The Week In Sport

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo is sacked by the Washington Redskins defence. Romo suffered minor fractures in his back in a Cowboy overtime defeat.
Dallas quarterback Tony Romo is sacked by the Washington Redskins defence. Romo suffered minor fractures in his back in a Cowboy overtime defeat.


National Football League

The National Football season reached the eighth week of the 2014 campaign last Thursday night, when the red-hot Denver Broncos (5-1) battled the underdog San Diego Chargers (5-2) at Mile High Stadium.
Peyton Manning started the game coming off a historic outing against the San Francisco 49ers after breaking the all time passing touchdown record; while on the other side his counterpart Philip Rivers started the game on the coattails of a hot streak of his own.
The Broncos came into the game overwhelming favourites, and the heavyweights from Colorado finished the game with a decisive 35-21 victory to improve to 6-1 and cement their position as Super Bowl favourites.
On Sunday, 26 teams were in action over 13 games, the most intriguing being the dramatic Detroit Lions (5-2) comeback over the Atlanta Falcons (2-5) at Wembley Stadium in London, England. When the Detroit Lions fell behind 21 points in the first half, many of the american football fans who awoke at the crack of dawn assumed that Wembley was in for yet another dull NFL blowout, as has been the trend when american teams have travelled across the atlantic to London. That was before the Detroit Lions exploded in the second half. Thanks to a few spectacular highlight reel plays, the Lions scored 10 points in the third quarter, and were two points back of the Falcons when their kicker Matt Prater lined up a 48 yard field goal with only one play left in the game. Prater nailed the last second kick, and the Lions walked off the ripped-up Wembley turf 6-2 and first in their division. After 22 unanswered points scored by Detroit, London had finally gotten a football game worth watching.
Meanwhile, across the atlantic, the Cincinnati Bengals reclaimed first in their division after a thrilling – albeit controversial – victory over their rival Baltimore Ravens, and the Seattle Seahawks regained their form in a defensive 13-9 victory over the Carolina Panthers.
The New England Patriots shocked the Chicago Bears with a decisive 51-23 blowout, leaving many fans asking if the Bears are a real contender.
The Cardinals pulled out a close one over the Eagles, while the Pittsburgh Steelers surprised many with an unprecedented 51-34 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
The real marquee matchup of the week however, occurred monday night, when the streaking Dallas Cowboys (6-1) met their archival Washington Redskins (3-5) at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. The Cowboys started the game once again with turnover issues, as the stifling Washington Redskin defence made an early statement. Third string quarterback Colt McCoy started the game for Redskins due to injury and poor performance of the Washington pivots, and handled the game surprisingly well, seeing as how he was facing a defence many maintain could be the best in the NFL. The teams were neck and neck throughout the game, and when the final whistle blew, they were deadlocked at 17 all. After Washington marched down the field to score a field goal in their first drive of overtime, the Cowboys looked to respond, but they were stopped on fourth down. After a thrilling victory, Washington left Texas feeling much better about themselves, sitting at respectable 3-5 record.

Canadian Football League

Calgary running back Joc Sanders breaks a tackle from Roughrider defensive back Mark LeGree. The Stampeders defeated the Roughriders to improve to 14-2 on the season.
Calgary running back Joc Sanders breaks a tackle from Roughrider defensive back Mark LeGree. The Stampeders defeated the Roughriders to improve to 14-2 on the season.

