Connect with us

Uncategorized

2021 World Tour Championship: Live stream, Race to Dubai schedule, storylines as European Tour season ends

Published

on


The best golf tournament this week will not be taking place under the PGA Tour banner but rather several thousand miles away in Dubai. The European Tour’s season culminates over the next few days with the DP World Tour Championship.

This year’s field includes Rory McIlroy, Tyrrell Hatton, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood, Will Zalatoris, Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick and the two leaders of the Race to Dubai — Billy Horschel and Collin Morikawa. This week’s event is tantamount to the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup as a season-long race winds down and will reward the very top players in the standings at the end of the week.

There’s a lot to discuss about this tournament, including two unlikely leaders at the top, one of whom is almost certainly going to take home the title of Race to Dubai winner at the end of the week and make a little history in the process.

Advertisement

That is among my five things to know about this tournament.

1. No. 1 absence

Jon Rahm, the current No. 1 player in the world, decided to skip this week despite ranking third in the Race to Dubai behind Morikawa and Horschel and winning two of the last four DP World Tour Championships.

“After lengthy discussions with my team, I have come to the difficult decision not to travel to Dubai next week,” Rahm said in a statement. “The demands of a long season with many ups and downs has taken a lot out of me. I feel I need to take time to recharge my batteries while spending quality time with my family.”

Rahm went over to Spain to play in multiple events directly after the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits and seemed completely cooked by the end of his year.

“I fully understand,” said Rory McIlroy this week. “He just won his first major this year, he’s had his first child, he won this thing … the year before. I fully understand; I don’t think anyone can criticize him for not being here. He’s given his all all year. He’s had his trials and tribulations as well. He was an absolute star at the Ryder Cup for us. He couldn’t have given more, and he’s given a lot to the European Tour already. He goes to Spain and plays those events there in his home country. I don’t think anyone can criticize him for not being here this week.”

Advertisement

Rahm’s absence benefits Morikawa and Horschel — which we’ll get to in a minute — but it also opens the door for the players behind him like Hatton, Fitzpatrick and Min Woo Lee to perhaps leap the two Americans at the top by the end of this event.

2. Winning the week more lucrative

Though the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup has now merged with its season-ending Tour Championship, and the prize money is no longer separate, there’s still separation on the European Tour. Although there is a bonus pool of money handed out to the winner of the season-long Race to Dubai (normally it’s $5 million with the winner getting $2 million, but last year it was heavily reduced), winning the actual DP World Tour Championship this week where the purse is $9 million and the winner gets $3 million is a better financial outcome.

Rick Gehman is joined by Kyle Porter and Greg DuCharme to preview the 2021 RSM Classic and 2021 DP World Tour Championship. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

3. Wait, Morikawa and Horschel? 

Technically, only six golfers — Morikawa, Horschel, Hatton, Lee, Fitzpatrick and Paul Casey — have a chance to win the Race to Dubai, and it’s going to be difficult for Morikawa and Horschel to miss out completely. The math is a little complicated, but essentially, if Morikawa plays decent at all, he’s almost certainly going to win the Race to Dubai unless Horschel wins the tournament.

Advertisement

How did we get here? Well, Morikawa won the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession as well as the Open Championship, both of which count as European Tour victories. Horschel took the BMW Championship, which is akin to the PGA Tour’s Players Championship. Either would be the first American to win the Race to Dubai, which began all the way back in 1972.

4. Diverse list

Speaking of folks who have won the Race to Dubai, it’s been a different golfer in each of the last six years after multiple eras of uniformity. The list is monstrous. Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, Collin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els, Ian Woosnam and Padraig Harrington are all former champions along with Rahm, McIlroy and Henrik Stenson. Last year’s winner, Lee Westwood, also won it back in 2000, which came between Race to Dubai titles by Montgomerie and Retief Goosen. Westwood going 20 years between Race to Dubai wins was one of the more improbable feats in a year full of them.

5. Where’s Rory? 

The biggest draw in the field is currently 20th and cannot win the Race to Dubai, although he can win the DP World Tour Championship for the third time in his career. McIlroy won it in 2012 and 2014, and came in second back in 2014 when Stenson went on to win.

