Eh Game

  • With the Canadian Soccer Association announcing that Benito Floro’s time as men’s national team head coach has come to an end, the carousel begins again.

    It’s become like clockwork that Canada hires a coach, they get the men as far as the semifinal round of qualifying, and after elimination a new face takes over for the next cycle. Floro had a different background and viewpoint from previous coaches who were largely Canadian but the result, as in the past, was the same.

    “At the end of the day, it’s a results business,” said CSA president Victor Montagliani as he announced the decision not to extend Floro’s contract. The Spaniard's deal ran through the 2018 World Cup qualifying cycle that ended for Canada on Sept. 6, after a 3-1 win over El Salvador wasn’t enough to get them through to The Hex for the first time in nearly two decades.

    Football Soccer - Canada's training - World Cup Qualifiers - Mexico City, Mexico. 28/3/16. Canada's head coach Benito Floro arrives to attend a news conference after a training session at Azteca stadium, in preparation for their World Cup qualifying match against Mexico. REUTERS/Henry RomeroFootball Soccer - Canada's training - World Cup Qualifiers - Mexico City, Mexico. 28/3/16. Canada's head coach Benito Floro arrives to attend a news conference after a training session at Azteca stadium, in preparation for their World Cup qualifying match against Mexico. REUTERS/Henry Romero

    “But in terms of the direction that we’re pointing, the amount of players we’ve brought through, the young players that we’ve brought through, how we

    Read More »from Benito Floro out, and another coaching search begins for Canadian men
  • HAGERSVILLE, Ont. - Billy Dee Smith added a new element to his game after doing his usual demolition job on opposition forwards.

    The burly defenceman scored an empty-net goal with 6.6 seconds remaining to cap a 9-7 Six Nations victory over the Maple Ridge Burrards on Tuesday night that gave the Chiefs a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Canadian senior lacrosse championship series. They hope to celebrate a third Mann Cup triumph in four years Wednesday night.

    The Burrards, who have an attack that is in constant motion, are giving the more experienced Chiefs all they can handle.

    Six Nations defender chipped in with a rare goal, into an empty net, to clinch Game 4 of the 2016 Mann Cup.Six Nations defender chipped in with a rare goal, into an empty net, to clinch Game 4 of the 2016 Mann Cup.

    “It’s definitely a grind,” says Smith. “It’s what you like to think the Mann Cup is about: no team blowing out another team, every shift means something, and it shows at the end of the game because both teams are exhausted. They definitely have the best offence we’ve seen this year.”

    And superb goaltending supplied by Frankie Scigliano to boot. But the Chiefs’ Dillon Ward matched Sciglinano's effort in

    Read More »from Tempers getting shorter as Chiefs near another Mann Cup triumph
  • TORONTO — Before Mark Heese formed his long-time partnership with John Child he went through five different partners.

    “I switched every year,” the former Canadian professional beach volleyball player said. “Five different partners to finally find John and find the right chemistry, so if you’re not winning it’s a simple thing.”

    Except a break-up is never totally simple, not in life, nor in beach volleyball, where they are common, sure, but nonetheless can still be awkward, painful, dramatic, amicable or all of the above.

    After those five failed partnerships, Heese truly did find his perfect match in Child. The pair went on to play for 11 years and won an Olympic bronze medal in 1996, still Canada’s only podium finish at the Games in volleyball. While Heese and Child enjoyed a long and successful career together, some pairings don’t last as long.

    “It’s a common strategy,” he said, to end a partnership that’s not working.

    Most recently, Canada’s top pairing of Sarah Pavan and Heather

    Read More »from In beach volleyball, breaking up is easy to do
  • Brent Lakatos seeks third medal at Rio Paralympics

    Brent Lakatos is seeking a medal trifecta in Rio de Janeiro.

    The Canadian wheelchair racer from Dorval, Que., will pursue his third medal of these Paralympic Games when he competes Wednesday morning in the men's T53 800-metre heats. Jean-Philippe Maranda of Ste-Aurélie, Que., is competing in the same race.

    Canada sits 20th overall in the medal standings with 22, including four golds.

