Thompson Sports News Archives for 2023-07

Canada, Australia square off at Women's World Cup with tournament future on the line

MELBOURNE, Australia -

Canada's future at the FIFA Women's World Cup is on the line today Down Under.

The seventh-ranked Canadians take on No. 10-ranked Australia in Melbourne in the final round of Group B play at the 32-team tournament.

A win or draw and Olympic champion Canada advances to the knockout round of 16. The co-host Australians need a win to be certain of moving on.

The Canadians could still advance with a loss, providing group leader Nigeria loses to Ireland and the tiebreakers go their way. Tiebreakers would also come into play for Australia if it ties Canada and Nigeria loses.

The top two in each of the tournament's eight groups advance to the knockout rounds, while the others go home.

Canada's previous best tournament finish was a fourth in 2003. It lost to Sweden in the round of 16 four years ago in France.

Mixed doubles wheelchair curling added to 2026 Paralympic Games in Italy

BONN, Germany -

Wheelchair mixed doubles curling added to the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games is music to the ears of Karen O'Neill.

The CEO of the Canadian Paralympic Committee says that addition plays to the country's strength in the sport.

Since four-person wheelchair team curling was introduced to the Paralympic program in 2006 - the rule is one person on the team must be female - Canada has finished on the podium every time with three gold medals and two bronze.

“When I look at the depth now in wheelchair curling, and the talent and the shifts in some of the coaching, it's only going in one direction and that's up,” O'Neill said Monday.

“So I couldn't be more excited about increased opportunity, especially mixed, to shine a further spotlight I think on one of Canada's best kept secrets around wheelchair curling.”

The International Paralympic Committee announced Monday both curling disciplines will be played in Milano Cortina.

De Grasse, Brown among Olympians to take part in 100 metres at Canadian Championship


Canadian Olympian sprinters are taking to the track for the men's and women's 100-metre semifinals and finals tonight at the Canadian Track and Field Championship.

Olympians Andre De Grasse, Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake, Bolade Ajomale and Bismark Boateng are scheduled to compete on the men's side.

Crystal Emmanuel and Khamica Bingham will compete on the women's side.

De Grasse says he's looking to return to form after a foot injury derailed his 2022 season.

On the field, Richmond, B.C., native Camryn Rogers is looking to clinch the Canadian hammer throw title.

Rogers came second in the 2022 world championship and has twice broken her own record in 2023.

(The Canadian Press)

06:00ET 28-07-23

CF Montreal acquires 19-year-old defender Alvarez from Pachuca of Liga MX


CF Montreal has acquired central defender Fernando Alvarez via permanent transfer from C.F. Pachuca of Mexico's Liga MX.

The Major League Soccer club and Alvarez have agreed to a contract through the 2025 season, including two option years in 2026 and 2027.

The 19-year-old joined the Pachuca organization in 2020. He made his first-team debut on Oct. 25, 2021, in a 1-1 draw with FC Juarez

Born in the United States to Colombian and Mexican parents, Alvarez is eligible to represent the United States, Colombia and Mexico internationally.

He has previously received call-ups to Mexico's U16 and U18 teams. He represented Colombia at the U20 World Cup and the South American U20 Championship in 2023.

“We are delighted to welcome Fernando to the club,” Montreal vice-president and chief sporting officer Olivier Renard said in a release. “He is a player who stood out this summer at the U20 World Cup in Argentina as one of the tournament's best central defenders.

Elks, Lions to be first pro football game broadcast in Punjabi


The Edmonton Elks home game against the B.C. Lions on Saturday will be the first professional football game broadcast in Punjabi.

The Elks announced Tuesday that it is partnering with Edmonton multilingual radio station My Radio 580 AM to broadcast the CFL game across Alberta on radio and throughout Canada through the station's online player.

Canada is home to a Punjabi population of roughly one million people, according to the 2021 Canadian census. Alberta has the third-largest Punjabi population among Canadian provinces at 126,385 people according to the census.

British Columbia has the second-largest community at 315,000 people.

The Elks were also part of the first Indigenous language broadcast in CFL history last year when they partnered with Windspeaker Media to air a game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Cree.

