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Alberta

Province piling on the prizes to push people towards covid vaccination

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Win NHL and CFL prizes for getting vaccinated

A new Open for Summer Lottery draw will reward Albertans who have received their first COVID-19 vaccine with prize packages from the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Elks and Calgary Stampeders.

More than 1.6 million Albertans have already entered the Open for Summer Lottery, which currently includes three draws for $1 million, travel prizes from Air Canada and WestJet, and prizes from the Calgary Stampede.

The new draw will give every Albertan with their first dose who registers for the Open for Summer Lottery by July 22 the chance to win season tickets for football, VIP hockey packages and rounds of golf in Kananaskis. Winners will be announced on July 29.

To date, more than 71.7 per cent of eligible Albertans have stepped up for their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, including 38.6 per cent who are now fully vaccinated with two doses.

“We’ve all missed the thrill of watching our favourite teams play to the roar of a cheering crowd. Thanks to Albertans’ hard work at getting vaccinated, we can get back to many of our favourite pastimes and sports as we safely open for summer. These prizes will help welcome fans back to their seats and are yet another incentive to get vaccinated as soon as you can.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“I encourage Albertans to continue to book their doses if they have not already done so. Getting vaccinated will help Albertans protect themselves and their communities, and provides a chance to win one of these incredible prizes.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“The Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club is pleased to support this very important effort to get Albertans vaccinated. While we were fortunate to have had the opportunity to play hockey this season, Rogers Place is not the same without our amazing fans. Getting vaccinated is a vital step to welcoming fans back this fall.”

Bob Nicholson, chairman, Edmonton Oilers

“We all agree that getting vaccinated is a critical step to defeat what has been facing us all. Awareness about being a part of getting vaccinated is also vital and the new Edmonton Elks are pleased to join with our other provincial sports team colleagues to help.”

Chris Presson, president & CEO, Edmonton Elks

“Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation is happy to support the Alberta government in encouraging Albertans to get vaccinated. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives for more than a year. Getting your shot will help end the pandemic and allow each of us to get back to who and what we love. We can’t wait to welcome you back to McMahon Stadium and the Scotiabank Saddledome. Let’s get back together!”

John Bean, president & CEO, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation

Edmonton Oilers

  • One winner will receive a prize package to host 20 people at an Oilers 2021-22 regular season home game in the food-inclusive Sky Lounge at Rogers Place, with a visit from an Oilers alumnus.
  • One winner will receive an Oilers VIP Package, which includes a pair of lower bowl tickets for an Oilers 2021-22 regular season home game, Oilers jerseys, a VIP tour with an Oilers alumnus and dinner at Studio 99.
  • One winner will receive four Loge Ledge Tickets to a 2021-22 Battle of Alberta Game at Rogers Place, dinner at Studio 99, Oilers jerseys and a visit from an Oilers alumnus.

Calgary Flames

  • One winner will receive a prize package to host 20 people in a Terrace Suite at the Scotiabank Saddledome with food and beverage and a visit from a Flames alumnus.
  • One winner will receive a Flames VIP package, which includes a pair of Telus Club seats for a Flames regular season game, dinner at the Telus Club, Flames jerseys and a visit with a Flames alumnus.
  • One winner will receive a Battle of Alberta package, which includes four tickets in the Telus Club for Flames versus Oilers, dinner, Flames jerseys and visit with a Flames Alumnus.

Edmonton Elks

  • Three winners will receive one pair of Season Seats with merchandise packages.
  • One winner will receive one Luxury Suite package for one game in Edmonton for 10 people, with food provided.

Calgary Stampeders

  • Three winners will receive one pair of Season Seats with merchandise packages.
  • One winner will receive one Luxury Suite package for one game in Calgary for 10 people, with food provided.

Kananaskis Country Golf Course

  • One tee time for 18 holes for four people. Valid until Oct. 10.

Book your shot and enter to win

Anyone who has already entered the Open for Summer Lottery does not need to re-register for this new sports prize draw.