    Read More »from Brent Lakatos seeks third medal at Rio Paralympics
  • Back in December, during a trip in to Toronto, Trevor Hirschfield had more than just his recent nuptials to celebrate.

    Hirschfield and his Canadian wheelchair rugby mates finished 2015 back on top of the world rankings, following a Para Pan Ams gold medal that earned them a spot at the Rio Paralympics and victory at October’s World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge in London. Since its silver medal at the 2012 Paralympics, also in London, this is a side that’s been trending up, culminating in that thrilling OT win over the United States in Toronto last summer that restored their No. 1 status - but it means very little, says the co-captain. It’s this Paralympic tournament, starting Wednesday with an evening match against host Brazil, that will carry the most weight.

    “We’ve been riding a crazy wave since London and we continue to grow as a team. It’s really exciting for our team leading into Rio.

    “But that No. 1 didn’t come with a gold medal from the Paralympics. To be No. 1 at the

    Read More »from Paralympic summit finally in reach for Canadian 'murderball' team
  • It's a bad time of a year for a slump and the Blue Jays are mired in a bad one right now. Toronto lost 6-2 to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night to fall to 3-8 in September.

    The top of the ninth inning was especially ugly, as four Blue Jays relievers took the mound and the Rays managed to score two runs without hitting a ball out of the infield. When a team's in a rut, those sort of innings feel like they pop up in every other game. 

    Marcus Stroman was chugging along just fine before Alexei Ramirez converted a double and a walk into three runs with a home run in the fifth inning. When a team's in a rut, it feels like one pitch will undo a solid start on a regular basis. Part of that, though, has to do with a lack of run support.

    Russell Martin clubbed a two-run homer in the sixth to get Toronto on the board, but that was all the offense the Blue Jays could muster against Tampa Bay starter Drew Smyly and the Rays' bullpen. When a team's in a rut, it feels like they can never get it

    Read More »from Blue Jays' September slump continues as they lose to Rays
  • (Pictured left to right) Walter Gretzky, Lauri Holomis, Kevin Sylvester and Glen Gretzky gather at Wayne Gretzky's Toronto Sports Bar and Restaurant on Monday Sept. 12 to celebrate launch of new children's book titled GREAT. (Courtesy: Penguin Random House Canada)(Pictured left to right) Walter Gretzky, Lauri Holomis, Kevin Sylvester and Glen Gretzky gather at Wayne Gretzky's Toronto Sports Bar and Restaurant on Monday Sept. 12 to celebrate launch of new children's book titled GREAT. (Courtesy: Penguin Random House Canada)

    Gretzky is the most famous last name in hockey and yet it never appears once in the text of a new children’s story titled GREAT, written by Glen Gretzky and Lauri Holomis. 

    In fact, No. 99 isn’t even the main character, he plays a supporting role as a superstar kid known only by his first name - Wayne, and is illustrated as a blonde child wearing his famous number for an unspecified minor hockey team.  The spotlight is saved for Wayne and Glen’s father, Walter – Canada’s most famous hockey dad, known as "Coach Wally".

    "Coach Wally” and a boy named Taylor are the central focus of the tale.  “Coach Wally” imparts wisdom about the game to the youngster as he tries to navigate his way on the ice.

    Glen, 47, executive director of the Wayne Gretzky Foundation’s Canadian branch teamed up with Holomis to honour his father with a story they want every child to relate to.

    Eh Game had a chance to speak with Gretzky and Holomis about GREAT, which was released on Tuesday.

    Read More »from Glen Gretzky and Lauri Holomis team up to author children's book that honours Canada's most famous hockey dad
  • A Russian cyber espionage group that calls itself Fancy Bears has hacked into the website of the World Anti-Doping Association, and among the first athletes to have their private medical records made public – all of them American women – are tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams.

    The others are American gymnast Simone Biles, who won four gold medals at the Rio Olympics and Elena Delle Donne, a well-known basketball player.

    That will, of course, just ratchet up all the doping rumours that the two tennis-playing sisters, among the most famous female athletes on the planet, have been subjected to throughout their long and distinguished careers.

