Don Cherry’s name has been taken off of the Western Hockey League’s “Suits up” fundraising project. On Friday night the Edmonton Oil Kings held an event that has previously been advertised with his name.
For the two previous seasons, the event was called “Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation.”
Team Canada trailed for much of the finals of the World Junior gold medal match against Russia on Sunday, but the managed to come back from a two-goal deficit in the third and win in a dramatic finish with a final score of 4 to 3.
Russia opened the scoring midway through the second period on the power-play with a tipped puck by Nikita Alexandrov.
But Russia got into penalty trouble later in the second with two players getting called on penalties. Team Canada managed to score with the two-man advantage.
The tie didn’t last long, though. Russia scored again before the end of the second period.
At the end of the second, right at the buzzer, Russian player Yegor Zamula took a penalty against Canada’s captain.
In the third Russia would briefly take a two-goal lead before Canada’s Connor McMichael would score to get within one again, after failing to score on a breakaway attempt earlier in the last period.
Team Canada’s captain came through with less than nine minutes of play, scoring a goal at the start of a powerplay.
And with four minutes left Team Canada finally took the lead for the first time in the game, and then never looked back.
Near the end of the game both teams took penalties and it was 4-on-4 play, resulting in a nail-biter finish and Team Canada just holding on to its lead.
Team Canada only won two championships at the World Juniors in the last decade compared to five back-to-back championships in the 2000s, but they start this new decade with gold again.
Two men were taken to hospital with non-life threatening conditions after getting into a fight with each other featuring hockey sticks according to CTV News.
The incident took place in front of a Richmond Hill home near Crosby Ave. and Newkirk Drive shortly after 8 a.m.
The fight eventually moved out into the middle of the street according to York Regional Police. While in this case there were no life-threatening injuries, all Canadians know that hockey stick incidents are extremely dangerous:
One of the men involved has been arrested.
The Canadian World Junior Team came out victorious against the Slovakia team, crushing them 6-1 Thursday morning.
The team has already put its fans through a whirlwind of emotions. Canada commenced its group stage play with an inspiring 6-4 victory over their arch-rival Americans, reinforcing optimism that the young Canadian squad would be legitimate contenders in the tournament. Yet the optimism took a swift and devasting turn in Canada’s deflating 6-0 loss to the Russians. To make matters worse, the nightmare game resulted in an injury to projected 1st overall pick in this year’s NHL draft Alexis Lafrenière and a suspension to Red Wing’s prospect Joe Veleno. Aided by the emergence of goaltender Joel Hoffer, Canada won its two remaining games, against the Germans (4 -1) and host Czech Republic (7-2) in convincing fashion to calm some nerves.
Canada, despite its inconsistency, entered the elimination stage first in Group B and faced a Slovakian team that finished fourth in Group A. Slovakia suited very few NHL affiliated prospects and Canada was expected to take the game handily. Furthermore, Canada received a major boost with the return of Lafrenière from a scary injury and it could not have come at a better time, as games cannot serve as teaching points for this inexperienced group moving forward, it is now do or die.
The game began with Nolan Foote delivering a huge hit on Kristian Kovacik, which was deemed to have been targeting the head and Foote was ejected less than a minute into the game. Slovakia was gifted a five minute powerplay to begin the game. During the extended powerplay Hoffer was brilliant, stopping six shots, including making a cross crease save on a 2 on 1. The Slovaks were unable to capitalize on the powerplay. Not even two minutes after the Slovak powerplay ended, Team Canada captain Barret Hayton buried a Lafrenière pass into the Slovak net giving Canada the one goal lead. Though Canada had several more chances, the period ended with the same score.
A minute and a half into the second period, forward Connor McMichael scored on a 2-1 chance giving Canada the two goal lead. Defenceman Jacob Bernard- Docker buried a wrist shot past goalie Samuel Hlavaj a minute later to increase it to three. Hinting at a possible blowout, TSN commentator Gord Miller said, “Its cookie time”. Canada did not disappoint, as shortly after Canadian forward Liam Foody showed off his speed and skill on a highlight reel breakaway goal and Alexis Lafrenière made his presence be known with a slick powerplay goal. The buzzer sounded with Canada up 5-0 and Canada scored more goals (4) than Slovakia had shots (1) in the period.
An early powerplay goal by Captain Barret Hayton gave him his second of the game and Canada the 6-0 lead, ending goaltender Hlavaj’s game as he had only saved 24 of the 30 shots he faced. Goaltender Samuel Vyletelka seemingly entered the game on mop up duty but actually sparked a Slovak goal when Oliver Okuliar buried a slapshot past the rarely tested Hoffer, making it 6-1.
