Winston Watts of Jamaica pilots a bobsleigh practice run ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center. This might be the sequel to Cool Runnings everyone has been waiting for. The Jamaican Bobsled team needs a coach and with John Candy’s fictional character of Irv Blitzer nowhere to be found, the squad has started a Go Fund Me page to try and fund/find a coach.
Cuteness Overload Alert: On Sunday, Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty took his young son Enzo out to practice with the NHL team. Enzo, 3, is apparently a huge Carey Price fan, so the father and son took a few minutes to work on shooting with the Montreal netminer and it’s adorable.
The San Jose Sharks have upped their marketing game this season with a number of hilarious ads. Their latest hypes Saturday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche – which also happens to be Joe Thornton Chia Pet Giveaway Night.
Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold medallist and Canadian hockey legend, announced her retirement Friday. A few summers ago, Hayley Wickenheiser participated in a summer camp in Cole Harbour, N.S. The camp was run by hockey coach Brad Crossley, well-known for his work with NHLers like Sidney Crosby. After working alongside Wickenheiser on the first day of camp, Crossley went home and told his young hockey-playing daughter about the scrimmage.
In a day and age where concussions and head injuries are leading the news, the old-fashioned heavyweight hockey bout has been on the decline. The roles carried out by the enforces of yore – -the Hammers, Probies, Tigers, Grim Reapers, Knuckles, Missing Links, etc. — are no more.
There’s no question Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews has become a legitimate NHL star playing in Toronto. The first overall pick in the NHL draft last June has lived up to the hype and collectors are taking note. On Sunday, the jersey that Matthews wore in the outdoor Centennial Classic — for the first period of play — sold at auction for $11,400 (all funds U.S.), not including sales tax.
There’s a new fastest gun in the badminton world as Denmark’s Mads Pieler Kolding has entered the record book with the world’s fastest smash. Kolding, who is listed at 6-foot-9, was clocked sending the birdie shuttlecock back to his opponents at 264 mph, setting a new record for tournament play. Badminton has always been considered a fast sport, but just to give you an idea, the Guinness Book of Records has tennis player Sam Groth listed for “the fastest serve of a tennis ball” at 163.4 mph. A cheetah, named Sarah, ran 100m in a time of 5.95 seconds – at 61 mph. And major-league pitcher Aroldis Chapman – then with the Cincinnati Reds – holds the record for fastest pitch, clocking in at 105.1 mph.
In the right hands, though, it can also be an amazing tool as seen in the case of a young fan named Lucas, who had his birthday wish of meeting Patrik Laine come true. It turns out, Lucas – a soon-to-be 8-year-old – had written a letter to his favourite player, Winnipeg Jets star Patrick Laine. The letter was an invitation to Lucas’ birthday party on Jan. 7.
It’s not often you see a full-scale brawl in a women’s game, or at a world championship tournament. Russia will play the U.S. in the semifinal, but they’ll have to do so without two players – including captain Nina Pirogova (No. 13 in the video) – who was suspended one game by the IIHF disciplinary panel for “repeatedly punching” Natalie Mlynkova (No. 15) of the Czech Republic in the head. Pirogova, a defender, was reportedly upset with the liberties the Czechs were taking with Russian goaltender Valeria Merkusheva and decided to send a message.
Poor Ryan Murphy. The Carolina Hurricanes defenceman was the target of an epic prank carried out by his teammates which was posted to Twitter on Thursday.
Canada loses WJC final to Team USA 5-4 in a shootout. At the recent world junior championships, there were two pivotal games decided by shootouts – one that sent the Russia to the bronze medal match (Team USA won that semifinal) and, of course, the gold medal game that gave the U.S. a 5-4 victory over Canada in 60-plus minutes of thrilling hockey. Former NHLer and one of USA Hockey’s greatest players – Mike Modano – might get his wish.
It has been a long, arduous haul for former Philadelphia Flyers star Brian Propp. It’s a little awe inspiring, then, to find out Propp will be one of the stars skating in Saturday’s alumni game for the Flyers against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers says he wants to play another 10 years. After moving into second place on the NHL’s all-time scoring list, 44-year-old Jaromir Jagr says he’s got more left in the tank. Previously, the Florida Panthers star had said he would play until 50, but now he’s apparently adding another five years to his timeline. “I go to 55,” Jagr told northjersey.com.