“I wasn’t always planning to be here and play,” said McIlroy on Tuesday. “After the Ryder Cup, I didn’t really know what I was going to do. But I decided to play a bit more and try to push through some of the things I was working on in my game. As I said, I came through the other side of that. So it’s important to be here. I missed it last year because of COVID. I just didn’t want to deal with the travel and the bubble and that sort of stuff.

“But this year is a little different and a little more normal, I guess. So it’s good to be here. It’s a place I’ve had success on. It’s a course that suits my game really well. I’ll have a good chance this week. I don’t feel like I need to do anything too special to give myself a chance on Sunday.”

Advertisement

The golf will be on in the middle of the night into the early morning hours here in the United States, but waking up to those Rory 63s is always a joy. Here’s how you can follow Morikawa’s bid to be the first American winner of the Race to Dubai as well as the rest of the action at the last event of the European Tour Season.

All times Eastern; streaming start times approximated

Round 1 – Thursday

Round starts: 11:15 p.m. (Wednesday)

Live TV coverage: 2-7 a.m. on Golf Channel
Live stream online: 2-7 a.m. on fuboTV (Try for free) and GolfChannel.com

Round 2 – Friday

Round starts: 11:15 p.m. (Thursday)

Advertisement

Live TV coverage: 2-7 a.m. on Golf Channel
Live stream online: 2-7 a.m. on fuboTV (Try for free) and GolfChannel.com

Round 3 – Saturday

Round starts: 11:15 p.m. (Friday)

Live TV coverage: 2-7 a.m. on Golf Channel
Live stream online: 2-7 a.m. on fuboTV (Try for free) and GolfChannel.com

Round 4 – Sunday

Round starts: 11:15 p.m. (Saturday)

Live TV coverage: 1:30-7:30 a.m. on Golf Channel
Live stream online: 1:30-7:30 a.m. on fuboTV (Try for free) and GolfChannel.com

Advertisement





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Uncategorized

Why Kevin Durant’s ultimatum to the Nets requires just a one-word response from owner Joe Tsai

Published

on



Give Kevin Durant this much credit: The man isn’t afraid to go to the mattresses.

But let’s let the praise, awe or understanding end there. Durant’s move this week to reportedly sit with Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai and lay down a me-or-them ultimatum is the latest proof that the only thing Durant may excel at more than basketball is an uncanny knack for turning tone deafness into an art form.

He’s a diva-may-care. And Tsai has to tell the man the same word Nets general manager Sean Marks did, as we suggested here when news of Durant’s trade demand first surfaced, the word that has led to all this huffing and puffing to blow Tsai’s team down: No.

Advertisement

No, Kevin, you’re not in charge.

No, Kevin, we won’t blow up our team, or trade you, or — cue Durant’s latest would-be power play — fire all the adults in the room because they didn’t treat your tantrum like the world’s most sagacious reaction to difficulty. 

Let’s hone in on why, in London, Durant reportedly told the Nets owner he must either trade him — or fire head coach Steve Nash and Marks.

It’s not, as Shams Charania reported for The Athletic, because Durant is “transparent and professional,” the description of the supposed mood of the high-powered confab. This is all happening, including the timing and tone of this news story, because Durant has too often made a habit of being neither transparent nor professional.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read this piece from Charania, a world-class NBA newsbreaker who himself has been transparent at times about his willingness to carry water for the sources who allow him to offer such accurate and valuable information, and deduce that Durant or those near him leaked the reporting in exchange for casting all this in a favorable light.

Advertisement

Thus, KD’s latest me-me-me-me move gets sold as an above-the-board powerbroker handling such difficulties with aplomb and maturity. Don’t buy it for a second.

Strip away the quid-pro-quo that is the heartbeat of breaking sports news, and “does not have faith in the team’s direction” actually translates to: Didn’t do my bidding.

As in: Durant demanded a trade, Marks said no, and the superstar, unaccustomed to that word, has responded with a next-level move. The choice now that it’s either him or them. Despite the details that, you know, exactly one year before the Tasi meeting, Durant signed a four-year, $198 million contract extension.