The Canadian Football League reached a pivotal point in the season this past weekend, with two teams looking to clinch a playoff spot and two teams on the brink of elimination.
The crucial weekend kicked off in Ottawa on Friday, with a memorable pre game ceremony dedicated to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was shot and killed only a day before in the capital. After the moment of silence and the national anthem, the streaking Montreal Alouettes (7-8) took the field against a laughable Ottawa Red Blacks team that sat at 2-13 and scored only three touchdowns in their previous seven games in Ottawa.
Despite their less than impressive record, the Red Blacks were coming off a narrow loss to the Hamilton Tiger Cats, and only two weeks before that their second win of the season, which came over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Alouettes, on the other hand were coming off four straight wins under rookie sensation Jonathan Crompton. After starting the season 1-7, the Alouettes came into this game tied for first place in the eastern division with the Hamilton Tiger Cats, while the Toronto Argonauts sat only one game behind them. The game started off even, and the first quarter finished 7-7. But the Als stepped it up in the second, and by halftime Montreal had a 13-7 lead.
The Alouettes continued to put the pressure on the Red Blacks, and despite a late fourth quarter surge, the Als came out on top 23-17, scoring a crucial victory and putting them just one win away from a playoff berth.
The Friday night doubleheader wrapped up with a game between two prairie rivals, the Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-7) and Calgary Stampeders (13-2). The game was of little value for the Stampeders, who had already clinched first place in the west by the time they reached McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta. The Roughriders, however had some significance riding on the heavyweight matchup. Although they had already clinched a playoff berth, the Riders had found themselves in a dogfight with the fourth placed BC Lions, who were sitting only half a game back of a Roughriders team which found themselves on a four game losing streak. When we reached halftime, it looked as if we were in for another classic finish between the two rivals, with the Roughriders holding a slim 20-15 lead over the Calgary Stampeders. After the third quarter was finished, the Riders had added to their lead, and now sat twelve points ahead of the Albertan favourites. That was before the Stampeders exploded. Calgary, who looked in danger of their third loss of the season, charged out of the fourth quarter starting gates. The Stamps rallied to score 25 points unanswered and defeat the Riders by a score of 40-27.
For somebody who just looked at the score, it would appear that the Stampeders had scored yet another dominating blowout to stretch their win total to fourteen on the season. But anybody who watched the whole game would know that the star-studded Stampeders had some trouble dealing with the slumping Roughriders. Saturday started with a huge game between the crosstown rivals Hamilton Tiger Cats (7-8) and Toronto Argonauts (6-9). A Hamilton win would rocket both the Tiger Cats and the Montreal Alouettes into a playoff position, while a Toronto loss would mean elimination for the Argonauts. In their previous two season meetings, the two teams split their games, the first going to Hamilton by the score of 13-12, and the second going to Toronto by the score of 34-33. Knowing these scores, we could be sure we were in for a squeaker when the teams went head to head in the rubber match for the season series.
The game started in favour of the Argonauts, with Toronto taking an early 15-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Ti-Cats responded in second and third quarters with 21 straight points to take a 21-15 lead going into the fourth. The Argonauts converted on a late drive to take a 26-24 lead. The game was put into the hands of young Hamilton quarterback Zach Collaros when the Tiger Cats looked to make a last second game winning drive. But with the game on the line on third down, the Argonauts line sacked Collaros, and the Argonauts walked off the field victorious and very much alive, tied for second in the east with the Tiger Cats and only one game behind the division leading Als with a game against them next week. The final game of week 18 of the CFL season occurred Saturday afternoon when the BC Lions (8-7) looked to clinch a playoff spot over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6-10) who were facing elimination.
The Lions, after losing their starter Travis Lulay to injury in week 11 against the Ottawa Red Blacks, were starting their backup veteran Kevin Glenn on Saturday. The Blue Bombers started Drew Willy, who was not free of injury problems himself over the course of this season. The game started off fairly even, and after two quarters the halftime score stood at 14-13 Blue Bombers. The Bombers tacked on three in the third, to increase their lead to four points by the time the final quarter rolled around. In the fourth quarter, disaster struck for the Lions when they lost their backup quarterback Kevin Glenn to a head injury, forcing third stringer out of BYU, John Beck, to play saviour for the Lions, who were losing at the time. Beck came in and lead the Lions to a valiant comeback, scoring fifteen points late in the game and claiming a 28-23 victory over the Blue Bombers. Although the Lions won and clinched a playoff spot, many questions will be asked in the following weeks as to whether or not third string quarterback John Beck will be able to carry the load. The Lions’ stellar defence will surely help, as BC recorded no less than ten sacks against a helpless Drew Willy, and star linebacker Solomon Elimimian closes in on the single season CFL tackle record set by Edmonton’s J.C. Sherritt in 2012.

