saturday.

Sorensen, 37, was due to commentate on the upcoming road world championships in Flanders.

“It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of our good colleague Chris,” a TV2 Sport announcer said on air.

Sorensen, who retired from professional cycling in 2018, won the Danish national title in 2015 and won a stage on the 2010 Giro d’Italia.

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NHL Rumors: Oilers, Islanders, Blues, Canadiens, More – The Hockey Writers

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In today’s NHL rumors rundown, now that Kailer Yamamoto has signed, there’s already talk about whether or not the Edmonton Oilers can fit both him and Jesse Puljujarvi into their long-term plans. Meanwhile, the New York Islanders have potentially too many contracts and may need to move a prospect. What’s the latest on the status of Vladimir Tarasenko and are the Montreal Canadiens going to be down a prospect due to a refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine?

Can Oilers Only Keep One of Kailer Yamamoto or Jesse Puljujarvi?

David Staples of the Edmonton Journal writes that Yamamoto’s one-year, $1.175 million deal certainly isn’t going to pose problems for this season, but wonders what happens if Yamamoto has a bounce-back 2021-22 campaign. If he ups his production, he could be eyeing Drake Batherson and Joel Farabee‘s six-year deals around $5 million per season.

Kailer Yamamoto, Edmonton Oilers, Oct. 21, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

If so, Staples suggests this could be problematic. He writes:

The Oilers are pressed up against the cap and there’s going to be little cap space for years to come, what with the flat cap and big-ticket and long-term contracts for Connor McDavid, Darnell Nurse, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Zach Hyman. Where will the Oilers find the money to pay players like Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi, both on expiring contracts now, if they have big years? Good luck with that, Ken Holland. You will need it.

source – ‘All systems go? Yes. Edmonton Oilers sign Kailer Yamamoto to a one-year deal’ – David Staples – Edmonton Journal – 09/18/2021

Staples suggests the Oilers may end up having to sign one of Yamamoto or Puljujarvi and trade the other.

Islanders Logjam in Terms of Contracts, Could Lose Bellows

While the salary cap doesn’t appear to be a massive concern, CapFriendly already has the New York Islanders roster at the maximum of 23 players. This does not include the recent signings of Zdeno Chara and Zach Parise. A move is likely on the horizon to free up spots.

Pro Hockey Rumors reports that one of the players worth watching is Kieffer Bellows. The unsigned prospect is the kind of player who is on the bubble to make the roster in such a tight competition for spots, but they’d have to try to sneak him through waivers if he doesn’t make the main roster. It might turn out the GM Lou Lamoriello looks at a potential trade if he cannot re-sign Bellows to a new deal or if he believes someone else has a better shot at a roster spot.

Still with the Islanders, Chara discussed why he chose to sign with the team this summer and said he talked to his family all summer about returning to the NHL for one more year and admitted there were other teams interested in him. He said: “We made the decision to go with the Islanders.” He’s honoured to be returning to the team that drafted him.

#Isles Chara says he’s “honored and humbled” to be an Islander again.
Mentioned he had conversations with his family all summer long about playing another year.

Tarasenko Trade Update

According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Blues GM Doug Armstrong expects Tarasenko to remain a member of the team to open the NHL regular season. He will continue to look at trade options out of respect for the player’s request but the team is expecting Tarasenko to return and contribute.

Armstrong noted the ideal scenario would be that Tarasenko contributes so much that he changes his mind on the trade request. “I guess my (hope) is that he’ll be playing so good that he won’t want to be traded,” Armstrong said with a laugh. “And we won’t want to trade him.”

