Tag Archives: past

India’s daily coronavirus cases soar past 100,000 for 1st time as western state tightens restrictions

India reported its biggest single-day spike in confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began Monday, and officials in the hard-hit state home to Mumbai are resuming the closure of some businesses and places of worship in a bid to slow the spread.

The Health Ministry reported 103,558 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, topping the previous peak of 97,894 daily cases recorded in late September. Fatalities rose by 478, raising the country’s death toll to 165,101.

India now has a seven-day rolling average of more than 73,000 cases per day, and infections in the country are being reported faster than anywhere else in the world.

The biggest contributor to the surge has been the western state of Maharashtra, home to the commercial capital of Mumbai. The state has contributed more than 55 per cent of total cases in the country in the last two weeks.

The state will start shutting cinemas, restaurants, shopping malls and places of worship from Monday evening. Authorities will also impose a complete lockdown at weekends.


People wait their turn for a COVID-19 test outside a court in Mumbai on Monday. India now has a seven-day rolling average of more than 73,000 cases per day. (Rafiq Maqbool/The Associated Press)

Infections had receded in India for several months but started to rise again in late February. Since then, new cases have increased more than tenfold.

India has confirmed a new and potentially troublesome variant of the virus, but officials have cautioned against linking that or other variants to the surge.

Experts say the surge is blamed in part on growing disregard for physical distancing and mask-wearing in public spaces, including public gatherings. Some say the government has been sending mixed messages.

As health officials continue to warn of gatherings in public places, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party leaders continue to hold mammoth rallies in several states where local elections are underway.


Health workers wait after taking the body of a COVID-19 victim for burial in New Delhi on Monday. (Manish Swarup/The Associated Press)

Modi’s government has also allowed a huge month-long Hindu festival to go ahead on the banks of the Ganges River in northern Uttarakhand state. The festival draws tens of thousands of devotees daily.

Vaccinations ramp up

India has intensified its vaccination drive in recent weeks, now administering more than three million jabs a day. But the shots have been slow to reach India’s nearly 1.4 billion people.

More than 76 million Indians have received at least one shot, but only 9.5 million of them have received both. Health officials want to cover 300 million people by August, but experts say the vaccinations need to move faster to stop the spread.


People wait to get inoculated in New Delhi on Monday. Those older than 45 are now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine. (Manish Swarup/The Associated Press)

The country has launched the third phase of its coronavirus vaccination drive with those older than 45 eligible for the jab. In the first two phases, front-line workers and people above the age of 60 were eligible.

India has reported 12.6 million virus cases since the pandemic began, the highest after the United States and Brazil.

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Matthews, Tavares lead Maple Leafs past Flames for 3rd straight win

Auston Matthews and John Tavares rode to the rescue scoring third-period goals for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-2 win Sunday over the host Calgary Flames.

Matthews and Tavares each had a goal and an assist, and Morgan Rielly and Alex Galchenyuk also scored for Toronto (25-10-3).

Maple Leafs goaltender Michael Hutchinson made 32 saves for the win.

“It definitely wasn’t our best, I think we looked a little sluggish at times,” Tavares said. “We defended really well and I thought played a quicker game in the third, which I think allowed us to take control.

“There’s going to be nights, you don’t have your best, but you’ve got to work and compete and find ways to get your game going. I think we did that.”

The Maple Leafs continue to top the NHL’s North Division and are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.

WATCH | Leafs’ Matthews secures win against Flames:

Mitch Marner set up Auston Matthews for his league-leading 25th goal of the season in Toronto’s 4-2 win vs Calgary. 1:00

Joakim Nordstrom and Andrew Mangiapane scored for the Flames (16-20-3), who are 2-8-0 in their last 10 and 5-8-0 since Darryl Sutter took over as head coach.

“In order to keep up, the team has to play at a pace,” Sutter said. “You have to be able to execute at that pace and check at that pace. For some of our players, that’s difficult.”

David Rittich stopped 26-of-30 shots for the loss in the first of back-to-back games between the division rivals.

The Flames are at home to Toronto again Monday. Toronto leads the nine-game season series 5-2.

Calgary trails the Montreal Canadiens, holding down the fourth and final playoff spot in the division, by six points.


The Leafs went ahead 3-2 on a Flames own-goal credited to Tavares at 6:55 of the third period. Matthews made it 4-2 at 9:16.

