NHL All-Star Game: Rosters for Elite Women’s 3-on-3 revealed

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The NHL has revealed the 20 players who will take part in the Elite Women’s 3-on-3 challenge during next week’s NHL All-Star Skills event in St. Louis.

The two teams will be divided by American and Canadian players who will play two 10-minute periods with running time. Should the game end in a tie there will be a three-minute overtime with running time. If overtime isn’t enough, the team whose player record the higher score in the trick shot challenge a.k.a. Shooting Stars event will determine the winner. 

American All-Stars (Coach: Cammi Granato)
F Alex Carpenter
F Kendall Coyne Schofield
F Brianna Decker
F Amanda Kessel
F Hilary Knight
F Jocelyn Lamoureux-Davidson
F Annie Pankowski
D Kacey Bellamy
D Lee Stecklein
G Alex Rigsby Cavallini

Canadian All-Stars (Coach: Jayna Hefford)
F Meghan Agosta
F Mélodie Daoust
F Rebecca Johnston
F Sarah Nurse
F Marie-Philip Poulin
F Natalie Spooner
F Blayre Turnbull
D Renata Fast
D Laura Fortino
G Ann-Renée Desbiens

Referees Kelly Cooke and Katie Guay and lineswomen Kendall Hanley and Kirsten Welsh will officiate the game.

NHL

The 2020 NHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place on Friday, Jan. 24 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN) and the 2020 NHL All-Star Game will be on Saturday, Jan. 25 (8 p.m. ET, NBC).

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

AP Source: NHL All-Star game to feature women 3-on-3 event

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Women’s national team players representing the United States and Canada will compete in a 3-on-3 event at the NHL All-Star game in St. Louis in two weeks, a person with direct knowledge of the plan said Monday.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the NHL isn’t scheduled to make an announcement until later this week. ESPN.com first reported the development Sunday night.

It’s unclear when the scrimmage will be held during the weekend of festivities. The All-Star game, featuring a series of 3-on-3 games, is Jan. 25, a day after the skills competition.

The addition of a women’s 3-on-3 game is seen as the latest step in the league’s bid to promote women’s hockey.

Last year, four women were invited to take part in All-Star weekend events in San Jose, California. American forward Kendall Coyne Schofield became the first woman to participate in the skills competition. She replaced injured Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon and finished seventh of eight in the fastest-skater competition.

In December 2015, teams representing the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and the U.S.-based National Women’s Hockey League played an exhibition game leading to the 2016 Winter Classic in Boston.

The 3-on-3 scrimmage will feature some of the world’s highest-profile players. The event comes at a time the women’s game is in flux after the six-team CWHL folded last spring, leaving only the five-team NWHL.

The CWHL’s demise eventually led to more than 200 of the world’s top players announcing they wouldn’t play professionally this season in North America, including the NWHL. They also formed the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association to push for establishing a single league with a sustainable economic model.

The PWHPA has since launched a series of barnstorming tours around North America, its most recent stop in Toronto last weekend. The NWHL is in the middle of its fifth season, with teams made up of patchwork rosters.

A large majority – if not all – of the players taking part in the NHL All-Star scrimmage will be PWHPA members.

IIHF president gives NHL deadline on Olympic participation decision

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IIHF president Rene Fasel has given the NHL and NHLPA a deadline to decide whether players will be at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Speaking at World Junior Championship this past weekend, Fasel said he would like an answer from Commissioner Gary Bettman by the end of August.

“We would like to have a decision as early as possible if they’re coming to Beijing – ‘Yes’ or ‘No,'” Fasel said. “In Pyeongchang there was a late ‘No.’ Especially the North American teams, U.S. and Canada, had some problems to find the players and to build up a good team.

“If there is a ‘No,’ these teams should have time to prepare a competitive team to go to the Olympics in 2022. We want to have an early answer from NHLPA and NHL if they’re coming or not.”

The NHL announced in April 2017 — 10 months before the opening ceremonies in Pyeongchang — that players would not be going to the Games in South Korea.

Nine countries have already qualified for the men’s tournament with the final three spots to be decided in August during the qualifying tournament. Fasel is hoping for an answer from the NHL before pucks drops.

“We are working on an early decision made by the NHL and NHLPA,” Fasel said. “We need to know before that.”

