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Sunday, December 21, 2014


NHL: Chris Tanev didn't waste any time giving the Canucks a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames Saturday night. Tanev scored just 18 seconds into overtime as Vancouver snapped a five-game losing skid with the victory. The Flames, meanwhile, extended their losing streak to eight games.


Claude Giroux scored twice and Jakub Voracek took over the lead in the NHL's points race with four assists as the Philadelphia Flyers thumped the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-4. Voracek's four points give him 42 in 32 games. Toronto has now dropped back-to-back outings.


Brendan Gallagher's second-period goal stood up as the winner and Carey price made 24 saves as the Montreal Canadiens downed the Ottawa Senators 4-1. Alex Galchenyuk, Tomas Plekanec and Brandon Prust also scored for the Habs, who jumped back into first place in the Atlantic division.


NFL: The San Diego Chargers kept their playoff hopes alive on Saturday, while the Philadelphia Eagles continued to mess up a post-season berth.

Nick Novak hit a 40-yard field goal to complete the Chargers' comeback in a 38-35 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers. Novak's game-winning kick came after Niners wide receiver Quinton Patton fumbled on the first possession of OT.

The Chargers trailed 28-7 at halftime and 35-21 with under six minutes in regulation before Philip Rivers hit Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd for touchdowns. Floyd's scoring grab came with 29 seconds left and helped San Diego improve to 9-6.

Rivers threw for 356 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.

Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick (KAP'-ur-nik) ran for 151 yards on seven carries, including a career-best 90-yard touchdown run. But Kaepernick also threw for just 114 yards.

Critical turnovers and missed field goals have the Philadelphia Eagles on the brink of elimination from the NFC playoff hunt. Kai (ky) Forbath hit a 26-yard field goal with five seconds left to give Washington a 27-24 win over the Eagles. It came following an interception by Mark Sanchez, who also had a first-quarter fumble that set up a field goal.

Cody Parkey missed field-goal tries of 34 and 46 yards after stalled drives by the Eagles.

Sanchez completed 37 of his 50 passes for 374 yards and two touchdowns, but his two turnovers contributed to the Eagles' third straight loss.

Philadelphia dropped to 9-6 and now needs the Dallas Cowboys to lose their final two games to have a shot at repeating as NFC East champs.

Robert Griffin III threw for 220 yards, no touchdowns and one interception for Washington, which improved to 4-11.


NCAA: The college football bowl seasons has kicked off with five of the 39 post-season games that are scheduled.

Travis Wilson ran for three touchdowns and passed for another in leading No. 23 Utah to a 45-10 rout of Colorado State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Wilson rushed for a season-high 91 yards on 11 carries and completed 17 of 26 passes for 158 yards.

Shayne Davern ran for a career-high 101 yards and two touchdowns to lead Air Force to a 38-24 over Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Dexter Walker returned a fumble 60 yards for a touchdown to help the Falcons finish 10-3.

Terrance Broadway passed for 227 yards and a touchdown as Louisiana-Lafayette beat Nevada 16-3 to win the New Orleans Bowl for the fourth straight time. Hunter Stover kicked three field goals for the 9-4 Ragin' Cajuns.

Nick Vigil ran for a touchdown and also combined with his brother to make 16 tackles as Utah State shut down UTEP 21-6 in the New Mexico Bowl. It's the third straight bowl victory for the 10-4 Aggies, a first in school history.


NBA: Monta Ellis equaled his season high with 38 points, including 11 during the final four minutes, to spark a late rally as Dallas beat the depleted San Antonio Spurs 99-93 in Rajon Rondo's debut with the Mavericks. Rondo had six points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Canadian Corey Joseph had 14 points for the Spurs.


BOXING:  Boxing great Muhammad Ali has been hospitalized.

A spokesman for the three-time heavyweight champion says Ali has a mild case of pneumonia that was caught early and should result in a short hospital stay. The spokesman says the 72-year-old Ali is being treated by his team of doctors and is in stable condition.