Matthews scored his league-leading 25th from close range. From the goal-line, Mitch Marner dished to his linemate driving the net for the insurance goal.

Rittich made initial saves on William Nylander and Tavares, but the rebound went off the skate of Flames defenceman Noah Hanifin and into Calgary’s net.

Hanifin swung his stick in frustration and broke it across Calgary’s post.

“There’s a reason why [the Leafs] are where they are,” Flames captain Mark Giordano said. “And you could tell they were coming out with the mentality to win the game in the third.

“We’ve got to have that same mentality when games are tied or when you’re down, whatever the case, you’ve got to have that confidence.”

Galchenyuk scored his first as a Maple Leaf and evened the score at 2-2 at 17:08 in the second period. The forward converted a goal-mouth feed from Tavares.

“We obviously were not very good at all through 40 minutes, but we were in a game,” Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe said.

“A big goal there late in the second. The way that it worked out, we really needed to find a way to get better for 20 and if we did, we liked our opportunity to get points here tonight. I really liked our third.”

WATCH | Rob Pizzo recaps week 11 in the NHL’s North Division:

In our weekly segment, Rob Pizzo catches you up on the week that was in the all-Canadian division in the NHL. 3:54

Mangiapane spotted the Flames a 2-1 lead with 39 seconds remaining in the opening period.

He pulled Mikael Backlund’s pass out of his skates and got an off-speed shot away that beat Hutchinson’s blocker.

The hosts drew even on Nordstrom’s goal at 12:43 of the first period. He tipped a Giordano slapshot upstairs on Hutchinson for his first goal as a Flame.

Rielly took advantage of Calgary’s defensive-zone turnover and scored on Toronto’s first shot on net 58 seconds after puck drop.

The Leafs defenceman skated the puck to the far faceoff circle and beat Rittich with a wrist shot over the Calgary goaltender’s left shoulder.

Calgary is scheduled to host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday and Saturday. The Canucks, however, were dealing with 16 players on the NHL’s pandemic protocol list Sunday.

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Canadian Janine Beckie’s scoring not enough to help Man City get past Barcelona

Canadian Janine Beckie scored the opening goal in Manchester City’s 2-1 win against Barcelona in the second leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-finals but it wasn’t enough as Barcelona advanced on aggregate, 4-2.

Beckie swept in a loose ball after a corner kick in 20th minute to give City hope of a comeback.

But just before the hour mark, Barca striker Asisat Oshoala tapped in from close range for a crucial away goal. She had earlier come close to scoring several times but had been denied by defender Lucy Bronze and goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck.

American international Sam Mewis converted a penalty in the 68th minute for City.

WATCH | Canada’s Beckie sweeps in opening goal as Man City ousted by Barcelona:

Canadian striker Janine Beckie scored the opening goal as Manchester City beat Barcelona 2-1, but fell 4-2 on aggregate scoring in the second leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-finals. 0:43

Along with Barcelona, Chelsea also advanced to the semifinals of the Women’s Champions League on Wednesday.

Pernille Harder scored against her former team to lead Chelsea to a 3-0 win over Wolfsburg, and 5-1 on aggregate. 

Chelsea will face either Bayern Munich or Rosengård — who features Canadian national team goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé — in the semifinals. Bayern defeated the Swedish club 3-0 in the first leg, and they play again Thursday in Malmo.

Barcelona awaits either five-time defending champion Lyon or Paris Saint-Germain. The Lyon-PSG second leg was moved to April 18 after a coronavirus outbreak in the Lyon squad.

The battle of French rivals features Toronto’s Kadeisha Buchanan for Lyon and the pair of Jordyn Huitema of Chilliwack, B.C., and Ashley Lawrence of Toronto for PSG.

In Budapest, Harder converted a penalty in the 27th minute and Sam Kerr doubled the lead five minutes later. Both players had scored last week in the first leg. Fran Kirby added the third goal in the second half.

Chelsea and Wolfsburg played their quarter-final legs in Budapest because of travel restrictions. Chelsea was the “away” team on Wednesday.

Harder, who joined Chelsea from Wolfsburg in September, sent a long ball for Kerr, who was taken down by defender Sara Doorsoun. From the penalty spot, the Denmark captain then sent goalkeeper Katarzyna Kiedrzynek the wrong way, rolling the ball into the corner.

Kerr scored in the 32nd minute, collecting a chipped pass with her back to the goal. The Australia striker turned and fired a right-footed shot low just inside the post.