College Football

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley walks into the end zone to claim an overtime win for the Bruins.
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley walks into the end zone to claim an overtime win for the Bruins.

Last Saturday, when week nine of the College Football season rolled around, there were three marquee match ups that took place.
Firstly, the No. 11 ranked Kansas State Wildcats took on their southern rival Texas Longhorns in Manhattan, Kansas. With the Kansas starting quarterback Jake Waters suffering a shoulder injury the previous week, many wondered if the Texas Longhorns would take advantage of the pivot’s compromised health and hand the Wildcats their second loss of the season. When Waters was hit hard in the first quarter of the game, he appeared to have aggravated his injury, but he stayed in the game, and eventually leading Kansas State to three touchdowns and a field goal. The Wildcat defence held strong and Kansas State finished the game with a decisive 24-0 shutout.
When the No. 25 UCLA Bruins met the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday afternoon, many would have told you that a UCLA victory was a gimme. When the Bruins finished the first quarter with a 17-0 lead, this appeared to be true. But a resilient second quarter performance by Colorado made the score 24-14 by the time the first half ended. UCLA added 7 in the third to make the score 31-14. However, the Buffaloes once again responded to score two fourth quarter touchdowns and make the score 31-28. With the two teams separated by only three points, the Bruins elected to gamble on fourth down and failed, giving the ball back to Colorado in excellent field position. The Buffaloes scored a field goal to tie the game and we were going to overtime. After the two teams traded field goals in the first period of overtime, UCLA, sitting inside the Colorado ten, needed a touchdown to win the game. The play broke down and UCLA quarterback could find no open receivers, so instead he took off himself, and ran into the end zone, giving the UCLA Bruins a dramatic victory. The Bruins rushed for an astounding three hundred yards on the ground, a major factor towards the Colorado defeat.
Finally, the most intriguing matchup occurred Saturday evening, when the No. 24 Louisiana State Tigers faced the No. 3 ranked Mississippi Rebels. The Rebels were heavy favourites for the victory, being one of only four undefeated teams in the FBS heading into week nine. Mississippi struck first in the first quarter with an early touchdown, which was countered by a second quarter field goal by the LSU Tigers. When we reached halftime, the score sat at 7-3. The two herculean defences flexed their muscles in the third, as zeros went up on the board and we headed into the final frame with the same score we had at halftime. With only five minutes to go in the fourth, the Tigers scored a touchdown on a play action pass and took a 10-7 lead over Ole Miss. After a few turnovers and punts, the Rebels got the ball back with less than a minute to go, and needing at least a field goal to tie. With only nine seconds remaining, Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace threw up a prayer, which was intercepted on the one yard line with no time remaining. The Tigers rushed for over a hundred yards on the stingy Mississippi defence, and the No. 3 ranked Rebels team lost their first of the season 10-7. In other news, the top ranked Mississippi State Aggies continued their unbeaten season in a 45-31 victory over Kentucky, No. 5 Auburn edged South Carolina 42-35 and No. 10 Texas Christian dismantled Texas Tech 82-27.

National Basketball Association

Tim Duncan stares down a Dallas Maverick defender. Duncan finished with thirteen points in a San Antonio victory.
Tim Duncan stares down a Dallas Maverick defender. Duncan finished with thirteen points in a San Antonio victory.