NHL players participated in five straight Games from 1998 to 2014, but the league passed on going to Pyeongchang in 2018 citing costs and having to shut down midseason for two weeks. The League has been looking into hosting another World Cup of Hockey, which was last held in Toronto in 2016. A 2020 edition was postponed due to labor uncertainty and last month Bettman announced there will be no tournament in 2021.

“The Olympics is a unique platform we can use, especially in Asia, with the best on best format,” said Fasel, who is set to step down as IIHF president in 2020. “Asia represents two-thirds of the world’s population. I consider Gary a smart person. At the end he will come, I hope.”

It’s clear that NHL players want to go to Beijing, but the owners have not been keen on the idea. We’ll see how big of a topic it becomes in the next round of Collective Bargaining Agreement talks. We’ll also wait and see just how serious Bettman and the NHLPA take this deadline from Fasel, especially knowing how much the IIHF wants NHL players to participate.

MORE INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY COVERAGE:
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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

TV mixup has Russian World Junior fans celebrating despite losing

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MOSCOW — Some Russian hockey fans were celebrating victory despite losing at the world junior hockey championships because of a confusingly timed TV repeat.

Two state TV channels showed Russia-Canada finals at the same time on Sunday. One was live, and the other was from 2011.

While most fans, and Russia’s players, commiserated after a 4-3 loss to Canada on Channel One, many Russians watched a nail-biting, 9-year-old 5-3 comeback win on rival broadcaster Match TV.

Some fans posted celebratory messages on social media, or complained media outlets were reporting the wrong score. It became hard to tell who was genuinely duped and who was in on the joke.

Soccer player Dmitry Tarasov wrote on Instagram: ”Well done guys, congratulations on the win.” After the post was widely mocked, Tarasov said it was meant as a joke after he forfeited in a board game he was playing with family.

Yana Tarasenko, a lifestyle blogger who is the wife of St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko, posted on Instagram that her husband had watched the 2011 game for 10 minutes in the belief it was live – at least ”until he saw himself in the game.”

Tarasenko was on the winning Russian team in 2011, but at the age of 28 he is now far too old for world juniors.

It wasn’t immediately clear why Match TV decided to show the 2011 final at the same time as the live broadcast. It had shown live world juniors games earlier in the tournament, but the medal rounds were only on Channel One. Match TV didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Canada rallies to beat Russia to win World Juniors gold

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic – Akil Thomas scored the winning goal in the final period and Canada rallied from two goals down to beat Russia 4-3 in the final of the world junior hockey championship on Sunday.

It was the 18th title for Canada, the most successful team in the tournament.

Thomas backhanded the puck past goaltender Amir Miftakhov with 3:58 left to avenge a 6-0 loss to Russia at their group stage game, the worst loss for Canada in the history of the tournament.

Dylan Cozens, Connor McMichael and captain Barrett Hayton also scored for Canada. Goaltender Joel Hofer made 35 saves.

Nikita Alexandrov, Grigori Denisenko and Maxim Sorkin netted Russia’s goals.

The Canadians were looking to bounce back from a disappointing sixth-place finish last year when it hosted the event. They won the previous title in 2018 while Russia was seeking its first title since 2011.

It was the ninth final between the two rivals since the playoff system was introduced in 1996. Both teams had won four of them before their encounter on Sunday.

The Canadians were 3-1 down after Sorkin’s goal 8:46 into the final period. McMichael deflected a shot into the net with his leg and Hayton tied it at 3-3 on a power play with a wrist shot from the right circle, with the two goals coming in a span of 2:01.

McMichael added an assist and Calen Addison had three assists. Alexis Lafreniere, who is projected to be the No. 1 pick at the 2020 NHL draft, contributed two assists to finish the tournament with four goals and six assists from the five games he played.

Alexandrov broke the goalless deadlock 9:37 into the the middle period, deflecting a shot by Yegor Zamula from the point on Russia’s power play.

Canada answered on a 5-3 advantage 1:24 later with Cozens netting on a rebound.

Denisenko restored Russia’s one-goal lead, pushing the puck under the pad of Hofer still in the frame.

Earlier, Samuel Fagemo scored his eighth goal to become the best scorer of the tournament and help Sweden beat defending champion Finland 3-2 and take bronze.