Achiuwa leads Raptors to 123-105 win over Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Precious Achiuwa scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in place of the injured OG Anunoby to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 123-105 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

Pascal Siakam scored 24 points and Gary Trent Jr. added 19 against his former team for the Raptors, who led by as many as 23 and never trailed. Scottie Barnes had 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Damian Lillard scored 30 points and Jerami Grant 28 for Portland, which had 12 turnovers that led to 22 points for Toronto. The Trail Blazers were also outrebounded 45-27.

Lillard’s 3-pointer cut the Raptors’ lead to 94-90 with 8:41 left, but that was the closest the Blazers would get.

The Raptors answered with baskets on their next three possessions to make it 100-90 and forcing a timeout by the Blazers with 7:24 left. Blazers coach Chauncey Billups was called for a technical foul during the timeout and Fred VanVleet extended the lead to 101-90.

A 3-pointer by Siakam made it 108-90 to send Portland fans to the exits.

UP NEXT

Raptors: At Phoenix on Monday night.

Trail Blazers: Host Atlanta on Monday night.

More AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

© 2023 The Canadian Press

London Knights edge Kingston to move into first place in Western Conference

The London Knights finished three games in three nights in three different cities with a 3-2 shootout win over the Frontenacs in Kingston, Ont., on Saturday night.

Brett Brochu stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout and George Diaco scored what was the game winner as London made it back-to-back shootout victories. The team now has sole possession of first place in the Western Conference and sit one point ahead of the Windsor Spitfires. Both teams have played 44 games.

Denver Barkey scored once and added an assist. Barkey returned from the 2023 Top Prospects game on Friday in Ottawa, Ont., and either scored or assisted on all three of the goals that London recorded in regulation against Kingston and the 67’s.

Barkey shot a puck off the pads of Frontenacs goalie Ivan Zhigalov in the third period that was batted behind Frontenacs goalie Ivan Zhigalov to break a 1-1 tie in the third period.

Kingston managed to force overtime when they pulled Zhigalov with under two minutes remaining. Maddox Callens was credited with the goal after a Paul Ludwinski shot deflected past Brett Brochu.

Logan Mailloux took a high stick to the face as he skated out of his own zone just over six minutes into the first period and had to leave the game for repairs after being cut. He returned in the second period.

On the ensuing power play, Brody Crane fed a pass to George Diaco on the right side of the Kingston end and Diaco zipped a feed back across to the left to Denver Barkey, who scored the game’s first goal. Crane was playing in his 100th career game for the Knights.

London held the Frontenacs to just two shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes.

Former Windsor Spitfire Ethan Miedema tied the game on a Kingston 5-on-3 man advantage in the second period with his first goal as a member of the Frontenacs.

The Knights outshot Kingston 39-30.

The only playoff series ever between London and Kingston

In order for the Knights and the Frontenacs to meet in the playoffs in today’s OHL, they both have to make it to the championship series. It wasn’t always that way. In 1998, teams were re-seeded following the opening round and the matchups paired up London and Kingston in the second round. The Knights were coming off a wild first-round victory over Erie in seven games. The Frontenacs had been through an equally gruelling opening round. They went seven games with the Oshawa Generals and won. Four of those games went to OT. The teams split the first two games, but London rode the wizardry of Mark Cadotte and an overtime winner by Krys Barch in Game 4 to a series win in five games. Cadotte had eight goals in the series. That series loss began a drought for Kingston that saw them fail to win a single playoff series until 2016. London went to the semi-finals that year before bowing out to the Ottawa 67’s and then made it to Game 7 of the OHL championship against the Belleville Bulls the next year.

Tavares on pace to break 80

Toronto Maple Leafs captain and former London Knight John Tavares is on pace to break the 80-point barrier for the fifth time in his National Hockey League career and for the first time as a Maple Leaf. Tavares has 21 goals and 48 points in 49 games this season, which has him on track for exactly 80 points for the year.

