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With important parts missing, Oilers gave all they had in losing effort

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EDMONTON — There is more than half a season to be played, maybe, for the Edmonton Oilers. And they have already had losing streaks of six and five games in length.

The latest, which at least includes a couple of loser points, was a winless five-game road trip on which Edmonton’s Covid-ravaged lineup acquitted itself quite well before losing the finale 4-2 in Toronto.

Played well, lost. Rinse and repeat.

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“Good compete, I guess it could have gone either way after the second,” said Leon Draisaitl. “But we’re standing here again. No points.”

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If you’re one who says this team has stopped playing for head coach Dave Tippett, your theory has more holes in it this morning than a bag of bagels. Missing Connor McDavid, Tyson Barrie and Derek Ryan to COVID-19, and Nugent-Hopkins to injury, the Oilers can’t be much more competitive against a top team without winning.

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They lost on an empty net goal and the two own goals, a true sign of their luck of late.

Edmonton looked very much like a team at the end of a losing skein. They played well enough to win and came up with a big, fat zero.

“You hope there’s better days ahead, but it’s frustrating,” said Draisaitl, the big German horse who played nearly 25 minutes and scored his 26th. “We’ve been losing for a long time now. Eventually it’s time to win, right?”

Ya think?

Back from injury, Mike Smith kicked a puck into his own net to open the game, a familiar song on Edmonton’s sheet. T.J. Brodie later banked a shot off of Evan Bouchard’s stick, then Darnell Nurse’s knee and into the Oilers goal.

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For the rest of the night, the Oilers ground out what was nearly a perfect road game. Alas, a late Leafs powerplay goal settled the affair. Edmonton had only one powerplay on the night, and with only 40 per cent of the top unit playing this night, it got nothing done.

“Lots of try. Lots of push. Lots of people trying to have an impact on the game,” said head coach Dave Tippett. “Just couldn’t get that play … that gets you over the top. They got it tonight. We didn’t.”

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The old, ‘we played well but didn’t win’ thing is getting old in Edmonton. Their season is swirling in the tank — and you never know if we’re really going to play 82 games this season.

But if you’re looking for someone to rip them apart after this effort, you’ll have to go elsewhere. For a team missing some important parts, the Oilers gave everything they had. Split the fluke goals one aside and they likely win this game, though we know you make your own luck in the NHL.

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“You’ve gotta give ‘em credit,” Tippett said of his roster. “It was a solid team effort in the work part, but we’re in a results-oriented business. We’ve got to get the two points.

“We’ve got to find a way to take that next step.”

They’ve now got one game in the next 14 days, and will watch themselves fall in the Western Conference standings as they get healthy for what better be a stronger second half of the season.

As for the notion that the Oilers are quitting on their coach? That’s a kneejerk narrative that’s not borne out by watching the games.

“We’re not quitting,” Draisaitl said. “We’re not quitting on our coach, we’re not quitting on ourselves, our players, our goalies, our team… Nobody. But eventually, you have to find a way to turn it around. There are key players out, but every team is going through that.

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“We have to figure it out here eventually.”



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Three Stars from Day 3 of WJC: Canada’s McTavish joins elite company – Sportsnet.ca

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Canada and the U.S. dominated in their second game of the tournament while Czechia and Finland went toe-to-toe and needed a shootout to determine a winner on Day 3 of the World Junior Hockey Championship.

The Canadian team rebounded from a sluggish performance with an 11-1 win over Slovakia, a game in which captain Mason McTavish added his name to the country’s record books.

Against Switzerland, the United States took their game to another gear that their opponent could not match as they cruised to a 7-1 victory to improve to 2-0 at the tournament.

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Finland dropped a crucial point as they had to overcome a 2-0 deficit but were able to pick up the shootout win over their rival Czechia.

Here is a look at the top performances from Day 3 of the world juniors.

3rd Star: Luke Hughes, USA

Coming from a great hockey family, Luke Hughes is making most of his opportunity as one of the top defencemen for the U.S. 

The younger brother of Quinn and Jack displayed his mobility and vision against Switzerland with a three-point effort. He now has five points in his first two games of the tournament — more than either of his brothers ever achieved at this event in fewer games.

Hughes leads all defenceman in scoring so far in the tournament and is tied for fourth overall.

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The 18-year-old played 21:18 against the Swiss to lead the U.S. in ice time playing on the top pairing with Brock Faber. His play from this point will be a crucial part of his team’s success given the creativity he displayed, especially on Matt Coronato’s goal in the second period.

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He made another top-notch set up on Thomas Bordeleau’s power-play goal in the third period as he delayed enough to get the defenders to pull towards his side of the ice.

