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Calgary Flames shut down McDavid, Draisaitl in 3-1 win over Edmonton Oilers


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Calgary held the NHL’s top producers off the scoresheet and Flames forward Tyler Toffoli scored twice in a 3-1 win over the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

Johnny Gaudreau contributed an insurance goal and his 50th assist of the season for the Flames (34-14-7), which continued atop the Pacific Division with a 14th win in their last 16 games.

Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 of 28 shots in front of a season-high 17,246 at the Saddledome. The arena holds 19,289.

Devin Shore replied for Edmonton (30-23-4), which remained two points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

The NHL’s co-leaders in points — Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid — didn’t register one Monday.

“You can’t expect Brad Malone to come in here and score three goals tonight, right?” Draisaitl said. “That’s our job. That’s on Connor, that’s on me, that’s on the top guys that are getting paid to create. Probably didn’t do enough of that tonight.”

Mikko Koskinen turned away 26 of 29 in the season’s first instalment of the Battle of Alberta at the Saddledome.

A Dec. 23 game in Calgary was rescheduled because a COVID-19 outbreak among the Flames.

The Oilers beat the visiting Flames 5-2 on Oct. 16 and 5-2 on Jan. 22. Their regular-season series concludes March 26 in Calgary.

Toffoli got his first taste of the NHL’s Battle of Alberta. The Flames acquired the forward from Toronto in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 14.

Toffoli scored his sixth and seventh goals for Calgary since becoming a Flame.

“I was definitely excited not only because of that, but the way the standings are,” he said. “It was just a just a really important game for us.

“I thought we did a good job of containing their top guys. Marky made some big saves at the right time. I thought we just did a really good job overall and not really letting them get to their game as much as they probably wanted to.”

Edmonton dropped to 7-5-1 since Jay Woodcroft took over as head coach for fired Dave Tippett on Feb. 10.

“We played a solid game I think, but you’re not going to win many games when you score one goal,” Draisaitl said. “I don’t think it’s ever a question of competing or battle level. We’re playing our hearts out.”

Calgary opera singer Stephania Romaniuk sang the Ukrainian anthem before George Canyon’s O Canada on Monday.

It was the second straight home game that the Flames made a gesture of support to a country attempting to repel Russia’s invasion.

After a scoreless first period, Calgary led 2-0 on back-to-back Toffoli goals heading into the third.

Shore halved the deficit at 4:57 of the third, but Gaudreau, scoring on a partial breakaway with just under three minutes remaining, restored Calgary’s two-goal cushion.

The puck deflected off referee Dan O’Rourke’s leg to Oiler Derek Ryan, whose pass then bounced off the leg of Flames’ defenceman Nikita Zadorov out to Shore to score Edmonton’s lone goal of the game.

Toffoli, who was stopped on a short-handed breakaway in the first period, took a backhand feed from Adam Ruzicka and wired a wrist shot far side on Koskinen at 9:54 of the second period.

He shovelled a rebound upstairs for a power-play goal at 6:37. Gaudreau’s assist on Toffoli’s first goal was his sixth in five games.

Markstrom stretched across his crease to rob Malone and also corralled an Evander Kane blast during an Edmonton power-play early in the second period.

Calgary held the fourth-best power-play in the NHL to 0-for-4 in the game and went 1-for-4 with a man advantage.

“We didn’t have to block a lot of shots tonight,” Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said. “We put a lot of pressure on them in key areas. Entering the zone, they didn’t get much entry time or zone time, to be quite honest.”

The Flames are at home Tuesday to the Washington Capitals, who face the Oilers in Edmonton on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2022.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press



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Police arrest two more people following killing of eight-year-old girl in Alberta

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An Edmonton Police Service logo is shown at a press conference in Edmonton, Oct. 2, 2017. Police in Edmonton have charged two more people following the killing of an eight-year-old girl whose remains were found on a First Nation south of the provincial capital in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson


Police in Edmonton have charged two more people following the killing of an eight-year-old girl whose remains were found on a First Nation south of the provincial capital.

Officers responded on April 24 to a welfare call about the girl at an Edmonton home but were unable to locate her.

Her remains were discovered five days later on the Samson Cree Nation in Maskwacis.

Shayden Lightning, who is 21, and Raighne Stoney, who is 36, have been charged with being an accessory to murder and causing an indignity to a body.

Three others were initially charged in the case.

Police are not releasing the names of two of the accused in order to protect the identities of other children related to the victim, whose identity is under a publication ban.

A 27-year-old woman faces a charge of first-degree murder and a 25-year-old man faces charges of being an accessory to murder and causing an indignity to a body.

Edward Nievera, 67, was charged with being an accessory to murder and causing an indignity to a body.

Edmonton police Staff Sgt. Colin Leathem said in a release Friday that the recent arrests will be the last in the case and that the investigation has concluded.

“We want to thank the RCMP in Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin for their assistance with this investigation,” he said. “Needless to say, this was an exceptionally distressing investigation to work on, and they went above and beyond in helping to facilitate these final arrests and bring this file to conclusion.

“While nothing can change the horror of what occurred, we hope (the arrests) can provide some measure of justice to those who knew and loved this little girl.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2023.

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Smith says despite difficulty with Ottawa, Alberta has allies in Trudeau cabinet

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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith speaks to business leaders at the Global Business Forum in Banff, Alta., Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. Smith told the conference that despite her concerns with the federal Liberal government there was some cabinet ministers she can work with. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

By Bill Graveland in Banff

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith told a business conference on Friday that despite her concerns with the federal Liberal government, there are some cabinet ministers she can work with.

Smith has been at odds with federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson amid concerns over Ottawa’s climate-change policies and transition plan for a net-zero emissions economy.

Guilbeault intends to publish draft regulations this fall to cap emissions from oil and gas, then force them downward overtime. Ottawa has also set a target to have the electricity grid be net-zero by 2035, but Alberta says it’s unrealistic.

Smith says Alberta won’t implement the emissions cap, nor will it follow the 2035 target.

The premier told delegates at the Global Business Forum in Banff, Alta., that Wilkinson needs to answer for comments he made earlier this week at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary.

Wilkinson’s call for the industry to work aggressively to get to net-zero was basically telling them to “pack it up, because the oil and gas industry is winding down,” said Smith.

“You could just feel the energy leave the room and you could just feel the investment dollars leave the room.”

Smith said energy producing provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, can’t trust the Trudeau government to look out for their interests at international conferences.

“After hearing how the natural resources minister talks about our industry, after hearing how the federal environment minister talks about our industry, we can’t afford to let them carry our message,” Smith said.

“We can’t afford not to be there.”

Smith said she has been in discussions with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and intends to talk to Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey about joint presentations at conferences in the future.

Despite her disappointment with Wilkinson and Guilbeault, Smith said it’s not all bad.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland among the top allies, she said.

“Let’s give her credit for shepherding through all of the constant need to give more debt financing to Trans Mountain pipeline to get that to the finish line. That has not been easy,” Smith said.

She also praised Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc, Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan and Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault.

“I would say it’s not uniformly negative in the Liberal caucus. But for some reason they’re allowing Stephen Guilbeault to be a maverick and a renegade and quite offensive to those of who are trying to be reasonable and adult about this,” Smith said.

Smith said it’s time for the federal government to back away from setting “aggressive targets” in dealing with the provinces.

“Aggressive targets are not helpful. They’re not helpful to us. They’re not helpful to investors.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2023.

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