Sports broadcasters Harpreet Pandher and Taqdeer Thindal, who work on Hockey Night in Canada's Punjabi crew, will call the game.

(The Canadian Press)

BC Hockey reclassifies its three junior B leagues to junior A to replace rogue BCHL


BC Hockey will have a new junior-A system in place for the 2023-24 season.

The provincial sports organization will promote all three of its junior B leagues to junior A.

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, the Pacific Junior Hockey League, and the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League will all move up one level.

BC Hockey reclassified its junior B leagues after the British Columbia Hockey League, its former junior A circuit, broke away from Hockey Canada.

The BCHL left Hockey Canada to give it more options for players under 18 years old that are looking to compete in college hockey in the United States.

There are 18 teams in the BCHL and all of its franchises started operating outside of Hockey Canada's system starting June 1.

The move allows BCHL teams to recruit 16- and 17-year-olds from other provinces, which is currently against Hockey Canada regulations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 25, 2023.

Canadian men's relay team to receive Olympic silver medals at reallocation ceremony


The Canadian men's 4x100-metre relay team from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will finally receive its silver medals.

The Canadian Olympic Committee announced Monday that team members Andre De Grasse, Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake and Brendon Rodney will get their upgraded medals Saturday at the Canadian national trials in a medal reallocation ceremony.

The group had initially earned bronze at the Tokyo Games two years ago.

However, an official upgrade came in May 2022 following the disqualification of the British team due to a doping violation by team member CJ Ujah.

Canada had finished the race in 37.70 seconds, while Britain stopped the clock at 37.51. Italy claimed gold at 37.50 seconds.

China, which had finished fourth at the time, was moved up to bronze.

Six Ukrainian refugees who played at Quebec hockey tournament return for school


Six Ukrainian refugees who took part in Quebec City's famed peewee hockey tournament earlier this year are returning to the provincial capital to attend school.

One of the organizers who brought the Ukrainian hockey team to Quebec City last winter says six of the players fell in love with the city but had to return home after the tournament.

Sean Berube, a Quebec City-area businessman, says the six players have secured visas to take classes and play hockey at the city's English-language St. Patrick's High School.

The six players were part of a Ukrainian team of 11- and 12-year-old refugees who were showered with attention at the annual Quebec International Peewee Hockey Tournament.

They played before a sold-out crowd at the Videotron Centre and took part in numerous activities and events in the city.

Berube says one of the players is coming to Quebec City with his mom while the five others will live with the billet families who housed them during the tournament.

Canada's Maggie Mac Neil wins silver in 100m butterfly at worlds

FUKUOKA, Japan -

Canadian swimmer Maggie Mac Neil claimed silver in the women's 100-metre butterfly at the World Aquatics Championships on Monday.

Mac Neil, of London, Ont., finished with a time of 56.45 seconds. Yufei Zhang of China won gold with a time of 56.12 seconds, while Torri Huske of the United States finished third in 56.61.

Mac Neil, 23, entered the race as the reigning Olympic champion.

Also on Monday, Canadians Kylie Masse and Ingrid Wilm qualified for Tuesday's final in the women's 100m backstroke.

Masse, of LaSalle, Ont., finished second in her semifinal and was the fourth fastest overall in 59.06 seconds. Wilm, of Calgary, was third in the second semifinal in 59.35.

American Regan Smith posted the day's fastest time of 58.33.

Canada dominates Brazil to advance to FIBA U19 women's World Cup quarterfinals


Toby Fournier had game highs of 22 points and 12 rebounds as Canada advanced to the quarterfinals of the FIBA U19 Women's World Cup with an 89-45 win over Brazil on Wednesday.

Montreal's Cassandre Prosper added 20 points with four steals and a block in the victory.

Manuella Alves led Brazil with eight points and 11 rebounds off the bench.

The undefeated Canadians will face the winner of a Round of 16 match between Australia and Mali in Friday's quarterfinals.

The semifinals take place Saturday, with the final and third-place game going Sunday.

Canada entered Wednesday's matchup having finished atop Group D with a 3-0 record.

