Michael Ferland scores twice as Flames keep Avalanche winless in preseason with 2-1 victory

September 28 2014 08:55PM

DENVER - Michael Ferland scored twice, including the go-ahead goal early in the second period, and the Calgary Flames kept Colorado winless in the preseason by beating the Avalanche 2-1 on Sunday night.

Karri Ramo made 22 saves before giving ...

Ferland scores twice as Flames beat Avs 2-1 (The Associated Press)

September 28 2014 08:46PM

DENVER (AP) -- Michael Ferland scored twice, including the go-ahead goal early in the second period, and the Calgary Flames kept Colorado winless in the preseason by beating the Avalanche 2-1 on Sunday night.

Preseason roundup: Miller's Canucks debut success

September 26 2014 11:27PM

Ryan Miller stopped all seven shots he faced in his debut with the Vancouver Canucks, and Henrik Sedin assisted on three power-play goals in a 3-0 preseason win against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Center on Friday.

Miller played 30:22. Joacim ...

John Tory takes lead across city in new poll

September 26 2014 05:05PM

John Tory has a strong lead across the city in the race for mayor, according to the latest poll.

The poll by Ipsos Reid for Global TV confirms Tory is leading public opinion — as has been the case since August — but has also gained support amongst both downtown voters and throughout the suburbs.

“What’s happening I think is there’s a consensus that’s built in the city as who people see as the most credible option to replace Rob Ford,” said Ipsos’ CEO Darrell Bricker.

Of those polled, 48 per cent said they would vote for Tory, while Doug Ford and Olivia Chow were tied with 26 per cent.

In North York, the downtown core and East York — where previous polls have showed Tory has already built support — he leads with 54, 53 and 41 per cent of the vote. Chow and Ford fell behind by at least 11 points in East York, 18 points downtown and as many as 28 points in North York.

In Etobicoke and Scarborough, where Tory has battled to surpass Ford, Ipsos has him out in front in both regions.

Tory lead votes in Etobicoke, what has typically been a Ford stronghold and where Doug Ford has been a councillor for the last four years, by a significant margin with 51 per cent. Ford was at 31 per cent and Chow at 18 per cent.

In Scarborough, Tory had a smaller lead with 40 per cent, Ford at 35 per cent and Chow at 25 per cent.

Tory, according to the poll, also had a lead amongst both men and women and across all income brackets. He also had the strongest support amongst those over 35 years old. He was in a virtual tie with Chow for the under 30 vote with Chow receiving 37 per cent of those votes and Tory 36 per cent.

“Polls come and go. Whatever the numbers are, they don’t change the way that I campaign — like I am five points behind,” Tory told the Star via an email Friday from his spokesperson.

His team earlier said he plans to knock on doors in Etobicoke this weekend.

Speaking to a reporters while canvassing in North York, Doug Ford deflected questions about the new numbers.

“People in four weeks are going to have a clear decision. They’re going to either vote for a slick-talking politician that you don’t know which way he comes from and he flip-flops back and forth — that’s John Tory. Or you can vote for Doug Ford who is going to build subways instead of LRTs like John Tory,” Ford said.

When asked about the numbers, Chow’s spokesperson Jamey Heath also avoided commenting on the poll, instead attacking Tory’s record.

“There are growing questions about Tory’s transit scheme and he is not handling them well,” Heath said in an email. “Friday, he said he had a secret plan B should his high-risk funding scheme fail. It’s gaffes like this that are why he is such a bad closer.”

Observers have said Tory has moved into what appears to be a defensive position as he maintains his frontrunner position, dodging some debates and reporter questions as he tries to minimize the risk of losing his lead.

Bricker agreed the race is still Tory’s to lose with the poll showing only 12 per cent of respondents were undecided.

The pollster argued what’s significant is the fact that different groups across the city seem to be voting together instead of in coalitions — as was seen in the 2010 election with a clear split between the downtown core backing of George Smitherman and the outer suburbs electing Ford.

