Sweden thrash Austria, Marchessault lifts Canada

By Sports Desk May 16, 2019

Defending champions Sweden continued their impressive form at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, while Canada were also victorious on Thursday.

After losing their Group B opener, Sweden – winners of the past two editions of the tournament – have cruised to three straight victories, the latest of which was a 9-1 thrashing of Austria.

NHL trio Elias Lindholm, Elias Pettersson and Gabriel Landeskog each finished with a goal and two assists in their latest comprehensive win.

The Czech Republic joined Sweden with three wins from four by beating Latvia 6-3.

In Group A, Canada – who claimed back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016 – recorded a 5-2 win over France.

Vegas Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault had two assists for Canada, who also have three wins from four.

Finland sit second in the group and are well-placed to reach the quarter-finals after overcoming Denmark 3-1.

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    In the NFL, it was a bad week for quarterbacks. In the NHL, some of the best players in the league have finally signed.

    All that and more this week in US Sports.


    1. Wildcard races neck and neck

    Absolutely nothing is decided in the MLB's playoff picture. Four teams have locked up playoff spots in the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, but not one of those teams knows whether they will have home-field advantage in the playoffs nor who they will be playing when the postseason rolls around.

    In the race for the best record in MLB and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Astros lead the Yankees by one game and the Dodgers by two. In the race for the best record in the NL, the Dodgers lead the Braves by 4.5 games but Atlanta still have a shot to overtake Los Angeles.

    Minnesota and St Louis are in the lead in their respective divisions, but the Twins lead the Cleveland Indians by just four games and the Cardinals lead the Chicago Cubs by three. Things could change down the stretch in those races.

    But where the intrigue truly lies is in the wildcard races. In the NL, the Washington Nationals lead the Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers by 1.5 games for the first wildcard spot. In the AL, the Oakland Athletics lead the Tampa Bay Rays by two games for the first spot and the Indians by 2.5 games.

    So much could happen in the final 10 games of the season across the league and odds are, the race will come down to the final games of the season which is when baseball is at its best.


    2. NFL quarterbacks dropping like flies

    It is not a good time to be a quarterback in the NFL.

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    And also, while it was not due to injury, it appears Eli Manning's time with the New York Giants is up as the two-time Super Bowl winner was benched in favour of rookie Daniel Jones. That means this weekend, 20 per cent of the starters in Week 1 across the league could not see the field at all.

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    4. NHL RFAs start signing deals

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    France – Romain Ntamack

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    - Jeronimo De La Fuente of Argentina made the most tackles (34) of any back in the Rugby Championship 2019. His tally was the fourth-most of any player overall.
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    Japan have improved since 2015. Italy? Not so much. The hosts can justifiably think a quarter-final slot is within reach, but the Azzurri look doomed in Pool B alongside the All Blacks and the Boks. Currently placed inside the world's top 10, Fiji will likely have to beat one of Australia or Wales just to make it out of their group. The other nations will hope for damage limitation against the big boys and aim to take points off each other in their remaining fixtures. 

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