Thompson Sports News Archives for 2022-03

Jack Campbell close to returning for Leafs; Mrazek likely out at least six weeks

 

Jack Campbell is on the cusp of returning to the Maple Leafs' crease.

 

Petr Mrazek, meanwhile, will once again be out for an extended period.

 

Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe said before Thursday's game against the Winnipeg Jets the goaltender will likely miss at least six weeks with a groin injury - his third of the season - suffered Tuesday in Boston against the Bruins.

 

“Mrazek is getting another consultation just to get some confirmation on some things,” Keefe said. “But that's the sense we have right now.”

 

Mrazek is in the first season of a three-year, US$11.4-million contract signed in free agency last summer. He hurt his groin in his inaugural Toronto start in October and then reaggravated the injury in December before suffering yet another setback this week.

 

NHL general managers discuss playoff salary cap at meetings: 'A healthy discussion'

 

Nikita Kucherov was happy to be the villain last summer.

 

After his Tampa Bay Lightning hoisted the Stanley Cup for a second straight season, the star winger sported a T-shirt with the slogan “$18M Over the Cap” in response to criticism the team had unfairly gamed the NHL system.

 

Tampa was salary cap compliant during the regular season, but that threshold - US$81.5 million at the time - doesn't apply during the playoffs when rosters expand.

 

Kucherov, who was on long-term injured reserve for the duration of the league's 56-game campaign, would go onto put up 32 points in 23 playoff contests.

 

“We had a great season,” Carolina defenceman Dougie Hamilton said after the Hurricanes were eliminated by Tampa in the second round. “We lost to a team that's $18 million over the cap.”

 

Stretching the salary cap into the playoffs was one of the subjects touched on by the NHL's 32 general managers at this week's annual meetings in Florida, but that's as far as things went.

 

Formula 1 shifts from racing to human rights in Saudi Arabia

 

The topic of conversation again has shifted from racing to human rights issues with Formula One back in Saudi Arabia this week for another grand prix.

 

Lewis Hamilton says the responsibility for holding the kingdom to account shouldn't fall on the drivers but he would try to help.

 

The seven-time F1 champion has also been an outspoken activist. He says “I'm always open to having a discussion, to learning more, to try to understand why the things that are happening are happening.” Hamilton won the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jiddah in December.

 

 

Ukrainian women's soccer club adjusts to life in Germany

 

CThe players of Ukrainian women's soccer club FC Kryvbas are living and training in Germany after being forced to leave their home when Russia invaded.

 

A former youth player helped them link up with Bundesliga club Cologne and they are using the German team's facilities.

 

 Players say they are glad they have managed to stay together but it's hard to keep their thoughts on soccer when their families are hiding from air strikes in bomb shelters back in Ukraine.

Canada's Einarson wins third straight beating Sweden 10-8 in women's world curling

 

Canada's Kerri Einarson held off Sweden' 10-8 at the women's world curling championship on Wednesday.

 

Einarson led 8-2 after five ends, but Sweden's Anna Hasselborg fought back to take the game to a 10th end.

 

Canada (5-2) also picked up a win forfeited by Scotland, which withdrew on the second day of the championship with four players testing positive for COVID-19.

 

The Canadians were scheduled to take on the Scots in the evening draw and were thus 6-2 by the end of the day.

 

The host country faces both the United States and unbeaten South Korea on Thursday.

 

The top six teams Friday advance to the playoff round with the top two earning byes to Saturday's semifinals. Third through sixth play off that day to join them.

 

 

Wild, Avs, Rangers among the winners at NHL trade deadline

 

Marc-Andre Fleury may have been the biggest winner at the NHL trade deadline.

 

He was traded by the rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks to the potentially contending Minnesota Wild.

 

Minnesota gets a three-time Stanley Cup winner to shore up their goaltending.

 

The bold move boosts the Wild's chances of making the playoffs and perhaps making a deep run for the first time since reaching the 2003 Western Conference finals.

 

The Wild gave up a conditional first-round pick in this year's draft, and Chicago agreed to pay half of what is left on the last year of Fleury's three-year contract.

 

Edmonton Oilers beat Sabres 6-1 for fourth consecutive victory

 

Kailer Yamamoto, Connor McDavid and Tyson Barrie each had a goal and an assist as the Edmonton Oilers won their fourth in a row, defeating the Buffalo Sabres 6-1 on Thursday.

 

Leon Draisaitl, Darnell Nurse and Devin Shore also scored for the Oilers (34-23-4), who have gone 4-0 on a key five-game homestand.

 

Victor Olofsson responded for the Sabres (20-33-8), who saw a modest two-game winning streak halted.

 

The Oilers started the scoring 7:21 into the opening period as Yamamoto pounced on a loose puck in front and snapped a shot high to the glove side past Sabres starter Craig Anderson, giving him goals in four straight games and 15 on the season.

 

Edmonton came into the game with a 19-0 record when scoring first this year.

 

Edmonton added to its lead with seven minutes left in the first period as McDavid had a pass bounce back to him and he tucked it in at the side of the net.

 

It was also the fourth straight game the Oilers' captain has scored, putting him at 34 on the season.

 

The Oilers made it 3-0 nine minutes into the middle frame when Draisaitl scored is 40th on a tremendous second effort to put in his own rebound in tight.

 

Draisaitl became the fastest Oilers player to score 40 goals in a season since Jimmy Carson in 1988-89.

 

 

9 dead in Texas crash involving U. of Southwest golf teams

 

The Texas Department of Public Safety says nine people were killed in a head-on collision in West Texas, including six students and a coach from a New Mexico university who were returning home from a golf tournament.

 

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Steven Blanco says a pickup truck crossed the center line of a highway and crashed into a van carrying members of the University of the Southwest men's and women's golf teams.