More than $3 million in cash and prizes is available through the Open for Summer Lottery. All Albertans aged 18-plus are eligible to register for the remaining lottery draws once they’ve received both doses of their COVID-19 vaccine.

Winners will be required to confirm their immunization status. A complete list of rules is available online at alberta.ca/lottery.

Albertans can book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through AHS online, participating pharmacies or by calling 811. Select clinic locations across the province continue to offer first doses on a walk-in basis.

Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.

Quick facts

  • Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan safely eases restrictions in three stages as vaccination targets are reached and hospitalizations decline.
  • To be eligible for the lottery, you must:
    • Opt in by registering at alberta.ca/lottery.
    • Reside in Alberta at the time of entry and draw.
    • Be 18 years of age and older.
    • Be able to provide proof of your immunization status.
    • Please visit alberta.ca/lottery for a complete list of rules.
  • Any Albertan 18 or older who received approved vaccines out of province is also eligible, provided they have submitted proof of vaccination to AHS and meet all other eligibility criteria.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Johnson dazzles, Canada tops Czechia 5-1 in world junior hockey championship

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By Gemma Karstens-Smith in Edmonton

Kent Johnson has been working for years on a move that stuns goalies and hockey fans alike.

On Saturday, he executed it in a big way, scoring a highlight-reel-worthy goal that helped Canada to a 5-1 win over Czechia at the world junior hockey championship.

Johnson put away the dazzling game winner 19 minutes into the first period, scooping the puck on to his stick blade behind the net, picking it up as he glided forward and swirling it in over the Czech goalie’s shoulder for an elusive “Michigan” goal.

The move — also known as a lacrosse goal — is something the Columbus Blue Jackets prospect has been honing for about six years.

“I’ve been practising that move since I was like, 14, and doing it,” he said. “Now it’s just something that’s kind of in the tool box.”

Still, pulling it out to give the Canadians a 2-1 lead — one they never relinquished — was exciting.

“It’s a big goal, a really good one,” said Johnson, who added an assist in the third period. “I think it’s the period I was having, too. I think I would have been pretty pumped for it to go off my skate, too.”

The play drew wild cheers from the crowd of 5,135 at Rogers Place. On the ice, Johnson’s linemate Logan Stankoven held his gloved hands above his head and uttered “Oh my God!”

“That was probably one of the nicest Michigans I’ve seen, honestly,” said Canada’s captain, Mason McTavish. “He got it up so fast and at the end of the first period, the ice isn’t that great then. So that was something special to watch. I’ll definitely be watching that over and over again.”

McTavish scored twice for Canada (3-0-0) on Saturday, while Ridly Greig and Tyson Foerster each found the back of the net. Jack Thompson, Ronan Seeley and Stankoven each contributed a pair of assists.

Czechia (1-1-1) opened the scoring with a short-handed goal early in the first period.

Jaroslav Chmelar was sent to the box after running fellow New York Rangers prospect Brennan Othmann into the boards from behind and leaving the Canadian with a bloody nose.

The play was reviewed and Chmelar was ejected with a game misconduct. His team was left to kill a five-minute major penalty.

Rysavy gave the Czech’s some breathing room, putting a shot up under the crossbar 5:10 into the game. The puck bounced out of the net and the play continued, but a video review moments later showed the puck had crossed the goal line.

The way Canada rallied bodes well for the rest of the tournament, said Othmann.

“It’s just a little bit of adversity. And that’s OK in these games,” he said. “I think that builds more character for the important games, elimination games. And it just shows that we’re resilient. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we’re going to keep going.”

It was a busy night in net for Czech goalie Tomas Suchanek, who stopped 52 of 57 shots.

McTavish was first to beat the netminder, putting away the equalizer 16:44 into the opening frame by deflecting in Thompson’s long blast through traffic.

Seconds earlier, Suchanek made an eye-popping stop to preserve his team’s lead. Stationed at the side of the net, Johnson got a quick shot off on the out-of-position netminder but Suchanek slid over just in time to make a diving glove save.