    If at first there was scepticism that the rather realistic-looking documents were fakes, which was put to rest Tuesday when WADA, the U.S. Anti-Doping Association and Venus Williams herself issued statements.

    From WADA:

    “WADA deeply regrets this situation and is very conscious of the threat that it represents to athletes whose confidential

    Read More »from Serena and Venus Williams medical records among those leaked by cyberespionage group Fancy Bear
  • Team Canada goalie Carey Price and the rest of his teammates have already won the hearts -- and eyeballs -- of Canadians.Team Canada goalie Carey Price and the rest of his teammates have already won the hearts -- and eyeballs -- of Canadians.
    When plans were announced for the World Cup of Hockey, more than a few eyebrows were raised (including those split by hockey sticks.)

    Yes, it was hockey and that always sells in Canada. But this was taking place in the dying days of summer and there were doubts that excitement could be created for an event that seemed to have been drawn up on a napkin. (Hey guys, why not have a team of young players and call it Team North America, for no logical reason?)

    Well, the tournament hasn't even started and already the critics are wondering what they were thinking in doubting the supremacy of hockey and the lure of the Maple Leaf.

    This is Canada, right?

    A meaningless pre-tournament game between Canada and the U.S. on Saturday night drew an average audience of 903,000 to Sportsnet. That was more than the two CFL Labour Day rematch games that day and more than any NFL game drew in the league's opening week.

    The two-game average for Canada's matches against the U.S. (there was another one Friday)

    Read More »from The Great Canadian Ratings Report: Early results bode well for World Cup of Hockey
  • Aurelie Rivard hopes record swim in heats carries over into Paralympics finals

    Aurelie Rivard is taking aim at another trip to the podium after setting a Paralympic Games record on Tuesday morning.

    Rivard eclipsed her own world record in the women's S10 100-metre freestyle heats with a time of 59.89 seconds to join three other Canadian para-swimmers with second swims. Tess Routliffe of Caledon, Ont., and Sarah Mehain of Vernon, B.C., ranked second and fifth respectively in the women's S7 200-metre IM heats. Nathan Stein of Surrey, B.C., heads to the men's S10 100-m free final with the sixth fastest time.

    Rivard is taking dead aim at a third medal in Rio de Janeiro.

    "My goal was to finish the race and qualify first," said the 20-year-old, who set the world record of 59.17 at last summer's Parapan American Games in Toronto. "It's a pretty amazing time. I didn't give my all. I know I have a lot left for tonight."
    Read More »from Aurelie Rivard hopes record swim in heats carries over into Paralympics finals
  • HAGERSVILLE, Ont. -- Star forward Cody Jamieson's damaged left leg might need surgery, but there he was Monday night for Six Nations, scoring three goals including the overtime clincher and assisting on four in a 9-7 victory over the Maple Ridge Burrards that gave the Chiefs a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven Canadian senior lacrosse championship series.

    These kind of heroics are nothing new for Jamieson, 29, one of the all-time greats among First Nations players. In the Ontario final, Six Nations fell behind 0-3 with Jamieson out of the lineup against Peterborough. He strapped on a brace, suited up, and helped the Chiefs win that series 4-3 and advance to the Mann. He was rested in Game 1 last Friday and, when the Chiefs won 15-8, he was kept out of Game 2 as well. He hated watching in street clothes as Maple Ridge won 13-9.

    Chiefs forward Cody Jamieson's seven-point night led Six Nations.Chiefs forward Cody Jamieson's seven-point night led Six Nations.

    He was adamant about being in the lineup for Game 3.

     “I can’t sit in the stands and watch the boys,” he says. “I’d rather be out there helping.”

    As for Game 4

    Read More »from On one good leg, Cody Jamieson powers Six Nations to 2-1 Mann Cup lead
  • Men's wheelchair basketball team playing for pride at the Paralympics

    The Canadian men's wheelchair basketball team finds itself playing largely for pride at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

    A loss on the weekend to Japan meant the defending champions were out of medal contention, so they'll try to get back into the win column against Turkey at 4:05 p.m. ET

  • For the casual fan, the tennis season effectively ends with the final Grand Slam of the season at the US Open.