The family has requested that no other details be released, including the hospital's location, according to the spokesman.

(Canadian Press)

Saturday, December 20, 2014


On Friday the Saskatchewan Roughriders announced the hiring of Jacques Chapdelaine as offensive co-ordinator.

The veteran coach has spent 13 seasons coaching in the Canadian Football League after originally entering as special teams co-ordinator and receivers coach with the Calgary Stampeders in 2001. The next season Chapdelaine was named as the Stamps offensive co-ordinator.

The 53-year-old went on to spend ten of the next 11 seasons (2003-2006, 2008-2013) with the BC Lions including six years as offensive co-ordinator. He spent the 2007 season with the Edmonton Eskimos as assistant head coach and offensive co-ordinator.

Through eight seasons as the head signal caller, Chapdelaine’s teams have compiled a 79-64-1 record, playing in four division finals, winning two grey Cups.

Chapdelaine joins the Green and White after spending last year as head coach at his alma mater Simon Fraser University in the NCAA’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference. As a player, Chapdelaine starred with the SFU Clan in the 1980’s before moving on to a seven year career in the CFL making stops in BC, Montreal, Hamilton and Calgary. 


VANCOUVER - Jeff Tedford has returned to the CFL.

Tedford, who played six seasons as a quarterback from 1983-'88 with Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg, was named head coach of the B.C. Lions Friday.

He replaces Mike Benevides in the position. Benevides was fired following B.C.'s 50-17 loss to the Montreal Alouettes in the East Division semifinal.

Tedford, 53, previously worked as an assistant under Lions general manager Wally Buono in Calgary from 1989-'91.

"I've always had fond memories and a soft spot in my heart for the CFL, both as a player and a coach,'' said Tedford during a late afternoon news conference at the Lions' practice facility. "I had great times doing both.''

Tedford helped the Stampeders reach the Grey Cup in 1991. The next season, he was hired as an offensive assistant at Fresno State where, as a quarterback for two seasons, he had set records for passing yardage (4,872) and touchdowns (35).

He was later promoted to offensive co-ordinator at Fresno State (1993-97) and held the same position at Oregon (1998-2001) before he became the head coach at the University of California. He was named the Pac-10's top coach twice and led the Golden Bears to a conference title in 2006.

Earlier this year, Tedford was hired to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offensive co-ordinator but left the team during the pre-season to undergo a heart procedure. That ultimately resulted in the two sides mutually agreeing to end his NFL deal, making Tedford available to join the Lions.

While at Cal, Tedford tutored future NFL quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Trent Dilfer, David Carr, Akili Smith, Joey Harrington and Kyle Boller.

Tedford says he is looking forward to developing a stable of young quarterbacks in B.C., which includes Rodgers' younger brother Jordan and holdover Travis Partridge as well as veteran Travis Lulay, who sat out most of the 2014 season with a shoulder injury.

The Lions finished last season 9-9, making the playoffs as the cross-over team in the East Division.

Tedford says he came away "very impressed'' from a meeting with Lulay this week and plans to work with him closely as he continues his recovery, which the coach views as critical to the team's success.

"I'm very anxious to work with him closer,'' said Tedford. "Thankfully, he's close enough to get here on a consistent basis, where we can visit.''

Tedford says he is also eager to organize his coaching staff and get to know veteran players. He was non-committal on the future of assistants, saying he had to discuss their goals with them and consider others with whom he has worked. But he wants to ensure that the Lions coaching staff has a considerable amount of CFL experience.

After more than two decades away from the CFL, he does not believe it will be too difficult to reacquaint himself with three-down football.

"While I haven't been following it that closely to understand all of the nuances of what's going on, I will get back into that very quickly,'' Tedford said. "I'll watch a lot of tape.''

The Lions came under criticism last season for an inconsistent offence led by 14-year veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn, who has since been released. While Tedford is known for tutoring quarterbacks and offensive expertise, he wants to make sure the Lions excel on offence, defence and special teams.