Durant isn’t just saying keep me or keep them. He’s saying, regardless of how newsbreakers try to present his latest diva-demand, either trade him — or make him the boss.

Look, Durant is a basketball player of otherworldly talent and dedication. His talent borders on the miraculous, and his love for the game is clear. He is also, when not going full diva, by all accounts a great guy. Human beings are complicated, and we can be many things at once: Talented, dedicated, hungry, kind, interesting, insightful, and full of petty grievances and insecurities. 

Advertisement

None of this is to say Durant is a bad person, as if that has any place in a sports column. It’s to say that many all-time great players are remarkably awful string-pullers and would-be GMs. Look westward, Tsai, to the Los Angeles Lakers and one LeBron James for a real-world, real-time reminder.

Trade Durant (for the right price), or don’t. Believe in him, or decide you’ve had enough. But don’t allow Durant to burn everything down because last year was tough. Don’t let him hold you hostage because he didn’t get his way in demanding a trade that would devastate the Nets without a fair return. Don’t let him end the run of Marks, who has proven himself a great general manager, nor that of a Hall of Fame player in Nash who deserves more time to show what he can or can’t do as a head coach.

This is scorched-earth stuff. Things went bad, let me leave. You won’t just give me away, fire everyone. You won’t fire everyone, fine, time for the public-news-bomb-pressure campaign. 

That’s the other part of this.

It’s beyond credulity to entertain the idea that Tsai or those around him leaked this news. There’s no need. The Nets owner doesn’t need to leverage himself by leaking a blockbuster bit of news in order to pressure himself. He’s the decision maker. So if this report from Shams came from Durant and the people around him — as seems quite clear, especially given the rosy presentation of Durant’s end of things — then KD went in 24 hours, straight from asking Tasi to fire Nash and Marks, to trying to publicly pressure Tasi to do it.

Advertisement

That’s a tantrum. Or hardball. Or both. But either way, it’s bad business, and there remains one word in response, either to trading a generational talent like KD for less than what you want in return, or in firing the GM who won’t do so, along with his hand-picked head coach:

No. 

No, Kevin.

No.

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Players to watch on each team at 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship – Sportsnet.ca

Published

on


The summer version of the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship has arrived in Edmonton.

The feeling around the tournament is mixed but the competing players take pride in representing their county when given the opportunity. For some of the participants, this will be their only chance to face some of the best players from top-ranked countries around the world.

Here are some notes on players to watch on each of the 10 teams in the tournament.

Advertisement

.acf-block-preview .br-snippet {
display: grid;
grid-template-columns: 200px 1fr;
gap: 20px;
width: 100%;
margin: 0 auto;
padding: 16px;
border: 1px solid #CECECE;
background-color: #FFF;
border-radius: 4px;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info a {
text-decoration: none;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-title {
color: #343434;
font-family: ‘roboto’;
font-size: 20px;
font-weight: 600;
line-height: 22px;
margin-bottom: 10px;
top: -3px;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-body {
color: #343434;
font-family: ‘urw-din’;
font-size: 16px;
line-height: 20px;
margin-bottom: 12px;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-link-title {
display: inline-block;
font-family: ‘urw-din’;
font-size: 16px;
list-style-type: none;
width: auto;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-link-title:not(:last-child):after {
content: ‘ | ‘;
color: #343434;
}

Advertisement

Group A

Team USA

Logan Cooley

Forward | Left shot | Five-foot-10 | 181 pounds | Arizona Coyotes (first round, third overall in 2022)

He was in the discussion for No. 1 overall at this past draft and landed in Arizona at No. 3. He has an opportunity to show off his skill at this event, especially without players like Juraj Slafkovsky and Shane Wright in attendance. Cooley is an elite play driver who simply creates offence and can take over a game. He’s worth the price of admission.


