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Flames get hot in second period for 7-2 win over Sabres


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By Mark Lukwiczak in Buffalo

The Calgary Flames scored four times in just over five minutes in their 7-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Dillon Dube had a goal and three assists for Calgary and Tyler Toffoli had two goals and an assist. Jakob Pelletier, Mikael Backlund, Nazem Kadri and Dennis Gilbert also scored, while Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves.

Tage Thompson and Casey Mittelstadt scored for the Sabres, and goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 33 saves.

After falling behind 2-0, the Flames took control with a dominant second-period surge that saw them score four times between 2:17 and 7:39.

“It just felt like everything kind of kept coming in waves and we did a really good job,” Toffoli said. “We could tell that they were getting frustrated and we just capitalized on our opportunities.”

Pelletier, the 26th overall pick in the 2019 draft, began Calgary’s comeback with his first career goal. Backlund evened the score 20 seconds later from the right circle on a poor moment by Luukkonen.

Gilbert, a Buffalo native, scored his first goal of the season and the second of his career 4:04 into the second by collecting a drop pass and beating Luukkonen with a low slap shot.

“We maybe started a little bit slower than we would’ve liked, but we had a good response in between periods,” Gilbert said. “We had a good second and third.”

Luukkonen made one of his best saves of the season on a two-man rush 7:09 into the second, robbing Dube. But the Flames quickly struck again, making it 4-2 20 seconds later on Kadri’s shot through traffic for his 20th goal of the season.

Calgary outshot Buffalo 34-8 through two periods.

“We never found a rhythm even though we had some good energy in the first, and then we died,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “We looked fatigued. We looked like we hadn’t played in a while.”

Toffoli made it 5-2 1:57 into the third on a tap-in and scored his second of the game to make it 6-2 with 6:55 remaining. Dube scored with 2:49 left in the game for the final margin.

Thompson opened the scoring on the power play 7:56 into the game on his 35th goal of the season. He has a career-high 69 points through 51 games.


Calgary defenseman Rasmus Andersson was held out after he was struck by a vehicle while riding a scooter in Detroit on Wednesday. Andersson has been considered day to day and isn’t expected to miss a significant amount of time. Andersson is one of Calgary’s top defensemen and has 34 points on the season.


Flames: Travel to Ottawa to play the Senators on Monday.

Sabres: Begin a three-game trip against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.


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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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Canada under pressure to produce more food, protect agricultural land: report

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Canada’s agricultural land is under increasing pressure to produce more food as demand grows domestically and internationally, while the industry grapples with limited resources and environmental constraints, a new report found. 

“We need to grow more food on less land and in a volatile climate,” said Tyler McCann, managing director of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute.

The report by the institute released Thursday looks at the pressures on Canada’s agricultural land to produce more food while also mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change, said McCann. 

Despite Canada being a big country, it doesn’t have as much agricultural land as people might think, said McCann, with the report noting that agricultural land makes up only around seven per cent of the country. 

Because of that, we can’t take what we do have for granted, he said. “We need to be really thoughtful about how we are using our agricultural land.” 

In 2020, Canada was the eighth largest country in terms of cropland area, the report said, with that cropland decreasing by seven per cent over the previous two decades. 

Canada is a major producer and net exporter of agriculture and agri-food products, the report said, exporting $91 billion in products in 2022, and one of the top 10 exporters of wheat, canola, pulses, pork and beef. 

In the coming years, Canada will face increased demand from countries whose populations are growing, the report said. 

“With population growth on one side and climate change on the other, Canada will be amongst an increasingly smaller number of countries that is a net exporter,” said McCann, noting that Canada’s own population is growing, and farmland also needs to be protected against urban sprawl. 

The wildfires clouding Canadian skies this week are a “vivid reminder” of the pressure that extreme weather and the changing climate are putting on the agricultural sector, said McCann. 

“We need to clearly mitigate … agriculture’s impact on climate change. But we also need to make sure agriculture is adapting to climate change’s impacts,” he said. 

One of the ways the world has responded to demand for increased agricultural production over time is to create more agricultural land, in some cases by cutting down forests, said McCann. But that’s not a viable option for Canada, which doesn’t have a lot of land that can be sustainably converted into farmland — and even if it could, doing so could have a variety of adverse environmental effects, he said. 

Some of the practices used to reduce emissions and sequester carbon in agriculture can also improve production output on existing farmland, the report found, such as precision agriculture and no-till practices.

However, intensifying the production of current agricultural land also comes with potential environmental downsides, the report said.

For example, McCann said fertilizer is an important part of sustainable agriculture, but there’s a balance to be struck because excessive use of fertilizer can quickly turn food production unsustainable. 

“We need to be a lot more thoughtful about the inputs that we’re using,” he said, adding the same can be said about the use of technology in agriculture and the policies and programs put in place to encourage sustainable intensification of Canadian agriculture. 

The report recommends that Canada adopt policies that provide financial incentives and technical assistance to farmers and develop regulatory frameworks promoting sustainable land use, as well as promoting education and awareness campaigns, so that the country can “ensure the long-term sustainability of its agricultural sector while protecting the environment.”  

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2023.

Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press

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Lawyer tells Alberta’s highest court review board biased in de Grood’s case

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