 

They had been playing in a tournament in Midland, Texas. Blanco says six students were killed, along with a faculty member.

 

The driver of the pickup and its passenger also died. Blanco says two students were taken by helicopter to a Lubbock hospital in critical condition.

 

 

Maggie Mac Neil named Swimming Canada's female swimmer of the year

 

Olympic champion Maggie Mac Neil has been named Swimming Canada's female swimmer of the year.

 

“It's really an honour, it means a lot to me,” said Mac Neil said in a statement. “Swimming in Canada, especially for females, had increased since Rio and I think we're still on an upward trajectory.

 

“There are so many good swimmers on the team and just being able to swim with them, and learn from them, that means a lot to me.”

 

The 21-year-old from London, Ont. had a breakout 2021 that saw her win a medal of every colour at the Tokyo Olympics.

 

She won a bronze in the 4x100-metre medley relay, silver in the 4x100 freestyle relay and a gold in her signature event, the 100 butterfly.

 

“To come home with a full set (of medals) was definitely amazing,” she added.

 

Vlad Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette among players to report to Blue Jays spring training

 

The Toronto Blue Jays are finally back at spring training.

 

Stars Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette were among the players who reported to Toronto's training camp this morning.

 

The players got to work at the Blue Jays facility in Dunedin, Fla., a day after Major League Baseball settled its labour strife.

 

A lockout had threatened to cancel the 2022 season until an agreement was reached between MLB and its players' association late Thursday.

 

Toronto had its 2020 and 2021 seasons disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Blue Jays only playing half their home games - often with limited capacity - at Rogers Centre.

 

Capacity limits will be lifted in Ontario by the time Toronto hosts the Texas Rangers in their home opener on April 8, but COVID-19 regulations will still potentially impact the rosters of visiting clubs.

 

Oilers sign defenceman Markus Niemelainen to two-year contract extension

 

The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Markus Niemelainen to a two-year contract extension with an average annual value of US$762,000.

 

The first year of the agreement is a two-way contract, while the second year is a one-way deal.

 

The 23-year-old Niemelainen has appeared in 20 games with the Oilers this season, posting one assist, four penalty minutes and a minus-5 plus/minus rating.

 

The six-foot-six, 190-pound defenceman has two goals and five assists over 23 games this season with the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors.

 

Niemelainen, from Kuopio, Finland, was selected by Edmonton in the third round, 63 overall, in the 2016 NHL draft.

 

 

Thompson hosts 2022 Hockey Manitoba Provincials under-11 Tournament

Thompson plays host to the 2022 Hockey Manitoba Provincials under-11 Tournament this weekend.

 

Games start today at 2:30 at the TRCC between Thompson and The Pas.

 

Other teams in the tournament include Mitchell, Springfield and Stonewall.

 

The championship game is slated for noon on Sunday.  

 

Be sure to drop by the TRCC this weekend to cheer on the players.

Barnes makes first 11 shots, Raptors romp 133-97 in Brooklyn

NEW YORK (AP) — No Kevin Durant, no Steve Nash and nobody who could guard Scottie Barnes.

The Brooklyn Nets were missing plenty Monday night, and the Raptors rookie wasn't missing much at all.

Barnes made his first 11 shots and had 28 points and a season-high 16 rebounds, leading Toronto to a 133-97 victory over the Nets in the opener of a home-and-home series.

Blown out by Charlotte and Atlanta in their first two games after the All-Star break, the Raptors were on the good side of a romp.

“We were just really locked in and really focused,” Barnes said. “Really just wanted to bounce back after those first two games. Just really had to bring it tonight.”

The forward was 10 for 10 at halftime, the first rookie to be perfect on 10 or more shots in a half since Derrick Rose on March 18, 2009, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Nets finally stopped the No. 4 pick when James Johnson blocked his shot with 7:08 left in the third quarter.

By then, Barnes was on the way to matching his highest-scoring game on a night Toronto led by as many as 39 points. He grabbed nine offensive rebounds, putting some back for baskets in his 12-for-14 performance.

“He’s going to get it no matter what,” guard Malachi Flynn said. “You don’t have to give him the ball, he’s going to find a way to go get it and those are the best players to play with.”

Precious Achiuwa had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors, who played without All-Star guard Fred VanVleet because of a sore right knee. Flynn scored 18 points in his place.

The teams play again Tuesday in Toronto, which the Nets hope will be their last game without Durant, who is expected to return soon after missing the last 20 games with a sprained left knee ligament. Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons were also out for the Nets, and Nash was placed in health and safety protocols shortly before the game. Assistant coach Jacque Vaughn ran the team in his place.

“Hopefully our guys are ready for that and looking forward to going to Toronto and addressing the fact that we could have played better tonight and we will play better tomorrow,” Vaughn said.

The Raptors moved three games in the loss column ahead of the Nets for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The No. 7 seed hosts No. 8 to open the play-in round, with the winner of that game earning the No. 7 seed. No. 8 hosts the winner of the 9-10 game for the No. 8 seed.

The Nets never envisioned having to worry about that, but it looks increasingly likely after their 14th loss in 17 games. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 15 points, while Cam Thomas and Bruce Brown had 14.

Brooklyn was coming off a victory at defending champion Milwaukee on Saturday, with Irving scoring 38 points. Irving was unavailable again at home Monday because he hasn't met New York City's vaccine mandate, nor will he be able to travel to Toronto.

Nash said before the game he has not had any new talks with Irving about getting the shot.

Toronto was 6 for 9 from 3-point range to take a 42-27 lead after one quarter. Barnes had 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting, then went 5 for 5 and scored 11 in the second, when Toronto led by 28 before taking a 71-48 lead to the break.

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