Beset By Bad News, Canada Cheers Up Over Nobel

Take a look back at the best fights from the 2012-13 season . In the first of six exhibition meetings between the two rivals ahead of Februarys Sochi Olympics on Saturday, a hit on Canada goalie Shannon Szabados late in the third period sparked a full-on line brawl. University of North Dakota product Jocelyne Lamoureux delivered the blow, prompting ex-University of New Hampshire Wildcat Courtney Birchard to accost her in the corner. Fighting in hockey is a rare sight on the international stage (especially in the womens game), but according to Team Canada captain Hayley Wickenheiser, this isnt the first dustup the two world powers have been involved in. We had a similar scrap in 2010, so I guess we have one every Olympic cycle to get it out of our system, Wickenheiser told reporters after the game, via Canoe.ca . It was kind of fun to see, and it brought a lot of intensity to another dog fight with these guys. There are few, if any, blowouts in this series. Canada, the defending Olympic champion, took home a 3-2 win in Game 1. Check out the brawl in the video below, with a stick tap to The Big Lead : Some of the highlights: 0:09 One of the announcers repeatedly says “Oh yeah!” as the brawl begins. 0:35 A true logistical challenge of brawling with cages over your face becomes all too apparent. 0:44 US goalie Brianne McLaughlin is not impressed. 0:55 The camera operator loses focus. 1:03 Everyone is pretty well spent.

US, Canada in women’s hockey brawl

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Of course, cautions George Stroumboulopoulos, a popular TV talk show host, “Every country in the world has positive and negative moments.” He noted in an interview that “we have the biggest pop star in the world (Bieber), one of the biggest rock bands in the world (Arcade Fire), we have a Nobel-winning author now, right? And those aren’t the only ones in their genre. We have always punched above our weight in the arts and culture game. Just sometimes people don’t pay attention.” In the arts and culture realm, “Canada’s really come along and cut out a niche, it’s come out of the shadow of its British colonial past,” Wiseman said. “While we have had our share of dismal stories this year, a lot of people don’t read politics but they read literature so these authors help shape their image of Canada and Munro’s win has helped create a feel-good story.” And Canada is shining not just in the arts. With a touch of the-Empire-strikes-back, Mark Carney, former chief of Canada’s central bank, this year became governor of the Bank of England the first non-Briton to hold the post. The feel-good factor in Munro’s Nobel is heightened by her own modest, homespun manner. Told of the award, her reaction was: “At this moment I can’t believe it. It’s really very wonderful. I knew I was in the running, yes, but I never thought I would win.” John Degen, the director of the Writers Union of Canada, called Munro’s award “a bright spot” in an otherwise less than enjoyable year for Canada. “It’s a nice story and I’m glad that it happened to us,” Degen said. “And just listen to how I’m talking about it.

Canada-U.S. women’s hockey rivalry as fierce as ever

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During the third period of Canada’s 3-2 victory over the United States in an exhibition game, a brawl broke out. If this occurrence had happened in men’s play, it wouldn’t have been considered a big deal, but the bottom line is we are still not used to altercations like the one that happened in Vermont Saturday, to happen in women’s hockey. The roughhousing started when American forward Monique Lamoureux bumped Canadian goaltender Shannon Szabados. A melee ensued with Canadian players Hayley Wickenheiser, Courtney Birchard and Tessa Bonhomme involved. Birchard took exception to Lamoureux’s bump and went right after the American. Then Jocelyne Lamoureux came to the aid of her twin sister, and there were three minor roughing penalties called for each team. This is not the first time players from Canada and the United States have been involved in an altercation. The photo shown occurred from an altercation in 2009. Canada next plays the United States in exhibition play Thursday evening in Montreal. Suggested by the author