Charlie Stramel

Forward | Right shot | Six-foot-three | 216 pounds | 2023 NHL Draft eligible

There should be an opportunity for Stramel to find a role with Team USA on the wing. He can also play center so it will come down to a coach’s decision and team need. The big-body forward plays a power game. He isn’t exceptionally fast in open ice but he has decent mitts and creates space in traffic. Stramel is a power forward who is a late 2004 birthday which makes him eligible for the 2023 NHL Draft. He is committed to attending Wisconsin.

Advertisement

Matthew Knies

Forward | Left shot | Six-foot-three | 205 pounds | Toronto Maple Leafs (second round, 57th overall in 2021)

Power forward who can extend plays, isn’t shy about getting pucks to the net, battles for space around the crease, and cleans up rebounds. Team USA has some smaller skilled centerman on their roster and he opens up space for that style of player. Knies is heading back to Minnesota in the NCAA this fall.


Brock Faber

Defenceman | Right shot | Six-foot | 190 pounds | Minnesota Wild via L.A. Kings (second round, 45th overall in 2020)

Originally selected by the Los Angeles Kings, Faber was a key piece of the Kevin Fiala trade this summer with Fiala ending up in California. This kid is a pro. He’s a leader who plays the game the right way. Faber provides exceptional three-zone detail. He’s likely to be the captain for Team USA. He will be deployed in all situations but his offence is secondary to the rest of his game.

Advertisement

Team Sweden

Jesper Wallstedt

Goalie | Catches left | Six-foot-three | 214 pounds | Minnesota Wild (first round, 20th overall in 2021)

Wallstedt is coming over to play in the Minnesota Wild organization this season at the AHL level in Iowa. It won’t be long before he challenges for an NHL job. He gives the Swedes an opportunity to win. He’s big in the net and plays with poise between the posts. His stats at the SHL level (Sweden’s top league) playing for Lulea last season: 22 games played with a 1.98 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

Jonathan Lekkerimaki

Forward | Right shot | Five-foot-11 | 172 pounds | Vancouver Canucks (first round, 15th overall in 2022)

It will be interesting to see if Lekkerimaki can establish himself at this tournament and play to his identity. He’s an elite shooter. His element is offence. His off-the-puck detail and willingness in the hard areas will need to elevate but if he’s scoring the Swedes will be pleased.

Advertisement

Daniel Torgersson

Forward | Left shot | Six-foot-three | 205 pounds | Winnipeg Jets (second round, 40th round pick in 2020)

Torgersson is a power forward who moves well for his stature. He is best suited at the net front extending plays or looking for tips and rebounds. He isn’t a threat off the rush but he does have the ability to extend plays along the boards. This is the kind of player that can open up space for skilled linemates. It will be interesting to see how he is deployed.

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper {
display: grid;
grid-template-columns: repeat(2, 1fr);
gap: 20px;
}

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper a {
pointer-events: none;
cursor: default;
text-decoration: none;
color: black;
}

Team Germany

Luca Hauf

Forward | Left shot | Five-foot 11 | 183 pounds | Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

Advertisement

Hauf is scheduled to join Edmonton in the WHL this season so he will be familiarizing himself with the surroundings at this tournament. He has a nose for the net and will find pucks around the crease. On occasion he distributes and finds open space off the rush. It will be interesting to see how he competes with the pace of play at this event.

Maksymilian Szuber

Defenceman | Left shot | Six-foot-three | 190 pounds | Arizona Coyotes (sixth round, 163rd overall in 2022)

A big body defender who is developing in the DEL playing for EHC Munchen. Szuber is mostly a stay-at-home defender but he will occasionally pinch down to keep pucks alive in the offensive zone. Defensively he is rangy and uses his long reach to his advantage. Szuber will skate at even strength and on the penalty kill for the Germans.

Nikita Quapp

Advertisement

Goalie | Catches left | Six-foot-three | 187 pounds | Carolina Hurricanes (sixth round, 187th overall in 2021)

Quapp is a true butterfly/hybrid goalie. He plays down on the ice. When he is on his game he can swallow pucks from distance and limits his rebounds. When teams get him moving side to side to make second stops (or desperation saves) he has lacked lateral quickness to recover. If he’s the starter for Team Germany they will need him to be on top of his game. Quapp is signed to play for Eisbaren Berlin in the DEL next season.

