Robertson scored OT winner for Dallas Stars in 6-5 win over Calgary Flames
Dallas Stars forward Jason Robertson celebrates his game-winning goal during overtime NHL hockey action against the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, March 18, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
By Donna Spencer in Calgary
Jason Robertson scored the overtime winner for his second goal of the game in the Dallas Stars’ 6-5 win over the host Calgary Flames on Saturday.
Robertson ended it with 12 seconds remaining in OT by cutting in front of the net going from his forehand to his backhand.
Joe Pavelski, Wyatt Johnston Radek Faksa, Jason Robertson and Jani Hakanpaa also scored for Dallas (38-19-13) atop the Central Division. Roope Hintz chipped in with two assists and Jake Oettinger stopped 33 shots for the win.
Rasmus Andersson and Mackenzie Weegar each had a goal and two assists for Calgary (31-25-14), sitting four points back of the Winnipeg Jets holding down the Western Conference’s last wild-card playoff spot.
Elias Lindholm had a goal and an assist, while Blake Coleman and Nick Ritchie also scored for Calgary. Jacob Markstrom stopped 20 shots in the see-saw battle at the Saddledome.
The Stars scored twice in the first two minutes of the game.
Calgary scored three unanswered goals in a span of six minutes 38 seconds in the second period to briefly lead 4-3, but Robertson pulled the Stars even before the end of the period.
Oettinger seemed to lose track of Andersson’s shot from the blue line that gave the Flames a 5-4 lead at 9:53 of the third.
But the visitors drew even again at 12:09 when a loose puck flew out to Hakanpaa. His shot deflected off Markstom and into the net.
After two long-range Dallas attempts, Robertson converted the second rebound from the slot at 18:20 of the second period to knot the score 4-4.
The 23-year-old reached the 40-goal mark for a second straight season with his first goal of the game.
The hosts led when Ritchie took Andersson’s stretch pass and beat Oettinger on a breakaway with a backhand between the pads at 16:58.
Coleman had pulled Calgary even at 13:56. Andersson’s shot squeezed through Oettinger’s pads and Coleman dove to sweep the puck in.
Weegar sparked Calgary’s three-goal run at 10:20.
The puck deflecting off Pavelski’s skate at the top of the zone gave Weegar time to collect it, drive the net and beat Oettinger short side.
Dallas led by two goals less than two minutes after the opening faceoff, but the Flames scored at the three-minute mark.
Johnston made it 3-1 for Dallas at 16:08.
After Jamie Benn won the offensive zone draw, Johnston tipped in Miro Heiskanen’s shot from the blue line for the 19-year-old’s fourth goal in as many games.
A rebound off Andrew Mangiapane’s shot from the slot bounced out to Lindholm, who beat Oettingers with a low, sharp-angled shot at 3:01.
Markstrom’s clearing attempt along the boards hit an official and stayed in the zone. Calgary’s goalie made an initial stop on Hintz, but Faksa potted the rebound at 1:58.
The visitors scored 65 seconds into the game in a goalmouth scramble. Markstrom couldn’t get his glove on the puck and Pavelski shovelled it over the outstretched goalie.
Heiskanen assisting on two goals Saturday extended the longest point streak of his career to 10 straight games with three goals and 14 assists in that span.
Johnston’s goal gave the Toronto teenager points in 10 of his last 12 games with seven goals and four assists.
Milan Lucic was a Flames’ scratch Saturday … Dallas was minus veteran centre Tyler Seguin a fifth straight game because of his leg injury … Calgary’s Andersson has two goals and six assists in his last four games.
The Flames play back-to-back nights in California starting Monday against Los Angeles, followed by Anaheim.
After a 4-2 road trip, the Stars open a three-game homestand Tuesday against the Seattle Kraken.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2023.
Alberta’s province wide state of emergency ends as wildfire situation improves
Wildfires and smoke are shown in British Columbia and Alberta in this satellite image taken Thursday, May 18, 2023. Alberta’s public safety and emergency services minister says a province wide state of emergency that was declared nearly a month ago to deal with unprecedented wildfires will end Saturday night at midnight. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO – Co-operative Institute for Research on the Atmosphere (CIRA) at the University of Colorado and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Alberta’s public safety and emergency services minister says a provincewide state of emergency that was declared nearly a month ago to deal with unprecedented wildfires ended Saturday at midnight.
Mike Ellis told a news conference the wildfire situation in Alberta remains serious but, overall, things have improved significantly and it’s anticipated they will continue to improve.
He says support will not stop for communities affected by active wildfires, including Fort Chipewyan, which remains evacuated due to a large fire burning about seven kilometres away.
The state of emergency was implemented May 6 to expedite co-ordination of firefighting resources and support for evacuees.
Christie Tucker with Alberta Wildfire says the Rocky Mountain wildfire which threatens Fort Chipewyan remains a top priority and 85 Canadian troops were on the way to the area on Saturday afternoon
Tucker told the news conference the blaze was quiet on Friday until the evening, but crews are working to prevent flames spreading to the community and rain is expected in the area in the next day or so.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2023.