Up next

The Knights will return home to begin a busy month of February with a game against the Saginaw Spirit on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens.

This will be the final regular season meeting between the teams. London is 3-0 against the Spirit so far.

The Knights will play 13 games in 24 days in February.

Coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. on 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Call Of The Wilde: Ottawa Senators outgun the Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens conclude their play before the All-Star break with a home and home against the Ottawa Senators. Night one Saturday in Ottawa had the Senators skating to a 5-0 win.

Wilde Horses 

Rebuilding seasons are not about wins and losses. They are about development. They are about building a foundation toward something sustainably great.

With that in mind, let’s assess the Canadiens’ season, because it has been simply phenomenal. In fact, so phenomenal, they are not losing enough games. However, that’s a fine balance. A GM wants to get another high draft pick, but he also needs to see the foundation grow. And grow it has.

Kirby Dach has eight points in his last nine games. He is having a breakout season. He was drafted third overall for a reason. He had a serious wrist injury that made him struggle for a reason. Now he is arriving in a big way.

Dach is a true centre. He is a possession monster. His shot share in this contest was 75 per cent. Imagine when he is able to exit and enter the zone as effectively as he does, but after taking care of all of that business, he passes it to outstanding wingers.

The next generation of wingers is coming for Dach to shine with, to continue the outstanding plays that he starts. Imagine the domination that Dach with two high-quality wingers could bring to the Canadiens. Dach is a foundational piece.

Another player having the best season in his career is Nick Suzuki. He has slowed down recently, but he is still having a career year, and improvements should continue at his age.

Cole Caufield is another foundational piece as he was set for a 46-goal campaign at his pace but he was removed from the line-up to have shoulder surgery before he suffered more damage. In an outstanding article from Arpon Basu at The Athletic, it was learned that Caufield could have suffered permanent damage if he continued to play, according to doctors.

Caufield dislocated his shoulder in two different games and popped it back in so he could continue to play. Doctors say that Caufield has a 90 to 95 per cent chance of returning to play with the same range and power on his shot. Caufield is another foundational piece.

Beyond that, there are many more who potentially could be foundational pieces to a sustainably winning team: Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, Jordan Harris, Jonathan Kovacevic, Mike Matheson, Justin Barron, and Juraj Slafkovsky.

Rafael Harvey-Pinard could be a fourth line player on the future Habs as well.

Finally, to the goalie who has suddenly turned into one of the best in hockey for the last dozen games: Samuel Montembeault entered the season as a question mark. He leaves the season as the future number two goalie, and if he can continue to sustain a remarkable .930 save percentage, then with that number, he is a number one.

That’s a lot of good happening in a year, despite what the standings show. It is not a bad year. GM Kent Hughes has discovered a first line centre, five capable NHL defenders, and a suddenly strong goalie.

That’s a terrific year. Now, if they could just knock it off for a little bit, so they can pick top five at the highly touted NHL draft this summer to add yet another foundational piece.

This is exactly what you want in a rebuilding year.

Wilde Goats 

The Canadiens actually held the advantage in expected goals for much of this contest. Sometimes, the final score is not always a perfect reflection of the actual run of play. Ottawa was opportunistic while Montreal was stymied.

Montreal was a one line hockey team with Kirby Dach’s dominance down the middle leading to Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov having a 75 per cent share.

There is a bit of concern that Suzuki is struggling. However, he is without Caufield, so there’s a clear reason for lower output for an extended period. Suzuki also faces top opposition, and he may be overused at 22 minutes per game.

Not much to be overly negative about though. Ottawa found the net. Montreal could not get any puck luck. This is hockey. The score is all that counts, but it isn’t always an exact barometer of how the game went.

Wilde Cards

“He’s super smart. He has a lot of intangibles that will serve him well in the NHL. I”m excited to see him.”