Team Switzerland

Brian Zanetti

Defenceman | Left shot | Six-foot-two | 181 pounds | Philadelphia Flyers (fourth round, 110th pick in 2021)

Zanetti has some interesting qualities. He moves pretty well. He has a long reach. He can take away space. Zanetti has also shown an ability to provide some secondary scoring. He is likely to be used in all situations for Team Switzerland. It has taken time for Zanetti to add strength to his lanky frame. The Swiss will need all of their defenders to play an engaged game at this tournament.

Advertisement

Simon Knak

Forward | Left shot | Six-foot-one | 185 pounds | Nashville Predators (sixth round, 179th pick in 2021)

Knak plied his trade in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks before the pandemic. He showed he can contribute offensively while providing decent three-zone detail. He is playing for HC Davos in Switzerland and on occasion shows some streaky offence. The fact he is willing to get in on the forecheck and bump opponents to extend plays is an element that should land him in the top six for Team Switzerland.

Kevin Pasche

Goalie | Catches right | Five-foot-10 | 187 pounds | Omaha Lancers (USHL)

Advertisement

Pasche had a solid year in Omaha posting a winning record and save percentage over .900.
It’s not clear who will have the net for the Swiss but Pasche has proven he can elevate for stretches and give his team a chance to win. The fact that he’s a southpaw gives shooters a different look. If he does play games his crease composure and rebound control will have to be spot on against top-flight opponents since he lacks the size to be giving up too many second chances against.

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper {
display: grid;
grid-template-columns: repeat(2, 1fr);
gap: 20px;
}

Advertisement

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper a {
pointer-events: none;
cursor: default;
text-decoration: none;
color: black;
}

Team Austria

Recently drafted Marco Kasper would have been, by far, the most talented player on this team but elected to take time off before attending his first NHL training camp in Detroit next month. Kasper was selected eighth overall by the Red Wings in Montreal.

Beyond Kasper there are too many unknowns to handicap the Austrian roster. The team hasn’t won a game at their last five world junior championships (0-17). I’m sure there will be some motivated players suiting up for Austria. Time will tell who catches my eye.

Group B

Team Canada

Connor Bedard

Forward | Right shot | Five-foot-nine | 181 pounds | Regina Pats (WHL) | 2023 NHL Draft eligible

Advertisement

This is the jumping-off point for what should be an exciting journey towards the 2023 NHL Draft for Bedard. He’s a dynamic talent who scored 51 goals and 49 assists for 100 points last season in Regina before adding six goals and seven points at the U18 Worlds. It will be impossible for him to shed the spotlight from now until next June. Team Canada is counting on his element to contribute to their success at the tournament.


Mason McTavish

Forward | Left shot | Six-foot-one | 207 pounds | Anaheim Ducks (first round, third overall in 2021)

Nobody has played more hockey in more countries than McTavish in the past 12 months, with stops in Anaheim (NHL), San Diego (AHL), Peterborough (OHL), Team Canada (Olympics), and Hamilton (OHL). He has answered the bell at every stop. McTavish plays his best when the games get harder. He scored 16 goals and 29 points the playoffs for Hamilton, helping them win the OHL title. He gives opponents all they can handle in the trenches. Team Canada will be counting on his power, skill and leadership as captain.

Ridly Greig

Forward | Left shot | Six-foot | 174 pounds | Ottawa Senators (first round, 28th overall in 2020)

Advertisement

In order to have success at an event like this it takes more than finesse and skill. It also takes grit and determination. Greig is a ball of hate that doesn’t quit on a play. His combination of skill and “rat” gives Team Canada the flexibility to deploy him in a variety of roles.

Team Finland

Aatu Raty

Forward | Left shot | Six-foot-two | 185 pounds | New York Islanders (second round, 52nd overall in 2021)

Raty is developing nicely for the Islanders and coming off a productive season. He scored 13 goals and 27 assists for 40 points playing for Jukurit in Liiga before coming to North America to join Bridgeport in the AHL. Impressively he contributed one goal and four points in six playoff games for Bridgeport. He will be leaned on heavily to contribute offensively at the tournament but it won’t only be offence Team Finland needs from Raty. He will be tasked with key matchups and need to play a full 200 foot game.

