Hockey Canada names 18 to world ros­ter

Truro Daily News - - SPORTS - THE CANA­DIAN prEss

CAL­GArY

Canada’s men’s squad will have at least five re­turn­ing play­ers from last year’s gold-medal team when they hit the ice at the 2017 IIHF world cham­pi­onship.

Hockey Canada has named its first 18 play­ers, with a hand­ful that were on the 2016 cham­pi­onship team.

For­wards Mark Scheifele, Matt Duch­ene and Ryan O’Reilly, de­fence­man Michael Mathe­son and goal­tender Calvin Pickard re­turn to de­fend gold, while Duch­ene and O’Reilly are in po­si­tion to three-peat as world cham­pi­ons af­ter also win­ning in 2015.

“It’s al­ways spe­cial when you get to rep­re­sent your coun­try, and you can see it from the qual­ity of our ini­tial list of play­ers who will join us at worlds,” said gen­eral man­ager Ron Hex­tall.

The 18 play­ers se­lected con­sist of 11 for­wards, five de­fence­men and two goalies.

The Philadel­phia Fly­ers and Colorado Avalanche have the most play­ers on the Cana­dian squad with four apiece.

Fly­ers for­wards Travis Konecny, Sean Cou­turier, Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux made the ros­ter.

Avalanche for­wards Nathan MacK­in­non and Duch­ene, de­fence­man Tyson Barrie and Pickard will join them.

Round­ing out the for­wards are Alex Kil­lorn, Brayden Point and Jeff Skin­ner.

The rest of the blue line con­sists of Calvin De Haan, Ja­son De­mers and Josh Mor­ris­sey while Eric Com­rie fills out the goal­tend­ing du­ties.

“Be­tween them, these play­ers have made 17 ap­pear­ances at this very event, in­clud­ing nine play­ers who’ve come away as gold medal­lists for Canada, and they can play a big role in help­ing set the tone for this team,” added Hex­tall.

Head coach Jon Cooper will be joined on the bench by Ger­ard Gal­lant, Dave Hak­stol and Dave King when Canada opens the world cham­pi­onship against the Czech Re­pub­lic on May 5 in Paris.

The tour­na­ment has two host cities, in­clud­ing Col­gne, Ger­many.

Canada will play an ex­hi­bi­tion game May 2 against Switzer­land in Geneva. MacK­in­non

CLEVE­LAND

Life has given J.R. Smith per­spec­tive dur­ing a per­son­ally try­ing sea­son.

The pur­suit of a cham­pi­onship doesn’t com­pare to the path he’s trav­elled.

For the first time, Smith, the Cava­liers’ mostly mis­un­der­stood shooting guard, whose tat­toos and hard-edged look mask his softer side, spoke in greater de­tail about his fam­ily’s or­deal fol­low­ing the pre­ma­ture birth of his daugh­ter, Dakota, in Jan­uary.

She’s been fight­ing from the mo­ment his wife, Jewel, gave birth five months early, and Smith pointed to­ward a mi­cro­phone stand in front of him to con­vey her as­tound­ing story.

“She was no big­ger than this phone,” he said, re­call­ing the first time he held his tiny daugh­ter.

When she was born, Smith was side­lined with a bro­ken right thumb that re­quired surgery and kept him off the court for three months. Look­ing back, the in­jury may have been a bless­ing for Smith be­cause it al­lowed him to be where he was most needed with a clear conscience.

But Smith, who missed 36 games while re­cov­er­ing, said his com­plete de­vo­tion and at­ten­tion would have been with his loved ones even if he was healthy.

“I’ve thought about it,” he said. “My wife and I talked about it. I’ve talked about it with the guys. Had I not got­ten hurt, I prob­a­bly still would’ve missed the same amount of games. That’s no dis­re­spect to

It’s an­other love game for Ser­ena Wil­liams: she is preg­nant – and, based on the time­line she of­fered, she al­ready was when she won the Aus­tralian Open.

A spokes­woman for Wil­liams, Kelly Bush No­vak, wrote in an email to The As­so­ci­ated Press: “I’m happy to con­firm Ser­ena is ex­pect­ing a baby this Fall.”

Wil­liams posted a photo of her­self on Snapchat with the cap­tion “20 weeks,” spark­ing all sorts of spec­u­la­tion on so­cial me­dia about whether she was, in­deed, with child.

The 35-year-old Wil­liams won her 23rd Grand Slam sin­gles Wil­liams Life has given J.R. Smith per­spec­tive dur­ing a per­son­ally try­ing sea­son. His daugh­ter was born five months early in Jan­uary.

my team­mates or this or­ga­ni­za­tion. But for me, my fam­ily comes first. And if you can’t ac­cept that, then I don’t know what else to tell you.”

Smith’s now deal­ing with a ham­string is­sue that kept him out of the sec­ond half of Game 2 against In­di­ana. The Cava­liers and Pac­ers played Game 3 last night.

And while he’s de­ter­mined to play and com­mit­ted to the Cavs, Smith’s mind is never far from his daugh­ter. She re­mains in the hos­pi­tal more than 100 days af­ter birth.

“You can’t sep­a­rate the two be­cause it’s life and for me it goes hand in hand,” he said. ti­tle at the Aus­tralian Open in Jan­uary – a little less than 12 weeks ago. She has not com­peted since, cit­ing a knee in­jury when with­draw­ing from tour­na­ments at In­dian Wells, Calif., and Key Bis­cayne, Fla.

She an­nounced in late De­cem­ber that she was en­gaged to Red­dit co­founder Alexis Oha­nian.

Wil­liams would ap­pear to be out for the rest of this tennis sea­son, a blow to a sport in which she is an un­qual­i­fied star – and, of course, some­thing that makes ma­jor ti­tles eas­ier to come by for other com­peti­tors.

The next ma­jor tour­na­ment is the French Open, which starts on May 28. Wim­ble­don begins

“The life I live is be­cause of basketball and one of the rea­sons I’m able to pro­vide and have a fam­ily the way I have is be­cause of my basketball stature and what I’ve been able to do at this point in my life.”

Smith said she had her breath­ing tube re­moved last month and now weighs 4.7 pounds. Last week, Smith got to feed her with a bot­tle.

“I’ve got an un­be­liev­able wife,” he said.

“I can’t say enough about her be­cause she’s been there lit­er­ally all day, every day. For her to let me do that or let me do cer­tain things is re­ally cool and I ap­pre­ci­ate that.” in early July, and the U.S. Open in late Au­gust.

There is re­cent prece­dent for tennis play­ers to re­turn to ac­tion af­ter be­com­ing a mother. Kim Cli­jsters re­tired briefly to start a fam­ily, then came back to ac­tion and won Grand Slam ti­tles.

An­other for­mer No. 1 and ma­jor cham­pion, Vic­to­ria Azarenka, has an­nounced she’ll be get­ting back on tour soon af­ter hav­ing a baby.

Wil­liams’ 23 Grand Slam sin­gles ti­tles are a record for the Open era, which be­gan in 1968 – she broke a tie with St­effi Graf in Aus­tralia.

Only one woman has won more: Mar­garet Smith Court, who claimed part of her 24 dur­ing the am­a­teur era.

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