The NBA season kicked off on Tuesday when the defending champion San Antonio Spurs took on the Dallas Mavericks in a Texas showdown.
The first quarter was thoroughly entertaining, as the Spurs claimed a two point lead heading into the second. The Mavericks, however, responded in style with a 29-19 second quarter, as the halftime score came to 53-45 for Dallas. The Spurs offence, lead by Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili showed some fireworks in the third quarter, scoring 31 points and taking a three point lead heading into the final frame. With only a minute to go in the fourth, the Spurs down 100-98 to Dallas, Tony Parker got a pass, and the star point guard made no mistake in draining the three that gave his team the lead.
With only seconds to go, Monte Ellis had a shot to win it for Dallas, but the three was off target and the Spurs hung on to win the NBA opener 101-100. Tony Parker lead the Spurs with 23 points, while his partner in crime, shooting guard Manu Ginobili had 20. On Wednesday the NBA encountered its first overtime game of the season, when the Charlotte Hornets defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 108-106 in one overtime period.
Also on Wednesday, the Toronto Raptors opened their season against the Atlanta Hawks in Toronto. The Raptors opened the game with style, and by the end of the first half, they were leading 60-52. They dominated the third, but Atlanta responded with a late fourth quarter rally. It was 107-102 when the Hawks left Patrick Patterson wide open for a slam dunk that finished the game off. The Raptors won the season opener 109-102 with seven of their players reaching double digits in scoring, the leader being Jonas Valanciunas who scored 17 points. Demar DeRozan had 15 and Terrence Ross had 13 in the victory.
Also on Wednesday the Boston Celtics triumphed over the Brooklyn Nets 121-105 and the Memphis Grizzlies pulled out a nail biter over the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-101.

National Hockey League

Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier looks on as Dougie Hamilton celebrates his third period goal. The Bruins won 4-1.
Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier looks on as Dougie Hamilton celebrates his third period goal. The Bruins won 4-1.

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller admitted before last Thursday’s game against his former team, the St. Louis Blues, that he was a little nervous. There was no need to be. In a hard-fought battle on Thursday night, the Vancouver goaltender carried his team to a 4-1 victory over a very tough St. Louis Blues team.
Higgins opened the night by netting a rebound from and Alexandre Burrows shot, which was followed up by a tremendous first period performance from Miller. The Blues finally got to the back of the net when Kevin Shattenkirk netted a power play goal at 7:38 into the second period. Going into the third, things were noted up at one. That all changed when Ryan Miller made his best save of the night, which lead to a three on one in which Nick Bonino netted his second of the season. The Canucks finished with a 4-1 victory.
On friday night however, the Canucks didn’t have the same fortune, as they lost in embarrassing fashion, 7-3 against the Colorado Avalanche. The Canucks picked it back up however, winning 4-2 versus Washington and 4-1 against Carolina.
After Tuesday night’s victory over the Hurricanes, the Canucks sit at 6-3-0, one of the hottest teams in the entire Western Conference.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, on the other hand, are a different story. It pained me – a diehard Leafs fan – to watch on Saturday night as the Leafs were once again humiliated on national television by those who must not be named – the Boston Bruins. The game got out of hand at the beginning of the third, as the Bruins took a 4-1 victory home to Boston, and it shouldn’t have been that close. The Leafs looked all over the place as the Bruins systematically dismantled them, first taking advantage of a terrible penalty kill with a Carl Soderberg goal, then a David Krejci breakaway which occurred because of a colossal lack of defence. Campbell and Hamilton piled on late, and the game finished 4-1. Thankfully, on Tuesday, Toronto was able to pull out a decisive 4-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres, with goals from Tyler Bozak, Phil Kessel, James Van Riemsdyk, and Jake Gardiner. Of course, the Leafs will need their A game when they face the Chicago Blackhawks on Hockey Night in Canada next Saturday, a team far superior in skill to the lowly Buffalo Sabres.
Last Saturday, while the Bruins were beating the Leafs, Toronto’s archival, the Montreal Canadiens achieved a thrilling 3-1 victory at the hands of the defending Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers. The first period began with a marvellously beautiful give and go goal scored Tomas Plekanec, with the stupendous assist coming from Max Pacioretty. It only took the Rangers five minutes to respond and tie the game at one, the goal being scored by Carl Hagelin. It wasn’t until eleven minutes into the second period when Lars Eller gave the lead back to the Habs. Thanks to superb goaltending from Carey Price, who had 35 saves on the night, the Canadiens were able to hang on and improve to 7-1-0. On Tuesday however, the Habs were stunned 3-0 by the Edmonton Oilers, who handed Montreal only their second loss of the season. It took a shootout, but Montreal beat the Calgary Flames to improve to 8-2-0 on the season.

