Thompson Sports News

Female referees to officiate men's World Cup for 1st time


 Female referees will make World Cup history this year by working games at a major men's tournament for the first time in Qatar.


FIFA has picked three female referees and three female assistant referees among 129 officials for World Cup duty.


French referee Stephanie Frappart has already worked men's games in World Cup qualifying and the Champions League.


FIFA's list also includes a man who caused controversy when refereeing a chaotic African Cup of Nations game in January.


Janny Sikazwe of Zambia later explained he was suffering with heatstroke.

Shapovalov eliminated at Geneva Open after second-round loss to Ivashka


Canada's Denis Shapovalov was eliminated from the Geneva Open on Wednesday with a 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-3 loss to Ilya Ivashka of Belarus in the second round.


Ivashka had eight break point chances against Shapovalov, and converted two of them. The Belarusian saved the only break-point chance he faced.


Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., was seeded third at the tournament and had a bye in the first round.


The Canadian had nine aces in the match but didn't get opportunities to shift momentum in a largely even match.


Both players cashed in on 69 per cent of service points and 31 per cent of return points.


Ivashka, who will next face Portugal's Joao Sousa, picked up his first win in four matches against Shapovalov.


Maple Leafs staying the course after another playoff disappointment


The Maple Leafs don't appear eager to make changes in the wake of another playoff setback.


Toronto finished the regular schedule with franchise records for points and wins, but failed to advance in the post-season for a sixth straight year after losing in seven games to the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.


The team met with the media Tuesday, and Leafs president Brendan Shanahan gave general manager Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe votes of confidence despite the disappointing result.


It also sounds like Toronto's core of talented, high-priced forwards led by Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and William Nylander will be back in 2022-23 after the group took a step this season, but still couldn't get over the playoff hump.


The Leafs had the Lightning on the ropes in Games 6 and 7, and are now 0-9 over the last five post-seasons with a chance to eliminate an opponent.


Toronto hasn't won a playoff series since 2004.


Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price named finalist for Masterton Trophy


Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is one of three finalists for the 2022 Masterton Trophy, awarded to the NHL player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game.”


After helping the Canadiens reach the Stanley Cup final in 2021, the 34-year-old Price suffered numerous setbacks in returning to the game.


The franchise's all-time leader for games and wins by a goaltender underwent knee surgery last summer.


The Vezina and Hart Trophy winner in 2015 also sought help from the NHLPA/NHL player assistance program in October for substance abuse.


Price, of Anahim Lake, B.C., returned to Montreal's net on April 15. It was his first start since July, 2021.


New York Islanders defenceman Zdeno Chara and Philadelphia Flyers centre Kevin Hayes are the other finalists.


NHL stars Matthews, McDavid and Josi named Ted Lindsay Award finalists


Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews and Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid are two of the finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, the NHL's most outstanding player award as voted on by fellow players.


Nashville Predators defenceman Roman Josi is the third finalist.

Matthews, who earned this season's Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal-scorer, registered career highs with 60 goals and 46 assists.


His 60 goals were a team record as well as a single-season record for most goals scored by a U.S.-born player.


McDavid, who claimed his fourth Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer this season, established career highs with 44 goals and 79 assists.


Josi led all NHL defenceman with 96 points, which was franchise record and a single-season record for points recorded by a European defenceman.


Leafs' Matthews, Oilers' McDavid among Hart Trophy finalists


Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews and Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid are two of the finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy, the NHL's most valuable player award.


New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin is also in contention for the prize awarded “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.”


Matthews, who earned this season's Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal-scorer, posted career highs with 60 goals and 46 assists.


He became the 21st different player in NHL history - and first in a decade - to register 60 goals in a season.


McDavid, who claimed the Art Ross Trophy as the League's top scorer this season, also established career highs with 44 goals and 79 assists.


The reigning Hart Trophy winner, McDavid never went more than three games without a point.


Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike not running in Preakness


Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will not run in the Preakness.


Owner Rich Dawson made the stunning announcement 10 days before the race in Maryland.


It means there will not be a Triple Crown winner for a fourth consecutive year.


Dawson said he and trainer Eric Reed agreed to stick with the initial plan for Rich Strike and rest him for five weeks.


The plan now is to have Rich Strike ready to run in the Belmont Stakes in New York on June 11.