Canadian diver McKay claims bronze at World Aquatics Championships in Japan

FUKUOKA, Japan -

Canadian diver Caeli McKay captured bronze in the women's 10-metre platform final at the World Aquatics Championships on Wednesday.

It's Canada's first medal at the event, which runs through July 30.

Chen Yuxi (457.85) and Quan Hongchen (445.60), both of China, won gold and silver. McKay scored a 340.25.

The third-place finish comes one day after McKay qualified for the Paris 2024 Games.

Earlier in the world championships, the 24-year-old from Calgary finished eighth in the 10-metre women's synchronized dive alongside partner Kate Miller of Ottawa.

McKay underwent surgery on her left ankle in October last year.

Calgary Flames to retire goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff's number


The Calgary Flames will retire former goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff's number 34 next season.

Kiprusoff's number will be raised to the Scotiabank Saddledome rafters March 2 when the Calgary is at home to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Flames said Tuesday in a statement.

Kiprusoff spent nine of his dozen NHL seasons with the Flames.

The goalie from Turku, Finland, retired in 2013 as the franchise leader in wins (305), shutouts (41), goals-against average (2.46), save percentage (. 913) and games played by a goaltender (576).

Kiprusoff is also the franchise leader in playoff shutouts (six) and ranks second behind Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Vernon in games played and wins in the playoffs.

He backstopped the Flames to the Stanley Cup final in 2004, when they fell in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Morgan Barron signs two-year deal with Winnipeg Jets after career season


Morgan Barron has signed a two-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets.

The deal has an average annual value of US$1.35 million.

Barron, 24, played 70 games for Winnipeg last season with eight goals, 13 assists and 31 penalty minutes.

The Halifax native also made his NHL post-season debut for the Jets and played all five games against the Vegas Golden Knights.

He has 11 goals and 16 assists over his 102 career NHL games split between the New York Rangers and Jets.

Barron was traded to Winnipeg from the Rangers in March 2022 along with three draft picks for forward Andrew Copp.

Canada ties England 0-0 in a closed-door match, its final World Cup warmup

BOKARINA, Australia -

Canada tied England 0-0 in a closed-door match Friday, its last outing before the July 20 kickoff of the Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The game at Queensland Sports Stadium was deemed a training fixture, not an official game, with no caps awarded. It featured two 45-minutes halves and unlimited substitutes (with three substitution windows allowed).

Canada Soccer and England's Football Association provided the score and the players who saw action but no other game details.

Seventeen of the 23 players on Canada's World Cup roster took part including forwards Nichelle Prince and Deanne Rose, who both overcame Achilles injuries to make the tournament squad.

Kailen Sheridan, Canada's No. 1 goalkeeper, played the full 90 minutes.

Not seeing action were goalkeepers Sabrina D'Angelo and Lysianne Proulx, defenders Gabby Carle and Shelina Zadorsky, midfielder Sophie Schmidt and forward Evelyne Viens.

NBA champ Jamal Murray headlines Canada's extended roster for FIBA Men's World Cup


Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray headlines Canada's extended senior men's basketball team roster.

Canada Basketball unveiled the lineup on Thursday night ahead of the FIBA Men's Basketball World Cup.

Murray will be joined by several other NBAers on Canada's team.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder will join Murray in Canada's backcourt.

Swingmen Nickeil Alexander-Walker of the Minnesota Timberwolves and RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks were also named to the roster.

The Men's Basketball World Cup is scheduled Aug. 25 to Sept. 10.

The group stage will take place in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia, with the final stage to follow in the Philippines capital city of Manila.

Canada is in Group H and will face France, Lebanon and Latvia in the group phase in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Canadian men can directly qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with a top-two finish among teams from the Americas at the FIBA Men's Basketball World Cup 2023.

Canada is currently ranked 15th in the FIBA World Rankings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 13, 2023.

Jays to start 2024 with 10-game road trip as Rogers Centre improvements continue


The Toronto Blue Jays will embark on a second consecutive 10-game season-opening road trip to start the next Major League Baseball campaign as renovations are set to continue at Rogers Centre.