Kirby worked a give-and-go with Ji So-Yun and beat Kiedrzynek from close range in the 81st minute. Jessie Fleming, from London, Ont., subbed into the game for Chelsea with 10 minutes to go.

The final is scheduled for May 16 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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Andreescu rallies past Muguruza en route to Miami Open quarter-finals

Bianca Andreescu is feeling closer to her old self as she moves on to the quarterfinals at the Miami Open.

The eighth-seeded Canadian, from Mississauga, Ont., clinched her spot at the WTA Tour 1000 event with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over the 12th-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain on Monday night.

This is Andreescu’s third tournament back after a 16-plus-month absence and she’s trying to recapture the form of her breakthrough 2019 season when she won three tournaments, including the U.S. Open.

“I feel like this [match] was a step closer to feeling as good as I was in 2019,” she said after beating Muguruza Monday. “And I want to just keep rolling like that and feeling really good out there and clutching tough moments.”

With her mom, dad and dog Coco watching from her box, Andreescu broke the former world No. 1 in the first game of the third set and rolled from there, beating a player who already has a title and two runner-up showings this year.

WATCH | Andreescu fights back to overcome Muguruza in Miami:

Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., defeats Spain’s Garbine Muguruza 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Andreescu will face Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain in the quarter-finals. 2:52

It’s always satisfying to win in three sets, especially after dropping an opener, Andreescu said.

“Even when I’m down, I know I can find a way — most of the time, not all of the time — most of the time I can find a way to come back and do really, really well,” she said. “And I keep proving that to myself.”

The Canadian, who saved six of eight break points, will face unseeded Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Andreescu broke the hard-hitting Muguruza twice in the second set after not having one break-point opportunity against her aggressive opponent in the first.

The second break, putting Andreescu up 5-3, came immediately after Muguruza got back on serve with her own break. A volley by the Canadian touched the tape and went over before an unforced error by Muguruza finished the game, prompting a trademark “Come on” from Andreescu.

Muguruza notched the only break of the first set to take a 5-3 lead and then recorded four straight points on serve to take the opener.

“I knew she was going to come out really, really strong. And that’s what she did,” Andreescu said. “I had to re-adapt, which I did in the second set, I regrouped and I kept fighting. I changed my game plan a little bit and it worked.”

The 27-year-old Muguruza captured the 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon titles.

Andreescu notched a 6-1, 6-0 win in their only other meeting in 2019 at Indian Wells, Calif. That quarterfinal win helped send the Canadian to her first career WTA Tour title.

Andreescu returned from her 16-plus-month layoff following a knee injury in February at the Australian Open, losing in the second round of the Grand Slam.

The 20-year-old Canadian followed that up by reaching the semifinals of an event in Melbourne for players eliminated early from the Australian Open, but a leg injury suffered there kept her out until Miami.

Since returning from her extended absence, Andreescu’s been working to play without expectations.

“I feel like this tournament, I’m just going with the flow and having fun out there,” she said. “And it’s really showing and I want to continue that because that’s when I play my best tennis.”

Earlier Monday, Canada’s Milos Raonic advanced to the men’s round of 16.

Raonic advances with win over Humbert

The 12th-seeded Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., reached the fourth round of the ATP Masters 1000 event for the fifth time in 10 appearances with a 6-4, 7-5 win over No. 20 seed Ugo Humbert of France.

A potential all-Canadian fourth-round matchup between Raonic and sixth-seed Denis Shapovalov was dashed when Shapovalov was upset 6-3, 7-6 (6) by No. 26 seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland later Monday.

Raonic converted his first match-point chance to win the contest in one hour 39 minutes.

WATCH | Raonic defeats Humbert in round of 16:

Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., defeated Ugo Humbert of France Monday 6-4, 7-6 to advance to the round of sixteen at the Miami Open. 2:24

The hard-serving Canadian had 12 aces to Humbert’s nine, and won 77 per cent of his first-serve points.

Raonic saved all three break points he faced, while breaking Humbert twice in five opportunities.

Raonic is now 2-0 against Humbert after winning a third-set tiebreak last year in Paris.

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., struggled to make the most of his chances against Hurkacz, who saved all three break points he faced. Hurkacz had just one break-point opportunity, but cashed in on it to take a 5-3 lead en route to taking the first set.

WATCH | Shapovalov falls to Hurkacz:

Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., argued with the chair umpire and bounced his racket in frustration while losing to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 7-6 (6) in the third round of the Miami Open. 3:15

Shapovalov is now 1-3 against Hurkacz.