Those were the thoughts of budding star Kirby Dach when he spoke of Owen Beck. The Dach thoughts say it all because he has described exactly why Beck was the emergency call-up to fill out the roster for the Canadiens.

Montreal was allowed to call up a junior player mid-season because of a little-used rule in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that only kicks in if a club is as injury-riddled as Montreal has been. The Canadiens have been going with 11 forwards for two weeks. It’s not a recipe for long-term success.

The club could have given Filip Mesar his first game in the NHL, or Joshua Roy would have made sense as well because of his success at the World Junior Championship. Roy would have also been a more expected choice because he is 19 years old and two years out from the draft.

However, to the coaching staff and management, Beck was the choice to play his first because he has the more mature game of the three forwards who could have been called up.

What a whirlwind for Beck in the month of January. He was called upon to fill in for Canada at the Worlds when they suffered injuries as well. He turned that opportunity into being a vital part of the playoff round of the tournament that ended with a gold medal around his neck.

A short time later, he was traded from the Misssassaugua Steelheads to the Peterborough Petes as they load up for a playoff run. He only just started to get comfortable there, and already another change of scenery.

But what a scene for an 18-year-old to get this opportunity to show what he can do. The stat line for Beck is, of course, modest considering it was his first NHL game.

Beck played nine minutes and ten seconds on 13 shifts. All in all, acceptable numbers for a player who could be one of the best third line centres in hockey in five years. This one was simply to get a little experience.

Beck does not have the necessary skills to be a top-six forward most likely, but he does have the intelligence to be one of the best shutdown centres, and that’s a requirement on any good NHL team.

It isn’t just about outscoring the other club with your best players. It is also about shutting down the other club’s best players. That is what Beck has the skill set to do. He could be an outstanding player in his role.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Canadian Olympic Committee searches for future Olympians in Kelowna, B.C.

Dozens of young athletes in Kelowna had the chance to show off their talents in front of scouts on Saturday, as Canada's Olympic Committee is searching for the next generation of future Olympians. As Jayden Wasney reports, the RBC Training Ground program has a long history of sending athletes to perform on the world's biggest stage.

Athletes ages 14-25 had the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of Olympic talent scouts at Kelowna’s UBCO gymnasium on Saturday.

The RBC Training Ground program aims to challenge young athletes as they go through a variety of physical tests, to see if they have what it takes to represent their country on the world stage.

“We’re doing some sprints, endurance and some strength (tests), just to try and collect some data on the athletes that we will share with the department of sports, in the hopes that we can find some future Olympians,” explained RBC Training Grounds Manager, Andrew Latham.

While being selected to represent Canada at the Olympics may seem like a daunting task, this event has a history of success stories, as it’s selected and funded seven Canadian Olympic medalists, and put hundreds more into Canada’s Olympic talent spotlight.

“Since 2016, we’ve tested 12,000 athletes, and 1,500 of them have moved on to the next level,” said Latham.

“At the last cycle of Olympics, we had five medals won in the summer and three in the winter, so, it finds Olympians, but it also finds medal winners.”

Among the athletes competing was Lake Country resident, Brandon Harder, who had no idea the event was being hosted until it had already begun. He quickly prepared himself, saying the opportunity was too good to pass up.

“Just that slight chance that you could be recruited, it’s just once in a lifetime and so that’s one thing I just didn’t want to pass up, and I had some spare time, so I shot myself down here and it’s been a great experience,” explained participant Brandon Harder.

Meanwhile, for other athletes like Gabby Armstrong, it’s been her life-long dream to compete in the Olympics.

“I’ve always wanted to go to the Olympics to represent Canada, so right now, I’m just trying to figure out what sport,” said Armstrong.

“This is such a great opportunity – seeing if we have the potential to compete with the best.”

Following the conclusion of Saturday’s event, the results will be sent to the National Sports Organization, where they will be analyzed, and any athletes whose numbers stand out may be contacted for possible further testing and training.