"I believe it's important to be solid in all three phases,'' he said. "I'm not going to be so worried about the past, I'm really not. I'm just focused on the future.''

Tedford has been spending the week in the Vancouver area getting familiar with the city. The late afternoon press conference was designed to accommodate his wife Donna, a Calgary native, who was eager to attend but had to fly in from Tampa Bay earlier in the day.

The Tedfords, whose two sons were born in Calgary, are looking forward to resuming their life in Canada and having the chance to spend more time with Donna's family.

"This is a great opportunity because of where it is,'' he said. "My wife can come back to Canada. My kids can come back to Canada.''

The new Lions coach called the move a "lifestyle'' decision after he had two stents installed in his heart. He has been ``good to go'' for a couple of months.

"I have as much energy now as I've ever had,'' Tedford said, adding he is focusing on exercising regularly and eating right.

He and Buono took part in an official contract signing during the news conference. Tedford says the deal is only for two years, because the Lions did not offer a longer term.

"Insurance is one thing, but I wouldn't have moved my family 3,000 miles if I didn't feel pretty good about (the opportunity),'' he said.

Tedford says he took the job because of his relationship with Buono and respect for the Lions franchise, which he always felt was difficult to play against.

Buono, who kept in contact with Tedford over the years, says he is looking forward to having his former protege back in the fold and pleased with having someone who has built a solid career as "a good advertisement'' for the CFL. But both Buono and Tedford dismissed the idea that the hiring was about helping the Lions rebuild.

"This is professional football and professional football is, and always will be, about winning,'' said Buono.

(Canadian Press)

Friday, December 19, 2014


REGINA (CP) - After winning a third Grey Cup ring last year, Ricky Foley seriously contemplated retirement. Instead, the 32-year-old Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive end returned to the field in 2014 and had one of the best seasons of his career.

This time, he knew right away he wanted to come back.

On Thursday, the Riders signed Foley to a contract extension. With last week's re-signing of Tearrius George and John Chick being under contract, Saskatchewan has solidified its defensive line heading into the 2015 campaign.

The Riders posted a CFL-high 61 sacks this past season.

Foley said he knew "about 15 minutes'' after Saskatchewan fell 18-10 to Edmonton in the West Division semifinal that he wanted to return rather than retire or become a free agent Feb. 10.

"I think collectively as soon as the season was done and we realized we were going home ... the somberness turned to almost anger, like 'Man, we could have won, we should have won, this sucks. OK we're coming back next year,' '' Foley said during a news conference. "I know me and T-George, we had a moment where we knew we would be better next year, and we were going to come back and do this.''

Foley, Chick and George are veteran players in their early 30s but each is still playing at a high level. Chick had a CFL-best 15 sacks, three more than George.

Foley, a six-foot-three 245-pound native of Courtice, Ont., matched a career high last season with 12 sacks while adding 54 defensive tackles. He was named the Riders' most outstanding Canadian for the 2014 campaign but believes he can do better.

"The film doesn't lie,'' he said. "We missed a lot of sacks this year, we missed a lot of plays.

"We still finished with good numbers, but we're still excited by what we're capable of.''

Saskatchewan GM Brendan Taman said Foley's extension has been in the works for some time but the team needed to clear some logistical hurdles before making it official.

"He's a good Canadian and you want those guys around,'' Taman said. "He really had a good year for us, and we've pretty much solidified our D-line now.''

Taman said there is still work to do on the defence. Saskatchewan needs a new defensive co-ordinator to replace Richie Hall and faces the task of re-signing hard-hitting safety Tyron Brackenridge.

Foley captured his first Grey Cup title in '06 with B.C. before winning in '12 with Toronto.

He said while the Roughriders might have trouble getting free agents due to perceptions of the climate, it's tough for a player to leave Saskatchewan after suiting up there.

"The fan support here on game day is amazing,'' he said. "You can't get that anywhere else.''

· The Riders also announced they have released upcoming free agents Tim Cronk, Trevor Guyton, Hilee Taylor and Carlos Thomas.