Thompson Sports News Archives for 2020-07

Thompson's Jennifer Saunders to be inducted in Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame

Eight athletes will be inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, including a racquetball player who grew up here in Thompson.


Jennifer Saunders has won eleven Canadian Women’s Singles Championships, and 13 Canadian Women’s Doubles Championships, which combined are a record number of 24 titles.


Internationally, Saunders won 11 medals in Singles, Doubles, and Team competitions in World Championships, and has competed for Canada 29 times in various competitions.

Taylor, Suzuki lift Nats past Jays 6-4 before 4-day break

WASHINGTON - Michael A. Taylor's second homer of the season helped the “visiting” Nationals knock around struggling Hyun-Jin Ryu and beat the home-away-from-home Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 Thursday before both teams head into a coronavirus-caused “mini All-Star break,” as Washington manager Dave Martinez called it.


Kurt Suzuki delivered a two-run double and Asdrubal Cabrera added an RBI double off Ryu (0-1), who gave up Taylor's two-run shot to straightaway centre that he celebrated with a socially distanced dugout dance in the fourth. Taylor is now 2 for 14 this season, a .143 average, but both hits cleared the fences.


Ryu's ERA is 8.00 after he allowed five runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, his second start under an $80 million, four-year deal Toronto gave him after he was second in NL Cy Young Award voting for the Dodgers in 2019.


Erick Fedde, making his second start in place of a sidelined Stephen Strasburg, gave up two runs in 3 1/3 innings. Ryne Harper (1-0) followed and got five outs for the win. Daniel Hudson pitched the ninth to earn his first save of the year.


Nationals rookie third baseman Carter Kieboom reached base four times - two singles, two walks - and scored twice.


Teoscar Hernandez homered twice, giving him four during this four-game series at Washington, and Cavan Biggio hit a solo shot for Toronto.

Cross Lake's Brady Keeper to play second NHL game in exhibition play against the Lightning

Today at noon is the exhibition game between the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning, and if you look closely, you'll see Cross Lake's own Brady Keeper.


Keeper played for the Norman Northstars and the OCN Blizzard, and was the MVP in his final years in the MJHL in 2016-17.


He plays defense for the Panthers, and this will be his second game in the NHL.

Source: Canadian Premier League to play 2020 season in Charlottetown

TORONTO - The Canadian Premier League will play its 2020 season in Charlottetown.


A source, not authorized to speak on the record because the official announcement had not been made, confirmed that the eight-team league is headed to Prince Edward Island.


The league has scheduled a media conference call with commissioner David Clanachan for 1:20 p.m. ET.


Langford, B.C., had also been in the running to host the season with Moncton reportedly another contender.


The CPL's original schedule was to have started April 11 and conclude on Oct. 4 with teams playing a 28-game schedule, a plan derailed by the global pandemic.

Toronto Raptors lose final scrimmage in bubble 117-106 to Phoenix Suns

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The weary-looking Toronto Raptors dropped a 117-106 decision to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, suffering their only loss in three scrimmages in the NBA's restart.


Pascal Siakam had 17 points, Norman Powell scored 14 off the bench, and Fred VanVleet, who was back after missing most of Sunday's scrimmage with a minor knee injury, had 13.


Kyle Lowry had 11 points, seven assists, and took a couple of charges.

Mikal Bridges had 26 points to top the Suns, while Ricky Rubio chipped in with 22.


Four days before the Raptors tip off their eight-game seeding round against the Los Angeles Lakers, coach Nick Nurse gave his starters more minutes.


But playing their third game in five days, and coming off an unheard-of four-month layoff due to COVID-19, the defending NBA champions were both sloppy and a step behind the Suns, who are 13th in the Western Conference and have the worst record of the 22 teams in the bubble (26-39).

Kerfoot scores twice, Leafs down Canadiens in exhibition play as NHL returns

TORONTO - Morgan Rielly had a goal and two assists, Alexander Kerfoot scored twice, and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 in their exhibition matchup Tuesday as the NHL's restart to its pandemic-hit 2019-20 season got into full swing.


Ilya Mikheyev had the other goal for the Leafs, who got 28 saves from Frederik Andersen. Thomas Tatar and Paul Byron replied for the Canadiens. Carey Price stopped 19 shots for Montreal.


The Canadiens open their best-of-five qualifying round series against the heavily-favoured Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday - the first day the games will truly matter - before the Leafs do the same 24 hours later against the Columbus Blue Jackets.


