Tuesday, August 4th28.1°C

Donaldson, Tulowitzki homer in Blue Jays' win over Twins


Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki both hit home runs early in the Blue Jays' 3-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday as Toronto added to its lead in the American League wild card race.


Canucks sign Sutter

The Vancouver Canucks have signed forward Brandon Sutter to a five-year contract extension at an average annual value of US$4.375 million per season.

The Canucks acquired the six-foot-three, 190-pound centre and a third-round pick in 2016 from Pittsburgh last Tuesday for Nick Bonino, Adam Clendening and a 2016 second-round pick. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2015-16 season.

Sutter had 21 goals, 12 assists and 14 penalty minutes in 80 games with Pittsburgh last season.

He also finished with a team-leading 50.6 per cent faceoff efficiency and tied for second in the NHL with four short-handed goals.

In 495 career NHL games, Sutter has scored 98 goals, 87 assists and 94 penalty minutes with Pittsburgh and Carolina. He has also recorded 12 points in 33 playoff games with the Penguins.

Sutter was drafted 11th overall by the Hurricanes in 2007. He was a member of Canada's 2008 world junior championship team.

The Canadian Press

Brandon Sutter signs 5-year deal with Canucks


The Vancouver Canucks have signed forward Brandon Sutter to a five-year contract extension at an average annual value of $4.375 US per season.


David Price already paying off for Blue Jays


The Toronto debut of David Price on Monday saw a spike in secondary ticket sales for the Blue Jays, with the cost of seats for Price's 5-1 win over the Minnesota Twins nearly doubling.


Price soars along with Jays

David Price is already paying off for the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Toronto debut of the recently acquired ace on Monday saw a spike in secondary ticket sales for the Blue Jays, with the cost of seats for Price's 5-1 win over the Minnesota Twins nearly doubling.

Tickets to Monday's game were averaging US$37 each before Price was traded to the Blue Jays on July 30, according to seatgeek.com. However, after Price was announced as Toronto's starter for Monday's game the average price rocketed to $69.

That made Monday’s game the Blue Jays' most expensive home game of the season. According to seatgeek.com, no other 2015 acquisition has had a significant impact on ticket prices around Major League Baseball.

Price's debut surpassed Toronto's home opener ($59) against the Tampa Bay Rays as most expensive game of the Blue Jays' season.

Before the trade, an estimated $60,000 had been spent on tickets on the secondary market for Monday's game. In the five days between the trade and Price's first start, an estimated $300,000 was spent on the secondary market for the game.

A spokesman for seatgeek.com projects that if the Blue Jays make the post-season they will have one of the most expensive secondary ticket markets in MLB.

The Canadian Press

New ass't GM for Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks have named John Weisbrod assistant general manager.

The club said in a release Tuesday that Weisbrod will work with general manager Jim Benning and president Trevor Linden on player personnel decisions, and will provide direction for the team's scouting.

Weisbrod joined the Canucks as vice-president of player personnel on July 7, 2014.

He previously spent three years as an assistant GM with the Calgary Flames and was director of professional and collegiate scouting for the Boston Bruins from 2006 to 2011. He served as a scout for the Dallas Stars during the 2005-06 season.

The Canucks also named Chris Gear as Canucks vice-president and general counsel of Canucks Sports & Entertainment. Judd Brackett was named director of amateur scouting, Ryan Johnson was named assistant director of player development and Mike Addesa was hired as an amateur scout.

The Canadian Press


Tom Brady denies Deflategate involvement in 457-page transcript


The NFL Players Association released the 457-page transcript of Tom Brady's June testimony in the deflated balls controversy in a filing Tuesday in Manhattan federal court.


NHL announces historic media rights deal with MLBAM


NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced a six-year digital media rights partnership on Tuesday.


Clean sweep for B.C.

A try in the last minute by the B.C. U-18 Women's rugby team on Sunday gave them a 25-17 win over the Prairies – enough to win the two-game aggregate score title by one point. 

The B.C. side lost its Friday game to the same team 27-20 and needed an eight-point win.  

The U-18 Women's win gave B.C. a clean sweep of all four head-to-head matches at the Western Canada Rugby Championships, held over the long weekend in Kelowna. 

The biggest margin of victory came from the B.C. U-16 Men's team, who hammered their Prairie opponent 34-0 Sunday morning after a 27-14 win in their Friday match. 

Their 47-point differential was slightly better than the B.C. U-18 Men's team, who racked up a 45-point aggregate score win in 31-3 and 34-17 wins.

The most impressive games of the weekend were played by the B.C. and Prairie Senior Women's teams. 

Twelve of Canada's international players from the recent Super Series were in town to compete – and it showed.   

After trailing 20-10 late in the Friday match, the Senior Women's side fought back to defeat the Prairies 24-20.  On Sunday, it was the Prairie side who fought back. Trailing 34-13 with 20 minutes left, the Prairie squad surged through the 30 C heat to score two tries and trail 34-27 with just three minutes left. 