World Series

The San Francisco Giants celebrate their seventh game victory over the Kansas City Royals, as they claimed the World Series on Wednesday.
The San Francisco Giants celebrate their seventh game victory over the Kansas City Royals, as they claimed the World Series on Wednesday.

Last Tuesday, one of the most iconic events in the history of American sports took place again. Game one of the World Series. There are 2430 Major League Baseball games played in the regular season every year. In those 2430 games are 21,870 innings. Every one of those 21,870 innings lead to a wondrous climax. This climax, seven beautiful, glorious October evenings, is the World Series.
Game One was on Tuesday, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The world watched as Madison Bumgarner, the 25-year-old star pitcher for the San Francisco Giants took the mound to face the relentless bats of the Kansas City Royals, American League Champions by way of the Wild Card. Bumgarner stole the show in-game one, allowing only one run and three hits over seven perfectly masterful innings. The Giants bats, on the other hand, produced a plethora of runs, and by the end of the night the Giants had silenced the hometown Kansas crowd with a 7-1 victory. Pablo Sandoval went three for five for two RBI’s, while Hunter Pence went two for two while batting in two runs. Kansas City ace James Shields was battered and bruised by the Giants’ hitters, lasting only three innings before Danny Duffy came in to the game in relief. Game two, was a completely different story.
It was the Royals’ turn in the second game of the series as the offence produced seven runs, thanks to efforts from Salvador Perez, Lorenzo Cain, and Omar Infante. Young Yordano Ventura did moderately well on the mound, lasting five and one-third innings, allowing eight hits, but only two runs. The game finished 7-2 for the Royals, and the series was tied up at one a piece.
Game three switched scene to beautiful AT&T Ballpark in San Francisco, California. It was only eight days before when left fielder Travis Ishikawa hit a dramatic walk off home run to win the National League and send the Giants to the World Series. Now, the Giants’ electric batters took the field against the unrelenting Kansas City Royals. Jeremy Guthrie started the game for the Royals, while Tim Hudson became the oldest starting pitcher in World Series history when he started the game for the San Francisco Giants. Kansas City started the game off with a first inning run, and then five innings later tacked on two to make the score 3-0. The Giants came back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, but they weren’t enough, as the stellar Royal’s bullpen, lead by Wade Davis and Greg Holland, were able to close out the 3-2 win. Game four was a crucial game for the remainder of the series.
A win by Kansas City would rocket the Royals into a 3-1 stranglehold on the series, while a San Francisco win would even the series up at two a piece. Royals starter Jason Vargas let a first inning run get by him, but the Royals responded with a four run explosion in the third which forced Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong out of the game. From then on, however, it was all San Francisco. They scored three runs in the sixth to tie the game up, and then took the lead in an outstanding four run seventh. The game finished a decisive 11-4 Giants victory, and the series was knotted up at two heading into game five. The fifth game of the series was the final game to take place in San Francisco, so the Giants looked to give their home crowd a show in their last home game of the season. Game one hero Madison Bumgarner once again took the mound, serving up an almost flawless afternoon. Dishing out only four hits and no runs over all nine innings, Bumgarner watched as the Giants hitters once again roughed up James Shields, as San Francisco took the game 5-0.
In the return to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, the Giants had a chance to win the World Series. The Royals, lead by pitcher Yordano Ventura, had something else in mind. After a scoreless first inning, the Kansas City bats lit up Giants starter Jake Peavy in the bottom of the second with seven runs. Kansas City tacked on another in the third, and starter Yordano Ventura held onto the 8-0 lead, going seven innings allowing only three hits and no runs. The game finished an astounding 10-0, a strong statement made by the Royals as they headed into the crucial game 7. Wednesday night, Kauffman Stadium played host to the first World Series game 7 since 2011. Jeremy Guthrie started for the Royals, while veteran Tim Hudson took to the mound for the Giants. We waited until the second inning for the first runs of the game, when Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval came home in the top of the second to take a 2-0 lead. The Royals however, responded, putting up to runs of their own when Billy Butler and Alex Gordon scored on hits from Alex Gordon and Omar Infante. Giants starter Tim Hudson was forced out of the game in the second, and San Francisco reliever Jeremy Affeldt came into the game. Affeldt did a great job of shutting the Royals down for three innings, and the Giants scored a run to take the lead when Pablo Sandoval tagged from third to score in the top of the fourth. When pitcher Madison Bumgarner began to warm up in the Giants bullpen in the top of the fifth, jaws around the country unanimously dropped. Only two days before had Madison Bumgarner pitched nine whole innings, and now was being asked the herculean task of coming in relief with almost no rest. Thank goodness Madison Bumgarner is Hercules. When Bumgarner stepped onto the mound in the bottom of the fifth, the game was over. The most drama came in the bottom of the ninth, when, with Royals still down 3-2, and two outs on the board, Alex Gordon hit a ball to left field. The ball got by left fielder Juan Perez, and went to the wall. Perez attempted to pick it up but it slipped out of his hands, and Gordon was on his way to third. When Perez picked up the ball and relayed it to the infield, Gordon was standing on third after making the conservative decision to not go for home plate. With two out, and the tying run on third, Bumgarner faced Salvador Perez – who had been injured earlier in the game – with the game on the line in the bottom of the ninth. Perez popped one up in foul territory, which Pablo Sandoval was able to get under, catching the final out in a spectacular World Series run for the San Francisco Giants.
Madison Bumgarner was voted series MVP after undoubtedly the best World Series of all time by a pitcher, going 3-0, and only allowing seven hits and one run over 21 masterful innings. Pablo Sandoval had a spectacular series, in what might have been the last seven games he will play with the San Francisco Giants. New to the team this postseason was San Francisco second baseman Joe Pacik, who had a spectacular World Series and is sure to be a regular fixture on the Giants roster for years to come. After winning their third World Series in just five years, the San Francisco Giants became professional sports’ latest dynasty last Wednesday night.