Mikheyev, who suffered a gruesome wrist laceration in late December, scored just 33 seconds into his first game back inside an cavernous Scotiabank Arena as the league resumed action without fans after shuttering operations in mid-March because of COVID-19.


Kerfoot made it 2-0 at 6:46 of the second when he roofed a rebound after Kasperi Kapanen was stopped on a shorthanded breakaway.


Tatar got one back for Montreal with 3:04 left in the second on a power play off a nice feed from Nick Suzuki, but Kerfoot tipped Rielly's shot past Price late in the period to make it 3-1. Leafs rookie Nick Robertson, who was making his NHL debut after a 55-goal season in the Ontario Hockey League, picked up the second assist.

Oilers defeat Flames 4-1 in exhibition debut of Edmonton's NHL hub-bubble

EDMONTON - Connor McDavid scored two goals Tuesday to pace the Oilers to a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames in the official debut of Edmonton's NHL post-season hub-bubble.


Kailer Yamamoto and Patrick Russell also scored for Edmonton while Elias Lindholm replied for Calgary.


It was the lone exhibition game for the two teams prior to the weekend start of the NHL's play-in round.


It was played before thousands of empty seats at Rogers Place, which has been locked down to prevent any spread of COVID-19 as Edmonton hosts the Western Conference play-in/play-off series to finish the 2019-20 season.


The game was only a minute old when Oiler centre Leon Draisaitl chased down a dump-in to Calgary's end to spark an attack that ended with Yamamoto firing a rebound over goalie Cam Talbot's glove to make it 1-0.


The Oilers' power play, the league's best at 29.5 per cent in the regular season, made it 2-0 at the 7:44 mark. Draisaitl threaded a cross-ice pass through heavy traffic in the slot to McDavid on the doorstep who then flicked the puck over a sprawling Talbot.

Tam: Feds, CFL in discussion about NHL-style cohort quarantine for Winnipeg hub

OTTAWA - Canada's chief public health officer says the federal government is in talks with the CFL about applying quarantine rules to returning American players that are similar to the cohort approach used by the NHL.


Dr. Theresa Tam said Tuesday that protocols the NHL has in place, which includes the concept of teams entering quarantine together, is being discussed with the CFL, though she said she did not have an update on how far talks have progressed.


The federal government approved a cohort quarantine approach for NHL teams entering Canada to resume the season in the hub cities of Edmonton and Toronto during the COVID-19 pandemic. The teams are isolated from the general public in “bubbles,” and players can quarantine together instead of being subjected to the individual 14-day quarantine required of those crossing the international border.


The CFL, which employs many American players who would need to cross the border, has approved Winnipeg as a hub city should a shortened 2020 season take place.


Under the Manitoba government plan, CFL players and coaches would be in a bubble consisting of hotels, practice fields and a stadium. Players would have to isolate at home for 14 days prior to departing for Winnipeg, be tested for the novel coronavirus upon their arrival then go into quarantine for another seven days.


A quarantine plan is not the only hurdle the CFL faces. The league needs to secure financial assistance from the federal government, and the CFL and CFL Players' Association need to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, for a shortened season to get the green light.

Game on: NHL returns after months-long hiatus due to the COVID-19

NHL hockey returns today after a months-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Montreal Canadiens are in Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers meet the Calgary Flames at Rogers Place as part of today's three-game exhibition schedule that kicks off Phase 4 of the league's return-to-play plan.


The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers square off in Toronto in today's other game.


Edmonton and Toronto are serving as hub cities for the 24 NHL teams that are returning to action, though the Canadiens and Flames are listed as the home teams tonight.


Each team will play an exhibition game at Scotiabank Arena or Rogers Place between today and Thursday before the playoff qualification round begin on Saturday.


The NHL suspended its season March 12 due to the spreading global pandemic and announced its four-stage return plan May 26.

Hernandez hits 2 of 4 Blue Jays homers in 4-1 win at Nats

WASHINGTON - Because of injuries, the can't-play-in-Toronto Blue Jays were without their leadoff hitter and their closer against the Washington Nationals on Monday night.


The two guys who took over those jobs came through. Teoscar Hernandez replaced late scratch Bo Bichette and hit two of Toronto's four solo homers off Anibal Sanchez, Anthony Bass got the save while filling in for Ken Giles, and the Blue Jays beat the 2019 World Series champions 4-1.


