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Alberta

Opposition Leader Rachel Notlety and Premier Jason Kenney go head to head on referendums and political contributions

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NDP Leader Rachel Notley

Typically, Canadians are not very interested in the inner workings of government.  For most democracy just isn’t as compelling as Netflix.  However today’s exchange during Question Period at Alberta’s Legislature was an exception.  Former Premier and now Opposition Leader Rachel Notley went after Alberta Premier Jason Kenney who is introducing new legislation to allow referendums.  The provincial government is also planning to impose a $30,000.00 limit on donations to political action committees.  This will make fundraising for the NDP more challenging as the party enjoys support from a number of large unions.  Meanwhile Notley says the Conservatives are opening the door for corporate interests to influence Albertans.  It was a truly fiery exchange.

You just can't make this stuff up. Watch this exchange I had with Rachel Notley during question period today..The NDP has decided they oppose our most recent bill to give Albertans MORE of a say in matters of importance in our province through a democratic referendum.The NDP – that's the New "Democratic" Party – opposes giving Albertans more of a say in important decisions. That's got to be pretty confusing for their party.Thankfully, we were elected on this principle of increasing democracy in Alberta and we will not relent on this. We trust Albertans. We will give them the voice they rightfully deserve.

Posted by Jason Kenney on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

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Alberta

Lehner, Golden Knights shut down Blackhawks 4-1 in opener

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EDMONTON — Shea Theodore and William Carrier scored 2:17 apart midway through the second period, Robin Lehner made 19 saves against his former team, and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup playoffs first-round matchup on Tuesday night.

Riley Smith scored twice in the third period as the top-seed in the Western Conference kept their scoring outburst from the round-robin seeding games going in the playoff opener. The Golden Knights scored 15 goals in the three seeding games and didn’t slow down against the Blackhawks.

Game 2 is Thursday.

Lehner, who was traded from Chicago to Vegas in February, was the backbone of a Golden Knights defence that shut down the Blackhawks. Lehner’s biggest problem was a faulty skate blade that led to delays in the second period.

Chicago’s veteran stars Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith were mostly held quiet. Toews and Kane both hit posts, but combined the trio had just five shots on goal.

David Kampf scored short-handed for the Blackhawks in the second period thanks largely to the work of Brandon Saad forcing a turnover, but that was the extent of Chicago’s scoring.

Theodore scored his third goal of the post-season, flicking a wrist shot past Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford from the right circle. Minutes later, Carrier jabbed home a loose puck in front of Crawford’s net after Ryan Reeves had thrown the puck on net to give the Golden Knights a 2-0 lead.

Smith assisted on Theodore’s opener before finding the net himself twice in the final 20 minutes. Both goals were assisted by Jonathan Marchessault, the second allowing Smith to skate in free and lift a backhanded shot over Crawford’s glove.

Vegas earned the top-seed in the Western Conference after winning the Pacific Division and going 3-0 in the round-robin qualifying round to determine playoff seeding.

But Chicago was an unexpected first-round opponent for the Golden Knights. The Blackhawks, as the No. 12 seed, were impressive in dispatching heavily-favoured Edmonton in four games in the qualifying round.

NOTES: Vegas F Max Pacioretty made his post-season debut after being slowed by a minor injury. Pacioretty led Vegas with 32 goals and 66 points this season. … The game was stopped for several minutes early in the second period after Lehner lost the blade on his left skate after banging it into the goal post. Lehner needed additional work on the skate later in the period during a timeout and had the blade come off the skate again late in the period during a Chicago power play.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Associated Press

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Alberta

Calgary Flames edge Dallas Stars 3-2, strike first in NHL playoff series

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EDMONTON — Dillon Dube scored twice in the first period and the Calgary Flames beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Tuesday.

Rasmus Andersson also scored for Calgary, which advanced to the best-of-seven series by beating the Winnipeg Jets in four games in the best-of-five qualifying round.

Denis Gurianov and Jamie Benn scored for Dallas, which went 1-2 in the seeding round to earn the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. 

Dube and the Flames power play were the difference in the afternoon contest, held at Rogers Place in front of no fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Calgary scored the first goal of the game midway through the opening period with Alexander Radulov off for interference. Milan Lucic threaded a cross-ice pass to Dube on the rush. Dube fired a low one-timer past the outstretched glove of Dallas netminder Anton Khudobin.

As the Flames celebrated, Radulov swore a blue streak at the refs as he skated back to the Stars bench.

The Flames were 5-for-17 with the man advantage in their series against Winnipeg.

Dube had a busy period. He later went off for cross-checking Dallas forward Jason Dickinson head first into the boards. (“That’s a dangerous play. I’m going to call it every time,” a referee could be heard barking at Dube afterward in the empty arena).

Dube jumped out of the penalty box and took the puck on a breakaway, but was foiled on the shot by Khudobin.

With less than two minutes to go in the frame, Dube undressed third-pairing Dallas defenceman Andrej Sekera. Blasting down the right wing, Dube went wide around Sekera, swooped in front of the net, held the puck and tucked it past a sprawled Khudobin.

Dallas pushed back in the second period, peppering Calgary goalie Cam Talbot with shots to even the score.

Midway through the period, Gurianov fired a wrist shot from the blue line that appeared to bounce off the back of Calgary defenceman T.J. Brodie and in.

Nine seconds later, Benn wristed a knucklepuck from the blue line that bounced in front of Talbot, under his stickside arm and in.

Calgary regained the lead late in the period, with Sekera again playing a leading role. Andersson activated off the rush and whipped the puck from the right faceoff circle. It deflected off Sekera’s stick and over Khudobin’s shoulder.

The game also featured a title bout of team super pests Corey Perry and Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk. The two dropped the gloves off the draw in the first period and exchanged haymakers before Tkachuk knocked Perry down.

The two are famous throughout the league for antics, pre and post-whistle, that get under opponents’ skins. In the second period, Calgary’s Lucic mixed it up with Perry for shooting the puck after the whistle.

Khudobin started instead of the Stars’ No. 1 goalie, Ben Bishop. A three-time Vezina Trophy nominee, Bishop was out for two of three games in the round-robin seeding round but dressed for the Calgary contest. Khudobin looked sharp in the Stars’ final round-robin game, a 2-1 shootout victory over St. Louis.

The game was a microcosm of the Stars’ season: strong defence, not enough offence.

The top four defenders — Jamie Oleksiak, Miro Heiskanen, John Klingberg and Esa Lindell — allowed few rebounds or close-in shots.

But the offence fell short, even with top scorer Tyler Seguin (17 goals, 50 points in the regular season) returning to the lineup. Seguin was deemed unfit to play for two of the round-robin games.

Dallas averaged 2.58 goals per game (26th in the NHL) in the regular season and scored just five times (once on the shootout) in three round-robin games.

But they allowed 2.52 goals per game on average. Only the Boston Bruins were stingier (2.39).

This is the first time these two teams have met in the playoffs since the Stars moved to Dallas. Calgary played the Minnesota North Stars in the final four in the spring of 1981, losing 4-2.

Game 2 goes Thursday night.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published August 11, 2020.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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