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2nd Star: Carter Mazur, USA

Coming into the tournament, Carter Mazur is looking to build off an impressive season at the University of Denver. 

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While he was in a scoring slump in his first NCAA season, the Detroit Red Wings prospect made a call to his NHL team’s assistant director of player development, Daniel Cleary. After that, he would go on to finish with 14 goals and 38 points in 41 games.

Those tips have now turned Mazur into a scoring machine as he accounted for two of the team’s seven goals and was also named the player of the game as the top line of Mazur, Landon Slaggert, and Thomas Bordeleau had an impressive performance against Switzerland

After a scoreless first period, Mazur wasn’t going to make any mistake on a point-blank chance in front of the net with Mackie Samoskevich making a great pass from behind the net.

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With the Americans looking to add to their lead, Mazur was once again the beneficiary of a great pass from Slaggert as he made no mistake from the front of the net.

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He added another assist on Slaggert’s goal later in the period for his third point of the game. Through his first two games at the world juniors, Mazur has four points and is tied for sixth in scoring.

1st Star: Mason McTavish, Canada

On a night where Canada dominated from start to finish, Mason McTavish joined some elite company with a night he’ll certainly remember for a long time.

The 19-year-old joined Mario Lemieux, Simon Gagné, Brayden Schenn, Taylor Raddysh, Maxime Comtois and teammate Connor Bedard as the only players to score four goals in a single world junior game for Canada. The tournament record for goals in a single game is held by Sweden’s Ola Rosander who had six back in 1987.

With his performance against Slovakia in a dominant win for Canada, McTavish now sits atop the scoring lead with eight points in two games after registering six points in this game.

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McTavish scored his first goal of the game on a breakaway — with Canada already leading 5-0 midway through the second — making no mistake to beat Tomas Bolo, who came into the game after starter Simon Latkoczy was pulled going into the second period.

His second goal came off a great play by Joshua Roy who flipped the puck in the air to Brennan Othmann who then set up McTavish as he finished with a backhander to put Canada up 7-1. McTavish would complete the second-period hat trick, a day after Alexander Blank did the same for Germany, after a selfless pass from Roy on a 2-on-0 break.

Canada would capitalize on a turnover on McTavish’s fourth goal as Othmann set him up alone in front of the net and he made no mistake.

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There was some doubt about whether McTavish would suit up for Canada after playing a fair amount of hockey last season. Making his NHL debut with the Anaheim Ducks, the third overall pick from the 2021 NHL Draft played in a total of 72 games between the NHL, AHL, OHL, Memorial Cup and the Olympics.

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Instead, McTavish decided to join the team in Edmonton and take on the role as captain where he has excelled centring Canada’s top line with Bedard and and a rotation of Roy and Othmann.

Canada will now look forward to a matchup against Czechia with a chance to improve to 3-0.

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Field of Dreams Game 2022: A celebration of baseball memories in an Iowa cornfield

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The Field of Dreams is an opportunity for fans and players alike to reflect on the people and places that taught them to love baseball, Jake Mintz writes.



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Ravens extend NFL record for consecutive postseason wins following Thursday’s victory over the Titans

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USA Today

The No. 21 is now synonymous with the longest winning streaks in NFL regular and preseason history. the 2003-04 Patriots won 21 consecutive games, an NFL record. On Thursday night, the Ravens won their 21st consecutive preseason game after securing a 23-10 decision against the Tennessee Titans

Baltimore has not lost a preseason game since 2016. Joe Flacco was their starting quarterback when the streak began, while Steve Smith Jr., who this past year was eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time, was heading into his final NFL season. Baltimore’s roster also included Terrell Suggs, who was entering his second-to-last season with the franchise. 

Along with not losing preseason games, another constant in Baltimore over the past six years has been kicker Justin Tucker, who is entering his 11th season with the Ravens. Tucker’s field goals of 47, 25 and 47 yards on Thursday night helped Baltimore pull out the win after falling behind midway through the second quarter. 

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The Ravens won Thursday’s game by winning the turnover margin while holding the Titans to 1 of 3 red zone efficiency. One of those turnovers was scooped up by Kyle Hamilton, the Ravens’ first-round pick in this past year’s draft. 

Baltimore won despite the efforts of Malik Willis, the Titans’ rookie quarterback who overcame a slow start to score his first NFL touchdown, a 7-yard run early in the second quarter. Speaking of quarterbacks, the Ravens received a strong night from Tyler Huntley, who completed all but two of his 18 pass attempts that included his game-winning touchdown pass to Shemar Bridges



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