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Canada can’t hold off Americans

Apparently the Americans didn’t get the memo, Canada’s supposed to win on Canada Day.

For the first 20 minutes a perfect Canada Day script was being written in the second leg of the Women’s Rugby Super Series at Titans Park, but then the American roared back from two scores down to win 36-28 in front of 1,425 maple leaf waving fans. READ

Lait gets late surprise at Ponoka rodeo showdown

Expect the unexpected in the world of rodeo. Ponoka Stampede fans had their hopes pinned on local favorite Jake Vold to take top honors in the bareback riding at the showdown round of the 79th annual event. READ

Canadian teams major players on first day of free agency

Free-agency day felt like trade-deadline day, with all seven Canadian teams getting in on the action. The Toronto Maple Leafs made by far the biggest splash Wednesday, dealing Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a six-player, three-pick blockbuster. That came on the heels of the Penguins missing out on Pittsburgh native Brandon Saad, whom the Chicago Blackhawks traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. READ

Flames add Frolik at start of free agency

The Calgary Flames signed “utility tool” Michael Frolik to a five-year contract and brought goaltender Karri Ramo back for another season when unrestricted free agency opened Wednesday. Frolik’s deal is worth US$4.3 million annually. Ramo will earn $3.8 million on a one-year deal. READ

McDavid officially begins work at Oilers orientation camp

Connor McDavid, the teen phenom forecast to be hockey’s next great superstar, officially hit the ice Wednesday with the Edmonton Oilers. And the 18-year-old made it clear he’s all in on the Oil Drop. READ

Veteran paddler Mark Oldershaw to carry flag for Canada at Pan Ams

When veteran paddler Mark Oldershaw carries Canada’s flag into the opening ceremonies of the Pan American Games, he’ll be thinking about his grandfather. READ

Rebels take risk at import draft

Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter landed a probable impact forward in Tuesday’s CHL import draft, but Michael Spacek may never leave his mark with the Western Hockey League club. Spacek is still under contract to his Czech Extraliga team — HC Dynamo Pardubice — for the 2015-16 season, but Sutter decided the risk was worth the potential reward when he took Spacek with his first-round pick, 47th overall. READ

Milan fights off injury to make Ponoka Rodeo finals

Nobody ever said rodeo was easy. While every pro cowboy looks forward to the hectic summer run when they have a shot at a lot of cash in a short amount of time, getting around to all the events and staying healthy are two major challenges. The Ponoka Stampede is a must do on every list, as one of the top ten paying rodeos in the world. So Canadian champion steer wrestler Tanner Milan knew it was an important opportunity for his plans of making it back to the Canadian Finals, and qualifying for his first National Finals Rodeo. READ

RDC names new athletic director

Red Deer College went to B.C. for the new face of their athletics department. The college announced on Monday that Diane St-Denis has been hired as its new athletic director to replace Keith Hansen, who stepped down after a long, successful run. READ

Local roper finds way to top of leaderboard at Ponoka

There’s now a Ponoka cowboy with his name on the top of his hometown Stampede’s leaderboard. That’s not an easy task, at a rodeo with close to 500 of the best pro contestants in the world vying for their share of the $360,000 payoff. Brett Buss and his partner Klay Whyte sped their way to the front of the team roping standings by catching two steers Monday in a total of 12.7 seconds. READ

Blue Jays get burned by Buchholz, BoSox

Jose Bautista’s potent bat has been unusually silent lately. But Toronto manager John Gibbons doesn’t see any reason for concern. Bautista’s hitless streak reached six games on Monday as the Blue Jays fell 3-1 to the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. READ

Hockey Hall announces class of 2015

Chris Pronger going into the Hockey Hall of Fame someday was a no-brainer. Going in this year is unprecedented. Pronger is part of the 2015 class announced Monday, along with Detroit Red Wings stars Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov, American defencemen Phil Housley and Angela Ruggiero and builders Peter Karmanos Jr. and Bill Hay. READ

Depth at QB to be tested after week one injuries

Once again, Kevin Glenn has emerged as a valuable insurance policy. The veteran backup becomes the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ starter after incumbent Darian Durant suffered a season-ending torn Achilles tendon in a 30-26 home loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday night. READ

Musil only Rebel taken at NHL draft

The relief in Adam Musil’s voice was obvious. The Red Deer Rebels power forward was selected by the St. Louis Blues early in the fourth round of the NHL entry draft Saturday at Sunrise, Fla. The six-foot-two, 202-pound centre was projected as a late second- to early third-round pick, but was on the board until the Blues took him 94th overall. READ

Rebels looking for impact player at import draft

The Red Deer Rebels released Mario Grman today, but the Slovak defenceman could still return to the team. Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter cut ties with Grman just ahead of Tuesday’s Canadian Hockey League draft, in which Sutter is hoping to land an impact forward to fill the club’s quota of two import players. The Rebels boss acquired 19-year-old forward Ivan Nikolishin from the Everett Silvertips in early May. READ

Rampage cook up home win

There’s no place like home for the Red Deer TBS Rampage. The Rampage returned to Alberta from their disastrous Winnipeg road trip to beat the Sherwood Park Titans 11-9 Friday in Sherwood Park and then edged the arch rival Edmonton Warriors 12-10 at the Kinex Arena on Sunday. READ

Canadians look to build on recent rugby success in Super Series

After reaching new heights with a silver medal at the Women’s’ Rugby World Cup, the Canadian national team is out to validate their success. On Canada Day they will host Team U.S.A. at Titans Park at 6:30 p.m. for the second leg of the three game Women’s Rugby Super Series. Also playing will be the New Zealand Black Ferns against England at 4 p.m. READ

McIntyre making most of first time at Ponoka

People come from all over the world to experience the Ponoka Stampede. But it’s not only fans attracted to the ‘small town – big rodeo’ experience. It’s contestants too. Dean McIntyre is making the most of his Ponoka Stampede adventure. He’s an Aussie by birth, but has called the cowboy town of Wickenburg, AZ home for nearly a decade. READ

Oilers get their goaltender, make splash at draft

Armed with a stockpile of picks acquired by predecessor Craig MacTavish, general manager Peter Chiarelli turned NHL draft weekend into a transformative one for the Edmonton Oilers. Connor McDavid was the prize but the Oilers also got their goaltender in a trade for Cam Talbot and improved their defence with deals for Eric Gryba and Griffin Reinhart. And they did it all without giving up much of their current roster. READ

Future is bright for Canada despite feeling pain now

The aftermath of Canada’s exit from the Women’s World Cup was gut-wrenching. Captain Christine Sinclair, who had strapped the team on her back and tried to carry it to the final four, was in tears as she needlessly apologized to coach John Herdman following Canada’s 2-1 quarter-final loss to England. READ

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