JANUARY 04: Dylan Strome #19 of Team Canada celebrates his third period goal during the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship semifinal game against Team Sweden at the Bell Centre on January 4, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Canada will play for gold once again. The victory sets up a rematch with Team USA on Thursday night in the gold medal game.
Canada’s goaltending at the world juniors, in the last few years at least, has needed all the help it can get. In the second period of Canada’s semifinal with Sweden, defenceman Dante Fabbro came through with one of the biggest saves on the night, helping goaltender Carter Hart preserve Canada’s 3-2 lead. Fabbro, a first-round pick of the Nashville Predators, got his stick on the puck just before the goal line, allowing Hart to corral the puck before crossing and giving the Swedes a tie game.
Much has been written about the Hockey Canada and the attendance problem at the 2017 world junior championship in Toronto and Montreal. The empty seats have become a story, particularly in Montreal, where fans haven’t been willing to pay NHL prices for junior hockey. There were reports that Hockey Canada had cut prices for Canada’s semifinal against Sweden on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre, but if they did, it didn’t seem to help early in the game.
Canada will have to bring its ‘A’ Game on Wednesday if they want to play for gold. To make it to Thursday’s gold medal game, they’ll have to knock off undefeated Sweden. Unlike Canada, who have dealt with injuries to top line forward Mitchell Stephens and top pair defenceman Philippe Myers (still questionable for the semis), the Swedes (5-0) have played relatively unscathed through the tournament.
Empty seats are seen as fans pass around a giant Canadian flag before the World Junior Championship quarterfinal between the Czech Republic and Canada on January 2, 2017, in Montreal. For the second time in three years, Hockey Canada has had to answer for poor attendance at the world junior championships in Toronto and Montreal. At that time, the Toronto portion of the tournament — which included the medal round — was able to draw fans, even for games in which Canada was not playing.
Canada’s Rourke Chartier (14) takes a shot from a teammate as the United States’ Nick Schmaltz (9) tries to check him away from the crease during the 2016 world junior championship in Helsinki, Finland. The 1972 Summit Series cemented Canada’s rivalry with Russia for all eternity. The only rivals that might come close – at least from the WJC perspective – is Canada vs. the U.S., which over the years has become a traditional New Year’s Eve mainstay.
On Thursday morning, USA Hockey announced their latest cuts from world junior selection camp. The biggest name sent home, forward Alex DeBrincat, was a shock. For starters, the Erie Otters star is the leading goal-scorer in the Ontario Hockey League with 30 goals — and he also has 30 assists for 60 points — in 28 games.
Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins during an NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre on December 17, 2016, in Toronto. It’s the season of giving, and it’s nice to see NHLers like Sidney Crosby getting in on the act. @WillGravesAP Crosby in the giving mood tonight – little girl gets his stick after he sees her sign she made for him.
It’s the ultimate honour for any FIFA fan, but for Kenton Doust, 15, it means so much more. The teenager and hardcore Vancouver Whitecaps fan was diagnosed with three brain tumours in close proximity to his pituitary gland. In late October he began chemotherapy at Vancouver’s BC Children’s Hospital.
Sydney FC goalkeeper Danny Vukovic’s biggest save during the FFA Cup final against Melbourne FC on Wednesday night might have been when he tended to an injured seagull. Vukovic saw the wounded bird and tried to get the referee’s attention. After a stoppage in play, Vukovic gathered the seagull and tended to it as support staff ran onto the field.
Team Canada announced its list of 32 players to bring to camp for the 2017 World Junior Hockey Championship next month in Toronto and Montreal. There are five players back from Team Canada’s dismal sixth-place finish in Finland last year. The returnees include forwards Julien Gauthier (Carolina Hurricanes) and Mitchell Stephens (Tampa Bay Lightning) along with Mathew Barzal (New York Islanders) and Dylan Strome (Arizona Coyotes), who were both recently sent back to junior from the NHL.