Hernandez drove the game's second pitch over the wall in right-centre, and started the fifth by homering to the same part of the park.


“Teo got us going right off the bat. ... Bass came in and was lights out. Shut the door. That's what everyone knows he's capable of doing. That was definitely a positive sign,” said Toronto's Trent Thornton, who started and pitched four innings, before being followed by five relievers.


“Two guys stepped up and got the job done,” Thornton said. “We have plenty of guys who are fully capable of doing that.”


Rowdy Tellez and Danny Jansen also went deep for the Blue Jays, who put Giles on the 10-day injured list Monday and pulled Bichette from the lineup about 15 minutes before the first pitch with a tight left hamstring.


Manager Charlie Montoyo's team already had to deal with the inconvenience of not being allowed to host any 2020 games in Toronto.


Indeed, the Blue Jays' first two “home” games of this pandemic-altered season will be played in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday while they wait for Buffalo's minor league park to be prepped for them.


Toronto improved to 2-2 and dropped the World Series champions to 1-3 by going deep - over and over again.


Washington kept getting hits, 11 in all. But other than Kurt Suzuki's double that scored Eric Thames from first base in the fourth, the Nationals could not come through.


“Just one of those days we weren't lucky,” said manager Dave Martinez, who was critical of baserunning by Victor Robles and Thames.


The Nationals hit into four double plays. Three times, they stranded a man on third. They left a total of 10 runners on base.


Ryan Borucki (1-0) got four outs to earn the win, before Bass recorded his first save of the year.


Toronto, meanwhile, kept getting the big swings: Of the six hits given up by Sanchez (0-1), four left the yard - including Hernandez's seventh career multi-homer game - and the others were doubles.


Asked about not allowing a single, Sanchez smiled widely and joked: “Almost a no-hitter.”

Ryan Stuart named Northstars head coach for upcoming season

Ryan Stuart has been named head coach of 2020/2021 Northstars.


Stuart served as assistant coach from 2010-2012 and his 5 years experience with Thompson Minor Hockey.


Thompson's own Ryan Monias has been picked up by the Winkler Flyers. The gigantic winger scored 20 goals and added 25 assists with the NorMan Northstars last year.

Blue Jays hold pair of workout sessions as summer camp continues

The Toronto Blue Jays resumed summer training camp at Rogers Centre on Tuesday with a pair of workout sessions that came amid the continued uncertainty about the team's present and future plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Few details were available as a planned conference call with manager Charlie Montoyo was pushed to Wednesday and media access to the stadium was postponed a day until Thursday.


Social media did provide a glimpse into the stadium as a photo of the empty ballpark with roof open was posted on the Blue Jays' Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon, complete with a “Home Sweet Home” caption and a pair of emojis.


Players arrived in town Sunday night via team charter from Dunedin, Fla., and began working out a day later. The Blue Jays' 60-game schedule was released Monday evening but the team still doesn't know where it will play home games this season.


The team has expressed its desire to play at Rogers Centre but as was required for training camp, approval would be needed from the government and health authorities.


There was no word on when a decision might be made. Messages left with the provincial government and the Public Health Agency of Canada were not immediately returned.

NHL/NHLPA announce tentative agreements on return-to-play protocol, new CBA

The NHL and NHL Players' Association have taken a massive step towards resuming the pandemic-hit 2019-20 season later this summer in Edmonton and Toronto - along with securing labour peace for the foreseeable future.


The league and its union announced Monday the two sides have hammered out a tentative deal on the return-to-play protocol as well as a memorandum of understanding on a four-year extension of the current collective bargaining agreement.


The NHL board of governors, the NHLPA's executive board and full membership must now ratify the documents, which are tied together, in three separate votes. If the proposals get the green light, training camps would begin July 13, with the 24 teams set to resume heading to the two Canadian hub cities on July 26. Competitive game action would then commence Aug. 1.


The league has yet to announce the two hubs for its return-to-play plan this summer, but Toronto and Edmonton are the destinations, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.


The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the league and the NHLPA have not released this information. The person said the league is in part being cautious and allowing itself flexibility in the event of potential spikes in COVID-19 infections in not yet determining which cities will host the conference finals and Stanley Cup final.


Hashed out in the shadow of unprecedented economic conditions brought on by COVID-19 - and viewed as crucial for a resumption of play - the proposed CBA would bring at least 14 consecutive years of NHL-NHLPA harmony after lockouts wiped out the 2004-05 season, and cut the 1994-95 and 2012-13 campaigns to 48 games.