“A consensus is building city-wide for John Tory,” Bricker said.

Stephen Carter, national director of campaign strategy for Hill+Knowlton and a political strategist that helped elect Naheed Nenshi in Calgary in 2010, argued the poll may not accurately reflect those people who have yet to make up their mind. He said there could be more undecided voters than recent polls suggest.

There are reasons why people say yes to doing telephone surveys or online panels, Carter said, including that they are more certain about their vote.

“What we’ve seen in polling, is that it doesn’t represent very well the people who make up their minds at the last second,” Carter said.

That means in Toronto’s case — during a long election that challenges short attention spans — a defensive strategy is not actually the right move for candidates, Carter said.

“That’s not a really good plan for winning,” he said. “It assumes that everybody’s made up their minds already.”

The Ipsos poll was done this week using an online panel, sampling more than 1,200 participants who opted in.

The survey is non-random, which means it doesn’t have a margin of error. It has a “credibility interval” of 3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

With files from Sadiya Ansari

Hunter Shinkaruk impressive for Canucks in 3-1 victory over Flames

September 25 2014 11:25PM

CALGARY - Hunter Shinkaruk is back with the Vancouver Canucks, healthy, and off to a great start this pre-season.

Playing in front of a bunch of friends and family in his hometown, Shinkaruk scored his second goal in as many games on Thursday...

Canadian ISIS fighter, once thought dead, reportedly appears in VICE video

September 25 2014 09:54PM

A 21-year-old Canadian who left the country to join the Islamic State has reportedly appeared in a video interview with VICE News in which he claims the militant group is preparing to launch an attack on New York.

Abu Usamah Somali, thought to be Somali- Canadian Farah Mohamed Shirdon of Calgary, appears in a video interview with VICE founder Shane Smith Thursday, allegedly speaking from Mosul, Iraq.

According to VICE, Shirdon had previously appeared in a viral video in which he threatened United States President Barack Obama, ripped up his passport and stomped on the remnants in a fire pit.

In the latest interview, the ISIS fighter identified as Abu Usamah Somali says officials from the Canadian Security Intelligence Services had spoken with him days before he left on his quest for jihad and missed the chance to stop him from enlisting.

“I can’t believe how someone that has extremist terrorist ideologies was sitting in front of you and you didn’t catch them. The next time they saw me, they saw me ripping up my passport,” the jihadi says, calling the Canadian intelligence officials “imbeciles.”

Canada’s Foreign Affairs department never confirmed reports last month that Shirdon had been killed in Iraq.

In the latest video, the ISIS fighter claims not to have been actively recruited by ISIS, but rather to have made up his own mind become a foreign fighter for the terrorist group.

“No one spoke a single word to me. All I did, I opened the newspaper I read the Qur’an — very easy,” he told Smith.

He claims there are 10,000 to 15,000 foreign fighters in the Islamic State’s ranks. Somali also said there are that “a lot of brothers are mobilizing right now” in New York. ISIS is “mobilizing for a brilliant attack, my friend,” the man interviewed tells Smith, shaking his head and smiling into the camera.

He says the reason ISIS is beheading prisoners from the West is retaliation, admitting that he’d rather “be at home with my family.” He adds all ISIS wants is freedom.

But, according to VICE, this jihadi says the militant group will only stop its string of beheadings “when we behead the leaders of the infidels.”

When Smith asks who the militant group’s biggest enemy is, he says, “the world.”

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the beheading of several Western hostages, including American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

With files from Peter Edwards

Hunter Shinkaruk helps Vancouver Canucks past Calgary Flames 3-1

September 25 2014 09:45PM

CALGARY - Calgary native Hunter Shinkaruk scored for the Canucks as Vancouver downed the Flames 3-1 on Thursday despite being outshot 31-23.

Playing in front of a bunch of friends and family, Shinkaruk tipped a shot from Kent Huskins on net t...