Raonic will face the Pole for the first time in their fourth-round contest on Tuesday.

Barty, Osaka advance

Ash Barty is tough to beat under any circumstances, especially when she’s on the ropes. She proved that again Monday.

The world’s top-ranked player has reached the Miami Open quarter-finals, getting there by holding off 14th-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-1, 1-6, 6-2. It was Barty’s 17th win in her last 20 three-set matches, two of those victories for the Australian coming so far in this tournament.

No. 2 women’s seed Naomi Osaka of Japan ran her winning streak to 23 matches and moved into the quarters by topping No. 16 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium, 6-3, 6-3. Osaka hadn’t played since Friday after getting a walkover in what was to be her third-round match, and said the downtime was a bit of a challenge.

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Americans need late goal to scrape past Canada at SheBelieves Cup

Substitute Rose Lavelle scored in the 79th minute to help the U.S. defeat Canada 1-0 Thursday on the opening day of the SheBelieves Cup.

It was a gritty performance by a Canadian side missing captain Christine Sinclair and other top players.

While the top-ranked Americans dominated play at Exploria Stadium, they failed to convert until late when Canada didn’t clear a ball in the box and Lavelle hammered a shot through traffic. The Canadians thought there had been an infraction on the play but to no avail.

The Canadian women, tied for eighth with Brazil in the FIFA world rankings, had their hands full with the Americans who spent much of the game in Canada’s end.

WATCH | Lavelle scores late goal to secure U.S. win over Canada:

The United States defeats Canada 1-0 with Rose Lavelle’s goal in the 79th minute. 1:04

The Americans kept coming but could not finish. Canada had a few chances of its own with a Shelina Zadorsky header going just wide in the dying seconds

The game marked the debut of 34-year-old Bev Priestman as Canada coach. The English native, who worked for Canada Soccer from 2013 to 2018, took over last November when Kenneth Heiner-Moller took a coach job in his native Denmark.

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Nintendo Switch Sales Blow Past 3DS, Animal Crossing Moves 31M Copies

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The Nintendo Switch has been a hot commodity all through 2020 and the console’s sales figures reflect it. According to a recent Nintendo press release, the company sold 24.1 million Switches in 2020, a 35 percent increase year-on-year. The surge in sales has given the Switch the kick it needed to pass the lifetime sales of its predecessor, the Nintendo 3DS. As of December 31, 79.87M Switches have been sold worldwide. Back when the 3DS debuted, it faced a very different market.

The 3DS launched in 2011, in the middle of mass-market smartphone adoption. Its initially high price and the uncertain future of its 3D effects put some users off the console. Nintendo saw which way the wind was blowing and slashed the 3DS’s price by nearly a third, from $ 250 to $ 170. Sales of the platform promptly surged, and while the 3DS never achieved the dizzying heights of the original Nintendo DS, its lifetime total of 75.92 million sales is enough to make it the 12th best-selling console of all time, beating out the NES, SNES, and the original Xbox One.

While Nintendo doesn’t mention it, the Switch broke its own record for most units shipped this year. Nintendo’s fiscal quarters don’t align with the calendar year, so it may be waiting until what we would consider Q2 before it gives a formal full-year total.

The Switch has already broken its 2019 shipment record by no less than 25 percent. If sales remained this strong for another year, the Switch’s total lifetime sales would be bumping up against the Wii, at 101.64 million consoles shipped over its lifetime. As it closes in on four years old, the Switch is outselling the PS4 at a comparable point in its life cycle.

Ten years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to find pundits arguing that the only way Nintendo would survive is if it went all-in on smartphones and started working on mobile ports. Dedicated handheld gaming systems were dead, or so the popular opinion went, to be inexorably replaced by touchscreens and phones.

If the 3DS proved that Nintendo had enough of a dedicated fan base to support a handheld console ecosystem, the Switch has shown that tens of millions of smartphone owners also enjoy gaming on a dedicated handheld platform. Animal Crossing has sold a massive 31.18M units in less than a year. The only game to sell more copies is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, with 33.41M in lifetime sales. Animal Crossing will beat it next quarter, based on how well each is selling. Nintendo moved a total of 176.1 million games in calendar 2020, an increase of 43 percent over last year.

Despite the impact of smartphones, dedicated handheld gaming is very much alive — at least if you’re a Nintendo fan. Don’t say such things near PlayStation Vita forums.