Native American groups ask NFL to force Redskins name change

WASHINGTON - Several Native American leaders and organizations sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday calling for the league to force Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the team name immediately.


The letter obtained by The Associated Press is signed by 15 Native American advocates. It demands the team and the NFL cease the use of Native American names, imagery and logos - with specific importance put on Washington, which last week launched a “thorough review” of its name.


The groups “expect the NFL to engage in a robust, meaningful reconciliation process with Native American movement leaders, tribes, and organizations to repair the decades of emotional violence and other serious harms this racist team name has caused to Native Peoples.”


The NFL did not immediately respond to a message confirming receipt of the letter. Goodell last week expressed support for Snyder's review process of the name.


Retired PGA Tour golfer Notah Begay, two former executive directors of the National Congress of American Indians and several authors and professors signed on to the letter, which came the same day President Donald Trump criticized the Redskins and Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians for considering name changes.


Trump tweeted: “They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct.”

NHL says 5% of players have tested positive for COVID-19 at voluntary workouts

NEW YORK - The NHL says 35 total players have tested positive for the novel coronavirus over roughly the past month.


The league says 23 of 396 players checked for COVID-19 at team facilities have tested positive since voluntary workouts began June 8, a 5% rate. In that same period of time, it is aware of 12 additional positive test results.


The NHL and NHL Players' Association on Sunday night agreed on protocols to start training camps and resume the season. That includes daily testing once games get under way for players, coaches and staff.


Resuming is contingent on each side approving an extension of the collective bargaining agreement and the return to play agreement.

Jays' McGuire fined after pleading no contest to disorderly conduct charge

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Toronto Blue Jays catcher Reese McGuire has pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge - a second-degree misdemeanour - and paid fines totalling US$500 stemming from a February incident in Florida.


His Tampa-based lawyer, Wes Trombley, confirmed the plea Monday and said the case was resolved last week.


McGuire originally faced an indecent exposure charge after deputies were dispatched to a shopping centre parking lot in Dunedin on Feb. 7 following reports that a man sitting inside an SUV was exposing himself, according to a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office news release.


Deputies said they spoke with McGuire, who was co-operative and did not deny the allegations.


He was charged with a misdemeanour count of exposure of sexual organs, was given a notice to appear in court and was not taken to jail.


The charge was later reduced to disorderly conduct and formally processed last Thursday, according to the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller's office.

Blue Jays claim infielder Valera off waivers, add 3 more to training pool

The Toronto Blue Jays continued to re-tool their roster Thursday ahead of the upcoming MLB season, claiming infielder Breyvic Valera off waivers from the San Diego Padres and adding three others to its player pool.


Right-handed pitcher Bryan Baker, infielder Patrick Kivlehan and outfielder Josh Palacios were added to the pool of players who will be at the team's summer camp.


Training is supposed to begin Friday, with the 60-game regular season slated to start July 23 or 24.


Toronto had named 58 players to its pool earlier this week. Each team can have a maximum of 60.


The transactions page on the Blue Jays' website listed four players - right-handers Elvis Luciano and Hector Perez, third baseman Brandon Drury and centre-fielder Jonathan Davis - as being added to the 10-day injured list Wednesday, with the moves retroactive to June 30. All four of those players were on Toronto's initial player pool.


Valera, 28, batted .234 in 17 MLB games last season, splitting time between the New York Yankees and the Blue Jays. He hit his first career home run on the final day of the regular season.

Toronto, Edmonton close to being named NHL hub cities

Toronto and Edmonton are on the verge of being picked as hub cities for the NHL's resumption of play, according to multiple reports.


TSN, Sportsnet, the Toronto Star and Postmedia all reported Wednesday the league is poised to pick two Canadian cities as sites for the 24 remaining teams to resume play later this summer, with the NHL attempting to crown a Stanley Cup champion during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The NHL did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Canadian Press.


Toronto and Edmonton were among 10 markets originally under consideration to serve as the NHL's two hubs. The league and players unveiled the format for a resumption of play in late May featuring 24 teams split between two centres where they would play in front of no fans.


The plan calls for players and staff to be segregated from the general population inside so-called “bubbles” in hopes of keeping the novel coronavirus at bay. The league has said it will test players daily if its plan to resume play goes ahead.


Vancouver, Las Vegas, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Minneapolis/St. Paul were the other cities in the running to be hubs before the league started to pare down the list in recent weeks.


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