St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko
St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (AP Photo/Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

As for whether or not he thinks Tarasenko returning will make for an awkward situation in the locker room, he responded:

“They’re all pros. Our medical staff are pros. Our players are pros. And Vladi’s a pro. So we just have to have a good season. He has to have a good season. He wants to play for a number of years, and to do that, he’s gotta make himself marketable. And to do that, we have to be a good team for him, too.”

source – ‘Armstrong expects Tarasenko to be on Blues’ opening-day roster’ – Jim Thomas – 09/18/2021

Canadiens’ Ylönen Out Due to Lack of Vaccination

According to a report from La Presse (translated to English) Jesse Ylönen is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and as a result, had to undergo quarantine upon his arrival in the country. What’s intriguing about this is that the report notes: “Ylönen is not vaccinated “for reasons which belong to him”. At the time of this writing, we had not received a response from his agent to our email requesting clarification.”

Jesse Ylonen of Espoo United
Jesse Ylonen of Espoo United (Ilari Nackel/Espoo United)

The NHL has stated that players who elect not to be vaccinated could be suspended without pay if they contract the virus. More interesting in Ylönen’s case is that he’s likely slated to be part of the Laval Rocket’s roster and his participation in games that take place in the United States (22 of 72) could be problematic. Ylönen could end up missing 30% of Laval’s games if the federal quarantine does indeed apply to professional hockey players.

It’s not clear why he hasn’t been vaccinated — pre-existing condition or personal beliefs — but NHL Assistant Commissioner Bill Daly said he expects less than15 players in all of the NHL will not be adequately vaccinated by the time the season starts on October 12. The report doesn’t indicate if Ylönen has plans to get vaccinated or not.

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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”

Other content contributions include: NHLtradetalk.com, The Sportster and hosting weekly video casts, THW News and Rumors Rundown, plus Oilers Overtime.

For interview requests or to provide content info, follow Jim on Twitter or his social media accounts. They appear under his photo on articles like this one.

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Blue Jays give Jose Berrios early run support in win over Twins – Sportsnet.ca

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TORONTO — A five-run first inning from his Blue Jays teammates was all starter Jose Berrios required to shut down his former club, the Minnesota Twins, on Sunday.

Toronto’s early prowess at the plate generated a 5-3 win over the visiting Twins as the Jays took two of three games in the weekend series.

Berrios surrendered three runs on four hits, gave up a walk and struck out six over six and two-thirds innings of work.

Toronto (84-65) continued to hold second spot in the American League wild-card race entering the final two weeks of the regular season.

The Jays are 15-3 in September, which is the best in Major League Baseball, and are 21-9 at home since returning to the Rogers Centre in late July.

The last time Toronto was 19 games above .500 was Aug. 31, 2016.

The Blue Jays have 13 regular-season games remaining in 2021, including this week’s road trip that has them in Tampa Bay for three games against the Rays starting Monday followed by four in Minnesota.

Toronto sent 10 batters to the plate in Sunday’s first inning against Twins starter Luke Farrell (1-1), who is the son of former Blue Jays manager John Farrell.

Second baseman Marcus Semien started the barrage doubling down the left-field line with one out to then score on Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s single.

Shortstop Bo Bichette then bashed a two-run shot for his 26th homer.

A single to right from Teoscar Hernandez and an infield hit by Corey Dickerson put runners on first and second. They scored on back-to-back singles from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Breyvic Valera.

Gurriel increased his RBI total to a team-leading 27 in September.

Before arriving in Toronto via a July 30 trade with the Twins, the 27-year-old Berrios spent the first five-and-a-half years of his career in Minnesota.

He still wears the Twins red glove on his left hand on the mound.

Berrios (12-8), has won four of his last five starts, but struggled in Sunday’s fourth inning.

With one out, he hit former Blue Jays standout Josh Donaldson in the right forearm.

Miguel Sano moved Donaldson to third with a double to centre. Shortstop Nick Gordon scored his teammate with a double down the left-field line.

The Twins moved a run closer with a homer from Ben Rortvedt, their ninth hitter in the order, with two out in the seventh inning.

The 2-1 curveball was Berrios’s 100th and final pitch for the afternoon.

Trevor Richards replaced him and pitched well before giving way to stopper Jordan Romano for the final inning. Romano earned his 19th save.

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