“I was a little bit lucky,” the Czech goalie admitted. “The puck went into the slot and I saw he was going to pass it across and I just put my glove out and he just shot it in my glove. I was like ‘Oh my god, what just happened?’ I watched the replay and it was pretty fun. I just said to myself ‘Good job’ and I kept going.”

Canada’s head coach Dave Cameron said he was “nervous” early in the game about how well Suchanek was playing.

“This tournament, now as the games get better and the competition gets tougher, you have to stick with it,” he said. ” (Suchanek) was really good and we stuck with it and found a way.”

At the other end of the ice, Dylan Garand made 22 saves to collect his second win of the tournament for the Canadians.

Canada took a 3-1 lead 4:48 into the frame thanks to a power-play goal.

Czechia’s Gabriel Szturc was called for roughing and five seconds into the man advantage, Greig tipped in Seeley’s shot for his second goal of the tournament.

Canada was 1 for 3 on the power play Saturday while Czechia went 0 for 2.

Teen phenom Connor Bedard set up Canada’s fourth goal of the night, slicing a crisp pass to McTavish, who was alone at the top of the slot. He stickhandled his way in and put a shot through the goalie’s legs for his second goal of the game 11:05 into the second.

Foerster sealed the score 7:39 into the third period, collecting a pass from Johnson in the middle of the slot, winding up and blasting a massive shot past Suchanek to give the Canadians a 5-1 advantage.

Earlier on Saturday, the reigning champion Americans (3-0-0) remained undefeated with a lopsided 7-0 victory over Austria (0-3-0).

Austrian goalie Leon Sommer stopped 49 of the 56 shots he faced.

“I love those kind of games,” he said with a smile. “Lots of shots.”

Saturday’s workload wasn’t the largest Sommer has shouldered in world juniors action — he faced 64 shots in a 11-2 loss to Canada before COVID-19 scrubbed the original 2022 tournament in December.

“I guess I get the tough ones,” the goalie said. “But I love those.”

In Saturday’s final game, Germany recorded its second win by outlasting winless Switzerland 3-2. Germany is now 2-1-0, while Switzerland slips to 0-3-0.

Canada will wrap up round robin play against Finland (2-0-0) on Monday.

The preliminary round continues through Monday, with the quarterfinals set for Wednesday. The semifinals are scheduled for Friday and the medal games will be played next Saturday.

NOTES: McTavish leads the tournament with 10 points (six goals, four assists). … Canada has outscored its opponents 21-4 across its first three games of the tournament. … Both sides were coming off a rest day after Canada routed Slovakia 11-1 on Thursday while the Czechs fell 4-3 in a shootout to Finland the same day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 13, 2022.

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Alberta

B.C. Lions chase down Calgary Stampeders with 41-40 comeback win

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By Donna Spencer in Calgary

B.C. Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke threw for 488 yards and engineered a 41-40 comeback win Saturday over the Calgary Stampeders.

The 24-year-old from Victoria recovered from two early interceptions, which the Stampeders converted into touchdowns, running for a pair of short-yardage touchdowns and throwing a pair of touchdown passes in the exciting CFL contest.

Completing 39 of 52 pass attempts, Rourke broke his own single-game passing record by a Canadian following the 477 yards he posted in last week’s win over Edmonton.

“There’s going to come a time in my life when I’m going to look back and realize how fortunate I was to be able to play with him,” Lions receiver Bryan Burnham said. “I’m just excited to be a part of it.”

Sean Whyte’s 25-yard field goal with two seconds left in the game capped the Lions’ comeback.

The Stampeders led by nine points midway through the fourth quarter when Peyton Logan scored on an electric 99-yard kick return, but the Lions chewed through that deficit.

“It wasn’t pretty by any means but we found a way to win, but I’m proud of the guys for staying together and finding a way,” Rourke said. “At this point, I’m just trying to help this team win in any way possible.”

Rourke threw touchdown passes to Burnham and Dominique Rhymes. Whyte also kicked field goals from 19, 38 and 23 yards.