Saskatchewan landowners fight against illegal drainage washing out land, roads
WAWOTA, Sask. — Lane Mountney spreads a map over his kitchen table at his farmhouse in southeast Saskatchewan, pointing to yellow and orange arrows slithering across the document.
Many of the arrows represent existing channels and ditches, moving across fields and out of wetlands to drain water. The arrows eventually make their way to a creek, causing what he describes as a deluge of problems downstream.
“All these years, guys have gotten away with draining water and the next guy figures he can get away withit,” Mountney said in an interview at his farm near Wawota, Sask., about 200 kilometres southeast of Regina.
“If this keeps going like it has, I don’t know what Saskatchewan’s going to look like in 10 years.”
Mountney’s map depicts what’s called the Wawken Drainage Project, a plan developed by the local watershed group that has since been taken over by the Water Security Agency, which is responsible for overseeing drainage in Saskatchewan.
The project is nearly 14 square kilometres and contains 880 wetlands of various sizes representing a total of 2.4 square kilometres of water.
A project document indicates that 88 per cent of these wetlands have been drained, partially drained or farmed. About 12 per cent remain intact.
Most of this water is supposed to flow into a creek that runs through a parcel of Mountney’s land.
The plan developers believe the creek can handle the flows, but Mountney is not convinced.
Last year, he and his wife, Sandra Mountney, dealt with flooding ontheir horses’ pasture. They decided not to use their well water at the time because it was yellow.
“They were very excited to tell us that nobody inside the project area is going to lose acres, but they haven’t even looked at who’s going to lose acres miles down the line.” Sandra Mountney said.
Brent Fry, who farms grain and livestock, said it’s common for his land to flood for three days when people upstream get 50 millimetres of rain.
He said it has caused roads and access points to erode.
“There are about four farms out there and all they’re doing is draining whether they’ve got permission or not,” Fry said. “I don’t even know what to do because the government’s not doing anything — they’re siding with the big guys.”
Farmers have drained water in Saskatchewan for generations and many have done so illegally by digging ditches without permits.
Most producers drain because it allows them to grow more crops, helping them pay for land that has become increasingly expensive. However, it has caused yearly flooding for people downstream. Roads also wash out and habitat gets lost.
At the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities convention in February, reeves passed a resolution asking the Water Security Agency to require those who are illegally draining to remediate their unapproved works.
Saskatchewan legislation requires upstream landowners to receive permission from those downstream when they want to drain, but many say that’s not happening.
Sandra Mountney said the Water Security Agency hasn’t been taking concerns seriously.
“It’s hard to know who’s really protecting our waterways,” she said.
The Wawken project began about three years ago but hasn’t been completed. It’s among many drainage projects underway.
Daniel Phalen, a watershed planner, worked on the project as technician before he left for another job.
He said landowners had been draining water with no permits before the plan. His job was to determine how many wetlands were drained and what works had already been done.
Phalen said the plan was to put in structures that would slow down the drainage to reduce problems downstream.
It’s unclear what work had been done on the Wawken project to mitigate flows since Phalen left. The Water Security Agency did not respond to a request for comment.
Phalen said projects can get held up if affected landowners don’t come to an agreement. Expropriation is allowed but it’s rare, he said.
Another nearby drainage plan, known as the Martin project, has stalled because of landowner concerns.
Researchers have estimated Saskatchewan has lost half of its total wetlands over time for crop production.
Phalen, who also worked on the Martin plan, said it was concerning to see the number of wetlands sucked out.
“The Water Security Agency doesn’t have the manpower to do much about it,” Phalen said. “There’s such low enforcement already that if they had any policies in place, people would just drain anyways. It’s kind of a scary problem to be in.”
Sandra Mountney said she’s worried about losing wetlands because they help recharge groundwater supplies and filter contaminants — particularly important when it’s dry.
The Water Security Agency has released a drainage management framework that aims to prevent flooding and ensure Saskatchewan retains a “sufficient” number of wetlands.
Leah Clark, the Interim Executive Director of Agriculture Water Management, told attendees at a Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Association meeting earlier this year that 43 per cent of wetlands are retained within approved projects. She added the province has “thriving” wildlife populations.
However, she said under the policy, landowners would be able to select which wetlands to retain.
“It will achieve a working landscape for landowners to continue to use their land for farming and ranching. This approach will allow for new development while retaining current drainage,” she said.
Phalen said Saskatchewan could look to Manitoba for solutions to retain wetlands.
Manitoba has historically drained most of its wetlands in the agricultural regions, he said, but the province has since developed a policy where landowners are paid for retaining them.
“You know, $100 an acre is not a ton of money, but it’s another incentive to help producers,” he said. “It’s such a complex problem where you got this huge financial incentive to drain.”
Lane Mountney said regulations just need to be enforced.
“It’s almost too late,” he said. “They should have been out there checking stuff before we got this point.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2023.
Jeremy Simes, The Canadian Press
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