But time wasn't on their side, and the B.C. squad won the Western Canada Rugby Championship with an 11-point differential.

"The rugby this weekend was amazing," said event co-ordinator Doug Manning. "The national selectors who were here were very impressed with the quality of play, despite the scorching heat."

Head-to-head matches between the B.C. provincial teams and Prairie representative sides continue this weekend as the U-14 Men and U-15 Women's teams come to town. A U-14 Men's team from Washington will also take part. 

Games will be played Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Parkinson fields.

Falcons' final homestand

The Kelowna Falcons begin their final homestand of the West Coast League baseball season tonight when they entertain the Corvallis Knights.

The three game series runs through Thursday.

The East Division leading Falcons can officially book their spot in the post season for the first time in five years during the homestand. Their magic number to clinch the East Division penant is two.

Tuesday night is Toonie Tuesday, with hot dogs and pop just $2, and beer $4, while Wednesday is Mexican Food Night in the concession. Thursday is Fan and Host Family Appreciation Night.

Kelowna enters the series with the Knights having won a franchise high 30 games, while Corvallis leads the wildcard race.

Kelowna will start Nat Hamby and Curtis Taylor on the mound Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Hamby is 3-0, with a 2.94 ERA, while Taylor, from the UBC Thunderbirds, is 3-3 with a 2.67 ERA. With his next strikeout, Taylor will move into the top 20 in single season strikeouts in Kelowna Falcons history.

A number of players are also looking to establish franchise records during the final week of the regular season.

Justin Flores and Hunter Villanueva look to track down Kyle Pearson’s mark of seven home runs in a single season.

Flores is currently tied with Pearson, while Villanueva sits one back.

Sanchez suspended 3 games, Gibbons 1 for incident vs. Royals


Major League Baseball has suspended Toronto pitcher Aaron Sanchez for three games and manager John Gibbons for one game as part of the fallout of Sunday's testy game between the Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals.


CFL Power Rankings: Week 6


Malcolm Kelly ranks the Canadian Football League teams after Week 6.


Calgarian sings, plays ukulele at Mets game

J.R. Shore at Mets game

When J.R. Shore was young and impressionable, he fell hard for the New York Mets, and last week the local musician got to fulfil a dream by taking the field and singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame.


World junior hockey camp: Canada's young stars fight for spots


Canada's top young hockey players are giving it their best shot at the world junior camp in Calgary in hopes of landing a spot on the team.


Track & field ruling body denies ignoring suspicious doping test results


The ruling body of world athletics says it strongly rejects suggestions that it failed to follow up on suspicious blood test results involving thousands of athletes over more than a decade.


World high jump champ Shkolina won't defend title


World high jump champion Svetlana Shkolina of Russia will be unable to defend her title in Beijing due to an Achilles tendon tear.


Fiji takes rugby cup

Three minutes was all Fiji needed to deliver a knockout blow in the Pacific Nations Cup final

Kini Murimurivalu and Malakai Ravulo scored back-to-back tries in the second half moments after surrendering the lead Monday as Fiji beat Samoa 39-29 to capture the six-team rugby tournament.

"It was difficult. We put our hands up to Samoa," said Fijian captain Akapusi Qera. "They came out firing. They wanted to win and we managed to get some tactics right. In the second half we pulled it off."

Leone Nakarawa had two tries of his own for Fiji, ranked 10th in the world, while Nikola Matawalu added another. Joshua Matavesi booted a penalty and four conversions. Substitute Ben Volavola kicked another penalty for the Fijians, who finished the tournament undefeated with a 3-0-1 record.

"We've been working on our second-half performance. We tend to lose in the second half. The boys pulled it off," said Qera. "We knew Samoa wanted to win this badly ... we wanted the win more than them."

Faatoina Autagavaia scored two tries for No. 9 Samoa (2-1-1), while Jack Lam had another. Michael Stanley booted four penalties and a conversion.

The countries tied 30-30 earlier in the tournament that was being used as preparation for next month's Rugby World Cup, and there wasn't much to choose between the South Pacific rivals for long stretches of this one either.

"It was quite a tight game, but that's just how rugby goes. A few mistakes here and there let the Fijians in," said Samoan scrum half Kahn Fotualii. "We missed a few tackles and the way the Fijians play, they can score from anywhere."

No. 12 Tonga beat No 13. Japan 31-20 in the third-place game, while No. 16 United States downed No. 18 Canada 15-13 for fifth.

Down 17-9 at halftime in the final, Samoa came out with more intensity after the break, with Lam going over for a try in the 43rd minute that Stanley converted to cut Fiji's edge to 17-16.

Samoa then took the lead five minutes later when Autagavaia scored on an incredible run to make it 21-17 after the conversion was missed. But Fiji came right back with Nakarawa's second try of the day in the 51st that made it 22-21 after another missed conversion.

