Joseph, Ratcliffe among latest cuts from Canada’s world junior team

COLWOOD, B.C. — Hockey Canada has made six more cuts to Canada’s world junior team roster after completing a three-game pre-tournament series against a team of Canadian university hockey players on Friday.

Goaltender Matthew Villalta, defencemen Jacob Bernard-Docker, Pierre-Olivier Joseph and Nicolas Beaudin, and forwards Liam Foudy and Isaac Ratcliffe were released late Friday evening.

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp, and the team must have its roster down to 22 players by Saturday.

Four players were released Thursday, including defencemen Cam Crotty and Calen Addison and forwards Raphael Lavoie and Ty Dellandrea.

Michael DiPietro and Ian Scott will be Canada’s goalies.

…read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca

Stelton: There’s more on the line than playoffs for Seahawks vs 49ers now

When Frank Clark declared the “Richard Sherman era” is over for the Seahawks after Monday’s win over the Vikings, he wasn’t just pointing out that the team has moved on from the days of the Legion of Boom. He was also showing that he’s emerged not just as a leader on the field, but as the new face of Seattle’s defense.

Seahawks-49ers rivalry heats up with Sherman’s response to Clark

When Sherman responded on Thursday to Clark’s comments by saying it was “like ‘Kids say the darnedest things,’” it added some extra incentive for Sunday’s Seahawks-49ers matchup that already is an opportunity for the 8-5 Hawks to clinch a return to the playoffs after missing out on postseason action last year.

In the attached video, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob Stelton speaks about the renewed rivalry between the Seahawks and 49ers ahead of Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. game as well as his read on Clark’s comments.

For more on Sunday’s game, click any of the links below.

• O’Neil: Seahawks have chance to revive a December tradition
• Clayton: Seahawks face an even younger 49ers team in Santa Clara
• Seahawks notebook: RB Rashaad Penny (knee) ruled out for Week 15
• 3 Seahawks to watch vs 49ers: Will Wilson shake off rough outing?
• Doug Baldwin could play vs 49ers, KJ Wright (knee) eyeing Week 16
• Gee Scott: Ken Norton’s important role in Seahawks’ bounce-back season
• Moore: 49ers will play better than their record vs Seahawks

…read more

Source:: MyNorthwest.com – Sports

Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas at ‘maximum’ disappointment following injury

Standing in a track suit with his left thumb encased in a massive cast, Toronto Raptors centre Jonas Valanciunas was asked to gauge his disappointment at having his thumb dislocated, the surgery that followed and the prospect of a recovery that could stretch to mid-February.

“Maximum,” he said. “We were rolling, we were doing good. I’m not saying we’re not going to do it right now, but it’s always fun to kick ass.”

Valanciunas was in the midst of perhaps his best professional season even though the seven-year veteran was being used largely off the bench for the first time in his career.

Through 30 games – 20 coming off the bench, 10 as starter – Valanciunas was averaging 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds on 57.5 per cent shooting. While those numbers aren’t far removed from his career averages, that he was posting them while playing a career-low in minutes is a reflection of how far his game had come in recent years. By sharing the centre position with Serge Ibaka the Raptors have been getting all-NBA calibre production out of the platoon and Valanciunas has more than done his part.

“My initial thoughts are it sucks any time for him but I think even more with the way he was kind of rising with his play,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse. “All the stuff we’ve been working hard at, figuring out ways to keep him on the floor, in different scenarios and coverages and things seemed to be working so it’s a setback. I feel bad for him, he loves to play, you know he loves to play.”

That Valanciunas injured his hand after being fouled hard by the Golden State Warriors Draymond Green tell a story in itself: in the past Valanciunas has had hard …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca