Finland’s Niko Ojamaki, right, challenges for the puck with Canada’s Jacob Bernard-Docker, centre, and Canada’s goaltender Darcy Kuemper during the Ice Hockey World Championship group B match between Canada and Finland at the Arena in Riga, Latvia, Tuesday, June 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Sergei Grits

Finland’s Niko Ojamaki, right, challenges for the puck with Canada’s Jacob Bernard-Docker, centre, and Canada’s goaltender Darcy Kuemper during the Ice Hockey World Championship group B match between Canada and Finland at the Arena in Riga, Latvia, Tuesday, June 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Sergei Grits

Five things to watch in Canadian sports this weekend

Canada takes on the United States in world hockey championship

Here are five things to watch in Canadian sports this weekend:

BATTLE FOR THE NORTH — Game 2 of the NHL’s North Division final goes Friday night at Winnipeg’s Bell MTS Place. The Montreal Canadiens beat the host Winnipeg Jets 5-3 in the opener. Winnipeg will be without its leading scorer Mark Scheifele after the forward was handed a four-game suspension for his hit on Canadiens forward Jake Evans in Game 1. Evans is also out of the lineup with a concussion. The series shifts to Montreal for Game 3 on Sunday.

QUEST FOR GOLD — Canada takes on the United States Saturday in semifinal action at the world hockey championship in Riga, Latvia. Canada squeaked into the quarterfinals despite losing its first three games at the tournament, but moved on with a 2-1 overtime win over Russia on Thursday. The final is set for Sunday.

HOME SWEET HOME (AWAY FROM HOME) — The Toronto Blue Jays welcome the Houston Astros to their temporary home of Sahlen Field in Buffalo, N.Y., for a three-game series starting Friday night. The Blue Jays moved from their spring-training home of Dunedin, Fla., to Buffalo this week, opening up their new digs with a pair of wins against Miami. Sahlen Field is normally home of Toronto’s triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, but Toronto is setting up shop there for a second straight year due to COVID-19 restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border.

TRYING FOR TOKYO — Canada’s men’s baseball team continues its quest for a berth at the Tokyo Olympics with a pair of games at the Americas Baseball Qualifier in West Palm Beach and St. Lucie, Fla. Canada will face the United States on Friday and the Dominican Republic on Saturday in the tournament’s Super Round. The top team after Saturday’s games qualifies for the Tokyo Olympics, while the next two will play later in a last-chance qualification tournament.

B MAJOR — Canada’s Brooke Henderson looks for her second win at an LPGA major tournament this weekend at the U.S. Women’s Open in San Francisco. Henderson has 10 LPGA Tour wins, with her only other major coming at the 2016 Women’s PGA Championship. Henderson finished tied for 10th at the 2014 U.S. Open as an amateur and finished tied for fifth at the event in 2015 rookie year on the LPGA Tour, but hasn’t cracked the top 10 since. She opened with a 3-under 68 and was one shot off the lead heading into Friday’s second round.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2021.


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