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ExtremeTechGaming – ExtremeTech

Toronto Six romp past Connecticut to clinch top seed in Isobel Cup group

The Toronto Six have clinched the first seed in their group at the National Women’s Hockey League Isobel Cup playoffs.

The Six obtained top seed following a 6-0 victory over the Connecticut Whale in round-robin play at the Herb Brooks Arena.

Toronto Six forward Mackenzie MacNeil scored a pair of goals in the victory. Sarah-Eve Coutu Godbout, Taylor Woods, Taytum Clairmont and Mikyla Grant-Mentis also scored a goal.

The Six will play the fourth-seeded team in Thursday’s semifinals, either the Buffalo Beauts or the Boston Pride. Both teams will play each other Monday to determine the final seed for this week’s semifinal games.

WATCH | MacNeil pockets 2 in Toronto Six win:

MacNeil led the way as the Six shutout Connecticut 6-0 in NWHL round robin play. 0:39

The winner of the semifinals will play in Friday’s championship game.

Toronto is the first Canadian team to participate in the NWHL and is playing in its inaugural season.

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Senators kick into overdrive to storm past Maple Leafs in season opener

Brady Tkachuk didn’t want to call it a statement win.

But he made it clear the Ottawa Senators — only just emerging from the darkest days of their rebuild — won’t be an easy out in 2021.

And the rest of North Division should probably take notice after Friday.

Tkachuk had a goal and two assists, Matt Murray made 20 saves in his Ottawa debut, and the Senators defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 in their first game in more than 10 months.

WATCH | Sens put 5 past Leafs to win Battle of Ontario:

Ottawa defeats Toronto 5-3, Brady Tkachuk leads the way with 3 points. 0:56

“That’s going to be the way we play,” said Tkachuk, an alternate captain at 21 years of age. “We have a couple other levels to get to.”

Thomas Chabot, Austin Watson, Derek Stepan and Chris Tierney also scored for Ottawa. Josh Norris, with his first NHL points, Drake Batherson and Nikita Zaitsev added two assists each in the first of nine meetings between the Ontario rivals in a pandemic-shortened season.

John Tavares, with a goal and an assist, Zach Hyman and Alexander Kerfoot replied for the Leafs. Frederik Andersen stopped 19 shots for Toronto, which will look to rebound when the teams play the rematch Saturday back inside an empty Canadian Tire Centre because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“With the way the schedule’s set up, you gotta have a short-term memory,” Stepan said. “We got a good win, but we’ve got to put our work boots back on.”

WATCH | Hockey arenas could be a dangerous place during COVID-19 era:

The NHL is back, which is great news for hockey fans — especially those who can’t play indoors these days. We look at the reasons why your local arena could be a dangerous space when it comes to COVID-19. 8:27

The Leafs, widely viewed as Stanley Cup contenders and the betting favourite to win the division, have now given up nine goals through six periods to start the schedule.

“We were just playing a little bit too loose,” said Toronto centre Auston Matthews, whose team led 1-0 and 2-1 before Ottawa exploded with four straight goals. “That’s a team that works hard. They’re not going to go away. That’s on all of us.

“We’ve got to make sure we put our foot on the gas and [have] no mercy.”

Friday’s tilt marked the Senators’ first game in 310 days after they unknowingly took part in the final contest of the 2019-20 regular season March 11 in Los Angeles against the Kings. The league suspended its schedule the following day because of the widening coronavirus pandemic, and 30th-ranked Ottawa wasn’t included in the 24-team summer restart.

“Amazing feeling,” Tkachuk said. “You miss those winning ways.”

Genesis of rebuild

Playing their first home date since March 5 — a stretch of 316 days — the Senators unveiled an off-season roster remake that includes No. 3 overall pick Tim Stutzle, who celebrated both his NHL debut and 19th birthday, Murray, defencemen Erik Gudbranson, Josh Brown and Braydon Coburn, as well as Stepan, Watson, Evgenii Dadonov and Cedric Paquette up front.

The Leafs, Senators and Canada’s other five NHL franchises have been grouped together in the one-time-only North Division for the abbreviated 56-game 2020-21 campaign to avoid cross-border travel into the U.S.

Given where the franchise stands in the genesis of its rebuild, the Senators aren’t expected to challenge for one of the division’s four post-season spots, but showed what’s possible when they compete at a high-level and play with structure.