One athletic supporter with BC Rugby says she was impressed with some of the talent on display, but she wants to remind all participants that there is always room to improve.

“As a coach, I always tell kids to ‘control the things you can control’,” explained BC Rugby representative, Leana Marton.

“So, if you were disappointed by a certain score, then that’s maybe an opportunity to dig deep and train harder. Never give up on your dream.”

Across Canada, up to 30 athletes per year may also receive assistance such as funding, resources and coaching, as well as support from RBC and the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Information session promoting diversity in policing held in Calgary

An information session encouraging immigrant communities to join law enforcement was held on Saturday in hope of spurring more diversity in policing.

The Foundation for the Voice of Immigrants in Canada for Empowerment spearheaded the event with Calgary police, Calgary Transit and Correctional Services in attendance.

As the organization’s executive director explains, the session was designed to bring diversity to law enforcement while positively impacting immigrants living in Calgary.

“There’s a lack of diversity in the law enforcement agencies and it’s very important to know the culture as it’s a multicultural country,” Ruksana Rashid said. “A lot of people with different backgrounds, and immigrants, they don’t really know and have some fear about law enforcement.”

Rashid says breaking down barriers is a win-win situation for both law enforcement and immigrant communities, especially to help alleviate the fear some minorities have when it comes to policing.

“If we have more diverse people inside law enforcement, definitely this racism, this discrimination, will go down,” Rashid said.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Drag Queen Story Time sparks protest outside Kelowna, B.C. library

The return of drag story time at Kelowna's downtown library sparked a large protest Saturday, with some feeling the event is controversial and inappropriate for children, while others are in full support. Victoria Femia reports.

The return of drag story time at Kelowna’s downtown library sparked a large protest Saturday morning, with hundreds showing up in support of both sides.

The library hosted a drag storytime, featuring performer Freida Whales, where she read children’s books to kids. However, not everyone approved of the event, and those protesting against it deemed the drag story time inappropriate.

“For the children, I think it’s a little over the top. I think it should be something kept in the nightclubs. None of us here are against the gay community,” said protestor Harry Hough.

On the other side of the protest, drag queen allies came out rejecting any negative statements and continued to advocate for the event.

“I fully support drag queens reading to children. It’s just a performance art, it’s just like going to the theatre. The kids love it and it supports inclusion and diversity and I love it,” said supporter Aden Withers.

Inside the library, hundreds of children were excited for Freida Whales to begin her reading and parents were in full support.

“I think it’s just a cool experience. At the end of the day for them, it’s just seeing someone in a cool outrageous outfit like you would see in a Disney movie,” said parent Charlie Handsome.

The library says drag storytime is part of its Community Reader Storytime series, and the last time a drag queen was part of it was back in 2019.

“What’s special about the event is it really showcases diversity and inclusivity and captures a segment of the population that’s not always looked upon positively or accepted by mainstream society. It’s our role as a library to represent and support all the members of society,” said Okanagan Regional Library CEO Danielle Hubbard.

“In the two or three weeks leading up to the event, we’ve been inundated with public feedback. Much of it is positive, with people saying that they’re glad to see themselves represented at the library. We certainly have received negative feedback as well and I think the reason we hold the event is proven out today.”

As for Frieda Whales, the controversy surrounding the reading has only made her more popular.

“I’m already booked for a lot more after this. The whole controversy actually got me quite a few more bookings, so thanks,” Freida Whales said.

Police were on hand monitoring the protest. While it was kept fairly peaceful, people spent most of the day chanting their thoughts on the storytime.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Iconic Archambault music store in downtown Montreal to close

The Archambault music store in downtown Montreal will be shutting its doors for good this June after nearly 100 years in business, and about 30 people will be losing their job. Global's Phil Carpenter has the story.

Plans to permanently close the Archambault music store on Berri and St. Catherine streets came as a shock to long-time clients.