The Blue Jays released their 2024 schedule Thursday, Toronto will kick things off with a four-game series at Tampa Bay, close to their spring training facility in Dunedin, Fla.

Toronto will then visit Houston and the New York Yankees before hosting Seattle in its home opener on April 8.

The long road trip will allow renovations to continue at Rogers Centre. The team says the second round of improvements, which will include three private clubs in the lower bowl, will be ready for the home opener.

That game will kick off one of Toronto's two season-high nine-game homestands next season.

Toronto also started this season on a 10-game road swing before unveiling the first phase of Rogers Centre renovations at its April 11 home opener against Detroit.

Roughriders quarterback Harris earns CFL weekly honours


Trevor Harris of the Saskatchewan Roughriders was named the top quarterback in the CFL's weekly honour roll Tuesday.

Players in nine specific positions are highlighted based on data points registered and compiled by Pro Football Focus, a sports analytics company.

Harris got the nod at quarterback with a grade of 88.2 for his play in Saskatchewan's 12-11 win over the Edmonton Elks on Thursday night. Harris completed 19-of-29 passes for 292 yards and a touchdown in the contest.

Riders receiver Mitchell Picton (75.0) and Saskatchewan's offensive line (75.7) also received honours.

Calgary's Dedrick Mills (88.1) was the top-ranked running back while Ottawa's Drew Desjarlais (75.5) was the highest-rated individual offensive lineman.

Winnipeg defensive lineman Jackson Jeffcoat (84.1), Ottawa linebacker Tyrone Vrede (73.8) and Montreal defensive back Marc-Antoine Dequoy (83.4) all earned honours on defence.

Canadian swimmers Pickrem, Zavaros pull out of world championships

Veteran Canadian swimmers Sydney Pickrem and Mabel Zavaros have pulled out of the upcoming World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

Swimming Canada says Zavaros, 23, will miss the event due to injuries in both shoulders, while Pickrem, 26, is unable to attend due to “personal circumstances.”

Pickrem won a bronze medal with Canada's 4×100-metre medley relay team at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and is a four-time medallist at the world championships.

Zavaros, who made her national team debut in 2018, was a double finalist at last year's Commonwealth Games.

Both swimmers are members of Team Canada for the Pan American Games set for October in Santiago, Chile.

The world championships begin Friday and run through July 20.

Vancouver Canucks reach affiliation deal with ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings


The Vancouver Canucks have signed a one-year affiliation contract with the ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings.

It will mark the fourth time the K-Wings have acted as the Canucks' secondary minor-league affiliate.

Vancouver and Kalamazoo first established a partnership from 1984 to 1987 while the K-Wings were members of the International Hockey League.

Kalamazoo also served as an affiliate club for the Canucks organization from 2011 to 2015 and again from 2017 to 2021.

The Michigan-based club suspended play for the entire 2020-21 ECHL season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canucks did not have an official ECHL affiliate the last two seasons, while the K-Wings were in the Columbus system over that span.

The K-Wings will continue to play in the Western Conference's Central Division in the upcoming 2023-24 ECHL season.

Blue Jays recall starter Manoah after one-month stint in minors


The Toronto Blue Jays recalled right-hander Alek Manoah from Double-A New Hampshire on Friday and placed reliever Jay Jackson on the paternity list.

Manoah, who spent the last month in the minor leagues, was scheduled to start for the Blue Jays on Friday night at Detroit.

The team's Opening Day starter has struggled mightily at the big-league level this season. He was sent down to the Florida Complex League on June 6.

Manoah struck out 10 batters over five strong innings in a recent start for the Fisher-Cats.

He entered play Friday with a 1-7 record for the Blue Jays this season with a 6.36 earned-run average over 13 starts.

Over 64 career starts for Toronto, Manoah is 26-16 with a 3.19 ERA.

Defending champion Canada to face Jamaica in Olympic women's soccer qualifier


The Canadian women's soccer team will face Jamaica in a two-game series in September with a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Canada, the defending Olympic champion, will travel to Kingston, Jamaica, for the opening match on Sept. 22 and will host the second leg in Toronto four days later.

The winner of the cumulative goals series will advance to the Olympic tournament.