“The team did a heck of a job keeping them to the outside,” Murray said. “I really liked our effort all the way up and down.”

Stutzle holds own

Picked third in October’s NHL draft, Stutzle is the most-hyped prospect in the nation’s capital since Ottawa drafted Jason Spezza — now in the twilight of his career with the Leafs — second overall back in 2001. Nicknamed “Jimmy” by roommates Tkachuk and Norris, the German forward finished with just over 12 minutes of ice time and one shot.

“Jimmy played well,” Tkachuk said. “He looked really good. Great speed. You can just clearly tell he’s going to be a stud — not only on our team, but throughout the whole league.

“He’s an unbelievable player.”

Tied 1-1 after 20 minutes, the Leafs went ahead at 9:15 of the second when Kerfoot fired a shot through traffic past Murray, who was playing his first game with Ottawa after an off-season trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

But the Senators got back even 1:13 later when Tkachuk outmuscled T.J. Brodie to deflect Zaitsev’s effort. Watson then got in on the action at 12:32, ripping a shot in off the crossbar to give Ottawa its first lead.

WATCH | Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson against idea of fans at Sens games:

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches comment after Senators owner Eugene Melnyk backtracks on his request to have fans attend home games. 1:41

Tierney then made it 4-2 at 15:03 when he swatted at a loose puck that glanced in off Brodie as the Leafs, who beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 in overtime Wednesday in their opener, were once again soft in front of Andersen.

Brodie’s miserable night continued when he gave the puck away behind the Toronto net to Stepan in the third. Batherson’s stick broke on his shot, but the puck dribbled to Stepan, who swept Ottawa’s 5-2 goal past Andersen at 6:15.

The Leafs got a power play not long after that, and Tavares snapped his second of the season in off the post just 52 seconds later for Toronto’s second power-play goal of the night and fourth already in 2021, but the visitors were unable to get any closer.

Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe lamented his team’s inability to press after Kerfoot’s goal made it 2-1.

“We lost three or four shifts in a row coming off of that goal,” he said. “If we’re a team that wants to accomplish anything, the game should be over from there. We should be able to take care of the lead and then build on the lead.

“We showed that we’re not there yet.”

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Lee’s clutch free throws propel Warriors past Raptors

Damion Lee converted the tying and go-ahead free throws with 3.3 seconds left and the Golden State Warriors withstood a rough fourth quarter to hold off the Toronto Raptors 106-105 on Sunday night despite uncharacteristic struggles by Stephen Curry.

Curry shot 2 of 16 and missed nine of his 10 3s for 11 points after scoring 143 over his previous four games, including a career-high 62 one week earlier against Portland.

“My offence, I expect it to be there every night,” Curry said. “With how teams are defending night to night, being able to figure that out, in terms of us just having confidence across the board no matter who’s out there on the floor, I like where we’re at right now.”

Pascal Siakam missed a jumper as the buzzer sounded but finished with 25 points, and Fred VanVleet scored 21 for Toronto in a rematch of the 2019 NBA Finals won in six games by the Raptors.

WATCH | Siakam’s misses buzzer-beater as Warriors beat Raptors:

Pascal Siakam had a chance to win the game for Toronto at the buzzer but missed and Golden State won 106-105. 0:51

“It went in and out, pretty clean look,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said of Siakam’s last look.

The Raptors challenged a foul call on Kyle Lowry beyond the right side of the arc that originally would have given Lee three shots. It was determined on review the foul was before the shot — the third play that went to replay in the final 34.4 seconds. All three calls were confirmed.

Andrew Wiggins had 17 points and matched his career high with four blocked shots as Golden State nearly squandered away a game it led by 17 against an opponent that had scored a franchise-record 144 points Friday at Sacramento.

Kent Bazemore made a go-ahead lay-in with 1:06 to play for Golden State before VanVleet knocked down a jumper on the other end.

Curry turned the ball over with 34.4 seconds remaining and that went to review. Lowry missed a 3-point try and Golden State got one more chance with 7.6 ticks on the clock — another review that stood determining it was Warriors ball.

Lowry missed Friday’s game for personal reasons but returned and contributed 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists. His layup with 7:13 remaining pulled the Raptors within 94-90. VanVleet’s basket at 4:05 made it a one-point game before Kelly Oubre Jr. hit his first 3-pointer of the night moments later.

Eric Paschall scored 15 points off the bench on a night the Warriors reserves produced 46 points. Lee had 13 with three 3s.