Mixed gender teams approved for bobsled competitions

September 25 2014 08:55AM

GENEVA—Call it four-man bobsled still, but women can start taking part in the event this season.

Bobsled’s world governing body, known as the FIBT, has opened the four-man competitions to mixed gender teams.

Teams consisting of a female pilot driving and men push-starting the bob could now be seen on the World Cup circuit from December and at the world championships in February next year.

“I strongly believe women can drive a four-man and be competitive,” FIBT President Ivo Ferriani said Thursday in a telephone interview. “For us, it’s the natural evolution of our sport.”

The 2018 Winter Olympics staged in Pyeongchang, South Korea, is a natural target for mixed teams, though Ferriani cautioned it was “too soon to create too much speculation.”

“It’s important to make the first step,” the Italian official said. “To analyze the situation and give the opportunity, and to have some terms of reference.”

Previously, women competed only in two-athlete bobs and men competed in twos and fours.

There are no plans for adding fours to the all-female competitions, but Ferriani said the rules are open on what the gender balance can be in a four-member crew on the men’s circuit.

“At the moment we don’t have any limits,” he said. “I think, personally, a woman pilot with three men can be strong.”

Two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries of Canada has said she wants to pilot a bob pushed by three male teammates.

“Woke up to a whole new world. Couldn’t be more excited for this new challenge to drive 4man with guys #dreamscometrue,” she tweeted.

Ferriani said mixed teams could first take part in World Cup races at a Dec. 15-21 meet in December in Calgary.

“They must prove in the qualification process they are at the right level,” he said.

After the eight-meeting World Cup circuit, the world championships are held Feb. 23-Mar. 1 in Winterberg, Germany.


Canadian hopefuls push limits in bobsled

Glencross lifts Flames past Coyotes in OT (The Associated Press)

September 24 2014 08:32PM

SYLVAN LAKE, Alberta (AP) -- Curtis Glencross scored on a power play at 3:10 of overtime to give the Calgary Flames a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes in an exhibition game Wednesday night.

Curtis Glencross scores OT winner for Flames in 4-3 pre-season win over Coyotes

September 24 2014 08:25PM

SYLVAN LAKE, Alta. - Curtis Glencross scored the overtime winner for the Calgary Flames in a 4-3 pre-season victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday.

Glencross tipped in a shot from the blue-line from Kris Russell for a power-play goal a...

Flames' Raymond, Coyotes' Szwarz visit school

September 24 2014 04:59PM

SYLVAN LAKE, Alberta -- Calgary Flames forward Mason Raymond grew up in nearby Cochrane, Alberta, so he knows what it's like to look up to members of the Flames as a kid.

Raymond was on the other end of that relationship Wednesday when he and A...

Flames' Elson feels right at home in Hockeyville

September 24 2014 01:03PM

SYLVAN LAKE, Alberta -- It's as close to home-ice advantage as Turner Elson could ask for. The 22-year-old Calgary Flames prospect is vying for an opportunity to earn a roster spot out of training camp and will take another toward that goal w...

Coyotes' Gagner still remembered by fans in Alberta

September 24 2014 12:50PM

SYLVAN LAKE, Alberta -- One of the quirks of this town being equidistant between two NHL franchises is it becomes a bit of a battleground for fan allegiances.

When the Calgary Flames arrived in Sylvan Lake for the morning skate Wednesday in ad...

Kraft Hockeyville holds special place for participants

September 24 2014 12:44PM

SYLVAN LAKE, Alberta -- This small resort town in the middle of Alberta is almost perfectly placed between Edmonton and Calgary, and several NHL players past and present have spent their summers here.

One of them is Calgary Flames forward Curt...

Flames face off with Coyotes in Sylvan Lake

September 23 2014 02:50PM

CALGARY, AB -- Wednesday's pre-season battle against the Arizona Coyotes marks a special chapter in the history of Sylvan Lake, AB.

In late January, the town lost an iconic building when the Sylvan Lake Arena's roof collapsed. Like many small t...