Roni Hirvonen

Advertisement

Forward | Left shot | Five-foot-nine | 176 pounds | Toronto Maple Leafs (second round, 59th overall in 2020)

Hirvonen is an infectious, lead by example, relentless worker. He has always been a leader on the Finnish national team and it looks like he is going to captain the group at this event. Team Finland will be relying on his detailed three-zone energy while hoping he can contribute offensively as well.

Brad Lambert

Forward | Right shot | Six-foot | 183 pounds | Winnipeg Jets (first round, 30th overall in 2022)

The Christmas version of this event was cut short due to the pandemic, which was unfortunate for Lambert. He was off to a flying start in his first two games. He can play the game quick and fast and have an impact offensively. With last season in the rearview mirror (he struggled to gain consistent momentum playing in Liiga) I’m looking for him to have an impact at this event. His offensive element is waiting to break out.

Advertisement

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper {
display: grid;
grid-template-columns: repeat(2, 1fr);
gap: 20px;
}

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper a {
pointer-events: none;
cursor: default;
text-decoration: none;
color: black;
}

Advertisement

Team Czechia

David Jiricek

Defenceman | Right shot | Six-foot-three | 190 pounds | Columbus Blue Jackets (first round, sixth overall in 2022)

Jiricek will be tasked with matching up against top lines and being deployed in all situations. There won’t be any easy minutes for the Columbus Blue Jackets first-round pick. He has a good stick, some deception, the ability to make plays on the offensive blue line, and an absolute bomb of a shot when he finds space. It will be interesting to see how he handles defending against the speed rush and containing opponents along the wall in his zone.

Jiri Kulich

Forward | Left shot | Six-foot | 180 pounds | Buffalo Sabres (first round, 28th overall in 2022)

Advertisement

Kulich had a breakout tournament at the U18 Worlds in Germany in the spring where he scored nine goals and 11 points. He was the most lethal goal scorer at the event. Team Czechia will need him to contribute on the power play at this event. He’s a goal scorer who finds quiet ice in the offensive zone and wastes little time directing pucks on net.


Jan Bednar

Goalie | Catches left | Six-foot-four | 201 pounds | Detroit Red Wings (fourth round, 107th overall in 2020)

Team Czechia has a history of using more than one goalie at this event so it’s not a given that Bednar gets the net and keeps it. Having said that, the team will need big saves throughout the tournament and Bednar appears to have the most capable pedigree to give them a chance. This tournament could provide Bednar an opportunity to impress the Red Wings brass. He’s unsigned to date so he will want to prove he’s ready for a contract.

Team Slovakia

Dalibor Dvorsky

Forward | Left shot | Six-foot-one | 190 pounds | 2023 NHL Draft eligible

Advertisement

Another potentially elite Slovakian player on the horizon. Dvorsky is eligible for the 2023 draft and has the ability to push his way up the board before next June. He brings size, good pace and excellent puck skill. Dvorsky has a quick release in tight quarters and the ability to spin off checks along the wall. He scored 20 goals and 20 assists for 40 points for AIK in the Swedish U20 league last season along with 14 goals and 11 assists for 25 points representing Slovakia at the U18 level.

Adam Sykora

Forward | Left shot | Five-foot-11 | 174 pounds | New York Rangers (second round, 63rd overall in 2022)

If you watched the men’s World Championships in the spring you would have viewed this infectious player. He brings high end compete and energy. Sykora plays quick and he’s relentless. He has better than average offensive upside. Team Slovakia will be counting on him to not only bring his usual high end compete but also create offence.

Maxim Strbak

Advertisement

Defenceman | Right shot | Six-foot-two | 183 pounds | 2023 NHL Draft eligible

Strbak is a player that has been deployed in all situations at the U18 level for Slovakia. On the PP he is more of a distributor than a shooter but does have the ability to direct pucks on net from range. Defensively he isn’t shy about gapping up and taking away space. It’s a big ask for a defenceman his age at this tournament. It will be interesting to see how he handles older opponents.