“Well, it’s sad,” stated client Meghan Kerr outside the store.  “I mean it’s been around for a really long time. It’s always been here.”

It’s been a staple since the 1930s and the owners, Groupe Archambault, say the store will remain open until June.

In a press release, issued to announce the plans, the company blames construction in the area over the years for what they say has resulted in a loss of business.

“The vast construction sites that are multiplying in the sector have major impacts that must be taken into account when assessing the future of a storefront retail business,” the release reads.

According to Domenic Béland of the Union of Professional and Office Employees (SEPB), around 30 employees will lose their jobs due to the closure, some of whom have been with the company for decades.

“The oldest guy who’s working there has been there since 1972,” he told Global News. “Some of us have here from the ’90s and the low 2000s.”

Béland observed that the closure will not just be a huge blow to workers, but a big loss for the city.

“Closing a place like this means a lot,” he pointed out. “It’s part of our culture that closes down, it’s a big part of Montreal and a lot of people know Archambault Berri.”

Some shoppers lamented the closure of yet another Montreal business, which some blame on construction.

“It’s one less thing you can do downtown, which is a pity,” noted client Daniel Gwyn, who said he buys CDs there twice weekly.

For Kerr, “it’s sad to see the changing landscape,” she said. “They’ll probably turn this into another condo building, which sucks.”

A recent study by Montreal’s Chamber of Commerce says there are too many unco-ordinated construction projects, including roadwork, in the downtown core.

In a statement, Robert Beaudry, the Montreal city councillor responsible for urban planning, also expressed surprise to the closing of Berri Archambault and acknowledges that the area around the store is undergoing transformation.

“We know that there are challenges because of the STM’s work site and the mixed use of the area,” he wrote.

“This is why we work on having a better presence on the ground to respond to the concerns of residents, merchants and also to intervene with vulnerable people with the help of our EMMIS team and the mobility squad.”

Despite the closure, one thing might remain.

Groupe Archambault says they will ask for the sign, currently owned by Quebecor, which owns the building, to not be taken down because of its heritage value.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada seize hundreds of illegal, ghost traps near White Rock, B.C.

Crews from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) have spent the past week collecting illegal traps and fishing gear near White Rock, B.C.

According to officials, around 60 illegal traps have been seized each day over the course of the five-day operation in Boundary Bay.

Crews collect the traps using a line and grapple hook, which is thrown over the side of a patrol boat, then dragged across the ocean floor.

They’re looking for both traps that were intentionally placed in the ocean illegally as well as traps that have been abandoned but are still active, which is referred to as “ghost gear.”

“It’s a problem. It impacts resources greatly. We have no idea how much (illegal and ghost gear) is out there,” said Art Demsky, a DFO detachment commander.

“Gear gets lost and abandoned, and continues to fish everywhere around the coast and it’s harmful. Harmful to the environment and those that rely on the industry.”

Demsky said their operation is limited by the number of officers they have. They rely heavily on public tips to catch and remove illegal fishing and trapping.

Anyone that sees illegal activity is asked to contact the DFO’s observe, record, and report line at 1-800-465-4336.

Deploying an illegal trap can result in a fine of up to $500,000 under Canada’s Fisheries Act.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Community organization donates handmade toques, scarves to Edmonton's homeless

WATCH ABOVE: Winter weather has returned with a polar vortex causing temperatures to plummet to dangerous lows. It’s cold enough to activate the city’s extreme weather response, and as Sarah Komadina explains, it has community groups coming together to help keep people who are experiencing homelessness warm.

Hundreds of hours were spent knitting scarves and toques, all of which were donated to the Bear Clan Patrol to give to Edmonton’s homeless.

The organization is made up of volunteers who go out on the streets and help people experiencing homelessness — a definite need as the city experiences plummeting temperatures.

“Our brothers and sisters love to have homemade items. It shows them that the community cares and loves them,” said Judith Gale with the Bear Clan Patrol in Beaver Hills.

