Toffoli scores shootout winner as Flames top Wild 1-0
Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) handles the puck against Calgary Flames defenseman MacKenzie Weegar (52) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 7, 2023, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
By Tyler Mason in St. Paul
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Tyler Toffoli scored in the sudden death round of the shootout to send the Calgary Flames to a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Toffoli beat Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson five-hole to end Tuesday’s game, which nearly ended in overtime.
Both teams scored in the third round of the shootout, but Matt Boldy’s missed backhander for Minnesota set the stage for Toffoli to win it.
Gustavsson made 26 saves for Minnesota, while Jacob Markstrom stopped all 40 shots in net for Calgary for his first shutout of the year. The 40 shots by the Wild were the most surrendered by the Flames all season.
Tuesday was the second night of a back-to-back for Calgary, which beat Dallas 5-4 on Monday.
“We haven’t done that much this year,” Markstrom said of the back-to-back wins. “Now you just refocus, relax when we get home tonight and then refocus for the next game.”
Wild defenceman Jared Spurgeon appeared to have scored the game-winner with 1:36 remaining in overtime when he buried a Ryan Hartman rebound. The play was reviewed, however, and it was deemed Spurgeon was offside as he skated backwards into Calgary’s zone.
“We just looked at it. We think it’s offside,” said Wild coach Dean Evason. “He definitely released it before it got over the blue line by an inch. So, yeah, hard to argue with that.”
Flames coach Darryl Sutter said he knew right away that Spurgeon was offside.
“When you’re skating backwards, the puck’s gotta be on your stick,” he said. “It’s the first thing I said is they gotta look at that in a hurry because I don’t think it was on his stick.”
Some of Calgary’s players had already headed to the locker room and had to return to the bench after the call was overturned. After Minnesota’s players stopped their celebration at centre ice, play eventually resumed.
“I think there was 10 of us in the room. We just thought the game was over, obviously,” Toffoli said. “Obviously we heard everyone screaming to get back out there. We went back out there and Darryl told us to get our heads back into it, and we found a way.”
Tuesday marked the second time the two teams played in a four-day span. Minnesota won 3-0 in Calgary on Saturday, with Gustavsson making 31 saves in the shutout.
Minnesota dominated Calgary in shots on goal, with the Wild outshooting the Flames 40-26.
The Wild had several golden opportunities in the third period. Hartman was stopped on a breakaway after a nice pass from linemate Kirill Kaprizov, and forward Ryan Reaves missed a good look on the doorstep a few minutes later.
Frederick Gaudreau also had a good look for Minnesota early in overtime, but his shot was blocked into the protective netting. Mikael Backlund had Calgary’s best shot in overtime but was denied by Gustavsson.
“These games are real fun. It’s very close games and there’s lots of opportunities back and forth,” Gustavsson said. “They had a breakaway in overtime. We had a few good chances. It’s the way the game goes.”
Play was chippy throughout the game, with several scrums after the whistle. One of those resulted in two penalties on Minnesota’s Ryan Hartman during a first-period dustup.
WILD CELEBRATE PRIDE NIGHT
The Wild hosted its second annual Pride Night on Tuesday. Players used Pride pucks and Pride tape on their sticks during warm-ups. Jack Jablonski, a former Minnesota high school hockey player who has been paralyzed since 2011 and came out as gay last year, performed the “Let’s Play Hockey!” chant pre-game.
Wild defenceman Jon Merrill donated tickets to Tuesday’s game to Queerspace Collective, a mentorship program for LGBTQIA+ youth in Minnesota. The Wild players wore Pride jerseys during the inaugural Pride Night last year but did not on Tuesday.
Flames: Host Anaheim on Friday.
Wild: At Winnipeg on Wednesday.
Canada under pressure to produce more food, protect agricultural land: report
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
Lawyer tells Alberta’s highest court review board biased in de Grood’s case
A family member of five slain students holds a heart sign with their names on it following a court decision in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Alberta’s highest court is being asked to overturn a review board decision on the stabbing deaths of five young people at a Calgary house party that confined a man to a supervised Edmonton group home. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
By Ritika Dubey in Edmonton
Alberta’s highest court is being asked to overturn a review board decision that confined a man to a supervised Edmonton group home after the stabbing deaths of five young people at a Calgary house party.
The lawyer representing Matthew de Grood argued Wednesday the review board’s decision was biased, citing what she described as political interference from Alberta’s former justice minister.
“The appellant says, ‘I think the conclusion about me is wrong. The board’s conclusion is incorrect and not supported by evidence,”’ Jacqueline Petrie said before the Alberta Court of Appeal. “He says there’s no significant evidence that he’s a risk.”
De Grood, 31, was found not criminally responsible in 2016 for the killings two years earlier of Zackariah Rathwell, Jordan Segura, Kaitlin Perras, Josh Hunter and Lawrence Hong because he was suffering from schizophrenia at the time. Petrie said de Grood has been stable on medication, is at low risk to reoffend and should be allowed to live with his parents while being monitored under a full warrant.
She argued the review board misunderstood medical evidence during the September 2022 review, which deemed de Grood a significant risk despite the assessment showing improvements. She said the board is supposed to recommend the least onerous disposition compatible with public safety and did not do that for de Grood.
The defence lawyer has said the review had been influenced by former justice minister Doug Schweitzer, who weighed in on de Grood’s case in October 2019 after the panel allowed de Grood to transition from institutional care to a supervised group home.
He has been under supervision at a group home. His case is reviewed by the Alberta Review Board yearly to see whether he can transition back into the community while maintaining public safety.
Petrie pointed at de Grood’s “exemplary record,” and that he has been “compliant to the (medical) treatment team.”
“Nobody knew he had schizophrenia (at the time of the stabbings) and needed medication.”
Crown prosecutor Matthew Griener said the board considered a conditional discharge but dismissed it, citing a relapse in schizophrenia symptoms in 2021.
Griener said de Grood’s relapses were brief and happened at the hospital, providing an early window for medical professionals to intervene.
Justice Kevin Feehan said de Grood may be low-risk, but the consequences of even one relapse could be significant.
Reading from an expert’s report, Feehan said: “A low risk to offend doesn’t mean the reoffence would not be severe.”
Some family members of the victims drove from Calgary for the hearing.
Segura’s mother, Patty, said the last nine years have been about de Grood and his rights.
“He should be thankful that he ended up NCR (not criminally responsible) rather than end(ing) with five life sentences for murdering five people,” she said. “He should not be appealing.”
Hunter’s father, Barclay, opposed a potential full release.
“The idea that he wouldn’t be monitored for the rest of his life seems to defy logic, it doesn’t make any sense,” said the father.
Hunter’s mother, Kelly, said the family has had “no healing.”
“We do this every year, at least once. Now, this is the second appeal,” she said. Barclay
Hunter said although there are attempts to reintegrate de Grood into society, he hopes the man is not left on his own with an absolute discharge.
“Regardless of what they say, he killed five people. If that doesn’t stand on its own as a risk factor, then I don’t know what does.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2023.
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