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Defiant soccer chief resists calls to resign, pledges to restore trust in FIFA amid scandals

ZURICH — As defiant as ever, Sepp Blatter resisted calls to resign as FIFA president Thursday and deflected blame for the massive bribery and corruption scandal engulfing soccer’s world governing body.

“We, or I, cannot monitor everyone all of the time,” Blatter said in his first public remarks on the crisis that has further tainted his leadership on the eve of his bid for a fifth term as president. READ

Area athletes have solid day at track and field zones

Provincials is just the first step for Notre Dame Cougars track star Brayden Posyluzny. The 17-year-old Innisfail decathlete has his eyes set on making the national team this spring and making a run for the Pan-Am games. READ

Raiders run away with rugby city titles

The fact the Lindsay Thurber Raiders are going back to the Alberta Schools Athletic Association boys rugby championships is not a surprise. The fashion in which they manhandled their zone competition this year is. READ

Hawks down Ducks to force Game 7 in Western Conference final

It is really hard to wear out Duncan Keith. He just keeps going and going and going. Keith had three assists and saved a goal in the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-2 on Wednesday night to force a Game 7 in the Western Conference finals. The Blackhawks’ biggest stars stepped up during a key stretch in the second, led by another terrific all-around performance for Keith. Shaking off the Ducks’ plan to wear down Chicago’s top four defencemen, Keith had his fourth multipoint game of the playoffs. READ

Oceanic stay alive with win over host Remparts

The Rimouski Oceanic look like they have rival Quebec’s number, but Remparts coach Philippe Boucher feels they may have got some help from a referee. Michael Joly had a goal and three assists as the Oceanic used three power-play goals to chase goalie Zach Fucale and down the host Remparts 4-0 on Wednesday. READ

Several soccer officials arrested in Switzerland; 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes also probed

Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings into FIFA on Wednesday, only hours after seven soccer officials were arrested and threatened with extradition to the U.S. in an investigation of what was called “rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted” corruption. READ

Riggers keep rolling with win over Cubs in extras

The Red Deer Riggers showed the poise of a team on Tuesday that has not lost a regular season game since July 9, 2013. The Riggers rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win 5-4 over the Confederation Park Cubs of Edmonton (3-2) in 11 innings to remain perfect through three games in the 2015 Sunburst Baseball League season. READ

Lundqvist stops 36 shots as Rangers beat Lightning to force Game 7

Henrik Lundqvist had lots of help in another season-saving performance for the New York Rangers. The star goalie stopped 36 shots and Derick Brassard had a hat trick for the Presidents’ Trophy winners, who forced Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals with a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night. READ

Oshawa clinches spot in Memorial Cup final

The Oshawa Generals have earned a spot in the Mastercard Memorial Cup final, but there was a hairy moment before it became official. Leading by one goal with 4:24 left to play, one of their top penalty-killing defenceman, Dakota Mermis, was sent off for kneeing, followed a minute later by teammate Cole Cassels for delay of game. READ

Ducks down Blackhawks in OT

The Anaheim Ducks stumbled back to their dressing room after regulation in disbelief. Jonathan Toews had just scored two improbable goals in 72 seconds, and Game 5 of the Western Conference finals was headed into an overtime where everything seemed tilted toward Chicago. These Ducks were stunned, but not staggered. And they needed less than a minute of extra time to get to the brink of the Stanley Cup finals. READ

Cougars advance to face Raiders in rugby final

The Notre Dame Cougars will have their chance at redemption on Wednesday. The Cougars boys defeated the Hunting Hills Lightning 34-17 in the Central Alberta High School Athletic Association tier I rugby semifinal on Monday at Titans Park. The Cougars are coming off a 45-0 loss to Thurber last Wednesday, but they believe they have much more to show the defending zone champs. READ

McLennan Ross Junior Golf Tour ready to kick off 20th season

The McLennan Ross Junior Golf Tour is set to tee off its 20th season, but the tour’s executive director Dunc Mills never envisioned this anniversary. “I never thought when we got the tour started in the spring of 1996 that we’d be here two decades later, but here we are,” he said at the tour’s media day at Wolf Creek Golf Resort on Monday. “It’s a way to reflect back on where we’ve come from in the last 20 years and the thousands of kids from across the province that have played on the tour. I look forward to the next however many years we want to keep this going, but it’s a good chance to catch our breath and look back and look forward at the same time.” READ

Rockets blast off on Oceanic at Memorial Cup

Leon Draisatl was glad to see what he called the “real” Kelowna Rockets show up at the Mastercard Memorial Cup. Draisaitl, Nick Merkley and Gage Quinney each scored twice as the Western Hockey League champion Rockets downed the Rimouski Oceanic 7-3 on Monday night, erasing the bitter taste of a loss to the host Quebec Remparts in their opening game of the four-team tournament. READ

Lightning look to finish job at home against Rangers

Steven Stamkos knows what it’s like to come close to getting to the Stanley Cup finals and wind up not playing on the NHL’s biggest stage. It happened to the Tampa Bay Lightning four years ago, and the three-time All-Star is determined to not let another opportunity slip away. READ

Titans play tough at home

Red Deer Titans head coach Mike Berry believes the effort his side put forward on Saturday is the true version of his team. The Titans crushed the Calgary Hornets 50-15 in men’s second division Calgary Rugby Union action at Titans Park to improve to 2-1-0 on the season. After making it to the league final last year, the goal is to get back there and win it all. READ

Braves get some confidence with weekend sweep of Cardinals

Thanks to a three-game sweep of the Edmonton Cardinals, the Red Deer Bantam AAA Servus Credit Union Braves are back over .500 for the first time since winning their first game of the season. The Braves rallied to beat the Cardinals 8-7 in eight innings in their first game on Saturday at Great Chief Park, then crushed them 12-2 in the second game of the double-header. In Sunday’s lone contest, first year Braves pitcher Branden Woods pitched a five-inning, three-hitter to shut out the Cards 10-0. READ

Rampage run winning streak to five games

The Red Deer TBS Rampage don’t just want to dominate the North this year, they want to take down the South as well. On Sunday they ran their Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League Junior B Tier I winning streak to five games, beating the Okotoks Marauders 11-7 at the Kinex Arena. READ

Bolts push Rangers to brink

Scoring goals made the Tampa Bay Lightning one of the NHL’s most entertaining teams this season. Playing defence for the first time in three games has them within a victory of the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in franchise history. Steven Stamkos set up Valtteri Filppula’s go-ahead goal and scored another and the Lightning pushed the New York Rangers to the brink of playoff elimination with 2-0 victory Sunday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. READ

Ducks shake off another OT loss

After 17 grueling periods crammed into just four games, the Anaheim Ducks have no doubt they can play at hockey’s highest level with the Chicago Blackhawks. Heading into a pivotal Game 5 on Monday in the Western Conference finals, the Ducks also realize their two gut-wrenching overtime losses were missed opportunities to take out their veteran, playoff-tested opponents — and they can’t afford two more. READ

Rangers even series with 5-1 victory

Henrik Lundqvist and a couple of other old standbys picked a nice time to reassert themselves for the New York Rangers. READ

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