Canada and Jamaica qualified for this phase of qualifying by finishing second and third respectively at last summer's CONCACAF W Championship.

Canada defeated Jamaica 3-0 in the semifinals of that tournament before falling 1-0 too the United States in the final.

The Canadians beat Sweden (1-1, 3-2 penalty kicks) at the Tokyo Games to claim their first gold medal after claiming bronze at the previous two Olympics.

Canada's Denis Shapovalov and Bianca Andreescu advance at Wimbledon


Canada's Denis Shapovalov defeated Gregoire Barrere of France 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7) in second-round men's singles play Thursday at Wimbledon.

Shapovalov, the No. 26 seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., needed one hour 52 minutes to complete the victory. He'll next face British wild-card entry Liam Broady, who upset fourth-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway in five sets.

There were mixed results for Canadians in women's singles play.

Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., won her opening match, posting a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 win over Hungary's Anna Bondar. Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., dropped a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6) decision to Caroline Garcia of France in their second-round match.

Andreescu, the world No. 50, will face 26th-seeded Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine in the second round.

Many matches were suspended or postponed over the first few days of the Grand Slam event due to wet weather at the All England Club.

Canadiens sign top draft pick David Reinbacher to three-year, entry-level contract


The Montreal Canadiens signed fifth-overall draft pick David Reinbacher to a three-year, entry-level contract on Wednesday.

The six-foot-two, 194-pound defenceman from Austria, had 22 points (three goals, 19 assists) in 46 games for EHC Kloten of Switzerland's top professional league last season.

By going fifth overall, Reinbacher tied longtime NHL winger Thomas Vanek as the highest-drafted Austrian player of all time.

The signing comes after Reinbacher participated in the Canadiens development camp from Saturday through Tuesday.

Reinbacher said he plans to return to Montreal as early as possible ahead of rookie camp this fall.

The 18-year-old will likely play next season in Switzerland, however.

Canada's Raonic a winner in Grand Slam return, beats Novak in Wimbledon opener


Milos Raonic made a successful return to Grand Slam tennis on Wednesday with a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-1 win over Austria's Dennis Novak in first-round action at Wimbledon.

The hard-serving Canadian fired 28 aces in his first match at a tennis major since losing to Novak Djokovic in the round of 16 of the 2021 Australian Open.

Raonic overcame a pair of rain delays and wore down the Austrian qualifier before clinching the match in two hours 38 minutes with a dominant fourth set.

The 32-year-old won the match's last five games and moved on after delivering an ace on his second match point chance.

Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., returned to action last month after missing almost two years with a variety of injuries.

The former world No. 3 and 2016 Wimbledon finalist entered this year's grass-court Grand Slam with an ATP Tour ranking of 849th.

Toronto Raptors name staff for new head coach Darko Rajakovic


The Toronto Raptors named eight assistants to new head coach Darko Rajakovic's staff on Tuesday.

Pat Delany, Jama Mahlalela, James Wade and assistant coach Jim Sann will be on Toronto's front bench.

Mike Batiste, Vin Bhavnani, Drew Jones and Ivo Simovic will be on the back bench.

Sann is returning for his eighth season with the Raptors.

Rajakovic was named Toronto's head coach on June 13, the 10th in the team's history.

He says his coaching staff reflect the team he wants to see on the court “high character, high energy, and high creativity.”

Redblacks acquire rights to Canadian linebacker Francis from Elks


The Ottawa Redblacks have acquired the rights to Canadian linebacker Kevin Francis from the Edmonton Elks for a fourth-round pick in the 2024 CFL draft.

The 30-year-old Francis was on the Elks' suspended list.

The Elks signed Francis on Feb. 14, but after the deal was made the special-teams ace publicly stated he wasn't happy with the contract terms and didn't report to camp.

Francis, from Toronto, had a CFL-leading 22 special-teams tackles with the B.C. Lions in 2022.

It will be his second stint in Ottawa. He had eight special-teams tackles in seven games with the Redblacks in 2019.

Francis has recorded 18 defensive tackles and 61 special-teams tackles in 82 career regular-season games with Saskatchewan, Ottawa and B.C.


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