Canada gets back-to-back wins over U.S. in pre-Olympic hockey series

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WINNIPEG (AP) — Even after stopping 32 shots in a 2-0 shutout over the U.S. on Tuesday night, Canadian goaltender Genevieve Lacasse wasn’t about to take all the credit.

Lacasse led Canada in the pre-Olympic exhibition win, but said her teammates made the busy night easier.

“We kept them to the outside, and then any rebound in front of the net that I let out, our (defense) boxed out and our forwards got the puck out and it was just perfect,” she said.

Jillian Saulnier scored the game’s first goal with 3:10 left in the third period on a backhand shot past American goalie Alex Rigsby. Laura Fortino added an empty-netter with 44 seconds remaining.

Rigsby made 19 saves in the sixth of eight games between the rivals before the Olympics. The series is tied 3-3.

Canada was 0-for-3 on the power play, and the Americans went 0-for-5 in front of a crowd estimated at more than 11,000 at Bell MTS Place.

“You have to score on the power play, there’s just no two ways about it,” U.S. coach Robb Stauber said. “We had some looks and good chances.”

Saulnier called her goal a “full-line” effort, from Brianne Jenner getting the puck in deep and Jennifer Wakefield battling for it with a defender along the boards.

“(The puck) ended up popping out to me and I was lucky to get around the defenseman and back it in with my backhand there,” she said.

The Americans led shots on goal 13-7 after the first period and then the pace and physicality picked up in the second, with some roughing and body-checking calls.

American winger Kendall Coyne challenged Lacasse twice, making her whip her glove to grab the puck. Coyne then made a slick move to get around Manitoba defender Halli Krzyzaniak and Lacasse turned aside the shot.

Shots on goal favored the Americans 25-15 after the second.

“We had great chances, we outshot them, but obviously that’s not going to be good enough to win,” Coyne said. “We’ve just got to figure out how to get one by whatever goalie’s in the net that night.”

Canada won 2-1 in overtime on Sunday before a crowd of 9,000 in St. Paul, Minn. Both teams are carrying 26 players before the cut to 23 for the Olympic roster on Jan. 1.

The teams face off again Dec. 15 in San Jose, Calif., followed by the final exhibition Dec. 17 in Edmonton.

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Usain Bolt says he will work out for Borussia Dortmund on Thursday

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Usain Bolt said he will work out for German soccer club Borussia Dortmund on Thursday. At the very least, it will aid in Bolt’s preparation for a June 10 charity match.

Bolt confirmed the date of the training in an Italian TV interview on Wednesday in Basel, Switzerland, after he kicked the ball around with retired soccer stars in front of Diego Maradona and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

“We’re going there to be serious,” Bolt said on Jamaican TV two weeks ago of his trip to Germany. “I want to go there to test my skills.”

Bolt said two weeks ago that his two-day trial will include a public session and a more serious private session. He recently trained three days a week with one of the club’s in Jamaica’s top domestic league, Harbour View.

“I’ve done enough to keep a semblance of fitness,” said Bolt, who tore his left hamstring in the final race of his career at the world championships on Aug. 12.

Bolt added that he could easily make any team in Jamaica’s top division, but that he needs more time to reach a fitness level required to play serious minutes.

Bolt previously said he could easily make Jamaica’s national team, according to Reuters.

Bolt has dreamed of playing for his favorite club, Manchester United.

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Ichiro: No plan for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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Ichiro said he does not plan to play for Japan at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to The Athletic.

The 44-year-old noted that MLB players have historically not been in the Olympics and that he plans to still be playing for an MLB team in 2020, according to the report.

Ichiro’s comments agree with what he reportedly said in 2000, the last time he could have played in the Olympics, one year before debuting with the Seattle Mariners.

“As I said before, I’m not interested in the Olympics, and I don’t know what all the commotion is about,” he said in January 2000 at a temple in Kobe where his Japanese team went to pray for victory in the upcoming season, according to Kyodo News.

Baseball was an Olympic medal sport from 1992 through 2008 with no MLB participation. It was out of the Olympic program for 2012 and 2016 but is back in for 2020 only with the potential for future Games.

While it’s not official yet, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said last year that he “can’t imagine a situation” where MLB would take a break in its season to have its best players at the Olympics.

Japan made the semifinals of all five Olympic baseball tournaments but never took gold.

Ichiro did help Japan to World Baseball Classic titles in 2006 and 2009 before choosing not to play in 2013 (when Japan had zero MLB players on its WBC roster) and again not being on Japan’s team in 2017 (when Japan had one MLB player).

In 2020, Ichiro will be more than two years older than the oldest previous Olympic baseball player — South African Alan Phillips in 2000.

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