Team Latvia

Dans Locmelis

Forward | Left shot | Six-foot | 170 pounds | Boston Bruins (fourth round, 119th overall in 2022)

It will be a big ask for Locmelis to produce the level of offence that Latvia requires to have success at this event but he is one of their more skilled forwards. He sees the ice and distributes very well through seems. If space opens up he is capable of scoring goals and beating opponents one-on-one on his own. He’s young for the event and will be tested physically. Locmelis is scheduled to come to the USHL next season to play for the Youngstown Phantoms.

Advertisement

Sandis Vilmanis

Forward | Left shot | Six-foot-one | 192 pounds | Florida Panthers (fifth round, 157th overall in 2022)

Vilmanis is also young for this tournament but he’s coming off a decent U18 Worlds in Germany. When he gets pucks in open ice he has an extra gear and the ability to slip between defenders. He will be deployed at even strength and the power play. He’s a shooter more than a distributor and usually sets up on the weak side flank to one time pucks. His 200-foot game is average so Latvia will be hoping he can chip in offensively and play to his strengths. Vilmanis was selected by the Sarnia Sting (CHL/OHL) in the most recent import draft.

Goaltenders

It’s likely more than one of these goaltenders will see action at this tournament and be leaned on heavily to come up with timely saves. None have been drafted to NHL clubs. It’s likely this group will be under duress playing in this group so they will have to have career weeks to give Latvia a chance:

Advertisement

Patriks Berzins: Catches left | Six-foot-one | 165 pounds | Latvian national team

Bruno Bruveris: Catches left | Six-foot | 168 pounds | Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL)

Rudolfs Lazdins: Catches left | Six-foot-one | 163 pounds | HK Riga (MHL)

.acf-block-preview .br-snippet {
display: grid;
grid-template-columns: 200px 1fr;
gap: 20px;
width: 100%;
margin: 0 auto;
padding: 16px;
border: 1px solid #CECECE;
background-color: #FFF;
border-radius: 4px;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info a {
text-decoration: none;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-title {
color: #343434;
font-family: ‘roboto’;
font-size: 20px;
font-weight: 600;
line-height: 22px;
margin-bottom: 10px;
top: -3px;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-body {
color: #343434;
font-family: ‘urw-din’;
font-size: 16px;
line-height: 20px;
margin-bottom: 12px;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-link-title {
display: inline-block;
font-family: ‘urw-din’;
font-size: 16px;
list-style-type: none;
width: auto;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-link-title:not(:last-child):after {
content: ‘ | ‘;
color: #343434;
}



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Uncategorized

2022 World Juniors Primer: Everything to know about rescheduled tournament – Sportsnet.ca

Published

on


Ah, August. The Blue Jays are in a playoff race, NFL camps are in full swing and… the best junior hockey players in the world are hitting the ice.

It’s not Christmas in July, but the annual World Junior Hockey Championships holiday tradition is making an unusual appearance in the middle of the summer.

The tournament will feature 10 teams competing over a two-week span with gold, silver and bronze medals up for grabs. Before play gets underway, here is everything you need to know.

Advertisement

Investigating Hockey Canada

The most important story entering this tournament is off the ice, as Hockey Canada’s culture and governance are under a widening microscope following group sexual assault allegations made in a lawsuit earlier this year.

The allegations stem from an event in 2018 hosted in London, Ont. by Hockey Canada to celebrate a team that won this very same tournament. Since then, there have been revelations about another incident of alleged gang rape connected to the Team Canada team at the 2003 World Juniors.

The scandal has led to growing calls for Hockey Canada’s leadership to resign and on the weekend, Michael Brind’Amour — the chairman of the board — did.

This important story will remain front of mind for everyone as the tournament plays out for the first time since the revelations first came to light this spring.

Support for survivors
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence and is in need of support, those in Canada can find province-specific centres, crisis lines and services here. For readers in America, a list of resources and references can be found here.

Advertisement

Why was the tournament rescheduled?

