Blue Jackets snap Oilers’ six-game win streak with 3-2 victory in OT
By Shane Jones in Edmonton
The Columbus Blue Jackets didn’t look like a last-place team taking on the hottest squad in the league on Wednesday night.
Kent Johnson scored the overtime winner as the Blue Jackets came away with a surprise 3-2 victory over the Oilers to end Edmonton’s longest winning streak of the NHL season.
Johnson’s shot from the top of the circle went in off Oilers’ goalie Stuart Skinner’s glove and into the net 2:29 into the extra session.
“It’s one of the best feelings to get an OT winner. That was a huge win for us,” Johnson said. “These are the type of games you want to play in, they’re really fun, and have great energy. You have to manage the game to get the win.”
Boone Jenner and Kirill Marchenko also scored for the Blue Jackets (15-30-3) who have managed to win two of their last three and earn five points out of their last possible six.
“It’s big, especially lately, we’ve been playing good, but we haven’t had that many wins,” said Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo, who made 34 saves. “I think the way we played tonight it was awesome and it’s great to get points on the road.
“The battle level was right there from the beginning, and you could see everyone had bought in 100 per cent there, and that’s how you win games.”
Derek Ryan and Zach Hyman responded with goals for the Oilers (27-18-4) who saw a six-game winning streak snapped. The Oilers are the only team in the NHL that has been unable to stretch a winning streak to seven games or more in the last 20 years.
“It’s a bit frustrating,” said Oilers defenceman Tyson Barrie. “I think we had enough looks and chances to probably win the game. It certainly wasn’t our best game, but we gave ourselves a chance. It was disappointing to let them come back, and then OT is kind of anyone’s game.”
Edmonton had some early chances, but it was the Blue Jackets who struck first 12:25 into the opening period when Jenner was able to tip an Adam Boqvist snapshot from the point past Skinner. Jenner has now scored in three consecutive games, giving him 14 goals on the season.
Skinner was able to keep it a one-goal game six minutes into the second period, stopping Johnny Gaudreau on a partial breakaway.
The Oilers pulled even midway through the middle frame as Ryan picked up a loose puck at mid-ice and beat Korpisalo with a long rising shot for his seventh.
Shortly after Korpisalo robbed Leon Draisaitl with a huge glove save, Edmonton struck on the power play with 3:44 remaining in the second when Connor McDavid found Hyman at the side of the net for a redirection into the net for his 25th. The assist extended McDavid’s points streak to 11 games, and also gave him points in 28 of his last 29 games.
The Blue Jackets tied the game 11:26 into the third period on a great individual effort as Marchenko came out from behind the net and battled hard to slide it under Skinner for his 11th goal to send the game to extra time.
“They played well,” Ryan said of Columbus. “There are no easy games in the NHL. Every game is going to be hard. That being said, I don’t think we played our best tonight.”
Oilers forward Evander Kane missed the game for personal reasons, dealing with his bankruptcy case in San Jose. Mattias Janmark returned from illness to take his place. … Out with injuries for Edmonton were Kailer Yamamoto (undisclosed) and Ryan Murray (back). … Missing for the Blue Jackets were Yegor Chinakhov (ankle) and Carson Meyer (oblique strain). Forward Liam Foudy returned to the Columbus lineup after being a healthy scratch the past four games. … Columbus forward Marchenko came into the game as only the fourth player in NHL history to score 10 goals without recording an assist, something that hasn’t happened since 1926. The rookie has now scored his 11 goals in just 25 games since being called up from the AHL. … Edmonton forward Hyman is already experiencing a career season, now sitting with 57 points in 48 games this year, besting his previous career high from last year of 54 points in 76 games. Hyman had four goals and five assists in three games last week to be named the NHL’s First Star of the Week. … Columbus forward Gustav Nyquist played in his 700th NHL game.
The Blue Jackets play the third game of a four-game road trip in Vancouver against the Canucks on Friday.
The Oilers host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday and then are off until Feb. 7.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2023.
‘A crisis’: Calgary charity seeks one-month homes for Ukrainian refugees after influx
Ukrainian evacuees Dmytro Syrman, left, his wife, Anastasiia, centre, and their four-year-old daughter Varvara attend a news conference highlighting the need for temporary housing in Calgary on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
By Bill Graveland in Calgary
After six months under Russian occupation, Dmytro Syrman and his family decided to flee Ukraine for a safer life abroad and are now in Calgary.
The family lived in Dniprorudne, a mining city of 17,000 in southern Ukraine. Syrman worked as a human resources manager at an iron factory.
In August, Syrman, his wife, Anastasiia, and four-year-old daughter Varvara embarked on a six-day, 3,000-kilometre drive to Poland.
“On the 24 of February, when the Russian army attacked Ukraine and occupied our city in March 2022, we lost everything,” Syrman said Wednesday.
He said they began planning their escape when they realized Russian soldiers weren’t leaving their city.
“We started all of this because we were scared for Varvara,” he said. “When Russian bombs were falling near our city it was really scary.”
Their home is still under Russian occupation.
For the past year the family stayed in Poland, sent in their paperwork to come to Canada, and two weeks ago arrived in Calgary.
They’re now staying with a host family for a month while they look for long-term accommodation and to find jobs.
“We are here and starting a new life. We can’t believe about people who don’t know us and many helped us. We’re really shocked,” Syrman said.