Gymnastics Canada and provincial bodies face class-action lawsuit over alleged abuse


More than a dozen former Canadian gymnasts have launched a class-action lawsuit claiming lasting physical and psychological damages suffered over many years.


Amelia Cline is the named plaintiff and there are as many as 20 class members so far.


The athletes are suing Gymnastics Canada and provincial governing bodies in B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan.


Cline was coached by Vladimir and Svetlana Lashin at Omega Gymnastics Sports Centre in Coquitlam, B.C.


Legal documents allege that Cline, as a result of the abuse she was subjected to during training, continues to suffer from numerous physical and psychological harm and injuries.


According to the lawsuit, they include a training-induced seizure, ongoing back and neck injuries and chronic pain, a hamstring avulsion fracture, fractures in a hand, wrist, fingers and toes, chronic knee pain, disordered eating, stunted growth, anxiety, insomnia and nightmares.


Leafs going with same lineup for Game 5; under-fire Holl praised by coach, teammates


Sheldon Keefe is going back to the well.


The Maple Leafs head coach will dress the same lineup for tonight's Game 5 against the Lightning, some 48 hours after that group came out embarrassingly flat with a chance to grab a 3-1 stranglehold in their best-of-seven playoff series.


Toronto defenceman Justin Holl turned the puck over less than a minute into Sunday's debacle, leading to Tampa Bay's first goal and opening the floodgates at Amalie Arena against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.


Keefe said he gave “lots of thought” to making changes, but decided after reviewing the video of the 7-3 loss that tied the matchup 2-2 he would ice the same roster, including keeping Holl with veteran blue-liner Mark Giordano on the third pair.


Ottawa Senators part ways with vice president of player development Pierre McGuire


The Ottawa Senators have relieved Pierre McGuire of his duties as the team's senior vice president of player development after less than a year on the job.


McGuire was hired by the Senators last July following a 13-year run as an analyst on NBC hockey broadcasts.


The Senators confirmed McGuire's departure on Monday with a brief statement.


“We thank Pierre for his contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavours,” the team said.


McGuire, who also had broadcast stints with TSN and CJAD radio in Montreal, had previously served a Senators pro scout between 1994-96 before going into radio and TV.


He won the Stanley Cup twice as a Pittsburgh scout and assistant in the early 1990s and went on to be assistant general manager and coach of the Hartford Whalers.


Winnipeg Jets sign goaltender Oskari Salminen to a two-year, entry-level contract


The Winnipeg Jets have signed goaltender Oskari Salminen to a two-year, entry-level contract with an average annual value of US$925,000 at the NHL level.


Salminen, 22, spent the 2021-22 season with Mikkelin Jukurit of the Finnish Liiga, where he was coached by Jets alumni Olli Jokinen.


The native of Kotka, Finland, had a 29-14-11 record with nine shutouts, a 2.07 goals-against average, and a .920 save percentage in 55 games with Jukurit.


He led the Liiga in wins (29), saves (1,260) and minutes played (3,194), and was tied for first in shutouts (nine).


Has a 39-23-19 record with 11 shutouts in 85 career Liiga games with Jukurit and Kouvola-based KooKoo.


Toronto's Pan Am Sports Centre to host FINA Swimming World Cup in October


Toronto will host the FINA Swimming World Cup for the first time in more than 20 years.


The Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre will welcome the world's top swimmers for the second of a three-stop short-course swimming series Oct. 28-30.


The Pan Am Sports Centre was the swimming venue for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, plus two Olympic swimming trials.


The World Cup circuit kicks off in Berlin Oct. 21-23 and wraps up in Indianapolis Nov. 3-5.


More than 750 athletes from 40 countries are expected to compete for an overall series prize pool of US$144,000.



Blue Jays call up right-hander Casey Lawrence from triple-A Buffalo


The Toronto Blue Jays selected right-hander Casey Lawrence to the big-league roster before Wednesday night's home game against the New York Yankees.


The 34-year-old hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 2018 with Seattle.


Originally selected by the Blue Jays as an amateur free agent in 2010, he spent seven years in the minors before making his MLB debut in 2017.


Lawrence has a 3-3 career record and 6.64 earned-run average over 38 appearances with the Blue Jays and Mariners.