Late in the third, Golden State’s defence showed just how much it is doing for the Warriors: drawing a 24-second violation by Toronto one possession, and then Yuta Watanabe stepped out of bounds the next. Toronto committed another shot-clock turnover in the fourth.

“We have enough talent, enough weapons to overcome a bad shooting performance,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

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Canada cruises past Russia, advances to gold medal game at world juniors

One image served as goalie Devon Levi’s driving force as he and the other Canadian players waited out quarantine in their hotel rooms — playing for gold at the world junior hockey championship.

Now the image is coming into focus.

After beating Russia 5-0 in semifinal action on Monday, Canada will look to defend its title on Tuesday.

“The picture of [playing for gold] has been probably our driving force since we got here,” Levi said on a video call after Monday’s win. “We’ve put in a lot to this. It’s a great feeling that we’re here and that we got here. But the job’s not done yet.”

The tilt between Canada and Russia on Monday was a rematch of last year’s gold-medal game, which saw the Canadians claw their way back from a deficit for a dramatic 4-3 win.

WATCH | Canada captures shutout win over Russia in world junior semis:

Braden Schneider scored in the second period of Canada’s 5-0 semifinal win over Russia at the world junior hockey championship. 0:25

The tension was lower this year, however, with Canada dominating the Russians from the start.

Alex Newhook returned from injury to put the host country on the board just 59 seconds into the game.

There were fears that the Colorado Avalanche prospect from Corner Brook, N.L., would not return to the tournament after suffering an upper-body injury in Canada’s final preliminary-round game against Finland on New Year’s Eve.

He missed Saturday’s quarterfinal game against the Czech Republic but looked healthy on Monday when he scored his third goal of the tournament on his first shift of the game.

Newhook’s shot hit the back bar of the Russian net and popped back out before anyone registered the goal. Play continued until the goal horn was sounded and officials reviewed the video as Newhook’s teammates congratulated him on the bench.


“I had no idea. I thought it was straight crossbar and out,” Newhook said. “But seeing the video after was a good feeling, for sure.”

Connor McMichael, Cole Perfetti and Braden Schneider added goals for the defending champs, and Dylan Cozens sealed the result with an empty netter.

Cozens, the 19-year-old from Whitehorse, Yukon, also had two assists in the game. With 16 points (eight goals, eight assists), he leads the tournament in scoring.

Russian goaltender Yaroslav Askarov struggled to hang on to his stick at times and stopped 30-of-34 shots.

Levi ties tournament record

Levi had 28 saves to collect his third shutout of the tournament, tying a record set by Canada’s Justin Pogge in 2006.

But the young netminder isn’t focused on getting his name in the record books.

“It’s something to maybe look at after the tournament, but the job’s not done yet,” Levi said.

One shot did get past Levi on Monday.

Russia got on the board with less than three minutes to go in the second period only to have its goal disallowed.

Canadian defenceman Justin Barron got tangled with Levi on a Russian power play, preventing the goaltender from getting all the way across the net in time to stop a shot from Mikhail Abramov.

The Russians celebrated but Canada quickly challenged the call for an offside zone entry. Upon review, the officials agreed, waving off the goal.

Scoring on the opportunity could have changed the game, said Russia’s coach Igor Larionov.

“Nothing you can do. That’s the rule,” he said.

The Russians simply didn’t have enough energy and power to create the odd-man rushes they needed to topple the Canadians, Larionov said.

“Team Canada played a good, solid game. They were solid defensively and very efficient offensively, too,” he said.

The United States beat Finland 4-3 later Monday in the other semifinal game.

WATCH | Canada, U.S.S.R. clear benches during 1987 world juniors:

Junior hockey teams from Canada and the Soviet Union are ejected for fighting in an international tournament. 1:47

There’ll be pressure no matter who the team plays, said Canadian coach Andre Tourigny.

“There’s a lot of emotion in that tournament and you want to be in the last game,” he said. “You want to be part of something special and that last game will be something special.”

Since coming together for selection camp way back in mid-November, Tourigny has been telling his players that they need to be ready for adversity.

That mindset has helped them prepare for the challenge of fighting for gold, he said.

“The way the leaders and the player deal with adversity every time there’s adversity, that’s what’s made the difference to me,” Tourigny said.

“It’s a really tough tournament, there’s still a lot of hockey to be played here. Tomorrow will be a hell of a game.”

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