University of Calgary alumnus Jalen Philpot scored his first CFL touchdown, as did defensive lineman Folarin Orimolade on an interception return for Calgary.

Shawn Bane had a touchdown catch and Rene Paredes kicked field goals from 28, 53, 32 and 51 yards in front of an announced 22,229 at McMahon Stadium.

The Lions (7-1) and Stampeders (5-3) rank second and third respectively in the CFL’s West Division behind the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (9-1).

Calgary and B.C. conclude their season series with a home-and-home Sept. 17 in Calgary and Sept. 24 in Vancouver.

Bo Levi Mitchell became the Stampeders’ all-time leader in passing yards with an eight-yard throw on Calgary’s opening drive.

He needed just six yards to vault over Henry Burris (32,191) and reach that milestone in his 10th season and 116th game with Calgary. Burris played 118 games for the Stampeders.

After two straight games without a touchdown pass, Mitchell threw two Saturday. The Stampeders quarterback completed 18 of 32 pass attempts for 206 yards and was interception-free, but he was unhappy with Calgary’s inability to finish the Lions off.

“Bad penalties, bad decisions. Everybody, from sidelines to the guys on the field, everybody was terrible,” Mitchell said. “It was a bad second half. You score 40 points, you can’t lose a game.”

Calgary led 40-31 with just over six minutes to play following Logan’s kickoff return for a major.

The Lions would not go quietly, however, with Burnham’s 33-yard catch under double coverage taking B.C. to Calgary’s 10-yard line with just under three minutes to play.

Rourke collected his seventh rushing touchdown this season on a one-yard carry for B.C. to trail by just two points.

Calgary opted to punt instead of insert Paredes for a 55-yard field goal attempt with a minute-and-a-half to play.

“I get nervous anything 50-plus especially with their returner back there,” Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson explained. “We had in our mind around 51, 52 maxed out. He did hit one because the wind kind of switched.

“I just felt we had a good plan. We just didn’t get them stopped.”

The Lions still faced a long field for a winning field goal starting from their own six-yard line, but Cameron Judge’s roughing-the-passer penalty shortened it for the visitors.

Rourke engineered a nine-play, 86-yard drive to put Whyte in field-goal range.

The Lions trailed by 12 points when B.C. linebacker Ben Hladik recovered Dedrick Mills’ fumble on Calgary’s 34-yard line in the final minute of the third quarter.

Rourke overthrew Lucky Whitehead in the end zone leaving Whyte a 23-yard field goal to make.

But Rourke’s 54-yard touchdown pass to Burnham behind coverage with seven minutes left in the game pulled the Lions within two points of the lead.

Calgary parlayed a pair of Rourke interceptions into a 20-3 lead by the first minute of the second quarter, when Orimolade ran his first career pick back 28 yards to score.

Rourke rallied with a pair of scoring drives — sandwiched around a Paredes 32-yard field — but the Stampeders would score again before the half.

B.C.’s David Menard’s roughing-the-passer penalty moved Calgary to the Lions’ 24-yard line, where Mitchell promptly threw to Bane dashing into the end zone for a 30-18 lead at halftime.

Paredes was wide from 51 yards in the final minute of the half, but split the uprights from the same distance early in the third quarter for Calgary’s 33-18 lead. Whyte was good from 38 yards midway through the quarter to cut the deficit.

Rourke scored his first rushing touchdown of the night with a one-yard plunge in the second quarter.

After Orimolade’s pick-six, Rourke quickly marched the Lions downfield and threw a 30-yard pass to Rhymes in the end zone to score.

Paredes’ 53-yard field goal, which matched his season’s longest, gave the hosts a 13-3 lead with four minutes remaining in the opening quarter.

After Nick Statz picked off Rourke on B.C.’s second drive of the game, Mitchell’s second pass was a 19-yard throw to Philpot in the end zone to score.

The clubs traded field goals on early drives in the first quarter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 13, 2022.

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