The Syrmans were helped by Calgary’s Centre for Newcomers, which started a campaign to find 100 hosts for Ukrainian families or individuals for a month while they find housing of their own.
Kelly Ernst, chief program officer with the centre, said there has been a flood of Ukrainians trying to take advantage of a federal program that allows them to temporarily resettle in Canada.
The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program has been extended until July and Ernst said he expects people will continue to flee the war-torn country.
“We’re in a desperate, dire need at the moment for host homes to try to accommodate the evacuees coming from Ukraine. It’s reaching the proportions of being a crisis moment,” said Ernst.
He said people arriving elsewhere in Canada are migrating to Calgary because the rents are lower than in larger cities such as Toronto and Vancouver.
Ernst said approximately 450 people have been arriving in Calgary every week from Ukraine and his organization has helped people staying nights in the airport, off the street and at homeless shelters.
Natalia Shem, who is the manager of housing for the Ukrainian evacuees, said it’s difficult for the newcomers to find somewhere to live before arriving.
“It’s almost impossible to find long-term rent being outside of Canada and people who come here need one month of stay,” Shem said. “It’s an average time a family can find long-term rent, job and settle down here in Canada.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2023.
Budget measures unlikely enough to spur major carbon capture investments: Experts
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland delivers the federal budget in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, March 28, 2023. Industry watchers say Tuesday’s federal budget likely won’t be enough to convince Canadian oil and gas companies to pull the trigger on expensive, emissions-reducing carbon capture and storage projects. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
By Amanda Stephenson in Calgary
A question mark continues to hang over the future of carbon capture and storage projects in Canada, in spite of a pledge in Tuesday’s federal budget to deliver more investment certainty for major emissions-reducing projects.
“Look, we have set some very aggressive climate targets in Canada. You can’t kick the can down the road,” said carbon capture advocate James Millar, arguing that’s exactly what the federal government did Tuesday when it provided no additional details around its previously stated intention to reduce the risk of investing in pricey emissions-reduction projects by essentially guaranteeing the future price of carbon.
“The difference comes down to investment certainty in the U.S., versus the promise of investment certainty in Canada.”
As president and CEO of the International CCS (carbon capture and storage) Knowledge Centre, a non-profit organization based in Regina, Millar had been closely watching Tuesday’s budget in hopes of obtaining more federal support for the expensive technology that can be used to trap harmful greenhouse gas emissions from industrial processes and store them safely underground.
Heavy emitters — in particular, the oil and gas sector — have identified carbon capture and storage technology as key to helping the sector meet its emissions reduction targets and have been looking for government incentives akin to what is being offered south of the border, where the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act promises to pay companies a guaranteed US$85 price for each tonne of injected carbon.
While Canada has already announced an investment tax credit that will help to offset some of the up-front capital costs of carbon capture projects, companies have so far been hesitant to pull the trigger and go ahead with proposed large-scale projects.
The Pathways Alliance, for example, a consortium of oilsands companies, has proposed building a $16.5-billion carbon capture and storage transportation line to combat emissions from existing oilsands infrastructure in northern Alberta.
But the group has not yet made a final investment decision, saying it needs to know its project will be competitive with those in the U.S. before proceeding.
One thing the oil and gas sector has said will help with that is some kind of mechanism that would reduce the risk to companies that the federal price on carbon could be lowered or eliminated. If a new government were to be elected and remove or change Canada’s carbon pricing system, investing in expensive carbon-reducing technology could suddenly become uneconomical.
On Tuesday, the federal government reiterated that it intends to create such a mechanism through a so-called carbon contracts for difference system — but disappointed many who were hoping for details. Instead, the government announced it plans to begin consultations around the development of such a program.
Millar said while he doesn’t doubt the government’s good intentions, companies that have proposed large-scale projects need to get moving now if they have any hope of meeting Canada’s goal to reduce this country’s overall emissions by 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 looms.
“We’re already in 2023, we’re seven years out. The consultations that were announced yesterday will take months,” he said. “I think it will take at least a year because it’s going to take time to set up the process.”
The Pathways Alliance itself took a diplomatic tone Tuesday, issuing a statement after the tabling of the budget saying it was “encouraged” by the signal that more policy certainty is coming, and adding it looks forward to a “better understanding” of the government’s intentions.
But Greg Pardy of RBC Capital said in a research note that in spite of some enhancements to the previously announced investment tax credit, budgetary support for carbon capture and storage was “somewhat limited — perhaps even disappointing.”
“In our view, Canada’s federal government needs to shift into much higher gear when it comes to incentivizing decarbonization investment if it is to achieve its bold climate change ambitions,” Pardy said.
A report from BMO Capital Markets published just before the release of Tuesday’s budget said Canada’s policy framework for large-scale deployment of carbon capture and storage disadvantages producers here compared to the U.S., “despite claims to the contrary from some proponents of the environmental lobby.”
Environmentalists have been critical of any additional federal support for carbon capture, calling it akin to a subsidy for oil and gas companies that enables them to increase production when the world should be scaling down fossil fuel usage.
But the BMO report said carbon capture is an essential part of the energy transition, and without offering improved incentives to keep up with the U.S., Canada risks not meeting its 2030 emissions reduction targets.
“Canada’s market-based carbon price systems are much too uncertain to act as ‘incentive’ for industry to invest in major decarbonization projects,” the BMO report stated.
“Emitters need financial supports that are tangible and recognized by financial institutions to underwrite bank financing.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2023.
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