Some would call this quarterfinal matchup against Slovakia as the appetizer to Canada’s championship fate, which will surely require overcoming greater challenges. The remaining competition will ramp up, possibly including long-time rivals such as Russia, Sweden, the United States and Finland. Canada does not yet know who they will face next, but the dynamic duo of Barret Hayton and Alexis Lafrenière and the collective effort displayed today allows them to enter the game with confidence.
Coming off a seesaw 6-4 victory on Thursday over their rival Americans that saw projected the first-overall pick in this coming NHL draft Alexis Lafrenière dominate with a goal and 3 assists, the Canadian World Junior team was right back at it on Saturday against yet another rival in the Russians.
The Canadian team is led by the aforementioned Lafrenière, Arizona Coyotes prospect Barret Hayton, Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Nolan Foote, Colorado Avalanche prospect Bowen Byram, among other blue-chip NHL affiliated and even 2020 draft-eligible prospects. As per usual, the expectations placed on the squad are gold or bust and their schedule thus far has done them no favours.
The Russians, though not as deep or prospect-heavy, have always posed a threat to the Canadians and even beat them 2-1 in their last matchup in Vancouver.
The game got off to a rocky start for the Canadians, as the Russians scored a minute and 45 seconds into the game after defenseman Jared McIsaac turned over the puck attempting a breakout pass in the defensive zone. Alexander Khovanov of Russia picked the pass off at the Canadian blue-line, shot the puck aimlessly and caught Canadian goalie Nico Daws by surprise as the puck deflected off his blocker and squirted behind him.
The goal was controversial as it appeared to be offside, yet the Canadian Head Coach Dale Hunter did not challenge the call.
It did not get any better for the Canadians as a defensive breakdown led to Pavel Dorofeyev being left all alone in front of the Canadian net, deking out Nico Daws, and putting the Russians up 2-0 halfway through the first period.
Only 3 minutes later, it got worse for Daws as he could not control defenceman Daniil Pylenkov’s shot from the blue-line and Rtishchev tapped the rebound in on his backhand. As if a 3-0 deficit was not bad enough, Canadians (and surely NHL scouts) held their collective breath, as phenom Alexis Lafrièniere went down with an apparent leg injury.
As he was driving towards the net, Lafrièniere’s skate got caught in Russian Goaltender Amir Miftakhov’s pads, awkwardly twisting his foot and ankle.
In what seemed to be a nightmare affair for Coach Hunter and his squad, the Russians increased their lead to 4-0 when Nikita Alexandrov danced around defencemen Bowen Byram and Ty Smith, slipping the puck passed Daws’s sprawled pads.
Daw’s night was over less than 23 minutes into the game as he was pulled for Joel Hoffer. Though Daws did his team no favours, the Canadian squad was heavily outplayed up that point, leaving Coach Hunter no choice but to provide some sort of spark to his deflated team.
The game took a chippy turn, as an obviously frustrated Canadian team took out their anger during post-whistle- scrums in hopes of once again gaining momentum and lead a come-back effort, to no avail.
Right after an unsuccessful Canadian powerplay, the Russians scored again, as yet another point shot led to trouble when forward Yegor Sokolov deflected a shot past Hoffer to give the Russian’s an unlikely 5-0 lead over their archrivals.
The Canadians were clearly outmatched in this game, and Canadians lost all hope for a comeback when the Russians scored yet another goal when Russian Captain Grigori Denisenko’s wrist shot squeaked off Hoffer’s glove and into the net, increasing the lead to an embarrassing tally of 6-0 and the score remained that until the final buzzer, leaving Canadians stunned and looking for answers.
The final shot count ended up being 39-28 in favour of the Russians, the Canadian squad was clearly mismatched against an older, faster and more physically opposing team.
Even upon the rare occasion, the Canadian team was presented with a scoring chance, goaltender Amir Miftakhov stood tall with 28 saves. Furthermore, the Canadian powerplay, stacked with prominent stars, produced nothing, going 0 for 3.
Despite coming off an inspiring win over their rival Americans, the Canadians looked extremely dull and the second game of their quest for World Junior gold gave fans little to cheer for.
The Canadians exuded their frustration after whistles but played with very little passion in-between.
As if the historically lopsided loss was not bad enough, losing Lafrièniere makes the thumping that much worse. Going forward, the Canadian squad will inevitably need to play with more passion and drive, as names on a scoresheet, as promising as they may sound, will clearly not suffice in this tournament.
In the wake of the blowout loss and Lafrièniere’s injury, hopefully, Team Canada has received the inspiration and drive they clearly need.