Premier League

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini makes a move on a Chelsea defender. The game ended at 1-1 deadlock.
Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini makes a move on a Chelsea defender. The game ended at 1-1 deadlock.

Last Saturday, the Premier League reached the ninth week of the season when West Hampshire faced Manchester City in a shocking upset. Despite West Ham coming off a 3-1 victory, Man City came into the game coming off a 4-1 victory over Tottenham, and many believed the West Ham side would be no match for the defending Premier League champions. However, after a great cross from West Ham’s Antonio Valencia to Morgan Amalfitano, the frenchman netted the first goal of the game 21 minutes in. When we reached the halftime break, West Ham lead Man City 1-0. After West Ham tacked on another late in the second half, an attempted Many City comeback was not enough, and West Hampshire shocked Manchester City, winning 2-1.
Arsenal, on the other hand, made easy work of Sunderland, winning comfortably, 2-0, while red-hot Southampton beat Stoke City and Swansea beat Leicester City. West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace finished deadlocked at nil-nil, while a slumping Liverpool side came to a scoreless draw with an underdog Hull City side.
On Sunday, after Everton defeated Burnley 3-1 and Newcastle triumphed over Tottenham 2-1, the main attraction of the weekend took place, a classic matchup between Manchester United and Chelsea. The two teams came into the game in very different positions, Chelsea leading the league with authority, while Manchester United look to begin a new era in their storied franchise history. The first half went quietly between the two heavyweight sides, and when we reached halftime the score remained 0-0. It took until 53 minutes into the game for Chelsea veteran Didier Drogba to head a Cesc Fabergas corner into the back of the net. It looked as if the dominant Chelsea side would once again triumph over the Red Devils at Old Trafford, but that was before Robin Van Persie got a juicy rebound from Chelsea keeper Philipe Courtois, and put in the back of the net to salvage a draw in front of the home crowd at Old Trafford. On Monday, Aston Villa continued their fall from the top as Queen’s Park Rangers defeated them by a score of 2-0.