    But the ATP and WTA Tours soldier on for another six weeks. And one of this week's stops on the women's tour is the tournament in Quebec City.

    It's an event that has struggled to find the right time slot, but its options are limited given it's an indoor event. Years ago, it was at the beginning of November and competed with other tournaments in Europe in attracting top-20 type players who were trying to make a final push to qualifying for the tour's year-end finals.

    The last few years, it has been held the week after the US Open to try to capitalize on players who might still be in North American before heading off to tournaments in Asia. But the field is lacking big names, completely understandable given its current time slot.

    As a result, top Canadian Genie Bouchard (whose ranking as of Monday is No. 48) is the top seed in the singles event after the withdrawal of Hungary's

    Read More »from First Serve – Canadians on the pro tennis tours this week
  • MONTREAL – It was a long, exhausting week for Canadian junior Félix Auger-Aliassime at the US Open.

    So you can understand if the 16-year-old couldn't remember where all his stuff was after he got up at the crack of dawn Monday and boarded a plane home.

    When the newly-crowned US Open junior boys' singles champion landed, cruised through Customs and was about to head down to collect his checked bag, he realized something was missing.

    Knapsack? Check.

    Carry-on sports bag? Check.

    The Tiffany trophy, encased in its trademark blue box?

    Well, two out of three ain't bad. Oopsie!

    Beyond the exhaustion and the early alarm, what probably crushed him was actually having a decent bulkhead seat on the small Air Canada plane from LaGuardia (he practically had to apologize, very politely, for needing the leg room to the squatter who was already sitting in it; the man was peeved at having to move to his own assigned seat in the back).

    It was a big upgrade from the middle seat Auger-Aliassime had for

    Read More »from Lost: One US Open junior boys' singles championship trophy!
  • Belgian Paralympian refutes reports she planned to end her life after Rio

    Belgian Paralympian Marieke Vervoort has signed euthanasia papers, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to end her life.

    Vervoort, who won silver in the 400-metre wheelchair race at the Rio Paralympics over the weekend, has an incurable and degenerative spinal condition, having been diagnosed when she was a teenager, according a story by the news wire service Reuters.

    In 2008, she received and signed euthanasia papers —assisted suicide is legal in Belgium — but refuted earlier media reports that she was planning to end her life following the Rio Games.

    "I have my (euthanasia) papers in my hand, but I'm still enjoying every little moment," she told reporters during an emotional press conference, according to Reuters.

    "When the moment comes when I have more bad days than good days, then I have my euthanasia papers, but the time is not there yet."

    Vervoort went on to say that merely signing those papers gave her hope and a sense of control in the face of a disease that is gradually taking

    Read More »from Belgian Paralympian refutes reports she planned to end her life after Rio
  • Brian McGrattan scans the ice for next opponent he will engage with in fisticuffs.(Courtesy: Adam Scorgie, Ice Guardians)Brian McGrattan scans the ice for next opponent he will engage with in fisticuffs.(Courtesy: Adam Scorgie, Ice Guardians)

    When the theatre lights dim at The Royal Cinema in Toronto, ON., on Monday evening, Kelly Chase will try to quell his heightened nerves so they don’t get the best of him as he did so often throughout his 11-season NHL career which lasted from 1989-2000

    Chase was what people call an enforcer when they are being polite, a goon or thug if they aren’t. 

    On this night he will be on screen as an ice guardian and viewed intently by a crowd that will be full of them.  He wants to ensure they see their story told in the right light.

    Luke Gazdic, Eric Godard and Todd Fedoruk, amongst other former and current NHL tough guys will gather for the premiere of Ice Guardians, a film which Chase is credited as an executive producer.

    “I just want to make sure people get honoured in the right way,” he told Yahoo Canada Sports.  “We get painted with a certain brush, that we have no sense, no intelligence. People will knock the role and you’re a bad person because you played that role, they say “that’s

    Read More »from Role of NHL tough guys documented on big screen with premiere of Ice Guardians
  • NEW YORK – One of the US Open finalists sat in his chair when it was all over, a half-smile on his face and nary a hair out of place, as if he had barely exerted himself.