The back-and-forth continued in the 55th minute, with Stanley hitting on a penalty to make it 24-22 for Samoa.

Fiji finally took over in the 59th when Murimurivalu went over on another impressive move to make it 29-22 and added to the lead when Ravulo scored his try after Matawalu's run in the 62nd. Matavesi's conversion made it 36-24.

Autagavaia scored his second try of the match for Samoa in the 69th minute to cut the deficit to seven after the conversion was missed. But Fiji put the game out of reach in the 77th with a Volavola penalty that made it 39-29.

"We knew that Samoa would come out firing after the first game that we drew and we were ready for it," said Qera. "We expected that. We knew they would come back firing for the whole 80 minutes."

Halani Aulika, Fetu'u Vainikolo and Sonatane Takulua had the tries for the Tongans (3-1-0) in the third-place game, while Kurt Morath added two conversions and four penalties. Hendrik Tui had the only try for the Japanese (1-3-0), who got five penalties from Ayumu Goromaru.

AJ MacGinty scored a late drop goal to go along with four penalties in the first half to lead the Americans (2-2-0) to fifth place. Nick Blevins scored the game's only try for winless Canada, while Liam Underwood booted two penalties and a conversion.

"We weren't urgent enough in the first half. They turned the ball over on us a few times," said Canadian head coach Kieran Crowley. "We just weren't good enough. They had three yellow cards and we didn't capitalize on it. Pretty disappointing."

The Canadian Press

Canada winless at PNC

Canada would do just about anything for a victory in men's rugby at the moment.

AJ MacGinty scored a drop goal in 80th minute Monday as the United States downed Canada 15-13 in the fifth-place game at the Pacific Nations Cup.

The Canadians finished the six-team tournament with four losses, including back-to-back gut-wrenching results after Wednesday's 21-20 defeat to Samoa that also saw the winning points come in the dying seconds.

"Another disappointing loss for us. We gave a full performance," said Canadian captain Aaron Carpenter. "We stopped playing a bit there. We let them come at us and played scared a little bit because we've lost a couple tight games in the last couple outings."

MacGinty added a 4 for 4 performance on penalties for the Americans (2-2-0), who are ranked 16th in world.

Canadian substitute Nick Blevins scored the game's only try in the 71st minute on a lung-busting run down the right-hand side that gave No. 18 Canada a 13-12 lead after Liam Underwood's conversion before MacGinty snatched the victory for his team.

Canadian head coach Kieran Crowley has been attempting to implement new systems ahead of the Rugby World Cup in England, which begins on Sept. 18, and despite the losses, he's encouraged by his team's play over the last three weeks.

"We've built on everything as we've gone forward, but in the end we would have liked to get at least one result go our way," said Crowley. "A couple (close) losses. You've got to win those games and we didn't.

"There has been progress made, but it needs to get another step up."

Canada is just 2-11 over its last 13 test matches dating back to November 2013, with the only victories coming over No. 21 Namibia and No. 29 Portugal. The losses include No. 9 Samoa (twice), No. 11 Scotland, No. 12 Tonga, No. 13 Japan (twice), No. 14 Georgia, the U.S. (twice) and No. 17 Romania (twice). The record worsens when counting non-test losses to the New Zealand Maori and an English second-division all-star team.

Canada dropped a sloppy 20-6 loss Japan on July 18 to open the PNC, but played well for stretches of a 28-18 defeat to Tonga six days later before consecutive heartbreakers to Samoa and the U.S.

"They've played all these teams tough and haven't got results," said former national team member and current Canadian program manager Gareth Rees. "I don't have to state the obvious. We'll do anything to get a result right now."

Fiji beat Samoa 39-29 later Monday in the PNC final, while Tonga beat Japan 31-20 in the tournament's third-place game.

Canada went ahead 3-0 in the fourth minute on an Underwood penalty, but MacGinty nailed penalties in the 12th, 22nd, 26th and 32nd minutes to give the Americans a 12-3 lead at the half.

Underwood booted another penalty in the 45th minute after Carpenter broke through the middle on a nice run to make it 12-6, but couldn't connect from a tough angle in the 56th that would have cut the deficit to just three.

Crowley made 12 changes to the squad that suited up against Samoa as he continues to get a long look at players ahead of naming his World Cup roster. A couple veterans remain injury question marks ahead of the tournament, and usual Canadian captain Tyler Ardron missed Monday's final Pacific Nations Cup match with a knee injury suffered in the loss to Samoa.

Canada now gets a bit of a break before its next World Cup warmup against the Americans on Aug. 22 in Ottawa. The Canadians will then meet Scottish club Glasgow Warriors in Halifax on Aug. 29.

"All of the teams are within a hair of each other," said Carpenter. "We almost beat Samoa the other day and the U.S. today ... test matches revolve around small, little things."

The Canadian Press

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