He spent time in Japan before returning to the Blue Jays' organization a year ago.


Lawrence was 7-2 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 appearances - including 10 starts - with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons last season.


He was 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA over four starts in Buffalo this year.


Also Wednesday, the Blue Jays optioned left-hander Andrew Vasquez to Buffalo and designated infielder Gosuke Katoh for assignment.

National funeral today in Montreal for Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur


Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur was remembered today as a father, a teammate and a person of exceptional generosity.


At a national funeral in downtown Montreal, Lafleur was described as someone who inspired generations of Quebecers both on and off the ice.


His son, Martin Lafleur, said his father always made time for his family and wanted to take care of everyone -- “even people he didn't know.”


He told the crowd at Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral that his father wasn't perfect, but did everything he could to make his family happy.


Hockey hall of famers Yvon Cournoyer, Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau and Patrick Roy were among the first to pay tribute to the Habs legend, who died last month at age 70 after battling lung cancer.


Those in attendance included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Francois Legault.


Quebec singer Ginette Reno sang L'Essentiel during the funeral service.


Jets sign GM Cheveldayoff to three-year extension as team heads into busy off-season



Kevin Cheveldayoff has been given three more years to get the Winnipeg Jets back on a successful flight path.


The general manager confirmed his extension in a Monday press conference between exit meetings with players after the Jets missed the playoffs with a 39-32-11 record.


Cheveldayoff, 52, has been the team's only GM since the Atlanta Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg in 2011.


The GM has a lot on his to-do list, starting with a coaching decision.


Dave Lowry was named interim head coach after Paul Maurice resigned on Dec. 17, 2021.


Cheveldayoff said Lowry will be welcome to interview for the full-time position as the Jets conduct a search for Maurice's permanent replacement.


Jays select contract of infielder Capra, option reliever Francis to triple-A Bisons


The Toronto Blue Jays selected the contract of infielder Vinny Capra from triple-A Buffalo on Friday afternoon and optioned right-hander Bowden Francis to the Bisons.


Capra has hit .304 with 10 RBIs over 18 games with Buffalo this season.


The five-foot-eight 175-pound native of Melbourne, Fla., will be active for Toronto's game against the Houston Astros on Friday night, the Blue Jays said in a release.


Capra, 25, was selected by the Blue Jays in the 20th round of the 2018 first-year player draft.


Francis, 26, made his big-league debut in the ninth inning of Toronto's 7-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night. He had a strikeout and gave up a double over two-thirds of an inning.


Francis and right-hander Trevor Richards were acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers last July in exchange for first baseman Rowdy Tellez.


Eric Comrie, Winnipeg Jets shutout Philadelphia Flyers 4-0



Eric Comrie made 34 saves to record his first career shutout in the Winnipeg Jets' 4-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.


The 26-year-old native of Edmonton was playing in his 27th NHL game, and making his 15th start for Winnipeg this season.


Kyle Connor scored into an empty net and added a pair of assists to set a new team record for points in a season.


He has 92 points, one more than captain Blake Wheeler's point total since the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and became the Jets in 2011.


Wheeler had 91 points in two seasons (2017-18, 2018-19).


Nikolaj Ehlers and Wheeler each had a goal and an assist.


Pierre-Luc Dubois also scored his career-high 28th goal of the season for the Jets (37-32-11).


It was the sixth time the Flyers (25-45-11) have been shut out this season.


Playing in only his fifth NHL game, and second straight, Philadelphia rookie netminder Felix Sandstrom stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced.



Matthews and McDavid reach NHL milestones


A pair of N-H-L superstars reached personal milestones last night. In Toronto, Auston Matthews scored twice in a 3-0 win over Detroit to become the first Leaf to reach the 60-goal plateau.


Meanwhile, Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists in Edmonton's 5-1 win in Pittsburgh to become the first Oiler since Mark Messier to register more than 120 points.


McDavid leads the league with 122 points.


There are five games in the N-H-L tonight featuring two Canadian teams already eliminated from the post-season picture.


The Montreal Canadiens pay a visit to the New York Rangers in a classic Original Six matchup.


At the same time, the Winnipeg Jets host Philadelphia.

Russian, Belarusian players barred from selection in 2022 CHL import draft


The Canadian Hockey League has announced that Russian and Belarusian players will be ineligible for selection at its upcoming import draft.