    That man, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, was not the winner on this night.

    The new US Open champion was a dishevelled, sweaty mess, with a nose nearly as fuchsia as his Yonex kit. It’s the man who, moments before the match began, said he was shaking and crying as his coach went over some final details. 

    Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka is now 11-0 when he reaches the final of a tournament and, at age 31, is one Wimbledon title short of completing the career Grand Slam after a 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Djokovic.

    When it was over, Wawrinka alternately raised his arms in triumph and grimaced in pain. He didn’t even want to try to risk jumping up to the players’ box to hug his people so he went the long way, through the crowd.

    In the secret sign category, Wawrinka is showing coach Magnus Norman that he's still using his head. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)In the secret sign category, Wawrinka is showing coach Magnus Norman that he's still using his head. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    It was a dramatic evening, an entertaining match that won’t go down as one of the best

    Read More »from Invincible in tournament finals, Stan Wawrinka wins his first US Open in a four-setter over No. 1 Novak Djokovic
  • TORONTO – Mock cheers on Friday in a blowout loss and a raucous atmosphere on Saturday during a tight win. What stood out from the close to four hours and combined 18 pitchers used it took for the Toronto Blue Jays to lose 11-8 to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday was the silence that hung over long portions of the game.

    Down 4-1 in the second inning with Aaron Sanchez on the mound the Rogers Centrewas eerily silent. A lone heckler’s cries were the only thing saving the stadium from going completely quiet.

    Troy Tulowitzki’s grand slam in the third momentarily brought the crowd to its feet but the good vibes were temporary.

    Sanchez was lifted in the fourth inning after allowing six runs and he struggled with his command, walking a season-high four batters. The sharpness the Blue Jays have come to expect from Sanchez was perhaps the result of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand, but the 24-year-old right-hander did not want to make any excuses.

    "At the end of the day, you’ve

    Read More »from Blue Jays lose slugfest in series finale with Red Sox
  • NEW YORK – Less than 24 hours before, 16-year-old Félix Auger-Aliassime was tired, overheated and fighting a losing battle with a cold. His nose had been bleeding on and off, and he was severely disappointed at losing the US Open junior doubles final with friend Ben Sigouin.

    But he was in the singles final, with a chance to write a happier ending than he did back in rainy Paris in early June when he had three match points before losing to France’s Geoffrey Blancaneaux.

    The recuperative powers of a teenager are a wondrous thing, aren’t they?

    The kid from Montreal came out in his second junior Grand Slam singles final of the season and crushed No. 5 seed Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 6-3, 6-0 to win the junior US Open title.

    Here's what it looked like.

    It is the second consecutive junior Grand Slam boys’ singles title for Canada, after 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov (who was not here) won at Wimbledon in July.

    “Yeah, I think it was one of the best performance I have had. And also in the

    Read More »from At 16, Montreal's Félix Auger-Aliassime is the youngest junior US Open boys' champion in history
  • HAGERSVILLE, Ontario — Maple Ridge forward Luke Gillespie, a healthy scratch in a 15-8 loss in Game 1 of lacrosse’s Mann Cup series Friday, returned to make the Six Nations Chiefs sick in a 13-9 Burrards win in Game 2 Saturday.

    Gillespie’s short-handed goals at 18:38 of the first period and at 1:22 of the second period were the shot in the arm the Burrards needed to transform a precarious 3-1 lead into a 5-1 advantage that proved insurmountable.

    Frankie Scigliano did the rest.


    Six Nations outshot Maple Ridge 60-41, but the six-foot-four, 290-pound goaltender frustrated Chiefs shooters time and again. Dillon Ward, so good on Friday, was relegated to the end of the Six Nations bench after the Burrards went up 10-4 a scant 48 seconds into the third period.

    Observers wondering if the Burrards might be in critical condition due to their lacklustre effort in the opener awoke on the off day Sunday with the unmistakeable impression this best-of-seven showdown could very well go the distance.

    Read More »from Luke Gillespie goes from healthy scratch to hero as Burrards win Game 2 of Mann Cup