The collective community initiative started collecting warm weather clothing just as temperatures took a dip.

Through his job as a postal worker, volunteer Rashpal Sehmby says he has seen people struggling on Edmonton streets.

“We have seen people who have lost tips of their fingers because of frost bite and stuff like that or living on the streets,” Sehmby said.

The city has issued its extreme weather response, which means the winter warming bus will be running, the encampment response team will be doing wellness checks and all public libraries and recreation centres can be used for warming purposes.

The winter items that were donated Saturday will make a big difference for those people who are living rough, said Gale.

“We need to be able to keep our brothers and sisters safe during this cold snap. We really need a lot of clothing and blankets and jackets and gloves and toques and all of these wonderful items handmade. You just can’t ask for anything better,” she said.

While the clothing drive ends Saturday, donations for warm clothes are always in high demand and welcome.

“It’s going to mean a life difference to our brothers and sisters. It’s going to keep them alive during this cold weather,” Gale said.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Concerned community members hold public safety rally in Nanaimo, B.C.

A man has died after being stabbed outside of a shopping mall on Vancouver Island Sunday evening. Nanaimo RCMP have a suspect in custody and say there is no risk to the public, but as Kylie Stanton reports, residents say they no longer feel safe.

A couple dozen Nanaimo, B.C., community members gathered Saturday to hold a public safety rally.

Local residents and businesses have serious concerns about violence and crime that is taking place in their neighbourhood.

“Demand action against violence and crime. Restore public safety in our homes, schools, parks, stores, businesses, and neighborhoods,“ an organizer wrote online.

“Join the growing movement to demand action against violence and crime.“

The rally was held at the Country Club Mall, where a few different speakers voiced their concerns.

“It has been shocking to see the slow destruction of our small towns,” said Irene Pady, a concerned resident.

“The government has not been proactive to do something about it. I think the government needs to realize what’s happening in Nanaimo and all of the small cities.”

An organizer, Karen Kuwica, spoke with Global News and said she has talked to lots of different residents and they all echo the same concern — public safety is at risk.

“This is important because in my other volunteer roles as a block watch captain and with the neighborhood association, (I hear) constant concerns about the degrading (public) safety in Nanaimo,“ Kuwica said.

“The concern is widespread across all demographics in Nanaimo.”

Kuwica said a recent rash of crimes in the area has many people concerned.

“In the last week, we’re just starting a new year and we’ve already had a loss of life from a robbery that became violent, we’ve had fires in vacant buildings, we had a suspected hit-and-run loss of life… the list goes on and on and it’s only been a week,” she said.

A local businessman, Jeff Ross, spoke at the rally. He owns seven businesses between Qualicum Beach and Nanaimo that he’s been running for more than 24 years.

“It’s been increasingly difficult. It has gotten to the point where I can’t sleep. I can sleep only for a couple of hours because I am waiting for an alarm to go off,” he said.

“It has affected every aspect of my life. I have created layers and layers of security but criminals just go right around them. The taxpayers of the city are being victimized over and over again.”

Nanaimo’s mayor, Leonard Krog, addressed the crowd as well.

“There is no question that there are a number of people living in our streets who in any other time would have been in secure, involuntary care getting treatment for mental health, trauma, and addiction issues,” Krog said to the crowd.

“The reality is, the kind of crime that is disturbing you and frustrating businesses arises from people supporting a drug habit.“

Krog went on to say he believes the province needs to bring back involuntary care facilities.

He told the crowd to email and write to provincial officials to expand health services, expand housing services, and to bring back involuntary care facilities.

Krog’s presence drew attention from the crowd as they were heard asking critical questions regarding the city.

Rally attendees said they do not believe the city, the province, and the federal government are doing enough to address public safety concerns.

“There is a long list of things we need to happen fast. We need policy changes, funding requirements, legislation changes… we need widespread changes,” Kuwica said.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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