The umbrella organization for the country's three major junior hockey leagues - the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League - made the announcement Wednesday.


The move was considered likely after the CHL condemned in a March 2 statement Russia's invasion of Ukraine with the support of Belarus.


The ban does not include players currently on a CHL protected list.


A total of 85 players were selected at the most recent import draft last June, including a high of 16 from Russia and 11 from Belarus.

The 2022 import draft will be held July 1.


Tenn. center that hosted 1996 Olympics events burns down


A fire early Tuesday destroyed Tennessee's Ocoee Whitewater Center, which served as the host site for paddling events during the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.


Polk County Emergency Management Agency Director Steve Lofty told the Chattanooga Times Free Press the blaze had engulfed about 90% of the structure by the time a full fire response got to the scene on the Ocoee River.


Located in the remote hills of the Cherokee National Forest, the Ocoee Whitewater Center was built to host events such as kayaking and canoeing in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Polk County County Executive Robby M. Hatcher says it's a big loss for the community.


Toronto Raptors' all-star guard VanVleet ruled out of Game 5 in Philadelphia


The Toronto Raptors will not have all-star guard Fred VanVleet in the lineup for Monday's playoff game with the Philadelphia 76ers.


VanVleet has been ruled out of Game 5 with a strained left hip flexor.


The Raptors trail the Sixers 3-1 in the best-of-seven opening-round playoff series and need a win to stave off elimination.


VanVleet played less than 15 minutes of Toronto's 110-102 win over Philly on Saturday, limping off the court and ripping his jersey in frustration.


He averaged 20.3 points, 6.7 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game this season and was named an All-Star for the first time.


Leafs forwards Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford fined for actions against Lightning



Toronto Maple Leafs forwards Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford have been fined for their actions during the third period of Thursday's 8-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Simmonds was punished for charging Mikhail Sergachev, while Clifford was dinged for high-sticking Corey Perry.


The fines totaling a combined US$4,750 - the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement - go to the players' emergency assistance fund.


The Leafs, who are all but assured of finishing second in the Atlantic Division with four games left on the schedule, were 11-1-1 prior to Thursday's demolition at the hands of the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.


Toronto visits the league-leading Florida Panthers on Saturday night.


Tom Renney retires as Hockey Canada CEO, replaced by Scott Smith


Tom Renney has retired as Hockey Canada's chief executive officer after eight years and will be replaced by Scott Smith.


Renney was appointed president and CEO in 2014. He replaced Bob Nicholson, who held those positions for 16 years.


Renney stepped out of the role of president in 2017 when Smith, Hockey Canada's chief operating officer stepped into it. Renney continued as CEO.


Smith has held various jobs in Hockey Canada since 1995. The 55-year-old from Bathurst, N.B., became chief operating officer in 2007.



Sixers beat undermanned Raptors 112-97 to take 2-0 playoff series lead


Joel Embiid had 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the undermanned Toronto Raptors 112-97 on Monday to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.


OG Anunoby had 26 points for the Raptors, who were playing without prized rookie Scottie Barnes, who suffered a left ankle sprain in Game 1and sat courtside in a walking boot. An ailing Gary Trent Jr., started the game but played only nine minutes.


The best-of-seven series now heads to Toronto for Game 3 on Wednesday, the first time Scotiabank Arena has hosted playoff basketball since Game 5 of the NBA Finals in 2019.


Toronto got off to a strong start and led by a point at the end of the first quarter, but then went ice cold, missing 14 consecutive field goals in a dry spell that straddled the second and third quarters.

Alabama receiver John Metchie III moves atop Scouting Bureau rankings


The CFL Scouting Bureau provided another solid reason Tuesday why Tyrell Richards remains the favourite to be the first player taken in next month's draft.


The six-foot-three 232-pound Richards performed well at last month's CFL combine with both defensive linemen and his position group. He considered testing with the defensive backs, but declined amid injury concerns.


The nine CFL teams also got to meet with Richards and get a feel for him as a person as part of their overall evaluation. The franchise selecting Richards will not only get a player who'll report immediately, but one that's versatile and could contribute right away on special teams.


The Edmonton Elks currently hold the No. 1 selection.



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