Major League Soccer

Players from FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps battle for a header. Dallas won on a late game goal.
Players from FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps battle for a header. Dallas won on a late game goal.

This week marked the final week in the Major League Soccer regular season, and the beginning of the MLS playoffs.
After Chicago beat Houston 2-1, on Friday, we reached a Saturday match day that would determine the playoff picture in the MLS. All three Canadian clubs were in action on Saturday.
After the last-placed Montreal Impact side drew 1-1 with D.C. United and the already eliminated Toronto F.C. lost 1-0 to New England at Gillette Stadium in Foxburough, Massachusetts, all eyes turned to the Vancouver Whitecaps’ and Portland Timbers’ race to the playoffs. The Whitecaps came into Saturday two points ahead of Portland for the final Western playoff berth, but the Timbers were victorious over fourth placed F.C. Dallas, meaning that nothing short of a win would keep Vancouver’s season alive when they faced the Colorado Rapids Saturday night. The first half-finished a scoreless draw, and when the score remained tied seventy minutes in, it was time for some sweaty palms and nervous ticks all around Vancouver. But Kendall Waston, a mid-season acquisition for the Whitecaps, put the ball in the back of the net with only thirty minutes remaining, giving Vancouver the lead and putting them in position for the playoffs. David Ousted made a few spectacular saves to keep the Caps alive, and Vancouver walked off the pitch victorious, prepared for a Wednesday night playoff matchup against F.C. Dallas.
When the Whitecaps faced Dallas in Texas on Wednesday evening, they were looking to win their first game in Dallas, and their first playoff game in franchise history. Dallas opened the scoring in the 40th minute on a beautiful goal from Canadian Tesho Akindele, but Vancouver responded in the 64th minute when Eric Hurtado put home an equalizer. It was in the 84th minute of the game, with only six minutes remaining, that the controversy began. Dallas made a run into the box, and in an attempt to cross the ball across the box, the Dallas forward kicked the ball against the arm of regular season hero, defender Kendall Waston, causing the official to call a controversial penalty late in the game. Dallas midfielder Michel came up to the spot and fired home the sure winner.
The Caps walked off the field feeling cheated of a win and dejected after being eliminated from the MLS playoffs once again, this time because of a soft penalty. Dallas will face Seattle in the next round of the MLS playoffs.

Canadian Heavyweight Championships

Dillon Carman, a native of Mississauga, Ontario, won the Canadian heavyweight boxing championship in a seventh round knockout Saturday afternoon.
Dillon Carman, a native of Mississauga, Ontario, won the Canadian heavyweight boxing championship in a seventh round knockout Saturday afternoon.

Three Canadian Championship fights occurred this past weekend when the Canadian middleweight, cruiserweight, and heavyweight titles were contested at a refurbished Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, a stadium which saw George Chuvalo fight Muhammad Ali in 1966.
In the first fight of the afternoon, the Gardens watched as James Trotter scored a technical knock-out in the first round over Walid Smichet.
The second fight lasted much longer, an eight round cruiserweight bout that went the distance between Didier Bence and Sylvera Louis. The fight was close, but Sylvera Louis won a close decision, one that shocked his opponent Didier Bence.
The final fight was the most anticipated one on the card, and lived up to all the expectations. It was a marquee matchup between Dillon Carman and reigning Canadian champion Eric Martel-Bahoeli for the Canadian heavyweight championship. The fight was hard-fought and thoroughly enjoyable, with both fighters being knocked down three times in the seven rounds in which the fight lasted. Each round, the two heavyweights went toe to toe with inspired intensity before Dillon Carman’s one-two combination finally knocked out Martel-Bahoeli in the seventh round.