The 2022 World Juniors were originally scheduled to take place from Dec. 26, 2021 to Jan. 5, 2022 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta. However, the tournament shut down after just three days when multiple teams recorded positive COVID-19 cases within their ranks.

The United States, Czechia and Russia had all forfeited games due to players testing positive before the cancellation was announced on Dec. 29.

The August tournament will be a complete reset of the event in December. That means all scores and standings will be erased and teams have picked new rosters. All players who were eligible for the December tournament, most of them from 2003 and 2004 birth years, are eligible to play this summer.

Red Deer is no longer co-hosting and all games will be played at Rogers Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers.

What teams are playing?

There are 10 teams competing in this tournament and they have been split into the following groups for pool play.

Advertisement

Group A

United States, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Austria

Group B

Canada, Finland, Czechia, Slovakia, Latvia

The most notable development here is the addition of Latvia, which is replacing Russia. On Feb. 28, the IIHF banned Russia and Belarus from all competitions due to the invasion of Ukraine. As a result, the Russians — who did compete in this tournament last December — are now out and Latvia was promoted into the top division.

Advertisement

Russia was also slated to be the host of the 2023 event this December, but that will now take place in Halifax and Moncton. There will be no relegation round in the 2022 tournament meaning the same 10 teams will compete in the 2023 event.

The United States are the defending champions after they beat Canada in the gold medal game in 2021. Finland won bronze in that tournament, defeating Russia in the third-place game.

.acf-block-preview .br-snippet {
display: grid;
grid-template-columns: 200px 1fr;
gap: 20px;
width: 100%;
margin: 0 auto;
padding: 16px;
border: 1px solid #CECECE;
background-color: #FFF;
border-radius: 4px;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info a {
text-decoration: none;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-title {
color: #343434;
font-family: ‘roboto’;
font-size: 20px;
font-weight: 600;
line-height: 22px;
margin-bottom: 10px;
top: -3px;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-body {
color: #343434;
font-family: ‘urw-din’;
font-size: 16px;
line-height: 20px;
margin-bottom: 12px;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-link-title {
display: inline-block;
font-family: ‘urw-din’;
font-size: 16px;
list-style-type: none;
width: auto;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-link-title:not(:last-child):after {
content: ‘ | ‘;
color: #343434;
}

Schedule

The tournament begins on Aug. 9 and each team will play four games in the preliminary round, which concludes on Aug. 15. The top four teams in each group will compete in the quarterfinals on Aug. 17, the winners of those four games will face off in the semifinals on Aug. 19 and the medal games will be played on Aug. 20.

Below is the full preliminary round schedule.

All Times Eastern

Advertisement

Aug. 9

Slovakia at Czechia, 2 p.m.

Finland at Latvia, 6 p.m. 

Germany at United States, 10 p.m.

Aug. 10

Advertisement

Switzerland at Sweden, 2 p.m.

Canada at Latvia, 6 p.m.

Austria at Germany, 10 p.m.

Aug. 11

Czechia at Finland, 2 p.m.

Advertisement

Canada at Slovakia, 6 p.m.

United States at Switzerland, 10 p.m.

Aug. 12

Sweden at Austria, 2 p.m.

Latvia at Slovakia, 6 p.m.

Advertisement

Aug. 13

United States at Austria, 2 p.m.

Czechia at Canada, 6 p.m.

Swizterland at Germany, 10 p.m.

Aug. 14

Advertisement

Slovakia at Finland, 2 p.m.

Latvia at Czechia, 6 p.m.

Sweden at United States, 10 p.m.

Aug. 15

Austria at Switzerland, 2 p.m.

Advertisement

Finland at Canada, 6 p.m.

Germany at Sweden, 10 p.m.

Players to Watch

With the unique timing of this event, a number of top players have opted to skip it, instead focusing on the upcoming season. Regardless, there will still be some star power sprinkled across the rosters.

Our series of previews will introduce you to those players:

Bedard, Cooley, Wallstedt headline players to watch at 2022 WJC

Advertisement

Canadian NHL teams will have plenty to monitor at World Juniors

16 returning, nine joining: Examining the new players on Team Canada’s WJC roster



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending